Daily News

UK shale gas explorer Cuadrilla has received government approval to start fracking at a second site in Lancashire, Northwest England. “We are currently completing works on the site in readiness to start hydraulically fracturing both wells in the next few weeks," said CEO Francis Egan.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has developed an interactive dashboard showing daily and weekly updates on Lower 48 and regional storage activity, as well as market fundamentals that affect underground gas storage activity. Updates are published online and in the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (WNGSR).

At the InnoTrans2018 trade show, General Electric has just launched a new high-speed engine program that will serve the marine, rail and power generation segments. The core architecture of the engine incorporates experience across GE’s Jenbacher and Waukesha product lines.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s blue-sky research program APRA-E has handed out $28 million in R&D grants for ten projects aimed at delivering long-duration energy storage systems. The grants are funded by ARPA-E's “Duration Addition to electricitY Storage (DAYS),” targeting the development of applications with 10 to approximately 100 hours of continuous operation.

As the US-China trade war escalates, Beijing is implementing a retaliatory 10% tariff on US LNG imports starting from September 24. In the twelve months up until June 2018 China used to be No.2 buyer of US LNG, accounting for about 3 mtpa mostly bought through Shell. Now, state-owned Chinese buyers started to snuff gas supplies from America, and PetroChina just entered a 22-year purchase agreement with Qatargas.

Siemens and E.ON have reached a milestone in the area of 3D-printing, with the world's first 3-D printed burner for an SGT-700 gas turbine having been in operation for one year at E.ON's combined-cycle power plant in Philippsthal, Germany. “The results are impressive,” Siemens said given that “the burner has been operating for over 8,000 hours with no reported issues.”

Global energy consumption is set to soar 28% between 2015 and 2040, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017). Countries with strong demand growth in non-OECD Asia – notably China and India – are seen to account for over two-thirds of the total rise in energy consumption through to 2040.

Most Japanese utilities that also operate nuclear power plants – such as Tokyo Electric, Kansai Electric and Kyushu Electric – have effectively stopped funding for the costly reprocessing of the nuclear fuel, their financial report shows. This move seems to indicate a long-term shift away from nuclear towards fossil fuels, notably natural gas.

As wholesale gas prices hit 10-year highs, Britain’s power producers are earning more by dispatching cheaper coal-fired power stations than their gas counterparts. If this trend continues, the UK may not be able to meet is emissions targets given that the extra coal-burn for power generation already increased emissions by 15% in September, analysts at the Imperial College London warn.

Finland-based technology group Wärtsilä has launched the next SparkUp Challenge for start-ups. This time the focus is on Power-to-X technologies, running under the name: ‘Towards a 100% renewable energy future’.

Gaztransport and Technigaz (GTT) has signed a licensing agreement with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD), targeting the use of LNG as a fuel in gas carriers. The accord envisages the joint construction of a Mark III Flex mock-up and an audit led by GTT, the French company said.

Growth in Europe’s gas demand has returned and stays underpinned by the power sector, with higher coal and carbon prices continuing to support the competitiveness of gas-fired power generation, says Murray Douglas, research director, Europe gas at Wood Mackenzie. Most importantly, in his view, is that national coal phase-out policies are being enacted throughout Europe which will boost gas demand through to the mid-2020s.

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has openly confronted Russia over its energy politics by claiming the Gazprom-led Nord Stream-2 project would distort European energy market. Perry said Nord Stream extension project “would concentrate two-thirds of the imports of Russian gas to Europe in a single pipeline, creating a choke point [exposed to potential] disruption."

Michael R. Bloomberg and Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action have agreed to jointly step up Europe’s clean energy ambitions. In the context of the EC’s Platform ‘Coal Regions in Transition’, Bloomberg Philanthropies will develop plant-by-plant research analysis of coal power installations to allow for more targeted actions.

GE Power’s Monitoring and Diagnostics Center assists power plant operators at risk of being struck by a hurricane. The analytics and remote service ability of the centre helps utilities run their turbines safely and efficiently with a goal of fewer power disruptions due to a major storm.

News in Brief

Aramco collaborates with Schneider Electric

Sept 21 – Saudi Aramco has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Schneider Electric to work together on various advanced digital technologies, including virtual reality. The MoU is one of several accords to support the Aramco’s 2020 Transformation Programme and the kingdom’s own Vision 2030 economic blueprint.

GE appoints new CCO

Sept 20 – Jennifer Erickson has been named Chief Communications Officer (CCO) for General Electric with immediate effect. Erickson will report to Linda Boff, Chief Marketing & Learning Officer, GE who called her “hard work, superb instincts and team leadership” as a great asset to help transform GE for the future.

