POWER Digest [June 2018]

Approval Granted for Two Gas-Fired Plants in Vietnam. PetroVietnam Power Corp. (PV Power) in late April received government approval to build two gas-fired power plants in southern Vietnam, according to its parent company, state oil firm PetroVietnam. PV Power, the second-largest electricity producer in Vietnam, said the plants represent an investment of about $33 trillion dong ($1.46 billion). Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave the green light to the two plants in Dong Nai province. The Nhon Trach 3 and Nhon Trach 4 plants will have combined generation capacity of 1,500 MW and are scheduled to come online in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The two plants are the first of nine planned by PV Power in Vietnam, as the country tries to develop new generation to keep up with increasing demand for electricity. The nine plants reportedly will have total generation capacity of 5,250 MW. PV Power at present operates eight power plants—four gas-fired, three hydropower, and one coal-fired—with total generation capacity of 4,208 MW. The country’s largest power generator, Vietnam Electricity (EVN), has generation capacity of about 23,600 MW.

Vietnam Expanding Country’s Second-Largest Hydro Plant. The Vietnamese government in April signed off on a plan to increase the generation capacity of the Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant by 480 MW. The facility, located on the Black River in Hoa Binh Province, is the country’s second-largest hydro plant, with eight 240-MW turbines providing generation capacity of 1,920 MW. Vietnam Electricity (EVN) will pay for 30% of the $379 million expansion; commercial loans will finance the other 70%. The project includes the addition of two additional 240-MW turbines and is expected to be completed in 2022 or 2023. Officials said the project will maximize utilization of water discharged from the plant during flood season. It also will improve frequency modulation capability and reduce the “working intensity” of the plant’s current turbines, which should increase their lifecycle and reduce maintenance and repair costs. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce said 2017 was a record year for power consumption in Vietnam, and demand for electricity is forecast to increase 12.5% year-over-year this summer. The agency said demand rose 10.4% year-over-year during the first three months of 2018. EVN wants to begin operating several transmission projects this year to help meet power demand: the 500-kV west Hanoi–Thuong Tin transmission line, the 500-kV/220-kV Nho Quan-Phu Ly-Thuong Tin line, and 500-kV transmission stations in Chon Thanh Township in the southern province of Binh Phuoc and My Tho city of Tien Giang province.

BHEL Has Contract for ESP Modernization. New Delhi, India-based Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) secured a Rs 137 Crore ($21 million) order for the renovation and modernization (R&M) of electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) at NTPC Ltd.’s Ramagundam Super Thermal Power Station in Peddapalli district in the Indian state of Telangana. The contract calls for upgrading the ESPs of three 200-MW coal-fired units that have operated for more than 25 years. The R&M is designed to enable the units to meet new emissions standards from India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, adopted in December 2015. The Ramagundam plant has a nameplate generation capacity of 2,600 MW, which includes the three 200-MW units, and four 500-MW units. BHEL is working on similar projects for NTPC—India’s largest energy company—and state-owned utilities Gujarat State Electricity Corp. Ltd. and Chhattisgarh State Power Generation Co. Ltd.

First Turbine Begins Operation at Pakistan Hydro Plant. Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WPDA) in mid-April said trial runs had started at the 969-MW Neelum Jhelum hydropower plant in Azad Kashmir. The plant is designed to divert water from the Neelum River to the power station on the Jhelum River. The WPDA began filling the reservoir for the project last fall. The project, estimated to cost more than $4.5 billion, includes a 160-meter-long by 60-meter-high concrete gravity dam. The reservoir can store up to 8,207-acre feet of water. It will generate power using four 242.25-MW Francis hydro turbines. Electricity from the plant is supplied to the country’s national power grid. WPDA in May also completed commissioning its three-unit Tarbela 4 extension in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. The first of three units at that facility came online in February. The extension is designed to add a cumulative 1,410 MW to Pakistan’s grid, mostly to supplement the power supply during the high-demand summer months.

Siemens Will Supply Turbines to Iraq Gas Plant. Siemens will supply its SST-5000 steam turbines to the Rumaila Gas Power Plant in Iraq, adding 700 MW of generation capacity to the plant’s current 1,500 MW. Siemens, which was awarded the supply contract in April by Sinohydro, the Chinese state-owned hydropower engineering and construction company, said the turbines’ efficiency means they will not add an extra fuel requirement, and will increase the plant’s efficiency to more than 50% by converting it to combined cycle mode. The project developer is KAR Electrical Power Production Trading FZE. The plant currently operates with five Siemens SGT5-4000F gas turbines, which were installed and commissioned in 2013. The new turbines are expected to enter service by 2020. ■

Darrell Proctor is a POWER associate editor.