POWER Digest [January 2019]

EDF Inks Agreement for O&M Services at UAE Nuclear Plant. French nuclear power plant operator EDF will operate and maintain the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under a long-term framework agreement it signed with Nawah Energy Co. (Nawah), a subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. (ENEC), on November 21. EDF will provide Nawah with services, including operational safety, radiation protection, fuel-cycle management, and environmental monitoring. The EDF Group, EDF’s parent company, also agreed to provide “expertise,” including engineering studies, on-site support, training, and benchmarking sessions, which may involve the entire company, including subsidiary Framatome, as well as some of EDF’s legacy partners, it said. The 10-year commitment is expected to contribute to the quality and safety at Barakah, which is the first commercial nuclear plant in the Arab world. Developers at the plant are preparing to start operations at the first of its four 1,400-MW units, which was designed by South Korean state-owned companies Korea Electric Power Corp. and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co.

Battery Will Help Hydropower Support Grid Stability. Finnish utility Fortum will deploy a 5-MW/6.2-MWh battery system to provide frequency regulation services at the company’s 44-MW Forshuvud hydropower plant in Sweden. “Batteries are thought to be used mostly to store energy. Now, however, we will try connecting a battery to a hydropower plant with the idea of improving the plant’s ability to function as regulating power for the Nordic electricity network,” said Martin Lindström, Fortum’s head of asset management for hydropower. He noted the €3 million project, which is expected to come online during the first half of next year, would help the hydropower plant to balance flexibility as Sweden increases its wind power capacity, as well as help tamp down significant wear to the plant’s turbines. Over the past two years the company has tested a similar concept at its combined heat and power plant in Järvenpää. Fortum said the battery will be the biggest installed in the Nordic region when it begins operation.

Tajikistan Hydro Plant Begins Commissioning. The first unit of the 3,600-MW Rogun Hydropower Plant (HPP) was connected to Tajikistan’s electric grid in November. Rustam Soli, the country’s ambassador to Azerbaijan, said the HPP’s second unit will enter service in 2019, with all six 600-MW units scheduled to be online by year-end 2024. The $3.9 billion project is a venture of Salini Impreglio, an Italian engineering and construction group, and OJSC Rogun HPP, a state-run company. “The hydroelectric power plant, exploiting renewable clean sources of electricity, will serve all the countries of the region, and its reservoir with a capacity of some 13.5 cubic kilometers will play a major role in the regulation of water resources, especially in periods of water shortage,” Soli said. The plant’s reservoir also could provide water to irrigate more than 300,000 hectares of arid land in the region. Soli said 22,000 people are working at the plant, including 20,000 Tajikistan nationals. The project includes a 335-meter-high clay core rockfill dam on the Vakhsh River.

Combined Cycle Plant Takes Shape in Thailand. Gulf Energy Development of Thailand and Japan’s Mitsui are beginning work on the 2,500-MW Chonburi combined cycle power plant in the Chonburi province of Thailand. The $1.5 billion project includes four gas-fired units, each with 625 MW of generation capacity. The plant will feature M701JAC gas turbines supplied by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, which signed a supply contract in February 2018. The project has a 25-year power purchase agreement with Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. Gulf Energy has a 70% stake in the project, with Mitsui holding the other 30%. Gas for the plant will be partly supplied with imported liquefied natural gas through a long-term agreement with state-run PTT Public Co. The plant is scheduled to come online in phases between March 2021 and October 2022.

South Korean Generator Selling Stake in Energy Company. SK E&S Co. is selling a 49% stake in Paju Energy Service Co., which operates a natural gas-fired power plant near Seoul, South Korea, to Thailand’s EGCO in a $779.1 million deal. SK E&S Co. will use the money from the sale to finance another gas-fired plant in South Korea, along with renewable energy projects. Both companies announced the deal in late November; it is expected to be finalized in March 2019. SK E&S will maintain a 51% interest in Paju Energy. ■

Sonal Patel and Darrell Proctor are POWER associate editors.