Daily News

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has legally completed the acquisition of Pratt & Whitney Power Systems (P&W PS), a manufacturer of small and medium-size gas aero engines. Following the takeover, the Japanese engineering conglomerate launched operations of its new aero-engine segment under the name of PW Power Systems.

Toshiba Infrastructure South America Ltd (TIC-SA), the Brazilian arm of electronics multinational Toshiba has started producing electricity transformers in a newly launched $58 million (¥6.0 billion) manufacturing plant in the city Betim, which is part of the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte.

EDF is planning to add 975MW of gas-fired power generation to its installed capacity in France, a spokesman for the company told Gas to Power Journal. The additions will come from the planned commissioning of a second 465MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plant in Martigues in 2013 and the joint development with GE of a 510MW "new generation" CCGT plant on EDF's Bouchain site in Northern France, scheduled for late 2015.

With gas turbines increasingly used from the smallest to the largest scales of power generation systems, the technical scope of machinery has grown dramatically in recent years. Modern Gas Turbine Systems, published by Woodhead Publishing, gives a comprehensive introduction and overview to the subject, outlining the mechanical principles and underlying physics of gas power generation, and describing a range of operational concerns relevant to plant operators and engineers.

A leading driver behind Mexico's rising natural gas consumption in recent years has been the substantial rise in the use of gas in the power sector, country analysis undertaken by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) finds.

Industry in southern Germany could curb their electricity consumption at times of peak demand by up to 480MW in the course of an hour if Demand-Side Management (DSM) mechanisms were to be widely implanted, according to study presented by energy think thank Agora in Berlin this week.

Commercial operations have begun three months ahead of schedule at the $900 million gas-fired 800MW Sentinel Energy Project near Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County, California. The plant is co-owned by Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), GE Energy Financial Services and Diamond Generating Corporation (DGC). The general contractor for the construction of the project was Gemma Power Systems California.

The EU's Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has called on the European Council and Parliament to approve the proposed back-loading of 900 billion carbon emission allowances (EUAs) in emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). Back-loading would reduce the surplus of emissions in the ETS, and the subsequent rise in carbon prices would encourage power producers to favour gas over coal.

Fortum's €130million ($167million) waste-fired CHP plant has started this week in the city of Klaipeda, Lithuania. It is the first of its kind in the Baltics, one of four such plants planned for the Baltic and Nordic region.

The contribution of gas to the UK's power generation mix has plunged by 32 percent in 2012 from 2011 level, comprising 28 percent of total generation, mainly due to the relative low cost of coal compared to gas and cheap coal imports mainly from Russia, Columbia and the United States, the latest country analysis done by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows. The contribution of coal was 39 percent of UK's energy mix, rising by 32 percent.

GE has signed a frame agreement with Green Waste Energy (GWE) to supply its Jenbacher gas engines to power a series of Advanced Recycling and Energy Conversion (AREC) plants that GWE's development subsidiary Green Waste Energy Development (GWED) plans to build. Each Jenbacher engine will generate nearly 2MW of power using syngas produced at GWED's waste-gasification facilities.

Greece's METKA and General Electric have sealed a €92million ($118million) EPC contract with Société Algérienne de Production de l'Electricité (SPE) to build an open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) plant with a capacity of 368MW at the country's physical gas hub Hassi R'mel.

News in Brief

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.

VELO distributes Sapphire Metal 3D-Printers in the US

Dec 18 – California-based VELO3D has formed a distribution partnership with GoEngineer for Flow pre-print software, Sapphire metal AM printer, and Assure quality assurance and controls. GoEngineer will be VELO’s only distributor in the United States.

Indian electric boats to achieve zero emissions

Dec 17 – Cochin Shipyard, India’s largest shipbuilder, has asked Siemens Energy to equip India’s first fleet of 23 boats with electric propulsion drive train, integrated with batteries and vessel automation. Combining the electric propulsion drive trains, energy storage, and automation systems is expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption.

Terna BESS auction six times oversubscribed

Dec 16 – A pilot auction, held by the Italian TSO Terna, for battery energy storage systems (BESS) to provide reserve grid services has been six times oversubscribed. The auction was held with an expectation that around 230 MW would be on offer, but Terna received 1,327 MW worth of bids and eventually awarded contracts for 249.9 MW.

New £150m link to UK’s Easington terminal

Dec 15 – National Grid has completed a gas pipeline under the River Humber, build in 18 months and at a cost £150 million, as new link to the import terminal at Easington. Following commissioning, the pipeline is now operational and can now transport between 70 to 100 million cubic metres - around a quarter of Britain's gas needs.

US emissions fall 11%

Dec 14 – Energy sector-related emissions in the US are expected to fall 11% this year, largely due economic and behavioural effects the coronavirus pandemic. According to the EIA's December Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), emissions in 2020 are forecast fall by 19% for coal, by 13% for petroleum, and by 2% for natural gas.

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