Daily News

Engine manufacturer, Alstom, and power producer, Arabian Bemco Contracting Co. Ltd, have signed an agreement to create a new joint venture (JV) company called, Alstom Arabia Power Factory Ltd. The deal will see an initial investment of approximately €50 million to create a new manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia manufacturing heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs).

Power producer, Calpine Corporation, is to purchase a 1,050 MW, combined-cycle power plant in Texas from MinnTex Power Holdings, for $625 million. The natural gas-fired plant is located in Guadalupe County, northeast of San Antonio, Texas and recently received approval from The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for an additional 470MW, "peaking" power.

Israeli power company, IC Power, has been awarded a tender worth $1 billion to build a gas power plant in Peru. The new plant will be built in Mollendo, a town in southern Peru and generate 590 MW of output. Construction is expected to be complete by 2016.

The UK’s grid operator, National Grid, has reported a record level of power generated by wind-based renewables. Output from wind turbines rose above 6GW for the first time on Friday and is expected to rise further this week as strong winds hit the country, with power producers already halting 7.8GW of gas-fired output to compensate.

The market of gas-fired power in India is expected to expand even as gas prices are set to reach as high as $20/MMbtu, Wärtsilä's chief executive, Bjorn Rosengren, said ahead of the government's revision of natural gas pricing in 20 days' time.

As Japan turns to burning record amounts of thermal coal, the country's flat-lining LNG imports help keep prices capped despite an uptick in gas demand from China and Korea's robust offtake. 

"It's a counterbalance," said Gavin Thompson, Wood Mackenzie's head analyst for Asia-Pacific gas and power. "The fact that we are seeing significantly stronger winter spot demand in China and strong demand in South Korea – both of those buyers are fairly welcoming of the fact that Japanese demand is relatively flat," he said, pointing at a16% seasonal demand growth in northern China this year.

Steam turbines operating in combined cycle power plants will soon be able to start-up and cool-down more flexibly following research by engine manufacturer Alstom. "We expect to see turbines starting more frequently and more quickly with less life consumption due to more accurate modelling of the fatigue cycle during turbine cool down," Gabriel Marinescu, a lead researcher at Alstom told Gas to Power Journal.

Contribution of gas-fired plants in the UK has fallen as a share of overall electricity generation, latest figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show. The share of power output produced by gas-fired plants declined to 28.5% in the second quarter of 2013, down from 29.6% in the same period in 2012, as rising energy prices and a weak economy have depressed demand and caused more plant shut-downs.

In an oversupplied market German "power prices have limited upside for the next couple of years," Societe Generale analyst Paolo Coghe forecast, adding "To make matters worse, GDF Suez, Trianel and Steag will bring three brand new plants online before year end, adding over 2 GW to an already comfortable power system."

A shale gas boom in Europe could reduce import dependency and lower wholesale gas prices by 14%, delivering cost savings of €540 billion between 2020 and 2050, a new report from Poyry Management Consulting finds.

The European Union is falling back behind China, Canada and the United States in the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects as a way to reduce the carbon footprint from fossil power plants, members of the EU parliament criticised.

Swiss power and automation provider, ABB Group, has won a contract to supply a gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation and plant automation systems for a new 600 megawatt (MW) power plant in Egypt. The gas-fired plant will be built by Italy's Ansaldo Energia, and is expected to be completed by mid-2014.

News in Brief

Hamburg CHP runs fully on hydrogen

Dec 1 – Field testing has started for HanseWerk’s combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Hamburg to run fully on hydrogen. The converted 1 MW pilot plant, powered by Jenbacher engines, provides district heating equal to 13,000 MWh/year to 30 residential buildings, a sports facility, a daycare center, and the Othmarschen Park leisure centre.

Oil majors in the red

Nov 30 – For most oil majors worldwide, higher prices are needed to get their business out of the red. Breakeven prices for Saudi Arabia are $85 per barrel, around $64/bbl for Iraq, $49/bbl for Kuwait and as little as $40/bbl for Russia. As business confidence plummets, major oil companies have already slashed planned CAPEX spending by almost $89 billion in first quarter of 2020, with further cuts being made throughout the summer and autumn.

EU invests into battery cells

Nov 27 – Germany's EU Council Presidency has pledged Europe should develop an integrated value creation chain for battery cells, starting with the processing of raw materials over battery cell production to recycling. Germany is investing 3 billion Euros into the two projects that foster novel methods of battery production.

