Daily News

Capacity payment mechanism should not only consist of a lump sum for availability but should include a premium for flexibility, says Edward Nagelhout, Market Development Analyst, Wartsila Power Plants.

ESB and 15% shareholder Carlton Power is getting close to finalise the financing for the 910-MW Carrington plant.

ESB has reportedly already signed a first deal for a £450m of senior debt, split between a 10 year and a 17 year SERV covered tranche backed by an ESB EI toll with a liability cap on termination.

ExxonMobil is adding a new cogeneration plant in Singapore as part of the expansion of its petrochemical complex in Jurong. Located on a man-made island in the south-west of Singapore, the new facility is part of an industrial and power generation hub.

GE has launched its new FlexEfficiency 60 power generation portfolio, saying the solution was "engineered to harness natural gas" while taking into account the rising market share of renewable energy.

European shale gas developments are "not yet a game changer" as natural gas produced at shale gas plays can only compete with conventional gas pricing when appropriate drilling equipment is easily available to enable economics of scale, says Mohamed Ayyad, Senior Consultant – Global Gas at Nexant.

At least 10 GW of secured available generation capacity would be needed in Germany to backup renewables, however investment in combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGTs) power plants is "highly problematic" as profit margins are low, or even negative at times, and available financing remains restrained, says Reinhold Rümler, senior advisory practise at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Germany.

Coal will not keep its current position in the power generation market, and after a few years' time gas generation will see a comeback in Europe, Alexander Antonyuk, gas and electricity market analyst at the International Energy Agency (EIA) said in London today.

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.

News in Brief

Slow start of STT pipeline

Oct 18 – U.S. gas exports to Mexico have not picked up substantially despite the start of the Sur de Texas-Tuxpan (STT) pipeline. Exports are still below 6.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), although there no current postings regarding maintenance on the Sistrangas pipeline that feeds from NET Mexico.

EIB defers ban on fossil projects

Oct 17 – Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) has bowed to pressure from Germany and the European Commission and deferred its decision to ban loans to fossil-fuel projects until mid-November. Germany wants the bank to keep financing gas-fired power projects as it views the cleaner-burning fossil fuel as a vital backup for renewable energy sources.

Brexit will not impact UK gas supply

Oct 16 – Security of power and gas supply in the UK will not be jeopardized this winter by the country’s imminent departure from the European Union, even in the event of a hard Brexit, National Grid said. In its assessment, the TSO factored in a halt to flows via the Belgium and Dutch gas interconnectors “from EU exit day one”, but said ongoing deliveries from Norway, the UK Continental Shelf and storage will continue as usual.

Ferrybridge C gets demolished

Oct 15 – Four cooling towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station have been taken down as the coal-fired power station will make way to a new, high-efficiency gas power station. Operator SSE shut down the 500 MW Ferrybridge C unit in March 2016 and now started to tear it down.

Global energy storage tops 10 GW by 2025

Oct 14 – The global market for grid-connected energy storage will grow by 6,900 MW, or 16.6% to reach over 10,500 MW by the end of 2025, according to Reportlinker.com. Germany will add over 267 MW energy storage installations over the next five to six years, while 330 MW will come from other European markets. These numbers are dwarfed by China, where up to 1,200 MW energy storage units could be connected to the grid by 2025.

Wärtsilä services EDL plant

Oct 11 – Energy Developments Ltd (EDL) of Australia has awarded Wärtsilä a service contract for gas engine-based baseload power plant at the McArthur River zinc mine in Northern Territory. The maintenance approach for the 53 MW onsite power plant is no longer pre-planned and scheduled but has been changed to condition-based and predictive maintenance, with an advisory contract.

EPH buys CCGT in Galway

Oct 10 – The Czech energy company EPH has received regulatory approval to purchase an 80% stake in the 400 MW Tynagh Energy combined-cycle gas power plant in Galway, Ireland. Mountainside Partners will continue to own the remaining stake in the CCGT, which operates based on a security-of-supply contract from the Irish TSO based on guaranteed power prices.

ITM gets £38m boost from Linde

Oct 9 – Sheffield-based ITM Power, maker of electrolysers for hydrogen production, has been boosted by a £38 million cash injection, as Linde acquired a 20% stake in ITM at 40 pence per share. Looking ahead, ITM said it is seeking to raise £14 million from new and existing institutional investors.

Drax to convert two power units

Oct 8 – Drax Group has received government approval to convert up to two coal-fired generating units at its power station in North Yorkshire to run on natural gas. With this ruling, the UK regulator overturned objections by ClientEarth, stressing some fossil power is vital for the UK to backup intermittent renewable power source.

Storage use tops 80% in key U.S. regions

Oct 7 – Gas storage utilization in the United States is rising in the autumn, with net injections topping 112 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in the first week of October. According to EIA figures, underground storages are at least 80% full in the East, Midwest, and South Central non-salt regions, allowing for seasonal withdrawals to help meet peak-day gas demand throughout the upcoming winter.

Maine, NY aspire to 100% clean energy

Oct 4 – Three U.S. states—Maine, New York, and Ohio—have updated their renewable portfolio standards (RPS), since May 2019. As a result, Maine and New York joined California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia in requiring 100% clean electricity by 2050.

TransAlta to built CHP in Alberta

Oct 3 – Canada-based Transalta and SemCAMS Midstream have agreed to develop, construct and operate a new cogeneration facility at the Kaybob South No. 3 sour gas processing plant in Alberta. To be built at a cost of some 105 million, the CHP will have an installed capacity of 40 MW. Start of commercial operation is targeted for late 2021.

GE’s 100th HA turbine sold in Greece

Oct 2 – Greek industrial firm Mytilineos has ordered a GE 9HA.02 gas turbine to be the heart of the 826 MW Agios Nikolaos combined-cycle gas power plant. This deal also marks the 100th unit of GE’s HA gas turbine sold. Construction of the CCGT is due to start before the end of the year.

ABB launches M4M analyzer

Oct 1 – Swiss technology firm ABB has launches its first Bluetooth-equipped network analyzers, called M4M. The system gathers data from distribution grids and connects them to a cloud-based control system, allowing users to react on energy consumption and on-site power generation trends.

Microsoft invests in wind power

Sept 30 – Microsoft and ENGIE have entered a long-term solar and wind energy power purchase agreement (PPA) in the United States. The deal will see Microsoft purchase a total of 230 MW from two ENGIE projects in Texas, bringing Microsoft’s renewable energy portfolio to more than 1,900 MW.

Gazprom tackles issue of ownerless gas grid

Sept 27 – Gazprom, the main supplier of pipeline gas to Europe, is trying to settle the issue of ownerless gas pipelines – a relic of the former Soviet Union. Abandoned gas transmission pipeline spanned 6,651 kilometers as of March 1, with the issue seen as “especially acute” in the North Caucasus region where half of this infrastructure is located. If no owner registers these facilities within three months, Gazprom will take over to ensure reliability and safety.

Investors flock to Myanmar

Sept 26 – Fitch Ratings has singled out Myanmar’s power sector as one of the largest beneficiaries of foreign direct investments (FDI) worldwide. Nearly $21.2 billion was poured into power generation and energy infrastructure projects thus far in 2019, which is 27% of total FDI under the Myanmar Investment Law.