Daily News

New variable valve trains from equipment manufacturer ABB offer the potential to cut gas turbine start-up times by 50%. ABB estimates that its new Valve Control Management (VCM) system can deliver fuel savings of around $200,000 per year for a typical 10MW gas engine.

South Korea's Posco Energy has inaugurated the first integrated steel mill off-gas power plant in Southeast Asia – a 200 MW gas waste facility located within a steel mill complex in Cilegon, Banten.

U.S. power provider, Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL), has lodged an application with the Kentucky Public Service Commission requesting approval to build a 700MW combined-cycle gas plant and 10MW solar power facility at a total cost of $736 million.

EU utilities were forced to write-down losses of  nearly €6 billion in 2013 alone due to closures and mothballing of gas-fired power plants in the UK and the rest of Europe. The ‘Stranded generation asset’ working paper from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE) shows that unsustainable losses for power producers are likely to damage attempts to move towards a  low carbon economy.

Global demand for energy is expected to slow in the years up to 2035 with growth rates declining to 41% as compared to 55% over the last 23 years, according to figures published by BP. The slowdown is attributed to better energy efficiency measures,  but even with energy savings power generation will still see strong growth, accounting for 57% of the increase in primary energy consumption.

Silicon Valley based start-up, Nirvana Energy Systems, has developed a new micro CHP solution that delivers 90% efficiency and can provide significant savings on residential power costs. The company’s first product, the 'Power Stick', produces between 1-4 kW of electrical power, and 15kW of thermal power.    

Wärtsilä has received a contract from PT Indonesia Power.to supply Indonesia's largest ever engine based power plant on a turnkey basis. The 200 MW power plant is scheduled to be partially operational by the end of December 2014, and at full output by the end of May 2015.

For all but rarely used peaking plants, combined cycle designs deliver greater fuel efficiency and returns on initial capital investment. For new projects, there are two options to choose from – single- and multi-shaft. Though greater flexibility in plant design can be achieved with multi-shaft arrangements, single-shaft has lower capital costs, modelling from Lahmeyer International shows.

China’s largest onshore LNG production facility has received compressor-drive technology from GE to help boost output as demand for gas power in the state soars. The HuaQi Ansai LNG Facility was inaugurated in 2012 and supplies an estimated 2 million cubic meters of LNG per day.

Japanese power producer, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), has announced it will increase the volume of LNG it purchases annually from 25 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 40 mtpa as part of a new business plan approved by government. The erstwhile operator of the Fukushima plant aims to increase electricity output from gas-fired plant in the country to make up for lost nuclear capacity and to recover its weak financial position.

A prototype of a new small-scale electric generator offers the potential to capture untapped power from natural gas pipelines using a device known as a Tri-Axial Generator (TAG). Justin Michael Wyatt, co-founder of Magnetar, the company behind the design, told Gas to Power Journal that TAG is a new type of small hydroelectric generator which operates in existing pipelines and uses the fluid's kinetic energy to spin our open-centre impeller to produce electricity.

In a move to maximise production from the UK’s estimated 1,300 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of shale gas, the government has announced generous tax breaks to producers and promised local councils 100% of fees from resultant business rates. Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) predict that widespread UK shale gas production could reduce the implied price of dispatchable gas-fired power generation to around £50/MWh.

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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