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Siemens AG today has posted a 25% fall in its first-quarter net profit, as the Power and Gas division was hit by lower margins in the large gas turbine and steam business as well as fewer large orders. "No other business in the company has such a pronounced need for action," Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser said, while defending the $7.6 billion Dresser-Rand acquisition.

Finnish engine manufacturer Wärtsilä will supply a 19-megawatt Smart Power Generation plant to Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) in Sidney, Montana. The plant will supply peaking power for the remote Bakken oilfields in Eastern Montana.

The Indian government will decide by March whether it will hand over operation of the idled 1,967 MW Dabhol power plant to private parties. The gas-fired plant is currently managed by Ratnagiri Gas and Power (RGPPL), but it has been crippled by ongoing shortages in gas supply.

The worst water crisis in 80 years is affecting Brazil's most populous states, reducing electricity generation at hydroelectric dams and forcing operators to fire up gas power plants to reduce the risk of blackouts.

A power failure on Sunday plunged major cities in Pakistan, including the capital Islamabad, into darkness. Blackouts were caused by the breakdown of a key 500 kV power transmission line in the south of the country, carrying electricity from Hubco power plant.

Mexico aims to add a huge 66 GW of power capacity over the next 15 years, according to energy minister César Hernández. Natural gas is expected to provide 72% of the total electricity generated in Mexico by 2017, with supply set to come mostly from the U.S. via pipelines until the time when domestic reserves are fully developed.

The government of the Philippines has set aside $37 million to procure diesel oil for the 1,200 MW Ilijan combined cycle power plant, backing a switch from natural gas to liquid fuel. This rather unusual plant conversion is caused by depleting domestic gas supplies, so diesel has to be used to avert the risk of power shortages.

Atlantic Power Corp has struck a deal with the Ontario Power Authority and its successor, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), to operate the Tunis power plant for a 15-years period, starting from November 2017. The contract requires the plant to end baseload power supply and to become fully dispatchable.

California-based Bloom Energy has reportedly raised an additional $130 million to fund expansion of its fuel cell technology, adding to the $1.2 billion raised earlier to develop its Energy Server system.

Peru's power utility EnerSur has placed an order with Siemens for three SGT6-5000F gas turbines to be installed in the project Nodo Energético del Sur - Planta N° 2. Start of commercial operation is scheduled for March 2017.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation's (NERC) has declared a number of regions in the U.S. at risk of supply outages this winter due to demand increases but believes capacity should be sufficient to meet normal peak loads.

Two GE 7HA.02 gas turbines are set to replace three coal-fired units at the 55-years old Thomas H. Allen Fossil Plant to help the operator Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) meet emission reduction agreements with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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News in Brief

Ninemile 6 starts up in Louisiana

Jan 27 – Energy Corp has fired up a new $655 million gas-fired unit at its Ninemile power plant in Westwego, Louisiana. The new unit, known as Ninemile 6, replaces the two oldest units at the facility, which have been retired.

California: $60m landfill gas to energy project underway

Jan 27 – Construction has stared on a $60 million landfill gas to energy project near Irvine in California. Once operational in early 2016, the plant is expected to generate around 160,000 MWh annually, which will be sold by Anaheim Public Utility.

Russia may help North Korea to develop power grid

Jan 26 – North Korea is in talks with Russian companies over a project to update the country's electricity transmission network at a cost of $20-30 billion, the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ibo reports. In return, Russia would export electricity and gain access to rare earth metals in the People's Republic of Korea.

GRDA breaks ground on combined-cycle plant

Jan 26 – Grand River Dam Authority has broken ground on its Oklahoma-based unit 3 combined-cycle gas power project. The official ceremony for the 495 MW block 3 was held late Friday.

GS Power, GE strike energy partnership

Jan 23 – South Korea's GS Power signed a memorandum with GE jointly develop technology to improve efficiency of domestic power plants, fuel cells and energy storage systems. Sohn Young-ki, president of GS Power President said the company aims to build 4 new power plants and overseas by 2030.

Pakistani power plant suspended after gas pipeline explosion

Jan 23 - A bomb attack on a gas pipeline in Pakistan has suspended gas supply to the Uch power plant power.

The explosion in Dera Murad Jamali early on Friday morning suspended two units of Uch power plant reducing capcity by 800 MW. 

RWE considers selling power plants

Jan 22 – Germany's RWE said it evaluating the sale of power plants into foreign countries as 20-30% of its plants cannot cover operating costs. However, the deconstruction, shipment and reassembly of power plants at a different location is very difficult and costly.

Gas futures gain as cold weather returns

Jan 22 – Natural gas futures traded at NYMEX have gained in value on forecasts of a return of very cold weather by the end of his week. From the end of January to early February, temperatures are predicted to be 5 to 10 degrees below normal, which propelled up prices of natural gas for February delivery 5.1% to $2.97/MMBtu.

Scottish Power to cut gas prices by 4.8%

Jan 21 – Scottish Power is the last of Britain's major gas suppliers to announce a price cut, taking 4.8% off prices from 20 February. Earlier this week, British Gas said it will reduce prices by 5% from 27 February, while E.ON's 3.5% price cut has already taken effect.

Philippines: Ilijan CCGT now at 900MW

Jan 21 – The 1,200 MW Ilijan combined-cycle plant, which can supply around 15% of Luzon's power grid requirement, is now running at 900 MW after repairs were carried out by KEPCO Ilijan Corp. The power plant consists of two units of 600 MW each, but block A has been shutdown due to damaged compressor turbine and casing.

Europe's gas demand -12.9% yoy

Jan 20 – Societe Generale's SG Pulse shows a staggering 12.9% drop in gas demand in 2014 vs 2013. Turkey's gas demand has fallen below the 400 bcm mark. "Nineteen years of growth have now been erased," the bank's analysts commented.

BG to cuts gas prices by 5%

Jan 20 – British Gas has announced it will cut its gas prices for end-customers by 5%, far less than the 25% drop in wholesale prices. The reduction in charges for its 15.7million customers will apply from February 27, lowering annual energy bills by £37 on average.

PMFG wins $4.5m contact in New England

Jan 19 – Clean energy firm PMFG Inc. has been awarded a contract with $4.5 million to install two SCR and CO/VOC oxidation systems at two combined-cycle power plants in New England in early 2016. The company did not specify the name of the plant, but said the equipment will reduce NOx emissions of the CCGT by more than 90%.

Pakistan: 2,000 MW capacity idle due to fuel crisis

Jan 19 – A crisis in fuel supply has brought down over 2,000 MW of generating capacity, raising the power deficit to 7,000 MW – less than half the total demand of over 14,000 MW. Furnace oil is particularly in short supply, operators warned.

IPPs in Asia-Pacific to lower tariffs – Moody's

Jan 16 – The rating agency Moody's expects that most independent power producers (IPPs) in the Asia-Pacific region will lower their electricity tariffs to reflect lower fuel cost. Most utilities in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore and private power are also likely to maintain a minimal reliance on oil-price indexed natural gas.

Dubai aims to produce "world's cheapest electricity"

Jan 16 – Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) has been awarded a contract to build a 200 MW solar plant which is planned to be increased to 1,000 MW capacity by 2030. The plant is meant to produce "world's cheapest electricity", according to its future operator, a group led by Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power.

GE and KAUST to partner on turbine fuel flexibility research

Jan 15 – Turbine manufacturer GE and Suadi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) have signed an agreement to partner to research fuel flexibility for GE’s advanced gas turbines.

The collaborative research will  be led by Saudi-based scientists and students from KAUST along with GE’s global team.

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.

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