Daily News

Wind power could soon be cheaper in Britain than electricity from gas-fired power plants. Contracts for difference (CfDs), awarded at auction for nearly 6 GW of new wind farms, came in at £8-9/MWh below the government’s ‘reference price’ for electricity in the open market.

GE will carry out a GT26 HE gas turbine upgrade at Drax’s 420 MW Shoreham power station near Brighton. The upgrade will increase combined-cycle efficiency by about 2.5 % and add 44 MW of power at baseload operation, once implemented in 2021.

Britain’s energy giant Drax has been given the green light for a 299 MW open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) at Abergelli in southern Wales. Developed at a cost of £90 million, the rapid-response power unit will run an average of 1,500 hours a year to help balance the grid.

McDermot, a leading EPC company for the gas and power industry, has received unsolicited offers to sell its Lummus Technology business for over $2.5 billion. The divestment could herald the start of a wider business overhaul.

The Japan-Korea-Marker, an LNG benchmark price for spot cargoes, is set to strengthen relative to the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF). This winter, South Korea is preparing to halt a substantial share of its coal-fired power generating capacity, boosting LNG demand which is set to propel up JKM contracts starting from November.

After months of bickering, the German ruling coalition came together on Friday and agreed to levy a fixed price of 10 Euros per tonne on emissions from transport and the buildings sector starting from 2021, and invest more than 54 billion Euros by 2023 to accelerate the energy transition.

Crude oil, thermal coal and natural gas continue to account for the largest share of energy use in the United States. With 79% of domestic production and 80% of consumption made up of fossil fuels, there is much room left for further renewable penetration.

Taweelah Asia Power Company (TAPCO) has awarded Ansaldo Energia a 10-year service agreement for their Taweelah New B Extension (TNBE) combined-cycle power plant in Abu Dhabi. The full-scope, turnkey service accord covers three Siemens SGT5-4000F turbines and related equipment.

Rising national gas production in Argentina and peak potential LNG export during the summer months is coinciding with strong winter demand from utilities in Asia. This seasonal dynamic is expected to attract Asian buyers amid very competitive shipping costs.

Turning Bolivia into a regional energy hub, Siemens is converting three separate simple-cycle power plants into combined-cycle units, boosting output by more than 1 GW. Scope of delivery includes 23 SGT-800 gas turbines, 11 steam turbines and related equipment for a project value of 1 billion Euros.

Over-the counter (OCT) traded gas volumes in European brokered markets amounted to 2,309 TWh in August, up 14% year-on-year. Trading at the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) rose 13.5% to 1,833 TWh, while German NCG contracts soared 25% to 125 TWh, according to the London Energy Brokers’ Association (Leba).

European utilities are courted by more and more sellers marketing long-term LNG volumes from pre-FID LNG supply projects. To gain access to attractively-prices US LNG, however, European buyers need to turn their back on hub-pricing and open up to Henry Hub-indexation, instead.

Accelerating its clean energy transition, Duke Energy strives to curb carbon emission by at least 50% by 2030 with the aim of achieving net-zero CO2 from electric generation by midcentury. The company plans to at least double its portfolio of solar and wind by 2025, while deploying more low-cost gas power plants.

Natural gas and wind are the fastest growing sources of U.S. electricity generation, both rising 6% this year. In 2020, gas power will rise another 2% while generation from wind is seen surge 14%, according to the EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.

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.

News in Brief

Wärtsilä launches ‘Expertise Centre’ in Singapore

Nov 15 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has chosen Singapore as the location for its latest Expertise Centre (EC) that provides operational support and dynamic maintenance planning, both for marine and energy business customers. All of Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centres combined currently monitor some 900 installations with more than 2,000 engines around the world.

U.S. storage injection hits record high

Nov 14 – Near-record volumes of natural gas have been placed into storage in the United States in the current injection season. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the amount of gas held in storage in 2019 surged from a relatively low value of 1,155 billion cubic feet (Bcf) at the beginning of April to 3,724 Bcf at the end of October.

SaskPower proceeds with Moose Jaw project

Nov 13 – Canadian utility SaskPower has taken a significant step towards realizing a 350 MW gas power plant at Moose Jaw. The project was first proposed in 2017, but in the Canadian federal government June last year introduced new regulations for gas generation coming online after January 1, 2021, which stalled the plans. Having completed its regulatory review, Sask Power was now granted permission to proceed from the municipality of Moose Jaw. Major Fraser Tolmie said “this $700-million investment into the city of Moose Jaw, will ensure we have base-load power in the province of Saskatchewan and to maintain our power independence.”

