AES completes deal to acquire Philippines Masinloc coal fired plant

AES Corporation has announced the completion of the $930m purchase and transfer of assets of the 660 MW Masinloc coal fired power plant located in Barangay Bula, Zambales Province, Luzon, Philippines.

AES and its eight per cent minority partner International Finance Corporation (IFC) paid 100 per cent of the purchase price upfront to complete the Masinloc transaction in one step. Including transaction costs and completion of a planned upgrade programme to improve environmental and operational performance, the total project cost is estimated at $1.057bn.

AES provided the winning bid for the Masinloc facility in a privatization auction conducted by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM). Originally constructed in 1998, the plant utilizes coal from a variety of sources in the Pacific Rim. Through this acquisition, AES will now be operating the Philippines’ first-ever privatized thermal power plant.

Approximately 60 per cent of the electricity generated at the Masinloc plant will be sold to electric distribution companies, cooperatives and special economic zones via power supply contracts of various types already in place. The remaining capacity will be sold through the wholesale power pool or under new contracts.

Environmental concerns force cancellation of Malaysian coal plant plans

Malaysia has scrapped plans for a 1.3bn ringgit ($408m) coal fired power plant in an environmentally sensitive area in eastern Sabah state on Borneo Island. A government spokesman said that it could not risk destroying an environment that was intact and that alternative sources of energy would be sought.

In 2006, state power company Tenaga Nasional’s chairman Leo Moggie insisted that the 300 MW plant would have minimal impact on the environment but local environmentalist have argued that it would damage the pristine Danum Valley forest. The decision by Malaysia’s cabinet was influenced by the risk to the health and welfare of communities in the area and the proximity to vital proposed ecotourism sites.

Chief Minister Musa Aman said that Tenaga Nasional and the local Sabah Electricity had been ordered to look for alternative sources of energy and sites.

Siemens and ABB to supply Chinese HVDC link equipment

The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) has placed an order worth €160m ($248m) with Siemens Energy for components to be used in the world’s longest and highest HVDC transmission link à‚— the 2000 km, 6400 MW link from the Xiangjiaba hydroelectric power plant in south western China to Shanghai on the east coast of the country.

Siemens Energy, which now includes its T & D division, along with local partners is to deliver ten extra-high voltage converter transformers, five of them rated at 800 kV, as well as 6-inch thyristor valves technology of one of the two converter stations for the HVDC link. The ten HVDC transformers for the Furlong converter station at Sichuan at the Xiangjiaba hydroelectric plant will be built at Siemens Nuremberg transformer factory.

Meanwhile, ABB has won an order from SGCC for valve and control system components for the Lingbao extension project, located on the border between the provinces of Henan and Shanxi.

The Lingbao II project will expand the existing asynchonous interconnection at the Lingbao back-to-back HVDC station by an additional 750 MW.

The project will use thyristors developed by ABB and the Power Electronics Research Institute (PERI) in Xian.

Three firms to join Australian carbon capture project

Electricity wholesaler Electric Power Development Co, heavy machinery maker IHI Corp and major trading house Mitsui & Co are to participate in a joint project with Australian firms to test technology to capture carbon dioxide emitted from the Callide coal power plant located 450 km northwest of Brisbane.

The 20bn yen ($191m) project will test a carbon capture technology that uses highly concentrated oxygen to burn coal, starting in late 2010. The technology, developed by IHI and Electric Power Development, seeks to capture more than 90 per cent of carbon dioxide emitted.

Pakistan dam to start building in 2009

The construction of Pakistan’s third mega-dam, the Diamer-Bhasha Dam on the Indus River, will commence next year, according to Wapda officials. The underground powerhouses for the dam will have an installed capacity of 3360 MW.

Draft detailed engineering designs and tender documents submitted by the project consultants are being reviewed by Wapda in order to begin the process of international competitive bidding.

CNOOC to build world’s largest offshore wind farm

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is to build, what it claims to be, the world’s largest offshore wind power project with a capacity of 1100 MW in Weihai, in East China’s Shandong Province.

Work on the scheme will start this October with the entire project expected to take ten years to complete. Total investment in the offshore facility is forecast to reach RMB 21bn ($3bn).

The completed wind farm would be capable of generating 2.5 KWh of electricity, offsetting 1.2m tonnes of coal annually. The emissions of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide are predicted to be reduced by 1.88m tonnes and 22 000 tonnes respectively.

CNOOC has already installed Asia’s first 140m high-tech wind tower in Wehai. Fu Yucheng, president of CNOOC said that the group intended to develop into an energy company rather than an oil firm. The development of offshore wind by CNOOC is intended to form just part of a broader renewable energy portfolio.

Japanese government give go-ahead for recycled nuclear fuel reactor

Two Japanese government nuclear energy panels have greenlighted plans by J-Power to construct the world’s first commercial thermal reactor capable of running exclusively on mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) made from spent nuclear fuel.

The Atomic Energy Commission of Japan and the Nuclear Safety Commission approved the plans for the 1.38 GW plant to be built in Oma, Aomori Prefecture. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is expected to give the final go-ahead, with construction expected to start as early as next month. This would be the first time in ten years that Japan has given approval to a new nuclear power plant.

The overall cost for the proposed plant, which is slated to start operations in March of 2012, is estimated at 470bn yen ($4.5bn). Other utilities are planning to use MOX for up to a third of fuel requirements but because the Oma plant will run purely on MOX fuel, it will be able to use the fuel more efficiently.

MHI grants nuclear equipment licenses to Harbin Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) of Japan has reached an agreement with China’s Harbin Group under which it will license technologies for major equipment used in pressurized water reactor (PWR) type nuclear power plants, including steam turbines.

