Daily News

'Reliability' has once again been rated as the 'top issue' and cause of concern in Black & Veatch's seventh annual U.S. electric utility industry report, compiled to reflect "views and outlooks of an industry in transition," according to Dean Oskvig, President of company's global energy business.

China's economic slowdown combined with policy goals to reduce the energy intensity of GDP growth has led Deutsche Bank analysts to forecast softer Chinese coal demand growth both for power generation and industrial use.

Electricity prices are of prime importance when it comes to investment in combined heat and power (CHP) facilities by Alberta's oil sands developers, W. Dale Hildebrand, President of Desiderata Energy Consulting told this year's COGEN Canada annual seminar in Calgary.

"The most important factor for oil sands developers that are considering cogeneration is the price of electricity: can they generate it cheaper on site compared to buying it for the grid?" he said.

Danish utility Dong Energy has decided to drop plans to build a 1,100 MW gas-fired power plant in Ludwigsau in the German state of Hesse and is searching a buyer for the rights to build a plant at the same site. "We've started the sales process for the project rights and aim to find a buyer by the end of this year," said company spokeswoman Iris Franco-Fratini.

E.ON said it "seriously considers" mothballing the 430 MW gas-fired power plant Malcenize in Slovakia, the Essen-based utility said in charts published on the company's website.

Lifetimes of most operational gas-fired power plants in Europe will "hopefully outlive" the current political vacuum that depresses the carbon markets, CEZ's head of trading, Michal Skalka, told investors in a conference call on the group's Q1'2013 financial results.

The key challenge in choosing an engine or turbine for a combined heat and power (CHP) system is to efficiently bring together thermal energy demand with systems that produce mechanical or electrical power, Manfred Klein, independent energy consultant and former Canadian federal government staffer, told Gas to Power Journal at this year's COGEN Canada annual seminar in Calgary.

"One question that the plant operator needs to ask is to what degree the plant is a thermal operation or a power operation? In this sense, managing heat demand will ultimately determine overall system efficiency," he said.

The utilization of combined heat and power (CHP) catered for over 30 percent of Alberta's electricity demand last year, Sandra Locke, Assistant Deputy Minister, Electricity, Alternative Energy & Carbon Capture and Storage at Alberta's Department of Energy, told COGENCanada's Annual Seminar in Calgary. "Cogeneration has become an integral part of the province's electricity market providing over 30 percent of total generation output in 2012. That's approximately 23 000 GWh of electricity," she said.

Singapore's first regasification LNG terminal officially started operations today, the Energy Market Authority confirmed. Natural gas is already fuelling 80 percent of Singapore's power generation assets, so the launch of the LNG import terminal enables power producers to diversify supply sources beyond importing pipeline gas.

The world's largest concentrating solar plant – the 280 MW Solana Generating Station– is being built about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona, in close proximity to a substantial fossil backup plant – the 2,334 MW gas-fired combined-cycle Gila River Power Station.
As a rising volume of intermittent renewable power sources are being added to the grid, power producers have a growing interest in combining it with realising new fossil power plant project, particularly gas-fired ones.

National Grid is tasked to provide analysis and modelling on the government's Electricity Market Reform (EMR) delivery plan, assess eligibility and the allocation of Contracts for Difference (CfD), and will run auctions for planned capacity mechanisms. In June, National Grid will deliver its final modelling report to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to be appended to DECC's July Delivery Plan, Mark Ripley, Project Director EMR at National Grid told Gas to Power Journal.

Siemens Energy has been awarded a contract by Nigeria's Edo Cement, part of Nigeria's BUA Group, for delivery of three SGT-500 gas turbines to produce power for the Edo Cement's Okpella Cement Factory, located in Okpella, a town in Nigeria's Edo state. Delivery of the turbines is scheduled for spring 2014.

The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) has gone on record as opposed to proposed rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restrict greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants. In a letter to the EPA, the five members of the PSC called for a withdrawal of proposed rules for the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) which they said would be particularly harmful to coal-fired power generation.

Promoting flexible generation and demand side response is likely to be more effective in helping the EU cope with three energy policy challenges – security of supply, decarbonisation and affordability – than capacity mechanisms, Simon Skillings, Senior Associate at Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G) told Gas to Power Journal in an interview. "If you make sure you really roll out cost effective demand response and if you have procured sufficient flexibility, the idea that you have then got a generation adequacy problem seems extremely unlikely," he said.

GE has signed a multimillion dollar, multi-year maintenance plan with RWE npower to provide a full range of services intended to help increase the operational flexibility and reduce costs of the gas-fired 740MW Little Barford and 400MW Great Yarmouth power plants in the UK.

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.