Daily News

Austria's Econgas foresees no imminent growth in Germany's gas demand, according to Norbert Kint, head of trading at the Austrian utility. "In 2013, renewable energy supply will continue to eat into consumption levels of gas for power generation," he said in a panel session at the Gastech conference in London.

Are European regulators toothless tigers? Gunnar Streck, regulatory manager at E.on Energy Trading has criticized the "lack of ambition on the regulatory side to enforce rules that could ultimately lead to an integrated European energy market".

Coal has been displacing gas generation in Europe since 2009 and the International Energy Agency expects this trend to continue: "We will have a Golden Age of Coal in Europe, at least over the next five years," says Anne-Sophie Corbeau, senior gas analyst for the International Energy Agency (IEA).

SSE, formerly known as Scottish & southern Energy, has completed the acquisition of Endesa Ireland Ltd for a total cash consideration of 308m plus an estimated 53m for working capital, the UK utility said on Tuesday. Once completed, the acquisition makes SSE the third largest generation capacity owner in Ireland's all-island Single Electricity Market (SEM) with 1,568 MW, or around 13% of installed capacity, in operation.

Gazprom is considering laying down a third 27.5 Bcm/year pipeline leg of Nord Stream as it aims to increase gas supplies to Germany, Netherlands and the UK. "Investment decision will be made in a short time," the Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said at a press conference at the Gastech conference in London today.

China, the fastest growing gas market globally, is forecast to keep growing at annual rates of around 13 percent, Anne-Sophie Corbeau, senior analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today, but she cautioned that the two-tier pricing system, with high prices paid for LNG imports and regulated low domestic gas prices, will keep hampering the growth of gas generation.

Siemens has been awarded contracts for the combined cycle conversion of two gas-fired simple cycle power plants in Argentina by Unión Temporal de Empresas (UTE), a joint venture between Isolux Ingeniería and Inversora Andina Ibérica. The upgraded plants are scheduled to achieve commercial operation in the fall of 2014.

BG Group chief executive Frank Chapman has today said US LNG exports would add flexibility to global gas market, but he cautioned that exported volumes will not big enough to change the regionalized pricing structure of global LNG markets.

UK energy and climate change secretary Edward Davey has today urged the gas industry to step up investment, singling out gas generation with carbon capture storage (CCS) as "vital" to provide backup electricity supply as generation margins are seen dropping to close to zero by 2015/16.

Gas generation is poised to play a bigger role in denting Brazil's need for peakload power supply, providing bottlenecks in the gas pipeline network get resolved in order to allow the country's power companies make full use of domestic gas reserves. Gas generation in 2011 made up 59.1 percent, or 13,220 megawatt, of Brazils 22,368 MW installed thermal capacity, according to GlobalData.

An increasing share of variable renewable energy sources in the grid requires a market push for the development and demonstration of flexible conventional power generation, says Christer Björkqvist, Managing Director of the European Turbine Network (ETN).

Britain's energy regulator Ofgem today said the projected tightening of the spare power generation margin over the next four years would step up the urgency for the upcoming energy reform (EMR) package to encourage investment.

General Electric expects a surge in demand for gas turbines in Saudi Arabia, as the government supports plans to double power generation capacity to 60 GW by 2023 as it aims to meet demand growth of about 8 percent a year.

Investment in combined heat and power (CHP) generators is on the rise in the United States, with proposed new cogeneration capacity for 2013-2016 amounting to more than 3,700 MW, latest statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) show.

Siemens is profiting from South Korea's growing demand for gas-fired power plants with high power density, Thomas Hagedorn, Sales Vice-President, who is heading the front office of Siemens Energy Solutions in Singapore, told Gas to Power Journal.

News in Brief

Castleton buys CCGT in Spain

Feb 21 – Castleton Commodities International (CCI), a British independent power producer, has acquired the Amorebieta combined-cycle gas power plant in Bilbao, Spain, for an undisclosed amount. CCI claims the 786 MW plant is “one of the most efficient CCGTs in the Iberian Peninsula.”

NNPC scrutinizes Abuja IPP project

Feb 20 – Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is scrutinizing technicality and economics of developing a 1,350 MW Independent Power Plant (IPP) project in Abuja. The project is likely to be realized, as it is backed by a $1.1 million grant from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and will be powered by GE gas turbines.

Batteries vs. hydro power

Feb 19 – More than 28 GW of lithium batteries deployed for stationary storage applications by the year 2028, according Navigant Research. Pumped hydro power plants, however, dominate the market as they account for 96 percent of installed energy storage worldwide.

