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Bowing to industry pressure, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has included a so-called safety valve in its 'Clean Power Plan' that eases compliance with emission restrictions, if a power plant is deemed 'system relevant' and would be required to stay operational to guarantee regional stability of electricity supply.

Forging ahead with even steeper greenhouse emission cuts at US power plants, President Barack Obama will today present the final version of his 'Clean Power Plan', giving states more time – until 2022 – to comply. The revised rules set the stage for a confrontation in the courts with power producers and Republican-led states.

Low natural gas prices in the US are incentivizing the use of natural gas as a feedstock for the production of bulk chemicals. This surge in industrial gas consumption adds to the rising demand from utilities, as gas surpassed coal as the key fuel for power generation for one entire month in April.

In response to Indonesia's ambitious goal of building an additional 35 gigawatts (GW) in new power generation capacity by 2019, GE held a workshop at the American Embassy in Jakarta to show policymakers, independent power producers and engineering firms some options of new power generation technology that are suited for the unique needs of the island nation.

Gulf Power has awarded Alstom a new Long Term Service Agreement (LTSA) as well as an extension of a Long Term Parts Agreement (LTPA), worth over €160 million, for its Kaeng Khoi II power plant in Thailand.

Germany's maker of turbines and trains Siemens has stuck to its full-year outlook, but net profit softened to a 9.5% margin in the third quarter due to weaker growth in its power and gas division.
Nonetheless, Siemens still expects to reach a profit margin of 10-11% in the fourth quarter of this year, counting on an uptick of its industrial business.

Digitalisation is fundamentally changing the way how maintenance is conducted. In remote support services, Wärtsilä's customers receive real-time advice and support for their assets, while analysing big data can help optimise power plant performance and predict maintenance needs well in advance.

Material experts at MTU Aero Engines and their partners have jointly developed an intermetallic high-temperature materials for highly stressed engine components. Titanium aluminide (TiAl) – a new lightweight material for turbine blades – combines the advantages of metallic and ceramic materials.

Coatings and corrosion protection from AkzoNobel are being added to the new Fortuna block of the Lausward gas power plant in Düsseldorf. Siemens is building the combined-cycle plant under a turnkey contract, with commissioning and start-up scheduled for early 2016.

Poland's key utility Fortum Zabrze has awarded Amec Foster Wheeler a contract for the design, supply, construction and commissioning of a new multi-fuel circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) steam generating combined heat and power plant in Zabrze, in southern Poland.

Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) has confirmed it is acquiring a 20% stake in the Shetland Gas Plant from Total. The purchase is part of a £565 million deal that also sees Total divest 20% interest in the Laggan, Tormore, Edradour and Glenlivit gas fields to SSE. The French oil major said it wanted to reduce its exposure west of Shetland.

In a multibillion-dollar endeavour, Kenyan and US firms are gearing up to take part in the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor which envisages the construction of a deepwater port and an LNG-to-power plant. The so-called Lapsset project will cost $26 billion, according to Kenyan treasury estimates. The Development Bank of South Africa already agreed to provide up to $1.5 billion, so the lion's share will have to come from private investors.

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News in Brief

Severn Glocon buys stake in A-T Armaturen-Technik

Aug 3 - Control valve engineering specialist Severn Glocon Group has acquired a majority share in A-T Armaturen-Technik GmbH, expanding its foothold in the global power industry. Now trading as Severn A-T Armaturen, the firm is a market leader in engineered valves for thermal power applications such as turbine and feedwater heater bypass.

Tapping biogas to power Africa

July 8 – Africa has a massive potential for the utilisation of renewable gas to generate base-load power supply. At Bisassar Road in Durban, for example, the gas from the landfill site is extracted and utilised by Clarke Energy to generate 6.4 MW of renewable electricity supplied to the local power grid.

US turbine market to grow 0.9% in 2014-19

July 31 – With shale gas spurring new-build gas power generating capacity, the turbine market in the United States is forecast to expand at a CAGR of 0.9% in terms of installations over between 2014 and2019. A Research and Markets finds that acquisitions of small companies help the leading manufacturers increase their production capacity as well as product portfolio.

APR redeploys assets from Libya in Senegal

July 30 – Fast-track power solutions provider APR Energy is expanding its service for Senegal's national utility Senelec. An additional 48 MW of mobile diesel-powered generation will be installed and operated – including assets redeployed from Libya – to supplement an existing 20 MW block at APR Energy's Kounoune site. The contract for the combined 68 MW extends into the fourth quarter of 2015.

Aggreko to invest $40m in Indonesia

July 29 – Temporary power provider Aggreko has announced a further $40 million investment in Indonesia, having been active in the country for over six years through its local entity PT Aggreko Indonesia. Aggreko currently has around 210 MW of fleet in operation in Indonesia and recently also secured contracts worth $10 million in the mining and utility industries.

