POWER Digest [December 2017]

Construction Set to Begin on First Nuclear Plant in Turkey

Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister, in mid-October said construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant would begin by year-end 2017 or early in 2018. The $20 billion Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, which will have four VVER-1200 (1,200 MW) reactors, will be built by Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation. The VVER is a water-water energetic reactor, a series of pressurized water reactors that was originally developed in the Soviet Union. The current schedule calls for the plant, in the southern province of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, to put its first reactor into operation by 2023, with the plant fully operational by 2025. The Turkish Atomic Energy Agency said AEM-technology, the machine engineering division of Rosatom, will manufacture equipment for the plant, which has been delayed several times since development of the project began in 2010. A second nuclear project is planned for Sinop, near the Black Sea in northern Turkey, and will be built by a French-Japanese consortium of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and AREVA. Turkey imports most of its energy, costing the government about $50 billion annually. Officials have said they want at least 5% of Turkey’s electricity generation from nuclear power within 10 years, enabling a reduction in imports of natural gas, mostly from Russia.

Norwegian Group Inks Deal with Iran for Solar Power

Norway’s Saga Energy in mid-October said it signed a nearly $3 billion deal with Iran’s state-owned Amin Energy Developers to build solar power plants in the country, as foreign companies continue to seek more opportunities in Iran. Companies are more willing to invest in Iran as international sanctions against the country have eased after Tehran agreed to limits on its nuclear program. Saga Energy spokesman Rune Haaland told Reuters the deal is for construction of 2 GW of solar power generation capacity over a four- to five-year period. Haaland said Saga will receive financing from banks, pension funds, and Norwegian state export guarantees, with return on the investment via a 25-year deal on electricity prices, and economic guarantees from the Iranian government. Saga, along with SoliTek of Lithuania, will make the solar panels, and Taiwan’s Delta Electronics will provide other equipment and services such as installation of the inverters. Saga executive Gaute Steinkopf said his company also wants to build a solar panel manufacturing plant in Iran. Saga’s deal comes just weeks after Norway’s Scatec Solar, which builds and operates solar plants worldwide, said it was trying to secure financing for a project in Iran.

Pilot Project Using Salt for Energy to Be Tested in Berlin

Swedish innovation company SaltX Technology and Swedish utility Vattenfall in September signed a letter of intent to conduct a pilot project based on SaltX’s large-scale energy storage technology, EnerStore. The project at Vattenfall´s combined heat and power plant in Berlin will test SaltX technology that uses salt to store energy. “By adding water to the dry salt, calcium oxide, the salt turns into calcium hydroxide. The water starts a chemical process, which generates heat, and the temperature will rise to approximately 120C. If you add hot steam instead of water to the salt, the steam temperature will rise up to 500C,” said Markus Witt, project sponsor for Vattenfall’s part of the SaltX project. The hot steam can be added to the Berlin district heating network or led through a turbine to generate power, he added. For now, a prototype reactor will be built and tested next year. The pilot plant, which will use 1,000 to 3,000 liters of salt, will be tested in 2019.

Dong Energy to Change Company Name to Ørsted following Green Transformation

Danish firm Dong Energy is changing its name to Ørsted following a strategic transformation that prompted it to abandon its coal plants and focus on its offshore wind business, along with a recent divestment of its upstream oil and gas business. The new name references Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted (1777–1851), who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields. Dong was an acronym for “Danish Oil and Natural Gas,” but with the recent divestment, “it is now the right time to change our name,” said Thomas Thune Andersen, who chairs the company’s board of directors.

Chubu Electric Power Starts Operation of 1.2-GW Gas Plant in Japan

Japanese power company Chubu Electric Power Co. started operations of its 1.2-GW Nishi-Nagoya power plant Block-1 in Japan (Nishi-Nagoya) on September 29. The plant features six GE 7HA.01 gas turbines and Toshiba’s steam turbine technology. It features a thermal efficiency of at least 62%. Chubu embarked on the 40-year-old plant’s refurbishment to support the government’s initiative for cleaner, more-efficient power generation. Chubu selected a higher efficiency and more flexible large block gas turbine that could support multi-shaft (3-on-1) combined cycle operation, provide low nitrogen oxide emissions, and run on liquefied natural gas fuel, GE said. GE’s HA technology was chosen as the best proven technology for the project.

TNB Starts Operation of 1-GW Coal Plant in Malaysia

Tenaga Nasional Bhd. started operation of Manjung 5, a 1-GW ultrasupercritical unit in Perak, Malaysia, on September 28, three days before its targeted date. Contractors at the project included a consortium comprising Sumitomo Corp. of Japan and Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. of South Korea. ■

Sonal Patel and Darrell Proctor are POWER associate editors.