Daily News

Getlink, formerly Groupe Eurotunnel, has asked GE to supply the largest STATCOM load balancer connected to a catenary traction system at the France/UK Channel Tunnel. Once completed by the end of 2019, the solution will allow Getlink to nearly double the traffic in the Channel Tunnel.

Siemens has been selected to deliver another SGT-700 mechanical drive compression train that helps balance the drop in gas pressure at Camisea gas-condensate asset, operated by Pluspetrol Peru. Commissioning of the equipment is scheduled for mid-2020.

Fuel oil imports by South Korean power producers have surged to 200,000 tonnes in March so far, up from 92,000 tonnes in February, according to a Reuters tender. Burning heavy fuel oil (HFO) produces more emissions than natural gas, but it is less carbon-intensive than coal and hence considered compliant with the government’s clean air policies. In February, South Korea’s trade ministry decided to suspend the operation of five coal power stations (2.32GW combined capacity), from March to June.

Gas-fired generation could meet between 7% and 40% of Britain’s annual electricity demand in 2035, according to National Grid findings. Its latest Gas Future Operability Planning (GFOP 2018) takes a deeper look at the key drivers of change: the proliferation of renewables and the support for electricity interconnectors.

Natural gas use in the American power sector fell 7.7% last year, a sharp drop compared with the 2.5% decline in coal-burn. Though gas remained the most-used fuel source for the third year in a row, the sharp drop in usage significantly narrowed the gap with coal. Net electricity generation in the U.S. from all fuel sources saw a slight decline of 1.5% in 2017, reflecting lower demand.

New Orleans’ city council has approved construction of a new gas-fired power project at the site of the retired Michoud plant. The new 128 MW plant will be driven by seven Wärtsilä 50SG reciprocating gas engines. Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, the EPC contractor of the plant, had ordered the engines on behalf of the local utility Entergy New Orleans.

Acceleration of digitalization, as well as the convergence of IT and operational technology (OT), has left the Middle East region particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks. In fact, cyber security breaches in the Middle East are widespread and frequently undetected with 30% of the region’s attacks targeting operational technology, a new study by Siemens and Ponemon Institute finds.

Total Eren and AEMP and IAMGOLD Essakane SA have officially opened Essakane, the world’s biggest solar/thermal plant. Located in northern Burkina Faso the plant generates 15 MW of clean energy from 130,000 solar panels in addition to 11 HFO-based engines. Installation of the entire set-up was managed by Wärtsilä.

Malaysia’ Southern Power Generation (SPG) has selected GE Power Services to provide digital solutions, plant improvements and inspections for its new Track 4A plant, a 1,440-MW combined-cycle power plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor. Under the terms of the 21-year agreement, GE will service the first two GE 9HA.02 gas turbines to be installed in Malaysia and deploy its Predix software.

In 2018, three cargoes - each providing around 0.1 billion cm of liquefied gas - have come directly to British regas facilities from Yamal LNG in Russia. But as the UK is preparing for another cold snap, and there’s talk that the country is too reliant on Russia for LNG. Murray Douglas, research director, Europe Gas, evaluates if fears are overstated and where British gas buyers can turn to secure top-up supplies.

Cloud-based distributed power generators, aggregated to a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), are gaining popularity notably in North America – the world’s first country to implement demand response where end-users can earn monetary incentives by managing power usage. Globally, the VVP market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 29.68%, reaching an estimated $709.2 million by 2021.

Construction of the Nakoso coal gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant in Fukushima, Japan, is now in full swing. Built on behalf of TEPCO, the Nakoso IGCC is being built by a Mitsubishi-led consortium under a full turn-key contract also stipulates construction of the Hirono IGCC at a later stage. The two 540MW power plants, are due to start up in September 2020 and September 2021, respectively.

Munich-based MTU Aero Engines has launched a new brand called MTU Power, consolidating its gas turbine engineering, manufacturing and aftermarket expertise from its business units Aero Solutions, Brush Seals and MTU Maintenance. The launch of the new brand was first announced at the 2018 Western Turbine Users, Inc. (WTUI) conference, taking place this week in Palm Springs, California.

German engineering giant Siemens has decided to invest €30 million in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for Materials Solutions Ltd., its 3D-printing specialist in the UK. The new building in Worcester will increase Materials Solutions’ fleet of 3D-printing machines to 50, more than doubling the firm’s current footprint, and is set to open in September 2018.

Shell is close to signing Hong Kong’s first LNG supply deal with CLP Power, developer of a new unit at Black Point Power Station (2,500 MW). The new 600 MW unit is scheduled to start operations by 2020, according to CLP Power’s latest annual report, hence the utility is now keen strike a deal to import LNG via a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) to be moored just south of Hong Kong.

News in Brief

US coal exports jump 61% as exports to Asia double

April 24 – Coal exports from the United States have increased to 97.0 million short tons (MMst) of coal in 2017, a 61% jump (36.7 MMst) from the 2016 level. Exports to Asia more than doubled year-on-year from 15.7 MMst to 32.8 MMst, although Europe continues to be the largest recipient of US coal.

Thermo Fisher launches new online sulphur analyser

April 23 – U.S.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched SOLA iQ, an online sulphur analyser, that helps engineers in the oil and gas industry to measure total sulphur content of liquid or gas phase samples without requiring time-consuming lab analysis. Measurement ranges of the tool are from 2 parts per million (ppm) to 100%, with and limits of detection as low as 25 parts per billion (ppb).

