Daily News

Investment in Europe's power plant sector is flat-lining in contrast to the US where the shale gas revolution has sparked an array of coal-to-gas switching projects but underpinned little new-build gas generation capacity, said Philippe Cochet, President of Alstom Thermal Power.

ExxonMobil has launched Mobil DTE™ 932 GT, a gas turbine oil designed to reduce the risk of varnish with a view to help improve the operational reliability of turbines and increase power output. "Varnish can have a highly detrimental effect on gas turbine operations" Kirill Chervyakov, Industrial Marketing Advisor, ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants said when showcasing the oil at PowerGen Europe in Vienna today.

To better tap geothermal energy, Siemens Energy has developed a new steam turbine – the SST-500 GEO – as a single-casing, double-flow condensing model for plants in the power range up to 120 megawatts (MW). "The SST-500 GEO will enable us to participate in the geothermal growth we currently see in regions such as the eastern coast of Asia, the western coast of the Americas and parts of Africa," said Markus Tacke, CEO of the Industrial Power Business Unit of Siemens Energy.

Austria's largest cogeneration plant powered by gas engines has been commissioned in Kirchdorf after power producer Energie Oberösterreich Wärme upgraded its district heating facility by replacing the existing steam turbines with three GE Jenbacher J624 two-stage turbocharged gas engines.

Throwing his political weight behind the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) as the preferred export route of gas from the Caspian region to Europe, Hassan Murat Mercan, Turkey's Deputy Minister of Energy & Natural Resources today singled out the project as a way to enhance Turkey's role as a regional player and gas transit hub within an increasingly integrated global energy markets.

A critical decision on whether the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline or the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) will emerge as the chosen project for transporting gas from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Europe will be taken before the end of June, the Austrian federal minister for energy, Reinhold Mitterlehner said in Vienna today.

Addressing delegates at Power-Gen Europe 2013, Europe's biggest trade show for the power industry, he highlighted Austria's role as hub to help diversify sources of gas imports away from Russia.

Siemens Energy has launched a free online game that allows the player to design a sustainable energy system for a city, whereby the energy manager is challenged by the immediate influence of changes in weather conditions on the performance of renewables.

Investment in new gas-fired power plants in the UK is "critical" in the upcoming years, especially if the country is to transition to a low carbon economy, Jonathan Holyoak, Head of Gas Generation at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) told the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum's keynote seminar in London. "There is a remarkable amount of political consensus about the need to do something about [building new] gas generation...as over time we see the capacity outlook deteriorating," he said.

Capstone Turbine Corporation, manufacturer of microturbine systems, has won an order to supply three Hybrid UPS units to create a combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP) that will supply critical power load for an US data centre in Monterey Park, belonging to gas utility Southern California Gas Company.

New investments in gas-fired capacity in the UK are being put on hold until there is clarity surrounding the government's ongoing Energy Market Reform (EMR), George Grant, Director at Stag Energy told Gas to Power Journal at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum keynote seminar in London. "The industry acknowledges that we are waiting for the EMR, part of which is the capacity mechanism that's being talked about [and] there isn't going to be any new investment in gas until that's clarified. So the phrase that's being thrown out about there being a dash for gas is just incorrect," he said.

The power sector in Pakistan has seen nationwide load-shedding in the last week of May, leaving electricity production in an estimated 4,000MW shortfall, after the closure of the partially state-owned Qadirpur gas field for annual maintenance contributed to a gas shortage of reportedly 1.2 billion cubic feet a day (Bcf/d).

Tamarete Energia, a special purpose company owned by power and water utility HERA Group, BKW Italia and Odoardo Zecca, has started commercial operations of its new 104-megawatt combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) near the city of Ortona, using two GE gas turbine generators and one steam turbine generator.

News in Brief

Orbital signs MSA with Midwestern utility

Dec 3 – Orbital Energy has signed a master service agreement (MSA) with a US Midwestern investor-owned utility. The accord is expected to generate monthly revenues from the fourth quarter and increase revenues by 30% on an annualised basis.

Wärtsilä to use Shell engine oils

Dec 2 – The Finish engine maker Wärsilä has selected Shell as its test oil partner for engines during stress tests and fine-tuning at engine manufacturing sites. Shell’s Mysella, Argina and Gadinia range of engine oils have been developed to provide top class engine cleanliness, enhanced wear protection, long oil life, and high system efficiency.

Hamburg CHP runs fully on hydrogen

Dec 1 – Field testing has started for HanseWerk’s combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Hamburg to run fully on hydrogen. The converted 1 MW pilot plant, powered by Jenbacher engines, provides district heating equal to 13,000 MWh/year to 30 residential buildings, a sports facility, a daycare center, and the Othmarschen Park leisure centre.

