Daily News

Schmack Biogas, a German suppliers of biogas technologies, is close to finalising construction works of a 2.85 MW biogas-to-energy plant Tongere, Belgium. "We plan to get the plant ready to start full commercial operations in the second half of this year," Schmack Biogas sales representative, Gernot Buchta, told Gas-to-Power Journal.

German utilities E.on and RWE  have spoken out in favor of a strategic reserve as a quick solution to resolve a capacity squeeze in southern Germany in the coming winter. The debate over capacity markets, by contrast, would take years and the scheme is believed to proof counterproductive to energy-only-markets.

CLP Power Hong Kong is prepared to expand capacity at the 2,500 MW gas-fired combined cycle Black Point Power Station (BPPS) to guarantee security of power supply and meet the Government's tightened statutory emission cap, Robert Cochran, Head of Planning and Venture Support at CLP told Gas to Power Journal.

Russian gas exports to Europe have dropped 14.5% to 32.8 Bcm in the second quarter of 2012 on reduced offtake volumes from Gazprom's continental European buyers who prefer coal over gas generation.

RWE npower, the British arm of the Germany's RWE, will start commercial operations of the 2,000-MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant in Pembroke in September.

Alstom Thermal Services has been awarded a contract worth close to €7 million ($8.6 million) by the Comisión Federal de Electricidad's (CFE) to upgrade of the main electrical equipment of unit 4 of the 'El Sauz' combined cycle power plant (CCPP).

Turkey's Privatization Administration (OIB) will launch a tender to sell the 1,200-MW gas-fired Hamitabat power station in Tekirdag, in the north-western region of Turkey.

Germany's second-largest utility RWE on Tuesday announced it will cut more than 2,400 jobs as first-half year profit came in 'unchanged', while electricity sales fell 8 percent and gas sales dropped 11 percent. "The present framework conditions are anything but favourable", Peter Terium, RWE chief executive said when presenting the H1 results in Essen today.

Siemens Flex-Plant technology enables the operator of the new 300-MW Lodi Energy Center (LEC) to deliver about 200 MW of power to the grid within 30 minutes. California Power Agency (NCPA) runs the plant in full commerical operations since August 10.

Average on-peak wholesale electricity prices in the US have plunged between 24% and 39% across major price hubs from January to June this year as natural gas prices fell to a 10-year low, according to EIA statistics.

German utility E.on today posted a Eur2.4 billion increase in its H1 earning to Eur6.7 billion, largely due to successful gas negotiations with suppliers.

As profitability at several of E.on's conventional gas- and coal-fired power plants across Europe is squeezed due to reduced operating hours and low power prices, E.on chief executive Johannes Teyssen said plant closures may have to be considered.

Toshiba International Corporation (TIC), the US subsidiary of Toshiba's thermal power generation business, has won a major order from Burns & McDonnell Engineering to supply and install components to retrofit a 800 MW steam turbine at the Ottumwa Generating Station in Iowa, US.

Global Power Equipment Group said it "remains optimistic regarding future prospects for new natural gas-fired power generation projects", despite posting a drop in Q2 revenue to $94.7 million, down from $138.3 million due to shipment delays and reduced maintenance services.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental & Chemical Engineering (MHIEC) has won an order from Oita City, Japan, to modify operation at a large-scale municipal waste-to-energy plant with a view to extending the operational lifetime and advance energy-savings.

News in Brief

Quarrels over contract award

June 26 – Guam Power Authority’s decision to award a contract to finance, build and operate a new 180 MW power station on the island to Korea Electric Power has sparked protest by rival bidders. Four companies had submitted proposals – Korea Electric, Osaka Gas, Powerflex and Hanwha Energy Corp. Declining to comment on the quarrels over the contract awarding process, GPA said the deal with Korea Electric is expected to be closed by September 9, pending a related impact study.

PTT steps up power sector investment

June 25 – Thailand's state-run PTT Pcl has decided to boost investments in the retail and industrial power sectors to help insulate the energy company against the impact of a global economic slowdown on its oil refining and chemical businesses. Referring to the Sino-U.S. trade war as a global challenge, PTT chief executive Chansin Treenuchagron said the company is looking “how we can survive in the short term.”

APR helps power Libya’s recovery

June 24 – Libya’s state-owned GECOL has asked APR Energy to bring in temporary generators to provide a rapid 450 MW boost. Under the latest contracts, APR provided mobile gas turbines at four key sites in Libya (250 MW) as well as 200 MW of diesel generators at two sites.

GE supplies SCADA to New Zealand

June 21 – GE’s Renewable Energy Grid Solution’s business has won an order from two New Zealand utilities to upgrade their traditional Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems with GE’s Advanced Distribution Management Solutions (ADMS). The orders were placed by Top Energy Ltd with some 31,000 customers and Northpower serving over 60,000 customers, though the contract values were not disclosed.

Top 5 OEMs to rule two thirds of global wind market

June 20 – After a decade of fragmentation, the top 5 turbine OEMs are consolidating again and Wood Mackenzie anticipates key players will surpass a combined market share of 68% by 2020, up from 47% five years ago. Vestas, SGRE and GE remain the top 3 wind turbine producers wwhile the Chinese leaders, Goldwind and Envision, are becoming increasingly popular due to their product reliability and track record.

