Daily News

Siemens is applying its electrification experience in the marine industry to offshore oil and gas, focussing on reducing emissions and risk in harsh operational environments. BlueVault, Siemens’ advanced lithium-ion battery-based solution, is suited for both all-electric and hybrid energy-storage applications.

Russia’s Gazprom announced it has completed of the first line of the TurkSteam offshore gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Turkey. Pipe-laying works had started last year, and Gazprom said the second line will be laid in the third quarter of 2018, with the aim of finalising construction of the entire 31.5 Bcm pipeline over the course of 2019.

Singapore-based Sembcorp Utilities is moving ahead with of a 750MW gas-fired power project in Vietnam, having just signed a land allocation deal with the People's Committee of Quang Ngai Province. “We are committed as a longterm investor to Vietnam,” said Koh Chiap Khiong, Sembcorp’s head of Singapore, Southeast Asia & China at Sembcorp, pointing at the company’s construction and co-ownership of the Phu My 3 power station. 

Federal financial interventions and subsidies in U.S. energy markets have been in a steep decline over the past five years. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), federal monies spent in energy markets nearly halved in the period 2013-16, falling from $29.3 billion in the 2013 fiscal year to $15.0 billion in FY2016.

Loss-making Irsching power units 4 and 5, with a combined capacity of 1,400MW, are likely to stand idle for the third year in a row beyond April 2019. In a filing to the German energy regulator, Uniper and the co-owners of unit 5, Mainova, N-Ergie and HSE, said they see “no way to ensure the Bavarian power plant’s commercial viability.”

Technology changes that come with the energy transition are far-reaching, notably for power grid operators tasked with having to keep the balance between supply and demand. “Of course, target we are aiming for is a “full 3D” system, i.e. a system that is 100% decentralized, 100% decarbonized and 100% digitalized,” says Thierry Lepercq, executive vice president at ENGIE in charge of Research & Technology.

Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has approved DTE Electric’s certificates of necessity filing to build a 1,100 Gigawatt gas-fired power station in St. Clair County at a cost of nearly $1 billion. Construction will now start in early 2019, DTE said, aiming to get the plant commissioned by 2022.

Goldman Sachs has issued one of the largest project bonds ever granted to Brazil for the CELSE’s 1.5 GW Porto de Sergipe I power plant project. GE is the EPC (Engineering Procurement and Construction) provider for the project, currently under construction. The 3.2 billion Brazilian Real ($925m) financing deal is the largest private investment ever made in the state of Sergipe.

Société Tunisienne de l’Élecriticité et du Gaz (STEG) has awarded the Italian turbine manufacturer Ansaldo Energia an EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contract for turnkey supply of a 625MW open-cycle gas turbine power station in Mornaguia, south west of Tunis. The deal also includes an LTSA (Long Term Service Agreement) contract for the facility.

Venturing into the Chinese distributed power generation market, Siemens is working with Aero Engine Corp of China (AECC) to supply two SGT-700 gas turbine units to a power station project run by Guangzhou Development Group (GDG) in Taiping Industrial Park, Guangzhou. The plant is scheduled to start operation in the second half of 2019.

The Government of Vietnam has approved plans by PetroVietnam Power Corp, or PV Power, to build two gas-fired power plants in southern Vietnam at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion. The Nhon Trach units 3 and 4, with a combined capacity of 1,500MW, are scheduled to start operation in 2020 and 2021.

Iran’s Thermal Power Plants Holding Co. (TPPH) is working on realizing plans for adding nearly 3,000MW of new power generation capacity to help meet the nation’s growing demand in the peak summer period. Two-thirds of the projected capacity is already in place, with the remaining 1GW to be started up and grid-synchronized before the summer demand hikes.

The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has signed a contract to engineer, manufacture and deliver a 130 MW Flexicycle plant to Mbour, Senegal, that is meant to lower the country’s energy cost and help integrate more renewable energy sources. The order for the Malicounda power project was placed by Lebanon-based Matelec Group, the contractor of the Independent Power Producer MPG (Melec Power Gen).

Siemens has received an order from Inter Pipeline Ltd to provide long-term service for two SGT-800 gas turbine generator sets in Canada. The units will operate at the Central Utilities Block (CUB), part of the company's Heartland Petrochemical Complex currently under construction near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.

Japanese utilities TEPCO and Chubu Electric, through their JERA joint venture, are planning to invest around $935 million on new power generation projects in the United States by 2030. JERA said it specifically targets to acquire stakes in gas-fired power units, as those are seen to become “increasingly price competitive.”

News in Brief

Finning offers new Cat engine

June 20 – The new Cat C9.3B industrial engine, compliant with EU Stage V emissions standards, is now available from Finning UK and Ireland. The six cylinder, 9.3 litre engine builds on capabilities of previous Cat models that have logged more than 200 million operating hours.

GE risks €35m fine in France

June 19 – French government officials said GE will have to pay penalties if it fails to realise its pledge to create 1,000 jobs in France by the end of this year. GE made the promise in 2014 as part of the €12.4 billion takeover of Alstom’s power generation and grid business. "The contract called for a 50,000 euro penalty for every job not created," France’s labour minister Muriel Penicaud told BFM television.

