News Digest

Americas

Brazil: Alstom, leading the CEITAIPU consortium, has won an international bid for design, production, erection and commissioning of the last two 700 MW generating units at Itaipu.

Canada: Westcoast Energy has agreed to sell its interest in five of its Canadian operating power plants to its rival TransCanada Power L.P. for Ca$512 ($346 m) in cash and debt.

El Salvador: Reliant Energy is to sell its interest in El Salvador Energy Holdings, which owns three distribution systems in El Salvador, to a subsidiary of AES Corporation.

US: Parsons Energy is to build a $250m, 650 MW power plant for Constellation Power Source affiliate, Holland Energy LLC, in Holland Township, Illinois. The plant will produce electricity that Constellation Power will use to meet energy needs in the wholesale market.

US: Reliant Energy is to build what it claims to be the world’s largest wind farm south of Odessa in west Texas. The King Mountain Wind Ranch will use 160 wind turbines each rated at 1.3 MW. In a separate development, the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council and SeaWest and WindPower Inc. have signed a development agreement for the 22 MW Blackfeet 1 wind power project. This will be the first utility-scale wind energy project built on tribal lands.

US: Duke Energy North America has sold a 500 MW merchant power plant under construction in Mississippi to PG&E National Energy Group.

US: Japanese electricity supplier, Kansai Electric Power Corporation is to enter the US power generation market by transferring idle facilities. Naniwa Energy LLC, will be an equally-owned joint venture company in Delaware with US power company MSDW Power Development Corp. Naniwa will buy six idle gas turbine power facilities with a generating capacity of 360 MW from Kansai which will be put into operation in the US. Given the market conditions and the project’s low cost operations, Naniwa expects to recover its investment in four to five years.

Venezuela: Union Electrica Fenosa (FEN) of Spain will buy loss-making assets from Venezuelan electricity provider CA La Electricidad de Caracas (EDC). The option signed with AES Corp., which bought 82 per cent of EDC in June, calls for Fenosa to pay $100m for EDC’s 38.4 per cent stake in Colombia-based Energia del Pacifico SA. Fenosa will also pay $135m for Electrificadora de la Costa Atlantica and Electrificadora del Caribe, also in Colombia. The deal also calls for Fenosa to buy local gas provider Venezolana Domestica de gas for $12m.

Asia

Bangladesh: GE is to distribute fuel cells in Bangladesh through RahimAfrooz, the country’s leading company in the fields of storage batteries and distributed power.

Bangladesh: The first captive independent power project by Rolls-Royce Power Ventures in Bangladesh is underway. The 9.9 MW Meghna Energy power plant project, located in Rupganj in Narayanganj will supply power for Scan Cement Bangladesh Ltd.

China: The Chinese authorities have made a public list of 40 polluting coal burning power plants in an attempt to make local industries pay more attention to environmental issues. China will also continue to close polluting small coal mines, cement plants, oil refineries, steel factories and thermal plants. The country recently announced that it will install desulphurization units at 180 generating units, with a capacity of 44 000 MW, by the end of 2010.

Malaysia: Tenaga Nasional Berhad has appointed Dr Jamaludin Jarjis as non-executive chairman. However, the position of chief executive remains vacant. The positions were left open after the sudden departure of Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali who had held the positions of executive chairman and president, which was the equivalent of chief executive. Tajudin had declined an offer by TNB to be reinstated.

India: Hanjung has won a $450m order for India’s GVK Power Ltd to build two thermal power plants in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to build the 260 MW plants on a turnkey basis. The deal will be financed by India’s regional banks. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2004.

Pakistan: Asian Development Bank is likely to acquire equity in Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC), to revamp and restructure the corporation, reducing its losses and making it viable for privatization.

South Korea: PowerGen is to pull out its investment fund of Won 59.1bn ($53m) in Korea’s LNG-fired power generation business. PowerGen owned a 49.9 per cent stake in LG Energy which now has to return the money before the end of October. PowerGen decided to “retrieve the investment because the year-long effort to revise unfair electricity supply contracts with KEPCO was unsuccessful”.

Singapore: Singapore Power, which launched a $300m fixed rate note in August, plans to tap Japanese investors next in its bid for funds ahead of privatization in 2001.

Thailand: The Tri Energy project, Thailand’s first greenfield IPP, has begun commercial operation. The plant is owned by Edison Mission Energy.

Europe

France: GE Power Systems has won a $23m contract to supply a gas turbine-generator for a new 100 MW cogeneration plant at Vitry sur Seine, France. The gas fired plant will be owned by a joint venture formed by Compagnie Parisienne de Chauffage Urbaine , a local utility, and Cogetherm of Paris.

Greece: PB Power is to carry out a $500 000 study of the Greek transmission system as a precursor to deregulation. The review will investigate all transmission related areas and recommend measures to enhance reliability, efficiency and security of the system. It will include a complete technical audit of the transmission structure and assets and a full review of operation and maintenance procedures, to assure that the system performance will meet international standards.

Italy: A number of power stations have been announced in the north of Italy which will add an installed capacity of 15 000 MW. The new capacity is aimed at increasing the availability of electricity in the liberalised market and cut the price of electricity.

