Iran will privatize seven state-owned power plants

Iran’s Energy Minister Parviz Fattah has announced plans to sell shares in seven state-owned power plants.

Cabinet approval has been given to the stock offering and the private sector is expected to be offered shares within the next six months.

“Seven power plants with a total power generation capacity of 6000 MW will be privatized,” said the minister, adding that the initiative will be taken as part of Article 44 of the Constitution, which allows large-scale privatizations.

Kazem Vaziri-Hameneh, also of the Iranian energy ministry, has announced that once approved by the cabinet, 118 state-owned oil companies will be put forward for privatization. Vaziri-Hamaneh said based on priority, first the petrochemical companies, then the gas and refinery sections, and finally some of companies affiliated to the National Oil Company will be privatized.

On privatizing other parts of the oil industry, Vaziri-Hamaneh said: “Currently seven licenses have been issued for the construction of refineries in the private sector and the government will only own 20 per cent of them in each complex”.

Gulf coal plant gets Thai boost

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is to invest in a coal fired power plant in Oman, according to chairman Pornchai Rujiprapha.

Egat has yet to conclude the deal but would establish a new subsidiary to invest overseas, if it went ahead. Oman has expressed interest in diversifying it electricity production, which is largely gas fired and the construction of a coal fired plant in the Gulf region would be a first.

Egat is interested in a number of overseas projects and the Egat International subsidiary would require an initial capital raising of 50m baht ($1.5m). Pornchai said that the unit would look to invest 1.35bn baht in the Nam Ngiep 1 hydropower plant in Laos, with Kansai Electric Power of Japan acting as the project’s operator.

Gulf grid could lead to energy trading

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are preparing to establish an energy trading system when the regional electric power grid is completed in the first quarter of 2009.

Construction of the second phase of the grid project is on schedule to connect Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Hassan K. Al Asaad, head of the project, said that the GCC grid would facilitate energy trading, with demand set to grow nine per cent a year.

The interconnection will represent the launch pad for energy trading in the region and beyond, according to Al Asaad. Although there are several agreements to be concluded that will incorporate the trading body, identify interests, rights and obligations, the first two purchase orders have already been received from two GCC member countries, as some countries are expecting a shortage of power supply in the short term.

Russian to build floating nuclear plant

The Russian government plans to have it first floating nuclear power plant commissioned by 2010, according to First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov.

“We are starting the construction of floating nuclear power plants. The first one will be commissioned by 2010 and supply electricity to all of Severdvinsk,” said Ivanov.

Russia is to build seven such plants for use in the extreme north and far east of the country. President Putin has insisted that the most advanced technology be used in the projects, which have also attracted a number of foreign countries.

OCI wins El Tebbin contract

OCI Construction Group has been awarded a contract worth EGP760m ($133.7m) for the civil works package on the El Tebbin 2 x 350 thermal power plant in Egypt.

The contract was awarded by the Cairo Electricity Production Company, an affiliate of Egypt’s power ministry.

The scope of the work under the contract includes all civil works including the plant’s intake pump house and discharge structures, reinforced concrete cylinder pipes, chimney, steam turbine buildings and all auxiliary facilities, along with underground facilities, piping and duct banks, piling, foundation, mechanical and electrical works.

Jordan wind farm put out to tender

The Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will this month tender bids for a 30-40 MW wind park in the Kamsha area, 25 km north of Amman, estimated to cost some $50m.

The project is to be offered on the basis of the lowest offer in terms of energy production.

The wind farm will be built on a “build, own, operate” basis and will be linked to the national electricity transmission system operated by the state-run National Electric Power Company.

News Digest

Finland: Fortum is planning to build a new g60m ($81.6m) biofuel-based heat and power plant for the towns of Jàƒ¤rvenpàƒ¤àƒ¤ and Tuusula. The plant will have a capacity of 50 MW for district heating and 25 MW for electricity production.

Iran: Iran’s first solar thermal electric power plant will become operational in 2010. The national project is to be developed in the desert region of Yazd and will incorporate natural gas, steam and solar energies.

Iran: The Iranian government is accepting bids for a contract to build two nuclear power plants in the southern city of Bushehr. The plants will have capacity of between 1000 MW and 1600 MW and will supplement Iran’s first nuclear power plant, which is currently being built by a Russian contractor.

Kazakhstan: Russia and Kazakhstan are considering the joint construction of a nuclear power plant in the Kazakh port of Aktau, although no timetable has been set for the project. Kazakhstan is the second-largest producer of uranium in the world.

Qatar: A 25-year power purchase agreement has been signed covering the 2000 MW Mesaieed power project in Qatar. The deal signed between Kahramaa and the Mesaieed Power Company provides for the first 1000 MW to be delivered by mid-2008 and the remaining 1000 MW to be commissioned by 2010.

Russia: Alstom has signed a framework agreement with Russia’s Atomenergomash to establish a g200m ($272m) joint-venture dedicated to manufacturing the conventional islands of Russian nuclear power plants. Alstom has also secured an O&M contract for the Mosenergo CHP plant 26 in Moscow.

Russia: Power Machines Group has won a tender to supply two Siemens-built 270 MW gas turbine units for Kirishskaya thermal power plant operated by OGK-6. Power Machines will also perform an upgrading of the steam turbine K-300-240 at the plant.

Saudi Arabia: The GCC interconnection grid is expected to generate revenues of $3.2bn by 2028, said the undersecretary in Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Water and Electricity, that is overseeing the project. The project to connect six Gulf States will be complete by 2010.

UAE: ABB has won an order from Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority worth Dh520m ($142m) to undertake a 400 KV grid station project for the Al Reem Island. Integrated with Abu Dhabi and Saadiyat Island, the station will provide 1500 MVA to the island.

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