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General Electric (GE) is advancing negotiations to buy the French turbine manufacturer Alstom for $13 billion, in what would be the U.S. firm's biggest acquisition. The deal could be finalised already next week, it emerged, and would exclude Alstom's transport unit though the French company officially denied any knowledge of talks.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $400 million loan to support the government of Pakistan's reforms aimed at tackling the country's chronic energy shortage which has crippled industries and caused social unrest.

EC Karolin – the biggest combined heat and power plant western Poland – will be retrofitted by Alstom with new Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) units for two steam boilers. The contracted works, including modernisation of an existing boiler, are worth €27.5m and due to start in 2015.

U.S. conglomerate Atlas Holding is considering re-opening the 104 MW Greenidge power plant near Dresden, Ohio, following its recent purchase from AES Corp.

U.S. power plant developer Apex has progressed plans to build the world’s third Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) plant in Matagorda County, Texas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the necessary permits earlier this month to start construction of the 317 MW Apex Matagorda Energy Center, but developers have not set a specific date yet.

Gas demand in the EU-28 dropped 26.8% last month, compared to March 2013, with year-to-date consumption down 20.1% amid an exceptionally mild winter and healthy storage levels, French investment bank Société Générale said on Wednesday.

Investments of at least $5 billion are needed to upgrade and stabilize Egypt's dilapidated power grid, according to government estimates, as the risk of blackouts increases as electricity demand peaks in the summer season.

Mounting pressure is placed on the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to enact reforms in East and Midwest power transmission areas to create stronger capacity markets to strengthen electric grid reliability. Industry has been pushing for regulatory changes ahead of the next base residual power auctions on May 12.

The prevalence of producing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) at steam turbines attached to coal-fired plants is forecast to drop amid a rise in the share of combined-cycle gas turbines with CHP from 40% in 2013 to 51% by 2020, according to a new GlobalData report.

 

The Kenyan government has started negotiations with Qatar to import LNG to fuel a proposed 800 MW power plant and connected LNG re-gasification terminal in the port city of Mombasa. The Dongo Kundu terminal will import 0.24 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year and is estimated to cost at least $1 billion.

Construction for a natural gas combined-cycle power plant in Marshall County, West Virginia, with a nameplate capacity of 549 MW fuelled by local gas will start in mid-2015, the New York-based independent power plant (IPP) developer Moundsville Power announced.

The high cost of LNG imports to fuel power production in Japan is pushing electricity rates higher with the latest price hike adding ¥25 ($0.24) to bills in June. This will see electricity bills reaching an average ¥8,565 ($84), the highest amount since records began in 2009.

Nigeria needs about 10,000 kilometres of gas pipelines to transport fuel across the country to widespread power plants, GE Nigeria's president and CEO, Dr Lazarus Angbazo said. A lack of stable gas supply and a pipeline network of currently only 1,000 km are undermining continuous operation of much of the country's gas-fired power generation capacity.

 

U.S. power producer LS Power Equity Advisors has announced it will purchase six gas-fired, combined-cycle power plants in the southeast of the United States from Calpine Corp. The portfolio comes with a price tag of $1.57 billion and has a net capacity of 3,500 MW.

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News in Brief

Europe could handle halt in Russian gas supplies for a month - Entso-G

Apr 25 – The European gas network is sufficiently robust to reach targeted stock levels of 90% by the end of September, even if all imports of Russian were halted for a month, Entso-G said in a report this week.

If Ukrainian transit flows were suspended throughout the summer, Bulgaria would face a winter without gas reserves while stores in Hungary and Serbia would hold only a fifth of the targeted 90% capacity, it said.

Imports from Russia currently cover over a quarter of the EU's gas requirements, with a significant amount of that transited through Ukraine.

REstore doubles volumes contracted under STOR

Apr 25 – Bristol-based demand response aggregator REstore has more than doubled the volumes contracted by National Grid in in the UK's committed Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) market from 10 MW to more than 20 MW.

National Grid tenders at least 1,800 MW of STOR to replace sudden generation losses or cater for unpredictable changes in power demand.

