Daily News

Shell confirmed today it signed a final agreement to form a joint venture (JV) in Iraq with Basrah Gas Company to gather raw gas from three major oil fields. The gas production from these field (Rumaila, Zubair and West Qurna 1) is currently flared in Basrah, a Shell spokesperson told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' today.

The gas value chain is integrating as upstream companies such as Gazprom and Taqa have an incentive to venture beyond their midstream activities into gas-to-power. "Upstream players - producers of oil and gas – have an incentive to go downstream," Sybren Hettinga, head of European gas structuring at Cargill, told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' in an interview.

The Russian gas giant Gazprom and Essen-based RWE are in negotiations to form a joint venture (JV) on power generation, an RWE spokesperson confirmed to 'Gas-to-Power Journal' today. "We do not comment on the status of negations," he said, adding joint projects in gas-to-power would be "one of the options".

Matteo de Zan, head of Enel's industrial development, generation and energy management division said the operational start-up of a gas-fired power plant in Belgium is expected in early 2012. "We are waiting for the plant to start operations in the coming months; the plant is currently in its commissioning stage," he told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' in an interview.

Hyundai Engineering and Construction (HDEC) and Metka are set to build a gas-fired power plant in Basra, Iraq. The 1,500 MW gas-fired plant will be constructed near the southern Iraqi city of Basra in southern Iraq.

Enel, Italy's largest power company, said today the operational start-up of a 400-MW gas-fired power plant in Belgium is expected in early 2012. "We are waiting for the plant to start operations in the coming months; the plant is currently in its commissioning stage," Matteo de Zan, head of Enel's industrial development, generation and energy management division told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' in an interview today.

MetCap and General Electric energy unit have teamed up to realise a gas-fired power plants, named Dervish, based on GE's FlexEfficiency technology. Dervish - a 1,080-MW gas-fired power plant in Karaman in central Turkey - will start operations in 2016, Sera Geray, chief financial officer at Metcap Energy told 'Gas-to-Power Journal'.

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has alerted grid operators of the risk of reduced margins of available power generation overload in Europe this winter. ENTSO-E published its Winter Outlook 2011-2012 and Summer Review 2011 on Thursday this week, indicating that under severe conditions, December and January could be the most stressed months of the winter for security of electricity supply.

The power generation sector is forecast to be the main driver for global gas demand, according to projections of the International Energy Agency (IAE). "Global gas demand will be driven by power generation", IEA analyst, Warner de Kate, said at the EMART energy conference in Lyon.

Gas markets are a different animals than power markets, so the integration of European gas trading hubs cannot replicate the integration of European power markets, panalists at a gas trading session the EMART Energy conference agreed on today. "Financially, it has already happened; physically, however, gas market integration works different from electricity markets," APX-ENDEX CEO, Bert den Ouden, said at the conference in Lyon.

LNG exports from the U.S. are likely to go to China, where new U.S. LNG imports will be in a price competition with not-yet contracted gas from Russia via the proposed Altai pipeline and with LNG imports from upcoming Australian liquefaction projects, Thierry Bros, senior analyst at Societee Generale said.

The lack of incentive to build new gas-fired power plants may cause problems for balancing supply and demand in European electricity markets, Evariste Nyouki, head of economic research at GDF SUEZ Trading told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' at the sidelines of the EMART Energy conference in Lyon today.

"New gas-fired plants are needed but the market is not prepared to pay for it," Nyouki said, arguing it is only economical for upstream companies to invest in new gas plants at the current price levels. His reasoning is that Gazprom has the means to free up enough CAPEX in order to build new gas-fired power plants in Western Europe, while utilities currently do not have an incentive to do so.

Start-up of a 100-MW gas-fired 'peaker' plant, located near Santee in California , is imminent, after California Energy Commission (CEC) announced it has started a review and certification process of the 100-MW plant.

Dan Smith, Head of Corporate Development at Trayport, has cast doubt over the European Commission's drive to introduce more stringent financial regulation.

"The European Commission supports the creation of liquidity in the wholesale energy markets via the 3rd Energy Package. However, another potential outcome is that the introduction of financial regulation could have a negative impact on liquidity in the wholesale energy markets," said Smith told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' today.

David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, has highlighted the vital role of natural gas for the British economy today, in a statement timed to coincide with a new gas supply contract between Centrica and Statoil over 5 Bcm/year in the period between 2015 and 2025.

"Today's agreement will help to ensure the continued security and competitiveness of gas supplies to Britain, from a trusted and reliable neighbour," UK Prime Minister David Cameron said.

News in Brief

Thermo Fisher launches new online sulphur analyser

April 23 – U.S.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched SOLA iQ, an online sulphur analyser, that helps engineers in the oil and gas industry to measure total sulphur content of liquid or gas phase samples without requiring time-consuming lab analysis. Measurement ranges of the tool are from 2 parts per million (ppm) to 100%, with and limits of detection as low as 25 parts per billion (ppb).

FERC considers change of pipeline certification

April 20 – Kevin J. McIntyre, the chairman of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given a general oversight hearing over plans for natural gas pipeline policy changes. “I decided that the first such review of my Chairmanship would involve taking a fresh look at FERC’s 1999 policy statement on the certification of interstate natural gas pipeline facilities,” he said. Under the Natural Gas Act, FERC has the responsibility to determine whether a proposed natural gas pipeline project is required by public convenience and necessity.

