Daily News

Brazil’s largest gas processing unit, build at a cost of $600 million in Itaboraí, near Rio de Janeiro, will include an e-house solution by GE Power. The so-called UPGN unit is part of the Rota 3 project, designed to transport and process natural gas feedstock from Petrobras’ Bacia de Santos pre-salt cluster.

Radical change in Britain’s power mix is driven by the fast fall in technology costs of renewables. By 2030, a system with wind and solar supplying 50% of the country’s electricity needs would be comparable in cost to one dominated by combined-cycle gas power station, according to New Resource Partners.

Spark Energy has become the seventh and biggest UK provider to go bankrupt this year, following the market exit of Extra Energy on Wednesday last week. Spark blamed “increasingly tough trading conditions” when the company’s debts were uncovered after it missed a deadline to make a £14 million ‘renewables obligation’ payment to Ofgem.

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom has approved its 2019 financial plan, envisaging an overall investment volume of RUB 1,325.724 billion, equaling $20.15 billion. The lion’s share, or over RUB963 billion is intended for capital investments such gas production on the Yamal Peninsular and for three key gas export pipelines to Europe and Asia.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems has won an order from C-Energy to supply its new medium speed V-engine, B36:45, in order to add an extra 23 MW to a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Bohemia, Czech Republic. The first units will start operating before the beginning of 2019.

Hourly electricity usage on Thanksgiving and the following day – Black Friday – tend to have different demand patterns from other weekdays. Instead of a morning and an evening peak, the electricity demand on a Black Friday rather resembles that of weekends.

Indebted Ohio-based utility FirstEnergy Generation has agreed to sell its 545 MW West Lorain Facility to Vermillion Power, part of Starwood, for $144 million in cash – if no higher bid comes forward. The sale of the CCGT will be accomplished through a court-supervised bankruptcy auction to maximize the value of the asset.

Developed economies like Japan, Denmark and the United States have achieved a high economic growth with fairly constant energy consumption. If all cost-effective efficiency measures were deployed, the global economy could double by 2040 with only a marginal rise in energy demand, the International Energy Agency (IEA) finds.

ABB Ability Ellipse solution will support Ameren Illinois’ multi-million dollar modernization of their power grid in Illinois. The asset performance management software has a “prescriptive approach”, which will allow Ameren to better predict and prevent the failure of mission-critical equipment that delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers.

More than half of India’s installed 25 GW of gas-fired power generation lies idle, with the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) identifying  about 14 GW capacity as ‘stranded,’ of unutilized. These plants had been built based on government assurances of regasified LNG supply, which did not materialize.

India's Prime Minister Narenda Modi has voiced concerns over excessive delays in joint venture projects with Sri Lanka. The neigbouring island nation is expected to fast-track a LNG-fuelled power plant after a coal power project was halted, just when the Indian JV was about to start construction. Despite approval for a $250 million LNG import terminal near Colombo, the Indian-Japanese JV has followed through with the project.

Energy storage will play a growing role in the British power mix as the Brexit process is at a critical stage and the country seeks to reduce reliance on importing electricity through from mainland Europe. “Interconnectors are direct competitors in the flexibility marketplace,“ Wood Mackenzie said, suggesting Brexit could be good news for the UK storage market.

Vowing to avoid shortages and price spikes, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is pushing through measures to expand both pipeline gas and LNG imports. Taking early action is meant to improve China’s gas reserve and helps to make pre-arrangements for peak demand. CNNOC just issued a tender for a strip of cargoes to be delivered between November 2018 and 2022.

With the advent of utility-scale energy storage and hybrid power systems, traditional power producers are turning to system integrators to balance multiple generation assets and optimize the energy produced. Wärtsilä’s GEMS software helped ALTEO Group optimise an engine power plant with energy storage in Hungary, and on the Azores the software used a mircogrid form of AI to control and balance wind, solar and diesel gensets.

Shaking up its indebted GE Power unit, the new General Electric CEO Larry Culp has reinstated John Rice – a retired GE veteran who once led its energy unit – as chairman of the Gas Power segment. “GE is desperate for leadership,” analysts commented, but it is deemed unlikely that there will be any quick fix.

News in Brief

More buyers for Malampaya gas

Dec 12 – Two more electric utilities, in addition to First Gen and Ilijan, have expressed interest to buy Malampaya’s banked gas, valued at $700 million to $750 million, via a negotiated scheme. The Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) is in talks with all four of them, but did not identify the two new bidders.

Surge in wind power new-builds

Dec 11 – More than 680GW of new wind power capacity will come online globally over the 10-year outlook, according to Wood Mackenzie research. Most upgrades occur in the medium-term, boosting annual capacity additions from 2020 to 2023 by an average of 2.7GW.

