Daily News

Vattenfall has handed a 5-year contract to Capgemini that will see the latter implement a program to transform and manage Vattenfall’s finance and procurement services in the Nordics, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

Shares in E.on and RWE have risen up to 5% after news broke on Wednesday that Germany’s top court declared the country’s nuclear fuel tax as “unconstitutional”. This ruling opens up doors for litigation, and the country’s main operators of nuclear power stations – E.on, RWE and EnBW - are expected to claim back over €6 billion that they were made to pay between 2011 and 2016.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), California’s largest public-owned utility, is reconsidering plans to spend over $2 billion on natural gas and power infrastructure. The company’s board confirmed it "has put on hold all planned local repowering projects until a system-wide, in-depth, and independent study/analysis is conducted." Falling costs for renewables, and rising green energy supply, has inspired the California Senate to propose a 100% renewable energy target by 2045.

China’s Guangdong Power Engineering Group, general contractor for a 470-MW project in Jordan, has asked Siemens to supply key components. Jordan is one of the driest countries in the world, and the power station will be built in in the desert at Attarat Um Ghudran. Consequentially, the operator asked Siemens to use air-cooled condensers to help save sparse drinking water resources. Start-up of the Attarat plant is envisaged for mid-2020.

The American arm of Fuji Electrics has supplied and installed a 125-MW steam turbine generator at Green Electron’s 300-MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in St. Clair Township of Ontario, Canada. The CCGT project is one of 30 power plants in the Canadian province that run on natural gas, and is  included in the province’s clean energy, “off coal plan.”

Ambitious plans, set out by South Korea’s newly instated Government, herald a U-turn away from coal and nuclear towards cleaner-burning natural gas and renewables. Responding to public concern over air pollution the administration of President Moon Jae-in, who took office in early May, is considering a construction stop for several coal and nuclear projects – a move poised to cause electricity prices spikes and medium-term capacity shortages.

Germany’s MAN Diesel & Turbo has contractually agreed to acquire a 40% participation in Aspin Kemp & Associates, a Canadian specialist manufacturer. Based in Montague, Prince Edward Island, Aspin Kemp is a technologically leader the field of energy storage and hybrid power solutions. When announcing its share purchase, MAN D&T pointed out “Aspin Kemp has developed game changing technology for power, propulsion and drilling applications in the offshore oil and gas sector.”

In the absence of cost-effective, large-scale electricity storage, the North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) finds stark regional differences concerning grid stability in its 2017 peak power demand projections. Reserve margins, the estimated buffer of unused generating capacity, range from less than 15% in the grid area of ISO-New England to almost 29% in New York.

The Australian state of Queensland is helping Stanwell Corp to bring a mothballed power plant back into the market in an effort to lower energy prices. The state’s pre-Budget, disclosed yesterday, acts on the Government’s commitment to help re-dispatch a total AS$386 million worth of flexible gas generating capacity near Townsville – and proposes a AS$770 million subsidy to help drive down wholesale electricity prices.

Nymex-listed Ingersoll-Rand has started to offer three flexible service programs through its own expert technicians who provide and oversee onsite service, repair and maintenance of all compressed air assets. Named CARE, this tailored service programs is available for Ingersoll-Rand customers in North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and India.

Iran’s MAPNA Group announced it finalised the start-up of the Middle East’s first mobile power stations on Tuesday. Two 25-MW mobile generator set, located in two cities in north Iran, were installed, fired up and grid-synchronised in less than three months.

Despite U.S. President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, and his open support for fossil fuels, Energy Aspects forecasts his move is “unlikely to halt the transition towards cleaner energy globally, although it is likely to slow it.” The EU, but also largest emitters like India and China are expected to follow through on their clean energy policies.

ABB, a Swiss technology leader in industrial automation and power grids, will present papers on its latest sensor technology at CIRED 2017 in Glasgow next week. KEVA C, the latest release in ABB’ medium-voltage sensor range, will be showcased at the forum, notably how it can provide highly accurate measurement in secondary gas-insulated switchgear applications.

Large-scale uptake of variable renewable energy (VRE), forecast to remain the fasted-growing power source over the next five years, is challenging traditional policy, market and regulatory frameworks. “Without taking appropriate action, this complexity can act as a brake as countries seek to add ever larger shares of VRE to their power systems,” analysts at the International Energy Administration (IEA) warn.

Dealing a blow to concerted multi-national efforts of mitigating emissions from the energy and transport sector to help prevent global, the U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to pull out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburg, not Paris,” he said, indicating that he will put US business interests first.

News in Brief

GE to build four substations in Egypt

Sept 19 – Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and GE have closed a $250 million contract that will see GE build and install four Gas-Insulated Substations (GIS) across Egypt to connect 7 GW to the country’s national power grid by the end of 2018. The contract is fully financed through Deutsche Bank and HSBC France which helps secure smooth execution of the project.

Irma slashes energy demand in Florida

Sept 18 – Hurricane Irma has proved to be a demand-side event in Florida. At its trough, the state appeared to lose 1.9 bcf/d of demand versus pre-storm levels, mainly in the power sector. According to Energy Aspects figures, electricity demand on September12 dropped to 0.8 bcf/d, compared to a pre-storm baseline of 3.6 bcf/d.

