Daily News

ActiveWall and Virtalis’ Visionary Render (VR) software has revolutionised processes at GE’s Swiss manufacturing site as it allows engineers to access and experience a real-time, collaborative, and immersive VR environment created from huge multi-source 3D datasets.

Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, is reviewing incentive schemes for small gas, diesel-fired power plants – a withdrawal of subsidies could make developers scrap 2,000 MW of planned capacity. Operators of larger combined-cycle gas power plants argue, however, that payments to distributed gensets have led to a ‘market distortion’ which discourages investments in CCGTs.

Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy has said her company will invest $11 billion to generate cleaner energy through renewables and natural gas, and expand power and gas infrastructure. "We have set a new goal to reduce our carbon emissions by 40% from the 2005 level by 2030," she told shareholders.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Wärtsilä with an emissions compliance certificate for its 34DF dual-fuel engine family. The EPA Tier III, and the corresponding EIAPP certificate, were both issued in March covering engines manufactured until the end of 2017.

Durban, one of South Africa’s busiest port cities and a major manufacturing hub, has asked ABB to help connect more substations and remote terminal units (RTUs) across an industrial area of around 16 square kilometers. Wireless communication will enhance the reliability of electricity supply.

Indonesia consumes half as much electricity as Britain, despite being four times as populous. Eager to step up electrification, President Joko Widodo promotes private ventures that seek to add 35GW of new capacity within five years – a plan that comes at an estimated cost of up to $73 billion.

"With increasingly low clean energy costs, renewables-based hydrogen production could once again be competitive with steam methane reforming (SMR)," says Cédric Philibert, senior energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA). New-built wind farms in Morocco, and solar PV in Dubai and Chile where electricity costs are around $30/MWh, according to his insight, can compete with SMR paired with carbon capture and storage.

Decentralized power generation is high on the agenda in Tanzania, with the Rural Energy Agency (REA) pleading support for individuals or companies that intend to supply ‘mini-grid electricity’. This initiative is meant to help close Tanzania's 1,290MW power deficit and give more of its rural population access to electricity.

Reflecting “higher volumes of large engines sold at a loss”, and several other one-off cash items, Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East has stressed the British manufacturer needs to do more to “ensure we drive sustainable margin improvements within the business.” Speaking at the Annual General Meeting in Derby today, he cautioned Rolls-Royce’s profit and free cash flow is will be “weighted towards the second half of the year.”

Shell, Total and others are advancing small-scale LNG-to-power projects across Southeast Asia. An ultra-shallow draft LNG carrier by Philippines-based Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Co. (AG&P) will be a key driver for executing such projects.

Bringing more Combined Heat and Power (CHP) to the Marzahn district in eastern Berlin, Siemens has won an order to build a gas-fired combined-cycle power plant with district extraction on behalf of Vattenfall Europe Wärme AG. Scheduled to start operation in 2020, the CHP will have an electrical generating capacity of 260MW and a thermal capacity of 230MW.

With new electric devices being developed at a rapid rate, electricity will make up about 25% of final energy consumption by 2040, according to IEA estimates. Brushing climate concerns aside, Richard Zhang, technology executive at GE’s Power Conversion says: “Future electrical machines will generate power with higher density, higher efficiency and allow for a higher degree of integration.”

LNG-to-energy solutions, notably for distributed power, have made Wärtsilä one of the biggest supplier of gas- and liquid fuel-fired power stations in the 5–600 MW range. Such baseload and/or grid stability plants are used predominately as ‘wind chasers’ and ‘sunset balancers’, compensating for intermittent supply of renewable energy – soon also on the island of Aruba.

Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, has awarded National Grid’s gas distribution arm together with DNV GL a £4.8 million, three-year contract to improve the way gas bills are calculated. The new billing method seeks to specifically assign the energy content of gas, rather than using the present flow-weighted average calorific value.

Targeting customers in the offshore oil & gas industry, Siemens has introduced a new 38MW aeroderivative gas turbine that evolved from RB211 and Dresser-Rand legacies. Yet, the new SGT-A35 RB is a lightweight and has an up to 30% smaller footprint, with arguably the “highest power density in this class of turbines.”

News in Brief

MHPS flue gas desulfurization for Balkan generator

May 26 - Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has signed a supply contract for the first Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) system in the West Balkans for Ugljevik power plant, located in the Republic of Srpska – one of the two constituent entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The FDG project at the Ugljevik plant was advanced via a Japanese ODA loan, and aims to reduce sulfur dioxide and particulates emissions with a view of helping Bosnia and Herzegovina meet the environmental standards required for joining the European Union. The upgraded power plant is scheduled to start commercial operations in July 2019.

Bioenergy market keeps growing

May 26 – Global markets for bio fuels and clean energy is forecast to show steady growth - despite a small dip in capacity additions. Classified as a niche market within the renewable energy sector, the biopower segment set to expand to 165.2GW by 2025, up from just over 106GW installed capacity two years ago. GlobalData analysts attribute this growth to a rising global energy demand, and growing awareness about climate change that spur investment in cleaner sources of energy around the globe.

ABB enhances power supply for Canadian data centre

May 25 – Zurich-headquartered ABB will supply an integrated substation to the Canadian IT solutions provider Hypertec to support the expansion of one of its existing data center. As part of the upgrade, the existing 25 kilovolts (kV) power supply will be enhanced to 120kV to meet growing electricity demand. The turnkey project includes the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the 120kV Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) substation with 25kV distribution. ABB said the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

German gas, coal-burn up in Q1

May 24 – Germany’s total primary energy consumption dropped 1.4% yoy in the first quarter of 2017. But despite lower demand for electricity, the use of natural gas for power generation increased by 1%, while use of hard coal and lignite were 2.6% and 0.4% higher respectively, according to figures by the energy industry think tank AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB).

