International

Czech Republic: A fire started at the controversial Temelin nuclear plant in January when an unspecified amount of oil leaked and ignited. The fire was immediately extinguished and posed no safety threat, according to a Temelin spokesman. The Austrian government is concerned over the safety of the Soviet designed plant.

Georgia: Georgia intends to privatize five of its medium-sized hydroelectric stations, and eight of its regional distribution networks in an attempt to rescue its crippled energy system. The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation will advise the country on these privatization plans.

Hungary: Six distribution companies may take legal action against the Hungarian government for electricity price increase limits that could lead to losses for their operators, which include RWE, E.ON, and EDF. The Hungarian government believes that its new system guarantees a 9.3 per cent return on assets over the next four years.

Iran: Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power station has received its first delivery of equipment – a platform to support the reactor – from Russian enterprise Atommash. Iran’s nuclear programme has been attacked by the US government which has accused Tehran of attempting to develop nuclear weapons.

Kenya: The Kenyan government has called for an interconnected African power grid to help meet energy requirements throughout the continent. Kenya’s current shortfall could, said Energy Minister Francis Masakhalia, be alleviated if countries had an energy co-operation programme allowing the export of surplus power.

Serbia: Electricity is being exported from Romania to alleviate the current energy crisis in Serbia, where daily eight-hour blackouts are being experienced. Serbia and Russia have already reached an agreement for the supply of natural gas. In January, Serbian energy minister Srboljub Antic resigned, saying he had personally failed in the energy crisis.

Tanzania: The Tanzania Electric Supply Company has suspended the nation-wide power rationing that was introduced in November 2000, due to an increase in water levels at its hydropower stations. Hydropower accounts for 67 per cent of the total installed capacity in Tanzania.

Turkey: The planned multi-billion-dollar “Blue Stream” natural gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey will go ahead despite corruption investigations involving Turkish officials. The 1213 km pipeline is expected to deliver 365bn m³ of gas to Turkey over 25 years and will be completed in 2001.


Europe

Italy: Foster Wheeler Italiana, Spa, has sold 50 per cent of its interest in Lomellina Energia Srl, to Fineldo Spa of Italy for an undisclosed amount. Lomellina Energia was formed to develop a waste-to-energy project based on circulating fluidized bed technology. It is the first plant of its kind to be developed by a private company in Italy.

Norway: Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg has rejected the possibility of further large-scale hydropower development declaring that: “The benefits of these development projects are not sufficiently great to justify irreversible encroachment on the natural environment”. Virtually all of Norway’s electricity is from hydropower, averaging 115 TWh annually, but two gas-fired power stations have been recently approved for construction.

Spain: Rolls-Royce is to supply seven Bergen engines to Cinca Verde for use in a cogeneration project at a fish farming facility in Spain. The engines will produce electricity for the Spanish national grid, with the exhaust heat from the engines being used in the farm’s production facility.

Spain: Alstom will supply three 53 MW gas turbines to Endesa for a combined cycle power plant in Mallorca, Spain. The plant is scheduled to enter commercial operation in simple cycle mode in time for this summer’s peak power demand.

Sweden: Kvaerner Pulping has won a $30m (a31.5m)contract for a 75 MW energy-from-waste boiler using CFB technology for Norrköping Miljo öch Energi in Sweden. The boiler will produce district heating for the city of Norrköping by burning household and industrial waste. The boiler will also produce process steam for a nearby ethanol factory.

UK: Northern Electric Distribution Ltd. has awarded ABB Power T&D Ltd. a contract worth £4.2m ($6.3m, a6.6m) for the construction and refurbishment of substations throughout northeast England. The refurbishment is part of Northern Electric’s five year plan to to increase electrical supply reliability.

UK: VA Tech has completed the construction of its new factory and office in Edinburgh. The new high-tech factory cost £35m ($52.5m, a55m) to construct and will employ around 300 staff. The original factory burnt down in 1999, but all existing contracts were honoured.

UK: One of the world’s largest straw-fired power stations will soon enter commercial operation following four years of development. Energy Power Resources Limited developed the power plant, which is fuelled by straw supplemented by natural gas to improve power output and efficiency. The plant is based near Ely, Cambridgeshire, and will supply power to the grid.


Asia-Pacific

Bangladesh: Rolls-Royce has won contracts to supply engines for power generation projects in Bangladesh. The UK company will supply three Bergen KVGS-18G3 gas engines to a power station close to Dhaka. A further two KVGS-18G3 engines have been ordered by Global Heavy Chemicals Ltd. for an installation at a factory in the same region producing caustic soda.

China: An investment agreement to upgrade the Kaiyuan power plant, designed to supply electricity from southwest China’s Yunnan Province to east China, was signed on 7 January 2001. The agreement between five parties, including the Honghe Cigarette Factory and the Yunnan Power Group Co., is worth around yn2.69bn ($324m) and will start within the year.

China: The Zhonghai Petrochemical Oil Corp. signed a deal with the Hainan provincial government and the Bank of China to invest yn10bn ($1.3bn) in chemical fertilizer, natural gas development, a natural gas pipe line and power plant upgrading projects in the southern province of Hainan.

