Daily News

Reacting to soaring global coal prices, the Malaysian government continues to levy a surcharge on electricity rates for industrial customers for the second half of 2018. With this move, the Energy Commission for Peninsular Malaysia is factoring in the surge in Australian thermal coal prices to nearly US$120 per ton and helps power generators to hand down fuel costs to end-customer.

Energy SRS and partners have secured £727,000 in funding from Innovate UK to develop phase-2 of a gravitational energy storage. Dubbed GENSSIS, this prototype bundles the knowledge of industry and academia to deliver a gravitational storage prototype, ready for testing in 2019.

Major American utilities, representing about 70% of total U.S. electric load, have nearly doubled their capital investment in power distribution systems. Spending on grid expansions and upgrades has risen 54% over the past two decades, rising from $31 billion to reach $51 billion annually.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and the Peruvian power developer Gaz Energie have signed an agreement to develop the Humay PS Project, a 515-MW power plant driven by a JAC gas turbine. The deal was sealed at the sidelines of the “Change in Power” conference in Peru, and the future power plant operator aim to have the facility enter commercial operation in 2021.

As African governments seek to boost electrification levels, a GE whitepaper evaluates the role of smart technology to transform grids and the way energy is generated, distributed, traded, managed and stored. Today’s key challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa are inadequate power generation and more significantly, low levels of electrification caused by faulty, aged or wrong setup of transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Dominion Energy is seeking to divest the 1,240-MW Fairless Power Station in Pennsylvania and the 450-MW Manchester Street Power Station in Providence, Rhode Island. JPMorgan Chase is assisting Dominion to arrange the sale, with the proceeds set to be used to pay down debt.

The spread in natural gas prices between the Permian Basin, as priced at the Waha Hub in western Texas, and the U.S. national benchmark Henry Hub in Louisiana has grown considerably. Prices at Waha are now nearly $1/MMBt lower than Henry hub due to growing production and pipeline constraints that limited the onward transport of the rising gas supply from the Permian Basin.

Uniper CEO Klaus Schäfer has put forward ideas for a gradual phase-out of coal-fired power plants in Germany in reaction to the launch of a coal-exit commission by the German government. The idea is to preliminarily shut down lignite-fired plants and only allow units to be reactivated in “extreme situations”, before they would be taken offline permanently.

Baker Hughes, a GE company, has signed an agreement to sell its Natural Gas Solutions (NGS) business to focus exclusively on energy. The NGS business has been sold to two separate entities, First Reserve and Pietro Fiorentini, for a combined value of $375 million.

Financial investment decisions (FIDs) in the electricity sector have become less market-driven and more dependent on policy support mechanisms, such as capacity markets. According to the IEA’s 2018 World Energy Investment report, over 95% of global energy investment is made by companies whose revenues are fully regulated or affected by mechanisms to manage the risk associated with variable prices on competitive wholesale markets.

Nigeria’s federal government has stepped up efforts to increase the number of decentralized power plants across the country in an effort to reign in notorious power shortages. Though installed generating capacity is about 10,000 MW, there is only 5,000 MW readily available for use while the others are idle due to gas shortages or technical issues.

A consortium comprising EPC contractor TSK and Rolls-Royce has been contracted by Prime Energía to build five power plants across Chile based on 265 MTU Onsite Energy 16V 4000 gensets. With a combined capacity of 475 MW, the five plants will provide backup capacity to Chile’s national power grid.

Tabling plans for a 700-MW peaking plant at Marulan, EnergyAustralia is adamant it will only realize the proposed simple-cycle gas power plant if the ageing coal-fired Liddell power plant will get retired. The Marulan OCGT has development approval until 2019, so time is running out to get the plant off the ground.

Full-scale development of Russia’s enormous Kharasaveyskoye gas and condensate field will start in 2019, Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller disclosed. Situated onshore in the Yamal Peninsula and partly in the Kara Sea, the field holds reserves of 2 trillion cubic meters (Tcm). Tapping the Cenomanian-Aptian deposits will be a priority, Miller said, with production start slated in 2023 at a design capacity of 32 Bcm/y.

More than 45,000 businesses across Europe are at risk of being fined up to €1 million ($1.1m) if they fail to comply with the new EU Energy Efficiency Directive, the registrar DNV GL warned. The clock is ticking – deadline for compliance is 5 December 2019 in most countries.

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.