Deadline set for mega contracts

The Indian government expects to award the contracts for five of the proposed ‘ultra mega’ coal fired power plant projects within the next 12 months after receiving expressions of interest from 22 interested parties.

As the five sites for the 4000 MW plants have already been identified the government is just left with the task of selecting the contractors. Due to the size and cost of the projects it is expected that many companies will choose to submit bids as part of a consortium.

Estimates from the government put the total cost of each project at around Rs150bn ($3.3bn), with Rs40bn coming from the developers.

The Asian Development Bank is likely to be called on to give private investors confidence in the projects and help meet the 12 month deadline.

Four farms to add 141 MW of capacity

Hong Kong’s largest electricity company, CLP Holdings and two of the country’s biggest power producers are to develop four wind farms in three different region’s that will have a combined capacity of 141 MW.

CLP is to invest $51m in the four projects, which are expected to cost a total of $164m. Located in the provinces of Shandong, Guangdong and Jilin the farms will all enter operation within the next two years. The earliest, in Shandong, should be generating by July this year.

In order to reduce dependence on oil and coal, the Chinese government aims to have five per cent of its power generated from renewable sources by 2010.

Pakistan pushes for nuclear with independent regulator

An independent regulator for nuclear power has been created by Pakistan’s government to oversee the creation of 8800 MW of new nuclear energy capacity by 2030.

The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority will operate the country’s existing nuclear plants as well as manage any new projects the government secures. Negotiations with China for 2000 MW of nuclear technology have been progressing positively according to the government, which has also approached European and US companies, albeit with less success so far.

It is predicted that Pakistan will require an additional 5529 MW of new generation capacity by 2010, a figure that will also result in new hydropower plants being built.

The Water and Power Development Authority has recently decided to build the 1200 MW Kohala hydro project on the River Jhelum by June 2009 with initial funding of Rs546m ($9m).

Korea awards first foreign led project

Siemens has become the first foreign company to be awarded a turnkey power plant contract in South Korea. It is to build a 560 MW combined cycle facility as the head of a consortium that includes GS Engineering & Construction.

The Bugok II natural gas fired plant will enter commercial operation in early 2008. Siemens will provide two gas turbines, a steam turbine, three generators and two heat recovery steam generators. GS E&C is responsible for the civil engineering and construction.

The region appears to be a growing market for the German company, as Siemens also announced that it had received its fourth major power plant order in Vietnam worth €310m ($375m) to the company.

Currents a fair source for island

Indonesia’s Selayar Island will soon receive electricity from several vertical turbines that generate power from sea currents as the country seeks a contemporary solution to its power problems.

Around 90 per cent of Indonesia’s 5000 small islands do not have access to electricity.

A cooperation agreement between the turbine’s developer, Italian company Ponte di Archimede, and Walinusa Energi was signed following the results of a wave turbine monitoring programme carried out by a branch of the UN.

The so-called Kobold turbines operate at 23 per cent efficiency, a figure comparable to wind turbines. The turbine rotates independently of the direction of the current converting the kinetic energy of the flow.

Work starts on Vietnam’s largest gas fired power plant

Construction of Vietnam’s largest natural gas fired power plant has started in the southern province of Ca Mau. When completed in 2008 the 1500 MW power plant will supply 18 per cent of the country’s total power output.

The main equipment of the plant, which will be owned by PetroVietnam, is to be supplied by Siemens. The Ca Mau complex will feature two other main projects, including a heavy duty gas pipeline and a nitrogenous fertilizer factory.

The project will help solve the country’s power shortage problems and relieve the pressure caused by rapid industrialization. Demand for electricity is expected to grow by 15 per cent annually until 2010 when it will reach 55 billion kWh.

News digest

China: All of the country’s small coal mines with an annual production capacity of under 30 000 tonnes will be closed by the end of 2007, after the government introduced new safety measures.

China: The 2309 metre-long dam on the Yangtze River required for the Three Gorges hydropower project is near completion, according to the construction company behind the project.

China: Vestas Wind Systems is to spend €13m ($16m) on doubling the production capacity of its new blade factory in Tianjin from 600 blades per year to 1200.

India: Unit 1 of the Omkareshwar 520 MW hydro has been officially inaugurated at a ceremony attended by the project developer Voith Siemens Hydro and the project owner Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation.

Indonesia: Five coal fired power plants and a steam power plant with a combined capacity of 2270 MW have been put out to tender by the government, which will offer a 30 year operation concession and long term power purchase agreements to entice investors.

Indonesia: State owned PLN has received bids from four domestic and foreign consortiums vying to develop a $600m independent power plant that will generate 600 MW.

Japan: The country’s first full nuclear fuel reprocessing plant has had an initial test run to trial its capabilities of handling an eventual fuel load of 800 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel a year.

Japan: The Makuhari DHC cogeneration plant is to be equipped with two Wärtsilä gas fuelled generating sets with a combined capacity of 15.7 MW. The new sets will generate electricity, steam and chilled water.

Japan: Toshiba is to cut the salaries of four senior executives and punish several other employees that were found to have falsified data on devices supplied to three nuclear power plants run by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co.

Korea: Seven gas turbines at the SeoInchon combined cycle power plant have recently been uprated by GE Energy, increasing the facility’s generation output by 180 MW.

Sri Lanka: Construction will start on the 500 MW coal fired power plant in Trincomalee before the end of the year after the National Thermal Power Corporation agreed to provide $450m for the project.

Thailand: Hong Kong based CLP Power is to sell its entire 50 per cent stake in the operator of a 1346 MW power plant in Rayong to Electricity Generating Plc. The two companies initially agreed a deal for a 25 per cent stake.

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