Daily News

Energy and services company Emera has spent $541 million to buy three combined-cycle gas-fired power plants in New England from Capital Power Corporation in a bid to expand its plant portfolio. The purchased assets comprise the 520MW Bridgeport Energy plant in Connecticut, the 265MW Tiverton Power plant in Rhode Island, and the 265MW Rumford Power plant, Maine.

Alliant Energy is the latest U.S. power producer to gearing up to develop new gas-fired capacity in the Midwest as it was granted planning approval for its proposed 600MW Marshalltown Generating Station (MGS) and the launch of a feasibility study for an additional 300MW gas-fired plant.

ExxonMobil is to sell its 60% stake in Hong Kong power generation business, Castle Peak Power (CAPCO), to the existing minority shareholder CLP Power and China Southern Power (CSG) for $3.4 billion. Castle Peak Power operates a number of power stations in Hong Kong including the 2,500MW gas-fired Black Point Power Station.

The South Korean government has reduced taxes on LNG to incentivise the use of natural gas for power generation, while simultaneously raising electricity rates to reign in peakload demand in order to alleviate system and the risk of power shortages in the upcoming winter season.

The Dutch municipality of Ameland is set to deploy the largest network of micro-CHPs in Europe based on 45 units delivered by the Australian fuel cell manufacturer Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd (CFCL) that will be installed on the small North Sea island. "The units will run on natural gas and will be remotely controlled to produce an output of up to 585 MWh per year, " David Stürken, a spokesperson for CFCL told Gas to Power Journal.

China announced plans to finance the construction of 5,000 MW of new gas and coal-fired capacity in Yemen and to expand two of the country's main container ports. "China is already Yemen's largest trade partner for overall imports and exports, so these developments come on top of a strong existing relationship," Sam Wilkin, Yemen analyst at Control Risks said, speaking to Gas to Power Journal.

Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL) is GE's first customer in the Middle East to invest in 9E Advanced Gas Path (AGP) technology, upgrading three gas turbines in Dubai.

British Gas owner Centrica is gearing up to claim a £6 million refund from HM Revenue and Customs relating to the Peterborough gas-fired power station, arguing that business rates for the plant and several of its other loss-making gas power units were set too high.

Energy storage and clean fuel company ITM Power has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NRM Netzdienste Rhein-Main, a 90% subsidiary of Mainova, with a view to identify and quote for PEM Electrolysis power-to-gas projects in Germany and internationally.

The ten major power producers in Japan have consumed 16.3% less fuel oil in October than a year earlier as they stepped up the use of LNG and coal for power generation, data by the Federation of Electric Power Companies shows. The shutdown of Japan's entire nuclear capacity and the shift to fossil fuels has made the Government's carbon emission targets unobtainable.

Turbine service company, Emerson Process Management and Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas (MPSA) have announced plans to extend their alliance for turbine retrofit projects in the Americas. The two companies first signed an agreement to co-operate on turbine retrofits, upgrades and servicing in 2008 and have since collaborated on a number of turbine retrofit projects to improve power plant operations.

U.S. state-owned utility, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), has announced plans to invest $1 billion in a new gas-fired plant in Kentucky. The news follows a review of TVA's power generating mix and comes alongside the closure of 8 existing coal-fired units.

News in Brief

Singapore sets aside $36m for low-carbon tech

Oct 27 – The Singapore government is supporting low carbon tech by setting aside SG$49 million ($36m) for research into hydrogen, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and energy storage. Testbeds for blending of low-carbon hydrogen with natural gas in combined cycle gas turbines, will yield insights into low-carbon tech and facilitate future deployment, said Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

Researchers develop lightweight battery

Oct 26 – Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability (LBF) have developed a lightweight battery pack to reduce the overall weight of e-car batteries. The new pack holding the battery cells is made of fibre-plastic composites, reducing the weight by 40 percent compared to a casing made of aluminium. The new battery is hoped to drive the upward trend for e-car registrations in Germany and help lower emissions in the transport sector.

MAN to maintain power plant in Benin

Oct 23 – PrimeServ, the after-sales brand of MAN Energy Solutions, has signed a service agreement with BWSC for the Maria Gleta power plant near the city of Cotonou, Benin. The 127 MW plant is powered by seven MAN 18V51/60DF engines. The ten-year contract covers the supply of spare parts and the provision of technical services for scheduled maintenance.

Gas saves Virginia over $14bn

Oct 22 – Virginia’s businesses and families saved more than $14.2 billion between 2008 and 2018 thanks to low-cost natural gas and expanded energy infrastructure, according to a new Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) report. Almost 60% of power generation relies on natural gas and a third of its households use gas for home heating.

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.

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