Daily News

General Electric, together with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Xerox-held PARC, has been awarded a $1.3 million project to reduce the timeline for designing and validating 3D-printed components by as much as 65 percent. The technique is vital to swiftly design complex gas turbine parts.

Aksa Energji, a Turkish Independent Power Producer (IPP), has asked regulators to temporarily close a gas-fired power plant (147 MW) in the southeast province of Şanlıurfa. “It has become less possible to produce electricity at a competitive price,” Aksa said in a filing to the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

Dirty king coal is seen to shed 13 percent market share, accounting for just 22 percent of the global power mix in 2050 amid a massive build-out of renewables and some gas-fired backup power units. According to U.S. government analysis, wind and solar will rise 20 percent by mid-century and provide nearly half of the world’s electricity needs.

The Chinese government has approved Beijing Gas’ plans to build a 5 mtpa LNG import terminal near Tianjin City by 2022 to help boost regional gas imports. The economically thriving Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, home to some 113 million people, is at the heart of China’s ‘Blue Skies’ policy aimed at accelerating a coal-to-gas switch in the power sector to improve air quality.

Importers of LNG to India strive to lower the per-unit-costs of natural gas to unlock the huge demand potential from fuel switching in the power sector. In eastern India, however, a severe lack of pipeline capacity hampers the distribution of regasified LNG, though works on the 2,655km Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga (PMGU) pipeline are due completed by year-end.

Transforming India to a “gas-based economy” has been President Narendra Modi’s vision for years but the country can ill afford subsidizing LNG imports to reduce fuel costs for power plants. Banks invested some Rs50,000 crores ($7.18bn) in these projects – many unable to repay their debt, leaving Indian public money at risk.

The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has signed an EPC contract for a new 100 MW/100 MWh energy storage project in South East Asia. The facility, including GEMS and the GridSolv solution, will be used for grid balancing purposes. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) committed to meeting 23 percent of its energy needs from renewables by 2025.

Singapore-based Delta Offshore Energy has been handed an investment permit to develop a $4 billion LNG-to-Power project in Vietnam’s southern province of Bac Lieu. Fuel for the 3,200 MW combined-cycle power plant will be shipped from the Magnolia LNG export plant in Louisiana, U.S.

The Argentine President Alberto Fernandez is preparing a bill to encourage more hydraulic fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale with a view to boosting domestic gas production for the power sector. Excess supply is sold via YPF’s small-scale liquefaction plant ‘Tango FLNG’ and plans for a larger, onshore LNG export plants are already in the making.

China’s hunger for gas surpasses initial estimates, hence Gazprom is evaluating a second interconnector in the Far East. With the launch of the landmark ‘Power of Siberia’ pipeline, Gazprom’s focus shifted to its Chinese offtaker CNPC who agreed to import 38 Bcm annually over the next 30 years, under a deal worth some $400 billion.

The German renewables energy surcharge (EEG) has swept a record payout into the coffers of wind, solar, biomass and hydropower producers. Proceeds totaled 27.5 billion Euros 2019, triple the amount paid in the previous year which sparked anger amongst end-users who have to pay the EEG surcharge with their electricity bills.

The Japanese trading house Marubeni has agreed to help transform the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into a “hydrogen-based society.” The aim is to use green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy, to help dent Abu Dhabi’s growing energy needs in a sustainable way.

Scaling up battery storage significantly to solely balance renewable power supply is not feasible, the London-based flexible power provider Statera said. Though Britain aspires to become carbon-neutral by 2050, the industry cautions this will prove impossible without gas gensets as backup.

In the first seven weeks of operation, Stadtwerke Kiel’s new gas-fuelled combined heat and power plant (CHP) has set “new standards in terms of flexibility, efficiency and sustainability,” the operator said. Powered by 20 Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines, Kiel’s new coastal power plant provides 190 MW electricity and 192 MW thermal energy.

On-site power provider Cummins and researchers at the University of California (UC) San Diego are reusing and repurposing electric vehicle (EV) batteries for energy storage. The focus lies on lithium-ion batteries, which are currently recycled at a rate of less than 5% in the American market.

News in Brief

Wärtsilä wins contract in Barbados

Jan 24 – Barbados Light & Power Company Ltd (BLPC) has contracted Wärtsilä to fast-track the supply of a 33 MW flexible power plant, as an EPC project. The plant, set to run on four Wärtsilä-32 engines, will be built at a site adjacent to BLPC’s 10 MW solar photovoltaic plant at Trents, St. Lucy, located on the northwestern coast of Barbados.

Azito power plant takes FID

Jan 23 – Globeleq and IPS have reached financial close on a 253 MW expansion of the Azito gas-fired power plant near Abidjan. An MXL3 upgrade will boost the capacity of the combined-cycle plant from 460 MW currently to 713 MW, equaling about 30 percent Ivory Coast’s total capacity installed.

Climate risks become urgent

Jan 22 – Adaptation to climate change is now “urgent,” McKinsey claims, suggesting there would be “many adaptation opportunities.” Climate science shows that the risk from further warming can only be stopped by achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions through renewable built-out and energy storage.