Sembcorp powers up first BESS unit in the UK

Nov 12 – Sembcorp Energy UK, part of Singapore-based Sempcorp Group, has started to operate the first 60 MW unit of its battery energy storage system (BESS) fleet, supplied by GE. Combined, the three storage units in Leicestershire and Cheshire will bring Sembcorp Energy UK’s total energy portfolio to 973 MW.

Global gas glut may clear in 2021

Nov 11 – Economics of exporting American liquefied natural gas to Europe no longer add up. With Henry Hub spot prices around $2.7/MMBtu, moving LNG cargoes from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Europe is “not workable,” BP analysts said, indicating that production shut-ins could help clear the massive supply overhang towards the end of 2021.

Gazprom reassures Germany of Ukraine gas transits

Nov 8 – Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, has been trying to reassure the German government commissioner Georg Graf Waldersee that Russia was ready to signing a new transit contract with Naftogaz if both companies mutually waive claims. Before gas flows can proceed, however, Ukraine will have to create an independent gas transmission operator by January 1, 2020.

GE makes gains in wind power

Nov 7 – GE Power is gradually turning away from its loss-making fossil power segment to focus on the fast-growing renewable business. This week, GE struck a deal for its new Haliade-X turbines to be used at Dogger Bank Wind Farms. The three 1.2 GW Dogger Bank projects, situated offshore the UK’s Yorkshire coast, are expected to trigger approximately £9 billion of capital investment between 2020 and 2026.

PetroVietnam eyes LNG-to-Power project

Nov 6 – PetroVietnam has signed an agreement with B.Grimm Power Public Company (BGRIM) to jointly study the development of an integrated LNG import and power generation project. The aim is to build a 3,000 MW gas-fuelled power plant and an adjacent LNG import terminal. The location of the project has not been disclosed.

ABB launches ‘Smart City’

Nov 5 – Electrification specialists of the Swiss manufacturer ABB have designed an interactive ‘Smart City’ that contains smart buildings, e-mobility, energy management and data centers. The use of smart technologies and digitalization are encouraged by the United Nations as a way to help decarbonize cities around the world.

Gazprom, BASF cooperate on sulfur separation

Nov 4 – The Russian major Gazprom and the German chemical company BASF have agreed to devise a comprehensive solution for separation of sulfur from natural gas. The aim is to  enhance eco-efficiency of the Astrakhan gas processing plant and improve operational efficiency of BASF’s amine gas treatment units at the Orenburg gas-fired power plant.

Germany’s emission fall ‘markedly’

Nov 1 – Germany is headed for second consecutive year of substantial reductions in carbon emissions, amid a sharp drop in coal-burn in the power sector and an overall decline in energy use in 2019. If this trend continues, the country could get much closer to its 2020 climate target than widely anticipated.

Exmar to refinance Tango FLNG

Oct 31 – Exmar, the Belgian shipping company, is trying to refinance the Tango FLNG vessel, moored offshore Argentina on behalf of YPF. The aim is to generate around $60 million in additional capital, Exmar said, suggesting a deal will likely be struck in the first months of 2020.

Petronet doubles net profit

Oct 30 – Indian LNG importer Petronet has nearly doubled its net profits in the third quarter although revenues fell by 13%. Net profits came in at 1,089 crore rupees ($153.6m), an increase of 90% on the same period in 2018 as the company benefited from India’s lower corporate tax rates. Third-quarter revenues, in contrast, fell to 9,449 crore rupees ($1.33 billion).

Wildfires spread around LA

Oct 29 – Thousands of Los Angeles residents have been evacuated as wildfires spread fast around the metropolis and power outages brought life close to a standstill. The risk of fires caused by overland transmission lines prompted Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to prolong precautionary blackouts that could last up to three days.

Dominion embraces solar & storage

Oct 28 – Dominion Energy South Carolina has signed contracts for more than 1,000 MW of solar capacity. About half of that capacity has entered service. To complement intermittent solar energy supply, Dominion earlier announced several energy storage projects.

Wärtsilä downgrades outlook for its energy business

Oct 25 – Wärtsilä has downgraded the outlook of its Energy Business from “soft” to “weak” amid low equipment demand, although the its services activity “remains sound.” The current order book for 2019 deliveries is 1,708 million Euros, comprised mainly of equipment deliveries, Wärtsilä stated today when posting mixed Q3 results. Looking ahead, the company said its operating result for full-year 2019 will be approximately 100 million Euros lower than in the 2018 result of 577 million Euros.

Siemens names new CIO

Oct 24 – Hanna Hennig will be appointed as new Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Siemens starting from January 2020. The change at Siemens’ IT organization supports the execution of the company’s Vision 2020+.