Daily News

China's National Energy Administration is targeting to produce 50 Bcm of gas from coal by 2020, enough to satisfy 10% of gas demand from industries and power producers. Turning to coal gasificiation would allow China to utilise a domestically abundant fossil resource in a cleaner way, while reducing dependence on Russian pipeline gas or LNG imports.

Collectively, power plants are responsible for a declining share of U.S. air pollution emissions, a Ceres benchmarking report finds. Yet, emission levels vary significantly dependent on the volume of power output, fuel type and use, efficiency of generation technology, and installed pollution control.

California ISO, the state power grid operator, has been given the regulatory green light from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to carry out a review to consider alternatives to the Puente Power Project (P3), proposed by NRG Energy. In its regulatory order, the CEC said it "understands development of such a study is normally a complex and intensive undertaking, but is hopeful that the California ISO will be able to derive a simplified set of assumptions that will allow the ISO to provide meaningful results within the Committee’s timeline."

Enel, Europe’s biggest utility by market value, is about to shut down two large coal power plants in Spain by 2018, following through with a decision by CEO Francesco Starace to close the company’s entire coal and lignite generation by 2030. His new strategy shows the impact of new EU pollution limits, particularly the revised Best Available Techniques Reference Document, known as BREF.

Expanding its product offering, Nymex-listed Ingersoll-Rand has recently added 50 percent more compressed air rental equipment to its fleet in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. The US company rents out compressed air solutions that keep critical manufacturing processes up and running during emergencies or planned projects.

US electric utility Duke Energy has chosen Siemens as its EPC partner to design a new turbine for the 400-MW expansion of Lincoln County power plant. The expansion will enlarge Duke’s Lincoln Combustion Turbine Station – a 1,200 MW gas power station with 16 turbines – and allow for the production of enough additional peaking energy to meet Duke Energy customers' needs in the Carolinas by 2024.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made available over $28 million for cost-shared research and development. The new funding, part of the Office of Fossil Energy’s Advanced Energy Systems program, is designed to help research on technologies related to advanced combustion systems, advanced turbines and gasification. Some $5.15 million are for the University Turbine Systems Research (UTSR) Program.

The US state of California has teamed up with several German states in the ‘Under2Coaltion’ to tackle climate change. Edmund G. Brown, Governor of California said US President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement underscored the “significance of subnational actors.” California, the sixth-largest economy in the world, is adamant to pursue its clean energy targets and, together, with several German federal states, aims to provide strong leadership in the COP23 climate talks in Bonn this November.

More than 15% of the world’s population, or around 1.1 billion people, were without stable access to electricity in 2014 even though electrification rates have been rising gradually over the past decade. Back in 1994, a quarter of the world’ population had no access to electricity. According to the latest World Bank data, electrification levels improved most, albeit from low levels, in rural areas in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

John Flannery today has been named as chairman and chief executive of General Electric, replacing Jeff Immelt who steps down from his role after 16 years at the helm of one of America's largest corporations. Mr Flannery, is currently the head of GE’s healthcare sector, and in 2014 led GE’s takeover of the French turbine and train manufacturer Alstom.

Alan Finkel, Australia’s top scientist and author of a prominent energy market review, has urged the Government to set a clean energy target that does not be put any fuel-type at a disadvantage. His modelling work shows a scenario under which power prices could fall, if Australia’s stringent emission targets are lowered.

NNPC, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, has stepped up domestic gas supply to an average 7.32 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d). This increased volume guarantees an average supply of 689 mmscf/d to national gas-fired power plants, allowing for a total power output 3,056 MW. Daily gas supply is up by nearly 100 mmscfd month-on-month from 582 mmcf/d, Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC Group spokesman said when presenting the group’s latest monthly report on finances and operations.

Australia’s Macquarie Group has agreed to acquire Cargill's North America power and gas business, for an undisclosed amount, just months after the bank bought the petroleum business of Cargill. The global commodities trader has streamlined its business over the past year, reacting to a nearly 3-years slump in global oil prices.

Three new gas pipelines between the US and Mexico are due to come in service in June, with a combined capacity of about 3.3 Bcf/d: their routes are Encino-to-Laguna, Guaymas-to-El Oro and Ojinaga-to-El Encin. Timely operational start of these lines, and how they work in conjunction with existing gas infrastructure, is critical for boosting supply of cheap U.S. shale gas to Mexico’s electric power utilities and industry.

Ansaldo Energy Group has been awarded new service agreements by IREN Energia for four combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants in northern Italy. According to Ansaldo, the contract win, worth over €100 million shows there is further growth for its ability to service equipment produced by other OEMs. The deal comes shortly after another service contract win for units at the Taweelah Power and Water Complex in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

News in Brief

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.

Oil price seen rebound toward $60/bbl

Aug 23 – Oil pricing dynamics will increase, through near-term $50-60 range, forecasts Wood Mackenzie principal analyst, Patrick Kirby. For olefins, and polyolefins, this means the global and particularly European view is sensitive to demand, particularly from China, given that the supply landscape is well defined.

GS EPS commissions 900 MW plant in Oman

Aug 22 – South Korea’s GS EPS and GS Holdings have completed the construction of Phase IV, a 900 MW combined-cycle plant in Muskat, Oman. The CCGT has a power efficiency rating of 64% and is run by imported LNG. As an independent associate of Oman Oil Company (OOC), the Korean power producer helped with knowledge transfer and now aims to realise renewable energy projects in Oman.

U.S. demand to eke out growth

Aug 21 – Energy Aspects says the total U.S. power sector is about to “eke out growth”, with balances for the week ending August 18 averaging 34.3 bcf/d, meaning demand was just 0.5 bcf/d higher week-on-week. Although cooler weather is forecast for the Western and Central US over the next 10 day, much warmth is set to emerge in the East, limiting energy demand.