Daily News

The US natural gas market was partially impacted as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida where six of the state’s largest power stations are running on gas. If the storm follows the forecast path and destroys key power transmission lines, Florida’s gas demand will be largely wiped out, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly natural gas report.

Ohio-based First Energy Corp. has reduced the sales price for five gas-fired power plants and a hydro electric facility in Pennsylvania and Virginia in an effort to close on a drawn-out deal with Power Equity Partners, a New-York based infrastructure fund. The assets, with a combined capacity of 1,615MW, will now be sold for $835 in cash.

Despite declining costs for generating electricity from fossil fuels in the U.S., retail electricity prices have continued to rise in line with inflation – mainly due to higher expenses for delivering the electricity to end-customers. Power transmission costs have increased in real 2016 dollar terms from 2.2 cents/kWh in 2006 to 3.2 cents/kWh in 2016, roughly offsetting the decrease in the generation costs.

Silver Spring Networks and Genus Power Infrastructures, a smart meter provider in India and Southeast Asia, have agreed that the latter will integrate Silver Springs IPv6 network interface cards (NICs) into its single-phase and three-phase smart electric meters.

Britain’s has embarked on a difficult process of untangling its economic ties with the European Union which may put the construction of three planned EU-UK gas interconnection pipelines at risk. Thierry Bros, OIES research fellow, pointed out the UK needs to “reshape its energy diplomacy” as it will have to negotiate gas supplies with both the EU and Norway, which supplies some 38% of its gas, in the future.

A draft policy paper published by South Korea’s energy ministry this week signals a strategy of adding between 5-10 GW to the county’s installed capacity, mostly from LNG-to-power projects and renewables. The envisaged new clean energy plants would expand Korea’s installed capacity by about 10%.

Shamara Holding Group (SHG), one of Iraq’s largest private industrial conglomerates, has awarded an order to ABB a $30 million order to supply and install a substation at the 3,000 MW Rumaila power plant. The new-build Rumaila plant is expected to boost Iraq’s power generation capacity by 20%.

Czech utility Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) has taken over operation of the Langage combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) from Centrica. The parent company of British Gas had chosen to divest Langage, together with the South Humber Bank CCGT as part of a £318m deal as it seeks to focus more on energy storage and distributed generation.

The energy services division of Australia’s Energy Queensland has joined forces with the energy tech firm GreenSync to create a cloud-based, load control system designed to manage extreme electricity demand during severe temperature events. Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt called it “Australia’s biggest virtual power plant (VPP).”

Eager to electrify remote areas and support energy-intensive industries, governments across Asia are investing in electrical infrastructure projects. The Asia-Pacific region hence is about to become the largest market for power transformers worldwide.

Banks are reluctant to give Nigeria’s Egbin Power new loan facilities as the utility is burdened with substantial debt. The company has been seeking to refinance N125 billion ($352bn) it owes to the Federal Government and now wants to raise another $1.2 billion to expand the Egbin Power plant by up to 1,500 MW by 2020.

Australia’s power provider Hydro Tasmania is preparing to run the combined-cycle gas turbine at its Tamar Valley Power Station as of Tuesday morning local time -- purely for economic reasons. "Mainland electricity prices are currently high. The CCGT will be operated to help reduce the amount of electricity Hydro Tasmania needs to import from Victoria over the drier months, therefore reducing overall cost,” the utility pointed out.

The UK government plans to publish the long-delayed £50 billion hydrogen strategy to clean up emissions from the country’s heat, transport and industrial sectors within weeks. Jon Slowe, a director at Delta-ee, singled out decarbonising heat as “the biggest challenge in reducing carbon emissions.”

EnergyAustralia, one of the nation’s three big power generators, is understood to have hired Morgan Stanley to advise on a bid for IFM Investor’s gas-fired power stations in Victoria. The sale of two Ecogen assets, with a combined capacity of 960 MW, comes amid heightened uncertainty over Australia’s clean energy policy which has propelled up gas and electricity prices.

Decoupling a portion of the low-voltage grid in the Allgäu region of Germany, Siemens and its partners have implemented a self-contained microgrid using only renewable power supply. Insights from this “islanded grid” in Wildpoldsried serve as a model for the “transformation to power supply supported by prosumers.”

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.