Daily News

Royal Dutch Shell has awarded a $60 million contract to power and automation technology group ABB to build a 50 MW gas-fired power plant in Basrah in southern Iraq's in Khour al-Zubair region. The plant is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2013, ABB said today.

Kuwait's Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) has selected GDF Suez and International Power as preferred bidders to build and operate the Az Zour North Independent Water & Power Project (IWPP). The plant is scheduled to start commercial operation in 2015.

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates under its BLUE Map scenario that around 20% of gas-fired power plants in China will include carbon capture storage (CCS) technology by 2050, Hirohisa Yamada, IEA energy analyst, told Gas-to-Power Journal today.

IEA's BLUE Map Scenario is based on the assumption that one third of overall global carbon emission reductions will need to come from the power generation to reach the global climate goals. In contrast, in IEA's Baseline Scenario, the use fossil energy will surge 82% which will lead to a rise of global temperatures by 6 degrees Celsius.

Wärtsilä, a provider of lifecycle power solutions, will supply Indonesia's first ever gas engine based peaking power plant. The plant, located in Sei Gelam Jambi in Sumatra, is scheduled to be built and fully operational before the end of 2012.

General Electric's vice chairman John Rice has confirmed GE's 2012 outlook and expectations for continued double-digit revenue growth from its Industrial and Capital segments in its global growth regions in 2012 and 2013. "The world needs more power (...) to meet the needs of growing populations and an emerging middle class," Rice said at an investor meeting today.

ABB, a power and automation technology group, has secured orders worth over US$70 million from the state controlled Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to build five new substations in Saudi Arabia. In the fourth quarter of 2011, ABB received orders from SEC totaling more than US$250 million, it said.

Investment in new gas-fired and nuclear plants, rather than wind power, could save the U.K. £45 billion in meeting its 2050 carbon reduction, AF Consult, a Sweden-headquartered technical consultancy, said in a recent report sponsored by the global accountancy firm KPMG.

Wärtsilä, a provider of lifecycle power solutions, has won a contract to expand the power generation capacity of to the Varreux power plant in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Delivery of the necessary equipment will be made in the course of 2012 on a "fast-track basis", Wärtsilä said today.

Alstom Power has launched a GT13E2 gas turbine upgrade, offering over 200 MW power, an additional 10% of electricity output when compared to the earlier rating. "The higher output has an increased efficiency of 38% - the best in this segment of gas turbines," Michael Ladwig, Director, Marketing & Product Management at Alstom's Gas Business said at a web conference today.

RWE, Germany's second-largest utility, has posted a 9% drop in its 2011 electricity generation volume to 205.7 billion kilowatt hours (kW). The decrease is attributable to outages of several gas-fired power plants in the Netherlands and in the U.K. as well as to the shut-down of the Biblis nuclear power station, RWE said today when presenting its 2011 annual results.

Power generator can improve safety, reliability and efficiency by installing multifunctional wireless networks in power plants, a white paper published by Honeywell Process Solution shows.

General Electric's (GE) TM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbine has received ecomagination qualification for its ability to help power cities and industries during emergency power challenges. "The TM2500+ is a workhorse in the global aeroderivative mobile fleet," GE said.

The volume of natural gas used for power generation in the U.S. surged by 27% this February compared with the same month last year, according to estimates of BENTEK Energy LLC, an energy market analytics company.

Saudi Electricity (SEC), Saudi Arabia's state controlled utility, has posted a tender to find a partner for building and operating a 1,700 MW independent power plant (IPP) in Saudi Arabia. Expressions of interest in running the plant should be submitted by March 21, SEC said today.

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Michael Ladwig

Alstom is offering upgrades to its GT26 installed fleet in Spain to improve efficiency and flexibility of gas-fired power plants to make them more suitable for balancing intermittent electricity supply from renewable energies.

"These upgrades increase the power plant's output and efficiency including performance at part-load which is key for renewables integration," Michael Ladwig, Director, Marketing & Product Management at Alstom's Gas Business told Gas-to-Power Journal today.

News in Brief

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.

MAN, Daewoo, HSD partner on engine digitalization

July 16 – MAN Energy Solutions, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and HSD Engine (HSD) have signed a strategic agreement to cooperate in the field of marine engine systems digitization. The three companies also work together on auxiliary systems and data analysis, aiming to apply part of their know-how to power generation and related sectors.

