Asia – Electric Power News Briefs

Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board said Wednesday that it may be forced to extend the duration of its prevailing 90-minute daily power cuts, due to insufficient rainfall. “Water levels are continuing to fall. There is a strong possibility that the duration of power cuts will be extended,” said a senior official from the state-run CEB, who declined to be identified.

Japan’s trade surplus plunged 57.9 per cent year on year to 420.7bn yen ($3.5bn) in July, extending its losing streak to 13 months, shows a preliminary report released Thursday by the Finance Ministry. Exports slipped for the fourth straight month, while imports headed higher for the 21st month in a row. Information technology-related products saw declines for both imports and exports.

Vietnam’s Uong Bi thermo power plant in the northern province of Quang Ninh is to kick off a $305m expansion project, after securing a syndicated funding deal with four Vietnamese commercial banks. The four banks have agreed to offer loans totalling $213m to the project, which will expand the plant’s existing 105 MW capacity to 300 MW.

Japanese Nuclear scientists have designed a nuclear power reactor capable of generating 200 kW but small enough to fit into the basement of an apartment, according to a New Scientist report. The Rapid-L reactor uses molten lithium rather than uranium rods and is six metres high and two metres long. The designers believe that the urban located reactors could effectively relieve peak loads in future, however sceptics say that the amount of protection needed and desirability of home installations mean the concept will never catch on.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad has had reaffirmed by Rating Agency Malaysia, its AA1/P1 debt issue ratings issues, reflecting its strong operations and status as the premier electricity provider in Malaysia. “We believe TNB’s credit standing is enhanced to some extent by virtue of the government’s majority shareholding in the company and also its strategic importance to the country,” it said in a statement.

ExxonMobile Indonesia the US operator of the country’s natural gas fields in Arun, North Aceh is expected to be operating at full capacity again early next September, a spokesman of state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina said here Wednesday. The company suspended its operations in Arun last March over security concerns but resumed its activities on a limited scale last July.

Bandar Abbas’ regional power company in Iran, said Tuesday that a combined cycle power plant is to be established in the region to help make up for a shortage of electricity. Managing Director, Gholam-Reza Khoshkholq told IRNA the unit would be the second power plant in the province the related studies for which have been finished and the executive operations would commence in the fourth quarter this year.

Australian Gas Light Co, the power retailer, today reported a net profit of $A115m ($61.23m) for 2000/01, after taking into account losses from the company’s 66 per cent owned Natural Gas Corp [NGC]. As already announced, as a result of the electricity trading conditions in New Zealand, NGC incurred significant losses.

Hyundai Merchant Marine said Thursday it will be able to bring in excess of five million tons of LNG into the country this year. The shipping firm said total LNG shipped into Korea from Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar and Oman would reach 5.3 million tons, up 28 per cent from last year.

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