Daily News

The use of Tomo-Lithographic Molding (TOMO) manufacturing technology, developed by Mikro Systems, in a range of gas turbine machinery improves the cooling capabilities of gas turbines and increases overall efficiency."[When] applied to gas turbines, [TOMO technology] enables more sophisticated airfoil designs with improved cooling characteristics, which leads to higher operating temperatures and improved efficiency," Tim Rokita, Siemens representative told Gas to Power Journal.

NorthWestern Energy has started commercial operation of its new $55 million natural gas-fired peaking Unit 2 with a capacity of 60MW in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The new generating unit complements an existing peaking unit and is powered by a 60MW Pratt & Whitney gas turbine generator.

Sembcorp Industries has commissioned and started commercial operations of its $1billion gas-fired Salalah Independent Water and Power Plant (Salalah IWPP) in Oman. The plant provides electricity (445MW net) and water (69 000 cubic meters a day) to the government-owned Oman Power and Water Procurement Company under a 15 year power and water purchase agreement.

The impact of the US shale gas revolution – though positive for coal-to-gas switching in US power generation, will keep a lid on oil prices. The price of crude was "more likely to go down than up" over the next two to five years, said Paolo Scaroni, chief executive of Italy's incumbent energy company Eni.

US government approval for the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, Texas to export LNG to countries with which the US does not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) have brought Japan a step closer to realising cheaper supplies of natural gas for power generation. Osaka Gas and Chubu Electric have already signed liquefaction tolling agreements with Freeport LNG, back in July 2012, to each acquire a 2.2mtpa production capacity of the first train at Freeport, potentially as early as in 2017.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has legally completed the acquisition of Pratt & Whitney Power Systems (P&W PS), a manufacturer of small and medium-size gas aero engines. Following the takeover, the Japanese engineering conglomerate launched operations of its new aero-engine segment under the name of PW Power Systems.

Toshiba Infrastructure South America Ltd (TIC-SA), the Brazilian arm of electronics multinational Toshiba has started producing electricity transformers in a newly launched $58 million (¥6.0 billion) manufacturing plant in the city Betim, which is part of the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte.

EDF is planning to add 975MW of gas-fired power generation to its installed capacity in France, a spokesman for the company told Gas to Power Journal. The additions will come from the planned commissioning of a second 465MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant in Martigues in 2013 and the joint development with GE of a 510MW "new generation" CCGT plant on EDF's Bouchain site in Northern France, scheduled for late 2015.

With gas turbines increasingly used from the smallest to the largest scales of power generation systems, the technical scope of machinery has grown dramatically in recent years. Modern Gas Turbine Systems, published by Woodhead Publishing, gives a comprehensive introduction and overview to the subject, outlining the mechanical principles and underlying physics of gas power generation, and describing a range of operational concerns relevant to plant operators and engineers.

A leading driver behind Mexico's rising natural gas consumption in recent years has been the substantial rise in the use of gas in the power sector, country analysis undertaken by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) finds.

Industry in southern Germany could curb their electricity consumption at times of peak demand by up to 480MW in the course of an hour if Demand-Side Management (DSM) mechanisms were to be widely implanted, according to study presented by energy think thank Agora in Berlin this week.

Commercial operations have begun three months ahead of schedule at the $900 million gas-fired 800MW Sentinel Energy Project near Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County, California. The plant is co-owned by Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), GE Energy Financial Services and Diamond Generating Corporation (DGC). The general contractor for the construction of the project was Gemma Power Systems California.

The EU's Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has called on the European Council and Parliament to approve the proposed back-loading of 900 billion carbon emission allowances (EUAs) in emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). Back-loading would reduce the surplus of emissions in the ETS, and the subsequent rise in carbon prices would encourage power producers to favour gas over coal.

Fortum's €130million ($167million) waste-fired CHP plant has started this week in the city of Klaipeda, Lithuania. It is the first of its kind in the Baltics, one of four such plants planned for the Baltic and Nordic region.

The contribution of gas to the UK's power generation mix has plunged by 32 percent in 2012 from 2011 level, comprising 28 percent of total generation, mainly due to the relative low cost of coal compared to gas and cheap coal imports mainly from Russia, Columbia and the United States, the latest country analysis done by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows. The contribution of coal was 39 percent of UK's energy mix, rising by 32 percent.

News in Brief

Finning offers new Cat engine

June 20 – The new Cat C9.3B industrial engine, compliant with EU Stage V emissions standards, is now available from Finning UK and Ireland. The six cylinder, 9.3 litre engine builds on capabilities of previous Cat models that have logged more than 200 million operating hours.

GE risks €35m fine in France

June 19 – French government officials said GE will have to pay penalties if it fails to realise its pledge to create 1,000 jobs in France by the end of this year. GE made the promise in 2014 as part of the €12.4 billion takeover of Alstom’s power generation and grid business. "The contract called for a 50,000 euro penalty for every job not created," France’s labour minister Muriel Penicaud told BFM television.