Keane to merge with C&J Energy

June 19 – Oil- and gasfield service providers C&J Energy Services and Keane Group have agreed a merger-of-equals in a $746 deal that will give the two companies the necessary uplift in an industry burdened by budget cuts of hydrocarbon producers. The 50:50 merger will create a company will create a company with a combined enterprise value of $1.8 billion, including $255 million in debt. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Evol LNG helps power Australian gold mine

June 18 – Kirkalocka Gold Mine in Western Australia will use Evol LNG to fuel Zenith Energy’s 14.5 MW power station with regasified natural gas starting from September 2019. The mine is run by Adaman Resources and had been relying on diesel to cover its energy needs. Based on the current diesel price, Adaman Resources expects to reduce fuel costs by more than A$13 million (US$9 million) during the first six years of operation of the new onsite LNG-to-Power plant.

Shell Energy ordered to refund overcharged UK customers

June 17 – UK energy regulator Ofgem has ordered Shell Energy Retail to refund around 12000 customers who were overcharged after the Government’s cap on gas and electricity prices came into force in January. Shell Energy Retail s agreed to refund these customers by paying £29,000 in compensation (£5 per fuel), and also pay an additional £200,000 into Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund.

BASF enters battery market

June 14 – German chemical company BASF is using NGK Insulators’ sodium sulfur batteries as its entry point into the energy market. The Japanese manufacturer NGK is currently the only maker of the large-scale sodium sulfur (NAS) batteries, capable to store several hours of energy. A joint project in northern Germany uses NAS batteries that store energy for five hours, while a recently completed project in Abu Dhabi using 108MW / 648MWh of the systems with a full six hours storage duration.

CNPC boosts domestic gas production

June 13 – China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the largest Chinese oil and gas company, has announced plans for domestic natural gas output to reach 55% of overall domestic supply by 2025. Last year, CNPC managed to boost production by 5.9% to reach 138.02 billion cubic metres, while also increasing imports of pipeline gas and LNG.

Gazprom taps new gas deposits for Nord Stream 2

June 12 – Gazprom is fast-tracking hydrocarbon production in northwest Russia to boost reserves for export through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (55 Bcm/y), currently being built through the Baltic Sea. At a meeting with Nord Stream shareholders, Gazprom noted that its Yuzhno-Russkoye field has yielded about 276 Bcm of natural gas, including 0.9 Bcm of hard-to-recover Turonian gas, since the start of operations. Turonian gas reserves, consisting of about 99% methane with no heavy residues, lie at a depth of 800–850 meters in reservoirs with low permeability. Commercial production at the Turonian deposit is scheduled to start in late 2019.

PG&E turns off electricity to avoid wild fires

June 11 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has turned off electricity for some Californian communities at risk of a wildfire during the lastest heat wave. The authorized blackout started on Saturday in Napa, Solano and Yolo counties, with electricity being gradually restored over the course of Monday. Approximately 16,000 customers have been affected.

Gazprom to build power plants in Serbia

June 10 – Gazprom Energoholding has signed an Agreement of Intent (AoI) to build an upgrade several gas-fired power plants in Serbia. Together with Novi Sad, Gazprom Energoholding is already building a CCGT with some 200 MW capacity near a refinery in the Serbian town of Pancevo.

U.S. fund splashes out $4bn to buy El Paso Electric

June 7 – Infrastructure Investment Fund (IIF), a private investment vehicle within J.P. Morgan Inc., has agreed to acquire the U.S. utility El Paso Electric Co for $68.25 per share in a cash transaction. The enterprise value on the transaction is estimated at $4.3 billion. El Paso Electric customers will receive a total $21 million in bill credits over three years.

Caterpillar gensets back up Finnish data center

June 6 – The Swedish telecom giant Telia has ordered 12 Caterpillar gensets to provide standby emergency power to back up operations at its new data center in Helsinki. The Cat dealer Witraktor figured a system which includes eight Cat 3516B and four 3516E generator sets. The Telia Helsinki Data Center is the largest such facility in Finland, and its primary electric power supply comes from a combination of wind, hydroelectric and biomass.

Capstone wins orders in Iraq

June 5 – Micro-turbine producer Capstone has secured an order for two C600 Signature Series microturbines to provide 1.2 MW of energy to power a triethylene glycol (TEG) dehydration facility near Basra, in southern Iraq. The contract also includes Capstone’s new self-cleaning pulse filtration system, allowing the turbines to better withstand hot and sandy conditions with minimal maintenance.

Gas to supply record 43% of US power needs

June 4 – This summer, natural gas is forecast to cover between 40% and 43% of 2019 peak electricity demand in all U.S. states except Texas, according to projections by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gas demand soared to nearly 10,700 billion cubic feet (Bcf) last summer, a 16% rise from 2017 levels. Should there be another heat wave this year, that record may well be broken. Capacity wise, natural gas is on course to top its 45% share in the U.S. power mix.