New Zealand lays out green agenda

A detailed action plan to maximise renewable energy and energy efficiency in New Zealand has been launched by Auckland for public discussion.

The draft strategy seeks input to help set targets for the growth of renewable energy and achieve energy savings in homes and industry.

“The draft strategy contains a range of possible actions and we are inviting the public to tell us which actions they support, where the priorities should be, and whether the proposals aim too high or not high enough,” said Jeanette Fitzsimons, government spokesperson for energy efficiency and conservation.

Feedback from the draft strategy will be used to determine the content of the final strategy, due out in June 2007.

China chooses nuclear reactor technology

Westinghouse AP1000 pressurised water reactor (PWR) technology has been selected by China for use in its multi-billion dollar nuclear development programme. Westing-house Electric Co and its consortium partner, The Shaw Group, have publicly thanked China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC) for selecting the technology for four new plants to be constructed at the Sanmen and Yangjiang sites.

Toshiba Corp’s Westing-house said the selection of the AP1000 would create or sustain 5000 design, engineering and manufacturing jobs throughout the United States of America and the company will work with SNPTC to forge a “long term relationship.”

Indonesia reopens tender for four power plants worth $1.2bn

Jakarta has reopened the tender for the construction of four power plants worth $1.2bn.

The four coal fired power plants consist of the 300 MW Banten power plant in Teluk Naga, Bantem, the 300 MW Pcitan power plant in East Java and the 600 MW Tanjung Jati plant in Tanjung Jati, Central Java.

Eddie Widiono, president of state utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), said that only one of the bidders had satisfied the tender requirements and the tender, which was launched in July, was cancelled.

The plants are part of plans to provide additional electricity supplies of 10,000 MW by the year 2009.

EGAT excluded from IPP bids

State-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) are not allowed to bid for the next round of electricity production licences under the independent power producer (IPP) scheme.

Thai energy minister Piuasvasti Amranand said that EGAT was prohibited because the previous government had given it the uncontested right to build 50 per cent of all new power capacity. EGAT subsidiaries Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding and Electricity Generating can take part in the bidding.

Amranand added that strong economic fundamentals and five per cent growth in electricity demand were expected to generate significant interest in the projects.

India sets out huge hydroelectric expansion plans

A new policy to encourage hydroelectric development in India is expected to attract more private investment cash, a senior government advisor has said.

C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister’s economic advisory council, has said that India has a hydro potential of about 150 GW, concentrated largely in the northern Himalayan region across Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir. The policy, which is expected to be taken up by the cabinet office shortly, “will make it more attractive for private players to enter the sector,” said Rangarajan.

Joint venture buys up Philippines hydroelectric plant

A joint venture of Norway’s SN Power Corp and Aboitiz Power Corp has purchased the 360 MW Magat hydroelectric power plant in Isabela after submitting an offer of $530m.

The sale was conducted by the state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp (PSALM), which is overseeing the sale of the assets of National Power Corp. PSALM said the Aboitiz group beat the Lopez-owned First Gen Corp, the only other bidder, which submitted a lower offer of $420.9m.

The successful bid came after PSALM signed the commercial terms and conditions for the land lease contract with the National Irrigation Administra-tion (NIA), responsible for the operation and maintenance of the dams and the other non-power components needed for operation of the complex.

Abolitz, which lost out to First Gen in its bid for the 112 MW Pantabangan-Masiway station auctioned off in September, is now understood to be training its sights on the Binga and Ambuklao hydro plants.


News digest

China: Dunhuang city in Gansu province will be the location for the world’s largest solar PV power station. The 100 MW development will cost around $765m and will take five years to complete.

China: Sanmen Nuclear Power company has selected Washington Group International to provide project management training services in both China and the USA.

Indonesia: The China National Technical Import and Export Corp (CNTIC) and Harbin Power have won contracts for two thermal power stations. CNTIC will develop a 625 MW $473m project in Suralaya, Harbin a 660 MW, $522m project in East Java.

Indonesia: The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has signed a memorandum of understanding with Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources for a strategic partnership on development of biomass energy.

Myanmar: China has signed a development deal for a 600 MW hydro plant on the Shweli River in the northeast of the country near the Chinese border. The project, to be located some 27km south west of Nahkam, will supply some 4 GWh annually to the power-starved nation.

Myanmar: More small-scale hydro plants are planned over 2007 with plans to build in the water-rich states of Shan and Kachin. Seven small plants are being developed to supply power to rural off-grid locations.

Pakistan: Russia is planning to invest in coal-mining and associated power projects in the Sindh region, with a recent delegation visiting the region. Meanwhile, the Alternative Energy Development Board has received 13 proposals to develop 180 MW of wind power in the region.

Philippines: The Department of Energy is offering three geothermal sites with total potential of 100 MW for development in the 2006 Philippine Energy Contracting Round.

Sri Lanka: Ceylon Electricity Board has signed a civil construction contract for the Upper Kotmale Hydro power project with Japan’s Mayoda Company. The project covers the construction of the 35m dam and a 35km tunnel.

Thailand: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has established a marketing and information base in Thailand as part of its plans to expand overseas orders. The new company was established with Thai partners.

Thailand: Suez subsidiary Glow energy has signed two major power supply contracts worth $500 – $600m with petrochemical companies affiliated with the Siam Cement Group. In order to meet the new contracts Glow plans to develop additional generation capacity.