ENGIE rated “industry leader” in DJSI

Sept 20 – ENGIE has been rated “industry leader” in its sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and Europe indices in 2018. In the area Multi and Water Utilities it achieved a score of 82 out of 100.

Fuel cell CHP market keeps growing at +24%

Sept 19 – The global market for fuel cell for combined heat and power (CHP) applications is forecast to grow at an annual rate of over 24% through 2022. Fuels cells are considered a clean source of energy that is highly expandable and can be used in a variety of applications. Top manufacturers include: Bloom Energy, FuelCell Energy, Viessmann, Baxi, Ceres Power, Doosan Fuel Cell and Toshiba.

Siemens Gamesa stays in DJ Sustainability Index

Sept 18 – For the ninth time running, Siemens Gamesa has been confirmed as member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indices (DJSI World). The Spanish company scored particularly well in the areas of codes of business conduct, supply chain management, operational eco-efficiency and product stewardship.

Oldest U.S. power plant retires

Sept 17 - The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, a 625 MW single-unit GE boiling water reactor in New Jersey, will retire today. The plant, situated 50 miles east of Philadelphia, first came online in December 1969 and is the oldest commercially operated nuclear power plant in the United States.

Power of Siberia 93% complete

Sept 14 – Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller has informed his Chinese counterpart at CNPC, Wang Yilin, that 93% or over 2,010 kilometers of the Power of Siberia pipeline’s linear part from the Chayandinskoye field to the border with China has been welded and laid. The submerged crossing under the Amur is also “nearly complete.”

Industry benefits of cheap Marcellus gas

Sept 13 – Commercial and industrial users in Pennsylvania have saved about $17.2 billion as a result of the low price of natural gas. Abundant production out of the Marcellus Shale and helped push the price down from $10.39 per thousand cubic feet in 2008 to currently below $3, and occasionally lower.

DNV GL opens digital hub in Singapore

Sept 12 – Driving digitalization across the oil & gas, maritime and energy sectors, DNV GL has launched a new digital hub in Singapore. Named Digital Consulting and Smart Cities, the new hub includes three teams covering smart cities, cybersecurity and digital development – all based on DNV GL’s data management platform Veracity.

Siemens launches floating power barge

Sept 11 – Siemens has developed barge-based, turnkey floating power solution that takes a critical part of an FLNG facility off a project’s critical path. According to the manufacturer, the integrated turnkey solution helps reduce overall project execution time by 25% or more.

ENGIE, Maltem found Blockchain Studio

Sept 10 –The French utility ENGIE and Maltem, an advisory on digitalization, have jointly founded a Blockchain Studio to make this technology more accessible to energy companies. An initial €1,9 million in seed funding has been secured, the companies said, which will be used to develop activities in southern Europe, and open an office in Singapore at the beginning o f 2019.

UPS for Dubrovnik Airport

Sept 7 – A new data center for Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia has been equipped with modular uninteruptible power supply (UPS). The solution ABB’s DPA UPScale ST 60 system CBAT-120 battery cabinets and the Rittal IT solutions.

FirstEnergy modernizes grid in Ohio

Sept 6 – FirstEnergy has started to rebuild and modernize an existing 69-kilovolt (kV) power line in its Ohio service area. The project is part of Energizing the Future, an investment initiative that has already led to a 37% reduction in equipment-related transmission outages across FirstEnergy ‘s power work in Ohio and the Penn Power territory in western Pennsylvania.

Wärtsilä supplies engines for 145-MW plant in Myanmar

Sept 5 – Wärtsilä gas engines have arrived at Ahlone port in Yangon, Myanmar, designated for a 145-MW power plant being built by Powergen Kyaukse Co. on behalf of Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy. Powergen Kyaukse said it started civil works on site in preparation for installing the gas turbines. EPC contractor for the overall project is SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction of China.

Gas Turbine Control appoints new COO

Sept 4 – Gas Turbine Controls (GTC), supplier of replacement parts for all versions of GE power plant control systems particularly the Speedtronic series, has appointed John SantaCroce as new President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). John’s experience in finances, distribution and international sales is meant to benefit GTC clients through new products and service offerings

PennEnergy snaps up RexEnergy assets

Sept 3 – Pennsylvania-based gas producer PennEnergy has acquired nearly all assets of its former rival Rex Energy in a cash deal valued at an estimated US$600.5 million. Rex Energy recently filed for bankruptcy and had been primarily active in oil and gas exploration in the Appalachian Basin.

New GIS launched with 72.5kW

Aug 31 – GE Power’s Grid Solutions business has launched a new compact F35 Gas-Insulated Substation (GIS) for 72.5 kV networks. With a bay volume reduced by 23% and a 30% reduction in SF6 mass this new GIS allows the power voltage transformer to feed auxiliaries under “no wind” conditions, making it an ideal interface with a view to grid balancing.