Daily News

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.

Siemens and the Nigerian company Scanpower have signed a technical partnership agreement for the construction of a 1,600 MW gas turbine power station at Lekki in Lagos state. The German engineering giant also announced it entered a strategic partnership with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Power to support the financing of power plant projects "on a case-by-case basis".

Electricity Supply Board (ESB), Ireland's premier utility, plans to spend £750 million (US$1,207 million) to build a new 1,500 MW gas fired power plant in Britain. Operational start of the plant is scheduled for 2018, an EBS spokesman confirmed today.

News in Brief

More buyers for Malampaya gas

Dec 12 – Two more electric utilities, in addition to First Gen and Ilijan, have expressed interest to buy Malampaya’s banked gas, valued at $700 million to $750 million, via a negotiated scheme. The Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) is in talks with all four of them, but did not identify the two new bidders.

Surge in wind power new-builds

Dec 11 – More than 680GW of new wind power capacity will come online globally over the 10-year outlook, according to Wood Mackenzie research. Most upgrades occur in the medium-term, boosting annual capacity additions from 2020 to 2023 by an average of 2.7GW.

Hybrid power for Galapagos Island

Dec 10 – Siemens has inaugurated a hybrid power plant on the Galapagos island of Isabela after only ten months of planning and ten months of construction. The system runs carbon-neutral with biofuel and solar energy and supplies almost 900 households.

Tata unveils TCS Intelligent Power Plant

Dec 7 – Tata has presented it TCS Intelligent Power Plant at an U.S. trade show, combing its engineering knowledge with artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize operations of fossil power plants. The TCS Intelligent Power Plant builds on the digital twin concept and data-driven models.

Aker, Siemens to co-develop digital offerings

Dec 6 – Aker Solutions and Siemens have agreed to collaborate on creating software applications and joint service offerings, e.g. industrial digital twins that will drive efficiency throughout the entire plant lifecycle. Specific offerings for the oil and gas sector will be based on Siemens' Comos engineering platform.

Robot for remote inspection

Dec 5 – Sarcos Robotics is demonstrating their Guardian S mobile IoT inspection robot at POWER-GEN International in Orlando, Florida. The remote visual inspection tool that can carry multiple sensor payloads and is a quick-deploy inspection solution for pipes, boilers and tanks.

JERA still builds coal power plants

Dec 4 – JERA, Japan’s largest LNG importer, said it was still replacing ageing oil-fuelled power plants with coal-fired units, instead of gas, for economic reasons. Environmental permits have just been issued for two new coal power units at Yokosuka power station, south of Tokyo.

GE delivers grid solution to Pakistan

Dec 3 – GE Power has delivered a turnkey solution to DG Khan Cement Company (DGKCCL), for its new cement plant. Situated 30km northwest of Karachi, the new manufacturing facility is powered by GE’s advanced grid solutions including 132/6.3 kV gas insulated switchgear (GIS), 40MVA power transformers.

Rolls-Royce to showcase Bergen genset

Nov 29 – Rolls-Royce will showcase its new B36:45 Bergen gas genset at the 2018 Power-Gen International show next week in Orlando, Florida. This will be the first time the company introduced Bergen engines at a U.S.-based trade show.

Toshiba aggregates RES & energy storage

Nov 28 – Tokyo-based Toshiba will reinforce its green energy footprint by spending 100 billion yen ($175m) on a new biomass power plant near the thermal Mikawa power station in Omuta, Fukuoka prefecture. Going forward, Toshiba aims to aggregate all its renewable energy sources and storage batteries, creating a Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

Exmar helps Argentina export LNG

Nov 28 – Belgium's Exmar has signed a 10-year agreement with YPF to produce and export 500,000 tonnes per annum of LNG from Argentina via a floating liquefaction vessel named Tango FLNG. The deal advances Argentina’s ambitions of becoming a gas exporter.

ABB UPS tops 97% efficiency

Nov 27 – ABB latest uninterruptible power supply (UPS) module has a 97.6% efficiency rating. The DPA 250 S4 covers the power range 50 to 1,500 kW and is designed for critical, high-density computing environments such as data centers, hospitals, railway signaling stations and airports.

Europe still depends on Russian gas

Nov 26 – In the first ten month of 2018, there was a more than 100:1 disparity between Russian pipeline gas and U.S. LNG deliveries to European countries, according to Gazprom figures. The Russian gas giant sees still “a high level of uncertainty” in the long-term forecasts for U.S. shale gas production.

Enagas, Fluxys sell stake in Swedegas

Nov 23 – The Belgian and Spanish TSOs, Fluxys and Enagas, have sold their entire shareholding in Swedegas to First State Gas Transport AB, part of the infrastructure fund First State Investments. The two TSOs each owned a 50% stake in the operator of Sweden’s high-pressure gas grid.

Developing alternative fuels

Nov 22 – Wärtsilä, Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) are developing a business case for the use of alternative fuels with Wärtsilä generating sets. In focus are methanol, dimethyl ether and ammonia, synthesised from hydrogen, CO2 and nitrogen.

UK will not incentivize new gas storage

Nov 21 – Rebuking warnings of gas supply shortages, the UK government said it will not give any regulatory support for new gas storage facilities. Insisting that “the benefits of more insurance are not worthwhile,” energy secretary Greg Clarke said, insisting the market was already providing sufficient gas security and optionality.

PG&E uses SF6-fee switchgear

Nov 20 – California’s Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has contracted Siemens to supply SF6-free dead-tank circuit breakers and gas-insulated switchgear (GIS). They are destined for California’s 115-kilovolt (kV) high-voltage grid.