Daily News

Toshiba Corporation, a major supplier of thermal power generation equipment, has won a contract from the U.S. engineering and construction company Fluor to supply a 195 MW steam turbine and generator for a gas-fired combined cycle power plant (CCGT).

Siemens and RWE are gearing up to expand a jointly-operated virtual power plant (VPP) with additional energy sources. In 2012, RWE plans to market about 20 MW of electricity and the cap will be increased tenfold to about 200 MW by 2015, the companies said today.

Dominion Energy is considering converting the 745 MW coal and oil-fired Salem Harbor Power Station in Massachusetts into a natural gas-fired power plant. The Virginia-based utility already had to scale down the operations of the plant in reaction to rising coal and oil prices in relation to gas prices.

The Bangladeshi utility Energy Bangla expects to complete its 150 MW Chandpur gas-fired power plant project by June this year. "90% of the works for the project have been completed," the utility said with reference to an assessment of the Bangladesh Power Development Board.

The new UK energy minister, Charles Hendry, has criticised proposals and time-schedules of the European Commission's (EC) energy infrastructure plan as "overly prescriptive".

Operators of gas-fired power plants in Spain have joined forces to lobby for higher capacity payments in return for providing vital backup capacity to stabilize the grid against rising fluctuations in electricity supply from renewable energy sources, Stephen Woodhouse, Director at Pöyry Energy Consulting said. "In a true market environment, the flexible plants would earn higher prices for this new mode of operating but if there is a surplus of capacity then some of the generation fleet will become uneconomic," Woodhouse told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' in an interview.

BG Group, U.K.'s third-largest natural-gas producer, has forecast a 40% surge in underlying profits on the back of higher oil and LNG prices. "The outlook for global gas and LNG demand is strong," BG Group's chief executive Sir Frank Chapman said this morning.

RWE sees fossil power plants as vital partners of renewable energy sources. Quick ramp rates are vital to provide flexible backup capacity and gas-fired plants still in the lead, outperforming coal-plants. "It takes RWE only 18 minutes to ramp the output of its 876 MW Lingen combined cycle gas turbine plant up or down by 600 MW," a RWE spokesman told Gas-to-Power Journal.

General Electric (GE) has launched a new GE TS1000 coalescer, a gas turbine filtration product that improves plant performance and lowers maintenance costs for power plants in harsh weather conditions near costal environments.

Fischer

Roland Fischer

Siemens Energy is expanding turbine sales based on the attractiveness of its H-class technology. "We believe our H-class technology is two to three years ahead of competition," Roland Fischer, CEO of the division Fossil Power Generation at Siemens told Gas-to-Power Journal in an interview.

 

Siemens now holds over 40% in the market segment of advanced gas turbines in terms of gigawatts (GW). In terms of unit sales, the number is slightly below 40%. "We will surely not rely on our lead as competition is tough and challenging. We will do our utmost not to allow any rival to take that position from us," Fischer said.

Trianel and Curenta, the operator of CHEMPARK, a chemical park in Krefeld-Uerdingen, plan to take Final Investment Decision (FID) on building a 1,200 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant in Germany by late summer 2012.

Pratt & Whitney's aero-derivative industrial gas turbines can operate open cycle with fast start-up to back up renewable wind energy power drop-off, while simultaneously providing reactive power to stabilize the grid, Swift Tarbell, area director at Pratt & Whitney Power Systems said.

Siemens, the German engineering company, has received an order worth over US$1 billion to supply key components for the IPP Qurayyah combined cycle power plant (CCPP) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Commissioning of the total of six blocks is scheduled for 2014, Siemens said today.

ETN Christer_Bjorkqvist

Christer Björkqvist

Excessive subsidies for renewable energies have distorted the Spanish power market, forcing utilities to significantly curtail the operating hours of gas-fired power plants, Christer Björkqvist, Managing Director, ETN-European Turbine Network said today.

Now, the Spanish government has suspended all subsidies for new renewable energy installations in a move that is unlikely to prove a 'quick remedy' for the market distortion.

Escalating output of U.S. gas production has launched a "race to the bottom", with gas prices reacting negatively to rising production. Gas-for-coal substitution, meanwhile, is starting to put significant pressure on coal prices, Deutsche Bank said 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.