Daily News

Utilities in India will face the most disruption” when having to come to terms with the trend that by 2020, renewable power will be the cheapest form of new-build capacity in most of the world, according to Morgan Stanley Research. “We think the market for Indian utilities has yet to fully price in the impacts of solar power becoming the cheapest form of new generation,” analysts said, remarking “[this is] driving our downgrade of the Indian utilities industry to In-Line.”

Capacity-weighted average construction costs for many generator types have fallen in recent years throughout the United States. The average cost of natural gas generators installed in 2015 was $696/kW, a 28% decline from 2013. Nearly 75% of the natural gas capacity installed was combined-cycle units, which had an average installed cost of $614/kW.

Germany-based MTU Maintenance has extended its exclusive contract with Sahacogen (Chonburi) for maintenance repair, overhaul of its three LM6000PC gas turbines. The long-term service agreement is valued at over $35 million and runs until the end of 2023.

Dubbed a ‘Test of German power’ by the Financial Times, the construction of the second pipeline arm of North Stream 2 has sparked protest by 13 EU member states but German energy majors, including BASF, Wintershall and E.on are adamant that implementation of the project is vital for Europe’s energy security. Boosting Russian gas exports to Greifswald may bolster the German-Russian relations but it looks going against the principle of the ‘Energy Union’, an aspirational project launched by the European Commission to diversify supply sources.

Spanish engineering group SENER has been embarking on a number of major turnkey construction projects in Mexico, such as the 770 MW Empalme I project. “The Energy Reform extends the market share for private enterprises and increases the value of the [state operator] CFE. This creates a lot of opportunities for our company,” Alejandro De la Rúa, Power, oil & gas director at the firm in Mexico said, forecasting energy demand in northern Mexico is set to grow by 3.6% per year.

General Electric, through its energy investing unit GE Energy Financial Services, and YPF Energía Eléctrica, have secured $220 million project financing for the 267-MW Tucumán and 107-MW Loma Campana II projects. Citi, Credit Suisse and Export Development Canada (EDC) jointly led the financing, which represent the first power plant project financing in Argentina in almost 20 years.

The Turkish energy company Karpowership has placed an order for a total of 38 engines of the type MAN 51/60. The engines each have a power output of 18.5 - 20.4 MW, and deliveries are due to start later this year, for commissioning to take place in 2018.

Though burning coal for generating electricity is cheap, and Japan is home to supercritical high-efficiency coal power stations, key ministers warned that if all proposed coal-fired capacity got built this would put Japan’s emission reduction targets in jeopardy. "It doesn't matter if they are highly efficient or not, power stations using coal are seen outdated as EU and other countries are moving away from them," environment minister Kouichi Yamamoto said.

Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) has selected Alghanim International for execution of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the Sabiya Extension-3. As part of this 900 MW project, the EPC contractor has asked Siemens to supply key power generation equipment, notably the power train.

Exports of natural gas from the United States have reached a record-high level, surging 30% to 2,315 Bcf in 2016. Pipeline exports to Mexico more than doubled since 2013 and are set to rise further, according to EIA projections, once the pipeline projects currently under construction are completed and demand from new natural gas-fuelled plants in Mexico ramps up.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has held its 2nd Global Conference on Energy Efficiency in Paris last week, attended by business executives and senior government officials from around the world, including all G20 countries. Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director pointed out that only 30% of energy use is subject to efficiency standards. “This means there is huge room for improvement.”

EVN SPC, Vietnam’s state-run utility Electricity of Vietnam Southern Power Corp has opened a new main control centre in Ho-Chi-Min City, commonly known as Saigon. The state-run energy company had asked Siemens to develop, design and build the control centre to be able to remotely monitor the medium- and low-voltage grids in 21 provinces in southern Vietnam.

Sharjah National Oil Co. (SNOC) is aiming to take a financial investment decision on a floating LNG terminal before the end of 2017 in an effort to end intermittent power shortages in that emirate, located just north of its affluent neighbour Dubai.  

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) focus on financing infrastructure in India’s lagging states helped promote inclusive economic growth, spurred the development of some power generation projects to help increase electrification rates. During the year 2016-17, total energy availability increased by 4.1% over the previous year and the peak met increased by 5.7%, according to India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

Southern Power, part of the US wholesale energy provider Southern Company, has asked Wärtsilä to supply equipment and provide technical as well as commercial support for the development of two 450 MW gas power projects. Owning over 12,600 MW of generating capacity in the United States, Southern Company grows its business through new assets that are substantially covered by long-term contracts.

News in Brief

ABB delivers power solution for Shanghai Stock Exchange

July 21 – Swiss-based ABB has signed a contract to provide more than 1,500 units of MNS low-voltage switchgear for the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) before the end of the year. Dubbed the Jinqiao Technology Center project the MNS switchgear deployment is meant to support the safe, efficient and reliable operation of the stock exchanges’ data center. SSE is ranked #4 in the Shanghai market, and is ranked #26 in China.

TNB extends acquisition period for 51% stake in SPG

July 20 – Malaysia’s state utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has granted SIPP Energy an further 30 days to fulfil conditions set out in the May 3 acquisition agreement when TNB bought a 51% stake in SIPP Energy’s Johor-based unit SPG for RM51. Set up as a special purpose vehicle in august 2016, SPG was given regulatory approval last September to build a 2x720MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor. The CCGT is scheduled to start full commercial operation at the start of July 2020.

