Business briefs and new business

ESCA Corp. changed its name to Cegelec ESCA Corp. to formally distinguish itself as a business unit of Paris-based Cegelec.

Krebs Engineers, USA, has formed a subsidiary company, Krebs Engineers Brasil, in Taboao da Serra, Brazil, to market the company`s line of hydrocyclone separators.

Sri Lanka`s electricity board has offered a credit line as an incentive for businesses there to generate their own electricity, following a lack of monsoon rains. The (US)$3.9 million line of credit from the Ceylon Electricity Board will fund the cost of electric generators and energy-conservation equipment, plus provide tax concessions.

Siemens AG, Germany, is considering cutting its Singapore operations following a recent five-year government ban from official contracts over a corruption case. Siemen`s spokesman denies any wrongdoing on the company`s part and said the company is seeking clarification of the extent of the ban.

Turkey has arranged a (US)$20 million loan form the European Investment Bank to finance part of a five-nation Middle East power grid project, worth (US)$590 million. Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey have been considering the grid since 1989, which should allow reserve electricity transfer among the countries by early 1998.

National Power Corp., the Philippines state-owned utility, has announced an 18.02 centavos per kWh rate increase to accommodate rising fuel costs.

India and Nepal have ratified a treaty to share water and electricity from the Tanakpur project on the Mahakali River. The hydroelectric project is built on India`s land which has been leased to Nepal. The two countries are also negotiating the 6,000-MW Pancheswar project which would take (US)$5 billion and eight years to build.

Rolls-Royce`s subsidiary International Combustion has won the Queen`s Award for Environmental Achievement 1996 for its work in reducing power station emissions. The award, for the development of a range of EnviroNOx burners which significantly reduce NOx gases, is the third Queen`s Award won by the company in six years.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Europe Ltd. (MHIE) is opening a liaison office in Istanbul, Turkey. MHIE, headquartered in London, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Moody`s Investors Service has assigned a Aaa rating to the Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc.`s bonds offering due in 2000. The rating is based on the company`s importance to the national economy and its favorable industry operating environment. Moody`s also rated the Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc. bonds, due in 2016, at Aaa.

A CMS Energy Corp.-led consortium has announced its successful bid in the privatization of Empresa Distribuidora de Electricidad de Entre Rios S.A. (EDEER), the electric distribution utility servicing northeastern Argentina`s Entre Rios Province, 100 km north of Buenos Aires. The consortium bid (US)$160.8 million for 90-percent interest in the utility. The EDEER employees hold the remaining 10 percent.