Oil majors in the red

Nov 30 – For most oil majors worldwide, higher prices are needed to get their business out of the red. Breakeven prices for Saudi Arabia are $85 per barrel, around $64/bbl for Iraq, $49/bbl for Kuwait and as little as $40/bbl for Russia. As business confidence plummets, major oil companies have already slashed planned CAPEX spending by almost $89 billion in first quarter of 2020, with further cuts being made throughout the summer and autumn.

EU invests into battery cells

Nov 27 – Germany's EU Council Presidency has pledged Europe should develop an integrated value creation chain for battery cells, starting with the processing of raw materials over battery cell production to recycling. Germany is investing 3 billion Euros into the two projects that foster novel methods of battery production.

Rolls-Royce wins order from Hinkley Point C

Nov 26 – Rolls-Royce has been awarded an order from Hinkley Point C to deliver 140 Bibloc pressure transmitters for the two EPR nuclear reactors currently under construction in Somerset, UK. The transmitters will measure the flow, level and pressure of the Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS).

CHP industry to grow 14.4% through 2025

Nov 25 – The combined heat and power (CHP) market, evaluated at $12.152 billion, is expected to expand nearly 14.4% per year to reach $27.196 million by 2025. Growth is primarily driven by government funding and subsidy schemes. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the country aims to install 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP to save $10 billion per year, compared to current energy use.

Rolls-Royce opens US customer center

Nov 24 – Rolls-Royce has opened its latest US customer support center in Savannah, Gerogia. The 62,000 square feet facility houses a power plant completion center, a wing services repair unit and a warehouse, all under one roof.

Lithium Werks grows manufacturing

Nov 23 – US-Dutch manufacturer Lithium Werks is growing the output and sales fuel cells and battery modules for use as power, pulse, and stand-by applications. The company’s 26650 Nanophosphate cells are used as single cells, as well as to build cell-packs and modules like Lithium Werks P40-24 battery modules. The Austin and Enschede-based company said it can “produce millions of 18650 and 26650 cells a month in China.”

AGL plans 1,000 MWh battery

Nov 20 – Australian power producer and retailer ALG wants to realise a large grid-connected battery storage unit of up to 250 MW rated output and four hours’ duration of storage, equalling 1,000 MWh. The battery will be built in stages on the site of Torrens Island Power Station in South Australia. AGL vowed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, but is currently still operating some 40 GW of coal-fired generation.

Fusion demo plant to be designed in Canada

Nov 19 – Vancouver-based General Fusion has entered a partnership with the architecture firm AL_A to design a demonstration plant, based on magnetized target fusion (MTF). Once operational, the demo plant will showcase MTF technology under power plant-relevant conditions.

Toshiba opens H2One fuelling station

Nov 18 – Toshiba has opened the first ‘H2OneMulti Station’ which fills fuel cell vehicles with green hydrogen and supplies for green electricity at Tsuruga City in Fukui prefecture. The station consists of H2One ST Unit and H2One, using hydrogen produced from wind and solar power sources.

Shale gas market grows at 7% rate

Nov 17 – Unconventional gas markets are poised to grow by $41.76 billion through 2024, rising at a rate of almost 7%. According to Technavio, about 87% of the supply growth this year is coming from the Americas.

Agua Blanca pipeline expanded

Nov 16 – Austin-based WhiteWater Midstream and MPLX have completed a 1.8 billion cubic-feet-per-day (Bcf/d) expansion of their joint venture Agua Blanca pipeline system. Christer Rundlof, CEO of WhiteWater CEO, said the expansion will be brought into service ahead of schedule. Testing and commissioning will begin this month, for the new pipeline stretch to be brought into full service in early 2021.

Wärtsilä integrates clean energy

Nov 13 – Finish technology group Wärtsilä strives to integrate variable clean power sources to achieve a 100% renewable energy future. The necessary operational flexibility will come from gas generation assets running on synthetic renewable fuels and by the extended use of energy storage.

First German-Belgium power link to start operation

Nov 12 – The two TSOs Amprion and Elia are preparing to launch the first electric interconnector between Germany and Belgium. The 1,000 MW interconnector stretches between Aachen and Lüttich, from where it links to the Rhineland region and Wallonia. It will go into operation as of 18 November, with intraday capacities to begin trading on 8 December.

Sachsen Energie takes on E.ON and RWE

Nov 11 – A small regional energy provider in Saxony seeks to counter the dominance of E.ON and RWE. Sachsen Energie, set up in a merger between two local utilities, claims it will become "the largest municipal utility in eastern Germany," catering to about one million customers, when it begins operation in 2021.

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