Daily News

Investments in carbon capture storage (CCS) for new-built and operational power plants has a softening effect the carbon price - albeit not a big one, Energy Brainpool's chief analyst Tobias Federico said. Gas-fired power plants are allowed to operate without CCS until 2045 in the U.K., the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed.

To launch capacity payment schemes at a national level in EU countries makes "no sense", said Philip Lowe, Director General for DG Energy in the European Commission. Only pan-European mechanisms could make sense and would support investment in new gas-fired plants, he said at Eurelectric's annual conference in Malta on Tuesday.

As renewable, intermittent wind and solar energy replaces traditional base load coal-fired and nuclear energy in Europe, the need for substantial sources of cost-effective backup power will be great, forecasts Eleazar Rodriguez, Director of Sales for Spain, Portugal and Latin America at Pratt & Whitney Power Systems.

The European electricity industry stands by its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, but struggles with investors' lack of confidence and the low carbon price, delegates learned at Eurelectric's Annual Conference. E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen, however, criticized the preferential treatment of renewable energies, which widely profited from generation subsidy schemes across Europe, causing market distortion.

Alstom, the French turbine manufacturer, has launched turbine shaft welding shop at its turbine factory in Elbląg, Poland. "This is the biggest investment made by Alstom Power in Poland this year," the Levallois-Perret-based company said without revealing the exact capital expenditure.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has been contracted to perform the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) services for the gasification and power island of the Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) project. The FEED effort is already underway, MHI said today, forecasting works will be completed by March 2013.

Amid gas replacing coal as the fuel choice for American power plant operators, the stockpile of coal has risen to a record high, latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows.

Alstom, a leading global power generation company, has secured GT13E2 gas turbine generator contract and long-term service agreement in China. Alstom Senior VP Gas Business, Mark Coxon, said the contract win represents "Alstom's determination in returning to the Chinese gas power generation market".

Retrofitting chiller equipment to a combined cycle power plant has netted a gain of US$1 million for PT Mitra Energi, Noor Wahyu Hidayat, CEO told delegates at the 6th annual Gas Turbines conference in Singapore. Hidayat was describing a case study of a successful combined cycle gas turbine power plant (CCGT) retrofit at the Batam power plant (165 MW).

Horizon 2020, an EU innovation, has earmarked €80billion for research and development (R&D) of low-carbon intensive fossil fuels. Industry observers rate this development a "clear victory" for the gas lobby in its effort to attract investment in new gas-fired power plants.

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.

News in Brief

German economy minister defends Nord Stream-2

May 24 – Peter Altmaier, the Germany economy minister, has defended construction of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline, which Washington and many eastern European countries, would like to block. Altmaier attributed the U.S. opposition to its aspiration to boost its own shale gas exports. "They are looking for markets [for LNG], which we can understand, and they can land it here easily," he told German media, "But it is much more expensive than pipeline gas, so blocking Nord Stream-2 on its own won't guarantee exports."

NY Governor proposes coal exit by 2020

May 23 – Andrew M. Cuomo, the Governor of New York, has proposed new regulation that would establish emission limits strict enough to effectively end the use of coal for power generation by 2020. The proposal is now up for public comment, with three hearings on the matter scheduled in July.

Middletown Energy Center onstream

May 22 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) Americas has helped NTE Energy with the commissioning and start-up of Middletown Energy Center which has been running successfully for 24 hours. With an installed capacity of 525 MW, the plant is being powered by MHPS M501GAC gas turbine equipment in a combine-cycle alignment. First fire of the turbine was in January 2018.

Dominion invests in development of new SMR design

May 22 – Dominion Energy has agreed to provide funding to help progress the BWRX-300, a 300 MWe small modular reactor design under development by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH). Dominion’s funding of the BWRX-300 provides “seed money” to advance work that could lead to commercializing this technology, although the utility said it currently has no plan to build a commercial nuclear power station.

Entergy to buy peaking unit near Washington

May 21 – Louisiana regulators have approved plans by Entergy to buy a 361-MW gas peaking power unit to be built in Washington Parish. The Washington Parish Entergy Center will be constructed by a Calpine subsidiary on a brownfield site. Entergy said it anticipates the for $261 million transaction will close in Q2-2021.

