Suez wins Brazilian greenfield hydro project

Suez Energy International has won a concession to build, own, operate and market a 3300 MW greenfield hydropower project, Jirau, during a recent auction in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia.

This project will contribute to meet the growing demand of about 4500 MW per year and is currently the largest energy infrastructure project in the country. The Consortium Energia Sustentàƒ¡vel do Brasil, which is made up of Suez Energy International (50.1 per cent), Eletrosul (20 per cent), Chesf (20 per cent) and Camargo Correa (9.9 per cent) made a bid of 71.4 real ($43.9) per MWh to sign a 30-year agreement with electric power distributors.

This represents a guaranteed turnover of €9.6bn ($14.87bn) over 30 years, starting from 2013.

The majority (70 per cent) of the electricity produced by the plant is already pre-sold to electric power distributors through the auction. The remainder of the electricity will be sold on the free market à‚— expected to be primarily major industrial clients.

The total investment in the plant will be about €3.3bn ($5.1bn), with project finance committed by the Brazilian development bank (BNDES) set to total up to 85 per cent of the investment.

Carbon sequestration scheme commended

A panel of scientific experts from the International Energy Agency (IEA) has validated that the Department of Energy (DOE) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) and their large-scale carbon dioxide tests are the world’s most ambitious and will significantly advance carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The IEA found that the seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships in North America are unique in that no other country or region has initiated such an ambitious CCS effort. The panel’s findings focused on large-scale tests involving a million tonnes or more of carbon dioxide injected annually.

Canada begins feasibility study into large-scale CCS project

Spectra Energy of Canada has announced plans to pursue a large-scale integrated carbon capture and storage (CCS) project near its existing Fort Nelson natural gas plant in northeast British Columbia (BC).

The BC provincial government has provided a $3.3m grant to help fund an initial feasibility phase, intended to determine whether deep underground saline reservoirs and associated infrastructure in the area are appropriate for CCS. Spectra will drill two test wells to determine whether surrounding geology is suitable for storage of carbon dioxide.

Guatemala has ambitious plans to rebalance energy mix

The Guatemalan government has unveiled a new energy policy that it hopes will overhaul the country’s power industry and reduce its dependence on imported oil.

President Alvaro Colom said his administration planned to invest $1.83bn in new plants with a capacity of more than 920 MW, “allowing the modification of the country’s energy mix in the medium term and its dependence on oil.”

Guatemala currently uses bunker oil to generate around 46 per cent of its electricity, forcing utility officials to constantly raise electric rates to keep up with surging fuel costs.

The government’s goal is to begin construction this year of coal, geothermal and hydroelectric power plants to produce the 12 GW needed to meet domestic demand.

These projects will enter operation between 2010 and 2014, and will be managed by the Energy and Mines Ministry, the National Electrification Institute and the National Energy Commission.

Union Fenosa’s Nicaraguan assets threatened

Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega says his government will nationalize Spanish electricity provider Union Fenosa’s subsidiary unless it cedes 16 per cent of its shares to his government.

Fenosa agreed to sell the shares for $15m under a preliminary deal, but both sides are still negotiating final details.

Nicaragua’s government accuses Fenosa of breaching its concession agreement by failing to invest enough to improve infrastructure in the energy-starved country.

The new deal would give the Nicaragua’s government a seat on Fenosa’s board of directors.

Brazil to supply own enriched uranium

According to Alfredo Trajan Filho, president of the Nuclear Industries of Brazil (INB), the country will have the means to supply its own nuclear power plants, Angra 1 and 2, with enriched uranium by 2012.

Brazil currently sends its uranium abroad for processing because it does not yet have the required technology on an industrial scale.

Trajan said that in 2010, INB intends to fulfil 60 per cent of the fuel needs of Angra 1 and 2, so that by 2012 it will be able to meet all the fuel needs of the two units.

Argentina: Bidding for the 480 MW Chihuido I hydro project is reported to have begun. The project will cost $900m and generate 1.8 TWh/ year. The dam will be built on the Nequen River.

Brazil: Triveni Engineering & Industries has signed an agreement with Brazil-based TGM Turbinas Industria e Comercio Ltds to manufacture and sell 25-45 MW impulse and reaction steam turbines at its Bangalore facility.

Canada: The Ontario government has announced that its five coal power plants, which are already scheduled to close by 2014, will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds below 2003 levels by 2011.

Canada: Thiro Limited, a subsidiary of CVTech Group, has won a C$5.7m ($5.6m) contract from Hydro-Quebec to build a 230 kV transmission line between the Sorel and Tracy substations.

Mexico: CFE, Mexico’s state power company, has signed a contract to sell 120 MW to Inde, its Guatemalan counterpart. The project is seen as the first step towards the integration of Mexico’s power grid with that of the Central American market.

Nicaragua: The Nicaraguan subsidiary of Polaris Geothermal Incorporated has awarded a contract to Queiroz-Galvao to expand the capacity of its San Jacinto Tizate geothermal project from 10 MW to 34 MW.

USA: The Shaw Group and Westinghouse Electric Company have been awarded an EPC contract for two of the USA’s first nuclear power units to be planned in decades by South Carolina Electric & Gas Company and the South Carolina Public Service Authority.

USA: REpower Systems AG has received an order for the delivery of 100 MM92 wind turbines from US project developer enXco, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, for two planned wind farms in the state of Washington.

USA: Detroit Edison has selected GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s next-generation 1520 MW ESBWR advanced reactor design for a potential new unit at its existing Fermi 2 plant on the shore of Lake Erie, south of Detroit

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