Link doubles ties to land

A submarine high voltage electricity link is to more than double the available capacity on Thailand’s third largest island after Nexans was awarded an €18m ($22m) contract for the project by the Provincial Electricity Authority.

The deal will see Nexans install a 100 MW connection that will link Khanom, on the mainland, with Ko Samui Island in the Gulf of Siam. The 24 km, 115 kV power cable will be installed in parallel with the existing 115 kV oil-filled submarine connection, which was commissioned in 1996.

Increased tourism activity has created a level of electricity demand currently growing at between 10 and 15 per cent a year. Nexans aims to have completed the installation and commissioning of the project by mid-2007.

The XLPE power cable selected for the project consists of three 240 mm2 copper conductors with a single layer of galvanised steel wire armour, including a 24 fibre optic cable.

Spending up, profits down at EVN

Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has reiterated its intention to invest around $2.15bn in 2006 in improving its power infrastructure after revealing that profits had fallen again in the last year to just three per cent.

Profits at the state owned power company have fallen by an average of 6.3 per cent annually in the last five years. The firm said it had felt the impact of a drop in rainfall that had forced it to import more fuel for its thermal capacity as well as electricity from foreign sources.

Power shortages in recent years and an increase in the cost of stopgap cures has forced EVN to embark on a massive capacity build programme. The figure outlined by EVN for new power projects in 2006 is an increase of 34.4 per cent on the level it provided in 2005.

EVN’s deputy director announced that the company planned to increase 2005’s power output by 13 per cent to 51 TWh during 2006. The year will also see construction start on ten new power stations as well as numerous electricity transmission projects.

China develops surge protection

The first high voltage surge protector to operate on China’s electricity grid has been declared a success by the project’s developer, China’s Institute of Electrical Engineering.

Since it was first installed in an electrical substation near Changsha in August 2005, the superconductor based fault current limiter has suppressed large spikes of current in the grid that were over five times the normal levels.

The device was created by the IEE in collaboration with the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry and Hunan Electric Power Corporation. It utilizes high temperature superconductor wire manufactured by American Superconductor.

It has a voltage rating of 10.5 kV and its normal operating current is around 400 A (AC). Since being put into operation it has instantaneously reduced three-phase, short circuit currents in the range of 3500 A down to 635 A.

MHI tests carbon capture technology

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has announced that construction has started of a large-scale recovery plant that will collect carbon dioxide from flue gas emitted at J-Power’s coal fired power station in Kyushu, Japan.

Mitsubishi aims to begin a five-month test process this July of its flue gas CO2 recovery equipment and expects the 3000-hour project to further verify the best technology for separating and collecting CO2 from flue gas emitted by coal fired boilers.

The latest round of tests came after the two companies completed a project on a smaller scale facility in Nagasaki, where 10 t of CO2 were processed per day.

Cement cos set for 50DF

Two Pakistan-based cement companies have ordered a Wärtsilä 50DF engine to provide captive power for their daily operations. The contracts will see the first commissioning in Pakistan of the most powerful dual-fuel engine currently on the market.

Maple Leaf Cement Factory in Punjab, Pakistan contracted Wärtsilä to install an 18-cylinder engine as part of its extension plans. The 16.5 MW set will operate on natural gas, with heavy fuel oil as back-up.

The country’s second 18-cylinder 50DF engine will be installed at the cement works of D.G Khan Cement in Khairpur in the Punjab. The set will also operate on natural gas with heavy fuel oil as back-up.

AP6 outlines emission mission

Australia and the US have pledged a combined $127m to help cut emissions through the development of new technology at the first meeting of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6).

Senior ministers from the countries involved in the partnership met recently in Sydney, Australia to discuss their model for international climate change and energy collaboration. The US agreed to provide $52m while Australia’s representatives promised to make $75m available.

Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the US agreed to establish the technology based partnership last year to lower emissions without imposing mandatory limits.


News digest

Australia: American Superconductor is to install its D-VAR voltage regulation systems at the first two phases of the Lake Bonney II wind project near Millicent. The two phases will have a combined installed capacity of 159 MW.

China: A new state owned company has been created to develop a near zero emission coal fired power plant. Green Coal Power Company has a budget of $716m for the project.

China: REpower has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to install five of its 5 MW wind turbines in 2008. One of the first offshore wind farms in Asia will be next to the venue of the 2008 Olympic sailing events.

China: The chief engineer of the State Power Grid Development Company has forecast that operation of additional generation units this year will bring the maximum shortage of electricity in the country to below 9 GW.

India: A new 84 MW hydroelectric plant on the Myntdu River will feature two VA Tech Hydro 42 MW Francis turbines and generators after the company was awarded a contract worth $14.7m.

India: The government intends to invite companies to express their interest in building five ‘ultra mega’ thermal power plants, each have a capacity of 4000 MW. The contracts for the proposed projects will be awarded by the end of 2006.

India: The private sector arm of the World Bank has invested $600 000 in a Bangalore based designer and manufacturer of small, high-efficiency gas and steam turbines for cogeneration applications to help develop its product and manufacturing capabilities.

Japan: A ceramics manufacturing company has purchased a 250 kW Direct Fuel Cell power plant from FuelCell Energy’s Asian distributor, Marubeni Corporation. The ceramics company has plans to reduce its CO2 emissions by 24 per cent over the next five years.

South Korea: A US firm is to work with the South Jeolla provincial government to construct the world’s largest solar power facility that will generate 17 MW of electricity, more than three times larger than the current record holder.

South Korea: Yonghung, the supercritical and largest coal fired power plant in South Korea will have Emerson Process Management’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture installed at two of its units.

Sri Lanka: The country’s power demand is growing at a rate of 7.6 per cent per year, according to a joint survey conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Ceylon Electricity Board.