TVA’s new plant produces 1 GW in first three months

July 19 – Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) new combined cycle gas power plant in Muhlenberg County has produced over 1,025 MW of electricity in its first three months of operation. The cost of the project is estimated at about $850 million, but TVA senior vice president Bob Deacy underlined the new CCGT will give the operator the option of fuel switching to optimise its coal- and gas-burn which will ultimately save money. 

Toshiba opens hydrogen application centre in Tokyo

July 18 – Toshiba has opened a new hydrogen application centre at its Fuchu complex in western Tokyo. Research at the centre focuses the company’s new H2Onesolution for hydrogen supply system business for fuel-cell vehicles, or fuel-cell forklifts within buildings.  According to project manager Hiroyuki Ota, “This center showcases totally CO2-free operation, from hydrogen production through to application.”

Opening of Rhode Island plant delayed unit 2020

July 17 – Chicago-based Invenergy has delayed the start-up of its proposed natural gas-fired power plant in Rhode Island until “at least 2020,” citing “delays in permitting. The Chicago-based company had previously agreed to start selling power to the regional grid in 2019.

China’s energy efficiency sector tops $13bn in revenue

June 14 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) is supporting association member states in implementing energy efficiency measures. In China, government policy created a whole new sector for low-energy solutions, retrofits and services. This niche sector got started less than 20 years ago but already employs over 600,000 people and has annual revenues of over $13 billion.

Centrica starts building 50 MW unit

July 13 – UK energy supplier Centrica has announced that construction works are getting underway this week on its new 50 MW back-up power unit at Peterborough power station. The new gas-fired ‘peaking’ plant will be driven by five Wartsila-built reciprocating gas engines. The plant operator will dispatch the fast-ramp unit mostly on weekdays to cater periods of peak power demand or to provide back-up electricity when requested by the National Grid.

Siemens sues Technopromexport

July 12 – Siemens has filed a lawsuit against the Russian state firm Technopromexport on Tuesday after two gas turbines it sold for use in Russia have been diverted to Crimea, a region subject to EU sanctions. Siemens said its Russian customer had acted in bad faith, after Reuters disclosed Technopromexport had moved the turbines to Crimea where ZAO Interautomatika, a firm part-owned by Siemens, had been hired to install them.

GE Power on the road in the Middle East

July 11 – Holding a series of road-shows in Dubai UAE, Muscat, Oman and Islamabad, Pakistan in the coming weeks, GE Power is demonstrate its digital industrial solutions and HA technology. The events will also over GE’s 9E and 13E2 gas turbines, as well as mobile solutions such as the TM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine genset.

Pakistan’s PM inaugurates 760-MW unit of Haveli CCGT

July 10 – The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif has inaugurated the first unit of the Haveli Bahadur Shah gas power plant in Jhang province on late Friday. The 670-MW unit is running on regasified LNG. Once all units are fully operational, the combined-cycle gas power station will have a total generating capacity of 1,230 MW.

Siemens partners with China on digitalization

July 7 – Siemens has entered into agreements with the Chinese government and Chinese enterprises to continue joint activities for exploring the potential of digitalization and for supporting measures to upgrade and transform China’s industrial sector. The documents were signed today in Berlin this week in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Gas-burn continues to rise

July 6 - Consumption of natural gas has risen in 9 of the past 10 years, according to EIA figures. As recently as 2006, the United States consumed more coal than natural gas (in energy-equivalent terms), but as gas use has increased—particularly in the electric power sector, where gas-burn in 2016 was about twice that of coal.

 

Tepco to bid on Oz power plant tender

July 5 – South Australia energy plan, as set out in mid-March, stipulates running a tender to build a gas-fired power plant with adjacent battery energy storage. The federal state government plans to invest $360 million in new generating capacity and it now emerges that policymakers look favourably on the power plant site and project proposal of Tepko.

Orascom carries out EPC for $100m power project in Egypt

June 4 – Orascom Construction has secured a $100 million contract to build a power plant with a projected capacity of 650 MW in Walideya, Egypt. The scope of Orascom’s contract includes the full civil works package for the project. The contractor stated that the project’s proximity to an existing power station in Assuit is expected to “facilitate efficient mobilisation on the site.”

Ingersoll-Rand buys MB Air Systems

July 3 – Ingersoll-Rand announced today it has completed the acquisition of MB Air Systems Ltd. The transaction closed on June 30, 2017.

Mouchel rebrands to WSP

July 3 – Mouchel, an engineering services consultancy, has changed its name to WSP across all offices in the UK following the integration of the two businesses. Since January all employees have been working under a new structure across Britain, headed by UK CEO Mark Naysmith.

Fisterra Energy ready for $600m power project in Guadalajara

June 30 – Fisterra Energy, majority-owned by Blackstone, is forging ahead with its Tierra Mojada combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power project in Guadalajara, Mexico, after having reached financial close. The greenfield project was financed with $600 million of construction facilities and letters of credit by six banks. Construction on the 875-MW greenfield project is due to be finalized by the end of 2019.
Once operational, the gas power plant will powered by a GE H-class turbine, and most of its electricity output will be sold under 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CEF), Mexico’s national utility.