Daily News

The first unit of one of India's mega gas-fired power plant project has taken off in the north-eastern state of Tripura, adding 363.3MW of new capacity to the system. The operator ONGC is keen to swiftly start-up the second unit so that plant can produce at full capacity of 726.6 MW before the end of the year.

The US executive's new carbon emissions rules, that will impact existing fossil-fuel power generation are seen to be "positive overall for gas-fired power and coal", said Tudor, Pickering, Holt (TPH) Energy Research. "Coal is not going to be outlawed tomorrow, a warming-up to natural gas and renewables is promoted, but this is largely rhetorical," said TPH Energy Research.

A plethora of German gas buyers are embroiled in negotiations with Statoil to obtain similar "innovative pricing conditions" for gas supply as Stadtwerke Düsseldorf, which managed to secure supplies indexed to a basket of electricity, carbon and gas prices.

US President Barak Obama has proposed an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation to start limiting carbon emissions for both new and existing fossil power plants, while installing wind and solar installations on federal land.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor seeking re-election in September, is keen to demonstrate her "green credentials" before voters go to the polls in September, JP Morgan Cazenove said today after Merkel urged a 30 percent EU emissions reduction target by 2020.

US nationwide power and gas utility Xcel Energy has officially opened its 170MW Siemens single-cycle gas-fired unit for the 850MW Jones Generating Station southeast of Lubbock, Texas. The new unit first began operations in May, a month ahead of schedule, and was installed at a cost of $82 million, way under the budgeted $103.7 million.

Additions of electric power generation capacity are not keeping pace with Texas' rising demand for electricity, particularly during peak-hours. A robust economy and population growth spurred the need for more electricity supply, according to the grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

Best opportunities for Europe's power engineering sector in the coming years lie in projects and contract wins in Asia, North America and the Middle East, but notably not in Europe, an industry survey shows.

Dutch utility Nuon, part of Vattenfall, has laid the foundation for more district heating capacity and increasing efficiency by upgrading its 440-megawatt to a combined-cycle Hemweg 9 power plant unit in Amsterdam.

Volumes of wind and solar power, sold under Germany's Renewable Energy Act (EEG) market premium model, will increase by 527 MW month-on-month to 32,654 MW in July, TSO data shows.

Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula will see diesel- and fuel-oil power plants converted to run on natural gas after state-owned utility CFE has secured over 300 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in additional gas supply from Pemex by 2014. The rise in feedstock gas is spurred by a $136 million investment of GDF SUEZ Mexico and GE Energy Financial Services to extend the Mayakan pipeline.

Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Enel to buy the entire share of Marcinelle Energie, a 420MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Belgium, for 227 million euros on a cash and debt free basis. The asset, located in Wallonia, will be Gazprom's first power plant in Europe.

The Mexican Municipality of Celaya has contracted ENER-G to build and operate landfill gas generation project at its Tinajitas landfill in Celaya before the end of this year. Manchester-based ENER-G said it is ready to invest £1.5 million to realise the project.

Siemens is contracted to provide long-term service for Blackhawk Power Station – a 230-megawatt gas-fired cogeneration facility located in Borger, Texas.

Low real natural gas prices have spurred industrial activity in the US, with the use gas for industrial purposes increasing more than 3 percent, or 0.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/day) during the first five month of 2013, latest figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) show. This period sees industry overtaking power plants as largest natural-gas consuming sector.

News in Brief

MAN, Daewoo, HSD partner on engine digitalization

July 16 – MAN Energy Solutions, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and HSD Engine (HSD) have signed a strategic agreement to cooperate in the field of marine engine systems digitization. The three companies also work together on auxiliary systems and data analysis, aiming to apply part of their know-how to power generation and related sectors.

Canada launches first utility-scale smart microgid

July 15 – The Ontario-based municipal utility North Bay Hydro Services is cooperating with the smart grid solutions firm S&C Electric to launch Canada’s first utility-scale microgrid system. Among some solar power, the 789KW microgrid system will be powered by two 265kW natural gas generators.

Macquarie funds Mexican power plant

July 12 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

B&V launches distributed energy group

July 11 – Black & Veatch has launched a dedicated distributed energy group to place its conventional power business in the context of the global energy transition. The distribute energy group will look into new fuel sources such as hydrogen and aspires to “re-power the more-than-century-old power industry.”