Extending the Scania power range

July 29 – Spanish manufacturer Himoinsa has incorporated three new models of 50Hz generator sets with Scania engines into its product range, namely the HSW-610 T5, HSW-660 T5 and HSW-705 T5 generators. These engines offer a better cylinder capacity/power ratio and extend the range of Himoinsa's gensets with Scania engines to 700 kVA.

Japan: Opposition mounts against coal power

July 28 – Wary that Japan might miss its emission targets just months prior to the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December, the country's environment minister is opposing two proposed coal-fired power plants. Chubu Electric plans to build a 1,070 MW coal power plant replace oil-fired units in Aichi prefecture, while Chiba-Sodegaura Energy eyes another 2,000 MW coal plant.

GE to supply areo turbines for Tanap pipeline

July 27 – GE Oil & Gas has secured a contract to supply aeroderivative gas turbine driven centrifugal compressor packages for the for the first phase of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (Tanap) project. The equipment will be manufactured and tested in Florence, Italy, and is scheduled for delivery in 2017.
The first phase of TANAP project, due operational in 2018, involves construction of 1,334 km pipeline from the Turkish-Georgian border to Eskishehir province. The pipeline will ultimately transport Azerbaijani gas to Turkey and further to southeast Europe.

India: BHEL to cooperate with Kazakh firms on plant design

July 27 – State-run power equipment manufacturer BHEL has signed an agreement with Kazakh's KUS, one of the country's largest utilities, to cooperate on the design and construction of thermal power plants and CHPs. Kazakhstan remains the cornerstone of BHEL of India's engagement in the CIS region. Five BHEL make gas turbine generators (of 42 MW each) are already installed at the Tengizchevroil complex in Atyrau.

First CCGT starts up in Georgia

July 24 – Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has officially opened the country's first combined cycle thermal power plant in the town of Gardabani, 39 kilometers south of Tbilisi. With a capacity of 237 MW the CCGT can generate nearly double the output of other gas-fired plants in Georgia. The plant was realised at a cost of $231 million, financed by the Oil and Gas Corporation and the Partnership Fund.

June construction starts down 15%

July 24 – New construction starts in June dropped 15% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $620.2 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Non-building construction in June fell sharply as the result of a steep pullback by its electric utility and gas plant category. "If the volatile electric utility and gas plant category is excluded, total construction starts during the first half of 2015 would be up a more moderate 11% from the same period a year ago," analysts said.

Seven Energy gets loan for gas sale in Nigeria

July 23 – Nigerian oil and gas firm Seven Energy has secured a $495 million loan from a consortium of lenders, including First Bank and Ecobank, to facilitate its plans of selling natural gas to the local market. Seven Energy plans purchase associated gas form oil producers and sell it locally to power producers in Nigeria, in a bid to help end the country's crippling gas shortage.

India: Demand for turbines keeps growing

July 23 – The turbine market in India is continuing to expand, driven by the country's urgent need for more generating capacity to end recurring blackouts. The market volume is estimated to grow 3.3% over the period of 2014 to 2019, according to Researchmoz Global.

Canada: Capstone microturbine to utilise flare gas

July 22 – Capstone Turbine will supply and install a C1000 microturbine at a power generator owned by Kineticor Resource, a Canadian energy services company that converts associated gas at oil field into onsite power. Scheduled for commissioning in October 2015, the grid-connect C1000 microturbine will utilize the associated gas, also known as flare gas, produced in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan through a PPA with Kineticor.

CUI Global completes testing of GasPT Analyzer

July 22 – CUI Global has successfully completed testing of its proprietary GasPT Analyzer and VE Technology, and that has received multiple purchase orders for those products. The orders were placed by a large US gas transportation and compression company; a Fortune 100 energy company with projects in both Australia and North America; a major European gas TSO and an Asian gas turbine manufacturer.

Malaysia: 1MDB bids down tariffs for IPPs

July 21 – State-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has been instrumental making Independent Power Producers (IPPs) reduce their rates as it has been aggressively bidding down tariffs for existing and new power plants, backed by RM42 billion worth of debt-funded power projects. This allowed Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) to reduce tariffs in March 2015, with another reduction likely to be put forward this month.

Entergy Texas pulls out of Arkansas power plant purchase

July 21 – Suggesting the deal would be "unnecessary and too costly", Entergy Texas is abandoning its plan to purchase part of the Arkansas Power Station. It has withdrawn an offer to pay $237 million to buy one of the four 495 MW units at the gas-fired plant. Florida-based Entegra Power Group is selling the plant.

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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