Daily News

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the PennEast pipeline in a 4-1 vote, acknowledging the clear need for more gas transport infrastructure along the East Coast. The $1 billion PennEast interstate pipeline will bring up to 1 billion cubic feet of daily low-cost Marcellus gas to customers in southeast Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

China's proposed dual-credit scheme can reshape the electric vehicles (EV) market for a more sustainable development beyond the abolishment of subsidies in 2020, according to Wood Mackenzie. As growth accelerates, the EV penetration rate is projected to hit 17% in 2035.

Darshan Hiranandani, the head of H-Energy, has forged a joint venture with the Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, known as K-Line, striving to import LNG for power generation and industry customers in the Indian state of West Bengal and neighbouring Bangladesh. To that end, an FSRU is meant to be deployed in the offshore Digha region – the first facility on India’s East Coast.

GE’s Power Services has signed a $330 million deal with a consortium of Macquarie Capital and Techint to deliver a multi-year plant services solution for the 907MW Norte III combined-cycle gas power plant in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Mexico, the largest offtaker of US pipeline gas and LNG importer from Peru, Nigeria and the US, is getting ready to launch an online gas trading platform by the summer of this year, at the latest. The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), Mexico’s state-owned grid operator, also plans to set up several gas pricing points. “We'll have Henry Hub, too, as that's what we now have,” said Javier Gutierrez Becerril, director of operations at CFE Energy.

Precisely geared to the tasks of users in the control room of a power station, Siemens’ latest instrumentation and control systems SPPA-T3000 Cue is proving a “risk-free means” for operators around the world to cut costs and reduce plant downtime.Customers embrace the new system, so SPPA-T3000 was already sold to a three-digit number of power station operators within just a few months after the launch.

Co-operating on data center projects, Wärtsilä and Schneider Electric have partnered to join up their individual products and services, along with those of third parties. The co-operation focuses on hyperscale data center projects with at least a 10-MW electrical load.

Speed and scope of implementing both grid and off-grid solutions is not fast enough to allow the world’s state leaders reach their common goal of reaching universal electricity access by 2030. To not miss their target, countries need to find innovative ways of integrating decentralized power sources, renewables and scale up demand-side management. Staying optimistic, the International Energy Agency (IEA) deems global electrification by 2030 to be “within reach.”

“Green chemistry” is what Evonik and Siemens are envisaging by using electricity from renewable sources and bacteria to convert carbon dioxide into specialty chemicals. Based on €2.8 million funding from Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the two companies just launched a 2-year research project, called ‘Rheticus’, on electrolysis and fermentation processes.

Low-cost of natural gas has allowed it to stay the dominant source of power generation in the United States for the second year in a row. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that gas-fired power plants covered an average of 32% of total U.S. electricity needs in 2017, compared with 30% from coal power plants.

Moody's Investors Service maintains its stable outlook for the power sector in India over the next 12-18 months. The Indian government's debt restructuring of financially weak distribution utilities, under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY), is expected to “gradually improve the financial conditions of state-owned distribution companies,” alleviating off-taker risk.

Dominion Voltage Inc. (DVI), a subsidiary of Dominion Energy and leader in Volt/VAR optimization "VVO" solutions, will work with energy companies in Ontario, Canada, to help avoid energy losses in power distribution systems in line with the government's Long-Term Energy Plan. Navigant estimates the inclusion of front of the meter conservation (IFMC) will reduce annual power demand by 185-MW and save up to 1,130 gigawatt hours (GWh), once implemented.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio on January 10, 2018, announced a lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips, claiming the companies intentionally misled the public about the effects of climate change in order to protect their profits.  Together with comptroller Scott Stringer, de Blasio submitted a resolution instructing the city's five pension funds to explore ways to divest their fossil fuel holdings.  Between them, the funds hold $5 billion worth of securities in over 190 fossil fuel-related companies. 

Diversifying electricity sources, Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has floated a tender in search for a consultant to carry out a feasibility study for the country’s first waste-to-energy project. Capacity of the plant and capital expenditure will be specified later.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) has filed to the state’s public utilities commission for permission to increase rates, seeking to recover its $390 million investment in the Mustang Energy Center. The 462-MW peaking power plant is the first gas-fired generator that OG&E has built in more than 30 years.

News in Brief

China’s gas production up 2.3% in Dec-2017

Jan 23 – Robust winter demand has propelled up gas prices in Northern China, prompting the government to ease restrictions on coal-burn for power generation. Domestic gas production subsequently increased. In December alone, gas production stood at 13.61 Bcm, up 2.3% year on year - the highest monthly rise since 2010, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Electric vehicle market on the up

Jan 22 – Electric car deployment is swift in some markets: In Norway, electric cars had a 29% market share last year, the highest globally, followed by the Netherlands with 6.4%, and Sweden with 3.4%. Globally, the number of electric cars on the roads rose to 2 million in 2016, following a year of strong growth in 2015, according to of the International Energy Agency’s latest Global EV Outlook. China was the largest EV market in 2016, accounting for more than 40% of new sales.

Bahrain to commence tight gas drilling

Jan 19 – Bahrain’s oil ministry is in talks with Schlumberger, Haliburton and others to start the development of its tight gas reserves in the course of this year, notably large deposits within the onshore Kuff reservoir. The drive to tap its own gas reserves complement’s Bahrain’s ongoing construction of an LNG import terminal, designed to balance seasonal demand.

