Daily News

The Indian arm of the consultancy Deloitte has submitted detailed options to revive the 1,940MW Dabhol plant in India that has been sitting idle due to unviable operating costs. Electricity output at the Dabhol plant has been in the doldrums amid a lack of adequate domestic gas supplies and sky-high import costs for LNG.

U.S. power producer NTE Energy has announced plans to develop, own and operate the gas-fired Pecan Creek Energy Center (up to300 MW) at a cost of over $200 million in ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

More than 30 of Syria's power stations are classified as 'inactive' and at least 40% of the country's high voltage lines are in tatters as a result of a civil war and sabotage actions. The consequence are rolling blackouts while ambitious plans to convert the country's entire thermal power plant fleet to run on natural gas had to be put on hold until the end of hostilities.

The world’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) scheme for gas-fired power in Peterhead, Scotland got the go ahead today with an announcement that the project will share £100 million in government funding with the Drax coal-fired CCS scheme in Yorkshire.  The investment will be used for a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study with up to £1 billion earmarked over the longer term to develop the technology.

Turbine manufacturer GE Power & Water has shipped five giant gas-fired power modules to drive Chevron's Gorgon LNG Project off the coast of Western Australia. Each module will deliver a generating capacity of 130 MW, equivalent to a small power station.

Though 3D metal printing is still at an experimental process for testing prototypes, Siemens and GE are gearing up to turn it into a standard technology for rapidly producing industrial parts. Used for producing burner components, 3D metal printing can cut repair times by up to 90% compared to conventional methods, according to Siemens.

U.S. Independent Power Provider, Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) has received approval for its proposed 650 MW Valley Energy Center in upstate New York from the Orange County Water District board. The plant is due to come online in 2016 when it aims to be one of the cleanest conventional electric generating projects in the world.

Plans to build a 674MW gas-fired power plant in Salem, Massachusetts, have cleared legal opposition filed by climate change groups. Footprint Power, the developer of the project, has agreed to address environmental concerns by steadily reducing emissions from the plant over its lifetime and ultimately closing the plant by 2050.

Japanese trading firm Marubeni has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PT. Pertamina, the state-controlled Indonesian oil and gas company, to explore the viability of constructing  a new gas-fired power plant and attached LNG import terminal. The two companies will conduct a feasibility study in the first instance.

Despite the high dependency of Japan and South Korean on importing LNG for power generation, the much anticipated start of new export terminals in the U.S. might not be as profitable as envisages, researchers from Rice University warn.

Month ahead natural gas future prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) soared past $6/mmBtu on Wednesday as concerns of supply shortage impacted power producers across the country. Prices jumped nearly 11% in trading on Wednesday ahead of the government’s inventory report that was expected to show a fall in gas storage.

Weighed down by poor profitability of gas-fired power plants, Centrica's gas generation operations in the UK made a loss of £133 million in 2013. In the firm's annual financial statement, CEO Sam Laidlaw referred to "margin pressures and unusual weather patterns on both sides of the Atlantic, rising unit costs in the North Sea and weak economics for gas storage and gas-fired power generation."

News in Brief

Italy’s power exports Montenegro surge

Jan 22 – Italian electric power exports increased by 28% in 2020, largely driven by flows to Montenegro which surged 26% to 8.6 TWh. In contrast, domestic power demand fell 6% last year to 271.6 TWh with electricity sales from conventional plants down nearly 9% to 140.5 TWh, figures by the Italian energy exchange GME show.

US considers new nuclear

Jan 21 – The new US President Joe Biden has said his country could construct new nuclear power plants and reiterated plans to “swiftly rejoin” the Paris Climate Agreement swiftly. Germany’s environment minister, Svenja Schulze, called it illusionary to believe that newer, smaller reactors will be a technology of the future.

Mitsubishi produces methanol in Trinidad

Jan 20 – Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company has launched commercial operations of a methanol and dimethyl ether plant in Trinidad and Tobago. The plant has an annual production capacity of one million tons of methanol and 20,000 tons of dimethyl ether, which can be used as an alternative fuel for cars and power generation.

First 8-cylinder B36:45 engine delivered

Jan 19 – Rolls-Royce has delivered the first 8-cylinder variant of its Bergen B36:45 gas engine to a tomato producer in Belgium. The medium speed genset is planned for delivery this spring and will drive an onsite power plant that generates 4700 kW electricity and 5520 kW heat. The new engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder and will replace an existing Bergen 12-cylinder B35:40 genset.

