ASIA-PACIFIC

PLN to tender Sumatra to Java interconnection in mid-2010

Indonesian state power company PT PLN is planning to invest $2.2bn in a 700 km power interconnection between the islands of Sumatra and Java including 40 km of underwater power cables passing through the Sunda Strait.

PLN will issue a tender for the project mid-2010 and is aiming for the project to be completed in 2016.

The cables will transmit power produced by six coal fired power plants in South Sumatra to PLN’s distribution network in West Java to avoid the necessity to build large power plants in Java. Of the 3600 MW produced by the six plants, 3000 MW will be directed to Java. The Japan International Cooperation Agency is providing a soft loan for 80 per cent of the investment, with the remaining 20 per cent being financed by PLN.

PLN is currently pursuing two capacity expansion programmes, each to add 10 000 MW to the grid. The first programme will rely entirely on coal fired power plants, with hydroelectric power being used for the second programme.

Thai ministry to study wind power resources

Thailand’s Ministry of Energy is to initiate a feasibility study into the scope for wind power generation in the country, as a means to reduce its dependence of imported gas for power generation. The last study conducted a decade ago concluded that Thailand’s wind resources were limited, but since then technology for harvesting wind has improved significantly.

Most of the highland areas are owned by state agencies, so the government plans to auction wind concessions using an independent power producer model. Silpakorn University has been appointed to conduct the new survey, which is scheduled to be completed within the first quarter of next year.

Under Thailand renewable power development plan for 2007-2022, wind power capacity will increase from around 1 MW currently to 115 MW by 2011, 375 MW in 2016 and 800 MW in 2022.

PNOC seeks partners for mini-hydro projects

PNOC Renewables Corporation, the renewable energy development unit of state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC), is seeking local or foreign private sector partners to develop at least 11 mini-hydropower projects. The projects have an estimated aggregate capacity of 200-300 MW and two of these, the 6.8 MW Langogan and the 7 MW Palawan projects, are already in advanced stages of development.

South Korea to spend $1.2bn on CCS research and development

South Korea’s government has announced a wide-ranging carbon capture and storage (CCS) research and development programme that will see it invest directly in a number of high-profile pilot projects.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said it will spend $85.5m by 2013 on R&D, as well as set up a consortium to build a pilot 500 MW power plant by 2015 to gauge the feasibility of CCS.

A further $1.1bn would be given to Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) by 2020 to further its CCS studies. KEPCO announced plans to spend $2.4bn on clean energy technologies, including CCS.

The ministry said the scheme is part of government efforts to reduce the nation’s CO2 output by more than 90 per cent on current levels by 2020. The ministry recently released figures showing that South Korea’s carbon emissions grew by 113 per cent between 1990 and 2007. The government is to set a CO2 emissions target by year-end.

The country’s environment minister recently indicated officials are likely to choose a goal of four per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Russian eye West Bengal as site for nuclear project

Russia is poised to develop a second nuclear power plant in eastern India following talks between New Delhi’s Atomic Energy Commission and Rosatom.

Official sources say the Haripur site in West Bengal has been earmarked for Russian participation and could house up to eight Russian VVER-series reactor units.

Russia’s Atomstroyexport is already in advanced stages of commissioning the first phase of the Koodankulam project in Tamil Nadu that consists of two VVER 1000 MW units. Russian nuclear fuel firm TVEL Corporation will the deliver the uranium fuel.

Toshiba completes carbon capture pilot plant in Japan

Toshiba has constructed a pilot plant to develop carbon capture technology.

Research will formally commence at the plant, located in Mikawa power plant, Omuta City, Japan.

The plant will deploy Toshiba’s latest advances in separation and capture technology in order to capture ten tonnes of CO2 a day from the live boiler flue gas of the coal fired thermal power plant.

The pilot plant will be used to verify the performance and operation of the system when practically applied to thermal power plants.

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Australia: A new poll has found that almost half of Australians surveyed believe nuclear power should be considered as an alternative source of energy to help combat climate change. Three years ago, only one-third of respondents held that view.

Australia: Spain’s Acciona has completed its biggest ever windpark project, a 192 MW facility at Waubra in the State of Victoria, representing an investment of around A$450m ($414m) and featuring 128 AW-1500 wind turbines.

China: Beijing plans to suspend the registration of new wind power generator manufacturers to prevent excess production capacity.

India: India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation and Himachal Pradesh-based Satlej Jal Vidyut Nigam are to build the Tipaimuk 1500 MW hydroelectric power plant in Manipur, following the withdrawal of the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation.

India: The government of Karnataka is planning to build gas fired power plants, with a total capacity of 5000 MW, and is in discussions with GAIL to source gas supplies.

India: The Indian government has submitted proposals to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission, inviting it to approve an increase in the power tariff of Rs 0.50 ($0.01) per unit.

Sri Lanka: The Ceylon Electricity Board has approved a 50 MW wind power development in the northwestern Puttalam area of the island involving five groups, each constructing 10 MW of capacity.

Thailand: Despite a 25 per cent reserve margin, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) has warned of more power blackouts next year as demand rises on the back of economic recovery and in the light of constraints in fuel gas supplies.

Vietnam: Work on the construction of a 220 MW hydropower plant involving an investment of over $322m has commenced in Kon Plong district, in the central highland province of Kon Tum, with completion scheduled for 2014.

Vietnam: Shanghai Electric Corporation has won an EPC contract worth $1.4bn to build the 1224 MW Vinh Tan 2 coal fired power plant for Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) in Vietnam’s central province of Binh Thuan.

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