Daily News

In the face of a global trend toward a green energy, efficient use of natural gas at peaking plants play a central role in ensuring security of electricity supply, says Dietmar Siersdorfer, chief executive, energy at Siemens Middle East. Peak-load gas turbines upgraded with Wet Compression technology can produce up to 15 percent more electricity output, he said, and take better advantage from high peak load electricity prices.

Hit by persistently low spark spreads, SSE has decided to halt operations at its ageing gas-fired combined cycle power stations at Keadby (760 MW) and Medway (688 MW) for a comprehensive maintenance programme aimed at enhancing the plants' operational flexibility from March 2013 onwards.

Shanghai's largest cogeneration facility, the Caojing plant will host GE's first Dry Low NOx (DLN) 2.6+ combustion system upgrade for an installed 9FA 3-series gas turbine in Asia. GE said the equipment for the first DLN 2.6+ upgrade will be shipped in October 2013, with schipment for the second upgrade due in January 2015.

Europe's ailing recovery and decreasing gas-to-power demand, in competition with coal and renewable energies, is forecast to put a lid on LNG demand for years to come, analysis from PIRA Energy Group shows.

Shell aims for a growing engine oils segment by launching a new sour-gas compatible lubricating oil. "There could be a 10% sales growth in the stationary gas engine oils segment this year," Richard Holdsworth, Global Brand Manager for Shell Power Lubricants told Gas to Power Journal.

E.on, Germany's biggest utility by revenues, is considering the part-closure of one of Europe's most modern gas-fired power stations in Irsching, Bavaria. Dr. Johannes Teyseen, E.on chief executive, said "the rapid growth of renewables has made gas-fired plants largely uneconomic to operate".

China's electricity production has surged more than 200% since 2000, spurring the nation's hunger for coal – the primary fuel for power generation. Coal consumption in China now accounts for 47% of global coal consumption – nearly as much as the entire rest of the world combined.

Ratnagiri Gas & Power Private Ltd (RGPPL) in India is limping back to producing electricity at its Dahbol power plant (1,967 MW) after being forced to shut down operations due to an acute shortage of gas to run the plant.

Tensaka Energy, an US-based power plant developer and energy marketer, has joined forces with the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) to build an 800 MW gas-fired combined-cycle power station in Brownsville, Texas. "With increased scarcity pricing and decreased operating reserves in ERCOT [Electric Reliability Council of Texas], the project is well positioned for success," Tensaka Energy said.

Energy services giant Wood Group GTS has signed a four-year operations and maintenance (O&M) contract with Entegra Power Group and Sundevil Power Holdings for the 2,200 MW Gila River gas-fired power plant in Arizona, U.S.

Tightened safety rules and maintenance of Japan's two operational reactors could lead to a complete nuclear shutdown by summer for the second time since the Fukushima disaster in March 2011. Power producers, required to avert power shortages, are hard-pressed to import even more highly priced LNG to fuel backup gas-fired power plants, analysts warn.

Thailand's Eastern Power and Electric Co. Ltd (EPEC) has signed a 10-year operations and maintenance (O&M) contract worth €90 million with Alstom to service and upgrade its Bang Bo power plant with MXL2 turbine blade and components.

News in Brief

BelGAS launches new pressure regulator

May 29 – BelGAS has introduced its new P1098 High-Capacity Pressure Reducing Regulator, a large-volume regulator for natural gas, propane and other fuels. The pilot-operated device has a large-area actuator diaphragm, allowing for fast and accurate response to modulating gas flow conditions. It is adaptable for low to extra-high pressure—up to 400 psi main valve inlet.

GE to sell lightning business

May 28 – GE has signed a definitive agreement to sell its lighting business to Savant Systems, a provider of smart homes. CEO H. Lawrence Culp called the divestment “an important step in the transformation of GE into a more focused industrial company.” The transaction is expected to close in mid-2020.

China’s fuel demand recovers

May 27 – The Chinese government has lifted restrictions on private travel since April which pushed up demand for transport fuels. Gasoline demand has recovered particularly fast and is expected to return to last year’s levels by June 2020. Wood Mackenzie estimates gasoline consumption to reach 3.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in the second quarter, down just a 0.8% year on year. Diesel or gasoil demand is expected to reach 3.4 million b/d in Q2 2020, a 3% decline year-on-year. Overall, China’s oil demand is seen rise a “modest” 13.6 million bpd, or 2.3%, in the second half of 2020.

