Daily News

Aqualectra, the utility company of the Caribbean island Curaçao, has awarded Wärtsilä a contract for a turnkey power project that will provide the utility with the necessary fast-start capability and flexibility to add more wind energy to the island's power grid. The 39 MW dual-fuel power plant is scheduled to start up in November 2018.

Making use of its regained powers to certificate pipelines, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved five new natural gas pipelines in the Northeast in October, the first projects to be approved since February. FERC regained its quorum in August after the Senate confirmed two new commissioners – Neil Chatterjee and Robert F. Powelson.

The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and GE Power have agreed to work together on research and development (R&D) in the power sector. The research will focus on identifying solutions to improve gas turbine efficiency and reduce the amount of ash that results from fuel combustion. Signing of the two latest technical agreements are part of SEC’s ongoing collaboration with GE and underline the commitment of both companies to drive a culture of localized innovation in the Kingdom.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has formalized an agreement with Dangote Group and Black Rhino Group to build the Qua Iboe Power Plant in Akwa Ibom State at an estimated cost of $1.1 billion. The 540 MW gas-fired power plant is planned to start operating by 2021.

Several major US energy companies plan to accompany US President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on a visit to Beijing, starting November 8. The aim is to close deals on selling US LNG to China, along with other American-made products, in order to close the widening trade deficit between the world’s two biggest economies.

More active drilling rigs and higher initial production rates per well in the Haynesville Shale region have pushed up marketed gas production to 6.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in September. This marks a new high for Haynesville shale gas production after output hovered around 6.0 Bcf/d for the previous three years, according to figures by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry sees Sub-Saharan Africa as a new export market for America’s growing shale gas production. At the Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, Perry discussed with government officials from the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and South Africa about the potential to use US LNG as a fuel for decentralized power plants in a bid to improve electrification levels.

Neil Chatterjee, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), has dismissed comments from PJM Interconnection saying coal power plants are more prone to cold-weather failures than natural gas-fired plants. Chatterjee, who leads FERC’s evaluation of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to subsidize coal and nuclear power stations, insisted both are “firm, non-interruptible fuel sources.” He announced FERC will conclude its review by December 11.

The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has received yet another contract to supply power generating equipment to Bangladesh, the seventh this year. The latest order, booked in October, is for a 100 MW power plant project in Chittagong being built by Karnaphuli Power on behalf of the owner Baraka Group.

China Resources Power Holdings Company (CR Power) has contracted Siemens to implement the setup of a Remote Operation Center (ROC) that will digitally connect CR Power’s 19 power plants (9.6 GW), giving the operator real-time insights into the operational conditions of its fleet.

Consumption of natural gas in China is anticipated to tripple to reach 57 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) by 2040, and emboldened buyers are turning to spot LNG as the cheapest supply option except for the winter months. “PetroChina and CNOOC are actively purchasing spot in addition to their contracted volumes,” says Wen Wang, senior consultant, Asia gas and power, Wood Mackenzie. Sinopec has already ventured in to gas trading, she told Gas to Power Journal, signalling it out as “the only company that are diverting cargoes among the three NOCs.”

Exelon Corp, a Fortune 100 energy company with business in the lower 48 U.S. states and Canada, has entered a multiyear agreement with General Electric to deploy GE’s Predix software across Exelon’s six electric utilities. These regional utilities will be able to use advanced analytics to strengthen the performance of their power transmission systems.

Spanish manufacturer Himoinsa, together with its distributor in Romania, All Generating, has opened a new logistics warehouse in Ilfov, Bucharest. The market volume for electrical generators in Romania is currently estimated at 20 million euros, and Himoinsa said its new warehouse can also serve customers in Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania, Slovakia, Moldova and Croatia.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP), a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., has asked Wärtsilä of Finland to provide 50SG gas engines for a new power plant project. The 200-MW facility, under development in Arizona, will be situated on a brownfield site that currently hosts both gas-fired and renewable energy assets.

US officials in the Trump administration have issued a presidential permit for the controversial Valley Crossing Pipeline as part of an international pipeline project. With a capacity of 2.6 Bcf/day, the new pipeline will ensure steady exports of US shale gas to Mexico, reducing the latter’s need for spot LNG cargoes.

News in Brief

ABB repowers Italian fashion supplier

Dec 12 – Italy’s Printing House of Martinengo, a major supplier to global fashion and couture brands, has partnered with ABB to upgrade with Ekip UP, digitizing its existing switchgear and circuit breakers. ABB Ekip UP is ideal for updating older facilities, capturing data and sharing it with cloud-based energy management functions without any other meter or external gateway required.

