Daily News

Engas, the Spanish gas transmission system operator, has recorded an 80 percent rise in gas demand in the year just past, reaching 111 TWh. Coal-to-gas fuel switch in the power sector was the main cause of the “extraordinarily high demand,” along with higher industrial consumption, Enagas said, pushing up Spain's total 2019 gas demand to 398 TWh.

Smart electrically-driven heating is a “valuable field in which to invest”, Delta-ee says with reference to over 30 million units of electrically-driven heating units across Europe. In the UK, new business models provide heat-as-a-service, helping the customer avoid buying natural gas or wood pallets to fuel heating appliances by simply purchasing the heat, and comfort that comes with it.

Lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE), a widely-used metric to compare the profitability of power sources, is “not the right approach” when it comes to hybrid units, according to the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). “A paradigm shift is underway,” NREL said, stressing hybrid plants that include energy storage need to be rewarded for providing flexibility and grid ancillary services.

Four of Japan’s nine currently operational nuclear power plants face shutdowns in 2020 as the country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) is enforcing stricter anti-terrorism measures at nuclear facilities. Analysts expect this will trigger a rise LNG or thermal coal imports.

US equity fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), alongside Alberta Investment, has sealed a deal to purchase a 65 percent equity interest in the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. Spanning over 416 miles, the gas interconnector links the Montney Shale with the Pacific Coast and has been built by TC Energy at a cost of cost of C$6.6 billion (US$5.04bn).

Heads of state in Russia and Germany have reacted angrily to sanctions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump against building Nord Stream 2, the second 55 Bcm/year pipeline leg of the Baltic Sea interconnector. The sanctions target in particular the Swiss-Dutch pipe-laying firm AllSeas, which suspended works in anticipation.

The stark gap between government pledges to reduce emission and the lack of far-reaching actions heralds a growing regulatory risk. According to Fitch Ratings, energy-intensive industries, thermal power producers and the transport sector can be hit by a sudden rise in more stringent climate rules.

Burckhardt Compression has been contracted to deliver a high-speed compressor to Ganzair in Hungary, where it will be used to inject natural gas from a key transmission pipeline to a nearby underground gas storage (UGS). The ISO 13631-compliant compressor is the first of its kind made by Burckhardt for this application in Europe.

Marubeni and LO3 Energy, an energy-tech firm, have launched a virtual market place in Japan, using blockchain to connect several of Marubeni's small-scale power units and test simulated transactions. Ultimately, the JV partners want to create a utility-scale network with associated trading platform. In the United States, LO3 pioneered its transactive platform by setting up a microgrid in Brooklyn, New York.

Brazil’s state development bank (BNDES) has agreed debt financing of over 2 billion Brazilian Real (US$0.49bn), spread over 24 years, for the 565 MW Marlim Azul combined-cycle gas power project in Macaé, Rio de Janeiro State. The 565 MW plant is being co-developed by Patria Investments, Shell and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas (MHPS).

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has made it easier to access and use information by launching a State Energy Portal. When visualizing data for one state, users can add other states, regional, or weather data to make quick comparisons. They can also filter by data frequency, time period, geographic location, energy source, and sector.

Natural gas is set to become a 'high-carbon fuel' after 2025, as the perception of gas generation changes over time among EU member states. "In the short-term, we need gas to keep the lights on," but analysts stressed "Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) will need to kick off after 2025."

For new gas pipelines, timing is everything. This especially applies to the new 38 Bcm/y ‘Power of Siberia (PoS)’ link that will elevate China to become Gazprom’s second largest export market. However, analysts say  considering the cost of transporting Russian pipeline gas over thousands of miles towards Beijing and Shanghai, it is unlikely that CNPC will want to quickly ramp up PoS gas supply at the expense of imported LNG.

Aggreko is fast-tracking the delivery of a gas-battery hybrid power solution to the largest steel manufacturing and processing and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The 24 MW hybrid unit will deliver a 49 percent cost saving for the mill operator, United Steel Industries Fujairah.

Finnish equipment manufacturer Wärtsilä has commissioned the first ever utility-scale gas engine project in Papua New Guinea. Situated Port Moresby, the capital city, the 58 MW gas-fired power unit will enhance local electricity supply and ensure grid stability.

News in Brief

MHPS extends service for Thai power station

Feb 26 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has been awarded a third long-term maintenance agreement for the 1,400 MW BLCP Power Station in Thailand. The service accord covers the power plant’s major equipment including boilers, steam turbines and flue gas cleaning system built by MHPS on a turnkey basis.

VPower signs PPA in Sri Lanka

Feb 25 – Hong Kong listed VPower Group has entered into a power purchase agreement for two 38.8 MW projects in Sri Lanka. The latest deal brings VPower Group's installed capacity in the Chinese city state to nearly 100 MW.

