Daily News

Gas generating capacity in the U.S. has surged by 96% over the past twelve years period starting from 2000, as historically low gas prices increase the utilization rates of combined cycle plants at the expense of coal-fired units.

The British energy regulator Ofgem will continue to develop detailed proposals on a mandatory power auction "ahead of the autumn" with the aim of increasing market liquidity, Ofgem said in a liquidity update letter.

Improved energy efficiency measures could reduce the anticipated UK power demand for 2030 by up to 40%, an initial Electricity Demand Reduction Assessment by the British government finds.

General Electric (GE) has won a contract from SOMA Group, a Cambodian industrial conglomerate, to supply GE Waukesha technology to power the country's first integrated biomass gasification-gas engine project. The plant is slated to start commercial service in March 2013, GE said.

Swedish utility Vattenfall has selected a site to build a new 400 MW gas-fired power plant in Hamburg. A site at Wedel was chosen as the preferred location over an alternative site in Stellinger Moor.

Alstom Thermal Power has signed a contract worth over €100 million (US$12 million) with Arabian Bemco Contracting Co. & GS E&C to provide the steam tail for the Riyadh PP12 gas-fired power plant being constructed by them for the Saudi Electric Company (SEC).

EPEX SPOT and EEX, the French and German partner bourses, are calling for a Europe-wide instead of a national design of future power markets with a view to incentivise investment and accommodate the growing share of renewable.

Centrica's North American subsidiary, Direct Energy, has agreed to buy two New York-based power retailer Energetix and NYSEG Solutions for US$110 million (£71 million) in cash, plus additional working capital.

MCV Holding applied today to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for an air permit to install of a 640 MW combined-cycle natural-gas-fired power plant (CCPP) at a MCV-owned site in Midland, Michigan. The company currently owns and operates a 1,630 MW CCPP at the site.

French investment bank Société Générale has revised down its gas and electricity forecast for the financial year 2012, prompted by a 2.7% year-on-year drop in gas demand in the first half of this year.

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.

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.