Daily News

Exports of natural gas from the United States have reached a record-high level, surging 30% to 2,315 Bcf in 2016. Pipeline exports to Mexico more than doubled since 2013 and are set to rise further, according to EIA projections, once the pipeline projects currently under construction are completed and demand from new natural gas-fuelled plants in Mexico ramps up.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has held its 2nd Global Conference on Energy Efficiency in Paris last week, attended by business executives and senior government officials from around the world, including all G20 countries. Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director pointed out that only 30% of energy use is subject to efficiency standards. “This means there is huge room for improvement.”

EVN SPC, Vietnam’s state-run utility Electricity of Vietnam Southern Power Corp has opened a new main control centre in Ho-Chi-Min City, commonly known as Saigon. The state-run energy company had asked Siemens to develop, design and build the control centre to be able to remotely monitor the medium- and low-voltage grids in 21 provinces in southern Vietnam.

Sharjah National Oil Co. (SNOC) is aiming to take a financial investment decision on a floating LNG terminal before the end of 2017 in an effort to end intermittent power shortages in that emirate, located just north of its affluent neighbour Dubai.  

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) focus on financing infrastructure in India’s lagging states helped promote inclusive economic growth, spurred the development of some power generation projects to help increase electrification rates. During the year 2016-17, total energy availability increased by 4.1% over the previous year and the peak met increased by 5.7%, according to India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

Southern Power, part of the US wholesale energy provider Southern Company, has asked Wärtsilä to supply equipment and provide technical as well as commercial support for the development of two 450 MW gas power projects. Owning over 12,600 MW of generating capacity in the United States, Southern Company grows its business through new assets that are substantially covered by long-term contracts.

As Europe’s energy transition process unfolds, distributed control becomes a major theme across industrial automation and power generation infrastructure. To help operators keep control of large or small power units, Mitsubishi Electric has developed PMSXpro and PMSXmicro Distributed Control Systems that allow scalable plant automation.

The Louisiana Public Service Commission has approved construction of the Lake Charles Power Station, a 994-MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Westlake. Entergy Louisiana called the Lake Charles CCGT is a “key element of its plan to provide the clean, efficient energy” – the operator also said expects to issue full notice to proceed to construction by August 1.

Indonesian state power utility PT PLN (Persero) has appointed a consortium of local construction firm PT Wika and the Spanish contractor TSK Electronica y Electricidad to build the Sumbagut-2 peaking power plant in Aceh, on north Sumatra. Wärtsilä is contracted to supply 13 of its 50SG engines, running on natural gas and providing an output of approximately 240 MW.

No new coal-fired generating capacity is added to the U.S. power mix in all cases set out in the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2017 (AEO2017). Analysts stressed, however, that actual production levels of hard coal and lignite depend on resource availability on technological advancement – not just on policy choices around the much-debated effects of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

Two further project-wins in China illustrate the success of turbine-based cogeneration plants made by MAN Diesel & Turbo. The German manufacturer has been awarded two orders in collaboration with its Chinese EPC partner Liyu, and first announced the deals at Power-Gen Europe held at Cologne Messe this week. The contract stipulates MAN to deliver its signature MGT series gas turbines to subsidiaries of the Chinese energy firm ENN Group, who is MAN’s end customer on that deal.

ExxonMobil has launched a next generation series of gas engine oils to keep up with the latest gas engine developments. The Mobil Pegasus 1100 Series was developed in cooperation with major OEMs to help them cope with severe engine conditions, and extend oil drain intervals. In fact, the Mobil Pegasus family of gas engine oils are now preferred lubricants for all new GE’s Jenbacher Type 2, 3 and 9 gas engines.

Powerphase has closed an initial investment from Energy Impact Partners (EIP), an infrastructure fund that controls over 170 GW of generation capacity in their combined portfolios. EIP’s latest funds come as the first institutional round of capital for Powerphase, which seeks to speed up the global roll-out of its gas turbine products.

Duro Felguera, together with consortium partner Romelectro, has awarded an order to GE to supply core technology for Romgaz’s new combined-cycle gas turbine power unit in Lernut, Romania. With a planned installed capacity of 430 MW, the Lernut project will be Southeastern Europe’s largest gas power project in five years. It is also Romania’s largest public investment in conventional power in 20 years, backed by €268 million funding from Romgaz.

The Caribbean island of Aruba’s main electric utility, WEB Aruba, has awarded a contract to ABB to supply an advanced microgrid in order to help integrate solar and wind energy through production forecasting and real-time optimization of operations.

News in Brief

Floating power market to top $1.4bn by 2022

Sept 22 – The floating power plant market is expected to grow from an estimated $889.6 million in 2017 to $1,440.1 million by 2022, at a cumulated annual growth rate of 10.11%, from 2017 to 2022. Driving factors, according to MarketsandMarkets, are increasing demand for power, coupled with the lack of land-based power generation infrastructure.

