Daily News

ABB has won an order worth US$16 million from Qatalum, for upgrading the power network at its aluminum smelter in Mesaieed Industrial City, located about 50 kilometers south of Doha, Qatar. The order was booked in the first quarter, ABB said, with the project scheduled for completion by 2013.

MAN Diesel & Turbo will bring the prototype of a new 6 MW gas turbine family to the market shortly after development completion, Roland Herzog, Vice President, Material Technology at MAN Diesel & Turbo said today. "The first model of MAN's new 6 MW gas turbine will be commercially used at a CHP cogeneration unit at a chemical production plant in Rheinberg," he told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' at the sidelines of the 'Turbine Forum 2012' in Nice.

Japan's Tokyo Gas is considering building a third 400 MW gas-fired power plant unit at its Yokohama plant, Tokyo Gas president Tsuyoshi Okamoto said today.

The share of electricity production from gas-fired power plants has fallen to the lowest levels in 14 years due to "unfavourable market conditions and low demand," data published by the department of energy and climate change (Decc) shows.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has won an order from TransAlta Generation Partnership, a subsidiary of TransAlta Corporation, to supply two M501GAC gas turbines for the proposed Sundance 7 power generation facility in Alberta.

Transco, a key gas transmission pipeline in the U.S., is preparing to increase gas transport capacity to satisfy rising gas demand for power generation. "Power generation is the driver behind about a third of the volumes in proposed projects in development on our Transco pipeline," Alan Armstrong, chief executive of Williams Partners' said.

Southern has burned more natural gas than coal for power generation during the first quarter of this year as plunging gas prices due to abundant domestic supply makes gas the cheapest fossil fuel in the U.S.

Entso-E, the representative body of European TSOs, is criticizing the lack of investment in power grid expansions to support the massive increase of renewable capacity throughout Europe. Gas-fired power plants are widely used to backstop the intermittency of electricity produced by renewable energy sources.

The impact of today's strike at E.ON's gas- and coal-fired power plants in France is expected to be "minimal" and will not curtail electricity output as the German utility is not planning to operate the affected plants.

The focus in hot section coatings is shifting from temperature to time. "It's all about coating durability," Carol Crowe, aftermarket coatings discipline chief at Pratt & Whitney said today.

Alstom has developed a new nozzle design for gas turbines and is getting ready to put it to production. "We started to use them in production, now that we've solved an initial problem with nozzle life time," Sebastian Mihm, coating engineer at Alstom said today.

Robustness and increased thickness of thermal barrier coatings (TBC) of industrial gas turbines  is 'key' as the industry aims to ramp up firing temperatures and pressure ratio to boost turbine performance. "We need to spend more R&D money on TBC process robustness," Matthias Oechsner, professor for materials technology at the technical university of Darmstadt, Germany, told an industry forum in Nice today.

Danske Commodities has started to take on physical power generation assets by buying a 38 MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant outside Copenhagen from Dong Energy. The acquisition marks the first move  of the Danish energy trading house to get risk exposure to power generation assets. Other purchases may follow "if the price is right," Jakob Bendixen, head of power generation at Danske Commodities said. 

ABB has delivered in record time a Symphony plant automation system for a 500 MW supercritical unit at South Korea's largest thermal power plant in Boryeong. The speedy delivery enables the unit to start production 11 days ahead of schedule, ABB said today.

 A new gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant could be on the horizon for the Milford Haven waterway, South Hook LNG has confirmed. The news comes after the UK Government announced its backing for a major expansion in gas generated electricity to avert a looming gap in power generation capacity.

News in Brief

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.

Fuel-switch capability falls

Oct 22 – U.S. manufacturers’ capability to switch fuels keeps falling because the equipment onsite does not support it. The amount of commonly used fuels that could readily be switched in less than 30 days dropped from 24% in 1994 to currently less than 10%, according to EIA figures. This trend leaves manufacturers vulnerable and less able to adapt to changes in regulations, market conditions and fuel prices.

Gazprom Export joins tax monitoring

Oct 19 – As Gazprom Groups transitions to a new form of tax control – tax monitoring, Gazprom Export will be the first unit to join the new regime as of January 1, 2019. Russia’s Federal Taxation Service (FTS) will be given remote access to Gazprom Export's data mart, with the new cooperation intended to streamline tax administration practices, reduce audit costs, and bring tax disputes to a minimum.

