Daily News

Noor Abu Dhabi – the world’s largest single solar power project with a capacity of 1,117 MW – has started commercial operation in Dubai, helping to make energy use in the Gulf State more sustainable. Intermittent electricity supply from the solar project is being backed up by flexible gas-fired generating capacity.

Helping to dent Cambodia’s urgent need for electricity, Wärtsilä is delivering a 20 MW flexible baseload on a fast track basis. Ordered in June 2019 by CGGC-UN Power Co, the Chinese EPC contractor, the plant is built on behalf of Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) near Phnom Penh and is due to start up in early 2020.

The Iranian energy ministry has said developments are on track to commission and start up over 4,800 MW of power generation capacity. The aim is to reach a total installed capacity of 85,695 MW by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, on March 20, 2020.

Seven days of a record heat-wave in Europe – with temperatures at over 44°C in northern Spain and southern France – have claimed lives, sparked wildfires and propelled up electricity demand to all-time-highs. However, temperatures are forecast to fall sharply today in northern Germany and the Netherlands, with hefty storms set to allow for wind power supply of up to 14.1 GW on Monday.

Engineers at Belfort, GE’s crisis-struck manufacturing site in eastern France, are manufacturing the first of four Arabelle steam turbines for the Akkuyu nuclear power project in Turkey. All other components for the landmark 4.8 Gigawatt (GW) nuclear power unit will also be built in France.

Japan’s leading utility Jera and JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corp have handed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to two Toshiba affiliates to build three LNG-fuelled power plant units with a combined capacity of 2.34 Gigawatt (GW) power generation units adjacent to Goi coal power station in eastern Japan.

APR Energy has been awarded a contract by the Mexican private power producer Saavi Energía to provide and install three mobile gas turbines for nearly 80 MW peaking power plant in Mexicali, Baja California. The flexible gas peaking power unit will help alleviate the risk of regional power shortages that increased following a reduction in power imports from California.

As Israel boosts domestic gas production it becomes cheaper for Jordan to import excess Israeli gas via a short pipeline, under construction, than buying LNG cargoes under a mid-term contract with Shell. Works on new 65-kilometre gas interconnector are ahead of schedule and could be completed in Q3-2019. First gas is expected at the start of 2020.

Siemens will supply a power island for the new Yerevan-2 combined-cycle gas unit and operate the plant for 20 years. SFS, Siemens’s financing arm, provided funding and holds a 40% share in the project company ArmPower. Having reached financial close, construction is about to start with a view to get the CCGT unit commissioned by mid-2021.

Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), the largest power producer in Poland, has launched a $1 billion tender for the construction for two combined-cycle gas power blocks with 1,400 MW of combined capacity. PGE said it will select the contractor for the turnkey projects in late 2019, with the aim of commissioning the CCGT units in Q4-2023.

Monthly power output from renewables in the United States exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time in April, due to record wind power output and low demand amid moderate temperatures. According to EIA figures, wind and solar power sources provided 23% of total electricity generation, compared to 20% from thermal coal.

The European Union has dedicated €4 million ($4.5m) for research on new designs for biogas-fuelled, small-scale cogeneration engines - in a bid to open up the heat and power sector for mainstream renewables. Named SmartCHP, the solution could have a market potential of up to €4billion, according to the lead research coordinator, BTG Biomass Technology Group.

Comparing fuel costs, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said hydrogen-based direct iron reduction for steel production could allow for substitution to green energy – if the hydrogen is generated from electrolysis. “Hydrogen could become an attractive option to indirectly electrify industrial high-temperature heat," analysts said, "either via direct combustion or blending with natural gas.”

Regulators in Rhode Island, a U.S. state in New England, have refused to grant Invenergy a long-anticipated permit for its proposed 900-MW gas-fired Clean River Energy Center in Burriville. Developers have freed up $1 billion to build the plant and are now considering appealing the decision at the state Supreme Court.

Sweden’s state-owned utility Vattenfall has issued a 500 million Euro green bond at Nasdaq, its first such issuance under a new Swedish law. The proceeds are dedicated for projects related to energy efficiency, electrification of transport, heat and industrial projects.

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.