GE outlines specifications of Australian IGCC plant

GE Energy has said that the proposed Wandoan project in Queensland, Australia could produce 400 MW of power pre-carbon capture and would be capable of capturing 90 per cent of the CO2 in the fuel stream for future storage.

If the development phase moves forward in 2009, the plant is expected to be ready for commercial operation in late 2015 or early 2016. The company has said that the integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology enables the use of large amounts of coal to generate electricity with lower emissions than traditional pulverized coal technology and with the ability to capture carbon today for storage or enhanced oil recovery.

GE is working with Stanwell and Xstrata Coal to develop the project. GE has said that the coal supply and a long-term CO2 storage solution are critical aspects of the project, and Xstrata is working co-operatively with the consortium to identify and secure long term solutions that will serve the project.

Steve Bolze, president of GE Energy Power & Water, said: “Wandoan power project is based on GE’s commercially available IGCC technologies that have been operating for decades around the world and are being used at the 630 MW commercial plant under construction for Duke Energy at Edwardsport, Indiana in the US.”

China’s Huaneng Group and Duke Energy sign clean coal deal

US company Duke Energy and Chinese power producer China Huaneng Group teamed up to develop technology for clean coal and for the capture and storage greenhouse gases.

The memorandum of understanding will include information exchange and exploration of long-term cooperative plans to develop renewable electricity sources and decrease coal plant emissions, Duke Energy said.

Huaneng has built the first carbon capture demonstration facility in China, and is building a bigger CO2 capturing facility in Shanghai that will become operational by the end of 2009, plus a 250 MW IGCC plant in Tianjin.

Mahagenco, BHEL to build thermal power plant in Maharashtra

Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (Mahagenco) and Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) have signed a memorandum of understanding for setting up a joint venture company to build, own and operate a 2 x 660 MW thermal power plant with supercritical parameters at Latur in Maharashtra, India.

The agreement also contains an enabling provision that in case of unavailability of coal linkage, but availability of gas, the parties may consider setting up a 1500 MW gas fired power plant, instead.

The first unit of the coal based power plant could be online within 48 months of the order being placed.

Australia’s AGL gets go-ahead for 360 MW gas fired plant

Approval has been given to build a gas fired power station in Sydney’s southwest despite opposition from local councillors and residents.

The NSW government has approved the A$200m ($167m) AGL peaking plant at Leafs Gully. The government says the plant is necessary to generate the additional electricity needed to secure the state’s energy supply. Construction of the peaking plant, which will only be used in periods of high demand, is expected to take two years and create up to 145 jobs. Planning Minister Kristina Keneally said approval for the plant was given on the basis that it has a maximum generation capacity of 360 MW and will be in operation no more than 15 per cent of the year.

Any plans to further expand the plant will be assessed on how well AGL meets certain benchmarks once the station is operational, she said. “One of the significant issues raised by the community during the extended, 60-day public exhibition period, was that the power stations’ capacity might increase after initial approval for 360 MW,” Ms Keneally said.

Japan fast-breeder reactor set for early 2010 restart

Japan’s experimental fast-breeder nuclear reactor, which has been shut since December 1995, will be restarted as early as February 2010 after repeated delays in final safety checks, according to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).

The 280 MW Monju plant, designed to produce more nuclear fuel than it consumes, was shut following a massive leak of liquid sodium just months after the reactor first started power transmission.

A JAEA spokesman said the company’s top executive told the local Fukui Prefecture earlier in the day that the restart is scheduled by the end of March at the latest.

Hong Kong wind farm EIA aproved

CLP Power Hong Kong and wind energy company Wind Prospect have welcomed the approval of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on the proposed wind farm to be located offshore of Hong Kong.

The approval of the EIA signifies that building a commercial scale offshore wind farm of up to 200 MW in the south-eastern waters of Hong Kong is environmentally acceptable.

Alex Tancock, general manager of Wind Prospect HK, said: “We hope a full business case will be ready for assessment by 2011.”

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Australia: Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems has received an order for 37 units of the V90-3MW wind turbine for Waterloo wind farm project in South Australia. The shipment of the turbines is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2009, with site delivery and installation to take place in 2010.

Australia: ETSA Utilities is proposing to invest A$2.8bn ($2.3bn) in expanding and improving South Australia’s electricity distribution network over the next five years – more than double the 2005-2010 investment.

China: GE Energy has signed a $115m, long-term service agreement with Fujian Jinjiang Gas Power. The nine-year agreement covers four Frame 9FA gas turbines at the Fujian Jinjiang plant, located on the coast of the Taiwan Strait.

China: Guangdong province intends to increase its nuclear power generating capacity to 24 GW by 2020, said Li Miaojuan, director of Guangdong Development and Reform Commission. The country is considering raising its target for installed nuclear power generating capacity to 86 GW by 2020, double its previous goal of 40 GW.

China: The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has established a national network to observe wind power. The newly-operational network consists of 400 anemometer towers, ranging in height from 70 metres to 120 metres.

India: Kerala State Electricity Board has invited tenders from consultancy firms for the preparation of a detailed feasibility report for its proposed 1000 MW natural gas based combined-cycle power plant at Brahmapuram in Kochi.

India: The chairman of the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Debashish Majumdar expects India to invest 1 trn rupees ($21bn) over a five-year period ending March 2012 in renewable power generation.

Japan: J Power is investing 1bn yen ($10m) on preparing its Matsura power plant in Nagasaki to handle up to 100 000 metric tonnes/year of biomass pellets.

Vietnam: Toshiba and Sojitz have won a 11bn yen ($116m) order to supply two 600 MW steam turbines for the Vung Ang 1 coal power plant, to be delivered by November 2011.

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