Singapore to take Venezuelan boiler fuel on trial basis

Singapore will test Petroleos de Venezuela SA's trademark Orimulsion boiler fuel at its power station starting next month. The test is part of the island city-state's search for alternative energy resources and fuels. A Singaporean company is also close to signing a large gas import contract as well.


SINGAPORE�Singapore will test Petroleos de Venezuela SA's trademark Orimulsion boiler fuel at its power station starting next month, a senior energy official has said.

The test is part of the island city-state's search for alternative energy resources and fuels. A Singaporean company is also close to signing a large gas import contract as well.

About 40,000 tonnes of Orimulsion will be delivered for a 1-month trial, said Shum Siew Keong, managing director of power of Seraya Ltd., a state power generating company. "We have been discussing the use of Orimulsion with Venezuelan officials for some time now," he said, indicating it had been for more than a year.

Singapore would be the first Asian country to test the heavy Orimulsion fuel. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand has considered using the fuel.

Shum said the experiment would determine how much boiler modification would be necessary. He said Orimulsion was a fairly easy fuel to burn, noting it was being used at power plants in Canada and Denmark. US firms have not used Orimulsion because of environmental concerns.

Speaking to reporters after the state electricity company, Singapore Power Ltd., presented its annual report, Shum said Orimulsion would be cheaper than coal, although transportation costs would be higher, due to the distance between Singapore and Venezuela.

Gas contract
Shum said Singapore Power, the parent group of Power Seraya, was close to signing a major natural gas import contract with Pertamina, the Indonesian state oil firm.

Singapore Power expected to sign a 20-year gas sales and purchase agreement at the end of November to import 350 MMscfd through a pipeline from Indonesian onshore fields in Southern Sumatra, effective in 2002.

This would be Singapore's second natural gas import contract with Indonesia, the first of is due to begin delivering gas early next year.

Singapore gets about 100 MMscfd through a pipeline from Malaysia for a power station.

For the year ended Mar. 31, 2000, Singapore Power said its net profit after tax fell by 9%, while electricity use increased by 5%.

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