Daily News

“Market designs may be inadequate” to keep “traditional” power generation online, cautions a long-awaited report by the Department of Energy (DoE) on the security of the U.S. power grid. To alleviate risks, the study calls on regulators to facilitate easier permitting for coal, nuclear and hydropower plants.

Expanding their cooperation in ‘lifecycle service offerings’, ABB has granted Wärtsilä the Authorized Service Provider status for standard maintenance of ABB turbochargers installed with Wärtsilä 4-stroke engines. The new accord builds on their cooperation dating back to 2005, and will result in 25 new authorised Wärtsilä turbocharger workshops.

Multiple record-breaking heat waves swept across the western United States this summer, with temperatures reaching 105 degrees in Portland – some 23 degress higher than the 30-year average. Record peak summer demand for electricity has been challenging some of the largest electricity balancing authorities in the area.

Rebuking reports about a recovery of U.S. coal industry, IEEFA energy data analyst Seth Feaster stressed that in actual fact coal companies keep losing money. AEP, one of the country's largest electric utilities, just purchased a wind farm while it is looking to retire, or sell two coal power plants by 2022.

Anshan Iron and Steel Group (Ansteel), a leading Chinese steelmaker, has handed an order to Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) to supply an M701S(DA)X gas turbine and power generator for Ansteel’s No.2 onsite power plant. Operations of the 180 MW plant are scheduled to start in the first half of 2019.

Nigeria’s Azura-Edo IPP, a 450 MW open-cycle power plant, is on track to be completed on time. However, investors are concerned about reaping a return: Ecobank warned that “an apparent inability to collect money from Discoms [power distribution companies],” and reluctance of some end-customers to pay electricity, risks to distort project finance.

Decentralisation, decarbonisation and electrification of vehicles are unravelling the way electricity is generated, consumed and accessed. In the view of Shayle Kann, head of GTM Reserach, “this could be the most dramatic transformation of electricity for a century.”

Energy Capital Partners, and an investor consortium, have agreed to buy the U.S. power generator Calpine for $5.6 billion, after the transaction value was established through an “exhaustive review of strategic alternatives,” undertaken by the Calpine board.

Heat rates of gas-fired power plants in the U.S., and notably of combined-cycle units, have decreased 7% between 2006 and 2015 – indicating more efficient generation, because less fuel is needed per kilowatthour. In contrast, heat rates of coal power plants remained stable, according to EIA data, showing no improvement.

DILO, a German manufacturer of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas handling equipment, has launched a SF6 multi-analyser that allows users to simultaneously check three key gas quality parameters- SF6 concentration, humidity and quantity of decomposition products. SF6 quality of gas insulated equipment needs be checked to determine if the gas still complies with the IEC Standard 60480 (SF6 reuse) or whether it needs purification.

KAR Group in Iraq has extended Siemens’ service agreement to provide operations and maintenance (O&M) for two newly added units at the Khormala gas power plant in Kurdistan. The 930 MW plant covers nearly 30% of the region’s electricity demand and supplies more three million people with reliable electricity.

Taiwan’s recent massive blackout raises questions of the government’s wider energy policy which, according to Dr. Guo Yu, principal Asia analyst at Maplecroft, “does not pose an immediate threat to government stability.” However, it may determine the political fortunes of President Tsai and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party as we approach the next election cycle in 2020.

A massive blackout recently revealed the fragility of Taiwan’s power grid, and prompted the resignation of Chen Chin-te, chairman of Taiwanese gas supplier CPC Corp. Now, the Ministry of Science is considering the launch of a power storage system from Tesla.

SoCal’s inability this summer to fully utilize Aliso Canyon, California’s largest storage with a capacity of 86 Bcf, is impacting flow, pricing and storage dynamics in the U.S. Pacific Region. Peak summer demand conjured up fierce competition for gas between Northern and Southern California which let to tighter price spreads between the two regional gas trading hubs, SoCal and PG&E, this August.

Bangladesh’s Summit Group has contracted Wärtsilä to supply equipment for a power plant with a capacity of 300 MW. Located in Gazipur, the plant will run on eighteen Wärtsilä 46 engines, operating on heavy fuel oil, and possibly gas at a later stage. Start-up of the fast-track project is envisaged for March 2018.

News in Brief

Surging energy use in India’s buildings

Oct 18 – India is forecast to see the fastest growth in building energy consumption through 2040. In the IEO2017 Reference case, delivered energy consumption for residential and commercial buildings in India is expected to increase by an average of 2.7% per year between 2015 and 2040, more than twice the global average increase.

Dong to remotely operate UK peaking plants

Oct 17 – Denmark’s Dong Energy has agreed with GAM Capital and its project development arm in the UK, Gas Power Developments, to manage the remote control and market optimization of three 6 MW gas power stations. The three gas peaking plants are Prestige House, Newhouse and Clay Flatts, located in Lancashire and Cumbria.

