Daily News

Global investment firm Blackstone Group has agreed to pay $685 million to purchase three gas-fired power plants in Texas from Direct Energy, a Houston-based subsidiary of Centrica.

Driven by China's hunger for energy, the global power boiler market is forecast to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6% from $17.35 billion in 2013 to $30.62 billion by 2020, Global Data analysts forecast.

Finish gas engine manufacturer Wärtsilä is to construct two 20MW combined heat and power (CHP) plants in Russia's Chelyabinsk Oblast region, in the Southern Urals. To be located in the towns of Kasli and Karabash, the plants have been contracted by the private investment company, Perspektiva.

The European Commission has been urged to consider renewed support for industrial combined heat and power (CHP) plants by parliamentary vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras. "Current national energy market policies could lead to decreasing use of CHP in a number of countries because of growing investor uncertainty and a lack of clearly-defined long term policy structures," he warned, commenting on the EU's current regulatory environment.

Natural gas will become the dominant fuel for power generation in the U.S. by 2040, when it will account for 35% of production compared with 32% for coal, according to an early release of the Energy Information Administration's 2014 Outlook report. Cheap domestic gas reserves, strong demand for flexibility of power supply, tighter environmental regulation and technology improvements are seen drive the dash for gas power.

Siemens Energy has been awarded a contract worth €395 million for the engineering, procurement and construction of the San Gabriel combined cycle power plant (CCPP) in the Philippines with a capacity of 414MW. A commissioning and start-up date is set for March 2016.

GE's Digital Energy business has enhanced its Multilin Intelligent Line Monitoring System, an end-to-end overhead line solution with advanced analytics that helps utilities pinpoint power outages to improve reliability of power supply.

The Latvian parliament has approved amendments to energy regulation with a view to liberalising the gas markets and encourage greater competition in the power sector. The new laws will ensure third party access to gas transport infrastructure and reduce Latvia's reliance on Russian gas supply.

The rise in global coal demand is set to slowdown as China is looking to switch to cleaner-burning power sources, the U.S. turns to cheap shale gas, and as Europe's temporary economic rebound is seen come to an end, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast.

New York Power Authority has approved the conversion of NRG Energy's coal-fired Dunkirk power plant (635 MW) to run on natural gas and will contribute to the 150 million cost of the project. The new plant is set to startup in Q3'2015 and will generate 435 MW of electricity.

Determined to switch from coal to gas power generation to improve air quality, China's CNPC, PetroChina and Sinopec Group have been given the target to produce 6.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas by 2015 to help source more domestic gas supplies to fuel power plants.

The leader of German's Social Democrats (SPD), Sigmar Gabriel, will head a new combined Economics and Energy Ministry after his party voted over the weekend to enter a grand coalition with the Conservatives (CDU/CSU). Gabriel said he will focus on finalising the Energiewende without threatening the Germany's attractiveness for industrial production.

The Mexican senate has approved reforms to open up the country's energy sector to foreign investment and end the monopoly of Pemex, the state-owned power company. A lack of upside had deterred upstream investment, with shortages in gas supply causing power plant projects to stall despite plentiful reserves and strong demand for electricity.

Natural gas is forecast to overtake coal as the global dominant energy source by 2025, behind oil, with gas consumption forecast to surge 65% by 2040, ExxonMobil said in its annual energy outlook.

Independent Power Producer Invenergy has completed loan term financing for construction of the 584 MW gas-fired Nelson Energy Center, located 120 miles west of Chicago. Finance structuring will be provided by ING Capital, Siemens Financial Services and GE Energy Financial Services.

News in Brief

Controversy about planned CCGT in California

Feb 22 – Environmentalist have filed a lawsuit against plans to build a 634 MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Palmdale, a city north of Los Angeles. The hybrid gas and solar plant had been approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC), although a developer has not been found yet.

GE installs and services 9E turbine in Iraq

Feb 21 – GE Power has delivered and installed a 9E gas turbine to Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity’s (MoE) Al Qudus power plant. Throughout 2019, GE will also service up to seven GE 9E gas turbines at the facility, helping to maintain a stable power output of up to 875 MW.

