Daily News

GE's share price keeps recovering fast after investigator Harry Markopolis made the stock plunge over 11% in one day, alleging $38.1 billion in potential losses that were hidden through a “bigger fraud than Enron.” Reacting swiftly, GE CEO Larry Culp bought shares worth $2 billion and dismissed the claims as "meritless, misguided and self-serving speculation."

Refusing to take the sole blame for the UK’s unprecedented power outage on August 9, National Grid said power generators were responsible for the faults at the Hornsea offshore windfarm and the Little Barford gas power station. The regulator Ofgem is investigating whether the grid operator should have done more to limit in the scale of the blackout.

Ansaldo Energia has been selected by the German utility Uniper to build an open-cycle power plant on a turnkey basis. The 300 MW plant, driven by an AE94.3A gas turbine, will be installed in Irsching, southern Bavaria for grid balancing purposes.

Critics have questioned the commercial viability of a new 300 MW ‘emergency reserve’ power plant at Irsching, Bavaria. Uniper is preparing to build an open-cycle gas power unit even though it is seeking to mothball two combined-cycle power units at the same site. Asked about this seemingly paradox situation, Uniper told Gas to Power Journal that the new OCGT project has, in fact, been stipulated by the German lawmaker.

After breakthroughs in curbing energy related emissions, industrial decarbonisation is the next frontier. At zero-carbon electricity prices below $50/MWh, using electricity for heat in industrial processes becomes more economical than carbon capture and storage (CCS), McKinsey finds.

Hot weather and low gas prices have pushed up the share of gas-fired generation in PJM Interconnection to its second highest all-time daily average. Coal-to-gas switching mainly occurred in the western part of the grid, where gas was priced nearly $0.50/MMBtu lower year-on-year.

General Electric has secured two orders for 6F.03 gas turbines in China with Guangdong Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Ltd (Lee & Man) and China Huadian Corp (CHD) Xiangyang. These order wins come as the 6F turbine achieved 25 years of successful operations.

Energy-intensive industries in Germany stand to benefit from the proposed coal exit. Implementing the coal phase-out will see 12.5 GW of coal-fired capacity being closed by 2022, and an Agora study finds replacing coal with renewables would lower wholesale prices by approximately 0.5 Euro cent.

Electrification of the transport sector will not only propel up power demand but also spur a surge in global copper consumption. Electric vehicles (EVs) alone are forecast to consume more than 3.7 million tons of copper every year through 2030, and the anticipated 20 million EV charging points are seen propelling up copper demand by 250% over 2019-levels.

Siemens Gas and Power has carried out the first Brownfield Engine Exchange (BEX), replacing a the gas turbine section (V84.2) at PowerSouth’s McWilliams power plant in Covington County, Alabama with a newer, more efficient SGT6-2000E.

Growth in small- and medium industries drives the need for low capacity gas turbines, which are affordable and easily transported. Gas turbines with less than 50 kW are expected to surpass 1 GW in annual installations by 2024, while the overall market will top 34 GW over the same period.

With more than a third of Germany’s electricity generated by renewables, the number of Power-to-X projects has surged in a bid to make use of this intermittent energy supply. Over 35 plants with over 50 kW of installed electrolysis capacity will be in operation by 2022 in Germany alone, according to forecasts by certification service provider TÜV SÜD.

Simultaneous failures at a gas-fired power station and an offshore wind farm have cut electricity for almost 1 million people in England and Wales on Friday night. The energy watchdog Ofgem requested an urgent report from National Grid into the causes of the outage.

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) is to more than double its fleet of LNG regasification ships to tap into a construction boom for gas-fired power stations in developing regions, such as Southeast Asia. According to Reuters, the Japanese giant will add six FSRUs, bringing its total to 10, by 2025.

The US set a new daily record on 19th July, of 44.5 bill cu ft natural gas consumption by electric power plants, according to S&P Global Platts. US power sector natural gas consumption exceeded the previous record of 43.1 bill cu ft – set on 16th July, 2018 – on five days last month.

News in Brief

Tohoku Electric tenders for LNG cargo

Aug 19 – Tohoku Electric Power, the fourth-largest electric utility in Japan in terms of revenue behind Tepco, Kepco and Chubu, is understood to be seeking an LNG cargo for delivery in September. A tender process is ongoing.

