Areva suffers huge operating loss of up to €1.6bn for 2011

Areva will report an operating loss of up to €1.6bn ($2.1bn) this year, the first loss for the 10-year-old group, largely from a ruinous bet on uranium prices with the 2007 acquisition of a small-cap miner.

Reuters reports that the company plans to limit its dividend payout to a quarter of net profit for the next two years as new Chief Executive Luc Oursel seeks to cut spending and sell assets after being hit by cancelled orders and project delays post-Fukushima.

Areva said that it was taking €2.4bn of charges this year and that it expected to post a €1.4bn to €1.6bn operating loss.

“These past years, Areva has not generated enough cash flow to finance investments undertaken out of a desire to grow at all costs,” Oursel told Le Figaro newspaper, adding that Areva was in a difficult financial situation and must focus on results.

The write-downs are tied to a disappointing performance at the group’s African uranium mines and delays at a new generation nuclear power plant in Finland.

Areva added that it hoped to win 35 per cent of the available market for safety work following Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster earlier this year.

TAQA, Marubeni Hassyan 1 bid is ‘lowest’

A consortium of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), Japan’s Marubeni and South Korea’s SK E&S Co Ltd put the lowest bid for the estimated $1.3bn Hassyan 1 IPP, the first of six planned IPPs in Dubai, said a TAQA spokesman.

TAQA (40 per cent), Marubeni (40 per cent) and SK E&S (20 per cent) will together own 49 per cent of the project company while Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) will own 51 per cent. Alstom and Samsung Engineering Co Ltd are EPC partners.

The 1600 MW Hassyan 1 plant will be developed on a build-own-operate basis with electricity sold via a 25-year PPA to DEWA.

Chubu Electric tests CCGT at Joetsu

Japan’s Chubu Electric has tested a 595 MW combined-cycle gas turbine at its new Joetsu thermal power plant.

Chubu Electric plans to put the turbine into full operation next July.

The company then intends to phase in a further three turbines over a period until 2014.

Chubu Electric believes that once all CCGTs at the plant are operational, it should be able to reduce its reliance on LNG by 600,000 metric tonnes a year, according to a company spokesman.

Siemens adds US meter data specialist to Smart Grid arm

Technology giant Siemens has acquired eMeter, a Californian-based meter data management specialist, for an undisclosed price.

With its EnergyIP platform, eMeter is a leading provider of meter data management software used in the recording and processing of energy consumption data in electricity, gas and water meters, and according to Siemens represents an important expansion in its Smart Grid portfolio.

Siemens and eMeter have been working as strategic partners since 2008, with the EnergyIP platform forming the core component of Siemens’ smart metering solutions.

EnergyIP software can efficiently read out, manage and provide the increasing quantities of data from smart meters in the power supply network.

In October, Siemens pooled its business of intelligent power supply networks into the Smart Grid division of the newly-formed Infrastructure & Cities Sector.

The Smart Grid division supplies products and solutions for intelligent and flexible network infrastructures to power providers and operators.

Skoda clinches trio of contracts

Skoda Power, part of Doosan Power Systems, has won contracts in India, Israel and Turkey.

It will modernise two 100 MW turbines at the Sabarmati power plant in India.

In Israel, it will supply three turbo-sets ranging from 120 MW to 140 MW to help convert three gas plants into combined-cycle plants. The plants are at Ramat Hovav near Be’er Sheva, Hagit near Haifa, and Eskhol near Tel Aviv.

In Turkey, it will deliver a 320 MW steam turbogenerator set for a 900 MW combined-cycle power plant based on two GE gas turbines in Erzin in the province of Hatay.

Vattenfall joins wind-to-hydrogen German project

Vattenfall is participating in a hybrid power scheme in Germany to store wind energy as hydrogen gas.

The project, based 75 miles north of Berlin in Prenzlau, consists of a biogas unit, three 2 MW wind turbines, two CHP plants, and an electrolysis unit that generates the hydrogen.

With its partners, Vattenfall now plans to expand pilot activities for generating hydrogen to store wind energy in several major projects, including one in the state of Brandenburg.

EDF: EDF plans to build a €1.8bn ($2.4bn) coal fired power plant in Poland. The French power company will replace the four oldest units at Rybnik plant with a single unit.

Exelon: Exelon Nuclear Partners, LLC, a subsidiary of Exelon Generation Company, LLC, has signed a consulting agreement with Visagino atomine elektrine UAB, the government-owned company responsible for new nuclear power plant development in Lithuania.

GD Power: China’s Guodian Corp subsidiary GD Power is to build a $3bn hydropower project. The Houziyan plant in Sichuan province will have a generation capacity of 1700 MW.

Mitsubishi: The Japanese giant unveiled the blueprint of its latest wind turbine at the EWEA Offshore Wind conference in Amsterdam. The SeaAngel turbine will have a minimum capacity of 7 MW and a rotor diameter of over 165 metres and is being targeted at the UK offshore market.

Orascum: Orascom Construction Industries has won a third of a $300m contract to build a 32 MW plant in the southern Egyptian province of Assiut, newspaper Al Mal has reported.

Reliance Power: The Indian power company is to build what it claims will the the country’s largest solar power plant. The 40 MW, $147m project in Rajasthan marks Reliance’s solar debut and is expected to be completed by next summer.

RWE: Up to 8000 of the German utility’s 72 000 jobs are set to be cut over the next few years, a company source told Rheinische Post newspaper. RWE said earlier this year that it would need to shed assets worth $14.8bn by the end of 2013.

Wartsila: The Finnish group is to buy UK engineering company Hamworthy in a £383m ($599m) deal. Hamworthy provides equipment and services to the oil and gas sector and operates in the UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany and China.

Westinghouse: Toshiba company Westinghouse has signed a memorandum of understanding with Czech engineering group Vitkovice. Westinghouse is bidding to upgrade Temelin nuclear plant and if successful will order components and equipment from Vitkovice.

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