Daily News

The British government is in talks with the French energy giant EDF on value-for-money and affordability of the £20 billion Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk. Should the 3.2 GW project get approval, despite falling costs for offshore wind, it could substantially reduce dispatch of gas power units.

Energy certification body DNV GL has been selected by Gore Street Capital to undertake technical due diligence on an 81 MW operational battery storage portfolio in the UK. Gore Street acquired the portfolio from infrastructure developer Anesco in a deal worth £28.2 million ($37.3 million).

Nine shale gas producers in the US Appalachian Basin have spent half a billion dollars more during Q3-2020 on drilling and new projects than they earned. According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), eight of these nine fracking companies cut Capex substantially but still incurred losses.

US utility Duke Energy and Siemens Energy will launch the H2-Orange pilot project in March 2021, evaluating the use of hydrogen fuel at Clemson University’s cogeneration plant as well as for energy storage. The research is backed by a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

In California, gas peaking plants are vital to balance fluctuations in electricity demand with daily cycles in solar-powered generation. While output from solar PV tends to peak and then plateau from midday, electricity demand is often the highest in the early evening.

British engine maker Rolls-Royce has introduced a new MTU Series 500 engine with a power range of 250 to 550 kilowatt and peak efficiencies of up to 42.6%. The genset will be initially available for natural gas, and from the end of 2021 also for biogas.

In a trading update today, Rolls-Royce said it will carry out at least £1 billion of cash cost mitigations before year-end and is on track to deliver its targeted £1.3 billion cost savings by 2022. The Power System end market is recovering from a drastic fall in demand, supported by China’s swift recovery.

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has selected Emerson to install digital technologies across its power plant fleet. The Magnolia project is part of TVA’s five-year, $110 million investment that will enhance the 980 MW combined-cycle unit to generate up to 50% more electricity from the same fuel, once upgraded in 2022.

Korea Southern Power Co (KOSPO) will use the first GE 7HA.03 gas turbine in South Korea in its Shinsejong combined-cycle power plant in Sejong, developed as a ‘smart city’ by 2030. GE will install the flexible 60 Hertz gas turbine at the CCGT with its consortium partner Daewoo E&C.

French utility ENGIE will work with NTU Singapore and infrastructure developer Surbana Jurong on storing energy in liquid air. Excess electricity from the grid is used to cool air, turning it into a liquid state that is 750 times more compact and has the energy density of a lithium-ion battery.

General Electric has completed a major overhaul of a 9E.03 gas turbine at the Al Qudus power plant in Iraq on behalf of the country’s energy ministry. The revamped plant now generates an additional 125 MW of electricity on top of its existing 1,125 MW capacity.

Falling technology costs for battery storage systems, down half over the last two years, have made batteries the cheapest new-build technology for peaking purposes in gas-importing regions, like China or Japan. Pairing renewables with battery storage is cost competitive with open-cycle gas peaking units, Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds.

News in Brief

Mitsubishi produces methanol in Trinidad

Jan 20 – Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company has launched commercial operations of a methanol and dimethyl ether plant in Trinidad and Tobago. The plant has an annual production capacity of one million tons of methanol and 20,000 tons of dimethyl ether, which can be used as an alternative fuel for cars and power generation.

First 8-cylinder B36:45 engine delivered

Jan 19 – Rolls-Royce has delivered the first 8-cylinder variant of its Bergen B36:45 gas engine to a tomato producer in Belgium. The medium speed genset is planned for delivery this spring and will drive an onsite power plant that generates 4700 kW electricity and 5520 kW heat. The new engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder and will replace an existing Bergen 12-cylinder B35:40 genset.

Moody’s upgrades Enel to Baa1

Jan 18 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Enel’s long-term rating to Baa1, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects Enel’s progress in reducing its risk profile, analysts said, pointing at the Italian utilities ongoing investment in networks and renewables, growing geographical diversification and focus on centralised financing.

GE sues Siemens Energy

Jan 15 – General Electric has sued its German rival Siemens Energy over the alleged use of stolen trade secrets to win gas turbine contracts worth several billion dollars. GE told the US district court in Virginia that Siemens received the secret information from a Dominion Energy employee.

