Syndicated loans for Phu My

Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) and a group of eight major commercial banks have signed credit and assistance contracts worth $100m to develop the Phu My 2.1 thermal power plant in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

The landmark deal marks the second syndicated loan in two months for Vietnam’s key projects. It is the biggest credit granted to EVN by state-run and joint stock commercial and is the biggest syndicated loan made so far by domestic commercial banks.

The group of eight banks, headed by the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), includes the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, the Vietnam Bank for Commerce and Industry, the Asian Commercial Bank, the Maritime Stock Commercial Bank, the Bank for Technology and Commerce Firstvina Bank.

Phu My 2.1 is an “add-on combined cycle project, set up to help the plant run on waste gas from its existing gas turbines. The 600 MW Phu My 2.1 plant is part of the Phu My power plant complex, which includes six gas fired power plants.

Pakistan IPP talks suspended

State-owned Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has decided to suspend talks surrounding power plant tariffs with the country’s IPPs. Talks will be resumed after a new strategy has been evolved based on directives from the new military government.

The news follows reports that the World Bank was acting as mediator to prevent the financial collapse of the Hub Power Co’s (Hubco) $1.5bn power project. A World Bank spokeswoman said the bank had encouraged meetings between the government and the IPP producer but denied it was acting as mediator.

Media reports in Islamabad said there were fears that Hubco – in which National Power is the main shareholder – could default on debt interest payments. One local report claimed that a default on debt could threaten National Power’s 26 per cent stake in the project.

The core of the current disagreement is the state of Wapda’s finances. The utility has a severe bill payment problem and is suffering from substantial line losses caused by a mixture of poor maintenance and theft.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP) has received no response to requests for bids from international investors for four hydroelectric projects offered on a build-own-operate and transfer (BOOT) basis.

A spokesman for the NWFP government said the “cold” international response was explained by the investment climate in the country – particularly political instability.

Vembar gets clearance

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) of India has granted techno-economic clearance for the 1873 MW Vembar power project in Tamil Nadu. The $1.2bn CCGT plant is the largest investment and the largest capacity project ever cleared by the CEA. Intech Global Resources Inc., Houston, Texas will develop the project.

All feasibility and environmental studies have been completed for the project. ABB Alstom Power will be the turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contractor, while Indian Power Projects Ltd, a special purpose company registered in India will implement it. The site has been selected and the land is being purchased for the project.

The financial structure of the project is being planned with a 70:30 debt equity ratio. All equity will be in US dollars.

Indonesia keen to settle IPP dispute

Indonesia’s new minister of State Enterprises and Investment, Laksamana Sukardi, said he will prioritise the settlement of disputes between state-owned electricity company PLN and IPPs over power purchase agreement, according to a local newspaper.

Laksamana said: “The matter could hurt the investment climate if it is not handled well as it involves many foreign investors.” He added that the contracts will impose a great financial burden on the economy if the government fails to change the terms of the contracts.

Tuas Power awards 720 MW power plant contract

Tuas Power, Pte Ltd of Singapore has awarded a contract for a 720 MW gas fired combined cycle power plant to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Black & Veatch. MHI will supply the gas turbines, steam turbines and heat recovery steam generator with Black & Veatch providing peri-pheral equipment and construction work.

The plant, which will consist of two 360 MW units, is scheduled for completion in 2001. The plant will bid into the Singapore Electricity Pool.

The tender for the project was called in October 1998. It is the first large power plant order awarded to MHI by Singapore.


News digest

Australia:

The South Australian government has announced the appointment of the state’s first independent electricity industry regulator to watch over the newly privatized industry.

China:

ABB Alstom Power has signed a contract worth about Euros35m with the China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation to supply the Yele hydroelectric power plant to Sichuan Electric Power Corporation in the People’s Republic of China.

China:

GE has completed the installation of two steam turbines for the 700 MW expansion of the Nantong power plant. in east China. Installation of the turbines at the coal fired plant was completed three months ahead of schedule.

India:

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is to invest in a 28 MW cogeneration facility. The IFC will inject $9m into the project being developed by Astha Power Corp Ltd in Andhra Pradesh. The $25m private project will be located at an industrial park about 40 km from the state’s capital, Hyderabad.

India:

Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) has booked a turnkey order for the 1020 MW Tala hydropower station in Bhutan. The plant is to be constructed at an underground site in Chukha Dzongkhag in western Bhutan and is scheduled for completion in 2004-5.

Japan:

The Karita PFBC P800 power plant, the first of its kind in the world has successfully run at full load. The plant produced 350 MW of electricity, of which 275 MW was generated by the steam turbine and 75 MW by the PFBC machine.

Japan:

The STA has revoked JCO Co’s licence after confirming the Tokai plant had bypassed government-agreed procedures. It is the first revocation of a nuclear processing plant’s business licence.

Pakistan:

Malaysian utility, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), expects its 235 MW power plant in Pakistan to be operational by the end of January 2000. The company said it was close to reaching agreement on the PPA. Meanwhile TNB reported a return to profitability for 1998-99. The company made a net profit of RM773.5m ($203.6m) for the year to end-August 1999, compared with a loss of RM3.09bn the previous year.

Sri Lanka:

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) will install a new grid substation at Kelaniya and rehabilitate the existing grid substation at Ratmalana at a cost of Rs800m. Construction of the 132 kV switching station will provide a reliable interconnection for the 51 MW diesel plant at Sapugaskanda in the Colombo district. The expansion will convert a 30-year old substation to a modern facility.