Australasia, Latin America, North America, Siemens

AMERICAS

Issue 3 and Volume 16.

Brazil’s CESP stake sale cancelled

The government of Brazil’s Sao Paulo state canceled the sale of a controlling stake in utility CESP after potential bidders failed to make necessary financial deposits.

Possible buyers balked at spending nearly 20bn reais ($11.5bn) for the company as concerns grew about the renewal of licenses in two dams that account for nearly two-thirds of CESP’s generation capacity.

Sao Paulo governor Jose Serra said the current market crisis made it difficult for interested buyers to participate in the tender for the state-run utility.

“They wanted a lower price, but we are not selling a controlling stake of CESP for a pittance,” Serra told reporters.

The sale of CESP would have been the largest since the privatization seen in Brazil since Telebras was sold for 22bn reais in 1998 and the 7.05bn reais raised in the sale of Sao Paulo state bank Banespa to Spain’s Santander in 2000.

Powerspan carbon capture technology chosen for North Dakota project

Basin Electric Power Cooperative is to use Powerspan’s carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology to demonstrate its viability at the Antelope Valley Station, a coal-based electric power station located near Beulah, North Dakota.

Approximately 1m tonnes of CO2 will be captured annually from the 120 MW slipstream project, making the demonstration among the largest in the world.

The captured CO2 will be fed into an existing CO2 compression and pipeline system owned by Basin Electric’s wholly owned subsidiary, Dakota Gasification.

The project is scheduled to move forward in 2009, subject to the successful completion of engineering studies and obtaining the necessary permits and US government incentives. The facility itself is expected to be operational in 2012.

TransCanada eyes C$5bn run-of-river hydropower plant in Alberta

TransCanada Corporation is mulling the development of a C$5bn ($4.9bn) hydroelectric project on the River Slave in the remote reaches of northern Alberta, Alex Pourbaix, president of the power and pipeline company’s energy division, said.

The Canadian company said it is in the early stages of planning for a run-of-the river hydro project on the Slave, an undeveloped river that carries more than two-thirds of Alberta’s water flow north to Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories region of the country.

The project, which would not include a large reservoir behind a dam, could potentially generate 1200-1300 MW of electricity, and be operating within a decade.

TransCanada’s partner on the project is a unit of Atco, which owns generating plants in Canada, the UK and Australia.

AEP gets Louisiana OK to build 600 MW coal plant in Arkansas

American Electric Power said the Louisiana Public Service Commission has approved a request by one of its business units to build a 600 MW coal fired power plant in Arkansas.

Company officials said the project, which was previously approved by regulatory officials in Arkansas, is still pending approval by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The Arkansas permit is also being challenged in the state Court of Appeals by a coalition of environmental groups. American Electric said its Southwestern Electric Power is also waiting for an air permit from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, which it hopes to obtain by this summer, before construction of the power plant can begin.

The $1.34bn plant is expected to be operational in late summer 2012.

Saskatchewan to build ‘clean coal’ generator

The Saskatchewan government has revived the idea of building a so-called clean coal power plant.

The announcement comes after the federal government gave the province nearly C$250m ($242m) to put toward carbon capture programmes. The province says it will rebuild and re-power a coal fired power generator near Estevan over the next seven years at a cost of C$1.4bn.

The government says the demonstration project will produce 100 MW for SaskPower, while reducing the publicly owned power utility’s carbon emissions by 1m tonnes annually. The carbon dioxide captured by the project will be pumped into the ground to recover oil. SaskPower will put up C$758m for the project.

Power line to open up remote British Columbia

Mexican state power company CFE is to tender in May the 652 MW Norte II combined-cycle plant in Chihuahua state.

The plant would be tendered under the Independent Power Producer Framework, which entails a 25-year power purchase agreement.

CFE plans to receive bids for the tender in November 2008 and announce the winner in February 2009. The plant would begin operations in April 2011.

CFE expects 26.5 GW of capacity to be added by 2017 to reach a national total of 69.3 GW. The figure does not include self-supply projects.

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Brazil: Brazil is to build two hydropower plants along its borders with Bolivia and Argentina. The two plants are expected to have a combined capacity of 12 GW.

Brazil: EDB plans to increase its generation capacity from 1.04 GW to 1.45 GW by 2012. The majority will come from the 720 MW Pecem coal fired plant, joint owned with EDP, due to commence operation in 2012.

Chile: President Michelle Bachelet has warned that Chile could face electricity rationing this year amid rapidly dropping reservoir levels and cuts in supplies of natural gas from Argentina.

Mexico: Mexican state power company CFE plans to launch the tender in May or June of this year for the 101 MW Oaxaca I wind project in the state of the same name.

Peru: Siemens has awarded Worley Parsons the engineering phase for the installation of two SGT6-5000F simple cycle units. The first is the Simba project for EnerSur in Chilca, the second for the Kallpa Unit II project.

USA: AEP unit Appalachian Power has received authority from West Virginia to build a $2.23bn 629 MW IGCC power plant near New Haven.

USA: New Mexico has approved a bill that requires the state’s electricity utilities to achieve energy efficiency gains by five per cent of their 2005 sales by 2014, rising to ten per cent by 2020.

USA: NRG Energy has commenced construction on the Elbow Creek wind project, a 122 MW wind farm near Big Spring, Texas. The project will use 53 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines and begin operating by year-end.

USA: Nviro Cleantech’s subsidiary Vertus Technologies has signed a contract to install and operate a 100 000 tonnes per annum reductive thermal process unit at a site on the Ohio River.

USA: Panda Energy is planning to build, own and operate a 500 MW combined-cycle plant in Sherman, northern Texas that will will supply sufficient power for approximately 400 000 homes.

USA: Worley Parsons is to provide design services for the retrofit of selective catalytic reactor and flue gas desulfurization systems at Georgia Power’s Plant Scherer facility.