Daily News

Construction of Calpine Corporation's new 309MW gas-fired Garrison Energy Center in Dover, Delaware has begun, according to local media reports. The combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) is expected to become operational by June 1, 2015 and is designed to accommodate a further 309MW expansion, should market conditions be favourable.

Alstom has renewed a maintenance contract worth €90 million with Petrobas for seven years to service power generation equipment at their Governador Leonel Brizola (Termorio), Fernando Gasparian (Piratininga) and Celso Furtado (Termobahia) gas-fired combined cycle power plants (CCPPs) in Brazil.

AltaGas Ltd. has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with affiliates of LS Power Equity Advisors to buy Blythe Energy, LLC through its indirect wholly owned subsidiary AltaGas Power Holdings (U.S.) Inc. for $515 million. Blythe Energy owns the Blythe Energy Center, a 507MW natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant (CCPP), associated major spare parts and a related 230 kV 67-mile electric transmission line in Southern California.

Amid abating speculation of EU intervention to support the Emissions Trading System (ETS), UniCredit forecasts the price for carbon emissions allowances will "remain in a downward trend", which would have a negative impact on the profitability of clean-burning gas as a fuel for power generation compared with coal.

Yokogawa Middle East B.S.C., a subsidiary of Yokogawa Electric Corporation has been awarded a contract to supply its CENTRUM VP integrated production control systems to two gas-fired combined-cycle power plants (CCPP) in Egypt. The control systems will be supplied to the 750MW Banha CCPP and the 1500MW Giza North CCPP.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) at its March meeting on Monday approved a Weather-Sensitive Emergency Response Service pilot scheme prior to the upcoming summer that will expand its options to reduce electricity use during the peak summer season when power demand is high and supplies are tight.

The long-run trend in the U.S. of slowing growth in electricity use relative to economic growth will continue through 2040. The projected growth rate in electricity use is forecast to be less than half the rate of GDP growth, reference case projections in the EIA's annual energy outlook 2013 show.

Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has confirmed shipment of 13 sets of power generation systems operated by diesel engine to the Yangon City Electricity Supply Board (YESB) of Myanmar. The generators are provided as part of emergency grant aid from the Japanese government in response to Myanmar's current power crisis.

Gazprom has confirmed its interest in buying combined-cycle gas-fired power plants in Europe, despite competition from cheap coal that makes burning coal more than burning coal in most western European markets.

The details of the government's new capacity mechanism will have an important impact on the future of gas-fired power generation in the UK, Chris Anastasi, Head of Government Affairs, Policy and Regulation at GDF Suez Energy told Gas to Power Journal at this year's IMech Steam Turbine and Generator User Group in Coventry. "We're looking to see what the rules and regulations are going to be because there are some models that work better than others," he said.

The UK government needs to provide more clarity on details of the Energy Market Reform (EMR) bill which is currently going through Parliament if investments in new plants are to be made in time to avoid energy shortages in the next few years, says Ignacio Galán, Chairman of Iberdrola and ScottishPower.

Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) has decided to reduce its existing power generating capacity in the UK by around 2,000MW during the 2013-2014 financial year, and to not invest in any new gas-fired capacity in the country until at least 2015.

The gas-fired Peterhead Project in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and the coal-fired White Rose Project in Yorkshire, England have been announced as the two preferred bidders for the UK's £1 billion Carbon Capture and Storage Commercialisation Programme Competition. The UK government will now seek to come to terms by the summer with the two preferred bidders for Front End Engineering Design (FEED) studies due to last 18 months, before a final investment decision is taken in early 2015.

Globeleq, a power company owned by Actis, has begun construction on a 139MW expansion for its existing Azito gas-fired power plant near Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Completion of the project is expected in early 2015, at which point the nominal capacity of the plant will be 420MW.

Improvements in energy efficiency and changes in the manufacturing output mix have resulted in a significant decrease in energy intensity in the US. Total energy consumption in the American manufacturing sector decreased by 17 percent in the period from 2002 to 2010, despite only a 3 percent decrease in gross output, according to recently released data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

News in Brief

Wärtsilä wins contract in Barbados

Jan 23 – Barbados Light & Power Company Ltd (BLPC) has contracted Wärtsilä to fast-track the supply of a 33 MW flexible power plant, as an EPC project. The plant, set to run on four Wärtsilä-32 engines, will be built at a site adjacent to BLPC’s 10 MW solar photovoltaic plant at Trents, St. Lucy, located on the northwestern coast of Barbados.

Azito power plant takes FID

Jan 23 – Globeleq and IPS have reached financial close on a 253 MW expansion of the Azito gas-fired power plant near Abidjan. An MXL3 upgrade will boost the capacity of the combined-cycle plant from 460 MW currently to 713 MW, equaling about 30 percent Ivory Coast’s total capacity installed.

Climate risks become urgent

Jan 22 – Adaptation to climate change is now “urgent,” McKinsey claims, suggesting there would be “many adaptation opportunities.” Climate science shows that the risk from further warming can only be stopped by achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions through renewable built-out and energy storage.