Canada launches first utility-scale smart microgid

July 15 – The Ontario-based municipal utility North Bay Hydro Services is cooperating with the smart grid solutions firm S&C Electric to launch Canada’s first utility-scale microgrid system. Among some solar power, the 789KW microgrid system will be powered by two 265kW natural gas generators.

Macquarie funds Mexican power plant

July 12 – 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.

B&V launches distributed energy group

July 11 – Black & Veatch has launched a dedicated distributed energy group to place its conventional power business in the context of the global energy transition. The distribute energy group will look into new fuel sources such as hydrogen and aspires to “re-power the more-than-century-old power industry.”

Funding secured for Kazah CHP project

July 10 – Kazinform Erg has committed to spend $500 million on a gas cogeneration station that will provide heat and electricity to the south of Kazakhstan. Over 87% of Kazakhstan’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, and in 2018 the country produced 107,060 billion kWh of electricity, a 3.8% increase over the previous year and enough to cover total power use of 103,228 kWh.

Bitcoin mining uses much energy

July 9 – Estimates of bitcoin’s electricity consumption are wide-ranging, on the order of 20‑80 TWh annually. According to George Kamiya, digital energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), bitcoin mining consumed around 45 TWh in 2018 although this has risen significantly this year. Through the first six months of 2019, bitcoin mining has already consumed an estimated 29 TWh.

Coal exit doesn’t impact Germany's supply security

July 8 – Electricity supply security in Germany is set to stay “very high” even as the country begins to phase out coal-fired power generation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said in a monitoring report. “Energy supply is adequately ensured”, the ministry said, in all scenarios examined up to 2030. Thereafter, things are less clear but the German Coal Commission is adamant that its proposal to exit coal power by 2038 is feasible and won’t seriously impact reserve margins.

Hydrogen demo plant starts in Adelaide

July 5 – The Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), has received A$4.9 million in government funding for an A$11.4m hydrogen electrolyser demonstration project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. At the test site, AGN plans to blend 5% renewable hydrogen with natural gas for supply to customers using its existing gas distribution networks. The project is based on a Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, running based on wind and solar power.

Wärtsilä forms biogas solution

July 4 – Wärtsilä Puregas Solutions, specialists in biogas upgrading technology, has merged with Wärtsilä’s biogas liquefaction team to create a one-stop-shop service for biofuel production. Having installed the world’s largest bioLNG facility in Skogn, Norway, Wärtsilä will deliver two more bio-LNG plants to customers in Scandinavia. The company’s Puregas CA process recovers more than 99.9% of the biomethane present in raw biogas.

PNM to close San Juan Generating Station

July 3 — New Mexico's largest energy holding, PNM Resources, has filed an application to the Public Regulation Commission to close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. For replacement power, PNM said the preferred option was a mix of gas power plants, solar and wind farms and new battery storage facilities. The utility strives to be ‘emissions-free’ by 2040.

ADB opens office in Singapore

July 2 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to open an office in Singapore. The lean office with twelve staff will focus on the expansion of its private sector operations, e.g. through Public-Private Partnerships. “We estimate that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum,” commented Singapore’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat.

Testing starts at Haliade-X

July 1 – Technology testing has started at GE’s Haliade-X, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine. The 12 MW nacelle and 107-metre long blade was shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program, focused on enhancing the platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.

Tata to build UK’s first CCUS plant

June 28 – Tata Chemicals has announced plans to build the UK’s first industrial-scale Carbon Capture, Usage and Demonstration plant at its Northwich industrial site. The CCUD unit will be built at an estimated cost of£16.7 million and is planned to start operation in 2021. It will make use of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants and turn it into sodium bicarbonate, which can then be sold to pharmaceutical industries.

Gazprom seeks to partner with Fortum

June 27 – The heads of Gazprom and Forum, Alexey Miller and Pekka Lundmark, have met in St. Petersburg to discuss a potential cooperation in the field of power generation. The Finish energy company Fortum owns 29.5% of the Russian power plant TGC-1 as well as a 49.99% share in the German utility Uniper. Through the talks, Gazprom could gain Fortum’s support to expand its firm long-term deliveries of Russian gas to Finland and Germany.