Wärtsilä to retrofit CHP in Spain

May 26 – The Finish engine maker Wärtsilä has bagged an order to supply and install a 34SG gas-fuelled engine generating set for Rofeica Energia's combined heat and power plant in Barcelona, Spain. The installation of the gas engine will allow Rofeica to switch the CHP from heavy fuel oil to gas-fuelled operation, reducing emissions.

New York body rejects William’s plans for gas pipeline expansion

May 21 – New York’s and New Jersey’s state bodies for environmental conservation have rejected Williams’ plans for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project, designed to transport 400 million cubic feet per day of gas from Pennsylvania to New York. The state bodies had already denied wetland permits in 2019, but Williams pipeline subsidiary Transco filed another application with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), arguing firm services under the project were agreed with UK’s National Grid for customers in New York City districts of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.

UK inflation at 4-year low amid falling energy costs

May 20 – The rate of inflation in the UK has fallen to a four-year low as the pandemic pushed down global oil and fuel prices which translate into lower wholesale power prices. The consumer price index fell to an annual rate of 0.8% in April, down from 1.5% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Deficit grows in German green energy fund

May 19 – German regional grid operator TransnetBW has warned of a growing shortfall in the country’s fund for green energy sources, financed under the so-called renewable energy (EEG) levy. TransnetBW, the TSO in southwest Germany, said “due to the EEG cost allocations defined for 2020, we anticipate there will be a negative year end bank account balance in the high three-digit million euro range for 2020.”

Spanish gas companies ‘resilient’

May 18 – Spain’s regulated gas companies “should prove to be resilient” to external shocks arising from coronavirus containment measures, Standard & Poor’s analysis finds, calculating with an average drop in EBITBA at less than 3% in 2020. A new remuneration framework for 2021-2026, recently enacted by the Spanish government, provides enhanced visibility rated grid operators amid the pandemic.

German electricity prices second highest in EU

May 15 – Taxes and the renewable energy surcharge have pushed up Germany’s household electricity prices to the second highest level in Europe, topped only by prices in Denmark. While Danish households paid 29.2 Euros per 100 kWh on average in the second half of 2019, prices in Germany averaged 28.7 Euros, according to the EU statistics office Eurostat.

Calpine’s Q1 earnings fall

May 14 – Calpine, America’s largest generator of electricity from gas and geothermal, has reported a net income of $128 million for the first quarter of 2020, down from $175 million in the prior year period. Lower commodity margins and unfavourable change in income taxes were partially offset by earnings from hedge positions for the three month ending March 31.

Siemens to supply hybrid plant in the Philippines

May 13 – Berkley Energy has contracted Siemens Energy to build a hybrid power project on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. The project links 16 MW wind power with battery storage, stabilizing energy supply in a remote location with a weak link to the grid and reducing its dependence on diesel.

U.S. energy emissions fall

May 12 – Energy-related carbon emissions in the United States have fallen more than energy consumption, down 2.8% over the course of last year to 5,130 million metric tons (MMmt). Power sector emissions were down 145 MMmt, due to a switch from coal to gas and renewables. In April 2020, emissions experienced another unprecedented fall in due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

MAN expands Omincare concept

March 11 – MAN Energy Solutions’ service brand has extended its ‘PrimeServ Omnicare’ concept from turbomachinery to the marine and power segments. The one-stop service solution is now also applicable for maintenance of third-party machinery, including engines, turbochargers and related auxiliaries.

MIVOLT launches cooling fluid

May 7 – MIVOLT, part of the British company M&I Materials, has launched two specialist fluids to improve cooling efficiency at data centres. The electricity demand of data centres is forecast to rise to 20% of global supply to accommodate lifestyle changes like 5G internet network, autonomous vehicles and bitcoin mining.

Germany adds 1,300 km to power grid

May 6 – Germany has made progress in expanding its strained power grid. According to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), over 1,300 kilometres of new power transmission lines have been built and another 830km approved. A further 3,600km are planned to be built by 2030 to alleviate grid bottlenecks and allow transporting rising volumes of offshore wind southbound.

 

 

 

Oman nationalizes first IPP

May 5 – Manah Power, the first privately-run Independent Power Project (IPP) in Oman, has been transferred to state ownership, following the expiry of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between United Power Company and state-owned OPWP. Manah IPP was developed under Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model, which stipulates an eventual nationalization of the assets – a feature absent in subsequent IPPs.

U.S inventories at record highs

May 4 – Inventories for crude oil and natural gas have reached a new record high in the United States, as fuel demand declines both for transport and the electric power sector. From March 13 – when a national emergency was declared due to the Covid-19 pandemic – to April 24, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 74 million barrels, or 16%, according to government figures. The acute scarcity of crude storage on April 20 led to a sell-off of future contracts at negative prices.