Daily News

A research project under way at the University of Kentucky (UKY) is currently developing a solution to mitigate CO2 from gas- and coal-fired power plants using a novel algae-based process. "We are aiming to reduce the cost of the process to $300/tonne at which point the resell value of the algae will allow for break-even and carbon capture can operate at zero cost," Mark Crocker, lead researcher on the project told Gas to Power Journal.

 Siemens Energy has handed over the 200-megawatt gas-fired open cycle Santo Domingo de los Olleros power plant (OCGT) in Peru to the operator Termochilca SAC after 19 months of construction.

US power producer, Panda Power Funds, will commission two natural gas-fired plants, based in Temple and Sherman, by the end of 2014 in a move set to add a total of 1,500 megawatts to the Texas electric grid.

Current proposals for UK capacity markets are likely to favour larger portfolio generators and existing, mothballed plants that are better placed to handle risks. "There seems to be general agreement that there will be critical demand for flexible gas-fired power from 2018-2019 onward but the proposed penalty regime could be prohibitive for some players, with some potentially opting to stay outside the capacity market," Tony Ward, head of Power & Utilities at Ernst & Young (EY) said, speaking to Gas to Power Journal.

Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), the German energy regulation authority, has received applications for the closure of 30 power plants, with a capacity of more than 6.5 GW, according to a list seen by Gas to Power Journal. Of the 30 plants involved, five ENBW power plants have been declared vital for the system, so a shutdown is not permitted.

Wood Mackenzie analysts expect winter gas shortages to become an annual trend in China through to 2020 as surging gas demand for power generation and heating in cities cannot be met by domestic supply. Progress on shale gas production remains slow despite a domestic gas price reform, so reliance on importing LNG spot cargoes continues.

Irish utility Energy Supply Board (ESB) has sold its 50% stake in the Marchwood Power Station in the UK to the reinsurancer Munich Re. Though ESB did not reveal how much it received for its holding in the 800-megawatt plant, proceeds are understood to be in excess of £200m (€240m).

The former head of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that natural gas in the U.S. offers a bridge to a cleaner energy mix. Carol Browner, now senior counsellor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, gave her comments at a conference focused on the energy outlook for 2014.

Setting up a capacity market in Germany would "very expensive" and seems unnecessary as the country is oversupplied – except for southern states – and should rather switch off older power plants instead of keeping them alive with financial support, said Claudia Kemfert, head of the energy, transport and environment department at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

Ed Davey, the UK secretary for energy and climate change, has urged country leaders at the UN climate conference in Warsaw to end funding for overseas coal-fired power plants as a step towards forging a global climate protection deal in 2015.

Cote d'Ivoire will have an additional 139MW of gas-fired capacity as Globeleq, an independent power company, announced an expansion of its existing 288MW Azito gas power plant near Abidjan to be completed by 2015. Expansion works have started and are set to increase the plant's capacity by 50% without requiring any additional fuel, with the electricity output set to be sold to the state through a 20-year concession.

EDF Energy has submitted an updated application to build a gas-fired power station (1,800 MW) at Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire. The proposal will now be considered by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and follows a previous application made in December 2005 that has since been on hold.

News in Brief

Energy storage for LNG-powered vessels

Oct 21 – Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf has asked Wärtsilä to retrofit its energy storage system (ESS) on four LNG-fuelled platform support vessels. Once upgraded in early 2022, all vessels will be of full tri-fuel operation.

Mott McDonald starts construction on ALCP6

Oct 20 – US construction firm Mott McDonald has started building the ALCP6 waste to energy project in Krabi province, southern Thailand. The plant will incinerate 144,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, and the heat obtained will be converted into 6 MW of electricity to be exported to the Thai national grid.

Brace for EU sustainable finance rules

Oct 19 – Sustainable finance practices, drawn up by the European Commission, could create a "bureaucratic monster" that smaller companies and energy investors would find overbearing, the Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (ifo) warned. The regulation should hence prioritise closer scrutiny of large and listed companies.

UK could become net power exporter

Oct 16 – Increased interconnection could provide a route for excess offshore wind power in Britain to be consumed elsewhere in Europe. National Grid Interconnector Register shows up to 16 GW of interconnection could be operational by 2025 and up to 25.4 GW by 2030.

