China expects wind capacity to balloon

China is expected to add 3 GW of wind power capacity between 2006-2010, as part of the government’s plan to generate more electricity from clean energy sources.

The country’s wind power industry has developed relatively slowly. By the end of 2004, China had only 43 wind farms with a combined capacity of 764 MW, which accounted for 0.17 per cent of the country’s total generation capacity. However, the number of wind farms increased to 80 in 2006, representing a total capacity of 2.3 GW, up more than 1 GW from 2005.

Domestically produced wind power equipment only accounts for a third of the market. Jifeng Science and Technology Company Limited is China’s largest domestic wind power equipment manufacturer, while Gamesa Ecolica of Spain and Vestas of Denmark are the leading international players, with 21.5 per cent and 13.7 per cent of market share, respectively.

South Korea pumped for action

South Korea’s first remote controlled pumped storage power plant has finally been completed after six years of construction.

The two 30 MW generator built at the new Cheongsong plant in North Gyeongsang province were built at the cost of $631m.

The operational control of the plant will reside at the Samrangjin pumped storage power plant, which is located more than 130 km southwest of Cheongsang.

The new facility will increase the country’s percentage of electricity generated by hydropower to 8.4 per cent from 7.5 per cent. Currently, coal fired thermal power facilities and nuclear plants account for the bulk of the country’s electricity supply.

Shanghai firms to report power usage

Leading industrial and commercial companies in Shanghai will now have to report their power usage on a monthly basis, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.

Shanghai’s economic planners said they have set a target of cutting energy consumption for every 10 000 yuan ($1300) of industrial added value by 6.2 per cent and by three per cent for every 10 000 yuan of commercial added value this year. The city has an overall energy reduction target of four per cent.

The enterprises subject to this mandatory monthly reporting number approximately 800, and are mainly in the power, steel and petrochemical sectors, as well as large shopping malls and hotels. They account for 70 per cent of the city’s total energy consumption.

India gives approval in principle for nuclear new builds

India has given its approval in principle for the construction of two nuclear plants at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan, according to a report by BBC Monitoring South Asia.

The minister of state in the prime minister’s office, Prithviraj Chavan, told the lower house of parliament that “the government accorded in principle approval for setting up two 700 MW pressurized heavy water reactors at the Rawatbhata site.” The government also received a request for a nuclear power station at Banswara. However, no decision has yet been taken on that site.

At the recent South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting, Sushilkumar Shinde, India’s power minister, announced that the government was looking into the feasibility of establishing power transmission links with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Currently, it has grid interconnections with Nepal and Bhutan.

He went on to propose the creation of an “Energy Ring” that would promote trading in electricity, gas and oil, and help to stimulate economic cooperation among SAARC countries.

Chinese nuclear power plants deal approaches closure

China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC) have negotiated a framework agreement with US firms Westinghouse Electric Company and the Shaw Group for the provision of four AP1000 nuclear power plants.

The framework agreement confirms the basic requirements and obligations of all parties involved. The contracts for the four plants, which will be constructed are expected to be finalized towards the middle of this year. Construction of the plants is expected to begin in 2009, with the first plant becoming operational in 2013.

SNPTC had previously chosen the Westinghouse consortium as the technology partner for the project.

Vietnam nets $4bn thermal plant deal

Elsenham of Australia will increase its investment capital to $4bn for the construction of a thermal power plant in Southern Vietnam, increasing its capacity to 3.6 GW.

Construction of the plant is scheduled to start in late 2008 in the Kien Giang province, and become operational by 2012. Last year, Ensham was licensed to invest $1bn in the construction of the power plant with a capacity of 1GW.

The project will be on either a build-operate-transfer or a build-operate-own basis. The company will also build a deepwater power in the province to serve coal transport from Australia to Vietnam to fuel the plant.

News digest

China: Beijing is to veto plans for new coal fired power plants with a capacity below 300 MW because official statistics show that they are responsible for most of the sulphur dioxide and soot emissions generated by the power sector.

China: The construction of China’s first cross-sea power transmission link has started. The 500 kV link will cross the Qiongzhou Strait, connecting Zhanjiang City and Hainai Island. The link is expected to be in service in the first half of 2009.

India: GE Energy Financial Services is to finance the construction of a 22.3 MW thermal power plant for the Binani Cement Limited at Sirohi, Rajasthan, India.

Indonesia: Black & Veatch has been awarded a contract to provide EPC services for the expansion of the natural gas fired Indralay power plant. The expanded plant will have an output of 124 MW and is due to go into operation in mid-2008.

Indonesia: A consortium led by Zelan Bhd of Malaysia has won a $50m EPCC contract for a new power plant in Indonesia. The project is for two 300 MW coal fired turbines in Rembang, Central Java.

Japan: REpower Systems AG has signed a contract for the delivery of ten wind turbines to the Japanese prefecture Hyogo on the island of Honshu. The beginning of the installation is scheduled for the end of this year, and completion of the wind farm is expected during the first half of 2008.

Pakistan: Studies into the feasibility of ten hydropower projects have been finalized to ensure that the required 11.6 GW of new generating capacity will come online within the next three to seven years.

Pakistan: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to extend a loan up to $800m over the period of 2007-2016 for a programme aimed at major power transmission enhancement in the country.

Singapore: CEIS Singapore is to build the country’s largest trigeneration power plant that will produce electricity, steam and chilled water from a single integrated system. The 9.2 MW on-site facility is due to be completed in mid 2008.

Sri Lanka: The Sri Lankan government has begun work on a 300 MW thermal power station, which will help to avert a potential power crisis in 2008-2008.

Thailand: The National Energy Policy Council of Thailand has announced it is to form a committee to conduct a feasibility study into the construction of a nuclear fission power plant.

Vietnam: Tae Kwang Vina industrial Company Limited of South Korea has submitted a plan to the authorities of Vietnam’s Dong Nai province to invest $1bn in a 1 GW coal fired power plant in the Nhon Trach district.