Daily News

Argentina’s largest energy company YPF has started up the La Plata Cogeneration II plant, powered by a GE 6F gas turbine. The new block adds 90 MW to the existing 128 MW capacity, providing electricity and steam for an industrial complex in the city of Ensenada, near Buenos Aires.

Norwegian-German registrar and classification society DNV-GL has decided to suspend works for the Nord Stream 2 project. Vessels, supervising progress on the controversial pipeline project, are deemed “subject to US sanctions,” DNV-GL said, noting it “will no longer provide services that may be incompatible with the PEESA law.”

The German government has set up an ‘International Power-to-X (PtX) Hub Berlin’ as a platform for dialogue between industrial companies and researchers. Hot and arid regions in Australia, Morocco and potentially Congo could be used by local partners to produce solar PV-based hydrogen for export.

The first round of auctions for decommissioning 4 GW of Germany’s hard coal plants has been oversubscribed, with almost 5 GW to be offline by year-end. Stiff competition at the auction drove down compensation payments for plant operators to €60,000, well below the planned maximum of €165,000.

Researchers in South Korea are striving to develop a hydrogen gas turbine burner for mixed and full combustion this year. The aim is to commercialise a 300 MW hydrogen-fuelled turbine by 2040 together with Doosan, the first Korean manufacturer to develop proprietary turbine technology.

South Africa’s state utility Eskom needs to reconfigure its fleet given that 10,000 MW of thermal capacity will retire by 2030. Bhavtik Vallabhjee, Head of Power Utilities at Absa Bank pointed out a renewables rollout would still be cheaper than retrofitting ageing coal power plants to clean coal units.

Northern Powergrid, TSO for Britain’s North East, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, has launched a call for flexibility services. The expression of interest call is open to all customers who can shift the time of energy use, or provide flexible supply from distributed power and energy storage.

Gazprom has made a loss due to a weak Russian currency and 40% plunge in sales to Europe as the pandemic depressed demand and prices. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Gazprom booked a net loss of 218.38 billion Rubles ($2.85 billion) compared with a 1.048 trillion Rubles profit in the pre-year period.

Winter has come early in northern China this year and municipalities fired up district heating plants from November 1, causing stock-draws and encouraging buyers to look for spot LNG. Seasonal LNG demand also keeps rising in South Korea due to coal power plant closures, widening the JKM-TTF spread.

The pandemic has slashed the UK’s energy demand by 12% in the first three quarters of the year as the economy contracted by 11.3%. Up to 30,000 jobs in Britain’s oil and gas industry are at risk and the lobby group OGUK urges to government to help the industry transition to a green energy future.

Electricity Generating Public Company (Egco) of Thailand has applied to the state regulator for a licence to import LNG to fuel gas-fired power plants. Egco said the 256 MW Banpong plant and the 121 MW Klongluang plant “could use additional supplies,” though they already source gas from state-run PTT.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Power, part of MHI Group, has struck a licensing agreement with the French metallurgical firm Aubert & Duval related to metal powders used for additive manufacturing, or 3D Printing. The supply deal allows Mitsubishi to develop a 3D Printing base within its Hitachi Works in Ibaraki.

News in Brief

Wärtsilä to use Shell engine oils

Dec 2 – The Finish engine maker Wärsilä has selected Shell as its test oil partner for engines during stress tests and fine-tuning at engine manufacturing sites. Shell’s Mysella, Argina and Gadinia range of engine oils have been developed to provide top class engine cleanliness, enhanced wear protection, long oil life, and high system efficiency.

Hamburg CHP runs fully on hydrogen

Dec 1 – Field testing has started for HanseWerk’s combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Hamburg to run fully on hydrogen. The converted 1 MW pilot plant, powered by Jenbacher engines, provides district heating equal to 13,000 MWh/year to 30 residential buildings, a sports facility, a daycare center, and the Othmarschen Park leisure centre.

Oil majors in the red

Nov 30 – For most oil majors worldwide, higher prices are needed to get their business out of the red. Breakeven prices for Saudi Arabia are $85 per barrel, around $64/bbl for Iraq, $49/bbl for Kuwait and as little as $40/bbl for Russia. As business confidence plummets, major oil companies have already slashed planned CAPEX spending by almost $89 billion in first quarter of 2020, with further cuts being made throughout the summer and autumn.

