News digest

Albania: Albanian electric supply company Korporata Elektroenerg-jetike Shqiptare (KESH) has awarded VA Tech Transmission & Distribution a g3m ($3.8m) contract for conduction technology, communication systems and 110 kV line feeders. The equipment will increase the transmission capacity and reliability of seven nodes in the KESH network.

Hungary: Wärtsila Corporation has received contracts to supply gas fuelled generating sets and associated equipment for two CHP plants in Budapest, Hungary. Wärtsilä will supply three 18V34SG units to Zugló-Therm Energiaszolgáltató, and three 20V34SG generating sets to Eromu Kft.

Iran: The Iran Mines and Mineral Industries Development and Renovation Organization has announced that a proposed 1500 MW power plant development will be split into two phases with differing financial models. Bids for the 500 MW buyback phase have been submitted, but the deadline for the second phase has been extended until early November.

Oman: The Omani Ministry of National Economy has invited bids for a $495m, 450 MWe independent water and power project to be built at a brownfield site at Rusayl in the Sharqiyah region. The project will involve the acquisition of the existing 687 MWe power plant at Rusayl and the implementation of Barka phase two, comprising a 450 MWe power and 20 MIGD (91m l/day) desalination plant.

Russia: Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom has announced its intention to become a vertically integrated energy company modelled on German energy group E.On. Gazprom already owns a 10.6 per cent stake in Russian electricity group RAO UES and has taken a stake in regional utility Mosenergo.

Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Power and Water Utility Co. for Jubail and Yanbu has received a favourable investor response to its $2.5bn bid for a new power and water project. The first phase of the project envisages installing 2400 MW, with 2000 MW following in the second phase.

Turkey: Wärtsilä Corporation has been awarded a contract for an 84.8 MWe replacement and extension of an existing diesel power plant at Manisa in western Turkey. Wärtsilä will supply three 50DF generating sets plus four 34SG sets for the extension.

UAE: The Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority (ADWEA) has contracted the South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology to carry out a feasibility study for a $1200m, 1000 MWe nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi. The study is due to be completed by the end of 2005, with plant start-up scheduled for 2010.

IP preferred bidder status

The Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has awarded UK power developer International Power preferred bidder status for a 40 per cent interest in the Ras Laffan independent water and power plant (IWPP).

If successful, International Power will implement the power and desalination plant on a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis in partnership with the Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) and Chubu Electric of Japan. The first phase of the 1025 MW, 60 MIGD (273m l/day) plant is expected to be operational by 2006, with full commercial operation scheduled for 2008.

Ras Laffan B will be located 80 km northeast of Doha, close to the site of Ras Laffan A, Qatar’s first IWPP. Its entire power and water output will be sold to Kahramaa under a long term power and water purchase agreement.

The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) is in negotiations with Marubeni Corporation for the development of the Taweelah B independent water and power plant (IWPP) and expects the key project agreements to be signed by mid-December. Marubeni was named as the preferred bidder in October 2004 after submitting a price of $1690m in July.

Russia gives backing to Kyoto

The Russian government has given its approval to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, paving the way for the treaty to become international law. The treaty, which sets targets for greenhouse gas emissions, has been passed to the Russian parliament for ratification.

Environmental groups have responded positively to the move. The Kyoto Protocol can only enter into force once 55 countries representing 55 per cent of total carbon dioxide emissions in 1990 have ratified it. Without Russia’s backing, there is no way that the treaty would ever become legally binding.

The Protocol will come into force 90 days after it has been ratified by Russia, which accounts for 17 per cent of world greenhouse gas emissions. Although some economists and politicians in Russia believe that Kyoto will stifle economic growth, others believe that it will also have political benefits such as easing the country’s entry to the World Trade Organization.

SNC Lavalin to consult on GCC project

The GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) has appointed SNC Lavalin to provide consultancy services for the first phase of the GCC power grid project. It has also approved the list of prequalifiers for the first phase, which will link the power networks of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar at a cost of $1190m.

Canada-based SNC Lavalin will assist in preparing the tender documents, tender evaluation and the selection of contractors for phase one. It may also undertake construction supervision.

The project will be split into five packages, which will be tendered in early January. The prequalified companies will be given eight to ten weeks to prepare their proposals before bids are submitted for evaluation. The first contract awards are expected in May 2005.

Geothermal order

A consortium of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Balcke Dürr has won a turnkey order from Reykjavik Energy to build two 40 MWe geothermal power plants near Reykjavik. This takes the total number of geothermal units ordered from MHI by Reykjavik Energy to eight.

The electricity generated by the new plants will be used to supply local aluminium refineries. The first unit is scheduled to start up in September 2006, and the second in October 2006.

RAO UES to modernize EMS

Russian electric utility RAO UES has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) acknowledging the importance of using EPRI’s Common Information Model (CIM) when modernizing its central and regional energy management systems (EMS).

RAO UES, EPRI and a number of Russia’s other major energy infrastructure organizations met in September to discuss developments in the country’s energy markets, which will require new automated systems at all levels. The use of the EPRI-facilitated CIM will ensure compatibility of information when new systems are implemented and is a major step towards standardization.

“The Russian infrastructure organizations will establish a CIM coordination council charged with maintaining the consistency and integrity of CIM for the Russian operators,” said Dejan Sobajic of EPRI, which, together with KEMA, will provide support to the new coordination council.