Daily News

Rolls-Royce, a global provider of power systems, said today it has won a US$30 million order from Shell to supply two industrial RB211 gas turbines to boost the output from the Malampaya deepwater natural gas project in the Philippines.

Analysts at Société Générale are "not overly optimistic" on an upside for German power prices. Spark spreads are likely to remain unattractive, while overall power consumption dropped, the French investment bank said in a research note.

Combined marketed production from the top five natural gas producing states - Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Colorado – has risen about 7.5% in 2011, according to latest EIA statistics. Abundant domestic supplies and low gas prices reinforce the trend among U.S. power producers of switching from coal to gas.

ABB has won an order worth US$16 million from Qatalum, for upgrading the power network at its aluminum smelter in Mesaieed Industrial City, located about 50 kilometers south of Doha, Qatar. The order was booked in the first quarter, ABB said, with the project scheduled for completion by 2013.

MAN Diesel & Turbo will bring the prototype of a new 6 MW gas turbine family to the market shortly after development completion, Roland Herzog, Vice President, Material Technology at MAN Diesel & Turbo said today. "The first model of MAN's new 6 MW gas turbine will be commercially used at a CHP cogeneration unit at a chemical production plant in Rheinberg," he told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' at the sidelines of the 'Turbine Forum 2012' in Nice.

Japan's Tokyo Gas is considering building a third 400 MW gas-fired power plant unit at its Yokohama plant, Tokyo Gas president Tsuyoshi Okamoto said today.

The share of electricity production from gas-fired power plants has fallen to the lowest levels in 14 years due to "unfavourable market conditions and low demand," data published by the department of energy and climate change (Decc) shows.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has won an order from TransAlta Generation Partnership, a subsidiary of TransAlta Corporation, to supply two M501GAC gas turbines for the proposed Sundance 7 power generation facility in Alberta.

Transco, a key gas transmission pipeline in the U.S., is preparing to increase gas transport capacity to satisfy rising gas demand for power generation. "Power generation is the driver behind about a third of the volumes in proposed projects in development on our Transco pipeline," Alan Armstrong, chief executive of Williams Partners' said.

Southern has burned more natural gas than coal for power generation during the first quarter of this year as plunging gas prices due to abundant domestic supply makes gas the cheapest fossil fuel in the U.S.

Entso-E, the representative body of European TSOs, is criticizing the lack of investment in power grid expansions to support the massive increase of renewable capacity throughout Europe. Gas-fired power plants are widely used to backstop the intermittency of electricity produced by renewable energy sources.

The impact of today's strike at E.ON's gas- and coal-fired power plants in France is expected to be "minimal" and will not curtail electricity output as the German utility is not planning to operate the affected plants.

The focus in hot section coatings is shifting from temperature to time. "It's all about coating durability," Carol Crowe, aftermarket coatings discipline chief at Pratt & Whitney said today.

Alstom has developed a new nozzle design for gas turbines and is getting ready to put it to production. "We started to use them in production, now that we've solved an initial problem with nozzle life time," Sebastian Mihm, coating engineer at Alstom said today.

Robustness and increased thickness of thermal barrier coatings (TBC) of industrial gas turbines  is 'key' as the industry aims to ramp up firing temperatures and pressure ratio to boost turbine performance. "We need to spend more R&D money on TBC process robustness," Matthias Oechsner, professor for materials technology at the technical university of Darmstadt, Germany, told an industry forum in Nice today.

News in Brief

Tohoku Electric tenders for LNG cargo

Aug 19 – Tohoku Electric Power, the fourth-largest electric utility in Japan in terms of revenue behind Tepco, Kepco and Chubu, is understood to be seeking an LNG cargo for delivery in September. A tender process is ongoing.

Cost for decarbonizing industry tops $21tr

Aug 16 – Total costs to fully decarbonize the four most polluting industries – cement, steel, ammonia and ethylene – are estimated to amount to $21 trillion between today and 2050. McKinsey said this could be lowered to about $11 trillion if zero-carbon electricity prices come down further compared to fossil fuel prices. In this event, industry could switch to using electricity for heating processes.

