Daily News

Completion of construction and commissioning of the 653 MW Avon open-cycle gas power plant this summer, just month after the start-up of its 342 MW Dedisa sister plant, puts the Ansaldo Energia/FATA consortium in pole position to win tenders for further projects in South Africa and beyond.

Even though thermal coal prices increased by nearly 50% this year, the effect on fuel switching is not enough to make the use of LNG economically viable for power generators. For coal-to-gas switching in Asia, analysts say that LNG would have to fall by another third from its recent lows around $6/mmBtu.

Irish utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has announced that the 880 MW Carrington Power Station in Manchester has started full commercial operation earlier this week. The CCGT – the first new-build gas power plant in three years – has already secured a capacity contract for winter 2019/20.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has commissioned four industry experts to examine options for ‘whole system’ reform, given the mounting pressure on UK power grids. A more decentralised dimension to decisions on energy networks was agreed on by all experts – though there are differences on governance.

Stockton Council has received a proposal by London-based Stratera Energy for a gas-fired power plant on Teesside. In the planning application, the prospective plant operator said its ‘energy reserve facility’ would provide an electricity output up to 49.95 MW, mainly for grid balancing purposes.

In the face of gas supply shortages following a major and prolonged leak at SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon storage facility, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) now provides timely updates in its ‘Southern California Daily Energy Report’. Withdrawal rates at Aliso Canyon have fallen sharply below the usual 1.9 Bcf/d – causing regulators to place a cap on gas-burn and spurring electricity imports from neighbouring states.

Siemens has manufactured and tested what it says is the world’s largest geared compressor rotor for use in the air separation unit of the 4 GW Jazan integrated gasification combined cycle power project. The IGCC, built on behalf of Saudi Aramco, will form part of its refinery and terminal complex on the Red Sea coast.

While power producers like EDF cashed in on record electricity prices during last week’s heat wave in the UK, capacity constraints provided an early test for National Grid which seeks to keep the lights on with ever tighter capacity margins. Winter 2016/17 might prove challenging in the face of mass retirements of coal-fired plants earlier this year.

Denton Municipal Electric, the locally-owned utility of the Texan city, has contracted Wärtsilä to deliver engineering and equipment (EEQ) for 225 MW gas power capacity. The plant will provide balancing power to the community, which aims to have 70% of its energy produced from renewables by early 2019.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 09:00 / Markets

Global energy investment drops 8%

Sluggish growth in the oil and gas segment saw 2015 global energy spending fall to $1.83 trillion, an 8% drop year-on-year, according to IEA’s latest report. Participants in a survey agreed that China has become “more attractive”, with foreign investors being particularly drawn to “ample opportunities in the electricity sector.”

Just six month after signing an accord with Iran’s MAPNA Group, Siemens has shipped the first F-class gas turbine for a power plant project in Bandar Abbas. This is the first stage of a bilateral contract which also covers the transfer of know-how for F-class gas turbine technology.

German grid operator 50Hertz is installing phase shifters to raise electrical resistance that stops excess renewable power supply from spilling over into Poland’s PSE grid zone – causing diplomatic spats. Electrical current normally takes the path of least resistance, but if Germany’s north-south routes are congested e.g. by ample wind power supply – this excess supply sometime takes a detour through neighbouring countries.

GE Power has secured more than $800 million in new orders across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, the company announced at this year’s Power-Gen Asia industry conference in Seoul. Orders include the first heat recovery steam generator project following GE’s acquisition of Korean-based Doosan Engineering & Construction HRSG business in August.

With its MGT gas turbine series achieving highest efficiency in the 6 MW class, MAN Diesel & Turbo is showcasing its entire product portfolio at this year’s PowerGen Asia in Seoul, Korea. “With a product range that’s unique in the market, MAN Diesel & Turbo is able to provide both gas and diesel engines as well as gas and steam turbines as a one-stop-shop solution”, said Wayne Jones, board member for Global Sales and After Sales.

Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), the incumbent utility in Sri Lanka, has started preparations to add 1,275 MW of generation capacity over the next four years. The regulator is pushing for a swift execution of new-builds to avert an energy crisis which is anticipated as early as 2018.

News in Brief

Himoinsa gensets support Romania’s gas network

Sept 23 – Transgaz, Romania’s national gas transportation company, has turned to Himoinsa gas generator sets to help ensure the stable operation of its pipelines. Four HGP-100 T5 NG models, equipped with PSI motors, have been supplied to Transgaz. All gensets will be powered by with the same gas that Transgaz transports, making the fuel readily available and avoiding the use of more costly diesel fuel.

Siemens opens service centre in Nigeria

Sept 23 – A new workshop to service Siemens gas turbines and DresserRand compressors in West Africa has just been opened in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. Catering for both businesses under one roof, according to the OEM also allows to service flow valves and non-OEM rotating and reciprocating equipment.

Tests start for SOFC-MGT hybrid power gen

Sept 22 - Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has started demonstration testing of a pressurized hybrid power generation system integrating a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack and a micro gas turbine (MGT). The Japanese manufacturer said it targets a commercial launch in fiscal 2017.

