Daily News

The price advantage of US LNG exported to Europe over gas prices at the UK National Balancing Point (NBP) is seen to drop to "virtually nil" over the 2016-2020 period. The lack of a price discount means that "US LNG exports cannot directly displace gas into Europe, but could free up flexible LNG supplies which otherwise would have been imported into Asia," analyst Michael Lewis said in a report today.

French-Belgian utility GDF Suez is planning to mothball a total of 1.6 GW of fossil – mainly gas-fired – generation capacity in the period in this and the coming year, Jean Francois Cirelli, the company's vice chairman and president said.

While the Indian government is blaming the federal states for causing the blackout by overdrawing electricity from the grid, Wartsila India told Gas to Power Journal that "to remedy, if not prevent future crippling power cuts" the creation of decentralized, reserve power is of paramount importance.

"This is one thing we have to work on in right earnest," Rakesh Sarin, Managing Director of Wartsila India said.

India's power ministry has appointed an expert committee to investigate the reasons for the massive grid failure that affected 600 million people, nearly half of the country's total population on Tuesday, July 31, across all northern states. The new power minister, Veerappa Moily, who took charge late yesterday, declared that the grid is now functioning normally.

General Electric (GE) aims to bring all four GE 6FA gas turbines at the 850-MW Vasilikos Power Station in Cyprus back into full operation before the end of the year. GE has already returned two turbines back to full service in June, after the power station had to be shut down July last year when it was hit by an explosion.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, is likely to prefer investments in gas generation capacity over new nuclear reactors, JP Morgan Cazenove analyst Edmund Reid told Gas to Power Journal today. The bank expects the UK utility group to withdraw from its nuclear venture with EDF Energy in Britain.

An unabated speed of the current switch from coal to gas generation in the U.S. would place at least 49 GW of coal-fired capacity at risk for retirement by 2020, according to the reference case in EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012).

Texas-based Global Power Equipment Group has closed a $31.5 million deal to buy Koontz-Wagner Custom Controls Holdings ahead of schedule in a bit to strengthen its position as a leading manufacturer of natural gas turbine auxiliary equipment. The acquisition "marks the first of what we believe could be many more", said Global Power CEO Luis Manuel Ramírez.

Doyon Utilities has opened of the first landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project in Alaska, powered by GE's ecomagination-qualified Jenbacher gas engines. The facility will provide about half of the peak demand power of the joint army base in Anchorage, U.S.

Alstom has won an order worth €90 million ($110 million) from Egypt's East Delta Electricity Production Co (EDEPC) to supply of equipment for a steam cycle thermal power plant, located near Suez, east of Cairo. The 650-MW plant is scheduled for commissioning in 2015.

Swiss power and automation technology group ABB has won orders worth around $24 million from the Saudi Arabian Ma'aden Aluminium Company to design, engineer and supply a new 380 kilovolt (kV) outdoor gas-insulated switchgear substation at the 800-MW Ras Al Khair power plant.

Swedish state-owned energy group Vattenfall today said it expects demand and power prices to remain on low levels as it posted a 10 percent drop in second-quarter core earnings, dragged down by the lower prices.

A Capstone C800 Power Package, including a 800kW micro turbine, bought by a Columbian gas TSO to generate onsite power at a compressor station in Barranquilla, will start operation in August.

Petronet LNG, India's largest importer of natural gas, has entered negotiations to build a gas-fired power plant in close vicinity to its upcoming Kochi LNG import terminal in Kerala. Following government approval, the three units of the plant (350 MW each) will be built in just 48 months time.

US power plant owners and operators plan to retire almost 27 GW of coal-fired capacity between 2012 and 2016, shifting the energy balance further towards gas generation. Key drivers behind the rise in coal plant closures are the modest growth in US energy demand combined with a continuous drop in relative fuel prices of gas compared with coal, the EIA said in its Annual Electric Generator Report.

News in Brief

AsiaPacific drives growth in global GT market

Nov 17– Urbanisation and rapid economic growth in Asia Pacific will dominate market during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets. The global market for gas turbines is expected to grow from an estimated $17.51 billion in 2017 to $20.66 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 3.36%.

Kepco, Tadmax to build 1.3-MW CCGT in Malaysia

Nov 16 – Malaysia’s listed developer Tadmax Resources, together with South Korea’s state-run utility provider Kepco, are planning to build 1,300-MW  combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) some 60km southwest of Kuala Lumpur. The overall project is expected to cost $1 billion. Kepco announced it will invest $50 million to hold a 25% stake, while Tadmax Resources will own the 75% majority share.

Siemens delivers mobile turbines to Afghanistan

Nov 15 – Siemens has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bayat Power and the Government of Afghanistan to provide SGT-A45 mobile gas turbines for a three-phase energy project. Upon completion, it will provide more than 200-MW of electricity, enough to meet the needs of more than 700,000 Afghan homes and businesses.

