News digest

International

Armenia: The Armenian government is planning another tender to sell off local electricity distribution networks. The tender will offer a 75 per cent stake plus one share in each of the four networks.

Bahrain: Alstom has received a letter of intent from the Ministry of Electricity & Water of the State of Bahrain for a 630 MW combined cycle power plant. As part of the 2350m contract, Alstom will supply three GT13E2 gas turbines and a steam turbine that will be used for a combination of desalination and power supply.

Hungary: Liberalization of Hungary’s electricity market, a requirement of EU accession, has been delayed until January 2003. A government spokesman said that from that date, 50 per cent of large-scale consumers will be able to choose their electricity supplier – including buying from abroad.

Israel: Consent has been given by the Israeli Minister for Infrastructure, Avigdor Liebermann, for the construction of a controversial $1.3m coal-fired power plant in the south of Ashkelon at the Rotenberg power complex.

Kuwait: VA Tech Transmission & Distribution has installed a ‘Yarmouk A’ 132/11 kV substation for Kuwaiti Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) five weeks ahead of schedule. The 217m contract forms part of a project for the reinforcement of the electricity transmission system in the Middle Eastern State.

Lithuania: The Lithuanian state energy utility, Lietuvos Energija, will be divided into five units ahead of privatization. The government which owns 86 per cent of the utility will remain responsible for the energy transmission unit while its other functions will be transferred to two newly formed electricity distribution companies.

Saudi Arabia: The first unit at a 1837.5 MW power plant in Shoaiba has entered into operation for the first time and is now exporting power to consumers. Four 600 MW units at the Ghazlan II power station, also in Saudi Arabia, have also been successfully synchronized in July, and started exporting much needed power to the grid in August.

Serbia: Poland is to give Serbia a $50m, loan to prepare the republic’s power sector for the coming winter. The money will be concentrated on the Kolubara mining complex and for speeding up overhaul of power facilities ahead of winter.

Ukraine: The World Bank, EBRD, USAID and other financial organizations have called on the Ukraine government to stop interfering in the tariff policy of the privatized regional power utilities and claimed that foreign investors will refuse to take part in energy industry privatization and will cancel existing contracts unless the interference stops.

Asia Pacific

China: All of the 62 projects set by the Central Government as part of an effort to help Tibet’s development have been met. As part of this effort, the new Manla hydropower project which passed state inspection in August will be used by the people of Tibet for irrigation, power generation, prevention of flood and drought and ease the electricity shortage in the Shigatse area.

China: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide $25m in financing to Peak Pacific Investment Corporation Ltd. to help fund the company’s investments in combined heat and power (CHP) plants in China.

Japan: US company El Paso Corporation is currently in talks with four Japanese companies for joint development of power generation in Japan’s deregulating market.

El Paso has been looking to enter into the market and opened a Tokyo office in February this year.

Japan: The Kansai Electric Power Company Inc., Itran Communications Ltd., and Matsushita Electric Works Ltd. have formed Linecom Inc., a joint venture company for the development and deployment of power line telecommunication systems in Japan.

Japan: Clean Coal Power R and D Corporation, a joint venture of ten Japanese power utilities, plans to build a 250 000 kW demonstration version of an integrated coal gasification combined cycle plant. The plant is scheduled to start operations in Iwaki, Fukui Prefecture, in fiscal 2007.

Pakistan: Peter Brotherhood Ltd. has recently won a à‚£1.6m ($2.24m) contract to supply seven new machines to Thal Industries in Pakistan for its Layyah Sugar Mill subsidiary. The machines will use steam from boilers fired from the waste material left after sugar cane processing.

Philippines: The floor price for 40 per cent of the National Transmission Company (Transco), a spinoff from the Philippines state-owned National Power Corporation (NPC), is set up to $2.7bn. The Transco will be offered to a strategic investor in an auction by the first quarter of 2002. The state owned firm claims to have short listed six to eight bidders for the Transco.

Philippines: The Philippine Electric Plant Owners Association (Pepoa) are concerned that the creation of a new power body in the Philippines, as mandated in the Electric Industry Reform Act (Eira), will create more red tape in the sector and cause additional burden on private electric plant operators. The Power Commission has given its assurance that it would only be a supporting body to the power industry.

Companies

Acquisition plans: Centrica, the UK’s largest supplier of household gas and electricity, wants to have at least 10m customers in North America by 2003 despite concerns over the impact of the California crisis on the volatile North American market. The company plans for half of this amount to come from acquisitions.

Enron executives: The US energy giant Enron has appointed two senior executives, Greg Whalley and Mark Frevert, to the chairmans office. This is the first step in replacing Jeffrey Skilling as chief executive. Mr Whalley has been promoted to president and chief operating officer, while Mr Frevert has been promoted to vice chairman of the company.

Call centre closure: UK energy retailer Innogy is to close four of its seven call centres as part of the à‚£35m ($51.6m) annual savings it promised when it brought Yorkshire Electricity 18 months ago. The call centres in Sheffield, Bradford, Swindon and Worcester in the UK will be phased out over the next 18 months. Up to 900 jobs will be available at the remaining centres for the 1100 employees that will be made redundant.

Tractebel rise: Tractebel, the energy division of the French multi-utility Suez, has reported a 59 per cent rise in first-half profits. Tractabel is transferring its communications subsidiaries and the company’s waste water arm, Sita, to Suez before it transfers its European electricity assets to Electrabel, in which it is a shareholder, for 2590m.

