Daily News

General Electric (GE) will supply the Japanes steel producer JFE Steel Co. with a heavy duty Frame 9E gas turbine system for a steel gas-to-energy recovery project at its East Japan Iron Works in Chiba City, east of Tokyo. GE said today it will start delivering the equipment to Japan in December 2013.

Karoo Sustainable Energy (KSE) has won the 2012 Africa Competitive Strategy Leadership award after it negotiated the first Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) as a step towards structuring the financing of a 180 MW gas-fired power plant project.

Investment bank Société Générale today questioned the affordability of natural gas as a fuel for European power plant operators. „At today's prices, gas is too expensive a fuel for Europe," the bank said today, suggesting the "overprice" in terms of the bill is $315/1,000cm or $153bn for 2012e.

The drop in LNG supply to Japan is negatively impacting on the utilisation of gas-fired power plants. „If we were to measure a 30 mcm/d fall in LNG supply against higher gas-fired generation in Japan, then the drop in LNG supply is equivalent to power generation from 7.3 GW of gas-fired capacity," Deutsche Bank analysts said.

Plant operators in the UK are requested to apply for funding under the UK's carbon capture and storage (CCS) competition by July 3, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed. Designed to develop commercial-scale CCS facilities, the competition will make available £1bn in funding to up to four coal or gas-fired CCS projects.

Venezuela has seen a surge in new-built gas turbine and distributed power plants to cover rising demand, a study shows. Increment power generation capacity is mainly supplied by gas turbines and CCGTs (2,057 MW) and distributed generation plants (983 MW), in accordance with the policy of the Venezuelan government to decrease dependency from hydropower.

Alstom has refocused its sales strategy into the German market as the country's energy mix is undergoing a dramatic change to accommodate the nuclear exit.  "Chances in renewables and in upgrading Germany's existing fossil power plants are clearly driving our business in Germany, which is a positive outcome of the nuclear phase-out," says Alf-Henryk Wulf, chief executive, Alstom Deutschland.

Sasol New Energy plans to start operations of its gas engine power plant project in Sasolbury, South Africa, before the end of the year. The 140 MW plant is currently under construction and is set to run on 18 Wärtsilä 20V34SG generating units, fuelled by natural gas imported from Mozambique.

Investment into new power generation capacity in the U.K. has ground to a halt as utilities and banks lack certainty about the U.K.'s future market design. "The uncertainty surrounding the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) has put a complete block on financing," Alan White, Head of Conventional Energy at Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets told delegates at PowerGen2012.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is fine-tuning last details of an upcoming capacity market in the U.K.  "There is currently a lot of discussion about a penalty regime [for delays and non-delivery] and the eligibility of power plants for capacity payments," Neil Bush, Head Energy Economics at DECC told delegates at PowerGen 2012. "More details will be announced in late October," he said in Cologne today.

Siemens Energy has presented the SST-111 - a new industrial steam turbine for outputs of up to 12 MW - and an Enhanced Platform industrial steam turbine design at PowerGen2012 in Cologne. The first order for a SST-111 came from Devon County Council and Viridor Waste Management, with the new turbine set to be installed in a refuse incineration plant situated in Exeter.

The German 'Energiewende' concept – a replacement of nuclear capacity mainly with renewables and some fossil power plants – is not technically impossible. Its implementation, however, requires "a great deal of coordination, time, money and public acceptance," Bernhard Fischer, chief executive, E.ON Generation said at PowerGen2012 in Cologne today.

Gas and wind is set to become "the backbone" of Germany's future power generation portfolio, Michael Süß, chief executive, Siemens Energy said today. "It is not about if and when. We have to combine renewable and fossil fuels - with gas as the backbone – to ensure security of energy supply," he said at PowerGen2012 in Cologne.

Alstom, a manufacturer of power generation and transmission infrastructure, has won a key 'green' award for 'Growth Strategy Excellence' for its achievements in the field of air quality control systems (AQCS).

Gas is the "ideal backup" fuel for renewable energy sources (RES), key note speakers at PowerGen2012 agreed in Cologne today. "This is good news if you are building gas turbines because the capacity is needed. But this is not good news if you are investing in gas-fired plants as your return in investment is extremely unpredictable," said  Laszlo Varro, Head of Gas, Coal and Power Market Division (GCP), International Energy Agency (IEA).

News in Brief

GE to build four substations in Egypt

Sept 19 – Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and GE have closed a $250 million contract that will see GE build and install four Gas-Insulated Substations (GIS) across Egypt to connect 7 GW to the country’s national power grid by the end of 2018. The contract is fully financed through Deutsche Bank and HSBC France which helps secure smooth execution of the project.

Irma slashes energy demand in Florida

Sept 18 – Hurricane Irma has proved to be a demand-side event in Florida. At its trough, the state appeared to lose 1.9 bcf/d of demand versus pre-storm levels, mainly in the power sector. According to Energy Aspects figures, electricity demand on September12 dropped to 0.8 bcf/d, compared to a pre-storm baseline of 3.6 bcf/d.

