Daily News

German Aerospace Centre (DLR) has teamed up with industry partners Alstom and Rolls-Royce to invest some 47 million euros into gas turbine research infrastructure at DLR's Cologne site, including a combustor test facility that is set to startup in mid-2014.

American IPP Calpine Corporation this week started commercial operations of two CCGT power plants with a combined capacity of almost 1GW near San Francisco, California, the new 619MW Russell City Energy Center and the preexisting 309MW Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility.

RWE, Germany's second largest power producer by output capacity, has decided to close a total of 3,100MW, or around 6% of its total generation capacity of 52GW, as first-half year profits plunged 38% amid a recession-induced drop in electricity demand and competition from renewables.

US manufacturer Capstone Turbine Corporation will supply six turbines for shale gas treatment facilities of an undisclosed producer at its gas pipeline in West Virginia. Jim Crouse, Capstone's executive vice president, said "We normally provide turbines to power site load at the wellhead for processing equipment and treatment equipment."

PW Power Systems (PWPS), part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, has struck the first sale of an aero-derivative 120 MW simple-cycle FT4000 gas turbine to Exelon Generation.

Clarke Energy has bought the Bangladesh arm of Orient Power Systems in an effort to become a market leader, and has also been appointed as distributor and service provider for GE Jenbacher gas engines in the country.

Widening cost divergence between coal and gas generation and spark spreads becoming ever more negative amid rising renewable feed-in, has caused a 42 percent plunge in E.ON's first-half 2013 profit and heralds further power plant closures in Europe.

"A sober view of the situation indicates that, at least for 2013 and 2014, no recovery is in sight," said E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen when presenting the results.

EDF has handed over operation of three of its nuclear plants in the US, two in New York and one in Maryland, to its joint venture partner Exelon, citing higher profitability of generating electricity from gas and operational risks of nuclear reactors. 

South Korea's state-owned Kogas has forecast its domestic LNG sales in 2013 will jump 3.6 percent year-on-year to reach 36.548 mtpa amid rising demand from gas-fired power generators. A heat wave propelled up electricity consumption and squeezed reserve margins, prompting the energy ministry to ration energy use to avert the risk of blackouts.

Despite the growth in capacity, not all gas-fired plants are continuously used as Brazil's gas industry is going through a transition period and is adjusting to changes in the gas supply balance whereby lower imports of pipeline gas from Bolivia are balanced with rising LNG imports and new domestic gas reserves from upstream projects in Santos, Campos, and Espririto Santos basin.

This insight comes from a thought-provoking book released by the British Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Brazil (Britcham) entitled Doing Energy Business in Brazil.

 

Use of premix combustion chambers has helped MAN Diesel and Turbo achieve a breakthrough by reducing nitrogen-oxide (NOx) emissions at its MGT 6100 gas turbine (6-8 MW) to single digits at up to 100 percent load.

Capacity markets will provide stable cash flows to thermal generators in the UK to enable them to finance new projects at lower discount rates, reflecting lower risk. However, financiers may find that regulatory uncertainty exceeds the price risk in energy-only markets, warns Dr. Jim Fitzgerald, associate partner at The Advisory House.

Alstom has validated its MXL2 upgrade for GT26 gas turbines, enabling operators to flexibly dispatch their plants and match production hours to fluctuating demand – a key requirement in markets with high volumes of intermittent renewable power supply such as Spain or Germany.

Ontario Power Authority's (OPA) latest report, issued at the request of the Canadian energy ministry, is likely to shake-up the top-down planning process for gas-fired power stations in the region and might spark a flurry of follow-up consultations.

Indian power plant equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has won a €32.5 million (Rs.2650 million) contract to supply gas turbines for a state-owned 103.5MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant at Kochi Refinery.

News in Brief

Siemens opens Pittsburg Service Center

Nov 16 – Pittsburgh Service Center (PSC), a $32 million state-of the art facility spanning over 300,000 square feet, has been opened by Siemens in Mount Pleasant. The centre is home to Siemens Turbine Generator Specialty Services (TGSS) which belongs to the company’s large-scale turbine segment

Drax faces legal action over Repower project

Nov 15 – Britain’s power producer Drax is facing a law suit over plans to start converting two coal-fired units at the plant into four combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs). Drax argues the move will help it exit coal by 2023, but environmentalist object the Repower project, arguing it would “risk locking in high-carbon energy onto the grid until 2050.”

U.S. turbine market to top 14GW by 2024

Nov 14 – The U.S. industrial gas turbine market is expected to exceed 14 GW by 2024. Federal government initiatives to expand the penetration of natural gas-fired station will augment the industry outlook, according to a Market Study Report.

