Oil used to shield Iran from nuclear fall-out

Iran has threatened to raise oil prices if it is called before the UN Security Council and made to face economic sanctions for its nuclear research programme. The country is OPEC’s second largest oil producer.

The latest threat came as senior ministers from France, Germany, the UK and the USA said no more negotiations would take place until Iran suspended all nuclear research activities. Iran recently removed UN seals at its Natanz uranium research facility and stated that it aims to achieve fuel source independence for nuclear energy purposes only.

The 35-member IAEA board is to hold an emergency meeting on 2 February to discuss referring Iran to the UN Security Council. Russia and China, which have contracts concerning new nuclear power facilities and oil production in Iran, are attempting to persuade all parties back to the negotiating table.

Russia restricts as negotiations continue

Gazprom has resticted gas supply to a number of power plants in Moscow by 50 per cent at a time when freezing temperatures have sparked record energy demand.

The Russian gas giant has recently been renegotiating supply contracts with ex-soviet states as it attempts end perceived favourable deals and bring prices into line with those paid by the rest of its customers.

Negotiations with Moldova led to its supplies being cut off, although it eventually agreed to a four-month contract that will see Moldova pay $110/1000 m3 up from the previous price of $80.

Among other countries that Gazprom has renegotiated with are Georgia and Ukraine. For 2006, Georgia will pay $110/1000 m3 compared to the $64 it paid in 2005. Ukraine will pay $95/1000 m3, double that of its earlier deal. The six-month contract resulted in the sacking of the country’s government.

Saudi signs Siemens for Shuaibah

A consortium including Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction and Siemens PG is to construct the world’s largest desalination plant and an associated power plant in Saudi Arabia after it was awarded a €1.8bn ($2.2bn) contract.

The deal, which also represents the world’s largest Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP), will see Siemens supply three 400 MW steam generators for the oil fired power plant.

The Shuaibah generation plant will provide 900 MW to the Saudi Arabian grid while the desalination plant, to be supplied by Doosan, will provide 880 000 t/day of fresh water.

  • The Saudi government has revealed that it is once again considering proposals to construct the $3.5bn, 2500 MW Marafiq IWPP.

Poland fosters new CFB technology

Foster Wheeler is to build the world’s first supercritical circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler island for a new $550m, 460 MW power plant at Lagisza in southern Poland.

The boiler will not only represent the world’s first use of supercritical CFB technology, but it will also be the largest CFB boiler in the world when the plant begins generating for Poludniowy Koncern Energetyczny at the start of 2009. Foster Wheeler’s CEO, Bernard H. Cherry, said the $200m contract was a crucial step forward in bringing its new CFB technology to utility scale.

Poland is in the process of replacing outdated capacity with modern, high efficiency and environmentally friendly technologies.

Algerian deal opens African gateway

A partnership involving Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company and SNC Lavalin has said its first power venture in North Africa will pave the way for further deals.

The two companies recently announced they are to build a 1200 MW power plant in Algeria after winning a $900m contract. They will equally co-invest to own a 51 per cent stake in the Hadjret Ennous project company. The Algerian government will hold the remaining 49 per cent.

Algeria remains a target for the partnership. It is in the process of acquiring a stake in an 800 MW plant in the east of the country, due to be commissioned early this year.

EDF sells Egyptian assets

Malaysia’s Tanjong Public Limited Company is to almost double its power generating assets with the acquisition of the entire power plant fleet of EDF International in Egypt.

The RM1.16bn ($310m) deal will see the Malaysian company take ownership of two gas fired power plants, one at each end of the Suez Canal. Each station has a generating capacity of 682.5 MW.

EDFI is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the French utility EDF. Control of its two generating companies and a shared operating company will be transferred to Tanjong when the transaction closes later this quarter.

News digest

Bulgaria: The World Bank has issued €99m ($119.5m) in risk insurance for the construction of a new €1.1bn 600 MW coal fired power plant near Galabovo.

Iraq: Mass Jordan Trading Company is to construct a 500 MW LNG fired power plant 80 km east of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, after it signed a $250m deal with the Iraqi government.

Latvia: State owned power company, Latvenergo, has contracted Fortum Service to upgrade three units at the Plavinas hydropower plant on the Daugava River by 2012.

Morocco: The country’s third rural electrification project will be funded from part of a $8.1m loan issued by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Nigeria: The Afam VI combined cycle power plant at Port Harcourt will be powered by three Alstom GT13E2 gas turbines, each rated at 167 MW after the plant developer, Daewoo, awarded Alstom a contract worth over €200m ($241m).

Qatar: Siemens is to supply two 220 kV/66 kV/11 kV transformer substations and one 66 kV/11 kV transformer substation in the state’s capital Doha to help provide power for the new Westbay development.

Russia: Wärtsilä has been awarded contracts to provide two power plants in the Russian Arctic that will generate a total of 52 MW. The first project will be powered by crude oil from the Varandey oil terminal and the second will provide electricity and heat for a Siberian gold and silver mine.

Russia: A 15-year power supply agreement has been reached between Rosenergoatom and BasEl AB, adding to the momentum behind the proposed construction of a 1000 MW transmission link between Russia and Finland.

Russia: Construction of a floating nuclear power plant will begin in Severodvinsk this year, according to a recent statement issued by the Russian Federal Agency for Atomic Energy.

Saudi Arabia: Two separate Saudi cement works have contracted Wärtsilä to provide generating sets that will generate 45.3 MW and 49 MW for them by 2007.

Serbia and Montenegro: Illegal tapping of the grid between 2000 and 2004 contributed to the €538m ($649m) worth of power losses suffered by the Serbian power company EPS.

Slovakia: CEZ has submitted a bid for the heating company Teplarna Kosice and has opened an office in the country as it seeks to capitalize on government efforts to sell heating plants in five cities.

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