Daily News

Incentives have spurred a surge in biogas production that is injected into the gas transmission network in countries like Germany. However, gas quality and volume of the grid-injected biogas needs to be closely monitored to ensure its computability and safe use as a fuel for power generators. Elster has developed such a monitoring system.

Doreen Power, a privately-run utility in Bangladesh, has contracted MAN Diesel & Turbo to supply three 18V 48/60TS engines for a 56.7 MW baseload power plant near Dhaka. “48/60’s can be retrofitted to 51/60s without any major effort,” a MAN spokesman said, but cautioned about Bangladesh’s current gas supply constraints.

Siemens, in partnership with Hangzhou Steam Turbine Co (HTC), has secured a long-term service program (LTP) order from Golden Concord Power Group for two Siemens SGT-800 gas turbines at the Kunshan GCL Blue Sky distributed energy project. This is Siemens' first industrial gas turbine LTP order in China, the company pointed out.

Ten judges on the US Court of Appeals in Washington have heard supporters and opponents clash during a 7-hour hearing on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) – a controversial cornerstone of President Obama’s legacy on environmental law. Facing opposition from Republican-led states in the Senate, he was using federal administration such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to drive through his climate agenda.

Shale oil and gas production from the Appalachian Basin's Utica play has hit 3.5 Bcf/d this June, jumping from very low levels of 0.1 Bcf/d in December 2012. The surge in output from the vast Utica play keeps a lid on US natural gas prices and incentivise more power station operators to shift from coal to gas. The capacity factor for CCGTs has risen to 56% and is expected to increase further.

Unit 4 of Tepco’s LNG-fuelled Futtsu power station will be retrofitted with GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) system under an accord, signed by the two companies, to roll-out APM software throughout the Tepco’s thermal power plant fleet.

The government of Afghanistan has signed an accord for Ghazanfar Group to develop the country’s first gas-fired power plant Mazar-e-Sharif. The 50-megawatt facility will be realised on a build, own, and operate (BOO) basis – all electricity will sold to the national power grid on a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Scientists at Japan's Kyoto University have tested various compositions of molybdenum silicides for use at turbine blades, improving the strength of the material at temperatures around 1,400 degrees Celsius. Research shows that adding tantalum to the composite helps boost material resilience.

Harrison County Community Improvement Corp (CIC) has been working with the Texan village of Cadiz to make Houston-based EmberClear advance its 1,000 MW combined-cycle power project. CIC said it would help EmberClear with obtaining necessary permits, with the CCGT set to be fuelled with low-cost shale gas from nearby resources. Financial close and start of construction is scheduled for Q3-2018.

Outcome of a court ruling could determine whether the Obama administration’s plan to curb power plant emissions by 32% by 2030 will become a reality. Republican-led states and the coal lobby filed various lawsuits – a key decision will be made by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday.

Completion of construction and commissioning of the 653 MW Avon open-cycle gas power plant this summer, just month after the start-up of its 342 MW Dedisa sister plant, puts the Ansaldo Energia/FATA consortium in pole position to win tenders for further projects in South Africa and beyond.

Even though thermal coal prices increased by nearly 50% this year, the effect on fuel switching is not enough to make the use of LNG economically viable for power generators. For coal-to-gas switching in Asia, analysts say that LNG would have to fall by another third from its recent lows around $6/mmBtu.

Irish utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has announced that the 880 MW Carrington Power Station in Manchester has started full commercial operation earlier this week. The CCGT – the first new-build gas power plant in three years – has already secured a capacity contract for winter 2019/20.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has commissioned four industry experts to examine options for ‘whole system’ reform, given the mounting pressure on UK power grids. A more decentralised dimension to decisions on energy networks was agreed on by all experts – though there are differences on governance.

Stockton Council has received a proposal by London-based Stratera Energy for a gas-fired power plant on Teesside. In the planning application, the prospective plant operator said its ‘energy reserve facility’ would provide an electricity output up to 49.95 MW, mainly for grid balancing purposes.

