Daily News

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.

In a move to maximise production from the UK’s estimated 1,300 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of shale gas, the government has announced generous tax breaks to producers and promised local councils 100% of fees from resultant business rates. Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) predict that widespread UK shale gas production could reduce the implied price of dispatchable gas-fired power generation to around £50/MWh.

Strong seasonal gas demand from Japan and China this winter and tight LNG supply in the Pacific Basin has propelled up prices for LNG delivery over the next four to eight weeks to $19.30/mmBtu, prompting some power producers to consider switching to burning fuel oil.

Japan is to fund construction of a new $174 million gas-fired power plant in Mozambique to meet burgeoning power demand in the country. The project comes as Mozambique faces increased attention from global investors, eager to tap the country’s extensive natural gas reserves, and marks the first visit to the country  by a Japanese leader since 2004.

Power systems manufacturer Rolls-Royce has started to carry out an order to supply five Trent60 gas turbines to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company to help boost oil and gas processing at the Satah Al-Razboot (SARB) offshore project in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Thai manufacturing and trading company, Gunkul Engineering, is to invest $363 billion in new power projects in South-East Asia over the next two years. The company aims to transform itself into a regional power producer and generate at least 300MW of electricity by 2016.

As utilities in Beijing, Shanghai and the Guandong province are switching to burn more gas for power production, the severity of China's winter is now "the biggest single question" for suppliers on global gas markets, analysts at Energy Aspects suggest.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from U.S. power producers are expected to show an increase of 2% over 2013, as the use of coal-fired power plant rebounded slightly driven by an uptick in natural gas prices, according to preliminary figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

As India's government has issued a new gas pricing formula, pushing up prices from currently $4.2/mmbtu to about $8.4/mmbtu, the price hike undermines the economics of producing electricity by burning gas and puts projects that are under development at risk.

Micro-power systems manufacturer, ENER-G Combined Power, has announced the launch of a new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit that is 30% smaller than previous versions. The E50 gas-fired CHP delivers 50KW output at 90% efficiency and is designed for small district heating schemes both for commercial and residential use.

Power equipment manufacturer Toshiba Corporation is set to integrate its existing Toshiba India and Toshiba JSW Turbine and Generator subsidiaries under the new brand of Toshiba JSW Power Systems with a view to better tackle the growing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) market in India.

Siemens has won an order for the turnkey construction of a 600-megawatt combined-cycle gas power plant in Turkey. The new Bandirma II plant has been purchased by Enerjisa, a joint venture of Sabanci Holding and E.ON, and will be the second plant in the country utilising the SGT5-8000H gas turbine.

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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