Areva threatens to stop work at Olkiluoto nuclear power plant

In connection with the publishing of its interim report for the first half of 2009, French power group Areva has threatened to stop work at the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant building site in Finland if Finnish power company Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) does not agree to its terms.

Areva is the turnkey supplier of the nuclear power plant being built for TVO. The companies have an ongoing dispute concerning the additional costs caused by the delay in the building of the power plant.

According to Areva, TVO has not been able to present the final costs of the project or its schedule. According to TVO, the agreement has a fixed price. Areva has threatened to freeze construction if TVO does not submit to the company’s demands of shouldering a share of the cost.

According to Areva, it has spent €550m on the Olkiluoto project in the first half of 2009. The delay of the project will bring estimated additional costs totalling €2.3bn.

If TVO has to foot a part of the extra bill from Olkiluoto, it can pass the entire cost on to its shareholders, more than half of which are Finnish publicly owned companies. If the company manages to leave all of the costs to Areva-Siemens to cover, they will be ultimately paid for by French and German taxpayers.

Alpiq subsidiary to build 400 MW CCGT plant in Germany

Atel Havelland Kraftwerk, a subsidiary of Alpiq Holding, has received an approval to construct a gas fired combined-cycle power station in Premnitz, 70 km west of Berlin.

The planned facility is a modern 400 MW gas fired combined-cycle power station. Near the property is a 380kV high-voltage line into which the power station can feed electricity.

Alpiq will be able to use a high-pressure gas pipeline with transfer station, located on the periphery of the industrial zone, to transport gas to the power station.

Construction of the plant is expected to begin in 2011, and is scheduled to take around 24 months.

Foster Wheeler to supply biomass fired boiler to Poland’s ZE PAK

Foster Wheeler has been awarded a contract by ZE PAK S.A. for the design, supply and erection of a 55 MW biomass fired circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) boiler island for the Konin power station in Poland.

Foster Wheeler has received a full notice to proceed on this contract. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and the contract value will be included in the company’s bookings for the third quarter of 2009. Commercial operation of the new steam generator is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012.

DNV sets CO2 pipeline standards

Independent risk management organization DNV has unveiled the world’s first carbon dioxide transmission guidelines, put together via a joint industry project set up last year.

The guidelines, which extend existing pipeline standards to incorporate CO2 transmission, were devised by a group of leading industry players, including pipe producer ArcelorMittal, oil majors BP, Chevron and Shell, as well as Norwegian pipeline operator Gassco and DNV.

Government representatives from the UK, Netherlands and Norway also took part in the CO2pipetrans working group’s deliberations. Froydis Eldevik, who heads DNV’s carbon capture and storage section, said the new guidelines provide guidance and set criteria for the development, design, construction, operation and maintenance of steel pipelines.

The guidelines cover most large-scale CO2 transmissions, and will apply, for example, to new on- and offshore lines which carry fluids with a high CO2 content, as well as to pipelines carrying CO2 captured from hydrocarbon streams. However, DNV said that while the guidelines represent a big step forward, there is still more work to do as the second phase of the CO2pipetrans project gets under way.

Fluor to rebuild power plant for ERG Group in Sicily

Fluor has bagged a engineering, procurement and construction contract by ISAB Energy (ERG Group) for the reconstruction of one of its two 266 MW combined-cycle gas turbine power trains in Priolo Gargallo, Sicily, Italy.

Train No. 1 was damaged during an accident at the site in October of 2008 and is part of a two-train, 532 MW power plant that provides electric power to the Italian grid. The total installed cost for the project being managed by Fluor is more than $150m. The company booked the project into backlog in the second quarter of 2009.

The reconstruction of power train No. 1 is underway in order to restore the full production capacity of the plant by the end of second quarter 2010.

Mitsubishi delivers steam generators to Belgian nuclear plant

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has delivered two replacement steam generators, a core component of pressurized water reactor nuclear power plants, for the 392.5 MW Doel-1 plant in Belgium, operated by Electrabel GDF SUEZ.

MHI received the order in February 2006 in line with the component renewal initiative.

With the latest deliveries, MHI replacement steam generators now account for over half of all steam generators operated in Belgium – 10 out of 19 at seven nuclear plants.

Belarus: Energy Minister Alexander Ozerets said that the planned 660 MW coal fired plant at Zelva will cost in the region of $1.3-1.5bn. The plant is expected to be built by a venture of Belenergo and Kulczyk Holding.

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Bulgaria: Energy minister Traycho Traykov has said that the proposed Belene plant is not key to the country’s energy security, as expanding capacity at the Maritsa power complex and building a gas fired power plant at Varna would meet energy needs.

Finland: Fortum and Metsähallitus, the government forest enterprise, are to build a wind farm straddling Kittilä and Sodankylä in Lapland. Initial plans will see the construction of 18 turbines, each generating two to three MW of electricity by 2013.

Finland: Construction of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear plant has reached a major milestone with the installation of the reactor building dome. The 200 tonne, 47 metre diameter steel dome was hoisted into position 44 metres above the ground. The dome will be welded around its circumference and covered with 7000 tonnes of concrete.

France: A carbon tax will be introduced on 1 January 2010 and will be levied at €17 ($25) per tonne of CO2. It will apply to households as well as enterprises, but not to the heavy industries and power firms included in the EU’s emissions trading scheme.

Germany: The CDU party intends to tax nuclear generators at least half of the expected additional revenues in case of a revision of the national phase-out, according to Handelsblatt. A nuclear power tax or the auctioning of electricity is being discussed.

Romania: GE is to supply wind turbines for Czech utility CEZ’ 600 MW, €1.1bn ($1.6bn) onshore project in Dobrogea – the largest in Europe. Just over half of the wind park is expected to come on line in 2010 and the rest one year later.

UK: E.ON wants to build a 150 MW biomass fuelled energy from waste plant at the Royal Portbury Dock, North Somerset. If given the go ahead, construction is expected to begin in 2010 and the plant could be fully operational by 2013.

UK: A 60 MW biomass plant at Tilbury Docks, expected to be operational in 2012, has been given the green light. Tilbury Green Power’s plant will be fueled with 300 000 tonnes of wood chips and 300 000 tonnes of solid recovered fuel a year.

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