Moody’s upgrades Enel to Baa1

Jan 18 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Enel’s long-term rating to Baa1, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects Enel’s progress in reducing its risk profile, analysts said, pointing at the Italian utilities ongoing investment in networks and renewables, growing geographical diversification and focus on centralised financing.

GE sues Siemens Energy

Jan 15 – General Electric has sued its German rival Siemens Energy over the alleged use of stolen trade secrets to win gas turbine contracts worth several billion dollars. GE told the US district court in Virginia that Siemens received the secret information from a Dominion Energy employee.

Orbital Energy launches Eclipse

Jan 14 – Nasdaq-listed Orbital Energy Group has launched a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation, a drilled shaft construction company. The new company specialises in providing services for power transmission and substations, communication tower and a disaster restoration through emergency power.

S’Korean coal and LNG imports slide

Jan 13 – South Korea’s imports of thermal coal and LNG have fallen 12% and 11%, respectively, as the government cracks down on fossil fuel usage to curb air pollution. Customs data shows that coal imports amounted to 10.2 million tons in December, down 1.4 million tons from the same month last year but up from November’s imports of 9.5 million tons.

SMC builds 1.7 GW CCGT in Batangas

Jan 13 – Excellent Energy Resources, part of SMC Global Power Holdings, is building a 1,700 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Barangay Dela Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City with investments of about 67.863 billion Philippine Pesos ($1.41bn). The project is estimated to be completed in 36 to 40 months.

UK’s National Grid issues supply warning

Jan 12 – Natural gas prices in the UK surged as National Grid issued warnings on supply deficit as LNG cargoes are being diverted to North Asia. Prices at the British NBP gas trading hub soared to the equivalent of $8.95 per MMBtu, while the JKM price for North Asian spot LNG cargoes for February 2021 was last at $19.700 per MMBt.

Fortistar invests in hydrogen

Jan 11 – Fortistar, a privately-held fund, has joined an equity investment of up to $157 million in hydrogen producer BayoTech. Cottonwood Technology Funds and the New Mexico State Investment Council also participated in the latest financing round. BayoTech’s systems produce local hydrogen close to the application, serving end users in the industrial gas and petrochemical segment as well as those who use of hydrogen to power fuel cells.

Ashtead appoints new CFO

Jan 5 - Ashtead Technology has appointed a chief financial officer (CFO) and five managers for newly created roles across its international team. The appointments are meant to cement the company’s position in the offshore energy market, including offshore wind and decommissioning of thermal power plants

NFE secures LNG for Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua

Dec 23 – New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to purchase Henry-Hub-indexed LNG for its integrated gas and power businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. The New York-based project developer said it now has covered 80% of its expected needs throughout Latin America, thus reducing its need for spot purchases and its exposure to changes in the market price for LNG.

China and Korea mandate coal-to-gas switch

Dec 22 – The Chinese government has launched a coal-to-gas boiler switching programme, targeting 7.1 million homes, which makes gas demand more weather-sensitive this winter. Similarly, South Korea mandated the closure of 15 coal-fired plants since the start of December in an effort to reduce air pollution. Analysts expect this will accelerate the drawdown of LNG terminal inventories going into Q1-2021.

GE repowers oil field in Brazil

Dec 21 – GE Power Conversion has been awarded a contract by Sulzer Pumps UK to supply motors for four water injection pumps of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The 8,000 kW, two pole motors will run at 3,600 rpm with a limitation of the starting current at 300%, enabling the oil and gas field operator to optimise the generator which supplies electricity on the FPSO.

VELO distributes Sapphire Metal 3D-Printers in the US

Dec 18 – California-based VELO3D has formed a distribution partnership with GoEngineer for Flow pre-print software, Sapphire metal AM printer, and Assure quality assurance and controls. GoEngineer will be VELO’s only distributor in the United States.

Indian electric boats to achieve zero emissions

Dec 17 – Cochin Shipyard, India’s largest shipbuilder, has asked Siemens Energy to equip India’s first fleet of 23 boats with electric propulsion drive train, integrated with batteries and vessel automation. Combining the electric propulsion drive trains, energy storage, and automation systems is expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption.

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