Daily News

Threatening to idle two unprofitable gas-fired power units in Bavaria, Germany's biggest utility E.ON is pushing for more compensation to keep the Irsching unit 4 and 5 operational. "If plants are needed for system stability, their operational costs need to be covered," E.ON stated.

Termobarranquilla (TEBSA) is spearheading a consortium of three Colombian power producers that is ready to take a stake in a new 'marketing agent' responsible for handling capacity at a new 2.6 mtpa LNG regas terminal. Colombia's first LNG imports are targeted to arrive in late 2016, or else the country is at risk of facing a gas deficit as early as 2018.

A technological breakthrough of 50.1% electrical efficiency was achieved on GE's 10-megawatt gas reciprocating engine in a test environment in Austria. The Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engine is designed to achieve the highest electrical efficiency level in its class.

John Morris Industrial has launched the new Ultra High Temperature 1200˚F (UHT-12) accelerometer designed to allow high temperature measurement of power plant components. The UHT-12 system is targeted for testing gas turbines and turbochargers as well as exhaust system testing and engine balancing.

Power generation in Luzon, the most populous island in the Philippines, is dependent on domestic gas supply from the Malampaya field which will be shut down for maintenance from March 15 to April 14. Subsequent shortages in gas supply are feared to cause rolling blackouts unless some generators switch to more costly fuel oil.

Power markets in Europa are expected to "test the 'soft floor' provided from the coal to gas switching potential in the UK." At current coal, gas and carbon prices, the UK carbon floor prices opens up potential for fuel switching around $7/mmbtu which will sustain prices well into the summer, according to Wood Mackenzie.

The integrated Southwest Power Pool (SPP), launched in March 2014 in nine U.S. states, has allowed some operators to grow running hours tenfold. Wärtsilä has now been contracted to supply more flexible generation capacity to the real-time SPP market, namely three gas-fired 50SG engines for a CMLP's 56 MW plant in Kansas.

Power and automation technology group ABB has launched Transformer Intelligence, a sensor-based monitoring solution for electricity transformers. The Swiss firm will also invest $30 million in a new manufacturing site for its low voltage products division near Memphis, Tennessee.

Japan's Yokogawa Electric Corp. has booked orders to deliver distributed control systems (DCS) for the large-scale PP13 and PP14 combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants that the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is building in Riyadh. Set to start full operations in October 2016, the two mega plants will have a joint capacity of nearly 4,000 MW.

Omani power firm Rural Areas Electricity Company (Raeco) has announced plans to invest $396 million over the next three years to create new generation capacity, transmission lines and distribution networks across the Gulf state. Peak power demand is forecast to reach close to 9,200 MW by 2019, according to government projections. 

The launch of Nigeria’s Transitional Electricity Market (TEM) earlier this week paved the way for microgrids to electrify some of the country’s more remote locations. Electrification levels are low as power producers and distributors in West Africa's largest economy struggle with a lack of grid connections and repeated damage to gas pipeline infrastructure.

Even though Ukraine's coal stocks are increasingly in short supply, the country's deputy energy minister has called on power producers to burn more coal to reduce the impact of a potential cut in Russian gas supply to the conflict-ridden nation.

Risks are looming large in India's banking system as utility loans are on the brink of turning sour due to the discrepancy between subsidized power tariffs and market rates for gas purchase. Subsidy booked for state electricity boards (SEBs) have hit a nine year high, while power plant operators await a cabinet decision on an administered price mechanism for the new gas pooling scheme.

Nemo Link, the first undersea a power interconnector between Belgium and the UK, will be developed with a capacity of 1,000 MW. Interconnectors will be eligible to bid at UK's capacity auctions for the first time in December 2015 for contracts starting from winter 2019/20.

News in Brief

FlatFish drone inspects Shell fields off Brazil

May 25 – Shell and Petrobras have contracted Saipem to use its FlatFish subsea drone in pilot projects to inspect two ultra-deepwater oil and gas fields offshore Brazil in over 2,000-meter depth. Initial tests will be carried out at Saipem’s base in Trieste, Italy, with a view to deploying the drone to Brazilian waters in the third quarter of 2022.

Gazprom cuts off supplies to Finland

May 24 – Gazprom has completely suspended gas supplies to Gasum after the Finish company refused to pay in roubles, the two companies said in separate statements. Gasum is confident it will be able to supply all its customers with gas imported through the Balticconnector (2.6 Bcm/y) from Estonia.

Heisco wins tender in Kuwait

May 23 – Heavy Engineering Industries and Shipbuilding Company (Heisco) has won a KD1.8 million ($6.4 million) tender – floated by the energy ministry of Kuwait – to install, examine and test four high voltage transformers at the Doha East Power Generation and Water Distillation Station. Heisco, founded in 1974 and listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, has developed into one of the largest energy engineering groups in the emirate.

JERA issues bond to finance power plant upgrades

May 20 – Japan’s leading LNG importer and power producer JERA has issued its first energy transition bond to help finance the accelerated deployment of decarbonisation technologies like hydrogen and ammonia co-firing, as well as the decommissioning of older thermal power stations. The bond is offered in two tranches: a 12 billion yen ($83 million) for a 5-year bond with a 0.420% per annum coupon, and a 8 billion yen $62 million) for a 10-year bond with a 0.664% rate coupon.

Rolls-Royce conducts laser field tests in the US

May 18 – Rolls-Royce has successfully conducted laser field tests to demonstrate ‘deep magazine’ power capability for directed applications in connection with Lockheed Martin’s layered laser defense project. Deep magazine power can be provided by a battery-only system, but the Rolls-Royce ColdFire system includes both battery-powered and near-continuous firing modes provided by M250 gas turbine engines.

Gas vs oil ratio increases in the Bakken

May 17 – The ratio of natural gas to crude oil production has risen in North Dakota’s Bakken region since 2008, and continues to accelerate. According to the US Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Drilling Productivity Report, annual gas gross withdrawals in the Bakken increased by 9% to an annual high of 2.97 Bcf/d in 2021, even though the region’s crude oil production fell by 6%.

Middle East shifts to gas power

May 16 – The Middle East, a region vulnerable to climate change, is undergoing a major shift from petroleum-based power plants towards gas-fired generation and renewable power sources. Capacity additions of over 185.46 GW are the pipeline, according to ResearchandMarkets, as the regions electricity demand for industry and residential cooling is set to grow. In fact, cooling already accounts for 70% of residential power demand.

Carbon utilisation in strong demand

May 13 – The market for carbon utilisation is forecast to grow rapidly from the 2030s onwards to surpass $285 billion by 2042, driven by rising climate commitments and a favourable regulatory framework. In its latest report IDTechEx also highlights the role of technology advances such as thermodynamics which help sequester CO2 permanently.

MTU gensets approved for biofuels

May 12 – Rolls-Royce has gained approval to use synthetic fuels in its MTU Series 4000 and Series 1600 diesel engines for power generation application. Field testing confirmed both engines can use a range of sustainable fuels including biomass-to-liquid, hydrotreated vegetable oil and power-to-liquid fuels such as e-diesel.

E.ON tells Germans how to save gas

May 11 – A large-scale switch to heat pumps, solar power and better demand-side management could help save Germany nearly 100 TWh of natural gas per year, E.ON has said, calling on households to contribute to Europe’s efforts to reduce reliance on Russian gas imports. “If 10% of the homes in Germany are equipped with solar PV installations, 20% of gas boilers are replaced by heat pumps, and the average temperature in all households is reduced by one degree Celsius on average, this would lead to natural gas savings of 103 TWh per year," E.ON Energy CEO Filip Thon said, noting this volume would equate to about 30% of Germany’s current gas imports from Russia.

Exelon Q1 earnings lower following Constellation cave-out

May 10 – Exelon has reported lower first quarter earnings and a higher operating revenue, having completed the separation of Constellation Energy – Excelon’s former power gen business. Focussing now solely on transmission and distribution, Exelon’s net income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2022 decreased to $0.49 per share from $0.53 a share in pre-year period. In contrast, adjusted operating earnings notched up to $0.64 per share, primarily due to due to higher electric distribution earnings at ComEd from higher rate base and higher allowed electric distribution. Rate increases at Excelon’s group companies PECO, BGE, and PHI were partially offset by higher depreciation expenses at BGE and PHI.

South Africa to add 2.6 GW of new capacity

May 9 – South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, has just announced the REIPPPP BW6 Request for Proposals (RFP).  The bid round will add 2,600 MWs of new capacity to the energy mix. The ministry seeks to procure 11,813 MW of electricity from various power sources including renewable energy, storage, gas and coal.

GE Gas Power authorized as CVE Numbering Authority

May 6 – GE Gas Power’s increased focus on cybersecurity has been recognized by the Common Vulnerability and Exposures Programm as a ‘CVE Numbering Authority (CNA).  As such, GE Gas Power can now assign CVE identification numbers to newly discovered vulnerabilities potentially related to its products and allow GE Gas Power to directly publish new CVE Records and streamline the reporting process.

Heliogen gets nearly $90m in funding

May 5 – Heliogen has moved from design into testing and implementation of its supercritical CO2 power gen system that will be deployed for Woodside in California. The system consists of a 5 MWe sCO2 power block integrated with high temperature solid media thermal energy storage. The demonstration project is being funded with up to $50 million from Woodside, along with $39 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).

Capstone to install microturbine in the Caribbean

May 4 – E-Finity Distributed Generation, Capstone's distributor for the Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern United States and the Caribbean, has secured an order for two C1000S microturbines for a government water authority in the Caribbean. The 2 MW system will provide emergency standby power to several pumping stations throughout the remote island community and is scheduled to be commissioned towards the end of 2022.

Forecasting solar and energy storage in CAISO

May 3 – Marubeni has chosen Veritone’s AI-based distributed energy resource management solution (iDERMS) to provide price, demand and generation forecasts at their pilot project in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) SP-15 region. In addition to day-ahead and real-time generation figures, Veritone will also forecast production and demand for the overall CAISO region.

Forecasting solar and energy storage in CAISO

May 2 – Marubeni has chosen Veritone’s AI-based distributed energy resource management solution (iDERMS) to provide price, demand and generation forecasts at their pilot project in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) SP-15 region. In addition to day-ahead and real-time generation figures, Veritone will also forecast production and demand for the overall CAISO region.