Daily News

Should Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) be bound to do investigations when things go wrong with gas turbines? Some participants discussing failure analysis today at the a Gas Turbines conference in Singapore thought so, but the idea was shot down by panel chairman Maxine Watson.

Tripping gas turbines are the cause of recurring headaches for power plant managers, but engineers at SembCorp Industries, found an innovative solution of dealing with start-up problems. "We formed an internal team to assess and resolve the problem," Ramiah Manickam, Manager, Technical Engineering Services, told 'Gas to Power Journal' at the sidelines of the 6th Annual Gas Turbines Conference in Singapore today.

Demand for natural gas is estimated to surge by more than 50% by 2035, provided that vast global resources of unconventional gas can be tapped in a profitable and environmentally friendly manner, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a special report.

The U.S. is experiencing a boom in shale gas production, with gas prices on record lows and power producers switching from coal to comparatively cheap and less carbon-intensive gas.

Glow Group - GDF Suez has claimed significant success in efforts at achieving gas turbine performance optimization at its plant in Thailand near Bangkok. Somgiat Dekrajangpetch, Vice-President, Asset Optimisation attributed the success to getting it right on three vital counts - selecting the model for each unit, careful compilation of data and proper evaluation of the results.

Hong Kong is running out of natural gas and is looking to augment its supply sources, Maggie Go, Business Engineer at Hong Kong power utility CLP said in Singapore today. "Demand for natural gas in power generation - a cleaner and more environmentally friendly alternative to coal - is burgeoning," Go told delegates at IBC Asia's 6th annual Gas Turbines Conference.

Italy's Enel and Duferco, an iron and steel producer, are close to start operations of a 415-MW gas-fired power plant in the Belgian region of Wallonia. "The plant is currently in its commissioning stage and we are planning to start operations shortly," Matteo de Zan, head of Enel's industrial development, generation and energy management division told 'Gas-to-Power Journal'.

Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), the major electricity supplier in the Philippines, said it will enter a partnership with a Japanese utility to realise the first gas-fired power plant project in the Philippines in more than 10 years. Operational start of the new 1,500-MW gas-fired plant, due to build on Luzon island, is scheduled for completion in late 2016. MERALCO declined to reveal the name of its Japanese partner as it has not yet completed the feasibility study for the plant.

The dynamics of European energy prices are intertwined with those relative to the Euro area debt crisis. "As long as markets do not perceive a real turning point, there will continue to be a lot of volatility and – at times – some lack of strong direction coming from the fundamentals," the French investment bank Société Générale forecasts.

General Electric (GE) has shipped 12 LM6000-PC Sprint™ aeroderivative gas turbine-generators to the Dorad Energy power plant in Ashkelon, Israel, to fulfil part of its US$200 million contract with Wood Group GTS. GE said today it expects the 50-megawatt unit to start commercial operation in the second half of 2013.

Pöyry's Energy business group has been awarded an engineering contract by UMP Schongau paper mill for a projected combined cycle power plant (CCPP). The order has been booked in the first quarter order book, Pöyry's Energy said today.

The subsidy criteria for new power plants without CCS-readiness are "very restrictive", the German energy industry association (BDEW) criticises. New EU rules have "effectively stopped plans of the Germany government to sponsor new efficient plants," BDEW head Hildegard Müller said.

Further hesitation or reluctance to undertake much-needed investment in new power generation capacity could threaten Britain's energy security. "Our priority is to rebuilt the power sector. To put it bluntly, we need twice as much investment every year of this decade, as in the last decade," the UK energy minister Charles Hendry said.

Turkey is close to importing natural gas from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region with the buyer understood to have earmarked some of the volumes for gas-to-power generation. A deal could be struck soon: "A buyer is out there, right next door to Iraq," said Ibrahim Palaz, general manager of Botas International.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will take a decision on whether to provide a senior loan of up to US$ 200 million for the proposed Kirikkale combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant in the autumn of this year.

Users of electricity storage facilities can take advantage of daily variations of the electricity prices to reduce their overall energy costs. The EIA is supporting the use of electricity storage technology as a step towards a more efficient utilisation of electricity.

News in Brief

Thermo Fisher launches new online sulphur analyser

April 23 – U.S.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched SOLA iQ, an online sulphur analyser, that helps engineers in the oil and gas industry to measure total sulphur content of liquid or gas phase samples without requiring time-consuming lab analysis. Measurement ranges of the tool are from 2 parts per million (ppm) to 100%, with and limits of detection as low as 25 parts per billion (ppb).

FERC considers change of pipeline certification

April 20 – Kevin J. McIntyre, the chairman of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given a general oversight hearing over plans for natural gas pipeline policy changes. “I decided that the first such review of my Chairmanship would involve taking a fresh look at FERC’s 1999 policy statement on the certification of interstate natural gas pipeline facilities,” he said. Under the Natural Gas Act, FERC has the responsibility to determine whether a proposed natural gas pipeline project is required by public convenience and necessity.

