Daily News

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has received the first order for its pressurized power generation system, integrating solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks with micro gas turbines. The hybrid system is being installed in the Marunouchi building in Tokyo, owned by Mitsubishi Estate Co.

The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has set up a new global Wärtsilä Customer Support Centre (CSC) to strengthen its customer service and handling of enquiries relating to spare parts, field services and technical support.

Reacting to a “collapse in demand” in the worldwide market for fossil power generation, Joe Kaeser, the man at the helm of Siemens, today confirmed the company will shed 3,000 jobs in the fossil power plant sector in Germany over the next two years. “The massive decline in demand in this sector is not a “Siemens problem,” he stressed. ”It is the consequence of a massive – in part, over 40% – decline in the world market and of price erosion of over 30%."

Supply of natural gas from Mozambique’s Coral Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project has the potential to revive South Africa’s subdued gas-based Independent Power Projects (IPPs). “South Africa has explored a gas-to-power programme and Coral FLNG is a future potential physical supplier to that scheme, noting the low shipping costs involved,” commented Standard Bank’s head of oil & gas Southern Africa, Paul Eardley-Taylor. Together with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Standard Bank invested about $8 billion in Coral FLNG, making it the project’s largest lender.

Construction of Duke Energy’s 1,640-MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Citrus County is nearly three-quarters finished. Breaking ground in March 2016, the CCGT is located at Duke’s Crystal River Energy Complex. Start-up of the first 820-MW unit is targeted for mid-2018.

Efficiency of a 2,000 MW power transmission link between France and the UK is being enhanced through the installation of four high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transformers, delivered by Siemens on behalf of the British grid operator National Grid. Works are due to be completed by mid-2019.

Eco-friendly combined cycle power plants are serving as a “bridge” for South Korea along the road of an energy paradigm shift from nuclear power and coal-fired plants towards new and renewable energies, according to Kim Kyung-won, president of Korea District Heating Corp. (KDHC). Kim pointed out the strengths of the recently commissioned 800-MW Dongtan CCGT which powers Dongtan, a new town under development near Hwaseong City.

PetroVietnam Gas has filed for government approval to divest 30% of its stock to a strategic partner by 2020. Reacting to this news, Shell, Total and Anglo-Dutch Energy stepped forward and are understood to have expressed interests in purchasing the stake in PV Gas.

Northern Region Cement Company (NRCC) has signed a new three-year asset management agreement with Wärtsilä the power plant in Turaif, Saudi Arabia. The deal extends a previous operation and maintenance (O&M) agreement and will see Wärtsilä ensure the reliability and availability of the 62-MW unit.

Global Power Synergy Public Company (GPSC) has awarded Pöyry with an owner's engineer services assignment for Central Utility Plant 4 in Rayong, Thailand. Construction of phase-1 includes a gas-fired cogeneration unit with an output of 48-MW electric power and 140 tons per hour (t/h) of thermal energy.

Diversifying beyond its oil & gas business, Shell has spent over $400 million on a range of acquisitions in solar power and electric car charging points – but investments are not limited to green energy. Shell, similar to its rivals BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron, also anticipates that natural gas will power the surge in electric vehicles for years to come.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has been awarded a contract by Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity (MOE) to refurbish and upgrade the war-damaged Hartha power plant in Basra Province. Hit in the ongoing conflict in southern Iraq, the Hartha plant currently runs at just 60% of its rated capacity. Refurbishment work, meant to swiftly restore the output of Unit-4 to 200 MW, is due for completion in 2020.

Tightening supply of thermal coal ahead of the Lunar New Year risks to cause power shortages in some of China’s northern metropolis, regional utilities warned. In a letter to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), four electric utilities pleaded the government to ease regulations that incentives a switch from coal to gas and increase coal supplies temporarily in order to put a lid on spiraling prices.

Surging shale gas production in the three Appalachian states – Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – is exceeding regional demand and keeps pushing down prices. The prolific Marcellus and Utica Shale increased their combined share in total US gas production from 2% in 2008 to currently 27%, according to EIA figures, while gas consumption in the Appalachian region has grown due to the power sector, but to a much lesser extent.

The February 2018 futures contract for natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is trading at a discount to the current spot price. This pricing pattern provides economic incentives to withdraw natural gas from storage to avoid exposure to the spot market.

News in Brief

German coal plants “worthless” at CO2 of €45/t

Feb 16 – Coal power plants in Germany would have to be almost completely eliminated by 2030 in a scenario with a carbon price of €45/t, a study of Barclays bank finds. A total of 46,000-MW of black and brown coal-fired generation is currently in service in Germany.

Iran plans to add 40 decentralized gas gensets

Feb 15 – Off-grid, decentralized power supply will help avert electricity shortages in Iran’s northern provinces of Mazandaran and Golestan. To that end, the Iranian energy ministry launched a plan to build 40 small-scale power plants across with a combined capacity of 1,000 MW over the two provinces over the coming six years.

National Grid makes £1m for top projects

Feb 14 – The UK’s National Grid System Operator is reaching out to industry and academia to open up a discussion on priority investments across the GB gas and electricity systems. Up to £1 million is available for the top projects, National Grid said when opening the funding application process which closes on 28 February.

