Daily News

As Europe’s energy transition process unfolds, distributed control becomes a major theme across industrial automation and power generation infrastructure. To help operators keep control of large or small power units, Mitsubishi Electric has developed PMSXpro and PMSXmicro Distributed Control Systems that allow scalable plant automation.

The Louisiana Public Service Commission has approved construction of the Lake Charles Power Station, a 994-MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Westlake. Entergy Louisiana called the Lake Charles CCGT is a “key element of its plan to provide the clean, efficient energy” – the operator also said expects to issue full notice to proceed to construction by August 1.

Indonesian state power utility PT PLN (Persero) has appointed a consortium of local construction firm PT Wika and the Spanish contractor TSK Electronica y Electricidad to build the Sumbagut-2 peaking power plant in Aceh, on north Sumatra. Wärtsilä is contracted to supply 13 of its 50SG engines, running on natural gas and providing an output of approximately 240 MW.

No new coal-fired generating capacity is added to the U.S. power mix in all cases set out in the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2017 (AEO2017). Analysts stressed, however, that actual production levels of hard coal and lignite depend on resource availability on technological advancement – not just on policy choices around the much-debated effects of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

Two further project-wins in China illustrate the success of turbine-based cogeneration plants made by MAN Diesel & Turbo. The German manufacturer has been awarded two orders in collaboration with its Chinese EPC partner Liyu, and first announced the deals at Power-Gen Europe held at Cologne Messe this week. The contract stipulates MAN to deliver its signature MGT series gas turbines to subsidiaries of the Chinese energy firm ENN Group, who is MAN’s end customer on that deal.

ExxonMobil has launched a next generation series of gas engine oils to keep up with the latest gas engine developments. The Mobil Pegasus 1100 Series was developed in cooperation with major OEMs to help them cope with severe engine conditions, and extend oil drain intervals. In fact, the Mobil Pegasus family of gas engine oils are now preferred lubricants for all new GE’s Jenbacher Type 2, 3 and 9 gas engines.

Powerphase has closed an initial investment from Energy Impact Partners (EIP), an infrastructure fund that controls over 170 GW of generation capacity in their combined portfolios. EIP’s latest funds come as the first institutional round of capital for Powerphase, which seeks to speed up the global roll-out of its gas turbine products.

Duro Felguera, together with consortium partner Romelectro, has awarded an order to GE to supply core technology for Romgaz’s new combined-cycle gas turbine power unit in Lernut, Romania. With a planned installed capacity of 430 MW, the Lernut project will be Southeastern Europe’s largest gas power project in five years. It is also Romania’s largest public investment in conventional power in 20 years, backed by €268 million funding from Romgaz.

The Caribbean island of Aruba’s main electric utility, WEB Aruba, has awarded a contract to ABB to supply an advanced microgrid in order to help integrate solar and wind energy through production forecasting and real-time optimization of operations.

PennWell Corp. today launches ‘Electrify Europe’, a new event dedicated to the convergence of power generation and transmission which is driven by trends like digitization and decentralization. According to Glenn Ensor, head of PennWell International, it is an “entirely new concept designed to foster information exchange between established and new players for the creation of advanced solutions across an entire electricity value network.” The launch event will be held in Vienna, Austria, in June 2018.

Fuel costs account for up to 80% of a power plant’s operating expenses but Wärtsilä Services Manager Markus Åbrant underlined “the financial rationale is not the only one that speaks for fuel and energy efficiency.” Enhanced operational efficiency, extended lifecycle of the equipment and a more sustainable brand image are, in his view, valid reasons for considering an energy efficiency improvement project.

Decentralized power units for flexible generation of electricity power generation are becoming increasingly important across Europe, explains Dr. Tilman Tütken, regional manager, Europe at MAN Diesel & Turbo's power plant section. "For example, just a few weeks ago, the German Federal Network Agency confirmed additional requirements for a total capacity of approximately 1.2 Gigawatt for southern Germany alone,” he said when opening MAN’s booth at the PowerGen Europe conference in Cologne today.

RWE Generation (RWE) has selected GE’s Power Services to upgrade the plant equipment of its 400-megawatt Great Yarmouth combined-cycle gas power station in Norfolk. As the age and fuel consumption of the plant increases, the retrofit with GE’s Fleet360 total plant solutions will help improve plant efficiency by up to 2% and output by up to 6%.

Wasteful flaring of natural gas is meant to be a thing of the past, yet the wasteful burning of gas at wellhead increased over the past few years – notably in the United States during the rush to tap hydrocarbon-rich shale rock formations. ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030’ is the explicit aim of the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) initiative – but there is a risk that funding for gas-gathering initiatives runs dry because this goal is losing political traction under the Trump Presidency.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and Sumitomo have been selected by Société Tunisienne de l'Electricité et du Gaz (STEG) to develop a 450-MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Tunisia. The two companies signed an EPC contract to build the CCGT in the harbour city of Radès, just nine kilometres southeast of the capital Tunis.

News in Brief

ABB delivers power solution for Shanghai Stock Exchange

July 21 – Swiss-based ABB has signed a contract to provide more than 1,500 units of MNS low-voltage switchgear for the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) before the end of the year. Dubbed the Jinqiao Technology Center project the MNS switchgear deployment is meant to support the safe, efficient and reliable operation of the stock exchanges’ data center. SSE is ranked #4 in the Shanghai market, and is ranked #26 in China.

