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The new centre-right government in Belgium is considering redesigning a capacity payment mechanism in consultation with neighbouring countries to comply with EU competition rules. Grid operator Elia warns Belgium faces the risk of power cuts this winter as the capacity reserve margin has fallen to a record low as three nuclear reactors are offline and several unprofitable CCGTs have been mothballed.

The European Turbine Network (ETN) has completed the coordination of the H2-IGCC project, advancing the 'technology-readiness level' when burning hydrogen-rich syngas in gas turbines, including the development of combustion processes, materials, turbomachinery and plant optimisation. With a total budget of 17.8 million euro (EU-funding 11.3 million euro), the project was running from 2009 to 2014 with the participation of 24 partners from 10 countries.

In bid to appease critics, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking stakeholder comments on its proposed carbon dioxide standards for existing power plants. Some federal states and industry groups are adamantly opposing more stringent emission targets, claiming this could herald the end of coal power and would put energy security at risk.

To produce turbine parts with Laser MicroJet technology, a pioneering laser-cutting method, GE's has teamed up with Synova, a Swiss provider of laser-cutting systems, and Japan's manufacturer of high-precision machine tools Makino Milling Machine.

Warning that the UK Energy Market Reform may not realise the full potential of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Generation, the British industry association CHPA is calling on policy makers to extend the small scale Feed-in Tariff capacity threshold in addition to the proposed Contracts for Difference (CfD).

Tough critics warned a prolonged outage of the 1,360 MW Didcot B power station could disrupt supply stability, National Grid said in its Winter Outlook 2014/15 gas supplies remained strong after last year's mild winter. Gas-fired capacity remain higher than the maximum expected demand, but reserve margins have narrowed further which is why the grid operator has struck deals with three power plants operators to keep plants in reserve. 

U.S. power producer Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) has told regulators in Alaska that its planned 171 MW Eklutna gas-fired power plant will be delayed by at least three months.

The fleet of Siemens H-class world-record gas turbines achieved a cumulative 100,000 equivalent operating hours (EOH) as of the end of September 2014. Forty of the H-class gas turbines have been sold worldwide to date, and eleven of these machines are currently in commercial operation with a high degree of starting reliability and availability.

The United States are forecast to achieve energy independence by 2025, with Wood Mackenzie's Global Trends Service pointing out that over the last seven years, the U.S. producers added 3 million barrels per day of tight oil and 27.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of shale gas to the global energy mix – "a spectacular 42% increase in oil and gas production."

Though the cause of the major blaze at RWE npower's Didcot B gas-fired power plant in Oxfordshire is still unclear, the head of the fire rescue team has ruled out arson or terrorism and indicated that investigations focus one of the plant's cooling fans.

Independent power producer Energy World Corp announced today it is fast-tracking construction of its gas-fired Pagbilo power plant in the Philippines to start-up 400 MW of the plant's total capacity of 650 MW by early next year, to comply with the request of the Philippines' Department of Energy (DOE) to have the plant operational in time for an anticipated power crisis next year.

Bankrupt power producer Optim Energy is preparing to sell two gas-fired power plants in Texas as part of Chapter 11 procedures. The two plants up for sale are the 550 MW Cedar Bayou Plant and the 600 MW Altura Cogen Plant.

Investments in electricity distribution systems in the U.S. have seen a marked increase over that past two decades, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Figures show that investment peaked at $20 billion in 2013.

Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif  has urged power producers to add a further 2,400 MW of capacity to the country's power grid by February next year in an effort to prevent blackouts.

Wärtsilä has been commissioned to supply a 50 MW Smart Power Generation plant to Hawaiian Electric Company which will enable the integration of more solar photovoltaic (PV) generation on the island of Oahu. If approved, the plant will start-up in 2017.

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News in Brief

Black Hills starts up plant in Wyoming

Oct 30 – Black Hills Corp. has opened of a new 132 MW gas-fired c this week. The operator earlier this year closed down a coal-fired plant outside Gillette, a move the company said was in response to recent federal emissions regulations.

Clearcurrent PRO inlet filters reaches 300 installations

Oct 30 – CLARCOR Industrial Air announced that the number of gas turbines using clearcurrent PRO inlet filters has reached 300 installations worldwide. Launched nearly two years ago, it is first inlet filter to put the emphasis on reducing gas turbine degradation, helping operators to achieve better turbine performance without worrying about differential pressure spikes.

Egypt: 650 MW Ain Sokhna plant to start-up Thursday

Oct 29 – The gas and oil-fired Ain Sokhna power plant will start up on Thursday, the Egypt's electricity minister Mohamed Shaker announced. The project cost the operator EGP $1.26 billion to realise and was funded by the National Bank of Egypt along with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

ABB wins $55m GIS order in UAE

Oct 29 - Swiss power and automation specialist ABB has won a $55 million order from Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) to supply a gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation to help integrate power to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national grid.

The GIS will enhance transmission from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park and strengthen reliability of the grid, once the 100 MW Phase II development is complete in 2017.

