China to build biggest supercritical plant

Black & Veatch International has won the contract to provide owner’s engineer services for the Waigaoqiao Thermal Power Project, the largest supercritical coal-fired power plant in China.

It will be built for the Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Co in Shanghai. The plant will consist of two steam turbines that will generate up to 1800 MW. This is the first time that a supercritical boiler, technology that allows coal to be burned efficiently at low cost, will be built on a large scale in China.

Black & Veatch will provide construction management services, assisting in the supply, design and manufacturing startup of the project. The engineering specialist expects the first unit to begin operation by mid 2004.

NTPC gives Bihar green light

India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has been given the go-ahead to build a 1980 MW thermal power station at Bihar near Patna by 2004.

The project, which has been cleared by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), will be built in three 660 MW phases at a cost of Rs90.93bn ($1.93bn).

The project is to be financed through an external commercial borrowing of $782m, domestic commercial borrowings of $27.27bn and matching equity from NTPC’s internal resources.

This echoes similiar plans with Andhra Power, a fast track power project sponsored by BSES, which is expected to start commercial operation on its first 140 MW power generation unit this month. An official at the company expects the Rs1250m project will come online by 2002.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) is blocking new generation plants. Following the well-publicized Dabhol power project crisis, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has blocked BSES’ plans to allow a base load combined-cycle power plant at Saphale, in Thane to be built.

The Rs2000m project was rejected on the grounds that it was not needed. Last year, MSEB wrote to the CEA expressing its reluctance to buy any additional power, as it was unable to consume the power generated by the Dabhol power company.

An official said MSEB’s projected demand until 2002 was 13 145 MW and by the beginning of the year it had exceeded that amount by more than 1500 MW to 14 672 MW.

PLN seeks new Paiton deal

Indonesia’s state-owned power company, PLN, said it is seeking a new long-term agreement with independent power producer (IPP) PT Paiton Energy, a joint venture between Mitsui & Co., General Electric, Edison Mission Energy and PT Batu Hitam Perkasa.

Eddie Widiono, PLN president, said that both sides could work together on a long-term PPA, under which Paiton sells to PLN at below

PLN has previously failed to tie up similar deals affected by the 1997 financial crisis. Paiton was one of the 27 IPPs whose power-selling contract to PLN was terminated by the state as a result. However, the government has made it clear that PLN is ready to renegotiate.

PLN and Paiton continued to sort the total amount of arrears that PLN owed the IPP, explained Widiono. Last year PLN and Paiton agreed to a three-phase scheme under which Paiton would gradually hike its power charges beginning this year at $0.026/kWh. This allows Paiton to cover the costs of operating the plant and pay interest on its $1.82bn debt.

Under the second phase, between 2002 and 2003, Paiton will further raise its rates, by which time the Java-Bali transmission grid will be completed to help meet power demand in that region.

New Zealand company reveals new power plans

New Zealand power company, Contact Energy, has disclosed plans to build-own-operate a power plant in Australia alongside major shareholder, US-based Edison Mission Energy.

The 300 MW Valley Power plant, which will cost A$164m ($83.7m), will be located in Victoria. In addition to providing electricity at periods of peak power prices, the plant will also supply gas.

The plant is anticipated for completion by March 2002. Contact’s share of the costs is estimated at A$66m which will give it 40 per cent ownership.

YTL still eyes Singapore assets after CLP fallout

Malaysia’s YTL will continue its quest to bid for privatized power plants in Singapore despite the decision of its partner, CLP Holdings, to venture with other alliances for the projects.

Francis Yeoh, YTL managing director, is expected to make an announcement on the failure of the partnership. Singapore has targeted foreign investors to bid for three projects, Power Senoko, Tuas Power and Power Seraya, which have a combined capacity of 6721 MW.

As the push for privatization nears, YTL is considering a link up with Malaysian utility TNB.

News digest

China: Quinshan nuclear power plant will commence trial operation of the country’s first designed and constructed nuclear power plant. The project’s cost is estimated at ¥14.8bn ($1.79bn) and will supply the East China Power Grid with 8 TWh of power per year.

India: Alstom has won a EuroD6m ($5.4m) contract to supply 420 kV gas insulated switchgear for the Chamera II hydroelectric power plant. Alstom received the contract from Canadian main contractor SNC-Lavalin.

India: Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corp (APGenco) is to set up a Rs17 000m ($361m), 350 MW generation project at Dummagudem in Khammam. The project is expected to come on line within four years.

India: ABB, has secured an Rs337m ($7.2m) contract from Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam to construct substations at Rohtak and seven other places in Haryana. The project will be completed within 18 months.

India: Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) has commissioned a new 15 MW hydropower generating unit at Kurichu Hydro Electric Project (HEP) in Bhutan. Separately, Tala HEP (6 x 170 MW), Bhutan’s largest power project, is also being executed by BHEL and is scheduled for a completion date in 2004.

Malaysia: TNB is spending RM4.2bn ($1.1bn) to replace and upgrade a power generation plant in Port Dickson to produce 1860 MW. The plant is expected to be fully operational by 2004. Separately, the company also announced that it is to sign power purchase agreements for four renewable energy projects generating a total of 23 MW. The projects are part of the Malaysian government’s plans to increase renewable energy generation to reach five per cent of total generation by 2005.

Pakistan: The first wind energy project based at Pasni, on the Makran coast, in Balochistan will commence operation in October. The government is working alongside the United Nations in a bid to collect wind data.

Pakistan: The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) is proposing a second nuclear power plant for Karachi to overcome the power shortages the city is experiencing, says Pervez Butt, PAEC chairman. The company is also considering setting up a desalination plant using heat generated by the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant.

Singapore: Tuas Power will continue its plans to build Blocks 3 and 4 of its stage II combined cycle power plant development, adding 735 MW to its generation capacity. Tuas Power has joined forces with the consortium of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Corp for the development of the S$500m gas fired plant.