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Introducing thermal power generators capable of reducing CO2 emissions in Egypt

April 2010

Supplying the first super-critical thermal power generating facilities in Egypt

Thermal power plants are an essential part of energy infrastructure that underpins modern life and industry activities by stably generating and supplying electricity. The role of thermal power generation is expected to remain as vital in the future, whereas this generation system faces a critical challenge: to reduce CO2 emission by taking effective measures, including improved generation efficiency.

Against this backdrop, global attention is focusing on technology for super-critical thermal power generation. This technology allows power plants to achieve higher generation efficiency than the current steam-power generation method by creating higher temperature and higher pressure steam conditions using a boiler designed specially for that purpose, thus reducing the amount of CO2 emitted. This environment-friendly method has recently received greater recognition and has begun to be introduced in power stations worldwide.

Sumitomo Corporation won a contract jointly with Hitachi, Ltd. in September 2009 to supply steam turbine generators for the first super-critical thermal power plant in Egypt. The plant is to be constructed in the Ain Sokhna area located 120 kilometers east-southeast of Cairo, to accommodate domestic electricity demand in Egypt, which is rising every year as the economy and population steadily grow.

This rapidly developing nation expects the Japanese providers of power generating facilities to promote and introduce new technology to protect the environment as well as to help develop essential energy infrastructure across the country at affordable prices.

The Nile flowing through the city of Cairo. Every autumn, masses of toxic air pollution, known as "black clouds" appear and settle over the Egyptian capital. There is an urgent need to introduce effective technologies to fight such environmental deterioration.

Kureimat Power Plant, which was completed in 2008. Construction of a thermal power station usually takes three to four years.

Successful electricity business history in Egypt

Over 50 years since the 1954 establishment of an office in Cairo, Sumitomo Corporation has been involved in a variety of business projects in Egypt. Achievements we have made over the half century, in particular, in the fields of telecommunications, tubular products and electricity have made significant contributions to the development of modern infrastructure, which is indispensable to the growth of Egyptian power.

Sumitomo Corporation entered the business of thermal power generation facilities in Egypt in 2002, when it received orders from Egyptian client for steam turbine generation units. Following this first contract, the Company has successfully managed six projects in eight years dealing with the provision of a multiplicity of facilities and products used for electricity infrastructure, ranging from steam boilers to substation facilities and power transmission lines.

Staff from the Cairo office, together with Mr. Fukuzawa, the former general manager (third right in the middle row). A total of nearly 30 workers are locally employed or assigned from Japan.

Sumitomo Corporation's unparalleled business know-how and expertise

The key to winning any bid for large-scale plants, such as power stations, includes collection and analysis of detailed local information as well as an effective marketing strategy suited to the local market. This holds true of the bid for the Ain Sokhna project. The bidders were expected to ensure that all the information required to determine specifications and features of the generators, including government energy policies and projected future trend in power demand, be appropriately reflected in the plans and designs of the facilities. In addition to satisfying technical requirement, the bidding team needed a broad range of in-depth knowledge of society and culture of the Arab republic, from legal and taxation systems to traditional Muslim culture and commercial practice.

As a project partner, Sumitomo Corporation provided necessary information and useful know-how, laid groundwork for the project tender using the network the Company has developed with manufacturers of generation facilities, and managed commercial and legal affairs involved in the whole process up to the completion of construction. The Egyptian social systems, including that of taxation, are so complicated that accurately understanding them often takes a great deal of actual business experience in local areas, as we have built up over the past half century. We believe our business know-how and expertise developed in such a way as well as our general management ability, combined with the high generation efficiency and other features of the facilities, contributed for winning the fierce competition of the tender.

Khan Al-Khalili market in Cairo, packed with a lot of different shops selling sculpted glass articles, carpets and rugs, and other Egyptian traditional artifacts.

Seeking to use developed business know-how in other African countries

As power demand in Egypt is anticipated to grow at an annual rate of six to seven percent in the years to come, more generation plants are being planned for construction. Sumitomo Corporation, seeing in this situation real window of opportunity to expand its electricity business, will make full use of the strengths it has cultivated in dealing with the first super-critical thermal power generation facilities in the country.

In Egypt, while construction and management of power stations, including thermal plants, has been for a long time under the control of state-owned power utilities, the government has recently launched schemes to promote private sector participation, aiming to keep up with soaring power demand. Under these schemes the number of package contracts for entire power station facilities, as opposed to the previous each package based contract dealings, like steam turbine generator package, boiler package etc., is increasing. This recent trend will provide favorable opportunities for Sumitomo Corporation to make more effective use of its general trading strength. Fully utilizing the previous business achievements we have accumulated while dealing with a whole variety of units and systems to be installed in generation facilities, we will take these opportunities to expand our business in this field by supplying facilities that will satisfy any customer needs.

Like in Egypt, more power plants are needed to be constructed in other African nations to support their economic development. Sumitomo Corporation is proactively exploring opportunities to meet this need for key energy infrastructure across the continent, by drawing upon business know-how it has built up in Egypt and other parts of the world. In doing this, we vow to give high priority to reducing the environmental impact, as we do as a responsible global corporation, thereby contributing to the sound development of African nations.

Drawing on achievements in contributing to stable power provision in Egypt, Sumitomo Corporation plans to expand into other African countries, hoping to make similar contribution.

Related Tag

  • Environment & Infrastructure Business Unit
  • Egypt
  • Electric Power & Energy
  • Environment

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