Daily News

Uranium concentrate production in the United States has fallen to a record low of 2.44 pounds in 2017, down 16% from the previous year. The steep drop in domestic production comes in reaction to historically low prices, and alternate supply sources from various clean-up sites and plant conversions.

Japan’s prime gas importer JERA, in consortium with Marubeni, is evaluating options of shipping LNG to the Australian east coast where to supply a new gas-fired power plant. With this move, JERA is seeking to divert excess supplies under longterm import contracts by selling it as spot LNG to high-priced markets around Sydney and Melbourne. FID on a floating LNG regas project with up to 2 mtpa will be taken later this year.

Falling costs for renewables and energy storage will squeeze out gas-fired generation in some markets as early as 2025. South Australia's peak loads are currently managed by open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) plants; but by 2025, battery storage will be cheaper than OCGTs – even at gas price of A$7/mmbtu, a WoodMackenzie study finds.

Eager to clean up air pollution, the Chinese government has mandated several million households in China’s northern provinces to stop relying on coal heating in winter. Gas use and LNG imports have surged as a consequence, with China surpassing South Korea in late 2017 to become the world’s second-largest LNG importer.

UK capacity markets, pitched by proponents as a necessary to balance rising amounts of variable generation, “simply are no longer needed,” IEEFA’s Gerard Wynn claims. He referred to some European markets with far higher levels of variable renewables that are investing in flexible grids, capable of sourcing up to 50% of their energy from wind and solar.

The first GT36-S5 model gas turbine produced at Ansaldo Energia's Genoa production facility was unveiled on Friday. With the ongoing support of Shanghai Electric Group, Ansaldo Energia’s Chinese partner, the first GT36 maxi gas turbines will be installed in two power generation plants in the Shanghai area.

Construction works at the 190 MW Old Harbour Bay project in Jamaica are nearly halfway finished, after just 11 months. The first of three gas turbines for the new power plant has already arrived, so the $330 million project is well underway to be commissioned as planned in June 2019.

Competition amongst battery producers is heating up: they have to shorten their time to market, improve their flexibility, quality and efficiency. To help boost the efficiency of large-scale battery production, Siemens has launched portfolio of cloud-based software solutions that help optimize every step of battery production and thus improve the competitiveness of battery manufacturers.

Perth-based Global Energy Ventures (GEV) is seeking to step up shipments of compressed natural gas (CNG) to the Indian subcontinent. “They’ve got major issues in terms of fuel supply,” GEV chief executive Maurice Brand said but cautioned “it's easier to just supply the fuel than build a power plant.

Sagamu Independent Power Plant (SIPP) has handed out an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to China Energy Engineering to build a 400 MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Nigeria. The new CCGT will be situated in Sagamu in Ogun state, and will be built at a cost of around $550 million.

The New Northern Policy, launched by the South Korean president Moon Jae-in, is seeking new growth drivers in Russia and Northeast Asia. The Korean energy ministry announced Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) will sign a memorandum of understanding with Russia's energy firm Rosseti later this year. The aim is to create a multinational power grid interconnection in the Northeast Asia region that also includes China and Japan.

The full impact of China’s latest price cap on thermal coal prices will be truly felt only after the Lunar New Year, according to Wood Mackenzie’s Northeast Asia senior consultant, Zhai Yu. “Spot coal purchases are currently limited,” Zhai Yu said. “However, once the ‘Golden Week’ holiday period is over [on February 22], thermal coal demand will rapidly return to normal, especially since gencos have very low inventories.”

Awash with cheap shale gas production, Pennsylvania’s energy mix has reached a tipping point: Five new, highly efficient combined-cycle gas power plants, with 5,420 MW of capacity, are scheduled to open over the course of 2018, followed by three more new CCGT plants by 2020 with 2,478 MW combined capacity.

Seeking to grid-integrate more renewable energy, the grid operator of the Belgian region of Wallonia, ORES, has selected GE Power to install an integrated software solution. Following the implementation, GE’s Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) will manage 80% of all electrical connections in Belgium.

Acceleration of Europe’s announced gas-fired power projects is likely after 2020, as many EU countries step up efforts to retire nuclear, lignite and hard coal-fired generation. According to Energy Aspects, there are 17 GW of proposed projects in the UK alone while across Europe that figure is 51 GW.

News in Brief

Thermo Fisher launches new online sulphur analyser

April 23 – U.S.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched SOLA iQ, an online sulphur analyser, that helps engineers in the oil and gas industry to measure total sulphur content of liquid or gas phase samples without requiring time-consuming lab analysis. Measurement ranges of the tool are from 2 parts per million (ppm) to 100%, with and limits of detection as low as 25 parts per billion (ppb).

FERC considers change of pipeline certification

April 20 – Kevin J. McIntyre, the chairman of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given a general oversight hearing over plans for natural gas pipeline policy changes. “I decided that the first such review of my Chairmanship would involve taking a fresh look at FERC’s 1999 policy statement on the certification of interstate natural gas pipeline facilities,” he said. Under the Natural Gas Act, FERC has the responsibility to determine whether a proposed natural gas pipeline project is required by public convenience and necessity.

