Daily News

Eager to transform into a data-led technology company, Wärtsilä of Finland has appointed Marco Ryan as new Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to head up a new digital organisation with more than 400 employees. Following a kick-off event in Munich, the Finish manufacturer is launching digital acceleration centres around the globe.

As mankind enters a period of change akin to the last industrial revolution, Rudy Koenig, Principal at QENIQ Advisory and POWER-GEN Europe, discusses three trends – digitalisation, decarbonisation and decentralisation. Peter Terium, CEO of Innogy, called attention to these mega-trends last year. Koenig examines the three Ds through the prism of Germany as a key industrial nation, and suggests they will shape the power generation industry for years to come.

NYMEX-listed Ingersoll-Rand has introduced the RS200 to RS250 models of its product line of oil-flooded rotary screw air compressors. Customers can choose between a single-stage, or a two-stage airend that increases airflow by up to 16%, according to the manufacturer. A variable speed option makes the compressor up to 35% more efficient compared to the industry average.

Utility-scale capacity provided by various energy storage technologies and renewables beyond wind, solar and hydro, collectively accounted for 4% of the electricity generating capacity in the United States in 2016. Latest EIA figures shows a small, but growing trend towards demand-side response – vital tools for balancing electricity markets the United States, and elsewhere.  

The Cabinet of Bangladesh has given the green light to Reliance Power of India for building a 750-MW combined-cycle gas power plant at Meghnaghat, in the country’s central Narayanganj district. Running on imported LNG, all electricity produced by the power unti will be sold to the Bengali grid operator at an agreed price of $0.73/kWh. The unit is part of a wider LNG-to-power project with up to 3,000 MW, including an FSRU and power interconnectors to export part of the electricity to India.

The first annual capacity auction, completed by PJM Interconnection this week, produced a price of $76.53/megawatt-day for resources in most of the grid area. Transmission limits and power plant retirements, however, led to substantially higher prices in areas with constraints. The grid operator procured 165,109 MW of capacity resources for the period from June 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021, resulting in a 23.3% reserve margin.

Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has awarded the "Facility E" Integrated Water and Power Plant (IWPP) advisory mandate to a team led by Ernst & Young, including the Finland-headquartered consultancy and engineering firm Pöyry as technical bid advisor.

Britain’s dominant energy supplier Centrica sees a “trend of less value being generated by centralized power,” meaning large combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) units, “so we have converted a number of these into more flexible open-cycle (OCGT) units,” says Merchant Power Director, Mark Futyan. In addition, Centrica is building 100-MW of decentralized capacity, based on Wartsila gas engines and 50-MW energy storage.

Attending a board meeting of Russia’s Military-Industrial Commission (MIC), Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller discussed ways of expanding the use of MIC’s scientific and technological capacities to develop technologies and equipment – including import-substituting ones – for the Russian gas industry. According Gazprom, "such cooperation should be focused primarily on state-of-the-art compressor equipment, hydrocarbon production in offshore environments, and natural gas liquefaction.” 

Risk of power cuts in Britain seems unheard of for most electricity customers. But if coal power capacity comes off the grid more quickly than in 7 to 10 years’ time, subsidy-free renewables expand, and less interconnectors get built in the wake of Brexit – fast-ramping gas generator sets are best placed to fill the supply gap, Phil Grant partner at Baringa consultancy told industry stakeholders at the Finish embassy in London.

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has asked the Florida Public Service Commission for approval to shut down Johns River Power Park, a 1,270-MW coal power station, at the end of this year. Simultaneously, the utility filed for a permit to modernize its Dania Beach Clean Energy Center (1,200-MW gas-fired), with the upgrade planned to be carried out by mid-2022.

Expanding its offering for distributed power in the low-Megawatt range, Siemens has introduced its new gas engine E-series with a power output of 2MW. The series includes the SGE-86EM for the 50-Hz market, and the SGE-100EM for the 60-Hz market. With this offering, the German manufacturer targets customers in Europe and North America – both have a need for distributed power plants to support the grid-integration of rising volumes renewable energy.

The International Energy Agency’s Tracking Clean Energy Progress (TCEP) has examined the progress of a variety of clean energy technologies towards interim 2°C scenario targets in 2025. Just three out of a total of 26 tracked technologies were classified as “advancing towards a sustainable energy transition”: onshore wind and solar, electric vehicles, and energy storage.

General Electric has committed $100 million investment to set up a multi-use gas turbine repair and service plant in Nigeria, its local CEO Lazarus Angbazo said. With this move, the U.S. engineering major is responding to a fast rise in demand for flexible gas-fired generating capacity in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy in terms of GDP.

Gulf Power Service Company (AGPS) has awarded Italy’s Ansaldo Energia a service contract for the 2,000MW “Taweelah Initial B” and the “Taweelah IB Extension” unit, both situated some 70 kilometres from Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

News in Brief

ABB delivers power solution for Shanghai Stock Exchange

July 21 – Swiss-based ABB has signed a contract to provide more than 1,500 units of MNS low-voltage switchgear for the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) before the end of the year. Dubbed the Jinqiao Technology Center project the MNS switchgear deployment is meant to support the safe, efficient and reliable operation of the stock exchanges’ data center. SSE is ranked #4 in the Shanghai market, and is ranked #26 in China.

