Americas

Brazil: Privatization officials have said that the delayed partial sell-off of state utility Cesp Parana will take place in an auction in Sao Paulo on 6 December 2000. It has set the minimum price for the 39 per cent stake in the utility at $940m. A number of companies have expressed an interest in the sale, including EDF, AES, Duke Energy, EDP and Tractebel.

Canada: The government has launched an action plan to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to bring the country in line with its Kyoto Protocol Commitments. The plans include increasing the use of fuel cells and renewable fuels, policy measures to make it easier for small-scale renewable energy projects to gain access to the electricity grid, and the promotion of energy efficiency.

Dominican Republic: AES has started construction of a $340m electric power plant and LNG importing facility near Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The 300 MW combined cycle power plant will be based around a 501F gas turbine supplied by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Mexico: The agreement between GE Power Systems and Jenbacher Group to distribute Jenbacher’s gas engine technology has been extended to include Mexico. GE Power Systems will be the exclusive distributor of Jenbacher products in Mexico, including combined heat and power systems and gas-based generating sets.

USA: Calpine Corp. and EOG Resources have signed an innovative pact that links the price of natural gas to the price of electricity. EOG will sell 10m cu ft per day of natural gas directly to Calpine, an independent power producer, thus eliminating any third parties. Calpine believes that the deal will help to unbundle traditional delivered natural gas services, and could change the way gas is delivered to generating projects in the future.

USA: Dynegy Inc has launched Dynegydirect, an Internet-based, commission-free B2B portal and trading site for energy and communication commodities. The company says that its innovative technology and flexible, real-time platform will provide customers with the ability to exercise greater control over their trading activities. Users will initially be able to bid and offer prices across US power and natural gas.

USA: Alstom has been awarded a a20m ($23m) contract to convert Southern Energy’s Bosque County power plant in Texas to combined cycle operation. The company will provide the complete installation including heat recovery boiler and steam turbine. Commercial operation is slated for mid-2001.

Asia / Pacific

Australia: Australian Gas Light (AGL), an Australian listed gas company, has joined forces with power and water utility Actew to offer multi-utility services to the Capital Territory. Trading under the name AGL-Actew, it will offer a full range of gas, water, electricity and telecomms services.

China: The 3000 MW Beilun power plant in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, has entered operation. The coal-fired plant, constructed with funds from the World Bank, is China’s largest coal-burning electric plant. The plant will support economic development in the east of the country.

India: PowerGrid Corp. has surrendered around $50m to the World bank owing to its inability to use the whole of a $275m loan sanctioned for the Power System Development Programme. The terminal date for use of the funds, intended for constructing 400 kV transmission lines in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states, was 30 September 2000.

India: The Asian Development Bank has provided a loan of $250m to help India reform its power sector and establish a national grid for interstate power transmission. A national grid will help improve the efficiency of India’s generating system, allowing states to share reserve margin and trade surplus generation.

Japan: Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has said that it will open its 40 000 km fibre optic network to Internet and telecomms companies. Tepco has the second largest fibre optics network in Japan, and the move will make it a rival of Nippon Telephone and Telegraph. Tepco also said that it would invest ¥100bn ($928m) to extend its network.

New Zealand: The government has decided to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by 2002. New Zealand’s target is to stabilise emissions of greenhouse gases at 1990 levels over the period 2008-2012. The country’s emission levels have been rising since 1990.

Pakistan: The government has approved a feasibility study for the development of stage one of the Basha Dam project. The project would involve the construction of a 200 m-high dam and an underground power house with 12 generating units with a total capacity of 3350 MW.

Sri Lanka: Two 20 MW power plants are to be constructed by private power developers in Anuradhapura and Matara in order to augment the country’s power supply. One plant will be commissioned in 2001 and the other in 2002.

Companies

Alstom cuts workforce: After 12 months of negotiations with management and its workforce, Alstom Power has announced that it is to cut 1200 jobs in Germany. Most of the positions to be lost will be at the company’s Nuernberg site.

Enel telecomms buy: Italian utility Enel has bought telecommunications group Infostrada for a11bn ($9.5bn). Infostrada will be merged with Wind, Enel’s mobile telecomms joint venture with France Telecom.

Enron beats expectations: Both e-commerce operations and surging sales of natural gas and power in North America have helped Enron exceed analysts’ expectations in its third quarter results. The company reported earnings of $292m in the three months to the end of September, while third quarter revenues rose to $30bn, up from $11bn in the third quarter 1999. Enron said that Enron Online, its e-commerce operation, has again helped to drive its wholesale operations.

Kema buys Xenergy: Kema Consulting has announced that it has acquired Xenergy, a US-based consulting firm focused on the energy industry. Kema said that the acquisition is key to its goal of broadening its scope of services to the industry. Xenergy’s services include utility restructuring, retail market support, market research, energy efficiency and technical services.

