South Africa builds first new plants for 15 years

South Africa’s largest utility, Eskom, has contracted Siemens to build two new power plants to cope with the rise in electricity demand. The facilities will be the first to be built in the country for 15 years.

The $276m contract awarded to Siemens Power Generation will see the company design, manufacture, supply and install seven SGT5-2000E gas turbines for two plants in the Western Cape. The plants, designed to cope with the increased demand for peak load power, will provide around 1050 MW to the national grid when they are commissioned in April 2007, in time for the winter peak season.

A surge in the domestic economy has seen the country’s surplus capacity eroded in recent years as power demand has increased annually by between four and six per cent. Siemens expects that South Africa will have to install between 1000 and 2000 MW per year to meet demand.

ADWEA finds finance for IWPP

ADWEA, the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, has secured the $2.18bn necessary to complete the development of Taweelah B, the country’s fifth Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP).

Over $1.2bn was provided from Japan Bank for International Cooperation and loans for another $940m were agreed with a range of local, regional and international commercial banks.

When the project is completed in 2008, the Taweelah B plant will have a capacity of 2000 MW and 606m litres/day of desalinated water. It currently generates 928 MW and produces 348m litres of water.

A consortium of international companies is developing the Taweelah B plant project on behalf of ADWEA, which has a 60 per cent interest in the development.

World Bank splashes out for West Africa power pool

The World Bank has approved a $350m lending facility that will support the development of a West Africa power pool. The project is seen as an important landmark in creating a unified electricity market for the region.

Aimed at integrating the fragmented national power grids and systems, the West Africa Power Pool was instigated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

One of the first stages of the project the finance will support is the start of the Coastal Transmission Backbone being developed by the Republic of Ghana. The Backbone will reduce the cost of electricity supply and allow electricity to be exchanged between Benin/Togo, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria.

Denmark funds Russian clean up for Emission Reduction Units

Two subsidiaries of the Russian power company, RAO UES, are to sell Emission Reduction Units (ERUs) to the Danish government after the Danish Environmental Protection Agency agreed to provide funding for two power plant modernization projects.

It is the first time the Russian Federation has acted within the mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Danish government will provide part of the €20m ($24m) required to modernize the plants in Khabarovsk Kray and Orenburg in return for the ERUs generated by the reduction of 1.2m tonnes of CO2.

The work will see boilers nine and ten at Amurskaya CHP plant in Khabarovsk Kray converted to gas fuel and the installation of a steam turbine and two gas turbine units with waste heat recovery boilers at the Mednogorskaya CHP plant in Orenburg.

Mitsui Babcock buys Polish firm

UK based Mitsui Babcock has acquired a majority interest in the Polish company Energo-Inwest Sp.z.0.0. from Electrownia Rybnik SA, part of the EDF group.

Energo-Inwest will continue to operate in Poland as a separate company focused on the thermal power generation market. The sale of EDF’s interest gives Mitsui Babcock a 76 per cent stake in the Polish company and a three year option on the remaining 24 per cent.

Rolls-Royce extends Wasit

Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority has contracted Rolls-Royce to provide the generation equipment required to complete the latest phase of its plan to extend the Wasit power plant.

Under the terms of the $40m contract, Rolls-Royce will supply two of its Trent 60 dual-fuel generating sets to provide the Wasit facility with an extra 80 MW.

News digest

Armenia: The World Bank has demanded an explanation from Armenian authorities after it was reported that a subsidiary of Russian utility RAO UES purchased the country’s electricity distribution network for €73m ($87.6m) without conforming to purchase procedures.

Bahrain: The country’s power sector could be liberalized in five years time after the government commissioned a study into the process of turning the Ministry of Electricity into a government commission before opening it up to the private sector.

Czech Republic: State owned power group, CEZ, has been boosted by the government’s decision to give it exclusivity in the re-run privatization of the country’s largest brown coal mine, Severoceske Doly.

Egypt: Malaysian firm Powertek is in talks with EDF to buy its two gas fired thermal plants in Egypt. A deal would see Powertek assume 1366 MW of capacity together with the joint company that operates the plants.

Egypt: Alstom and Initec Energia are to design, supply and install a 260 MW steam turbine generator package for the new 750 MW Talkha combined cycle plant.

Hungary: A Ft1.5bn ($7.3m) biogas power station to be built in central Hungary will use 90 000 tonnes of manure and waste from local farms to generate enough electricity to supply up to 5000 households a year.

Middle East: Construction on the first phase of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s power grid will begin in September. The first phase will link Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.

Romania: Areva T&D has been awarded a €16.6m ($20m) substation automation contract with Romanian transmission system operator, Transelectrica, to modernize the country’s transmission grid.

Russia: Deputy energy minister, Ivan Materov, has said Russia was interested in increasing gas exports to Europe via the projected North European gas pipeline.

Saudi Arabia: National Power Corporation has welcomed the commercial operation of the country’s first Independent Power Plant. The Build, Own, Operate and Transfer project cost over $200m.

Turkey: GE has provided a fourth LM6000-PC aeroderivative gas turbine generator set and will provide a steam turbine generator set to the 362 MW combined cycle Bursa power plant.

Ukraine: The World Bank is to provide a $106m loan in order for the Ukraine to develop its vast national hydroelectric power infrastructure. A state owned company will use the funds to modernize seven dams.

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