Business briefs and new business

National Power plc, of the United Kingdom, is working on a 1,200-MW thermal project in Visakhapatnam, India, under a joint-venture agreement with the Andra Pradesh State Electricity Board.

The 50-MW coal-fired project planned by SAIL, Larsen & Toubro and Community Energy Alternatives, to supply power to Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) is in trouble. According to reports, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has asked for an alternative plant location due to atmospheric pollution in the area. Another possible problem is the concept of the “captive” plant, which would supply BSP with as much as 180 MW, while selling excess power to Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board. Apparently SAIL is encountering difficulties in nailing down an acceptable sales price in negotiations with the state board.

Three projects are under way in Korba, India. The government and Daewoo signed a power purchase agreement last fall for a 1,000-MW coal-based plant. Other local projects include a 300-MW naphtha-based site in Gwalior and a 500-MW coal-fired project. All three plants are waiting for environmental clearance.

Moody`s Investors Services has assigned a Baa3 rating to Eskom`s bond series, due October 2000. Moody`s stated that the rating is dependent upon Eskom`s dominant position in South Africa`s electricity sector, the widespread recognition of the need to maintain Eskom`s operations on a commercial basis, its sound business characteristics and adequate debt protection measurements relative to risk.

Valmet Automation has established four new sales and customer support units in Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Telephone numbers are: Indonesia, 6221-848-0138; Korea, 822-417-7032; Taiwan, 8863-357-5254; Thailand, 662-712-6248.

GEC Alsthom has moved headquarters. The new location is 38 Avenue Kleber, 75116 Paris, France, 331-4755-2656 (phone).