TNB extends acquisition period for 51% stake in SPG

July 20 – Malaysia’s state utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has granted SIPP Energy an further 30 days to fulfil conditions set out in the May 3 acquisition agreement when TNB bought a 51% stake in SIPP Energy’s Johor-based unit SPG for RM51. Set up as a special purpose vehicle in august 2016, SPG was given regulatory approval last September to build a 2x720MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor. The CCGT is scheduled to start full commercial operation at the start of July 2020.

TVA’s new plant produces 1 GW in first three months

July 19 – Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) new combined cycle gas power plant in Muhlenberg County has produced over 1,025 MW of electricity in its first three months of operation. The cost of the project is estimated at about $850 million, but TVA senior vice president Bob Deacy underlined the new CCGT will give the operator the option of fuel switching to optimise its coal- and gas-burn which will ultimately save money. 

Toshiba opens hydrogen application centre in Tokyo

July 18 – Toshiba has opened a new hydrogen application centre at its Fuchu complex in western Tokyo. Research at the centre focuses the company’s new H2Onesolution for hydrogen supply system business for fuel-cell vehicles, or fuel-cell forklifts within buildings.  According to project manager Hiroyuki Ota, “This center showcases totally CO2-free operation, from hydrogen production through to application.”

Opening of Rhode Island plant delayed unit 2020

July 17 – Chicago-based Invenergy has delayed the start-up of its proposed natural gas-fired power plant in Rhode Island until “at least 2020,” citing “delays in permitting. The Chicago-based company had previously agreed to start selling power to the regional grid in 2019.

China’s energy efficiency sector tops $13bn in revenue

June 14 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) is supporting association member states in implementing energy efficiency measures. In China, government policy created a whole new sector for low-energy solutions, retrofits and services. This niche sector got started less than 20 years ago but already employs over 600,000 people and has annual revenues of over $13 billion.

Centrica starts building 50 MW unit

July 13 – UK energy supplier Centrica has announced that construction works are getting underway this week on its new 50 MW back-up power unit at Peterborough power station. The new gas-fired ‘peaking’ plant will be driven by five Wartsila-built reciprocating gas engines. The plant operator will dispatch the fast-ramp unit mostly on weekdays to cater periods of peak power demand or to provide back-up electricity when requested by the National Grid.

Siemens sues Technopromexport

July 12 – Siemens has filed a lawsuit against the Russian state firm Technopromexport on Tuesday after two gas turbines it sold for use in Russia have been diverted to Crimea, a region subject to EU sanctions. Siemens said its Russian customer had acted in bad faith, after Reuters disclosed Technopromexport had moved the turbines to Crimea where ZAO Interautomatika, a firm part-owned by Siemens, had been hired to install them.

GE Power on the road in the Middle East

July 11 – Holding a series of road-shows in Dubai UAE, Muscat, Oman and Islamabad, Pakistan in the coming weeks, GE Power is demonstrate its digital industrial solutions and HA technology. The events will also over GE’s 9E and 13E2 gas turbines, as well as mobile solutions such as the TM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine genset.

Pakistan’s PM inaugurates 760-MW unit of Haveli CCGT

July 10 – The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif has inaugurated the first unit of the Haveli Bahadur Shah gas power plant in Jhang province on late Friday. The 670-MW unit is running on regasified LNG. Once all units are fully operational, the combined-cycle gas power station will have a total generating capacity of 1,230 MW.

Siemens partners with China on digitalization

July 7 – Siemens has entered into agreements with the Chinese government and Chinese enterprises to continue joint activities for exploring the potential of digitalization and for supporting measures to upgrade and transform China’s industrial sector. The documents were signed today in Berlin this week in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Gas-burn continues to rise

July 6 - Consumption of natural gas has risen in 9 of the past 10 years, according to EIA figures. As recently as 2006, the United States consumed more coal than natural gas (in energy-equivalent terms), but as gas use has increased—particularly in the electric power sector, where gas-burn in 2016 was about twice that of coal.

 

Tepco to bid on Oz power plant tender

July 5 – South Australia energy plan, as set out in mid-March, stipulates running a tender to build a gas-fired power plant with adjacent battery energy storage. The federal state government plans to invest $360 million in new generating capacity and it now emerges that policymakers look favourably on the power plant site and project proposal of Tepko.

Orascom carries out EPC for $100m power project in Egypt

June 4 – Orascom Construction has secured a $100 million contract to build a power plant with a projected capacity of 650 MW in Walideya, Egypt. The scope of Orascom’s contract includes the full civil works package for the project. The contractor stated that the project’s proximity to an existing power station in Assuit is expected to “facilitate efficient mobilisation on the site.”

Ingersoll-Rand buys MB Air Systems

July 3 – Ingersoll-Rand announced today it has completed the acquisition of MB Air Systems Ltd. The transaction closed on June 30, 2017.

Mouchel rebrands to WSP

July 3 – Mouchel, an engineering services consultancy, has changed its name to WSP across all offices in the UK following the integration of the two businesses. Since January all employees have been working under a new structure across Britain, headed by UK CEO Mark Naysmith.

Fisterra Energy ready for $600m power project in Guadalajara

June 30 – Fisterra Energy, majority-owned by Blackstone, is forging ahead with its Tierra Mojada combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power project in Guadalajara, Mexico, after having reached financial close. The greenfield project was financed with $600 million of construction facilities and letters of credit by six banks. Construction on the 875-MW greenfield project is due to be finalized by the end of 2019.
Once operational, the gas power plant will powered by a GE H-class turbine, and most of its electricity output will be sold under 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CEF), Mexico’s national utility.