Orbital Energy launches Eclipse

Jan 14 – Nasdaq-listed Orbital Energy Group has launched a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation, a drilled shaft construction company. The new company specialises in providing services for power transmission and substations, communication tower and a disaster restoration through emergency power.

S’Korean coal and LNG imports slide

Jan 13 – South Korea’s imports of thermal coal and LNG have fallen 12% and 11%, respectively, as the government cracks down on fossil fuel usage to curb air pollution. Customs data shows that coal imports amounted to 10.2 million tons in December, down 1.4 million tons from the same month last year but up from November’s imports of 9.5 million tons.

SMC builds 1.7 GW CCGT in Batangas

Jan 13 – Excellent Energy Resources, part of SMC Global Power Holdings, is building a 1,700 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Barangay Dela Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City with investments of about 67.863 billion Philippine Pesos ($1.41bn). The project is estimated to be completed in 36 to 40 months.

UK’s National Grid issues supply warning

Jan 12 – Natural gas prices in the UK surged as National Grid issued warnings on supply deficit as LNG cargoes are being diverted to North Asia. Prices at the British NBP gas trading hub soared to the equivalent of $8.95 per MMBtu, while the JKM price for North Asian spot LNG cargoes for February 2021 was last at $19.700 per MMBt.

Fortistar invests in hydrogen

Jan 11 – Fortistar, a privately-held fund, has joined an equity investment of up to $157 million in hydrogen producer BayoTech. Cottonwood Technology Funds and the New Mexico State Investment Council also participated in the latest financing round. BayoTech’s systems produce local hydrogen close to the application, serving end users in the industrial gas and petrochemical segment as well as those who use of hydrogen to power fuel cells.

Ashtead appoints new CFO

Jan 5 - Ashtead Technology has appointed a chief financial officer (CFO) and five managers for newly created roles across its international team. The appointments are meant to cement the company’s position in the offshore energy market, including offshore wind and decommissioning of thermal power plants

NFE secures LNG for Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua

Dec 23 – New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to purchase Henry-Hub-indexed LNG for its integrated gas and power businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. The New York-based project developer said it now has covered 80% of its expected needs throughout Latin America, thus reducing its need for spot purchases and its exposure to changes in the market price for LNG.

China and Korea mandate coal-to-gas switch

Dec 22 – The Chinese government has launched a coal-to-gas boiler switching programme, targeting 7.1 million homes, which makes gas demand more weather-sensitive this winter. Similarly, South Korea mandated the closure of 15 coal-fired plants since the start of December in an effort to reduce air pollution. Analysts expect this will accelerate the drawdown of LNG terminal inventories going into Q1-2021.

GE repowers oil field in Brazil

Dec 21 – GE Power Conversion has been awarded a contract by Sulzer Pumps UK to supply motors for four water injection pumps of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The 8,000 kW, two pole motors will run at 3,600 rpm with a limitation of the starting current at 300%, enabling the oil and gas field operator to optimise the generator which supplies electricity on the FPSO.

VELO distributes Sapphire Metal 3D-Printers in the US

Dec 18 – California-based VELO3D has formed a distribution partnership with GoEngineer for Flow pre-print software, Sapphire metal AM printer, and Assure quality assurance and controls. GoEngineer will be VELO’s only distributor in the United States.

Indian electric boats to achieve zero emissions

Dec 17 – Cochin Shipyard, India’s largest shipbuilder, has asked Siemens Energy to equip India’s first fleet of 23 boats with electric propulsion drive train, integrated with batteries and vessel automation. Combining the electric propulsion drive trains, energy storage, and automation systems is expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption.

Terna BESS auction six times oversubscribed

Dec 16 – A pilot auction, held by the Italian TSO Terna, for battery energy storage systems (BESS) to provide reserve grid services has been six times oversubscribed. The auction was held with an expectation that around 230 MW would be on offer, but Terna received 1,327 MW worth of bids and eventually awarded contracts for 249.9 MW.

New £150m link to UK’s Easington terminal

Dec 15 – National Grid has completed a gas pipeline under the River Humber, build in 18 months and at a cost £150 million, as new link to the import terminal at Easington. Following commissioning, the pipeline is now operational and can now transport between 70 to 100 million cubic metres - around a quarter of Britain's gas needs.

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