Daily News

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.

Persistently high power prices and energy shortages along the East Coast of Australia could be solved by a trans-continental gas pipeline that connects the resource-rich Northwest to existing infrastructure in central Australia, says Colin Barnett former premier of Western Australia. Though the 3,000km interconnector costs an estimated $5billion, he stressed expenses need to be put in context with $49 billion spent for a national broadband project.

Construction works for the proposed Marshall Energy Center could start by early 2019. The project comes with a price tag of $400 million and consists of two gas-fuelled generators that will together provide 1,000 MW of flexible capacity to help balance the regional power grid.

Eager to meet the compliance deadline, several operators of coal-fired power stations across the United States have installed mercury controls, based on activated carbon injection systems. The timing of these retrofits show that utilities are willing to invest in order to keep some of their coal capacity up and running.

Finland-based technology group Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply two more baseload power plants to Bangladesh. Orion Group, an industrial conglomerate, is developing two 110 MW units, each of which will operate on six Wärtsilä 50 engines running on heavy fuel oil.

The Atlantic LNG production plant at Point Fortin, Trinidad, has been shut and evacuated after a fire flared up at one of its power generating units. The company said it contained and extinguished the fire, with no injuries reported.

In the U.K., new offshore wind power is dramatically undercutting new nuclear generation on cost which signals that the sector has become a mature, bankable new segment of the energy sector. The lowest successful bids in last week’s auction results at €63 ($83) per MWh, were 50% less than a corresponding UK auction in 2015.

News in Brief

AsiaPacific drives growth in global GT market

Nov 17– Urbanisation and rapid economic growth in Asia Pacific will dominate market during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets. The global market for gas turbines is expected to grow from an estimated $17.51 billion in 2017 to $20.66 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 3.36%.

Kepco, Tadmax to build 1.3-MW CCGT in Malaysia

Nov 16 – Malaysia’s listed developer Tadmax Resources, together with South Korea’s state-run utility provider Kepco, are planning to build 1,300-MW  combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) some 60km southwest of Kuala Lumpur. The overall project is expected to cost $1 billion. Kepco announced it will invest $50 million to hold a 25% stake, while Tadmax Resources will own the 75% majority share.

Siemens delivers mobile turbines to Afghanistan

Nov 15 – Siemens has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bayat Power and the Government of Afghanistan to provide SGT-A45 mobile gas turbines for a three-phase energy project. Upon completion, it will provide more than 200-MW of electricity, enough to meet the needs of more than 700,000 Afghan homes and businesses.

Baker Huges to supply 150MW of power gen equipment to Iraq

Nov 14 – Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), has won a contract by PetroChina International Iraq to deliver Frame 6B gas turbine electric generator trains , with a combined output of 150 MW, for production at the onshore Halfaya oilfield in Iraq.

Gazprom gets €700m loan from Unicredit

Nov 13 – Gazprom and Unicredit have signed a five-year loan agreement worth €700 million. The loan will be used by Gazprom for “corporate purposes,” the company said in a statement.

Emerson to retrofit at turbines Engie’s DK6

Nov 10 – Emerson Electric, an American multinational corporation, has won a contract to retrofit controls on two Alstom GT13 turbines at Engie’s DK6 combined-cycle gas power plant (800 MW) in Dunkirk, France. The upgrade is the first time a vendor other than the turbine OEM has been selected to retrofit GT13 combustion turbine controls, Emerson pointed out. The first retrofitted unit is due to be back operational in September 2018, and the second in July 2019.

Rolls-Royce’s trading outlook unchanged

Nov 9 – providing a brief update on its trading outlook, Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East reconfirmed the full year outlook. Looking beyond 2017, he added: “While markets for our Power Systems products continue to improve, we note the ongoing weakness in offshore oil and gas markets for Marine and timing changes to new export orders for Defence Aerospace.”

Public consultation starts for Drax’s coal-to-gas conversion

Nov 9 – Plans by Drax Power to upgrade two units at its 2,000 MW coal- and wood pellet-fired power station to run on natural gas have gone to public consultation. The operator said it also notified the UK planning inspectorate about its intention to build a new natural gas pipeline and a 200-MW battery storage at the site near Selby, North Yorkshire.

ABB to optimize its transformer manufacturing

Nov 8 – Swiss-based ABB has announced a strategic realignment of its global transformer manufacturing, engineering and service divisions. In the United States, ABB will consolidate its power transformers manufacturing footprint by investing in its South Boston and Crystal Springs units and discontinue production at its unit in St. Louis, Missouri, which will continue to focus on engineering and service activities.

Flow-Cal launches on-demand gas measurement software

Nov 7 – Flow-Cal Inc., a Houston-based a developer of measurement data management software, has launched CALCit.Cloud, a an on-demand measurement calculator for natural gas and petroleum liquids. It allows users to perform various spot calculations, including gas volume, plate size, liquid correction factors and speed of sound. The source code of the application is in C computer language, or as a DLL that can be integrated into other applications. 

Russia, Iran sign MoE on gas cooperation

Nov 6 – A number of documents, aimed at fostering Russian-Iranian cooperation in the gas sector, were signed in Tehran over the weekend during the visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Iran. The parties will evaluate prospects in developing Iranian gas fields with subsequent monetization either through liquefaction and export or petrochemical production. Gazprom and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) also signed a MoU to work together on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

MHI to launch new engineering company in 2018

Nov 3 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will launch a dedicated engineering company on January 1, 2018, to be named Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd. The new company, to be formed under an absorption-type split, will take over MHI's engineering businesses relating to chemical plants, transportation systems and environmental technologies. Shigehisa Kobayashi will serve as the new company’s inaugural President and CEO.

AsiaPacific drives growth in global GT market

Nov 2 – Urbanisation and rapid economic growth in Asia Pacific will dominate market during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets. The global market for gas turbines is expected to grow from an estimated $17.51 billion in 2017 to $20.66 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 3.36%.

Global Power divests Mexico facility for $3.5m

Nov 1 – Global Power Equipment Group has completed the sale of its facility in Mexico and the auction of the remaining production equipment for net proceeds of $3.5 million – about $1.5 million of which will be used to reduce debt. Following the divestment of its Mechanical Solutions segment, Global Power will focus on Electrical Solutions and Services.

GE’s Predix to enhance performance at Energo fleet

Oct 31 – Pakistan-based utility Energy has contracted GE to roll out Predix across its power  generation fleet in Pakistan and Nigeria. Under the 10-year agreement, GE will implement its asset performance management solution, Predix, at Energy’s six power plants with combined capacity of 1,500 MW. The facilities include the 220MW Engro Powergen Qadirpur CCGT, Engro 660MW Thar power plant, 450MW Kolachi CCGT and two new-built wind power sites in Pakistan, as well as the GEL 75MW facility in Nigeria.

Cummins, Microsoft team up in fuel cell lab

Oct 30 – Columbus-based Cummins, a large US maker of diesel engines, has partnered with Microsoft and McKinstry by opening an Advanced Energy Lab in Seattle. The aim is to demonstrate that an enclosed facility, e.g. a data centre, can run without power from the grid by integrating fuel cells directly into the 20-rack data center.

Construction starts for Żerań CCGT in Warsaw

Oct 27 – PGNiG Termika and the consortium of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and Polimex-Mostostal have laid the foundation stone for a new combined-cycle gas turbine unit at the Żerań cogeneration power plant in Warsaw. The new unit (output 490 MWe, 326 MWt) will be build by the MHPS/Polimex consortium under an EPC contract; handover is scheduled for 2020.