Drax plans to convert two coal units to natural gas

Sept 15 – Drax Group has filed plans to the UK Planning Inspectorate to build a 200MW battery storage unit, and convert up to two coal units at the Drax power station to run on natural gas. If approved, the repowering could result in up to 3.6 GW of new flexible gas generation capacity. The utility stated its investment at Drax is backed by a 15-year capacity contract.

Azura Edo IPP ready to startup in early 2019

Sept 8 – Siemens-built Azura Edo Independent Power Project (IPP) is planned to add 459MW to the Nigerian national power grid by early 2019, Siemens Nigeria CEO Onyeche Tifase said. The Azura Edo IPP is an open-cycle gas turbine power plant project, which could potentially account for up to 20% of Nigeria’s installed capacity of 12.5MW by 2020.

Oman’s oil output hits new record

Sept 7 – Oil production in Oman has reached a new record, totalling 1 million barrel per day (b/d) in 2016. Dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports, Oman’s state finances have been hit by the plunge in oil prices which made 2016 oil and gas revenues plunge 67% compared with 2014 levels.

Petrofarc to build South Stream

Sept 6 – UK contractor Petrofarc won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract worth 340 million Euros ($404m) by the Gazprom-owned South Stream Transport company to build onshore pipelines and a gas receiving terminal near the Turkish town Kiyikoy.

Gas prices slowly return to normal after Harvey struck

Sept 5 – The price of natural gas and other petroleum products has surged in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Yet as of Monday, key gasoline prices started to return to pre-Hurricane levels as key refineries and pipelines along the US Gulf Coast are resuming operation, easing supply concerns.

ACER to set deadline

Sept 4 – The European energy regulatory authority ACER is consulting until September 15 on an implementation date for harmonized prices in the EU's day-ahead and intraday power markets. Introducing maximum and minimum prices is meant to enhance market coupling.

Pöyry to review Shoaiba-4 plant

Sept 1 – The Saline Water Conversion Company (SWCC) has awarded Pöyry with the owner's engineer services assignment for the Shoaiba-4 desalination plant which will meet the potable water requirements of Saudi Arabia's second largest city and its five million people. Pöyry's scope includes review of contractor's engineering and supervision of construction, erection and commissioning.

Wärtsilä wins 220 MW power plant contract in Bangladesh

Aug 31 – Desh Energy Chandpur Power Company, an independent power producer (IPP) in Bangladesh, has contracted Wärtsilä of Finland to supply twelve 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50 engines for a new 220 MW baseload power plant to be installed in Chandpur. The customer required a nine-month implementation time, with the plant due to be fully operational in May 2018.

Works start on Hickory Run CCGT

Aug 30 – Tyr Energy has started construction works on the Hickory Run Energy Center in Pennsylvania. The combined-cycle gas power plant has a nominal generating capacity of 1,000 MW.

Canadian Cats dealers merge

Aug 29 – Toromont Industries will acquire the businesses and net operating assets of fellow Canadian Caterpillar dealer Hewitt Group. The deal was agreed in turn for C$917.7 million cash plus the issuance of 2.25 million Toromont shares, the two companies said.

Ansaldo to service Thai cogen plant

Aug 25 – Glow Energy, one of Thailand’s private power producers, has contracted Ansaldo of Italy to service a 328 MW cogeneration plant, located in Map Ta Phut Industrial Park, 200km southeast of Bangkok. Apart from electricity, the plant produces 160 tonnes/hour of steam to support local industries. Ansaldo’s 15-year service deal covers maintenance, replacement capital parts and remote monitoring and diagnostics for the gas turbine.

Low voltage drives for China

Aug 24 – Siemens is to equip several Chinese aluminum factories with medium and low voltage drives. The value of the order is in the low tens of millions Euros. Commissioning will be completed in several stages between November 2018 and April 2019.

Oil price seen rebound toward $60/bbl

Aug 23 – Oil pricing dynamics will increase, through near-term $50-60 range, forecasts Wood Mackenzie principal analyst, Patrick Kirby. For olefins, and polyolefins, this means the global and particularly European view is sensitive to demand, particularly from China, given that the supply landscape is well defined.

GS EPS commissions 900 MW plant in Oman

Aug 22 – South Korea’s GS EPS and GS Holdings have completed the construction of Phase IV, a 900 MW combined-cycle plant in Muskat, Oman. The CCGT has a power efficiency rating of 64% and is run by imported LNG. As an independent associate of Oman Oil Company (OOC), the Korean power producer helped with knowledge transfer and now aims to realise renewable energy projects in Oman.

U.S. demand to eke out growth

Aug 21 – Energy Aspects says the total U.S. power sector is about to “eke out growth”, with balances for the week ending August 18 averaging 34.3 bcf/d, meaning demand was just 0.5 bcf/d higher week-on-week. Although cooler weather is forecast for the Western and Central US over the next 10 day, much warmth is set to emerge in the East, limiting energy demand.