Daily News

U.S. equipment maker Chart Industries has acquired VRV Spa., a leading niche manufacturer of cryogenic equipment, to complement its offerings and extend its foothold in the European market. Integrating VRV’s business will complement Chart’s Distribution & Storage and Energy & Chemicals technologies.

DynaGridCenter, developed by Siemens and partners in industry and research, has been launched as a next-generation control system. Prof. Dr. Rainer Krebs, head of operation and protection of Power Grids at Siemens Energy said: "In the future, we'll need control centers that can independently regulate the highly dynamic power grid with an autopilot functionality and keep it stable." A dynamic control center is therefore an “indispensable part of a successful energy transition.”

Unlike other parts of the U.S., in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) some coal-fired generators are operated similar to natural gas-fired units and are used to balance fluctuations in wind output throughout the day. The SPP covers all or part of fourteen Midwestern states and has some of the highest contribution of wind power supply.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK Labour Party, has set out plans to transform the British energy market and “kickstart a green jobs revolution” that is meant to create over 400,000 jobs. At his party’s annual conference, he also pledged to double the number of onshore wind farms, if Labour comes to power in case of a UK snap election.

ENGIE and Holyoke Gas & Electric have started operations at a 3 MW/6 MWh power storage system connected to a solar farm near Boston. Massachusetts has been one of the first U.S. states to enact an energy storage target, which helped renewables plus energy storage installations to spread and become increasingly cost competitive with fossil-fuelled power plants.

Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) has selected ABB, in consortium with El Sewedy Electric, to help upgrade and digitalize the electrical grid in the Port Said region which includes the landmark Suez Canal. The region is bordering the Mediterranean coast and has a growing population of over 12 million people.

More shale gas produced in Texas is expected to soon cross the border to Mexico after the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approved an application by Mexico Pacific Ltd (MPL) to export up to 1.7 Bcf/d to a planned liquefaction and export plant in the state of Sonora. MLP is developing a an LNG export facility of up to 12 mtpa in the Mexican state of Sonora, with the first phase planned to be in service in 2023.

Research by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found 40 to 50% of current oil and gas related methane emissions could be avoided at no net cost. If implemented, the volume of methane abatement would be equivalent to shutting down every coal plant active in China today.

Turboden has been contracted by Brescia’s municipal dairy producer to install its first high-temperature cogeneration, Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbogenerator-based power plant in the world. With an efficiency of more than 90% and high prevalence of steam content, the steam & power ORC system has been developed especially for the manufacturing industry.

Wärtsilä has delivered and commissioned its first engine plus storage hybrid installation worldwide for Sinergy Kft, a subsidiary of ALTEO Group, in Budapest. Sinergy’s existing engine-driven plant is now optimized with a power storage solution that also incorporates GEMS, an energy management system from Greensmith Energy.

A reconciliation of interest agreement has been sealed by Siemens and the company’s Cental Works Council, detailing where the axe will fall to save up to €500 million at the Power and Gas Division (PG). Nearly €270 million of this amount is meant to be saved in Germany where the number of job cuts has been reduced from 3,400, as initially announced, to around 2,900.

Dominion Energy has agreed to sell its 100% interest in two combined-cycle gas power stations in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island to the private investment firm Starwood Energy for a cash consideration of about $1.23 billion. In addition, Dominion will get a further $700 from the divestment of 25% interest in a hydro power station in Louisiana.

Researchers at MIT have developed a new type of battery, based on electrodes made of sodium and nickel chloride and using a new type of metal mesh membrane. Costs of the battery are significantly lower than traditional lithium-ion counterparts, researchers say, pointing out the stronger and more flexible material can better withstand the rigors of use in industrial-scale energy storage systems.

Niu Power Ltd., operator of Port Moresby Power Station in Papua New Guinea, has signed a 5-year operation and maintenance (O&M) agreement with Wärtsilä. The 58-MW gas engine-powered Port Moresby plant will supply flexible base-load power once it starts operating in January 2019.

Initial water tests from Duke Energy's L.V. Sutton Plant in Wilmington confirm that discharges from the cooling lake to the Cape Fear River are not contaminating the water downstream. Flooding of the river, caused by Hurricane Florence had stirred up concerns over a potential coal ash contamination.

News in Brief

IEA reviews Brazilian gas market

Oct 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a review of the opening of Brazil’s natural gas transportation system. Through its Gás para Crescer initiative, the Brazilian government sets a plan to liberalize the local energy market by enhancing the build-out of natural gas and electricity interconnectors, unbundling of TSOs and implementing of network codes.

Global GT market looses value

Oct 12 – Though Asia emerges as No.1 market for gas turbines, the overall value of the global gas turbine market  is forecast to decline over the coming five years. According to a Global Data report, the market value between now and 2022 will be $37.97 billion, down compared with $52.39 billion in the 2013-2017 period.

