Daily News

Electricity will make up about 25% of final energy consumption by 2040, as estimated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) – a dynamic that drives GE’s Power Conversion business to design and develop electric consumer devices. Decarbonisation is, so far, mostly an issue for the power generation sector, less so for end-consumers of electric gadgets.

Jera, 50:50 joint venture of Tokyo Electric and Chubu Electric, is participating in a 1,000 MW combined-cycle power plant in New York state through its operating company Cricket Valley Energy Center. Start of commercial operation is slated for 2020.

Gas could be the “ideal partner for renewable energy generation” in a future sustainable energy mix, says Remi Eriksen, head of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Germanischer Lloyd (GL). He calls on the energy industry to work together to help policymakers, planners and the public understand and embrace the “non-price benefits of the fuel.”

Throughout the US, the running costs of solar-tracking photovoltaic units vary greatly dependent on the weather and how much the unit is exposed to the sun throughout the year. In Nevada and California, and other areas of the western United States which receive more direct solar radiation, single-axis PV panels track the sun’s path from east to west – a technology that is becoming increasingly cost-competitive with burning fossil fuels to generate electricity.

At Hannover Messe, running until the end of this week, Siemens is showcasing how a modular, hybrid power grid converter can work together with different decoupled DC sources. Sinacon HC, Siemens’ latest offering, links different power sources and batteries to the public grid or microgrids which allows for renewables integration and decentralised power.

GE Power and Marubeni have signed an agreement to deploy GE’s Predix-based digital solutions at its Nakasode Clean Power Plant, a 100MW combined-cycle unit, located in Sodegaura-city, Chiba Prefecture. Installation will start in April 2017 and full operation is slated to begin in March 2018.

Demand for natural gas from the US power generation sector is expected to flatline, if not slump, over the next five years, analysts say – provided that President Trump goes ahead with plans to scrap the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

Shell, Engie of France, Austria’s OMV and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall have agreed to each pay €950 million to fund the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. The financing deal paves the way for the 55 Bcm/year gas interconnector that had faced strong opposition from some EU member states on competition grounds.

Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries is on time and budget with construction works for the Myingyan combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant. Upon commissioning in 2018, the 225MW facility will be the biggest CCGT in Myanmar. It will be run by Sempcorp for 22 years, and then the Government of Myanmar will take ownership.

Energy engineers and surveyors have carried out boiler inspections for over 25 years, but there are still instances that can shock them: Such as the boiler showing 180 cracks just two years after purchase, says Mark Ormrod, NDT & Material Testing Manager at British Engineering Services. “Of course, most plants are simply running their boilers in line with manufacturers’ guidelines and there are no unexpected shocks found on inspection. We’ve taken a look at the practical issues underpinning our worst and best findings for industrial boiler maintenance, to highlight how to maximise your boiler lifespan, instead of running it into the ground.” 

Working gas storage in the United States as of March 31 stood at 2,051 billion cubic feet (Bcf), ending the most recent gas year around 15% above the five-year average. Responding to slightly higher prices, gas consumed in electric power generation fell 2.1 Bcf from the 2015–2016 heating season, but the drop was almost entirely offset by a 2.0 Bcf increase in US gas exports, according to data from PointLogic.

The Government of Pakistan is pushing for 3,600 MW of gas power generation capacity to be added to the grid before the end of this year. The Jhang, Sheikhupura and Balloki projects are all due to be completed in 2017, Punjab chief minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said, pointing out that developers managed to save a combined Rs.112 billion (US$1.06bn) during construction as many project are being fast-tracked.

Competitive natural gas prices, growth in renewables generation, EU air quality directives and weak electricity consumption have squeezed the role of coal in Europe's power mix, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit finds. The EU market environment for coal-fired power is described as "a tough one," with little upside potential. 

As Ireland moves towards an Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM), the regulator has just set out a methodology for a transition to competitive power auctions in a bid to attract investment in new capacity. The first auction will be held on December 15 for the rest of the delivery year 2017/18.

Together with the Chinese EPC contractor SEPCOIII, Siemens is carrying out the conversion of the Az Zour South 3 power plant from open-cycle to combined-cycle mode. The plant, operated by Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water, will have 263MW more generating capacity, once the upgrade is competed in mid-2019.

News in Brief

Australia: Cap on LNG exports looms large

Sept 26 – Santos, Shell and ConocoPhillips face restrictions on exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia’s east coast in 2018 if they fail to prevent a projected 17% shortfall in domestic supply. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he would press the east coast LNG exporters to plug the 110 petajoules supply gap.

Floating power market to top $1.4bn by 2022

Sept 22 – The floating power plant market is expected to grow from an estimated $889.6 million in 2017 to $1,440.1 million by 2022, at a cumulated annual growth rate of 10.11%, from 2017 to 2022. Driving factors, according to MarketsandMarkets, are increasing demand for power, coupled with the lack of land-based power generation infrastructure.