Turbine filter markets grows at 20%

April 19 – Market Insights Reports anticipates the global gas turbine filter market to grow at an annual rate of 15 to 20% through to 2023. The report gauges growth prospects by analysing diverse factors such as total market size, key market drivers, challenges and growth opportunities, technological changes as well as major manufacturers.

Kuwait spends over $140m on two power plant upgrades

April 18 – Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water has signed two contracts, worth US$141 million (KWD47m), to upgrade the fuel reception and control systems of the Doha West and the Sabiya power plants. Works on the Doha West power station will span over 30 months, according to the ministry’s schedule, while project completion for the Sabiya project is set for no later than 29 November, 2018.

Enel launches 1st energy storage project in Canada

April 17 – Enel X, the energy services division of Enel Group through its US subsidiary EnerNOC, has struck an agreement with Algoma Orchards of Ontario, Canada to deploy a 1 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system under a contract spanning 11 years. The storage system will be deployed in the first half of 2018.

Investment in solar PV dwarfs new fossil generation

April 16 – Solar power is forecast to become the leading contributor of renewable energy, accounting for 98 GW, or 38%, of newly installed power generation capacity worldwide. Nearly $161 billion was invested worldwide in solar power technology in 2017, according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report, compiled by BNEF under the UN Environment Program.

Simotics SD Pro suitable for up to 690 volts

April 13 – At Hannover Fair, Siemens is presenting its new low-voltage motor Simotics SD Pro suitable for mains-fed and converter operation with voltages up to 690 volts. The motor works reliably at efficiency class IE3 at both 50 and 60 hertz.

ABB controller now IEC 62443 certified

April 12 – ABB’s SD Series HPC800 controller, part of the company’s Symphony Plus portfolio, has received Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) and IEC 62443 certifications. In the assessment, the controller met all requirements in the categories of software development lifecycle, functional security and communications robustness.

Rolls-Royces launches ‘Intelligent Insights’

April 11 – Rolls-Royce has introduced ‘Intelligent Insights’, part of its IntelligentEngine vision, at the MRO Americas conference. The tool brings new agility to decision making and improves the quality of data harnessed for customers.

GE to lead EPC for 1GW Ostroleka C power plant

April 10 – GE Power, together with Alstom Power Systems, has been selected to lead Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for the ultra-supercritical (USC) coal power plant Ostroleka C in Poland. Subject to the financial closure of the project, the plant will start commercial operation within 56 months after the notice to proceed and generate a gross output of 1,000 MW.

EDF’s new Bouchain CCGT reaches 62.22% efficiency

April 9 – Electricite de France (EDF) and GE have celebrated the official start of operation of the first ever combined-cycle power plant equipped with GE's HA gas turbine in Bouchain, France. Integrating high-efficiency power gen equipment with digital technology the CCGT reaches an overall efficiency of 62.22%.

GenOn sells 1.1GW Canal Generating Plant for $390m

March 28 – Due to bankruptcy restructuring, Houston based GenOn Energy (now part of NRG Energy), has agreed to divest the 1,112-MW units 1&2 at the Canal Generating Plant in Sandwich, Massachusetts to Stonepeak Kestrel Holdings for $320 million. Factoring in working capital, excess fuel inventory payments, and an anticipated refund from NRG for an expired option on Canal Unit 3, GenOn expects to receive $390.3 million from the deal.

Floating power market to top $1.4bn by 2022

March 27 – The market for floating power plants (<250MW capacity) is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.11%, expanding from $889.6 million at present to reach $1,440 million by 2022. Main growth drivers, according to MarketsandMarkets, are cost advantages of floating over land-based power plants, particularly in regions with a lack of power infrastructure.

Cost for solar PV keeps falling

March 26 – System costs for utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) on a per-watt basis have fallen about 10% to 15% per year from 2010 through 2016. In the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2018) analysts anticipate that installed capital costs will come in at 1.85 per watt (AC) for fixed-tilt PV systems, and $2.11 per watt (AC) for single-axis tracking systems in 2018.

Sembcorp delivers ‘energy that makes a difference’

March 23 – Sembcorp Power, the electricity retail arm of Sembcorp Industries, has unveiled a series of initiatives that are meant to deliver Energy that Makes a Difference in Singapore. These measures include a commitment of S$100,000 to support social enterprises in energy, water and resource recovery over the next five years as well as competitive price plans to help businesses save money. For every new customer signed up, Sembcorp Power will give S$5 to selected beneficiaries to offset their electricity bills.

Siemens awards in-kind technology grant to UCF

March 22 – Siemens has entered the next phase of its 30-year academic partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF), awarding researchers a major in-kind technology grant of its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software with a commercial value of $593 million. The software grant amplifies a similar 2016 grant that benefitted students in UCF's Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER).

ABB creates virtual flow meters with Arundo Analytics

March 21 – Arundo Analytics, a Houston-based software developer, and ABB have worked together to create the first cloud-based virtual multiphase flow meters for the offshore oil and gas industry. Connecting ABB Ability and Arundo’s Composer and Fabric software, the virtual flow meter helps upstream companies gain real-time data to understand the constituent properties of any given stream of produced fluids.