ITM Power sells 1.1-MW power-to-gas plant to Gasunie

Sept 21 – UK hydrogen specialist ITM Power has sold a 1.1-MW power-to-gas electrolyser to EnergyStock, a subsidiary of Dutch gas grid operator Gasunie. The rapid-response PEM electrolyser will be deployed at the Zuidwending salt cavern storage; the generated hydrogen will be used on-site within EnergyStock's systems or dispensed into tube trailers for future hydrogen refuelling stations.

CCGT market to grow at 4.25% through to 2021

Sept 20 – The combined-cycle gas turbine market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 4.24 % during the period from 2017 to 2021. Renewable energy’s high initial cost is still proving to be a major driver for the global CCGT market that offers a lower cost of power installation than renewable and nuclear energy.

GE to build four substations in Egypt

Sept 19 – Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and GE have closed a $250 million contract that will see GE build and install four Gas-Insulated Substations (GIS) across Egypt to connect 7 GW to the country’s national power grid by the end of 2018. The contract is fully financed through Deutsche Bank and HSBC France which helps secure smooth execution of the project.

Irma slashes energy demand in Florida

Sept 18 – Hurricane Irma has proved to be a demand-side event in Florida. At its trough, the state appeared to lose 1.9 bcf/d of demand versus pre-storm levels, mainly in the power sector. According to Energy Aspects figures, electricity demand on September12 dropped to 0.8 bcf/d, compared to a pre-storm baseline of 3.6 bcf/d.

Drax plans to convert two coal units to natural gas

Sept 15 – Drax Group has filed plans to the UK Planning Inspectorate to build a 200MW battery storage unit, and convert up to two coal units at the Drax power station to run on natural gas. If approved, the repowering could result in up to 3.6 GW of new flexible gas generation capacity. The utility stated its investment at Drax is backed by a 15-year capacity contract.

Azura Edo IPP ready to startup in early 2019

Sept 8 – Siemens-built Azura Edo Independent Power Project (IPP) is planned to add 459MW to the Nigerian national power grid by early 2019, Siemens Nigeria CEO Onyeche Tifase said. The Azura Edo IPP is an open-cycle gas turbine power plant project, which could potentially account for up to 20% of Nigeria’s installed capacity of 12.5MW by 2020.

Oman’s oil output hits new record

Sept 7 – Oil production in Oman has reached a new record, totalling 1 million barrel per day (b/d) in 2016. Dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports, Oman’s state finances have been hit by the plunge in oil prices which made 2016 oil and gas revenues plunge 67% compared with 2014 levels.

Petrofarc to build South Stream

Sept 6 – UK contractor Petrofarc won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract worth 340 million Euros ($404m) by the Gazprom-owned South Stream Transport company to build onshore pipelines and a gas receiving terminal near the Turkish town Kiyikoy.

Gas prices slowly return to normal after Harvey struck

Sept 5 – The price of natural gas and other petroleum products has surged in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Yet as of Monday, key gasoline prices started to return to pre-Hurricane levels as key refineries and pipelines along the US Gulf Coast are resuming operation, easing supply concerns.

ACER to set deadline

Sept 4 – The European energy regulatory authority ACER is consulting until September 15 on an implementation date for harmonized prices in the EU's day-ahead and intraday power markets. Introducing maximum and minimum prices is meant to enhance market coupling.

Pöyry to review Shoaiba-4 plant

Sept 1 – The Saline Water Conversion Company (SWCC) has awarded Pöyry with the owner's engineer services assignment for the Shoaiba-4 desalination plant which will meet the potable water requirements of Saudi Arabia's second largest city and its five million people. Pöyry's scope includes review of contractor's engineering and supervision of construction, erection and commissioning.

Wärtsilä wins 220 MW power plant contract in Bangladesh

Aug 31 – Desh Energy Chandpur Power Company, an independent power producer (IPP) in Bangladesh, has contracted Wärtsilä of Finland to supply twelve 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50 engines for a new 220 MW baseload power plant to be installed in Chandpur. The customer required a nine-month implementation time, with the plant due to be fully operational in May 2018.

Works start on Hickory Run CCGT

Aug 30 – Tyr Energy has started construction works on the Hickory Run Energy Center in Pennsylvania. The combined-cycle gas power plant has a nominal generating capacity of 1,000 MW.

Canadian Cats dealers merge

Aug 29 – Toromont Industries will acquire the businesses and net operating assets of fellow Canadian Caterpillar dealer Hewitt Group. The deal was agreed in turn for C$917.7 million cash plus the issuance of 2.25 million Toromont shares, the two companies said.

Ansaldo to service Thai cogen plant

Aug 25 – Glow Energy, one of Thailand’s private power producers, has contracted Ansaldo of Italy to service a 328 MW cogeneration plant, located in Map Ta Phut Industrial Park, 200km southeast of Bangkok. Apart from electricity, the plant produces 160 tonnes/hour of steam to support local industries. Ansaldo’s 15-year service deal covers maintenance, replacement capital parts and remote monitoring and diagnostics for the gas turbine.

Low voltage drives for China

Aug 24 – Siemens is to equip several Chinese aluminum factories with medium and low voltage drives. The value of the order is in the low tens of millions Euros. Commissioning will be completed in several stages between November 2018 and April 2019.