FACTS market to exceed $5bn in revenue by 2020

Apr 24 - Revenue from flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS) will surpass $5 billion annually worldwide in 2022, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

The rapid worldwide expansion in large-scale wind and solar projects is spurring the growth of FACTS. Traditionally, the majority of power grids are based on high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) systems.

Boom in global geothermal market

Apr 24 - The international power market is booming with a sustained growth rate of 4% to 5% and almost 700 projects currently under development in 76 countries, according to a report from the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA).

The U.S. geothermal industry is reportedly working on 977 MW of new capacity (Planned Capacity Additions or PCA's) at sites that hold over 3,092 MW of power potential in eight western states.

Wood Group wins LM6000 icon control system upgrades

Apr 23 – Wood Group GTS has been awarded a contract by SOWEGA Power LLC to replace two obsolete and proprietary Woodward Netcon 5000 turbine control systems at the SOWEGA Power Station in Baconton, Georgia, with Wood Group GTS' icon™ controls.

The icon open platform control system is based on the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx system and can integrate with the Rockwell Human Machine Interface (HMI) recently installed at the site by Wood Group Mustang.

TransAlta wins tender for $510m gas power plant in Australia

Apr 23 – Canadian power producer TransAlta Corp has been selected as the preferred bidder in a tender to build a A$550m ($510m) gas-fired power plant in South Hedland, Western Australia. The 150 MW plant is scheduled to start operations in 2017 and adds new capacity to TransAlta's six plant producing 425 MW of electricity in Australia.

Electricity produced by the new plant in South Hedland will be sold to Horizon Power and Fortescue Metals Group under 25-year contacts.

Summit installs 230 MW gas turbine at Bibiyana plant

Apr 22 - Bangladeshi energy company Summit Power has started installation of a 230 MW gas turbine at the Bibiyana gas-fired combined cycle power plant as part of phase two construction.

The turbine was manufactured by GE in the U.S. prior to shipment to the plant site near Mongla port in south-western Bangladesh.

UK founds body to administer CfD scheme

Apr 22 – The UK government has appointed Martin Read as the chair of its newly founded Contracts for Difference (CfD) counterparty company, which will manage the subsidy scheme from 1 August.

Read and his colleague Jim Keohane will also chair the Electricity Settlements Company, responsible for the implementation of capacity mechanism – a support scheme intended to incentivise construction of new thermal power plants by auctioning contracts to remunerate operators to provide capacity for up to 10 years.

LATAM needs 14 GW of new capacity a year

Apr 17 – Latin American countries will have to add 14 GW annually to the current power generating capacity over the next 20 years to accommodate rising power demand, a report in BNamericas's Intelligence Series finds.

Analysts expect electricity consumption in the region to almost double to 1.55 TWh by 2035, with the addition of nearly 300 GW in new generation capacity will be required to meet this demand. Over 40% of the new-build capacity will be hydropower projects.

Alliant Energy approved for 600MW Marshalltown plant

Apr 17 - U.S. power producer Alliant Energy has been given final approval by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to begin building its proposed 600MW Marshalltown Generating Station (MGS). Construction is due to start in June this year and the plant will be operational in 2017.

The project will be completed via Alliant's subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL) and is expected to cost $920 million.

GE power transformers customsizable for utilities

Apr 16 - GE's Digital Energy business has upgraded its medium-power transformer offering with its new PROLEC-GE Flexible Integrated Transformer (FIT). The transformer provides utility customers with an optimized, end-to-end solution complete with installation and aftermarket services.

The PROLEC-GE FIT is being showcased at the 2014 IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference & Exposition taking place April 14-17 in Chicago.

Capstone pushes for 30% tax credit for microturbines

Apr 16 - Capstone Turbine Corporation has welcomed the introduction of the American Microturbine Manufacturing and Clean Energy Deployment Act H.R. 4428 in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (CA-39). If approved, the new legislation would grant a 30% investment tax credit for microturbines, providing parity with tax incentives offered to fuel cells and renewable technologies.

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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