Spain: The European Commission has approved a joint venture between German utility, RWE Energie, and Spanish utility, Iberdrola, to supply electricity at interconnection level to large industrial customers in Spain. The power will be generated from a new gas fired plant.

Spain: Iberdrola has been given the go-ahead to construct a new 800 MW combined cycle power plant in Castellon. The plant will comprise two 260 MW gas turbines and a steam turbine unit of 280 MW. The plant will enter commercial operation in 2002.

United Kingdom: Construction has started on a new à‚£ 12.5m ($18.8m) technology centre for Mitsui Babcock in Renfrew, Scotland. The new centre will house analysis and experimental facilities for studies in heat transfer, combustion, materials inspection and structural integrity.

United Kingdom: Alstom has been awarded a contract to supply a gas turbine and associated equipment for Guernsey Electricity Board in the Channel Islands. The equipment will be installed at the Vale power station and will be used for emergency standby and peak lopping.

United Kingdom: The newly repowered Peterborough power station in Aberdeen, Scotland, has been handed over to Scottish and Southern Energy. Unit 1 of the plant was upgraded from 600 MW to 1200 MW by Siemens KWU. The plant can also be operated in “hybrid mode” where additional steam is generated in the existing boiler for the steam turbine. This increases overall plant output to 1450 MW.

International

Bulgaria: German energy group RWE is to end its activities in Bulgaria and is seeking a buyer for its Bulgarian subsidiary RWE of Bulgaria. It cited the impossibility of obtaining a return on investment as the reason for its withdrawal.

International: Jordan and Syria have agreed to build a dam on the Yarmouk river which flows along the western end of their border. The dam will supply Jordan with water and Syria with electricity.

Kenya: The World Bank has urged Kenya to set a specific timetable for the privatization of the Kenya Power and Light Company (KPLC) and the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen). Meanwhile, power rental company, Aggreko, has signed a contract to provide Nairobi with temporary power after droughts hit hydropower generation.

Oman: Bids are being evaluated from international and national firms for the construction of a 400 MW plant which will be the fourth private power plant in the Gulf State. The plant is to be built on the coastal town of Barka on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis.

Palestine: Enron is close to finalising a $100m financing deal for construction of Gaza’s first independent power project. The total project cost of the 136 MW plant is $150m. Enron, along with Palestine Electric Co. and a consortium of Palestinian commercial and institutional investors are each 33.33 per cent shareholders in the Gaza Power Generating Pvt Ltd.

Poland: German construction and engineering group Lurgi-Lentjes Energietechnik and Ansaldo Energia of Italy are to jointly invest $139m for the modernizatrion of the Lublin-Wrotkow CHP plant.

South Africa: US utility, Peco Energy, has taken a stake in the development of Eskom’s pebble bed nuclear project. It is the second international partner that Eskom has secured for the project. In June, British Nuclear Fuels took a 20 per cent stake for about R100m ($14.37m). Eskom has been working on the reactor since 1993. It is a new generation, small (110 MW) nuclear power station with a 40-year lifespan.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Petrochemical Co. is planning to set up a 200 MW power station at the industrial city of Jubail at a cost of Riyals562m ($150m). According to sources, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Tractebel and Enron have all been qualified to bid. The winning firm is expected to be announced around mid-2001.

Uganda: The second power generating unit of the Owen hydropower station in Jinja has been commissioned. This increases Uganda’s generating capacity from 180 MW to 260 MW.

Companies

BNFL liabilities rise: A review of British Nuclear Fuels Limited’s (BNFL) long-term nuclear liabilities has revealed that the cost of decommissioning nuclear plants and cleaning up radioactive materials has risen by

Centrica to broaden services: Centrica, Britain’s largest energy supplier, is seeking to boost its financial service interests into banking. The company could announce plans for an expansion of its existing credit card, home loans and insurance business by the end of the year.

Electrowatt-Ekono energy saving: Electrowatt-Ekono Oy and Private Energy Market Fund Oy have established a jointly owned company, Inesco Oy, that will specialize in implementing energy-saving investment projects. Inesco will plan, contract and provide financing services for projects, and will also maintain the technical operating reliability of new systems.

Merrill Lynch fund: Merrill Lynch Investment Managers is to launch a new fund investing in alternative energy technologies. The fund will invest in companies developing new technologies for fuel and automotive generation, storage and switching. The company believes the fund to be unique. Around 300 companies currently operate in this sector, with some 90 of them having a capitalization of

Reliant rises: Houston-based Reliant Energy has said that it expects its third quarter earnings to be higher than the same period a year ago, and up to 30 per cent higher than some analysts’ projections of $1.07 per share. The company’s results have been boosted by strong results in its wholesale energy group, which benefited from increased power sales in the US southwest due to hotter than normal weather.

TXU focuses: US-owned TXU Europe is reported to be considering the sale of its North Sea gas production business allowing it to focus on energy trading and supply. The company could sell its interests in four gas fields for as much as

Vattenfall falls: Sweden’s Vattenfall AB has announced a 13 per cent fall in first half profits, but maintained that it would continue its expansion plans in Germany and Poland, and continue to invest in Internet infrastructure. The utility reported profits of Kr1.83bn ($196m), down from Kr2.1bn in the same period last year.

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