Daily News

South Korea's ministry of Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) will establish a master plan for shale gas development before the end of the year as it aims for shale gas-derived LNG imports to account for 20% of the country's LNG import capacity, a ministry official told 'Gas to Power Journal'.

Despite short term restraints in the market for gas-fired power generation, Frost & Sullivan's Energy Industry Director, Harald Thaler sees "sound medium- and long-term prospects" for the industry and forecasts global gas-fired power plant orders will total 537 GW through 2020.

Progress Energy Carolinas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, has retired the coal-fired H.F. Lee power plant on September 15 as part of the utility's fleet modernisation programme. The gap in power supply will be filled by a new 920-MW gas-fired plant, scheduled to start commercial operations in early 2013.

The First Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Varel Freeman, has completed a visit to Jordan to consider a $100 million investment in a power plant near Amman to help increase the electricity supply in the Arab country.

Electricity is the largest sector for growth for the gas industry and the trend is likely to continue as coal-fired plants are retired, ExxonMobil's Americas gas marketing manager, Paul Greenwood, told a gas forum in Chicago this week.

Japan's ministry for economy, trade and industry (METI) will host an LNG conference in Tokyo on September 19 to evaluate the increasingly central role of gas supplies for power generation as the country considers a nuclear phase-out by 2030. METI is aiming to overhaul the current strict regionalization of Japan's main electric power utilities, which consume about 5 million tonnes per month of LNG for to fuel gas-fired power plants.

The rapid implementation of India's 'National Gas Grid for LNG', designed to accommodate rising gas supply from LNG import terminals on the western coast, will provide a fillip to gas-fired power generation. "The formation of the gas grid (12,000 km) in India is a great leap which is going to encourage the use of gas-based power generation over a wider geographical area," an analyst at India's Central Power Research Institute told Gas to Power Journal.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will integrate two engine business sectors that are currently handled by its power systems and general machinery sector, effective October 1, in reaction to a global rise in demand for distributed power generation.

Siemens Energy has won an order worth over €100 million from KAR Construction and Engineering Company Ltd to supply gas turbines and generators for 640-megawatt Khormala gas turbine power plant in northern Iraq.

Alstom has developed a MXL2 upgrade for GT26 gas turbines, offering power plant operators to adapt production hours of their plants to fluctuating demand and to significantly extend inspection intervals and increase availability – key features in markets with a large share of intermittent wind generation such as Spain, says Leone Tessarini, product manager at Alstom's gas turbine services.

The autumn statement of the UK finance ministry, set for 5 December, will impact on the timing of the Government's update on the Electricity Market Reform (EMR), JP Morgan Cazenove said today. As both the EMR and the gas generation strategy paper need to be consistent with the Government's fiscal targets, the papers are „only likely to be published once the fiscal targets are known in December,"  says Edmund Reid, analyst at the bank.

While European power prices are will stay flat over the coming days they  are likely to increase in by the end of September on colder weather conditions, the Italian bank UniCredit forecast. Gas generation remained on low levels throughout Europe, while higher profit margins and subsequently higher utilisation of power generation have supported carbon prices in recent weeks, bank research shows.

Aggreko, a leading provider of temporary power generation services, has opened its first service centre in Walvis Bay, Namibia, to meet to power demand of the country's rapidly growing mining industry. Located next to the Port of Walvis Bay, the facility is also well positioned to supply backup power generation to Namibia's shipping and fishing industries.

At current prices, "gas is too expensive a fuel for Europe", Société Générale said in a report today. The bank remains more bearish than the forward curve and recommends selling the front year NBP Summer 13 contract.

The first power plant unit has been delivered to Emirates Aluminium's (EMAL) expansion project in Al Taweelah,  Abu Dhabi, U.E.A. The 1,000 MW expansion will boost the power generation capacity of the on-site plant to 3,000 MW.

News in Brief

U.S. turbine market to top 14GW by 2024

Nov 14 – The U.S. industrial gas turbine market is expected to exceed 14 GW by 2024. Federal government initiatives to expand the penetration of natural gas-fired station will augment the industry outlook, according to a Market Study Report.

Xcel snaps up Mankato Energy Center

Nov 13 – U.S. electric utility Xcel Energy has agreed to purchase Mankato Energy Center in Minnesota from Southern Power in a $650 million deal. A second gas-fired power unit is scheduled to come online in 2019, set to increase the plant’s total generating capacity to 760 MW.

Shell re-focuses on new energies

Nov 12 – Electricity and new green fuels have risen on the agenda of Royal Dutch Shell, with the company announcing plans to invest up to $2 billion a year through to 2020. “That might seem modest by oil and gas standards, but we can do a lot with it in this space,” commented Brian Davis, Shell’s VP energy solutions.

