The Netherlands Orders Early Closure of Coal Plants
The Dutch government on March 8 told Swedish power producer Vattenfall to stop using coal at the 650-MW Hemweg-8 hard coal-fired unit in Amsterdam by the end of 2019—five years earlier than originally planned. The decision follows the government’s May 2018 plans to shut down the country’s five remaining coal-fired power plants by 2030 to achieve the Netherlands’ “Urgenda target.” The target was formulated as part of the Urgenda case against the Dutch Government, in which the District Court of The Hague ruled that the government must cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by the end of 2020 (compared to 1990 levels). The ruling required the government to immediately take more effective action on climate change. Hemweg-8 and RWE’s 600-MW Amercentrale coal-fired power plant, both which have been in operation since 1994, will be the first to be shut down under the new mandate, by 2020 and 2024, respectively. The country’s three newest units—RWE’s two-unit 1,560-MW Eemshaven power plant and Uniper’s 1,100-MW Maasvlakte-3 unit, commissioned in 2015 and 2016—will need to shut down by the end of 2029. However, RWE is challenging the coal phase-out policy, citing investments of €3.2 billion in its newest plants at the request of the government.
GE Renewable Energy Will Provide Turbines for Cameroon Hydro Plant
GE Renewable Energy received an $87 million contract from Nachtigal Hydro Power Co. (NHPC) to provide seven 60-MW Francis turbines for the Nachtigal hydro plant in Cameroon. The 420-MW plant, on the Sanaga River near Nachtigal Falls, is about 40 miles from Yaoundé, Cameroon’s capital. The project is led by GE Renewable Energy in a consortium that includes Elecnor, a Spanish construction engineering company. NHPC, which will own and operate the Nachtigal plant, is jointly owned by the Republic of Cameroon, EDF, International Finance Corp., Africa 50, and STOA, a French energy infrastructure investment company. The plant is expected to supply about 30% of Cameroon’s electricity demand, an annual output of about 3 TWh. GE’s hydro teams will coordinate the project, including design and manufacturing, and commissioning of the turbines and generators, the control system, and the mechanical balance of plant. Elecnor will supply, manufacture, install, and commission the electrical balance of plant, including the high-voltage substations. Elecnor will manage the powerhouse finishing works and the erection on-site.
Siemens Gamesa Signs Wind Turbine Supply Deal
Wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa signed a $78.4 million contract in late February to supply Bosnia’s biggest power utility EPBiH with wind turbines for a future 48-MW wind farm. Siemens Gamesa will supply 15 turbines and build the wind park on the Podvelezje plateau near the southern town of Mostar. EPBiH plans to complete the project within 21 months. German state-owned development bank KfW provided a $74 million loan to EPBiH to help finance the project. Bosnia gets about 60% of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, with the rest from hydropower. Several developers, though, are looking at projects that would add about 500 MW of wind power generation capacity in Bosnia in the next several years.
KHNP, Sargent & Lundy Team on Romanian Nuclear Plant Project
South Korea’s Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) on Jan. 25 said it is joining forces with engineering firm Sargent & Lundy on a planned modernization project at Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant. The plant has two CANDU reactors, the same design as KHNP’s Wolsong nuclear power plant in South Korea. In 2017, Romania’s state nuclear power corporation, which operates Cernavoda, moved to refurbish Unit 1 starting in 2026, with detailed plans expected to be approved in 2021. ■
—Sonal Patel and Darrell Proctor are POWER associate editors.