POWER Digest (August 2009)

News items of interest to power industry professionals.

Worley Parsons to Consult with Governments for New Nukes in Egypt, Armenia. WorleyParsons said on June 19 that it had signed separate contracts to provide consultancy services to the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Authority and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia for new nuclear projects in those countries. The company’s EGP 900 million (US$160 million) contract with the Egyptian government includes site and technology selection studies for that country’s first nuclear power plant, as well as design, construction management, commissioning, and start-up. Execution of the eight-year project will be carried out from the company’s office in Sofia, Bulgaria, and supported locally in Cairo.

The scope of the $430 million contract signed with the Armenian government will be implemented in four phases, with the first two phases scheduled to begin in 2009. The major work during the first two phases includes development of a feasibility study and then managing and assessing the tender process for strategic project investors. The duration of these two phases is expected to be one year. Phases three and four require the company to organize and manage a tender, eventually recommend EPC contractors for selection, and then provide consulting services to the ministry during the design, construction, and project start-up. This contract will also be managed by WorleyParsons’ Sofia office.

ABB Wins Order to Power Algerian Seawater Desalination Plant. Power and automation group ABB on June 22 announced it had won a $28 million contract from environmental solutions company Hyflux for a turnkey electrical solution to power the world’s largest membrane-based reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant. The Magtaa desalination plant is being constructed in the western Oran region of Algeria. It will have a designed capacity of 500,000 cubic meters per day of drinking water to serve about 5 million people. The project is part of the Algerian government’s effort to provide clean drinking water to its growing population.

As part of the contract, ABB will set up a 220-kV outdoor substation to provide power to the facility and also supply products such as power transformers, medium-voltage drives and a range of medium- and low-voltage switchgear. ABB will be responsible for the design, engineering, supply, installation, and commissioning of the electrical plant system. The project is scheduled for completion by 2011.

AREVA T&D Inaugurates GI Substation Factories in China. AREVA Transmission and Distribution (T&D) and Chinese partners on June 18 inaugurated two factories in Wuxi and Yangzhou, in Jiangsu province, that will manufacture key components for gas-insulated (GI) substations in China and throughout the world. The Wuxi Alumin Casting Plant is a joint venture between AREVA and Wuxi Alumin Casting, and the AREVA T&D (Yangzhou) High Voltage Bus-ducts Plant is a joint venture between AREVA and Jiangsu Jinxin Electric Appliance. The products of both factories will be used in AREVA T&D’s production plants and substations in China and throughout the world.

The investments, which total some €30 million, follow similar ventures by the company in Suzhou and Xiamen. Those factories manufacture complete GI substations (GIS) up to 550 kV. Since 1988, when AREVA installed the first GIS in China, it has installed more than 1,500 GIS and inaugurated seven GIS manufacturing sites worldwide.

Chilean Supreme Court Revokes Permit for AES-Proposed Coal Plant. The Supreme Court of Chile on June 22 upheld a ruling by a lower court and invalidated an environmental permit granted by Chilean regulatory authorities for the Campiche thermal power plant, a 270-MW coal plant located in Ventanas, Chile. Virginia-based AES Corp. indirectly owns a 71% interest in Campiche through its subsidiary AES Gener, the second-largest generator of electricity in Chile.

The Supreme Court upheld the Valparaiso Appeals Court ruling that the environment commission for the region had awarded the permit erroneously in May 2008, as the land where the plant was to be built had been designated for conservation. As a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling against the local permitting authority, Gener stopped work on Campiche, which was previously expected to commence commercial operations in the second quarter of 2011. The company said that construction on the project would resume when a solution has been implemented that complies with all applicable laws.

GE to Provide Equipment, Services for Bahrain’s Largest Power Plant. GE Energy on June 11 signed contracts totaling more than $500 million to supply two steam turbines and four heavy-duty Frame 9FA gas turbines for the proposed 1,250-MW Al Dur Independent Water and Power Project — the largest power plant in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The plant is expected to support the country’s reported power demand growth rate of 7% to 10% per year. GE also signed a 20-year contractual service agreement contract for the project, which will support the long-term operability and performance of the turbines.

— Sonal Patel is POWER‘s senior writer.

Correction

The June editorial ("Gone with the Wind") incorrectly quoted an estimate of the installed cost for offshore wind turbines. The estimate is actually $5,000/kW.

POWER regrets the error.