Daily News

Siemens Energy has won an order worth over €100 million from KAR Construction and Engineering Company Ltd to supply gas turbines and generators for 640-megawatt Khormala gas turbine power plant in northern Iraq.

Sept 12 - Installed thermal energy storage capacity in the U.S. is forecast to rise to 7.2 GW by 2020, up from 2.7 GW in 2011, according to Pike Research.

The annual U.S. market for incremental thermal energy storage capacity totals $268 million, with 246 MW of new capacity installed in 2011, Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, said in a report published on Wednesday.

The strongest growth for thermal energy storage is expected to occur in Europe, as market development is supported by the European Commission's efficiency initiatives and the rise in volatile renewable electricity generation.

„Under a conservative estimate of 2020 market activity, there will be about 19 GW of cumulative thermal energy storage installations in Europe by the end of the decade, equaling 2 GW of new capacity per year by 2020," analysts at Pike Research said in the report.

Thermal energy storage is used to better utilise surplus electricity generatated at solar plant projects by storing heat for later power generation.

Alstom has developed a MXL2 upgrade for GT26 gas turbines, offering power plant operators to adapt production hours of their plants to fluctuating demand and to significantly extend inspection intervals and increase availability – key features in markets with a large share of intermittent wind generation such as Spain, says Leone Tessarini, product manager at Alstom's gas turbine services.

The autumn statement of the UK finance ministry, set for 5 December, will impact on the timing of the Government's update on the Electricity Market Reform (EMR), JP Morgan Cazenove said today. As both the EMR and the gas generation strategy paper need to be consistent with the Government's fiscal targets, the papers are „only likely to be published once the fiscal targets are known in December,"  says Edmund Reid, analyst at the bank.

While European power prices are will stay flat over the coming days they  are likely to increase in by the end of September on colder weather conditions, the Italian bank UniCredit forecast. Gas generation remained on low levels throughout Europe, while higher profit margins and subsequently higher utilisation of power generation have supported carbon prices in recent weeks, bank research shows.

Aggreko, a leading provider of temporary power generation services, has opened its first service centre in Walvis Bay, Namibia, to meet to power demand of the country's rapidly growing mining industry. Located next to the Port of Walvis Bay, the facility is also well positioned to supply backup power generation to Namibia's shipping and fishing industries.

At current prices, "gas is too expensive a fuel for Europe", Société Générale said in a report today. The bank remains more bearish than the forward curve and recommends selling the front year NBP Summer 13 contract.

The first power plant unit has been delivered to Emirates Aluminium's (EMAL) expansion project in Al Taweelah,  Abu Dhabi, U.E.A. The 1,000 MW expansion will boost the power generation capacity of the on-site plant to 3,000 MW.

Nigeria's federal government has spent about $8 billion on power intervention projects since 1999, to support the construction of 10 power plant projects with a combined capacity of 4,774 MW, James Olotu, owner of the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), said in Lagos.

Hot-weather-driven electricity demand for air conditioning coupled with low natural gas prices has led to a 24% surge in U.S. gas demand for power generation in the period through August 15, according to the U.S. Energy Administration (EIA).

A surge in Japan's LNG imports for thermal power generation is on the cards as the party of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is gearing up to adopting a zero-reliance policy on nuclear power to win voters' support in the forthcoming election.

The British government has proposed to set a cap "broadly equivalent to 1 GW" for new biomass-fired power plant capacity. Energy secretary Ed Davey said the cap will "ensure that the Renewables Obligation delivers value-for-money for the bill-payer while enabling shovel-ready projects to come forward."

RWE npower's, part of the German energy company RWE, will start-up the fifth and final unit at the 2,188-megawatt Pembroke combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant before the end of  this month. Final commissioning works at the Pembroke plant in Wales are being carried out cover the coming two weeks.

UK gas exports have dropped this week, after the NBP Zeebrugge spread turned towards the zero or slightly negative level at the start of September. "UK gas flows shift early towards winter flow patterns," Deutsche Bank analysts said today, commenting "last year this shift did not occur until the start of December". 

Should plans of NRG Energy Inc to buy GenOn, an independent power producer (IPP) with assets in some shared markets, get regulatory approval, the deal would create the largest IPP in the United States.

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.