NTPC plans 8.3 GW quartet of coal fired power plants

India’s largest power producer National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) plans to build four coal-based projects with a combined capacity of over 8300 MW in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh over the next five years.

Three of the operations would be in Madhya Pradesh – a 1980 MW plant at Barethi, a 1320 MW project at Khargone and a 2640 MW plant at Gadarwara – while the fourth in Chhattisgarh will be a 2400 MW facility in Lara.

NTPC generates more than 34 GW of electricity via 15 coal and seven gas power stations and wants to take this output to 75 GW by 2017.

In an appeal to US investors, India’s power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said his country’s power sector is estimated to require $230bn investment under the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2012–17).

Capacity under construction in India totals 80 GW, he told the US-India Economic Opportunities and Synergies Summit in Chicago on 20 September. The private sector’s contribution to India’s electricity output has grown from 11.6 per cent in 2006 to 30 per cent today and is due to hit 60 per cent in the 12th plan.

Drought and coal shortages cut power to factories in China’s Pearl River Delta

Factories in the Pearl River Delta, a key industrial hub, have been asked to cut power for up to four days per week as drought and a coal shortage reduce electricity supply from the West-to-East Electricity Transmission Project.

Daily transmission from Guizhou, the leading province in the project on which many manufacturers in the delta depend, has slumped from 154 kWh to 100 kWh.

Lack of rain has cut hydro in Guizhou while thermal generation has slipped 10 per cent in the province due to reorganisation of mines and closures of shafts over safety concerns.

Pakistan targets 15.6 per cent tariff rise

A senior official at Pakistan’s Finance Ministry has said the government will increase the power tariff by 15.6 per cent in 2011–12 to bridge the gap between costs and the tariff rate.

The power tariff will also reflect all actual line losses and fuel costs from 30 September, he added. Previously, line losses of 16.5 per cent were included in tariff determination, against actual losses of 19.5 per cent.

In addition, the Finance Ministry has proposed immediately increasing the power tariff by 6 per cent, with a further 4 per cent increase in October, December and February.

Indonesian coal price rule hits Indian power companies

India’s government has confirmed that the increase in the price of coal from Indonesia has hit power producing companies in India.

New regulations recently issued by the Indonesian government prohibit the sale of coal, including sales to affiliated companies, below a benchmark price based on international rates.

The regulation requires that all existing contracts are modified from this month to comply.

The Indian Minister of State for Power, K C Venugopal, said: “Some power generation companies in India are facing the problem of an increase in the price of imported coal due to the new Indonesian regulations.”

Tata Power and Reliance Power have written to the Power Ministry, requesting it to mediate with the procurers of electricity from their Mundra (Gujarat) and Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) projects, respectively, for a rise in tariffs to meet the increased cost of imported coal from Indonesia.

Vietnam power shortage to last until year-end

Vietnam is likely to suffer power shortages until the end of the year, according to Pham Le Thanh, general director of Electricity of Vietnam (EVN).

A key reason is the Nam Con Son Gas Pipeline Company’s planned 15-day interruption in gas supply for maintenance purposes, he said. This stoppage will reduce the outputs of Ba Ria, Phu My and Nhon Trach power plants by 20 per cent, and Ca Mau power plant by 1500 MW in the southern provinces.

In addition, low water levels in reservoirs are limiting hydropower output in northern and central areas.

Sri Lanka to build Sampur 500 MW coal fired plant

India’s biggest power producer National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has signed a deal with Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to build a 500 MW coal fired power station in Sri Lanka.

Each company will invest $250m in the plant, which will be built at Sampur, Trincomalee.

Coal will be imported and supplied by Lanka Coal Company and will require a new jetty at Koddiar Bay. The subsequent power generated will be supplied through CEB’s grid.

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Australia: Hydro Tasmania aims to divest as much as 75 per cent of its 140 MW Woolnorth wind farm assets to help finance its proposed $400m Musselroe wind farm.

China: Research by In-Stat has found that the country will deploy 280 million smart meters by 2016, driving the worldwide introduction of the technology while US installations fade as stimulus funding is withdrawn.

Hong Kong: CLP Power may raise electricity rates 2 per cent every year for two decades from 2016 to cover the cost of a planned offshore wind farm. Based on an estimate that 60-70 wind turbines will be built, the project would cost $600–900m.

India: The Asia Development Bank has approved a $100m loan to the state of Gujurat to speed up implementing the 500 MW Patan Solar Park at Charanka.

Japan: New prime minister Yoshihiko Noda has pledged to come up with a new energy policy by next summer to reduce the country’s dependence on nuclear. But he indicated that nuclear plants shut in the aftermath of Fukushima would be allowed to restart.

New Zealand: Foreign minister Murray McCully has announced the investment of NZ$7.9m ($6.5m) to fund the construction of Tonga’s first solar plant, a 1.3 MW farm on the mainland Tongatapu.

Pakistan: Pakistan’s Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (Unisame) has urged the State Bank of Pakistan to help rice millers and processors import biomass rice husk gasification power generation systems to help overcome the nation’s power crisis.

Philippines: Energy secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras has warned that opposition to new coal fired plants could cause a 600 MW national power shortfall in three years’ time. The government could push through power plants to protect “the national interest”, he said.

Sri Lanka: The Power and Energy Ministry is proposing a new tariff structure for electricity charges, depending on the purpose of use. Minister Champika Ranawaka said the new tarriff is to overcome a disparity in payments and cut the Ceylon Electricity Board’s losses.

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