Micro CHP market to top $3bn by 2026

Feb 18 – The global micro CHP market revenue is forecast to exceed $3 billion by 2026 amid rising demand for captive combined heat and power units by industry. According to Global Market Insights, micro CHPs are also increasingly combined with solar PV and energy storage into hybrid power units.

Rio Tinto uses battery to power Pilbara mine

Feb 18 – Australian mining company Rio Tinto has freed up $98 million for a new solar PV unit and a lithium-ion battery energy storage system to help power its entire Pilbara mining network. The 12 MWh battery storage at Tom Price will provide spinning reserve to help stabilize the local grid.

Japan and Korea eager to build ‘hydrogen economy’

Feb 17 – Liquid hydrogen is meant to become the basis of Japan’s and South Korea’s new energy economy. Several public-private partnerships accelerate efforts to produce hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and use hydrogen as a clean energy source, gradually replacing oil and natural gas.

MHPS teams up with KBR to expand sales

Feb 14 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has agreed to cooperate with U.S. firm KBR to expand sales of SDA pitch-fired power plants. The fuel for these plants is insoluble matter (SDA pitch), which remains when light oil fractions are recovered from heavy oil fractions using the solvent de-asphalting (SDA) process. The petroleum industry can now utilize this residual material for power generation.

Turboden provides CHP to First Nations

Feb 13 – Brescia-based Turboden, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), has agreed to an 8,000 kW combined heat and power (CHP) plant, running on woody biomass to indigenous First Nations in Saskatchewan, Canada. The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power gen system will uses sawmill residual woody biomass as fuel and help electrify some 5,000 homes.

Himoinsa gensets win award

Feb 12 – Himoinsa has received an Innovation Trail Live award for its rental gas generator sets. Three gensets – HRGO 30, HRGO 40 and HRGO 70 – were distinguished due to their long running time, low operational costs, as well as reduced emissions and sound level.

Ofgem lowers default price cap

Feb 11 – UK energy regulator Ofgem has announced it will lower the default price cap by £17 to £1,162 for the six months effective from 1 April 2020. Analysts say Ofgem’s decision comes amid a “warm winter” and “healthy LNG supply,” which pushed down wholesales gas prices to a 13-month low. Looking ahead, there might well be “another slight reduction to the cap later this year.”

Opel plans Gigafactory for battery cells

Feb 10 – German carmaker Opel, part of French PSA, plans to manufacture enough battery cells for half a million e-cars annually in a new factory in the western German town of Kaiserslautern from 2024. Two billion Euros would be invested in the factory, designed to house three units with 8 GWhs each, which would be the largest in Europe so far.

GE adds 235 MW in Ivory Coast

Feb 7 – GE is carrying out a gas turbine extension at the Azito power plant in the Ivory Coast. Under the contract, GE will supply its GT13E2 gas turbine in combined-cycle configuration, one HRSG, one steam turbine and associated equipment. The upgrade will boost the plant’s capacity by 30 percent, or 253 MW to reach a total of 710 MW.

FID on Azito extension

Feb 6 – Independent power producer Globeleq and IPS have reached financial close on expanding the Azito gas-fired power plant in Ivory Coast. The plant currently has 460 MW installed capacity and provides 25 percent of the country’s power supply. Once the lasted upgrade will be completed, Azito’s capacity will be boosted to 713 MW.

Batteries vs. hydro power

Feb 5 – More than 28 GW of lithium batteries deployed for stationary storage applications by the year 2028, according Navigant Research. Pumped hydro power plants, however, dominate the market as they account for 96% of installed energy storage worldwide.

Ofgem expects green energy to cost more

Feb 4 – Britain’s energy regulator Ofgem has been seeking to incentivize investment in green energy. However, the watchdog’s new head, Johnathan Brearly, cautioned “more investment does mean higher cost.” Though investors’ returns could come down, technology improvements will reduce down capital costs further in the long run.

FES takes over 1.3 GW Pleasants Power Station

Feb 3 – FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), soon to be renamed Energy Harbor, has completed the ownership transfer of the Pleasants Power Station, a 1,300-MW thermal plant located in Pleasants County, West Virginia. FES took over the power unit from Allegheny Energy Supply Company.

Körte heads Siemens Strategy

Jan 31 – Peter Körte, aged 44, has been appointed the new head of Siemens’ Strategy Department, effective February 1, 2020. In his new role, he will develop Siemens’ strategies for digitalization and the Internet of Things (IoT) which are deemed “crucial growth drivers.”