Ivory Coast nears CCGT finance deal

May 18 – The government of the Ivory Coast is reported to be close to completing a $530 million project finance deal with Eranove of France that will allow for construction start at a thermal power plant project. Though the concrete project has not been named yet, Siemens confirmed it is in negotiations about about combined-cycle power projects in Ivory Coast.

Delta-ee summit returns to Berlin

May 17 – Delta-ee’s European Heat Summit 2018 will return to Berlin this June. The event will begin with two concurrent roundtables, focussing on Electrification of Heat or Micro-CHP and High Efficiency Gas Heating.

Turboden ORC technology stands out in waste heat recovery

May 16 – Innovative solutions at Turboden’s Organic Racine Cycle (ORC) systems boost the energy efficiency such as the direct heat exchange system and the heat recovery through pressurized water circuit. In waterless conditions, ORC is said to be more efficient and cost-competitive than to steam technology. Large cement groups as well as power generators have recently chosen Turboden ORC technology such as Turkey’s CTP Team, the Swiss Lafarge Holcim group or Cementi Rossi in Italy.

Chile: AES to sell four gas plants to EDF

May 15 – AES Gener has announced the sale of four of its operating power plants, with a total capacity of 750MW, in Chile to Generadora Metropolitana, a joint venture between EDF Energy and Andes Mining & Energy (AME) for $300 million. The four power plants that are part of the sale are the 379MW Nueva Renca CCGT and the three peaking power plants – 132MW Los Vientos, 139MW Santa Lidia and 100MW Renca.

Florida PSC approves 1.7GW of gas power capacity

May 14 – The Florida Public Service Commission has given the green light for the development of two gas plants, totalling nearly 1.7 GW combined. The first is Seminole Electric’s 1,122 MW facility in Putnam County, due operational in December 2022; a second 573 MW project in Paso County will be realized by Seminole Electric together with Shady Hills Energy Center by December 2021.

FirstEnergy completes 138-kV line across Ohio in May

May 11 – A subsidiary of FirstEnergy is gearing up to energize a new 138-kilovolt transmission line and substation later this month to enhance service reliability for Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison customers across northern Ohio. Line construction began late last year and FirstEnergy said the new facilities are “on schedule to be energized ahead of a May 31 in-service deadline.”

Marubeni, BMCE Bank to jointly develop project in Morocco

May 10 – Japan’s Marubeni Corp has signed a memorandum of understanding with BMCE Bank for Africa to jointly develop new business opportunities in Morocco. Marubeni has designated its Casablanca office as a regional strategic base for West Africa and since achieved CFC status, a special legal status designed to support the development of the Casablanca city as a financial hub.

Capstone wins 9-year FPP service contract

May 9 – A New York-based food retailer has handed a nine-year Factory Protection Plan (FPP) service contract for a 650,000 square foot warehouse and shipping centre to Capstone Turbine Corp. Located in the Bronx, the warehouse is powered by a C1000 microturbine installed in a combined heat and power (CHP) configuration that provides baseload power and hot water for the facility 8,760 hours per year. Additionally, the microturbine can also provide about 700 kW of backup power in the event of a utility outage.

Loan for CHP in Argentina

May 8 – Albanesi Energía and its subsidiary Generación Centro have secured a $395 million loan for the construction of de la Arroyo Seco cogeneration power plant and to refinance the development of Timbúes’ project. UBS, BACS, Banco Hipotecario, Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior and Credit Suisse acted as lenders. In Argentina, Albanesi Group operates power plants with an installed capacity of approximately 887 MW.

California abandons hybrid power project

May 4 – After a decade of trying to realise a hybrid power plant that would bring together natural gas and solar energy, the California Energy Commission has abandoned attempts to build the Victorville-2 Hybrid Power Project (563 MW). No development partner had been found, and the city lost $50 million after failing to make timely payment to GE for the plant’s gas turbines.

TVA’s Allen CCGT ready to run

May 3 – Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) new 1,000 MW Allen combined-cycle gas power plant in Memphis has been completed and is ready to operate. The CCGT came at a cost of $900 million and replaces a 58-year old coal-fired power unit.

Mott MacDonald supports works on FRSU in Brazil

May 2 – Golar has selected Mott MacDonald to provide environmental support during the installation of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Babitonga Bay, in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. Capable of distributing 15 million cubic metres of natural gas per day, the FSRU is due to become operational in early 2021.