Siemens rebrands its HSRG arm

Jan 18 – Siemens has rebranded and renamed its full subsidiary NEM Energy into Siemens Heat Transfer Technology (HTT). Headquartered in the Netherlands, NEM Energy mainly designs, engineers and sells components for power plants: Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HSRG), Waste Heat Recovery Units (WHRUs), Exhaust & Diverter Systems and related equipment.

CPUC rules to replace gas plants with energy storage

Jan 17 – California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has ruled that Calpine needs to replace three gas-fired peaking power plants with energy storage facilities by 2019, “if feasible and at a reasonable cost to ratepayers.” Calpine had initially sought regulatory permission to maintain “must-run status” for the two 47-MW peaking plants in Feather River and Yuba and a 605-MW gas power plant in Metcalf.

Control System market to top 6.2bn by 2022

Jan 16 – As more and more emphasis gets placed on alternative energy production, the market for power plant control systems is set to grow at an annual growth rate of 5.78%, expanding from $4.70 billion in the past year to $6.22 billion by 2022. According to MarketsandMarkets, top players in this electricity management are ABB, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Emerson and GE.

California to close last nuke in 2025

Jan 15 – The Public Utility Commission has reached an agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to close California's last nuclear power plant reactors at Diablo Canyon by 2025. As the state’s largest power plant, Diablo Canyon currently covers 9% of California’s electricity needs.

Halyard hands out EPC contract for Texas peaking plant

Jan 12 – Lauren Engineers & Constructors has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a 348MW natural gas-fired peaking power plant in Texas from Halyard Energy Wharton, a part of Halyard Energy Ventures.

Bord Gáis to develop battery storage, not OCGT in Kilkenny

Jan 11 – Kilkenny County Council is processing an application Greener Ideas, a joint venture set up in 2009 between Bord Gáis Energy and Mountside Properties,for the construction of a 100MW battery energy storage system. Initially the project partners intended to develop an open-cycle gas turbines power plant on the site which is now listed for the battery project.

L&T commissions 360-MW Bheramara plant

Jan 10 – Larsen & Tourbo, the India-based engineering firm, has commissioned and handed over the 360-MW Bheramara gas power plant to North West Power Generation Company, a subsidiary of Bangladesh Power Development Board. L&T said it had carried out EPC for the plant which was built on a turnkey basis for Marubeni, with gas and steam turbines supplied by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS).

Floating power market to hit $1.4bn by 2022

Jan 9 – The floating power plant market is expected to grow from an estimated $889.6 million in 2017 to $1,440.1 million by 2022, growing at an average annual rate of 10.11% through to 2022. According to MarketsandMarkets, growth in this sector is spurred rising electricity demand in remote areas combined with benefits of floating vs. land-based power projects, e.g. issues related to land acquisition.

Israeli refinery to build 135-MW captive power plant

Jan 8 – ORL, Israel's largest refining and petrochemicals group, has confirmed plans to build a 135-MW gas-fired heat and power plant that will eventually be expanded to 340-MW. The cogeneration plant will produce both steam and electricity to power ORL's own operations, replacing an old coal-fired unit. Gas supply for the new CHP will be sourced via Energean from two offshore Israeli gas fields.

JERA sells 6% stake in New York gas power plant

Jan 5 – Japan’s JERA, a fuel joint venture between Tepco and Chubu Electric, has sold 6% of its equity interest in Cricket Valley Energy Center, the operator of 1,100-MW combined-cycle gas power plant under construction in Dover, New York. The buyer of the JERA’s equity stake is the Development Bank of Japan which is already invested in the project.

Pipeline blast halves Nigeria’s power output

Jan 4 – A fire at the NNPC-operated Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline in Nigeria’s southern Edo state has halted gas supply to the 1,320-MW Egbin power plant and five others, according to a statement by the Nigerian Power, Works and Housing Ministry. In total, the pipeline blast interrupted gas supplies to utilities generating more than 3,000-MW. The sudden load change tripped Nigeria’s power grid.

US biodiesel output rises despite tax credits expiry

Dec 21 – Biodiesel production levels in the United States were slightly higher in the first nine month of 2017 than in the previous year, despite the expiration of a federal biodiesel blender's tax credit at the end of 2016. The EIA forecasts a continued increased of domestic US biodiesel production due to changes to import policies which will make it more difficult to import biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.

Aggreko to implement Q-Pulse in 200 sites

Dec 20 – Aggreko, a leading provider of modular mobile power gensets, will install Ideagen’s Q-Pulse software in 200 locations worldwide. Once implemented at Aggreko’s regional hubs, the Q-Pulse software will enable around 200 supplier surveillance audits per year. Live data from the system will also allow Aggreko to assess trends and potential risks from across the business quickly and efficiently.

TimkenSteel to use NextGen off-gas analysis system

Dec 19 – TimkenSteel has placed an order to install Tenova’s NextGen off-gas analysis system, iEAF dynamic process control and water detection at its Faircrest steel plant in Canton, Ohio. When fully implemented, the three technologies combined will help reduce energy consumption, improve water leak detection and increase the plant’s overall productivity.