Around the Globe: asia-pacific

China plans to quicken pace of power reforms

China plans to accelerate the pace of structural reform in the power sector, in a bid to break up monopolies, improve efficiency, lower costs and optimize the use of resources.

Xie Songlin, deputy general manager of the State Power Company, said China will separate power plants from power-supply networks, regroup state-owned property, encourage competition among different power plants, adopt a new pricing mechanism, and set up a national power regulatory committee and formulate a set of fair, rational and transparent supervisory regulations.

The State Power Company owns 46 per cent of the property in the power generation sector and 90 per cent of property in the power transmission sector. China will establish four or five national power generation companies, each with a capacity of 30-40 GW that will operate independently.

After the regrouping of the power transmission networks, China will establish a national power network company, comprising five regional network companies in northern, northeastern, northwestern, eastern and central areas.

The Southern Power Grid Corp. will own the power grid in Guangdong and Hainan provinces in south China and in Yunan Guizhou and Gangxi in southwest China. Power companies will compete with each other in terms of prices and cleaner power generation as they try to win contracts from power grid companies.

EGAT selects Kema for power analysis

Kema Consulting and SCB Securities have been selected by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to conduct a critical analysis of the electrical supply industry reform options for Thailand.

The team will identify those characteristics that have been implemented elsewhere and are directly applicable to Thailand, culminating in a Thailand-specific plan for power sector privatization.

Kema and SCB will assist EGAT with promotion of the plan to various industry stakeholders in the government and National Energy Policy Office (NEPO), the industry regulator.

ࢀ¢Kema and Chubu, the Japan-based electric utility, have been selected by the Department of Energy of the Philippines to conduct a study to support the smooth transition changeover of the transmission company from being state-owned entity to private sector ownership. The project has won funding from the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC).

India power needs capital injection for power reforms

India’s power sector needs at least $120-160bn to implement structural reforms in the vital field, said Suresh Prabhu, power minister.

India plans 100 000 MW of capacity additions by 2012 and is building a national grid to supply power all over the country in order to meet growing energy needs. Making a presentation on reforms in India’s Power sector at a seminar organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the run-up to the upcoming ADB annual meeting in Shanghai, Prabhu said the government plans to make use of hydro-generation capacity in the Himalayas as well as pit-head thermal generation in the coal-belt.

All these plans require an investment to the tune of $120-160bn, he said while welcoming foreign players to invest in India’s rapidly growing power sector. The government has eased regulations for foreign investment in the power sector. Prabhu said the government plans to provide electricity to all households by 2012.

Australia power needs investment

At least A$48bn ($26bn) needs to be invested in Australia’s electricity infrastructure during the next two decades to prevent power cuts and reliability problems, said the Electricity Supply Association of Australia (ESAA).

In a submission to the Council of Australian Government (CoAG) energy market review, the association said that for the industry to be able to support the investment needed, more certainty was required in the policy and regulatory environment of the market.

If this is not achieved, consumers and business would be required to pay higher electricity prices and be subject to significant reliability problems said Keith Orchison, ESSA managing director.

Mirant sells Shandong

Mirant has announced the sale of its stake in Shandong International Power Development Company (SIPD), located in the Shandong province of China. Mirant’s 525m ‘H’ shares, worth $115m, represent 9.99 per cent of the total issued share capital of SIPD and 36.69 per cent of the total H shares issued by SIPD.

News digest

China: State-owned power equipment maker Harbin Power Equipment is teaming up with General Electric and Alstom to bid for power plant contracts in China’s ambitious west-east gas transmission project.

China: China has announced that it will reduce by half the value-added tax levied on wind-generated electricity to encourage development of the industry. The average price of wind power will decrease by Yuan0.5-0.6/kW ($0.06-7/kW) and that newly-built wind power plants is expected to drop to below Yuan0.5/kW.

China: China signed a memo of understanding with Pakistan in at Beijing paving the way for the construction of two $300 MW at Thar coalfield in Sindh. The Chinese government would invest around $600m to complete the projects on a BOO basis within a three year period.

India: VA Tech Hydro India and VA Tech Escher Wyss Flovel have been awarded two orders by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board for renovation, modernization and uprating work at two power stations – Mettur Dam Powerhouse, 40 MW to be increased 25 per cent and Papanasam Dam PH, currently 28 MW to be increased to 32 MW.

Japan: The Japanese state is set to make full-scale efforts to develop technologies for wind based power generation in coastal areas and at sea. The government plan to build ten to 20 windmills by 2005.

New Zealand: New Zealand is heading for another winter of high wholesale electricity prices say energy consultants. An El Nino weather pattern was slowly developing and could bring a drier spring.

Philippines: The Department of Energy has promised to get to the bottom of the delay in the commercial operations of the $800m, 1200 MW natural gas power plant in Ilijan, Batanagas. Vicent Perez, energy secretary said the discussions are being held to determine who should be held accountable for the delay.

Sri Lanka: The 20 MW power project to be constructed by Ace Power Generator Anuradhapura has been relocated in Horana, Sri Lanka. Rienzie Wijetilleke, managing director of Hatton National Bank said that he had earlier made plans to have this project in Anuradhapura but had to shift it to Horana due to reasons beyond their control.

Vietnam: The Yaly hydropower plant, Vietnam’s second largest after the Soviet-built Hoa Binh hydro-power plant in Northern Vietnam, was inaugurated. Construction of the 720 MW plant began in 1993 on the Se San river running through Gia Lai and Kon Tum central highlands provinces.

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