South Korea to invest $7.8bn in 5 GW offshore wind farm project

South Korea is to launch a 9 trn won ($7.8bn) project to build the country’s largest offshore wind power complex.

The Seoul government has said it will build a “proving area” in the Yellow Sea by 2012 to test some 20 turbines from various manufacturers. South Korea will then build an “experimental complex” with 200 5 MW turbines, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

By 2019, the country will have 1000 wind turbines out in the sea, some 30 km off the coast of southwestern South and North Jeolla provinces, with a capacity of up to 5 GW.

“The site was picked for its shallow water, which makes the construction much easier and also cuts the cost significantly,” a ministry official said. The government will finalize plans for the project before the end of this year, according to the minister.

Meanwhile, South Korea will build 11 new nuclear reactors by 2030, in addition to eight reactors currently under construction and 20 reactors in operation. This will increase the proportion of nuclear energy from the current 14 per cent to about 28 per cent of all energy supplies.

Japanese firms develop high temperature superconducting cable

A new type of high-temperature superconducting cable for power transmission has been developed by Tokyo Electric Power Company. (Tepco), Sumitomo and Mayekawa.

The cable is being installed at a Tepco substation, where it will undergo testing probably from November of next year.

The three firms are keen to cut production costs for full-scale introduction of the cable as soon as possible, perhaps by 2016. Tepco estimates 4.8 per cent of its generated electricity is lost en route to homes over the existing power grid.

India’s IGCAR, BHEL & NTPC to develop ultra-supercritical boiler for coal plants

The Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam is to design and develop an 800 MW advanced, ultrasupercritical boiler for use in coal fired power plants.

IGCAR has signed an MoU with manufacturer BHEL and genco NTPC to design and develop the boiler that can operate at 350 bar and 700oC.

The whole project is set to cost about 100bn rupees ($2.2bn), said IGCAR. Construction of the plant is expected to start by 2018.

Mitsubishi abandons plan to build two coal fired power plants in Japan

A unit of the Mitsubishi group, electricity generator and retailer Diamond Power, has abandoned a plan to build two coal fired power plants in Fukushima Prefecture, due to the growing costs associated with keeping down carbon dioxide emissions.

These two plants, each with an output of 200 MW, would have been constructed in the grounds of Nippon Kasei Chemical’s Onahama factory. The partners had been conducting an environmental assessment with a view to bringing the facilities online in 2012.

Diamond Power considered steps such as improving power generation efficiency by 1 per cent and increasing the ratio of biomass fuel from 3–5 per cent to about 10 per cent.

But with construction costs potentially doubling to almost ¥100bn ($1.2bn), the firm decided that the project was no longer viable. To make matters worse, the prospect of a new environmental tax undercuts the cost benefit of coal.

GE forms joint venture with Harbin Electric to manufacture wind turbines in China

GE has formed a joint venture with Harbin Electric Machinery (HEC), a subsidiary of Harbin Power Equipment, to manufacture GE’s near-shore and offshore wind turbines for markets in China.

Harbin Electric will own 51 per cent and GE 49 per cent of the new company. HEC will also purchase a 49 per cent interest in GE’s Shenyang Wind factory.

GE will work with the new joint venture to develop wind turbines for offshore projects in China using direct drive technology.

Alstom steam turbine-generators picked for Chinese nuclear plants

Alstom is to supply equipment and services for six steam turbine-generator packages for three nuclear power plants in China under a contract worth €100m ($135m).

Dongfang Electric Corporation Limited (DECL) placed the order for the Ningde Phase II, Fuqing Phase II and Tianwan Phase III stations. Each plant has two nuclear units: Chinese-designed CPR1000s at Ningde and Fuqing; Russian-designed VVER-1200s at Tianwan.

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China Emerson Process Management is to install its Ovation control system at the two 1 GW ultra-supercritical coal fired Units 5 & 6 under construction at Anhui Tongling power plant. The units are set to be online by February 2011 and May 2011.

India: Foster Wheeler has entered into a 20-year agreement with Saraswati Industrial Syndicate to provide an advanced technology licence for wall fired subcritical and supercritical pulverized coal steam generators to be sold in India.

India: Neyveli Lignite Corporation is to build a 1980 MW (3 x 660 MW) coal plant near Karaikal in Tamil Nadu, its first supercritical project.

Pakistan: Karachi Electric Supply Company raised $280m from International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and local lenders to build the BQPS-2 560 MW gas fired combined-cycle plant at Bin Qasim. The plant is under construction and is due to enter operation in March 2012.

Pakistan: Mott MacDonald, in a joint venture with Coyne et Bellier, has been appointed by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) of Pakistan as design engineer for two 480 MW units for the fourth extension project at Tarbela Dam.

Sri Lanka: The Norochcholai coal power plant will be commissioned on January 1, 2011, adding 300 MW to the national grid in its initial stage, said the power ministry. In total, a 600 MW unit and a 500 MW unit will be added to the power grid by 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Thailand: Gulf JP Company, a subsidiary of Electric Power Development Company of Japan, is to invest in nine gas fired plants in Thailand up to 2014, with a combined capacity of 3 GW. The firm also plans to add 1 GW under the small power producer (SPP) programme.

Thailand: The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) will build a 20bn baht ($663m) gas fired power unit at its North Bangkok plant this year. Egat governor Sutat Patmasiriwat said that construction of the 800 MW unit could start in 2011 for operation from 2015.

Vietnam: Construction of the Mekong Delta’s first wind farm, in Bac Lieu province, has begun. It is being developed by Cong Ly Construction-Trade-Tourism and is expected to cost 4.5tn dong ($231m). Building the wind farm is scheduled to take 36 months.

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