International

Armenia: The Armenian government is planning to start construction of a 80 MW hydropower plant in 2001, but must first reach agreement with Iran on the joint use of the River Araks on which the plant will be located. The project is part of a major drive by Armenia to develop its hydropower resources, and will cost $56m to build.

Czech Republic: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) started a technical inspection of the Temelin nuclear power plant in February 2001. Completion of the inspection was scheduled for March 1. The national power company CEZ and the government have been trying to dampen opposition to the operation of the plant from Austria, which said last year that it will block Czech accession to the European Union if the plant fails to meet Western nuclear safety standards in full.

Jordan: The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has invited proposals for the development of three wind parks with a combined capacity of 75-90 MW. The parks will be built on a build-own-operate basis. The closing date for proposals is 31 July 2001.

Nigeria: The National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) has signed an agreement with South Africa’s Eskom Enterprises for the construction of a 380 km transmission line between Gombe and Jaling in Nigeria. Eskom Enterprises, a joint venture between Eskom and Flour Daniel, will construct the 330 kV line, which is scheduled to enter operation in mid-2002.

Poland: The Polish government has said it realises that to maximize investor interest in the privatization of the country’s electricity industry, it needs to offer stakes of more than 50 per cent in each of the four power generating companies scheduled for privatization. The government said that it would retain only 25 per cent plus one share in the companies.

Russia: State owned energy firm UES has reached an agreement with Ukraine to coordinate electricity distribution between the two countries, and plans to start joint operation of their energy systems in the first half of 2001. The agreement will allow Russia to sell electricity in Ukraine where the tariffs are currently higher than in Russia. However, Russia is likely to insist on cash payments for all supplies and has rejected any barter trade proposals.

Turkey: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to approve the disbursal of funds to Turkey in spite of the country’s failure to pass its proposed electricity reform law. The approval of the law will now become a condition for the release of the next tranche of the $7.5bn emergency loan package.


Europe

Europe: Algeria’s minister of energy and mines, Chakib Khelil, has called on Europe to ensure that its gas transmission network is fully opened in the process of gas market deregulation. Speaking at CERAWeek in Houston, Khelil warned that a poorly structured market could “spell trouble for future [gas] supplies to Europe”. He called on the European Commission to involve Algeria, Norway and Russia in the deregulation process.

Finland: Foster Wheeler Energia Oy has been awarded a $51m contract by Aanevoima Oy to supply a solid fuel-fired 150 MWth circulating fluidized bed boiler and a 35 MWe turbine generator for a new power plant in central Finland. The plant will produce process steam and electricity for a pulp and paper mill and provide district heat.

France: Framatome and Siemens have signed the final agreement to merge their nuclear sector activities. Framatome will own 66 per cent of the new company – Framatome ANP – which will be headquartered in Paris. The company will start operating immediately with an expected turnover of $2.6bn.

Germany: The European Commission (EC) is expected to announce its approval of the controversial deal by Electricité de France (EDF) to buy a 25.01 per cent stake in EnBW, after the EC agreed to concessions made by EDF. EDF has offered to sell 5000 MWh of electricity supply in France to foreign companies in an attempt to liberalize the French energy market.

Germany: France and Germany have agreed to resume the transportation of nuclear waste between the two nations, ending a long running dispute that has resulted in a stockpile of German reprocessed fuel at a French plant.

Germany: German utility E.ON Energie AG has bought 10.1m shares of Sydkraft AB from four Swedish municipalities for €272m ($254.8m). The deal gives E.ON 29.4 per cent of Sydkraft’s capital and 42.8 per cent of its voting rights. E.ON is expected to launch a full takeover bid.

UK: Siemens Power Generation Group has completed the construction of the Seabank 2 combined cycle power plant in Bristol, UK. The power plant has a capacity of 386 MW and will supply electricity to the grid and give frequency stabilization under critical conditions.

UK: The ABB Group has won a $34m contract to provide five static var compensators to help London Underground outsource its power requirements. The transit authority wants to replace electricity supplied by old power stations with electricity from modern power sources.


Asia-Pacific

Australia: Woodside Petroleum, recently awarded a contract to supply LNG for electricity generation in four Kimberley towns, has now announced it will instead extract oil from mallee roots to use as fuel. The company, locked in a takeover battle with Royal Dutch/Shell, said that this change of direction is likely to improve Australia’s ability to meet greenhouse gas emission targets under the Kyoto accord. In co-operation with the Oil Mallee Co. of Western Australia, Woodside will plant up to one million mallee trees and use the oil mallee biomass as fuel for a proposed power station at Esperance.

India: The Diversified GVK group, engaged in manufacturing and power project development, is to undertake a Rs6500m ($139m) Phase I expansion of the 440 MW Jegurupada power project at Kadiyam Mandalam, East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh.

Malaysia: Malaysia’s first High Voltage Direct Current converter substation link to Thailand is scheduled to begin operation in August 2001. The link has a capacity of 300 MW, making it the second largest in Asean. The project is a joint venture between Tenaga and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

Pakistan: The latest report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) claimed that losses incurred by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and the Karachi Electric supply Corp (KESC) due to power theft in 1999 amounted to $850m. The ADB placed the blame on corruption and malpractice at all levels of government, over-centralization, bureaucracy and institutional weaknesses.

