Kazakhstan exports power to the Russian Federation

RAO UES of Russia has begun to import 300 MW of power from an AES Ekibastuz-owned power plant in the Republic of Kazakhstan under a deal sealed in December 2000. The move marks the first time that Kazakhstan has exported power to the Russian Federation.

The export arrangement was made possible by recent power sector reforms in Kazakhstan. Under the contract, AES Ekibastuz will sell 300 MW of power, or 210m kWh per month, to UES from its 4000 MW coal-fired plant in Kazakhstan. The contract term is one year.

“Kazakhstan is taking steps to export is rich energy resources through oil and gas pipelines. However, another way to export Kazakhstan resources is to deliver power over the existing transmission infrastructure,” said James Ellison, general director of AES Ekibastuz. “This contract signing marks not only the beginning of the relationship between AES Ekibastuz and RAO UES, but the beginning of power exports from Kazakhstan.”

Dennis W. Bakke, president and CEO of AES, commented: “Exporting power to Russia is good for both Kazakhstan and AES.”

Senegal’s $75 million loan blocked

The World Bank blocked a loan to Senegal’s energy sector following the termination of a contract for an international consortium to manage Senegal’s state electricity company, Senelec.

The $75m loan was intended to help Senegal restructure its energy sector. It was withdrawn after the Senegalese government terminated a contract under which a Franco-Canadian consortium had taken over management of Senelec together with a 34 per cent equity stake in the utility.

The government of President Abdoulaye Wade broke off the contract with Canada’s Hydro-Quebec and Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux of France in September 2000 after the return of power cuts to Senegal’s capital, Dakar. The government had expected power cuts to come to an end with the arrival of private sector management.

A tender to find a new partner for Senelec was launched in November 2000.

Turkish officials disciplined

Turkish energy minister Cumhur Ersumer has disciplined several senior ministry officials following an investigation into tenders held over the past ten years. The officials include Turkish Electricity Corporation general manager Muzaffer Selvi, deputy general manager Unal Peker and deputy under-secretary Mustafa Mendilcioglu.

The officials are said to have created losses for the government through their management of government tenders which broke bidding regulations and violated competition rules. The tenders under scrutiny included that for the Yesilhisar Konya electricity transmission line, for which bids were invited in 1997. The investigation into the tenders is on-going.

Shoaiba plant to be extended

The Saudi Electricity Company has awarded Alstom a contract to extend the Shoaiba oil-fired power plant in Saudi Arabia by 780 MW. Alstom is currently constructing the first phase of the Shoaiba plant, which should enter operation in July 2001.

Alstom will supply two 390 MW units under a turnkey contract for Phase Two of the plant. The company was awarded the contract for Phase One – units 1-3 – in October 1998.

Engineering and construction of the second phase was due to begin in January 2001. Alstom will supply two steam turbine generator sets, boilers, the overall electrical and control system and balance of plant. A large part of the infrastructure, civil engineering and auxiliary systems were supplied under Phase One.

Unit 4 is expected to enter commercial operation in 2003, and unit 5 at the end of 2003.

A Russian first

A Finnish-German consortium has announced the commercial operation of the first unit of the North-West power plant in St. Petersburg, Russia. The plant is the first of its kind in Russia to feature Siemens technology.

The natural gas fired combined cycle cogeneration plant has an output of 450 MWe and 350 MWth. It is equipped with two Siemens gas turbines and a steam turbine manufactured in Russia by Leningradsky Metallicesky Zavod (LMZ).

The plant was developed by a consortium comprising Fortum, Polar and Siemens Power Generation Group (KWU). Two V94.2 gas turbines were assembled in St Petersburg by Interturbo – a joint venture of Siemens and LMZ – while Russian company Elektrosila supplied the three generators.

The unit, operated by HKW Nord-West AG, was built by Russian industry in close co-operation with the consortium.