Daily News

Strong winds and plentiful sunshine has pushed up the renewables share in Germany to 43% in January, April and May – and with an average amount of wind in Q4-2018, renewables could cover 38% over the entire year. “Clearly, renewables are in the fast lane, while the contribution of conventional energy sources to cover gross power consumption is falling continuously,” said BDEW head Stefan Kapferer.

Canadian oil and gas producer Encana has a made its boldest move yet, buying all shares of Newfield Exploration for US$5.5 billion and assuming US$2.2. billion of Newfield’s net debt. The takeover gives Encana premium positions in three of North America’s highest-quality, oil and liquids-weighted shale plays – the Permian, STACK/SCOOP and the Montney.

India has just completing the electrification of all its villages, and worldwide over 120 million people gained access to electricity. This means that for the first time ever, the total number of people without access fell below 1 billion according to new data from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2018.

Silent-Power Project, a Swiss technology start-up, is producing of CO2-neutral electricity from methanol. CEO Urs Weidmann told Gas to Power Journal the company aims to achieve an annual production of 1 million liters of carbon neutral methanol with its first synthesis plant by 2020.

A rebound in global oil and gas prices has helped Royal Dutch Shell’s quarterly profit to reach $5.6 billion, the highest level in four years – but still short of analysts’ expectations. "Good operational delivery produced one of our strongest-ever quarters with cash flow from operations of $14.7 billion," CEO Ben van Beurden commented.

Indian LNG buyers have been courting the incumbent seller Qatar to invest in stranded gas-fired power station as a precondition for new long-term offtake agreements. If Qatargas or Qatar Petroleum agrees to supply fuel to some stranded power plants, they are offered a profit share.

Siemens has committed to invest up to 600 million Euros at its industrial estate in Berlin Spandau, a future R&D hub. A new world of working and living will be built on an area of 70 hectares to strengthen selected key technologies and innovations. Research will focus on distributed energy, electric vehicles, digitalization, and 3D printing.

Switching from coal to cleaner-burning gas for power generation has led to a 28% decline in carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. power sector. Slower growth of electricity demand also contributed to the decline, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) calculating that power generation-related CO2 emission fell to a near 30-year low at 1,744 million metric tons (MMmt).

Disruptions in gas supply and greater gas and electricity price volatility will have a critical negative impact on UK business in the next 10 years, a survey of the British Gas Security Group (GSG) finds. With 80% of Britain’s gas needs set to be imported in 2030, and in the face of the closure of Rough storage, the industry is vary about being overexposed to the volatility of international gas markets.

Hydrogen, as an energy carrier and feedstock, has gained momentum amid falling cost of wind and solar power. Once mass-produced at very low cost in places like Argentina, Australia, Chile, the Middle East or South Africa, green hydrogen could become a game-changer, the same way LNG linked previously disconnected regional gas markets.

State regulators have narrowly approved Minnesota Power’s strategic move to take a stake in a $700 million gas-fired power project, rebuking concerns from ratepayers and a state law judge. The 525-MW combined-cycle plant will now be built in the town of in Superior, Wisconsin, by Minnesota Power and Dairyland Power Coop. Start-up is slated for 2025.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 / Markets

GE to split its power business

Cash-strapped General Electric has curtailed its quarterly dividend and announced plans to split its Power business into two units. First, the unified Gas business will combining GE’s gas product and services groups, and a second unit will other assets including Steam, Grid Solutions, Nuclear, and Power Conversion.

Weakened by losses in state elections in Hesse and Bavaria, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to give way for a new leader of her conservative CDU party. Merkel’s decision could help the ruling coalition regain focus and make important decisions on energy, climate and other key areas. Uncertainty abounds about the timeline for Germany's coal exit.

Predix ServiceMax, just launched by GE Digital, is an Asset Service Management (ASM) system designed to increase equipment uptime and improve maintenance outcomes for industry and power plant operators. Combined with performance management, the new offering helps customers transform their maintenance process from a break-fix model to a predictive service model.

Seeking to balance a steady decline in domestic gas production, European buyers have been increasing their LNG imports for the third consecutive year to cater for growing demand from the power sector. Low hydroelectric output in Spain, Italy, and Portugal as well as unplanned nuclear plant shutdowns in France in 2017 led to greater gas use for power generation, and higher LNG import.

News in Brief

More buyers for Malampaya gas

Dec 12 – Two more electric utilities, in addition to First Gen and Ilijan, have expressed interest to buy Malampaya’s banked gas, valued at $700 million to $750 million, via a negotiated scheme. The Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) is in talks with all four of them, but did not identify the two new bidders.

