UAE announces shortlist to build Gulf’s first nuclear plant

Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Nuclear Energy (Enec) has announced that a total of three consortia have made it onto the prequalification shortlist to build the UAE’s first nuclear power station.

The three shortlisted parties are a French consortium of GDF Suez, Areva and Total; Japan’s Hitachi with GE Energy of the United States; and a South Korean partnership of Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) with Hyundai Engineering & Construction. In April, Enec said it would continue talks with the shortlisted teams into the third quarter of 2009, when the UAE plans to award a contract.

The winning party is set to work with Enec on the design, construction, operation and maintenance of its nuclear plants, which will use generation 3/3+ light-water reactors.

Construction of the Gulf’s first nuclear plant will start in 2012, with the first reactor due on line in 2017.

Egypt approves 200 MW wind farm

Egypt is pressing ahead with plans to generate 12 per cent of its electricity by 2020, by approving another 200 MW wind farm in the Red Sea region.

The latest wind farm will be located south of Zafarna and about 120km north of Hurghada, a windy part of country with several already operational wind farms. The country only recently announced a tender for a 250 MW wind farm in the same area and received bids from 26 international companies.

The tender procedure for the latest wind farm, expected to cost around €340m ($473m), is likely to start in December this year but the wind farm is not expected to start generating electricity before 2014.

The European Investment Bank, the European Union and German bank KfW are financing €270m of the total cost.

Tahal to build 300 MW pumped storage plant in Jordan Valley

Kardan NV subsidiary Tahal Water Energy has been granted a conditional license from Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructures to build a €225m ($313m) 300 MW pumped storage plant at Kochav Hayarden, Jordan Valley.

The company will sell the electricity to Israel Electric Corporation. Kardan estimates that construction will take three years. The license is conditional on Tahal arranging financing for the project within 18 months from the date the license was granted.

Tahal has an option to withdraw if the estimated turnover is not in line with projections.

Sumitomo puts Saudi IWPP plans on ice after state intervention

Japan’s Sumitomo put its plans for a $6bn power and water desalination plant in Saudi Arabia on ice after Riyadh said the plant was no longer designated an independent project.

Sumitomo’s consortium, comprising Malaysian power provider Malakoff and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jomaih Automotive, had outbid a consortium led by Korea’s Kepco and a group comprising Suez Energy and Japanese trading house Marubeni.

The oil fired thermal power plant in Ras Azzour in eastern Saudi Arabia was slated to generate 850 to 1100 MW when completed in the summer of 2012.

Saudi’s Rabigh oil fired project faces $900m hole in financing

The developers behind Saudi Arabia’s 1200 MW oil fired independent power project (IPP) at Rabigh are facing a financing gap to the tune of $900m after potential lenders withdrew planned loans of $5bn.

Acwa Power International, which already had a shortfall of $400m on the $2.5bn project, is facing a greater task because export credit agency Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim) missed a 31 May deadline to finalize its commitment to lend $400m to the IPP.

A group of three Saudi banks, Al-Rajhi, Alinma and Samba, have also reduced the amount they are willing to lend by $100m, from a total of $900m to $800m, bringing the shortfall up to $900m.

As a result of missing its deadline, China Exim will withdraw altogether from Rabigh, which is located on the kingdom’s west coast.

The consortium must now approach additional Saudi and international banks to fill the $900m funding gap.

Worley Parsons secures Egypt nuclear plant consultancy contract

Australia’s Worley Parsons has won a nuclear power plant consultancy contract worth 900m Egyptian pounds ($160m) after talks with initial favourite Bechtel Power Corp stalled.

Egypt said in October 2007 it would build several civilian nuclear power stations to meet its growing energy needs. Egypt has nuclear cooperation offers from China, Russia, France and Kazakhstan. The head of Egypt’s nuclear reactor authority, Yassin Ibrahim, said Worley Parsons was the lowest bid out of the remaining offers for the contract.

The consultancy will choose the technology and the site for the reactors, ensure quality control for the project, train personnel to run the power plant, and provide other technical services. The company would also supervise design, construction and early test-runs.

India’s Larsen & Toubro snags Oman orders worth $10.88m

Larsen & Toubro has received three orders worth $10.88m for transmission and infrastructure related projects.

The first order is an EPC contract from the Rural Areas Electricity Company SAOC, Oman, for 33/11 kV substations and 33 kV distribution network at Al Duqm area in Al Wusta.

The second order, from the Oman Electricity Transmission Company, is for building a 132/33 kV grid station at Wadi Sa’a in the Buraimi Governorate of the Sultanate of Oman.

The third order is for infrastructure and landscaping work for the Second Asian Beach Games in Muscat.

Masdar connects 10 MW solar plant to Abu Dhabi power grid

The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) has inaugurated Masdar’s 10 MW solar power plant, marking the integration of the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Middle East to the Abu Dhabi municipal grid.

The PV plant will generate 10 MW of clean electricity, which is an annual carbon saving of 15 000 tonnes – the equivalent of taking 3300 cars off Abu Dhabi’s roads each year.

The plant will provide clean energy to the temporary Masdar site administration facilities, and power ongoing construction activities of Masdar City.