Daily News

To launch a capacity mechanism in Britain is the right approach to incentivise new investment for security of supply, says to Ray Tomkins, founder and director at Economic Consulting Associates.

"We have been lucky that due a combination of circumstances - such as the dash-for-gas, the investment strategy of the vertically integrated oligopoly, and more recently the recession depressing demand- that major blackouts have been avoided as private generators have 'over-invested'," he said. "This cannot be relied on in the future...

Driven by healthy economic growth, Russia’s market for diesel and gas generators (gensets) has grown by 9.7% on average in the five years between 2010 and 2015, Frost & Sullivan analysis shows.

As the EU targets 20 percent wind power generation by 2020, smart power generation based on flexible fast-starting gas combustion engines are essential to guarantee security of power supply while maintaining grid reliability. Flexibility is the key feature of Wartsila's so-called Smart Power Generation. "The 'dinosaurs', those vast old-fashioned power plants are, if not already obsolete, certainly not the answer to the variability challenges of the future....

After a summer of internal debate, the Spanish government is about to introduce a 6% tax on all forms of power generation, as well as new taxes on nuclear and large-scale hydropower plants, in an effort to reduce the country's electricity tariff deficit which stands at a staggering €24bn (£31.3bn).

The United States is likely to stay the country with the lowest cost of power production worldwide as an abundance of shale gas production will put in a ceiling at about $4/MMBtu, Andy Weissman, energy adviser at Haynes and Boone forecast.

Sept 21 - Going into the winter withdrawal season, gas storage volumes in the UK are on healthy levels on soft European demand for UK gas through the Interconnector, Deutsche Bank analysts said today.

Month-to-date Interconnector flows have averaged 9mcm/d this year versus 52mcm/d last year in early September (excluding the maintenance period), the bank said in a weekly commodity report.

Volumes in the UK are nearly equal to that seen last year, even with the large withdrawal in September, compared with a net injection last September into medium-range storage.

As Germany's power grid operators are busy negotiating with power plant operators over the amount of available cold reserves, the federal network regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNA) confirmed that Germany will need over 2,000 MW of capacity reserve to guarantee supply security in during the upcoming winter.

Alstom has entered a 12-year long-term service agreement (LTSA) with Sembcorp Cogen Pte for its "Sembcorp Cogen Power Plant" in the Sakra district of Jurong Island in Singapore.

As Singapore's power generation capacity expands, an increasing number of gas turbines are getting registered with the National Electricity Market of Singapore (NEMS). "With the latest addition the total amount of CCGT capacity registered with NEMS now stands at 7,500 MW," said a representative at Singapore's Energy Market Company (EMC), the facilitator for traded wholesale electricity markets in the city-state.

Diesel and gas generators are experiencing a sales boom across Africa and Asia as they step in to backfill unforeseen power shortages in developing countries, according to findings in GlobalData's report 'Diesel and Gas Generator, 2012'.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has completed of the development of a new 30 MW gas turbine – the Kawasaki L30A. Start-up of the first L30A package, installed at a plant in Japan, is due this October.

RWE npower has officially opened the fifth and final unit at the 2,000-megawatt Pembroke combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) following investment of £1bn by operator RWE to build one of Europe's largest and most efficient power plants.

Siemens has won a $300 million order for the turnkey supply of the Panda Sherman Power Project in Sherman, Texas, in consortium with Bechtel. Construction works are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.

The volatility of gas prices in Europe is forecast to rise as utilities in the U.K., Germany and Spain need more flexible gas supply for dispatching power plants at short notice to counterbalance the growing share of intermittent power supply from renewables.

"We envisage gas demand from the power sector to increase across most European countries, with Great Britain set to become a wind and gas dominated system by 2030, following the closure of most coal plants," James Cox, Principal Consultant at Pöyry told Gas to Power Journal.

The outcome of the US presidential election in November is expected to have merely a limited effect on global energy markets, two Washington-based consultancies found independently.

News in Brief

Tohoku Electric tenders for LNG cargo

Aug 19 – Tohoku Electric Power, the fourth-largest electric utility in Japan in terms of revenue behind Tepco, Kepco and Chubu, is understood to be seeking an LNG cargo for delivery in September. A tender process is ongoing.

