Asia, General Electric, KEPCO, Middle East & Africa, Siemens

ASIA-PACIFIC

Issue 3 and Volume 16.

Korea’s KEPCO poised to step into Kazakhstan’s power market

Korea’s state-owned power company, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kazakhstan’s Central Asian Power Energy Company for electricity projects worth around $500m.

Under the agreement, KEPCO will jointly take part in power projects in Astana City, the capital of Kazakhstan. Involving the expansion of a 360 MW plant to a capacity of 600 MW and the establishment of a new 240 MW plant.

A spokesman for KEPCO said that this latest deal was expected to be a catalyst to advance its interests in the electricity sector of Kazakhstan, which plans to invest a total of $10.5bn in a programme of modernization throughout its power sector by 2015. KEPCO’s president and CEO Lee Won Gul referred to the enormous opportunities and said KEPCO will make further plans to develop new business models that fit the region.

KEPCO is scheduled to start construction of a 750 MW thermal power plant in Azerbaijan and is also eying up business opportunities in Africa, Southeast Asia and Central Asia.

Thai energy boss back coal and nuclear

The regional head of a leading energy technology company has come out in support of coal and nuclear power production as the best fuel options for meeting the growing demands for power generation in Thailand. Kovit Kantapasara, who heads up GE Energy’s businesses in Thailand and Indonesia, said in an interview that these remain the most viable fuel choices for the long term.

He said coal was the best choice for the short and medium term due to the new highly efficient coal gasification technologies that could effectively eliminate all emissions from production.

Although the Thai government has launched a preliminary study into the development of nuclear power, Kantapasara accepted that it may be three more years before the Thai government move forward with a nuclear programme.

World Bank approves $600m loan for India’s Power Grid upgrade

The World Bank has approved a $600m loan for state-run utility Power Grid Corp of India Ltd, backed by a government guarantee, to increase reliable power between states and regions.

In a statement, the World Bank said that the Fourth Power System Development project aims to reduce transmission losses and cut the cost of energy through further investments in transmission systems.

“It will also contribute to the clean energy initiative through both the ability to transfer surplus hydro energy to power deficit regions in India and relieve some of the pressure to build generation facilities, particularly in and around the major load growth centers,” the bank added.

The company operates most of India’s inter-state transmission assets. Despite a booming economy, India’s growth potential is constrained by lack of electricity services and limited power generation.

Indonesian government: We will build four nuclear power plants by 2025

Indonesia plans to build four nuclear power plants by 2025 to meet electricity demand, state Minister for research and technology Kusmayanto Kadiman said.

“If one nuclear power plant can produce 1200 MW of electricity, we need four plants by 2025 to meet our demand,” he said.

Indonesia’s first nuclear power plant is expected to be built on the slope of Mt. Muria in Jepara, located in central Java. The plant is expected to be operational in 2016.

China races ahead with nuclear plans

China is expected to have installed nuclear power capacity of 60 GW by the year 2020 as construction of reactors is progressing faster than planned, according to Zhang Guobao, a vice minister in the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). China’s nuclear power strategy envisages around four per cent of electricity production from nuclear facilities by 2020.

At the end of last year China had a total of 11 nuclear power generation units in operation, with an installed capacity nearly 10 GW. China’s National Bureau of Statistics put China’s total power production at 3280 TWh in 2007 of which only 1.9 per cent was nuclear power.

China Light and Power picks Siemens for upgrade project

Siemens Energy has secured a major order worth about €300m ($467m) from China Light and Power, after the successful completion of Siemens’s first supply system expansion project in Hong Kong, China.

Over the next five years, Siemens will further modernize and expand the power distribution network of China’s third largest metropolitan region. The latest order comprises the delivery, installation and commissioning of about 2000 turnkey distribution substations with medium-voltage switchgear.

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China: China Resources Power Holdings has gained approval from the Chinese government to build a 300 MW coal fired unit at its Hunan Lianyuan mine mouth power plant, which will be equipped with FGD and de-NOx technologies.

China: China’s Guangdong Province plans to host the nation’s largest offshore wind farm covering 240 m2, which will be co-sponsored by the Lufeng Municipal Government and Guangdong New Energy Stock co.

China: China plans to spend 41.8bn yuan ($5.89bn) on energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction projects in 2008, according to the Ministry of Finance. Under the current five-year plan, energy consumption as a proportion of GDP must be cut by 20 per cent.

India: Pressure on their legislative calendar has resulted in US officials giving India a three-month deadline to complete negotiations on the planned US-India civil nuclear energy deal, initially announced in March 2006.

Indonesia: Marubeni Corporation has received a 9bn yen ($90m) order from Indonesia’s state-owned power company PT PLN to completely overhaul its largest coal fired power plant, the 3400 MW Suralaya plant, which will extend the facility’s life, improve efficiency and reduce emissions.

Laos: Work to construct the 1800 MW Hong Sa thermal power plant in Sayabouly Province will begin later this year at a cost of $2.76bn. All but 100 MW of capacity will be used for export to Thailand.

Nepal: China’s Export-Import Bank has confirmed the provision of two soft loans for power projects in Nepal. The loans totalling $186m will be used to construct the 61 MW Upper Trishuli 3 ‘A’ and 33 MW Upper Trishuli 3 ‘B’ plants, scheduled for completion in 2011-2012

Thailand: The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is expected to tender for the construction of two new gas fired power plants each with a capacity of 800 MW, utilizing LNG supplied through a new terminal to be built in southern Thailand.

Vietnam: The Vietnamese government has approved the establishment of the National Electricity Transmission Corporation, which will be 100 per cent owned by Electricity of Vietnam.