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Jordan to tender third IPP

Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (Nepco) plans to issue a request for qualification (RFQ) this month to prospective bidders for the development of its third independent power project.

The project was unveiled at the end of 2009, at which point Nepco said it intended to issue an RFQ to developers by June 2010. The issue date has since been pushed back.

Under Nepco’s latest schedule for the development of the project a request for proposals (RFP) will be sent to pre-qualified bidders in November or December.

The facility will have a generation capacity of around 600 MW, with the project executed in two phases.

The first phase will reach completion in 2013 and the second in 2014.

US-based K&M Engineering & Consulting won the consultancy contract for the project in January.

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World Bank approves $210m loan for Egypt wind power programme

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The World Bank has approved a $210.7m loan to help develop Egypt’s wind energy sector.

The country plans to generate more than 10 GW of electricity from wind power by 2022. The World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund will grant EGP800m ($140m) of the loan’s value, the Egyptian ministry of international co-operation said, adding that this is the first project to be supported by the fund in the Middle East and North Africa.

Meanwhile, the most populous Arab country will initiate production at a new 375 MW power station in Nubaria province north of Cairo in September, and boost output from hydroelectric turbines at the Aswan High Dam.

Egypt will boost electricity generation further in December by launching a new power station at Koraymat, south of Cairo. That plant will generate 120 MW from gas and 20 MW from solar.

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Syria seeks foreign investment

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Syria wants international companies to set up the country’s first private power generation plant at a cost of about $300m.

Investors have until 27 September to pre-qualify ahead of bidding for the project in the second quarter of 2011, according to Syria’s Public Establishment of Electricity for Generation and Transmission, or PEEGT. The gas fired or heavy fuel oil fired power plant, to be located at Al Nasserieh, is expected to have an output capacity of up to 250 MW and investors will be offered a 20-year concession to operate the facility.

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SEC approves power projects

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The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) approved $3.92bn worth of new power projects to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the Kingdom.

The approval includes the expansion of the Rabigh 6 power plant, which will have a capacity of 2400″2800 MW.

Other projects that SEC plans to implement include establishing a power link between Hail and Al-Jouf and installing power cables in the city of Mecca.

The SEC plans to add 20 GW of electricity through to 2018 at an estimated cost of $80bn. The Saudi Arabian state company will finance the projects through its own resources, in addition to loans.

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Egypt announces el-Dabaa as the site of its planned nuclear plant

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Egypt is to build its first nuclear power plant on its Mediterranean coast at el-Dabaa, a site to the west of the port city of Alexandria that had been identified as a potential nuclear plant location as early as 1983.

Aktham Abu el-Ela, an electricity and energy ministry spokesman, said the government anticipated the power plant would be linked to the national grid in 2019.

He said the ministry would open an international tender for the plant, which would be decided by the end of this year.

Electricity minister Hassan Younis had earlier estimated that a 1000 MW plant would cost in the region of $4bn. Egypt has already used several foreign companies as consultants, including the French nuclear reactor producer Areva and US giant Westinghouse Electric.

Ela said the Dabaa plant would be followed by three other reactors, which are tentatively scheduled to start production in 2025.

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Saudi Arabia to swap 127-volt power for 230 volts

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Saudi Arabia will switch from its current 127 volts electricity supply to the more common 230 volts, bringing it in line with other Gulf states.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council of ministers and the switch is scheduled to be completed over the next 25 years.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Libya are the only countries in the Middle East and North Africa that have stuck to 127 volts. This is not strong enough to power European and Asian standard appliances, although some Saudi homes and larger buildings feature both 127-volt and 230-volt wiring.

The move will bring Saudi Arabia in line with its partners in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), which launched a joint power grid in 2009. The grid currently links Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.

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Fuel loading starts at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant

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The process of loading fuel into the first unit at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant began on 21 August under the supervision of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Bushehr 1 is a unique VVER-1000 pressurized water reactor (PWR), built by Russia’s Atomstroyexport. An original project to build a Kraftwerk Union 1200 MW PWR was halted in 1979.

The new Bushehr nuclear power plant is expected to begin commercial operation within the next month or so.

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Global firms looking to Iraq

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Several international firms have proposed investment projects in the electricity sector in the war-torn city of Basra.

Siemens of Germany is in negotiations with officials in Basra. “A delegation from Siemens met with officials of the provincial council’s electricity committee to discuss ways to carry out projects in the power sector in Basra,” provincial electricity committee head Ziyad Ali told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. “The delegation expressed readiness to carry out power projects in the fields of construction of 11/33 kV stations.”

A consortium of Turkish companies has also proposed to build a power station in Basra.

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