Daily News

Germany needs a "reformed market design" whereby secure power generation capacity should be rewarded and renewable energy must take responsibility for its impact, says Trianel CEO Sven Becker. Operations of fossil power plants are loss-making as wholesale power prices are at rock-bottom lows, he told a press briefing at the E-World energy conference in Essen today.

In a drive to replace small, ageing coal-fired power plants, Duke Energy has invested around $1.5 billion to build and commission two gas-fired plants in North Carolina, with a third plant worth $600 million due to start-up later this year.

Alstom, in consortium with Japan's Sumitomo Corp., has won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to supply equipment and build the 850-megawatt North Bangkok combined-cycle power plant block 2.

The Saudi energy company ACWA is venturing to invest in Turkey in partnership with Eser Holding to build a gas-fired combined-cycle power plant on a green field site in Kirikkale, central Anatolia. Realising the 800 MW plant project comes at a cost of up to US$ 930 million.

RWE expects compensation from Gazprom dating back until spring 2010 as part of an out-of-court settlement that would end a price arbitration case over gas import contract , its CEO told a German newspaper. "We expect that we will have an agreement in the first half of this year," RWE chief financial officer Bernhard Guenther told the German newspaper 'Boersen-Zeitung'. He revealed RWE expects Gazprom to pay compensation reaching as far back as spring 2010.

In the face of a global trend toward a green energy, efficient use of natural gas at peaking plants play a central role in ensuring security of electricity supply, says Dietmar Siersdorfer, chief executive, energy at Siemens Middle East. Peak-load gas turbines upgraded with Wet Compression technology can produce up to 15 percent more electricity output, he said, and take better advantage from high peak load electricity prices.

Hit by persistently low spark spreads, SSE has decided to halt operations at its ageing gas-fired combined cycle power stations at Keadby (760 MW) and Medway (688 MW) for a comprehensive maintenance programme aimed at enhancing the plants' operational flexibility from March 2013 onwards.

Shanghai's largest cogeneration facility, the Caojing plant will host GE's first Dry Low NOx (DLN) 2.6+ combustion system upgrade for an installed 9FA 3-series gas turbine in Asia. GE said the equipment for the first DLN 2.6+ upgrade will be shipped in October 2013, with schipment for the second upgrade due in January 2015.

Europe's ailing recovery and decreasing gas-to-power demand, in competition with coal and renewable energies, is forecast to put a lid on LNG demand for years to come, analysis from PIRA Energy Group shows.

Shell aims for a growing engine oils segment by launching a new sour-gas compatible lubricating oil. "There could be a 10% sales growth in the stationary gas engine oils segment this year," Richard Holdsworth, Global Brand Manager for Shell Power Lubricants told Gas to Power Journal.

E.on, Germany's biggest utility by revenues, is considering the part-closure of one of Europe's most modern gas-fired power stations in Irsching, Bavaria. Dr. Johannes Teyseen, E.on chief executive, said "the rapid growth of renewables has made gas-fired plants largely uneconomic to operate".

China's electricity production has surged more than 200% since 2000, spurring the nation's hunger for coal – the primary fuel for power generation. Coal consumption in China now accounts for 47% of global coal consumption – nearly as much as the entire rest of the world combined.

News in Brief

Germany ups support for CO2 conversion in industry

Oct 30 – Industries in Germany will enjoy a further 75 million in funding to convert carbon dioxide emissions in heavy industry into useful chemical products. Thyssen-Krupp is already testing the process of converting CO2 emissions into substances like ammonia and methanol. The steel industry alone accounts for 6% of global CO2 emissions.

Operating assets ‘from anywhere’

Oct 29 – GE Digital’s latest software gives electric utilities remote and mobile control over their power stations for remote start-up, external monitoring and operational fine-tuning. The goal is to safe cost through autonomous operation from any location.

Enlit Europe goes digital

Oct 28 – In face of the second wave of the pandemic, Enlit Europe has decided to move its Milan trade show online. A virtual keynote will be held on Thursday, October 29, starting from 9:30 CET.