ITM Power sells 1.1-MW power-to-gas plant to Gasunie

Sept 21 – UK hydrogen specialist ITM Power has sold a 1.1-MW power-to-gas electrolyser to EnergyStock, a subsidiary of Dutch gas grid operator Gasunie. The rapid-response PEM electrolyser will be deployed at the Zuidwending salt cavern storage; the generated hydrogen will be used on-site within EnergyStock's systems or dispensed into tube trailers for future hydrogen refuelling stations.

CCGT market to grow at 4.25% through to 2021

Sept 20 – The combined-cycle gas turbine market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 4.24 % during the period from 2017 to 2021. Renewable energy’s high initial cost is still proving to be a major driver for the global CCGT market that offers a lower cost of power installation than renewable and nuclear energy.

GE to build four substations in Egypt

Sept 19 – Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and GE have closed a $250 million contract that will see GE build and install four Gas-Insulated Substations (GIS) across Egypt to connect 7 GW to the country’s national power grid by the end of 2018. The contract is fully financed through Deutsche Bank and HSBC France which helps secure smooth execution of the project.

Irma slashes energy demand in Florida

Sept 18 – Hurricane Irma has proved to be a demand-side event in Florida. At its trough, the state appeared to lose 1.9 bcf/d of demand versus pre-storm levels, mainly in the power sector. According to Energy Aspects figures, electricity demand on September12 dropped to 0.8 bcf/d, compared to a pre-storm baseline of 3.6 bcf/d.

Drax plans to convert two coal units to natural gas

Sept 15 – Drax Group has filed plans to the UK Planning Inspectorate to build a 200MW battery storage unit, and convert up to two coal units at the Drax power station to run on natural gas. If approved, the repowering could result in up to 3.6 GW of new flexible gas generation capacity. The utility stated its investment at Drax is backed by a 15-year capacity contract.

Azura Edo IPP ready to startup in early 2019

Sept 8 – Siemens-built Azura Edo Independent Power Project (IPP) is planned to add 459MW to the Nigerian national power grid by early 2019, Siemens Nigeria CEO Onyeche Tifase said. The Azura Edo IPP is an open-cycle gas turbine power plant project, which could potentially account for up to 20% of Nigeria’s installed capacity of 12.5MW by 2020.

Oman’s oil output hits new record

Sept 7 – Oil production in Oman has reached a new record, totalling 1 million barrel per day (b/d) in 2016. Dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports, Oman’s state finances have been hit by the plunge in oil prices which made 2016 oil and gas revenues plunge 67% compared with 2014 levels.

Petrofarc to build South Stream

Sept 6 – UK contractor Petrofarc won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract worth 340 million Euros ($404m) by the Gazprom-owned South Stream Transport company to build onshore pipelines and a gas receiving terminal near the Turkish town Kiyikoy.

Gas prices slowly return to normal after Harvey struck

Sept 5 – The price of natural gas and other petroleum products has surged in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Yet as of Monday, key gasoline prices started to return to pre-Hurricane levels as key refineries and pipelines along the US Gulf Coast are resuming operation, easing supply concerns.

ACER to set deadline

Sept 4 – The European energy regulatory authority ACER is consulting until September 15 on an implementation date for harmonized prices in the EU's day-ahead and intraday power markets. Introducing maximum and minimum prices is meant to enhance market coupling.

Pöyry to review Shoaiba-4 plant

Sept 1 – The Saline Water Conversion Company (SWCC) has awarded Pöyry with the owner's engineer services assignment for the Shoaiba-4 desalination plant which will meet the potable water requirements of Saudi Arabia's second largest city and its five million people. Pöyry's scope includes review of contractor's engineering and supervision of construction, erection and commissioning.

Wärtsilä wins 220 MW power plant contract in Bangladesh

Aug 31 – Desh Energy Chandpur Power Company, an independent power producer (IPP) in Bangladesh, has contracted Wärtsilä of Finland to supply twelve 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50 engines for a new 220 MW baseload power plant to be installed in Chandpur. The customer required a nine-month implementation time, with the plant due to be fully operational in May 2018.

Works start on Hickory Run CCGT

Aug 30 – Tyr Energy has started construction works on the Hickory Run Energy Center in Pennsylvania. The combined-cycle gas power plant has a nominal generating capacity of 1,000 MW.

Canadian Cats dealers merge

Aug 29 – Toromont Industries will acquire the businesses and net operating assets of fellow Canadian Caterpillar dealer Hewitt Group. The deal was agreed in turn for C$917.7 million cash plus the issuance of 2.25 million Toromont shares, the two companies said.

Ansaldo to service Thai cogen plant

Aug 25 – Glow Energy, one of Thailand’s private power producers, has contracted Ansaldo of Italy to service a 328 MW cogeneration plant, located in Map Ta Phut Industrial Park, 200km southeast of Bangkok. Apart from electricity, the plant produces 160 tonnes/hour of steam to support local industries. Ansaldo’s 15-year service deal covers maintenance, replacement capital parts and remote monitoring and diagnostics for the gas turbine.