Daily News

The U.S. is awash with cheap gas supplies for power generation due to rising domestic shale gas production, with Canadian natgas imports providing a "reliable backstop" for US gas-to-power demand, Louis Caron, energy risk specialist at Risk Advisory, SAS Group, told Gas-to-Power Journal today.

Australia's ERM Power confirmed it has received development approval to build and operate a 500MW gas-fired power plant at Braemar, around 240 kilometres west of Brisbane. "The next stage in the development of the Braemar 4 project is finalising fuel supply and electricity take-off agreements, which will allow us to make a final investment decision on this development," Philip Baker, managing director and CEO at ERM Power said.

In North-West Europe, investments in new gas-fired power plant projects will be in the money post 2018 at the earliest, Thomas Birr, VP corporate development & strategy at RWE Group forecast. "In Turkey and Eastern Europe, where power demand is rising, things are looking better," he said at the Gas-to-Power Europe Forum in Berlin.

If the spark spread stays below 10 Euro/MWh at times of peak electricity demand, building new gas-fired plants in Germany does not make economic sense, Torsten Amelung, senior vice president Trading and Origination at Statkraft Markets said today. "The only way out is ramping down capacity simply by shutting down power stations, until peak electricity prices are sufficiently high to sustain operations of the remaining gas-fired plants," he told Gas-to-Power Journal at the sidelines of a conference in Berlin.

Markets in Asia, the Middle East and North America are the "centres of growth" for new projects of gas-fired power plants , Brigitte Urban, VP global marketing, energy solutions at Siemens Energy forecasts. In reaction to the surge in gas-to-power demand in Saudi Arabia, Siemens has started construction of a new gas manufacturing plant in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, she confirmed in Berlin today.

Denmark's Dong Energy has set out the vision of shifting its power generation portfolio to a 85% share in green energies by 2020, including gas-fired plants, by reducing its share of coal-fired plants to 15%. "Throughout the transition period, when coal will leave Dong's power generation portfolio, gas-fired capacity is crucial as it delivers the flexibility required by modern and sustainable energy systems," Anders Eldrup, CEO of Dong Energy said in Berlin today.

A rise in gas-to-power generation would be a bet on the failure of U.K. energy policies under the Electricity Market Reform that favour renewables and nuclear energy, Pierre Noel, senior researcher at the Energy Policy Forum at the University of Cambridge said today. Calling for a level playing field for all power generation technologies, Noel opposed the introduction of subsidies for capital-intensive technologies that infringe on the role of gas in the European energy mix.

Gujarat State Energy Generation (GSEG), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) formed by Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, has confirmed the imminent start-up of a 360 MW gas-fired unit at the Hazira power plant. "The gas-based power plant at Hazira is ready for commissioning and could start generating electricity any day now", GSEG said.

Energy shortages and rolling blackouts could become a real possibility in the UK in five years' time, warns Pilgrim Beart, founder of AlertMe. "A large fraction of our coal power stations are scheduled to be decommissioned in 2016. If you reduce supply without reducing demand then you get rolling blackouts," he told Gas-to-Power Journal.

Weakness in UK power markets is forecast to continue until 2013 as significant oversupply of power generation capacity is cutting into profit margins of gas and coal-fired plans, JP Morgan Cazenove (JPMC) said today in a research report. "UK power demand is worse than anaemic," JCMC analyst, Edmund Reid, said with reference to a drop in electricity demand below 2009 levels.

Societe Generale forecasts Europe's electricity demand in 2012 will see a mere 0.7% rise in annual demand as economic growth remains lacklustre. "Consumption should recover in 2012, but overall growth will likely to be modest," the bank said in its latest Energy Pulse report.

The implementation of Smart Grids – as a flexible demand response mechanism - is rising. "In Europe, we are selling Smart Grids based on the rise of green energy. In the U.S., the key driver for smart grids is to ensure security of power supply," Dietrich Biester, representative of Siemens' Smart Grid Division told Gas-to-Power Journal' in an interview.

