Key developments in Asian markets

Key developments in Asian markets

Construction is booming in the Asian market, as a variety of projects have passed through the treacherous financing stage and on to building. Activity is widespread, occurring in many countries and using an assortment of fuels and technology. A few key developments follow.

In Bangladesh, the government signed an agreement in February with an undisclosed company form the US to build a (US)$310 million 300-MW plant. The government opened the power industry to private investment in early 1995 and has since signed agreements with companies to develop 11 projects, totaling about 1,000 MW in the next 15 years.

In Cambodia, Malaysian firms TNB and Ariston Sdn. Bhd. have formed a joint venture to develop a 20-MW power facility in southern Cambodia. The project is part of a (US)$1.3 billion contract won by Ariston in late 1994 to develop the Sihanoukville region. Also, the Canadian government launched an aid program last year that will include development of a 127-MW hydropower facility on Cambodia`s Kamchay River. The project will be built by a team comprised of Quebec International Experco-HBA and Pomerlau International.

In Mongolia, Marubeni Corp. and ABB were awarded a (US)$32 million contract last year to renovate a coal-fired power plant in Ulan Bator. Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the project will replace the plant`s boiler and control equipment.

As part of Japan`s efforts to deregulate the power industry, the electric power utilities of Tokyo, Kansai, Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Kyushu and other Japanese cities announced that they would begin purchasing surplus power from private power generators–such as steelmakers and other industrial self-generators–in two to four years.

Singapore Power, incorporated and restructured last year in preparation for privatization in 1996, announced in mid-February that it would delay its privatization for at least two years. Yeo Cheo Tong, Singapore`s Trade and Industry minister, said the reorganization would take more time to complete than initially planned. Also, Singapore Power`s returns were diminished after the company applied commercial accounting standards to its balance sheets, rather than World Bank standards.

The second round of Taiwan`s independent power bidding program recently resulting in the awarding of four power projects totaling 3,250 MW.

Vietnam continues its efforts to head off power shortfalls in the northern and central regions. In January, Vietnam awarded a contract to build its largest gas-fired power plant, the 287-MW Phu My project, near Ho Chi Minh City. A consortium of ABB and Marubeni Corp. will act as the turnkey contractor.

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