Duke/Fluor to construct four simple cycle plants

Duke/Fluor Daniel (D/FD) has been awarded contracts by Duke Energy North America (DENA) to perform engineering, procurement and construction services for four natural gas fired, simple cycle, merchant power generation facilities, with a combined capacity of 2560 MW.

The four projects consist of: the 640 MW Southaven Generation Station in Southaven, Miss.; the 640 MW Enterprise plant near Enterprise, Miss.; the 640 MW Marshall Generation Station in Calvert City, Ky.; and the 640 MW Sandersville Generation Station north of Warthen, Ga.

A total of 32 GE 7EA combustion turbine generators will be used in the four projects, which are targeted for commercial operation in summer 2002.

Jeff Faulk, president, D/FD, said: “With these projects, Duke/Fluor Daniel enters the new year on track to bring into commercial operation more than 13 000 MW of new power generation in 2002.”

Alstom wins coal fired boiler contract in US

Alstom has been awarded a contract worth more than C142m ($125m) by East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) to design and build a 268 MW coal fired circulating fluid bed (CFB) boiler at the utility’s H.L. Spurlock Power Station near Maysville, Kentucky.

EKPC broke ground on the project in February 2002, and commercial operation is scheduled for late 2004. The new boiler, dubbed E.A. Gilbert Unit, will be the third generating unit at the plant. It will be situated adjacent to the existing Spurlock Unit 2, a 500 MW pulverized coal fired unit built in 1981, and will burn coal supplied predominately by a variety of Kentucky mines.

Under the terms of the contract, Alstom’s scope includes design and supply of the CFB boiler and associated auxiliary equipment, design and supply of the gas cleaning equipment and erection.

The new boiler will provide the Spurlock plant with greater operating flexibility and efficiency, while minimizing sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions through the use of in-furnace combustion control techniques. To control emissions further, the plant design will also include Alstom’s Flash Dryer Absorber (FDA) system, an emissions control technology that will make this CFB one of the cleanest burning coal-fired boilers in the US.

US utilities cut power plant investment to defy Bush plans

Several energy groups in the US have decided to cut their power generation investment programmes to undercut the Bush Administration’s major relaunch of energy policy, which envisaged construction of between 1300 and 1900 new power stations over the next 20 years.

The reasons for the cutbacks in investment programmes reportedly include the difference between gas and electricity prices (spark spread), the recession, new estimates of demand, the events of September 11 and the failure of Enron.

Some 32 GW of new generating capacity was installed in 2000 and 41 GW in 2001. Some 85 GW was either under construction at the start of 2002 or included in programmes over the next two years. However, a study from CERA in Massachusetts notes that electricty demand fell at precisely the moment that the US reached record high levels of installed capacity.

Argentina eyes foreign utilities

Argentina will sit round the discussion table to tempt foreign power companies with new contracts following the devaluation of its currency.

The talks are part of a wider series of negotiations between foreign creditors and the government over who should bear the costs associated with the end of Argentina’s ten-year-old peg to the US dollar. John Taylor, the Treasury under-secretary for international affairs, said: “What we are trying to do now is indicate to Argentina that they need to treat foreign investors fairly.”

US and European companies invested billions of dollars in Argentina during the early 1990s, when the country began selling state enterprises. When the interim government of Eduardo Duhalde came to power at the beginning of the year, it seized on the unpopularity of the foreign utilities.

Mexico cuts power subsidies

The Mexican government will cut subsidies on residential electricity by 25 per cent this year.

Finance minister Francisco Gil Diaz said the measures will not effect agricultural customers or customers using less than 125 kWh/month. Diaz said the $1bn saved by the subsidy reduction will be used for maintenance, generation and distribution projects.

News digest

Brazil: VA Tech has signed a contract for the installation of a protection and automation system for a switchyard with Brazil’s Furnas Centrais Electricas. The contract is for the installation of a protection and automation system for four capacitor stations in the 345 kV section of the Tijuco Preto switchyard near the city of Sao Paulo.

Brazil: The Brazilian subsidiary of UK-based generator Rolls Royce Power Ventures (RRPV) plans to sign power purchase agreements for two thermoelectric projects in Sao Paulo and Alagoas states, said Cesar Agra, general manager of RRPV. The $130m, 150 MW Termoalagoas project was recently incorporated into the federal government’s priority programme which will receive a series of incentives if operating by December 2003.

Brazil: Shares of Brazilian power generators soared after the government announced plans to sell the power they produce at public auctions. Brazil’s CVM Securities Commission halted trading in five leading state-owned power companies for one hour, giving the government time to announce proposed changes in its electricity sales policy.

Canada: Hydro-Quebec is planning to invest C$11bn ($6.9bn) over the next ten years on new power plants in Canada. It said that it would develop 5000 MW by 2010, adding to its current portfolio of 31 000 MW. Key projects to be developed include the 526 MW Toulnustouc plant and the 1200 MW Eastmain-Rupert project.

Chile: Kvaerner, the international engineering and construction group, announced it has secured a $43m contract to supply boilers, air pollution control systems and a chemical plant for Celulosa Arauco y Constitucion in Chile.

Chile: Hydro Ltd said it has signed a contract for the purchase of water rights for a 270 MW hydroelectric power project in Chile. The project, located on the Tinguiririca River in the Andes mountain range about 150 km South of Santiago, will supply power to the central region of Chile.

Hawaii: PowerLight Corporation will provide Hawaii’s Mauna Lani solar power resort with 250 kW generating capacity, the largest solar resort in the world.The 250 kW photovoltaic Power Tracker system will be installed with a rotator which guides the machines to follow the sun’s movement throughout the day.

USA: Framatome ANP is to design and supply four steam generator replacement units for the US’s Ameren Corporation. The units will be delivered by spring 2005 with the installation in late 2005. The generators are for the 1171 MW Callaway nuclear plant on the Missouri river.