The deal will assist in China’s aim of domestically manufacturing this type of equipment in the future, to assist with the expansion of nuclear power generation to 44 GW by 2020.

Previously MHI had provided Harbin Group with 600 MW class ultra-supercritical pressure steam turbine technology but the new agreement represents its first technology licensing to the group in the nuclear power generation field.

MHI will provide technologies to Harbin Turbine Co Ltd. and Harbin Boiler Company Ltd. with the licenses applying to 1200 MW-class large-size steam turbines for nuclear power plants and auxiliary equipment.

The auxiliary equipment to be licensed by MHI to Harbin includes: moisture separator reheaters, deaerators, main valves, condensers and feedwater heaters.

Pakistan agrees plan for 2200 MW

Pakistan’s prime minister has ordered his minister for Water and Power to prepare an emergency plan to add 2200 MW of electricity to the national grid during the current year.

Experts from the energy sector will be invited to discuss plans to enhance generation capacity and conservation in order to bridge the huge gap that exists between demand and supply.

Indian firms plan nuclear JV

Indian power engineering company Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) have formed a joint venture company to carry our engineering, procurement and construction activities for conventional nuclear power plant islands in India and abroad.

India is planning to rapidly expand its civil nuclear power capability to meet growing energy needs. The two firms believe that the collaboration, which brings together complementary core strengths, will benefit this drive. The JV will evaluate technical options available for steam turbine generator sets of 700 MW rating and above.

First Reserve takes Kenersys stake

Private equity firm First Reserve Corporation has made invested in the newly-formed integrated wind energy company Kenersys, a company formed by Indian auto component maker Kalyani Group.

Kenersys will focus on the design, assembly and marketing of wind turbine generators. First Reserve has an active investment fund of over $1.2bn in the renewable and alternative energy sector and has invested in seven companies covering biofuels, waste to energy, CO2 offset origination and solar and wind generation.

Kenersys will initially focus on assembling and marketing turbines in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

China: J-Power is to invest around 5bn yen ($708m) to take a ten per cent stake in a coal fired power plant project in China’s Jiangxi Province together with two local power companies. This will be J-Power’s third power plant investment in China.

China: French energy management firm Dalkia Corporation has signed an agreement with Chonqing Changyang Heat Company to jointly invest in a 300 MW power plant in Chongqing, which is expected to cost in the region of RMB 3bn ($429m).

China: Flour Corporation has been awarded a contract worth $1bn for EPCM services by LDK Solar Co. Ltd., for the world’s largest new polysilicon facility in Xinyu City, Jiangxi, PRC, located adjacent to LDK Solar’s existing solar wafer manufacturing facilities.

India: NTPC Ltd. and National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, have signed an MOU in New Delhi for cooperation in identifying potential new sites for establishing geothermal-based power projects in India.

India: Areva T&D India has received orders worth 4180m rupees ($103m) from M/s Essar Constructions (India) Limited for electrical balance of plant and equipment for Essar’s power plant project in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

India: Toshiba is willing to invest around $200m in a joint venture in India to manufacture supercritical steam turbines for large coal fired power plants. Negotiations with Larson & Toubro over the JV are said to be at an advanced stage.

Indonesia: Indonesia and Germany have pledged to work together to generate cleaner sources of energy that might involve nuclear and coal fired technology. Germany has also offered some €24m ($35.5m) for reforestation programmes in Indonesia to mitigate climate change.

Indonesia: Indonesia’s vice president has renewed calls for the state-owned power company PTN to speed up construction of coal fired power plants in a bid to swiftly resolve a power crisis affected Java.

Japan: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. has developed a highly efficient household fuel cell system with a power generation efficiency ratio of 39 per cent, which it plans to market to domestic customers.

Laos: French power utility EDF said that it had begun filling the 3.5bn m3 reservoir that will supply the 1070 MW Nam Theun-2 hydroelectric power station in Laos in which it has a 35 per cent interest. The plant will supply both Laos and Thailand with electricity and is scheduled to go into operation next year.

Laos: Laos is planning to construct 29 new power plants towards its plan to export 8000 MW of electricity by 2020. So far, more than 130 companies have been granted licences to develop 200 electricity generating projects.

New Zealand: Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings, are favourites to buy the Wellington power grid in New Zealand from Vector Limited, the country’s largest electricity and gas distributor, valued at around $1bn.

Pakistan: A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Karachi city government and Dubai’s Dhabian Power Engineering Limited for the supply of four gas turbines with a combined capacity of 320 MW. The UAE government has pledged to gift the project to Karachi, who will supply the necessary land.

Pakistan: Finnish power firm Wärtsilä has been awarded an EPC contract worth €134m ($211m) by independent power producer Nishat Power Ltd. for a 200 MW combined cycle power plant to be located near the city of Lahore.

Pakistan: Pakistan’s national grid will be boosted by 6000 MW of additional capacity by 2010-2011 as a result of new power projects being undertaken by both private and public sectors, according to the managing director of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco).

Philippines: Taiwanese firm Formosa Heavy Industries (FHI) has won a contract from Aboitiz Power Corporation worth $500m for the construction of a 300 MW power plant in Subic Bay, Philippines. FHI will supply the boiler, steam turbine, generator and related services.

Vietnam: Tan Tao Group (ITA Group) is seeking investors for a $7.7bn project to build the 4400 MW Kien Luong Thermal Power Centre and Nam Du deep-sea port complex in the province of Kien Giang. Black & Veatch, FHDI Engineering Ltd and Power Engineering Consulting No. 2 will provide consulting services.