WB-aided power project in East China

Jul 14, 1997 02:00 AM

June 26, 1997 The World Bank-Financed Beilun Thermal Power Plant in east China's Zhejiang Province has finished all the necessary earthwork for its second-phase construction. Installation of the third coal-burning generator and steel structures for the workshop started recently, and the installation of the fourth and another workshop will begin in August, according to an engineer in charge of the construction.
Located in the Beilun District of the city of Ningbo, the Beilun Thermal Power Plant is China's first thermal power project that is financed by World Bank loans for construction. Major equipment needed for this project will be put on public bidding.
The plant, with an area of 105 hectares, is to be installed with five 600 MW coal-burning generators. The entire project will be completed in two stages.
For the first-phase construction which lasted from January of 1988 to October of 1994, the plant was installed with two generators, at a cost of 5.55 billion yuan (about $ 668.67 million), of which, $ 395 million was covered up by WB loans. It has generated 23.9 billion kWh of electricity thus far.
The engineer told that they would install the remaining three generators in the second-stage construction which will entail 12.218 billion yuan (about $ 1.472 billion ), $ 482 million of which will be met by a loan provided by WB.
According to schedule, the second-stage construction will be completed by the year 2001. The third generator will be connected to the East China Power Grid and become operational in March of 1999. By then, the power plant will have a combined generating capacity of 3000 MW and will be able to generate 20 billion kWh of electricity per year. ||Thai economy not reviving yetJune 26, 1997 Thailand's economy is not reviving because domestic financial institutions are still cautious over granting loans to the private sector, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) said recently. ''The signs of economic recovery are still unclear. Some sectors have shown a fair revival, but financial institutions are not yet ready to grant loans to the private sector as we had anticipated,'' said Kleothong Hetrakul, a spokeswoman for the central bank. She said the tight monetary climate is expected to gradually change as the central bank plans to announce an action plan for financial firms which will enable smoother mergers, allow ailing firms to restructure and boost liquidity in the monetary market.
Manufacturing production growth in April was stated at 5.4 %, down from 6.4 % a month earlier as manufacturing in the food, tobacco, and automobile sectors declined due to poor domestic demand, according to the central bank's statistics.
Imports of capital goods totalled 306,481 billion baht ($ 11,787 bn) during the first four months of this year, only 0.1 % growth from the same period last year, according to the official data.
Thai exports declined 13 % to 110.3 billion baht ($ 4.2 bn) in April from 126.9 billion baht in March. Imports increased 1.48 % to 151.3 billion baht ($ 5.8 bn) in April from149.1 billion baht a month earlier.
Data also showed a deterioration in Thailand's external accounts. The trade deficit will rise 85 % to 41 billion baht ($ 1.6 bn) in April, up from 22.2 billion baht in March, while the current account deficit is forecast to widen 139 % to 38.0 billion baht ($ 1.5 bn) in April from 15.9 billion baht in March.
The central bank also estimated that the country's official foreign reserves will remain at only 33.3 billion dollars as of May this year, a decline of 13.4 % from $ 37.3 bn in April, said Kleothong. The reserves are equivalent to 5.8 months of imports.

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