India plans nuclear plant with Europeans

State-run Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) of India plans to build a 10 000 MW nuclear plant in the western state of Maharashtra using European pressurized reactors (EPR), from France, Germany and Finland.

EPRs are third generation nuclear reactors that feature better safety standards and significantly contain radioactivity in the event of an accident.

The plant, comprising six units, each having the capacity to generate 1650 MW of electricity, will cost in the region of $11.5bn, according to S.K. Jain, chairman of NPC.

Funds for the investment will be raised through a combination of equity and debt, including loans from multilateral development agencies, Jain added.

India’s plans to build a large atomic power plant in the western state of Maharashtra, have been encouraged by the civilian nuclear deal with the USA that will help the country access the international market for nuclear fuel and technologies, Jain said.

China accelerates closure of small thermal units in efficiency drive

The National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC) has announced that China will gradually cut feed-in tariff for small thermal power units to force them to close down in an efficiency drive.

The small thermal power units are defined as a single unit with 50 000 kW or less of installed capacity, one with an installed capacity of 100 000 kW that has been operating for a minimum of 20 years, or one with an installed capacity of 200 000 kW that has reached the end of the designed service life.

Because of their high energy consumption and low efficiency, the government plans to close 50m kW small thermal power units between 2006 and 2010, and complete one-fifth of the target in 2007.

Malaysian company to build $1bn thermal plant in southern Vietnam

Toyo Ink Group Berhad of Malaysia plans to build a $1bn thermal power plant in southern Vietnam and has leased land for the project, according to local government officials.

The company signed an agreement to lease 32 hectares of land where it wants to build a 1000 MW thermal power plant, said Le Viet Dung, deputy director of the investment and planning department in Binh Duong province, where the plant is to be located. Binh Duong is 50 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City.

The project has been approved by local authorities, but also requires approval from Vietnam’s prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung.

The power plant will take between 24 and 30 months to build and will be 100 per cent owned by Toyo Ink.

Australia to store CO2 underground

Australian scientists are pushing ahead with plans to store thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in an underground reservoir in Victoria.

Known as the Otway Geosequestration project, thousands of tonnes of CO2 captured in the state of Victoria will be stored deep underground at a site about 250 km from Melbourne over the next few months.

A spokesman for the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies, which is behind the $25m project, said the natural sandstone and clay sediment in the area provides the perfect environment to store large amounts of CO2.

Australian miner plans $4bn coal plant in Vietnam

Australian coal mining company Ensham Resources is to build a $4bn coal fired power plant in the southern area of Vietnam.

Authorities have approved the proposal from Ensham, which wants to build a 3600 MW power plant in the southern Mekong Delta province. If approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, construction will begin in 2008 and be completed in 2012.

The plant will be located in Kien Giang, 250 km miles southwest of Ho Chi Minh City. Local officials have agreed to expand the province’s central port so that it can accommodate the large ships needed to carry coal to the plant, which will be solely owned by Ensham.

Vietnam’s electricity demand is forecast to annually grow 15-16 percent until 2010, according to the Hanoi’s ministry of industry.

The government of Vietnam plans to increase its electricity capacity to between 25 000 MW and 26 000 MW in 2010 from 11 400 MW in 2005, in order to meet demand for its socio-economic development plans.

Consortium plans 1200 MW coal plant in Sumatra

PT Triaryani, Sojitz Corporation from Japan and AES Corporation from the USA have formed a consortium to build a coal fired power plant in Musi Rawas, South Sumatra in Indonesia.

The power plant with a capacity of 1200 MW will be built with an investment of $1.5bn, Triaryani President Teddy Setiawan said. PLN will buy the power produced by the project, while AES will be the majority shareholder of a special purpose company to be established to operate the power plant.

PLN added that the power from Musi Rawas would be supplied to the island of Java.

News Digest

Cambodia: The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has agreed a $22m low-interest loan with Cambodia to finance the Greater Mekong power network development project, which will extend 230 kV double circuit transmission lines.

India: Mumbai’s Tata Power Company has signed a $1.1bn deal to buy 30 per cent stakes in two Indonesian coal companies, Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Arutmin, which together produced 53.5m tonnes in 2006.

Indonesia: Jakarta has unveiled plans to build its first nuclear power plant on the island of Java with the aim of producing electricity by 2016.

Japan: The total amount of electricity generated by ten major Japanese power companies hit a record 971.3bn kWh, up 0.7 per cent from the previous year, according to the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan.

Laos: Malaysia’s Apbizlink Group will conduct a feasibility study on the building of a 70 MW hydroelectric power station in Luang Namtha province of Laos.

Myanmar: Yangon has signed a deal with China’s Farsighted Investment Group and Gold Water Resources Company to build the 2400 MW Upper Thanlwin hydropower project. Construction began in April on the 7110 MW Ta Sang hydroelectric plant, also on the Thanlwin river.

Pakistan: Iran has reached an agreement with Pakistan to export 1000 MW of electricity as a part of deal that will see Islamabad purchase transformers from Tehran.

Pakistan: The city district government of Karachi is to install a 350 MW power plant at Port Qasim with four turbines gifted by the United Arab Emirates, in collaboration with Italy’s Ansaldo.

Philippines: Korea Electric Power, First Gen Corporation, Trans Asia Oil, AES Corporation and Cal Energy are just some of the 23 bidders for the state-owned 600 MW Masinloc coal fired plant, which is to be auctioned on 26 July

Thailand: New bids for independent power plants could be hit by delays because Manila has yet to decide whether the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) should have an uncontested right to produce a defined amount of new capacity.

Vietnam: Miseco of the Czech Republic is to build a 2.8 MW hydropower plant in Dam Rong district, in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. Construction will start in early August and be operational in February 2008.