Daily News

SmartSet Couplings, designed by Voith, limit the torque between the generator and the turbine in the event of a sudden voltage drop in the power system, allowing continuous plant operation. The risk of critical voltage fluctuations increases due to rising alignment of the grid to renewables and distributed power.

Japan's Jera Co, a joint venture of Tepco and Chubu Electric, has sealed a deal to sell up to 1.5 million tons per annum of LNG to the London-based trading arm of the French utility EDF. Sluggish gas demand in Japan makes utility buyers seek to offload over-contracted volumes.

Maximising operational efficiency of Pakistan’s power plant assets and doubling installed capacity to 45,000 MW is part of the governments ‘Vision 2025’. To support these goals, GE will provide its Predix-enabled digital power plant solutions to Halmore Power Generation and Orient Power.

Installed renewable generating capacity in Germany has surged 31% to reach 194 billion kWh at the end of last year. Coal power, with cheaper operational costs than CCGTs, act as backup capacity. In stark contrast to Germany’s clean energy policy at home, however, is the fact that government-backed banks still finance coal power projects around the globe.

The Prime Minister of Tanzania, Kassim Majaliwa, has announced government plans to invest $1.9 billion per year until 2025 in energy projects in an effort to end electricity shortages and boost generation capacity to 10,000 MW, up from currently just 1,500 MW.

PJM Interconnection’s second auction –  with stringent pay-for-performance standards – has attracted a significant volume of new-build CCGT capacity which brought down the clearing price by $65/MW-day, or 39%, to just $100/MW-day for the majority of the region.

Operators of Nigeria’s largest power plant – the Egbin Power Station near Lagos – seek to build an LNG import terminal to remedy an acute gas shortage. Secure fuel supply would also allow expanding the power plant’s capacity from currently 1,320 MW to up to 1,900 MW.

Tata Power, India's largest integrated utility, has seen its generation capacity rise 5% in the current financial year, reaching 9184 MW as of May 2016. Most of the additional capacity is coal-fired but Tata was keen to point out its clean energy credentials.

Keen to cater to Saudi Arabia’s fast-growing power market, turbine manufacturers are stepping up local production. Siemens has just delivered its first gas turbine built in the Saudi kingdom, while GE and SAIIC signed an accord to co-invest in sectors that help develop local industries.

Malta’s D3 power plant, formerly known as the BWSC plant, has faced repeated delays and full conversion to gas is now understood to take up to 12 months. Only four engines will initially converted to Wärtsilä 50DF dual fuel, while the others will continue to run on gasoil.

AG&P is looking to partner with private developers in building small-scale LNG facilities that can deliver 5 to 20 MW of decentralised power. Commenting on average investment needs, AG&P President Albert D. Altura said: “The rule-of-thumb for LNG, and this is highly dependent on the area, is about $1 million per megawatt for small-scale projects.”

Technical consultancy E3 has worked as Independent Engineer on behalf of the lenders for the recent $780 million financing of Tenaska's Westmoreland Generating Station, a 925 MW combined-cycle gas power plant to be built near Pittsburgh.

Overcapacity has lowered the utilisation rate of South Korea’s LNG-fuelled power plants to 40% in Q1-2016, down from 67.8% in February 2014, incurring massive losses for plant operators as well as grid operators. Supply exceeds demand by around 30%, not least owing to the country’s economic slowdown.

Calling Belgium’s plans to phase out its remaining three nuclear plants by 2025 a “serious challenge to low-carbon electricity and security of supply,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) has urged policy makers to adopt a national long-term energy strategy “without delay”.

Persistently low gas prices and accelerated retirement of coal-fired power plants will spur a flurry of new-build gas power capacity in the US, mostly close to major shale gas plays. EIA analysis expects up to 18.7 GW of new capacity will come online between now and 2018.

News in Brief

Start of LNG-fuelled plant delayed by grid issues

May 27 – Operational start of Energy World Corp’s 650 MW LNG-fuelled combined-cycle power plant in Pagbilao, Quezon in the Philippines has been delayed. The CCGT cannot deliver any electricity to the Luzon power grid despite the completion of the first construction phase with 200 MW. 
Energy World initially targeted to complete the first 200 MW unit in March with a view to having the second, equally-sized unit ready for commercial operation in June.

Surge in distributed power drives gas turbine market

May 27 – Growing reliance on distributed generation makes power generation systems being transformed from centralised to integrated networks. Distributed generators tend to be less than 100 MW in size with the standard size being less than 50 MW, which is the limit permitted by distribution systems at distribution voltages. 
Anju Ajaykumar, one of Technavio’s lead analysts forecast that “growth of distributed power systems will translate to an increased demand for gas turbines during the forecast period” – along with demand for reciprocating engines, solar panels, fuel cells, and small wind turbines.

Start-up of LNG-fulled plant delayed by interconnection woes

May 26 – Operational start of Energy World Corp’s 650 MW LNG-fuelled combined-cycle power plant in Pagbilao, Quezon in the Philippines. The CCGT cannot deliver any electricity to the Luzon power grid despite the completion of the first construction phase with 200 MW. 
Energy World initially targeted to complete the first 200 MW unit in March with a view to having the second, equally-sized unit ready for commercial operation in June.