Surge in wind power new-builds

Dec 11 – More than 680GW of new wind power capacity will come online globally over the 10-year outlook, according to Wood Mackenzie research. Most upgrades occur in the medium-term, boosting annual capacity additions from 2020 to 2023 by an average of 2.7GW.

Hybrid power for Galapagos Island

Dec 10 – Siemens has inaugurated a hybrid power plant on the Galapagos island of Isabela after only ten months of planning and ten months of construction. The system runs carbon-neutral with biofuel and solar energy and supplies almost 900 households.

Tata unveils TCS Intelligent Power Plant

Dec 7 – Tata has presented it TCS Intelligent Power Plant at an U.S. trade show, combing its engineering knowledge with artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize operations of fossil power plants. The TCS Intelligent Power Plant builds on the digital twin concept and data-driven models.

Aker, Siemens to co-develop digital offerings

Dec 6 – Aker Solutions and Siemens have agreed to collaborate on creating software applications and joint service offerings, e.g. industrial digital twins that will drive efficiency throughout the entire plant lifecycle. Specific offerings for the oil and gas sector will be based on Siemens' Comos engineering platform.

Robot for remote inspection

Dec 5 – Sarcos Robotics is demonstrating their Guardian S mobile IoT inspection robot at POWER-GEN International in Orlando, Florida. The remote visual inspection tool that can carry multiple sensor payloads and is a quick-deploy inspection solution for pipes, boilers and tanks.

JERA still builds coal power plants

Dec 4 – JERA, Japan’s largest LNG importer, said it was still replacing ageing oil-fuelled power plants with coal-fired units, instead of gas, for economic reasons. Environmental permits have just been issued for two new coal power units at Yokosuka power station, south of Tokyo.

GE delivers grid solution to Pakistan

Dec 3 – GE Power has delivered a turnkey solution to DG Khan Cement Company (DGKCCL), for its new cement plant. Situated 30km northwest of Karachi, the new manufacturing facility is powered by GE’s advanced grid solutions including 132/6.3 kV gas insulated switchgear (GIS), 40MVA power transformers.

Rolls-Royce to showcase Bergen genset

Nov 29 – Rolls-Royce will showcase its new B36:45 Bergen gas genset at the 2018 Power-Gen International show next week in Orlando, Florida. This will be the first time the company introduced Bergen engines at a U.S.-based trade show.

Toshiba aggregates RES & energy storage

Nov 28 – Tokyo-based Toshiba will reinforce its green energy footprint by spending 100 billion yen ($175m) on a new biomass power plant near the thermal Mikawa power station in Omuta, Fukuoka prefecture. Going forward, Toshiba aims to aggregate all its renewable energy sources and storage batteries, creating a Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

Exmar helps Argentina export LNG

Nov 28 – Belgium's Exmar has signed a 10-year agreement with YPF to produce and export 500,000 tonnes per annum of LNG from Argentina via a floating liquefaction vessel named Tango FLNG. The deal advances Argentina’s ambitions of becoming a gas exporter.

ABB UPS tops 97% efficiency

Nov 27 – ABB latest uninterruptible power supply (UPS) module has a 97.6% efficiency rating. The DPA 250 S4 covers the power range 50 to 1,500 kW and is designed for critical, high-density computing environments such as data centers, hospitals, railway signaling stations and airports.

Europe still depends on Russian gas

Nov 26 – In the first ten month of 2018, there was a more than 100:1 disparity between Russian pipeline gas and U.S. LNG deliveries to European countries, according to Gazprom figures. The Russian gas giant sees still “a high level of uncertainty” in the long-term forecasts for U.S. shale gas production.

Enagas, Fluxys sell stake in Swedegas

Nov 23 – The Belgian and Spanish TSOs, Fluxys and Enagas, have sold their entire shareholding in Swedegas to First State Gas Transport AB, part of the infrastructure fund First State Investments. The two TSOs each owned a 50% stake in the operator of Sweden’s high-pressure gas grid.

Developing alternative fuels

Nov 22 – Wärtsilä, Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) are developing a business case for the use of alternative fuels with Wärtsilä generating sets. In focus are methanol, dimethyl ether and ammonia, synthesised from hydrogen, CO2 and nitrogen.

UK will not incentivize new gas storage

Nov 21 – Rebuking warnings of gas supply shortages, the UK government said it will not give any regulatory support for new gas storage facilities. Insisting that “the benefits of more insurance are not worthwhile,” energy secretary Greg Clarke said, insisting the market was already providing sufficient gas security and optionality.

PG&E uses SF6-fee switchgear

Nov 20 – California’s Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has contracted Siemens to supply SF6-free dead-tank circuit breakers and gas-insulated switchgear (GIS). They are destined for California’s 115-kilovolt (kV) high-voltage grid.