Huaneng to pay $1.23bn for 50 per cent stake in InterGen

China Huaneng Group will pay $1.23bn to buy GMR Group’s entire share in InterGen a US-based power utility in a deal that is expected to close in the first half of next year.

GMR, which bought a 50 per cent stake in Intergen for $1.1bn in October 2008, is currently divesting to focus on the Indian market, said the Indian group, whose assets range from airports to highways.

Chinese electricity companies are expanding overseas as state-controlled prices prevent them from passing on fuel costs to consumers. Huaneng is building on its $3.1bn acquisition of Singapore’s Tuas Power Limited in March 2008 with the InterGen purchase, gaining access to 12 plants in the UK, Mexico, the Netherlands, Australia and the Philippines.

China Huaneng is also among potential bidders for A$8bn ($7.7bn) of power assets being sold by Australia’s New South Wales. The state said in November it has closed bids for the assets, without identifying potential buyers.

Shaw and Toshiba expand partnership to push ABWR nuclear technology

Shaw Group and Toshiba have announced a partnership giving Shaw certain exclusive opportunities for providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for new Toshiba Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) nuclear power plants worldwide, except Japan and Vietnam.

Shaw will immediately become EPC contractor for Nuclear Innovation North America’s (NINA) South Texas Project Expansion, which will use ABWR technology in two new nuclear units.

Shaw will invest $250m for the alliance, $100m of which will be available as a credit facility for NINA in the project. The credit facility will convert to equity in NINA under certain conditions.

GE engages in Chinese smart grid and infrastructure joint ventures

GE and State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), China’s top power distributor, have announced plans for several joint ventures.

GE, which plans to invest $2bn in China through 2012, will develop and implement grid efficiency and reliability improvements with Wuhan Nari, a subsidiary of SGCC.

GE and Electric Power of Shanghai (EPS), controlled by SGCC, will also jointly acquire a 77.5 per cent controlling stake in Shanghai Tianling Switchgear.

The acquisition is intended to competitively reposition Tianling in the $10bn global medium- and low-voltage switchgear industry. GE claims the deal will help China deploy and deliver cleaner and more efficient infrastructure projects, such as high-speed rail and electric vehicles.

European Court bars Portuguese government’s ‘golden share’ in EDP

The golden share held in Energias de Portugal (EDP) by the Portuguese government is unlawful and unjustified, the European Court of Justice has ruled.

The European Union’s highest court described the special share as “contrary to the principles of free movement of capital and freedom of establishment” because it gives Portugal’s government an unjustified influence over the company.

The Portuguese state owns almost 26 per cent of the share capital in EDP, which was privatized progressively between 1997 and 2006. But its golden share gives the government a veto and the right to object to the election of directors to EDP’s board.

ABB invests in ocean energy firm Aquamarine Power

ABB has invested close to $13m in Aquamarine Power, a Scottish firm that has developed technology to convert wave energy into electricity.

The group sees sales potential in the marine energy market for its power systems and power electronics, as well as its medium-voltage drives.

Aquamarine’s offshore Oyster device uses a hinged mechanical flap to pipe high-pressure water to an onshore turbine for power generation

In November 2009, the first full-scale demonstrator began producing power at the European Marine Energy Centre in the Orkney Islands.

Once commercialized, the Oyster wave power devices could be deployed in farms rated at 100 MW or more.

Alstom’s Ocean Energy business established at Nantes

Alstom has inaugurated the new premises of Alstom Hydro’s Ocean Energy activities in Nantes, the historical home of Frances’ shipbuilding industry.

Alstom also revealed details of the Beluga 9, its first tidal generating turbine, which will undergo tests in 2012 in Canada and is suited to water depths of 30 metres or more. The Ocean Energy business was created in 2009, after a technology-licensing contract with Clean Current of Canada.

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Aggreko buys Northland: The temporary power and temperature control company has acquired Northland Power Services, a provider of power solutions to the oil and gas exploration market in the Rocky Mountains region of the USA.

E.ON offloads Gazprom interest: German energy giant has sold its 3.5 per cent stake in the Russian gas firm, with 0.8 per cent placed in the market and 2.7 per cent taken by Vnesheconombank. E.ON said its proceeds stood at €3.4bn ($.5bn) for a book gain of around €2.5bn.

Fortum Polish takeover: Finnish company Fortum is to pay €20.6m ($27.28m) for 85 per cent stakes in state-owned energy firms Elektrocieplownia Zabrze SA and Zespol Elektrocieplowni Bytom SA.

Fortum, Rosatom MOU: Fortum, Finland leading utility, and the Russian state atomic energy corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding on co-operation in future nuclear power projects.

Ireland considers privatizations: Ireland is to review its electricity and gas sectors with a view to enhancing their efficiency, and then identifying potential targets for privatization such as Bord Gais and ESB.

Lloyd’s Register EDF role: Lloyd’s Register Agave Limited, a new joint venture between Lloyd’s Register EMEA and Apave Sud-Europe, has been appointed by EDF Energy as its independent third-party inspection agency to support the construction of nuclear power plants.

Marine reactor research: A consortium of British, American and Greek interests including Lloyd’s Register, Enterprises Shipping and Trading, Hyperion Power Generation and BMT aims to examine marine applications for small modular reactors (SMRs).

MHI buys up Artemis: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has purchased the entire equity of Artemis Intelligent Power Limited, an R&D and engineering firm in the UK with hydraulic power drive technology that can be applied to wind turbines and power generation engines as well as rail and ship-related products.

Mitsubishi wind investment: Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe plans to invest £100m ($158m) to create a centre for advanced technology in Edinburgh that would provide a R&D hub for offshore wind technology.

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