Wärtsilä renews O&M accord for Saudi power plant

Feb 13 –Saudi Arabia-based Hail Cement Company hasrenewing the three-year asset management agreement with Wärtsilä and for a power plant in Turbah, Saudi Arabia. Under the agreement, Wärtsilä provides guarantees for the performance of the 53 MW base load plant, equipped with seven Wärtsilä 32 gas engines.

Black & Veatch eyed as EPC contractor for £500m Wyre plant

Feb 12 – Wrye Power, a subsidiary of NPL Group, and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) have hired Black & Veatch as EPC contractor for the £500 million Wyre power project. Black & Veatch will provide engineering and planning consultancy services to develop the 900 MW combined cycle gas turbine plant, which will be built at Fleetwood in Lancashire.

Lockyer Valley Energy Project gets environmental nod

Feb 9 – The Lockyer Valley Energy Project, a 1,000-MW gas-fired power plant formerly known as the Westlink Project, has received environmental approval from the US Federal Government. As part of the approval, Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, the developer of the plant, has been ordered to commit up to $800,000 for an environmental offset plan.

GIP buys NRG Yield

Feb 8 – Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), an independent infrastructure investor, has agreed to acquire NRG Energy’s US renewable energy platform for $1.375 billion in cash and provide backstop support for NRG Yield agreed purchase of the Carlsbad Energy Center project. NYLD is the second largest US power company by enterprise value and market capitalization, operating a total capacity of 5.1 GW, diversified across wind, solar, and natural gas technologies.

Rolls-Royce tests lean-burn combustion system

Feb 7 – Rolls-Royce has run a demonstrator engine featuring ALECSys (Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System) for the first time on a testbed in Derby, UK. Designed for future jet engine programmes, ALECSys may be adapted for the power generation segment at a later stage.

Just Energy takes over EdgePower

Feb 6 – US retail energy provider Just Energy Group announced today it has agreed to acquire all shares or EdgePower, a privately-held energy monitoring company. Based in Aspen, Colorado, EdgePower provides lighting and HVAC controls, as well as enterprise monitoring in hundreds of commercial buildings across North America

Pöyry to carry out EPC for cogen project in Finland

Feb 6 – The Finnish utility Pori Energia has selected Pöyry to carry out project management, basic and detail engineering and procurement services for 90-MW Aittaluoto combined heat and power (CHP) plant project. The construction of the new cogeneration power plant will be completed by mid-2020, and once operational Pöyry will replace some of the boiler capacity at Aittaluoto.

Kosmos advances FLNG offshore Senegal

Feb 5 – Kosmos Energy has completed drilling the Requin Tigre-1 exploration well in Senegal’s Saint Louis Offshore Profond block. Exploration of the deepwater Cretaceous petroleum systems offshore Mauritania and Senegal are part of Kosmos’ efforts to source more feedgas for a FLNG project, though some of the gas find will be reserved by local governments for power generation.

Eland gets involved in Innovate UK project

Feb 2 – Participating in a £1 million Innovate UK grant-funded project, Eland Cables will install its new long linear capacitor cable technology, dubbed the Capacitive Transfer System (CTS) to help reduce power loss in the national grid. The UK currently loses around 7.6% of the power it generates during transmission and distribution, which equates to an estimated £1.1 billion spent annually.

Floating power market to quadruple by 2023

Feb 1 – The global Floating Power Plant industry is expected to surge exponentially by 2023, registering a growth rate of 10.23% during between 2017 and 2023, according to Market Research Future. Gaining full viability as a technology, floating power plants are being rolled out to guarantee uninterrupted electricity supply in remote locations that are not connected to national distribution grids.

Ener-Core, Dresser-Rand grid synchronize CHP

Jan 31 – Ener-Core’s first two 1.75-MW power oxidizers, integrated with Dresser-Rand KG2-3G gas turbines have achieved electrical synchronization with the power grid at the Pacific Ethanol bio-refinery in Stockton, California. The oxidizers are replacing the traditional gas-fired combustion chamber within CHP gas turbines, allowing industry customers to convert their low-quality waste gases directly into clean power, heat and steam.

Gazprom’s curbs domestic gas debt

Jan 30 – Accumulation of overdue debt for gas supplies remains a problem for the Russian gas market. According to Gazprom data, the total outstanding debt reached RUB 170.7 billion ($3.03bn) by January 1, 2018, an increase of RUB 9.8 billion ($173m) from early 2017. Among the most problematic non-payers are heating suppliers, which account for about 35% of the debt and two-thirds of debt growth.

Global gas demand up 3%

Jan 29 – Spurred by China’s green energy policy, global gas demand increased 3% year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2017, according to Cedigaz figures. The Paris-based research institute criticized that investments made upstream and in liquefaction infrastructure have been “insufficient” in recent years, with Coral the only LNG export venture to take a final investment decision last year.

UKPR launches iGrid App for Android

Jan 26 – UK Power Reserve has launched an Android version of its iGridUK app, providing near real-time information about the energy market, such as generation by fuel type and peak demand. The release complements the popular iGridUK app for Apple.