Partnership wins Vietnam contract

A joint venture between Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and China’s Dongfang Electric Corporation has won an EPC contract to build a 600 MW coal fired power plant in Vietnam. “This is the first time that Chinese and Japanese firms have jointly built a power plant in a third country,” said a Marubeni spokesman.

The order, worth $507m, was placed by the Hai Phong Thermal Power Joint Stock company, co-founded by EVN, Viet Nam Coal Corporation and Viet Nam Insurance Company. These companies will supply 30 per cent of the required capital investment of $640m with the remaining 70 per cent being borrowed from Vietnamese and foreign banks, including the Japanese Bank for International Co-operation and the China ExIm Bank.

Construction will commence in August 2005.

Ratnagiri emerges from Dabhol deal

A settlement has been reached in the long-running dispute over the $3bn Dabhol power plant in India that has pitted GE and Bechtel against the Maharashtra government. As a result, ownership of the assets in the 2184 MW plant will pass to a special purpose vehicle floated by GAIL (India) Limited and the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) named ‘Ratnagiri Gas and Power’. Electricity is scheduled to be produced at the plant in July 2006.

Bechtel was paid Rs7bn ($161.5m) and GE Rs6.3bn and in exchange agreed to forgo all international arbitration over the expropriation of their investment. Rs4.9bn was paid towards the outstanding bills of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board to Dabhol Power Corporation and Rs7bn was paid to various banks for settlement of loans.

China links grid to northwest

The State Grid Corporation of China has completed power transmission projects in the northwest and central areas to link the previously separate northwest grid. Following the completion of an upgrade to the 500 kV transmission link and the completion of a converter station in Henan Province, the northwest region will be able to exchange power with northeast, northern, central and southern China.

The projects were completed using domestic companies and utilizing Chinese technology and are expected to help ease the current strain on power supplies in the country.

  • Siemens is to build an additional HVDC transmission line linking sub stations in Guizhou and Guangdong.

Philippines plant privatization is cancelled

The programme to privatize National Power Corporation (Napocor) assets in the Philippines suffered a significant setback when the auction of the 600 MW Calaca power plant was cancelled.

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), the agency charged with the sale of more than 30 Napocor plants, took the decision after two of the three qualified bidders backed out shortly before the deadline for submission of main offers.

A failure to close the transition supply contracts with distribution utilities and large power users was blamed for the decision by Mitsui and Co and Phil-Mal Petroenergy Corporation to withdraw from the bidding.

China and India choose Siemens

Germany’s Siemens Power Generation Group has been awarded contracts in both India and China. The largest is worth €400m and is for the construction of a turnkey combined cycle power plant with a capacity of 1100 MW. The customer is Torrent Power Generation and the plant will be located in Anhakhol in Gujarat Province, 800 km north of Mumbai.

In China, Siemens has secured a €43m order to supply power plant components for the ultra-supercritical coal fired power plant, Waigaoqiao III. In addition, it has won a contract to supply a boiler feedwater pump turbine for Zouxian power plant.

North Korea offered electricity aid by southern neighbour

South Korea has offered to supply up to 2 GW of electricity to it communist neighbour to the north provided it scraps its nuclear ambitions. At the recent inter-Korean economic talks officials from the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and south Korea’s industry minister stressed that North Korea’s power distribution system would require extensive modernization.

Government officials admitted that the project would require a new assessment of South Korea’s electricity generation capacity. A KEPCO manager said that it would cost $4.8-5.7bn and take up to six years to build two new reactors that would be needed to supply the north.

South Korea has said it would formally present the offer to North Korea when a new round of six-party talks resumes later this month.

News digest

Bangladesh: The British government is contributing à‚£50m ($87.7m) over five years towards a à‚£161m rural electrification programme in Bangladesh aimed at connecting 1.35m households and businesses to the electricity supply.

China: China will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by three million tonnes with the signing of an emissions reduction purchase agreement for its 98 MW Xiaogushan hydropower plant project under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto protocol.

India: The National Hydropower Corporation has achieved financial closure on the 520 MW Omkareshwar hydroelectric power project in Madhya Pradesh, India, with a loan agreement of Rs1350 crore ($310m) involving a consortium of 11 banks.

Japan: Germany’s REpower Systems is to supply 19 of its MD77-type 1.5 MW wind turbines to the developer and wind park operator Meiden for three wind projects in the northwest of Japan’s main island Honshu.

Malaysia: GE Energy will supply two Frame 9FA gas turbine generators for the Tuanku Jaafar Power Station, part of the Port Dickson Rehabilitation Project, Phase 2, in Malaysia.

Philippines: A consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) is to invest around $450m in a planned 600 MW extension of the Ilijan combined cycle gas fired power plant, targeted to come on stream by 2009.

Philippines: The Asian Development Bank has signed a MOU with the Philippine government on a $950m package of financial assistance to the country’s power sector.

Singapore: SPL Worldgroup has been selected by PowerSeraya Limited, responsible for 30 per cent of power supply in Singapore, to provide customer care and billing systems ahead of full market deregulation and competition over the next three years.

Sri Lanka: The Public Utilities Commission and National Chamber of Industries have called for sweeping reforms of Sri Lanka’s power sector to avert a major power crisis. This would involve unbundling of the heavily indebted Ceylon Electricity Board. The country’s finance minister has said that management is the issue, not privatization.

Thailand: A second sustainable energy investment fund of €50m ($61m) is to be established in Bangkok to provide services and investment capital to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the Asian region. Seed funding is coming from the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) and Finland’s Emerging Power Partners.

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