IEA predicts global energy consumption catastrophe

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has painted a dramatic vision of how world energy consumption will develop if unchecked by governmental action. In the World Energy Outlook 2006 it predicts that without action global energy demand will rise by 53 per cent between now and 2030. Over 70 per cent of this increase will come from developing countries such as China and India.

World oil demand will reach 116 mb/d by 2030, up from 84 mb/d in 2005 and demand will be met by a small number of major OPEC producers; smaller non-OPEC production will peak in the middle of next decade. This will leave importers vulnerable to economic pressure. Meanwhile global carbon dioxide emissions will reach 40 Gt by 2030, 55 per cent higher than today. China will overtake the USA as the world’s largest emitter before 2010.

Much of this growth can be controlled if governments act to develop a more sustainable energy path. If policies currently under consideration are implemented, global energy demand could be reduced by 10 per cent in 2030.

The IEA advocates a stronger role for nuclear power, as well as greater use of biofuels and the implementation of energy efficiency measures. Coal combustion is also likely to prosper in the coming years.

However, Greenpeace, the environmental pressure group, has criticized the report for underestimating the effectiveness of energy efficiency measures, and for its estimates of the growth in coal fired power generation and nuclear power.


OGK-5 raises $459m in shares offering

The Russian power generating company OGK-5 has raised $459m after offering shares for sale at $0.09 per share.

The shares were bought by strategic and institutional in-vestors from around the world. The shares sold account for 14.4 per cent of the company’s share capital. The Russian Unified Energy System (UES) now holds around 75 per cent, down from its previous 87.7 per cent.

The UES is thought to be planning to offer shares in 16 of the 20 power generators that are due to become independent.


Baltic States seek nuclear plant

The Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are examining the possibility of constructing a new nuclear reactor to replace a Russian-built reactor at Ignalina, which is due to shut down by 2009.

A feasibility study indicated that a new reactor could be built at the same site and the study has now been sent to the three governments for approval.

Under consideration is a single reactor with a capacity of 800-1600 MW. It is expected to cost €2.5bn-€4bn ($3.2bn-$5.1bn). The plant could be completed by 2015, the study concludes. The three countries are increasingly reliant on oil and natural gas imported from Russia, and the nuclear plant would help increase their energy independence.


Botswana powers South Africa

CIC Energy Corp and International Power are to form a joint venture to finance the construction of a $5bn power plant in Botswana, which will export most of its output to South Africa.

The Mmamabula Energy Project involves a coal mining operation and the construction of a power plant with a generating capacity of 2400-3600 MW. The bulk of the electricity from the plant would be sold to South African utility Eskom Holdings, with the remainder to Botswana Power Corp.


Baltic States seek nuclear plant

The Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are examining the possibility of constructing a new nuclear reactor to replace a Russian-built reactor at Ignalina, which is due to shut down by 2009.

A feasibility study indicated that a new reactor could be built at the same site and the study has now been sent to the three governments for approval.

Under consideration is a single reactor with a capacity of 800-1600 MW. It is expected to cost €2.5bn-€4bn ($3.2bn-$5.1bn). The plant could be completed by 2015, the study concludes. The three countries are increasingly reliant on oil and natural gas imported from Russia, and the nuclear plant would help increase their energy independence.


Proposed grid link-up for Egypt and Saudi Arabia

Egypt and Saudi Arabia have signed a contract to carry out a feasibility study into the interconnection of the electricity grids within the two countries.

The interconnection project could play a key part in a much wider scheme that would see interconnection of the Euro-pean, Mediterranean and North African grids, a scheme known as the Mediterranean Ring Project.

The countries of the Middle East and the Gulf would then become linked into the system via Egypt, creating the largest interconnected system in the world.


Lebanon’s power sector privatization

The Lebanese government is considering the privatization of its troubled electricity sector and the secretary general of Lebanon’s Higher Council for Privatization (HCP) has admitted that the state-owned electric utility Electricite du Liban is in disarray.

The HCP has approved the appointment of the USA consultancy CRA International to help run two electricity sector tenders for 2007. One is for the provision of electricity meters and the other the selection of a regional operator for the distribution system. The meter tender will be for a build-own-transfer contract. Further management contracts may be awarded, but full privatization is also an considered option.


News digest

Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have opened a 150 km cable to connect with the European Union grid. Estlink will allow transfers of up to 350 MW with Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

Dubai: The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is planning to triple the emirate’s power generation and water desalination capacity over the next ten years. Total capacity is expected to rise to 13,250 MW over the decade.

Jordan: The National Electric Power Company is evaluating proposals from USA companies for a feasibility study to reduce losses from Jordan’s transmission system. The study is being funded by the US Trade and Development Agency.

Kenya:The Kenya Generating Company is planning to increase its generating capacity by 500 MW over five years to meet rising demand in the country. The additional capacity will come from hydro, geothermal, wind, and thermal power sources.

Morocco: The National Electricity Office of Morocco is launching a pre-qualification tender for construction of a $1.5bn coal fired power plant. The station, comprising two 600 MW units, will be constructed in the Cap Rhir area, 40 km north of Agadir.

Poland: The Polish and Lithuanian governments have signed a letter of intent to set up a company to study the feasibility of an interconnection between the grids of the two countries. The scheme, which could cost up to €650m ($830m), will be co-financed by the European Union.

Qatar: The Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation has signed a letter of intent with Marubeni of Japan for a 2000 MW power plant to be built at the Mesaieed Industrial City. The first 1000 MW phase is due to enter service in 2008, and the plant will be fully operational by 2010.

Russia: Russian company OJSC NPO Saturn is to set up a joint venture with GE to build heavy duty gas turbines in Russia. Initially, the two companies hope to build units with capacities of between 40 MW and 150 MW.

Russia: The Bulgarian National Power company has selected Russian company Atmostryexport to build a new nuclear power plant at Belene. Two 1000 MW light water reactors will be installed at a cost of €3.9bn ($5bn).

Saudi Arabia: A 2748 MW power plant to supply electricity to the Power and Water Utilities Company for Jubail and Yanbu is likely to be built by a development company comprising Suez Tractebel, ACWAPower and the Gulf Investment Corp following a tendering process. The cost of the project is likely to be between $3-3.5bn.