Canada's natural gas industry is in a "holding pattern" as low prices of around $3.00/MMBtu in Western Canada are stifling new equity investment for gas producers, a report by Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) finds. Low gas prices have displaced "significant amounts" of coal-fired in favour of gas-fired generation but it is unclear if demand can be retained long enough to move prices into the $5.00/MMBtu level necessary to resume substantial investment in dry natural gas drilling.
ABB's Turbocharging business unit has won an order to upgrade 30 turbochargers in a series of power plants in Brazuk operated by Wärtsilä under O&M agreements. The order is the first of three, and once installed the turbocharging equipment will help power producers to achieve "substantial annual fuel savings".
Gazprom International has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Russian-Dominican cooperation in the Energy Sphere with Transgas Caribe S.A. and the Dominican Corporation of State Electricity Companies (CDEEE).
The Belgian energy regulator CREG has dismissed government plans to subsidise proposed new combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants as "state aid", calling the move a "bad idea" that might lead to market distortions.
Costs for power transmission rises following the construction of new electricity grid lines which is expected to spur growth in Alberta's cogeneration market, Vittoria Bellissimo, Executive Director at the Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta (IPCAA) told COGEN Canada's annual seminar in Calgary.
"With transmission costs predicated to go up, cost sensitive industrial customers will need to consider their options. This could mean out of province investments but could also mean an increase in onsite generation. Customers with large thermal requirements will inevitably be looking at this option," she said.
Investing in higher efficiency filters can help improve turbine performance in cogeneration units by reducing fouling, Jim Benson, senior product engineer at Camfil Farr Power Systems told Gas to Power Journal at COGEN Canada's annual seminar in Calgary. "The operator can make up for the cost and pressure drop of a higher quality filter through the operational benefits provided by the product," he said.
Pre-engineered combined heat and power (CHP) systems can provide customers with a variety of benefits when compared to customized CHP systems, Mike McElligott, sales engineer at European Power Systems (EPS) told Gas to Power Journal at COGEN Canada's annual seminar in Calgary. "The standardized design means that there is no custom work necessary. Because there are thousands of these units out there, the standardized unit is proven and the customer is not going to be in the position of having to work the bugs out of a custom system," he said.
'Reliability' has once again been rated as the 'top issue' and cause of concern in Black & Veatch's seventh annual U.S. electric utility industry report, compiled to reflect "views and outlooks of an industry in transition," according to Dean Oskvig, President of company's global energy business.
China's economic slowdown combined with policy goals to reduce the energy intensity of GDP growth has led Deutsche Bank analysts to forecast softer Chinese coal demand growth both for power generation and industrial use.
Electricity prices are of prime importance when it comes to investment in combined heat and power (CHP) facilities by Alberta's oil sands developers, W. Dale Hildebrand, President of Desiderata Energy Consulting told this year's COGEN Canada annual seminar in Calgary.
"The most important factor for oil sands developers that are considering cogeneration is the price of electricity: can they generate it cheaper on site compared to buying it for the grid?" he said.
Danish utility Dong Energy has decided to drop plans to build a 1,100 MW gas-fired power plant in Ludwigsau in the German state of Hesse and is searching a buyer for the rights to build a plant at the same site. "We've started the sales process for the project rights and aim to find a buyer by the end of this year," said company spokeswoman Iris Franco-Fratini.
E.ON said it "seriously considers" mothballing the 430 MW gas-fired power plant Malcenize in Slovakia, the Essen-based utility said in charts published on the company's website.