Taweelah A1 capacity to be expanded to 1350 MW

A consortium has announced that it has won a tender to expand the power and desalination capacity of the Taweelah A1 plant. When complete, the plant will supply nearly one quarter of Abu Dhabi’s total output of water and electricity.

The consortium, led by TotalFina Elf and Belgium’s Tractebel, was awarded the $1.5bn contract by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity authority (Adwea). The project will boost the electricity generating capacity of the power station to 1350 MW from 250 MW, and its desalination capacity to 380 000 m3/day from 130 000 m3/day.

The project will create one of the largest cogeneration plants in the world. A new project company will be formed, in which Adwea will hold a 60 per cent stake, and TotalFina Elf and Tractebel 20 per cent each.

Gorna Arda hydro concession granted

The Bulgarian government has awarded a concession to a Turkish-Bulgarian joint venture company for the construction and operation of the Mandan Dam, part of the Gorna Arda hydroelectric complex.

Upper Arda Hydroenergy (HEC), a joint venture between the Bulgarian National Electric Co. (NEC) and Turkey’s Ceylan Holding, will begin construction of three hydro plants and dams by autumn 2000. The project, has been delayed several times but there are expected to be no further interruptions to the project schedule.

HEC will invest over $200m in the project, which will use the waters of the Gorna Arda river in southern Bulgaria. The project is expected to be completed by 2007, when the hydropower plants will reach full capacity.

The 35-year concession awarded to HEC has a ten-year grace period.

TransCanada sells Songo stake to AES

TransCanada Pipelines has reached an agreement to sell its 49 per cent stake in the Songo Songo gas-to-electricity project to AES Tanzania Holdings Ltd. for $40m. The deal, part of a divestiture programme, was due be completed by September 2000.

AES Tanzania will take over TransCanada’s role in the project, which involves the development of five natural gas wells around Songo Songo Island in the Indian Ocean and the construction of a gas processing plant on Songo Songo Island, a 232 km pipeline to the Tanzanian mainland and a 112 MW power plant at Ubungo, Dar es Salaam.

The other project sponsor is PanAfrican Energy Corporation. AES and PanAfrican Energy say that they have been working closely with the government of Tanzania, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank to reach financial closure for the project by the end of 2000.

TransCanada aims to divest C$3bn ($2.02bn) of assets over the next few years.

Chernobyl fund deal

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it has awarded a a295m ($267m) grant to Ukraine for the construction of a new sarcophagus around the damaged reactor at Chernobyl. The deal was signed by EnergoAtom, Ukraine’s state-owned power company in late July 2000.

Bechtel National, Electricit√© de France (EDF) and the Battelle Memorial Institute will undertake management of the project, which is due to be completed in 2007. Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko is also negotiating with the EBRD for a $180m loan to complete two nuclear power plants which are needed to compensate for the loss of Chernobyl’s capacity.

Ukraine agreed to permanently close the Chernobyl power plant, scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, in December 1999.

  • The former head of the Chernobyl shelter fund at the EBRD, Vince Novak, has been appointed director of the bank’s nuclear safety unit. The unit manages international funds for nuclear safety and related programmes in a number of countries.

Siemens to build Nigerian power plant

German engineering group Siemens AG has signed an agreement with the Nigerian government to build a 276 MW power plant in southern Nigeria. The project is part of a drive to bring an end to power cuts which have been plaguing the country for several months.

The contract, awarded in early August 2000, is worth a120m ($109m). Siemens will construct a natural gas-fired plant in the southern city of Port Harcourt. The plant will be complete in six months.

Nigeria has pledged to end power cuts by the end of 2001. In July 2000 it signed a deal with the Italian Oil group Agip to build a 450 MW plant.