Daily News

Fivesgroup, an Italian industrial engineering group, has opened up its European test centre based in the Italy’s northern province of Piacenza. Claimed to be the largest combustion research centre in Europe, the centre will help Fives to reduce time-to-market of new systems through digital design processes.

Reacting to soaring global coal prices, the Malaysian government continues to levy a surcharge on electricity rates for industrial customers for the second half of 2018. With this move, the Energy Commission for Peninsular Malaysia is factoring in the surge in Australian thermal coal prices to nearly US$120 per ton and helps power generators to hand down fuel costs to end-customer.

Energy SRS and partners have secured £727,000 in funding from Innovate UK to develop phase-2 of a gravitational energy storage. Dubbed GENSSIS, this prototype bundles the knowledge of industry and academia to deliver a gravitational storage prototype, ready for testing in 2019.

Major American utilities, representing about 70% of total U.S. electric load, have nearly doubled their capital investment in power distribution systems. Spending on grid expansions and upgrades has risen 54% over the past two decades, rising from $31 billion to reach $51 billion annually.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and the Peruvian power developer Gaz Energie have signed an agreement to develop the Humay PS Project, a 515-MW power plant driven by a JAC gas turbine. The deal was sealed at the sidelines of the “Change in Power” conference in Peru, and the future power plant operator aim to have the facility enter commercial operation in 2021.

As African governments seek to boost electrification levels, a GE whitepaper evaluates the role of smart technology to transform grids and the way energy is generated, distributed, traded, managed and stored. Today’s key challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa are inadequate power generation and more significantly, low levels of electrification caused by faulty, aged or wrong setup of transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Dominion Energy is seeking to divest the 1,240-MW Fairless Power Station in Pennsylvania and the 450-MW Manchester Street Power Station in Providence, Rhode Island. JPMorgan Chase is assisting Dominion to arrange the sale, with the proceeds set to be used to pay down debt.

The spread in natural gas prices between the Permian Basin, as priced at the Waha Hub in western Texas, and the U.S. national benchmark Henry Hub in Louisiana has grown considerably. Prices at Waha are now nearly $1/MMBt lower than Henry hub due to growing production and pipeline constraints that limited the onward transport of the rising gas supply from the Permian Basin.

Uniper CEO Klaus Schäfer has put forward ideas for a gradual phase-out of coal-fired power plants in Germany in reaction to the launch of a coal-exit commission by the German government. The idea is to preliminarily shut down lignite-fired plants and only allow units to be reactivated in “extreme situations”, before they would be taken offline permanently.

Baker Hughes, a GE company, has signed an agreement to sell its Natural Gas Solutions (NGS) business to focus exclusively on energy. The NGS business has been sold to two separate entities, First Reserve and Pietro Fiorentini, for a combined value of $375 million.

Financial investment decisions (FIDs) in the electricity sector have become less market-driven and more dependent on policy support mechanisms, such as capacity markets. According to the IEA’s 2018 World Energy Investment report, over 95% of global energy investment is made by companies whose revenues are fully regulated or affected by mechanisms to manage the risk associated with variable prices on competitive wholesale markets.

Nigeria’s federal government has stepped up efforts to increase the number of decentralized power plants across the country in an effort to reign in notorious power shortages. Though installed generating capacity is about 10,000 MW, there is only 5,000 MW readily available for use while the others are idle due to gas shortages or technical issues.

A consortium comprising EPC contractor TSK and Rolls-Royce has been contracted by Prime Energía to build five power plants across Chile based on 265 MTU Onsite Energy 16V 4000 gensets. With a combined capacity of 475 MW, the five plants will provide backup capacity to Chile’s national power grid.

Tabling plans for a 700-MW peaking plant at Marulan, EnergyAustralia is adamant it will only realize the proposed simple-cycle gas power plant if the ageing coal-fired Liddell power plant will get retired. The Marulan OCGT has development approval until 2019, so time is running out to get the plant off the ground.

Full-scale development of Russia’s enormous Kharasaveyskoye gas and condensate field will start in 2019, Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller disclosed. Situated onshore in the Yamal Peninsula and partly in the Kara Sea, the field holds reserves of 2 trillion cubic meters (Tcm). Tapping the Cenomanian-Aptian deposits will be a priority, Miller said, with production start slated in 2023 at a design capacity of 32 Bcm/y.

News in Brief

Sparrow gets permit to work in Saudi Arabia

Aug 13 – Sparrows Group, a specialist equipment maker and integrated engineering services providers, has been granted commercial registration to operate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The commercial registration allows Sparrows Saudi Arabia LLC, a newly established entity in Dammam, to deliver services related to the extraction of oil and natural gas

Puerto Rico electricity sales almost back to normal

Aug 9 – Electricity sales on the island of Puerto Rico, part of U.S. territory, has returned to pre-hurricane levels as of April and May 2018 after the longest blackout in American history. However, residential electricity sales appear to continue to lag historical levels, reflecting some continued outages, EIA data shows. As of April 2018, around 95% of Puerto Rico’s electricity customers had restored power, while about 62,000 customers remained without power.

