Daily News

Coal is likely to be the largest application of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), expects Laszlo Varro, chief economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA). Around 85% of the reduction in coal plant emissions came from efficiency and renewables, leading to fewer coal plants running less hours and only a minority from capturing the emissions from continuous operation.

For January, another 250 billion cubic feet (bcf) is likely to be lost in gas demand amid unseasonably warm weather, erasing fears about a storage deficit. On the contrary, if the mild weather continues Energy Aspects expects end-March inventories to remain north of 1.55 trillion cubic feet (tcf).

Power producers in Europe, as well as parts of the U.S. and Australia, have been feeling the pinch due to a decline in wholesale energy prices brought about by stagnant demand, low gas prices and higher output of generation with low marginal costs, notably renewables. New-builds are no longer profitable which puts reserve margins at risk, hence the International Energy Agency (IEA) calls for a re-design of competitive power markets.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) chief executive Kenji Ando has used his New Year address to warn of a difficult business environment in 2019, with “turbid conditions” in the thermal power generation sector. “Our competitors are also seeing sharp declines in business results,” he said, stressing MHPS will forge ahead with business restructuring.

Wärtsilä has stared site work for a 378 MW power plant being supplied under an EPC contract in El Salvador. Ordered by Energía del Pacífico, the facility will be one of Central America’s first LNG-fuelled power plants, with a floating regas terminal being built nearby.

The spread in natural gas spot prices between the Henry Hub in Louisiana and the Appalachian region continued to narrow over the year just past. Prices fell at Henry Hub throughout December, and as of January 2, 2019, they were at around $2.79/mmBtu while Appalachian prices kept trading at a discount due to pipeline constraints.

By 2024, China’s market for flow vanadium energy storage is likely to exceed $3 billion. The new technology is based on domestic resource and offers virtually unlimited storage capacity, long duration, and rapid response time. A 200MW/800MWh vanadium flow battery is under development in Dalian, with the batteries made in a nearby factory of Rongke Power.

Following eight years of global economic growth, economists agree a downturn is simply a matter of when and how deep. The worst case scenario, according to Wood Mackenzie, would be a recession occurring in 2020 or 2021 – just after 60-100 mtpa of LNG has taken FID.

Aspiring to build a 5,700 km gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has awarded the first phase of a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) contract to Phenspen. FEED Phase I entails a detailed design of the pipeline system, its route and project economics.

Idled power plants in India that are stranded due to a lack in gas supply might soon get regasified LNG at a subsidized rate, financed the government-run Power System Development Fund. The aim is to revive flexible gas power plants through an e-bid RLNG scheme.

SeaFloat, a barge-mounted power plant based on SGT-800 gas turbine, will be provided by Siemens and the maritime arm of ST Engineering for Bermuda-based Seaboard Corp. The 145 MW power barge, dubbed Estrella del Mar III, will supply the Dominican Republic with electricity at a lower cost than a land-based plant staring from spring 2021.

The spot energy index in the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) has ended the year 21% lower than at the beginning of 2018, despite a 25% rise between January and October. The plunge of the index in the fourth quarter was caused by steep declines in crude oil and petroleum product prices.

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, the largest supplier to the EU, is accelerating efforts to export gas to China. Construction of the ‘Power or Siberia’ pipeline to northern China via the Altai pass is now more than 91% complete. In pre-developing the huge Chayandinskoye field, Gazprom said it is “acting in strict compliance” with the start of Russian gas deliveries to China due on December 20, 2019.

Britain’s energy firm Drax has completed the £702 million acquisition of a 2.6GW portfolio of gas, hydro power and energy storage assets operated by Scottish Power from its parent company Iberdrola. Now, Drax aims to expand the Cruachan pumped storage plant by up to 600 MW and maximise the flexibility of the four CCGTs with a combined capacity of 2 GW.

Gas-burn in the electric power sector is forecast to peak around 2035 and start declining from 2040, by when wind and solar are set to become the dominant energy sources. Data by the classification society DNV GL shows that gas demand in Europe already peaked in 2010, and will do so in North America by 2020, whereas in South-East Asia and China it will only peak in the mid-2030s.

News in Brief

Controversy about planned CCGT in California

Feb 22 – Environmentalist have filed a lawsuit against plans to build a 634 MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Palmdale, a city north of Los Angeles. The hybrid gas and solar plant had been approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC), although a developer has not been found yet.

GE installs and services 9E turbine in Iraq

Feb 21 – GE Power has delivered and installed a 9E gas turbine to Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity’s (MoE) Al Qudus power plant. Throughout 2019, GE will also service up to seven GE 9E gas turbines at the facility, helping to maintain a stable power output of up to 875 MW.