Siemens wins 3D printing award

May 24 – An award in category "3D Printing application of the year" was given to Siemens for the worldwide first successful test of gas turbine blades manufactured with Additive Manufacturing. At the start of 2017, a multi-location Siemens team successfully tested the performance of the first gas turbine blade, produced through AM, under full-load conditions

Wolf Power, Myriad start CHP cooperation

May 23 – Wolf Group, a German supplier of combined heat and power systems, has entered a cooperation with Myriad Power Products, an equipment supplier based in Leicestershire, UK. Myriad can supply chip, pellet and gas heat only/ CHP systems from 10kW to 10MW; it is about to bid for public sector contracts in the UK and some other smaller clients.

Verisk acquires MAKE

May 23 – Verisk Analytics, part of Wood Mackenzie, has announced its latest acquisition of MAKE, an advisory that specializes in wind power. This latest acquisition follows WoodMac’s takeover of Greentech Media in July 2016.

OPEC’s net oil revenues on 12-year low

May ‎22 – Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) net oil revenues have plunged to $433 billion in 2016, the lowest since 2004. In real dollar terms, the 2016 revenue represents a 15% decline from the $509 billion earned in 2015. The EIA projects that OPEC’s 2017 net oil export revenues will rise to about $539 billion dollars (nominal), based on a slight recovery in average crude oil prices, as well as higher OPEC output during the current year.

Burckhardt to help modernize MOL petchem plant in Hungary

May 19 – Burckhardt Compression has won an order to modernize MOL Petrochemicals’ third-party Hyper Compressor at its LDPE plant in Tiszaújváros, Hungary, that has been operating since 1991. Burckhardt Compression is well-known for its Hyper Compressors and the MOL Group already has positive experiences working with the Swiss manufacturer at another LDPE site. The project scope includes the Burckhardt Hypropack cartridge system, plungers and central valves for two second-stage cylinders.

Pumps, motor market to top $100bn by 2021

May 19 – Upgrades of ageing power infrastructure, a rise in renewable energy investment and a progressing urbanisation is driving the markets for pumps and motors to reach $100.66 billion by 2021, up from 71.01 billion last year. According to MarketsandMarkets, growth of notably the market for ‘permanent magnet synchronous motors’ is spurred by power plant modernization, as well as demand for energy-efficient motors and use of low-cost ferrite permanent magnets.

MHPS opens new Warsaw office

May 18 - Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) is opening a new office in Warsaw, to strengthen its relationships with local customers and bolster orders for advanced coal power generation systems and Air Quality Control Systems (AQCS). The new branch office centralizes MHPS' corporate and business development function for Poland in one single location.

Low utilisation of US oil peaking plants

May 18 – Monthly generation from petroleum-fired generators has totalled 1 million to 2 million MWh in recent years, according to EIA figures. Most of the 36.4GW installed oil-fired generators in the United States, either turbines or internal combustion engines, only supply peak-load electricity. Capacity factors for oil-fired steam turbines are about 10% and approach 20% only in the summer months. Capacity factors for oil-fired combustion turbines and internal combustion engines are lower, remaining well below 5%.

Wärtsilä wins 5-year O&M deal in Pakistan

May 17 – Helsinki-based technology group Wärtsilä has signed a 5-year full operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement with Pakistan’s Technomen Kinetics Private Ltd (TKL) for two of the latter’s gas-fired power plants. Wärtsilä’s installed base in Pakistan totals around 2.2 GW power generating capacity, with 600 MW of power output under service agreements.

MAN helps CNOOC tap offshore gas in South China Sea

May 17 – CNOOC China’s branch in Zhanjiang, a city in south-western Guangdong province, has commissioned MAN Diesel & Turbo to supply six compressor trains for the Dongfang 13-2 gas field development project. Manufactured by in Switzerland by MAN, the compressor trains will be used for gas reinjection at new platforms in the Dongfang field, located in the Yinggehai Basin of the South China Sea.

New man at the helm of COGEN Europe

May 16 – COGEN Europe has appointed Hans Korteweg as new managing director. His leadership starts at a time of ongoing debate about the EU’s Clean Energy Package, aimed at ensuring a safe and cost-effective energy transition.

Wärtsilä snaps up Greensmith

May 16 – Wärtsila has agreed to buy Greensmith Energy Management System, an US energy storage technology provider, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition of Greensmith is still subject to US regulatory approvals; it will allow Wärtsilä to expand its latest focus on energy storage. The Finish turbine manufacturer stated it expects the takeover to take legal effect no later than July 2017.

Dresser-Rand supplies compressor trains for Thai pipeline

May 15 – Dresser-Rand, part of Siemens Power and Gas, will supply three SGT-400 gas turbine-driven turbocompressor trains for Thailand’s Wang Noi compressor station, located 70 kilometers from Bangkok. The station is currently being built by Samsung Engineering; it is owned by PTT Public Company, Thailand’s state oil & gas company. The compressor station project is expected to be completed in 2018; it will enhance the capacity of the Ratchaburi - Wang Noi pipeline to meet the increasing natural gas demands of nearby power plants.