Daily News

Rising costs of fuels burnt for power generation have caused a substantial rise in residential electricity prices across the United States. The price of natural gas averaged $3.53/mmBtu in the first half of 2017 – a 37% rise compared with the first half of 2016; meanwhile the average delivered cost of coal dropped 2%, according to EIA figures.

Alarmed about the scale of gas shortages in Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is considering restrictions on LNG exports from Australia’s eastern coast. Santos, Shell and ConocoPhillips have been urged to help plug an estimated shortfall of up to 17% of market demand in 2018.

Highland Group Holdings (HGHL) has agreed with Symbion Energy to co-invest $100 million towards the $370 million for a 106 MW project of generating electricity from methane at Lake Kivu in Rwanda. Paul Hinks, Symbion CEO promised “the work will begin in earnest in November 2017 and this funding means we can fast-track at least 22 MW within 18 months."

Cherat Cement has contracted Wärtsilä to supply three 34DF dual-fuel engines to power an extension of one of Cherat’s manufacturing facilities in Pakistan. The two engines, running on natural gas and heavy fuel oil (HFO), will produce a total output of approximately 29 MW.

ABB announced the acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions, GE’s global electrification solutions business for $2.6 billion. Zurich-based ABB said it expects to realize approximately $200 million of annual cost synergies in year five, which will be "key in bringing the GE arm to peer performance”.

Black-yellow-green: a Jamaica coalition between the Conservatives, Liberals and the Green Party is now the sole option for Germany’s new government – after the Social Democrats decided for the opposition. With the Greens participating, the time is ripe for a fierce debate in parliament in about the feasibility of phasing out coal-fired power plants; in close succession to Germany’s nuclear exist.

Digitalisation unfolds in the energy sector as utilities are seeking to achieve revenue and efficiency gains, but there is a corresponding need to identify cyber threats at their earliest stages – going beyond compliance regulations to secure operations. To that end, Siemens and PAS Global have joint forces to provide fleet-wide, real time monitoring for control systems.

Events like major hurricanes lay bare the fragility of utility infrastructure and the value of adopting onsite distributed generation. With the resiliency of microturbines, most Capstone customers in the U.S. experienced minimal downtime, if any at all, and kept powering through Hurricane Harvey, Irma and now Maria.

Rumuji, a mini-LNG facility in River State, Nigeria, is being developed to monetize the country’s substantial stranded gas reserves. Set to be built with $500 million worth of private funds, gathered by Greenville Ltd., the project is underpinned by a gas supply agreement for the delivery of 74 mmscf of gas through NNPC, Total and the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN).

Solar power will outcompete natural gas as a fuel for power generation in the United States, given that costs for utility-scale solar projects are forecast to plunge 84% from 2009-levels by 2025. The US National Renewables Energy Laboratory (NREL) expects gas will maintain its cost advantages at $53/MWh for a combined-cycle power plant – except compared with the $32/MWh of utility-scale PV in 2030.

Construction has started in the US northeast state of Pennsylvania on the greenfield portion of the almost $3-billion Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project, an expansion of the Transco natural gas pipeline to connect Marcellus Shale supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and the South of the United States.

Uncertainty over gas demand growth for power generation in Virginia and North Carolina may put at risk the development of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, proposed in 2014 by a joint venture of Dominion, Duke, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources. Though developers say 79% of the pipeline capacity has been contracted, analysts from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) caution that projections for demand growth are overoptimistic.

Norway-based Jacobsen Elektro, an international provider of turnkey power plants, has contracted Wärtsilä of Finland to provide the generating equipment for a new power plant in Indonesia. The 48 MW will be operated by PT PLN, the Indonesian government-owned utility.

Indonesia's state-run electricity supplier, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), has contracted MAN Diesel & Turbo to deliver a total of 20 MAN 51/60DF engines. Ten of these engines will be installed in three power plants for which the German manufacturer will take on EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) responsibilities.

ABB has launched a solution using its VD4G vacuum generator circuit breaker to extend the safe operational life of power plants. It extends the OneFit concept with new ratings and covers generator protection applications, notably for aging switchgear.

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.