Pakistan: The cost of funding Pakistan’s Energy Sector Restructuring Programme has been estimated at $1.7bn by the Asian Development Bank. The costs include restructuring the energy sector, labour restructuring costs, a skills development programme, costs of privatization and the cost of formulating the restructuring plan.

Sri Lanka: A senior official at Sri Lanka’s Electricity Board (CEB) has announced that the government will not be privatizing the organization. Instead, a restructuring programme is to be implemented to modernize activities of the CEB in line with current demands, resting rumours that the CEB would be privatized on the advice of the World Bank.

Vietnam: Vietnam’s electricity corporation, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), reportedly needs around $1bn a year to build more plants, upgrade electricity grids and improve its services. From 2005 this is expected to rise to over $1.5bn per annum. At current levels of revenue, the company can only raise 30 per cent of required funds.


Americas

Argentina: GE Power Systems will provide civil works and site erection services to a 120 MW power plant in Argentina. The turnkey contract from Pluspetrol SA is worth approximately $29m and includes the delivery of a gas turbine and generator. The power plant will supply power to the national grid when it is completed in 2002.

Argentina: DynaMotive Technologies Corporation has signed a Memoramdum of Understanding with Tecna SA of Argentina. Tecna will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for BioOil energy projects in Latin America.

Brazil: Electricidade de Portugal plans to invest approximately $1bn in thermoelectric power in Brazil over the next four years. The Portuguese power company has already invested $48m in the Fafen Energia thermoelectric plant in the northeast of the country.

Ecuador: The government is to privatize 18 electric companies in 2001. The companies will be grouped into four packages. The first auction will take place in June under the state modernization council’s schedules, with the Fondo de Solidariedad offering 51 per cent of each company.

Jamaica: The Jamaican government is to sell an 80 per cent stake in the Jamaica Public Service Company to US-based Mirant. The sale will cost Mirant an initial $201m, with a further $500m spent in the next ten years on increasing generating capacity. The government will retain a 20 per cent stake in the company.

USA: Siemens Solar industries has announced the opening of a new solar panel manufacturing facility in California. The facility will take advantage of a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power programme which provides financial incentives for the local production and use of solar systems in residential and commercial areas. The scheme, which could eventually produce up to 2 MW of photovoltaic energy, hopes to reduce electricity demand and encourage cleaner, alternative power sources.

USA: Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation has won a $200m contract from InterGen to supply 19 heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) for six power projects. The HRSGs will be combined with General Electric gas turbines in a combined cycle configuration to produce in excess of 500 MW.

USA: PSEG has awarded EDS a $137m contract to provide midrange and mainframe operational IT support. The eight year contract will give PSEG a solid computing foundation to support the company’s business strategies in the energy industry.


Companies

AES buys Thermo Ecotek: US-based power developer AES has agreed to acquire the energy assets of Thermo Ecotek Corporation for $195m in cash. The move will give AES a foothold in the Czech Republic and German energy markets and will also make it one of the largest owners of biomass-fired generation in the USA.

Enron beats expectations: Enron, the largest buyer and seller of natural gas and electricity in North America, has reported higher than expected fourth quarter earnings. The company said that its fourth-quarter income rose with on-line trading helping to drive strong growth at its core wholesale energy operations. Enron saw its stock rise 87 per cent in 2000, outpacing a 54 per cent gain on Standard & Poor’s utilities index.

GE Glegg expands: GE Glegg Water Technologies, which serves the industrial water services market for power, oil and gas and other industries, has established new service locations in Portland, Ore., Houston, Tx., and Singapore. As part of a global network of facilities, the new locations will provide customers with comprehensive water service solutions such as parts replacement and commissioning.

Intergraph acquires: Intergraph Corporation’s Process & Building Solutions division has acquired debis Systemhaus Industry GmbH’s Marian business unit for an undisclosed sum. Marian includes materials management software and solutions for engineering, procurement and construction firms.

Mirant-Keppel falls through: Mirant Corporation’s Asia Pacific business unit has announced that its planned partnership with Keppel FELS Energy has been dropped. Under the agreement Mirant would have sold ten per cent of its Philippine operations to Keppel and acquired 50 per cent of Keppel’s Philippine-based power barges. Both parties have agreed that it would not be possible to conclude the deal by the agreed date and have decided not to continue with the proposed partnership.

Pantellos partners: On-line procurement venture Pantellos has announced a strategic partnership with WorldCrest, a leading provider of procurement solutions, that will increase the number of suppliers available through its portal by around 50. WorldCrest specialises in providing strategically sourced contracts for indirect goods and services.

Rapidpartsmart.com on-line: Scientech Inc. has announced that its on-line parts search engine Rapidpartsmart.com has gone live. Visitors to the portal will be able to search for engineered parts within their own plants, at affiliated plants, in catalogues or at other dot.com sites.