Neles expands with acquisition: Neles Automation and Industrial Control Services Group has bought US-based Max Control Systems for an undisclosed sum. The deal will enlarge Neles’ energy automation business into new areas and increase its after-sales business, especially in the USA and Asia. Max designs, builds and installs plant control and data acquisition systems for power plants and process applications.

Shell fuel cell JV: Royal Dutch/Shell is to form an equal joint venture with United Technologies of the US to develop, manufacture and sell fuel processors to the alternative power market. The aim of the joint venture is to pool the knowledge of the two companies in this field, and market the technology for applications in power generation, road transport and other areas.

VA Tech-Schneider Alliance: VA Technologie and Schneider Electric are to form a global alliance, known as VA Tech Schneider HV, to strengthen their position in the worldwide high voltage business. Under a 60/40 joint venture, VA Tech will contribute its transmission and distribution business and Schneider will provide all of its Electric High Voltage subsidiary’s high voltage business. The new company will rank third worldwide in the high voltage sector.

Europe

Europe: A new report from market analysis firm Datamonitor has forecast that 16.2m households in the deregulated European energy market will switch supplier via the Internet by 2004. Other key findings from the European survey reveal that 50 per cent of on-line consumers would purchase telecoms and television services from their energy supplier, but that 90 per cent would not take financial services.

Europe: HoustonStreet Exchange is planning to establish a European electricity trading platform and is in the process of lining up several key partners, including RWE, Electrabel, Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux and Vattenfall.

France: Spanish utility Endesa is to test the willingness of France to open up its electricity sector by bidding for a stake in French electricity producer Societ

France: EDF has acquired a 35 per cent stake in SIIF Energies, one of the leading French companies in the renewable energy sector. SIIF specialises in solar installations and wind power stations.

Germany: Energy majors E.ON and RWE have both announced substantial cuts in their capacity to reduce the level of generating surplus in the German market and lower costs. The board of E.ON Energie has approved cuts of 4800 MW and the closure of the Stade nuclear power station. RWE is to cut its capacity by 5000 MW by 2004. E.ON said that it now expects to see an improvement of $638m (a742m) in its operating profits over a ten year period.

Norway: Swedish engineering group NCC has been booked by Statkraft to build the Nya Bjolvo power station at Kvam, near Hardanger. Work on the project is to start immediately and is scheduled for completion in 2003.

Portugal: Rolls-Royce has won a £6.2m ($9.05m, a10.5m) contract to supply an RB211 gas turbine to a cogeneration project in Carrico, north of the Portuguese capital Lisbon. The project is being developed by Abener Energia SA of Spain. Power from the plant, which will be constructed by GDP Energia and EDP Cogera

UK: Construction group Kier Construction has said that it has begun work on a 46-turbine wind farm in Scotland. The Beinn An Tuirc windfarm scheme, near Carradale in Kintyre, will be complete in 2002. It will have an output of 30 MW, enough to power 6 000 homes.

International

Czech Republic: The UK’s International Power is reported to have expressed an interest in taking part in the privatization of the Czech energy sector and the national utility CEZ. International Power already owns the Opatovice power plant and is thought to have invested $240m in the country so far.

Ethiopia: The rising cost of fuel oil is forcing Ethiopia to look at alternative ways of generating power, including the use of biomass, geo-thermal and natural gas. The country wants to reduce its fuel import bill, even though diesel-based generating plants count for only three per cent of capacity. The country spent $125m on the purchase of refined petroleum products in 1999.

Ethiopia: The $63m Tis Abay II hydroelectric project, a key element in Ethiopia’s power development programme, has entered its final phase of construction. The power plant will consist of two Francis generating units with a combined capacity of 72 MW, operating under a head of 53.5 m. Spiral case installation has been completed and the installation of the turbine generators is about to commence. The project should be complete in early 2001.

Poland: Swedish utility Sydkraft is to launch a power and heating company in Poland in order to position itself in the recently deregulated Polish electricity market. Sydkraft Energetyka will focus on district heating and combined heat and power production, and will look to form a partnership with a local distribution company.

Russia: The nuclear energy minister Yevgeny Adamov said that plans for new nuclear capacity in the Russian Far East with an overall capacity of up to 12 GW are underway. Adamov said that funds spent on the project would be recouped through exports of electricity.

Slovakia: The sell-off of state electric utility Slovenske Elektrarne is slated for mid-2001, according to the country’s economy minister. An advisor for the sale of up to 49 per cent of the utility should be in place in early 2001.

South Africa: Black & Veatch has completed a pricing study for Eskom to help the utility incorporate different sizes of circulating fluidized bed (CFB) power plants in its planning models. Black & Veatch evaluated various combinations of 125 and 250 MW plant sizes based on the use of the large quantities of waste coal available in the country.

Zambia: The Zambian government has developed a package of incentives to encourage investment in the country’s electricity supply industry. Under the initiative, investors will be able to operate plants and sell the power to Zesco, the state monopoly, and would also be eligible for tax rebates.