EU invests into battery cells

Nov 27 – Germany's EU Council Presidency has pledged Europe should develop an integrated value creation chain for battery cells, starting with the processing of raw materials over battery cell production to recycling. Germany is investing 3 billion Euros into the two projects that foster novel methods of battery production.

Rolls-Royce wins order from Hinkley Point C

Nov 26 – Rolls-Royce has been awarded an order from Hinkley Point C to deliver 140 Bibloc pressure transmitters for the two EPR nuclear reactors currently under construction in Somerset, UK. The transmitters will measure the flow, level and pressure of the Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS).

CHP industry to grow 14.4% through 2025

Nov 25 – The combined heat and power (CHP) market, evaluated at $12.152 billion, is expected to expand nearly 14.4% per year to reach $27.196 million by 2025. Growth is primarily driven by government funding and subsidy schemes. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the country aims to install 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP to save $10 billion per year, compared to current energy use.

Rolls-Royce opens US customer center

Nov 24 – Rolls-Royce has opened its latest US customer support center in Savannah, Gerogia. The 62,000 square feet facility houses a power plant completion center, a wing services repair unit and a warehouse, all under one roof.

Lithium Werks grows manufacturing

Nov 23 – US-Dutch manufacturer Lithium Werks is growing the output and sales fuel cells and battery modules for use as power, pulse, and stand-by applications. The company’s 26650 Nanophosphate cells are used as single cells, as well as to build cell-packs and modules like Lithium Werks P40-24 battery modules. The Austin and Enschede-based company said it can “produce millions of 18650 and 26650 cells a month in China.”

AGL plans 1,000 MWh battery

Nov 20 – Australian power producer and retailer ALG wants to realise a large grid-connected battery storage unit of up to 250 MW rated output and four hours’ duration of storage, equalling 1,000 MWh. The battery will be built in stages on the site of Torrens Island Power Station in South Australia. AGL vowed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, but is currently still operating some 40 GW of coal-fired generation.

Fusion demo plant to be designed in Canada

Nov 19 – Vancouver-based General Fusion has entered a partnership with the architecture firm AL_A to design a demonstration plant, based on magnetized target fusion (MTF). Once operational, the demo plant will showcase MTF technology under power plant-relevant conditions.

Toshiba opens H2One fuelling station

Nov 18 – Toshiba has opened the first ‘H2OneMulti Station’ which fills fuel cell vehicles with green hydrogen and supplies for green electricity at Tsuruga City in Fukui prefecture. The station consists of H2One ST Unit and H2One, using hydrogen produced from wind and solar power sources.

Shale gas market grows at 7% rate

Nov 17 – Unconventional gas markets are poised to grow by $41.76 billion through 2024, rising at a rate of almost 7%. According to Technavio, about 87% of the supply growth this year is coming from the Americas.

Agua Blanca pipeline expanded

Nov 16 – Austin-based WhiteWater Midstream and MPLX have completed a 1.8 billion cubic-feet-per-day (Bcf/d) expansion of their joint venture Agua Blanca pipeline system. Christer Rundlof, CEO of WhiteWater CEO, said the expansion will be brought into service ahead of schedule. Testing and commissioning will begin this month, for the new pipeline stretch to be brought into full service in early 2021.

Wärtsilä integrates clean energy

Nov 13 – Finish technology group Wärtsilä strives to integrate variable clean power sources to achieve a 100% renewable energy future. The necessary operational flexibility will come from gas generation assets running on synthetic renewable fuels and by the extended use of energy storage.

First German-Belgium power link to start operation

Nov 12 – The two TSOs Amprion and Elia are preparing to launch the first electric interconnector between Germany and Belgium. The 1,000 MW interconnector stretches between Aachen and Lüttich, from where it links to the Rhineland region and Wallonia. It will go into operation as of 18 November, with intraday capacities to begin trading on 8 December.

Sachsen Energie takes on E.ON and RWE

Nov 11 – A small regional energy provider in Saxony seeks to counter the dominance of E.ON and RWE. Sachsen Energie, set up in a merger between two local utilities, claims it will become "the largest municipal utility in eastern Germany," catering to about one million customers, when it begins operation in 2021.

Rolls-Royce to build Czech nukes

Nov 10 – British engine maker Rolls-Royce and the Czech energy conglomerate CEZ have agreed to design and develop small modular reactors (SMR). These low-cost nuclear power stations are being built by the UK SMR Consortium aimed at installing a “fleet of factory built” nukes in the UK, and exporting the design abroad.

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