World News – Asia-Pacific

News Digest

Australia: Alstom has won two contracts from SPI PowerNet totalling over g20m for two turnkey substations to boost power supplies near Melbourne. The 220 kV/66 kV substations will supply electricity to Melbourne’s outer south-eastern area.

Bangladesh: US-based USAID has pledged Rs6.3m ($0.108m) for the reconstruction of mini power plants in Bangladesh which were damaged during severe flooding in Ratnapura and the Southern Province.

China: Beijing will invest $2.8bn over the next five years to upgrade its power grid for the 2008 Olympic Games. Beijing will set up 81 new electricity transmission facilities and install more than 1600 km in power circuits.

China: GE Wind Energy announced it will supply ten 1.5 MW wind turbines for the 15 MW Huitengxile Wind power plant in Inner Mongolia.

China: China’s west to east gas pipeline project has made its first delivery to the eastern city of Shanghai. It represents the first step in a project designed to carry natural gas from the Tarim Basin in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region to Shanghai.

India: Power Finance Corp. has accepted the Andhra Pradesh model payment security mechanism (PSM) for meeting the funding requirements of the 1015 MW Mangalore power project promoted by Nagarjuna Power Corp. Based on this PSM, project financial closure is expected to complete before the end of the current year, paving the way for commissioning of the first unit by 2006.

Singapore: Singapore’s Energy Market Authority will allow large electricity consumers to begin selling their power offtake back to suppliers for profits in the event of a sharp spike in the wholesale pool price from Jan.1, 2004. The change in regulation is part of Singapore’s ongoing power liberalization programme.

Sri Lanka: Wärtsilä has won a contract to supply a 100 MW turnkey power plant to the Heladhanavi project in Puttalam, Sri Lanka. This latest win follows the Honduras order (Lufussa) in the same month. The two heavy fuel oil plants will have a combined output of 350 MW.

Taiwan: The Formosa Plastics Group, Taiwan’s largest publicly held petrochemical maker, is preparing to spend $2bn to build a coal-fired power plant in northern Taiwan’s Taoyuan County.

Vietnam: Vietnam plans to nearly triple its high voltage electricity transmission lines to around 3850 km by 2010 to meet soaring domestic and export demands.

New exchange for Japan

Japan’s biggest power producers have joined forces to set up a power exchange involving nine major utilities and nine new entrants. The exchange could start in April 2005.

The move, designed to lower the price of electricity in Japan, will also allow new market entrants to procure electricity from sources other than their own power plants.

The 18 companies, which between them account for 90 per cent of Japan’s power sales, will contribute à‚¥15m ($0.137m) of capital to establish the trading system.

The exchange will have two markets. One for meeting demand for electricity needed the following day, which will handle 30 minute contracts (48/day) and the other for trading electricity needed at least one month in the future.

All of the nation’s regional power utilities except Okinawa Electric Power will participate along with new market entrants.

Shanxi to reduce emissions

Mitsui Babcock has won a à‚£115m ($184)design/supply contract for two 600 MW boilers and equipment for the Wangqu power plant in Shanxi Province, China. The boilers will use supercritical clean coal technology.

The boilers, operating at temperatures up to 571à‚°C with pressures up to 275 bar, will supply 1200 MW of power with low exhaust gases and particulates. Mitsui Babcock will also supply NOx reducing equipment as part of the contract.

The power produced will feed the Shanxi power grid, which serves Shangdong Province near Beijing. As electricity demand increases in China, more power generation is being created with the added incentive to make new generation cleaner.

China unites in world’s biggest power grid

China has built the world’s biggest power grid with a combined installed capacity of

140 000 MW stretching across 14 provinces. The feat was achieved through the successful connection of two of the country’s main power grids in September.

The connection of the North China Power Grid and the Central China Power Grid is a crucial step forward in the creation of a national grid and will help the country optimize electric power resources and improve reliability. China will now intensify efforts to speed up inter-regional transmission projects, and will also promote regional and provincial electricity exchanges.

China currently has an installed capacity of 365 GW. It has been estimated that this will rise to 900 GW by 2020.

Dabhol partners consider re-start

After reports that GE and Bechtel had begun filing law suits for the Dabhol project, new talks have begun over restarting the plant.

Both US-based companies have offered to restart phase I and complete phase II of the $3bn project in India. The proposal is being considered by the Indian Financial Institutions (IFIs) ” led by the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI). As part of the deal, GE and Bechtel are thought to be demanding that their outstanding contractor claims from the 2184 MW power project be settled before Phase I of the plant is restarted.

Last year both companies declined to sign a co-operation pact with IDBI, which has been trying to sell the project.

Laos hydro woes continue

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has discounted power purchases from the Nam Theun II hydro project from its latest development plan. The company has not signed a power purchase agreement with the project developers, putting the future of the plant in jeopardy.

Egat was to be the sole purchaser of power from the $1.2bn project in Laos. However, it expressed concern over the ability of Nam Theun II Power Co (NTPC) to meet its contractual obligations after Electricité de France, pulled out of the project in August.

Banks pledge $700m for EVN

Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) will use loans totalling $700m from seven banks to develop its hydropower resources. The 15-year loans will be used to construct and equip up to six hydroelectricity plants totalling 1600 MW.

The largest single investment will be $240m in a 300 MW plant in the central highlands. Some $120m will be invested in a 342 MW plant in the northern province. Two other plants to be built in the central province will also be funded from the loan ” a 210 MW plant will receive $110m, while a 300 MW plant will receive $100m.

The domestic banks involved are Vietnam Industrial and Commercial Bank, the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam and the Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development of Vietnam.

Vietnam requires some $20bn of investment to grow its electricity production to 93bn kWh by 2010.

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