Daily News

Mitsui, and its Japanese consortium partners, are making progress in developing and building two Independent Power Projects (IPP) in Oman, Sohar III and Ibri, with a combined capacity of 3,219 MW. According to Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), the future plant operator, the gas-fuelled Ibri IPP is due to start up in April 2018.

Spurred by the global expansion in LNG supply and trade, the growth of natural gas supply in absolute terms will outperform that of all other energy sources, notably coal and oil, CEDIGAZ said in its latest Medium and Long Term Natural Gas Outlook 2017. According to projections made by the Paris-based energy consultants, the share of gas in the world primary energy supply will rise from 21.2% in 2014 to 23.9% in 2035.

Aspiring to fully digitalize its infrastructure, Singapore is piloting 'MindSphere' – Siemens' open, cloud-based operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT). To that end, the German OEM inaugurated a digitalization hub in the city state, supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), were it will develop IoT and Industry 4.0 solutions in collaboration with customers in Southeast Asia.

Supply-side overhang has made the energy component of the Standard and Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) shed 11% during the first half of 2017 – the largest drop in the index. Metals, lifestock and agriculture, by contrast, had higher end-of-June prices than those at the start of the year.

"General Electric’s LM6000 gas turbine has long been the sales champion of the GE aeroderivative fleet, but the LMS100 is now giving it a run for its money," independent consultant Mark Axford told Gas to Power Journal. The LMS100 beat the LM6000 in total orders for the first time in 2015. This included two installations on behalf of Exelon Medway in Massachusetts, five for Arizona Public Service, five for NRG Energy and four for LNG Canada in British Columbia.

Decarbonising heat is cheaper than tackling emissions in many other sectors, according to the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) who calls on policy makers to adopt an “integrated systems approach” across Britain to show how low carbon heat provision delivers consumer-value. According to ETI chief engineer, Andrew Haslett, “the challenge is one of replacing natural gas-based heating in its present form, possibly by allowing consumers to buy low carbon heating packages.”

Finish technology group Wärtsilä has been contracted by two Iranian energy firms, Baran Niroo Beshel and Tamin Niroo Saam, to provide engineering and equipment deliveries for two baseload power plants. The gensets are expected to be delivered during the third quarter of 2017, the manufacturer said, stressing that once operational, the plants will be Iran’s “first decentralised power plants of its kind.”

Acute fuel shortages have halted the operation of eight new-built power stations in Nigeria with a combined capacity of 4,201 MW. All affected plants had been built under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) set up by the former President Goodluck Jonathan. At 6 am on Sunday, the actual power output supplied to the grid by the eight fuel-constaint plants was just 2,979.90 MW – less than two third of their installed capacity.

Seoul-based power utility GS Electric Power and Services (GS EPS), part of GS Group, has inaugurated unit 4 for its LNG-fuelled Dangjin combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant. Huh Chang-soo, chairman of GS Group dropped hints at the inauguration ceremony that GS EPS is taking steps to directly import spot cargoes of US LNG through the Boryeong regas terminal as it is seeking to “increase the price competitiveness of its power supply.”

Arizona-based Tuscon Electric Power (TEP) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) in search for a contractor to design and build a power station that will house 10 reciprocating internal combustion engines with 200 MW combined capacity. TEP plans to bring half of the units online by mid-2019, and the remaining by mid-2021.

Utilities in India will face the most disruption” when having to come to terms with the trend that by 2020, renewable power will be the cheapest form of new-build capacity in most of the world, according to Morgan Stanley Research. “We think the market for Indian utilities has yet to fully price in the impacts of solar power becoming the cheapest form of new generation,” analysts said, remarking “[this is] driving our downgrade of the Indian utilities industry to In-Line.”

Capacity-weighted average construction costs for many generator types have fallen in recent years throughout the United States. The average cost of natural gas generators installed in 2015 was $696/kW, a 28% decline from 2013. Nearly 75% of the natural gas capacity installed was combined-cycle units, which had an average installed cost of $614/kW.

Germany-based MTU Maintenance has extended its exclusive contract with Sahacogen (Chonburi) for maintenance repair, overhaul of its three LM6000PC gas turbines. The long-term service agreement is valued at over $35 million and runs until the end of 2023.

Dubbed a ‘Test of German power’ by the Financial Times, the construction of the second pipeline arm of North Stream 2 has sparked protest by 13 EU member states but German energy majors, including BASF, Wintershall and E.on are adamant that implementation of the project is vital for Europe’s energy security. Boosting Russian gas exports to Greifswald may bolster the German-Russian relations but it looks going against the principle of the ‘Energy Union’, an aspirational project launched by the European Commission to diversify supply sources.

Spanish engineering group SENER has been embarking on a number of major turnkey construction projects in Mexico, such as the 770 MW Empalme I project. “The Energy Reform extends the market share for private enterprises and increases the value of the [state operator] CFE. This creates a lot of opportunities for our company,” Alejandro De la Rúa, Power, oil & gas director at the firm in Mexico said, forecasting energy demand in northern Mexico is set to grow by 3.6% per year.

News in Brief

GE to build four substations in Egypt

Sept 19 – Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and GE have closed a $250 million contract that will see GE build and install four Gas-Insulated Substations (GIS) across Egypt to connect 7 GW to the country’s national power grid by the end of 2018. The contract is fully financed through Deutsche Bank and HSBC France which helps secure smooth execution of the project.

