Daily News

Future gas turbine research and development (R&D) needs to focus on a 'big is beautiful' approach to developing smaller, flexible units that can run efficiently at part-load, OEM representatives from Alstom, GE, Mitsubishi HI, Siemens and Pratt & Whitney Power Systems agreed at a conference in Brussels today.

Singapore has ruled out nuclear energy as an alternative for the near future despite concerns over energy security. The city-state is heavily reliant on imported natural gas for power generation and policy makers had mulled the nuclear option to complement its energy mix.

Natural gas is set to become a 'high-carbon fuel' after 2025, as the perception of gas generation changes over time amid EU member states trying to reach the Commission's 2020 carbon reduction goals. "In the short-term, we need gas [generation] to keep the lights on, while in the long run we need to develop additional technologies such as carbon capture storage (CCS), so that gas can still be perceived as a low-carbon technology," says Steve Heinen, energy analyst, energy technology policy division at the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Turkey keeps getting the attention of players from every corner of the natural gas-based power generation industry, even though the government complains about the country's dependency on natural gas and pledges to bring it down from today's 70% market share.

Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) has accelerated works to commission a replacement 640-MW gas-fired plant and the utility said it will consequentially retire three units at the 536 MW Cane Run coal plant in Kentucky eight months earlier than initially planned.

Britain is preparing to make a 'dash for gas generation' which may pove to be the more affordable option than renewables.

"Following the government's change in policy direction, it is now time and money that will determine whether a power plant, equipped with viable Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, will be in operation by 2020," says Howard Rogers, Director, Gas Programme, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES).

To break the vicious cycle of high gas prices leading to demand destruction, no downstream investment and gas generation being displaced coal, analysts at the French investment bank Société Générale recommend to adapt pricing to the source of demand.

Singapore is building three new large combined cycle plants to cater for the city state's growing electricity demand.

"The selection of combined cycle plants based on GT26 advanced gas turbines for all three of these projects indicates the importance of high plant flexibility while maintaining high efficiency and low emissions in many of today's electricity markets," says Pascal Radue, regional vice president, Alstom Gas Business, Asia.

GE has revealed plans to add 12.5 GW to its portfolio of operational gas turbines in Brazil by 2020, as the country turns to gas generation to dent a shortage in peak-load power supply.

Commercial operation has started at Imperial Irrigation District's 140 MW El Centro Unit 3 repowering project at the gas-fired El Centro Generating Station, located in El Centro, California. The revamped plant is adding 140-MW of electricity to the local power grid.

UK utilities and investors with gas to power assets in their portfolios face rising uncertainty in predicting long-term operational cash flows as market interventions as proposed under the UK's Electricity Market Reform have the effect of replacing market risk with political risk, says Dr. Jim Fitzgerald, Associate Partner at The Advisory House.

Supply woes notwithstanding, gas-based power generators are gaining in importance in India, according to country's Central Power Research Institute (CPRI). “Gas is a good, alternative solution for peaking problems,” an analyst with CPRI told Gas to Power Journal.

Gas generation is the quickest way to dent India's energy hunger and underpin economic growth, but "what matters is the delivered price of gas in India," says B.C. Tripathi, chairman and managing director at GAIL, India's largest gas transmission and marketing company.

ExxonMobil is developing a coal-seam gas (CSG) acreage in Indonesia that could provide natural gas for two combined-cycle power plants in Java or feed-gas for the country's LNG production complex at Bontang, Steve Buck, exploration manager at ExxonMobil Exploration said at the 2012 Gastech conference in London.

Wärtsilä, in a consortium with South Korea-based Lotte Engineering & Construction, has been awarded a turnkey contract to build a 573 MW tri-fuel power plant in Jordan. The overall contract is valued at $552 million of which Wärtsilä's share is $334 million, the Helsinki-headquartered company said.

News in Brief

ABB repowers Italian fashion supplier

Dec 12 – Italy’s Printing House of Martinengo, a major supplier to global fashion and couture brands, has partnered with ABB to upgrade with Ekip UP, digitizing its existing switchgear and circuit breakers. ABB Ekip UP is ideal for updating older facilities, capturing data and sharing it with cloud-based energy management functions without any other meter or external gateway required.

GE axes 12,000 jobs to realign business

Dec 11 – GE’s plans to axe 12,000 jobs globally highlights the struggles of the industry to shift the focus from heavy-duty gas turbine business towards the renewable segment. The $10 billion takeover of Alstom is now viewed by some analysts as a “bad bet on an old-school industry.”

GE breaks ground on 3D Campus in Lichtenfelds

Nov 8 – Concept Laser and GE have laid the foundation for a new 3D Campus that will unite research and development along with production, service, and logistics in Lichtenfels, Germany. The new offices, providing room for about 500 employees on 40,000 square meters, GE said, should be ready for move-in early 2019.

OPRA Turbines taken over by Dalian Energas

Nov 7 – OPRA Turbines has just disclosed that its entire shareholding has been taken over by China’s Dalian Energas Group since August. OPRA Turbines has been continuing its operation at their new headquarter in Hengelo as a member of Energas Group.

