Daily News

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.

Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), has sought approval to start a $65 million project to convert the coal-fired Virginian Clinch River Plant to run on natural gas, to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA).

If the project goes ahead, AEP aims to complete the entire conversion before 2016, while units 1 and 2 scheduled to be re-fuelled with natural gas by end-2014.

News in Brief

Low-carbon batteries

Jan 26 – Geyser Batteries, a Finnish cleantech startup, has calculated the emissions of its electrochemical recuperators (ECR) to be significantly below industry averages. The ECR is an energy storage used for heavy-duty applications in the power grid and industrial machinery. The calculation, validated by the research institution VTT, shows the carbon footprint of ECR production is up to 74% lower when compared to its closest competitor, supercapacitors based on li-ion batteries.

Green hydrogen production surges

Jan 25 – Global green hydrogen production is seen skyrocket at a rate of 57% between 2019 and 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan, rising from 40,000 tons to 5.7 million tons. The hydrogen surge comes as industry and power generators increase investment  in alternative low carbon technologies and more countries set binding targets to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Italy’s power exports Montenegro surge

Jan 22 – Italian electric power exports increased by 28% in 2020, largely driven by flows to Montenegro which surged 26% to 8.6 TWh. In contrast, domestic power demand fell 6% last year to 271.6 TWh with electricity sales from conventional plants down nearly 9% to 140.5 TWh, figures by the Italian energy exchange GME show.

US considers new nuclear

Jan 21 – The new US President Joe Biden has said his country could construct new nuclear power plants and reiterated plans to “swiftly rejoin” the Paris Climate Agreement swiftly. Germany’s environment minister, Svenja Schulze, called it illusionary to believe that newer, smaller reactors will be a technology of the future.

Mitsubishi produces methanol in Trinidad

Jan 20 – Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company has launched commercial operations of a methanol and dimethyl ether plant in Trinidad and Tobago. The plant has an annual production capacity of one million tons of methanol and 20,000 tons of dimethyl ether, which can be used as an alternative fuel for cars and power generation.

First 8-cylinder B36:45 engine delivered

Jan 19 – Rolls-Royce has delivered the first 8-cylinder variant of its Bergen B36:45 gas engine to a tomato producer in Belgium. The medium speed genset is planned for delivery this spring and will drive an onsite power plant that generates 4700 kW electricity and 5520 kW heat. The new engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder and will replace an existing Bergen 12-cylinder B35:40 genset.

Moody’s upgrades Enel to Baa1

Jan 18 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Enel’s long-term rating to Baa1, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects Enel’s progress in reducing its risk profile, analysts said, pointing at the Italian utilities ongoing investment in networks and renewables, growing geographical diversification and focus on centralised financing.

GE sues Siemens Energy

Jan 15 – General Electric has sued its German rival Siemens Energy over the alleged use of stolen trade secrets to win gas turbine contracts worth several billion dollars. GE told the US district court in Virginia that Siemens received the secret information from a Dominion Energy employee.

Orbital Energy launches Eclipse

Jan 14 – Nasdaq-listed Orbital Energy Group has launched a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation, a drilled shaft construction company. The new company specialises in providing services for power transmission and substations, communication tower and a disaster restoration through emergency power.

S’Korean coal and LNG imports slide

Jan 13 – South Korea’s imports of thermal coal and LNG have fallen 12% and 11%, respectively, as the government cracks down on fossil fuel usage to curb air pollution. Customs data shows that coal imports amounted to 10.2 million tons in December, down 1.4 million tons from the same month last year but up from November’s imports of 9.5 million tons.

SMC builds 1.7 GW CCGT in Batangas

Jan 13 – Excellent Energy Resources, part of SMC Global Power Holdings, is building a 1,700 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Barangay Dela Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City with investments of about 67.863 billion Philippine Pesos ($1.41bn). The project is estimated to be completed in 36 to 40 months.

UK’s National Grid issues supply warning

Jan 12 – Natural gas prices in the UK surged as National Grid issued warnings on supply deficit as LNG cargoes are being diverted to North Asia. Prices at the British NBP gas trading hub soared to the equivalent of $8.95 per MMBtu, while the JKM price for North Asian spot LNG cargoes for February 2021 was last at $19.700 per MMBt.

Fortistar invests in hydrogen

Jan 11 – Fortistar, a privately-held fund, has joined an equity investment of up to $157 million in hydrogen producer BayoTech. Cottonwood Technology Funds and the New Mexico State Investment Council also participated in the latest financing round. BayoTech’s systems produce local hydrogen close to the application, serving end users in the industrial gas and petrochemical segment as well as those who use of hydrogen to power fuel cells.

Ashtead appoints new CFO

Jan 5 - Ashtead Technology has appointed a chief financial officer (CFO) and five managers for newly created roles across its international team. The appointments are meant to cement the company’s position in the offshore energy market, including offshore wind and decommissioning of thermal power plants

NFE secures LNG for Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua

Dec 23 – New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to purchase Henry-Hub-indexed LNG for its integrated gas and power businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. The New York-based project developer said it now has covered 80% of its expected needs throughout Latin America, thus reducing its need for spot purchases and its exposure to changes in the market price for LNG.

China and Korea mandate coal-to-gas switch

Dec 22 – The Chinese government has launched a coal-to-gas boiler switching programme, targeting 7.1 million homes, which makes gas demand more weather-sensitive this winter. Similarly, South Korea mandated the closure of 15 coal-fired plants since the start of December in an effort to reduce air pollution. Analysts expect this will accelerate the drawdown of LNG terminal inventories going into Q1-2021.

GE repowers oil field in Brazil

Dec 21 – GE Power Conversion has been awarded a contract by Sulzer Pumps UK to supply motors for four water injection pumps of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The 8,000 kW, two pole motors will run at 3,600 rpm with a limitation of the starting current at 300%, enabling the oil and gas field operator to optimise the generator which supplies electricity on the FPSO.

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