Daily News

MaasStroom, a 426-MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant situated at Rotterdam Port, has been sold by the US power plant developer InterGen to Castleton Commodities International (CCI), an independent global merchant. CCI said it will dispatch the flexible plant at short notice, in accordance with Tennet, to help balance the power grid of the Netherlands.

Finland’s technology group Wärtsilä has won a €80 million order to will supply two gas engine-driven power plants with a total capacity of 188-MW to an investor-owned utility in the United States.

Accelerated growth of volatile wind and photovoltaic power supply in Germany has been shifting the dispatch of fossil power plants to load-following operation to maintain the stability of the power grid. More decentralized gas-fired stations would help meet TSO’s flexibility requirements, Dr. Thorsten Krol, marketing manager at Siemens’ distributed generation business development told Gas to Power Journal.

Italy’s state-owned oil and gas company Eni is considering freeing up parts of its gas production at the Jangrik field for Indonesia’s first offshore well-head power plant. If agreed, project partners would advance up to 500 MW of gas-fired capacity directly at Eni’s Jangrik fields complex, under development in the Makassar Strait.

As utilities are reworking their businesses models, distributed generation – or producing electricity on-site rather than at a central power plant at another location – and combined heat and power (CHP) is seen as “a particularly advantageous natural gas-fired option,” says Dave McCurdy, president of the American Gas Association (AGA). Further up north in Canada, the Industrial Applications of Gas Turbines (IAGT) will discuss waste-heat absorption, among others, at its annual symposium in Banff in mid-October.

The Institute of Directors (IoD), the UK’s longest-running organisation for professional leaders, has called on whoever forms the next Government to come up with a “transparent alternative” to energy price caps.
“Price cap or freezes don’t help,” the IoD said, suggesting Whitehall should rather create a default tariff structure instead.

A new 495-MW combined cycle power plant, equipped with a Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems M501J gas turbine, at the Grand River Energy Center (GREC) in Oklahoma is generating “reliable power [output] just 45 days after first fire”. Having achieved this milestone, the plant operator Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) can now start selling electricity and reap a return on its investment.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has singled out Norway’s large hydropower generation as a “valuable asset” for European electricity markets at a time when renewable energy supply is growing. More interconnectors will allow for hydropower to balance regional variations in demand and supply, the IEA said, but it called on Nordic countries to better coordinate their renewable energy incentives.

Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom has increased supplies to Europe by more than13% since the start of this year as “the upward trend for Russian gas demand in Europe continues in the first half of 2017,” CEO Alexey Miller said. Gazprom sold a record 179.3 Bcm to Europe last year and referring to unreliable clean energy sources, Miller said he sees natural gas as a “destination fuel of the future.”

Samsung C&T, together with state-run Korea Southern Power Co. (KOSPO) have completed construction works for the Kelar combined-cycle gas turbine power plant (517 MW) in Mejillones, Chile. The project, valued at an estimated $600 million, is Samsung’s first privately-run power project in Chile and supplies all electricity to a BHP Billiton-run copper mine.

Eager to transform into a data-led technology company, Wärtsilä of Finland has appointed Marco Ryan as new Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to head up a new digital organisation with more than 400 employees. Following a kick-off event in Munich, the Finish manufacturer is launching digital acceleration centres around the globe.

As mankind enters a period of change akin to the last industrial revolution, Rudy Koenig, Principal at QENIQ Advisory and POWER-GEN Europe, discusses three trends – digitalisation, decarbonisation and decentralisation. Peter Terium, CEO of Innogy, called attention to these mega-trends last year. Koenig examines the three Ds through the prism of Germany as a key industrial nation, and suggests they will shape the power generation industry for years to come.

NYMEX-listed Ingersoll-Rand has introduced the RS200 to RS250 models of its product line of oil-flooded rotary screw air compressors. Customers can choose between a single-stage, or a two-stage airend that increases airflow by up to 16%, according to the manufacturer. A variable speed option makes the compressor up to 35% more efficient compared to the industry average.

Utility-scale capacity provided by various energy storage technologies and renewables beyond wind, solar and hydro, collectively accounted for 4% of the electricity generating capacity in the United States in 2016. Latest EIA figures shows a small, but growing trend towards demand-side response – vital tools for balancing electricity markets the United States, and elsewhere.  

The Cabinet of Bangladesh has given the green light to Reliance Power of India for building a 750-MW combined-cycle gas power plant at Meghnaghat, in the country’s central Narayanganj district. Running on imported LNG, all electricity produced by the power unti will be sold to the Bengali grid operator at an agreed price of $0.73/kWh. The unit is part of a wider LNG-to-power project with up to 3,000 MW, including an FSRU and power interconnectors to export part of the electricity to India.

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.