Egypt’s OCI gets approval for $363m Iraq gas power plant

Iraq’s cabinet has approved the award of a $363m contract to build a 1014 MW gas power plant at Baiji in Salah al-Din governorate to Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI).

“At present, we have received cabinet approval, but have yet to sign the final contract. We expect to sign in the near future,” said OCI.

The gas fired power plant will be constructed on an engineering, procurement and construction basis. Baiji is 180 kilometres north of Baghdad and is home to the country’s largest oil refinery.

The facility will comprise six 169 MW turbines. The ministry secured the turbines from Germany’s Siemens and they are not included in the construction cost. The project is expected to be completed in 21 months.

The power plant contract has encouraged the Egyptian company to bolster its presence in Iraq. “We have decided to target Iraq’s infrastructure development programme, which has now become a key focus for the group,” said OCI.

As part of this strategy, OCI has established a permanent branch in Baghdad to pursue other major projects in the country, specifically in power generation, water, and large-scale oil and gas.

SKF clinches $52m Vestas supply order

SKF has secured a $52.25m order from Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas for the delivery of main shaft solutions to the Vestas V112-3MW turbine.

SKF president Tom Johnstone said: “Our knowledge and experience in wind energy enabled us to develop a unique solution for this new turbine. Wind energy is a key industry for the SKF Group and we continue to invest in this business by developing new solutions to enable more cost-effective wind energy generation.”

SKF provides solutions that optimise the reliability and performance of wind turbine designs.

ABB in joint venture with Inocean

ABB has signed a deal to partner with Inocean to establish an engineering services joint venture that specialises in delivering offshore wind projects.

The new entity, ABB Inocean, will be based in Gothenburg, Sweden.

ABB will own the majority stake in the company, which will undertake design, engineering and project management activities.

The new organisation is expected to strengthen ABB’s expertise in the offshore wind power integration business.

Ashalim Sun wins tender for Israeli desert solar project

The Ashalim Sun PV consortium has won a tender to build and operate a 30 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Israel’s southern Negev desert.

Ashalim Sun is a 50:50 joint venture between Clal Sun and SunEdison, which is the solar project development unit of MEMC Electronic Materials.

The solar power plant, which will begin to operate in the first half of 2015, will be one of the largest of its kind in the world, the ministry said.

This plant will be built besides two thermal solar plants in Ashalim, which will each provide 110 MW of power.

Together, the three plants will account for 2 per cent of Israel’s electricity generation and represent a milestone on the way to Israel achieving its goal of 10 per cent of electricity production from renewable resources by 2020.

Ashalim Sun will operate the plant for 27 years, after which the government will take ownership.

Ashalim Sun offered a price of 0.5365 shekels (US14 cents) per kilowatt hour of electricity.

Tata in power deal for South Africa

India’s Tata Power has formed an equal joint venture with South African coal producer Exxaro Resources to develop and operate power projects in the African nation.

Tata Power will form the new company, named Cennergi, through its unit Khopoli Investments.

Cennergi will initially focus on renewable energy in South Africa and will later have projects in Botswana and Namibia.

Exxaro chief executive Sipho Nkosi said: “Cennergi has been created by companies from developing nations to serve developing nations. It will play a key role in the African electricity generation market.”

Doosan Heavy wins $1.3bn boiler order in India

Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction has announced $1.3bn of orders to build five boilers for Indian power plants.

The 800 MW boilers will be installed at NTPC facilities by 2016.

Three will be used at the Kudgi power plant in Karnataka state in India’s southwest, and two in the Lara facility in Chhattisgarh, central India.

India is adding electricity generating capacity to support economic growth and may build 25 GW of plants a year until 2020.

•••

Babcock: The UK nuclear support services company has opened an office in Lyon where it will work with EDF’s nuclear decommissioning and environmental division on the dismantling of gas cooled graphite reactors at Chinon and St Laurent.

E.ON: The UK’s Department of Energy has approved plans from E.ON for a 150 MW biomass power station in Bristol. The plant will be fuelled mainly by imported wood, energy crops and local waste wood.

ExxonMobil: ExxonMobil is in talks over drilling for shale gas in Turkey.

Turkey is said to have 15 trillion cubic metres of shale gas and the country’s state energy company TPAO has held discussions with ExxonMobil on exploration.

Exelon: Constellation Energy and Exelon Corp have completed their $11.2bn merger. The deal was announced last year but it took until 12 March for all the required regulatory approvals to be granted. The deal was the third-biggest of 2011 in the US.

CEZ: Czech Republic company CEZ returned a better-than-expected new profit for 2011 of CZK 40.8bn ($2.1bn). It said its priority for 2012 was securing extra units at Temelin nuclear power plant.

Gamesa: Gamesa is to sell four wind farms in the US to Canada’s Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp for $900m. The farms are Pocahontas Prairie (80 MW) in Iowa; Sandy Ridge (50 MW) in Pennsylvania; Senate (150 MW) in Texas; and Minonk (200 MW) in Illinois.

GE: GE is to overhaul an ageing power station in Texas and turn it into a combined cycle plant. When the Marble Falls plant goes online, due in 2014, it will be the first such plant in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas region that meets the latest Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse gas regulations.

RWE: The company said it had taken a $1bn hit in 2011 from the German government’s decision to withdraw from nuclear power. The group’s operating result dropped 24 per cent to €5.8bn.

Wartsila: Finland’s Wartsila will supply the engineering and generating equipment for a new power plant in Alaska. The $106m order has been placed by Alaksan utility Matanuska Electric Association.

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