The Asian Development Bank plans to loan $100m to the Liaoning Electric Power company to support sector and enterprise reforms in the Liaoning Province. The project includes establishing an additional 500 kV transmission facility, modernising the load and dispatch communications systems, strengthening the distribution facilities in Shenyang and Dalian, expanding the rural distribution network, and closing down old polluting power plants.

The project aims to expand electricity supply in rural and other poor areas and improve the environment through the closure of old polluting power plants.

Dabhol Power Project cancellation could cost the Indian Government $384m.

India’s power secretary A. K. Basu is reported to have said that the cost to the federal government, were they to cancel the Dabhol Power project, could be Rs18 bn ($384m). The project is run the Dabhol Power Company in which US giant Enron has a majority stake.

Contractually, the Government of India would have to pay one year’s electricity bill and take over Dabhol Power Company’s (DPC) debt if the project was terminated. Mr. Basu said that the debt stands at around $300 million. Neither the federal government or the government of the western state of Maharashtra can absorb this cost and efforts are now underway to renegotiate the terms of the power purchase agreement (PPA) with Enron. The Federal government has offered to participate in any renegotiations in order to resolve this payment crisis.

Philippines National Power Corporation (NPC) has reduced the effective selling rate of power by 20 centavos (5 cents) per kWh. The NPC is the state owned power company and the reduction will be applicable to the Purchased Power Cost

Adjustment (PPCA) with customers seeing the reduction in their March billing.

Residential end-users and other customers of private utilities and rural electric cooperatives are expected to notice the effect of the reduction as early as May 2001.

The PPCA is one of the cost-recovering mechanisms being used by NPC in computing its effective selling rate every month. It reflects monthly movements in the cost of power that NPC buys from its independent power producers.

China’s Three Gorges Dam Project, which is expected to be completed in 2009, yesterday officially invited tenders from domestic suppliers for equipment to fit the remaining section. Work on installing the 14 large generators required in the section will take place during a construction period scheduled for completion in June 2006.

The Three Gorges Dam is the central part of the world’s largest hydropower project and is located in China’s Hubei Province. The estimated cost of the project is 50.09 billion yuan ($6.04 bn).

Five of China’s hydropower installation companies have already tendered for the supply contract.

Philippines new power bill is vital to the country if power supply shortfalls are to be avoided over the next few years. This was the view expressed by Energy Secretary Jose Isidro Camacho in a report to Malacanang, the presidential office, as part of its efforts for the immediate passage of the New Power bill that would stimulate the inflow of new investments.

The Visayes region is expected to be the first to suffer, with Luzon feeling the impact a little later, if the bill is not enacted immediately. Camacho said, “One of the challenges that the power sector faces today is the lack of funds to build new power capacities for generation and transmission to meet future electricity requirements”. He put the lack of overseas investment down to the uncertainty over the structure of the power industry in the Philippines. With the passing of the bill, he believes interested investors will be able to review their investment opportunities with more predictability.

“Napocor is no longer in a position to build or contract for additional capacity because of its huge financial debts,” said Camacho. “When passed, the power reform bill will provide a framework for the restructuring of the industry and the mechanics for the

sale of Napocor assets,” he added.

According to a full option analysis prepared by the DOE, of the 4,816 MW new proper capacities committed so far, 2,195 MW will be put up by Meralco for Luzon grid; 2,605 MW by government through National Power Corporation and 16.4 MW by the independent power producers in the provincial areas. These capacities are only 49 per cent of the 9,844 MW total power supply requirements of the country in the next 10 years. This indicates a 5,028 MW shortfall within the planning period.

Taiwan’s nuclear plant unit can be restarted following from the country’s Atomic Energy Council (AEC). The shutdown occurred following an incident on 18 March this year when a high-tension transmission system carrying electricity from the nuclear plant to consumers broke down because saline fog blown inland from the nearby sea created a short circuit across the ceramic insulators.

As a result, the first and second units at the plant automatically shut down and caused a blackout at the nuclear plant complex.

Nuclear regulator AEC has given permission for the second unit to be restarted after state-owned operator Taipower submitted its written report containing various agreements aimed at addressing weather related hazards such as the one which caused the shutdown at the country’s No. 3 plant.

AEC Vice Chairman Ouyang Min-sheng said that after reviewing Taipower’s report and on-site inspections, the AEC was convinced that Taipower had indeed completed its required improvements, and it has therefore agreed to allow the second unit to be restarted. Ouyang said that restarting the first unit will have to await a strict safety inspection, which may still take some time.

India’s 100,000 MW power generation target will be met by 2012 according to federal Power Minister Suresh Prabhu. He remained confident despite the disappointing response from independent power producers.

Prabhu expects that the private sector will contribute 30,000 MW to generating capacity and said that their participation would be encouraged.

By linking the rest of the country up with surplus capacity in the eastern region, a further 20-30,000 MW could be added while an additional 20,000 MW is expected through a modernization and renovation programme of existing plants, according to Prabhu.

National Thermal Power Corporation [NTPC] would add 20,000 MW of new generating capacity in the next 10-12 years while nuclear and renewable power would add 20,000 MW in the period, he said.

Demand side management would result in release of about 20,000 MW electricity and a similar amount of new generating capacity would be added in the state sector over the next 12 years he said . The Power Minister believed 20,000 MW of new hydroelectric generating capacity would be added by 2012.