Daily News

Tamarete Energia, a special purpose company owned by power and water utility HERA Group, BKW Italia and Odoardo Zecca, has started commercial operations of its new 104-megawatt combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) near the city of Ortona, using two GE gas turbine generators and one steam turbine generator.

Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), has sought approval to start a $65 million project to convert the coal-fired Virginian Clinch River Plant to run on natural gas, to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA).

If the project goes ahead, AEP aims to complete the entire conversion before 2016, while units 1 and 2 scheduled to be re-fuelled with natural gas by end-2014.

Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) has been given the green light by the Vietnamese government that its 1,200-megawatt (MW) project in central Vietnam will be included in the country's national power development plan for the 2011-2020 period.

The implementation of a capacity mechanism as part of the UK's Energy Market Reform (EMR) should be done "as soon as possible" in order to spur investment and prevent electricity shortfalls in the coming decade, Stephen Davies, Energy and Environmental Policy at E.on UK told Gas to Power Journal at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum keynote seminar in London. "From our point of view a capacity mechanism is necessary. It's very difficult for any investor to build right now and looking at the spark spread, the market is very challenging for gas," he said.

Upgrade works at RWE npower's combined-cycle gas-fired Little Barford Power Station, located on south of St Neots, have been completed and, following a year-long £100 million upgrade, the plant is now operates with an higher efficiency of 55 percent and reduced carbon and nitrogen oxides emission, the operator confirmed.

Discoveries of offshore gas field in Tanzania are expected to prompt the government to help expand the market share of gas-fired power generation with a view to decreasing dependence on hydropower to reduce risk exposure to drought, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts.

Brunei's national energy company Berakas Power Company (BPC) has commissioned GE Oil & Gas to install its ORegenTM waste-heat recovery systems to increase the output and efficiency of four GE LM2500 aeroderivative gas turbines at the Berakas Power Station, located outside the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan in the Sultanate of Brunei.

Start-up of the delayed 775MW Denizli power plant, developed at a cost of €600 million under a joint venture between RWE (70%) and Turcas (30%), is expected to take place as early as June, RWE confirmed. The combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant was initially planned to commence full commercial operation at the end of 2012.

Progress Power, a British power plant developer, has proposed to build a 299MW gas-fired power plant valued at £200 million for the Eye Airfield in Suffolk. Development of the project, however, hinges on forthcoming legislation on capacity remuneration mechanisms in the UK.

"In order to get project financing we need long-term revenue certainty by successfully participating in the capacity mechanism auction," said Chris McKerrow, project manager for Progress Power on the Suffolk project.

India's Central Electricity Authority (CEA), which oversees development of the national grid for the Indian Ministry of Power, has reduced its gas-fired generation target for the current year by almost 46 per cent amid gas supply shortages. Low natural gas production output last year is expected to continue through 2013, an official told The Economic Times, despite Reliance Industry's recent announcement of a "significant gas condensate discovery in deepwater KG D6 block".

The UK government is likely to oppose an EU renewables target for 2030 which is considered "inflexible and unnecessary", energy secretary Ed Davey said. He made the comment after the European Parliament on Monday extended a deadline for the submission of amendments to a proposal to intervene in the carbon market.

May 28 - Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the California Energy Commission have launched a battery energy storage system pilot project in east San Jose to better balance power needs of the electric grid.

The project launch was made possible following a $3.3 million grant from the Energy Commission to PG&E that will help fund the installation and evaluation of the system.

Energy security, diversity and local reliability for cities and industries are critical features of clean energy infrastructure. An often overlooked feature, however, is the summer CHP load, which could be waste heat absorption chilling to prevent power use and to reduce fuel consumption, Manfred Klein, former chairman of the Industrial Applications of Gas Turbines (IAGT) Committee told Gas to Power Journal.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the extension of the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC), which Congress extended on 1 January as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), will result in the addition of significant wind capacity in the US over the next three years. A higher share of intermittent wind energy will require flexible fossil backup capacity.

RWE chief executive, Peter Terium, has voiced strong criticism against "one-off measures or action taken by individual [European] countries" both regarding capacity mechanisms or expansion targets for renewables. "[These] are of no use to us; we must find European solutions," he said.

Terium was one of eight CEOs of European energy companies who warned that Europe is currently facing "a perfect storm" which was endangering security of supply, undermining their ability to attract capital and hindering the EU's transformation to a low-carbon economy.

News in Brief

GE repowers Azito plant in Ivory Coast

May 21 – Azito Energy has contracted GE to deploy its Predix software for two GT13E2 gas turbines and two generators at the Azito III plant site in Ivory Coast. The MXL2 upgrade for the two gas turbines is expected to boost the power plants overall output by 15 MW per turbine which, according to GE, is equivalent power for up to 120,000 homes

ERCOT at risk of brownouts this summer

May 20 – Texans is at risk of power emergency alerts this summer, and even rotating blackouts, as the current electric reserve margin of about 8.6% may prove insufficient to meet strong electric demand growth, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) warned. Power grid operators typically aim for reserve margins of 10% to 15%.

ABB microgrid makes Indian villages energy self-reliant

May 17 – ABB’s MGS100 microgrid is helping some 39,000 homes and shops in remote regions in India to become energy independent, relying solely on renewable power sources and energy storage. Together with Husk Power Systems, ABB developed the MGS100 microgrid using wind and solar power to reduce household energy costs by up to 40% and improve productivity in 85% of factories and small businesses.

J-ENG develops new biofuel engine

May 16 – Japan Engine Corp. (J-ENG) has started to cooperate with Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line) to research and development a test engine running on biofuel. The new engine is designed for use in the maritime sector and is likely to be re-calibrated at a later stage for use in small-scale power generation applications.