MAN to deliver engines to Oman LNG

June 18 – Oman LNG is seeking to develop a new gas engine-driven power plant at its Qalhat facilities. MAN Diesel and Turbo will deliver the gas engines and associated equipment, while KBR will manage the project execution, supply the generators and ensure safety requirements.

CHP market to top $27bn by 2023

June 15 – Global market for combined heat and power is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 5.48% to reach $20.69 billion in 2018 and $27.01 billion by 2023. According to Markets and Markets, the main growth drivers are demand for energy efficiency and government incentives and programs to promote CHP.

Enel starts battery storage in the UK

June 14 – Enel Group’s first utility-scale, stand-alone battery energy storage - the 25 MW/12.5 MWh Tynemouth project - is about to start operations, supported by a four-year contract with British System Operator National Grid to provide grid-balancing services. Enel bought the storage venture from Element Power in May 2017, and invested about 20 million Euros in the overall project, including construction.

New Mach Gen files for bankruptcy

June 13 – U.S. power generator New Mach Gen has filed for bankruptcy, presenting a pre-packaged reorganisation plan. New Mach Gen operates three gas-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 2,500 MW in Athens, NY, Maricopa County, Arizona and Charlton, Massachusetts.

Siemens, Covestro partner on digitalization

June 12 – Siemens and Covestro Deutschland have agreed a Joint Business Development Plan that reinforces their longstanding, trust-based partnership in the field of digitalization. Siemens is developing predictive process data models for manufacturing through the use of its cloud-based IoT operating system, MindSphere, while Covestro will introduce its process technology and production expertise to generate joint marketing solutions.

U.S. hurricane season underway

June 11 – With June 1 marking the official start of the 2018 hurricane season in the United States, Dominion Energy has urged customers to prepare and emergency storm kit. The Virginia-based utility is continuing day-to-day preparations for a busy storm season.

EIA broadens energy survey

June 8 – For electricity, the number of end-uses estimated in the EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) has expanded from 4 to 26 by adding estimates for various types of equipment. Itemized estimates collectively cover 87% of residential electricity use.

Cost-effective transition towards CHP

June 7 – COGEN Europe, an industry lobby group, has underlined the sector’s commitment to a “cost-effective transition towards a sustainable future in Europe” by means of utilizing combined heat and power generation. CHP provides flexibility across heat, electricity and gas networks and sectors by relying on short, medium and long-term storage to balance energy supply and demand.

Europe’s largest battery operational

June 6 – With a capacity of 48 MW/50 MWh, Europe’s largest battery EnspireME has been in operation since the beginning of this month. Located in Jardelund, northern Germany, the battery will be used as a backup by the local grid operator and participate in the weekly auction of primary reserve capacity. It was built by the Dutch utility Eneco and Japan's Mitsubishi in eight months.

BlueVault powers offshore operations

June 5 – Siemens is applying its electrification experience in the marine industry to offshore oil and gas, focussing on reducing emissions and risk in harsh operational environments. BlueVault, Siemens’ advanced lithium-ion battery-based solution, is suited for both all-electric and hybrid energy-storage applications.

Duke Energy opens new CCGT unit at Lee Station

June 4 – U.S. utility Duke Energy has been continuously operating its new 750 MW combined-cycle gas power unit at the W.S. Lee Station in Anderson County, South Carolina, since the beginning of June. Construction of the $700 million gas power unit started in March 2015, creating more than 600 construction jobs. Now fully operational, the CCGT is expected to generate about $4.4 million in tax revenue for Anderson County in 2019.

Reliability risk in California, Texas

June 1 – California and Texas are two potential tight spots for reliability of electricity this summer, even as most regions seem prepared to meet peak summer demand, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notes. In its 2018 energy market and reliability assessment, the regulator predicts warmer than average temperatures which could stir record high gas-burn for power generation.

Siemens to roll-out energy monitoring system at Rexel

May 31 – Electrical wholesaler Rexel Austria has placed an order with Siemens to deliver a cloud-based energy monitoring system which is meant to achieve a 15% reduction in energy use at its logistics center in Weisskirchen. Siemens’ cope of supply includes 66 communication-capable 7KM PAC 1500 and 7KM PAC 4200 power measuring devices, powermanager energy monitoring software, and connection to its cloud-based operating system MindSphere.

MHI calls off tie-up with JTEKT

May 30 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has discontinued talks to form a business partnership with JTEKT Corp after both parties terminated a basic partnership, agreed in December 2017 together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool (MAT) that included capital participation in JTEKT. All these plans have now been abandoned.

Sembcorp hires Contact Energy CFO

May 29 – Singapore-based Sembcorp has hired Contact Energy CFO Graham Cockroft to be its new CFO as of September 3, 2018. Sembcorp’s current CFO, Koh Chiap Khiong has moved on to head of the group’s utilities business in Singapore, Southeast Asia and China.