Daily News

Upgrade works at RWE npower's combined-cycle gas-fired Little Barford Power Station, located on south of St Neots, have been completed and, following a year-long £100 million upgrade, the plant is now operates with an higher efficiency of 55 percent and reduced carbon and nitrogen oxides emission, the operator confirmed.

Discoveries of offshore gas field in Tanzania are expected to prompt the government to help expand the market share of gas-fired power generation with a view to decreasing dependence on hydropower to reduce risk exposure to drought, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts.

Brunei's national energy company Berakas Power Company (BPC) has commissioned GE Oil & Gas to install its ORegenTM waste-heat recovery systems to increase the output and efficiency of four GE LM2500 aeroderivative gas turbines at the Berakas Power Station, located outside the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan in the Sultanate of Brunei.

Start-up of the delayed 775MW Denizli power plant, developed at a cost of €600 million under a joint venture between RWE (70%) and Turcas (30%), is expected to take place as early as June, RWE confirmed. The combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant was initially planned to commence full commercial operation at the end of 2012.

Progress Power, a British power plant developer, has proposed to build a 299MW gas-fired power plant valued at £200 million for the Eye Airfield in Suffolk. Development of the project, however, hinges on forthcoming legislation on capacity remuneration mechanisms in the UK.

"In order to get project financing we need long-term revenue certainty by successfully participating in the capacity mechanism auction," said Chris McKerrow, project manager for Progress Power on the Suffolk project.

India's Central Electricity Authority (CEA), which oversees development of the national grid for the Indian Ministry of Power, has reduced its gas-fired generation target for the current year by almost 46 per cent amid gas supply shortages. Low natural gas production output last year is expected to continue through 2013, an official told The Economic Times, despite Reliance Industry's recent announcement of a "significant gas condensate discovery in deepwater KG D6 block".

The UK government is likely to oppose an EU renewables target for 2030 which is considered "inflexible and unnecessary", energy secretary Ed Davey said. He made the comment after the European Parliament on Monday extended a deadline for the submission of amendments to a proposal to intervene in the carbon market.

Energy security, diversity and local reliability for cities and industries are critical features of clean energy infrastructure. An often overlooked feature, however, is the summer CHP load, which could be waste heat absorption chilling to prevent power use and to reduce fuel consumption, Manfred Klein, former chairman of the Industrial Applications of Gas Turbines (IAGT) Committee told Gas to Power Journal.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the extension of the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC), which Congress extended on 1 January as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), will result in the addition of significant wind capacity in the US over the next three years. A higher share of intermittent wind energy will require flexible fossil backup capacity.

RWE chief executive, Peter Terium, has voiced strong criticism against "one-off measures or action taken by individual [European] countries" both regarding capacity mechanisms or expansion targets for renewables. "[These] are of no use to us; we must find European solutions," he said.

Terium was one of eight CEOs of European energy companies who warned that Europe is currently facing "a perfect storm" which was endangering security of supply, undermining their ability to attract capital and hindering the EU's transformation to a low-carbon economy.

E.on has chosen the right time to enter the European market for small gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) systems under 1MWe, according to Michael Brown, Director at consultancy Delta Energy & Environment (Delta-ee) and former Executive Director at COGEN Europe. Delta-ee's projections see annual deployment of around 1.5 – 2.0 GWe for CHP projects in the 0.4 – 5.0 MWe size, and up to 1.5 GWe for projects in the 10 – 400kWe size by 2020.

Rather than sourcing flexibility from part-loaded conventional generation, Wärtsilä Power Plants believes that electricity markets should embrace high efficiency peaking and load-following power that can rapidly ramp up from standstill to provide the super-fast flexibility needed to balance large fluctuations of wind and solar power, says Melle Kruisdijk, Wärtsilä's Market Development Director for Europe.

Charles D Lamb Energy Center – a 103 megawatt (MW) gas-fired peaking plant – will be built to replace purchase contracts and meet energy demand growth in the US state of Oklahoma, the investor Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) said in an informational meeting.

Black Hills Corporation has begun construction of its new 132MW gas-fired Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station, located five miles (8km) southeast of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The plant will include one simple-cycle combustion turbine unit and one combined-cycle unit. It is scheduled to begin commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2014.

SSE has called gas-fired generation in the UK "barely profitable, if at all" in its annual report for the 2012/13 fiscal year, due to spark spreads throughout the year being "stubbornly low, if not negative." The company said that a combination of minimal economic growth, a sustained fall in underlying energy demand and high wholesale prices were largely to blame for the difficult environment facing gas-fired power generation.

News in Brief

Sparrow gets permit to work in Saudi Arabia

Aug 13 – Sparrows Group, a specialist equipment maker and integrated engineering services providers, has been granted commercial registration to operate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The commercial registration allows Sparrows Saudi Arabia LLC, a newly established entity in Dammam, to deliver services related to the extraction of oil and natural gas

Puerto Rico electricity sales almost back to normal

Aug 9 – Electricity sales on the island of Puerto Rico, part of U.S. territory, has returned to pre-hurricane levels as of April and May 2018 after the longest blackout in American history. However, residential electricity sales appear to continue to lag historical levels, reflecting some continued outages, EIA data shows. As of April 2018, around 95% of Puerto Rico’s electricity customers had restored power, while about 62,000 customers remained without power.