News in Brief

Southern gas corridor advisory council meets in Baku

Feb 23 - Energy ministers of countries involved in the Southern Gas Corridor initiative and representatives of EU institution have started the third ministerial meeting of the Southern gas corridor advisory council on February 22 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The meeting was also attended by EU Commission vice-president for energy union, Maros Sefcovic.

The event was expected to focus on the financing of the project, among other things, with the participation of representatives of the World Bank and European bank for reconstruction and development (EBRD), according to a statement from the Azeri energy ministry.

Gazprom inks contract for construction of TurkStream second string

Feb 22 - South Stream Transport and construction company Allseas Group have signed a contract to build the second string of the TurkStream gas pipeline’s offshore section.

South Stream, which is responsible for the construction of TurkStream’s offshore section, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom.

TurkStream is the project for the construction of a transit-free export gas pipeline stretching across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further to Turkey’s border with neighbouring countries.

The first string of the gas pipeline is intended for Turkish consumers, while the second string will deliver gas to southern and southeastern Europe. Both will have a throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

In October 2016, Russia and Turkey signed the Intergovernmental Agreement on the TurkStream project.

World's first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel delivered

Feb 21 - Engie, Fluxys, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK have taken delivery of the world’s first purpose built liquefied natural gas bunkering vessel (LBV) from Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction at the Yeongdo shipyard in Busan, Korea.

Zeebrugge in Belgium will be the home port of the vessel.

From there, the 5,000 m3 LNG capacity LBV will supply LNG as a marine fuel to ships operating in Northern Europe, Engie said.

BNetzA consults on underground power cabling

Feb 20 - Germany's regulator Bundesnetzagentur has launched a public consultation, which closed on February 13, on documentation requirements for TSOs in order to install new direct current (DC) power lines underground. 

According to recent legislation in Germany, underground cabling should have priority for new projects.

BNetzA said “the aim is to increase public acceptance and, consequently, speed up grid expansion' adding that the use of overhead lines will be considered “only in exceptional cases.”

ABB delivers substation at Dubai solar park

Feb 17 - ABB has successfully energised a substation in Dubai that will help distribute power from the Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) Solar Park.

The 400/132 kilovolt (kV) gas-insulated switchgear substation has been built for Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) to connect the second phase of the MBR Solar Park and integrate 200 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the transmission grid.

Further expansions are planned at the facility, which, when completed by 2030, will be “the largest single-site solar project in the world with a capacity of 5,000 MW” ABB said.

OPEC agreed cuts achieve “record compliance rate”: IEA

Feb 16 - Oil production cuts agreed by members of OPEC and eleven non-OPEC countries have “achieved a record initial compliance rate” of 90%, with some producers, notably Saudi Arabia “appearing to cut by more than required” the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

The IEA estimates that OPEC production in January was 32.1 mb/d.

OPEC “appears to have made a solid start to what is a six-month process” the IEA said, adding “this first cut is certainly one of the deepest in the history of OPEC output cut initiatives.”

EBRD, Moldova hold talks on energy and transport projects

Feb 15 - A delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) met Moldova's PM Pavel Filip, minister of economy Octavian Calmic, minister of finance Octavian Armasu, and governor of the National Bank Sergiu Cioclea on February 13-14.

The two sides discussed the implementation of large transport, energy and municipal infrastructure projects, including those co-funded by the European Union.

The EBRD is working with the authorities to promote key reforms in these sectors, it said.

Eni sells 10% stake in Egypt's Shorouk concession to BP

Feb 14 - Eni’s CEO, Claudio Descalzi, Bob Dudley, CEO of BP, and   the Egyptian minister of petroleum, Tarek El Molla signed a deed completing the sale to BP of a 10% stake in the Shorouk concession, offshore Egypt.

Eni and BP first agreed on the sale of the concession stake, where the super-giant Zohr gas field is located, in November 2016, Eni said.

Eni, through its subsidiary IEOC, now holds a 90% stake in the license, while Rosneft has agreed to acquire a 30% stake, subject to the Egyptian governmental approval.

