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Daily News

Green light has been given for the world's largest compressed natural storage plant in Grati, Indonesia, that will feed an adjacent 300MW gas-fired power plant, operated by state-owned utility PT PLN (Persero). Classification company RINA approved the design of the CNG plant, paving the way for start of construction works.

A proposal to use a gas power plant to support renewables in Colorado, US has been placed with the independent evaluator for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Xcel Energy representative Gabriel Romero said savings for consumers would come from Xcel replacing its own coal-fired capacity with gas-fired power from an unknown supplier, as "this power plant is offering us a lower power purchase agreement."

Using CO2 to generate natural gas on industrial scales is a step closer thanks to new technology developed by the Austrian firm, Krajete. The process can convert electricity to methane and has passed initial trials demonstrating the potential for industrial production.

Despite the substantial reductions in carbon emissions delivered by the switch from coal to gas generation due to the current boom in US gas production, report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) suggests there will be a 'gas ceiling'.

As Russia shifts its outlook east and engages with China on a range of deals for oil, coal and power supply China, energy trade between the two neighbouring countries is likely to quadruple by 2025, according to Wood Mackenzie analysts. "If large projects are to be realised, Russia may have to allow deeper Chinese involvement," said Ian Thom, head of Russia upstream research, suggesting an gas supply deal will be reached in the next two years.

Gas-fired power will increase to account for 40 percent of the energy mix in the US market by 2035, spurring a growth in natural gas demand by one third, analysts with the consultancy ICF International forecast. Gas-fired power currently generates 1,000 Terawatt-hours per year (TWh/y) but new ICF figures expect this to double to 2,000 TWh/y.

Funding has been announced to develop new technology focused on carbon capture and storage (CCS) specifically for gas-powered UK plants. A request for proposals has been announced by the Energy Technologies Institute, a public-private partnership, to invest in a project which is expected to start in the middle of next year.

The UK carbon floor price is not sufficient to encourage CCS-retrofitting in fossil plants in the short-term, says Heather Haydock, Practice Director, Energy & Climate Change at Ricardo-AEA. Neither has backloading of carbon permits in EU-ETS has helped to prop up carbon prices beyond €6/ton – too low to incentivise CCS or a switch from coal to gas generation in much of continental Europe.

A pilot power-to-gas (PTG) project in Germany is being undertaken by E.ON, that converts renewable electricity into hydrogen gas. The gas is injected into the regional gas grid, easing the heavy loading of wind and solar power on electric grids, such as is present in Germany and around Europe, at the same time providing 'renewable' gas feed.

UK property developer partners St Modwen and Glenfinnan have joint forces to build a 299MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant, Meaford Power Station, 50 miles south of Manchester, UK. "We are at an early stage of the project and are just about to introduce it to the local community to capture the details of the project," a Meaford Energy representative said.

Fuel cells have traditionally been associated with renewable technologies, as a means of offsetting generation intermittency problems, but as technology has reached maturity the range of applications and technologies has grown. Fuel cells increasingly provide opportunities for distributed downstream electricity, heat and gas generation and support local production, as well as easing grid requirements securing overall supply stability.

Shale gas will bolster security of supply in the UK, displace a proportion of LNG imports and underpin new gas power generation projects. Substantial volumes of shale gas production, however, are not expected to be forthcoming until the mid-2020ies, delegates at the Gas to Power Britain conference learnt.

News in Brief

Howden powers methanol plant

July 29 – Howden will deliver a hydrogen compressor to Johnson Matthey to serve the world’s first methanol plant that harnesses energy from the wind, in Patagonia, Chile. The Haru Oni project will deliver around 900,000 litres per year of e-methanol as early as 2022 and will be scaled up to 550 million litres of e-fuels per year by 2026.

Bloom SOFCs to power micro plant in South Korea

July 28 – California-based Bloom Energy, in cooperation with SK ecoplant, will install solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Donghae City, South Korea. The CHP will provide heat and warm water for the nearby Bukpyung sports center. Construction on the project is slated to start this autumn.

Shanghai Electric to digitalise factories

July 27 – Shanghai Electric has entered a partnership with AI Investment Fund at the WAIC 2021 conference to provide digital solutions to industrial parks and medical institutions. Yang Hong, Vice President of Shanghai Electric said the aim is to help industries to minimise emissions and waste while maintaining low unit costs.

Slow LNG uptake in Africa

July 26 – In Africa, the uptake of LNG imports to new markets has been slow. Both Ghana’s 1.7 million tons per annum (mtpa) Tema LNG and Senegal’s 1.0 mtpa Dakar Powership are still awaiting their first LNG deliveries, though their respective FSRUs Vasant and Karmol LNGt Powership Africa have been in place since June.

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

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