Irma slashes energy demand in Florida

Sept 18 – Hurricane Irma has proved to be a demand-side event in Florida. At its trough, the state appeared to lose 1.9 bcf/d of demand versus pre-storm levels, mainly in the power sector. According to Energy Aspects figures, electricity demand on September12 dropped to 0.8 bcf/d, compared to a pre-storm baseline of 3.6 bcf/d.

Drax plans to convert two coal units to natural gas

Sept 15 – Drax Group has filed plans to the UK Planning Inspectorate to build a 200MW battery storage unit, and convert up to two coal units at the Drax power station to run on natural gas. If approved, the repowering could result in up to 3.6 GW of new flexible gas generation capacity. The utility stated its investment at Drax is backed by a 15-year capacity contract.

Azura Edo IPP ready to startup in early 2019

Sept 8 – Siemens-built Azura Edo Independent Power Project (IPP) is planned to add 459MW to the Nigerian national power grid by early 2019, Siemens Nigeria CEO Onyeche Tifase said. The Azura Edo IPP is an open-cycle gas turbine power plant project, which could potentially account for up to 20% of Nigeria’s installed capacity of 12.5MW by 2020.

Oman’s oil output hits new record

Sept 7 – Oil production in Oman has reached a new record, totalling 1 million barrel per day (b/d) in 2016. Dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports, Oman’s state finances have been hit by the plunge in oil prices which made 2016 oil and gas revenues plunge 67% compared with 2014 levels.

Petrofarc to build South Stream

Sept 6 – UK contractor Petrofarc won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract worth 340 million Euros ($404m) by the Gazprom-owned South Stream Transport company to build onshore pipelines and a gas receiving terminal near the Turkish town Kiyikoy.

Gas prices slowly return to normal after Harvey struck

Sept 5 – The price of natural gas and other petroleum products has surged in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Yet as of Monday, key gasoline prices started to return to pre-Hurricane levels as key refineries and pipelines along the US Gulf Coast are resuming operation, easing supply concerns.

ACER to set deadline

Sept 4 – The European energy regulatory authority ACER is consulting until September 15 on an implementation date for harmonized prices in the EU's day-ahead and intraday power markets. Introducing maximum and minimum prices is meant to enhance market coupling.

Pöyry to review Shoaiba-4 plant

Sept 1 – The Saline Water Conversion Company (SWCC) has awarded Pöyry with the owner's engineer services assignment for the Shoaiba-4 desalination plant which will meet the potable water requirements of Saudi Arabia's second largest city and its five million people. Pöyry's scope includes review of contractor's engineering and supervision of construction, erection and commissioning.

Wärtsilä wins 220 MW power plant contract in Bangladesh

Aug 31 – Desh Energy Chandpur Power Company, an independent power producer (IPP) in Bangladesh, has contracted Wärtsilä of Finland to supply twelve 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50 engines for a new 220 MW baseload power plant to be installed in Chandpur. The customer required a nine-month implementation time, with the plant due to be fully operational in May 2018.

Works start on Hickory Run CCGT

Aug 30 – Tyr Energy has started construction works on the Hickory Run Energy Center in Pennsylvania. The combined-cycle gas power plant has a nominal generating capacity of 1,000 MW.

Canadian Cats dealers merge

Aug 29 – Toromont Industries will acquire the businesses and net operating assets of fellow Canadian Caterpillar dealer Hewitt Group. The deal was agreed in turn for C$917.7 million cash plus the issuance of 2.25 million Toromont shares, the two companies said.

Ansaldo to service Thai cogen plant

Aug 25 – Glow Energy, one of Thailand’s private power producers, has contracted Ansaldo of Italy to service a 328 MW cogeneration plant, located in Map Ta Phut Industrial Park, 200km southeast of Bangkok. Apart from electricity, the plant produces 160 tonnes/hour of steam to support local industries. Ansaldo’s 15-year service deal covers maintenance, replacement capital parts and remote monitoring and diagnostics for the gas turbine.

Low voltage drives for China

Aug 24 – Siemens is to equip several Chinese aluminum factories with medium and low voltage drives. The value of the order is in the low tens of millions Euros. Commissioning will be completed in several stages between November 2018 and April 2019.

Oil price seen rebound toward $60/bbl

Aug 23 – Oil pricing dynamics will increase, through near-term $50-60 range, forecasts Wood Mackenzie principal analyst, Patrick Kirby. For olefins, and polyolefins, this means the global and particularly European view is sensitive to demand, particularly from China, given that the supply landscape is well defined.

GS EPS commissions 900 MW plant in Oman

Aug 22 – South Korea’s GS EPS and GS Holdings have completed the construction of Phase IV, a 900 MW combined-cycle plant in Muskat, Oman. The CCGT has a power efficiency rating of 64% and is run by imported LNG. As an independent associate of Oman Oil Company (OOC), the Korean power producer helped with knowledge transfer and now aims to realise renewable energy projects in Oman.

U.S. demand to eke out growth

Aug 21 – Energy Aspects says the total U.S. power sector is about to “eke out growth”, with balances for the week ending August 18 averaging 34.3 bcf/d, meaning demand was just 0.5 bcf/d higher week-on-week. Although cooler weather is forecast for the Western and Central US over the next 10 day, much warmth is set to emerge in the East, limiting energy demand.