POWER Digest (October 2010)

News items of interest to power industry professionals.

Siemens to Install Gas Turbine Packages at Miss., Texas IGCC Projects. Siemens Energy on Aug. 24 said it won a contract from Mississippi Power Co. to install two SGT6-PAC 5000F gas turbine packages at the utility’s proposed coal-fired integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant in Kemper County, Miss. Mississippi Power, a Southern Co. subsidiary, expects the 582-MW plant to be operational in mid-2014. The gas turbine packages are to complement Southern Co.’s proprietary TRIG gasification technology. Each package will include a 232-MW model SGT6-5000F gas turbine, an air-cooled generator, and Siemens’ SPPA-T3000 power plant control system.

The contract follows Siemens’ award of a front end engineering design contract from Summit Texas Clean Energy in late July. Siemens will provide coal gasification and power block technology for the company’s Texas Clean Energy Project, a 400-MW polygeneration IGCC project that includes carbon capture. That power block will also be based on an SGT6-5000F gas turbine, though it will be modified to operate on high hydrogen syngas, which will allow the plant to have a very high carbon capture rate of about three million tons/year, Siemens said.

NV Energy, LS Power Prepare to Build 500-kV Nev. Transmission Line. Nevada’s NV Energy and LS Power subsidiary Great Basin Transmission on Aug. 23 definitively agreed to jointly build and own a 500-kV transmission line. According to the agreement, NV Energy will own 25% of the One Nevada Transmission Line (ON Line) and purchase Great Basin’s share of capacity under a long-term agreement. The agreement is subject to review and final approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The companies say that the proposed transmission line will provide access to isolated renewable energy resources in parts of northern and eastern Nevada. Additionally, it will connect NV Energy’s northern service area with its service area in southern Nevada. Construction of the ON Line is planned to begin later this year.

Wärtsilä Supply of Plants to Alleviate Bangladesh Power Crisis. Wärtsilä received four orders to supply power plants with capacities totaling 300 MW to customers in Bangladesh in July and August. The orders, altogether worth more than €100 million, are in addition to contracts for six other power plants awarded to Wärtsilä and are part of the government of Bangladesh’s strategy to deal with a power crisis in that country.

In July, Guangdong Power Engineering Corp., a Chinese contractor working on behalf of the national utility, Bangladesh Power Development Board, ordered Wärtsilä equipment for two power plant projects being developed in Dohazari and Hathazari. The Dohazari plant will be powered by six Wärtsilä 18V46GD gas-diesel engines, totaling 102 MW, while the Hathazari plant will run on 11 Wärtsilä 20V32GD gas-diesel engines, totaling 98 MW. In August, Wärtsilä was contracted to supply 11 Wärtsilä 20V32 engines plus auxiliary equipment for another two power plants to be constructed at Noapora and Northern Katakhali. These two power plants will add almost 100 MW of capacity to the national grid, the Finnish company said.

ABB Inaugurates Wind Generator Factory in India. ABB on Aug. 20 inaugurated its fourth global wind power generator factory in India. The Vadodra factory is expected to produce up to 100 units per month with a rating of up to 2.5 MW. The 16,000-square-meter factory will employee about 150 people. India is currently the world’s fifth-largest user of wind power. ABB said global investment in wind power is projected to continue to grow because countries are under pressure to cut emissions while demand for energy is increasing.

Saudi Arabia Approves $3.92 B in Power Projects. Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) on Aug. 23 said it approved the award of 14.7 billion riyals (US$3.92 billion) of power projects to meet rising demand. The approval is part of the kingdom’s larger plans to add nearly 20,000 MW by 2018. Projects to receive the funding announced in August include a 2,600-MW expansion of the heavy oil–fired Rabigh power plant in the Western Province, building a power line between Hail and al-Jawf, and installing power cables in Mecca. SEC has said that power demand in the kingdom is expected to increase 8% annually, tripling to 121 GW on the back of rapid population and economic growth.

Mozambique Moves Forward with 1,500-MW Zambezi River Hydro Project. Mozambique’s government in August approved construction of a controversial US$2 billion hydropower project proposed for the Zambezi River. Construction of the 1,500-MW Mphanda Nkuwa Dam 60 kilometers downstream from the 2,075-MW Cahora Bassa hydropower dam is expected to begin next year, after environmental and social impact studies are complete. Mphanda Nkuwa will have four 375-MW turbines. Mozambique’s current total installed power capacity is 2,226 MW. The project is part of the government’s plans to boost sales to neighboring countries, including power shortage–stricken South Africa, by 75% over the next three years.

Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.