GE sees 510 GW of need in asia in coming decade

Although difficult financing and regulatory development issues have slowed private power plant projects in China and India, GE Power Systems Asia expects the Asian market to order more than 510 GW of power in the next 10 years.

“This explosive growth in abundant, reliable and economical electric power will serve as the spark that fuels a new industrial age throughout Asia,” said Delbert L. Williamson, GE Asia president, at the 1995 Asia Pacific Energy and Power Conference II.

GE`s long-range forecast, an in-depth review of 92 major countries over a 10-year period, takes into consideration a wide range of data.

Williamson said, of the technologies to be installed, steam turbines will be the predominant technology, primarily because of the vast coal reserves in China and India, coupled with their associated lack of significant quantities of natural gas. He predicts gas turbines, both simple- and combined-cycle, will account for an increasingly large percentage of the equipment to be installed, followed by hydro and nuclear plants.

Other predictions include:

– The world`s largest power generation market, China will account for nearly 170 GW of new orders over the coming decade, with the vast majority of the additions from in-country sources. GE anticipates 3 to 4 GW available annually to foreign parties. Natural gas is in short supply, but heavy fuels are readily available.

– Orders exceeding 70 GW are predicted in India, as the shortfall in power has depressed overall economic growth in previous years.

– The Indonesian government is encouraging private investors by supporting 40 percent to 50 percent of new power from the private sector. Electrical load growth continues to run at more than two times the economic growth rate.

– A significant opportunity is seen in Japan in the next decade, as GE predicts 85 GW of new orders there. Japan has a maturing economy with low reserve margins and a growing need for more peaking capacity. Also, GE notes Japanese utilities are planning to increase the proportion of both nuclear and combined-cycle plants in their installed base.

– Strong economic growth is expected for South Korea, with nearly 35 GW of orders predicted. A shortage of installed capacity exists and power plants are being used at record levels.

“In addition to activity throughout larger markets in Asia, we`re now witnessing a new explosion of private power in markets such as Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand, while Malaysia continues to move ahead with its private power programs,” Williamson said.