Daily News

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Hitachi have agreed to collaborate on the distributed gas engine power generation systems business in China. To that end MHI will transfer to Hitachi 35% of its shares in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine System in Shenzhen, which conducts its Chinese engine and power generation business, then the company will be renamed and converted into a joint venture company by the end of 2014.

Abu Dhabi based energy company TAQA has announced plans to construct a new 300 MW gas-fired power plant at Takoradi in Ghana. The deal follows talks between TAQA and Ghana’s president, John Dramani Mahama, that will also see the Middle Eastern firm supply LNG to fuel the plant.

GE has won a contract to supply six turnkey power modules, generating a total of 258MW, for the Upper Zakum UZ750 field in Abu Dhabi. The six “mega structures” will house a turbogenerator train that will provide electricity for pumps and gas compressors at oil production facilities operated by ZADCO, a subsidary of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

Commissioning works have started at Centrax' largest installation of gas turbine packages at the Ust Teguss field in Siberia. Twelve packages, each based on a 5.2MW Rolls-Royce 501-KB7 gas turbine, will power Rosneft's oil and gas upstream operations in harsh weather conditions.

Spanish EPC company Iberdrola Ingeniería has commissioned GE to deliver a 9F gas turbine for the 300MW Lichterfelde combined-cycle combined heat and power (CHP) plant it construct on behalf of Vattenfall in Lichterfelde, southwest of Berlin. Construction works are on track for the plant to start-up in 2016.

RWE chief executive Peter Terium has brandmarked the economic situation for utilities in Europe as "miserable", underlining utilities expect policy makers to introduce "a functioning and fair market system" for both fossil and renewable energy sources.

French equipment manufacturer, Alstom has reduced its profitability forecast for this year due to limited demand for turbines to power new plants. Orders for thermal power dropped 16% to 5.4 billion in the first nine month in the 2013/2014 final year and though the company reported “good commercial activity in Services” it cautioned “orders for new builds remained very weak”.

Advanced manufacturing technologies are seen to have an unrivalled impact on the design of gas turbines and power plants. "In the future, we'll be able to achieve new levels of intricacy in parts using laser melting technology," forecast Willibald Fischer, Head of Product Management for Gas Turbines at Siemens.

New variable valve trains from equipment manufacturer ABB offer the potential to cut gas turbine start-up times by 50%. ABB estimates that its new Valve Control Management (VCM) system can deliver fuel savings of around $200,000 per year for a typical 10MW gas engine.

South Korea's Posco Energy has inaugurated the first integrated steel mill off-gas power plant in Southeast Asia – a 200 MW gas waste facility located within a steel mill complex in Cilegon, Banten.

U.S. power provider, Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL), has lodged an application with the Kentucky Public Service Commission requesting approval to build a 700MW combined-cycle gas plant and 10MW solar power facility at a total cost of $736 million.

EU utilities were forced to write-down losses of  nearly €6 billion in 2013 alone due to closures and mothballing of gas-fired power plants in the UK and the rest of Europe. The ‘Stranded generation asset’ working paper from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE) shows that unsustainable losses for power producers are likely to damage attempts to move towards a  low carbon economy.

News in Brief

Hamburg CHP runs fully on hydrogen

Dec 1 – Field testing has started for HanseWerk’s combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Hamburg to run fully on hydrogen. The converted 1 MW pilot plant, powered by Jenbacher engines, provides district heating equal to 13,000 MWh/year to 30 residential buildings, a sports facility, a daycare center, and the Othmarschen Park leisure centre.

Oil majors in the red

Nov 30 – For most oil majors worldwide, higher prices are needed to get their business out of the red. Breakeven prices for Saudi Arabia are $85 per barrel, around $64/bbl for Iraq, $49/bbl for Kuwait and as little as $40/bbl for Russia. As business confidence plummets, major oil companies have already slashed planned CAPEX spending by almost $89 billion in first quarter of 2020, with further cuts being made throughout the summer and autumn.

EU invests into battery cells

Nov 27 – Germany's EU Council Presidency has pledged Europe should develop an integrated value creation chain for battery cells, starting with the processing of raw materials over battery cell production to recycling. Germany is investing 3 billion Euros into the two projects that foster novel methods of battery production.

Rolls-Royce wins order from Hinkley Point C

Nov 26 – Rolls-Royce has been awarded an order from Hinkley Point C to deliver 140 Bibloc pressure transmitters for the two EPR nuclear reactors currently under construction in Somerset, UK. The transmitters will measure the flow, level and pressure of the Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS).

