Daily News

Saudi Aramco has signed eight agreements with several contractors with a combined worth of nearly $4.5 billion. The projects include new pipelines and gas processing plants, which according to Amin H. Nasser, Saudi Aramco president and CEO, will “reduce domestic reliance on liquid fuels for power generation.”

Just prior to US President Donald Trump’s departure from a state visit to China, GE Energy Financial Services signed a “cooperation deal” with the Chinese Silk Road Fund. Both parties agreed to set up an infrastructure investment platform, the Chinese government announced without disclosing details about future projects.

Sino-Russian ties have warmed considerably under Xi Jinping and there is some synergy between Moscow's 'Pivot to Asia' and Beijing's 'Belt and Road Initiative', finds Hugo Brennan, Asia analyst, Verisk Maplecroft. Hence, the trade mission of U.S. President Trump to China might not be overly successful when it comes to selling US LNG. “The economics of US supplies to China are challenging,” he warned, suggesting “Chinese LNG buyers might find cheaper deals elsewhere.”

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, has been proposed as a solution to Australia’s current energy crisis, with advocates calling for the removal of state bans to allow the production of unconventional oil and gas resources. Matthew Meagher, researcher at Northern Australia and Landcare Research Programme says “fracking is cheaper than current renewable technologies and refurbishing old coal-fired plants.”

China and India will continue to lead world nuclear growth as their impetus is expected to offset declines in nuclear capacity in the United States, Japan, and countries in Europe. According to the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017), global nuclear capacity will grow at an average annual rate of 1.6% from 2016 through 2040.

Fourth quarter revenue came in below target at Siemens, Europe’s biggest industrial conglomerate, while earnings dropped 10% to €2.2 billion – largely caused by its Power & Gas (PG) division and higher costs at its Digital unit. “For years now we’ve been seeing a steady decline in orders for large turbines owing to a booming renewable segment,” CEO Joe Kaeser told investors in Munich, announcing steps to “restructure and resize the business.”

Oversupply of LNG throughout Asia is boosting spot trade – a trend that has been strengthening the case for smaller and more distributed LNG receiving terminals for combined-cycle gas generation. Such projects, according Jim Schnieders, Black & Veatch’s Country Manager Indonesia, give operators “greater flexibility to manage peak and off-peak grid demands while advances in technology also allow a scale up for baseload generation.”

Full commercial operation has commenced at the Mirfa Independent Water and Power Plant (IWPP) project, built at a cost of US$1.5 billion, the French utility ENGIE announced. The plant’s 1,600 MW of power and 52.5 million gallons per day (MIGD) of seawater desalination capacity plant covers 10% of Abu Dhabi’s peakload power demand.

Uncertainty about future battery technology, government policies, consumer preferences make it difficult to predict the long-term effects that both battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles (EVs) may have on worldwide energy consumption. In 2015, sales reached 1.2 million worldwide which is less than 1% of all vehicles used globally, but this level could almost double by 2040, according to EIA analysis.

The UK’s “Big Six” energy companies may soon become five, if the agreed merger between SSE and Npower will be permitted by the regulator. SSE, the UK’s second largest energy supplier, confirmed it wants to combine its British domestic business with Npower, forming a new company.

Texas LNG, the export project under development in Brownsville, has confirmed it is taking part in a two day U.S. presidential trade mission to China that started today. Led by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the mission is intended to help promote U.S. exports to China which is why top executive from General Electric, Honeywell and Westinghouse, amongst others, are also accompanying the President.

Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company, has made the biggest onshore find of oil and associated natural gas in 15 years in the eastern state of Veracuz. The find near the Ixachi-1 well, believed to hold some 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, will help reduce Mexico’s reliance on importing LNG and pipeline gas from the United States.

The world's first 1,100 kV transformer, with more than 587 MVA transmission capacity, has successfully passed its type test. It is the first of a total of seven ±1,100 kV transformers that Siemens and its Chinese partners are building for what is currently the world’s largest HVDC transmission system, spanning from the northwestern Xinjiang region to Anhui Province in eastern China.

Success of the global energy revolution – the shift from fossil to low-carbon power generation – hinges on the quality of the cable that underpins. Yet an estimated 20% of all cables in the UK are either sub-standard, counterfeit or non-approved. Pointing out the risks of such shortcomings, Jean-Sébastien Pelland, Director of Eland Cables said: “For a project, sub-standard cables can result in downtime, reliability issues and ballooning maintenance costs at best and major safety hazards at worst, as well as potential environmental damage.”

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has received an order for two H-25 gas turbines for an LNG-fired combined-cycle cogeneration power plant in Qingdao, in China’s eastern Shandong Province. The turbines are scheduled to begin operations in December 2018.

News in Brief

ABB repowers Italian fashion supplier

Dec 12 – Italy’s Printing House of Martinengo, a major supplier to global fashion and couture brands, has partnered with ABB to upgrade with Ekip UP, digitizing its existing switchgear and circuit breakers. ABB Ekip UP is ideal for updating older facilities, capturing data and sharing it with cloud-based energy management functions without any other meter or external gateway required.

GE axes 12,000 jobs to realign business

Dec 11 – GE’s plans to axe 12,000 jobs globally highlights the struggles of the industry to shift the focus from heavy-duty gas turbine business towards the renewable segment. The $10 billion takeover of Alstom is now viewed by some analysts as a “bad bet on an old-school industry.”

