Daily News

Resolving a standoff over Nord Stream 2, Germany and the US agreed Russia must be prevented from “using energy as a weapon”. If Gazprom halts flows through Ukraine, the West will impose sanctions. The Russian gas link to Germany is 98% complete and ready for start-up in September.

Ammonia is set to become a novel zero-emission fuel for Japanese power plants as Woodside Petroleum and Marubeni strive to set up a supply chain to ship the green fuel from Down Under to Hokuriku Electric and Kansai Electric to co-fire their gas-fuelled power plants.

Jenbacher Type 4 gas engines are now available as ‘Ready for H2’ engines, able to operate on up to 100% hydrogen. All other INNIO engine types can run on up to 25% hydrogen in pipeline gas and most currently installed Jenbacher gas engines can be converted to full hydrogen combustion.

Maxima-Flevo, a combined cycle plant owned by the French utility ENGIE, will get the world’s first MXL3 turbine upgrade by Ansaldo Energia in spring 2023. The current output of power unit-5 will be boosted by up to 35 MW, driven by the first F-class turbine in Europe to reach over 60% efficiency.

US oil giant ExxonMobil has agreed to participate in the Acorn CCS project, designed to capture and store 5-6 million tons of CO2 per year by 2030 from gas terminals at the St Fergus complex at Peterhead. In addition, ExxonMobil will help reduce industry emissions in Scotland.

Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, has contracted Wärtsilä to supply 100MW / 200MWh of energy storage systems on the outskirts of Birmingham to support the city’s network of electric vehicle chargers. Construction at the Sandwell site is due to start in the fourth quarter of this year, and at Coventry in the first quarter of 2022.

Despite early signs of a recovery, Wärtsilä has faced a 13% plunge in net sales to €2,078 million in the first half of this year as many investments in new power plant capacity continue to be postponed. The build-out of energy storage was “at a good level,” especially when linked to thermal balancing power units.

GE has implemented the first high-efficiency upgrade of a GT26 turbine at Uniper's Enfield Power Station in north London. The revamped turbine reaches nearly 60% combined-cycle efficiency and successful test runs brought GE contract-wins for similar upgrades in Argentina and Singapore.

Zukunftsenergie Nordostbayern (ZENOB) and Siemens Smart Infrastructure have signed a letter of intent (LoI) for the turnkey construction of a 100 MW battery storage unit in the German town of Wunsiedel. With 200 MWh storage capacity, the lithium-ion battery will use surplus renewable energy to balance demand peaks in the Bavarian power grid.

Three-quarters of lithium-ion batteries and half of the world’s electric vehicles are made in China, hence the People's Republic has entered a race for cobalt, nickel and lithium. These raw materials largely need to be imported and prices are rising fast as lithium demand is set to surge 510% by 2040. 

Full-scale engine tests for hydrogen and ammonia co-firing are underway at Wärtsilä's laboratory in Vaasa, Finland, to assess the optimum parameters for combusting carbon-neutral fuels. The aim is to have an engine and power plant concept for pure hydrogen operation ready by 2025.

Grapeland compressor station in Texas was upgraded within a critical 10-month delivery window during the pandemic. Siemens Energy swiftly supplied and started up two SGT-400 mechanically driven RFBB20 compressors that boost throughput of the CJ Express pipeline, running from East Texas to the US Gulf Coast, by approximately 1 Bcf/d.

News in Brief

Howden powers methanol plant

July 29 – Howden will deliver a hydrogen compressor to Johnson Matthey to serve the world’s first methanol plant that harnesses energy from the wind, in Patagonia, Chile. The Haru Oni project will deliver around 900,000 litres per year of e-methanol as early as 2022 and will be scaled up to 550 million litres of e-fuels per year by 2026.

Bloom SOFCs to power micro plant in South Korea

July 28 – California-based Bloom Energy, in cooperation with SK ecoplant, will install solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Donghae City, South Korea. The CHP will provide heat and warm water for the nearby Bukpyung sports center. Construction on the project is slated to start this autumn.

Shanghai Electric to digitalise factories

July 27 – Shanghai Electric has entered a partnership with AI Investment Fund at the WAIC 2021 conference to provide digital solutions to industrial parks and medical institutions. Yang Hong, Vice President of Shanghai Electric said the aim is to help industries to minimise emissions and waste while maintaining low unit costs.

Slow LNG uptake in Africa

July 26 – In Africa, the uptake of LNG imports to new markets has been slow. Both Ghana’s 1.7 million tons per annum (mtpa) Tema LNG and Senegal’s 1.0 mtpa Dakar Powership are still awaiting their first LNG deliveries, though their respective FSRUs Vasant and Karmol LNGt Powership Africa have been in place since June.

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

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