Xcel snaps up Mankato Energy Center

Nov 13 – U.S. electric utility Xcel Energy has agreed to purchase Mankato Energy Center in Minnesota from Southern Power in a $650 million deal. A second gas-fired power unit is scheduled to come online in 2019, set to increase the plant’s total generating capacity to 760 MW.

Shell re-focuses on new energies

Nov 12 – Electricity and new green fuels have risen on the agenda of Royal Dutch Shell, with the company announcing plans to invest up to $2 billion a year through to 2020. “That might seem modest by oil and gas standards, but we can do a lot with it in this space,” commented Brian Davis, Shell’s VP energy solutions.

Kollsnes shut down

Nov 9 – A collision between the frigate Helge Ingstad and the tanker TS Sola off the Sture terminal near Bergen in western Norway has led to the closure of the Vestprosess pipeline and Kollsnes gas processing plant, the Norwegian TSO Gassco said in a market note.

MHPS to service Uzbekenergo’s power plants

Nov 8 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. (MHPS) has signed an accord with state-owned Uzbekenergo and Mitsubishi Corp to collaborate in a service and maintenance program (CSMP) for power plants in Uzbekistan. The agreement is meant to help grow the reach of Japanese companies in Central Asia.

Austria to import more Russian gas

Nov 7 – Russia’s gas giant Gazprom and OMV of Austria have signed Gazprom and OMV an amendment to their supply contract, stipulating deliveries to Austria will be increased by 1 Bcm/y beyond the contractual. In the first ten month of 2018, alone supplies of Russian pipeline gas have grown by a third compared to the previous year, reaching 8.8 Bcm.

UK launches 1st geothermal plant

Nov 6 – The UK’s first geothermal electricity plant has gotten underway today, backed by £18 million in funding. Drilling started using a rig from Helsinki. Once operational, demonstration plant will deliver up to 3 MW of electricity to the National Grid.

Germans register more EVs

Nov 5 – Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity in Germany: The share of pure EVs in s new car registrations climbed to 1.3% in October, as the total number of new EVs increased 55% year-on-year, according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). Hybrid cars account for a 4.4% market share, diesel fell to 31.8% and the lion’s share of 62.3% is still taken by petrol models.

GE retrofits Wet FDG in India

Nov 2 – India’s largest energy conglomerate NTPC Ltd. has asked GE Power to supply and install Wet Flue Gas Desulphurization (Wet FDG) technology at four power plants in a deal worth US$247 million. The four facilities are the 2x660 MW Solapur power plant, the 2x660 MW Tanda Stage-II, the 1x500 MW Feroze Gandhi Unchahar project and the 2x660 MW Meja power project.

Floating power barge

Nov 1 – Siemens has developed barge-based, turnkey floating power solutions that take a critical part of an FLNG facility’s infrastructure — power generation — off a project’s critical path. According to the manufacturer, this helps reduce overall project execution time by as much as 25% or more, maximizing return on investment.

KBR posts 28% rise in profit

Oct 31 – U.S. engineering company KBR has reported a rise in net profits and voiced optimism to secure more mid-scale LNG and downstream projects with its joint venture partner ConocoPhillips. Third-quarter revenues rose by more than 23% to $1.27 billion, compared with $1.03bn in Q3-2017. Net profit was $58 million, up 28% from $45m in the year-ago period.

Togo: IPP gets go-ahead

Oct 30 – Eranove, a private equity-backed independent power producer (IPP), has received the green light for a $110 million power project in Togo. A concession agreement was signed for the combined-cycle power plant to be built in the area of Lomé port. The Spanish firm Grupo TSK was selected as EPC contractor for the 65-MW project.

Goldman, Cargill fined for avoiding tax on Teeside

Oct 29 – Goldman Sachs and Cargill have been hit with a £79 million fine for dogging tax on their ownership of a Teesside power plant. The two U.S. banking giants took over Teesside Power Ltd after the collapse of Enron in 2001, and HM Revenue and Customs just won a court case against the two trading houses over a tax avoidance scheme.

Gazprom to start production at Kovyktinskoye in 2019

Oct 26 –The Russian gas giant Gazprom has announced it will to start production drilling at the vast Kovyktinskoye field in 2019, with a view to start feeding gas from Kovyktinskoye into the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in late 2022. Situated in eastern Siberia near Lake Baikal, the field holds an estimated 2.7 Tcm of gas reserves, and 90.6 million tons of gas condensate, and 25 Bcm/y of planned design capacity.

MAN launches ETB blower in China

Oct 25 – A new Electrical Turbo Blower, the designated ETB40, has been launched by MAN Energy Solutions at a ceremony in Shanghai hosted by its two-stroke licensee, CSSC-MES Diesel Co. (CMD). The blower raises the exhaust-gas pressure in order to overcome the pressure difference between exhaust gas and scavenging air receiver.