TNB extends acquisition period for 51% stake in SPG

July 20 – Malaysia’s state utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has granted SIPP Energy an further 30 days to fulfil conditions set out in the May 3 acquisition agreement when TNB bought a 51% stake in SIPP Energy’s Johor-based unit SPG for RM51. Set up as a special purpose vehicle in august 2016, SPG was given regulatory approval last September to build a 2x720MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor. The CCGT is scheduled to start full commercial operation at the start of July 2020.

TVA’s new plant produces 1 GW in first three months

July 19 – Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) new combined cycle gas power plant in Muhlenberg County has produced over 1,025 MW of electricity in its first three months of operation. The cost of the project is estimated at about $850 million, but TVA senior vice president Bob Deacy underlined the new CCGT will give the operator the option of fuel switching to optimise its coal- and gas-burn which will ultimately save money. 

Toshiba opens hydrogen application centre in Tokyo

July 18 – Toshiba has opened a new hydrogen application centre at its Fuchu complex in western Tokyo. Research at the centre focuses the company’s new H2Onesolution for hydrogen supply system business for fuel-cell vehicles, or fuel-cell forklifts within buildings.  According to project manager Hiroyuki Ota, “This center showcases totally CO2-free operation, from hydrogen production through to application.”

Opening of Rhode Island plant delayed unit 2020

July 17 – Chicago-based Invenergy has delayed the start-up of its proposed natural gas-fired power plant in Rhode Island until “at least 2020,” citing “delays in permitting. The Chicago-based company had previously agreed to start selling power to the regional grid in 2019.

China’s energy efficiency sector tops $13bn in revenue

June 14 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) is supporting association member states in implementing energy efficiency measures. In China, government policy created a whole new sector for low-energy solutions, retrofits and services. This niche sector got started less than 20 years ago but already employs over 600,000 people and has annual revenues of over $13 billion.

Centrica starts building 50 MW unit

July 13 – UK energy supplier Centrica has announced that construction works are getting underway this week on its new 50 MW back-up power unit at Peterborough power station. The new gas-fired ‘peaking’ plant will be driven by five Wartsila-built reciprocating gas engines. The plant operator will dispatch the fast-ramp unit mostly on weekdays to cater periods of peak power demand or to provide back-up electricity when requested by the National Grid.

Siemens sues Technopromexport

July 12 – Siemens has filed a lawsuit against the Russian state firm Technopromexport on Tuesday after two gas turbines it sold for use in Russia have been diverted to Crimea, a region subject to EU sanctions. Siemens said its Russian customer had acted in bad faith, after Reuters disclosed Technopromexport had moved the turbines to Crimea where ZAO Interautomatika, a firm part-owned by Siemens, had been hired to install them.

GE Power on the road in the Middle East

July 11 – Holding a series of road-shows in Dubai UAE, Muscat, Oman and Islamabad, Pakistan in the coming weeks, GE Power is demonstrate its digital industrial solutions and HA technology. The events will also over GE’s 9E and 13E2 gas turbines, as well as mobile solutions such as the TM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine genset.

Pakistan’s PM inaugurates 760-MW unit of Haveli CCGT

July 10 – The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif has inaugurated the first unit of the Haveli Bahadur Shah gas power plant in Jhang province on late Friday. The 670-MW unit is running on regasified LNG. Once all units are fully operational, the combined-cycle gas power station will have a total generating capacity of 1,230 MW.

Siemens partners with China on digitalization

July 7 – Siemens has entered into agreements with the Chinese government and Chinese enterprises to continue joint activities for exploring the potential of digitalization and for supporting measures to upgrade and transform China’s industrial sector. The documents were signed today in Berlin this week in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Gas-burn continues to rise

July 6 - Consumption of natural gas has risen in 9 of the past 10 years, according to EIA figures. As recently as 2006, the United States consumed more coal than natural gas (in energy-equivalent terms), but as gas use has increased—particularly in the electric power sector, where gas-burn in 2016 was about twice that of coal.

 

Tepco to bid on Oz power plant tender

July 5 – South Australia energy plan, as set out in mid-March, stipulates running a tender to build a gas-fired power plant with adjacent battery energy storage. The federal state government plans to invest $360 million in new generating capacity and it now emerges that policymakers look favourably on the power plant site and project proposal of Tepko.

Orascom carries out EPC for $100m power project in Egypt

June 4 – Orascom Construction has secured a $100 million contract to build a power plant with a projected capacity of 650 MW in Walideya, Egypt. The scope of Orascom’s contract includes the full civil works package for the project. The contractor stated that the project’s proximity to an existing power station in Assuit is expected to “facilitate efficient mobilisation on the site.”

Ingersoll-Rand buys MB Air Systems

July 3 – Ingersoll-Rand announced today it has completed the acquisition of MB Air Systems Ltd. The transaction closed on June 30, 2017.

Mouchel rebrands to WSP

July 3 – Mouchel, an engineering services consultancy, has changed its name to WSP across all offices in the UK following the integration of the two businesses. Since January all employees have been working under a new structure across Britain, headed by UK CEO Mark Naysmith.

Fisterra Energy ready for $600m power project in Guadalajara

June 30 – Fisterra Energy, majority-owned by Blackstone, is forging ahead with its Tierra Mojada combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power project in Guadalajara, Mexico, after having reached financial close. The greenfield project was financed with $600 million of construction facilities and letters of credit by six banks. Construction on the 875-MW greenfield project is due to be finalized by the end of 2019.
Once operational, the gas power plant will powered by a GE H-class turbine, and most of its electricity output will be sold under 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CEF), Mexico’s national utility.