NY to invest $800 in clean energy

Oct 28 - First transactions from NY Green Bank have kick-started a series of clean energy projects across New York, with investment set to amount to more than $800 million. NY Green Bank partners with private-sector lenders to support these projects that cannot otherwise access the financing. Once operational, the green energy projects are set to reduce carbon emissions by 575,000 tons per year.

MAN Diesel & Turbo appoints new CEO

Oct 28 – The new CEO of MAN Diesel & Turbo SE comes from within the company: Dr. Uwe Lauber, aged 47, will spearhead the company with effect from 1 January 2015, after serving as Head of the Business Unit Oil & Gas and taking the Executive Board position Global Sales and After Sales on October 1.

EWC prepares timely start-up of 400 MW Pagbilao plant

Oct 27 – Energy World Corp. (EWC) will comply with the request of the Philippines' Department of Energy (DOE) for it to start commercial operation of its 400 MW power plant in Pagbilao, Quezon, in time for the anticipated power crisis next year. The turbine and generator of the first 200 MW gas-fired unit has been supplied to the site by Siemens at the end of last week.

France to invest €86.6m in SuperGrid Institute

Oct 27 - The French Institut pour la Transition Energétique, otherwise known as the 'ITE SuperGrid Institute' is to receive €86.6 million in funding following approval from the European Commission.

The funding will be used to research projects on technologies for future transport networks and mass storage of electricity to improve energy management and renewable energy integration. 

Saudi Aramco awards contract to SEPCO to expand gas grid

Oct 24 - Energy firm Saudi Aramco has announced plans to expand its Master Gas System (MGS) in Saudi Arabia to meet growing demand.
The state-run company has awarded a contract to Shandong Electric Power Construction Corp (SEPCO) to increase the capacity of the MGS from 8.4 bcf/d (87 bcm/year) to 9.6 bcf/d (99 bcm/year) in 2016.

Solar PV capacity to hit 277 GW by 2020

Oct 24 – Driven by India, China and Australia, the global photovoltaic (PV) industry has seen 25% annual growth rates. Over 27 GW was added to global PV installations in 2011 alone and the global installed capacity is expected to reach 277.1 GW by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 15.9% during 2012–2020, according to GBI Research.

HECLOT solution achieves 90% carbon capture rate

Oct 23 – Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has introduced High Efficiency Calcium Looping Technology (HECLOT), a calcium looping technology developed to reduce carbon emissions from fossil power plants. It is the first affordable and energy-efficient solution to achieve a CO2 capture rate of up-to-90%.

CCS demo plant opens in Texas

Oct 23 – The U.S. Department of Energy and Skyonic Corporation marked the opening of first-of-its-kind demonstration plant to capture 75,000 tons of CO2 from a San Antonio, Texas, cement plant and convert the greenhouse gas into other products, including sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, hydrochloric acid and bleach. The project was realized at a cost of nearly $40 million, included $28 million in government grants.

Alstom helps Scottish Power to strengthen grid stability

Oct 22 – ScottishPower Transmission has awarded a contract to Alstom to provide a flexible wide area monitoring solution to strengthen grid stability in the GB electricity network. The project – Visualization of Real-time System Dynamics using Enhanced Monitoring (VISOR) – will see Alstom will develop a software based on its e-terraphasorpoint technology to improve GB grid monitoring.

Ghana: Atubo gas processing to start in Nov

Oct 22 –Ghana Gas Company plants to start processing gas at the Atuabo facility for the production of power at the nearby Aboadze power plant in the month of November 2014.
Financial bottlenecks had delayed the initial earlier start-up date.

EEX to take majority in Powernext

Oct 21 - Germany's European Energy Exchange (EEX) will take a majority stake of 55.8% in France's Powernext from 1 January. Through an exchange of shares, EEX will indirectly become a majority shareholder of Epex Spot, both bourses said in a joint statement.

Total CEO dies in plane crash

Oct 21 - Christophe de Margerie, chairman and CEO of Total died in a private plane crash in Moscow on Monday evening, the French oil company confirmed. Three crew and de Margerie were found dead at the scene of the accident, after the plane at Vnukovo Airport had collided with a snow removal machine.

Yokogawa wins order for Rabigh 2 CCGT

Oct 20 – Yokogawa Electric Korea has won an order from EPC contractor Samsung C&T to supply control systems for the Rabigh 2 combined-cycle plant, powered by three 700 MW gas turbines. The 2,100 MW plant is being built for Al Mourjan For Electricity Production Company and scheduled to start operation in June 2017.

Latest News on Natural Gas Power Generation, Plants and Generators

Gas to Power Journal is a specialist publication for the natural gas power generation industry, supplying analysis and insight on topics including combined cycle gas turbine technology and gas fired power plant efficiency, as well as developments in plant projects, financing and markets. Our daily updated journal provides insight into the UK, European and world energy markets for those seeking to explore the technical, strategic and commercial opportunities in natural gas power generation and its related topics.

In addition, our website tracks the commercial development of new natural gas power generation projects, through the planning, project finance and construction stages, and on to the procurement of gas supplies. Trading, pricing and product specification trends are highlighted, while regulatory and policy developments are tracked in related fields that may impact the security of natural gas power supply. Shifting demand patterns for natural gas power generation, as a part of global energy demand, are also covered, as part of our in-depth analysis.

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