Daily News

Commercial operations have begun three months ahead of schedule at the $900 million gas-fired 800MW Sentinel Energy Project near Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County, California. The plant is co-owned by Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), GE Energy Financial Services and Diamond Generating Corporation (DGC). The general contractor for the construction of the project was Gemma Power Systems California.

The EU's Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has called on the European Council and Parliament to approve the proposed back-loading of 900 billion carbon emission allowances (EUAs) in emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). Back-loading would reduce the surplus of emissions in the ETS, and the subsequent rise in carbon prices would encourage power producers to favour gas over coal.

Fortum's €130million ($167million) waste-fired CHP plant has started this week in the city of Klaipeda, Lithuania. It is the first of its kind in the Baltics, one of four such plants planned for the Baltic and Nordic region.

The contribution of gas to the UK's power generation mix has plunged by 32 percent in 2012 from 2011 level, comprising 28 percent of total generation, mainly due to the relative low cost of coal compared to gas and cheap coal imports mainly from Russia, Columbia and the United States, the latest country analysis done by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows. The contribution of coal was 39 percent of UK's energy mix, rising by 32 percent.

GE has signed a frame agreement with Green Waste Energy (GWE) to supply its Jenbacher gas engines to power a series of Advanced Recycling and Energy Conversion (AREC) plants that GWE's development subsidiary Green Waste Energy Development (GWED) plans to build. Each Jenbacher engine will generate nearly 2MW of power using syngas produced at GWED's waste-gasification facilities.

Greece's METKA and General Electric have sealed a €92million ($118million) EPC contract with Société Algérienne de Production de l'Electricité (SPE) to build an open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) plant with a capacity of 368MW at the country's physical gas hub Hassi R'mel.

The crux of renewable expansion lies in the choice of location: If installations were built at the sites in Europe that offer the highest power yields, some €45 billion of investment in renewables could be saved by 2030, a study carried out by Siemens together with the Technical University of Munich finds.

Billions of euros are being wasted every year as a result of "building and expanding renewable power sources in the wrong location" and as a result of "inefficiencies in worldwide energy systems and markets," Siemens board member and CEO, Dr. Michael Suess said when presenting the study in Brussels today.

Coincident summer peak electricity demand in 2013 for the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) region – New England, New York, Ontario, Québec, and the Canadian Maritime Provinces – is forecast to be down 330MW over the previous year, due to the region's drive towards conservation, energy efficiency and demand side response, a recently released NPCC report shows.

Wärtsilä, a supplier of gas engines and power plant solutions, has signed a 10-year Operations & Maintenance (O&M) agreement to support full operations, maintenance and servicing of Ndola Energy Company's (NECL) independent power plant project (IPP) located in Ndola, Zambia.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing PLN 566 million (€140 million) loan to Elektrociepłownia Stalowa Wola for the construction of a combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) cogeneration power plant with an electric capacity of 450MWe and a heating capacity of 240MWth. The plant is to be located on a brownfield site next the existing coal-fired Stalowa Wola power plant in south-eastern Poland.

North Energy Central (NEC), a subsidiary of Southern California Telephone & Energy (SCT&E) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dominican Republic state-owned Electric Utility (CDEEE) to invest $800 million for the construction of a 400MW gas-fired power plant in Manzanillo, in the province of Montecristi.

A crowd sourcing initiative to map the world's thermal power plants known as the Ventus Project has been launched by Arizona State University (ASU) under the lead of Dr. Kevin Robert Gurney. The initiative encourages users to contribute information about power plants including location, fuel type and CO2 emissions via pin placements on Google Maps and form filling.

News in Brief

China seen overtake Japan as worlds’ largest LNG buyer by 2025

July 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects China to overtake Japan as the world’s biggest LNG buyer with imports of 128 Bcm a year by 2025, equivalent to around 174 million tonnes. However, IEA analysts cautioned this scenario is “highly dependent on China’s future policy direction” and whether that includes an ongoing push for coal-to-gas switching for industry, residential heating and power generation.

IEA stages Clean Energy Transitions Summit

July 14 – Ministers from dozens of countries, accounting for over 80% of the world economy, have participated in the first Clean Energy Transitions Summit organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said there “clearly is momentum” behind a sustainable recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants agreed to reconvene in mid-2021.

Siemens Energy to exit coal

Jul 13 – Newly formed technology company Siemens Energy wants to phase-out any operations and technology to related to coal-fired power generation, CEO Joe Kaeser said, without giving a specific timeline. Siemens had been harshly criticised earlier this year for participating in the Adani coal mine project in Australia.

