Daily News

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.

Global demand for energy is expected to slow in the years up to 2035 with growth rates declining to 41% as compared to 55% over the last 23 years, according to figures published by BP. The slowdown is attributed to better energy efficiency measures,  but even with energy savings power generation will still see strong growth, accounting for 57% of the increase in primary energy consumption.

Silicon Valley based start-up, Nirvana Energy Systems, has developed a new micro CHP solution that delivers 90% efficiency and can provide significant savings on residential power costs. The company’s first product, the 'Power Stick', produces between 1-4 kW of electrical power, and 15kW of thermal power.    

Wärtsilä has received a contract from PT Indonesia Power.to supply Indonesia's largest ever engine based power plant on a turnkey basis. The 200 MW power plant is scheduled to be partially operational by the end of December 2014, and at full output by the end of May 2015.

For all but rarely used peaking plants, combined cycle designs deliver greater fuel efficiency and returns on initial capital investment. For new projects, there are two options to choose from – single- and multi-shaft. Though greater flexibility in plant design can be achieved with multi-shaft arrangements, single-shaft has lower capital costs, modelling from Lahmeyer International shows.

China’s largest onshore LNG production facility has received compressor-drive technology from GE to help boost output as demand for gas power in the state soars. The HuaQi Ansai LNG Facility was inaugurated in 2012 and supplies an estimated 2 million cubic meters of LNG per day.

Japanese power producer, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), has announced it will increase the volume of LNG it purchases annually from 25 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 40 mtpa as part of a new business plan approved by government. The erstwhile operator of the Fukushima plant aims to increase electricity output from gas-fired plant in the country to make up for lost nuclear capacity and to recover its weak financial position.

A prototype of a new small-scale electric generator offers the potential to capture untapped power from natural gas pipelines using a device known as a Tri-Axial Generator (TAG). Justin Michael Wyatt, co-founder of Magnetar, the company behind the design, told Gas to Power Journal that TAG is a new type of small hydroelectric generator which operates in existing pipelines and uses the fluid's kinetic energy to spin our open-centre impeller to produce electricity.

News in Brief

Wärtsilä to use Shell engine oils

Dec 2 – The Finish engine maker Wärsilä has selected Shell as its test oil partner for engines during stress tests and fine-tuning at engine manufacturing sites. Shell’s Mysella, Argina and Gadinia range of engine oils have been developed to provide top class engine cleanliness, enhanced wear protection, long oil life, and high system efficiency.

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.

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