International World News

Iraq needs $20bn for power

Iraq’s interim electricity minister, Ayham al-Samaraie, has said that $20bn will be required to raise installed capacity to the required 20 000 MW in the next five years. He plans to visit Washington to lobby for funding and will attend the Iraq international donor conference in Madrid in October.

The minister said that Iraq’s power output would increase to some 4000 MW by the end of September and to 6000 MW within six months. The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) believes that $1bn will be needed to achieve next summer’s power generation target of 6200 MW.

Progress in repairing Iraq’s power infrastructure is being hampered by security problems plus a shortage of fuel and spare parts. Contractors have placed some of the blamed on bureaucratic inertia and mismanagement within the CPA.

In order to meet local energy demand, Turkey is to send mobile power generators to Iraq with a total power capacity of 500 MW and has agreed to supply 200 MW of electricity via a power line through southeast Turkey.

News digest

Iceland: A joint-venture between Icelandic and European companies has appointed Mott MacDonald as lead consultant on the construction of a 190 m high concrete rock fill dam and 60 km of tunnel in eastern Iceland ” part of the $1.3bn, 690 MW Kàƒ¡rahnjàƒºkar hydropower project. It is the largest industrial development in Iceland’s history.

Jordan: The US Trade and Development Agency is to partially fund a feasibility study with the Jordanian Ministry of Planning for US-based Delenova Energy to acquire and expand two wind power plants in the northern part of the Kingdom.

Poland: E.ON and Electrabel have decided to withdraw their joint bid for Poland’s G-8 electricity distribution companies after concluding that new terms offered under the tender were not beneficial to the parties involved. The treasury is expected to shelve the sale which has been ongoing since 2001.

Russia: Russia is to sign a protocol agreement with Iran under which all spent fuel from the Bushehr nuclear power plant will be returned to Russia for reprocessing. Moscow has made the supply of nuclear fuel conditional on Iran returning spent fuel rods to Russia.

Russia: Russia has announced that its Beloyarsk-3 fast reactor has burned its first 10 kg of mixed oxide fuel manufactured from weapons-grade plutonium in an operation enabling the re-use of otherwise obsolete remnants from the Cold War.

Russia: A Prime Ministerial decree has been signed to create ten Federal Generation Companies in line with the Russian government’s reform timetable. The decree envisages the creation of six thermal and four hydro companies.

Saudi Arabia: Black & Veatch has been selected by National Contracting Company to provide engineering services and project management for Saudi Electricity Company’s Power Plant 3 expansion project in Jeddah. The upgrade will include eight GE 7EA combustion turbines and will increase capacity to 480 MW.

Serbia-Montenagro: Bulgaria’s National Electricity Company (NEC) and UK company EFT have won the tender for separate power supplies to Serbia-Montenagro.The local electricity company, Eletroprivedra Srbije, will buy 125 GWh from the two firms in September to address a drought-induced power shortage.

UAE: ABB has won two contracts worth $59m to upgrade and expand Abu Dhabi’s transmission and distribution system. The order from the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea) includes five distribution substations and 386 medium voltage switchgear panels.

Wind power for central Europe

Wind farm projects in the Czech Republic and Poland have been announced, adding to the interest being shown in wind power projects in central Europe and in particular, in countries joining the EU.

Cannon Power is to invest $300m in Poland over the next three years to develop wind generation and is in talks to enter into power purchase agreements.

Czech Venti, a joint venture between British investment group Virtual Utility and Czech company Proventi, plans to build and operate 200 wind turbines in the mountains of North Bohemia, Czech Republic.

Siemens secures Kazakh order

Siemens’ Power Automation division has secured its largest order after the state-owned Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (Kegoc) signed a contract worth g50m for substation digital control and protection equipment. Kegoc is looking to improve the reliability of energy transmission and also the availability of the electrical grid.

Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution will replace existing equipment in 67 high and extra-high-voltage substations with state-of-the-art control and protection systems, supplying not only the hardware and software, but also the engineering, commissioning and training of operating and control room staff. Siemens will replace the existing analogue solid state protection devices with digital systems from its Siprotec product line and will supply its Sicam substation automation system.

Kegoc runs the national power network (from 110 kV to 1150 kV), along with the associated switchgear and substations. It is also responsible for exchanging power with neighbouring countries.

Russian region seeks power privatization reversal

The governor of the region of Khakassia in southern Siberia has filed a lawsuit aimed at overturning the privatization of the country’s largest hydro-

power station. The authorities want to wrestle back the 30 per cent of the station’s shares which are in the hands of Russia’s state power monopoly, Unified Energy Systems (UES).

Reports suggest that the action could be linked to pending reforms which are expected to lead to higher power prices. The hydro plant supplies electricity to a giant aluminium smelter, and higher prices would impact the profitability of the smelter. Observers say that there are few legal grounds for the lawsuit but that the tough stance by incumbent governor, Alexi Lebed, may be connected to forthcoming regional elections.

Framatome ANP to upgrade I & C

Slovenské Elekràƒ¡rne, Slovakia’s state-owned utility, has placed an order with Framatome ANP worth g25m for new digital safety instrumentation and control systems in two units of Bohunice nuclear power plant, which meets 25 per cent of power demand in the country.

Framatome will supply hardware and software for the Russian-designed 440 MW Units 3 and 4 at the plant as part of an extensive upgrade. The existing safety system controls will be replaced in stages by mid-2008 with the digital system Teleperm XS.

Between 1995 and 2000, Framatome and VUJE upgraded Bohunice 1 & 2 with digital I&C systems

Investors line up for Saudi projects

Over 30 companies have expressed an interest in new water and electricity projects worth $8bn in Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Water and Electricity has invited tenders for Phase III of the Shuabi power and water plant, two desalination plants in Jubail and the Shaqeek power and water facility.

Private investors will have a 60 per cent stake in the projects with the remaining 40 per cent divided between the Water and Electricity Company and the Public Investment Fund.

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