China facing $180bn shortfall

China’s future power demand needs have been significantly underestimated, according to a new report from Capgemini, which has predicted a $180bn investment shortfall between now and 2020.

The report states that an extra 280 GW of capacity will be required over the next 14 years, in addition to the 950 GW currently planned. Capgemini believes that a higher than expected impact on electricity demand from GDP growth will mean that an extra $180bn of investment will have to be found to plug the gap.

The report also found that the country is not likely to meet its targets for reducing its level of power generated from coal. The government aims to have reduced coal’s share of the generation mix from its current 73 per cent to 60 per cent by 2020, whereas, the report predicts that it will be 65 per cent.

Mega project interest

A number of international private companies have expressed interest in bidding for the construction of five coal fired plants in India each with a capacity of 4000 MW.

Along with public sector firms and lending institutions, some of the industry’s largest companies recently attended a pre-bid conference held in India to discuss two of the proposed five ‘ultra’ mega projects. The country aims to award the contracts before the end of the year. The country’s Ministry of Coal has agreed in principle to guarantee a coal supply for each new plant.

At an estimated cost of Rs150bn ($3.4bn), each plant is expected to feature supercritical technology. The plants will be located in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Karnataka.

China begins 800 kV DC line

Construction of the world’s first 800 kV DC transmission line is about to begin in China as the country prepares to invest over $98bn upgrading and expanding its transmission grid over the next five years.

The 800 kV line will transmit electricity from the resource-rich Yunnan Province in southwest China to the country’s economic powerhouse, Guangdong, in the southeast. China Southern Power Grid Corporation aims to have the project completed before 2010. Around 60 per cent of the equipment used will be made in China.

To ease bottlenecks and supply shortfalls, the State Grid Corporation of China plans to spend $19.7bn each year for the next five years on transmission projects. The plan is to establish a power grid that will have a rating above 750 kV.

Bidders queue for latest PSALM sale

The company in charge of privatizing power generation assets owned by the Philippine’s National Power Corporation has confirmed that at least 24 separate investor groups have expressed their interest in bidding in the latest round of sales.

For the four power plants being made available, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) said it had attracted potential investors from Australia, Europe, Asia and America, as well as domestic companies.

Investor groups are believed to be preparing bids for the Calaca coal fired power station, the Magat geothermal power plant and the Pantabangan-Masiway and Tiwi-Makban hydroelectric power plants.

New wind turbine can generate in hurricanes

A new mini wind turbine capable of generating in wind speeds of up to 50 m/s, more than twice the speed conventional turbines shut down at, has been launched in Japan.

With carbon blades measuring 1.8 m across, the turbines can generate electricity in winds ranging from 2.5 m/s to 50 m/s. Research has shown that the turbine generates 100-120 kWh per month from an average wind speed of 6 m/s.

The Japanese consortium, made up of 11 companies including Zephyr Corporation and Yokogawa Electric Corp., claim the $4000 turbine operates on a par with large wind turbines in terms of efficiency, operating at levels that exceed 40 per cent.

Two plants commissioned in southern Vietnam

Two state owned Vietnamese companies have each commissioned a power plant in the south of the country designed to cater for energy shortfalls in the dry season.

Electricity of Vietnam awarded Mitsubishi Heavy Industries a turnkey contract for the construction of a 330 MW thermal power plant. Situated 20 km from the largest city in the Mekong Delta, the O Mon power plant will initially generate electricity from oil when it enters operation in February 2009. It will later switch to natural gas when construction of the southwest pipeline system is complete.

The contract to build a second thermal plant in the Mekong region was awarded to Viet Nam Machinery Installation Corporation by the state owned Viet Nam Oil and Gas Corporation. Able to generate from either natural gas or oil, the Ca Mau 2 plant will generate around 700 MW when it enters operation in March 2008.

News digest

Australia: Alstom has been awarded a turnkey contract to build a 310 MW power plant in Western Australia.

Australia: Indian wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon has won its first contract in the country and will commission a 95 MW wind farm 220 km north of Adelaide by the end of 2007.

China: A large wind farm in Inner Mongolia could be developed from the proceeds of an $86.33m loan from the World Bank issued to help increase the level of renewable energy within the country.

China: Emerson is to supply digital automation technology for two 1000 MW ultra supercritical coal fired units which are being built at the Zouxian power plant.

Hong Kong: One of China’s five largest power companies, China Power International Holdings, is to move into the Hong Kong electricity market before June this year as part of a joint venture.

India: The Power Grid Corporation of India has received much needed investment from the World Bank in the form of a variable spread $400m loan with a maturity of 20 years.

India: The public sector company Bharat Heavy Electricals has successfully commissioned the country’s largest solar diesel hybrid power plant at Bangaram Island in Lakshadwwep.

Philippines: A Taiwanese company is to build a 300 MW coal fired power plant in Subic to help prevent the power crisis the Luzon region is forecasted to experience in 2010. The Department of Energy predicts the country will need an additional 4438 MW of new capacity over the next five years if it is to meet the growth in power demand. Meanwhile, After the successful completion of its 210 MW Mindanao coal fired power project, the German government plans to invest further in new generating capacity in the country.

Philippines: The Department of Energy has reported that the country’s electricity spot market is now ready to start commercial operations.

Philippines: The first Clean Development Mechanism project in the country will see a 33 MW wind farm built in Bangui Bay, Ilocos Norte by NorthWind Power Development Corporation.

Vietnam: A power trade market will be developed between the Greater Mekong Subregion, which includes Cambodia, China, Lao, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, after the Asian Development Bank and the French Development Agency offered financial support. Meanwhile, the government is planning a three-phase plan that will see the country develop a competitive power supply market by 2014.