MHI to join Cybersecurity Charter

Feb 20 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) signed a letter of intent to join the Charter of Trust for cybersecurity by the end of September, expanding the charter’s reach into Asia. Initiated by Siemens, the charter calls for binding rules and standards on cybersecurity as digitalization advances. Other signatories include AES, Airbus, Allianz, Atos, Cisco, Daimler, Dell Technologies, Deutsche Telekom, Enel, IBM, NXP, SGS, Total and TÜV Süd.

Substation market grows at 9.4% rate

Feb 19 – The gas-insulated substation market, currently valued at $17.3 billion, is anticipated to grow at a rate of more than 9.4% in the years through to 2025. Analysts say rising demand for low maintenance and small power systems will boost the market, particularly for large infrastructure projects such as smart city where GIS substations are well-suited due to their high efficiency and compact size.

Amprion advances P2G project in Germany

Feb 18 – Amprion, together with Open Grid Europe (OGE), are striving to get a €150 million Power-to-Gas project in Germany into operation by 2023. The pilot plant includes a 100 MW electrolyser that converts renewable energy into hydrogen and methane for use in the district of Emsland, northern Germany.

MHPS leads on post F-class turbines

Feb 15 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power System (MHPS) secured most orders in 2018 for newest-generation turbines, while GE booked most order for turbines of all classes amongst its rivals. For so-called post F-class turbines, MHPS reportedly achieved 49% of orders, compared with 34% for GE and 16% for Siemens.

UK inflation down amid fall in energy prices

Feb 14 – Falling energy bills and fuel prices have pushed down UK inflation to a two-year low in January, according the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Inflation had peaked at a five-year high of 3.1% in November 2017, and is currently at just 1.8% – below the Bank of England’s 2% inflation target.

Lahmeyer is now Tractebel

Feb 13 –The German engineering and consulting company Lahmeyer International is now operating under the Tractebel, with the new company name; Tractebel Engineering GmbH. Tractebel reached a turnover of €662 million in 2018, and is part of the French energy group ENGIE.

BECCS pilot project starts at Drax

Feb 12 – The 4,000-MW Drax Power Station has started using bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology, capturing up to 1 ton of CO2 per day. The Drax demo plant in Selby, North Yorkshire, moves Britain further ahead in the race to develop BECCS technologies

Demand for power ships up 3.6% through 2026

Feb 11 – The global market for floating LNG-fuelled power ships is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 3.6%, exceeding exceed $1,073 million by 2026, according to ResearchandMarkets estimates. Power ships with a capacity between 100 MW and 150 MW, and usually leased for short durations, will cover most of the demand growth which is centred in Asia Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas.

Australia’s H2U uses NovaLT turbine

Feb 8 – H2U, an Australian hydrogen infrastructure developer, will use Baker Hughes NovaLT gas turbine at is hydrogen and ammonia supply chain demonstrating plant in Port Lincoln. The greentech project integrates a 15 MW electrolyser plant, a 10 MW hydrogen-fired gas turbine and a 5 MW fuel cell, all of which set to supply electricity to the power grid in South Australia.

EC rules out Siemens/Alstom mobility merger

Feb 7 –The European Commission has decided to prohibit the proposed combination of the Siemens and Alstom mobility businesses. As a result of this prohibition, the merger will not proceed.

PG&E seeks to re-organize

Feb 6 – Having just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, California utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) now seeks to restructure and access up to $6 billion in financing to help it operate while under bankruptcy protection. In a filing to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the district of northern California, PG&E listed assets of $71.39 billion and liabilities of $51.69 billion.

Contigo enhances trading of DB Energy

Feb 5 – Contigo, together with the consulting firm Nevento, have introduced a new energy trading system at DB Energie of Deutsche Bahn. The system’s new functionality provides fast and easy access to business data and credit risk information, enabling effective decision making in energy trading.

ABB, Intel cooperate on digital substations

Feb 4 – ABB and Intel have agreed to jointly sell automation systems for utilities. At the core of the agreement is ABB Ability smart substation control for electrical systems, SSC600, powered by Intel Xeon processors.

Backup power for Hinkley Point C

Feb 1 – Rolls Royce will provide MTU diesel gensets to provide back-up power to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. The generators, Type MTU 396 TB33 with 3600 kW output each, will provide emergency power in case of an outage of the site’s standing power supply

Gauging UK’s shift to green energy

Jan 31 – Engineering consultancy WSP has been selected to model the impact of low carbon technologies on the UK’s electricity networks. It will also work with the Energy Networks Association (ENA) on the Distribution Losses Mechanism Study.