FERC approves $6bn CenterPoint/Vectren merger

Oct 11 – US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the $6 billion merger of CenterPoint Energy and Vectren, whereby shareholders of the latter will be paid $72.00 in cash for each CenterPoint share. Vectren CEO Carl Chapman welcomed the ruling and added the companies “now anticipate a closing no later than the first quarter of 2019.”

Dürr buys part of Babcock & Wilcox

Oct 10 – Dürr Group, a Germany-based mechanical and plant engineering firm, has completed the acquisition Babcock & Wilcox’ (B&W) industrial environmental technology business. The takeover broadens Dürr’s portfolio on exhaust-air purification technologies, with a workforce of around 1,500 and estimated sales of € 400 million.

Azure achieves $12.50 per share

Oct 9 – India-based Azure Power Global Ltd has priced its underwritten public offering of 14,800,000 equity shares at a price of $12.50 per equity share. The company also granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,200,000 shares at the same price, less underwriting discounts and commissions. The offering will close on October 10, 2018.

Global gas use grows at 2%/yr

Oct 8 – The International Gas Union (IGU) expects global gas consumption to grow by 1.6 to 2% per year in the coming decades. “Competitiveness, affordability, and eco-friendliness will remain essential in that regard,” said IGU President Joe M. Kang.

Financing agreed for EVM-II plant in Mexico

Oct 5 – A financing package of $740 million has been agreed for the Energias del Valle de Mexico II (EVM-II) combined-cycle power plant. Commercial banks involved in the financing were led by BNP Paribas, Citi, SMBC, and Mexico’s Banco National del Comercio Exterior. Milbank served as legal advisor.

MAN wins award for small-scale LNG paper

Oct 4 – A whitepaper by MAN Energy Solutions entitled ‘Small-scale LNG - powering the future of Asia’s island communities’ has won the Best Paper Award at this year’s Power-Gen Asia trade show. The paper ties in with MAN’s new strategy to deliver the entire value chain from small scale regas and import terminals to decentralized gas- and dual-fuel engine, and turbine-driven power plants. Carsten Dommermuth, International Business Development Manager, said “this setup is a real advantage for customers seeking to source a complete LNG-to-Power solution from the same provider.”

IEA laments steep drop in clean energy investment

Oct 3 – The latest steep drop in clean energy investment is “worrying,” according to Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Official figures show spending on renewables fell to $298 billion worldwide in 2017, down from $318bn in the previous year, marking the biggest absolute fall on record.

Siemens closes Mendix acquisition

Oct 2 – The German engineering conglomerate Siemens has closed the Mendix acquisition, just eight weeks after the transaction was first announced. Part of Siemens’ Vision 2020+ strategy, the integration of Medix digital platform is aimed at creating new SaaS solutions and extensions, particularly for the Digital Enterprise Software, MindSphere.

Merger of BASF Wintershall and DEA goes ahead

Oct 1 – BASF Group has agreed to merge its German oil and gas business BASF Winterhall and with Deutsche Erdöl AG (DEA), owned by the Russian investor group LetterOne. The joint venture will operate under the name Wintershall DEA.

Toshiba splits R&D for Power and Industrial Systems

Sept 28 – Toshiba Corp has announced it completed all necessary steps to separate its Power and Industrial System Research and Development Center and transfer the R&D on electricity to Toshiba Energy Systems, while research on industrial systems will be taken over by the company’s infrastructure arm. The split take effect on October 1.  

Gazprom’s supply to Austria up 34%

Sept 27 – The Russian gas major Gazprom has delivered record volumes to its Austrian partner OMV after an existing longterm contract was extended in June to run through to 2040.  From January 1 through September 23, 2018, Gazprom delivered 7.8 billion cubic meters (Bcm) of gas to Austria, a 34.5% rise compared with the same period last year. Full-year 2017 export volumes amounted to 9.1 Bcm.

Keystone XL construction to start in 2019

Sept 26 – TransCanada has received a key permit for $8bn Keystone XL pipeline, with the U.S. State Department ruling the 1,900km pipeline will not have any significant impact to either water or wildlife. Construction is now slated to start next year.

ABB partners with UBC

Sept 25 – Zurich-based ABB has entered a 3-year partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC), focusing on biometric sensing. ABB will provide a total of $300,000 in funding ($100,000 per year), which will be matched by the Government of Canada.

GE launches ServiceMax 18.3.

Sept 24 – GE Digital has launched Service Max 18.3., a new version of its Predix ServiceMax Field Service Management (FSM). The new solution is said to give service technicians greater autonomy, dispatchers with more robust decision-making tools which utilities to better plan and execute complex service projects.

Aramco collaborates with Schneider Electric

Sept 21 – Saudi Aramco has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Schneider Electric to work together on various advanced digital technologies, including virtual reality. The MoU is one of several accords to support the Aramco’s 2020 Transformation Programme and the kingdom’s own Vision 2030 economic blueprint.