PLN runs into problems with project bid shortfall

The Indonesian state electricity company PLN has run into problems with tenders for new capacity after several bidders failed to submit bidding documents by the required deadline. Doubts about a government guarantee to support the projects has been cited by some companies that have withdrawn from the process.

The tender process is the result of a government-led programme to build new coal and gas fired generating capacity of 10 000 MW by 2010 to ease energy problems in the country. The cost of the programme is put at around $9bn. Although the government has pledged to guarantee contracts should PLN default on its obligations, the guarantee appears to have failed to impress prospective bidders.

Of 24 bids expected for power plants of 300-400 MW in capacity, only 17 arrived. Seven of these tenders will be repeated by PLN because there were insufficient bids in each case to achieve a quorum. There were ten bids for a 600-700 MW plant although 19 had been expected. PLN is planning to issue global bonds worth around $1.5bn in an attempt to raise financing for its new projects.

Thai government halts EGAT privatization

The new government of Thailand has abandoned one of the key economic plans of the ousted government, the privatization of the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The proposed privatization was a contentious issue within the country and inspired a street campaign against the previous prime minister.

At the same time EGAT has asked the interim government to approve plans for greater use of coal fired generation and hydropower to improve energy security. Currently the country relies on natural gas for more than 70 per cent of its electricity.

EGAT has proposed two options. Under the first, natural gas continues to supply 54 per cent of power while in the second it only contributes 40 per cent. Coal and hydropower account for the remainding supply.

Chinese plan big energy cut

China’s government aims to cut energy intensity by 20 per cent between 2006 and 2010. The country’s 11th five-year plan, adopted recently by the National People’s Congress, calls for a 20 per cent reduction in the amount of energy used to generate each unit of GDP by 2010.

Currently Chinese energy consumption per unit of GDP is 11.5 times higher than in Japan, 7.7 times that of Germany and France and 4.3 times higher than in the USA. The planned reduction, which will involve an annual reduction of 4.4 per cent, will be achieved by encouraging high technology rather energy-consuming industries. Energy conservation measures will also be encouraged.

Vietnam seeks $80bn power investment

The Vietnamese power sector needs to invest close to $80bn by 2025 according to a recent plan unveiled by the Ministry of Industry. Under the National Electricity Development Strategy for 2006-2025, just over $50bn will be used to build additional generating capacity and the remainder for the electricity network.

Electricity production is expected to rise by 16 per cent each year between 2006 and 2010, falling to 11 per cent in the following five years, 9.1 per cent between 2016 and 2020 and 8 per cent between then and 2025.

Over the short term the country needs to add 1700 MW of capacity each year. While shortages are not expected this year, there may be a shortfall next year.

India to award two 4000 MW projects this year

The Indian Power Finance Corp (PFC) has announced that it intends to award contracts for two 4000 MW power projects by the end of the year. The first project, Mundra in Gujarat, has received 13 requests for qualifications while Sasan in Madhya Pradesh has received 15.

Meanwhile the Orissa Government has signed memorandums of understanding with a series of different companies to built ten new coal fired power stations in the state. Total capacity of the ten plants will be 10 920 MW. India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has announced that it intends to treble its capacity to 75 000 MW by 2017.

Doosan and GE collaboration wins nuclear order

South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries, under an agreement with GE, is to manufacture and supply two 1455 MW steam turbines for two new nuclear reactors at Shin Kori, southeastern Korea.

The two pressurized water reactors will increase the number of units at the site to four. GE will design the new turbines and provide the low-pressure section buckets.

News digest

Australia: Plans for a 140 MW peaking hydropower plant at Bogong in the state of Victoria’s alpine region have been announced by the Australian Gas Light Co. A nearby 12.2 MW plant has recently been commissioned by the company.

Australia: The 450 MW gas fired Braemar power station has been commissioned by Alstom after 15 months of construction. It comprises three GT13E2 gas turbines.

China: China could import 60 000 GWh of electricity from Russia each year by 2020 according to the director of the Melentiev Energy System Institute in Russia. The institute and another organisations are currently evaluating the possibility of expanding capacity Siberia and the Russian Far East to meet the export demand.

China: Huaneng Power International is to build two 1000 MW coal fired power plants at the Haimen in Guangdong Province following approval from the National Development and Reform Commission.

China: Spanish wind company Gamesa has signed a €240m ($300m) deal to supply wind turbines to the Longyuan Power Group. Under the deal Gamesa will supply 600 units with a combined capacity of over 500 MW. The company has established a manufacturing facility in China.

India: Bharat Aluminium Co has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chhattisgarh Government to build a 1200 MW coal plant in the state.

India: The Power Grid Corp of India has synchronized the grids of the north, east, northeast and western areas of the country following the commissioning of a new transmission line and an east-north interconnector. Total capacity on the synchronised grid is 88 000 MW from 250 power plants.

Pakistan: The Water and Power Development Authority is to import a second-hand 150 MW power plant from the USA under three-year rental deal with GE.

Philippines: A 210 MW coal fired power plant is expected to start full commercial operation in January 2007, when it will be able to supply 15 per cent of the power demand in Mindanao according to the plant owner, Steag State Power Inc.

South Korea: A three megawatt solar power plant at Yong Gwang, South Korea, will use solar power modules supplied by GE. The solar plant is being developed by Korea Hydro Nuclear Power Co.

Sri Lanka: The Power and Energy Ministry of Sri Lanka has announced plans for a 1000 MW coal fired power plant in the Sampur area of Trincomalee costing $500m.