Daily News

Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) could be used to reliably and cost effectively repair steam turbine and industrial gas turbine components, Roger Fairclough, Principal Engineer at TWI Ltd, told Gas to Power Journal at this year's IMechE Steam Turbine and Generator User Group in Coventry. "If the LMD process is further developed for power station applications, it will be able to produce a good useable component for steam or industrial gas turbines, making it feasible for applications where the spare part needed is not available, out of production, quite expensive or the repair is relatively small compared to the initial cost of the component," he said.

District heating and cooling (DHC) cogeneration currently provides 1.6 million households in 26 South Korean areas – mostly in greater Seoul – with power and heat, after an array of new installations came online in the wake of the 1999 Integrated Energy Supply (IES) Act. The latest report of the International Energy Agency (IEA) on cogeneration and district energy highlights the Korean IES regulation as an example of CHP best practice.

Investment in shale gas plays in the US totalled $133.7 billion as part of 73 deals between 2008 and 2012, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). 21 joint ventures by foreign companies with US land holders and operators made up 20 percent or $26 billion of this investment.

Lord Deighton, the UK Olympics boss and former Goldman Sachs banker, has been appointed by the government to start negotiations with France's EDF Energy on bringing new nuclear power stations to the UK. Talks are held with the aim to swiftly increase power generation capacity to avoid a supply gap.

Stricter regulations from the US Environmental Protection Agency on SO2, particulate matter, NOx and mercury could make nearly two-thirds of the country's coal-fired power plants just as expensive to run as gas-fired plants. The cost of complying with these regulations will accelerate the trend of power producers shifting from burning natural gas instead of coal, a study from Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment finds.

NRG Energy is to acquire the 560MW equivalent Gregory Cogeneration Plant in Corpus Christi, Texas after entering into a $244 million agreement with a consortium of affiliates of Atlantic Power Corporation, John Hancock Life Insurance Company and Rockland Capital. The plant has a nominal generation capacity of about 400MW and steam capacity of more than a million pounds per hour – an amount equivalent to 160MW of electrical power.

Coal-to-gas switching in power generation has led to a plunge of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States to reach a record low in 2012, dropping to 5.3 billion metric tons of CO2 - the lowest level since 1994.

Malta's energy ministry and state utility Enemalta will invite bidders to express interest for a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) and a gas supply agreement (GSA) on 11 April. The winning bidder of a tender process will be required to supply about 200MW of electricity from a new combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant and corresponding LNG regas facilities.

GE is ready to invest $110 million to build a new Global Research Center in Oklahoma, creating 125 high-tech jobs with the aim of driving technological advancements in the oil and gas sector and bringing products to market faster.

Low carbons prices of around €5/ton in the EU ETS and lower than anticipated funding through the EU's NER300 program mean that there is currently no economic rationale for operators to invest in carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. To drive commercial CCS deployment, carbon allowance would need to trade at 40€/ton or more, the European Commission's latest report on the future of CCS in Europe finds.

The rising price spread between coal and natural gas is helping coal take back market share. Coal fired generation captured nearly everything lost by renewables and natural gas, surging 21percent higher in March of 2013 compared to March 2012, according to Genscape's Generation Fuel Monitoring Service.

Smaller combined heat and power (CHP) installations are experiencing growth in many EU member states but the sector is also under pressure from the effects of the economic crisis, electricity market issues and ongoing fluctuations in the price of fuel, according to COGEN Europe's 2013 Snapshot Survey of the Cogeneration sector in Europe.

Alstom has been awarded a €125 million contract by Lake Road Generating Company, L.P. to service its 844MW gas-fired combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) located in Dayville, Connecticut. The scope of the agreement covers the plant's three Alstom GT24 gas turbines.

Siemens has received a $300 million order from Panda Power Funds for the turnkey supply of the natural gas-fired 758MW Panda Temple II Power Project in Texas. The multi-shaft combined-cycle project is due to be completed at the end of 2015 and will be able to supply the needs of about 750 000 homes. It will utilise Siemens' Flex-Plant 30 technology and is being built in consortium with Bechtel.

Fuel prices will continue to favour baseload coal-fired power generation over gas-fired generation in the UK through the summer months and beyond, according to the National Grid's Summer Outlook Report. This is despite the application of a carbon price support (CPS) of £4.94/ton on April 1 for the 2013-2014 financial year.

News in Brief

German economy minister defends Nord Stream-2

May 24 – Peter Altmaier, the Germany economy minister, has defended construction of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline, which Washington and many eastern European countries, would like to block. Altmaier attributed the U.S. opposition to its aspiration to boost its own shale gas exports. "They are looking for markets [for LNG], which we can understand, and they can land it here easily," he told German media, "But it is much more expensive than pipeline gas, so blocking Nord Stream-2 on its own won't guarantee exports."

NY Governor proposes coal exit by 2020

May 23 – Andrew M. Cuomo, the Governor of New York, has proposed new regulation that would establish emission limits strict enough to effectively end the use of coal for power generation by 2020. The proposal is now up for public comment, with three hearings on the matter scheduled in July.

