Daily News

Canadian power producer EmberClear has teamed up with U.S.-based Tyr Energy to build the Good Spring I & II gas-fired combined cycle power plants in Pennsylvania. The terms of the joint venture agreement give both parties a 50% stake in the deal which will see two new 330MW power plants built.

Malta's state-owned energy company Enemalta has signed a deal with China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC) that will see the Chinese investor pay €320 million in exchange for a 33% stake in the indebted Maltese company. The terms of the agreement dictate that the Chinese firm will have a representation on Enemalta’s board of directors but that the chairman will be appointed by the Maltese government.  

Keen to block tough new regulation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on new coal-fired power generating capacity Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have voted through a bill aimed at thwarting the rules. The vote in the Republican-controlled House passed by 229 to 183 but commentators are sceptical it will make it past the Democrat-controlled Senate.

National energy company Saudi Aramco plans to deliver 160 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of unconventional natural gas by 2018 to fuel a new power plant. The gas-fired plant will be located in Waad al Shamal Mining City and attached to a new phosphate project which will receive a further 40 mmcfd.

GE Power Conversion has won two orders to supply 24 units of 18-megawatt MV7000 variable speed drives (VSD) to for Saudi Electricity Company's (SEC) Jeddah South and Shuqaiq steam power plant projects.

Gas-fired power has been partly classified as "intermittent" as the U.S. Independent System Operator for New England (ISO-NE) created a new category – "Generation at Risk due to Gas Supply Issues" – for planning future capacity needs in the New England Power Pool in early 2015.

Up to 3.5 GW of gas-fired power generating capacity are "expected to be at risk during cold weather conditions or gas pipeline maintenance outages," ISO-NE forecast.

South African energy firm Sasol believes there is significant upside in Mozambique’s vast natural gas reserves and is pushing ahead to capitalise on further exports. Estimates of reserves Mozambique have risen ten-fold recently and the government’s Gas Master Plan forecasts 10 liquefaction trains will be in operation by 2026, with an overall capacity of 69 Bcm/y, making Mozambique one of the world’s top LNG exporters.

Security at power plants in the United States is under threat from cyber-attacks, according to a recent report from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC). “Evidence collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suggests that cyber-attacks on key energy infrastructure—and on the electricity system in particular—are increasing, both in frequency and sophistication,” said Margot Anderson, lead author of the report and director at the BPC.

U.S. power provider AES has launched a new modular battery product designed to deliver energy to the grid at comparable rates to smaller gas-fired power plants. The Advancion solution allows companies to combine multiple battery units to achieve output similar to a 50MW peaking plant with the option to grow incrementally.

Ukraine has missed the March 7 deadline of paying Russia $1.89 billion for February's gas deliveries, prompting threats from Moscow about a halt of future supplies; but analysts suggests even if Russia cuts off gas flows to Ukraine it would have "much less of an impact [on Europe] than in 2009".

New gas pricing policy in India that is due to come into force in April will affect an estimated 19 GW of power generating capacity from gas-fired plants, potentially causing further shutdowns or shortages. The price of gas is expected to almost double from the current rate of $4.2 per MMBtu when the new regime starts next month, leading to a power price hike of as much as $10/kWh for end users.

Shifting from exporting its oil and gas resources to domestic consumption, Indonesia is reorienting its energy production to cater for growing demand of its buoyant industry and power producers. Keen to give 90% of its citizens access to electricity by 2020, the government has introduced a fast-track plant to step up power generating capacity by 20 GW.

News in Brief

JERA on recruiting spree

Feb 26 – Japan’s largest electric utility and LNG buyer JERA is looking to hire 20 administrative and 60 technical staff. Recruitment activities will begin on 1 March 2021.

B&W wins $13m new contracts in North America

Feb 25 – The thermal segment of Babcock & Wilcox has been awarded several energy-related projects in North America, worth approximately $13 million, as the market strengthens and projects continue to restart following delays in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis.” We’re seeing customers now moving forward with necessary work that had been previously put on hold. The recent inclement weather also has forced higher loads within the utility sector and we anticipate stronger demand for parts and services going forward,” said B&W Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Morgan.

PIC Group to service 1.1 GW Hummel Power Station

Feb 24 – Atlanta-based PIC Group has been awarded an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) contract for the Hummel Power Station, a 1,124 MW combined-cycle plant operated by LS Power Group. Situated in Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania, the CCGT is equipped with three SGT6-5000F gas turbines, one SST6-5000 steam turbine, three SGen6-1000A air-cooled generators and one hydrogen-cooled SGen6-2000H generator.

Duke Energy claims natural gas is cheaper than energy storage

Feb 23 – Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas have both indicated in their latest integrated resource plans (IRPs) they view battery storage as potentially more costly than proven gas-fired generating technology. Market observers noted, however, that Duke’s estimates peg the capital costs of a 50 MW/200 MWh energy storage plant at $347 per kWh —far higher than the cost of units that entered commercial service in 2020, as per Lazard data.

