Daily News

Shell, Engie of France, Austria’s OMV and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall have agreed to each pay €950 million to fund the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. The financing deal paves the way for the 55 Bcm/year gas interconnector that had faced strong opposition from some EU member states on competition grounds.

Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries is on time and budget with construction works for the Myingyan combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant. Upon commissioning in 2018, the 225MW facility will be the biggest CCGT in Myanmar. It will be run by Sempcorp for 22 years, and then the Government of Myanmar will take ownership.

Energy engineers and surveyors have carried out boiler inspections for over 25 years, but there are still instances that can shock them: Such as the boiler showing 180 cracks just two years after purchase, says Mark Ormrod, NDT & Material Testing Manager at British Engineering Services. “Of course, most plants are simply running their boilers in line with manufacturers’ guidelines and there are no unexpected shocks found on inspection. We’ve taken a look at the practical issues underpinning our worst and best findings for industrial boiler maintenance, to highlight how to maximise your boiler lifespan, instead of running it into the ground.” 

Working gas storage in the United States as of March 31 stood at 2,051 billion cubic feet (Bcf), ending the most recent gas year around 15% above the five-year average. Responding to slightly higher prices, gas consumed in electric power generation fell 2.1 Bcf from the 2015–2016 heating season, but the drop was almost entirely offset by a 2.0 Bcf increase in US gas exports, according to data from PointLogic.

The Government of Pakistan is pushing for 3,600 MW of gas power generation capacity to be added to the grid before the end of this year. The Jhang, Sheikhupura and Balloki projects are all due to be completed in 2017, Punjab chief minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said, pointing out that developers managed to save a combined Rs.112 billion (US$1.06bn) during construction as many project are being fast-tracked.

Competitive natural gas prices, growth in renewables generation, EU air quality directives and weak electricity consumption have squeezed the role of coal in Europe's power mix, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit finds. The EU market environment for coal-fired power is described as "a tough one," with little upside potential. 

As Ireland moves towards an Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM), the regulator has just set out a methodology for a transition to competitive power auctions in a bid to attract investment in new capacity. The first auction will be held on December 15 for the rest of the delivery year 2017/18.

Together with the Chinese EPC contractor SEPCOIII, Siemens is carrying out the conversion of the Az Zour South 3 power plant from open-cycle to combined-cycle mode. The plant, operated by Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water, will have 263MW more generating capacity, once the upgrade is competed in mid-2019.

Egypt is positioning itself as a prominent gas importer during the northern hemisphere summer while becoming a winter exporter. WoodMackenzie points out that “a pragmatic approach to pricing” by the Petroleum Ministry has secured over US$28 billion in new gas field investment since 2015, so “this could be just the start of Egypt's second gas boom.”

Future use of hybrid energy will lead to a consistent baseload, without the need for top-up via fossil fuels, anticipates Francesco Falco, chief commercial officer at GE Power Conversion.
"When using Silicon Carbide (SiC), – a diamond-like substance – instead of traditional silicon chips in a solar inverter, its high power density feature can reduce power losses by up to 50 percent," he explains.

With global energy demand forecast to grow by 30 percent through to 2030, driven by industry and rising prosperity in emerging markets like ASEAN, Thailand’s energy secretary Areepong Bhoocha-Oom seeks to turn the country into a regional energy hub. For the Thai power sector that means liberalising integrated utilities and transforming the fuel mix toward clean gas and renewables.

Steep rise in the deployment and use of new Floating Regasification and Storage Units (FSRUs) – notably in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa – will substantially increase the supply of natural gas for decentralised power generation projects worldwide. From 2019 onwards, Energy Aspects anticipates the deployment of three to four new FSRUs per year, with a combined LNG import capacity of some 12-15mtpa, as “the maximum level of uptake.”

“Effective digitalization is key to driving performance,” ABB's Tarak Mehta said at the pre-Launch of its cloud-based Electrical Distribution Control System ‘ABB Ability’ that is claimed to make power grids “safer, smarter and more reliable for industry 4.0”. The Zurich-based manufacturer will showcase the grid control system, along with new switch gear, at Hanover Fair next week.

LA Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has completed the repowering of its Scattergood Generating Station earlier this year.
“This involved the replacement of the almost 40-year-old Unit 3 with new gas turbines designed with faster start, faster ramp rates and well as many alarm features that would inform operation personnel of a problem before a component fails,” Sungly Chiu, Power Engineering Manager for LADWP told Gas to Power Journal.

To exploit the full potential of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, MAN Diesel & Turbo is investing some €2.6 million in its MAN Center for Additive Manufacturing (MANCAM) in Oberhausen. With the first time use of standardized components, the German OEM now established 3D printing as an in-house standard.

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.