Daily News

A consortium of European universities and industry has produced new research improving reliability of the combustion process in gas turbines (GT) which can potentially saving operators tens of millions of euros. "Although failure due to flame instability is extremely rare, a single event can cost in excess of €10 million - so research to improve reliability is vital" Professor Jim Kok, project co-ordinator for the Limousine group told Gas to Power Journal.

The US Supreme court has announced it will hear a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent climate directives as the beleaguered coal power generation sector in the country fights the regulation. "Whatever happens will undoubtedly be important for the economic case for new gas-fired generation...what this does is buy some time for coal-fired plants," Trevor Skirkoski, analyst at EnergyAspects told Gas to Power Journal.

LNG buyers in power-hungry Asian countries seek more flexible terms and call for a Henry Hub price element in long-term import contracts in a bid to bring down costs of gas purchase. Almost 70% of global LNG supply is consumed in Asian countries but "it seems at times that we are paying more than we need to," Kogas CEO Jang Seok-hyo said at the World Energy Congress in Daegu, Korea.

Replacing coal-fired power with gas-fueled plants on a wide scale by 2030 would reduce carbon emissions in the power sector by five percent compared to today's levels, according to a Siemens study compiled under the lead of Professor Horst Wildemann at the Technical University of Munich. "Of course, it would be illusionary to replace all coal-fired power plants with gas-fueled units – but the potentials identified are really impressive," he admitted.

Uncompetitive gas markets in Europe could lead to the closure of up to 60% of Europe's gas-fired power plants by 2016, Cap Gemini has warned, causing regional price increases and making power shortages unavoidable. The predictions come as part of the consultancy's annual European Monitoring Centre for Energy Markets report and outline an uncertain future for the industry.

China will use fossil fuels in a low-carbon manner, engage in green growth and work towards energy security as rapid urbanisation continues, Wang Yumin, vice administrator of the National Energy Agency of China said in a keynote speech at the World Energy Congress this morning.

As South Korea transforms into a creative economy "the energy industry is one of the areas where this creative paradigm can shine," Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea told the World Energy Congress today, referring to her signature policy targets to utilise enhanced technology for energy storage and demand side management to reduce peak-load power consumption.

Fuel savings of several percentage points may be possible for gas turbines operating under partial load conditions thanks to new research at the University of South Carolina. “Better understanding of flow dynamics can help to boost operating performance for a wide range of fuels,” Dr. Tanvir Farouk, lead investigator said, speaking to Gas to Power Journal.

A risk analysis of gas-fired power generation versus nuclear suggests that the current low costs for gas power operators may disguise long-term risks, according to consultancy EnergyPath. A probabilistic comparison of the investment risks shows that "gas has shown great volatility in the past and this volatility must be recognized as part of investment strategies," Thomas Retson, analyst at EnergyPath, told Gas to Power Journal.

Investment in global energy infrastructure in Asia-Pacific is forecast to grow to $11.7 trillion by 2035, with the bulk spent on power and heat generation in China and India. Though there is no lack of local financing, but investors shy away from regulatory risk as power and gas prices are still regulated in many Asian markets, warns Seethapathy Chander, deputy director general of ADB

In the face of a rise in Korea's electricity consumption by a quarter by 2030, the power industry is forecast to reduce the share of coal from currently 40 percent to around 16 percent by 2030 in a bid to diversify energy sources and reduce carbon emission, a study carried out by Siemens shows.
If Korea were to dispense completely with coal-fired power plants in favour of modern gas-fuelled units by 2030, the sector's carbon emissions would drop by a further third, and the country could save 9 million tons of imported oil equivalent per year, the study finds.

Tapping the searing 2,000°C heat of gas turbine combustion with new man made materials may add fuel efficiency, said Professor Andrey Prokofiev at Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna). "While according to the second law of thermodynamics some heat will always be lost, we can turn part of this waste heat into useful electricity."

The European Commission has launched a €5.85 billion funding push to diversify gas and power infrastructure across the continent, as part of its long-term infrastructure vision. Financing will go to 248 projects, with approximately 140 aimed at "diversification of gas supplies...to significantly increase the gas system's flexibility and resilience in the short and medium term" according to a statement from the commission.

Meeting Asia-Pacific's energy needs will require investments of $11.7 trillion through 2035 in a business-as usual scenario, but may swell to about $19.9 trillion under an alternative approach with deployment of more costly super-critical coal- and efficient gas-fired generation technology and higher renewable penetration, a report launched by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) shows.

Natural gas will surpass oil and coal as the primary fossil fuel consumed by industries and power producers around 2030, provided and expansion of pipeline, storage and a virtual LNG pipeline to allow for more decentralised gas-fired generation, forecast Steve Bolze, GE president and CEO.

News in Brief

U.S. turbine market to top 14GW by 2024

Nov 14 – The U.S. industrial gas turbine market is expected to exceed 14 GW by 2024. Federal government initiatives to expand the penetration of natural gas-fired station will augment the industry outlook, according to a Market Study Report.

Xcel snaps up Mankato Energy Center

Nov 13 – U.S. electric utility Xcel Energy has agreed to purchase Mankato Energy Center in Minnesota from Southern Power in a $650 million deal. A second gas-fired power unit is scheduled to come online in 2019, set to increase the plant’s total generating capacity to 760 MW.

