Tokyo Electric Power’s (Tepco) Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant in Northeast Japan was crippled after the catastrophic loss of its reactor cooling systems following an earthquake and tsunami.

On March 11, the east coast of Japan was struck by an earthquake of a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale and the Fukushima Daiichi plant took an intense battering from the subsequent tsunami.

When the earthquake struck all six of the boiling water reactors shut down as expected but the tsunami knocked out the back-up power supply essential to maintain reactor cooling. This set in train a chain of events which, as PEi went to press, caused the worst nuclear power accident since Chernobyl in 1986. The reactor buildings of units 1, 2 and 3 exploded, caused by a build-up of hydrogen in the reactor pressure vessel.

Tepco technicians battled to cool the reactor core with seawater, but radiation levels continued to rise. Water in spent fuel pools evaporated, leading to fears of a deadly re-criticality. 

Larsen and Toubro to build 375 MW gas fired plant in Gujurat 

India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has received an order worth over 11bn rupees ($243m) from Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL) to build a 375 MW gas fired power plant.

The plant will be built Dhuvaran, near Baroda in Gujarat, on an EPC basis. L&T`s scope includes design, detailed engineering, supply, installation and commissioning of the complete power plant on a turnkey basis. The plant will incorporate gas turbines and steam turbines from Siemens. 

Alstom wins order to build 800 MW CCGT plant in Singapore 

Alstom has been picked by Sembcorp to build a gas fired combined-cycle cogeneration plant on Singapore’s Jurong Island.

Construction will be in two phases, each of 400 MW. The €500m ($689m) EPC contract includes all associated equipment, including a GT26 gas turbine, steam turbine, turbo generator, heat recovery steam generator and ALSPA Series 6 integrated control system. 

World Bank: India can generate 68 GW from renewables 

The World Bank said 68 GW costing less than 6 rupees ($0.13) per kWh can be generated in India from renewable energy sources.

The study, Potential of Renewable Energy in India, said annual growth in India’s electricity demand is expected to average 7.4 per cent in the next 25 years. Generation capacity will have to increase five fold to keep pace. India’s installed capacity currently stands at about 170 GW from all sources of energy.

The report also suggested that renewable energy development could become an important tool for regional economic development within the country.

The states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand have 65 per cent of India’s small hydropower resources. Much of the economically attractive wind potential in Orissa or the biomass potential in Madhya Pradesh is still largely undeveloped. 

GE to supply combined-cycle plant in Pakistan 

GE will supply two Frame 9FA gas turbines and associated generators for a 750 MW combined-cycle power plant in Pakistan.

The project will be developed by the Pakistan Electric Power Co. The turbines are expected to be installed by September 2012.

The plant should be fully operational by mid-2013. GE will also include control systems, installation services and performance testing of the turbines. In February 2010, GE signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Pakistan to help meet projected demand of 54 GW by the year 2020. 

PetroVietnam to build 1200 MW coal plant 

PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power) and PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation (PVC) have won a $1.2bn EPC contract for the Thai Binh 2 coal plant in Vietnam.

Covering an area of 43 ha in My Loc commune, Thai Thuy district, Thai Binh northern Province, the two-unit, 1200 MW plant has a total investment of more than $1.6bn. Construction commenced on 1 March.

 •••

 Australia: Australia will introduce a tax on carbon emissions on 1 July 2012, in preparation for a trading programme that could begin as early as 2015.

Bangladesh: China National Technical Import and Export Cooperation and China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation have made a successful offer of $189m to build a 300 MW dual fuel peaking power station at Ghorashal, close to Dhaka.

Indonesia: Indonesia will receive a $500m loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build three geothermal power plants with a total capacity of 165 MW. Construction will begin in 2012.

Japan: Chubu Electric Power Company said it plans to build a 3-4 GW nuclear power plant by 2030. The company plans to invest 600–800bn yen ($7.3bn–$9.7bn) in its overseas power infrastructure business by 2030.

Kazakhstan: A $46m contract has been awarded to a consortium of South Korean firms to lay power cables. Kepco will work with Hyundai to construct 327 km of 220 kV lines to connect a hydro plant by October 2012.

Laos: Vietnam’s Viet Lao Power has started building a 332 MW hydropower plant in Laos. The $441m Xekaman power plant is being built 80 km from the border between the two countries.

Malaysia: The federal and Sabah state governments have scrapped a plan to build a 300 MW coal fired power plant on environmental grounds. State utility Tenaga has been asked to come up with an alternative solution to replace the proposed plant in Lahad Datu.

New Zealand: Canada’s SNC-Lavalin, in a joint venture with Parsons Brinkerhoff and McConnell Dowell, will build a 166 MW geothermal power project at Te Mihi. The work is to be completed by 2013.

Philippines: San Miguel Corporation plans to expand and convert its Limay diesel power plant in the Philippines from the current 600 MW to a 1200 MW gas fired plant this year. 

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