The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand has concluded a 12-year deal to sell electricity to Cambodia, bringing a planned regional power grid one step closer to existence. EGAT will sell up to 80 MW at a fixed tariff that will be renegotiated every three years. Cambodia is expected to purchase only 20 MW of electricity in the first two to three years after the line is completed, in 2003.

Electricity access in China is to be extended to 400 more counties in the 2001-05 period at a cost of 70bn yuan ($8bn) making power supply available mainly scattered in impoverished areas in the middle and western parts of the country. China estimates that it has 87m kW of exploitable hydropower resources mostly situated in the western part of the country.

South Korea’s Water Resources Corporation is to carry out a study into building a 500 kWh tidal plant at the Shihwa seawall in Kyonggi Province west of Seoul. It would be Korea’s first such plant and is expected to cost about 180bn won ($139m). Projected demand for electricity in South Korea may require a doubling of power generation capacity by 2010.

Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco) and the Beijing-based, Hong Kong-listed Datang Power Co have signed a memorandum of understanding on the supply of electricity to a proposed aluminium smelter to be built in Shanxi Province. Under the agreement, Datang will build and operate a 675 MW power plant and sell power to the new smelter of Shanxi Alumina Refinery, a subsidiary of Chinalco, at a price of 220 yuan ($26.6) per MWh for 25 years.

National Hydro Electric Power Corporation, India’s state-owned power major, Monday threatened to withdraw from the 710 MW Koel Karo project, conceived way back in 1980 in Jharkhand if the state failed to give necessary clearances with the beneficiary states , including Power Purchase Agreement, by March this year.

China’s State Power Corporation is set to promote the industrial upgrading of thermal power technologies by optimizing the structure of thermal power units in the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001-05). The company has sets out its aims including developing high efficiency power generating units, concentrating on larger capacity units and improving peak load regulation.

The West-East Power Transmission Project has helped accelerate the construction of power grids in south China. The south China power grid took shape in August 1993, providing a passage for the west-east power transmission. With Guizhou province as a pivot, supplemented by Yunnan, Guangdong and Guangxi, the power grid now has a combined installed capacity of 50 million kW, spanning nearly 2,000 km.

Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region should concentrate its efforts on power grid development over the next five years, and raise the electricity rates to ensure the repayment of loans used in power grid construction says China’s State Power Corporation[SPC]. SPC urged the autonomous regional government to renew its concept and open the market to other parts of the country in addition to foreign investors.

United Group Ltd has won a contract for $A10m ($5.17m) from South Australian electricity transmission company ElectraNet SA, to upgrade five of its substations. United KG, a subsidiary of the Sydney-based engineering and construction company, has been appointed turnkey contractor for the project. The contract is expected to be completed by November this year.

The China Development Bank, one of the three policy banks in the country, has agreed to grant 12.8bn yuan ($1.5bn) in loans to the Guangxi Electrical Power Co., Ltd. for a major power plant and transmission projects. Under the agreement signed on January 7, the loan will be used for the upgrading of the Heshan power plant, expansion of the Tiandong power plant, and construction of a power plant in Qinzhou and another in Beihai.

Philippine’s National Power Corporation (NPC) has scheduled repayments for this year of around $845.86m in loans which are already due for retirement. NPC, which is soon to be privatized, said that of the maturing loans, the principal amount is pegged at $521.47m, while the interest payments stand at $324.39m.

Work has started on China’s sixth nuclear power plant at Sanmen County, in Zhejiang Province on the east coast. The building of a 3.14 km road is among the first projects for the Sanmen nuclear plant, which will have four generators each with a capacity of one million kilowatts, official sources said.