Delayed Ilijan project powers up Luzon grid

The Luzon grid in the Philippines will finally be supplied with 1200 MW of power from the Ilijan power plant that was initially due to start powering up at the beginning of 2002.

The delay in the project was due to contractors experiencing construction delays. The announcement was made by Energy Secretary Vicente Perez.

The plant’s original construction schedule slated commercial operation to start on January 1, 2002. But technical problems in the rotor of the turbines were uncovered, resulting in a five-month delay.

The Ilijan plant is one of the first ineligible contracts of the National Power Corporation (NPC), because its rates did not secure the approval of the former Energy Regulatory Board before the cut-off date of December 31, 2000 as provided under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

Because of the delay, NPC has imposed penalties on the plant’s main contractor, Kepco Ilijan Corporation, a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco). The penalty charges have been placed at around $400 000 per day or $60m over the five-month period.

Na Hang breaks ground

Ground breaking of a 42 km road that will provide access to the 300 MW Na Hang hydropower plant situated on the northern Lo river system in Vietnam, began last month.

The project to build the Na Hang facility in the highland province of Tuyen Quang’s Na Hang district was approved by the state earlier this year. It will be the first hydroelectric plant to be built on the Lo-Gam river system.

Along with generating 1.3 TWh of electricity per year, the plant will control and prevent flooding in the capital city of Ha Noi as well as in the Red river delta provinces. Some 25 per cent of the project’s costs will be put into building anti-flooding structures and water supply works.

Dao Van Hung, the director of Viet Nam Electricity, the project’s sponsor, said that the government should provide non-interest loans worth VND1.3tn ($1.6bn) to the project’s resettlement jobs. His corporation will provide self-generated capital worth VND637bn while the remaining financing will be sourced from commercial loans.

Singapore eyes autumn launch

The Singapore power regulator and the Energy Market Authority have said that the new wholesale power trading system was ready for market testing and on track to be launched in September or October this year.

The wholesale power trading system is part of Singapore’s drive to liberalize and privatize its S$2.75bn ($1.54bn) wholesale electricity market. EMA said the launch of the trading software and market regulations, which cost S$118m to develop, would happen shortly after testing was complete.

Contract for fourth Phu My power plant is sealed

A contract for building a 450 MW, $45m thermal power plant in Vietnam’s southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province was inked in Ha Noi last month. Construction of the Phu My Thermo plant four will be split into three 150 MW units and will start this month. Commercial operation is scheduled for 2004.

Signatories were Electricity of Viet Nam, and the three contractors consisting of Alstom, Marubeni and Viet Nam Construction and Machinery Installation Corporation. Engineering firm Alstom will supply two GT13E2 gas turbines, as well as heat recovery steam generators and the steam turbine generator.

Indonesia IPP projects to restart

Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources was due in June to issue a decree to allow independent power producers (IPPs) to restart their stalled power projects.

The government suspended some 21 power projects worth around $10bn belonging to the IPPs in the late 1990s as part of efforts to cope with the country’s economic crisis. The move to allow the resumption of the projects comes as national utility PLN has managed to obtain lower power purchase prices from several IPPs.

The country still needs additional electricity to cope with the danger of blackouts. PLN has said that Java and Bali could experience power shortages in 2006.

VA Tech bags China storage contract

VA Tech Hydro has signed a major new contract, valued at more than €90m ($88.8m), to build a 1300 MW pumped storage plant in Tongbai, China for Zhejiang Provincial Electric Power Company.

The plant, being developed on behalf of Tongbai Pumped Storage Power, will be one of the largest pumped storage power plants in China. The full scope of the work on the Tongbai project will include four sets of Francis pump turbines, spherical valves and auxiliaries, four motor generators and balance of plant.

News digest

Australia: Michelago, Australia’s minerals explorer, and ANZ Bank have said they plan to pursue Australian and international wind projects through a trust which could list within two years.

Cambodia: Cambodia inaugurated a $26m hydroelectric power plant in Southern Kompong Speu province after a year of construction. The 53 GWh/year plant, named Kirirom, was built under a BOT scheme with funds coming from China’s private electricity company, CETIC.

China: Two regional power grids in China were connected in May, marking the first step in the nation’s ambitious move to transmit hydropower from the west to the east. The Sichuan-Chongqing grid network, which covers Southwest China’s Sichuan province and Chongqing Municipality, was connected with the grids in Central China.

China: The first two generators at the Ling’ao Nuclear Power Plant in Shenzhen, Guandong Province, began commercial operations in May, after passing a series of official tests.

Japan: Fuel cell company, H Power announced the installation of a propane distributor in Japan serving a group of 80 000 consumers. This marks the first field test of a propane-powered proton exchange membrane system for an actual load in the Japanese residential market.

Korea: The South Korean government has approved Kangwon WindPower Co.’s plan to build a wind power complex with a capacity of 99 MW.

Pakistan: Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority has awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the Gomal Zam Dam project to CWHEC-HPE, a joint venture of two Chinese firms. The National Development Consultants have already been appointed as management consultant for the project. The dam will be constructed on Gomal River at Kajori Kach.

Thailand: Siemens is to provide at a cost of €1.8m an electricity distribution dispatching centre to the Thai Island of Phuket under an agreement signed between the European Union and Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority.

Vietnam: Work on construction of the Se San 3 hydropower plant in the central highland province of Gia Lai was started last month by Electricity of Viet Nam and the Song Da Construction Corporation.

Vietnam: China Harbin Power Engineering has won the bidding to build the $85.5m Cao Ngan power plant. Harbin Power will construct two 50 MW thermal generating units.