Co-firing Braskem plant with hydrogen

Aug 15 – Siemens is making fossil energy greener at the Braskem onsite power plant in Brazil. In this modernization project two SGT-600 gas turbines are co-fired up to 60% with hydrogen, enhancing efficiency for the production process of the adjacent the petrochemical complex.

Canada's CO2 tax to hit CCGTs

Aug 5 – Change in Canada’s carbon emissions tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could significantly lower the profitability of gas generation and could prompt SaskPower reconsider its planned Moose Jaw gas power station.

GE CFO steps down

Aug 2 – Jamie S. Miller, General Electric’s chief financial officer, has decided to quit after two years in the job and 11 years with the company. Having overseen GE’s fiscal activities during a period of intense restructuring, Miller will remain in office while the GE board is looking for a successor.

Siemens HR boss quits

Aug 1 – Janina Kugel, Siemens chief HR officer, is leaving the company amid an apparently scattered working relationship and stark personal differences with CEO Joe Kaeser. Her contract will expire by mutual agreement on January 31, 2020.

ABB standardizes eBus chargers

July 31 – Zurich-based ABB, a member of the ASSURED consortium, is working on standardizing the specifications for automatic charging of heavy vehicles. The aim is to drive down the total cost of ownership for electric fleet operators, helping increase adoption of eBuses and eTrucks. Conformance and interoperability tests will be carried out in Q4-2019.

U.S. Senate helps fund EV charging stations

July 30 – The need for expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure is greater than expected given that there had been over 1.75 million electric vehicles (EV) in North America at the end of 2018, a nearly 60% increase from the previous year. To help fund additional charging stations, among other things, the U.S. Senate approved the $287 billion America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA).

PNOC, Lloyds to develop merchant LNG-to-Power projects

July 29 – Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lloyds Energy to develop a 1,200 MW LNG-fuelled power plant in partnership with Mitsubishi. Dubai-based Lloyds Energy is looking at ways to develop integrated LNG import facilities and gas power plants on a merchant basis in Bataan and Batangas provinces.

Macquarie finances CCGT in Mexico

July 26 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

Naturgy cashes in on gas network

July 25 – Spanish gas utility Naturgy has posted a 7% rise in core earnings for the first half of the year due to strong gains from its gas network business that helped offset falling revenues from power generation and slimmer LNG margins.

French court rejects appeal against Total CCGT

July 24 – Judges at an appeal court in Nantes have thrown out an appeal by environmentalist against Total’s planned Landivisiau combined-cycle gas power plant in Brittany. The 440 MW project, initiated by Direct Energy which was since acquired by Total, is over two years behind schedule. The French grid operator RTE has singled out the Landivisiau CCGT as “critical” in guaranteeing supply security in winter 2020/21 due to the planned shutdown of four coal power plants.

U.S. gas production falls in wake of ‘Barry’

July 23 – Shut-ins related to Hurricane Barry have scaled back U.S. gas production by 1.6 billion cubic feet per day, compared to last week, while power sector gas demand rose by just over 2.0 bcf/d. Consequently, there is significantly less gas available for storage so the injection rate has halved, according to Energy Aspects figures.

Blackout after fire at Madison substation

July 22 – Electricity is gradually being restored at Madison, Wisconsin, after 13,000 people experience a blackout following an explosion at a substation near Madison Gas & Electric’s 100 MW gas-fired Blount Generating Station. No injuries were reported.

Fuel switch could abate 1.2bn tons of CO2

July 19 – Some 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 could be abated by switching to gas using existing infrastructure, if prices and regulation are supportive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this would be enough to bring global CO2 emissions back down to where they were in 2013.

IEA launches methane tracker

July 18 – A new ‘methane tracker’, launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA), provides up-to-date estimates of current oil and gas methane emissions by drawing on the best available data. Analysts stressed methane emissions could be reduced by nearly half at no net cost.

Canada’s CO2 tax also affects gas power

July 17 – Change in Canada’s carbon tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could cause SaskPower to reconsider its planned upcoming Moose Jaw gas power station.