‘Smarter E-Europe’ conference opens doors in Munich

May 15 – Today, the 2019 “Smarter E-Europe” conference and trade show is opening its doors to visitors in Munich. At the exhibition, Siemens is presenting decentralized energy solutions based on renewables and intelligent energy management systems for buildings, infrastructure and industry. Expert presentations on transforming the energy system, renewable integration and storage technologies can be seen at Siemens’ exhibit at Booth 110 in Hall B2.

Marubeni buys stake in U.S. distributed energy firm

May 14 – Japan's Marubeni Corp. has invested an undisclosed sum to buy an equity stake in GridMarket, a U.S.-based provider of development services to distributed energy resources (DER). Using proprietary analytics and machine learning, GridMarket’s distributed energy project platform helps utilities by recommending best-fit solutions like battery storage, solar PV, fuel cells and combined heat and power. By cooperating with GridMarket, Marubeni expects to identify cost-effective projects and source best-fit technologies for its own DER network in North America and Japan.

Global RES additions stall after 20-year growth

May 13 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has reported an “unexpected flattening of growth trends” in the deployment of renewable energy sources (RES) deployment that raises concerns about meeting long-term climate goals. After two decades of strong annual growth, renewable energy developers around the world added as much net capacity in 2018 as they did in 2017.

RWE cancels €1.5bn coal power project

May 10 – The German utility RWE has decided to no longer invest in any coal-fired power projects and has cancelled a planned €1.5 billion ($1.68bn) lignite-fired power plant in Niederaussem, Germany. Instead, the utility is accelerating its transformation to renewables, energy storage and gas-fired generation through an asset swap with Europe’s largest utility, E.ON.

China’s CPECC to process gas from Iraq’s Halfaya oilfield

May 9 – Iraq and China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation (CPECC) have signed a $1.07 billion deal to build and operate facilities to process natural gas extracted alongside crude oil at Iraq’s giant Halfaya oilfield. CPECC, an affiliate of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), will process around 300 million standard cubic feet per day (mcf/d) of natural gas extracted from the field alongside crude oil, the oil ministry said.  Halfaya, operated by PetroChina, is Maysan Oil Company’s largest oilfield, producing 370,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the company’s total output of around 510,000 bpd.
Iraq continues to flare some of  gas extracted alongside crude oil but the Iraqi oil minister Thamer Ghadhban told Reuters Iraq is in talks with international oil companies to build a 300 mcf plant to process gas from the West Qurna 2 and Majnoon oilfields.

Chiyoda to get large cash injection

May 8 - Following losses of nearly $1 bill on an liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant project in Louisiana, Japanese construction company Chiyoda is to get a $1.4 bill cash injection. The company suffered a $953 mill loss in the six months to 30th September, 2018 after costs spiralled on the $10 bill Hackberry LNG plant in Louisiana, largely, due to escalating labour costs, it was claimed. Chiyoda was expected to record a net loss of about $1.4 bill for the fiscal year to March. Mitsubishi Corp, which owns a 33.4% stake in Chiyoda, and the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, have agreed to provide capital while the company implements a rescue strategy, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

Siemens, TÜV SÜD partner on digital energy security

May 7 – Siemens and the German technical verification association TÜV SÜD have come together to address the growing risk of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, notably in the energy sector. The companies will digitally asses industrial control systems in both the oil and gas and power generation sectors (nuclear applications excluded). All tests will be vendor-agnostic.

UK ‘can cut emissions to net-zero’ by 2025

May 6 – Advisors to the British government have urged the Cabinet to “set and vigorously pursue” a new target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net-zero’ levels by 2050, replacing the current target of an 80% reduction against 1990 levels. The the Committee on Climate Change, which published the report, believes the new target could be achieved within the same cost-framework as the current more lenient goals.

Iraq’s gas imports from Iran bound to rise in June

May 2 – Iraq has no alternative to importing more Iranian gas to meet peak summer demand, the country’s electricity ministry said. He specified that halting imports would cost Iraq’s power grid 4,000 MW per day. Some 14 GW of Iraq’s installed capacity is run on domestic gas, and supplies from Iran keep an additional 4GW operational. “Until now, we have no alternatives to Iranian gas,” a spokesman of the energy ministry said, adding imports from Iran are expected to increase in June from currently 28 million cubic metres per day to 35 MMcm/d.

Waukesha gas engines delivered to CHP in East Germany

May 1 – INNIO’s authorized partner, S&L Energie-Projekte, has provided four packages of INNIO’s Waukesha VHP 9394GSI gas engines for a CHP, operated by the municipal utility of Lutherstadt Wittenberg in eastern Germany. The modernized district heating plant is claimed to achieve an overall efficiency above 95%.

Burns & McDonnell oversee commissioning of fast-ramp plants in Michigan

April 30 – Two quick-ramp gas power plant projects in Michigan, overseen by Burns & McDonnell, are now commissioned and in full commercial operation. Both the F.D. Kuester and A.J. Mihm generating stations are powered by 18-MW, gas-fueled Wärtsilä 18V50SG reciprocating engines. The two plants have a combined 180 MW in generating capacity.

Gazprom advances start of ‘Power of Siberia’ link

April 29 – Russia’s Gazprom is preparing to start injecting natural gas into the ‘Power of Siberia’ pipeline to China in Q3-2019. Preparations are “going according to schedule”, Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller told CNPC chairman Wang Yilin at a working meeting in Beijing.

Siemens to focus on energy transition at OTC 2019

April 26 – “Navigating the new normal” in the oil and gas industry - against the backdrop of the global energy transition - is in focus of Siemens’ exhibit at the 50th annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). The event will be held in Houston, Texas, on May 6-9.