South Africa’s Pebble Bed reactor moves closer to construction

South Africa’s Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) project has moved a step closer to the construction of a commercial scale power station at Koeberg near Cape Town with the signing of a contract for the provision of engineering, procurement, project and construction management (EPCM) services for the plant.

The contract was awarded to the joint venture company Murray & Roberts SNC-Lavalin Nuclear. The PBMR project entails the building of both the demonstration reactor project at Koeberg and a pebble fuel plant at Pelindaba near Pretoria.

Construction is due to start in 2010 and be completed by 2014.

Jaco Kriek, CEO of Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (Pty), said: “While the licencing and Environmental Impact Assessment process for the demonstration power plant still need to be successfully completed, the signing of the EPCM contract represents a significant milestone for PBMR.”

The PBMR demonstration power plant will supply about 165 MW to South Africa’s national grid once in service.

High temperature gas-cooled reactors, like the PBMR, are also a source of process heat that can be used to generate bulk hydrogen for a multitude of applications.

Italy sees Tunisia tender in September for combined-cycle power plant

Companies will be invited in September to bid for a contract to build a €2bn ($3bn) power station in Tunisia that will export electricity to Italy, an Italian government minister has told Reuters.

Tunisia and Italy signed a deal in June last year to build a 1200 MW combined-cycle gas plant in the eastern Tunisian town of El Haouaria but the project has been slow to start.

“We are planning to launch a tender to build a €2bn power plant in September 2008,” Italian Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola said during a visit to Tunisia. “A joint company will be set up at the start of November to carry out studies for the power station’s construction,” he said.

Quest Energy in deal to build Iran power plant

UAE-based Quest Energy and Iran’s Mapna Group are developing a project to build 1000 MW power plant in southern Iran, reported MEED.

Mapna is participating in the project to set up the open cycle gas powered plant in Shiraz, which is due to be financed by Dubai Islamic Bank, MEED said.

A power plant agreement will be signed by the two developers and the state-owned Iran Power Generation Transmission & Distribution Company (Tavanir) to provide them with gas under a long-term energy conversion agreement.

Russia’s E4 Group and TGK-10 tie up deal for Urals combined-cycle units

Russia’s E4 Group and TGK-10 have signed two contracts worth more than a combined $1bn for the building of a new combined-cycle gas fired power plant and the upgrade of an existing plant in the Urals region.

E4 Group will act as turnkey contractor for the Nyaganskaya thermal power plant (TPP) in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district, which is a part of Ural autonomous district. The Russian firm will build three combined-cycle power units of 400 MW.

Once completed the Nyaganskaya TPP’s capacity will be 1200 MW. Construction will be performed in three stages: the first and the second power units will be commissioned in 2011, and the third power unit in 2012. The contract price amounts to €380.6m ($567.5m) and 10.4bn roubles ($428m).

E4 Group will also supply the fifth power unit of the Tyumen TPP-2, which will cost €86m ($128.2m) and 914m rubles ($37.7m) with VAT, by 31 December 2012.

Russia creates nuclear technology programme

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced plans to implement a national nuclear programme that will develop a new generation of nuclear energy technologies.

Putin said new technologies have warranted further study and new, updated regulations. He said the new programme will be called the Nuclear Energy Technologies of a New Generation, and it is expected to begin before the end of the year and run through 2025. The programme will focus on new ways to process nuclear waste, infrastructure and efficiency at nuclear plants. The programme also includes building at least two new nuclear reactors.

Lebanon and Egypt sign energy pact

Egypt has agreed to supply Lebanon with electricity and natural gas to help alleviate the country’s chronic energy shortage.

Fouad Siniora, Lebanon’s prime minister, who held talks with Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s president, said energy ministers from both countries had held meetings to begin drafting agreements. Lebanon’s energy minister has said that his country will draw 200 MW of electricity from Egypt, starting within months. The power will be delivered to Lebanon through the linked grids of Jordan and Syria.


Bahrain: POWER-GEN Middle East has received the gracious Patronage of H.H. Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain along with full support of the Electricity and Water Authority of Bahrain for the 17-19 February 2009 event.

Jordan: Planning and International Cooperation Minister Suhair Al-Ali has signed an agreement for a $6m grant extended by the Global Environment Facility to support the country’s wind energy market project.

Oman: Oman Power & Water Company has issued a tender for the consultancy contract on two major power projects. While the Ghubrah West and Duqm plant projects will follow different timelines, they will use the same consultants.

Qatar: GDF SUEZ Energy International, in a consortium with Mitsui, Shikoku Electric Power Company, and Chubu Electric Power Company, and its partners Qatar Electricity and Water Company, and Qatar Petroleum have completed the financing of the Ras Laffan C 2.73 GW, $3.8bn power and water desalination project.

South Africa: The World Bank’s private is holding talks with Eskom on possible financing to help the power utility company boost its inadequate capacity, possibly up to $1bn over five years.

Tanzania: The state-run electricity utility has signed a five-year agreement worth $206.5m developing a new hydropower plant and improving power transmission and distribution systems in five regions in mainland Tanzania, as well as to lay a second undersea power cable to Zanzibar.

Turkey: American Superconductor has licensed a 1.65 MW wind turbine design to Turkish manufacturer Model Enerji Ltd. The Turkish company plans to begin mass production of the turbine at the end of 2009.

UAE: Maat Green Knowledge was the lowest bidder with a price of AED700 000 ($190 000) out of a total of seven bids for the feasibility study for Dubai’s first solar power plant project. The successful bidder will gather solar information, identify potential sites, recommend capacity and analyse technologies for Dubai Electricity & Water Authority , which is the client.

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