North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has alerted the U.S. energy industry of a growing reliance on natural gas as the primary fuel source at times of peak electricity demand. "The growing dependence on natural gas as a primary fuel source of on-peak capacity must be considered in planning, and operational measures must be in place to minimize interdependency risks," NERC told Gas-to-Power Journal.

Alstom, the French engineering company, today reported a rebound in orders this quarter to €4.9 billion. Thermal power orders reached a value of €1.9 billion, benefiting from successes in Iraq and Poland.

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Eurelectric has warned that "reliable and flexible fossil power generation capacity is required as a back-up supply" to ensure security of energy supply and mitigate the risk of intermittent power generation from renewable energy sources. Eurelectric representative Julia Eichhorst told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' in an interview prior to today's conference in Brussels that "Capacity Remuneration Mechanisms (CRMs) could be needed to encourage power generators to invest in new fossil power generation".

News in Brief

MHPS flue gas desulfurization for Balkan generator

May 26 - Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has signed a supply contract for the first Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) system in the West Balkans for Ugljevik power plant, located in the Republic of Srpska – one of the two constituent entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The FDG project at the Ugljevik plant was advanced via a Japanese ODA loan, and aims to reduce sulfur dioxide and particulates emissions with a view of helping Bosnia and Herzegovina meet the environmental standards required for joining the European Union. The upgraded power plant is scheduled to start commercial operations in July 2019.

Bioenergy market keeps growing

May 26 – Global markets for bio fuels and clean energy is forecast to show steady growth - despite a small dip in capacity additions. Classified as a niche market within the renewable energy sector, the biopower segment set to expand to 165.2GW by 2025, up from just over 106GW installed capacity two years ago. GlobalData analysts attribute this growth to a rising global energy demand, and growing awareness about climate change that spur investment in cleaner sources of energy around the globe.

ABB enhances power supply for Canadian data centre

May 25 – Zurich-headquartered ABB will supply an integrated substation to the Canadian IT solutions provider Hypertec to support the expansion of one of its existing data center. As part of the upgrade, the existing 25 kilovolts (kV) power supply will be enhanced to 120kV to meet growing electricity demand. The turnkey project includes the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the 120kV Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) substation with 25kV distribution. ABB said the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

German gas, coal-burn up in Q1

May 24 – Germany’s total primary energy consumption dropped 1.4% yoy in the first quarter of 2017. But despite lower demand for electricity, the use of natural gas for power generation increased by 1%, while use of hard coal and lignite were 2.6% and 0.4% higher respectively, according to figures by the energy industry think tank AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB).

Siemens wins 3D printing award

May 24 – An award in category "3D Printing application of the year" was given to Siemens for the worldwide first successful test of gas turbine blades manufactured with Additive Manufacturing. At the start of 2017, a multi-location Siemens team successfully tested the performance of the first gas turbine blade, produced through AM, under full-load conditions

Wolf Power, Myriad start CHP cooperation

May 23 – Wolf Group, a German supplier of combined heat and power systems, has entered a cooperation with Myriad Power Products, an equipment supplier based in Leicestershire, UK. Myriad can supply chip, pellet and gas heat only/ CHP systems from 10kW to 10MW; it is about to bid for public sector contracts in the UK and some other smaller clients.

Verisk acquires MAKE

May 23 – Verisk Analytics, part of Wood Mackenzie, has announced its latest acquisition of MAKE, an advisory that specializes in wind power. This latest acquisition follows WoodMac’s takeover of Greentech Media in July 2016.

OPEC’s net oil revenues on 12-year low

May ‎22 – Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) net oil revenues have plunged to $433 billion in 2016, the lowest since 2004. In real dollar terms, the 2016 revenue represents a 15% decline from the $509 billion earned in 2015. The EIA projects that OPEC’s 2017 net oil export revenues will rise to about $539 billion dollars (nominal), based on a slight recovery in average crude oil prices, as well as higher OPEC output during the current year.

