POWER Digest

Russia and Vietnam Ink Deal for First Ninh Thuan Nuclear Unit. Russia’s nuclear group Rosatom and Vietnam’s state-owned power company Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) on July 30 signed a general framework agreement for the construction of the first unit of the proposed Ninh Thuan nuclear plant in Phuoc Dinh. EVN selected Rosatom’s AES-2006 reactor design for the country’s first nuclear plant in November 2014. The Ninh Thuan project will comprise four reactors that are to be built over the 2017–2023 timeframe as a turnkey project. St. Petersburg-based Atomproekt will supply AES-2006 reactors for at least the first two units. Russia has agreed to finance and build at least 2,400 MW of nuclear capacity in Vietnam, and Japan has agreed to build another 2,000 MW.

NTPC Issues Tender for Blocks of 750-MW Solar Project. India’s largest power company NTPC Ltd. on Aug. 25 re-issued a tender for the second 750-MW phase of a 1-GW solar photovoltaic park planned in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. A tender issued last year for the first 250-MW phase was awarded to four developers: Tata Power Solar (100 MW); Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (50 MW); Sterling Wilson (50 MW); and Lanco Solar Energy (50 MW). The new tender for the second phase will be allotted in single or multiple blocks of a maximum capacity of 125 MW. While the first tender was open only to domestic companies, the second tender is open to foreign firms as well. NTPC plans to put up 10 GW of solar power capacity over the next five years with an estimated investment of $10 billion.

Brazil Approves 29 New Power Projects at Auction. Brazil’s National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL) approved 29 new power plant projects with a total capacity of 669 MW at its latest auction in mid-August. Projects include 19 onshore wind projects worth 538 MW, biomass projects worth 36.5 MW, and natural gas projects with a capacity of 28 MW. It also granted seven hydro projects worth 66.5 MW. The projects are expected to be online by January 2018.

UAE’s ENEC Says Local Contracts for Barakah Nuclear Project Exceed $2.5B. The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. (ENEC) on Aug. 18 announced that contracts with companies from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) totaling more than $2.5 billion have been awarded over the past five years for the construction of the country’s first nuclear units at Barakah in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. ENEC and the Korea Electric Power Corp., the plant’s primary contractor, have to date awarded contracts to entities like Emirates Steel, National Cement, Dubai Cable Co., National Marine Dredging Co., Western Bainoona Group, and Hilalco. Construction of Barakah’s four identical units is well underway. ENEC says Unit 1 is now 75% complete and all four units are more than 50% complete. ENEC’s first unit is scheduled for completion in 2017, with additional units following at 12-month intervals. Unit 4 is set to commence commercial operations in 2020, pending regulatory reviews and licensing.

Japanese Firms to Build IGCC Units in Fukushima. A consortium of Japanese companies will collaborate to promote the development of two 540-MW integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) units in Fukushima Prefecture. The companies— Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., and Joban Joint Power Co.—said in a statement on Aug. 19 that they will set up one unit at TEPCO’s Hirono station and the other at the Nakoso power plant operated by Joban. The units are expected to begin operating by early 2020.

Construction Begins at Israeli Solar Thermal Plant. Megalim Solar Power — owned by Noy Fund (49.9%), BrightSource Energy (25.05%), and Alstom (25.05%)—this June laid the cornerstone of the 121-MW Ashalim Plot-B solar thermal project, which is expected to supply 320 GWh of electricity annually into Israel’s grid when it is completed in 2017. The Ashalim Plot B power facility comprises a 240-meter solar tower standing at the center of a 3.15-square-kilometer field of about 50,000 sun-tracking heliostats. It is one of two solar thermal projects that are part of the 300-MW Ashalim solar complex. The complex also includes a solar photovoltaic project. Israel wants to produce 10% of its electricity from renewables by 2020.

BrightSource Energy also plans to develop an 810-MW solar project in the Qinghai province in northwest China. The Huanghe Qinghai Delingha solar thermal power project would consist of six solar tower plants rated at 135 MW each.

PSEG to Put Up New Unit on Sewaren Site. New Jersey–based PSEG will spend $600 million to build a new 540-MW combined cycle gas turbine plant in Sewaren. The Sewaren 7 plant will be constructed at PSEG Power’s existing Sewaren Generating Station site, replacing Sewaren Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, which will be retired after almost 70 years of providing power to the region. Construction will begin in early 2016 and the plant will go online in the summer of 2018. ■

Sonal Patel is a POWER associate editor.