Daily News

Electricity demand and GDP growth used to be closely coupled but this link has been broken in several countries due to changes in economic makeup, electrification and income levels. Some OECD countries with sustained GDP growth, like the United States, Japan and the UK, have shifted from energy-intensive manufacturing toward service economies – using significantly less electricity per capita as a result.

Differences on energy policy and migration have brought down lengthy and difficult coalition talks between Germany’s Conservatives, the Green Party and the Liberals (FDP). Shortly before midnight on Sunday, FDP head Christian Lindner abandoned negotiations, stating: “The four discussion partners have no common vision for the modernisation of the country, and lack a common basis of trust.”

As the power generation landscape is being reinvented around renewables, so are national grid codes that define performance – especially in countries with weaker grid infrastructure, which are changing in response to this new power generation mix. These grid codes specify the power quality of electricity that plant and grid technologies must deliver – both in normal operation and under fault conditions – and are now giving rise to a range of creative solutions such as GE’s ‘rotating stabilizer’.

The Musandam Independent Power Project (IPP) power plant at Tibat, supplied and built by Wärtsilä, has just been inaugurated and is now utilised for fast-start power supply. The120 MW plant, connected to a new 132kV transmission network, is a major contribution towards the economic development Musandam , a mountainous Omani peninsula projecting into the Strait of Hormuz.

Between 2017 and 2021, mircrogrids are expected to progress from the test-bed and demonstration-phase to commercializing projects. According to GlobalData analysis, the value of global microgrid market will almost double from $12 billion in 2016 to around $23 billion in 2021, growing at an annual rate of about 14%.

Siemens’ Power and Gas (PG) division will be most affected by the Group’s latest round of restructuring which will affect 6,900 jobs, or 2% of the company’s global workforce and 6,100 jobs at Siemens PG. Global demand for large gas turbines, generating more than 100-MW, "has fallen drastically" and is "expected to level out at around 110 turbines a year," the German OEM stated. By contrast, the technical manufacturing capacity of all producers worldwide is estimated at around 400 turbines.

Complying with Israel’s tighter health, safety and environment regulations, PAZ Ashdod Refinery had to revamp existing process gas compressors for hydrogen application. PAZ entrusted Burckhardt Compression to carry out this task which also saw a performance upgrade of compressors by another Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

GE’s Power Services business has signed an agreement with Azito Energie to upgrade two gas turbines at the company’s combined-cycle power plant and help increase power output by up to 30 MW. The project at Azito’s CCGT, located in the Yopougon district of the Ivory Coast, marks GE’s first GT13E2 MXL2 gas turbine upgrade in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Total energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to continue falling for the second year in 2017 but rise slightly in 2018, according to the EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook. Utilities in Texas and the Midwest are leading the way in cutting emissions by burning less burning coal. In both states a record number of coal-fired power stations were retired, or converted to natural gas.

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU) sees the much-debated option of a successive closure of coal power plants as a “last resort to meet Germany’s 2020 climate goals.” However, the timeline of such a coal exit is subject to fierce debate in the ongoing talks to form a coalition government, with the Conservatives stressing the importance of “reliable and reasonably priced power supply.”

LNG imports to Spain jumped 45% in October, spurred by rising demand from industry and the power sector which propelled up the country's total gas imports 29% year-on-year to an equivalent of 37.8TWh. According to data from the Spanish TSO Enagas, most LNG cargoes in October were imported from Nigeria, followed by Algeria.

ITM Power has secured funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to deploy large scale Power-to-Gas energy storage on the Northern Gas Networks’ (NGN) distribution grid. In a subsequent study, both partners will examine the potential and cost-effectiveness of such storage solutions, starting from the 50 MWh range.

Shortly after completing the project financing agreement for the Muara Tawar power plant upgrade, Indonesia’s PT. Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has give Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction notice to proceed (NTP) with works to convert and expand the plant from 1,150MW in open-cycle to 1,800MW in combined-cycle mode.

The Government of South Australia has evaded questions in Parliament about the cost of its new mobile power generators that have been installed and tested at Elizabeth and Londsdale. Rumours have it the final price tag might exceed $400 million but Premier Jay Weatherill refused to provided details, pointing to a confidentially agreement with the generator’s operator APR Energy.

Germany’s largest utility RWE on Tuesday reported a recovery in Q3 profits but warned of a quick exit from coal power to further reduce carbon emissions and reach Germany’s climate target, as demanded by the Green Party. Just days earlier, RWE said it is de-mothballing another two gas power plants ahead of the coming winter.

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.