Daily News

Where no pipeline or electrical grid exists, Chart offers solutions enabling clients to access natural gas, through LNG for on-site power generation. For a Canadian client, the operator of a diamond mine, six of Chart’s horizontal regas tanks provide almost half a million of LNG storage for seven 2.1 MW gas-fuelled power generator sets and despite the extreme climatic conditions, the project in Canada was completed on schedule.

NRG Energy, Inc. has reported a first quarter 2018 net income of $233 million, saying its Transformation Plan is on track with $80 million in cost savings realized in the first quarter of 2018, and $3 billion in asset sales is still expected to close before the end of this year. In the first quarter, NRG also acquired the retail business XOOM Energy to expand its sales capabilities and presence on the U.S. East Coast.

The world is not on track to meet the global energy targets for 2030 set as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). “Real progress” is, however, being made on electrification in some of the least developed countries, and industrial energy efficiency while renewable energy is noted to make “impressive gains in the electricity sector.”

U.S. pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners has received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to place additional Phase-2 facilities into service. The $4.3 billion pipeline project will allow moving natural gas from the Appalachian, notably the Marcellus and Utica Shale, to domestic and Canadian markets. Construction of the entire pipeline is due for completion in Q2-2018.

Beginning June 1, New England will become the first US grid operator to fully integrate demand-response (DR) resources into its daily energy dispatch and reserve processes. The ISO estimates that about 408 MW of DR will be available which will participate in real time in the energy markets. Pay-for-performance incentives will be in effect starting June 1.  With this instrument, the ISO is confident to meet peak summer demand. 

Alike other American electric utilities, Excelon has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 15% by 2022 but their plan do not hinge on a change in the power generation mix. Instead, has chosen to Excelon focus on curbing methane emissions from natural gas distribution equipment.

El Savador’s CEPA, the Comisión Ejecutiva Portuaria Autónoma, has asked Siemens to equip an international airport in the country with electrical systems for the new terminals. The airport is scheduled to be significantly enlarged and modernized by 2032.

Independent power producer HF Power, part of Hosaf Group, has placed an order for Wärtsilä to deliver a 113 MW power plant to Chowmuhoni, Bangladesh. The government is committed to providing a reliable electricity supply to industrial and domestic consumers. For example, only 76% of the country’s houses were connected to the grid in 2016, and the government’s explicit aim is to increase this share to 98% by the year 2021.

Use of combustible, or fossil fuels, for power generation has fallen by 1% in OECD countries over the course of 2017, according to a monthly assessment compiled by the International Energy Agency (IEA). In the Americas, the contribution of fossil fuelled power plants decreased 144TWh amid greater renewables deployment. In Europe, by contrast, the use of fossil fuels grew by 80TWh, as natural gas and coal-fired power plants had to compensate for a low-hydro-year and falling nuclear power supply.

Tokyo Gas, the Japanese utility and LNG buyer, is anticipating a slight dip of 0.2% in its fiscal 2018 city-gas sales volume to around 15.54 Bcm, owing to industry deregulation and growing competition in the Japan’s gas and power markets. This trend is in line with the utility's expectations of a decline in commercial and residential gas demand. “Meanwhile, we estimate a rise in operating expenses, primarily reflecting higher resource costs, owing mainly to the impact from the climb in crude oil prices,” Tokyo Gas said in an investors' briefing.

Siemens is applying its electrification experience in the marine industry to offshore oil and gas, focussing on reducing emissions and risk in harsh operational environments. BlueVault, Siemens’ advanced lithium-ion battery-based solution, is suited for both all-electric and hybrid energy-storage applications.

Russia’s Gazprom announced it has completed of the first line of the TurkSteam offshore gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Turkey. Pipe-laying works had started last year, and Gazprom said the second line will be laid in the third quarter of 2018, with the aim of finalising construction of the entire 31.5 Bcm pipeline over the course of 2019.

Singapore-based Sembcorp Utilities is moving ahead with of a 750MW gas-fired power project in Vietnam, having just signed a land allocation deal with the People's Committee of Quang Ngai Province. “We are committed as a longterm investor to Vietnam,” said Koh Chiap Khiong, Sembcorp’s head of Singapore, Southeast Asia & China at Sembcorp, pointing at the company’s construction and co-ownership of the Phu My 3 power station. 

Federal financial interventions and subsidies in U.S. energy markets have been in a steep decline over the past five years. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), federal monies spent in energy markets nearly halved in the period 2013-16, falling from $29.3 billion in the 2013 fiscal year to $15.0 billion in FY2016.

Loss-making Irsching power units 4 and 5, with a combined capacity of 1,400MW, are likely to stand idle for the third year in a row beyond April 2019. In a filing to the German energy regulator, Uniper and the co-owners of unit 5, Mainova, N-Ergie and HSE, said they see “no way to ensure the Bavarian power plant’s commercial viability.”

News in Brief

GE risks €35m fine in France

June 19 – French government officials said GE will have to pay penalties if it fails to realise its pledge to create 1,000 jobs in France by the end of this year. GE made the promise in 2014 as part of the €12.4 billion takeover of Alstom’s power generation and grid business. "The contract called for a 50,000 euro penalty for every job not created," France’s labour minister Muriel Penicaud told BFM television.