Rolls-Royce wins order from Hinkley Point C

Nov 26 – Rolls-Royce has been awarded an order from Hinkley Point C to deliver 140 Bibloc pressure transmitters for the two EPR nuclear reactors currently under construction in Somerset, UK. The transmitters will measure the flow, level and pressure of the Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS).

CHP industry to grow 14.4% through 2025

Nov 25 – The combined heat and power (CHP) market, evaluated at $12.152 billion, is expected to expand nearly 14.4% per year to reach $27.196 million by 2025. Growth is primarily driven by government funding and subsidy schemes. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the country aims to install 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP to save $10 billion per year, compared to current energy use.

Rolls-Royce opens US customer center

Nov 24 – Rolls-Royce has opened its latest US customer support center in Savannah, Gerogia. The 62,000 square feet facility houses a power plant completion center, a wing services repair unit and a warehouse, all under one roof.

Lithium Werks grows manufacturing

Nov 23 – US-Dutch manufacturer Lithium Werks is growing the output and sales fuel cells and battery modules for use as power, pulse, and stand-by applications. The company’s 26650 Nanophosphate cells are used as single cells, as well as to build cell-packs and modules like Lithium Werks P40-24 battery modules. The Austin and Enschede-based company said it can “produce millions of 18650 and 26650 cells a month in China.”

AGL plans 1,000 MWh battery

Nov 20 – Australian power producer and retailer ALG wants to realise a large grid-connected battery storage unit of up to 250 MW rated output and four hours’ duration of storage, equalling 1,000 MWh. The battery will be built in stages on the site of Torrens Island Power Station in South Australia. AGL vowed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, but is currently still operating some 40 GW of coal-fired generation.

Fusion demo plant to be designed in Canada

Nov 19 – Vancouver-based General Fusion has entered a partnership with the architecture firm AL_A to design a demonstration plant, based on magnetized target fusion (MTF). Once operational, the demo plant will showcase MTF technology under power plant-relevant conditions.

Toshiba opens H2One fuelling station

Nov 18 – Toshiba has opened the first ‘H2OneMulti Station’ which fills fuel cell vehicles with green hydrogen and supplies for green electricity at Tsuruga City in Fukui prefecture. The station consists of H2One ST Unit and H2One, using hydrogen produced from wind and solar power sources.

Shale gas market grows at 7% rate

Nov 17 – Unconventional gas markets are poised to grow by $41.76 billion through 2024, rising at a rate of almost 7%. According to Technavio, about 87% of the supply growth this year is coming from the Americas.

Agua Blanca pipeline expanded

Nov 16 – Austin-based WhiteWater Midstream and MPLX have completed a 1.8 billion cubic-feet-per-day (Bcf/d) expansion of their joint venture Agua Blanca pipeline system. Christer Rundlof, CEO of WhiteWater CEO, said the expansion will be brought into service ahead of schedule. Testing and commissioning will begin this month, for the new pipeline stretch to be brought into full service in early 2021.

Wärtsilä integrates clean energy

Nov 13 – Finish technology group Wärtsilä strives to integrate variable clean power sources to achieve a 100% renewable energy future. The necessary operational flexibility will come from gas generation assets running on synthetic renewable fuels and by the extended use of energy storage.

First German-Belgium power link to start operation

Nov 12 – The two TSOs Amprion and Elia are preparing to launch the first electric interconnector between Germany and Belgium. The 1,000 MW interconnector stretches between Aachen and Lüttich, from where it links to the Rhineland region and Wallonia. It will go into operation as of 18 November, with intraday capacities to begin trading on 8 December.

Sachsen Energie takes on E.ON and RWE

Nov 11 – A small regional energy provider in Saxony seeks to counter the dominance of E.ON and RWE. Sachsen Energie, set up in a merger between two local utilities, claims it will become "the largest municipal utility in eastern Germany," catering to about one million customers, when it begins operation in 2021.

Rolls-Royce to build Czech nukes

Nov 10 – British engine maker Rolls-Royce and the Czech energy conglomerate CEZ have agreed to design and develop small modular reactors (SMR). These low-cost nuclear power stations are being built by the UK SMR Consortium aimed at installing a “fleet of factory built” nukes in the UK, and exporting the design abroad.

CCUS to reach $3.5bn by 2025

Nov 9 – The global carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) market size is expected to grow at a rate of 17% from $1.6 billion in 2020 to $3.5 billion by 2025. According to ResearchAndMarkets, the rising use of captured carbon for enhanced oil recovery plays a key role for the expanding CCUS market.

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