ASIA-PACIFIC

Nuclear giants court Thailand

The world’s major nuclear technology manufacturers are reported to have expressed interest in bidding for Thailand’s proposed civil nuclear programme.

According to the Bangkok Post, Toshiba and Mitsubishi of Japan, France’s Areva and GE from the USA have all contacted the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) regarding submitting proposals for the construction of new nuclear build.

Thailand aims to build four nuclear plants, each costing around $1bn, by 2021. EGAT expects to complete a nuclear proposal within three years, and if the Thai government gives the go ahead, construction could begin as soon as 2015.

Kamol Takabut, EGAT’s assistant governor for power plant engineering, is reported as saying that without nuclear power, Thailand would lose its competitive edge to its neighbours à‚— both Vietnam and Indonesia are expected to have operational nuclear plants within the same time-frame.

Conergy’s subsidiary to build Australia’s largest wind farm to the tune of

A unit of Conergy, a leading German solar energy company, has teamed up with Australia’s Macquarie Bank to construct a A$2.5bn ($2.2bn) wind farm on the eastern coast of Australia.

Under the joint venture, Conergy’s wholly-owned unit Epuron Australia and Macquarie Capital Group will each take a 50 per cent stake in the proposed development to build what is said will be Australia’s largest wind project.

According to Epuron, the project would have as many as 500 turbines generating about 1000 MW of electricity. Macquarie will arrange the debt and equity side of the project.

Andrew Durran, executive director of Epuron in Australia, said that company may sell the wind farm upon its completion.

Construction of the wind farm is expected to begin in 2009, and will take three to four years to complete.

Construction of China’s first third-generation nuclear power plant imminent

The construction of China’s first third-generation nuclear plant, the Sanmen power plant, is set to begin in March says the State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC).

Wang Binghua, SNPTC’s chairman of the board, said the plant in east China’s Zhejiang province was expected to begin generating power by August 2013. It would also represent the world’s first AP1000 nuclear plant.

The AP1000 technology, designed by the US-based Westinghouse is an advanced technology approved by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but it has not been used in an operating power plant yet.

The construction of the Haiyang nuclear power plant in Shandong province using the same AP1000 technology will also begin later this year.

India’s Reliance to invest $28bn in power projects

Indian utility Reliance Power has announced it will generate 28 GW of electricity by building 13 projects in the next seven years with an investment totalling $28bn.

Lalit Jalan, director of Reliance Power, said that the 13 projects would be diverse in location, fuel type, fuel source and off-take. The projects, including seven coal fired, two gas fired and four hydroelectric, will come up in six states.

“There are huge shortages in India. 400m Indians do not have access to power. Per capita consumption in India is 600 units per annum, which is less than one-fourth the world average of 2500 units,” Jalan said.

KEPCO succesfully injects carbon in deep coal beds

According to a report by Kyodo News International, Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) of Japan has successfully injected a large amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into deep coal beds by using nitrogen.

The technology is claimed to be able to fix approximately 6.6 tonnes of CO2 in coal beds per day. Without the nitrogen, which prevents the coal bed from swelling and therefore reducing the absorption area, the amount falls to half. KEPCO has also found that the technology enhances the recovery of coal-bed methane.

South East Asia power cooperation

Industry officials from Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia signed a power cooperation deal at the end of last year.

Under the agreement, Cambodia will purchase electricity from the Electricity of Vietnam Corporation for its Kongpongcham province and from Laos for its northern province of Stung Treng.

To implement the project, Laos will have to build a transformer station and 25 km of 115 kV line from the Champasak province to the Laos-Cambodia border.

Vietnam will build a 110 kV power line to transmit electricity from southern Tay Ninh province to the border area with Cambodia.

Finally, Cambodia will build two 110 kV transmission lines, with completion due in 2010.

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Bangladesh: The Bangladeshi government has decided in principle to invite private sector investors, non-resident Bangladeshis and banks to submit expression of interests for participating in a public-private joint venture to set up a 450 MW power plant.

China: According to the China Electricity Council, the country’s major power plants produced 3.26tn kWh of electricity last year, up almost 14.5 per cent year-on-year.

China: Energy major BP is to conduct a feasibility study with the China Academy of Sciences into clean coal conversion technologies, and has signed a framework agreement with Beijing Tianrun New Energy Investment Company for new wind power projects.

China: ITER, the international fusion power research and development project is to receive a significant injection of cash from China. It is anticipated that China will invest RMB10bn ($1.4bn), which represents ten per cent of the overall cost of the project.

China: The first coal fired power plant employing carbon capture and storage in China is planned to begin operation in 2009 under a joint venture partnership called GreenGen. The $1bn, 650 MW plant will be built at Tianjin near Beijing.

India: As part of its endeavour to install 200 MW of wind capacity within the next two years, Oil & Natural Gas Limited has placed an order with Sulzon Energy to build a 51 MW wind farm in the Kutch region of Gujarat.

Japan: A five-year, $10bn fund, called the ‘Cool Earth Partnership’ has been set up by Japan to support developing countries in their efforts to reduce their emissions, and therefore help in the combat against global warming.

Laos: Than am Lik 1-2 Power Company Limited, a Chinese investment firm, is to develop a 100 MW two-turbine hydroelectric plant in Laos’ northern Vientiane province. The first turbine will go online in May 2010 and the second in July 2010.

Nepal: The much-discussed Tamakoshi 390 MW hydro project is finally to go ahead. At a board meeting of the Employees Provident Fund and the Nepal Electricity Authority the decision was made to finance the deal.

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