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Around the Globe: Asia-Pacific

Megawati commences Asam-Asam power plant

Indonesia’s president Megawati Soekarnoputri opened the 130 MW Asam-Asam power plant in Tanah Laut regency, South Kalimantan, Indonesia. the coal fired plant is owned by PT Indonesia Power, a subsidiary of state electricity company PT PLN.

The plant, which was financed through loans worth $221m from the World Bank and the Japanese government and another Rp65bn ($6.3m) from the state budget, will provide power to South Kalimantan province as well as Central Kalimantan and East Kalimantan.

The plant will account for 65 per cent of power supplies to the South Kalimantan alone. A further three units are planned for the plant to increase the capacity to 660 MW.

Separately, Kuntjoro-Jakti, economy minister said the government was in no position to negotiate a better deal with independent power producers (IPPs) as the country was in need of power to guarantee future supplies, and has a low investment rating.

Dorodjatun said Indonesia needed the IPPs as PLN was unable to build new power plants to avoid power blackouts in Java and Bali island in 2004 and 2005, and to supply many other provinces that are close to running out of power.

Sri Lanka seeks foreign help to ease deficit

Sri Lanka’s power and energy ministry has called for private sector participation to add a further 100 MW to the national grid to help ease the 200 MW deficit, said a spokesman for the department.

He said the ministry will be obtaining 100 MW from the private sector under its mid-term proposals to increase the Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) power generating capacity.

The ministry will also seek private sector participation to establish wind power stations in areas identified by the CEB. The ministry will coordinate with funding agencies and institutions interested in establishing these wind wind power projects.

The CEB is now facing a dilemma due to a big reduction in water levels at reservoirs and outages at a number of thermal power plants. Proposals have been made to increase the power cuts under these the circumstances, said CEB.

PowerGrid injects $9.2bn into grid

The state-run PowerGrid Corporation of India has embarked upon a massive investment of Rs450 000m ($9.2bn) to Rs500 000m out of the total Rs800 000m needed for the development of the national grid by 2012

PowerGrid proposes to mobilise the balance amount through an active participation of private sector in the ambitious National Grid development project with a view to “carrying bulk power throughout the length and breadth of the country for an optimal development of available energy sources,” said RP Singh, chairman, PowerGrid.

It proposes to set up the National Grid in five phases. HVDC interconnections have been planned to connect all four regions, thus strengthening the grid through hybrid systems consisting of high capacity HVDC and EHVAC lines.

Singh, who was present at the signing ceremony of an agreement between PowerGrid and the Tata Power Company (TPC) for setting up a joint venture for 400 kV Tala transmission project with an investment of Rs11000m, said that TPC was selected through global competitive tenders.

Egat inks power purchase deal

An agreement was signed by Vitaya Kotcharak, governor of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) and other senior officials to acquire electricity from the Nam Thuen hydropower project in Laos after a long delay.

The project represents a total investment of $1.2bn, of which $840m is expected to be financed through loans. The agreement is the third power-purchase contract between Thailand and Laos, with a total supply of 1233 MW

Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding with the Laotian government seven years ago to buy up to 3000 MW from eight hydropower projects.

MP plans new 500 MW unit at Biringshur

India’s Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board is likely to establish a 500 MW power-generating unit at Biringshur, near Shahdol district.

The potential plant would be the exit of the state’s power policy matter on independent power projects.

Power Finance Corporation would contribute up to 70 per cent of the project cost, BHEL will contribute a further five per cent, said sources.

News digest

China: China has begun the preliminary work on its sixth nuclear power plant at Sanmen County, in Zhejiang province on the east coast. The plant is expected to cost à‚¥25bn ($302bn). Starting from the second quarter this year, three hills will be levelled to prepare the ground for the plant.

China: US engineering firms Halliburton KBR and JGC have been awarded a $600m contract to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) for the terminal portion of Guangdong LNG’s Terminal and Trunkline Project’s proposed 300m t/a Chinese LNG project in Guandong province in southern China.

India: The Indian partners of the Panna, Mukta and Tapti gas and oil fields have joined hands to prevent British Gas India from acquiring the operatorship status of Enron Oil and Gas India, the 30 per cent share that was acquired by the British company recently for $350m.

India: India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation has offered 12 new projects with combined capacity of 23 071 MW with an estimated cost of Rs1154bn ($24bn), for international and joint venture collaboration.

Korea: Doosan Heavy Industries named as preferred bidder by Korea East-West Power company for the $136m contract to supply equipment to the fifth and sixth power plants in Dangjin, South Chungcheong province.

Philippines: US energy firm Mirant plans to list its local subsidiary on the Philippine stock exchange this year. Allan Paul Flake, vice president of Mirant Philippines, said an initial public offering had always been in the company’s business plans. He adds: “We still have not decided on how much to offer, but this would be around ten per cent of outstanding shares.”

Sri Lanka: The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has signed an ODA loan agreement totalling à‚¥12.9bn ($97m) with the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka. The loan will finance the Colombo City Electricity Distribution Development project, which constructs substations and installs power distribution lines in Colombo City.

Taiwan: The Cabinet has lifted the 50 per cent ceiling on foreign investment in Taiwain’s power plants, say Ministry officials. Foreign investors are now allowed to wholly-own power plants on the island. The abolition of the cap is expected to promote international cooperation.