Daily News

The US oil major ExxonMobil has joined a group of eight International Oil Companies (IOCs), led by the European majors Shell and BP, to jointly put forward proposals to curb methane emissions from upstream operations, notably shale gas fracking. For Exxon, this is the first time the company joins an environmental initiative alongside industry peers.

Global petrochemical manufacturer INEOS has struck a long-term supply agreement with SP Chemicals which will see ethane, derived from US shale gas, being shipped to China for the first time. The deal also stipulates the construction of a 95,000cbm Very Large Ethane Carrier (VLEC) which is expected to be delivered in 2019.

As persistent overhang in global gas supplies reduces state revenues, energy ministers from Qatar, Iran, Russia and Venezuela are gathering at this week’s Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The question is how GECF countries – often referred to as the Gas OPEC – should react to the rampant US gas exports which has adopted a price-setting function on global spot LNG markets.

NIOC, the National Iranian Oil Company is keen to follow through on Iran’s first ever gas export contract, sealed by IFLNG – a joint venture between Khark Gas Refining Company and Norway’s Helma. The 20-years contract, set to come into force within three months, stipulates the liquefaction and export of Iranian gas from the South Pars field starting from mid-2018.

For efficiency levels of fully air-cooled gas turbines – like Siemens’ new HL-class – to reach 63% and ultimately 65% combined-cycle efficiency, firing temperatures need to keep rising.  Siemens consequentially developed manufacturing technologies like laser engraving that allow the use of thicker/ multi-layer thermal barrier coating to better protect the turbine parts exposed to the hot combustion gases, says Guido Schuld, Product Family Owner large gas turbines.

The Polish Oil and Gas Company Group (PGNiG) has signed a five-year contract with Centrica for US LNG cargoes, delivered on a DES basis, from the Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana starting from 2018.

A new chemical composite, developed by researchers at MIT, can be used to store the energy from sunlight or any other heat source in a battery-like system that is capable of storing thermal energy and releasing it on demand. The new solution combines phase change material (PCM) with molecular switches that can be adjusted with light, enabling the overall system to store thermal energy at lower melting points than the original material.

Wison Offshore & Marine has forged a strategic cooperation with Shanghai Electric Power Generation Group to jointly develop a medium to large-scale floating LNG power generation barge. The two partners want to commercialise the new FLNG power ship as a first step of a wider strategic cooperation.

Controversy is mounting in Australia over whether the lifetime of AGL Energy’s 2,051-MW Liddell power plant should be extended – as proposed by the Turnbull government – even though the operator wants to shut down the “costly and unreliable” unit in 2022. A new report finds the government’s stipulated lifetime extension would cost around $3.6 billion over five years, compared to $2.2 billion for a combination of wind power, demand side-response and energy efficiency measures.

Solar power will outcompete natural gas as a fuel for power generation in the United States, with costs for utility-scale solar projects forecast to plunge 84% from 2009-levels by 2025. The US National Renewables Energy Laboratory (NREL) expects gas will maintain its relative cost advantages at $53/MWh for a combined-cycle power plant – except compared with the $32/MWh of utility-scale PV in 2030.

Three Mitsubishi business units have worked together and successfully completed testing of MHPS’s 2-shaft H-100 gas turbine. Utilizing latest combustor technology, the 120 MW turbine is now proven to be industry leader in terms of low NOx (single digit ppm) for full-load operations. MHI Group said the solution has been designed for thermal power plants as well as mechanical drive LNG-applications.

Electricity demand and GDP growth used to be closely coupled but this link has been broken in several countries due to changes in economic makeup, electrification and income levels. Some OECD countries with sustained GDP growth, like the United States, Japan and the UK, have shifted from energy-intensive manufacturing toward service economies – using significantly less electricity per capita as a result.

Differences on energy policy and migration have brought down lengthy and difficult coalition talks between Germany’s Conservatives, the Green Party and the Liberals (FDP). Shortly before midnight on Sunday, FDP head Christian Lindner abandoned negotiations, stating: “The four discussion partners have no common vision for the modernisation of the country, and lack a common basis of trust.”

As the power generation landscape is being reinvented around renewables, so are national grid codes that define performance – especially in countries with weaker grid infrastructure, which are changing in response to this new power generation mix. These grid codes specify the power quality of electricity that plant and grid technologies must deliver – both in normal operation and under fault conditions – and are now giving rise to a range of creative solutions such as GE’s ‘rotating stabilizer’.

The Musandam Independent Power Project (IPP) power plant at Tibat, supplied and built by Wärtsilä, has just been inaugurated and is now utilised for fast-start power supply. The120 MW plant, connected to a new 132kV transmission network, is a major contribution towards the economic development Musandam , a mountainous Omani peninsula projecting into the Strait of Hormuz.

News in Brief

German gas power output up 13%

Nov 23 – Electricity output from German gas-fired power plants in the first nine months of 2017 totalled 62.23 TWh, a 13% rise compared with the same period last year, according to BDEW data. In September, the most recent month for which the BDEW data is available, gas power output dropped 1.5% on the year to 6.24 TWh which marks the second on-year drop in a row, the industry lobby group said.