GE axes 12,000 jobs to realign business

Dec 11 – GE’s plans to axe 12,000 jobs globally highlights the struggles of the industry to shift the focus from heavy-duty gas turbine business towards the renewable segment. The $10 billion takeover of Alstom is now viewed by some analysts as a “bad bet on an old-school industry.”

GE breaks ground on 3D Campus in Lichtenfelds

Nov 8 – Concept Laser and GE have laid the foundation for a new 3D Campus that will unite research and development along with production, service, and logistics in Lichtenfels, Germany. The new offices, providing room for about 500 employees on 40,000 square meters, GE said, should be ready for move-in early 2019.

OPRA Turbines taken over by Dalian Energas

Nov 7 – OPRA Turbines has just disclosed that its entire shareholding has been taken over by China’s Dalian Energas Group since August. OPRA Turbines has been continuing its operation at their new headquarter in Hengelo as a member of Energas Group.

Adven to buy E.ON’s distributed energy business in Sweden

Nov 6 – Adven, a leading energy and water infrastructure and services provider in Finland, Sweden and Estonia, has agreed to acquire E.ON’s Swedish district heating and distributed energy solutions business (EVLE), which owns heating operations in nine municipalities in the south and centre of the county. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Reliance completes $1bn power project in Bangladesh

Dec 5 – Reliance Power has completed execution of agreements for Phase 1 of the power project in Bangladesh. Phase-1 consists of 750MW combined cycle gas power plant to be set up at Meghnaghat near Dhaka and 500 mmscfd LNG terminal at Kutudbia Island.

AWE hopes for higher offer after CERCG bid

Dec 4 – Australian Energy company AWE, shareholder in the Waitsia gas field off Western Australia, is playing the waiting game after it received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from China Energy Reserve and Chemical Group (CERCG), proposing to acquire 100% of AWE’s shares at A$0.71 cash per share. However, the initial reaction of AWE’s has been that the takeover bid is seen as “not sufficiently attractive” to provide access for due diligence.

Distributed power market to top $103bn by 2022

Dec 1 – Driven by increasingly stringent mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and rising electricity demand in remote regions, the market for distributed generation is forecast to grow at a rate of 11.48% annually. According to MarketsandMarkets projections, the sector will expand in revenue from $60.04 billion in 2017 to $103.38 billion by 2022. Key global players in this market segment are Siemens, GE, Schneider, Mitsubishi, Capstone and Doosan.

Simit V9.1 simulation for faster commissioning

Nov 30  – Siemens has released an upgrade to its Simit simulation platform for virtual commissioning and operator training. Version 9.1 can also be used in modular plants, speeding up actual commissioning by up to 60% and reducing unwanted standstill periods, particularly during plant conversion and migration processes.

Nigeria halts commissioning of 215-MW plant

Nov 29 – The Senate of Nigeria has stopped the scheduled commissioning of the 215 MW dual-fuel power plant in Kaduna state over a dispute between the power ministry and the plant’s gas supplier, Abuja-based Greenville LNG. The power ministry had unexpectedly changed the terms of its contract with its gas supplier, deciding to run the plant on diesel. Greenville LNG, meanwhile, insists that natural gas remains the cheapest fuel source for the $186 million Kaduna project. The plant was meant to be commissioned in January 2018, but construction works have already fallen three years behind schedule.

Gas OPEC condemns unilateral sanctions

Nov 28 – The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), also known as Gas OPEC, has condemned unilateral economic sanctions by the US against some members of the group, notably Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The GEFC condemned such sanctions that are not authorized by the United Nations “as a weapon against other nations.”

GE helps Saudi’s NDU drive digital industry

Nov 28 – The Saudi Arabia’s National Digitization Unit (NDU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GE to drive the country’s digital industrial diversification, leveraging GE’s digital applications and ServiceMax which allows field service engineers’ time to be utilized more efficiently. The partnership will focus on community- based digital solutions in sectors identified for transformation under Saudi Vision 2030.

ADNOC opens Habshan-5 gas processing plant

Nov 27 – ADNOC has inaugurated and commenced operation at its $6.85 billion Habshan-5 gas processing plant. Linked via a 215km pipeline to ADNOC’s offshore Umm Shaif gas field, the plant has four gas processing trains and four sulphur recovery units. Its daily production capacity is 12,000 tonnes of natural gas liquids, 1.1 billion of sales gas; 5,200 tonnes of liquid sulphur and 3,000 barrels of condensate.

Nigerian regulator extends Afam VI licence

Nov 24 – The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has renewed the power generation licence for Shell’s 650-MW Afam VI power plant. Operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture (SPDC JV), the combined-cycle gas power plant between 2008 and 2016 delivered over 24.16 million MWh to the Nigerian grid.

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.