Daily News

Duro Felguera, a Spanish engineering and construction company, has won a contract to realise the  gas-fired Vuelta de Obligado power plant project (800 MW) in Argentina in cooperation with GE and the local engineering firm Fainser, on a turnkey contract basis.

Japanese Marubeni Corporation has won a contract to carry out a gas turbine overhaul for the Ywama combined cycle power plant (CCPP) in Myanmar from Myanma Electric Power Enterprise (MEPE). Hitachi will supply the parts needed for the overhaul works.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has commissioned the third 250 MW gas turbine at the 1,500 MW Pragati-III Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) in Delhi, India. "The full load operation of the unit has been achieved within a day of unit getting synchronized," BHEL said.

GDF SUEZ subsidiary International Power, in association with consortium partners, has been selected as preferred bidder for the combined heat and power plant CHP5 in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

Natural gas prices as delivered to power plants in the U.S. plunged to a ten-year low in April, allowing gas to reach parity with coal in net electric power generation for the first time since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) began collecting data.

Gazprom has entered negotiations with E.ON on a special pricing mechanism for gas used for power generation, which prompted Societe Generale to forecast that the majority of gas in Europe will not be priced under an oil-linked formula as of 2014e.

Swiss power and automation technology group ABB has won two orders to help Swedish iron ore producer Northland Resources operate its new concentrator plant at the highest levels of energy efficiency. "The extremely tight schedule makes this project unique," ABB said with reference to production start-up planned as early as November 2012.

Wartsila India has launched a Remote Monitoring Station in the southern Indian city of Chennai.  The new station will ensure real time monitoring of power plants by Wartsila personnel in Chennai, backed by technical support from Wartsila Condition Based Maintenance (CBI) Centre in Finland. Wartsila expects the plant monitoring will save maintenance costs and improve their operational reliability.

Wood Group GTS, an independent provider of rotating equipment services, has won a $1 million contract to effectuate a combustion inspection on a GE Frame 7EA dual fuel gas turbine at a power plant located in Kansas, U.S.

Gas-based smart generation power plants are crucial to help beat the continued high level of peaking shortages in India. “Capital-intensive thermal plants should be used for operating baseload and gas-based smart generation plants should be deployed for meeting peak deficit,” suggests Rakesh Sarin, Managing Director, Wartsila India. “This is possible only if a peak tariff mechanism is evolved first,” he told Gas to Power Journal’ in an interview.

GE has shipped two Frame 9FA gas turbines and associated generators to Pakistan for installation at the country's largest projected combined-cycle power plant (750MW) in Guddu. Installation of the turbines is scheduled to be completed by September 2012, with full plant commercial operation expected by mid-2013, GE confirmed.

Mass Global Investment Company, an Iraqi independent power producer, has selected GE to effectuate a combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT) conversion of the Erbil power plant with a view to increasing capacity by 500 MW to 1,500 MW.

Swiss engineering group ABB has won orders worth around $55 million from the Canadian utility BC Hydro to supply flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS) solutions to help increase grid transmission capacity.

Siemens together with the local contractor Alfanar has commissioned the first two of its SGT6-2000E gas turbine units at the Hail-2 Extension-III power plant on behalf of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC).

"The Hail-2 Extension-III project is expected to contribute significantly to the infrastructure development of the Hail region," said Siemens CEO of Saudi Arabia, Arja Talakar.

Decentralised energy storage can play an important role within the context of tomorrow's smart grid, next to demand response by means of flexible power generation, an Eurelectric report finds.

News in Brief

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.

MAN, Daewoo, HSD partner on engine digitalization

July 16 – MAN Energy Solutions, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and HSD Engine (HSD) have signed a strategic agreement to cooperate in the field of marine engine systems digitization. The three companies also work together on auxiliary systems and data analysis, aiming to apply part of their know-how to power generation and related sectors.

Canada launches first utility-scale smart microgid

July 15 – The Ontario-based municipal utility North Bay Hydro Services is cooperating with the smart grid solutions firm S&C Electric to launch Canada’s first utility-scale microgrid system. Among some solar power, the 789KW microgrid system will be powered by two 265kW natural gas generators.

Macquarie funds Mexican power plant

July 12 – 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.

B&V launches distributed energy group

July 11 – Black & Veatch has launched a dedicated distributed energy group to place its conventional power business in the context of the global energy transition. The distribute energy group will look into new fuel sources such as hydrogen and aspires to “re-power the more-than-century-old power industry.”

Funding secured for Kazah CHP project

July 10 – Kazinform Erg has committed to spend $500 million on a gas cogeneration station that will provide heat and electricity to the south of Kazakhstan. Over 87% of Kazakhstan’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, and in 2018 the country produced 107,060 billion kWh of electricity, a 3.8% increase over the previous year and enough to cover total power use of 103,228 kWh.

Bitcoin mining uses much energy

July 9 – Estimates of bitcoin’s electricity consumption are wide-ranging, on the order of 20‑80 TWh annually. According to George Kamiya, digital energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), bitcoin mining consumed around 45 TWh in 2018 although this has risen significantly this year. Through the first six months of 2019, bitcoin mining has already consumed an estimated 29 TWh.

Coal exit doesn’t impact Germany's supply security

July 8 – Electricity supply security in Germany is set to stay “very high” even as the country begins to phase out coal-fired power generation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said in a monitoring report. “Energy supply is adequately ensured”, the ministry said, in all scenarios examined up to 2030. Thereafter, things are less clear but the German Coal Commission is adamant that its proposal to exit coal power by 2038 is feasible and won’t seriously impact reserve margins.

Hydrogen demo plant starts in Adelaide

July 5 – The Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), has received A$4.9 million in government funding for an A$11.4m hydrogen electrolyser demonstration project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. At the test site, AGN plans to blend 5% renewable hydrogen with natural gas for supply to customers using its existing gas distribution networks. The project is based on a Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, running based on wind and solar power.

Wärtsilä forms biogas solution

July 4 – Wärtsilä Puregas Solutions, specialists in biogas upgrading technology, has merged with Wärtsilä’s biogas liquefaction team to create a one-stop-shop service for biofuel production. Having installed the world’s largest bioLNG facility in Skogn, Norway, Wärtsilä will deliver two more bio-LNG plants to customers in Scandinavia. The company’s Puregas CA process recovers more than 99.9% of the biomethane present in raw biogas.

PNM to close San Juan Generating Station

July 3 — New Mexico's largest energy holding, PNM Resources, has filed an application to the Public Regulation Commission to close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. For replacement power, PNM said the preferred option was a mix of gas power plants, solar and wind farms and new battery storage facilities. The utility strives to be ‘emissions-free’ by 2040.

ADB opens office in Singapore

July 2 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to open an office in Singapore. The lean office with twelve staff will focus on the expansion of its private sector operations, e.g. through Public-Private Partnerships. “We estimate that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum,” commented Singapore’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat.

Testing starts at Haliade-X

July 1 – Technology testing has started at GE’s Haliade-X, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine. The 12 MW nacelle and 107-metre long blade was shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program, focused on enhancing the platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.

Tata to build UK’s first CCUS plant

June 28 – Tata Chemicals has announced plans to build the UK’s first industrial-scale Carbon Capture, Usage and Demonstration plant at its Northwich industrial site. The CCUD unit will be built at an estimated cost of£16.7 million and is planned to start operation in 2021. It will make use of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants and turn it into sodium bicarbonate, which can then be sold to pharmaceutical industries.