India: The National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai, is currently working on a pilot project to generate electricity from wave power. The Ministry of Nonconventional Energy has estimated that a potential of 50 000 MW exists in India’s waters.

Malaysia: Malaysia’s latest coal-fired power station at Manjung will be controlled by one of ABB’s largest ever control systems. The three year project, valued at around $640m will involve 25 000 I/O plus 24 serial links for I/O. The plant is due to start operation in 2003.

Singapore: Hitachi Ltd. has announced a 70-30 joint venture with Asia Projects Engineering Pte. to establish a maintenance service company for thermoelectric power plants in Singapore. It will be staffed by 15 people, including five engineers transferred from Japan. The new company is also expected to develop business in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Sri Lanka: A financing package for the construction of a 163 MW power station in Colombo was approved by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 19 December 2000, marking a first for ADB-sponsored power projects in the country. It is hoped that the project – which is the largest such scheme in the country – will provide cheap electricity, alleviate acute power shortages and reduce dependency on hydropower.

Vietnam: Vietnam’s electricity output reached 26.6bn kWh in 2000 representing an annual increase of 12.7 per cent. A total of 13 power plants provide a capacity of 5774 MW. Six hydro-electric plants produce around half the total.


Americas

Canada: DynaMotive Technologies Corp., has completed construction of its BioOil pilot plant that converts forest and agricultural wastes into a clean burning liquid fuel. Once commissioned, the fully automated plant will have a production capacity of 6000 litres of BioOil per day, providing much larger quantities of BioOil for engine and combustion test programmes.

Canada: US company AES Corp. plans to invest C$450m ($288m) in the construction of a new gas fired power plant in energy-starved Calgary. The planned 525 MW plant will provide enough energy to supply half of Calgary’s power needs. Alberta’s deregulated market and high power prices have enticed AES Corp., which said that the new plant could be up and running as early as 2003.

Canada: Sustainable Energy Technologies Ltd. has received an order for a 7.5 kW power-conditioning system for a Proton Unigen regenerative fuel cell system. The fuel cell system will combine Proton’s hydrogen generation technology with a fuel cell power generator to create an energy device that is able to produce and store the hydrogen fuel that can then be used to generate electricity.

USA: Alstom has won a turnkey order worth a120m ($114m) to supply four 25 MW geothermal power plans to Mexico’s Comision Federal de Electricidad.The plant forms part of the Mexican’s government’s programme to increase the country’s overall power generation capacity using geothermal sources.

USA: Production costs at US nuclear power plants are now the lowest of any major reliable electricity source, including coal fired power plants, according to the Utility Data Institute. Although production costs do not represent the complete cost of electricity at nuclear power plants, low production costs position these facilities to thrive in a competitive electricity marketplace.

USA: Cinergy Corp. has reached a $1.4m settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over alleged illegal pollution from its coal-fired power plants. It is the largest such settlement ever reached under the Clean Air Act and is the result of a four year investigation by the EPA into pollution controls at ten of Cinergy’s plants.

USA: Washington Group International announced that its Washington Power Unit is providing engineering and procurement services to Kinder Morgan Inc. for two 550 MW natural gas-fired power plants. The plants will be installed at Wrightsville, Arkansas, and Jackson, Michigan, and will supply electricity to local utilities and the regional grid respectively.


Companies

Black & Veatch restructures: Black & Veatch is to restructure its global business activities to better address opportunities in the key growth areas of energy, water and information. The company will also create a new corporate centre, which will include a finance division, a legal division and a newly created administration division.

BNFL misses targets: British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL), the state-owned UK atomic service group, is expected to miss its commercial targets for reprocessing nuclear waste for the third year running. BNFL’s Sellafield reprocessing plant in the UK, should have reprocessed 800 t of waste in 2000, but has only managed to reprocessed 348 t due to a blockage in an evaporator used for handling waste.

Coen strengthens: Coen Company, a major supplier of firing systems to power plants, has announced the formation of a new business division that will concentrate on developing new products, new market initiatives and support additional corporate expansion through acquisitions and merger activity. The company is aiming to capitalize on its strengths and will seek to expand from within.

E.ON boost: E.ON, the German utility formed by the merger of Veba and Viag, expects a sharp rise in operating profits in 2001 and is planning a number of acquisitions in the coming years. E.ON is aiming to expand its electricity, gas and water business, helped by the proceeds from recent divestments.

MDC takeover: Fisher-Rosemount has acquired MDC Technology, a worldwide supplier of software and services for real-time process optimization, equipment performance monitoring, and advanced control and process information management. The companies have worked together on several major projects and Fisher-Rosemount hopes that this acquisition will enable its customers to take advantage of MDC’s process assets.

R-R sells Vickers units: Rolls-Royce has sold most of its Vickers Turbine Components business to Royal Bank Private Equity (RBPE) for £74m ($111m). The businesses acquired by RBPE specialise in precision-engineering components for the automotive, aerospace and industrial gas turbine markets and have a combined work force of about 1220. Two companies, Ross Catherall Ceramics and Vickers pressings, will remain part of Rolls Royce, which wants to increase focus on its core gas turbine technology activity.

Siemens Solar contract: Siemens Solar Industries L.P. has received a long-term contract from Solaria Corp. to provide power digital satellite receivers and computer terminals across the developing world.