News Digest

International

International: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced a new $1.18m technical assistance programme aimed at reducing poverty in central Asia by increasing regional economic and energy cooperation between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The Regional Power Transmission Modernization Project will seek to eliminate technical and institutional barriers that constrain the flow of electricity and impede the rational use of the regional transmission system.

Armenia: The Armenian Energy Ministry has said that the tender for the privatization of the Armenian electricity distribution grids, scheduled for 21 April 2001, was called off because no bids were submitted. Armenia wants to sell controlling stakes in the Yerevan, Central, Northern and Southern power grids.

Egypt: Siemens Power Generation Group (PG) has handed over the Sidi Krir and Ayoun Moussa power plants to the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company. The two twin-unit plants, located in Alexandria and on the Sinai peninsula respectively, will each feed 640 MW into the country’s power grid.

Georgia: The World Bank has approved a $27.4m credit to help Georgia improve the efficiency and reliability of its electricity supply system, and improve financial and corporate management in the wholesale electricity market. The project includes the upgrade of metering, control and communications systems, and the financing of private management contracts.

Hungary: The Hungarian competition authority has approved the acquisition by EDF International of 89 per cent of the Eromue power station in Budapest. The acquisition gives EDF a further three per cent share in the Hungarian electricity market.

Mozambique: A preliminary environmental and social assessment into a planned dam at Mepanda Uncua on the Zambezi River has found that the planned reservoir would cover a relatively small area and would require the resettlement of 1000 people. The project would include a 1200 MW power station and would cost around $1.25bn.

Turkey: Turkey is to try 15 businessmen and officials on bribery and conspiracy charges following an in-depth investigation into alleged corruption in state energy tenders. Corruption has been identified as the root cause of the country’s financial crisis.

UAE: The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority has awarded VA Tech Reyrolle Projects a contract for the supply of three GIS substations to reinforce the electricity grid in Abu Dhabi.

Europe

Denmark: The world’s largest offshore windmill park comprising 20 windmills spinning at the entrance of Copenhagen’s harbour has been inaugurated to strengthen the country’s position as a world leader in wind energy generation. With a capacity of 40 MW, four times more that its nearest offshore rival in Sweden, the Middelgrunden park will supply 32 000 households, or three per cent of Copenhagen’s electricity consumption.

France: Construction of a cogeneration plant at TotalFinaElf’s site at Gonfreville, near Le Havre, is expected to start this autumn following the signing of an agreement between EDF, which holds a 50 per cent stake in the project, and TotalFinaElf and Texaco, who hold 25 per cent each. The 260 MW unit is expected to cost some à‚£145m ($206m).

France: Railways group SNCF is to sell its hydropower generation subsidiary SHEM which has installed capacity of 800 MW. Producing around 2 TWh, or one third of SNCF’s electricity consumption, SHEM has attracted interest from a number of parties including Spain’s Endesa, Belgium’s Electrabel, Germany’s RWE and Hydro Quebec of Canada.

Finland: Framatome ANP has won a follow-up contract to supply Atrium 10 fuel assemblies to the boiling water reactor Olkiluoto 1. The deal between Framatome ANP and Teollisuuden Voima Oy is worth a20m ($17.5m) and will involve the supply of fuel assemblies including fuel channels between 2002 and 2004. The 870 MW plant was the world’s first reactor with a complete Atrium 10 core, and has been continuously supplied with fuel by Framatome since 1983.

Germany: The German government is expected to provide considerable financial support to back-up the takeover of the east German brown-coal (lignite) companies Veag and Laubag by the north German electricity group HEW. The sale has been approved by the Federal Cartel Office. The aim of the government’s financial support is to secure the future of the central German lignite field despite warning against subsidizing HEW’s coal purchases from tax payers organizations.

Ireland: ABB has booked a deal worth $14m to expand and upgrade the power network in and around Dublin. The project forms part of Ireland’s infrastructure development plan and is aimed at promoting the country as a European hub for e-business.

Italy: GE power systems has won the largest ever deal for geothermal power generation by Erga S.p.A, a subsidiary of Enel S.p.A. Valued at around $85m, the contract represents about 30 per cent of Erga’s total investment in the eight-plant expansion project in Tuscany, Italy.

Asia-Pacific

China: Following meetings between senior international industrial analysts, power industry regulators and utilities, the China State Power Corp. is to consolidate power grids and power generation enterprises into large entities. Some assets are to have market listings as part of a major restructuring programme.

India: Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) has begun implementation of the 210 MW unit 7 of the Raichur Thermal Station prior to the financial closure of the project. According to sources in Bangalore, a decision to proceed with the construction work was made on the strength of the bridge finance support extended by a group of public sector banks including Canara Bank and Andhra Bank. The support has been given on the back of state government guarantees.

India: Power Grid Corporation of India Limited has highlighted five transmission projects worth some $2.62bn, for which it wants to invite private sector participation. Included in the projects are the $230m Rihand-II transmission link, the $300m Ennore project and the $1840m transmission system associated with Kahalgaon-II.