MAN to deliver engines to Oman LNG

June 18 – Oman LNG is seeking to develop a new gas engine-driven power plant at its Qalhat facilities. MAN Diesel and Turbo will deliver the gas engines and associated equipment, while KBR will manage the project execution, supply the generators and ensure safety requirements.

CHP market to top $27bn by 2023

June 15 – Global market for combined heat and power is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 5.48% to reach $20.69 billion in 2018 and $27.01 billion by 2023. According to Markets and Markets, the main growth drivers are demand for energy efficiency and government incentives and programs to promote CHP.

Enel starts battery storage in the UK

June 14 – Enel Group’s first utility-scale, stand-alone battery energy storage - the 25 MW/12.5 MWh Tynemouth project - is about to start operations, supported by a four-year contract with British System Operator National Grid to provide grid-balancing services. Enel bought the storage venture from Element Power in May 2017, and invested about 20 million Euros in the overall project, including construction.

New Mach Gen files for bankruptcy

June 13 – U.S. power generator New Mach Gen has filed for bankruptcy, presenting a pre-packaged reorganisation plan. New Mach Gen operates three gas-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 2,500 MW in Athens, NY, Maricopa County, Arizona and Charlton, Massachusetts.

Siemens, Covestro partner on digitalization

June 12 – Siemens and Covestro Deutschland have agreed a Joint Business Development Plan that reinforces their longstanding, trust-based partnership in the field of digitalization. Siemens is developing predictive process data models for manufacturing through the use of its cloud-based IoT operating system, MindSphere, while Covestro will introduce its process technology and production expertise to generate joint marketing solutions.

U.S. hurricane season underway

June 11 – With June 1 marking the official start of the 2018 hurricane season in the United States, Dominion Energy has urged customers to prepare and emergency storm kit. The Virginia-based utility is continuing day-to-day preparations for a busy storm season.

EIA broadens energy survey

June 8 – For electricity, the number of end-uses estimated in the EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) has expanded from 4 to 26 by adding estimates for various types of equipment. Itemized estimates collectively cover 87% of residential electricity use.

Cost-effective transition towards CHP

June 7 – COGEN Europe, an industry lobby group, has underlined the sector’s commitment to a “cost-effective transition towards a sustainable future in Europe” by means of utilizing combined heat and power generation. CHP provides flexibility across heat, electricity and gas networks and sectors by relying on short, medium and long-term storage to balance energy supply and demand.

Europe’s largest battery operational

June 6 – With a capacity of 48 MW/50 MWh, Europe’s largest battery EnspireME has been in operation since the beginning of this month. Located in Jardelund, northern Germany, the battery will be used as a backup by the local grid operator and participate in the weekly auction of primary reserve capacity. It was built by the Dutch utility Eneco and Japan's Mitsubishi in eight months.

BlueVault powers offshore operations

June 5 – Siemens is applying its electrification experience in the marine industry to offshore oil and gas, focussing on reducing emissions and risk in harsh operational environments. BlueVault, Siemens’ advanced lithium-ion battery-based solution, is suited for both all-electric and hybrid energy-storage applications.

Duke Energy opens new CCGT unit at Lee Station

June 4 – U.S. utility Duke Energy has been continuously operating its new 750 MW combined-cycle gas power unit at the W.S. Lee Station in Anderson County, South Carolina, since the beginning of June. Construction of the $700 million gas power unit started in March 2015, creating more than 600 construction jobs. Now fully operational, the CCGT is expected to generate about $4.4 million in tax revenue for Anderson County in 2019.

Reliability risk in California, Texas

June 1 – California and Texas are two potential tight spots for reliability of electricity this summer, even as most regions seem prepared to meet peak summer demand, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notes. In its 2018 energy market and reliability assessment, the regulator predicts warmer than average temperatures which could stir record high gas-burn for power generation.

Siemens to roll-out energy monitoring system at Rexel

May 31 – Electrical wholesaler Rexel Austria has placed an order with Siemens to deliver a cloud-based energy monitoring system which is meant to achieve a 15% reduction in energy use at its logistics center in Weisskirchen. Siemens’ cope of supply includes 66 communication-capable 7KM PAC 1500 and 7KM PAC 4200 power measuring devices, powermanager energy monitoring software, and connection to its cloud-based operating system MindSphere.

MHI calls off tie-up with JTEKT

May 30 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has discontinued talks to form a business partnership with JTEKT Corp after both parties terminated a basic partnership, agreed in December 2017 together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool (MAT) that included capital participation in JTEKT. All these plans have now been abandoned.

Sembcorp hires Contact Energy CFO

May 29 – Singapore-based Sembcorp has hired Contact Energy CFO Graham Cockroft to be its new CFO as of September 3, 2018. Sembcorp’s current CFO, Koh Chiap Khiong has moved on to head of the group’s utilities business in Singapore, Southeast Asia and China.