International

Gazprom gas dispute with Belarus spreads to Europe

A dispute between Belarus and Russia’s Gazprom, which doubled the price of gas for the former Soviet state, has escalated to include Europe.

From 2007-2011 Russian gas will be priced at $100 per 1000 m3 in line with Europe. The parties also agreed tariffs for gas supply by the Balarus gas transmission network owned by Beltransgaz and the service charge for the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline operation. In addition, under the contract terms, Gazprom will pay $2.5bn in cash for a 50 per cent stake in Beltransgaz.

However, with Belarus apparently forced into the deal with the threat of winter gas supplies being cut off it retaliated with a hefty tax rise on oil transported from Belarus to Europe.

Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft responded by cutting supplies from the Druzhba pipeline through Belarus after it began legal action against Russia for failure to pay the new transit tax. The decision hit supplies to refineries in Poland, Germany and Ukraine with crude processing in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

UN task force to develop post-Kyoto climate change framework

The Club of Madrid and the United Nations Foundation (UNF) have formed an independent task force to develop and propose a framework for a post-Kyoto agreement on climate change.

The task force of up to 20 people will be chaired by Ricardo Lagos, president of the Club of Madrid, and Timothy E. Wirth, president of the UNF, and facilitated by Mohamed El-Ashry, former CEO and chairman of the Global Environment Facility.

The task force will offer recommendations to the Dia-logue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development, launched at the G8 summit in Gleneagles in July 2005 within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Dialogue involves 20 countries – the G8 plus Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, South Africa, and South Korea, as well as the European Commission and will report back to the G8 in 2008.

Norton Rose to advise on Gulf power interconnection project

International legal practice Norton Rose has won a tender to advise the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) as part of a project which will connect the electricity systems of United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait.

Norton Rose will develop the agreements and codes that will regulate the ownership and use of the interconnector and heads a team including consultants Mott MacDonald and economists NERA.

A series of construction contracts that will involve the construction of more than 800 km of new transmission lines have been let by GCCIA with a capital cost reported to be in excess of $1bn.

Areva wins Moscow grid upgrade deal

Areva’s transmission and distribution division has won a $6.9bn contract to modernise Moscow’s electricity network.

The contract will see Areva build and upgrade about 4300 MW of generating capacity; substations of varying voltages with a combined transformer capacity of 2229 MVA, and 150 km of transmission lines in the bulk power grids, as well as substations with a transformer capacity of 7156 MVA and 590.8 km of lines in the regional distribution system.

The cost of projects include $4.8bn for the expansion of generation capacity and $2.1m to be invested in power grid facilities.

The Russian government plans to invest €30bn ($37bn) in its electricity sector over the next five years to secure electricity supply nationwide.

Suez bags massive desalination deal

A Suez led consortium is to develop what is said to be the world’s largest desalination project, the Marafiq independent water and power (IWPP), located at Jubail in north east Saudi Arabia.

The 2750 MW and 800,000 m3/day project is being developed as a $3.4bn IWPP project.

Kuwait calls for emergency power

Kuwait has approached regional power contractors to develop emergency power stations in order to stave off an electricity shortage.

The energy ministry wants around 500 MW of new capacity to be installed by April ahead of the summer peak demand season. Kuwait has an installed capacity of some 10 GW and a previously recorded peak load of 9.1 GW.


News digest

Bosnia: CEZ is to invest €1.5bn ($1.9bn) on a 600-700 MW coal-fired station and a mine at Gacko in Bosnia in a deal with Siberia’s ERS. The joint venture company Novo Elektrarne, majority owned by CEZ, will develop the project.

Bulgaria: Two units 440 MW VVER Kozloduy nuclear power plant have been disconnected from the grid and shut down as part of a European Union Accession Treaty-agreed deal.

Cameroon: Power monopoly AES Sonel plans to more than double the number of people connected to its transmission and distribution network, adding 15 000 consumers annually for the next 15 years.

Hungary: Eon plans to build a combined cycle gas-fired plant in Gonyu, in the northwest of the country. The €270m ($349m), 400 MW plant is due on line in 2010.

Oman: Suez, government-owned Mubadala Develeopment, and the National Trading Company of Oman are to develop a 678 MW, 26.4 MIGD desalination plant at Barka. The deal also includes the purchase of an existing plant at the site.

Poland: A contract to build a €95m combined heat and power plant in Czestochowa has been won by Fortum. The coal-biomass co-fired station with produce 120MWth and 64MWe. The plant in due on-line in late 2009.

Qatar: ABB is to expand the national power and telecommunications systems in a $450m deal. The contract includes three substations, which are due for commissioning in the first half of 2008.

Russia: Mosenergo is developing a €280m ($363m) combined cycle plant at TPP26 in Moscow. Alstom will deliver the 420 MW turnkey GT26 gas turbine-based system on a turnkey basis for 2009.

Russia: The Tarasovskoye oil field in Siberia’s Tyumen region is to be the site of a 52 MW gas-fired station developed by Wartsila and owned by Rosneft for opening in 2008.

Saudi Arabia: Three power stations with a combined total of 2 900 MW of capacity are to be built. GE is to supply the plants based on 23 of its Frame 7FA turbines. The à‚£950m deal will see the first turbines begin operations in the second half of 2008 with the remainder following during 2008.

Turkey: EnBW and Ciner Group, a local industrial conglomerate, have signed a letter of intent for cooperation in the Turkish electricity market.

Uganda: Testing of the 390 MW Kiira hydroelectric station is underway, with engineers bringing the fifth 42 MW turbine set on stream at the plant, 76 km east of Kampala. The plant had originally been due to begin operations in 1994.

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