FERC considers change of pipeline certification

April 20 – Kevin J. McIntyre, the chairman of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given a general oversight hearing over plans for natural gas pipeline policy changes. “I decided that the first such review of my Chairmanship would involve taking a fresh look at FERC’s 1999 policy statement on the certification of interstate natural gas pipeline facilities,” he said. Under the Natural Gas Act, FERC has the responsibility to determine whether a proposed natural gas pipeline project is required by public convenience and necessity.

Turbine filter markets grows at 20%

April 19 – Market Insights Reports anticipates the global gas turbine filter market to grow at an annual rate of 15 to 20% through to 2023. The report gauges growth prospects by analysing diverse factors such as total market size, key market drivers, challenges and growth opportunities, technological changes as well as major manufacturers.

Kuwait spends over $140m on two power plant upgrades

April 18 – Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water has signed two contracts, worth US$141 million (KWD47m), to upgrade the fuel reception and control systems of the Doha West and the Sabiya power plants. Works on the Doha West power station will span over 30 months, according to the ministry’s schedule, while project completion for the Sabiya project is set for no later than 29 November, 2018.

Enel launches 1st energy storage project in Canada

April 17 – Enel X, the energy services division of Enel Group through its US subsidiary EnerNOC, has struck an agreement with Algoma Orchards of Ontario, Canada to deploy a 1 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system under a contract spanning 11 years. The storage system will be deployed in the first half of 2018.

Investment in solar PV dwarfs new fossil generation

April 16 – Solar power is forecast to become the leading contributor of renewable energy, accounting for 98 GW, or 38%, of newly installed power generation capacity worldwide. Nearly $161 billion was invested worldwide in solar power technology in 2017, according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report, compiled by BNEF under the UN Environment Program.

Simotics SD Pro suitable for up to 690 volts

April 13 – At Hannover Fair, Siemens is presenting its new low-voltage motor Simotics SD Pro suitable for mains-fed and converter operation with voltages up to 690 volts. The motor works reliably at efficiency class IE3 at both 50 and 60 hertz.

ABB controller now IEC 62443 certified

April 12 – ABB’s SD Series HPC800 controller, part of the company’s Symphony Plus portfolio, has received Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) and IEC 62443 certifications. In the assessment, the controller met all requirements in the categories of software development lifecycle, functional security and communications robustness.

Rolls-Royces launches ‘Intelligent Insights’

April 11 – Rolls-Royce has introduced ‘Intelligent Insights’, part of its IntelligentEngine vision, at the MRO Americas conference. The tool brings new agility to decision making and improves the quality of data harnessed for customers.

GE to lead EPC for 1GW Ostroleka C power plant

April 10 – GE Power, together with Alstom Power Systems, has been selected to lead Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for the ultra-supercritical (USC) coal power plant Ostroleka C in Poland. Subject to the financial closure of the project, the plant will start commercial operation within 56 months after the notice to proceed and generate a gross output of 1,000 MW.

EDF’s new Bouchain CCGT reaches 62.22% efficiency

April 9 – Electricite de France (EDF) and GE have celebrated the official start of operation of the first ever combined-cycle power plant equipped with GE's HA gas turbine in Bouchain, France. Integrating high-efficiency power gen equipment with digital technology the CCGT reaches an overall efficiency of 62.22%.

GenOn sells 1.1GW Canal Generating Plant for $390m

March 28 – Due to bankruptcy restructuring, Houston based GenOn Energy (now part of NRG Energy), has agreed to divest the 1,112-MW units 1&2 at the Canal Generating Plant in Sandwich, Massachusetts to Stonepeak Kestrel Holdings for $320 million. Factoring in working capital, excess fuel inventory payments, and an anticipated refund from NRG for an expired option on Canal Unit 3, GenOn expects to receive $390.3 million from the deal.

Floating power market to top $1.4bn by 2022

March 27 – The market for floating power plants (<250MW capacity) is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.11%, expanding from $889.6 million at present to reach $1,440 million by 2022. Main growth drivers, according to MarketsandMarkets, are cost advantages of floating over land-based power plants, particularly in regions with a lack of power infrastructure.

Cost for solar PV keeps falling

March 26 – System costs for utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) on a per-watt basis have fallen about 10% to 15% per year from 2010 through 2016. In the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2018) analysts anticipate that installed capital costs will come in at 1.85 per watt (AC) for fixed-tilt PV systems, and $2.11 per watt (AC) for single-axis tracking systems in 2018.

Sembcorp delivers ‘energy that makes a difference’

March 23 – Sembcorp Power, the electricity retail arm of Sembcorp Industries, has unveiled a series of initiatives that are meant to deliver Energy that Makes a Difference in Singapore. These measures include a commitment of S$100,000 to support social enterprises in energy, water and resource recovery over the next five years as well as competitive price plans to help businesses save money. For every new customer signed up, Sembcorp Power will give S$5 to selected beneficiaries to offset their electricity bills.

Siemens awards in-kind technology grant to UCF

March 22 – Siemens has entered the next phase of its 30-year academic partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF), awarding researchers a major in-kind technology grant of its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software with a commercial value of $593 million. The software grant amplifies a similar 2016 grant that benefitted students in UCF's Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER).