Daily News

As Russia's energy market reform enters a critical phase, the International Energy Agency (IEA) points out that – despite a partial privatisation in 2008 – "considerable scope" still exits for the Government to improve the diversity of ownership and wholesale competition through further divestment or virtual power plants. The Russian state still controls 60% of generating capacity.

Carbon capture reduces the efficiency of the combined-cycle gas turbine power plant (CCGT) by 11%-point, a study by Sari Siitonen, Gasum Oy and Leena Pirhonen ÅF-Consult shows. The study analyses how the integration of pre-combustion carbon capture technology in the gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant affects the efficiency, power-to-heat ratio, CO2 emissions and costs of the power plant.

Persistently cold winter weather in the United States has propelled up gas prices which has led to a temporary boost in the use of coal for power generation, according to market sources. A surge in demand for natural gas to fuel heating pushed gas prices to a four year high this week, reaching $5.66/MMBtu,according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Oman Power and Water Procurement Co (OPWP) plans to float a request for qualifications (RfQ) by the third quarter of this year for developers interested in realising a $1.5 billion proposed gas-fired power project.

Natural gas-fired power saw the largest increase in installed capacity in 2013 across all fuel sources in the United States with a total of 7,270 MW added to the grid, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The figures, published as part of FERC’s Energy Infrastructure Update report, show that 51.2% of all power generation capacity that started operation last year was gas-fired.

The municipal utility in Erfurt has put into operation an extension of its Erfurt Ost combined-cycle power plant, driven by a Siemens SGT-700 industrial gas turbine.

Enercity, the Hanover-based municipal utility, has filed a request to the German network regulator Bundesnetzagentur to shut-down its 102MW Herrenhausen gas-fired combined heat and power plant. Operators must notify the regulator, who may reject a request if the plant is deemed 'system relevant' to guarantee security of supply.

Engineering consultants Mott MacDonald has been appointed owner's engineer by a subsidiary of Gama Enerji for a new 840MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Kirikkale, Central Anatolia, Turkey.

U.S. president Barack Obama delivered his state of the union address this week vowing to “cut red tape” in order to increase the use of natural gas by industries and power producers. The president also promised to fight polluting coal power plants, citing natural gas as “the bridge fuel that can power our economy.”

Saibu Gas, a Japanese gas provider, is planning to venture in the domestic electricity market and has commissioned a feasibility study to build a 1.6 GW combined-cycle gas-fired power plant adjacent to its Hibiki LNG import terminal. The CCGT is indented to be ready for start-up by 2020.

Independent Power Provider NTE Energy has announced plans to develop a high-efficiency $500 million combined-cycle gas plant (CCGT) in Ohio. The newly named Middletown Energy Center will utilise an M501JAC advanced turbine from Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas (MPSA) to generate approximately 500 MW output.

As Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (MHI) and PW Power Systems (PWPS) are growing together, PWPS President Peter C. Christman said the biggest post-acquisition 'difference' lies in that "we can now leverage Pratt & Whitney cutting edge technology with turbine engines on an exclusive basis while enjoying the reach of the global MHI sales and service network."

News in Brief

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.

Terna BESS auction six times oversubscribed

Dec 16 – A pilot auction, held by the Italian TSO Terna, for battery energy storage systems (BESS) to provide reserve grid services has been six times oversubscribed. The auction was held with an expectation that around 230 MW would be on offer, but Terna received 1,327 MW worth of bids and eventually awarded contracts for 249.9 MW.

New £150m link to UK’s Easington terminal

Dec 15 – National Grid has completed a gas pipeline under the River Humber, build in 18 months and at a cost £150 million, as new link to the import terminal at Easington. Following commissioning, the pipeline is now operational and can now transport between 70 to 100 million cubic metres - around a quarter of Britain's gas needs.

House ad Jul2020