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Austria: The Austrian branch of the German company Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation was declared the winner in a tender to overhaul Armenia’s Vorotan hydropower cascade under a EU grant of g2.7m.

Finland: Finnish energy company Fortum announced that it raised its stake in Lenenergo from 15.7 per cent to 20.8 per cent. Fortum has applied to the Russian anti-monopoly ministry for approval of the deal, since its voting stake in the company will rise to over 20 per cent.

Iraq: Water treatment company Metito has been awarded an AED12m ($8.4m) contract to provide specialised water treatment for Iraq/Haertha power station. The plant, situated 15 km north of Basrah, was originally built back in 1979 and had four units rated at 200 MW each.

Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan plans to increase electricity production four per cent in 2004 and boost exports 22 per cent, said Kanat Bozumbayev, president of the national grid company OAO KEGOC.

Kazakhstan: GE Energy will supply a gas turbine and additional equipment for the expansion of a power plant in the Karachaganak oil field near Aksai, Kazakhstan. GE will provide Karachaganak Petroleum Operating with a Frame 6B gas turbine generator, control system and gas turbine acoustic enclosure.

Kenya: The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has signed an ODA loan agreement with Kenya Electricity Generating Company in Nairobi. The loan agreement, amounting to around à‚¥10.5bn ($95m), is the second phase of the March 1997 loan for the Sondu/Miriu Hydropower Project II.

Turkey: International Power announced it has signed an agreement to acquire a 31 per cent interest in the 478 MW Trakya CCGT facility in Turkey and a 40 per cent interest in the 586 MW Uch CCGT facility in Pakistan. The interests will be acquired from Powergen for à‚£21m including debt of à‚£8.6m.

Qatar: Qatar General Electricity & Water Corp. (Kahramaa) is planning to build a $775m power and desalination plant comprising 750 MWe and 50 million g/day capacity. This is required to meet 2009 demand forecasts. Start up is scheduled for 2006.

Zimbabwe: The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is seeking $543m to re capitalise the Kariba and Hwange power stations as efforts to increase the country’s generating capacity gather momentum.

Kenya to exploit geothermal power potential

Kenya has made available $2.7m to evaluate geothermal sites for plants in the Rift Valley province.

Previous studies have shown the Rift Valley is capable of producing over 2000 MW from geothermal sources. New tests will be carried out at the Menenga Crater in Nakuru, 200 km north of Nairobi and are due to be completed by July 2004. Kenya currently produces 121 MW from its Okaria and Eburu plants. This represents about ten per cent of its generating capacity.

Financial support has already been pledged to Kenya with the Global Environment Facility contributing $37m, along with companies in Italy, Iceland, Germany, Africa and the US.

Kenya’s installed electric capacity is 1336 MW. It hopes to increase geothermal capacity by 336 MW between 2010 and 2019.

Sudan installs new hydro units

Sudan power utility, National Electricity Corporation, has received the first large-scale Hydromatrix power plant for the Jebel Aulia dam.

Hydromatrix, a concept for hydropower generation developed by VA Tech Hydro, combines the benefits of conventional technology with the advantage of low cost installation. On completion, the entire scheme will have an output of 30.4 MW. The first ten of 80 generating turbines to be installed have been producing power since January 2004.

VA Tech Hydro is carrying out the project under a g30m supply services contract.

Bahrain MoE to undergo system overhaul

Soluziona, the professional services division of Union Fenosa and Gulf Business Machines, an IT company, have a won a contract to modernize the management of the Ministry of Electricity and Water in Bahrain.

Both companies, based in Spain and Bahrain respectively, signed the contract which consists of implementing the commercial management system, project management system and the incidents management and supply quality system. The project marks the Spanish outfit as the first company to convert its management systems into Arabic.

US companies win service supply contracts in Iraq

US-based Washington Group International has been awarded a service providing contract to assist in the reconstruction of the electrical infrastructure in Iraq, by the US Department of Defense.

The $500m contract will cover specific assignments to provide design build services for transmission and distribution for the Northern region of Iraq. The group is working on seven task orders totalling $387m. Work includes in-stalling 13 electrical generators and reconstructing 460 km of 400 kV electrical transmission lines near Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Fluor Corp. and Amec have announced that their joint venture (51 per cent and 49 per cent, respectively) has been awarded a contract worth up to $500m to provide similar services throughout Iraq. The trend has also seen a Babcock subsidiary, Boiler Tube Company of America (BTA), receive an order for the replacement pressure parts for boilers in Iraq. The order marks the fourth BTA has received in the past three months.

Refinancing inked at Taweelah A2

Emirates CMS Co., the special purpose company set up for the Taweelah A2 utility, has completed the $541m financing for the project.

The first independent water and power project was financed by several banks led by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD). The 16-year facility includes a $135m bond issue by NBAD out of its $165m underwritten amount and a $150m Islamic tranche.

Some other banks co-arranged by NBAD comprise Abu Dhabi Investment Co. ($30m), the Arab Bank in Jordan ($25m), ANZ, Barclays Bank, HSBC, Nord Deustche Bank, Société Générale and Union National Bank.

Canada to build power plant in Algeria

Canada’s engineering company SNC-Lavalin will build a $562m thermal power plant in Algeria with financial backing from various international banks.

Export Development Canada and the US Exim Bank will provide some $190m each for the 826 MW combined cycle plant. France’s Société Générale is acting as the lead arranger for the project.

Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin has subcontracted Alstom to supply equipment for Algeria’s Skikda combined cycle power plant, which is owned and operated by Sharikete Kahraba Skikda Spa. The g55m order will see Alstom supply 2 x 195 MW steam turbine generator sets and two heat recovery steam generators behind the gas turbines. Delivery to Algeria is scheduled for year-end with commercial operation for May 2006.

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