Power rental market to grow at 12.9%

May 26 – Global power rental markets are projected to grow from an estimated $11.6 billion in 2015 to $21.3 billion by 2020, at a cumulative annual growth rate of 12.9%, according to MarketsandMarkets. Major users include utility companies, manufacturers, oil & gas companies as well as construction and mining firms.

Panama to start producing power from gas

May 25 – As of early 2018, Panama will be ready to generate electricity from natural gas. By then, AES will have finalised construction of its first gas-fired plant in the city of Colon at a cost of $150 million. Shifting to gas generation is expected to reduce the cost of electricity by 11% per kilowatt.

Korean utility sells CO2 to greenhouse

May 25 – Korea Midland Power (KOMIPO) has begun recycling CO2 gases that its power plant stores for various agricultural and industrial uses, generating additional income. KOMIPO’s Boryeong plant is not far from large greenhouse complexes along the Korea’s western coastal area which makes it easy and less costly to transport the liquefied CO2 to them, the operator said.

UK gas demand notches up on drop in wind power output

May 24 – A fall in power production from UK’s wind farms has seen gas demand from combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants rise to 46 mcm/day on Monday afternoon. Yet, wholesale gas prices fell as Norwegian supplies through the Langeled pipeline and domestic gas output was ramped up.

Algeria’s Cevital to produce onsite power with J624 engines

May 24 – Clarke Energy, distributor of GE Jenbacher gas engines, has been selected by the Algeria’s Cevital Group to supply two on-site power plants with a combined output of 37.6 MW. The onsite power plants will support the expansions of the group’s Brandt household electronic appliances factory in the city of Setif and its Laminoir factory in Oran.

India returns to power surplus

May 23 – In a remarkable transformation, India has overcome electricity shortages and returned to power surplus, mainly by resolving shortages of coal as a fuel. Operators also added 157% of conventional and solar power capacity over the past two years, according to official figures, while power transmission infrastructure has been upgraded and expanded.

MAN to service 50 turbo-compressors in Oman

May 23 – Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has entered a contract with MAN Diesel & Turbo for the long-term servicing of 50 turbo-compressors in Oman. Together with its local partner Oman Holdings International (OHI), the German OEM will also invest in the construction of a service shop for turbomachinery repairs in Muscat as part of its localisation strategy.

SSE considers network sale

May 20 – Hit by a 12% drop in net profits, UK’s second largest utility SSE has announced it is considering the divestment of up to one-third of its 50% stake in Scotia Gas Networks (SGN), which runs gas distribution in Scotland and southern England. SGN's other shareholders, each with 25%, are two Canadian pension funds.

Rolling out smart meters

May 20 – The EU is aiming to replace at least 80% of electricity meters with smart metering systems by 2020 with the aim of cutting annual household energy consumption and emissions across European states by up to 9%, according to GlobalData analysis. The Security of Electricity Supply (2005/89/EC) directive asks member states to take appropriate measures to safeguard the balance between electricity demand and generation capacity availability.

MAN Diesel & Turbo to build power plant in Saudi Arabia

May 19 – Arabian Cement Company (ACC) has awarded an EPC-contract for a 40 MW power plant to MAN Diesel & Turbo. Driven by two type 18V48/60 TS engines, the plant will be capable to run on heavy fuel oil and diesel oil. Construction of phase 1 is set to start by year-end, with the plant’s capacity to be increased to a 120 MW in two further construction phases.

Capstone to upgrade CHP plant in Italy

May 19 – A Capstone C1000 microturbine (1 MW) has been ordered to carry out an upgrade at an ESCO-operated local district heating facility in northwest Italy by November 2016. Italy is estimated to have one of the highest CHP potentials among major European economies leading up to 2030.

Global CHP market to reach $813bn by 2024

May 18 – The market for global combined heat and power (CHP) installations is forecast reach $813 billion by 2024. Transparency Market Research valued 2014’s market at $525 billion and anticipates a 4.38% annual growth rate until the end of the forecast period. Rising use of energy-efficient technologies, feed-in tariffs and low fuel prices are cited as the main growth drivers.

Symbion to provide EPC for Tanzania’s Nachu project

May 18 – Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) has given its ‘in principal approval’ for Symbion & Magnis to proceed with the Nachu Graphite Project. EPC contractor Symbion will develop and operate a dedicated 30 MW gas power station, associated substations and a 132 KV transmission line to connect Nachu to the main power grid.

Arcam expands Alcoa’s 3D printing technology

May 17 – The Arcam, a supplier of additive manufacturing solutions, today announced that its affiliate Alcoa has expanded its portfolio of additive manufacturing solutions. The new Arcam Q20plus allows Alcoa to print parts directly from a 3D computer model by melting and fusing layers of fine metal powder with an electron beam. The solution is designed for cost-efficient manufacturing of aerospace engine and industrial gas turbine components.