Daily News

Calgary-based Maxim Power has commissioned the H.R. Milner Generating Station in Grande Cache, Alberta, a 204 MW open-cycle gas peaking power plant. Construction works were completed in just 16 months, with 21 months from equipment procurement to project completion.

Though the coronavirus crisis has badly hit the car industry, sales of electric vehicles jumped 90% in the first quarter of 2020 with more than 145,000 vehicles sold worldwide. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says the e-car segment will have “a much better year than the rest of the industry.”

OPEC and its allies agreed on Saturday to extend oil production cuts until the end of July, reducing global output by nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day over the next eight weeks. The measure is meant to stabilize prices above $40/bbl as demand remains slow to recover.

Italy’s Eni is reorganizing its internal structure by effectively splitting its traditional oil & gas segment from its new clean energy business. Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi called the plan an “irreversible path” aimed at making the company a leader in the energy transition.

Malaysia’s state energy company Petronas has supplied two LNG cargoes to Myanmar to fuel three power projects with 900 MW combined capacity, developed by China National Technical Import & Export Corp. (CNTIC) and Hong Kong-based VPower Group. The LNG cargoes were shipped from Bintulu to the port of Yangon.

Sharp decline of coal-burn in Germany, falling to less than 16% of the energy mix in April during the lockdown, shows that the country’s plan to exit coal by 2038 has been “overtaken by reality.” Environmentalists hence urge the Government to “prepare for a much earlier coal phase-out.”

Black & Veatch has been selected by the Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) as owner’s engineer to help transition its power plant to green hydrogen. IPA plans to retire the coal-fired facility and replace it with an 840 MW gas combined-cycle plant in 2025, capable for hydrogen co-firing.

Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK could soon largely depend on variable renewable energy (VRE), as an additional 169 GW of wind and 172 GW of solar power is planned to be grid-connected by 2040. Purpose-built flexibility assets, like gas generators and energy storage, are indispensible for this transition.

Vattenfall has commissioned the Berlin-Marzahn combined heat and power (CHP) plant, built by Siemens as general contractor. The CHP supplies district heating for the eastern part of Berlin and has a maximum fuel efficiency of 92%, making it one of Europe’s most efficient power plants.

MAN Energy Solutions has installed, commissioned and handed over a 56 MW power plant block to its customer, Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO). The new unit expands the Pembroke power station which supplies most of the energy needs of Bermuda’s capital city Hamilton.

Petronas’ Kasawari gas field development project, offshore Sarawak in Malaysia, will be powered by Siemens SGT-300 turbines. With 3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable reserves, the field will produce up to 900 mmcf of gas per day for delivery to the Petronas LNG complex in Bintulu.

Ansaldo Energia has completed construction and commissioning of the Mornaguia gas power plant in Tunisia ahead of schedule, despite difficulties related to the coronavirus pandemic. STEG, the owner of the 625 MW plant, can now bring the facility to full capacity in time for peak summer demand.

News in Brief

Germany ups support for CO2 conversion in industry

Oct 30 – Industries in Germany will enjoy a further 75 million in funding to convert carbon dioxide emissions in heavy industry into useful chemical products. Thyssen-Krupp is already testing the process of converting CO2 emissions into substances like ammonia and methanol. The steel industry alone accounts for 6% of global CO2 emissions.

Operating assets ‘from anywhere’

Oct 29 – GE Digital’s latest software gives electric utilities remote and mobile control over their power stations for remote start-up, external monitoring and operational fine-tuning. The goal is to safe cost through autonomous operation from any location.

Enlit Europe goes digital

Oct 28 – In face of the second wave of the pandemic, Enlit Europe has decided to move its Milan trade show online. A virtual keynote will be held on Thursday, October 29, starting from 9:30 CET.

