DPC seeks “serious” bids

The Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) has invited expression of interests (EOIs) from both Indian and foreign companies interested in acquiring an 85 per cent stake in the Dabhol Power Company (DPC).

Three bidders, Tata Power Company, BSES and Gas Authority of India, have already submitted bids. Interested foreign parties expected to submit EOIs include Royal/Dutch Shell, BP and Gaz de France. TotalFinaElf recently withdrew its interest.

An IDBI official said: “This invitation is merely an interest discovery mechanism thereby seeking only serious bidders interested in both the incomplete power plant and LNG regasification terminal.”

Hedging against potential time wasters, the bank has asked for EOIs only from companies with a minimum net worth of $200m or its equivalent in Indian currency or from a consortia with a net worth of $400m. Companies are also expected to have experience in managing and operating both power and LNG plants, said the IDBI.

In case of multiple bids, DPC, which is the final decision making authority, would shortlist the parties based on their EOIs for taking up the process of due diligence. The bidders would have to submit a non-refundable deposit of $100 000 with their EOIs and then sign a confidentiality agreement for carrying out the due diligence process.

Three Gorges considers IPO flutter

China plans to resolve funding problems for its RMB180bn (£21bn) Three Gorges hydropower plant by offering shares on the domestic stock market and through a Hong Kong listing.

It is also considering a listing in London to help fund the country’s biggest construction project since the Great Wall. The offering is expected to raise some RMB4-5bn, where all of the 18 200 MW generating capacity of the world’s biggest dam will eventually be injected into the listed company at a cost of about RMB100bn, making it potentially China’s largest listed company.

The proposed listing may create turbulence. Non-governmental organizations oppose the project, which will resettle over 1m people, as it could pollute waterways and increase the risk of earthquakes.

Sri Lanka gives thumbs up for 20 electricity projects

Twenty small-scale electricity projects will be set up in Sri Lanka in the Ratnapura and Kegalle Districts this year under a crash programme mooted by the SPC.

The power projects, financed by the SPC and the World Environment Fund, are expected to produce 284.5 kW for rural consumption in areas inaccessible to the National Grid.

The power will be generated from small waterfalls in Ratnapura, Keggalle, Kalawana, Eheliyagoda, Kolonna, Elapatha, Opanaike, Kuruwita and Deraniyagala areas. The project is expected to cost Rs10m and will receive $400/kW from the World Environment Fund.

Sri Lanka has also asked for bids for the construction of a 100 MW thermal plant to help reduce dependence on hydro generation.

GE inks first hydro project in Korea

GE Power Systems in Norway is supplying Korea Western Power Company with turbines and additional equipment for the Cheong-Song Pumped Storage Project, which includes two hydropower plants totalling 600 MW. The project will be the first of its kind in Korea for GE.

The completion date is expected to be in late 2006. The project is located 314 km southwest of Seoul.

The scope of GE’s contract includes the supply and installation of two 300 MW reversible pump turbines, motor/generators, governors and balance-of-plant equipment.

Korean Western Power, a unit of the Korea Electric Power Corporation, began construction of the plants in September 2000 and about 40 per cent of the work has been completed.

VA Tech wins two orders in China

VA Tech Transmission & Distribution has been awarded a contract to supply high voltage switchgear in China.

The Guangdong Guangdian Grid Company is expanding its 500 kV grid, which will include the extension of several existing substations. VA Tech will supply two bays of 500 kV Gas Insulated Switchgear and eight 500 kV circuit breaker units. The expected commissioning date is July 2002.

Toshiba signs ¥100bn order

Toshiba Corp. has signed contracts worth ¥100bn ($755m) to build four combined cycle facilities for three independent power producers in Taiwan.

All four plants will begin operation in 2004 and will have a total capacity of 2140 MW. Toshiba’s project partners include GE, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Sumitomo..

News digest

Australia: International Power announced that Hazelwood Power Partnership has secured an A$1.2m ($0.6m) non-recourse facility to refinance its 1600 MW Hazelwood power plant in Victoria, Australia. The facility will be used to repay existing debt facilities.

China: The first generator with the Ling’ao Nuclear Power plant near Shenzhen City of Guangdong province went on stream in February 2002 ahead of schedule. Liu Jinhua, general manager of the Ling’ao Nuclear Power Company said that the generator, with an installed capacity 1 GW, would be put into commercial operation between next month or early June.

China: A blueprint for reform of China’s power industry has been completed and implementation is imminent, according to State Development and Planning Commission Chief Zeng Peiyan. He said competition would be introduced through a power pool.

China: Utility Huaneng Power International has obtained a ¥5bn credit facility, paving the way for the acquisitions. The facility, provided by China Construction Bank, would make funds available for unspecified future development.

India: Indian power specialist Premier Energy Technology has joined Mott MacDonald to form Premier Mott MacDonald. Premier specialises in both hydro and thermal power generation plus life extension of older facilities, reduction of transmission and distribution losses and improvement of distribution management.

India: The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has signed two ODA loan agreements totalling ¥56.1bn ($419m) with the government of India. Part of the loan (¥27.4bn) will finance the Simhadri Thermal Power Station to be constructed by the National Thermal Power Corporation.

Japan: Sumitomo Electric Industries and Tokyo Electric Power Company have jointly developed a set of two modems that will enable households to use electric power lines for high speed Internet access, said Sumitomo Electric.

Philippines: The Philippines PNOC-Energy Development Corporation signed an agreement with Indonesia’s Pertamina for a joint venture in the development of geothermal fields in Indonesia with a potential to generate 1200 MW of electricity.

South Korea: South Korea is to train 500 troops to operate power plants to keep electricity flowing in the face of a long-running strike. About 5600 unionised workers at five power generating units of state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation walked out in February over plans to privatize the sector.