GE Energy bags $1bn Saudi deal to supply gas turbines

GE Energy has signed a contract for nearly $1bn to supply more than 30 Frame 7EA gas turbines for the Saudi Electricity Company’s (SEC) Riyadh Power Plant 10 (PP10).

This project, the latest in a series of GE contracts for SEC power projects, will add 2000 MW of much needed power to help support the region’s dynamic economic and population growth.

The PP10 project addresses energy shortages during the summer months and when completed, increases the power capacity in SEC’s Central Operating Area by 20 per cent, helping to improve the reliability and delivery of power to SEC’s customers. PP10 is the latest expansion at SEC’s Riyadh site, which currently has a total power output of 10 000 MW.

The PP10 agreement brings GE’s orders for SEC projects to nearly $2.5bn in the last three years. In the last five years, GE has received commitments to supply 115 gas turbines for SEC projects.

The GE Frame 7EA gas turbines for PP10 will be shipped to an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, with the first units scheduled to enter service in the first half of 2010, and the rest by 2011.

These units will bring the number of GE Frame 7EA gas turbines installed in the Kingdom to more than 200.

Russia plans to build four nuclear reactors in Turkey

Russia is close to securing a deal to build four nuclear reactors in Turkey and the countries are in talks on a power supply deal worth $60bn, according to Russia’s energy minister.

Sergei Shmatko said the nuclear reactors would have capacity of 1200 megawatts each and that the total cost of the project would be between $18bn and $20bn, Interfax news agency reported.

Shmatko was speaking after meeting Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who was expected to discuss energy issues during his visit to Moscow. Ankara is keen to push through energy projects that would boost Turkey’s role in the region.

Deadline for Saudi Arabia’s Yanbu power plant expansion delayed

Marafiq, Saudi Arabia’s Power and Water Utility Company for Jubail & Yanbu has extended the bid deadline for the expansions of phases five and six of a power plant at Yanbu Industry City.

Bids for the contract to add two 250 MW steam turbines to the existing combined-cycle power plant at Yanbu are now due on 23 March.

Marafiq has prequalified seven bidding groups for the Yanbu project, including Saudi Arabia’s own Arabian Bembco and Japan’s Sojitz.

Inter RAO-UES, Siemens sign gas turbine agreement

Inter RAO-UES and Siemens have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the German concern undertake a series of projects at Russian power plants.

These include maintenance service on the gas turbines supplied for Severo-Zapadnaya TETs, as well as the modernization and adaptation to liquid fuel of 4 V94.2 gas turbines in units 1 and 2 of the plant.

The agreement also covers the scaling-up of the scope of maintenance service on the two SGT-700 gas turbines installed at the Sochinskaya thermal power plant (Sochinskaya TES), and negotiations on a long-term contract for maintenance service on the new SGT-700 gas turbines to be supplied to Sochinskaya TES in 2009.

In previous years, Siemens has supplied equipment for a number of electric power stations controlled by the former state power monopoly RAO-UES.

For example, in 2001 and 2005 the group supplied 4 V94.2 gas turbines for units one and two of Severo-Zapadnaya TETs. Sochinskaya TES received 2 SGT-700 gas turbines in 2005.

UAE conglomerate Mulk unveils solar factory plan

A UAE-based solar energy company is to invest over AED200m ($54.5m) to set up a factory manufacturing solar power technology to be deployed in the Gulf and around the world.

UAE conglomerate Mulk Holdings and US solar energy developer Suntrof have signed a memorandum of understanding opening the way for the creation of the firm, to be known as Suntrof Mulk Energy Group, which will be headquartered in the UAE and have branches in the USA, Europe and India.

A prototype 500 kW solar energy generation plant will also be installed in Sharjah Hamriya Freezone.

Soviet-trained engineer divulges Chernobyl truth

Former nuclear engineer Aladar Stolmar has written a first-hand account, entitled ‘My Chernobyl’, about efforts to enforce better power plant safety standards in Russia that could have prevented the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Ukraine power plant.

Designed to educate the public about historical events as well as the contemporary dangers of nuclear power, the Hungarian-born authors offers details about the tragedy and subsequent attempts to fully disclose its causes to the international community.

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Iraq: Electricity Minister Karim Wahid has invited France to help Iraq build a nuclear power plant, three decades after Paris constructed a reactor near Baghdad that was bombed by Israeli warplanes.

Israel: The Israel Electric Company has approved the Arava Power Company’s proposal to build a $400m, 80 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) field on kibbutz land in the Arava. The 375-acre project will be the largest PV field in the world.

Jordan: Russia and Jordan have signed an agreement for nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes, which includes the establishment of an electricity production station and research centers, and also training for physicists.

Nigeria: The Federal Government is targeting the generation of at least 430 MW from the second phase of the Gurara hydropower project, which has been under construction since 2001. Phase one, scheduled to be completed this year, is a 30 MW project.

Qatar: Japan’s Chubu Electric Power Company has set up joint working groups with Kahramaa and QEWC to advise on power generation and transmission issues, including safety, fault detection and analysis, load forecasting and crisis management.

Qatar: Proton Energy Systems has been awarded a contract from Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction to supply Hogen hydrogen generators to Qatalum, the world’s largest aluminum smelting plant.

Qatar: US oil major Chevron is to commit $20m over five years to form a partnership with the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) in Doha and establish a center of excellence in renewable power and energy efficiency.

South Africa: GE Energy has signed a deal worth more than R500m ($48m) to upgrade petrochemicals group Sasol’s old turbines at its synthetic fuels plant in Secunda, Mpumalanga. The upgrade will take place over 12 months using steam path replacement technology, increasing Sasol’s power generation capacity.

Saudi Arabia: ABB has won an order worth $63 million from the Saudi Electricity Company to upgrade 15 substations in the country’s Eastern and Central provinces.