India’s electricity demand may triple, IEA finds

Jan 21 – Energy demand in India is set to double by 2040, and its electricity demand may triple, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Oil consumption in India is seen grow faster than that of any other major economy, making energy security a key priority, the IEA said in its first in-depth review of India’s energy policies. Amid strong growth, renewables now account for almost 23 percent of India’s installed capacity, while energy efficiency improvements helped avoid 15 percent of India’s additional energy demand, oil and gas imports, and air pollution.

Regulators approve CCGT in Wisconsin

Jan 20 – State regulators have approved a permit for Dairyland Power Cooperative to build a $700 million combined-cycle gas power plant in northwestern Wisconsin. The Nemadji Trail Energy Center will produce 625 MW and is scheduled to begin operations by 2025.

ExxonMobil enhances turbine oils

Jan 17 – New high performance turbine oils, developed by ExxonMobil Lubricants, are  entering the market which are formulated to prevent build-up of lacquer, varnish and deposits. The oils are designed to protect against thermal and oxidative degradation, one of the root causes of deposit build-up.

Wärtsilä signs O&M deals in the Bahamas

Jan 16 – Following the commissioning of a Wärtsilä-built 132 MW power plant in Bahamas in December, the Finish manufacturer now signed a two-year operation and maintenance (O&M) accord with the plant owner, the Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL). Wärtsilä will transition, train, and develop the owner’s Bahamian work force and provide key performance guarantees.

China, S'Korea curtail coal to tackle air pollution

Jan 15 – Beijing city government’s aggressive approach to tackling air pollution is working and South Korea’s spring coal-fired curtailments show some success in cutting seasonal emissions. According to Wood Mackenzie, this should benefit LNG, particularly while spot prices remain low.

Sri Lanka at brink of power shortages

Jan 14 – Sri Lanka could face power cuts by March, after plans for a large-scale coal power plant were been cancelled just prior to start of construction, and a tender for a 300 MW diesel plants ended up in court. On the demand side, pressure is building up as the region is moving into the dry season in February and March. Weather warnings say the island is likely to receive lower than average rainfall in the first quarter of 2020.

Caterpillar’s new genset comply with UK & German grid codes

Jan 13 – Caterpillar Inc. has launched a series of new generator sets that comply with the new G99 United Kingdom, VDE-AR-N 4110 German and Belgium C10/C11 grid codes. The following gensets – G3500H, CG132B, CG170, and CG260 (rated from 280-4,500kVA) – have been verified to be able to accommodate different reactive power modes, active power functions, and connection conditions for normal operation or reconnection after mains decoupling.

Transneft launches battery-based power supply for ILI tools

Jan 10 – Transneft Diascan, the largest Russian inspection service provider for pipelines, has developed and put into operation a power supply system for in-line inspection (ILI) tools based on rechargeable batteries. Flaw detectors performing inspections of trunk oil pipelines, gas pipelines and oil product pipelines can now use the energy from rechargeable batteries, which helps save time and reduces the cost of in-line inspection.

Pavilion starts trading LNG out of Madrid

Jan 9 – Singapore-based Pavilion Energy has completed the acquisition of all gas and LNG assets of the Spanish utility Iberdrola. From its new European headquarters in Madrid, Pavilion said has launched 2020 LNG trading operations with supplies focusing on Spain and the UK market.

Gazprom extends gas transits via Belarus until 2021

Jan 8 – Gazprom and Gazprom Transgaz Belarus have sealed additional agreements to extend the contracts for gas supplies to and gas transportation across Belarus until 2021. According to the newly-signed documents, the contractual supply and transit volumes in 2020 will remain at the level of 2019.

EastMed pipeline to take FID by 2022

Jan 7 – Greece, Cyprus and Israel have signed an agreement to build the 1,900-kilometre EastMed pipeline at an estimated cost of 6 billion Euros. The subsea pipeline, spanning over 1,900-kilometres would initially carry 10 Bcm of gas per annum from Israeli and Cypriot waters to Crete and then on to the Greek mainland and into the European gas network via Italy. A final investment decision (FID) is meant to be reached in 2022, given that the pipeline is scheduled for completion by 2025.

U.S. energy-related emissions drop over 2%

Jan 6 – Fewer emissions from coal consumption, combined with lower energy demand, have helped to significantly reduce the overall energy-related carbon emissions in the United States. According to government statistics, energy-related CO2 emissions fell 2.2 percent last year, and the downward trend is forecast to continue into 2020.

Brent crude prices surge

Jan 3 – North Sea Brent crude prices have risen to their highest level since September 2019, up nearly $3 per barrel because of Middle East tensions coupled with improved Chinese economic forecasts. Brent crude futures for March 2020 delivery were last seen trading at 69.21 per barrel the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). This bullish price sentiment will feed through to oil-indexed natural gas contracts and LNG deliveries, linked to the Japanese crude cocktail (JCC) basket price.

IEA says coal’s fate tied to Asia

Dec 23 – Rapid rise of wind and solar power in many parts of the world has pushed coal-fired power generation into steep decline in most developed countries. "But this is not the end of coal, since demand continues to expand in Asia," analysts at the International Energy Agency commented: "The region’s share of global coal power generation has climbed from just over 20 percent in 1990 to almost 80 percent in 2019, meaning coal’s fate is increasingly tied to decisions made in Asian capitals."