POWER Digest (December 2011)

Fluor Enters Small Modular Reactor Market, Backs NuScale. Fluor Corp. on Oct. 13 announced it planned to invest more than $30 million in NuScale Power, an Oregon-based small modular reactor (SMR) technology company. As part of its investment, Fluor has purchased the company’s shares that had previously been in U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission receivership and has become NuScale’s majority shareholder. Going forward, NuScale will continue to operate as an independent company. Additionally, Fluor and NuScale have entered into a separate contractual arrangement whereby Fluor will provide certain services to NuScale as well as have exclusive rights to provide engineering and construction services for future NuScale SMR facilities. NuScale’s SMR technology was developed from 2000 to 2003 at Oregon State University with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. With Fluor’s involvement, NuScale expects to bring its technology to market in a “timely manner,” it said.

Enviva to Supply Wood Pellets for Dominion Coal-to-Biomass Conversions. Wood pellet manufacturer Enviva on Oct. 19 signed a contract with Richmond, Va.–based Dominion Virginia Power to supply biomass to two power facilities in southeast Virginia. In April, Dominion announced plans to convert three 63-MW coal-burning peaking plants to 50-MW baseload power plants using biomass. Enviva will supply two of these plants, located in Southampton and Hopewell, Va. Dominion’s application to convert the power stations is pending before the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

ABB to Develop 1,200-kV AC Transformer for India. Power and automation technology group ABB on Oct. 24 said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Power Grid Corp. of India (PGCIL) to develop, design, and manufacture a 1,200-kV single-phase ultra-high-voltage alternating current (AC) power transformer, locally in India. The transformer will be deployed at PGCIL’s national test station currently under construction at Bina in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

India’s growing power capacity has driven the development of transmission infrastructure on a large scale. A 1,200-kV transmission system is now being planned to supplement the existing 400-kV and 800-kV transmission grid with significantly higher load capacity to carry up to 8,000 MW of power. This will be the highest AC voltage level in the world. As part of this initiative, PGCIL is constructing a national 1,200-kV test station at Bina, where it will carry out field tests and evaluations of various transmission and distribution equipment, including ABB’s transformer, before deploying the technology for commercial purposes.

Rolls-Royce to Supply Generator Sets to Bangladesh. Rolls-Royce on Oct. 31 announced a $22 million contract to supply eight Bergen B32:40 16V reciprocating engine generator sets to Bangladesh utility Baraka Patenga Power Ltd. (BPPL). The engines will power BPPL’s 50-MW power plant under construction at Patenga, south of the port city of Chittagong in south-eastern Bangladesh. In July 2011, BPPL signed a power purchase agreement with Bangladesh Power Development Board to develop the 50-MW independent power plant project on a build-own-operate basis for a term of 15 years. BPPL is a 51% subsidiary of Barakatullah Electro Dynamics Ltd., the Dhaka-listed Bangladeshi power generation company.

Vogt Power to Supply HRSGs for Singapore LNG Power Plant. Kentucky-based Vogt Power International, a subsidiary of Babcock Power, on Oct. 6 said it received an order from Siemens to supply heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) and associated equipment for the GMR Energy Power Plant project located on Jurong Island, Singapore. Vogt Power will design and deliver two unfired, three-pressure-level, HRSGs with reheat for use behind Siemens SGT5-4000F gas turbines. The HRSGs will be Vogt’s “Loose Harp” design, which helps reduce the size and number of cranes on site, while allowing for multiple modes of transportation.

GMR Energy is Singapore’s first foreign independent power project. The gas-fired combined cycle power plant is expected to be one of the most efficient units in the country. The project is due to be completed by the end of 2013 and will be fueled by regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Foster Wheeler Signs Licensing Agreement for Sale of CFB Steam Generators in India. Foster Wheeler on Nov. 1 entered into a 20-year agreement with Essar Projects India Ltd. (EPIL), a subsidiary of Essar Group, to provide a technology license for utility-sized circulating fluidized bed (CFB) steam generators to be sold in India. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Future royalty payments will be recorded over the life of the agreement. EPIL has forecast that CFB technology is the future for the Indian market “given the constrained fuel supply situation and the ever increasing environmental concerns.”

UK Crown Estate Announces Winners in Latest Marine Power Leasing Round. The UK’s Crown Estate on Oct. 24 announced eight new offshore site agreements for wave and tidal energy projects, taking the total number of UK projects to more than 30. Using these agreements, the project developers will survey the sites and design projects in preparation for installing generation devices in the future.

Ranging from small technology test schemes for short-term installation to commercial projects with up to 30 MW potential generating capacity, selected wave projects include Pelamis Wave Power’s Bernera project and AWS Ocean Energy’s Moray Firth project. Tidal stream projects include DP Marine Energy’s West Islay project; Nautricity’s Mull of Kintyre project; Nova Innovation’s Bluemull Sound project; Oceanflow Development’s Sanda Sound project; Marine Current Turbines’s Skerries project in Wales; and Minesto UK’s Strangford Lough project in Northern Ireland.

Saudi Electricity Orders New 1,200-MW Gas Plant. Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) signed a SR5.4 billion ($1.44 billion) contract on Oct. 16 with an unnamed national company to build an additional 1,200 MW at the PP10 combined cycle plant power plant in Riyadh, which currently has a generation capacity of 2,240 MW. The contractor will add 10 steam turbines, which should be in operation in 46 months, SEC said in a statement. Saudi Electricity plans to invest $80 billion to increase its power generation capacity by 30 GW by 2018 to meet soaring power demand.

Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.