Daily News

Terna, the Italian power grid operator, has awarded Ansaldo Energy and ABB a €70 million order to design, supply and maintain of three asynchronous compensator sets to help enhance grid inertia. Commissioning will be completed in 2020.

Vietnam has asked Japan to help fund several LNG import terminals, trying to maximise its share from Japan’s committed $10 billion investment across Asia. Vietnam needs to import LNG from 2022 and annual demand is seen rise to 15 million tons by 2035, mainly spurred by the power sector.

British energy companies are preparing for Brexit on October 31 amid uncertainty about future cross-border energy flows and carbon pricing. Cornwall Insight warns that with the risk of a depreciation of sterling, prices in both electricity and gas markets will go up.

Britain faces a difficult process of untangling its economic ties with the European Union which may put planned EU-UK gas interconnectors at risk. The Oxford Institute of Energy Studies (OIES) says the UK needs to “reshape its energy diplomacy” as it has to re-negotiate supplies with the EU and especially Norway, which covers some 39% of demand.

GE Grid Solutions is investing tens of millions of dollars to expand its range of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)-free substation equipment. By 2025, the offering will include SF6-free gas-insulated substations and instrument transformers up to 420 kV, as well as circuit breakers up to 550 kV.

US-based Excelerate Energy will proceed with developing a floating LNG import terminal in the Bay of Batangas, Luzon, having received the go-ahead from the Philippines. The FSRU will supply gas to power stations in the region, ensuring stable electricity for metropolitan Manila.

Japan has committed to invest $10 billion in LNG import infrastructure and related power projects in India and Southeast Asia. The initiative is backed by public-sector financing from JBIC, and analysts expect it will help LNG compete with other fuels like coal in emerging economies.

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has developed artificial intelligence (AI)-based gas turbine monitoring. The system collects and analyses data from sensors installed in generators to predict parts malfunction and preempt turbine failures.

Natural gas is set to become a 'high-carbon fuel' after 2025, as the perception of gas generation changes over time amid EU member states trying to reach the European Commission's carbon reduction goals. "In the short-term, we need gas [generation] to keep the lights on," but analysts stressed "Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) will need to kick off after 2020."

Specialty chemical group Evonik Industries has contracted Siemens to build a combined-cycle power plant as a turnkey project at the Marl Chemical Park in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The two-unit CCGT will replace Evonik’s onsite coal power plant by 2022.

The American Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has introduced a three rules. Operators need, among others, reconfirm the material strength of their lines to ensure safe transport of the abundant U.S. natural gas production to LNG export terminals, domestic industry and power generators.

To meet burgeoning demand, Southeast Asia will have to invest an average of $17 billion per year in on new power generation units. Cheap coal is forecast to cover the lion’s share, before being overtaken by gas and renewables starting from 2034.

French power company EDF has admitted today that works for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant are running 15 months late and will cost nearly £3 billion more than the planned £22 billion. Critics dismiss new nuclear as expensive, compared with cheaper cost for gas gensets and offshore wind.

Fast-growing Asian economies will trigger a nearly 50% rise in world energy consumption by mid-century, according to the International Energy Outlook 2019. Gas use in non-OECD countries is set to surge 70% to reach 120 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2050.

India’s energy giant Petronet has signed a $7.5 billion agreement with Tellurian to take a stake in Driftwood LNG and import 5 mtpa. If supplies can be delivered at a close-to-fixed-price, analysts see it as “extremely attractive” for ensuring downstream sales to Indian power producers and industry.

News in Brief

Brookfield invest $2bn in Cove Point LNG

Oct 22 – Brookfield Asset Management, an investor in energy infrastructure and power storage, has agreed to take a 25% stake in Cove Point LNG for just over $2 billion in cash. The alternative investor also owns assets in hydro (7.9 GW), wind (4.9 GW), solar (1.7 GW), distributed generation (400 MW) and energy storage (2.7 GW).

Ansaldo appoints new CEO

Oct 21 – Ansaldo Energia’s board of directors has appointed Giuseppe Marino as new CEO. Together with the chairman, Giuseppe Zampini, he will decide on the company’s strategy particularly relating to the new Chinese joint ventures.

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.