Daily News

Origin Energy has started operations of a new 550 MW gas peaking plant in the Australian state of Victoria with a view to expanding the plant's capacity to 1,000 MW, if required. Located at Mortlake, some 220 km west of Melbourne, the new power plant costs investors some $810 million.

The British government has just given the go-ahead, after an 18 month suspension, for the resumption of exploration of unconventional gas by the energy company Cuadrilla, using the fracking process. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey gave the go-ahead, subject to stringent new controls to mitigate possible seismic activity.

Monday, 17 December 2012 / Markets

NRG merger with GenOn completed

Texas-based NRG Energy completed a $1.7 billion merger with New England’s GenOn Energy last Friday. The merger unites two former rivals companies which in 2011 generated some 107 TWh of electricity, sufficient to power about 40 million homes in the US.

A 450MW combined cycle heat and power (CHP) plant is to be built by Alstom in Cologne, at a cost of €350 million, for German power utility RheinEnergie.

Mozambique plans to build its biggest ever gas fuelled power plant. Wartsila has signed a €138 million  deal with joint-venture Central Termica de Ressano (CTR). CTR is a joint-venture owned by South Africa’s integrated chemical and energy giant SASOL Energy, and Mozambique’s state owned electricity company Electricidade de Mozambique (EDM).

Power prices in Singapore are recovering from a plunge in late October caused by a record increase in registered power generation capacity of combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) and low fuel prices.

Gas-fired combined-cycle power plants (CCPPs) will dominate the US power generation market, as economics of low-cost gas generation and more stringent emissions regulation continue to erode the competitiveness of coal-fired plants, forecasts John Wilson, vice president for product sales Americas at Siemens.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has struck an accord with United Technologies Corporation (UTC) to acquire Pratt & Whitney Power System (PWPS), the small and medium-size gas turbine business unit of the aeroengine manufacturer P&W.

Power plant operators of flexible capacity can cash in on differentials between real-time electricity prices and day-ahead prices, triggered by the rising penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources, says Thomas Graves, senior development manager at Burns & McDonnell Engineering.

"Disruptive changes" such as slowing electric load growth, falling peak-load power prices due to demand response mechanisms and expanding distributive generation are challenging power producers in the US. "We as an industry have to meet the challenge and embrace these trends. If we don't, they are going to run over us," says Jon Wellinghoff, chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 / Markets

GE bets on 25-year gas super-cycle

GE is betting on a 25-year super-cycle of natural gas generation, underpinned by cheap shale gas supply, hence the company heavily invests to increase this side of the business, says Paul Browning, President and CEO of Thermal Products, GE Power & Water.

Improved combustion technology at Alstom's GT 26 gas turbine can cope with an expanding range of fuel compositions while maintaining emissions and reliability, says Alexander Bill, Service Manager at Alstom's Power Division.

Doors are opening to POWER-GEN International at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida, today. More than 20,000 attendees are expected to visit the exhibition and attend conference sessions.

OMV, Austria's largest utility, is ready to take financial investment decision (FID) for building a gas-fired power plant in Bavaria, provided capacity markets are introduced to guarantee a stable rate of return.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) will grant Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne funding worth $5 million for three cost-sharing projects set to improve efficiency and reduce costs of gas turbines in commercial-scale power plants.

News in Brief

AI predicts peak in power use

Nov 20 – ABB and Verdigris Technologies have developed machine-learning algorithms to predict unplanned peaks in electricity consumption and help avoid them. The Energy Forecasting app will enable users to reduce their electricity bills by reducing peak demand charges.

India’s first UHVDC link commissioned

Nov 19 – GE Grid Solutions has commissioned Pole-3 - the ultra high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission line in India, capable to transmit 4,500 MW of electricity. Once completed the Champa-Kurukshetra UHVDC project will be expanded to transmit 6,000 MW of electricity at 800 kV, serving customers in the areas of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh.

COP25 urged to step up climate efforts

Nov 18 – The COP25 UN climate conference in Madrid is urged to enshrine greater commitments from the world's industrialised nations to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. “Europe will have to play a key role in this regard,“ environment minister Svenja Schulze said, adding Germany's recently announced climate package marks a "restart" in the country's climate policy.

Wärtsilä launches ‘Expertise Centre’ in Singapore

Nov 15 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has chosen Singapore as the location for its latest Expertise Centre (EC) that provides operational support and dynamic maintenance planning, both for marine and energy business customers. All of Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centres combined currently monitor some 900 installations with more than 2,000 engines around the world.

