This new quarterly column provides a snapshot of the new projects and key project developments taking place in the global gas power sector.

The Energy Industries Council’s (EIC’s) project database, EICDataStream, which tracks more than 9,200 of the most significant projects across the global energy industry, currently records a total of 426 gas power projects under construction and another 245 projects proposed for future development with a combined total potential investment value of $508 billion. It should be noted that there will always be a proportion of proposed projects that do not gain planning approval and the requisite finance.

Since January, 51 gas power projects potentially worth $33 billion have been added to the database. Just over two-thirds of the total potential investment value of these projects comes from Asia and the Middle East, with 32 projects totaling $22 billion.

The first quarter of 2012 saw plenty of activity and a positive start to the year with 32 projects having a potential investment value of $23 billion added to the database. Hot spots of activity were South Korea and China, with projects there representing approximately a third of the potential investment value for the quarter.

Major projects in Q1 2012 included the Rabigh Independent Power Project Phase II, a 1.7-GW combined cycle power plant (CCPP) valued at $2.5 billion located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Tendering and bidding commenced in April with Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) issuing a request for proposals to developers. It is believed that around 15 companies have been prequalified for the contract with full bids due by this October. The plant will be built in two stages with the first 600 MW planned to be online by 2017.

Another sizeable project is the 1,880-MW Dongducheon CCPP project in South Korea valued at $1.9 billion. In March, a major electrical equipment contract was awarded for turbines and generators with Marubeni and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries receiving the order for four gas turbines, two steam turbines and generators. The independent power project (IPP) will be operated by Dongducheon Dream Power Corp., jointly established by Korea Western, Samsung C&T, and the Hyundai Development Co.

In Bangladesh, bids were invited for the EPC contract for the first phase of the $1.8 billion Ghorashal Power Plant Repowering Project. The project involves converting existing gas-fired units to combined cycle units at the Ghorashal power station in Narsingdi, increasing the capacity of the plant from 840 MW to 2,300 MW. The deadline for bids is this month, with the project’s first phase to be operational in less than three years.

In Malaysia, the proposed $1.4 billion Prai CCPP, which will be developed as an IPP, is gathering speed with the Energy Commission having shortlisted a number of consortiums and sole bidders for the project. The contract is likely to be announced in November  and the plant will have a generating capacity between 1,000 MW and 1,400 MW. 
Early indications for Q2 2012 show steady activity in the gas power sector with the largest project developments by investment value found in Germany, South Korea, and China. The Q2 report will be published in the August GAS POWER.

—Ian Stokes is chief executive of the Energy Industries Council