Singapore sets aside $36m for low-carbon tech

Oct 27 – The Singapore government is supporting low carbon tech by setting aside SG$49 million ($36m) for research into hydrogen, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and energy storage. Testbeds for blending of low-carbon hydrogen with natural gas in combined cycle gas turbines, will yield insights into low-carbon tech and facilitate future deployment, said Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

Researchers develop lightweight battery

Oct 26 – Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability (LBF) have developed a lightweight battery pack to reduce the overall weight of e-car batteries. The new pack holding the battery cells is made of fibre-plastic composites, reducing the weight by 40 percent compared to a casing made of aluminium. The new battery is hoped to drive the upward trend for e-car registrations in Germany and help lower emissions in the transport sector.

MAN to maintain power plant in Benin

Oct 23 – PrimeServ, the after-sales brand of MAN Energy Solutions, has signed a service agreement with BWSC for the Maria Gleta power plant near the city of Cotonou, Benin. The 127 MW plant is powered by seven MAN 18V51/60DF engines. The ten-year contract covers the supply of spare parts and the provision of technical services for scheduled maintenance.

Gas saves Virginia over $14bn

Oct 22 – Virginia’s businesses and families saved more than $14.2 billion between 2008 and 2018 thanks to low-cost natural gas and expanded energy infrastructure, according to a new Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) report. Almost 60% of power generation relies on natural gas and a third of its households use gas for home heating.

Energy storage for LNG-powered vessels

Oct 21 – Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf has asked Wärtsilä to retrofit its energy storage system (ESS) on four LNG-fuelled platform support vessels. Once upgraded in early 2022, all vessels will be of full tri-fuel operation.

Mott McDonald starts construction on ALCP6

Oct 20 – US construction firm Mott McDonald has started building the ALCP6 waste to energy project in Krabi province, southern Thailand. The plant will incinerate 144,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, and the heat obtained will be converted into 6 MW of electricity to be exported to the Thai national grid.

Brace for EU sustainable finance rules

Oct 19 – Sustainable finance practices, drawn up by the European Commission, could create a "bureaucratic monster" that smaller companies and energy investors would find overbearing, the Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (ifo) warned. The regulation should hence prioritise closer scrutiny of large and listed companies.

UK could become net power exporter

Oct 16 – Increased interconnection could provide a route for excess offshore wind power in Britain to be consumed elsewhere in Europe. National Grid Interconnector Register shows up to 16 GW of interconnection could be operational by 2025 and up to 25.4 GW by 2030.

Wärtsilä to deploy GridSolv in US city

Oct 15 – AEP OnSite Partners has contracted Wärtsilä to deploy its GridSolv Quantum energy storage in the city of Martinsville, Virginia. The system includes an UL9540A limiting 2-hour battery firewall and will help lower the city’s energy costs.

Rolls-Royce spends $13.9m in Mankato

Oct 14 – Britain’s engine maker Rolls-Royce has decided to invest nearly $14 million in its Power System business to build a new R&D centre at its MTU manufacturing plant in Mankato, Minnesota, US. The expansion will see 28,000 square foot added to the facility’s existing hall, making room for the production of high-power MTU gas gensets, enhanced product testing and the creation of 20 new manufacturing positions.

Clarke commissions Vitalait power unit in Tunisia

Oct 13 – Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher have completed the commissioning of an onsite power plant of a milk producer in Tunisia. The installation of another Jenbacher gas engine has increased the plant’s output to 4 MW of electricity as well as 1,100 kW of hot water and 800 kW of steam.

Secondary battery market to top $55bn

Oct 12 – Technavio expects the secondary battery market to grow by $55.62 billion through 2024, rising at an 11% rate over the forecast period. Falling costs for lithium-ion batteries as well as growing demand in Asia Pacific allowed the market to grow 2.01% this year, despite adverse effects of the pandemic. Top battery suppliers are Tesla, Clarious, Exide, LG Chem, GS Yuasa and Samsung.

Shift to sustainable tech

Oct 9 – Three quarters of utilities, surveyed by EIT InnoEnergy, are considering adopting sustainable technology over the next 12-18 months. However, over one third of the respondents found it hard to recruit the skills they need.

Generator rentals slow

Oct 8 – The rental market for power generators has slowed down due to the pandemic, with genset rentals from the oil and gas industry forecast to grow by just $153.87 million this year. However, Technavio expects the market will return to a 3% annual growth rate by 2024.

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