India’s solar PV market slumps

Aug 8 – India’s market for solar photovoltaic is forecast to experience negative growth this year after the Ministry of Finance imposed a safeguard duty on solar cells and modules for a period of two years, starting on 30th July 2018. The move exacerbates the effect of a slowdown in the China market, Wood Mackenzie commented.

Shell expects electricity to become “biggest game in town”

Aug 3 – By 2050, power consumption is expected to outstrip demand for Shell’s core business of oil and gas. The company’s most recent Future Energy scenarios foresees oil and gas demand to peak in the next 50 years, while reliance on electricity is expected grow from around 20% of energy consumption to closer to 50% by midcentury.

ADB funds power lines in Bangladesh

Aug 2 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an assistance package of more than $357 million for a project to develop two power lines in Bangladesh. The grid extension supports Bangladesh’s national target of reaching electricity for all citizens by 2021.

Tadmax to develop CCGT in Selangor

Aug 1 – Malaysia-based Tadmax Resources has signed an accord with Worldwide Holdings to develop a combined-cycle gas power plant with up to 1,200 MW in Pulau Indah, Selagor. The deal comes as Worldwide seeks to acquire a 30% stake in Tadmax. Technical partner for the CCGT project is Korean Electric Power Corp.

Renewables hit new record

July 31 – Germany's electricity supply from renewables reached a record high in the first half of 2018, catering for an unprecedented 41.5 % of the country's electricity supply. A total of 113 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity was generated by all renewable technologies, mainly consisting of biomass, wind and solar energy.

Dominion aims to add 3GW renewables by 2020

July 30 – Striving to add 3 GW of solar and wind capacity in the next two years, Dominion Energy has has filed its first set of the plans under Grid Transformation & Security Act (GTSA) to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) for the approval. Dominion VP Ed Baine said the GTSA legislation, effective from 1 July, would provide a roadmap for Virginia’s energy future.

GE to develop critical infrastructure in Lagos

July 27 – GE and the Lagos State Government have agreed to pool their resources for the development of critical infrastructure in the state in the areas of Power, Healthcare and Skills Development. This was announced during the signing of a Support and Cooperation Agreement by both parties during the France-Nigeria Business Forum held in Lagos.

Orbital Insight teams up with Energy Aspects

July 26 –Orbital Insight and Energy Aspects have teamed up, striving to transform how energy data is used for investing. The two research firms will integrate geospatial analytics, based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, with energy analysis with a view to giving customers unprecedented global oil storage level data.

Cost for US wind generation down 33%

July 25 – Capacity-weighted cost of wind installations in the United States have declined by one-third thanks to improving technology and manufacturing capability and a concentration of new-builds in the best-suited regions. Installation costs fell from $2,361 per kilowatt (kW) in 2010 to currently less than $1,587/kW, based on analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy(DOE/EERE).

Iran’s NISOC prepares tender

July 24 – National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) has announced plans to hold an international tender to purchase parts for G.E.C gas turbine. NISOC seeks to buy parts of the turbine type Centaur.

Chart reports full-year sales at $1.2bn

July 23 – U.S. equipment manufacturer Chart Industries has reported a 34% rise second-quarter sales, with the order volumes amounting to $360.3 million. “Strength in Asian orders was driven by packaged gas applications as well as respiratory and cryobiological product lines,” Charts said when posting the results.

ABB spends $30m on transformer factory in Sweden

July 20 – ABB is investing more than $30 million in a new manufacturing unit, under construction in Ludvika, Sweden. The new unit will increase production, expanding the capacity and the range of its high-voltage dry bushings offering.

Wärtsilä’s order intake up 14%

July 19 – The Finish equipment manufacturer Wärtsilä has seen its order increase 15% to €1,553 million in the second quarter, while net sales fell 4% to €1,246 million. Looking at the full year 2018, Wärtsilä said its Services and Solutions business will “improve somewhat from the previous year.” Good demand prospects are on the cards for Energy Solutions, as the global shift towards renewables and rising electricity demand in the emerging markets support the need for distributed power capacity.

NRG abandons Dunkirk coal-to-gas conversion project

July 18 – Shying away from having to pay $114 million in re-interconnection costs, NRG Energy has shelved plans to repower and convert its mothballed Dunkirk power plant in western New York from coal to natural gas. The company said in a statement that it has withdrawn its request to have New York ISO interconnect the Chautauqua County generating facility with the power grid.

Akwa Ibom, BlackRhino sign $1.6bn power deal

July 17 – BlackRhino, operator of the Qua Iboe Power Plant (QIPP), has agreed with the Akwa Ibom State Government to build a power plant and electricity transmission lines in the state. QIPP’s management  committed an investment of $1.1 billion for the facility, with an additional $500 million for gas.