Drax plans to convert two coal units to natural gas

Sept 15 – Drax Group has filed plans to the UK Planning Inspectorate to build a 200MW battery storage unit, and convert up to two coal units at the Drax power station to run on natural gas. If approved, the repowering could result in up to 3.6 GW of new flexible gas generation capacity. The utility stated its investment at Drax is backed by a 15-year capacity contract.

Azura Edo IPP ready to startup in early 2019

Sept 8 – Siemens-built Azura Edo Independent Power Project (IPP) is planned to add 459MW to the Nigerian national power grid by early 2019, Siemens Nigeria CEO Onyeche Tifase said. The Azura Edo IPP is an open-cycle gas turbine power plant project, which could potentially account for up to 20% of Nigeria’s installed capacity of 12.5MW by 2020.

Oman’s oil output hits new record

Sept 7 – Oil production in Oman has reached a new record, totalling 1 million barrel per day (b/d) in 2016. Dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports, Oman’s state finances have been hit by the plunge in oil prices which made 2016 oil and gas revenues plunge 67% compared with 2014 levels.

Petrofarc to build South Stream

Sept 6 – UK contractor Petrofarc won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract worth 340 million Euros ($404m) by the Gazprom-owned South Stream Transport company to build onshore pipelines and a gas receiving terminal near the Turkish town Kiyikoy.

Gas prices slowly return to normal after Harvey struck

Sept 5 – The price of natural gas and other petroleum products has surged in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Yet as of Monday, key gasoline prices started to return to pre-Hurricane levels as key refineries and pipelines along the US Gulf Coast are resuming operation, easing supply concerns.

ACER to set deadline

Sept 4 – The European energy regulatory authority ACER is consulting until September 15 on an implementation date for harmonized prices in the EU's day-ahead and intraday power markets. Introducing maximum and minimum prices is meant to enhance market coupling.

Pöyry to review Shoaiba-4 plant

Sept 1 – The Saline Water Conversion Company (SWCC) has awarded Pöyry with the owner's engineer services assignment for the Shoaiba-4 desalination plant which will meet the potable water requirements of Saudi Arabia's second largest city and its five million people. Pöyry's scope includes review of contractor's engineering and supervision of construction, erection and commissioning.

Wärtsilä wins 220 MW power plant contract in Bangladesh

Aug 31 – Desh Energy Chandpur Power Company, an independent power producer (IPP) in Bangladesh, has contracted Wärtsilä of Finland to supply twelve 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50 engines for a new 220 MW baseload power plant to be installed in Chandpur. The customer required a nine-month implementation time, with the plant due to be fully operational in May 2018.

Works start on Hickory Run CCGT

Aug 30 – Tyr Energy has started construction works on the Hickory Run Energy Center in Pennsylvania. The combined-cycle gas power plant has a nominal generating capacity of 1,000 MW.

Canadian Cats dealers merge

Aug 29 – Toromont Industries will acquire the businesses and net operating assets of fellow Canadian Caterpillar dealer Hewitt Group. The deal was agreed in turn for C$917.7 million cash plus the issuance of 2.25 million Toromont shares, the two companies said.

Ansaldo to service Thai cogen plant

Aug 25 – Glow Energy, one of Thailand’s private power producers, has contracted Ansaldo of Italy to service a 328 MW cogeneration plant, located in Map Ta Phut Industrial Park, 200km southeast of Bangkok. Apart from electricity, the plant produces 160 tonnes/hour of steam to support local industries. Ansaldo’s 15-year service deal covers maintenance, replacement capital parts and remote monitoring and diagnostics for the gas turbine.

Low voltage drives for China

Aug 24 – Siemens is to equip several Chinese aluminum factories with medium and low voltage drives. The value of the order is in the low tens of millions Euros. Commissioning will be completed in several stages between November 2018 and April 2019.

Oil price seen rebound toward $60/bbl

Aug 23 – Oil pricing dynamics will increase, through near-term $50-60 range, forecasts Wood Mackenzie principal analyst, Patrick Kirby. For olefins, and polyolefins, this means the global and particularly European view is sensitive to demand, particularly from China, given that the supply landscape is well defined.

GS EPS commissions 900 MW plant in Oman

Aug 22 – South Korea’s GS EPS and GS Holdings have completed the construction of Phase IV, a 900 MW combined-cycle plant in Muskat, Oman. The CCGT has a power efficiency rating of 64% and is run by imported LNG. As an independent associate of Oman Oil Company (OOC), the Korean power producer helped with knowledge transfer and now aims to realise renewable energy projects in Oman.

U.S. demand to eke out growth

Aug 21 – Energy Aspects says the total U.S. power sector is about to “eke out growth”, with balances for the week ending August 18 averaging 34.3 bcf/d, meaning demand was just 0.5 bcf/d higher week-on-week. Although cooler weather is forecast for the Western and Central US over the next 10 day, much warmth is set to emerge in the East, limiting energy demand.