Japan to offer loans to fund IGCC power plants, carbon capture

Japan plans to offer loans to power producers in the US and Australia that buy integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plants from Japanese manufacturers, according to a government document.

Funding from state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation would help drive sales of the plants that cost about $3.1bn apiece, said a senior trade ministry official involved in producing the 113-page draft plan, according to Bloomberg.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi compete with GE Energy and Germany’s Siemens to supply IGCC plants, which convert coal into gas before generating power, making it easier to trap carbon-dioxide emissions.

Japan Bank may offer a package of loans to overseas projects that also would fund purchases of Japanese-made technology to capture and store carbon emissions from the plants, said a spokeswoman who can’t be named because of the Tokyo-based lender’s internal rules.

The trade ministry will send delegations to Australia and the US to discuss potential sales, said the ministry official, who declined to be named until the plans are made public.

Japan is considering financing a clean-coal plant to be operated by Queensland state government’s ZeroGen, the official said, which would be built by Mitsubishi.

First Gen eyes gas fired plant in Philippines

First Gen of the Philippines is set to invest in a 500 MW greenfield gas fired power plant to further expand its generation capacity.

The plant will be built alongside First Gen’s 1000 MW Sta Rita and 500 MW San Lorenzo gas fired power plants.

Lopez told First Philippines Holdings stockholders, who own First Gen, that the project was dependent upon new gas supplies being made available from the Camago-Malampaya fields or elsewhere. “Generation capacity in the Luzon Grid is still adequate for now, but there is little reserve capacity to meet a resurgence of growth in the economy, and there is no capacity being built in anticipation of future requirements,” Lopez explained.

Following the purchase of controlling interests in Energy Development Corporation, First Gen has become the largest Philippine-owned generating company in the country.

Vietnam to add 5200 MW power plant complex

Plans have been submitted to Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade to build three fossil fuelled power plants with total installed capacity of 5400 MW in the central province of Binh Dinh.

The Power Engineering Consulting Joint-Stock Company 4, part of Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) said the 250 ha power complex in the Phu Cat District would be built in three phases.

New South Wales approves Australia’s biggest wind farm

State government approval has been granted for the largest wind farm to be built in Australia, a A$2.2 bn ($1.75bn) venture featuring nearly 600 turbines to be located at Silverton, near Broken Hill in far western New South Wales (NSW).

Silverton Wind Farm Developments will generate enough electricity for 200 000 homes and the project will be built by the renewable energy group Epuron, part of the Macquarie Group.

Approval for stage one of construction was granted subject to Epuron adhering to noise guidelines, maintaining visual impact and limiting environmental impact. In approving the project, State Premier Nathan Rees said that NSW had given the go ahead to 14 wind farms with a total capacity of 2486 MW since 2005.

India looks to Westinghouse for next gen nuclear

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has entered into discussions with Westinghouse with a view to establishing an agreement on the deployment of their AP1000 nuclear reactor technology in India.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at expanding India’s nuclear power industry.

Westinghouse plans to make use of Indian-based companies and labour and is exploring opportunities to work with companies such as Larsen & Toubro and others to provide construction-related services, equipment and modules.

Pilot wave plant gets go-ahead in South Australia

South Australia is to have a wave energy pilot plant off the Eyre Peninsula coast, following the approval of the project by the state government.

Wave Rider Energy Limited will install its wave energy converter 800 metres offshore at a depth of 30 metres and hope to make the technology commercially viable.

“Wave energy represents a largely untapped sustainable energy resource and is seen to be one of the environmentally benign forms of energy generation currently available,” said SA Premier Mike Rann.

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Australia: Sydney University and EnergyAustralia have announced a A$5m ($4m) partnership to lead smart grid development in Australia and to train the next generation of power engineers. The five-year partnership will create a centre of excellence at the University of Sydney for R & D of intelligent electricity networks.

Australia: Verve Energy has signed a A$100m ($79m) deal with Kempe Subsidiary Inalco Energy for the retrofitting and recommissioning of the Muja A & B coal fired power plants in Collie.

Bangladesh: The Bangladesh government has announced new public-private partnership arrangements that will see the construction of three 450 MW power plants aimed at easing pressure on the country’s stretched power system. The World Bank and ADB have offered technical support for the planned plants.

China: China is expected to have built wind power facilities with installed capacity of 30 GW by 2010, according to an official with the National Energy Administration.

China: The NDRC has approved Huanang Power International’s 199.5 MW Gansu Ganhekou 2 wind power project, reported to be costing RMB 2.4bn ($350m).

China: Siemens has won a €30m ($41.6m) contract from the Three Gorges Project to construct a 12.5 km high voltage gas-insulated transmission line for the Xiluodu hydropower plant under construction on the Jinsha Jiang River.

India: A €40m ($55.5m) expansion to its high-efficiency industrial steam turbine production facilities in India has been announced by Germany’s Siemens. A production facility with a surface area of 14 000 m2 is planned, which will see production capacity triple by 2010.

Japan: Alstom has won the exclusive contract to supply its Eco 74 wind turbines to Tokyo Electric Power Company’s first wind project, the 18 MW Higashi Izu wind farm in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Malaysia: The Sarawak Public Utilities Ministry has approved a wind and solar hybrid power project to serve several villages in the remote Bario highland area, following the failure of an earlier micro hydro project in the region.