Wärtsilä to deploy GridSolv in US city

Oct 15 – AEP OnSite Partners has contracted Wärtsilä to deploy its GridSolv Quantum energy storage in the city of Martinsville, Virginia. The system includes an UL9540A limiting 2-hour battery firewall and will help lower the city’s energy costs.

Rolls-Royce spends $13.9m in Mankato

Oct 14 – Britain’s engine maker Rolls-Royce has decided to invest nearly $14 million in its Power System business to build a new R&D centre at its MTU manufacturing plant in Mankato, Minnesota, US. The expansion will see 28,000 square foot added to the facility’s existing hall, making room for the production of high-power MTU gas gensets, enhanced product testing and the creation of 20 new manufacturing positions.

Clarke commissions Vitalait power unit in Tunisia

Oct 13 – Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher have completed the commissioning of an onsite power plant of a milk producer in Tunisia. The installation of another Jenbacher gas engine has increased the plant’s output to 4 MW of electricity as well as 1,100 kW of hot water and 800 kW of steam.

Secondary battery market to top $55bn

Oct 12 – Technavio expects the secondary battery market to grow by $55.62 billion through 2024, rising at an 11% rate over the forecast period. Falling costs for lithium-ion batteries as well as growing demand in Asia Pacific allowed the market to grow 2.01% this year, despite adverse effects of the pandemic. Top battery suppliers are Tesla, Clarious, Exide, LG Chem, GS Yuasa and Samsung.

Shift to sustainable tech

Oct 9 – Three quarters of utilities, surveyed by EIT InnoEnergy, are considering adopting sustainable technology over the next 12-18 months. However, over one third of the respondents found it hard to recruit the skills they need.

Generator rentals slow

Oct 8 – The rental market for power generators has slowed down due to the pandemic, with genset rentals from the oil and gas industry forecast to grow by just $153.87 million this year. However, Technavio expects the market will return to a 3% annual growth rate by 2024.

GE upgrades Italian CHP

Oct 7 – GE has completed an axial fuel staging upgrade on its 9E gas turbine at an onsite combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Milazzo refinery in Sicily. The entire electricity needs of the refinery, over 780 GWh in 2019, will soon be supplied by the upgraded and more flexible gas turbine.

Operating assets ‘from anywhere’

Oct 6 – GE Digital’s latest software gives electric utilities remote and mobile control over their power stations for remote start-up, external monitoring and operational fine-tuning. The goal is to safe cost through autonomous operation from any location.

Chart wins order from New Fortress Energy

Oct 5 – Chart Industries has secured a second leasing order, worth $7.7 million, for ISO containers for LNG applications from New Fortress Energy for a project in the Caribbean. The US equipment maker sees double digit near-term growth in its repair, service and leasing business, notably from growing demand for LNG equipment for infrastructure.

Siemens energises Togo

Oct 2 – Siemens Energy has delivered a SGT-800 gas turbine and other components for the Kékéli Efficient Power plant project. Located in the Togolese capital Lomé, the 65 MW plant will cover almost 40% of country’s expected electricity demand.

Batteries get cheaper

Oct 1 – Cost for battery production is falling rapidly as manufacturers bring large Gigafactories on-line. By 2030, Bloomberg New Energy Finance anticipates battery pack prices to drop to $73 per kilowatt-hour, down from a current volume-weighted average of below $270/kWh.

Barclays may help fund Rolls-Royce

Sept 30 – UK’s prime engine maker Rolls-Royce is understood to be close to getting fresh financing from Barclays Bank. The Derby-based company, however, insists no final decision has been taken on the precise amount that may be raised or any allotment of shares to any investor.

Petronas to truck LNG to off-grid users

Sept 29 – Petronas Dagangan Group is gearing up to build a LNG truck delivery service for off-grid customers in Peninsular Malaysia. Trucks fitted with cryogenic tanks will bring the super-chilled fuel to remote industries and small-scale power generators with no access to the natural gas grid. Malaysia’s Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU) pipeline is only 2,500 kilometers in length and was initially built to export gas to Singapore.

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