Daily News

Cheap gas supply spurs construction of new gas power stations in the United States, with CCGT additions anticipated to reach 9% after topping 8.8% last year. According to EIA figures, over 7.5 GW came of new gas generating capacity went online last year as planned, and 2.6 GW were delayed until 2018.

Flexible gas-fired “peaker” plants, together with energy storage, will bolster the intermittency of solar and wind power for years to come, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Battery storage is forecast to see surge in capacity by a factor of more than 160 times by 2050.

Following substantial investment in new capacity, Gazprom’s power generation strategy through to 2027 is focussing on upgrades as well as decommissioning on economically unviable capacity. Construction of the Grozny thermal power plant is slated to be finished before the end of 2019.

Eager to advance energy savings, U.S. electric utilities have spent over $3.6 billion on energy efficiency customer incentives in 2016, or an average of $24 per customer. According to an EIA survey, the top spent on efficiency savings was in Massachusetts, with $128 per customer.

Come June 26, General Electric will lose its listing in the Dow Jones Industrial Average after more than a century, reflecting GE’s difficulties to win new business and a slump in the company’s share price. GE executives said drooping out of the Dow would not change the company’s commitment to create a “stronger, simpler” enterprise.

Only large scale and intelligent energy storage can solve the issue of variable renewable electricity generation. There is little political will for a fresh wave of subsidies for storage – as there was for renewables – hence a carefully crafted market design is needed to incentivises flexibility and storage, says Patrick Clerens, Secretary General at the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE).

Finland’s technology group Wärtsilä has launched an integrated solar PV and energy storage to deliver a true “renewables as baseload” solution that increases resilience and efficiencies. The adaptable Wärtsilä Hybrid Solar can be supported by a power producer’s existing grid infrastructure.

French utility Engie has sold its shareholding in Thailand’s Glow Energy to the PTT unit Global Power Synergy for net proceeds of €2.6 billion. With the disposal, Engie will no longer operate any coal-fired assets in Asia-Pacific and reduces its installed coal power capacity by 14% globally.

Dismissing news about a possible sale of Siemens Power&Gas (PG) business unit, CEO Joe Kaeser said he wanted to improve the unit’s performance although this doesn’t exclude the possibility of outsourcing, or sale, at a later stage. A Siemens employee familiar with the matter told Gas to Power Journal there are some strategic considerations about how to slowly dismantle the group.

First fire of Toshiba’s 50 MW(th) commercial-scale combustor has been carried out at NET Power’s oxy-combustion CO2 power-cycle demonstration plant in La Porte, Texas. Testing uses CO2 working fluid to produce low-cost electricity while virtually eliminating emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other pollutants.

RWG (Repair & Overhauls) Ltd, a Siemens and Wood Company, has been appointed for new assembly and testing of Siemens SGT-A05 (KB7 HE) gas turbines. The Houston-based facility of RWE will handle all aspects of the new-build programme including sub-assembly, dynamic balance, engine assembly and factory acceptance testing.

Global gas trade expanded last year by 63 billion cubic metres, or 6.2%, with growth in LNG outpacing growth in pipeline trading, according to the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy. The apparent absence of a glut shows, according to analysts, that any surplus LNG resulted in bouts of unsustainably low prices rather than a build-up of idle capacity.

Today, Electrify Europe – the world’s first event dedicated to the convergence between power generation and distribution sectors – is getting underway in Vienna, Austria. Digitalization, decarbonization, decentralization and electrification are the megatrends that are critically examined in various conference panels and on the exhibition floor.

Ansaldo Energia and Leonardo – one of the top ten players in aerospace, defence and security – are setting up the "Start 4.0 Competence Centre for the Security and Optimisation of critical Infrastructures" in Liguria, Italy. Their mission is to identify adequate solutions through experiments and validate methodological approaches to map risk and protect infrastructure, notably power plants.

Developing Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) would substantially increase U.S. crude oil and natural gas production after 2030. The state of Alaska holds an estimated 36 billion barrels of crude oil and 137 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, so after the Trump administration lifted an ANWR drilling moratorium in December 2017, wildcatters are rushing north to tap America’s Arctic resources.

News in Brief

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.

