Iran invites bid for two more nuclear power units

Iran has invited bids for a contract to build two more nuclear power plants at its site in Bushehr, in the south of the country.

Ahmad Fayaz Bakhsh, Iran’s chief of nuclear energy production, said the plants are each planned to have a capacity of between 1000 MW and 1600 MW. Bakhsh said the plants will supplement the country’s first nuclear power station, which was built at the same site by Russia’s Atomstroyexport.

The plant, much delayed from its original 1999 start-up date, is said to be approaching the commissioning stage but recently work has been halted by a dispute over payments for the construction work. Iran has also encountered strong opposition to startup of the plant from the USA, which has opposed Iran’s development of uranium enrichment. Iran said the enrichment programme had reached the “industrial phase”.

Bakhsh said bidding on the new stations would last until 8 August, and construction would be expected to take between nine and 11 years at a cost of $1.4-1.7bn.

Oman plans new desalination plant

The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (PWP) has unveiled plans for a power and desalination project in the northern Batinah region, where demand for power and water is growing at the country’s fastest rate. The most likely sites are Sohr and Barka.

The independent power and water project, due to enter service in 2011, will comprise a 700 MW gas turbine and a desalination plant with a capacity of 130 000 m3 per day. It will be built on a build, own, operate basis, and the power and water will be sold to PWP via a 15-year contract. PWP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oman’s state-owned Electricity Holding Company.

Bujagali hydropower project wins funding from World Bank

The World Bank has agreed $360m in loans and guarantees for a 250 MW hydro-power plant at Bujagali in Uganda.

The plant, which has been proposed for more than a decade, is expected to cost $799m in total.

When Bujagali eventually goes into operation, now planned for 2011, it will almost double hydro capacity in the country.

Separately, the World Bank is to invest $300m in power sector reform, rural electricity development and electricity distribution in Uganda, which has recently been investing in thermal power stations to meet its growing demand.

Global power investment to hit $310bn

Investment in power generation capacity could top $310bn between now and 2030, the International Energy Agency has estimated.

The figure came in a scenario in its annual World Energy Outlook. The Agency said that in the next 25 years investment in new generation to meet growing demand in developing countries would be extensive, but over this time frame developed countries would also be making major investment to meet new goals to limit carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector.

The IEA said that the full extent and timing of low-carbon investment would be uncertain until new policies were put in place to promote the switch.

Dubai seeks bids for record IWPP

State-owned Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has invited bids to build the world’s largest power and water plant, according to a government official.

International engineering groups have until 10 June to bid for the DEWA project, which will eventually have a capacity of 3000 MW of power and 200m gallons per day of desalinated water.

The project, in Hassyan and referred to as station “P”, will be developed in two phases at a combined cost of some $4bn, according to the government official.

Iran, Dubai sign interconnector agreement

Iran and Dubai have signed a memorandum of understanding to link their two electricity networks through an under-water cable.

The cable connecting the two grids would be around 180 km in length.

Under the memorandum of understanding, which will be implemented in 2008, the two sides will carry out a feasibility study and costing for a high-voltage link rated at 400 kV. The countries estimate that around 1000 MW is available for transfer across an interconnector.

International Power revealed as lowest bidder for Fujairah project

International Power of the UK submitted the most competitive bid for a contract to build and run a $3bn independent water and power plant (IWPP) in the UAE sheikhdom of Fujairah.

State-owned Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority said that International Power, which bid in partnership with Murubeni Corp, offered to produce electricity from the Fujairah F2 plant at a cost of Dh0.108 ($0.03) per kWh and desalinated water for Dh13.4 per 1000 imperial gallons (4540 litres) for the project.

The next best offer proposed to produce electricity at Dh1.05 per kWh and water at Dh15.4 per 1000 imperial gallons.

The 2000 MW Fujairah IWPP will also produce 130 MIGD, or 590m litres a day of water. The new plant is scheduled to commence operations in 2010. The second lowest bid was by Suez of France and Japan’s Mitsui.

Abu Dhabi to build ‘eco city’

The UAE has announced that a science and technology community in its capital Abu Dhabi is to be built on a carbon-neutral and waste-free basis.

The area is a science and technology park 6 km2 in size, which will house the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. The park will include the Institute and its associated housing and a science museum. It will also offer commercial space for local and international companies, especially those working on advanced energies.

The project, due to open by 2009, is being developed by Abu Dhabi and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

GCC grid plan revived

Work on a power grid that would link the electricity networks of all Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries will begin on 2010.

The long-planned link will be the responsibility of a new authority, which will be based in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and will have 12 board members. Each of the GCC member states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia) will appoint two members to the board each year, and members will be replaced every two years. The chairmanship of the board will be taken by each state in turn.

The proposed grid was said to be the first step towards setting up a common Arab electricity supply system.

$511m order for Doosan

Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, South Korea’s biggest fabricator of power equipment, has announced back-to-back orders with the Dubai Water and Power Authority for the Jebel Ali industrial zone.

The company won an engineer, procure and construct (EPC) contract for Jebel Ali M1, a 1330 MW project, in March. Now it has won a second contract worth around $500m for Jebel Ali M2, which will be rated at 670 MW. Doosan said managing the two contracts back to back would result in more efficient use of manpower and equipment.

El Tebbin plant contract goes to OCI

Egyptian industrial engineers Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) has signed a $135.5m contract with the Cairo Electricity Production Company, an affiliate of the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Energy, for civil works construction of a new power plant south of Cairo.

The El Tebbin independent power project is a thermal power station that will have two 350 MW units that can be fired on gas or oil. It has been funded by a $250m World Bank loan agreed in February, as part of a World Bank programme to bring private investment into the Egyptian power sector.

Lebanon crisis draws clamour from utilities

Utilities in Lebanon have called on the government to allow them to generate their own electricity, saying that their customers should not have to work around daily power cuts lasting four to eight hours.

Power in the country is currently generated by state utility Electricite du Liban (EdL). However Electricite de Zahle said it had proposed that it be allowed to join forces with another distributor, Societe d’Electricite de Jbeil, to generate additional power.

The two companies said that they could jointly invest in a gas fired power station that would be able to generate power at a price close to EdL’s state tariff. State utility EdL was said to be considering the proposal.

Elie J Bassil, chairman of the Jbeil utility, said financing was available from Lebanon’s private sector, which would solve power shortages in the country within two years by building new stations and foreign investment was not required.

News Digest

Algeria: Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) has won its largest ever order, together with Itochu Corp. The contract, totalling Y130bn ($1.2bn) and placed by Algerian oil company Sonatrach, is for gas liquefaction and storage facilities. Completion is due in 2010.

Bahrain: Takaful International, the Bahrain insurer, has beaten seven other tenders to provide insurance for state-owned power stations and desalination plants. The four-year contract is worth $4.2bn.

Ghana: The Electricity Company of Ghana, the national distribution company, has blamed the Volta River Authority (VRA) for rolling blackouts in early May. VRA operates 4800 MW of hydro generation in Ghana, along with 2500 MW of thermal generation.

Iran: The National Iranian Oil Company has signed a memorandum of agreement with OMV AG to jointly develop a gas field in South Pars and build a liquefaction plant. The $30bn deal will give OMV access to 2.2m tonnes of LNG annually for 25 years.

Iran: Work has begun on an 1100 MW build, operate, own project at Kahnouj. Iranian deputy energy minister Hamid Chitchian said the Iran Power Development Company had signed agreements with private investors for ten power stations.

Israel:Haifa Chemicals is expected to sign a $150m-200m contract with Edeltech Holdings to build a ­ 200 MW gas turbine to power its Mishor Rotem factory in the Negev. Edeltech already has contracts for 50 MW stations at another chemicals factory, and other industrial sites are expected when a natural gas pipeline to the area is completed next year.

Jordan: Work has started on Jordan’s first independent power project (IPP). The gas fired station at Amman East will be rated at 370 MW when it is completed in August 2009. The plant will add 20 per cent to Jordan’s capacity, and a second 400 MW IPP is due to be completed by 2011.

Kuwait: The Electricity and Water Ministry and the Kuwait Society of Engineers have begun a national campaign for energy saving.

Lebanon: Plans promoted by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation to transfer power stations from state utility Electricite du Liban have been delayed. The government is expected to deregulate the industry, but has not decided how the plants will be transferred.

Namibia: Refurbishment of the 480 MW coal fired Hwange Power Station in Zimbabwe is ahead of schedule, Nampower reports. Nampower will receive imports of 150 MW from the plant in December, a month earlier than planned.

Nigeria: A 335 MW gas turbine has begun operating at Omotosho, Ondu State, the second of four planned stations. The $170m plant was part-funded by the China Import Export Bank.

Oman:Peak power demand in the Main Interconnected System covering much of north Oman touched a new high of 2544 MW in 2006, against 2494.8 MW, the previous best recorded in 2005. Oman Power and Water Procurement Company said that combined power generation capacity reached 2956.6 MW.

Qatar: GE Oil & Gas has won a contractor award for completion of an LNG train at Ras Laffan Industrial City. The train was the fifth at the site; two more are planned. GE also provided gas turbines to power the plant.

Russia:EnergoStroyEngineering has begun work on a 35 kV power line to transmit power to the Urmansk-Archinsk oil and gas fields in Tomsk. The $5.8m project is due for completion at the end of the current year.

Saudi Arabia: Areva is to build a high-voltage gas-insulated substation and refurbish 15 other substations in the Jubail area. The €100m ($135m) contract was signed with the Saudi Electricity Company.

Saudi Arabia: GE Energy has signed two contracts worth a combined $1bn in Saudi Arabia. It is part of an EPC consortium building a desalination and power plant at Marafiq, Jubail, and has signed a project agreement for Riyadh power plant #9.

South Africa: A cable failure was the cause of recent power cuts in Johannesburg, local electricity company City Power said.

South Africa:The National Electricity Regulator has given permission for state generator Eskom’s first new coal fired station in two decades. The six-unit, 4500 MW Medupi plant in Lephalale will begin commissioning in 2011 and be fully operational in 2015.

UAE:Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is to construct Hassyan Power and Desalination Station, which is scheduled to produce 3000 MW and 200 MIGD by 2012.

UAE: Larsen & Toubro is to supply 33 kV power cables and fiber optic connections for the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. The connections will help reinforce the local grid.

Zimbabwe: State electricity company Zesa Holdings is to cut electricity throughout the country’s winter to four hours daily. The mainly hydro generation is being halted in favour of using water resources for irrigation of the winter wheat crop in a bid to stave off further food shortages.