GE breaks ground on 3D Campus in Lichtenfelds

Nov 8 – Concept Laser and GE have laid the foundation for a new 3D Campus that will unite research and development along with production, service, and logistics in Lichtenfels, Germany. The new offices, providing room for about 500 employees on 40,000 square meters, GE said, should be ready for move-in early 2019.

OPRA Turbines taken over by Dalian Energas

Nov 7 – OPRA Turbines has just disclosed that its entire shareholding has been taken over by China’s Dalian Energas Group since August. OPRA Turbines has been continuing its operation at their new headquarter in Hengelo as a member of Energas Group.

Adven to buy E.ON’s distributed energy business in Sweden

Nov 6 – Adven, a leading energy and water infrastructure and services provider in Finland, Sweden and Estonia, has agreed to acquire E.ON’s Swedish district heating and distributed energy solutions business (EVLE), which owns heating operations in nine municipalities in the south and centre of the county. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Reliance completes $1bn power project in Bangladesh

Dec 5 – Reliance Power has completed execution of agreements for Phase 1 of the power project in Bangladesh. Phase-1 consists of 750MW combined cycle gas power plant to be set up at Meghnaghat near Dhaka and 500 mmscfd LNG terminal at Kutudbia Island.

AWE hopes for higher offer after CERCG bid

Dec 4 – Australian Energy company AWE, shareholder in the Waitsia gas field off Western Australia, is playing the waiting game after it received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from China Energy Reserve and Chemical Group (CERCG), proposing to acquire 100% of AWE’s shares at A$0.71 cash per share. However, the initial reaction of AWE’s has been that the takeover bid is seen as “not sufficiently attractive” to provide access for due diligence.

Distributed power market to top $103bn by 2022

Dec 1 – Driven by increasingly stringent mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and rising electricity demand in remote regions, the market for distributed generation is forecast to grow at a rate of 11.48% annually. According to MarketsandMarkets projections, the sector will expand in revenue from $60.04 billion in 2017 to $103.38 billion by 2022. Key global players in this market segment are Siemens, GE, Schneider, Mitsubishi, Capstone and Doosan.

Simit V9.1 simulation for faster commissioning

Nov 30  – Siemens has released an upgrade to its Simit simulation platform for virtual commissioning and operator training. Version 9.1 can also be used in modular plants, speeding up actual commissioning by up to 60% and reducing unwanted standstill periods, particularly during plant conversion and migration processes.

Nigeria halts commissioning of 215-MW plant

Nov 29 – The Senate of Nigeria has stopped the scheduled commissioning of the 215 MW dual-fuel power plant in Kaduna state over a dispute between the power ministry and the plant’s gas supplier, Abuja-based Greenville LNG. The power ministry had unexpectedly changed the terms of its contract with its gas supplier, deciding to run the plant on diesel. Greenville LNG, meanwhile, insists that natural gas remains the cheapest fuel source for the $186 million Kaduna project. The plant was meant to be commissioned in January 2018, but construction works have already fallen three years behind schedule.

Gas OPEC condemns unilateral sanctions

Nov 28 – The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), also known as Gas OPEC, has condemned unilateral economic sanctions by the US against some members of the group, notably Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The GEFC condemned such sanctions that are not authorized by the United Nations “as a weapon against other nations.”

GE helps Saudi’s NDU drive digital industry

Nov 28 – The Saudi Arabia’s National Digitization Unit (NDU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GE to drive the country’s digital industrial diversification, leveraging GE’s digital applications and ServiceMax which allows field service engineers’ time to be utilized more efficiently. The partnership will focus on community- based digital solutions in sectors identified for transformation under Saudi Vision 2030.

ADNOC opens Habshan-5 gas processing plant

Nov 27 – ADNOC has inaugurated and commenced operation at its $6.85 billion Habshan-5 gas processing plant. Linked via a 215km pipeline to ADNOC’s offshore Umm Shaif gas field, the plant has four gas processing trains and four sulphur recovery units. Its daily production capacity is 12,000 tonnes of natural gas liquids, 1.1 billion of sales gas; 5,200 tonnes of liquid sulphur and 3,000 barrels of condensate.

Nigerian regulator extends Afam VI licence

Nov 24 – The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has renewed the power generation licence for Shell’s 650-MW Afam VI power plant. Operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture (SPDC JV), the combined-cycle gas power plant between 2008 and 2016 delivered over 24.16 million MWh to the Nigerian grid.

German gas power output up 13%

Nov 23 – Electricity output from German gas-fired power plants in the first nine months of 2017 totalled 62.23 TWh, a 13% rise compared with the same period last year, according to BDEW data. In September, the most recent month for which the BDEW data is available, gas power output dropped 1.5% on the year to 6.24 TWh which marks the second on-year drop in a row, the industry lobby group said.

SimoticsIQ connects MindSphere and open IoT systems

Nov 22 – With Simotics IQ, the new IoT-compatible drive concept from Siemens, the Simotics SD low-voltage motors are fitted with a compact sensor box which captures important operating and condition parameters and transmits them by WiFi to the cloud. The operating data can then be stored and analyzed by the Simotics IQ MindApp on MindSphere.

CT market worth $4.4bn by 2020

Nov 21 – The Coiled Turbine (CT) market, by service, is projected to grow at an annual rate of 6-7% from an estimated value of $3.2 billion in 2015 to around $4.4 billion by 2020. According to MarketsandMarkets analysis, North America accounted for nearly half of the total revenue in 2013, driven by demand in the ultra-deep CT service sector as shale gas drilling activities keeps expanding.