Cost for decarbonizing industry tops $21tr

Aug 16 – Total costs to fully decarbonize the four most polluting industries – cement, steel, ammonia and ethylene – are estimated to amount to $21 trillion between today and 2050. McKinsey said this could be lowered to about $11 trillion if zero-carbon electricity prices come down further compared to fossil fuel prices. In this event, industry could switch to using electricity for heating processes.

Co-firing Braskem plant with hydrogen

Aug 15 – Siemens is making fossil energy greener at the Braskem onsite power plant in Brazil. In this modernization project two SGT-600 gas turbines are co-fired up to 60% with hydrogen, enhancing efficiency for the production process of the adjacent the petrochemical complex.

Canada's CO2 tax to hit CCGTs

Aug 5 – Change in Canada’s carbon emissions tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could significantly lower the profitability of gas generation and could prompt SaskPower reconsider its planned Moose Jaw gas power station.

GE CFO steps down

Aug 2 – Jamie S. Miller, General Electric’s chief financial officer, has decided to quit after two years in the job and 11 years with the company. Having overseen GE’s fiscal activities during a period of intense restructuring, Miller will remain in office while the GE board is looking for a successor.

Siemens HR boss quits

Aug 1 – Janina Kugel, Siemens chief HR officer, is leaving the company amid an apparently scattered working relationship and stark personal differences with CEO Joe Kaeser. Her contract will expire by mutual agreement on January 31, 2020.

ABB standardizes eBus chargers

July 31 – Zurich-based ABB, a member of the ASSURED consortium, is working on standardizing the specifications for automatic charging of heavy vehicles. The aim is to drive down the total cost of ownership for electric fleet operators, helping increase adoption of eBuses and eTrucks. Conformance and interoperability tests will be carried out in Q4-2019.

U.S. Senate helps fund EV charging stations

July 30 – The need for expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure is greater than expected given that there had been over 1.75 million electric vehicles (EV) in North America at the end of 2018, a nearly 60% increase from the previous year. To help fund additional charging stations, among other things, the U.S. Senate approved the $287 billion America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA).

PNOC, Lloyds to develop merchant LNG-to-Power projects

July 29 – Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lloyds Energy to develop a 1,200 MW LNG-fuelled power plant in partnership with Mitsubishi. Dubai-based Lloyds Energy is looking at ways to develop integrated LNG import facilities and gas power plants on a merchant basis in Bataan and Batangas provinces.

Macquarie finances CCGT in Mexico

July 26 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

Naturgy cashes in on gas network

July 25 – Spanish gas utility Naturgy has posted a 7% rise in core earnings for the first half of the year due to strong gains from its gas network business that helped offset falling revenues from power generation and slimmer LNG margins.

French court rejects appeal against Total CCGT

July 24 – Judges at an appeal court in Nantes have thrown out an appeal by environmentalist against Total’s planned Landivisiau combined-cycle gas power plant in Brittany. The 440 MW project, initiated by Direct Energy which was since acquired by Total, is over two years behind schedule. The French grid operator RTE has singled out the Landivisiau CCGT as “critical” in guaranteeing supply security in winter 2020/21 due to the planned shutdown of four coal power plants.

U.S. gas production falls in wake of ‘Barry’

July 23 – Shut-ins related to Hurricane Barry have scaled back U.S. gas production by 1.6 billion cubic feet per day, compared to last week, while power sector gas demand rose by just over 2.0 bcf/d. Consequently, there is significantly less gas available for storage so the injection rate has halved, according to Energy Aspects figures.

Blackout after fire at Madison substation

July 22 – Electricity is gradually being restored at Madison, Wisconsin, after 13,000 people experience a blackout following an explosion at a substation near Madison Gas & Electric’s 100 MW gas-fired Blount Generating Station. No injuries were reported.

Fuel switch could abate 1.2bn tons of CO2

July 19 – Some 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 could be abated by switching to gas using existing infrastructure, if prices and regulation are supportive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this would be enough to bring global CO2 emissions back down to where they were in 2013.

IEA launches methane tracker

July 18 – A new ‘methane tracker’, launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA), provides up-to-date estimates of current oil and gas methane emissions by drawing on the best available data. Analysts stressed methane emissions could be reduced by nearly half at no net cost.

Canada’s CO2 tax also affects gas power

July 17 – Change in Canada’s carbon tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could cause SaskPower to reconsider its planned upcoming Moose Jaw gas power station.