Mott MacDonald wins Philippine bagasse contract

Mott MacDonald has been appointed owner’s engineer by Bronzeoak Ltd, a UK-based specialist in the development of renewable energy, to help implement a 54 MW, $85m bagasse-fuelled power plant in the Philippines.

The plant will comprise two high pressure boilers each with a 160 t/h capacity and a single back-pressure steam turbine and will be fuelled by a sugar cane residue with wood chips.

But the project could be seen as a hindrance according to projections set by privatization advisors Credit Suisse First Boston and NM Rothschild & Sons, as overcapacity in power supply, particularly in Luzon, is predicted to stay until 2007 due to a slow down in demand.

Power plants expected to start commercial operation in the country this year are the 1200 MW Ilijan and 500 MW San Lorenzo natural gas-fired facilities, which both contribute to the Luzon grid.

Nam Theun II takes off with $100m boost

Thailand’s Electricity Generating PCL is planning to invest $100m in the Nam Theun II hydropower project in Laos.

Around $300m will be funded for the $1.1-1.2bn Nam Theun II project with the remaining investment coming from loans. Electricity Generating said that its plans to increase its generating capacity to 5000 MW will be delayed until 2005, from 2003, due to a power demand slump.

  • KEMA Consulting has been picked by three power companies in Thailand – EGAT, MEA and PEA – to develop a new grid, distribution and metering codes for Thailand.

China to construct gas plants

China is planning to build eight power plants that will use natural gas from PetroChina Co.’s west-east pipeline.

The plans, set by State Power Corporation, propose ten such projects in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Henan with a total capacity of 6.9 GW, but the government is likely to approve only eight of the plants, with a total capacity of 5.4 GW.

The eight projects could account for 40 per cent of the total gas from the 4000 km pipeline, which will run from Xinjiang to Shanghai. Ground breaking is scheduled for the end of 2002.

PetroChina said the government has so far approved three of the plants – two in Jiangsu and one in Shanghai – with a total capacity of 2.4 GW.

  • The Asian Development Bank approved a $100m loan to increase the capacity of electricity transmission to Liaoning province. The project costs will be met by Liaoning Electric Power Company and the China Construction Bank.

Enron assets on the block

Administrators will not continue with the proposed sale of Enron Australia due to not being able to elicit ‘reasonable’ bids. The company is considered one of Enron’s prized assets.

Tony Sims, Sims Lockwood, Australia, said that of the 18 parties who expressed an interest in buying the book, only nine were permitted to go through to the due diligence process. But none of those made what the administrators considered a reasonable bid.

Vincent Perez, Philippine energy secretary, said the government was aiming to seal an agreement with Enron by the end of January to buy its two power plant contracts.

Enron owns an oil-based power plant in Batangas on Luzon island and another plant at Subic Bay, north of Manila. They were set up by Enron under a build-operate-transfer arrangement.

India pushes for 51 GW increase

India is to add 51 000 MW of new electric generation capacity in the country’s tenth five-year plan starting in April 2002. The power push is an attempt to free the country from persistent outages.

In addition, up to Rs566 000 crore ($117bn) will be used to fund the upgrade of the country’s transmission and distribution system. The planned capacity addition in the ninth plan stood at 55 158 MW; India’s overall generation capacity stands at slightly above 100 GW.

During the tenth plan, 45 hydro projects, with a capacity of 2309 MW, will be taken up under the renovation and modernization programme, while 48 units totalling 2146 MW will be considered under a life extension programme to accrue benefits of 2485 MW.

Alstom lands Senoko contract

Alstom has been awarded a contract for the second phase of Senoko Power Station Stage I repowering in Singapore.

In 1999, Senoko awarded Alstom a contract for the first phase repowering of the plant, increasing its capacity from 120 MW to 360 MW by modernizing a steam turbine unit and replacing an oil-fired boiler with a GT26 gas turbine.

In Phase II, Alstom will supply two GT26 gas turbines, two heat recovery steam generators and a water treatment plant, bringing the total Stage I plant output to 1100 MW.

News digest

Australia: Two new projects have been approved in Australia that will link New South Wales to Victoria and the south of the country. The grids, costing A$146m ($75.4m), will boost power supplies in the region by 600 MW.

China: Two hydropower stations will be built in China within the next four years in Jinshajiang, on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The plants, financed by the Yangtze River Three Gorges Corporation, will start building in 2004 and 2006 respectively.

China: Metso Automation has been awarded an order for two maxDNA distributed control systems to be installed at the new Qien Bei power station in Guizhou Province, China. The 2×300 MW bituminous coal-fired plant is being built by the Guizhou Electric Power Bureau.

India: Mirant has said that it will pull out of a joint venture to build a $5bn power project in India’s Orissa state due to uncertain market conditions. The company will also pull out from the Balagarh power project in West Bengal where it is a partner to CESC, a unit of India’s RPG Group, to build a 500 MW power project.

India: Belgian outfit Tractebel has finally pulled out of its troubled power generation venture with the Jindal group by selling its stake to its partner and the financial institutions. The value of the deal has been finalised at Rs2420m ($50.5m).

Indonesia: PT PLN has reached an agreement to pay some ¢4.93/kWh over 40 years to privately-owned PT Paiton Energy Co. according to PLN’s director Eddie Widono. He added that PLN would also pay $4m/month for 30 years for restructuring costs.

Indonesia: A consortium led by ABB has signed a $65m deal with the Indonesian state electricity supplier PT PLN to build a 309 km power line on the main island of Java.

Japan: Alstom has been awarded a contract for a high voltage generator based on Powerformer technology for delivery to Katsurazawa hydropower plant in Hohhaido, Japan. The $4m project will be connected directly to a 66 kV substation on the grid.

Nepal: Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation has received an $11m order for two 36 MW Francis turbines, as well as shut-off valves and governors, for the Nepalese Middle Marsyangdi hydro power station in Nepal.

Singapore: Singapore Power Ltd is to acquire a combined 50.1 per cent stake worth $191m in LG Energy and LG Power, both subsidiaries of the South Korean company LG Caltex Oil Group.