RWE to establish renewables company

German utility RWE has announced plans to establish a dedicated renewables company called RWE Innogy. The new organization, to be headed by Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, will start operating on 1 February, 2008.

RWE intends to invest €1bn ($1.5bn) each year from 2008 to expand it renewables activities. The main focus, the company says, will be on onshore and offshore wind in Europe.

RWE already operates a 60 MW offshore wind farm at North Hoyle, UK, and is planning a 750 MW offshore wind farm.

In addition the company is hoping to expand its hydropower and biomass portfolio and it has said it intends to actively pursue other renewable technologies such as solar, geothermal, wave and tidal power. It will be looking for new technology firms with promising developments in which it can invest.

GE acquires stake in Indian PP developer

GE Financial Services (GEFS) has taken a 26 per cent stake in Sayi Power Energy Ltd, the company which owns Indian power project developer KSK Power Venture plc, for an undisclosed sum.

KSK Power Venture currently has eight power plants under construction or in operation with a total generating capacity of 875 MW. Other projects planned between now and 2012 have an aggregate capacity of 3200 MW.

GEFS has identified significant market potential in India which it wishes to exploit through its interest in KSK Power Venture. Earlier this year it made a $17m loan to Binani Cement Ltd for construction of a 22.3 MW captive thermal power plant in Rajasthan.

The country requires an additional 100 GW of generating capacity to meet demand. The investment necessary to build this capacity, together with associated transmission and distribution system expansion, has been put at $200bn.

Siemens maps out low emissions future for Asia

Asia presents the toughest global energy challenge over the next twenty years according to Siemens executive vice president, Uriel Sharef.

Speaking at the World Energy Congress 2007, he reported forecasts suggesting an annual growth in energy demand of four per cent until 2030, by which time the region will account for nearly half the world’s total energy consumption.

Sharef’s prescription for Asia is a low-emission base load supply using coal fired power plants, nuclear plants and hydropower. This will be complemented with renewable sources and highly efficient gas fired plants able to compensate for the fluctuations in power from renewable sources.

Under this fossil fuel rich scenario, improvements in energy efficiency will be a key tool to reduce emissions.

Carbon capture and storage technology will also play a crucial role. Thus coal combustion would remain a strategic pillar of the global energy mix for a long time.

Suez expands its wind expertise

Suez, through its subsidiary Electrabel, has acquired a 50.1 per cent of Compagnie de Vent, a French wind energy company, for €321m ($475m). After a rights issue reserved for Suez, this holding will be raised to 56.8 per cent. The founder of Compagnie de Vent, Jean-Michel Germa, retains the remainder of the capital.

Compagnie du Vent has 148 MW of wind turbine capacity in operation or at an advanced stage of construction, which includes 180 wind turbines across France. By 2015 it hopes to raise its turbine production capacity to 2000 MW annually. It is also involved in bio-fuels through its subsidiary Biocar.

Suez, meanwhile, already owns 30 wind farms in Europe with a combined capacity of 550 MW. A further 210 MW are under construction.

CDC sells Globeleq for $528m

CDC has sold Globeleq Ltd to a consortium of Tanjong Energy Holdings (Malaysia) and Aljomaih for $528m. The sale involves the company’s operating power businesses in North Africa and Asia, but not its projects under development or its sub-Saharan power businesses. These will provide a platform for the continuationof Globeleq Generation Ltd.

Globeleq was established in 2002, and has targeted power supply to emerging markets in Africa, the Americas and Asia. CDC, (formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation) is a UK government-owned fund of funds.

Privatization of Jordanian power sector continues

Kingdom Electricity has purchased 100 per cent of the shares in the Electricity Distribution Company (EDCO) and 55.4 per cent of the shares in Irbid District Electricity Company (IDECO). The deal represents another stage in the privatization of the Jordanian electricity sector.

Kingdom Electricity was set up by JD Energy & Infrastructure (JDEI) together with the Kuwait Privatization Projects Holding Co and United Arab Investors. JDEI has also purchased a controlling stake in Jordan’s Central Electricity Generating Company through its subsidiary Enara.

EDCO supplies electric power to the east and south of Jordan and to the Jordan Valley, while IDECO distributes electricity to the northern part of the country.

. . .

Gazprom power partnership: E.ON has mooted the idea of building power plants in the UK, Germany and Hungary in partnership with Gazprom. The German company is already the largest foreign shareholder in the Russian gas giant.

MHI turbine JV: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is to establish a joint venture with Larsen and Toubro Ltd to manufacture, sell and service steam turbines and generators in India. Called L&T-MHI Turbine Generators, the new company will commence manufacturing in 2009.

CEZ merger finalized: CEZ has completed the merger of its three Bulgarian power distribution companies. The move, aimed at reducing costs and improving efficiency, was authorised by the Sofia City Court. CEZ bought a 67 per cent stake in the three firms for $416m in 2005.

Chile distribution sale: PPL has sold its 95.4 per cent stake in Chilean distribution company Empresas Emel to Compania General de Electricidad for $660m. The sale ends the US company’s involvement in Latin America. Emel serves customers in central and northern Chile while Compania General de Electricidad owns utilities in both Chile and Argentina.

Italian wind venture: Iberdrola Renewables and API Nova Energia have each taken a 50 per cent stake in Societa Energie Rinnovabili, a joint venture which will develop wind farms in Italy. The company plans to establish seven wind farms in Sicily and the Puglia region of Italy in 2008 and 2009.

SSE enters Ireland: Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) will enter the Irish electricity market after the Irish energy regulator awarded the company a license to sell electricity and gas there. The move follows the formation of a single electricity market in Ireland in November this year.

US-China clean coal JV: US company Clean Coal Technologies has teamed up with the ShanxiPower Group to create a joint venture company that will sell clean coal technology in China. The new company will be established with an estimated $100m in capital.

Taweelah stake: Marubeni Corp is to take a 40 per cent stake in the Taweelah A2 power and water desalination project in Abu Dhabi. The deal, following an international bidding process, will give Marubeni the right to operate the plant.

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