News digest

Bangladesh: The Bangladesh government has invited interested parties to prequalify to construct a $295m gas fired combined cycle power plant with an output of 450 MWe. The plant will be developed on a build-own-operate basis, with startup scheduled for 2008.

China: The Three Gorges Project Development Corporation is to build four hydropower plants on the Jinsha river in the upper reaches of the Yangtze river, China. The plants will have a combined generating capacity of 38.5 GW. Construction will start on two of the projects in 2005.

India: The Himachal Pradesh state government has given the go-ahead for the 400 MW Rampur hydropower plant. The project will be executed by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. at a cost of Rs25bn ($555m) and will be 30 per cent owned by the state government.

India: Jindal Power Ltd. has achieved financial close on the first phase of its 500 MW power plant at Raigarh in Chhattisgarh, India. A consortium of 12 banks and financial institutions, including Power Finance Corporation, the State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank have signed the financing documents for the project’s debt.

Japan: FuelCell Energy and its partner in Japan, Marubeni Corp., are to enter an agreement with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to become a packager of Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plants in Japan. As part of the agreement, Kawasaki will purchase a DFC300A power plant from Marubeni to be installed at the Kawasaki Akashi works near Osaka, where it will undergo long-term testing.

Pakistan: Pakistan’s Privatization Commission is to make the initial public offering (IPO) of 20 per cent of the shares in the Kot Addu Power Company (KAPCO) through the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges this month. KAPCO is an independent power producer which is part-owned by International Power plc.

South Korea: South Korea is to invest won40bn ($34m) in a programme to develop and harness renewable sources of energy. The programme will involve 19 research centres, 29 universities and around 50 companies, and will help the country to increase the proportion of its energy derived from renewable sources to five per cent by 2011.

Vietnam: The Vietnamese government has given approval for the 200 MW, VND3.5tr ($222m) Son Dong thermal power plant in northern Bac Giang province. The National Coal Corporation (Vinacoal) will carry out a feasibility study on the project and will seek foreign partners to undertake the EPC contract.

B&V to design China CCGTs

Black & Veatch Corp., in partnership with the Hebei Electric Power Design and Research Institute, has been awarded contracts for the engineering design of two combined cycle power plants in China. The plants will generate a total of 2100 MW for the cities of Shanghai and Nanjing.

The majority owner of the plants, Huaneng Power International (HPI), plans to have the first unit operational by mid-2006. Each plant will consist of three 350 MW units.

“As a result of recent new policies governing the provision of engineering design services by foreign engineering companies, Black & Veatch is now able to provide engineering design services in cooperation with a Chinese partner to Chinese clients,” said Steve Niles, Black & Veatch executive vice president.

Queensland appoints PB Power

Australia’s CS Energy has appointed PB Power as the owner’s engineer for Kogan Creek, a 750 MW supercritical coal fired power station to be built near Brisbane. The plant will be the largest single generating unit on the Australian national electricity market when it starts commercial operation in 2007.

The total capital cost of the power station, associated coal mine and infrastructure will be $857m. In addition to being supercritical, the plant will use air-cooled condensers, making it one of the most environmentally friendly coal fired power stations in the country.

The plant will be owned by CS Energy, a state-owned enterprise of the Queensland government. PB Power will be responsible for the review of the detail design, and the on-site construction, testing and commissioning. It will also provide ad hoc services during the two-year defects liability period following the start of commercial operation.

Sri Lanka studies power sector policy

Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is to undertake a comprehensive analysis examining the needs of the country’s power generation and transmission sector over the next 20 years. The study will cover the whole country, and will be carried out with the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The objective of the study, named the Master Plan Study on Development of the Power Generation and Transmission System, is to prepare a plan for the expansion of the country’s power generation and transmission sector. It will address a number of specific issues, including meeting growing electricity demand, rural electrification and subsidies.

Pubugou to power Sichuan

China’s GuoDian Dadu River Hydro Development Ltd. has awarded GE Energy a contract to supply three turbines and associated equipment for a new hydropower plant that will play a significant role in meeting China’s growing power needs. GE will supply three Francis turbines for the plant, which will enter commercial operation in late 2008.

The Pubugou hydropower station will be located on the Dadu river in Sichuan Province. With a capacity of 3300 MW it is the largest on-going project in Sichuan and will be the fifth largest hydropower station in China. It will produce power primarily for the Sichuan power grid. The Chengdu Hydroelectric Investigation and Design Institute is the architectural engineer for the project.

GE Energy will design, manufacture and supply three 560 MW turbines, as well as valves, spares, special tools, supervision of the installation process and technical training. The turbines will be manufactured by GE Hydro Asia at its manufacturing facility in Xiaoshan, Zhejiang Province.

BHEL bags Mangalore project

India’s BHEL has won a contract to supply equipment and services to Nagarjuna Power Corporation Limited’s 1015 MW thermal power project near Mangalore, India. The company outbid a Chinese consortium to win the Rs24 670m ($536m) contract in a competitive bidding process.

BHEL will supply the plant’s boilers and turbines. The plant will be constructed in two phases, the first of which is due to be completed 38 months after financial close.

The project will be financed by the Power Finance Corporation and will receive a state government guarantee.

Origin Energy bids for NZ’s Contact

Australia’s Origin Energy has made a bid for the remainder of New Zealand’s Contact Energy following its purchase of a 51.2 per cent stake earlier this year. It is offering NZ$5.57 ($3.71) per share, compared with the NZ$5.67 per share it paid in July.

Origin received approval from New Zealand regulators for its takeover in September, and is now able to bid for Contact’s remaining issued share capital. In July, Origin won an international tender to buy Edison Mission Energy’s stake in Contact, New Zealand’s biggest publicly owned utility.