General Interest news briefs, May 16

Saudi Arabia has begun constructing a $1.7 billion gas-fired power generation plant at Al Shuaiba, 150 km south of Jeddah. The Saudi Press Agency reported that the three-phase plant, due to be completed by 2002, will produce 4,000 Mw of electric power to supply Mecca province, where power needs are growing rapidly. Asea Brown Boveri of Switzerland and local companies reportedly provided $1.5 billion in loans to finance a seawater cooling system for the plant. Other domestic and Japanese firms provided capital for additional works. The project is part of Saudi Arabia's second long-term plan, which covers 1996-2016.

Conoco Ltd., the UK refining and marketing subsidiary of Houston-based Conoco Inc., said it signed a joint business development agreement with US-based Kwikpower International to evaluate and develop Kwikpower's proprietary fuel technologies. The companies seek to commercialize Kwikpower's proprietary products and processes, including gasoline and diesel formulations that incorporate renewable fuel components, fuel stabilization technology, and a process for converting waste lubricating oils to high-quality diesel and fuel oils.

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