Rostec develops mobile LNG-fired power plants

July 16 – Russia’s state-owned holding Rostec has developed a mobile power plant on the basis of gas reciprocating units of Russian make. Running on LNG, the power plant can provide up to 1.4 MW of electricity and is employed to power remote settlement and oil upstream operations. 

First grid-scale LAES launched

July 13 – Highview Power has just launched the first grid-scale liquid air energy-storage (LAES) plant. Used for grid balancing, the 5-MW/15-MWh system, situated near Manchester, will be able to store and deliver enough electricity to power about 5,000 homes for three hours.

Henry Hub to test $2.90 mark

July 12 – Rising gas-burn in the U.S. power sector of 4.7 Bcf/d week-on-week is more than offsetting holiday-related reductions in industrial gas use, according to Energy Aspects figures. Natural gas prices at Henry Hub are expected to once more test the high $2.90s/MMBtu.

Gemma carries out EPC for 1.6GW project in Virginia

July 11 – Gemma Power Systems and Chickahominy Power have entered into an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services contract to construct the Chickahominy Power Station, a 1,600 MW gas-fired power plant, in Charles City County, Virginia. Developed by Balico, the project is anticipated to get underway in the first quarter of 2019 and be completed in the spring of 2022.

GE signs new Waukesha distributor in Nigeria

July 10 – GE’s Distributed Power business has signed an agreement with HOERBIGER Service Middle East FZE to be an authorized distributor for GE’s Waukesha gas engine products in Nigeria. With this deal, GE seeks to expand its Waukesha sales and services network near the point of use, given that Waukesha engines are suited for a variety of on-site mechanical drive, gas compression and power generation applications.

 

InnoEnergy and Swedish partners launch Power2U

July 9 – Europe’s sustainable energy engine, InnoEnergy, has joined forces with five Swedish energy firms to launch Power2U, its new venture to design and operate local energy systems that will integrate solar cells, EV chargers and batteries. The partners – Öresundskraft, Jämtkraft, Tekniska Verken, Umeå Energi and Jönköping Energi – and InnoEnergy will jointly invest 60 million Swedish Kroner ($6.69m).

Nigeria: Afam VI ready to supply 624MW

‎June 29 – The Afam IV gas power plant in Nigeria’s Rivers State is getting ready to supply 624 MW worth of electricity to the national power grid, barring any regulatory restriction. The start-up will help plug part of the gap in supply that opened following the latest outage of several thermal power stations.

ADB agrees $500m for Bangladeshi CCGT

‎June 28 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a $500m loan for an 800MW combined-cycle gas power plant project in Khulna, Bangladesh. The loan will cover costs to build the CCGT as well as a 230kV switchyard and 29km of transmission lines to feed electricity from the plant into the national power grid.

KBR to consult on Oman LNG’s power plant project

‎June 27 – Houston-based KBR has won a project management consultancy services contract from Oman LNG for a new gas engine power plant. The 120 MW plant is meant to reduce fuel gas consumption and emissions while maintaining liquefaction processes at Oman LNG's existing export facility in Sur.

ABB launches molded case circuit breaker

‎June 26 – Zurich-based ABB has added a molded case circuit breaker (MCCB) for higher-voltage solar power plants to its Tmax PV range. The breaker is designed to protect combiners, switchgear and inverters up to 1500V direct current.

Heat wave to propel up CCGT dispatch

June 25 – Temperatures in England and Wales might hit 32 degrees Celsius next week, according to the UK Met Office, while a wind lull will almost erode the contribution of wind power and require flexible combined-cycle gas power stations to bridge the gap. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, “people are underestimating how many gas stations are needed for a windless week.”

Siemens builds microgrid in Finland

‎June 22 –  Lempäälän Energia has selected Siemens to implement a self-sufficient smart grid system in the industrial area of Marjamäki, Finland. The medium-voltage microgrid will be equipped with a corresponding grid automation system and an electrical storage system.

Toshiba R&D into battery anodes

June 21 - Toshiba and Brazil’s CBMM are jointly developing anode material for lithium-ion batteries using Niobium Titanium Oxide (NTO). The aim is to develop next-generation lithium-ion battery material, characterized by high-energy density and ultra-rapid recharging.