News digest

Australia: Pacific Hydro Ltd has gained planning approval for two new wind power projects in Australia. Construction of the projects – the 57.8 MW Clements Gap and the 59.4 MW Shea Oak Flat wind farms – will start in 2004.

China: Japan AE Power Systems Corp. has established a joint venture with Tianshui Changcheng Switchgear Factory to manufacture medium voltage C-GIS (cubicle type gas insulated switchgear) and VCBs (vacuum circuit breakers) in China. Demand for these products in China is currently high, says Japan AE Power Systems, and is likely to increase in the approach to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

India: The Indian government has launched the India Power Fund, a financial programme designed to meet the shortfall in equity needs experienced by the power sector. The fund has been set up with an initial contribution of Rs2bn ($44.2m) from the Power Finance Corporation, and is expected to expand to Rs70bn.

India: Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd. (BHEL) has secured a contract for setting up a 250 MW unit at the New Parli thermal power plant in Maharashtra state. BHEL’s scope under the $132m order includes design, engineering, manufacture, supply of the steam generator and steam turbine along with associated auxiliaries, control and instrumentation equipment and electrostatic precipitators.

Indonesia: Electric Power Development Co. (J-Power) and Keppel Energy Pte. are to acquire a stake in Indonesia’s Paiton II power plant in east Java. The Paiton II plant is the largest coal fired plant in the country.

South Korea: Korea South-East Power Co. has named Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Co as the preferred bidder for the supply of boilers to two 870 MW thermal power plants to be built in western South Korea. The two power plants – Yonghung Units 3 and 4 – will be operational by March 2009.

Taiwan: SNC-Lavalin has signed a $11.5m contract with Taiwan Power Co. to supply a new distribution control system in Taipei. The new system will allow Taiwan Power to remotely control and supervise its power distribution network in the heavily industrialized southern section of the city.

Vietnam: Alstom and Marubeni have been awarded a contract to supply and construct a 170 MW combined cycle add-on unit at the Phu My power plant in Vietnam. By the end of 2005, the Phu My complex will have a generating capacity of 3800 MW. Meanwhile, the 716 MW Phu My 3 plant, built and owned by BP plc, has now started commercial operation.

China to invest in 144 plants

China’s government is planning to start construction of 144 power stations with a total capacity of 37 GW in 2004. The plants will be built at a cost of $31bn and will help to alleviate power shortages in the country.

China is also planning to construct a further 35 GW of capacity to come on line by 2006. Electricity demand in the country rose by 15 per cent in 2003.

The China Electricity Council has forecast that electricity demand in China will rise to 2100 TWh in 2004, up 12 per cent from 1908 TWh in 2003. However, the supply shortages experienced in 2003 will continue this year, with a projected shortfall of 10 GWh.

Indonesia orders CCGT plant

Indonesia’s PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has awarded a turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a 740 MW combined cycle power plant to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. The project is part of PLN’s efforts to boost electricity supplies in the country to avoid shortages.

The natural gas fired power plant will consist of two gas turbines, two heat recovery boilers and one steam turbine. It will be constructed at Cilegon in Banten Province, 90 km west of Jakarta. MHI will supply the equipment for the plant, including two M701F gas turbines which will be the first high output, high efficiency gas turbines in Indonesia.

Cilegon is the centre of Indonesia’s heavy and chemical industry, with many steel and petrochemical plants operating in the area. Electricity demand in Indonesia is growing at over six per cent per year and PLN decided to build the new plant to alleviate fears of an electricity shortage in 2005.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) will finance 85 per cent of the project in the form of export credit. PLN will fund the remaining 15 per cent. The first unit of the plant will start operating in 2005 and the plant will be fully operational by mid-2006.

Kowaco awards contract

Korea Water Resources Corporation (Kowaco) has awarded Honeywell Process Solutions a $3.2m contract to provide automation control systems for hydropower stations and hydraulic dams in South Korea. The contract represents the second phase of a multi-year project to automate and integrate control systems for nine main hydropower stations and hydraulic dams.

The project, called Generated Integrated Operating System (GOIS), will enable Kowaco to compete for greater market share when Korea deregulates its market. It involves the creation of an integrated water resources plant and management system, and is the first project of its kind in Korea.

India plans 3500 MW combined cycle plant

Reliance Industries is planning to construct a 3500 MW natural gas fired combined cycle power plant in Uttar Pradesh, India. The plant would be the largest of its kind in the world and would help to reduce the chronic shortage of electricity in the northern state.

The plant would cost $2.2bn to develop and Reliance is planning to achieve financial close within six months. The plant would operate on domestic natural gas from Reliance’s gas fields in the Krishna-Godavari basin in Andhra Pradesh. It would be constructed in stages comprising 1000-1500 MW each, with the first phase completed within three years.

Reliance – India’s largest private sector company – said that the project would be funded through a combination of internal accruals and both Indian and overseas debt. The project would almost double generating capacity in Uttar Pradesh.

The announcement of the project is an indication that the Indian government’s power sector reform programme is having an impact. Enacted six months ago, the electricity act gave India’s state electricity boards independence and also provided for electricity trading.

Chinese industrial park plans CCGT capacity

Black & Veatch has been awarded a contract to supply equipment and services for the 600 MW Caojing cogeneration plant in China. The plant, which will be supplied in consortium with GE Energy to the Shanghai Chemical Industrial Park, will be one of the first advanced technology combustion turbine based cogeneration projects in China.

The Shanghai Chemical Industrial Park is the largest industrial park in China and is host to several petroleum and chemical businesses which require large amounts of power and steam. The region is also rapidly developing and the cogeneration plant, located in Caojing, Shanghai, will provide power and process steam at affordable prices.

Black & Veatch will be responsible for balance of island engineering, procurement and technical field advisory services for the complete power island.