Price-sensitive Japanese utilities lately prefer thermal coal over regasified LNG as they seek to minimize fuel costs for power generation. Consequently, Japan’s LNG imports fell 14.5% during the month of April to 5.60 million tonnes while import of thermal coal for power generation increased by 6.7% during April to 8.74 million tonnes, according to preliminary trade figures from the Japanese finance ministry.
Florida-based NextEra Energy has finalized a deal with Southern Company to acquire Gulf Power, Florida City Gas and its stakes in the Oleander and Stanton gas-fired power plants in Florida in transactions valued at approximately $6.475 billion, including $1.4 billion of Gulf Power debt. Post-closing NextEra expects it will still have substantial free cash flow.
Drax Group, together with C-Capture, has announced plans to pilot the first bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BCCS) project in Europe. The demonstration project will see Drax invest £400,000 in what it says “could be the first of several pilot projects” to deliver a rapid, lower cost demonstration of BECCS that could accelerate the commercialization of carbon capture in the UK.
An international team of scientists has discovered a mechanism for the formation of the simplest polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), naphthalene. This mechanism is now being used to create physically-based combustion models as the basis for fundamentally new, ecologically friendly combustion chambers for gas turbine engines.
Australia’s AGL Energy has turned down a A$250 million bid from Altina Energy to purchase the ageing Liddell coal-fired power plant, confirming it will shut the 2,051-MW facility as planned in 2022. Josh Frydenberg, the Australian energy minister, now urges AGL to commit to its transition plan of a staggered exit given the plant’s vital role to keep the energy system in balance in New South Wales.
Buildout of new gas pipeline capacity is progressing rapidly, in particular in the northeastern United States. By the end of 2018, if all projects come online by their scheduled service dates, more than 23 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of takeaway capacity will be online out of the Northeast by the end of 2018, according to EIA projections. This is more than three times the takeaway capacity at the end of 2014, and up from an estimated 16.7 Bcf/d at the end of 2017.
New Swiss law mandates the installation of smart electricity meters which increases the data volume of the energy infrastructure firm BKW Group more than 40,000-fold. Hence BWK approached Siemens to install a cloud-based data management system for power consumption data. The launch of the EnergyIP system will occur in early 2019.
Stromnetz Berlin, the power grid operator of the German capital city, has asked ABB to supply compact gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) for the new Wuhletal substation to enhance reliability of power supply in the eastern district of Marzahn. Upon completion, the new substation will supply electricity to more than 3,500 commercial businesses and 65,000 households.
Keen to service cross-fleet power generation equipment, GE has developed a range of capabilities to advance the performance and reliability of other original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) gas turbine, such as Siemens’ SGT-800 and Mitsubishi’s 501F units. At a press tour to Birr, Switzerland, GE revealed it has over $200 million in cross-fleet orders backlog.
State-owned Pakistan LNG is seeking to purchase spot LNG cargoes as three new combined-cycle power plant – the Haveli, Bhikki and Balloki projects – have started operating, or are about to come online. The 1,230 MW Haveli CCGT started operating at full capacity some ten days ago, but delays in the construction of the two other plants have pushed back their in-service dates.
Chicago-based Exelon has approached the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), suggesting it would keep operating two gas-fired power plants and the LNG import facility in Everett between 2022 and 2024, if it gets permission to collect about $1 per month from all electricity customers in New England. The Mystic gas-fired power plants are some of the largest generators in New England, but they are not economical in the current market environment.
Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher has dismissed a West-East gas pipeline through Australia as the “least viable option” for tackling regional gas supply shortages, stressing domestic LNG shipments would be “more economic”. A government-led feasibility study is examining the potential of building a 1,500 km gas pipeline to supply eastern and southern markets with Western Australia’s abundant supplies.
South Korea-based Kokam, a leading battery solutions provider, has deployed the world’s largest lithium ion battery – a 30MW system with 11.4 MWh energy storage – for the Australian utility Alinta Energy. Based on Kokam's Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide battery technology, the storage solution is being used in an islanded high voltage network to improve the electricity supply to iron ore producers in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Opinions differ widely when it comes to energy storage. Dominion Energy in its new long-term plan for Virginia and North Carolina notes that the price of battery storage showed it wasn’t ready for full consideration. Instead, the utility is looking to intensify the deployment of new gas-fired peaking power plants.
Florida-based NTE Energy is forging ahead with plans for the 1,000 MW gas-fuelled Anderson County Energy Center, to be built south of Greenville in western South Carolina. Development and permitting of the $1 billion project is expected to take between 18 and 24 month, hence the plant is expected to enter service in 2024.