Microturbine market to top $940m by 2020

Sept 22 – Growing at a rate of 21% per year, the global microtrubine market is estimated to exceed $940 million before the end of the decade. Technavio analysis surveyed major vendors and evaluated trends on distributed power, notably .for micro-combustion turbines with an output range between 25 kW and 500 kW.

Fuel cell plant up in Mannheim

Sept 21 – The first European fuel cell of megawatt size is now operational in Mannheim, Germany, delivering heat and electricity virtually absent of pollutants. Jointly installed by E.ON and FuelCell Energy Solutions at Friatec, the plant went onstream at the start of this week and will now provide clean energy for Friatec’s material production process for at least ten years to come.

Marubeni, Sumitomo buy stake in NJ plant

Sept 21 – Japan’s Marubeni and Sumitomo have respectively acquired 35% and 10% interests in West Deptford Energy Holdings, which owns the 775 MW West Deptford combined-cycle gas power plant in New Jersey, US. Since its start-up in November 2014, the CCGT has supplied power to the north-eastern part of the PJM grid zone.

Most US states ‘on track’ to meet Clean Power Plan

Sept 20 – Though 27 US states have challenged more stringent emissions targets set out by the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, claimants such as the states of Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Dakota are already well on track to meet early targets. Federal policies that incentivise clean generation are seen pushing most of the rest toward timely compliance with EPA rules.

Afghanistan reaches out to foreign energy investors

Sept 20 – In a US government-backed move, Afghanistan has sealed its first independent power producer (IPP) deal – a 10 MW solar project in Kandahar province, won by the Indian company Jaguar Overseas with a bid just below $0.08/kWh. Though small-scale, the first IPP is hoped to convince prospective investors to also back gas-fired IPPs as the head of Dabs utility said he would “soon award the first IPP contracts for a gas-fired plant.”

Blackstone, ArcLight pay $2.2bn for AEP plants

Sept 19 – American Electric Power has agreed to sell four of its power plants for $2.17 billion to Blackstone and ArcLight. The deal includes two gas power plants – the 840 MW Waterford Energy Center and the 507 MW Darby Generating Station – as well as three coal-fired plants, including the 2,6655 MW Gavin plant in Cheshire, Ohio.

Siemens places US bonds

Sept 19 – Siemens announced it has secured “favourable conditions” when issuing bonds worth $6.0 billion with maturities of three, five, seven, ten and thirty years. At the time of price fixing, the interest rate premium over comparable US government bonds averaged 10 basis points below the initial indication at the beginning of the marketing period.  Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes – notably refinancing of matured and outstanding debt, the German OEM said.

GE supplies transformers for Karpowerships

Sept 12 – Karadeniz Energy Group has selected GE to supply 16 power transformers to be installed in four Karpowership. These floating power barges, at up to 486 MW capacity, drop anchor at countries with urgent electricity needs, providing short-term power supply by connecting its onboard high-voltage transformers to the electrical grid.

Caithness-II project still on hold

Sept 9 – Caithness Energy’s 750-megawatt Caithness II gas power unit still remains in a holding pattern while regional lawmakers, utilities and investors continue to review market conditions and gauge Long Island’s future energy needs. The New York City-based utility proposed the second unit to supplement the operational 350 unit-I which started operations in 2009, providing baseload power plant for Long Island.

Summit Group raises $2.5bn for LNG-to-power

Sept 8 – Bangladeshi conglomerate Summit Group has joint forces with banks and EMA Power to raise $2.5 billion for setting up a LNG import terminal and several power plants with electricity generation capacity of 2,000 MW. It set up a project vehicle, Power International, that is partly owned by the International Finance Corporation, the IFC Emerging Asia Fund and EMA Power; the three parties dedicated $175.5 million in equity to the integrated LNG regas and power generation project.

Matex proposes 1.4GW CCGT

Sept 8 –Matex Virginia Power has filed an application with the city of Virginia, proposing to build a 1,400 MW combined-cycle gas power – just a quarter-mile north of Dominion Virginia Power’s shut-down Chesapeake Energy Center. If approved, the CCGT would build on land owned by International-Matex Tank Terminals and would be powered by three gas combustion turbines and one steam turbine.

Kuwait earmarks gas for Al-Zour North IPP

Sept 7 – Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) has been mandated by the country’s energy ministry to supply natural gas to the privately-owned Al-Zour North power plant. KPC agreed to phase-1 & 2 of the Al-Zour North Independent Power Plant (IPP) – but initially claimed it was running short of gas for phase-3 & 4. Dual-fuel units were also considered by the operator to enhance the IPP’s operational availability and reliability of electricity supply.

Tapping the US industrial cogen market

Sept 7 – 2G Energy, manufacturer of gas-fired CHPs, has teamed up with Penn Power Group to enhance sales of its high-efficiency plants in the lower and mid performance range in north-eastern part of the U.S. and California. Based in northern Germany, 2G Energy referred to forecasts of the US Department of Energy (DOE) of an 85 GWel capacity potential – notably for industrial cogeneration applications in the 50 kW to 5 MW range.

E.ON to list Uniper on Sept 12

Sept 6 – E.ON, Europe's largest utility, has announced that the stock market listing for its new power business, Uniper, will take place on September 12 – just a month after it company posted a net loss of €3.9 billion euro for the first half of 2016.