Asia – Electric Power News Briefs

Australia’s National Electricity Code Administrator managing director Stephen Kelly said on Monday the rules body would re-examine how the market ensures generation reserves after a request from the Victorian government. Victorian Energy Minister Candy Broad told an electricity industry conference earlier this month that current National Electricity Market price signals for new generation may come too late and caused dramatic spot price volatility.

China’s State Development Planning Commission (SDPC) has recently given 40.55bn yuan ($4.9bn) for the phase-2 renovation of the rural power networks which should be completed by the end of this year. The 2002 rural power network investment is much higher than the 26.3bn yuan in 2001, but only half of the average in 1999-2000. The renovation of rural power networks is regarded as a key factor behind rapid growth of Chinese aluminium consumption in 1999-2000.

New Zealand Energy Minister Pete Hodgson has issued an independent report that gives the tentative green light to the idea of establishing a mandatory electricity hedge market. The Ministry of Economic Development recently commissioned John Small, an Auckland University academic, to prepare a report on whether generators should be forced to offer tradable hedges and, if so, what minimum offer requirements should be imposed on them.

Singapore Power Supply has opened its first out-of-town customer service centre at Woodlands where residents can conduct many of their utility transactions. The centre includes a 24-hour service lobby. In addition to utility bills, customers can also use the AXS kiosks to pay other bills e.g. income and property taxes.

Daelim Industry Co. has clinched a $130m order from BASF-YPC to build a thermoelectric power plant in Nanjing. BASF-YPC is a joint venture between German chemical giant BASF and China’s YPC, an affiliate of China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. Under the project, the Korean builder will supervise the entire process of constructing the power plant, which will have
a power generating capacity of 180 MW, ranging from designing and purchases to construction and test-run operations.

Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad announced that its 55 per cent subsidiary, Transmission Technology Sdn. Bhd (TTSB), has signed an agreement with Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd for Wayleave and Survey Works for Sabah East-West Grid Interconnection which is worth RM8.2m ($2.1m). TTSB is part of a consortium formed with Syarikat Permodalan Kebangsaan Berhad. TTSB owns 50 per cent of the venture while Syarikat Permodalan Kebangsaan Berhad holds the balance.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd [BHEL] has announced that it has successfully commissioned northern Indian state Rajasthan-based Suratgarh Thermal Power Station’s (TPS) 250 MW 4th unit ahead of schedule. The unit’s completion under stage two expansion programme ahead of schedule was due to the adoption latest techniques and deployment of state-of-the-art construction aid, according to a press release from the state-owned company. The unit would result in improvement of the existing power situation in the deficit state, said the release.

Electricity of Vietnam announced that ten major domestic corporations have given the nod to take part in new projects that involves the construction of three key hydro-electric power plants in the country’s Central Highlands. The ten corporations are among the leading business enterprises in the construction, mechanical engineering, and machine assembly sectors, and include such companies as the Song Da Construction Corporation, the Import-Export Construction Corporation (Vinaconex), the Machine Assembly and Construction Company-4 of the Machinery Installation Corporation (Lilama) and the Corporation for Infrastructure Construction and Development (Licogi). Apart from the supply of technical equipment and machinery, Lilama and Company-4 have agreed to contribute VND900bn ($59m) and VND1000bn, respectively, to these power construction projects, while Licogi and Vinaconex will be mainly involved in construction work, an EVN official said.

AES Transpowerhas placed on indefinite hold a 500 MW gas-fired power generator it planned to build near Geelong as ripples from the Enron collapse in the United States spread to the Australian utilities market. AES Corp, the parent of AES Transpower, recently had its credit rating downgraded by Standard & Poor’s in response to both instability in Latin America, where it has operations, and “the current capital market environment” in the US. News of the indefinite deferral of the plant is a blow to Victoria’s summer power supplies. The plant was to be the biggest of four new gas peaking plants to be built in Victoria in the next two years.

South Korea’s government said it will fire thousands of striking power-company workers, a move that threatens to provoke massive protest in the national workforce. Striking workers ignored a Monday deadline to end a four-week walkout in protest of a government privatization plan, after clashing with riot police in demonstrations where students supporting the strike threw gasoline bombs. The privatization scheme is key to the run-up to the campaign for the presidential election in December.

Japan’s Nuclear Cycle Development Institute has said that the amount of nuclear waste from its facilities stored in 200-litre drum containers will reach 400 000 containers by the year 2048.

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