MAN to deliver engines to Oman LNG

June 18 – Oman LNG is seeking to develop a new gas engine-driven power plant at its Qalhat facilities. MAN Diesel and Turbo will deliver the gas engines and associated equipment, while KBR will manage the project execution, supply the generators and ensure safety requirements.

CHP market to top $27bn by 2023

June 15 – Global market for combined heat and power is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 5.48% to reach $20.69 billion in 2018 and $27.01 billion by 2023. According to Markets and Markets, the main growth drivers are demand for energy efficiency and government incentives and programs to promote CHP.

Enel starts battery storage in the UK

June 14 – Enel Group’s first utility-scale, stand-alone battery energy storage - the 25 MW/12.5 MWh Tynemouth project - is about to start operations, supported by a four-year contract with British System Operator National Grid to provide grid-balancing services. Enel bought the storage venture from Element Power in May 2017, and invested about 20 million Euros in the overall project, including construction.

New Mach Gen files for bankruptcy

June 13 – U.S. power generator New Mach Gen has filed for bankruptcy, presenting a pre-packaged reorganisation plan. New Mach Gen operates three gas-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 2,500 MW in Athens, NY, Maricopa County, Arizona and Charlton, Massachusetts.

Siemens, Covestro partner on digitalization

June 12 – Siemens and Covestro Deutschland have agreed a Joint Business Development Plan that reinforces their longstanding, trust-based partnership in the field of digitalization. Siemens is developing predictive process data models for manufacturing through the use of its cloud-based IoT operating system, MindSphere, while Covestro will introduce its process technology and production expertise to generate joint marketing solutions.

U.S. hurricane season underway

June 11 – With June 1 marking the official start of the 2018 hurricane season in the United States, Dominion Energy has urged customers to prepare and emergency storm kit. The Virginia-based utility is continuing day-to-day preparations for a busy storm season.

EIA broadens energy survey

June 8 – For electricity, the number of end-uses estimated in the EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) has expanded from 4 to 26 by adding estimates for various types of equipment. Itemized estimates collectively cover 87% of residential electricity use.

Cost-effective transition towards CHP

June 7 – COGEN Europe, an industry lobby group, has underlined the sector’s commitment to a “cost-effective transition towards a sustainable future in Europe” by means of utilizing combined heat and power generation. CHP provides flexibility across heat, electricity and gas networks and sectors by relying on short, medium and long-term storage to balance energy supply and demand.

Europe’s largest battery operational

June 6 – With a capacity of 48 MW/50 MWh, Europe’s largest battery EnspireME has been in operation since the beginning of this month. Located in Jardelund, northern Germany, the battery will be used as a backup by the local grid operator and participate in the weekly auction of primary reserve capacity. It was built by the Dutch utility Eneco and Japan's Mitsubishi in eight months.

BlueVault powers offshore operations

June 5 – Siemens is applying its electrification experience in the marine industry to offshore oil and gas, focussing on reducing emissions and risk in harsh operational environments. BlueVault, Siemens’ advanced lithium-ion battery-based solution, is suited for both all-electric and hybrid energy-storage applications.

Duke Energy opens new CCGT unit at Lee Station

June 4 – U.S. utility Duke Energy has been continuously operating its new 750 MW combined-cycle gas power unit at the W.S. Lee Station in Anderson County, South Carolina, since the beginning of June. Construction of the $700 million gas power unit started in March 2015, creating more than 600 construction jobs. Now fully operational, the CCGT is expected to generate about $4.4 million in tax revenue for Anderson County in 2019.

Reliability risk in California, Texas

June 1 – California and Texas are two potential tight spots for reliability of electricity this summer, even as most regions seem prepared to meet peak summer demand, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notes. In its 2018 energy market and reliability assessment, the regulator predicts warmer than average temperatures which could stir record high gas-burn for power generation.

Siemens to roll-out energy monitoring system at Rexel

May 31 – Electrical wholesaler Rexel Austria has placed an order with Siemens to deliver a cloud-based energy monitoring system which is meant to achieve a 15% reduction in energy use at its logistics center in Weisskirchen. Siemens’ cope of supply includes 66 communication-capable 7KM PAC 1500 and 7KM PAC 4200 power measuring devices, powermanager energy monitoring software, and connection to its cloud-based operating system MindSphere.

MHI calls off tie-up with JTEKT

May 30 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has discontinued talks to form a business partnership with JTEKT Corp after both parties terminated a basic partnership, agreed in December 2017 together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool (MAT) that included capital participation in JTEKT. All these plans have now been abandoned.

Sembcorp hires Contact Energy CFO

May 29 – Singapore-based Sembcorp has hired Contact Energy CFO Graham Cockroft to be its new CFO as of September 3, 2018. Sembcorp’s current CFO, Koh Chiap Khiong has moved on to head of the group’s utilities business in Singapore, Southeast Asia and China.

UK remains net electricity importer

May 25 – Great Britain remains a net importer of electricity via interconnectors at peak times in all of National Grid’s 2018 Future Energy Scenarios (FES). The UK grid operator consequently assumes and supports an expansion of the island’s interconnector capacity to reach up to 20 GW by 2050.