Middletown Energy Center onstream

May 22 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) Americas has helped NTE Energy with the commissioning and start-up of Middletown Energy Center which has been running successfully for 24 hours. With an installed capacity of 525 MW, the plant is being powered by MHPS M501GAC gas turbine equipment in a combine-cycle alignment. First fire of the turbine was in January 2018.

Dominion invests in development of new SMR design

May 22 – Dominion Energy has agreed to provide funding to help progress the BWRX-300, a 300 MWe small modular reactor design under development by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH). Dominion’s funding of the BWRX-300 provides “seed money” to advance work that could lead to commercializing this technology, although the utility said it currently has no plan to build a commercial nuclear power station.

Entergy to buy peaking unit near Washington

May 21 – Louisiana regulators have approved plans by Entergy to buy a 361-MW gas peaking power unit to be built in Washington Parish. The Washington Parish Entergy Center will be constructed by a Calpine subsidiary on a brownfield site. Entergy said it anticipates the for $261 million transaction will close in Q2-2021.

Ivory Coast nears CCGT finance deal

May 18 – The government of the Ivory Coast is reported to be close to completing a $530 million project finance deal with Eranove of France that will allow for construction start at a thermal power plant project. Though the concrete project has not been named yet, Siemens confirmed it is in negotiations about about combined-cycle power projects in Ivory Coast.

Delta-ee summit returns to Berlin

May 17 – Delta-ee’s European Heat Summit 2018 will return to Berlin this June. The event will begin with two concurrent roundtables, focussing on Electrification of Heat or Micro-CHP and High Efficiency Gas Heating.

Turboden ORC technology stands out in waste heat recovery

May 16 – Innovative solutions at Turboden’s Organic Racine Cycle (ORC) systems boost the energy efficiency such as the direct heat exchange system and the heat recovery through pressurized water circuit. In waterless conditions, ORC is said to be more efficient and cost-competitive than to steam technology. Large cement groups as well as power generators have recently chosen Turboden ORC technology such as Turkey’s CTP Team, the Swiss Lafarge Holcim group or Cementi Rossi in Italy.

Chile: AES to sell four gas plants to EDF

May 15 – AES Gener has announced the sale of four of its operating power plants, with a total capacity of 750MW, in Chile to Generadora Metropolitana, a joint venture between EDF Energy and Andes Mining & Energy (AME) for $300 million. The four power plants that are part of the sale are the 379MW Nueva Renca CCGT and the three peaking power plants – 132MW Los Vientos, 139MW Santa Lidia and 100MW Renca.

Florida PSC approves 1.7GW of gas power capacity

May 14 – The Florida Public Service Commission has given the green light for the development of two gas plants, totalling nearly 1.7 GW combined. The first is Seminole Electric’s 1,122 MW facility in Putnam County, due operational in December 2022; a second 573 MW project in Paso County will be realized by Seminole Electric together with Shady Hills Energy Center by December 2021.

FirstEnergy completes 138-kV line across Ohio in May

May 11 – A subsidiary of FirstEnergy is gearing up to energize a new 138-kilovolt transmission line and substation later this month to enhance service reliability for Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison customers across northern Ohio. Line construction began late last year and FirstEnergy said the new facilities are “on schedule to be energized ahead of a May 31 in-service deadline.”

Marubeni, BMCE Bank to jointly develop project in Morocco

May 10 – Japan’s Marubeni Corp has signed a memorandum of understanding with BMCE Bank for Africa to jointly develop new business opportunities in Morocco. Marubeni has designated its Casablanca office as a regional strategic base for West Africa and since achieved CFC status, a special legal status designed to support the development of the Casablanca city as a financial hub.

Capstone wins 9-year FPP service contract

May 9 – A New York-based food retailer has handed a nine-year Factory Protection Plan (FPP) service contract for a 650,000 square foot warehouse and shipping centre to Capstone Turbine Corp. Located in the Bronx, the warehouse is powered by a C1000 microturbine installed in a combined heat and power (CHP) configuration that provides baseload power and hot water for the facility 8,760 hours per year. Additionally, the microturbine can also provide about 700 kW of backup power in the event of a utility outage.

Loan for CHP in Argentina

May 8 – Albanesi Energía and its subsidiary Generación Centro have secured a $395 million loan for the construction of de la Arroyo Seco cogeneration power plant and to refinance the development of Timbúes’ project. UBS, BACS, Banco Hipotecario, Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior and Credit Suisse acted as lenders. In Argentina, Albanesi Group operates power plants with an installed capacity of approximately 887 MW.

California abandons hybrid power project

May 4 – After a decade of trying to realise a hybrid power plant that would bring together natural gas and solar energy, the California Energy Commission has abandoned attempts to build the Victorville-2 Hybrid Power Project (563 MW). No development partner had been found, and the city lost $50 million after failing to make timely payment to GE for the plant’s gas turbines.

TVA’s Allen CCGT ready to run

May 3 – Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) new 1,000 MW Allen combined-cycle gas power plant in Memphis has been completed and is ready to operate. The CCGT came at a cost of $900 million and replaces a 58-year old coal-fired power unit.

Mott MacDonald supports works on FRSU in Brazil

May 2 – Golar has selected Mott MacDonald to provide environmental support during the installation of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Babitonga Bay, in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. Capable of distributing 15 million cubic metres of natural gas per day, the FSRU is due to become operational in early 2021.