POWER Digest

Dutch Court Clears Eemshaven Coal Plant for Operation. A Dutch court on Sept. 9 rejected claims that an environmental license issued for RWE’s 1.6-GW Eemshaven coal-fired power plant was issued improperly, clearing the way for the $3.36 billion plant to begin operations at full capacity. Environmental groups have opposed the plant’s location near nature reserves. Both Germany—which will soon phase out nuclear power—and the Netherlands—whose gas fields are in decline—back the hard coal project. The project involved construction of two ultrasupercritical coal-fired units, Block A and Block B, that can start up and shut down quickly. Construction began in 2008, and the plant was scheduled to begin operating in 2014.

Flamanville Sees Costs Soar to $11.8B, New Delays. French state-controlled utility Électricité de France’s (EDF’s) Flamanville reactor, which began construction in northern France in 2007, won’t come online until at least 2018, the company said. Costs for the first-of-its-kind EPR reactor have meanwhile surged from €3.3 billion (2005 values) to €8 billion ($9 billion) in 2012 and €10.5 billion ($11.8 billion) in 2015. The company said in a statement that 98% of the building civil structure has been completed as well as 60% of the electromechanical work. Putting in place a new organizational structure, EDF said it would now strive to complete installation of the primary circuit in the first quarter of 2016 and load fuel and start up the reactor by late 2018. Startup of the much-delayed Olkiluoto 3 EPR under construction in Finland is also slated for 2018. The world’s other two EPR projects, Taishan 1 and 2 under construction in China, could come online earlier, in 2016 and 2017. EDF is also considering building two EPRs in the UK.

Rostov Unit 3 Reactor Begins Commercial Operation. Unit 3 of the Rostov nuclear power plant in Russia has been commissioned two months ahead of schedule and is now operational, said Russia’s state-owned nuclear entity Rosatom on Sept. 24. Construction of that unit began in 2009. The nuclear plant is located on the bank of the Tsimlyansk Reservoir, about 14 km from Volgodonsk. It now comprises three units with VVER-1000 reactors. Unit 1 was put into commercial operation in 2001 and Unit 2 in December 2010. Unit 4, another VVER-1000, is under construction with operations expected to begin in 2017.

Indonesia Kicks Off Coal Plant Construction, Island Electrification, Tidal Power Development. PT Bhimasena Power Indonesia —a joint venture of J-POWER, Adaro Power, and Itochu —on Aug. 28 kicked off construction of the 2-GW PLTU Batang coal-fired plant in Central Java, Indonesia. The $4 billion ultrasupercritical project is the nation’s first large-scale public-private partnership (PPP) project. The two-unit plant could come online by 2019.

Also on Aug. 28, Indonesia’s government implemented a program to put up 149 diesel gensets—a total of 67.8 MW—in 50 locations across 13 provinces to supply power to customers in outer islands and border areas. The provinces include Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, West Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, East Nusa Tenggara, North Sulawesi, Maluku, North Maluku, and Papua.

Meanwhile, state-owned utility PT PLN signed a memorandum of understanding with marine power projects developer SBS to develop a tidal power project in West Nusa Tenggara. The $350 million tidal stream plant, which would be Indonesia’s first commercial-scale project, would be built in phases beginning with an initial 12-MW pilot and eventually scaled up to 140 MW.

AGL Sells Its Share in 420-MW Australian Wind Farm. Australian power generator AGL Energy on Sept. 7 sold its 50% participating interest in the 420-MW Macarthur Wind Farm joint venture to New Zealand–based investment management firm Morrison & Co. for A$532 million. The remaining 50% interest is held by Malakoff Corp. Berhad. However, AGL said it will continue to operate and maintain the Macarthur Wind Farm on behalf of Morrison & Co. and Malakoff, and it retains the rights to all Renewable Energy Certificates and electricity output until 2038. The Macarthur Wind Farm—a 2013 POWER magazine Top Plant award winner—is located in southwest Victoria. It was constructed by Vestas and Leighton Contractors with 140 Vestas V112, 3-MW turbines and was completed in January 2013. “The sale of the Macarthur Wind Farm is the first step toward AGL’s target of $1 billion in asset divestments by the end of FY17. The sale of this asset will improve the company’s capital efficiency while retaining its BBB credit rating,” the company said.

Westinghouse to Dismantle Closed German Nuclear Plant. Westinghouse Electric Co. won a contract on Sept. 8 to dismantle the reactor pressure vessel and internals at the Philippsburg Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 in Germany. The reactor operated by EnBW Kernkraft GmbH was permanently shuttered by a German government mandate in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. Westinghouse’s scope includes planning, equipment manufacture, and on-site segmentation of the reactor vessel internals and the reactor vessel, including peripheral structures. The scope for the contract will be executed by a consortium comprising NUKEM Technologies Engineering Services GmbH (NTES) and GNS Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service mbH under the lead of Westinghouse Electric Germany GmbH. The work will be carried out under the direction of EnBW when the decommissioning license is granted by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate, and Energy of Baden-Württemberg.

Statkraft Opens 172-MW Hydro Plant in Peru. Norwegian energy group Statkraft in late August opened the 172-MW Cheves hydropower plant in Peru. The plant, 130 kilometers north of the capitol Lima in the Huaura River, consists of two aggregates and exploits a gross head of 600 meters. Based on water from the Andes, it will generate 840 GWh annually, power that will be sold on a long-term power purchase agreement with eight local distribution companies.

Siemens Awarded Plant Components for Maryland Gas Plant. Siemens will supply the main components for the 735-MW natural gas–fired Keys Energy Center in Maryland to SNC-Lavalin Constructors, who will act as the turnkey engineering, procurement, construction contractor for the project. Siemens will deliver two SGT6-5000F gas turbines, one SST-5000 steam turbine, two air-cooled generators SGen-1000A, and the associated turbine instrumentation and control systems. The plant, owned by Public Service Enterprise Group, is expected to come online in 2018. ■

Sonal Patel is a POWER associate editor.