Vattenfall to supply Chinese high-tech datacenter in northern Sweden

Feb 13 - Chinese tech company Canaan Creative is to open a new 10 MW data center in northern Sweden, which will rely on smart energy supplies from Vattenfall.

Canaan is a “world-leading producer of blockchain solutions and ASIC microprocessors and the first Chinese company within the sector to open a data center in Europe” Vattenfall said, adding that the chosen location was due to “technological development, climate smart energy in abundance and the lowered tax rates."

In autumn 2016, Vattenfall and Skelleftea Kraft acquired The Node Pole Alliance, which is dedicated to supporting data centers and high tech industry establishment in the north of Sweden.

Greece, IEA discuss energy strategy

Feb 10 - The executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol has met with the Greek minister for environment and energy, George Stathakis, to discuss the energy sector transition and the outlook of global energy markets.

Stathakis shared “the good progress Greece has made in increasing the share of renewables in the power sector and highlighted the importance accorded to energy efficiency and the positive impact it can have on overall economic development” the IEA said in a statement.

The IEA is to conduct its 5-year review of energy policies of Greece in 2017, “including those that are relevant for energy security of the country, and its ambition to reduce the carbon footprint of its energy sector” it said.

EBRD to support Egypt's green economy transition

Feb 9 - The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved its first country strategy for Egypt.

EBRD said Egypt's green economy transition is among the key priorities identified by the strategy.

Specifically, the EBRD will “support Egypt’s efforts in diversifying its energy mix by financing renewable energy projects and energy efficiency investments across sectors, including energy efficiency credit lines for SMEs,” it said.

Enel expands electricity storage portfolio

Feb 8 - Italy's Enel has partnered with storage systems provider Aton Storage in order to expand its portfolio in the sector.

The deal follows agreements reached by Enel in recent months with Tesla, BYD and LG Chem.

Enel has also incorporated the Aton storage system in its commercial offering of photovoltaic panels combined with energy storage systems “which will launch shortly” it said.

Engie to build its first geothermal power plant in Indonesia

Feb 7 – France's Engie, as part of PT Supreme Energy Muara Laboh consortium, has reached the financial closing for phase I of the Muara Laboh geothermal project in Indonesia, the company's first high temperature geothermal power generation plant in the world.

With commissioning planned in 2019, this first phase will generate 80 MW of emission-free electricity, the equivalent of the energy consumption of around 120,000 households, Engie said.

Enel brings online two new PV plants in South Africa

Feb 6 - Italy's Enel, through its renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA, has brought the 82.5 MW Adams and Pulida solar PV plants, located in South Africa’s Northern Cape and Free State provinces, into commercial operation. 
 
The two solar plants are supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with South African power utility Eskom, which Enel was awarded in 2014 following the third round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) tender promoted by the South African government, Enel said.

ABB wins $75 mil power link order in Brazil

Feb 3 - ABB has won a $75 million order to supply advanced converter transformers for the Belo Monte 800 kV ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission link.

The 2,518 km link will transmit clean power generated in the north of Brazil, from the Xingu substation to the Rio Substation in the southeast. It will transport up to 4000 MW of electricity, enough to meet the needs of around ten million people, ABB said.

Enel Green Power adds 2 GW capacity in 2016

Feb 2 - Italy's Enel renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power built some 2,018 MW of new capacity in 2016.

The company said this was a “record” as new capacity had doubled compared to 2015.

New projects completed in 2016 include the the 102 MW Apiacas hydropower park in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, and the 160 MW Finis Terrae solar PV park in Chile, as well the 400 MW Cimarron Bend wind farm in Kansas, US.

LNG exports at Algeria's Skikda terminal resumed

Feb 1 - LNG exports out of the Algerian terminal of Skikda have resumed since January 26, after they had stopped in December due to technical issues.

The restart allowed Sonatrach to send to France “the additional LNG loads requested by Engie” the CEO Amine Mazouzi was quoted by media reports as saying.

Earlier in December, French grid operator GRTgaz had warned of a short gas system in the South-East of France, due to a cold snap. Requests of additional volumes from Algeria however could not be met due to the stoppage at Skikda.