Facility to research liquid-sodium in FBRs

Toshiba has opened a facility to research the use of liquid sodium coolant in fast breeder reactors (FBRs). The plant near Yokohama, Japan, will also help commercialize the 4S distributed nuclear power system.

Toshiba says the new facility will enhance its sodium-related technology in readiness for the expansion of the FBR market worldwide. It claims the research centre’s high-temperature liquid-sodium test loop will allow it to simulate use of the coolant at actual operating temperatures and flow rates, and allow the testing of the performance of the pumps, steam generators and measuring equipment that it makes for liquid sodium systems.

Yasuharu Igarashi, executive vice-president of Toshiba’s Power Systems, said the new loop will also help commercialize the nuclear system 4S late next decade. This system, developed jointly by Toshiba and Japan’s Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, allows the creation of highly compact nuclear plants with an 10 MW output that can operate without refuelling for up to 30 years. This reduces operating and maintenance costs and enhances operational safety.

GE opens Singapore centre under localization plan

US power generation equipment maker GE Energy has established a site in Singapore as part of the company’s plan to localize its commercial operations. It says the new unit will increase the speed of commercial transaction responsiveness.

GE Energy projects in Asia will now have one decision-making unit, based in the city state, that will take over some of the responsibilities that had been up to now solely based in the United Sates.

The move will see Alan Sides, commercial operations leader for power generation, and Lars Hennecke, commercial operations leader for energy services, lead teams responsible for the review, approval and conclusion of contracts for projects in Asia. The company had established similar capabilities in Europe last year.

Sub-sea 33 kV cables to link Thai islands

As part of a scheme to develop its power infrastructure, Thailand is to create interconnections between islands in the Kari province in the south of the country. The project will involve the installation of 33 kV sub-sea cables on behalf of the country’s Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA).

Under a contract worth E8m ($12m), cable maker Nexans will supply the project with two 33 km lengths of insulated, lead-sheathed, three-core copper conductor lines that also integrate a fibre optic element. A single 3.8 km length of cable with a 120 mm2 cross-section will form the Railed Bay crossing, while the remainder of the cable, of cross-section 185 mm2, will go into three links between the islands of Kohl Up, Kohl Phi Phi Don and Kohl Siboya and a 2.5 km interconnection for the island of Koh Lanta.

Nexans will make the cables at it plant in Norway, with deliver scheduled for October 2008.

Japan to get 10 MW solar plant

Sharp and Kansai Electric Power of Japan are to build the country’s biggest solar power plant, which will generate 10 MW.

Sharp will install its solar panels at the plant, and Kansai Electric Power will buy the electricity it generates. When completed in autumn 2009, the plant in Sakai, Osaka prefecture, will cover 20 hectares within a 280 hectare site that disposes of industrial waste.

A 5 MW facility at Sharp’s Kameyama site in western Japan is currently the country’s largest operational solar generation plant.

Indian plant to get two 500 MW coal fired units

India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is to build two 500 MW coal fired units at the Anpara D power station in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Under a Rs33 900m ($848m) contract, BHEL will design, manufacture, supply and erect boiler-turbine-generator packages for the plant.

The company says it currently has 10 GW of capacity in the state in the form of thermal, nuclear and hydro plants.

BHEL expects the two Anpara D units will be commissioned between 2011 and 2012.

Coal plant to power Philippines island

Completion of a 264 MW coal fired plant in the city of Toledo in the Philippines will reduce Cebu island’s dependence on a geothermal plant that lies on another island.

The new $500m power station will be a clean coal plant with three 82 MW units. It will be operational in 2010.

Currently, submarine cable takes power from the geothermal plant on Leyte to Cebu, whose total demand is 460 MW and rising, leaving it at risk of brownouts caused by failures at the geothermal plant or its transmission facility.

Cebu is a major business hub and tourist destination in the Philippines

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Bangladesh: One GW of power is expected to be added to the national grid this year. Some 610 MW of this will come from private projects and 339 MW from plants established under government initiatives.

China: Figures will show that installed wind capacity has risen from 2.4 GW to 5 GW in 2007. Demand for wind turbines in the country has rocketed over eight years and is predicted to be 6.57 GW in 2010

China: Approximately 13 GW of coal fired power stations will close this year as part of the country’s drive to cut emissions. The target is 30 per cent greater than that of 2007. The State council has set a target of shutting down 50 GW between 2006 to 2010.

India: Gujarat state has awarded a contract to build a 350 MW CCGT plant at Hazira to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). In the $270 million deal, BHEL will build the plant’s Frame 9FA turbine, HRSG and control system at its factories around the country.

Indonesia: The government has set the benchmark selling price for geothermal electricity from independent power producers at between $0.06 and $0.10 per kWh, depending on the location of the plant. Power producers may only sell electricity to PLN, the country’s sole distributor to residential customers and businesses.

Laos: Laos and China have agreed on the building of the Nam Ngum hydropower plant near the capital Vientiane in Pakngum district. China National Electronics Import-Export Corporation will build the plant following a feasibility study lasting 18 months.

Malaysia: State utility Tenaga Nasional has awarded a $310m contract to build a 300 MW coal fired power plant to Chinese state-owned company China National electric Equipment Corporation. Following environmental approval, the plant will be in the state of Sabah in Borneo.

Nepal: India is to supply the country with 40 MW as part of the Nepal government’s short term plans to reduce the duration of power cuts. Demand is 700 MW but production is only 550 MW, which falls to 300 MW in the dry season. Weekly load shedding in the capital Kathmandu is 46 hours.