Daily News

The U.S. state of Pennsylvania has seen a record increase in natural gas production due to a rise in permitting and drilling activity, combined with the expansion of regional pipeline capacity. Production averaged 5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, an increase of 3% and a record for the state, with output originating largely from shale gas plays in the Appalachian Basin.

Regardless of soaring costs, LNG imports by India increased 16.8% in March compared with the year-ago period. Supply from Qatar and Nigeria was complemented by the first shipment of US LNG on March 30 – the start of a 20-year supply contract between Cheniere Energy and Gas Authority of India (GAIL).

Black-start technology, supplied by Siemens, is providing 300MW critical backup power for San Francisco via the upgraded Trans Bay Cable (TBC). The project includes a 53-mile HVDC cable that runs under the San Francisco Bay, capable to swiftly restore power supply in the event of a network outage.

Fuel cell systems, typically producing hydrogen from fossil fuels, are used for a variety of applications in the United States such as providing backup energy at small facilities such as hospitals, or data centers. At the end of 2016, there were 56 large-scale fuel cell generating units installed, totaling 137MW of net summer capacity. Collectively, fuel cells provided 810,000MWh of electricity and made up 0.02% of total U.S. generation, according to the EIA’s Form EIA-860, Annual Electric Generator Report.

Australian commodities company BHP Billiton is continuing to exit its onshore assets in the southwest of the United States. “We expect to receive bids by June 2018, " BHP said, addding it aims to "proceed with negotiations to potentially announce one or several transactions in the first half of the 2019 financial year.”

Global installed capacity of aeroderivative gas turbine is forecast to surpass 21 GW by 2024, driven by mounting requirement for uninterrupted heat and electricity supply in remote off-grid areas. In the oil & gas upstream sector, in particular, there are numerous activities that can be supported by deploying small-scale aeroderivative gas turbines.

Golar Power, a venture between Golar LNG and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, has reached financial close on the 1.5GW Porto de Sergipe LNG-to-power project in northeast Brazil. The project company CELSE will receive $1.340 billion of non-recourse financing that will be used to fund the remaining Capex of the $1.74 billion project. Start-up is scheduled for January 2020.

Dominion Energy, owner of the Cove Point LNG facility in Maryland, is pulling out all the stops to acquire Scana Corp and its South Carolina natural gas and power assets. Regulatory approval for the merger is still pending. Now Dominion put forward a study, saying the merger would bring a $18.7 billion boost to the economy of South Carolina.

Gauging incremental gas demand, derived from new power plant projects worldwide, Energy Aspects says most of Asia’s new-build capacity drives "additional LNG demand,” while North American projects are “all likely to be fed by local shale gas. Analysts found there is over 37 GW of new gas-fired power generation capacity under construction in LNG importing countries which, upon start-up, will directly impact global LNG markets. 

Chart Industries, the US LNG and energy equipment maker, has returned to a first-quarter profit following  internal restructuring and amid a rise in its order-book. Order activity has risen 53%, or $111.4 million ($74.4 million excluding Hudson Products) above the first quarter of 2017, said Chart with reference to its acquisition of rival Hudson.

Iquitos, a city in Peru’s jungle region, has a new source of baseload electricity supply following the commissioning of seven MAN 32/44R engines at a power plant, operated Telemenia and V-Power. Logistic for the project had been very demanding, due to remote location of the port city of Iquitos – a gateway to jungle lodges in the northern Amazon.

Making its debut in the Mainland China market, Siemens has secured an order to supply two H-class gas turbines and other components for installation at the CHD Guangzhou Zengcheng combined cooling, heat and power plant (CCHP) project. The customer is Huadian Fuxin Energy, part of the state-owned utility China Huadian Corp, and start of the CCHP's commercial operation is scheduled before the end of 2019.

Energy companies, investors and policy makers in Germany need to move faster to not miss the tipping points in the energy transition, which would leave many conventional energy investments stranded and could see taxpayers picking up the bill, experts warned at an industry event in Berlin. Blackrock Vice President Sverker Akerblom said there was enough capital available and renewables were competitive, but there were simply not enough projects to invest in. "A global carbon price would be important to drive investment," he said.

Urging for quick action to smarten up electricity transmission networks, Enel CEO Franceso Starace has criticised the lack of support from regulators and policy makers. The need for digitalisation “is very difficult for regulators to understand,” he said at an industry conference in Berlin, but “if you forget the networks, dear ministers, they will not carry on.” For utilities, transiting from fossil fuels to renewables, the grids are seen as a “very sexy part” of the value chain but needed a lot of investment.

Dry natural gas production in the United States will keep growing over the next three decades, driven by demand from the industrial and electric power sectors. Beyond 2020, production is likely to grow faster than consumption, according to the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018, with excess volumes to be exported to Mexico or sold on global LNG markets.

News in Brief

US coal exports jump 61% as exports to Asia double

April 24 – Coal exports from the United States have increased to 97.0 million short tons (MMst) of coal in 2017, a 61% jump (36.7 MMst) from the 2016 level. Exports to Asia more than doubled year-on-year from 15.7 MMst to 32.8 MMst, although Europe continues to be the largest recipient of US coal.

Thermo Fisher launches new online sulphur analyser

April 23 – U.S.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched SOLA iQ, an online sulphur analyser, that helps engineers in the oil and gas industry to measure total sulphur content of liquid or gas phase samples without requiring time-consuming lab analysis. Measurement ranges of the tool are from 2 parts per million (ppm) to 100%, with and limits of detection as low as 25 parts per billion (ppb).