Turbine filter markets grows at 20%

April 19 – Market Insights Reports anticipates the global gas turbine filter market to grow at an annual rate of 15 to 20% through to 2023. The report gauges growth prospects by analysing diverse factors such as total market size, key market drivers, challenges and growth opportunities, technological changes as well as major manufacturers.

Kuwait spends over $140m on two power plant upgrades

April 18 – Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water has signed two contracts, worth US$141 million (KWD47m), to upgrade the fuel reception and control systems of the Doha West and the Sabiya power plants. Works on the Doha West power station will span over 30 months, according to the ministry’s schedule, while project completion for the Sabiya project is set for no later than 29 November, 2018.

Enel launches 1st energy storage project in Canada

April 17 – Enel X, the energy services division of Enel Group through its US subsidiary EnerNOC, has struck an agreement with Algoma Orchards of Ontario, Canada to deploy a 1 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system under a contract spanning 11 years. The storage system will be deployed in the first half of 2018.

Investment in solar PV dwarfs new fossil generation

April 16 – Solar power is forecast to become the leading contributor of renewable energy, accounting for 98 GW, or 38%, of newly installed power generation capacity worldwide. Nearly $161 billion was invested worldwide in solar power technology in 2017, according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report, compiled by BNEF under the UN Environment Program.

Simotics SD Pro suitable for up to 690 volts

April 13 – At Hannover Fair, Siemens is presenting its new low-voltage motor Simotics SD Pro suitable for mains-fed and converter operation with voltages up to 690 volts. The motor works reliably at efficiency class IE3 at both 50 and 60 hertz.

ABB controller now IEC 62443 certified

April 12 – ABB’s SD Series HPC800 controller, part of the company’s Symphony Plus portfolio, has received Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) and IEC 62443 certifications. In the assessment, the controller met all requirements in the categories of software development lifecycle, functional security and communications robustness.

Rolls-Royces launches ‘Intelligent Insights’

April 11 – Rolls-Royce has introduced ‘Intelligent Insights’, part of its IntelligentEngine vision, at the MRO Americas conference. The tool brings new agility to decision making and improves the quality of data harnessed for customers.

GE to lead EPC for 1GW Ostroleka C power plant

April 10 – GE Power, together with Alstom Power Systems, has been selected to lead Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for the ultra-supercritical (USC) coal power plant Ostroleka C in Poland. Subject to the financial closure of the project, the plant will start commercial operation within 56 months after the notice to proceed and generate a gross output of 1,000 MW.

EDF’s new Bouchain CCGT reaches 62.22% efficiency

April 9 – Electricite de France (EDF) and GE have celebrated the official start of operation of the first ever combined-cycle power plant equipped with GE's HA gas turbine in Bouchain, France. Integrating high-efficiency power gen equipment with digital technology the CCGT reaches an overall efficiency of 62.22%.

GenOn sells 1.1GW Canal Generating Plant for $390m

March 28 – Due to bankruptcy restructuring, Houston based GenOn Energy (now part of NRG Energy), has agreed to divest the 1,112-MW units 1&2 at the Canal Generating Plant in Sandwich, Massachusetts to Stonepeak Kestrel Holdings for $320 million. Factoring in working capital, excess fuel inventory payments, and an anticipated refund from NRG for an expired option on Canal Unit 3, GenOn expects to receive $390.3 million from the deal.

Floating power market to top $1.4bn by 2022

March 27 – The market for floating power plants (<250MW capacity) is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.11%, expanding from $889.6 million at present to reach $1,440 million by 2022. Main growth drivers, according to MarketsandMarkets, are cost advantages of floating over land-based power plants, particularly in regions with a lack of power infrastructure.

Cost for solar PV keeps falling

March 26 – System costs for utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) on a per-watt basis have fallen about 10% to 15% per year from 2010 through 2016. In the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2018) analysts anticipate that installed capital costs will come in at 1.85 per watt (AC) for fixed-tilt PV systems, and $2.11 per watt (AC) for single-axis tracking systems in 2018.

Sembcorp delivers ‘energy that makes a difference’

March 23 – Sembcorp Power, the electricity retail arm of Sembcorp Industries, has unveiled a series of initiatives that are meant to deliver Energy that Makes a Difference in Singapore. These measures include a commitment of S$100,000 to support social enterprises in energy, water and resource recovery over the next five years as well as competitive price plans to help businesses save money. For every new customer signed up, Sembcorp Power will give S$5 to selected beneficiaries to offset their electricity bills.

Siemens awards in-kind technology grant to UCF

March 22 – Siemens has entered the next phase of its 30-year academic partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF), awarding researchers a major in-kind technology grant of its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software with a commercial value of $593 million. The software grant amplifies a similar 2016 grant that benefitted students in UCF's Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER).

ABB creates virtual flow meters with Arundo Analytics

March 21 – Arundo Analytics, a Houston-based software developer, and ABB have worked together to create the first cloud-based virtual multiphase flow meters for the offshore oil and gas industry. Connecting ABB Ability and Arundo’s Composer and Fabric software, the virtual flow meter helps upstream companies gain real-time data to understand the constituent properties of any given stream of produced fluids.