CHP industry to grow 14.4% through 2025

Nov 25 – The combined heat and power (CHP) market, evaluated at $12.152 billion, is expected to expand nearly 14.4% per year to reach $27.196 million by 2025. Growth is primarily driven by government funding and subsidy schemes. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the country aims to install 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP to save $10 billion per year, compared to current energy use.

Rolls-Royce opens US customer center

Nov 24 – Rolls-Royce has opened its latest US customer support center in Savannah, Gerogia. The 62,000 square feet facility houses a power plant completion center, a wing services repair unit and a warehouse, all under one roof.

Lithium Werks grows manufacturing

Nov 23 – US-Dutch manufacturer Lithium Werks is growing the output and sales fuel cells and battery modules for use as power, pulse, and stand-by applications. The company’s 26650 Nanophosphate cells are used as single cells, as well as to build cell-packs and modules like Lithium Werks P40-24 battery modules. The Austin and Enschede-based company said it can “produce millions of 18650 and 26650 cells a month in China.”

AGL plans 1,000 MWh battery

Nov 20 – Australian power producer and retailer ALG wants to realise a large grid-connected battery storage unit of up to 250 MW rated output and four hours’ duration of storage, equalling 1,000 MWh. The battery will be built in stages on the site of Torrens Island Power Station in South Australia. AGL vowed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, but is currently still operating some 40 GW of coal-fired generation.

Fusion demo plant to be designed in Canada

Nov 19 – Vancouver-based General Fusion has entered a partnership with the architecture firm AL_A to design a demonstration plant, based on magnetized target fusion (MTF). Once operational, the demo plant will showcase MTF technology under power plant-relevant conditions.

Toshiba opens H2One fuelling station

Nov 18 – Toshiba has opened the first ‘H2OneMulti Station’ which fills fuel cell vehicles with green hydrogen and supplies for green electricity at Tsuruga City in Fukui prefecture. The station consists of H2One ST Unit and H2One, using hydrogen produced from wind and solar power sources.

Shale gas market grows at 7% rate

Nov 17 – Unconventional gas markets are poised to grow by $41.76 billion through 2024, rising at a rate of almost 7%. According to Technavio, about 87% of the supply growth this year is coming from the Americas.

Agua Blanca pipeline expanded

Nov 16 – Austin-based WhiteWater Midstream and MPLX have completed a 1.8 billion cubic-feet-per-day (Bcf/d) expansion of their joint venture Agua Blanca pipeline system. Christer Rundlof, CEO of WhiteWater CEO, said the expansion will be brought into service ahead of schedule. Testing and commissioning will begin this month, for the new pipeline stretch to be brought into full service in early 2021.

Wärtsilä integrates clean energy

Nov 13 – Finish technology group Wärtsilä strives to integrate variable clean power sources to achieve a 100% renewable energy future. The necessary operational flexibility will come from gas generation assets running on synthetic renewable fuels and by the extended use of energy storage.

First German-Belgium power link to start operation

Nov 12 – The two TSOs Amprion and Elia are preparing to launch the first electric interconnector between Germany and Belgium. The 1,000 MW interconnector stretches between Aachen and Lüttich, from where it links to the Rhineland region and Wallonia. It will go into operation as of 18 November, with intraday capacities to begin trading on 8 December.

Sachsen Energie takes on E.ON and RWE

Nov 11 – A small regional energy provider in Saxony seeks to counter the dominance of E.ON and RWE. Sachsen Energie, set up in a merger between two local utilities, claims it will become "the largest municipal utility in eastern Germany," catering to about one million customers, when it begins operation in 2021.

Rolls-Royce to build Czech nukes

Nov 10 – British engine maker Rolls-Royce and the Czech energy conglomerate CEZ have agreed to design and develop small modular reactors (SMR). These low-cost nuclear power stations are being built by the UK SMR Consortium aimed at installing a “fleet of factory built” nukes in the UK, and exporting the design abroad.

CCUS to reach $3.5bn by 2025

Nov 9 – The global carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) market size is expected to grow at a rate of 17% from $1.6 billion in 2020 to $3.5 billion by 2025. According to ResearchAndMarkets, the rising use of captured carbon for enhanced oil recovery plays a key role for the expanding CCUS market.

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