UAVT launches portable genset

Feb 24 – UAV Turbines has launched a lightweight microturbine generator for on-demand electrical power ranging from 3 kilowatt (kW) to 40 kW. The new device extends UAVT’s micro propulsion technology, the Monarch 1, and features a new portable micro-turbogenerator system that fits in a small case that can be carried by two people.

Castleton buys CCGT in Spain

Feb 21 – Castleton Commodities International (CCI), a British independent power producer, has acquired the Amorebieta combined-cycle gas power plant in Bilbao, Spain, for an undisclosed amount. CCI claims the 786 MW plant is “one of the most efficient CCGTs in the Iberian Peninsula.”

NNPC scrutinizes Abuja IPP project

Feb 20 – Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is scrutinizing technicality and economics of developing a 1,350 MW Independent Power Plant (IPP) project in Abuja. The project is likely to be realized, as it is backed by a $1.1 million grant from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and will be powered by GE gas turbines.

Batteries vs. hydro power

Feb 19 – More than 28 GW of lithium batteries deployed for stationary storage applications by the year 2028, according Navigant Research. Pumped hydro power plants, however, dominate the market as they account for 96 percent of installed energy storage worldwide.

Micro CHP market to top $3bn by 2026

Feb 18 – The global micro CHP market revenue is forecast to exceed $3 billion by 2026 amid rising demand for captive combined heat and power units by industry. According to Global Market Insights, micro CHPs are also increasingly combined with solar PV and energy storage into hybrid power units.

Rio Tinto uses battery to power Pilbara mine

Feb 18 – Australian mining company Rio Tinto has freed up $98 million for a new solar PV unit and a lithium-ion battery energy storage system to help power its entire Pilbara mining network. The 12 MWh battery storage at Tom Price will provide spinning reserve to help stabilize the local grid.

Japan and Korea eager to build ‘hydrogen economy’

Feb 17 – Liquid hydrogen is meant to become the basis of Japan’s and South Korea’s new energy economy. Several public-private partnerships accelerate efforts to produce hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and use hydrogen as a clean energy source, gradually replacing oil and natural gas.

MHPS teams up with KBR to expand sales

Feb 14 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has agreed to cooperate with U.S. firm KBR to expand sales of SDA pitch-fired power plants. The fuel for these plants is insoluble matter (SDA pitch), which remains when light oil fractions are recovered from heavy oil fractions using the solvent de-asphalting (SDA) process. The petroleum industry can now utilize this residual material for power generation.

Turboden provides CHP to First Nations

Feb 13 – Brescia-based Turboden, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), has agreed to an 8,000 kW combined heat and power (CHP) plant, running on woody biomass to indigenous First Nations in Saskatchewan, Canada. The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power gen system will uses sawmill residual woody biomass as fuel and help electrify some 5,000 homes.

Himoinsa gensets win award

Feb 12 – Himoinsa has received an Innovation Trail Live award for its rental gas generator sets. Three gensets – HRGO 30, HRGO 40 and HRGO 70 – were distinguished due to their long running time, low operational costs, as well as reduced emissions and sound level.

Ofgem lowers default price cap

Feb 11 – UK energy regulator Ofgem has announced it will lower the default price cap by £17 to £1,162 for the six months effective from 1 April 2020. Analysts say Ofgem’s decision comes amid a “warm winter” and “healthy LNG supply,” which pushed down wholesales gas prices to a 13-month low. Looking ahead, there might well be “another slight reduction to the cap later this year.”

Opel plans Gigafactory for battery cells

Feb 10 – German carmaker Opel, part of French PSA, plans to manufacture enough battery cells for half a million e-cars annually in a new factory in the western German town of Kaiserslautern from 2024. Two billion Euros would be invested in the factory, designed to house three units with 8 GWhs each, which would be the largest in Europe so far.

GE adds 235 MW in Ivory Coast

Feb 7 – GE is carrying out a gas turbine extension at the Azito power plant in the Ivory Coast. Under the contract, GE will supply its GT13E2 gas turbine in combined-cycle configuration, one HRSG, one steam turbine and associated equipment. The upgrade will boost the plant’s capacity by 30 percent, or 253 MW to reach a total of 710 MW.

FID on Azito extension

Feb 6 – Independent power producer Globeleq and IPS have reached financial close on expanding the Azito gas-fired power plant in Ivory Coast. The plant currently has 460 MW installed capacity and provides 25 percent of the country’s power supply. Once the lasted upgrade will be completed, Azito’s capacity will be boosted to 713 MW.

Batteries vs. hydro power

Feb 5 – More than 28 GW of lithium batteries deployed for stationary storage applications by the year 2028, according Navigant Research. Pumped hydro power plants, however, dominate the market as they account for 96% of installed energy storage worldwide.