Wärtsilä 31DF engine to power cruise ship

Oct 18 – Wärtsilä’s 31DF dual-fuel engine has been selected to power a polar ice-class cruise vessel, built for the French operator Ponant at the Vard Søviknes yard in Norway. The equipment is scheduled to be delivered in 2020, one year before the in-service date of the cruise ship.

U.S. navy bases mulled to handle coal, gas exports

Oct 17 – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has proposed using some West Coast naval facilities to handle U.S. coal or natural gas exports, thereby circumventing local opposition. In particular, the abandoned military base at on Adak Island could be an option as an LNG export hub, he said.

DHIC partners with Dell EMC

Oct 16 – Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction (DHIC) has partnered with Dell EMC on digital energy, and the first joint project is to implement a digital solution at an Indian power plant. The Dell EMC system has a built-in power plant combustion optimizer, developed by DHIC based on the SAP platform.

IEA reviews Brazilian gas market

Oct 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a review of the opening of Brazil’s natural gas transportation system. Through its Gás para Crescer initiative, the Brazilian government sets a plan to liberalize the local energy market by enhancing the build-out of natural gas and electricity interconnectors, unbundling of TSOs and implementing of network codes.

Global GT market looses value

Oct 12 – Though Asia emerges as No.1 market for gas turbines, the overall value of the global gas turbine market  is forecast to decline over the coming five years. According to a Global Data report, the market value between now and 2022 will be $37.97 billion, down compared with $52.39 billion in the 2013-2017 period.

FERC approves $6bn CenterPoint/Vectren merger

Oct 11 – US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the $6 billion merger of CenterPoint Energy and Vectren, whereby shareholders of the latter will be paid $72.00 in cash for each CenterPoint share. Vectren CEO Carl Chapman welcomed the ruling and added the companies “now anticipate a closing no later than the first quarter of 2019.”

Dürr buys part of Babcock & Wilcox

Oct 10 – Dürr Group, a Germany-based mechanical and plant engineering firm, has completed the acquisition Babcock & Wilcox’ (B&W) industrial environmental technology business. The takeover broadens Dürr’s portfolio on exhaust-air purification technologies, with a workforce of around 1,500 and estimated sales of € 400 million.

Azure achieves $12.50 per share

Oct 9 – India-based Azure Power Global Ltd has priced its underwritten public offering of 14,800,000 equity shares at a price of $12.50 per equity share. The company also granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,200,000 shares at the same price, less underwriting discounts and commissions. The offering will close on October 10, 2018.

Global gas use grows at 2%/yr

Oct 8 – The International Gas Union (IGU) expects global gas consumption to grow by 1.6 to 2% per year in the coming decades. “Competitiveness, affordability, and eco-friendliness will remain essential in that regard,” said IGU President Joe M. Kang.

Financing agreed for EVM-II plant in Mexico

Oct 5 – A financing package of $740 million has been agreed for the Energias del Valle de Mexico II (EVM-II) combined-cycle power plant. Commercial banks involved in the financing were led by BNP Paribas, Citi, SMBC, and Mexico’s Banco National del Comercio Exterior. Milbank served as legal advisor.

MAN wins award for small-scale LNG paper

Oct 4 – A whitepaper by MAN Energy Solutions entitled ‘Small-scale LNG - powering the future of Asia’s island communities’ has won the Best Paper Award at this year’s Power-Gen Asia trade show. The paper ties in with MAN’s new strategy to deliver the entire value chain from small scale regas and import terminals to decentralized gas- and dual-fuel engine, and turbine-driven power plants. Carsten Dommermuth, International Business Development Manager, said “this setup is a real advantage for customers seeking to source a complete LNG-to-Power solution from the same provider.”

IEA laments steep drop in clean energy investment

Oct 3 – The latest steep drop in clean energy investment is “worrying,” according to Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Official figures show spending on renewables fell to $298 billion worldwide in 2017, down from $318bn in the previous year, marking the biggest absolute fall on record.

Siemens closes Mendix acquisition

Oct 2 – The German engineering conglomerate Siemens has closed the Mendix acquisition, just eight weeks after the transaction was first announced. Part of Siemens’ Vision 2020+ strategy, the integration of Medix digital platform is aimed at creating new SaaS solutions and extensions, particularly for the Digital Enterprise Software, MindSphere.

Merger of BASF Wintershall and DEA goes ahead

Oct 1 – BASF Group has agreed to merge its German oil and gas business BASF Winterhall and with Deutsche Erdöl AG (DEA), owned by the Russian investor group LetterOne. The joint venture will operate under the name Wintershall DEA.