Adven to buy E.ON’s distributed energy business in Sweden

Nov 6 – Adven, a leading energy and water infrastructure and services provider in Finland, Sweden and Estonia, has agreed to acquire E.ON’s Swedish district heating and distributed energy solutions business (EVLE), which owns heating operations in nine municipalities in the south and centre of the county. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Reliance completes $1bn power project in Bangladesh

Dec 5 – Reliance Power has completed execution of agreements for Phase 1 of the power project in Bangladesh. Phase-1 consists of 750MW combined cycle gas power plant to be set up at Meghnaghat near Dhaka and 500 mmscfd LNG terminal at Kutudbia Island.

AWE hopes for higher offer after CERCG bid

Dec 4 – Australian Energy company AWE, shareholder in the Waitsia gas field off Western Australia, is playing the waiting game after it received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from China Energy Reserve and Chemical Group (CERCG), proposing to acquire 100% of AWE’s shares at A$0.71 cash per share. However, the initial reaction of AWE’s has been that the takeover bid is seen as “not sufficiently attractive” to provide access for due diligence.

Distributed power market to top $103bn by 2022

Dec 1 – Driven by increasingly stringent mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and rising electricity demand in remote regions, the market for distributed generation is forecast to grow at a rate of 11.48% annually. According to MarketsandMarkets projections, the sector will expand in revenue from $60.04 billion in 2017 to $103.38 billion by 2022. Key global players in this market segment are Siemens, GE, Schneider, Mitsubishi, Capstone and Doosan.

Simit V9.1 simulation for faster commissioning

Nov 30  – Siemens has released an upgrade to its Simit simulation platform for virtual commissioning and operator training. Version 9.1 can also be used in modular plants, speeding up actual commissioning by up to 60% and reducing unwanted standstill periods, particularly during plant conversion and migration processes.

Nigeria halts commissioning of 215-MW plant

Nov 29 – The Senate of Nigeria has stopped the scheduled commissioning of the 215 MW dual-fuel power plant in Kaduna state over a dispute between the power ministry and the plant’s gas supplier, Abuja-based Greenville LNG. The power ministry had unexpectedly changed the terms of its contract with its gas supplier, deciding to run the plant on diesel. Greenville LNG, meanwhile, insists that natural gas remains the cheapest fuel source for the $186 million Kaduna project. The plant was meant to be commissioned in January 2018, but construction works have already fallen three years behind schedule.

Gas OPEC condemns unilateral sanctions

Nov 28 – The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), also known as Gas OPEC, has condemned unilateral economic sanctions by the US against some members of the group, notably Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The GEFC condemned such sanctions that are not authorized by the United Nations “as a weapon against other nations.”

GE helps Saudi’s NDU drive digital industry

Nov 28 – The Saudi Arabia’s National Digitization Unit (NDU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GE to drive the country’s digital industrial diversification, leveraging GE’s digital applications and ServiceMax which allows field service engineers’ time to be utilized more efficiently. The partnership will focus on community- based digital solutions in sectors identified for transformation under Saudi Vision 2030.

ADNOC opens Habshan-5 gas processing plant

Nov 27 – ADNOC has inaugurated and commenced operation at its $6.85 billion Habshan-5 gas processing plant. Linked via a 215km pipeline to ADNOC’s offshore Umm Shaif gas field, the plant has four gas processing trains and four sulphur recovery units. Its daily production capacity is 12,000 tonnes of natural gas liquids, 1.1 billion of sales gas; 5,200 tonnes of liquid sulphur and 3,000 barrels of condensate.

Nigerian regulator extends Afam VI licence

Nov 24 – The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has renewed the power generation licence for Shell’s 650-MW Afam VI power plant. Operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture (SPDC JV), the combined-cycle gas power plant between 2008 and 2016 delivered over 24.16 million MWh to the Nigerian grid.

German gas power output up 13%

Nov 23 – Electricity output from German gas-fired power plants in the first nine months of 2017 totalled 62.23 TWh, a 13% rise compared with the same period last year, according to BDEW data. In September, the most recent month for which the BDEW data is available, gas power output dropped 1.5% on the year to 6.24 TWh which marks the second on-year drop in a row, the industry lobby group said.

SimoticsIQ connects MindSphere and open IoT systems

Nov 22 – With Simotics IQ, the new IoT-compatible drive concept from Siemens, the Simotics SD low-voltage motors are fitted with a compact sensor box which captures important operating and condition parameters and transmits them by WiFi to the cloud. The operating data can then be stored and analyzed by the Simotics IQ MindApp on MindSphere.

CT market worth $4.4bn by 2020

Nov 21 – The Coiled Turbine (CT) market, by service, is projected to grow at an annual rate of 6-7% from an estimated value of $3.2 billion in 2015 to around $4.4 billion by 2020. According to MarketsandMarkets analysis, North America accounted for nearly half of the total revenue in 2013, driven by demand in the ultra-deep CT service sector as shale gas drilling activities keeps expanding.