SimoticsIQ connects MindSphere and open IoT systems

Nov 22 – With Simotics IQ, the new IoT-compatible drive concept from Siemens, the Simotics SD low-voltage motors are fitted with a compact sensor box which captures important operating and condition parameters and transmits them by WiFi to the cloud. The operating data can then be stored and analyzed by the Simotics IQ MindApp on MindSphere.

CT market worth $4.4bn by 2020

Nov 21 – The Coiled Turbine (CT) market, by service, is projected to grow at an annual rate of 6-7% from an estimated value of $3.2 billion in 2015 to around $4.4 billion by 2020. According to MarketsandMarkets analysis, North America accounted for nearly half of the total revenue in 2013, driven by demand in the ultra-deep CT service sector as shale gas drilling activities keeps expanding.

ADB continues to finance TAPI project

Nov 20 – The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) said it will continue to support the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline project. The bank’s latest 5-year country partnership with Turkmenistan includes the possibility of financing shareholder equity in the TAPI pipeline company, non-sovereign loans, and credit enhancement.

AsiaPacific drives growth in global GT market

Nov 17– Urbanisation and rapid economic growth in Asia Pacific will dominate market during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets. The global market for gas turbines is expected to grow from an estimated $17.51 billion in 2017 to $20.66 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 3.36%.

Kepco, Tadmax to build 1.3-MW CCGT in Malaysia

Nov 16 – Malaysia’s listed developer Tadmax Resources, together with South Korea’s state-run utility provider Kepco, are planning to build 1,300-MW  combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) some 60km southwest of Kuala Lumpur. The overall project is expected to cost $1 billion. Kepco announced it will invest $50 million to hold a 25% stake, while Tadmax Resources will own the 75% majority share.

Siemens delivers mobile turbines to Afghanistan

Nov 15 – Siemens has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bayat Power and the Government of Afghanistan to provide SGT-A45 mobile gas turbines for a three-phase energy project. Upon completion, it will provide more than 200-MW of electricity, enough to meet the needs of more than 700,000 Afghan homes and businesses.

Baker Huges to supply 150MW of power gen equipment to Iraq

Nov 14 – Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), has won a contract by PetroChina International Iraq to deliver Frame 6B gas turbine electric generator trains , with a combined output of 150 MW, for production at the onshore Halfaya oilfield in Iraq.

Gazprom gets €700m loan from Unicredit

Nov 13 – Gazprom and Unicredit have signed a five-year loan agreement worth €700 million. The loan will be used by Gazprom for “corporate purposes,” the company said in a statement.

Emerson to retrofit at turbines Engie’s DK6

Nov 10 – Emerson Electric, an American multinational corporation, has won a contract to retrofit controls on two Alstom GT13 turbines at Engie’s DK6 combined-cycle gas power plant (800 MW) in Dunkirk, France. The upgrade is the first time a vendor other than the turbine OEM has been selected to retrofit GT13 combustion turbine controls, Emerson pointed out. The first retrofitted unit is due to be back operational in September 2018, and the second in July 2019.

Rolls-Royce’s trading outlook unchanged

Nov 9 – providing a brief update on its trading outlook, Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East reconfirmed the full year outlook. Looking beyond 2017, he added: “While markets for our Power Systems products continue to improve, we note the ongoing weakness in offshore oil and gas markets for Marine and timing changes to new export orders for Defence Aerospace.”

Public consultation starts for Drax’s coal-to-gas conversion

Nov 9 – Plans by Drax Power to upgrade two units at its 2,000 MW coal- and wood pellet-fired power station to run on natural gas have gone to public consultation. The operator said it also notified the UK planning inspectorate about its intention to build a new natural gas pipeline and a 200-MW battery storage at the site near Selby, North Yorkshire.

ABB to optimize its transformer manufacturing

Nov 8 – Swiss-based ABB has announced a strategic realignment of its global transformer manufacturing, engineering and service divisions. In the United States, ABB will consolidate its power transformers manufacturing footprint by investing in its South Boston and Crystal Springs units and discontinue production at its unit in St. Louis, Missouri, which will continue to focus on engineering and service activities.

Flow-Cal launches on-demand gas measurement software

Nov 7 – Flow-Cal Inc., a Houston-based a developer of measurement data management software, has launched CALCit.Cloud, a an on-demand measurement calculator for natural gas and petroleum liquids. It allows users to perform various spot calculations, including gas volume, plate size, liquid correction factors and speed of sound. The source code of the application is in C computer language, or as a DLL that can be integrated into other applications. 

Russia, Iran sign MoE on gas cooperation

Nov 6 – A number of documents, aimed at fostering Russian-Iranian cooperation in the gas sector, were signed in Tehran over the weekend during the visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Iran. The parties will evaluate prospects in developing Iranian gas fields with subsequent monetization either through liquefaction and export or petrochemical production. Gazprom and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) also signed a MoU to work together on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

MHI to launch new engineering company in 2018

Nov 3 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will launch a dedicated engineering company on January 1, 2018, to be named Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd. The new company, to be formed under an absorption-type split, will take over MHI's engineering businesses relating to chemical plants, transportation systems and environmental technologies. Shigehisa Kobayashi will serve as the new company’s inaugural President and CEO.

AsiaPacific drives growth in global GT market

Nov 2 – Urbanisation and rapid economic growth in Asia Pacific will dominate market during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets. The global market for gas turbines is expected to grow from an estimated $17.51 billion in 2017 to $20.66 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 3.36%.