FERC considers change of pipeline certification

April 20 – Kevin J. McIntyre, the chairman of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given a general oversight hearing over plans for natural gas pipeline policy changes. “I decided that the first such review of my Chairmanship would involve taking a fresh look at FERC’s 1999 policy statement on the certification of interstate natural gas pipeline facilities,” he said. Under the Natural Gas Act, FERC has the responsibility to determine whether a proposed natural gas pipeline project is required by public convenience and necessity.

Turbine filter markets grows at 20%

April 19 – Market Insights Reports anticipates the global gas turbine filter market to grow at an annual rate of 15 to 20% through to 2023. The report gauges growth prospects by analysing diverse factors such as total market size, key market drivers, challenges and growth opportunities, technological changes as well as major manufacturers.

Kuwait spends over $140m on two power plant upgrades

April 18 – Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water has signed two contracts, worth US$141 million (KWD47m), to upgrade the fuel reception and control systems of the Doha West and the Sabiya power plants. Works on the Doha West power station will span over 30 months, according to the ministry’s schedule, while project completion for the Sabiya project is set for no later than 29 November, 2018.

Enel launches 1st energy storage project in Canada

April 17 – Enel X, the energy services division of Enel Group through its US subsidiary EnerNOC, has struck an agreement with Algoma Orchards of Ontario, Canada to deploy a 1 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system under a contract spanning 11 years. The storage system will be deployed in the first half of 2018.

Investment in solar PV dwarfs new fossil generation

April 16 – Solar power is forecast to become the leading contributor of renewable energy, accounting for 98 GW, or 38%, of newly installed power generation capacity worldwide. Nearly $161 billion was invested worldwide in solar power technology in 2017, according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report, compiled by BNEF under the UN Environment Program.

Simotics SD Pro suitable for up to 690 volts

April 13 – At Hannover Fair, Siemens is presenting its new low-voltage motor Simotics SD Pro suitable for mains-fed and converter operation with voltages up to 690 volts. The motor works reliably at efficiency class IE3 at both 50 and 60 hertz.

ABB controller now IEC 62443 certified

April 12 – ABB’s SD Series HPC800 controller, part of the company’s Symphony Plus portfolio, has received Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) and IEC 62443 certifications. In the assessment, the controller met all requirements in the categories of software development lifecycle, functional security and communications robustness.

Rolls-Royces launches ‘Intelligent Insights’

April 11 – Rolls-Royce has introduced ‘Intelligent Insights’, part of its IntelligentEngine vision, at the MRO Americas conference. The tool brings new agility to decision making and improves the quality of data harnessed for customers.

GE to lead EPC for 1GW Ostroleka C power plant

April 10 – GE Power, together with Alstom Power Systems, has been selected to lead Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for the ultra-supercritical (USC) coal power plant Ostroleka C in Poland. Subject to the financial closure of the project, the plant will start commercial operation within 56 months after the notice to proceed and generate a gross output of 1,000 MW.

EDF’s new Bouchain CCGT reaches 62.22% efficiency

April 9 – Electricite de France (EDF) and GE have celebrated the official start of operation of the first ever combined-cycle power plant equipped with GE's HA gas turbine in Bouchain, France. Integrating high-efficiency power gen equipment with digital technology the CCGT reaches an overall efficiency of 62.22%.

GenOn sells 1.1GW Canal Generating Plant for $390m

March 28 – Due to bankruptcy restructuring, Houston based GenOn Energy (now part of NRG Energy), has agreed to divest the 1,112-MW units 1&2 at the Canal Generating Plant in Sandwich, Massachusetts to Stonepeak Kestrel Holdings for $320 million. Factoring in working capital, excess fuel inventory payments, and an anticipated refund from NRG for an expired option on Canal Unit 3, GenOn expects to receive $390.3 million from the deal.

Floating power market to top $1.4bn by 2022

March 27 – The market for floating power plants (<250MW capacity) is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.11%, expanding from $889.6 million at present to reach $1,440 million by 2022. Main growth drivers, according to MarketsandMarkets, are cost advantages of floating over land-based power plants, particularly in regions with a lack of power infrastructure.

Cost for solar PV keeps falling

March 26 – System costs for utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) on a per-watt basis have fallen about 10% to 15% per year from 2010 through 2016. In the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2018) analysts anticipate that installed capital costs will come in at 1.85 per watt (AC) for fixed-tilt PV systems, and $2.11 per watt (AC) for single-axis tracking systems in 2018.

Sembcorp delivers ‘energy that makes a difference’

March 23 – Sembcorp Power, the electricity retail arm of Sembcorp Industries, has unveiled a series of initiatives that are meant to deliver Energy that Makes a Difference in Singapore. These measures include a commitment of S$100,000 to support social enterprises in energy, water and resource recovery over the next five years as well as competitive price plans to help businesses save money. For every new customer signed up, Sembcorp Power will give S$5 to selected beneficiaries to offset their electricity bills.

Siemens awards in-kind technology grant to UCF

March 22 – Siemens has entered the next phase of its 30-year academic partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF), awarding researchers a major in-kind technology grant of its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software with a commercial value of $593 million. The software grant amplifies a similar 2016 grant that benefitted students in UCF's Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER).