Daily News

The outgoing EU Commission has managed to arrange a $4.6 billion winter package, agreed by Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz. The package covers the period from now until the end of March 2015, securing natural gas imports to Ukraine and transits to the European Union.

Gasification, a technology solution to harness coal's energy more cleanly, is eyed by China as a way to reduce hazardous air pollution. China's National Energy Administration aims to produce 50 Bcm of gas from coal by 2020, enough to dent 10% of the country's gas demand from industries and power producers.

The new centre-right government in Belgium is considering redesigning a capacity payment mechanism in consultation with neighbouring countries to comply with EU competition rules. Grid operator Elia warns Belgium faces the risk of power cuts this winter as the capacity reserve margin has fallen to a record low as three nuclear reactors are offline and several unprofitable CCGTs have been mothballed.

In a mammoth effort to reduce air pollution, the Chinese government has imposed stringent regulation to curb carbon intensity and aims to reduce its share of coal power from 68.2% to under 55% by 2025 by increasing the contribution from nuclear and combined-cycle gas turbine units.

"The government has set a target to cut carbon intensity by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2030 and last year we've already achieved to reduce emissions by 28.8%, which is equivalent to a reduction of 2.5 billion tons of CO2 emissions, ...

A new 250 MW emergency reserve power plant will be inaugurated today  near Kiisa in the outskirts of Tallinn, Estonia. The ceremony is hosted by the plant's owner Elering, the Estonian transmission system operator. Wärtsilä has been responsible for the EPC-delivery and  project management.

The European Turbine Network (ETN) has completed the coordination of the H2-IGCC project, advancing the 'technology-readiness level' when burning hydrogen-rich syngas in gas turbines, including the development of combustion processes, materials, turbomachinery and plant optimisation. With a total budget of 17.8 million euro (EU-funding 11.3 million euro), the project was running from 2009 to 2014 with the participation of 24 partners from 10 countries.

In bid to appease critics, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking stakeholder comments on its proposed carbon dioxide standards for existing power plants. Some federal states and industry groups are adamantly opposing more stringent emission targets, claiming this could herald the end of coal power and would put energy security at risk.

To produce turbine parts with Laser MicroJet technology, a pioneering laser-cutting method, GE's has teamed up with Synova, a Swiss provider of laser-cutting systems, and Japan's manufacturer of high-precision machine tools Makino Milling Machine.

Warning that the UK Energy Market Reform may not realise the full potential of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Generation, the British industry association CHPA is calling on policy makers to extend the small scale Feed-in Tariff capacity threshold in addition to the proposed Contracts for Difference (CfD).

Tough critics warned a prolonged outage of the 1,360 MW Didcot B power station could disrupt supply stability, National Grid said in its Winter Outlook 2014/15 gas supplies remained strong after last year's mild winter. Gas-fired capacity remain higher than the maximum expected demand, but reserve margins have narrowed further which is why the grid operator has struck deals with three power plants operators to keep plants in reserve. 

U.S. power producer Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) has told regulators in Alaska that its planned 171 MW Eklutna gas-fired power plant will be delayed by at least three months.

The fleet of Siemens H-class world-record gas turbines achieved a cumulative 100,000 equivalent operating hours (EOH) as of the end of September 2014. Forty of the H-class gas turbines have been sold worldwide to date, and eleven of these machines are currently in commercial operation with a high degree of starting reliability and availability.

The United States are forecast to achieve energy independence by 2025, with Wood Mackenzie's Global Trends Service pointing out that over the last seven years, the U.S. producers added 3 million barrels per day of tight oil and 27.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of shale gas to the global energy mix – "a spectacular 42% increase in oil and gas production."

Though the cause of the major blaze at RWE npower's Didcot B gas-fired power plant in Oxfordshire is still unclear, the head of the fire rescue team has ruled out arson or terrorism and indicated that investigations focus one of the plant's cooling fans.

News in Brief

Oseberg upstream shifts from oil to gas

Nov 29 – Equinor has announced plans to invest 10 billion Norwegian crowns ($995M) to change the Oseberg field from primarily being an oil field to becoming a substantial natural gas producer with large remaining gas resources. Oseberg is the third-largest oil producing filed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and the operator has submitted and amended development plan to the energy ministry.

ABB, Metacon and Wärtsilä partner on hydrogen

Nov 26 – ABB, Wärtsilä, Metacon affiliate Helbio, and the classification society RINA are jointly working on delivering a power solution for marine application that is fuelled by hydrogen. The aim is to have a scalable solution that will exceed the IMO 2050 target for a 70% reduction in carbon intensity without the need for extensive investment in new infrastructure. Wärtsilä gas engines can already run on a mix of hydrogen and LNG, and the company strives run them 100% on hydrogen fuel in the near future.

Wärtsilä enters Belgian energy storage market

Nov 25 – Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply a 25 MW / 100 MWh energy storage system to a Belgium customer, marking its entry into the Belgian energy storage market. The order was booked to Wärtsilä’s order intake in October 2021, and the system is scheduled to start operating in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Triveni agrees with GEAE Tech to manufacture LM2500 turbine in India

Nov 25 – Triveni Engineering & Industries has signed a 10-year accord with GEAE Technology USA to produce the LM2500 gas turbine base and enclosure locally in India. The turbine is the chosen propulsion equipment for many surface combatant vessels of the Indian Navy.

Wärtsilä launches lighter IQ-Series scrubber

Nov 24 – Wärtsilä has launched a new IQ Series exhaust gas treatment system, designed by its Exhaust Treatment business unit in Moss, Norway. Designed with a smaller footprint, the new scrubber takes up 25% less space, is 30% lighter, and has 35% less volume which makes it particularly adapt for use on container ships, but also for stationary engines.

Afreximbank signs loan for Aba IPP in Nigeria

Nov 23 – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a $50 million term loan facility for the Aba Integrated Power Project (IPP) in Nigeria, which comprises of a 141 MW gas-fired power plant and a 27-kilometer feeder pipeline and a distribution utility. Before greenlighting the loan, the bank advised projects sponsor Geometric Power on restructuring sol-called “gap capital” in the $332 million recapitalisation funds for the Aba IPP.

SiGreen tracks products’ emissions data

Nov 22 – Siemens has developed an ecosystem-based approach to calculate Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) with a with a view to track and reduce emissions. SiGreen helps exchange emission data along the supply-chain and combine it with data from a company’s own value creation to obtain a product’s true carbon footprint.

ELGi expands oil-free compressor series

Nov 19 – Belgium-based ELGi Compressors Europe has marketed introduced four new air compressors, the AB11, AB15, AB18 and AB22 that expand the company’s AB Series portfolio, ranging from 11KW to 110KW. The new the AB11-22 range helps customers optimize moisture separation, cooling and capacity control which directly translates into savings on electricity use.

Double-digit growth seen for GT market

Nov 18 – The market for gas turbines (GT) is forecast to witness a double-digit growth between 2021 and 2028, according to Global Market Vision projections. Leading manufacturers surveyed in the consultancy’s latest report include Doosan, Mitsubishi, MJB International, Siemens, GE, PW Power Systems, Solar Turbines, Dresser-Rand, Kawasaki, MAN Diesel & Turbo, OPRA Technologies, MTU Aero Engines, Wood Group and Chromalloy Gas Turbine.

Gazprom aims to increase contractual supply to VNG

Nov 17 – Russia’s Gazprom is in negotiations with VNG, one of Germany’s largest gas importers, to extending long-term gas supply contracts and “increase the supply volume thereunder.” Leipzig-based VNG imports and stores Russian gas in Germany’s eastern states and Berlin, and together with Gazprom it is building the Katharina underground gas storage (UGS) project with a design capacity of 650 million cubic meters (mmcm) of working gas volume and 26 mmcm daily withdrawal rate. The Katharina UGS is due completed in 2025.

Eaton offers IFPM73 fluid purifier with higher flow rate

Nov 15 – The Filtration Division of energy management company Eaton has added a higher volume flow rate system to its IFPM series of PLC-controlled, mobile, off-line fluid purifiers. Complementing the IFPM 33, which has a flow rate of 8 gpm (30 l/min), the new IFPM 73 has over double the flow rate of 20 gpm (70 l/min) for purifying oils and gas liquids stored in large tanks and reservoirs. 

General Fusion sets up new base in Tennessee

Nov 12 – General Fusion has set up a new operations base in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as it seeks to commercialize fuson technology in collaboration with national laboratories, universities, and the U.S. government. This expansion will create up to 50  technical jobs. 

Bloom Energy delivers 1 MW renewable power from dairy farm waste

Nov 10 – Bloom Energy has been contracted to deploy a 1 MW fuel cell at Bar 20 Dairy Farms in Kerman, California, to produce on-site, renewable electricity from dairy cow manure. Dairy biogas contains up to 65% methane and the waste-to-energy project captures methane that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. The installation marks Bloom’s first biogas project.

German TSOs want three phased-out coal plants as backup

Nov 9 – Three hard coal-fired power plants in Germany, due for phase-out and decommissioning next summer,  might have to stay onstream to ensure supply security after regional TSOs said the units were “system relevant”. It is now up to the federal grid agency BNetzA to decide whether the three plants, owned by Uniper, RWE and STEAG and situated in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW), will be given permission to stay operational or whether they need to be retrofitted or shuttered.

Wärtsilä to service GasLog LNG carriers

Nov 8 – Greek shipowner and operator GasLog has selected Wärtsilä to service and maintain ten of its very large LNG carriers. The agreement, signed in June, covers the vessels’ twin two-stroke dual-fuel main engines and includes AI-based condition monitoring and advanced asset diagnostic services.

EU CO2 price in focus of German climate policy

Nov 5 – Germany should think of its climate policy plans on a European and ultimately global level, economists Gabriel Felbermayr (Wifo Institute Kiel), Clemens Füst (Ifo Institute Munich) and Jens Südekum (University of Düsseldorf) said in a joint statement. The economists call for a Europe-wide CO2 price to act as a central instrument to reduce emissions whereby the EU emissions trading system should include all sectors, notably heavy industry and transport.

Transport sector struggles with 2030 climate goals

Nov 4 – Germany's new government must agree on a wide variety of policy instruments to achieve its 2030 climate target in the transport sector, a Prognos report says. "A high CO2 price alone is not enough to reach the tightened climate targets," analysts find, adding that "an ambitious mix of measures is necessary” to have a chance of meeting the new goals which are still subject to much controversy.