Zambian $100m transmission upgrade will triple capacity

The European Investment Bank is to provide $30m towards the upgrade of a 341 km transmission line in Zambia.

The Kafue-Livingstone line is the only major electricity connection in southwestern Zambia and it is hoped that its upgrade will enable power to be traded with nearby Namibia via the Caprivi interconnector.

The upgrade, which is due for completion in 2014, will boost capacity from the current 120 MW to 360 MW and will include the construction of new substations to replace some infrastructure which is more than 50 years old.

The original line between the Victoria Falls hydropower station and Lusaka was built in the 1970s.

The total cost of the project is around $100m, with other support coming from the World Bank and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation.

“Upgrading the Kafue-Livingstone transmission line will assist the Zambian government’s efforts to ensure that a reliable supply of energy can keep pace with economic growth in Zambia and improve electricity distribution across southern Africa,” said European Investment Bank vice-president Plutarchos Sakellaris.

Armenia and Iran in hydro plant deal

Iran and Armenia have signed an agreement to build the Meghri hydroelectric power plant over the Aras River, which runs between the two countries.

Construction is scheduled to start in August and the plant is expected to produce 130 MW. Armenia and Iran will simultaneously start construction in Armenia’s Meghri and Iran’s Qarachilar regions.

Iran’s Deputy Energy Minister, Mohammad Behzad, said a third high-voltage transmission line being built between the two countries as part of the project will take Iran’s electricity to Georgia, Russia and Europe.

Rolls-Royce in $136m UAE turbine deal

Rolls-Royce has won contracts worth $136m to supply technology and support services to Dolphin Energy, which transports natural gas from Qatar to the United Arab Emirates and Oman via a 364 km subsea pipeline.

Rolls-Royce will supply Dolphin with three industrial Trent gas turbine compression packages, each rated at 52 MW, which will join six similar units that went into service at Dolphin’s gas processing plant in Ras Laffan, Qatar, in 2006.

Baghdad plant commissioned

The Taji power plant has been commissioned in Baghdad and hailed by the Iraqi government as the first step in securing reliable energy for the country.

The plant runs on four GE Frame 6B gas turbines and can generate enough electricity to support about 160 000 households.

GE is supplying similar kit for another two new plants in Hilla and Karbala, which are expected to be operational later this year.

“The successful start-up of Taji signals the first steps in fulfilling our continuous commitment to bring much needed, reliable electricity to the people of Iraq,” said Iraq’s Minister of Electricity, Karim Aftan Aljumaily.

GE is supplying Iraq with an additional 56 gas turbines for projects across the country which are expected to add more than 7000 MW of electricity to support the expansion of energy infrastructure and help accelerate future economic growth.

Joseph Anis, president of GE Energy in the Middle East, said the commissioning of Taji was “a significant moment for GE in Iraq and reinforces our growing commitment to the country”.

Suzlon wins South African wind deal

Indian power company Suzlon has been chosen as the preferred bidder for a 138 MW wind project in South Africa.

The AmakhalaEmoyeni Phase 1 development is being built by Cennergi, a joint venture between South Africa’s Exxaro Resources and Tata Power Company, India’s largest private power utility.

Suzlon will supply 66 of its S97-2.1 MW turbines under a full EPC deal, with construction due to start early next year.

Between February and April this year, Suzlon won contracts worth $387m in Europe.

Middle East gas demand to outpace supply, says IEA

Middle Eastern demand for natural gas is likely to rise faster than supply over the next five years, forcing one of the world’s biggest gas reserve regions to import more, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

It expects Middle East gas demand to rise by 79 billion m3, or 20 per cent, from 2011 to 2017, outstripping incremental supply in the region by 7 billion m3 as low gas prices encourage consumption and discourage production.

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority has appointed UK bank HSBC to advise on the development of the Mirfa independent water and power project, which is expected to have a capacity of 1500-1600 MW and 60 million gallons a day of water.

Botswana: Botswana is to issue a tender for two 300 MW coal fired plants to be built, construction beginning this year. One of the projects will be an expansion at the existing Morupule complex, where Botswana’s power utility BPC operates a coal fired plant.

Egypt: Power generation engineering firm PGESCo is planning to build a 650 MW plant at Suez to replace a smaller plant built in the 1950s and decommissioned four years ago.

Israel: GE is to supply a dozen of its aeroderivative gas turbine generators to Dorad Energy power plant in Israel. The order for the 12 LM6000-PC Sprint units is part of a $200m deal for the plant that GE has signed with Wood Group, which is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for Dorad.

Kurdistan: Kurdistan is planning to build five hydropower projects with a combined capacity of 1305 MW. There will be a 621 MW plant at Mandaw, 350 MW at Taq Taq and 261 MW at Rashawa, plus two smaller run-of-river projects.

Mozambique: Aggreko and Shanduka Group have won a contract to supply 107 MW of gas fired power to South Africa and Mozambique.

Saudi Arabia: Ewaan Global Residential Co has signed a $16.7m contract with ABB for the construction of a 110/13.8 kv substation in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Electricity Co has selected Arabian Bemco to build a power plant near Riyadh City. The project will have a capacity of 2175 MW and the engineering, procurement and construction contract is worth $1.25bn.

South Africa: Wärtsilä has signed three-year operations & maintenance agreement with Sasol New Energy Holdings, a global energy and chemical company. The deal covers the company’s gas engine power plant project in Sasolburg, South Africa.

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