Funding secured for Bahrain’s Al Dur IWPP

Gulf Investment Corporation and France’s GDF Suez have together announced the completion of a required $1.6bn interim funding package for the Al Dur independent water and power project (IWPP) in Bahrain. The $2.1bn Al Dur IWPP is the Kingdom’s third privately developed project and when completed will have a capacity of 1240 MW and of 21 800 m3 of water per day.

The project was awarded to GDF Suez by the Bahrain Ministry of Finance on 28 August last year following an international tendering process. Gulf Investment Corporation and GDF Suez have equally-funded the project work, which is now almost 30 per cent complete. Five local financial institutions have now entered as new stakeholders in this project, where GDF Suez has continued to be the largest shareholder, owning a 45 per cent stake.

When completed the project will deliver electricity and water to the Bahrain Electricity and Water Authority under a 25-year power and water purchase agreement. The EPC contract was awarded to Hyundai Heavy Industries, while General Electric will supply the power plant turbines for the project.

Mass Global wins Kurdistan power plant contract

A contract worth $480m to build a 500 MW power plant in the Dohuk Province in Iraqi Kurdistan has been won by local firm Mass Global Investment Company, says MEED.

The firm has already completed work on Iraq’s first independent power project (IPP), a 500 MW gas fired plant in Erbil Province, using four 125 MW gas turbines, supplied by the USA’s GE Energy.

Mass Global will build, own and operate the new plant using gas from Kurdistan’s Khor Mor field. Power produced from both IPPs will be sold to the Kurdish Regional Government.

Mass Global also commissioned the first phase of the Sulaimaniya power plant under a $700m contract. The 750 MW plant will begin commercial operation by the end of 2009.

Kenya to boost generation capacity in response to shortage

Kenya’s Energy Ministry has detailed plans to boost electricity generation in the country by 270 MW by this October, in order to compensate for reduced hydropower output caused by lack of rainfall. The ministry plans to tackle to problem by also introducing energy saving measures including the distribution of 1.25 million energy-saving light bulbs.

The additional capacity will include 26 MW from sugar cane by-products and a further 244 MW of other thermal power.

Low water levels have forced the closure of a 40 MW hydropower facility by the Kenyan Generating Company. The Kenyan Power Supply Company has reported a shortfall of 70 MW at certain times of the day. Kenyan electricity demand has grown in recent years with peak power standing at 1050 MW against an installed capacity of 1100 MW

Signs of recovery in Russian power consumption

New figures released by Russia’s System Operator (SO UES) show the first month-by-month increase in electricity consumption since the onset of the economic crisis last autumn. National demand for the first seven months of 2009 fell 6.6 per cent to 551 TWh, but in July, consumption rose 4.2 per cent and was down only 5.7 per cent year on year, compared to the 6.8 per cent year-on-year decline recorded in June.

An analyst from Alfa Bank said that, in the bank’s view, the July increase in consumption may be a sign of economic recovery in Russia given the increased capacity utilization being observed in some industries, particularly the metals sector.

Figures produced by regional supply company Mosenergobyt, showed that electricity consumption in the Moscow region increased by 2.2 per cent year-on-year during the first half of the year, despite a 10.4 per cent fall in industrial demand.

Larsen & Toubro bag Omani order

A competitive bidding process has resulted in the contract for the new substation in the Misfah area of Oman going to Larsen & Toubro. The Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) awarded the contract to the firm, whose bid of RO4.64m ($12.1m) for the project, was the lowest bid.

Under the contract, Larsen & Toubro will build a 132/33 kV substation and associated transmission lines. Other bidders included local firms Galfar Engineering & Contracting and Bahwan Engineering Company.

OETC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Electricity Holding Company SAOC, is a monopoly provider of electricity transmission services to the Main Interconnected System in the north of Oman.

Major stake in Israeli solar energy firms

Siemens is reported to be interested in acquiring a stake in Solel Solar Systems and also a 20 per cent interest in Israel’s Arava Power Company, at a cost of several tens of millions of dollars.

Arava Power is one Israel’s top three photovoltaic solar power integrators and industry sources believe that the talks are at an early stage.

Siemens interest in such a partnership stems from a need to supply equipment for its planned solar power fields, as well as the financial investment.

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Algeria: Abu Dhabi state investment agency Mubadela Development and SNC–Lavalin Group have started operating their jointly-owned 1227 MW gas fired power plant in Algeria, supplying 20 per cent of the country’s power needs

GCC: The first phase of the GCC interconnection project was completed in late July with the connection of the electricity grids of Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The networks of UAE and Oman will be linked once the second phase is completed in 2011.

Iran: Doosan of South Korea is to supply eight heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) to four combined-cycle power plants operated by Iran’s Mapna Boiler Engineering & Manufacturing Company, under a contract worth $96m. Doosan has been supplying Mapna with HRSGs since 1999.

Saudi Arabia: Alfanar Construction Company has been awarded two substation contracts in Saudi Arabia worth a total of $97.3m. The first project is a 380/132/13.8 kV substation for the Jezan Economic City Land while the second is for a 132/13.8 kV substation.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power has announced the completion of the financing for the $2.5bn Rabigh independent power project in Saudi Arabia. The $1.9bn debt financing is over a tenor of 20 years and the first drawdown of $500m has taken place.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Aramco and Japanan-based Showa Shell intend to study the feasibility of generating solar power using proprietary Showa Shell technology in a pilot project in Saudi Arabia.

Syria: Syrian media has reported the country is experiencing a daily electricity shortfall of up to 1000 MW, which has led to power cuts, lasting several hours. The official daily Ath Thawra says that the deficit is set to remain the same next year, but will rise to 1400 MW in 2011 and 1800 MW in 2012.

Turkey: Turkey and Georgia are reported to be planning the construction of a 1000 MW power link with a total investment of $140m. The project will help transmit surplus electricity generated in Georgia and Caspian countries to Turkey and then on to Europe.

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