EU emission rules could herald end of combustion engine

Feb 22 – Future EU emission rules for cars could mean the abrupt end of combustion engines and put many jobs at risk, the German engineering federation VDMA has warned in a position paper. The use of efficient combustion engines is “still important” – both for vehicles and small generators –VDMA President Karl Haeusgen stressed, especially since these engines can be operated in a climate-neutral manner with synthetic fuels or hydrogen.

Saudi cement producer renews Wärtsilä O&M deal

Feb 19 – The Saudi Arabian cement producer Umm AlQura Cement has signed a five year Operation and Maintenance (O&M) agreement with Wärtsilä for the customer’s captive power plant in Taif City. The 47 MW plant operates with five Wärtsilä 32TS engines. The initial three year maintenance agreement was signed in 2015, and thereafter renewed once.

Gazprom expands Sakhalin–Vladivostok gas pipeline

Feb 18 – The Russian major Gazprom is expanding the Sakhalin – Khabarovsk – Vladivostok gas trunkline at the section between Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Khabarovsk. More than 315 kilometers, or three quarters of its overall length, has been welded to date. Gazprom’s 2021-2025 investment programme will total RUB 5.49 billion ($70 million) – more than three times he money spent in 2016–2020. Planned projects include 14 inter-settlement gas pipelines, 9.3 kilometers of gas pipeline branches, and six gas distribution stations.

Enstor closes sale of Waha gas storage

Feb 17 – Houston-based Enestor Gas has completed the sale of its Waha Gas Storage assets in northwest Texas to WhiteWater Midstream. Waha Gas Storage assets have the capacity, when fully developed, to store approximately 10 Bcf of natural gas and include six underground caverns and permits for five additional caverns.

Technip Energies listed in Paris

Feb 16 – Today, Technip Energy has been listed at Euronext’s regulated market in Paris. CEO Arnaud Pieton said the company’s mission is to “serve the energy transition” through its leading position in LNG, hydrogen and ethylene. As growth areas, he singled out sustainable chemistry and CO2 management.

US renewable energy share to double by 2050

Feb 15 – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the share of renewables in the U.S. electricity generation mix will increase from 21% in 2020 to 42% in 2050. Wind and solar generation are responsible for most of that growth, while nuclear and coal-fired generation decrease. The share of gas-fired generation will remain stable even though gas prices remain low at an estimated $3.50 per MMBtu, according to EIA projections.

Nikkiso to build electric-mechanical actuators

Feb 12 – The clean energy arm of Nikkiso Cryogenic Industries has bought the intellectual property to manufacture electric-mechanical actuators (EMA) and control panels. Coupled to a cryogenic pump, the system works without gearbox which reduces the size of these vertical pumps frequently used in the oil and gas industry.

Europe’s hydrogen projects outnumber current plants

Feb 11 – The number of hydrogen projects across Europe is almost double that of operational electrolysers as demand for the clean fuel is rising fast. According to research by DLA Piper and inspirata, there are 192 planned or announced hydrogen projects in Europe compared to 107 currently operational ones.

NTE to develop 5 GW clean energy projects

Feb 10 – Florida-based NTE Energy is working with investment partners to develop 1.2 GW of solar and 3.9 GW of battery energy storage systems (BESS) next to thermal power plants. “By co-locating renewable projects with thermal generation, we can offer customers access to affordable solar power options backed up by reliable natural gas,” said Steve Remen, NTE managing director. The company aims to bring 4 GW of its proposed clean energy projects into commercial operation by 2026.

Oil price bounces back

Feb 9 – The price of crude oil has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, after plunging to an all-time low last year. Brent crude oil prices for the front-month April were last seen trading at nearly $61 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark for US oil, has risen above the $58 a barrel mark for the first time in over a year.

Equinor VP named co-chair of OGUK board

Feb 8 – Arne Gürtner, Senior Vice President UK & Ireland Offshore at Equinor has been appointed to co-chair the Oil & Gas UK board, as the sector strive to recover while meeting its net-zero targets for 2021. He will be working with Phil Simons, VP North Sea & Canada, Subsea 7.

Enagás to tap wind power for hydrogen

Feb 5 – The Spanish utilities Enagás and Naturgy are evaluating the potential of producing hydrogen from a 250 MW floating off-shore wind farm and a 100 MW on-shore wind farm in Asturias. The project is hoped to generate more than 1500 jobs during construction and operation, with developers applying for funding under the IPCEI scheme.

Turboden wins contract in the Philippines

Feb 4 – Italy-based Turboden, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, has been awarded a contract by the Philippine utility EDC to supply a 20 MW geothermal power plant at Bacon-Manito, on the island of Luzon. The zero-emissions power unit is scheduled to start operations before the end of 2022, and will help lower the local grid’s dependence on fossil energy source.

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