MHI to join Cybersecurity Charter

Feb 20 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) signed a letter of intent to join the Charter of Trust for cybersecurity by the end of September, expanding the charter’s reach into Asia. Initiated by Siemens, the charter calls for binding rules and standards on cybersecurity as digitalization advances. Other signatories include AES, Airbus, Allianz, Atos, Cisco, Daimler, Dell Technologies, Deutsche Telekom, Enel, IBM, NXP, SGS, Total and TÜV Süd.

Substation market grows at 9.4% rate

Feb 19 – The gas-insulated substation market, currently valued at $17.3 billion, is anticipated to grow at a rate of more than 9.4% in the years through to 2025. Analysts say rising demand for low maintenance and small power systems will boost the market, particularly for large infrastructure projects such as smart city where GIS substations are well-suited due to their high efficiency and compact size.

Amprion advances P2G project in Germany

Feb 18 – Amprion, together with Open Grid Europe (OGE), are striving to get a €150 million Power-to-Gas project in Germany into operation by 2023. The pilot plant includes a 100 MW electrolyser that converts renewable energy into hydrogen and methane for use in the district of Emsland, northern Germany.

MHPS leads on post F-class turbines

Feb 15 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power System (MHPS) secured most orders in 2018 for newest-generation turbines, while GE booked most order for turbines of all classes amongst its rivals. For so-called post F-class turbines, MHPS reportedly achieved 49% of orders, compared with 34% for GE and 16% for Siemens.

UK inflation down amid fall in energy prices

Feb 14 – Falling energy bills and fuel prices have pushed down UK inflation to a two-year low in January, according the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Inflation had peaked at a five-year high of 3.1% in November 2017, and is currently at just 1.8% – below the Bank of England’s 2% inflation target.

Lahmeyer is now Tractebel

Feb 13 –The German engineering and consulting company Lahmeyer International is now operating under the Tractebel, with the new company name; Tractebel Engineering GmbH. Tractebel reached a turnover of €662 million in 2018, and is part of the French energy group ENGIE.

BECCS pilot project starts at Drax

Feb 12 – The 4,000-MW Drax Power Station has started using bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology, capturing up to 1 ton of CO2 per day. The Drax demo plant in Selby, North Yorkshire, moves Britain further ahead in the race to develop BECCS technologies

Demand for power ships up 3.6% through 2026

Feb 11 – The global market for floating LNG-fuelled power ships is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 3.6%, exceeding exceed $1,073 million by 2026, according to ResearchandMarkets estimates. Power ships with a capacity between 100 MW and 150 MW, and usually leased for short durations, will cover most of the demand growth which is centred in Asia Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas.

Australia’s H2U uses NovaLT turbine

Feb 8 – H2U, an Australian hydrogen infrastructure developer, will use Baker Hughes NovaLT gas turbine at is hydrogen and ammonia supply chain demonstrating plant in Port Lincoln. The greentech project integrates a 15 MW electrolyser plant, a 10 MW hydrogen-fired gas turbine and a 5 MW fuel cell, all of which set to supply electricity to the power grid in South Australia.

EC rules out Siemens/Alstom mobility merger

Feb 7 –The European Commission has decided to prohibit the proposed combination of the Siemens and Alstom mobility businesses. As a result of this prohibition, the merger will not proceed.

PG&E seeks to re-organize

Feb 6 – Having just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, California utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) now seeks to restructure and access up to $6 billion in financing to help it operate while under bankruptcy protection. In a filing to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the district of northern California, PG&E listed assets of $71.39 billion and liabilities of $51.69 billion.

Contigo enhances trading of DB Energy

Feb 5 – Contigo, together with the consulting firm Nevento, have introduced a new energy trading system at DB Energie of Deutsche Bahn. The system’s new functionality provides fast and easy access to business data and credit risk information, enabling effective decision making in energy trading.

ABB, Intel cooperate on digital substations

Feb 4 – ABB and Intel have agreed to jointly sell automation systems for utilities. At the core of the agreement is ABB Ability smart substation control for electrical systems, SSC600, powered by Intel Xeon processors.

Backup power for Hinkley Point C

Feb 1 – Rolls Royce will provide MTU diesel gensets to provide back-up power to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. The generators, Type MTU 396 TB33 with 3600 kW output each, will provide emergency power in case of an outage of the site’s standing power supply

Gauging UK’s shift to green energy

Jan 31 – Engineering consultancy WSP has been selected to model the impact of low carbon technologies on the UK’s electricity networks. It will also work with the Energy Networks Association (ENA) on the Distribution Losses Mechanism Study.