Daily News

Australian investment bank Macquarie is understood to be eyeing investments in European gas power plants as asset prices hit a low. The bank seeks to expand its existing infrastructure portfolio and the reduced price of many gas-fired power plant assets across the continent is thought to have driven interest from the bank.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has won the first order for J-Series gas turbine. Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA), Oklahoma's state-owned utility, selected MHI supply an M501J gas turbine for its Chouteau power station.

Citing an unprecedented escalation of gas prices in the January cold snap in the U.S., PJM, the power grid operator for 13 eastern states, has called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval to exceed a $1,000 per megawatt price cap on power purchased from gas-fired plants.

Turning away from its traditional gas export routes to Europe, the Russian government plans to at least double flows of oil and natural gas to Asia over the coming 20 years, a draft document of its energy strategy shows.

Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL) has awarded a contract to Alstom to deliver the first MXL2 upgrade package for two GT13E2 gas turbines at its combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) in in the United Arab Emirates.

Public support for gas power in the UK has shot up by 50% in the past year, according to figures published by the UK’s Energy Research Centre (UKERC). The results of UKERC’s yearly poll show that favourablity to gas power rose from 40% in last year to 59% in 2013.

Japanese power producer Chubu Electric Power has announced plans to partner with India’s GAIL to bulk buy LNG in a bid to reduce fuel costs for its power plants. The deal would be the first major LNG buying co-operation between the two nations, both of which face gas prices four times higher than the U.S.

Turkey's energy minister Taner Yildiz has expressed interest to buy more oil and natural gas from neighbouring Iran at competitive prices in an effort to curb Turkey's current account deficit that is mainly caused by expensive energy imports.

U.S. equipment manufacturer Cummins Power Generation has announced a new contract win to supply a turnkey cogeneration plant for Russia’s State Unitary Enterprise TEK SPb. The plant will feature four of the company’s updated C2000 N5CB gas generators, each of which generates 2 MWe  of electrical output and a further 1.2MWth of thermal energy.

Figures from the U.S. Energy Information Authority (EIA) project a global shift in natural gas markets, with the United States set to become a net exporter of natural gas by 2018. Gas exports are underpinned by a steady rise in U.S. gas production, with output forecast to rise 56% between 2012 and 2040 to reach37.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) by the end of the forecast period.

Spain's Iberdrola has been awarded a contract to develop, build, own and operate the Baja California III combined cycle power plant in Mexico. Commissioning of the new gas-fired plant will come at a cost of about $270 million and the project is set to step up Iberdrola's operating capacity in Mexico to a total of 5,200 MW.

Germany's E.ON and RWE are planning to shut-down or scale-back output at several gas-fired power stations in the UK despite repeated warnings from the National Grid that Britain faces a capacity crunch and the risk of power shortages or blackouts.

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.

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