Fortum, Altran, Rosatom to build Belene nuclear plant in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has agreed with Finnish utility Fortum, French engineering company Altran Technologies and Russian state nuclear company Rosatom to set up a joint company to build and operate the Belene nuclear power plant.

The cost of the project has yet to be determined, Bulgarian energy and economy minister Traicho Traikov told Bloomberg. The joint venture to build the 2 GW plant will be set up in four months, he said. Fortum and Altran will each hold 1 per cent in the project. Bulgaria will own 51 per cent and Rosatom 47 per cent.

Rosatom is prepared to fund the bulk of the development, said the company’s CEO Sergey Kiriyenko, Bloomberg reported. The Moscow-based company won a contract to build the two reactor plant for €4bn ($5.4bn) in 2005 but has increased the price to €6.4bn because of delayed construction. Bulgaria estimates the cost close to €5bn, according to Traikov.à‚ 

Alstom to retrofit six units at 4460 MW Belchatow coal fired plant in Poland

Alstom will retrofit six units (7 to 12) of the 4460 MW Belchatow power plant, Europe’s largest and the world’s second largest fossil power plant.

The two contracts signed with PGE Gornictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna SA, which owns and operates Belchatow, are worth about €140m ($185m). The first contract covers retrofitting turbine island equipment on six units.

The retrofit will increase each of the six units’ power output by 20 MW. The project will boost cycle efficiency by 2.4 per cent and improve availability and reliability, as well as support the extension of the plant’s lifetime by 25 years.

The second contract is to retrofit the units’ existing electrostatic precipitators (ESP) to achieve emission levels as low as 50mg/Nm3.à‚ 

Delta and EDF to study feasibility of nuclear plant in the Netherlands

Dutch energy company Delta and French utility EDF have agreed to collaborate on developing a potential second nuclear power plant in Borssele, in the province of Zeeland.

Under the partnership, which was established by the memorandum of understanding, Delta and EDF will explore the appropriate contractual structure to incorporate a joint development company (JDC) that may be established at a later stage for developing the project.

In the future, should EDF and Delta choose to further develop the project, they will most likely invite third parties to act as potential investors and off-takers.à‚ 

Belgium’s Elia and Alstom Grid sign Smart Grid co-operation agreement

Belgian transmission system operator (TSO) Elia and Alstom Grid has recently signed a three-year co-operation agreement setting out a general framework for a long-term joint development strategy including Smart Grid initiatives, renewable energy integration, and international R&D.

The agreement, which will remain in place until 2015, is in line with the international development strategy of both Elia and Alstom Grid. It is expected that the joint initiatives under the agreement will bring a major contribution to the European and global energy and climate objectives.

The agreement will focus on key development areas for tomorrow’s electricity sector, including integration of renewable energy through innovative solutions, innovative R&D on grid security and the greater stability of electricity transmission.à‚ 

UK’s RWE Npower to fully convert Tilbury to biomass

German utility RWE has submitted a plan to convert its large-scale coal fired power plant at Tilbury, UK, to use 100 per cent biomass.

Argus Media reports that RWE’s UK unit npower has submitted the plan to the Environment Agency

The 1060 MW power plant is due to be decommissioned by the end of 2015 in conformity with the EU’s large combustion plant directive.

RWE is keen to convert the plant by next year but has said it will definitely close it in 2015 regardless of the fuel switch. If consent and licensing are secured, the converted plant could be fully operational in the fourth quarter of next year, said RWE.à‚ 

UK closes query over EPR controls & instrumentation

The UK’s nuclear safety regulator has closed a Regulatory Issue (RI) over the proposed control and instrumentation system for Areva’s European Pressurized Reactor (EPR).

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s RI described the controls and instrumentation system as insufficiently diverse.

“We are satisfied that EDF and Areva have addressed the majority of the key actions,” said the HSE. EDF and Areva hope to build an EPR in the UK by 2018.à‚ 

Belgium: C-Power has signed a contract for the delivery of 48 REpower 6M wind turbines with a total rated power of 295 MW for phases 2 and 3 of its Thornton Bank offshore wind farm.

Denmark: National energy research laboratory Risàƒ¸ DTU of Denmark is leading a €3m ($4m) EU-funded project that aims to assess the viability of designing and deploying new floating wind turbines that could produce at least 20 MW each.

Ireland: State gas utility Bord Gais has commissioned a 445 MW CCGT power station at Whitegate in Cork. The 58 per cent efficient, €400m ($530m) plant features two 280 MW GE Frame 9FB gas turbines and a 150 MW A15 steam turbine in a single shaft configuration.

Italy: SunPower is to design and build a 3.4 MW ground-mounted solar power plant in Lazio for E.ON Climate and Renewables Italia Solar. Construction is expected to be completed in April 2011.

Spain: Westinghouse Electric Company has won a five-year contract to provide engineering services to Asociacion Nuclear Asco Vandellos nuclear plants. The Vandellos and Asco nuclear sites in Tarragona both have Westinghouse-supplied pressurized water reactors.

Turkey: Statkraft of Norway is to construct the €250m ($330m), 102 MW Kargi hydro plant in Corum, Central Anatolia. The plant, due to be completed at the end of 2013, will be Statkraft’s second plant in Turkey.

UK: Gas fired power plants will be allowed to compete for a share of the government’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration programme. The UK is committed to funding four commercial-scale CCS projects, with up to à‚£1bn ($1.6bn) available for the first project.

UK: Siemens has handed over the 834 MW Severn Power combined-cycle power plant in Uskmouth in the vicinity of Newport, UK, one week ahead of schedule to the customer DONG Energy.

UK: Scottish and Southern Energy is to install a 1 MW battery at a cost of à‚£1m ($1.6m) in the Scottish islands of Shetland to store energy from wind farms. The battery, the size of a small building, is expected to arrive by Q2 2011 and will be connected to Lerwick power station.

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