Venezuela secures $750m IDB development finance

A 2160 MW hydropower plant is to be built in Venezuela after the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) agreed to loan the South American country $750m towards its construction.

The Tocoma plant will be the fourth hydropower station generating in the Lower Caroni River Valley, which provides 70 per cent of Venezuela’s electricity supply. The ten generators that will make up the $3bn project will be introduced on a staggered basis between July 2012 and March 2014. The plant will displace existing thermal generation.

In a separate action, the IDB will loan Venezuela $2.7m to develop its power sector. The finance will be used to support a new legal and institutional framework as well as administrative and organizational improvements for state owned electricity companies.

Sao Paulo plans power grid expansion project

Sao Paulo’s state power supply company has contracted a consortium including Siemens, VA Tech and the Brazilian firm Alusa to expand its power grid.

Companhia de Transmissao de Energia Eléctrica Paulista awarded the €81m ($95m) contract, which will be the first time VA Tech and Siemens have provided a joint solution for a project. Siemens acquired the Austrian firm earlier this year.

In response to continuous growth that has led to increasingly frequent overloading of the state’s transmission system, the consortium will construct a new 345 kV transformer substation and expand the existing Guarulho 345 kV transformer substation. An overhead transmission line will then be installed between the two. The project will feature Brazil’s first ever gas insulated 245 kV high voltage switching station.

Peru welcomes crucial new hydropower capacity

The president of Peru has switched on one of the most important power projects in the country in the last ten years, a 130 MW hydropower plant.

Commissioned in February 2004, EnerSur, Suez Energy International’s Peruvian electricity company, provided a power plant with three 44.5 MW generators capable of producing 901 GWh annually.

Located 340 km northwest of Lima, the Yuncán hydropower station is seen as a crucial development for EnerSur. The company said the new plant would enable it to produce cheaper power while boosting its reserve capacity.

Renewable boom in Ontario

Nine new renewable energy projects are set to boost the Canadian province of Ontario’s clean energy portfolio by 975 MW.

The eight wind projects and one hydro project will contribute to the state government’s goal of having ten per cent of its energy needs – around 2700 MW – met by renewable sources by 2010.

All of the project developers have signed 20-year power purchase contracts with Ontario Power Authority and will be paid around C¢9 (¢7) per kWh of electricity produced. Most of the new developments are expected to be operating commercially by the end of 2007.

  • Canada looks set to climb the world league table of installed wind capacity following a call for tenders for 2000 MW of new wind power generation from Hydro-Quebec at the end of October.

LNG to take larger role on world stage

The LNG industry is to grow more in the next seven years than it did in its first 40 as high oil and natural gas prices take hold, according to new research from Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA).

As well as high fuel prices, CERA believes that massive infrastructure commitments and emerging market integration will see the LNG industry transform from a niche regional business into a global industry.

However, the research highlighted that uncertainty surrounding fundamental aspects of the market was preventing the major investment and strategic decisions required for LNG to fulfil its potential.

Two wave power stations deployed

Ocean Power Technologies has deployed two of its PowerBuoy wave power stations off the coasts of Hawaii and New Jersey, USA.

Deployment of the Hawaii project took one day. The US navy contracted Ocean Power Delivery to deliver 40 kW of wave energy to the Marine Corps base on Oahu. The generator is located 1 km offshore in 30 m of water.

The PowerBuoy in New Jersey is also rated at 40 kW. Since its installation it has successfully withstood wave and wind forces generated by hurricane Wilma. The site will be used to market the design to prospective partners.


News digest

Barbados: After it was awarded an $18m contract, ABB will use its underground cables to upgrade the power network in the north of the island to help protect it from future damage from hurricanes.

Bolivia: Three new 230 kV transmission lines began operating in Bolivia in November. The lines doubled the country’s capacity for high voltage electricity transmission and opened the possibility of connecting the isolated grid in Tarija to the national network.

Brazil: EcoSecurities has completed the sale of its Brazilian subsidiary’s 50 per cent interest in the NovaGerar landfill gas project, the first project to be registered under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.

Brazil: Wärtsilä has signed a €45m ($52.7m) turnkey contract to build a power plant in the city of Manaus. The plant will generate 83 MW from five 18V46 gensets.

Dominican Republic: Man B&W will supply two 9L32/40 diesel engines to generate 9 MW of electricity for a steel hot rolling plant in Santo Domingo.

Mexico: BP has contracted Nexans to supply the world’s first subsea service umbilical to integrate an HV cable in the Gulf of Mexico as part of a project to retrofit two existing subsea wells with multi phase pumps.

USA: A record amount of wind power will be installed in the US this year. According to the American Wind Energy Association, 2500 MW of new wind energy capacity will be added.

USA: Excelon has awarded GE’s nuclear business a multi-year $17m contract to supply reactor control components to its fleet of 12 boiling water reactors.

USA: FuelCell Energy has expanded the combined heat and power capabilities of its Direct FuelCell by successfully demonstrating that it can be used as an air conditioner when applied with an absorption chiller.

USA: Seven projects have been selected by the Department of Energy as part of a $5m plan to explore how best to reduce the amount of freshwater needed by coal fired power plants.

USA: The Department of Energy has charged Babcock & Wilcox and BOC Group with the task of demonstrating the feasibility of new low cost technology for capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide from coal fired power plants.

USA: Three British bankers due to be extradited to the US in connection to the Enron scandal are to apply to the UK’s High Court for action to prevent them being trialled in the US.