Kollsnes shut down

Nov 9 – A collision between the frigate Helge Ingstad and the tanker TS Sola off the Sture terminal near Bergen in western Norway has led to the closure of the Vestprosess pipeline and Kollsnes gas processing plant, the Norwegian TSO Gassco said in a market note.

MHPS to service Uzbekenergo’s power plants

Nov 8 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. (MHPS) has signed an accord with state-owned Uzbekenergo and Mitsubishi Corp to collaborate in a service and maintenance program (CSMP) for power plants in Uzbekistan. The agreement is meant to help grow the reach of Japanese companies in Central Asia.

Austria to import more Russian gas

Nov 7 – Russia’s gas giant Gazprom and OMV of Austria have signed Gazprom and OMV an amendment to their supply contract, stipulating deliveries to Austria will be increased by 1 Bcm/y beyond the contractual. In the first ten month of 2018, alone supplies of Russian pipeline gas have grown by a third compared to the previous year, reaching 8.8 Bcm.

UK launches 1st geothermal plant

Nov 6 – The UK’s first geothermal electricity plant has gotten underway today, backed by £18 million in funding. Drilling started using a rig from Helsinki. Once operational, demonstration plant will deliver up to 3 MW of electricity to the National Grid.

Germans register more EVs

Nov 5 – Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity in Germany: The share of pure EVs in s new car registrations climbed to 1.3% in October, as the total number of new EVs increased 55% year-on-year, according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). Hybrid cars account for a 4.4% market share, diesel fell to 31.8% and the lion’s share of 62.3% is still taken by petrol models.

GE retrofits Wet FDG in India

Nov 2 – India’s largest energy conglomerate NTPC Ltd. has asked GE Power to supply and install Wet Flue Gas Desulphurization (Wet FDG) technology at four power plants in a deal worth US$247 million. The four facilities are the 2x660 MW Solapur power plant, the 2x660 MW Tanda Stage-II, the 1x500 MW Feroze Gandhi Unchahar project and the 2x660 MW Meja power project.

Floating power barge

Nov 1 – Siemens has developed barge-based, turnkey floating power solutions that take a critical part of an FLNG facility’s infrastructure — power generation — off a project’s critical path. According to the manufacturer, this helps reduce overall project execution time by as much as 25% or more, maximizing return on investment.

KBR posts 28% rise in profit

Oct 31 – U.S. engineering company KBR has reported a rise in net profits and voiced optimism to secure more mid-scale LNG and downstream projects with its joint venture partner ConocoPhillips. Third-quarter revenues rose by more than 23% to $1.27 billion, compared with $1.03bn in Q3-2017. Net profit was $58 million, up 28% from $45m in the year-ago period.

Togo: IPP gets go-ahead

Oct 30 – Eranove, a private equity-backed independent power producer (IPP), has received the green light for a $110 million power project in Togo. A concession agreement was signed for the combined-cycle power plant to be built in the area of Lomé port. The Spanish firm Grupo TSK was selected as EPC contractor for the 65-MW project.

Goldman, Cargill fined for avoiding tax on Teeside

Oct 29 – Goldman Sachs and Cargill have been hit with a £79 million fine for dogging tax on their ownership of a Teesside power plant. The two U.S. banking giants took over Teesside Power Ltd after the collapse of Enron in 2001, and HM Revenue and Customs just won a court case against the two trading houses over a tax avoidance scheme.

Gazprom to start production at Kovyktinskoye in 2019

Oct 26 –The Russian gas giant Gazprom has announced it will to start production drilling at the vast Kovyktinskoye field in 2019, with a view to start feeding gas from Kovyktinskoye into the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in late 2022. Situated in eastern Siberia near Lake Baikal, the field holds an estimated 2.7 Tcm of gas reserves, and 90.6 million tons of gas condensate, and 25 Bcm/y of planned design capacity.

MAN launches ETB blower in China

Oct 25 – A new Electrical Turbo Blower, the designated ETB40, has been launched by MAN Energy Solutions at a ceremony in Shanghai hosted by its two-stroke licensee, CSSC-MES Diesel Co. (CMD). The blower raises the exhaust-gas pressure in order to overcome the pressure difference between exhaust gas and scavenging air receiver.

IEA and China collaborate on energy efficiency

Oct 24 –The International Energy Agency (IEA) and China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have agreed to work together on energy efficiency. The IEA acknowledged China has made strong progress on energy efficiency in recent years, and led energy intensity improvements globally.

ABB relays help protect Brussels power grid

Oct 23 – Sibelga, the distribution system operator (DSO) of the Brussels metropolitan area, implements ABB’s Relion 615 series relays to ensure a protected power supply for 700,000 citizens. The agreement will see ABB add medium-voltage control relays to remote terminal units (RTUs), most of which will be retrofitted.