Thailand offered $700m from World Bank for renewables

The World Bank and its subsidiary, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), will offer Thailand $700m in financial support to help develop renewable energy.

The two organizations will finance development projects through the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund and the IFC, said Jitendra Shah, country sector coordinator at the World Bank. Thailand is one of the first ten countries where the World Bank has launched the support programme. Other countries include Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, The Philippines and Vietnam.

“Thailand was selected to be one of World Bank’s preferred countries since the kingdom has a clear policy on renewable and alternative energy and has the potential to become a demonstration country in this field,” said Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul.

The World Bank and the IFC will provide technology and support for loan applicants, as well as coordinate the market’s clean development mechanism or carbon credit trading.

The World Bank and IFC forecast the value of developing Thailand’s renewable energy is about 157bn baht ($4.6bn) from now until 2011.

Private sector investment will account for about 85 per cent of the total investment, or 134bn baht.

Strategic solar power development in China for PV module manufacturer

Suntech Power Holdings Company Limited, a leading photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, has recently entered into a number of strategic agreements to develop a total of 1.8 GW of solar projects in China.

The company has signed agreements with the Shaanxi provincial government, the Shizuishan city government, Ningxia Province, the Qinghai provincial government and the Panzhihua city government, Sichuan Province to develop 300 MW, 500 MW, 500 MW and 500 MW of solar projects respectively.

The implementation of these projects is subject to funding and a number to state permits.

Japanese utilities to build smart grid

The Federation of Electricity Power Companies of Japan has confirmed that it will begin to develop a smart power grid by 2020 to enable the country to accommodate its planned expansion in solar power generation.

Earlier this year, the government doubled its solar power output target by 2020 from 14 GW to 28 GW. According to power industry experts however, Japan’s current grid infrastructure can only able to handle solar output of up to 10 GW.

Tokyo’s projections show that Japan’s solar power output could reach as much as 53 GW by 2030.

India’s Essar Power plans to triple generation capacity

According to reports, Essar Power, one of India’s leading independent power producers, plans to invest Rs20 000 crore ($4bn) to almost triple its generation capacity to 6000 MW by 2012.

The company, which has a current installed capacity of 1200 MW, is said to be in an advanced stage of raising Rs15 000 crore from both public and private lenders, including the State Bank of India, with the remainder coming from the company.

The money will be used to finance four projects, including a 1200 MW pithead coal-based power plant at Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh, a 1200 MW imported coal-based power plant at Jamnagar in Gujarat, and a second 1200 MW pithead coal-based power plant at Tori in Jharkhand.

The company has a boiler-turbine-generator package with Harbin of China and Siemens of Germany, and has also finalized the EPC contracts.

Essar has also finalized fuel supply contracts for all the plants, including overseas deals for coal from Indonesia and Mozambique. Within India, the company has been awarded two captive coal mines at Chakla and Ashok Karkata in Jharkland.

Coal power plant deal for Cambodia

Malaysian Leader Universal Holdings Bhd is to invest $160m in a new coal fired power plant in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, as part of an effort to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the region.

Current power capacity in Cambodia is around 410 MW while the demand is over 800 MW, according to Electricite du Cambodge, the local state-owned power company.

A power plant with a designed capacity of 100 MW is scheduled to commence its operations in 2012 after two years of construction, said Leader’s managing director Sean H’ng Chun Hsiang.

The company also revealed a plan to develop an additional 700 MW plant in Sihanoukville.

Vietnam picks two nuclear sites

Vietnam has selected two sites for a new nuclear power facility, and plans to have its first nuclear power plant operational by 2020, as part of its policy to achieve independence in power generation.

The sites were selected following a pre-feasibility study in the southern central province of Ninh Thuan’s Phuoc Dinh and Vinh Hai districts.

According to Do Huu Hao, Vietnam’s deputy minister of industry and trade, as part of its nuclear strategy, 15-20 per cent of the country’s power trading is expected to be nuclear by 2050.

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China: Two of SPX Corporation’s Chinese subsidiaries have secured contracts worth $66m to provide dry cooling systems utilizing air cooled condensers to Cina’s Yuan YangHu and ShangDu 3 power plants.

China: The LingAo II nuclear plant simulator developed by CORYS TESS and its Chinese subsidiary, CORYS Beijing Simulation Technology Limited has been accepted for use in training plant operators in China.

India: Alstom Hydro has been awarded a new project, worth €40m ($57m) with Lanco Infratech Limited, a private business conglomerate, to install a new hydropower plant on the Teesta River, in the Sikkim region of India.

India: Coastal Energen, the power generating business of the Coal & Oil Group, has achieved financial closure for its 1200 MW coal-based power plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. A total of 16 banks, led by the State Bank of India, are providing finance for this project.

India: French nuclear power group Areva has submitted a bid to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India for the design and construction of two European pressurized reactors, with an output in excess of 1600 MW each, in the state of Maharashtra.

Malaysia: Sarawak, one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo, has signed an agreement to export 400 MW to Brunei. The Bakun hydroelectric dam, which is due to be completed next year, will supply 200 MW, with the other 200 MW sourced from hydro dams to be built in Limbang and Lewes.

New Zealand: GE Energy and central Canterbury electricity network, Orion New Zealand Limited, has implemented the first phase of a smart grid project to help improve power reliability for customers. This is the first of its kind to go live in New Zealand.

Vietnam: Mott MacDonald has been appointed by Song Bung 4 Hydropower Management Board, to assist with the hydropower development in Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam. This is the first major hydropower project in Vietnam funded by Asian Development Bank at a cost of $267m.

Vietnam: The 200 MW Cam Pha thermal power plant is expected to run at full capacity and to be integrated into the country’s national grid system by the end of this year.