Turbine filter markets grows at 20%

April 19 – Market Insights Reports anticipates the global gas turbine filter market to grow at an annual rate of 15 to 20% through to 2023. The report gauges growth prospects by analysing diverse factors such as total market size, key market drivers, challenges and growth opportunities, technological changes as well as major manufacturers.

Kuwait spends over $140m on two power plant upgrades

April 18 – Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water has signed two contracts, worth US$141 million (KWD47m), to upgrade the fuel reception and control systems of the Doha West and the Sabiya power plants. Works on the Doha West power station will span over 30 months, according to the ministry’s schedule, while project completion for the Sabiya project is set for no later than 29 November, 2018.

Enel launches 1st energy storage project in Canada

April 17 – Enel X, the energy services division of Enel Group through its US subsidiary EnerNOC, has struck an agreement with Algoma Orchards of Ontario, Canada to deploy a 1 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system under a contract spanning 11 years. The storage system will be deployed in the first half of 2018.

Investment in solar PV dwarfs new fossil generation

April 16 – Solar power is forecast to become the leading contributor of renewable energy, accounting for 98 GW, or 38%, of newly installed power generation capacity worldwide. Nearly $161 billion was invested worldwide in solar power technology in 2017, according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report, compiled by BNEF under the UN Environment Program.

Simotics SD Pro suitable for up to 690 volts

April 13 – At Hannover Fair, Siemens is presenting its new low-voltage motor Simotics SD Pro suitable for mains-fed and converter operation with voltages up to 690 volts. The motor works reliably at efficiency class IE3 at both 50 and 60 hertz.

ABB controller now IEC 62443 certified

April 12 – ABB’s SD Series HPC800 controller, part of the company’s Symphony Plus portfolio, has received Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) and IEC 62443 certifications. In the assessment, the controller met all requirements in the categories of software development lifecycle, functional security and communications robustness.

Rolls-Royces launches ‘Intelligent Insights’

April 11 – Rolls-Royce has introduced ‘Intelligent Insights’, part of its IntelligentEngine vision, at the MRO Americas conference. The tool brings new agility to decision making and improves the quality of data harnessed for customers.

GE to lead EPC for 1GW Ostroleka C power plant

April 10 – GE Power, together with Alstom Power Systems, has been selected to lead Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for the ultra-supercritical (USC) coal power plant Ostroleka C in Poland. Subject to the financial closure of the project, the plant will start commercial operation within 56 months after the notice to proceed and generate a gross output of 1,000 MW.

EDF’s new Bouchain CCGT reaches 62.22% efficiency

April 9 – Electricite de France (EDF) and GE have celebrated the official start of operation of the first ever combined-cycle power plant equipped with GE's HA gas turbine in Bouchain, France. Integrating high-efficiency power gen equipment with digital technology the CCGT reaches an overall efficiency of 62.22%.

GenOn sells 1.1GW Canal Generating Plant for $390m

March 28 – Due to bankruptcy restructuring, Houston based GenOn Energy (now part of NRG Energy), has agreed to divest the 1,112-MW units 1&2 at the Canal Generating Plant in Sandwich, Massachusetts to Stonepeak Kestrel Holdings for $320 million. Factoring in working capital, excess fuel inventory payments, and an anticipated refund from NRG for an expired option on Canal Unit 3, GenOn expects to receive $390.3 million from the deal.

Floating power market to top $1.4bn by 2022

March 27 – The market for floating power plants (<250MW capacity) is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.11%, expanding from $889.6 million at present to reach $1,440 million by 2022. Main growth drivers, according to MarketsandMarkets, are cost advantages of floating over land-based power plants, particularly in regions with a lack of power infrastructure.

Cost for solar PV keeps falling

March 26 – System costs for utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) on a per-watt basis have fallen about 10% to 15% per year from 2010 through 2016. In the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2018) analysts anticipate that installed capital costs will come in at 1.85 per watt (AC) for fixed-tilt PV systems, and $2.11 per watt (AC) for single-axis tracking systems in 2018.

Sembcorp delivers ‘energy that makes a difference’

March 23 – Sembcorp Power, the electricity retail arm of Sembcorp Industries, has unveiled a series of initiatives that are meant to deliver Energy that Makes a Difference in Singapore. These measures include a commitment of S$100,000 to support social enterprises in energy, water and resource recovery over the next five years as well as competitive price plans to help businesses save money. For every new customer signed up, Sembcorp Power will give S$5 to selected beneficiaries to offset their electricity bills.

Siemens awards in-kind technology grant to UCF

March 22 – Siemens has entered the next phase of its 30-year academic partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF), awarding researchers a major in-kind technology grant of its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software with a commercial value of $593 million. The software grant amplifies a similar 2016 grant that benefitted students in UCF's Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER).

ABB creates virtual flow meters with Arundo Analytics

March 21 – Arundo Analytics, a Houston-based software developer, and ABB have worked together to create the first cloud-based virtual multiphase flow meters for the offshore oil and gas industry. Connecting ABB Ability and Arundo’s Composer and Fabric software, the virtual flow meter helps upstream companies gain real-time data to understand the constituent properties of any given stream of produced fluids.