Collaboration: The professional services unit of Union Fenosa has entered into a collaboration agreement with the information systems unit of Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco). It is hoped that the alliance will allow the two companies to work together in developing projects and software solutions in Korea’s electricity sector which is currently in the process of being deregulated.

Development programme: SMF Technologies Plc. has signed an 18 month project development agreement with LEM Group for the development of new products for LEM using SMF technology. SMF has also granted LEM share options that can be exercised at defined milestones over the agreement period.

Cooperation for sales: Under a new agreement for international sales and marketing cooperation, Aumund will now be able to market B&W Mechanical Handling’s full range of products. The agreement will expand the product range and maximize the Group’s opportunities for participation in semi-turnkey projects.

Americas

Chile: Empresa Eléctrica Colbun Machicura SA has awarded GE Power System’s a $14m contract for the supply of a 9FA gas-turbine generator for a combined cycle power plant in Quillota, in Chile. The new station will produce more than 250 MW when it enters simple cycle operation in May 2003, which will increase to 385 MW when combined cycle operation starts in the April 2004.

Puerto Rico: Alstom will supply two 7.7 MW Tempest gas turbine generating sets to IPR Pharmaceuticals Inc. for their plant at Canavanas as part of a $6m deal with Fluor Daniel Inc. The Tempest will operate on liquid fuel and will provide emergency power to the site.

USA: RWE Trading Americas Inc., a new company formed by Germany’s RWE AG, will engage in physical and derivative trade in electricity, gas, coal and oil in 2002. RWE formed the new company to build up its energy trading operations in the US.

USA: The controversial nuclear waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, will meet the strict atomic safety standards, concluded a recent study by the US Department of Energy. The project could become the first civil spent-fuel repository in the world if plans to build the plant go ahead.

USA: Tractebel Project Development Inc. has commenced construction on two natural gas-fired merchant power plants which have a total output of 1225 MW of electricity generating capacity.

USA: Wärtsilä has received its largest order ever for a gas fired turnkey power plant. The 110 MW plant will be owned by PG&E National Energy Group and will be located near the city of Plains End, Colorado. The plant, which will use 20 Wärtsilä 34SG gas engines, will begin operation in May 2002.

Canada: Enron Canada is reviving its plans to build a 140 MW power plant in Sarnia, Ontario, now that a date of March 1, 2002 has been set for opening the market. Enron will re-evaluate the $200m power plant project over the next month based on technical issues and new market calculations for the spring.

USA: SierraPine Ltd. has contracted Vericor Power Systems to supply two VPS3 gas turbine generating sets for their new 6 MW cogeneration plant being built in Medford, Oregon. The power plant will supply about one-half of SierraPine’s electrical load for its fibreboard process, while exhaust from the gas turbines will be used to dry wood fibre.

USA: SPL WorldGroup B.V. will supply JEA with the PeopleSoft CIS for Public Enterprise solution to help manage and serve their 340 000 customers in Jacksonville. The product is distributed by PeopleSoft Inc.

Europe

Germany and France: Wind turbine producer Nordex AG has received two new orders in Europe worth approximately €30m. Nordex will construct 12 Sàƒ¼dwing S70 turbines for six different operating companies at the Schuby wind park in Germany, and will construct seven N60 turbines for Paris-based company Moulins àƒ¡ Vent de Fitou.

Italy and UK: Metso Automation has won two new plant orders in Italy and the UK. The company will deliver the metsoDNA automation and information management systems for PowerGen’s Groverhurst Sludge Combustion plant in Kemsley, UK. Metso Automation will also deliver automation and management systems to Tecnoborgo SpA’s energy-from-waste plant in Piacenza, Italy.

Norway: The Water resources and Energy Directorate of Norway has approved the construction of a pilot tidal-powered power plant to be built by Mammerfest Stroem in Finnmark, northern Norway. The plant will include a 300 kV turbine placed on the seabed and linked to a transformer station on land which will be connected to the existing grid. If successful, up to 20 turbines could be added to bring it into commercial use.

Norway and Poland: Norway and Poland have singed a long term natural gas deal which will create new export routes for gas-rich Norway while easing Poland’s dependence on Russia for imports. Under a $11bn deal, Norway will export 74bn m3 of gas to the Polish town of Niechorze via a new pipeline.

Spain: Endesa has selected Enel SpA, Tractebel SA and Hidroelectrica del Cantabrico SA as the three remaining bidders for New Viesgo, a unit of Endesa. These remaining companies, out of the five that originally submitted bids, have been offered a final opportunity to improve the terms of their offers.

Spain: Spanish energy group Endesa is reportedly considering construction of a new 800 MW gas fired combined cycle power plant in Galicia, Spain. The proposed project may face opposition if the company decided to proceed because of the moratorium imposed by the government on increases in installed capacity in Spain. Meanwhile, Spainish utility Iberdrola said it had won the bidding for 500 kWh of generation being sold off by EdF as part of the conditions imposed when the French group took a stake in Germany’s EnBW.

UK: A park and swimming pool in Woking will be the first site in the UK to use fuel cell technology in every day use. The fuel cell system will heat the pool, power lights and air conditioning units. The system is being supplied by US-based International Fuel Cells, a unit of United Technologies Corporation.

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