Hybrid power for Galapagos Island

Dec 10 – Siemens has inaugurated a hybrid power plant on the Galapagos island of Isabela after only ten months of planning and ten months of construction. The system runs carbon-neutral with biofuel and solar energy and supplies almost 900 households.

Tata unveils TCS Intelligent Power Plant

Dec 7 – Tata has presented it TCS Intelligent Power Plant at an U.S. trade show, combing its engineering knowledge with artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize operations of fossil power plants. The TCS Intelligent Power Plant builds on the digital twin concept and data-driven models.

Aker, Siemens to co-develop digital offerings

Dec 6 – Aker Solutions and Siemens have agreed to collaborate on creating software applications and joint service offerings, e.g. industrial digital twins that will drive efficiency throughout the entire plant lifecycle. Specific offerings for the oil and gas sector will be based on Siemens' Comos engineering platform.

Robot for remote inspection

Dec 5 – Sarcos Robotics is demonstrating their Guardian S mobile IoT inspection robot at POWER-GEN International in Orlando, Florida. The remote visual inspection tool that can carry multiple sensor payloads and is a quick-deploy inspection solution for pipes, boilers and tanks.

JERA still builds coal power plants

Dec 4 – JERA, Japan’s largest LNG importer, said it was still replacing ageing oil-fuelled power plants with coal-fired units, instead of gas, for economic reasons. Environmental permits have just been issued for two new coal power units at Yokosuka power station, south of Tokyo.

GE delivers grid solution to Pakistan

Dec 3 – GE Power has delivered a turnkey solution to DG Khan Cement Company (DGKCCL), for its new cement plant. Situated 30km northwest of Karachi, the new manufacturing facility is powered by GE’s advanced grid solutions including 132/6.3 kV gas insulated switchgear (GIS), 40MVA power transformers.

Rolls-Royce to showcase Bergen genset

Nov 29 – Rolls-Royce will showcase its new B36:45 Bergen gas genset at the 2018 Power-Gen International show next week in Orlando, Florida. This will be the first time the company introduced Bergen engines at a U.S.-based trade show.

Toshiba aggregates RES & energy storage

Nov 28 – Tokyo-based Toshiba will reinforce its green energy footprint by spending 100 billion yen ($175m) on a new biomass power plant near the thermal Mikawa power station in Omuta, Fukuoka prefecture. Going forward, Toshiba aims to aggregate all its renewable energy sources and storage batteries, creating a Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

Exmar helps Argentina export LNG

Nov 28 – Belgium's Exmar has signed a 10-year agreement with YPF to produce and export 500,000 tonnes per annum of LNG from Argentina via a floating liquefaction vessel named Tango FLNG. The deal advances Argentina’s ambitions of becoming a gas exporter.

ABB UPS tops 97% efficiency

Nov 27 – ABB latest uninterruptible power supply (UPS) module has a 97.6% efficiency rating. The DPA 250 S4 covers the power range 50 to 1,500 kW and is designed for critical, high-density computing environments such as data centers, hospitals, railway signaling stations and airports.

Europe still depends on Russian gas

Nov 26 – In the first ten month of 2018, there was a more than 100:1 disparity between Russian pipeline gas and U.S. LNG deliveries to European countries, according to Gazprom figures. The Russian gas giant sees still “a high level of uncertainty” in the long-term forecasts for U.S. shale gas production.

Enagas, Fluxys sell stake in Swedegas

Nov 23 – The Belgian and Spanish TSOs, Fluxys and Enagas, have sold their entire shareholding in Swedegas to First State Gas Transport AB, part of the infrastructure fund First State Investments. The two TSOs each owned a 50% stake in the operator of Sweden’s high-pressure gas grid.

Developing alternative fuels

Nov 22 – Wärtsilä, Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) are developing a business case for the use of alternative fuels with Wärtsilä generating sets. In focus are methanol, dimethyl ether and ammonia, synthesised from hydrogen, CO2 and nitrogen.

UK will not incentivize new gas storage

Nov 21 – Rebuking warnings of gas supply shortages, the UK government said it will not give any regulatory support for new gas storage facilities. Insisting that “the benefits of more insurance are not worthwhile,” energy secretary Greg Clarke said, insisting the market was already providing sufficient gas security and optionality.

PG&E uses SF6-fee switchgear

Nov 20 – California’s Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has contracted Siemens to supply SF6-free dead-tank circuit breakers and gas-insulated switchgear (GIS). They are destined for California’s 115-kilovolt (kV) high-voltage grid.