ASIA-PACIFIC

China’s State Grid plans major UHV power line expansionà‚ 

State Grid Corporation of China has unveiled plans to build a network of ultra high-voltage (UHV) power transmission lines in northern, eastern and central China to improve the country’s transmission capacity.

The construction of this UHV networks is expected to take place during the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-15). Cross-province transmission capacity in China is expected to exceed 400 GW by 2020, and the development of UHV lines can help meet that target, said Liu Zhenya, president of State Grid.

The majority of the country’s coal mines are located in northern China and a large part of the country’s water resources are in southwestern regions. Power generated in these regions can be sent to the high load centres in eastern and southern regions more effectively through UHV lines.

Most of China’s major power lines currently have a capacity of 500 kV. However, State Grid’s first UHV line, with a capacity of 1000 kV, went into operation in January last year. The line, linking Shanxi, Henan and Hubei provinces, has a total length of 640 km.

The company’s second UHV line, linking a hydropower plant in Sichuan province with Shanghai came online in July of this year.

Vestas lands turbine order for largest wind power project in Australia

Vestas has signed a contract for the delivery of 140 of its V112-3.0 MW turbines for the 420 MW Macarthur project, which once operational will be Australia’s largest wind power facility.

The Macarthur project is being jointly developed by AGL Energy Limited and Meridian. AGL is a publicly listed electricity generator and retailer operating in the Australian market, while Meridian is the largest state-owned renewable energy generator and retailer in New Zealand and a renewable energy developer in Australia.

Japan to develop bigger, longer-lasting nuclear reactors to replace old models

Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are among several companies that are working with the Japanese government on a $645m project to develop longer-lasting large-scale reactors by 2030.

The government and companies, which also include GE-Hitachi, will share the cost of developing the 1800 MW light water reactors with 80-year lifespans for use in Japan and for export, according to a draft assessment report recently submitted to a nuclear power committee.

Japan’s utilities to invest up to$7.2bn in building smart grid

Japanese utilities plan to spend 600bn yen ($7.2bn) in building smart grids over the next ten years.

One of the main drivers of this investment is to create a power network that is able to accommodate a greater input from solar power sources.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) plans to install 100 000 sensor equipped smart switches, as well as voltage regulators. These next generation smart switches maintain the power quality by activating regulators when voltage fluctuations occur.

Other utilities are planning the introduction of similar equipment in an effort to keep pace with the government’s plans to boost solar power generation to 28 GW by 2020.

Many of the companies are also working towards replacing old electricity meters in 50m households. Tepco and Kansai Electric Power Company, for example, are aleady installing smart meters for some of their customers.

Foster Wheeler bags CFB contract in Indonesia

Foster Wheeler has been awarded a contract by Daewoo Engineering for the design and supply of two circulating fluidized bed (CFB) steam generators for PT Merak Energi.

The project is located in Banten province on the western part of Java Island, and commercial operation of the steam generators is scheduled for the third quarter of 2012.

Foster Wheeler will design and supply the two 60 MW CFB steam generators and auxiliary equipment, and provide site advisory services for the project. The CFB steam generators will be designed to burn local coal.

GE-Hitachi and Tata eye nuclear opportunities

GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH)has signed a preliminary agreement with India’s Tata Consulting Engineers to explore potential project design and personnel opportunities.

As GEH prepares for potential ESBWR projects in India and other countries the agreement sets the stage for the companies to collaborate in areas such as workforce skills identification and development, as well as early feasibility design studies, product and project engineering work.

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China: Beijing has hit its annual target for the closure of obsolete and inefficient coal fired power stations. A total of 486 facilities with a combined capacity of around 11 GW were shutdown by mid-July.

China: Criticality of the first China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) has been achieved. The fast neutron reactor is a small sodium cooled unit near Beijing. The next step is the development of a 600 MW demo fast reactor by 2020 and then a commercial version by 2030.

India: Siemens has delivered the first of 11 transformers it is building for the high voltage direct current transmission system for Adani Power Limited. The converter transformer is rated 500 MVA and has an operating voltage of 500 kV.

India: The 3000 MW Talcher thermal power station, the second largest power plant in the country, is set to increase its capacity with the addition of another 500 MW unit, according to NTPC. The request for tenders is expected in December and the project is due to be completed within five years.

Japan: Power project developer J-Power is to replace two ageing coal fired power plants in Hiroshima Prefecture with a single 600 MW ultra-supercritical biomass co-fired plant. The new plant is expected to enter operation in 2020.

Malaysia: Lahad Datu Energy Sdn Bhd, majority owned by Tenga Nasional Bhd, plans to submit a revised environment impact assessment to the Department of the Environment for its proposed 300 MW coal fired power plant in the state of Sabah. The original proposal was rejected in 2008.

Philippines: Redondo Peninsula, a joint venture between Aboitiz Power and Taiwan Cogeneration International Corporation, is to pursue plans to construct a 300 MW coal fired power plant in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, citing favourable market conditions for the project.

Thailand: Egat has signed a memorandum of understanding with Laos’ Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant project for a 27-year power purchase agreement. The plant is due to go onlinein 2018.

Vietnam: Construction of Vinh Tan 2, the first thermal power plant in the south of the country, has begun in Binh Thuan province’s Tuy Phong district. The project is worth $1.2bn and the plant has a designed capacity of 1244 MW.

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