Daily News

Determined to grid-integrate renewables, Energy Australia is close to taking a financial investment decision (FID) on more than 1,000 MW of new flexible gas-fired power projects in New South Wales. The utility also considers adding a new gas genset at the site of the Yallourn coal power station in Victoria.

Myanmar’s energy minister U Win Khaing has issued a “notice to proceed” to investors in four gas power projects which together will add 3,000 MW of capacity to the country’s electricity grid. Three of the projects will run on regasified LNG which Myanmar is looking to import via a floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) by 2020.

A staggering $240 billion overall investment, with $140 billion in upstream, would be needed in member states of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), often called Gas-OPEC, over the next 5 years to meet the growing gas demand. Such money to be spent is highly unlikely, however, the GECF had to admit considering the slowing pace of global gas demand post 2025.

Stanford Strategic Energy Alliance has been granted $20 million in funding over five years by ExxonMobil for research and development (R&D) on low-carbon energy solutions. The alliance’s other suitor is Bank of America which committed $7.5 million to clean energy research. Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy, which will manage the industry funded R&D program, is in advanced talks with other energy companies to join the alliance.

Britain’s Newcastle-based Northern Powergrid has launched a six-stage programme aimed at reducing losses on its electricity network that includes the analysis of smart meter data. The programme will enhance the understanding of technical losses and help reduce such losses across the TSO’s electricity network, serving 3.9 million customers.  

Mazoon Electricity Company (MZEC) is an electric power distributor serving 1.5 million customers in the northeast of Oman, is using Siemens’ Scalance device as the backbone of its communication infrastructure between the individual stations and the control center in Muscat.

Capstone has secured a new order of five C800 and two C600 microturbines, with a combined capacity of 5.2MW, that being deployed to power three separate oil and gas production sites in South America. The microturbines will provide primary power for the customer’s upstream operation, with the critical load being the compression systems at each site.

British factories have been told to shut down parts of their operation to help National Grid avert a looming gas supply crisis. A ‘Gas Deficit Warning’ was issued early this morning, with National Grid stating it had experienced “gas supply losses overnight” which exacerbates pressure on the system as this week's cold snap continues.

Taking bold bets to diversify, the UK’s largest coal-fired power station Drax is converting the two remaining coal units into a large combined-cycle gas unit. Four of Drax’s six units have already been switched to run on biomass, and – if not converted, the two remaining coal units would be obliged to close by 2025.

Researchers from Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and B&B Agema have been looking at a novel design approach – Nekomimi film cooling – to further increase temperatures at the combustor exit and high-pressure turbine stage inlet. The aim is to boost efficiency without putting too much strain on vanes and blades, considering that modern turbine stage inlet temperatures exceed the melting points of turbine blade materials.

Global investment firm Platinum Equity has agreed to pay GenOn about $520 million to purchase the 810-MW Hunterstown combined-cycle gas-fired power plant located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. With this move, Platinum Equity seeks to enhance its M&A strategy with operational expertise.

Wärtsilä Services continues to provide Geita Gold Mining Ltd, a subsidiary of AngloGold Ashanti, with reliable operation of the gold mines’ 40-MW onsite power plant. In case of a breakdown, Wärtsilä guarantees immediate repair, ensuring uninterrupted electrical supply for the mine.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will explore enabling technologies for the future of clean energy, energy digitization, and existing energy infrastructure at the 2018 MIT Energy Conference, to be held at Boston on March 2nd & 3rd.

InterGen has reached financial close and secured funding of credit facilities for its 300 MW gas-fired Spalding Energy Expansion project in Lincolnshire, England. The £100 million project has a 15-year capacity agreement following a successful bid in the Government’s December 2016 capacity auction.

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has asked ABB to supply its FACTS technology to strengthen the long distance transmission grid in the North Eastern part of South Korea. Series Compensation technology will enable existing Alternating Current (AC) lines to transmit more electricity and support a power flow control system, eliminating the need to build new lines.

News in Brief

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).

ABB creates virtual flow meters with Arundo Analytics

March 21 – Arundo Analytics, a Houston-based software developer, and ABB have worked together to create the first cloud-based virtual multiphase flow meters for the offshore oil and gas industry. Connecting ABB Ability and Arundo’s Composer and Fabric software, the virtual flow meter helps upstream companies gain real-time data to understand the constituent properties of any given stream of produced fluids.