Baker Huges to supply 150MW of power gen equipment to Iraq

Nov 14 – Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), has won a contract by PetroChina International Iraq to deliver Frame 6B gas turbine electric generator trains , with a combined output of 150 MW, for production at the onshore Halfaya oilfield in Iraq.

Gazprom gets €700m loan from Unicredit

Nov 13 – Gazprom and Unicredit have signed a five-year loan agreement worth €700 million. The loan will be used by Gazprom for “corporate purposes,” the company said in a statement.

Emerson to retrofit at turbines Engie’s DK6

Nov 10 – Emerson Electric, an American multinational corporation, has won a contract to retrofit controls on two Alstom GT13 turbines at Engie’s DK6 combined-cycle gas power plant (800 MW) in Dunkirk, France. The upgrade is the first time a vendor other than the turbine OEM has been selected to retrofit GT13 combustion turbine controls, Emerson pointed out. The first retrofitted unit is due to be back operational in September 2018, and the second in July 2019.

Rolls-Royce’s trading outlook unchanged

Nov 9 – providing a brief update on its trading outlook, Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East reconfirmed the full year outlook. Looking beyond 2017, he added: “While markets for our Power Systems products continue to improve, we note the ongoing weakness in offshore oil and gas markets for Marine and timing changes to new export orders for Defence Aerospace.”

Public consultation starts for Drax’s coal-to-gas conversion

Nov 9 – Plans by Drax Power to upgrade two units at its 2,000 MW coal- and wood pellet-fired power station to run on natural gas have gone to public consultation. The operator said it also notified the UK planning inspectorate about its intention to build a new natural gas pipeline and a 200-MW battery storage at the site near Selby, North Yorkshire.

ABB to optimize its transformer manufacturing

Nov 8 – Swiss-based ABB has announced a strategic realignment of its global transformer manufacturing, engineering and service divisions. In the United States, ABB will consolidate its power transformers manufacturing footprint by investing in its South Boston and Crystal Springs units and discontinue production at its unit in St. Louis, Missouri, which will continue to focus on engineering and service activities.

Flow-Cal launches on-demand gas measurement software

Nov 7 – Flow-Cal Inc., a Houston-based a developer of measurement data management software, has launched CALCit.Cloud, a an on-demand measurement calculator for natural gas and petroleum liquids. It allows users to perform various spot calculations, including gas volume, plate size, liquid correction factors and speed of sound. The source code of the application is in C computer language, or as a DLL that can be integrated into other applications. 

Russia, Iran sign MoE on gas cooperation

Nov 6 – A number of documents, aimed at fostering Russian-Iranian cooperation in the gas sector, were signed in Tehran over the weekend during the visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Iran. The parties will evaluate prospects in developing Iranian gas fields with subsequent monetization either through liquefaction and export or petrochemical production. Gazprom and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) also signed a MoU to work together on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

MHI to launch new engineering company in 2018

Nov 3 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will launch a dedicated engineering company on January 1, 2018, to be named Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd. The new company, to be formed under an absorption-type split, will take over MHI's engineering businesses relating to chemical plants, transportation systems and environmental technologies. Shigehisa Kobayashi will serve as the new company’s inaugural President and CEO.

AsiaPacific drives growth in global GT market

Nov 2 – Urbanisation and rapid economic growth in Asia Pacific will dominate market during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets. The global market for gas turbines is expected to grow from an estimated $17.51 billion in 2017 to $20.66 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 3.36%.

Global Power divests Mexico facility for $3.5m

Nov 1 – Global Power Equipment Group has completed the sale of its facility in Mexico and the auction of the remaining production equipment for net proceeds of $3.5 million – about $1.5 million of which will be used to reduce debt. Following the divestment of its Mechanical Solutions segment, Global Power will focus on Electrical Solutions and Services.

GE’s Predix to enhance performance at Energo fleet

Oct 31 – Pakistan-based utility Energy has contracted GE to roll out Predix across its power  generation fleet in Pakistan and Nigeria. Under the 10-year agreement, GE will implement its asset performance management solution, Predix, at Energy’s six power plants with combined capacity of 1,500 MW. The facilities include the 220MW Engro Powergen Qadirpur CCGT, Engro 660MW Thar power plant, 450MW Kolachi CCGT and two new-built wind power sites in Pakistan, as well as the GEL 75MW facility in Nigeria.

Cummins, Microsoft team up in fuel cell lab

Oct 30 – Columbus-based Cummins, a large US maker of diesel engines, has partnered with Microsoft and McKinstry by opening an Advanced Energy Lab in Seattle. The aim is to demonstrate that an enclosed facility, e.g. a data centre, can run without power from the grid by integrating fuel cells directly into the 20-rack data center.

Construction starts for Żerań CCGT in Warsaw

Oct 27 – PGNiG Termika and the consortium of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and Polimex-Mostostal have laid the foundation stone for a new combined-cycle gas turbine unit at the Żerań cogeneration power plant in Warsaw. The new unit (output 490 MWe, 326 MWt) will be build by the MHPS/Polimex consortium under an EPC contract; handover is scheduled for 2020.