Burckhardt to help modernize MOL petchem plant in Hungary

May 19 – Burckhardt Compression has won an order to modernize MOL Petrochemicals’ third-party Hyper Compressor at its LDPE plant in Tiszaújváros, Hungary, that has been operating since 1991. Burckhardt Compression is well-known for its Hyper Compressors and the MOL Group already has positive experiences working with the Swiss manufacturer at another LDPE site. The project scope includes the Burckhardt Hypropack cartridge system, plungers and central valves for two second-stage cylinders.

Pumps, motor market to top $100bn by 2021

May 19 – Upgrades of ageing power infrastructure, a rise in renewable energy investment and a progressing urbanisation is driving the markets for pumps and motors to reach $100.66 billion by 2021, up from 71.01 billion last year. According to MarketsandMarkets, growth of notably the market for ‘permanent magnet synchronous motors’ is spurred by power plant modernization, as well as demand for energy-efficient motors and use of low-cost ferrite permanent magnets.

MHPS opens new Warsaw office

May 18 - Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) is opening a new office in Warsaw, to strengthen its relationships with local customers and bolster orders for advanced coal power generation systems and Air Quality Control Systems (AQCS). The new branch office centralizes MHPS' corporate and business development function for Poland in one single location.

Low utilisation of US oil peaking plants

May 18 – Monthly generation from petroleum-fired generators has totalled 1 million to 2 million MWh in recent years, according to EIA figures. Most of the 36.4GW installed oil-fired generators in the United States, either turbines or internal combustion engines, only supply peak-load electricity. Capacity factors for oil-fired steam turbines are about 10% and approach 20% only in the summer months. Capacity factors for oil-fired combustion turbines and internal combustion engines are lower, remaining well below 5%.

Wärtsilä wins 5-year O&M deal in Pakistan

May 17 – Helsinki-based technology group Wärtsilä has signed a 5-year full operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement with Pakistan’s Technomen Kinetics Private Ltd (TKL) for two of the latter’s gas-fired power plants. Wärtsilä’s installed base in Pakistan totals around 2.2 GW power generating capacity, with 600 MW of power output under service agreements.

MAN helps CNOOC tap offshore gas in South China Sea

May 17 – CNOOC China’s branch in Zhanjiang, a city in south-western Guangdong province, has commissioned MAN Diesel & Turbo to supply six compressor trains for the Dongfang 13-2 gas field development project. Manufactured by in Switzerland by MAN, the compressor trains will be used for gas reinjection at new platforms in the Dongfang field, located in the Yinggehai Basin of the South China Sea.

New man at the helm of COGEN Europe

May 16 – COGEN Europe has appointed Hans Korteweg as new managing director. His leadership starts at a time of ongoing debate about the EU’s Clean Energy Package, aimed at ensuring a safe and cost-effective energy transition.

Wärtsilä snaps up Greensmith

May 16 – Wärtsila has agreed to buy Greensmith Energy Management System, an US energy storage technology provider, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition of Greensmith is still subject to US regulatory approvals; it will allow Wärtsilä to expand its latest focus on energy storage. The Finish turbine manufacturer stated it expects the takeover to take legal effect no later than July 2017.

Dresser-Rand supplies compressor trains for Thai pipeline

May 15 – Dresser-Rand, part of Siemens Power and Gas, will supply three SGT-400 gas turbine-driven turbocompressor trains for Thailand’s Wang Noi compressor station, located 70 kilometers from Bangkok. The station is currently being built by Samsung Engineering; it is owned by PTT Public Company, Thailand’s state oil & gas company. The compressor station project is expected to be completed in 2018; it will enhance the capacity of the Ratchaburi - Wang Noi pipeline to meet the increasing natural gas demands of nearby power plants.