India’s electricity demand may triple, IEA finds

Jan 21 – Energy demand in India is set to double by 2040, and its electricity demand may triple, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Oil consumption in India is seen grow faster than that of any other major economy, making energy security a key priority, the IEA said in its first in-depth review of India’s energy policies. Amid strong growth, renewables now account for almost 23 percent of India’s installed capacity, while energy efficiency improvements helped avoid 15 percent of India’s additional energy demand, oil and gas imports, and air pollution.

Regulators approve CCGT in Wisconsin

Jan 20 – State regulators have approved a permit for Dairyland Power Cooperative to build a $700 million combined-cycle gas power plant in northwestern Wisconsin. The Nemadji Trail Energy Center will produce 625 MW and is scheduled to begin operations by 2025.

ExxonMobil enhances turbine oils

Jan 17 – New high performance turbine oils, developed by ExxonMobil Lubricants, are  entering the market which are formulated to prevent build-up of lacquer, varnish and deposits. The oils are designed to protect against thermal and oxidative degradation, one of the root causes of deposit build-up.

Wärtsilä signs O&M deals in the Bahamas

Jan 16 – Following the commissioning of a Wärtsilä-built 132 MW power plant in Bahamas in December, the Finish manufacturer now signed a two-year operation and maintenance (O&M) accord with the plant owner, the Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL). Wärtsilä will transition, train, and develop the owner’s Bahamian work force and provide key performance guarantees.

China, S'Korea curtail coal to tackle air pollution

Jan 15 – Beijing city government’s aggressive approach to tackling air pollution is working and South Korea’s spring coal-fired curtailments show some success in cutting seasonal emissions. According to Wood Mackenzie, this should benefit LNG, particularly while spot prices remain low.

Sri Lanka at brink of power shortages

Jan 14 – Sri Lanka could face power cuts by March, after plans for a large-scale coal power plant were been cancelled just prior to start of construction, and a tender for a 300 MW diesel plants ended up in court. On the demand side, pressure is building up as the region is moving into the dry season in February and March. Weather warnings say the island is likely to receive lower than average rainfall in the first quarter of 2020.

Caterpillar’s new genset comply with UK & German grid codes

Jan 13 – Caterpillar Inc. has launched a series of new generator sets that comply with the new G99 United Kingdom, VDE-AR-N 4110 German and Belgium C10/C11 grid codes. The following gensets – G3500H, CG132B, CG170, and CG260 (rated from 280-4,500kVA) – have been verified to be able to accommodate different reactive power modes, active power functions, and connection conditions for normal operation or reconnection after mains decoupling.

Transneft launches battery-based power supply for ILI tools

Jan 10 – Transneft Diascan, the largest Russian inspection service provider for pipelines, has developed and put into operation a power supply system for in-line inspection (ILI) tools based on rechargeable batteries. Flaw detectors performing inspections of trunk oil pipelines, gas pipelines and oil product pipelines can now use the energy from rechargeable batteries, which helps save time and reduces the cost of in-line inspection.

Pavilion starts trading LNG out of Madrid

Jan 9 – Singapore-based Pavilion Energy has completed the acquisition of all gas and LNG assets of the Spanish utility Iberdrola. From its new European headquarters in Madrid, Pavilion said has launched 2020 LNG trading operations with supplies focusing on Spain and the UK market.

Gazprom extends gas transits via Belarus until 2021

Jan 8 – Gazprom and Gazprom Transgaz Belarus have sealed additional agreements to extend the contracts for gas supplies to and gas transportation across Belarus until 2021. According to the newly-signed documents, the contractual supply and transit volumes in 2020 will remain at the level of 2019.

EastMed pipeline to take FID by 2022

Jan 7 – Greece, Cyprus and Israel have signed an agreement to build the 1,900-kilometre EastMed pipeline at an estimated cost of 6 billion Euros. The subsea pipeline, spanning over 1,900-kilometres would initially carry 10 Bcm of gas per annum from Israeli and Cypriot waters to Crete and then on to the Greek mainland and into the European gas network via Italy. A final investment decision (FID) is meant to be reached in 2022, given that the pipeline is scheduled for completion by 2025.

U.S. energy-related emissions drop over 2%

Jan 6 – Fewer emissions from coal consumption, combined with lower energy demand, have helped to significantly reduce the overall energy-related carbon emissions in the United States. According to government statistics, energy-related CO2 emissions fell 2.2 percent last year, and the downward trend is forecast to continue into 2020.

Brent crude prices surge

Jan 3 – North Sea Brent crude prices have risen to their highest level since September 2019, up nearly $3 per barrel because of Middle East tensions coupled with improved Chinese economic forecasts. Brent crude futures for March 2020 delivery were last seen trading at 69.21 per barrel the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). This bullish price sentiment will feed through to oil-indexed natural gas contracts and LNG deliveries, linked to the Japanese crude cocktail (JCC) basket price.

IEA says coal’s fate tied to Asia

Dec 23 – Rapid rise of wind and solar power in many parts of the world has pushed coal-fired power generation into steep decline in most developed countries. "But this is not the end of coal, since demand continues to expand in Asia," analysts at the International Energy Agency commented: "The region’s share of global coal power generation has climbed from just over 20 percent in 1990 to almost 80 percent in 2019, meaning coal’s fate is increasingly tied to decisions made in Asian capitals."