Malaysia: YTL Power International Bhd group’s managing director, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, has announced the firm is seeking new investment opportunities in the region, particularly in Australia and Singapore. YTL Power currently has a 33 per cent stake in south Australia transmission network Electranet.

Pakistan: PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has been appointed as the privatization advisor for the Karachi Electric Supply Corp. (KESC) by the Privatization Commission (PC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Following extensive evaluation of the firm by the ADB and PC, the agreements were signed in Manila at the ADB headquarters. PWC has presented a timetable for the privatization, with the sale of KESC expected before June 2002.

Philippines: President of state-owned National Power Corp. (Napocor), Jesus N. Alcordo, has announced that some peso42bn ($3019m) will be needed to settle its maturing obligations this year. The obligations include peso27bn in principal and peso15bn in interest.

Thailand: The Thai unit of Tokyo Engineering of Japan has been awarded a deal worth 1.1bn baht ($24.4m) to supply and construct a 117 MW combined-cycle power plant for TLP Cogeneration Co, a subsidiary of Electricity Generating Plc (Egco), one of the country’s main independent power producers.

Vietnam: The last three gas turbines built at the Phu My 1 combined cycle thermal power plant in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province were connected to the national grid on 24 April 2001.

Americas

Argentina: Spanish energy group Endesa and the Spanish petroleum company Repsol-YPF have sold their respective interests of 40.19 and 9.62 per cent in the Argentine electricity distribution company Edenor to French utility EDF for $627m. This deal will add to EDF’s existing 32 per cent holding, giving it an 81 per cent stake in the utility.

Brazil: Brazilian power distribution company Elektro has denied that its controlling shareholder Enron is considering selling its stake in the company. However, Elektro has reportedly informed the stock exchange that confidential negotiations have taken place.

Canada: Ontario Power Generation has announced plans to sell or lease eight power plants between the Tunder Bay area and Toronto, Canada. The Ontario government wants to open the market to competition in May 2002, after which Ontario Power Generation will have to reduce its market share to 35 per cent.

USA: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has urged the US to join the international community in reducing the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is hoped that the US, which is currently the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, will take part in talks which are due to take place in Bonn in July.

USA: Alstom will supply Panda Energy with 20 heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) for use in combined cycle power plants as part of a a170m ($149m) contract. Eight HRSGs will be delivered to a 2200 MW plant in Arkansas, USA, with the remainder delivered throughout the US in the next two years.

USA: ABB Electricity Metering has been awarded four new contracts from the Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), worth a total of $2m for their ION 8400 and ION 8500 advanced revenue meters. ERCOT is looking to improve the accuracy of billing, and provide the information needed to properly manage the grid by using the ISO metering systems.

USA: TVA has signed a multi-year contract with Framatome ANP Inc. to supply nuclear units with fuel assemblies using low-enriched uranium derived from uranium originally produced for national defence purposes. This forms part of a project by the US government to reduce the stockpiles of uranium formerly used in the production of nuclear weapons.

USA: Entergy Corporation will aim to stabilize its domestic greenhouse gas emissions at 2000 levels through to 2005, and develop long term targets to combat climate control. Entergy is the first US electricity company to be accepted into the Partnership for Climate Action (PCA), a collaboration of international business and environmental leaders dedicated to climate protection.

Companies

ABB launches Powerformer Light: ABB has launched Powerformer Light, a new concept for 4-pole generators in the lower output range. The system allows plants to be connected directly to the grid without the need for a step-up transformer. Solutions for application in the output range of 5-55 MVA and for voltages up to 66 kV will be initially offered.

Aggreko reports: Temporary power supplier Aggreko has reported an encouraging set of results, saying that the company was boosted by demand for emergency power supply solutions in North America. The company has won a number of contracts with industrial companies in the US needing to supplement their power supplies, and is also seeing success in Europe following a restructuring of its European business unit.

Cinergy-Convergent utility offering: Cinergy Ventures and Convergent Group have formed a new company, emPowerNET, to provide Application Service Provider-hosted energy delivery and energy market management technologies to small and mid-sized utilities. Products on offer will include energy delivery resource planning solutions, load management, supply management and energy market information management.

Erga acquires in south America: Enel’s renewable energy subsidiary Erga SpA has agreed to buy Energia Global International Ltd. (EGI) for $56m in cash and $18m in deferred consideration. EGI owns, operates and develops renewable power projects in central and south America.

Fortum sells: Fortum Group has sold the entire share capital of IVO Transmission Engineering Ltd. to a new company formed by CapMan Capital Management Oy, a private equity investor, and the operative management. IVO Transmission Engineering will become known as Eltel Networks Oy, and will focus on power, telecommunications and rail networks in the Nordic region.

Framatome sheds: Framatome ANP is to shed 225 jobs because of a reduction in nuclear sector business activity. The announcement comes just a few months ahead of the establishment of Topco, the French nuclear holding group of which Framatome ANP will be a part.

Innogy up: UK utility Innogy Holdings plc has reported an increase in turnover of 47 per cent to à‚£3859m ($5480m) for the year ending 31 March 2001. Operating profits stood at à‚£202m and the company saw a à‚£48m increase in retail operating profit. The company is looking to float Regenesys, its innovative energy storage technology business.

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