Singapore Power on regional roll

SINGAPOREà‚–In a drive to become a regional energy merchant Singapore Power Ltd. has contracted with Germany’s Siemens Advanced Engineering to build an estimated $311.76 million 740 Mw combined cycle gas-fired electricity plant.

The power plant will be completed by 2002 and will be operated bySingapore Power’s subsidiary PowerSeraya. Singapore Power CEO Boey Tak Hap said that it is important that a large generation company such as PowerSeraya continue to improve its efficiency and reliability. Singapore Power is to transfer its generation assets to state-controlled Temasek Holdings in April next year, which will sell them to private investors, as Singapore deregulates its power industry.

Sweeping changes to open up the electricity industry were announced in March this year. The most significant changes center on the retail electricity market. Companies competing for business and household accounts may import electricity from overseas, generate it themselves, or buy it from an existing generation company.

Earlier this year, Singapore Power acquired GPU PowerNet (PowerNet), a major Australian electricity transmission network in the state of Victoria, from US-based utility GPU Inc. for $2.1billion (Aus.), signaling an important new addition to the group’s growing international portfolio. The PowerNet purchase is the largest to date by SP International and is focused on the ‘wires’ part of the electricity business.

Company officials have emphasized Singapore Power will have to look overseas for future growth and cannot and cannot depend on remaining just a Singapore businesses. It now owns assets in West Java and Pare Pare, Indonesia; Mindanao, Philippines; Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui, China; Taiwan and Korea.

The new plant is likely to be supplied from neighboring Indonesia under a 2-year gas supply contract Singapore Power Ltd. subsidiary PowerGas Ltd. has with Indonesian national oil company Pertamina.

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