Shell re-focuses on new energies

Nov 12 – Electricity and new green fuels have risen on the agenda of Royal Dutch Shell, with the company announcing plans to invest up to $2 billion a year through to 2020. “That might seem modest by oil and gas standards, but we can do a lot with it in this space,” commented Brian Davis, Shell’s VP energy solutions.

Kollsnes shut down

Nov 9 – A collision between the frigate Helge Ingstad and the tanker TS Sola off the Sture terminal near Bergen in western Norway has led to the closure of the Vestprosess pipeline and Kollsnes gas processing plant, the Norwegian TSO Gassco said in a market note.

MHPS to service Uzbekenergo’s power plants

Nov 8 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. (MHPS) has signed an accord with state-owned Uzbekenergo and Mitsubishi Corp to collaborate in a service and maintenance program (CSMP) for power plants in Uzbekistan. The agreement is meant to help grow the reach of Japanese companies in Central Asia.

Austria to import more Russian gas

Nov 7 – Russia’s gas giant Gazprom and OMV of Austria have signed Gazprom and OMV an amendment to their supply contract, stipulating deliveries to Austria will be increased by 1 Bcm/y beyond the contractual. In the first ten month of 2018, alone supplies of Russian pipeline gas have grown by a third compared to the previous year, reaching 8.8 Bcm.

UK launches 1st geothermal plant

Nov 6 – The UK’s first geothermal electricity plant has gotten underway today, backed by £18 million in funding. Drilling started using a rig from Helsinki. Once operational, demonstration plant will deliver up to 3 MW of electricity to the National Grid.

Germans register more EVs

Nov 5 – Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity in Germany: The share of pure EVs in s new car registrations climbed to 1.3% in October, as the total number of new EVs increased 55% year-on-year, according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). Hybrid cars account for a 4.4% market share, diesel fell to 31.8% and the lion’s share of 62.3% is still taken by petrol models.

GE retrofits Wet FDG in India

Nov 2 – India’s largest energy conglomerate NTPC Ltd. has asked GE Power to supply and install Wet Flue Gas Desulphurization (Wet FDG) technology at four power plants in a deal worth US$247 million. The four facilities are the 2x660 MW Solapur power plant, the 2x660 MW Tanda Stage-II, the 1x500 MW Feroze Gandhi Unchahar project and the 2x660 MW Meja power project.

Floating power barge

Nov 1 – Siemens has developed barge-based, turnkey floating power solutions that take a critical part of an FLNG facility’s infrastructure — power generation — off a project’s critical path. According to the manufacturer, this helps reduce overall project execution time by as much as 25% or more, maximizing return on investment.

KBR posts 28% rise in profit

Oct 31 – U.S. engineering company KBR has reported a rise in net profits and voiced optimism to secure more mid-scale LNG and downstream projects with its joint venture partner ConocoPhillips. Third-quarter revenues rose by more than 23% to $1.27 billion, compared with $1.03bn in Q3-2017. Net profit was $58 million, up 28% from $45m in the year-ago period.

Togo: IPP gets go-ahead

Oct 30 – Eranove, a private equity-backed independent power producer (IPP), has received the green light for a $110 million power project in Togo. A concession agreement was signed for the combined-cycle power plant to be built in the area of Lomé port. The Spanish firm Grupo TSK was selected as EPC contractor for the 65-MW project.

Goldman, Cargill fined for avoiding tax on Teeside

Oct 29 – Goldman Sachs and Cargill have been hit with a £79 million fine for dogging tax on their ownership of a Teesside power plant. The two U.S. banking giants took over Teesside Power Ltd after the collapse of Enron in 2001, and HM Revenue and Customs just won a court case against the two trading houses over a tax avoidance scheme.

Gazprom to start production at Kovyktinskoye in 2019

Oct 26 –The Russian gas giant Gazprom has announced it will to start production drilling at the vast Kovyktinskoye field in 2019, with a view to start feeding gas from Kovyktinskoye into the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in late 2022. Situated in eastern Siberia near Lake Baikal, the field holds an estimated 2.7 Tcm of gas reserves, and 90.6 million tons of gas condensate, and 25 Bcm/y of planned design capacity.

MAN launches ETB blower in China

Oct 25 – A new Electrical Turbo Blower, the designated ETB40, has been launched by MAN Energy Solutions at a ceremony in Shanghai hosted by its two-stroke licensee, CSSC-MES Diesel Co. (CMD). The blower raises the exhaust-gas pressure in order to overcome the pressure difference between exhaust gas and scavenging air receiver.

IEA and China collaborate on energy efficiency

Oct 24 –The International Energy Agency (IEA) and China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have agreed to work together on energy efficiency. The IEA acknowledged China has made strong progress on energy efficiency in recent years, and led energy intensity improvements globally.

ABB relays help protect Brussels power grid

Oct 23 – Sibelga, the distribution system operator (DSO) of the Brussels metropolitan area, implements ABB’s Relion 615 series relays to ensure a protected power supply for 700,000 citizens. The agreement will see ABB add medium-voltage control relays to remote terminal units (RTUs), most of which will be retrofitted.