Daily News

Gas does not get to play its rightful role in the European energy mix, Rune Bjornson, senior vice president natural gas, Statoil said today. Adverse economics currently hamper the rise of gas in the energy sector, he said, suggesting "the price of carbon is far too low to incentivise a switch from coal to gas".

China is set to become "the engine of global gas demand" in the coming years, as opportunities for a greater share of gas in power generation arise due to Government concerns about air pollution, Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today.

China's State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) has imposed measures compelling power plant operators to improve coordination of plant dispatchment to meet summer peak demand. To this end, SERC set out measures to enhance stability of the power grid by closer supervision of plant dispatchment and load scheduling.

ABB, a power and automation technology group, will invest about $50 million to build new facilities in India to manufacture high-voltage products and transformers. "This decision supports our business philosophy to locate production facilities closer to markets," Bernhard Jucker, head of ABB's Power Products division said today.

The Middle East has seen the highest growth rate globally of dry natural gas consumption, rising from 53 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) to 113 Tcf between 1980 and 2010, according to figures published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). A key driver for the rise was the expanding in gas-fired power generation sector in the Gulf region.

Tianjin Electric Power Construction Company (TEPC), the project contractor of the Huaneng Yingkou Cogeneration project, is forging ahead with construction works at the plant, located in Beijing. TECP is close to finalising building the boiler for the plant, according to Huaneng Power International.

NRG Energy subsidiary Louisiana Generating  has abandoned plans to convert the 230 MW Big Cajun-I gas-fired power plant to coal generation. Declining natural gas prices prompted the operator to stick to gas-to-power as the more economic option of generating electricity.

Traded natural gas contracts in the U.S. need stay on low levels to motivate electricity producers to continue with coal-to-gas substitution in Powder River Basin coal-burning regions, investment bank Goldman Sachs said.

Eurelectric sees the introduction of capacity remuneration mechanisms as an 'option of last resort'. "Policymakers should only consider introducing capacity remuneration mechanisms, or capacity markets, where the proper functioning of energy-only markets is still not enough to ensure system security," Anne-Malorie Géron, head of Eurelectric's Market Unit, told Gas-to-Power Journal.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs said today a 14 pence price rise of NBP gas contracts for delivery between July and end-September is needed to prompt diversions of LNG cargoes from higher-yielding Asian destinations to the U.K. European power producers are advised to hedge forward gas in anticipation of rising prices.

Datang International Power Generation, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed entity of state-owned utility China Datang, has received the regulatory green light to build a gas-fired power project in Beijing.

The Danish government pledges the country can rely entirely on renewable energy by 2050, however gas-fired power generation and increased interconnection capacity are vital to balance electricity supply and demand. "Gas will be needed as a backup for renewable energies, but we are working on replacing natural gas with biogas and other renewable gases," Marlene Hein Nybroe, gas development and preparedness manager at Energinet DK told Gas-to-Power Journal.

Datang International Power Generation and Shaoxing Thermal Power Generation Company have joined forces to build the Jiangbin gas-fired power plant, located in Binhai New Town, southwest of Shanghai. The Shaoxing Jiangbin power plant project involves the construction of four gas-steam cycle thermal power cogeneration units. In the first project phase, two 452 MW generating units with a total installed capacity of 904 MW will be built, the operators confirmed today.

The Spanish Congress of Deputies supports the timely introduction of a new cogeneration tariff, with Acogen, Spain's cogeneration association, calling the congress support a "very positive step". Investment into new CHP plants in Spain has come to standstill, following the decision of Spain's government to enact a temporary halt to new feed-in-tariff contracts for renewable energies starting January 2013.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has entered an accord with Mass Global Investments Company Limited (MGIC) to buy 50% stake in a gas-fired plant in Iraq's Kurdish region. Upgrade works are currently effectuated with a view to expanding the plant's existing capacity of 750 MW with an additional 250 MW, TAQA confirmed today. 

News in Brief

ABB spends $30m on transformer factory in Sweden

July 20 – ABB is investing more than $30 million in a new manufacturing unit, under construction in Ludvika, Sweden. The new unit will increase production, expanding the capacity and the range of its high-voltage dry bushings offering.

Wärtsilä’s order intake up 14%

July 19 – The Finish equipment manufacturer Wärtsilä has seen its order increase 15% to €1,553 million in the second quarter, while net sales fell 4% to €1,246 million. Looking at the full year 2018, Wärtsilä said its Services and Solutions business will “improve somewhat from the previous year.” Good demand prospects are on the cards for Energy Solutions, as the global shift towards renewables and rising electricity demand in the emerging markets support the need for distributed power capacity.

NRG abandons Dunkirk coal-to-gas conversion project

July 18 – Shying away from having to pay $114 million in re-interconnection costs, NRG Energy has shelved plans to repower and convert its mothballed Dunkirk power plant in western New York from coal to natural gas. The company said in a statement that it has withdrawn its request to have New York ISO interconnect the Chautauqua County generating facility with the power grid.

Akwa Ibom, BlackRhino sign $1.6bn power deal

July 17 – BlackRhino, operator of the Qua Iboe Power Plant (QIPP), has agreed with the Akwa Ibom State Government to build a power plant and electricity transmission lines in the state. QIPP’s management  committed an investment of $1.1 billion for the facility, with an additional $500 million for gas.

Rostec develops mobile LNG-fired power plants

July 16 – Russia’s state-owned holding Rostec has developed a mobile power plant on the basis of gas reciprocating units of Russian make. Running on LNG, the power plant can provide up to 1.4 MW of electricity and is employed to power remote settlement and oil upstream operations. 

First grid-scale LAES launched

July 13 – Highview Power has just launched the first grid-scale liquid air energy-storage (LAES) plant. Used for grid balancing, the 5-MW/15-MWh system, situated near Manchester, will be able to store and deliver enough electricity to power about 5,000 homes for three hours.

Henry Hub to test $2.90 mark

July 12 – Rising gas-burn in the U.S. power sector of 4.7 Bcf/d week-on-week is more than offsetting holiday-related reductions in industrial gas use, according to Energy Aspects figures. Natural gas prices at Henry Hub are expected to once more test the high $2.90s/MMBtu.

Gemma carries out EPC for 1.6GW project in Virginia

July 11 – Gemma Power Systems and Chickahominy Power have entered into an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services contract to construct the Chickahominy Power Station, a 1,600 MW gas-fired power plant, in Charles City County, Virginia. Developed by Balico, the project is anticipated to get underway in the first quarter of 2019 and be completed in the spring of 2022.

GE signs new Waukesha distributor in Nigeria

July 10 – GE’s Distributed Power business has signed an agreement with HOERBIGER Service Middle East FZE to be an authorized distributor for GE’s Waukesha gas engine products in Nigeria. With this deal, GE seeks to expand its Waukesha sales and services network near the point of use, given that Waukesha engines are suited for a variety of on-site mechanical drive, gas compression and power generation applications.

 

InnoEnergy and Swedish partners launch Power2U

July 9 – Europe’s sustainable energy engine, InnoEnergy, has joined forces with five Swedish energy firms to launch Power2U, its new venture to design and operate local energy systems that will integrate solar cells, EV chargers and batteries. The partners – Öresundskraft, Jämtkraft, Tekniska Verken, Umeå Energi and Jönköping Energi – and InnoEnergy will jointly invest 60 million Swedish Kroner ($6.69m).

Nigeria: Afam VI ready to supply 624MW

‎June 29 – The Afam IV gas power plant in Nigeria’s Rivers State is getting ready to supply 624 MW worth of electricity to the national power grid, barring any regulatory restriction. The start-up will help plug part of the gap in supply that opened following the latest outage of several thermal power stations.

ADB agrees $500m for Bangladeshi CCGT

‎June 28 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a $500m loan for an 800MW combined-cycle gas power plant project in Khulna, Bangladesh. The loan will cover costs to build the CCGT as well as a 230kV switchyard and 29km of transmission lines to feed electricity from the plant into the national power grid.

KBR to consult on Oman LNG’s power plant project

‎June 27 – Houston-based KBR has won a project management consultancy services contract from Oman LNG for a new gas engine power plant. The 120 MW plant is meant to reduce fuel gas consumption and emissions while maintaining liquefaction processes at Oman LNG's existing export facility in Sur.

ABB launches molded case circuit breaker

‎June 26 – Zurich-based ABB has added a molded case circuit breaker (MCCB) for higher-voltage solar power plants to its Tmax PV range. The breaker is designed to protect combiners, switchgear and inverters up to 1500V direct current.

Heat wave to propel up CCGT dispatch

June 25 – Temperatures in England and Wales might hit 32 degrees Celsius next week, according to the UK Met Office, while a wind lull will almost erode the contribution of wind power and require flexible combined-cycle gas power stations to bridge the gap. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, “people are underestimating how many gas stations are needed for a windless week.”

Siemens builds microgrid in Finland

‎June 22 –  Lempäälän Energia has selected Siemens to implement a self-sufficient smart grid system in the industrial area of Marjamäki, Finland. The medium-voltage microgrid will be equipped with a corresponding grid automation system and an electrical storage system.

Toshiba R&D into battery anodes

June 21 - Toshiba and Brazil’s CBMM are jointly developing anode material for lithium-ion batteries using Niobium Titanium Oxide (NTO). The aim is to develop next-generation lithium-ion battery material, characterized by high-energy density and ultra-rapid recharging.