India’s solar PV market slumps

Aug 8 – India’s market for solar photovoltaic is forecast to experience negative growth this year after the Ministry of Finance imposed a safeguard duty on solar cells and modules for a period of two years, starting on 30th July 2018. The move exacerbates the effect of a slowdown in the China market, Wood Mackenzie commented.

Shell expects electricity to become “biggest game in town”

Aug 3 – By 2050, power consumption is expected to outstrip demand for Shell’s core business of oil and gas. The company’s most recent Future Energy scenarios foresees oil and gas demand to peak in the next 50 years, while reliance on electricity is expected grow from around 20% of energy consumption to closer to 50% by midcentury.

ADB funds power lines in Bangladesh

Aug 2 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an assistance package of more than $357 million for a project to develop two power lines in Bangladesh. The grid extension supports Bangladesh’s national target of reaching electricity for all citizens by 2021.

Tadmax to develop CCGT in Selangor

Aug 1 – Malaysia-based Tadmax Resources has signed an accord with Worldwide Holdings to develop a combined-cycle gas power plant with up to 1,200 MW in Pulau Indah, Selagor. The deal comes as Worldwide seeks to acquire a 30% stake in Tadmax. Technical partner for the CCGT project is Korean Electric Power Corp.

Renewables hit new record

July 31 – Germany's electricity supply from renewables reached a record high in the first half of 2018, catering for an unprecedented 41.5 % of the country's electricity supply. A total of 113 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity was generated by all renewable technologies, mainly consisting of biomass, wind and solar energy.

Dominion aims to add 3GW renewables by 2020

July 30 – Striving to add 3 GW of solar and wind capacity in the next two years, Dominion Energy has has filed its first set of the plans under Grid Transformation & Security Act (GTSA) to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) for the approval. Dominion VP Ed Baine said the GTSA legislation, effective from 1 July, would provide a roadmap for Virginia’s energy future.

GE to develop critical infrastructure in Lagos

July 27 – GE and the Lagos State Government have agreed to pool their resources for the development of critical infrastructure in the state in the areas of Power, Healthcare and Skills Development. This was announced during the signing of a Support and Cooperation Agreement by both parties during the France-Nigeria Business Forum held in Lagos.

Orbital Insight teams up with Energy Aspects

July 26 –Orbital Insight and Energy Aspects have teamed up, striving to transform how energy data is used for investing. The two research firms will integrate geospatial analytics, based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, with energy analysis with a view to giving customers unprecedented global oil storage level data.

Cost for US wind generation down 33%

July 25 – Capacity-weighted cost of wind installations in the United States have declined by one-third thanks to improving technology and manufacturing capability and a concentration of new-builds in the best-suited regions. Installation costs fell from $2,361 per kilowatt (kW) in 2010 to currently less than $1,587/kW, based on analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy(DOE/EERE).

Iran’s NISOC prepares tender

July 24 – National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) has announced plans to hold an international tender to purchase parts for G.E.C gas turbine. NISOC seeks to buy parts of the turbine type Centaur.

Chart reports full-year sales at $1.2bn

July 23 – U.S. equipment manufacturer Chart Industries has reported a 34% rise second-quarter sales, with the order volumes amounting to $360.3 million. “Strength in Asian orders was driven by packaged gas applications as well as respiratory and cryobiological product lines,” Charts said when posting the results.

ABB spends $30m on transformer factory in Sweden

July 20 – ABB is investing more than $30 million in a new manufacturing unit, under construction in Ludvika, Sweden. The new unit will increase production, expanding the capacity and the range of its high-voltage dry bushings offering.

Wärtsilä’s order intake up 14%

July 19 – The Finish equipment manufacturer Wärtsilä has seen its order increase 15% to €1,553 million in the second quarter, while net sales fell 4% to €1,246 million. Looking at the full year 2018, Wärtsilä said its Services and Solutions business will “improve somewhat from the previous year.” Good demand prospects are on the cards for Energy Solutions, as the global shift towards renewables and rising electricity demand in the emerging markets support the need for distributed power capacity.

NRG abandons Dunkirk coal-to-gas conversion project

July 18 – Shying away from having to pay $114 million in re-interconnection costs, NRG Energy has shelved plans to repower and convert its mothballed Dunkirk power plant in western New York from coal to natural gas. The company said in a statement that it has withdrawn its request to have New York ISO interconnect the Chautauqua County generating facility with the power grid.

Akwa Ibom, BlackRhino sign $1.6bn power deal

July 17 – BlackRhino, operator of the Qua Iboe Power Plant (QIPP), has agreed with the Akwa Ibom State Government to build a power plant and electricity transmission lines in the state. QIPP’s management  committed an investment of $1.1 billion for the facility, with an additional $500 million for gas.