Funding secured for Kazah CHP project

July 10 – Kazinform Erg has committed to spend $500 million on a gas cogeneration station that will provide heat and electricity to the south of Kazakhstan. Over 87% of Kazakhstan’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, and in 2018 the country produced 107,060 billion kWh of electricity, a 3.8% increase over the previous year and enough to cover total power use of 103,228 kWh.

Bitcoin mining uses much energy

July 9 – Estimates of bitcoin’s electricity consumption are wide-ranging, on the order of 20‑80 TWh annually. According to George Kamiya, digital energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), bitcoin mining consumed around 45 TWh in 2018 although this has risen significantly this year. Through the first six months of 2019, bitcoin mining has already consumed an estimated 29 TWh.

Coal exit doesn’t impact Germany's supply security

July 8 – Electricity supply security in Germany is set to stay “very high” even as the country begins to phase out coal-fired power generation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said in a monitoring report. “Energy supply is adequately ensured”, the ministry said, in all scenarios examined up to 2030. Thereafter, things are less clear but the German Coal Commission is adamant that its proposal to exit coal power by 2038 is feasible and won’t seriously impact reserve margins.

Hydrogen demo plant starts in Adelaide

July 5 – The Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), has received A$4.9 million in government funding for an A$11.4m hydrogen electrolyser demonstration project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. At the test site, AGN plans to blend 5% renewable hydrogen with natural gas for supply to customers using its existing gas distribution networks. The project is based on a Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, running based on wind and solar power.

Wärtsilä forms biogas solution

July 4 – Wärtsilä Puregas Solutions, specialists in biogas upgrading technology, has merged with Wärtsilä’s biogas liquefaction team to create a one-stop-shop service for biofuel production. Having installed the world’s largest bioLNG facility in Skogn, Norway, Wärtsilä will deliver two more bio-LNG plants to customers in Scandinavia. The company’s Puregas CA process recovers more than 99.9% of the biomethane present in raw biogas.

PNM to close San Juan Generating Station

July 3 — New Mexico's largest energy holding, PNM Resources, has filed an application to the Public Regulation Commission to close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. For replacement power, PNM said the preferred option was a mix of gas power plants, solar and wind farms and new battery storage facilities. The utility strives to be ‘emissions-free’ by 2040.

ADB opens office in Singapore

July 2 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to open an office in Singapore. The lean office with twelve staff will focus on the expansion of its private sector operations, e.g. through Public-Private Partnerships. “We estimate that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum,” commented Singapore’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat.

Testing starts at Haliade-X

July 1 – Technology testing has started at GE’s Haliade-X, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine. The 12 MW nacelle and 107-metre long blade was shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program, focused on enhancing the platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.

Tata to build UK’s first CCUS plant

June 28 – Tata Chemicals has announced plans to build the UK’s first industrial-scale Carbon Capture, Usage and Demonstration plant at its Northwich industrial site. The CCUD unit will be built at an estimated cost of£16.7 million and is planned to start operation in 2021. It will make use of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants and turn it into sodium bicarbonate, which can then be sold to pharmaceutical industries.

Gazprom seeks to partner with Fortum

June 27 – The heads of Gazprom and Forum, Alexey Miller and Pekka Lundmark, have met in St. Petersburg to discuss a potential cooperation in the field of power generation. The Finish energy company Fortum owns 29.5% of the Russian power plant TGC-1 as well as a 49.99% share in the German utility Uniper. Through the talks, Gazprom could gain Fortum’s support to expand its firm long-term deliveries of Russian gas to Finland and Germany.

Quarrels over contract award

June 26 – Guam Power Authority’s decision to award a contract to finance, build and operate a new 180 MW power station on the island to Korea Electric Power has sparked protest by rival bidders. Four companies had submitted proposals – Korea Electric, Osaka Gas, Powerflex and Hanwha Energy Corp. Declining to comment on the quarrels over the contract awarding process, GPA said the deal with Korea Electric is expected to close by September 9, pending a related impact study.

PTT steps up power sector investment

June 25 – Thailand's state-run PTT Pcl has decided to boost investments in the retail and industrial power sectors to help insulate the energy company against the impact of a global economic slowdown on its oil refining and chemical businesses. Referring to the Sino-U.S. trade war as a global challenge, PTT chief executive Chansin Treenuchagron said the company is looking “how we can survive in the short term.”

APR helps power Libya’s recovery

June 24 – Libya’s state-owned GECOL has asked APR Energy to bring in temporary generators to provide a rapid 450 MW boost. Under the latest contracts, APR provided mobile gas turbines at four key sites in Libya (250 MW) as well as 200 MW of diesel generators at two sites.