News digest

Australia: A 50-50 joint venture between Hydro Tasmania and Spain’s EHN is due to start construction of the A$80m ($60.2m) 66 MW Cathedral Rocks wind farm on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The project, consisting of 33 Vestas V-80 2 MW wind turbines, is EHN’s first wind power development in Australia.

Australia: The Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) are discussing the possibility of establishing a bilateral emissions trading scheme for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. NSW has already established a GHG trading scheme but Queensland and Western Australia are opposed to the idea.

China: Canada’s Greenwind Power Corporation has entered into a joint venture with China Link Industries of Shanghai, China to develop and operate a 50 MW wind farm on Daishan Island in Zhejiang Province.

China: GE Energy has received a contract worth $7.8m to supply three turbine generators sets for the Liuhong hydropower plant, a new 118 MW facility on the Meigu River in Sichuan Province. GE will design, manufacture and supply, as well as supervise the installation of three 60 MW Francis generators.

China: The municipality of Shanghai is to spend a record 20bn yuan ($2.41bn) in building and upgrading its power infrastructure this year. The Shanghai Municipal Power Corporation aims to complete 82 power transmission projects and will cooperate with the State Power Grid and East China Power Grid to import more electricity to alleviate current power shortages.

India: The World Bank has agreed to provide a loan of $1.2bn to India’s PowerGrid Corporation for its transmission projects under the National Grid development programme. Transmission projects planned under the 15-year loans include those in Barh, North Karanoura and the northern and north-eastern regions.

Japan: Kansai Electric Power Company intends to resume Japan’s first nuclear fuel recycling programme following a five-year suspension, with plans to start using plutonium-based recycled fuel at its nuclear power plant in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture, in 2007.

Pakistan: A consortium of Gulf entrepreneurs is planning to invest $1.2bn in Pakistan’s Neelum-Jhelum hydro power project. The 1000 MW project would be Pakistan’s biggest single, self-financing investment.

Philippines: The Philippine Export-Import Agency has agreed to guarantee up to $28.8m of the $47.6m wind farm project that North Wind Power Development Corporation is building in Bangui, Ilocos Norte.

Three Gorges to add four units

Plans have been announced to add four 700 MW generating units to China’s Three Gorges power project. The additional units will bring the total number of generating units up to ten and the annual power output to 33.38 TWh.

Six generating units were in operation in 2003 and produced 8.6 TWh – equal to a quarter of the total new capacity put into operation in the country as a whole.

The new turbines and associated generators are to be supplied by France’s Alstom under a contract worth g163m ($196m). The equipment will be manufactured in Alstom’s facilities in France, Switzerland, Brazil and China, with delivery of the main components scheduled for 2006 and 2007. Alstom has been involved in the Three Gorges project since 1997, when it was awarded contracts to supply eight power generating units and subsequently all 14 governors and control systems for the left bank powerhouse.

Alstom has also won orders for plant equipment valued at over g30m from two other Chinese hydropower companies operating on the Wujiang River in the southwest Guizhou province.

Asia sales for Duke and AEP

Two US power groups, Duke Energy Corporation and American Electric Power (AEP), have announced the sale of Asian assets in order to refocus on core activities nearer home and strengthen their respective balance sheets.

Duke Energy has agreed to sell its Asia Pacific energy assets to Australia’s Alinta Limited for $1.238bn, including all its assets in Australia and New Zealand.

AEP has sold its 70 per cent interest in Nanyang General Light Electric Company, which owns and operates two 125 MW coal fired power plants in central China. AEP sold its interest to Henan Power for $34.5m.

Philippines invites bids for ten geothermal fields

The Philippines Energy Secretary Vincent Perez has opened for public bidding ten “highly prospective” geothermal fields which are expected to generate a total of 300-470 MW of additional thermal capacity. Potential bidders can view all the collected geological and geophysical data and have until July 30 to submit applications.

Perez said that the Philippines currently has 1931 MW of geothermal power and aims to add an additional 860-1200 MW in the next ten years. The Philippines has identified 35 geothermal resource areas with an estimated potential generating capacity of 4137 MW, ten of which are being offered in this round.

Perez said at least six companies have already expressed an interest in participating in the bidding round.

Toshiba starts generating

Japan’s Toshiba Corporation has announced the commencement of commercial operations at two electricity and steam cogeneration plants at Keihin Product Operations in Yokohama, Japan..The move marks its entry into the power generation and energy services markets in Japan following market deregulation in 2003.

Each plant features a gas engine generator with capacity of 5.75 MWe fuelled by liquid natural gas. Heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) collect high temperature exhaust gas from the engines which is used to generate 2 t/h of steam. This accounts for around 40 per cent of the steam currently required in plant operations. Half of the electricity output is used by Keihin in its manufacturing operations, with the other half directed to the retail market.

The plants, which were constructed in only 13 months, include integrated de-NOx systems, which enable them to meet the stringent environmental laws and regulations of the Tokyo Bay area with an output less than 20 ppm of NOx.

Largest landfill launched

Hyundai Mobis, South Korea’s biggest car parts manufacturer, has announced plans to build the world’s largest landfill gas power plant in Incheon, west of Seoul.

Decomposition gases will be extracted from a 20.72m m2 dumpsite and will be used to generate 50 MW of electricity, supplying 180 000 households. Hyundai Mobis said it will participate in a consortium which will also include Kepco, Doosan Heavy Industries and Total E&S. The plant will cost 77.3bn won ($65.8m).

When completed in 2005, the plant will be transferred to the Environment Ministry and operated by Eco Energy Company.

GE hydropower order

GE Energy has won a $78m contract for four 250 MW pump/turbine and motor/ generator sets, auxiliary equipment and services for a 1000 MW pumped storage hydropower plant in the mountains near Yixing City, China.

The Jiangsu Pumped Storage Company has appointed GE as a prime contractor for the project. ABB will be supplying the computer supervisory control system and auxiliary electrical systems. The pump turbines are vertical shaft, single-stage, reversible Francis machines. The motor/generators are three-phase, vertical shaft, reversible synchronous units.