Tepco falls into state control as $12bn bailout is approved

Beleaguered Tokyo Electric Power Co, owner of the Fukushima power plant, will be taken over by the Japanese government after a $12.5bn bailout was approved.

Without state intervention, Tepco ” Japan’s biggest utility which supplies power to 45 million people ” would certainly collapse.

The bailout money means that since the Fukushima disaster last year the government has pumped more than $36bn into Tepco.

“Without the state funds, Tepco cannot provide a stable supply of electricity and pay for compensation and decommissioning costs,” Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano said after approving the bailout.

The government will have more than half of Tepco’s voting shares, according to the plan approved by Edano. It will also take convertible stock that, when converted, will increase the government’s control to more than two thirds.

Tepco chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata will be replaced by a government-chosen official. Already this week the company has appointed a new president ” Naomi Hirose’s ” the second since Fukushima.

Japan currently has no operational nuclear plants, following a wave of safety checks in the wake of last year’s reactor disaster.

China State Grid plans sale of coal power unit to Shenhua for $7.9bn

The State Grid Corp of China (SGCC), the country’s largest power transmission and distribution firm, plans to sell a coal and power generation unit with assets worth about 50 billion yuan ($7.9 billion) to Shenhua Group.

The sale of State Grid Energy Development has yet to be approved by the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

Shenhua Group is the parent of China Shenhua Energy Corp, which runs a big network of power plants and produces the largest volume of coal among Chinese miners.

Asia targeted by nuclear support firm

Nuclear engineering company Nuvia has teamed up with consultancy Parsons Brinckerhoff to launch a technical support service to the nuclear new build market in Asia.

The joint venture will provide support to utilities, regulators and government departments which are embarking on new build programmes.

The estimated spend on global nuclear over the next 20 years is around à‚£600bn ($968bn), with more than 30 countries seeking to implement their first new build programmes.

Mumbai PV success edges Asian Bank to solar target

India’s largest photovoltaic solar power plant has started generating electricity to thousands of households and businesses in Mumbai.

The 350-acre, $147.5m Dahanu plant, in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, was developed by India’s Reliance Power.

Jaisalmer has one of the highest levels of solar irradiation in the country, making it ideal for the plant’s 500,000 solar panels.

The facility was built with the help of a $48m loan from the Asian Development Bank, which has set a target of developing, financing, or commissioning 3000 MW of solar power in Asia by May 2013.

It is also lending $103m to Reliance Power to help build the Rajasthan Concentrating Solar Power Project, which will be adjacent to the Dahanu plant, and is financing a transmission line and substation for a solar park in Charanka in Gujarat.

In a bid to reduce risk to the private sector, the bank has also set up a financing facility to provide partial credit guarantees to lenders willing to fund solar projects of up to 25 MW.

Australian wave project wins funds

Carnegie Wave Energy has secured grants to support its $32m grid-connected CETO wave energy project which will be located near Perth in Western Australia.

The Western Australian government provided A$5.5m ($5.6m) for the project as part of the state’s low emissions energy development program.

The wave energy developer said it also secured $16.5m equity funding from the Australian Special Opportunity Fund, a US-based institutional investor to support the project.

The 2 MW project is due to be added to the grid by the end of 2013.

Asian launch for new smart module

Echelon has launched a new control module to be rolled out in its Asian smart meter markets.

The module will be provided to partners serving China, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia, and is aimed at expanding their reach from smart meters to a whole array of smart grid devices.

China is going to need about 300 million smart meters over the next five years, according to government targets, and Brazil wants to deploy 65 million smart meters by the end of the decade.

India: NTPC has more than halved its capacity addition target for the next five years. Arup Roy Choudhury, chairman of India’s largest power producer by capacity, said NTPC is now aiming to add 14 GW until March 2017, down from the 29 GW it planned previously. The state-run company currently has a capacity of 37.5 GW.

India: The Indian government has ordered Coal India to supply coal to all power plants to be commissioned in the next year. A senior coal ministry official said Coal India can achieve this target if it achieves production targets and liquidates about 70 m tonnes of stock lying at its mines.

Malaysia: Continental Energy Corporation, an emerging international energy company operating in Southeast Asia, has bought a 10 per cent stake in Tawau Green Energy, a privately held a geothermal energy developer based in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

New Zealand: The largest solar plant in New Zealand is now operational for owner South Auckland Forging Engineering, which expects 70 per cent of its power needs to be met by the facility.

Thailand: The Thai government has frozen energy prices in a bid to curb inflation. Its Energy Policy Committee agreed to delay planned increases in the price of compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas for three months.

South Korea: South Korea has approved a cap-and-trade system to cut carbon emissions. The National Assembly passed a bill to establish a cap-and- trade system in the country by 2015 with the backing of both ruling and opposition parties, according to the assembly’s webcast of the main session today.

Sri Lanka: Plans are underway to set up 200km of submarine cables between India and Sri Lanka to deliver 1000 MW of electricity.

Pakistan: Pakistan is to build four nuclear reactors over the next five years. The first three will each boast a capacity of 1000 MW, while the latter two will generate 325 MW.

Pakistan: Pakistan and China are to sign agreements for two wind power projects. The two projects will be located in Sindh, Pakistan and will be set up jointly by the two countries’ private sectors.

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