Statkraft, GE enhance GB grid stability

July 10 – Statkraft and GE Power Conversion are working together to stabilise Britain’s power grid. To that end, GE will manufacture and install two Rotating Stabiliser synchronous machines at Statkraft’s site in Keith, Moray. Statkraft was awarded four stability contracts (two at Keith and two at Lister Drive) by National Grid ESO (NGESO) earlier this year.

Siemens Energy spin-off approved

July 9 – A large majority of Siemens shareholders have voted to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business. The spin-off was approved by 99.36 percent of capital stock represented at today’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.

Central Hudson links solar farms to VPP

July 9 – Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp has established its distributed generation program within the broader context of New York State’s energy plan. Together with Sensus and their Remote Telemetry Module (RTM-III), the Central Hudson will monitor decentralized solar PV backed up by flexible gas gensets.

Siemens and GREEN Solar turn German town CO2-free

July 8 – GREEN Solar and Siemens Energy are jointly developing a concept for making Herzogenrath CO2-free. The plan is to provide an energy-efficient and economical combination of solar power plants, wind turbines, batteries, CHP and combined cycle power plants, as well as heat and hydrogen storage. The hybrid system will be built on the grounds of Nivelsteiner Sandwerke and will be large enough to cover the city’s entire energy demand with zero CO2 emissions by 2030.

Denmark paves the way for Nord Stream 2

July 7– Denmark on late Monday gave the Nord Stream 2 consortium permission to utilize pipe-laying vessels with anchors in Danish waters, paving the way for the Gazprom-led consortium to complete the interconnector. Construction of the 1,230-kilometre pipeline is nearly complete, except for a final stretch of about 120-kilometers in Danish waters. The project was halted in December when the Swiss-Dutch pipe-laying company Allseas suspended works over threats of U.S. sanctions.

EPRI tests early warning system

July 6– The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is conducting trial tests with multiple utilities across the United States of an early warning system. It can detect an off-gassing event as a precursor to thermal runaway up to 30 minutes prior to a cascading failure. This gives plant operators time to mitigate the problem or shut down the system.

KKR buys stake in First Gen

July 3 – Valorous Asia Holdings, owned by KKR investment funds, has bought a 11.9% stake in First Gen through a voluntary tender offer. First Gen, one of the Philippines’ largest independent power producers with 3,492 MW installed capacity, is owned by First Philippine Holdings which is controlled by the Lopez family. KKR’s acquisition of the First Gen stake is worth nearly $192.3 million.

Gazprom’s ‘BBB’ rating affirmed

July 2 – S&P Global Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have affirmed Gazprom's long-term credit ratings as part of their annual reviews. The ‘BBB’ ratings for Gazprom from S&P and Fitch are in line with the sovereign credit rating of the Russian Federation, while Moody's ‘Baa2’ rating is a notch higher.

MHIEC to refurbish WtE plant in Kushiro

July 1 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co (MHIEC) has received an order from the Kushiro Wide-Area Federation to repair and improve the core equipment at the local Waste-to-Energy plant in Takayama. The WtE plant has a capacity of 240 tonnes per day (tpd). Renovation will increase the energy efficiency of the fluidized bed type gasification and ash melting furnace facility, reducing emissions by around 15% annually. Works are due completed in September 2023.

Nigeria: Only two of six power projects on target

June 30 – Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises has disclosed that only two out of six privatized power plants were delivered on target. Only Transcorp Power Ltd and Geregu Power Ltd out of the six privatised electricity generation companies (GENCOs) were said to have met their performance targets since taking over.

German investors prefer solar over wind

June 29 – Energy infrastructure investors are keen to build solar power projects in Germany, but shun wind parks. In the latest solar power auction, investors offered to build almost 450 MW of capacity – more than four times the 96 MW of volume on offer– with the average successful bid at 5.27 cents per kilowatt-hour (ct/kWh). The wind auction, in contrast, was undersubscribed: The German network agency  (BNetzA) tendered around 826 MW, but successful bids only totalled 464 MW, at an average price of 6.14 ct/KWh.

MAN ventures into synthetic fuels

June 26 – MAN Energy Solutions has entered the hydrogen economy with the recent pro rata acquisition of H-TEC SYSTEMS, an electrolysis tech firm. The German OEM also committed itself to upgrading its gas turbines to run on 100% hydrogen by 2030.

Varegro starts using Cummins gas genset

June 25 – Belgian-based horticultural company Varegro, has started to use a Cummins HSK78G gas generator to power its greenhouses in Oostrozebeke, West Flanders. Varegro said it selected the Cummins HSK78G genset to produce combined heat and power (CHP) on its premises at a competitive cost for use in energy-intensive greenhouse facilities.

GE names Deloitte as independent auditor

June 24 – GE’s audit committee has selected Deloitte as the company’s independent auditor for the 2021 fiscal year, replacing KPMG. The selection of Deloitte concludes GE’s latest audit tender process.

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