'Generation Energy' debate launched in Canada

Oct 16 – ‘Generation Energy’ has been kickstarted at a forum in Winnipag as a society-wide debate on the pathways to an affordable, low-carbon energy future for Canada. The share of renewables in Canada’s power mix exceeded 65% last year, with 90% of the total derived from hydropower. Prior to the event, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr met bilaterally with IEA head Dr Fatih Birol to provide input to Canada’s Presidency of the G7 in 2018.

MHPS starts manufacturing turbines in Dammam

Oct 13 – MHPS Saudi Arabia, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, has opened its new Turbine Rotor Repair Facility in Dammam today. The Japanese manufacturer announced plans to plans to manufacture its most advanced gas turbines in the Saudi kingdom, and use the new facility to service compressors and turbines used in petroleum and chemical plants.

Azura-Edo IPP to startup 8 months early

Oct 12 – Azura Power Holdings has announced that its 450 MW Auzura-Edo Independent Power Project (IPP) will be ready to start operations eight months ahead of schedule. First fire is planned in December this year, for commissioning to be finalised for a start-up in May 2018.

Evaluating GT owners take on dry air injection

Oct 11 – Sargent & Lundy has been hired by gas turbine (GT) owners to analyze the impact of Turbophase dry air injection system at different site conditions. Turbophase installed on multiple gas turbine frames over the past years, clocking up thousands of run-time hours.

Gas turbine market tops $24bn by 2022

Oct 10 – The global market for gas turbine is growing at an annual rate of 5.3% to reach $24.12 billion by 2020, according to htfmarketreport. Increasing demand distributed power generation, technology advancement, and more stringent regulations on carbon emissions are fuelling the market growth.

Trump nominates pro-coal lawyer as EPA deputy

Oct 9 – US President Donald Trump has nominated Andrew R. Wheeler, a lawyer whose clients include the coal mining firm Murry Energy, as the deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Wheeler opposes Obama’s Clean Power Plan and supported the US coal industry’s opposition to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Tokyo Engineering to finish new Azeri CCGT by May 2018

Oct 6 – Japan’s Tokyo Engineering Corp is building a new combined-cycle gas power unit at the Shimal power plant in Baku. The 409-MW unit is schedule to start full commercial operation in May 2018. Project costs, estimated to exceed $330 million, are partly covered by a $275 million loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

Spain’s gas demand up 13% in September

Oct 5 – Demand for natural gas in Spain has increased by 13% to 26,153 GWh in September, the highest level in the past five years. Gas-burn in the power sector was up 44% month-on-month, reaching 7,085 GWh.

Capstone to deliver C1000s to Italy

Oct 4 – Capstone Turbine Corp has received an order for a C1000 Signature Series microturbine to provide combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) for a large cured meat company in Veneto, Italy. IBT Group, Capstone’s Italian distributor, secured the order for the plant, which is due to be commissioned in early 2018.

Marubeni invests in biomass co-fired plant

Oct 3 – Marubeni Thermal Power has signed a shareholder agreement with Tokuyama and Tokyo Century Corp to invest in the latter’s the construction and operation of a biomass co-firing power project in Shunan City. Preparation for construction works are getting underway this month, for a start of commercial operation in 2022.

Puerto Rico powered by fuel oil in the wake of Hurricane Maria

Oct 2 – Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is busy trying to restart power plants as well as transmission and distribution lines after Hurricane Maria hit the island earlier this month. In the absence of firm natural gas supply, PREA turned to Puma Energy to purchase fuel oil for emergency power generators.

Wärtsilä helps boost offgrid power in India

Sept 29 – Wärtsilä’s Indian office is supporting Arkay Energy (Rameswarm) to boost electrical output and productivity of its 150 MW baseload power plant in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, in southern India. An O&M deal for the plant's 16 Wärtsilä 34SG engines was renewed in June 2017 for another five years.

GE builds Turkey’s largest generator transformer at Gebze

Sept 28 – TERNA, the construction arm of GEK TERNA Group, has asked GE to manufacture what will become the Turkey’s largest generator transformer. The 820 MVA is being built in Gebze and scheduled for completion in mid-2018, when it will be installed at the Ptolemais power plant in Greece.

PowerLink IP launched

Sept 27 – Siemens has launched PowerLink IP, a power line carrier (PLC) for digital high-voltage substations. It uses the high-voltage lines between the substations as a channel by overlaying a modulated carrier frequency on the frequency of the transmission voltage in the overhead lines.

Hyundai wins 1st EPC contract in Nigeria

Sept 26 – Kingline Development Nigeria has awarded a $330 million contract to Hyundai Engineering to carry out a engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for a power plant in Ondo, Nigeria. The 550 MW simple-cycle gas power plant will be Hyundai’s first EPC project in Nigeria, the South Korean company said. The Ondo OCGT will be built some 170km northeast of Lagos.