U.S. storage injection hits record high

Nov 14 – Near-record volumes of natural gas have been placed into storage in the United States in the current injection season. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the amount of gas held in storage in 2019 surged from a relatively low value of 1,155 billion cubic feet (Bcf) at the beginning of April to 3,724 Bcf at the end of October.

SaskPower proceeds with Moose Jaw project

Nov 13 – Canadian utility SaskPower has taken a significant step towards realizing a 350 MW gas power plant at Moose Jaw. The project was first proposed in 2017, but in the Canadian federal government June last year introduced new regulations for gas generation coming online after January 1, 2021, which stalled the plans. Having completed its regulatory review, Sask Power was now granted permission to proceed from the municipality of Moose Jaw. Major Fraser Tolmie said “this $700-million investment into the city of Moose Jaw, will ensure we have base-load power in the province of Saskatchewan and to maintain our power independence.”

Sembcorp powers up first BESS unit in the UK

Nov 12 – Sembcorp Energy UK, part of Singapore-based Sempcorp Group, has started to operate the first 60 MW unit of its battery energy storage system (BESS) fleet, supplied by GE. Combined, the three storage units in Leicestershire and Cheshire will bring Sembcorp Energy UK’s total energy portfolio to 973 MW.

Global gas glut may clear in 2021

Nov 11 – Economics of exporting American liquefied natural gas to Europe no longer add up. With Henry Hub spot prices around $2.7/MMBtu, moving LNG cargoes from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Europe is “not workable,” BP analysts said, indicating that production shut-ins could help clear the massive supply overhang towards the end of 2021.

Gazprom reassures Germany of Ukraine gas transits

Nov 8 – Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, has been trying to reassure the German government commissioner Georg Graf Waldersee that Russia was ready to signing a new transit contract with Naftogaz if both companies mutually waive claims. Before gas flows can proceed, however, Ukraine will have to create an independent gas transmission operator by January 1, 2020.

GE makes gains in wind power

Nov 7 – GE Power is gradually turning away from its loss-making fossil power segment to focus on the fast-growing renewable business. This week, GE struck a deal for its new Haliade-X turbines to be used at Dogger Bank Wind Farms. The three 1.2 GW Dogger Bank projects, situated offshore the UK’s Yorkshire coast, are expected to trigger approximately £9 billion of capital investment between 2020 and 2026.

PetroVietnam eyes LNG-to-Power project

Nov 6 – PetroVietnam has signed an agreement with B.Grimm Power Public Company (BGRIM) to jointly study the development of an integrated LNG import and power generation project. The aim is to build a 3,000 MW gas-fuelled power plant and an adjacent LNG import terminal. The location of the project has not been disclosed.

ABB launches ‘Smart City’

Nov 5 – Electrification specialists of the Swiss manufacturer ABB have designed an interactive ‘Smart City’ that contains smart buildings, e-mobility, energy management and data centers. The use of smart technologies and digitalization are encouraged by the United Nations as a way to help decarbonize cities around the world.

Gazprom, BASF cooperate on sulfur separation

Nov 4 – The Russian major Gazprom and the German chemical company BASF have agreed to devise a comprehensive solution for separation of sulfur from natural gas. The aim is to  enhance eco-efficiency of the Astrakhan gas processing plant and improve operational efficiency of BASF’s amine gas treatment units at the Orenburg gas-fired power plant.

Germany’s emission fall ‘markedly’

Nov 1 – Germany is headed for second consecutive year of substantial reductions in carbon emissions, amid a sharp drop in coal-burn in the power sector and an overall decline in energy use in 2019. If this trend continues, the country could get much closer to its 2020 climate target than widely anticipated.

Exmar to refinance Tango FLNG

Oct 31 – Exmar, the Belgian shipping company, is trying to refinance the Tango FLNG vessel, moored offshore Argentina on behalf of YPF. The aim is to generate around $60 million in additional capital, Exmar said, suggesting a deal will likely be struck in the first months of 2020.

Petronet doubles net profit

Oct 30 – Indian LNG importer Petronet has nearly doubled its net profits in the third quarter although revenues fell by 13%. Net profits came in at 1,089 crore rupees ($153.6m), an increase of 90% on the same period in 2018 as the company benefited from India’s lower corporate tax rates. Third-quarter revenues, in contrast, fell to 9,449 crore rupees ($1.33 billion).

Wildfires spread around LA

Oct 29 – Thousands of Los Angeles residents have been evacuated as wildfires spread fast around the metropolis and power outages brought life close to a standstill. The risk of fires caused by overland transmission lines prompted Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to prolong precautionary blackouts that could last up to three days.