Cost for decarbonizing industry tops $21tr

Aug 16 – Total costs to fully decarbonize the four most polluting industries – cement, steel, ammonia and ethylene – are estimated to amount to $21 trillion between today and 2050. McKinsey said this could be lowered to about $11 trillion if zero-carbon electricity prices come down further compared to fossil fuel prices. In this event, industry could switch to using electricity for heating processes.

Co-firing Braskem plant with hydrogen

Aug 15 – Siemens is making fossil energy greener at the Braskem onsite power plant in Brazil. In this modernization project two SGT-600 gas turbines are co-fired up to 60% with hydrogen, enhancing efficiency for the production process of the adjacent the petrochemical complex.

Canada's CO2 tax to hit CCGTs

Aug 5 – Change in Canada’s carbon emissions tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could significantly lower the profitability of gas generation and could prompt SaskPower reconsider its planned Moose Jaw gas power station.

GE CFO steps down

Aug 2 – Jamie S. Miller, General Electric’s chief financial officer, has decided to quit after two years in the job and 11 years with the company. Having overseen GE’s fiscal activities during a period of intense restructuring, Miller will remain in office while the GE board is looking for a successor.

Siemens HR boss quits

Aug 1 – Janina Kugel, Siemens chief HR officer, is leaving the company amid an apparently scattered working relationship and stark personal differences with CEO Joe Kaeser. Her contract will expire by mutual agreement on January 31, 2020.

ABB standardizes eBus chargers

July 31 – Zurich-based ABB, a member of the ASSURED consortium, is working on standardizing the specifications for automatic charging of heavy vehicles. The aim is to drive down the total cost of ownership for electric fleet operators, helping increase adoption of eBuses and eTrucks. Conformance and interoperability tests will be carried out in Q4-2019.

U.S. Senate helps fund EV charging stations

July 30 – The need for expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure is greater than expected given that there had been over 1.75 million electric vehicles (EV) in North America at the end of 2018, a nearly 60% increase from the previous year. To help fund additional charging stations, among other things, the U.S. Senate approved the $287 billion America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA).

PNOC, Lloyds to develop merchant LNG-to-Power projects

July 29 – Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lloyds Energy to develop a 1,200 MW LNG-fuelled power plant in partnership with Mitsubishi. Dubai-based Lloyds Energy is looking at ways to develop integrated LNG import facilities and gas power plants on a merchant basis in Bataan and Batangas provinces.

Macquarie finances CCGT in Mexico

July 26 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

Naturgy cashes in on gas network

July 25 – Spanish gas utility Naturgy has posted a 7% rise in core earnings for the first half of the year due to strong gains from its gas network business that helped offset falling revenues from power generation and slimmer LNG margins.

French court rejects appeal against Total CCGT

July 24 – Judges at an appeal court in Nantes have thrown out an appeal by environmentalist against Total’s planned Landivisiau combined-cycle gas power plant in Brittany. The 440 MW project, initiated by Direct Energy which was since acquired by Total, is over two years behind schedule. The French grid operator RTE has singled out the Landivisiau CCGT as “critical” in guaranteeing supply security in winter 2020/21 due to the planned shutdown of four coal power plants.

U.S. gas production falls in wake of ‘Barry’

July 23 – Shut-ins related to Hurricane Barry have scaled back U.S. gas production by 1.6 billion cubic feet per day, compared to last week, while power sector gas demand rose by just over 2.0 bcf/d. Consequently, there is significantly less gas available for storage so the injection rate has halved, according to Energy Aspects figures.

Blackout after fire at Madison substation

July 22 – Electricity is gradually being restored at Madison, Wisconsin, after 13,000 people experience a blackout following an explosion at a substation near Madison Gas & Electric’s 100 MW gas-fired Blount Generating Station. No injuries were reported.

Fuel switch could abate 1.2bn tons of CO2

July 19 – Some 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 could be abated by switching to gas using existing infrastructure, if prices and regulation are supportive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this would be enough to bring global CO2 emissions back down to where they were in 2013.

IEA launches methane tracker

July 18 – A new ‘methane tracker’, launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA), provides up-to-date estimates of current oil and gas methane emissions by drawing on the best available data. Analysts stressed methane emissions could be reduced by nearly half at no net cost.

Canada’s CO2 tax also affects gas power

July 17 – Change in Canada’s carbon tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could cause SaskPower to reconsider its planned upcoming Moose Jaw gas power station.