POWER Digest

Japanese Firms Poised to Build Two 540-MW IGCC Plants Based on Nakoso Technology. A consortium of Japanese firms on December 1 said they had received full-turnkey orders for two integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants in Japan, each with a generating capacity of 540 MW. The Nakoso IGCC project, which will be located on property adjacent to Joban Joint Power Co.’s Nakoso Power Station in Iwaki City, is expected to begin operations in September 2020. It was established with capital from Mitsubishi Corporation Power, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), and Joban Joint Power Co. The Hirono IGCC project will be built on TEPCO Fuel and Power Inc.’s Hirono Thermal Power Station in Fukushima’s Futaba District. Investors in that project include Mitsubishi Corporation Power, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., and TEPCO. The project developers said that the IGCC project is intended to contribute to the revitalization of the quake-stricken Fukushima Prefecture.

The IGCC technology planned for both projects was developed in Japan and demonstrated for nearly six years (between September 2007 and April 2013) at a 250-MW project run by the Clean Coal Power R&D Co. at the Nakoso Power Station. The project demonstrated operations using multiple coal types, including North American Powder River Basin subbituminous coal, Indonesian subbituminous coal, Colombian coal, Russian coal, and Canadian coal. Joban Joint Power Co. has since taken over the facility, integrated it into the larger plant as No. 10, and continues to generate commercial power from the unit. The Nakoso and Hirono project developers noted that IGCC is well suited for use in Japan, an island nation that lacks indigenous coal and gas supplies.

Scotland OKs 400-MW Pumped Storage Facility. Scotland’s government has approved a 400-MW pumped-storage project on a surface coal mine near Kirkconnel in Dumfries and Galloway. The£150 million Glenmuckloch Pumped Storage Hydro project, which is a joint venture between Buccleuch Estates and 2020 Renewables, has already received approval from the local council. According to Buccleuch, the surface mine is still being exploited, but it is also undergoing “an extensive restoration process.” Buccleuch also noted that the pumped storage facility is “still at an early design stage.” It added that the project will require “substantial investment and commitment from a range of stakeholders” to make it successful.

SNC-Lavalin Gets Contract for Pre-Project Work for Argentinian CANDU Reactor. Engineering and construction firm SNC-Lavalin, the acting steward of Canadian-designed CANDU reactor technology, on November 24 announced that it has been awarded a pre-project contract from Argentina’s Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA for a project to build a new CANDU reactor at the Atucha site in the district of Zàrate. The company noted: “If this project materializes, it would be the first CANDU new build since Cernavoda Unit 2 [in Romania] came on line in 2007.” The six-month contract will allow SNC-Lavalin to engage with suppliers for long–lead-time equipment, conduct preliminary design work, deliver safety analysis, offer licensing support, and provide technical assistance from Canada, the company said. Argentina owns and operates an existing CANDU reactor at Emblase, a unit that was completed in 1984. SNC-Lavalin is currently engaged in the life extension of that reactor.

UAE Gears Up for 2.4-GW Coal Plant. Saudi Arabian firm ACWA Power and Chinese enterprise Harbin Electric have begun construction of the 2.4-GW Hassyan power station, one of the Middle East’s first ultrasupercritical coal power plants, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said on November 10. DEWA and the two companies signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the mammoth four-unit project in June 2016. The PPA requires the consortium to secure delivery of coal to the project for its full 25-year timeframe. The project, which is expected to be fully operational by 2023, will meet flue gas emission limits more stringent than those required in the European Union and in International Finance Corp. guidelines, DEWA said. The ACWA Power and Harbin Electric consortium bid a levelized cost of electricity of 4.241¢(USD)/kW based on May 2015 coal prices, DEWA revealed.

Iberdrola Starts Operating CCGT Plant in Mexico. Iberdrola on November 8 inaugurated the 300-MW Dulces Nombres II combined cycle power plant near Monterrey, in Mexico’s Nuevo León state, a $250 million project it said will help cover power demand in the region’s flourishing industrial sector. ■

Sonal Patel is a POWER associate editor.