Daily News

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.

Lifetimes of most operational gas-fired power plants in Europe will "hopefully outlive" the current political vacuum that depresses the carbon markets, CEZ's head of trading, Michal Skalka, told investors in a conference call on the group's Q1'2013 financial results.

The key challenge in choosing an engine or turbine for a combined heat and power (CHP) system is to efficiently bring together thermal energy demand with systems that produce mechanical or electrical power, Manfred Klein, independent energy consultant and former Canadian federal government staffer, told Gas to Power Journal at this year's COGEN Canada annual seminar in Calgary.

"One question that the plant operator needs to ask is to what degree the plant is a thermal operation or a power operation? In this sense, managing heat demand will ultimately determine overall system efficiency," he said.

The utilization of combined heat and power (CHP) catered for over 30 percent of Alberta's electricity demand last year, Sandra Locke, Assistant Deputy Minister, Electricity, Alternative Energy & Carbon Capture and Storage at Alberta's Department of Energy, told COGENCanada's Annual Seminar in Calgary. "Cogeneration has become an integral part of the province's electricity market providing over 30 percent of total generation output in 2012. That's approximately 23 000 GWh of electricity," she said.

Singapore's first regasification LNG terminal officially started operations today, the Energy Market Authority confirmed. Natural gas is already fuelling 80 percent of Singapore's power generation assets, so the launch of the LNG import terminal enables power producers to diversify supply sources beyond importing pipeline gas.

The world's largest concentrating solar plant – the 280 MW Solana Generating Station– is being built about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona, in close proximity to a substantial fossil backup plant – the 2,334 MW gas-fired combined-cycle Gila River Power Station.
As a rising volume of intermittent renewable power sources are being added to the grid, power producers have a growing interest in combining it with realising new fossil power plant project, particularly gas-fired ones.

National Grid is tasked to provide analysis and modelling on the government's Electricity Market Reform (EMR) delivery plan, assess eligibility and the allocation of Contracts for Difference (CfD), and will run auctions for planned capacity mechanisms. In June, National Grid will deliver its final modelling report to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to be appended to DECC's July Delivery Plan, Mark Ripley, Project Director EMR at National Grid told Gas to Power Journal.

Siemens Energy has been awarded a contract by Nigeria's Edo Cement, part of Nigeria's BUA Group, for delivery of three SGT-500 gas turbines to produce power for the Edo Cement's Okpella Cement Factory, located in Okpella, a town in Nigeria's Edo state. Delivery of the turbines is scheduled for spring 2014.

The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) has gone on record as opposed to proposed rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restrict greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants. In a letter to the EPA, the five members of the PSC called for a withdrawal of proposed rules for the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) which they said would be particularly harmful to coal-fired power generation.

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.

House ad Jul2020