Singapore sets aside $36m for low-carbon tech

Oct 27 – The Singapore government is supporting low carbon tech by setting aside SG$49 million ($36m) for research into hydrogen, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and energy storage. Testbeds for blending of low-carbon hydrogen with natural gas in combined cycle gas turbines, will yield insights into low-carbon tech and facilitate future deployment, said Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

Researchers develop lightweight battery

Oct 26 – Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability (LBF) have developed a lightweight battery pack to reduce the overall weight of e-car batteries. The new pack holding the battery cells is made of fibre-plastic composites, reducing the weight by 40 percent compared to a casing made of aluminium. The new battery is hoped to drive the upward trend for e-car registrations in Germany and help lower emissions in the transport sector.

MAN to maintain power plant in Benin

Oct 23 – PrimeServ, the after-sales brand of MAN Energy Solutions, has signed a service agreement with BWSC for the Maria Gleta power plant near the city of Cotonou, Benin. The 127 MW plant is powered by seven MAN 18V51/60DF engines. The ten-year contract covers the supply of spare parts and the provision of technical services for scheduled maintenance.

Gas saves Virginia over $14bn

Oct 22 – Virginia’s businesses and families saved more than $14.2 billion between 2008 and 2018 thanks to low-cost natural gas and expanded energy infrastructure, according to a new Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) report. Almost 60% of power generation relies on natural gas and a third of its households use gas for home heating.

Energy storage for LNG-powered vessels

Oct 21 – Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf has asked Wärtsilä to retrofit its energy storage system (ESS) on four LNG-fuelled platform support vessels. Once upgraded in early 2022, all vessels will be of full tri-fuel operation.

Mott McDonald starts construction on ALCP6

Oct 20 – US construction firm Mott McDonald has started building the ALCP6 waste to energy project in Krabi province, southern Thailand. The plant will incinerate 144,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, and the heat obtained will be converted into 6 MW of electricity to be exported to the Thai national grid.

Brace for EU sustainable finance rules

Oct 19 – Sustainable finance practices, drawn up by the European Commission, could create a "bureaucratic monster" that smaller companies and energy investors would find overbearing, the Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (ifo) warned. The regulation should hence prioritise closer scrutiny of large and listed companies.

UK could become net power exporter

Oct 16 – Increased interconnection could provide a route for excess offshore wind power in Britain to be consumed elsewhere in Europe. National Grid Interconnector Register shows up to 16 GW of interconnection could be operational by 2025 and up to 25.4 GW by 2030.

Wärtsilä to deploy GridSolv in US city

Oct 15 – AEP OnSite Partners has contracted Wärtsilä to deploy its GridSolv Quantum energy storage in the city of Martinsville, Virginia. The system includes an UL9540A limiting 2-hour battery firewall and will help lower the city’s energy costs.

Rolls-Royce spends $13.9m in Mankato

Oct 14 – Britain’s engine maker Rolls-Royce has decided to invest nearly $14 million in its Power System business to build a new R&D centre at its MTU manufacturing plant in Mankato, Minnesota, US. The expansion will see 28,000 square foot added to the facility’s existing hall, making room for the production of high-power MTU gas gensets, enhanced product testing and the creation of 20 new manufacturing positions.

Clarke commissions Vitalait power unit in Tunisia

Oct 13 – Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher have completed the commissioning of an onsite power plant of a milk producer in Tunisia. The installation of another Jenbacher gas engine has increased the plant’s output to 4 MW of electricity as well as 1,100 kW of hot water and 800 kW of steam.

Secondary battery market to top $55bn

Oct 12 – Technavio expects the secondary battery market to grow by $55.62 billion through 2024, rising at an 11% rate over the forecast period. Falling costs for lithium-ion batteries as well as growing demand in Asia Pacific allowed the market to grow 2.01% this year, despite adverse effects of the pandemic. Top battery suppliers are Tesla, Clarious, Exide, LG Chem, GS Yuasa and Samsung.

Shift to sustainable tech

Oct 9 – Three quarters of utilities, surveyed by EIT InnoEnergy, are considering adopting sustainable technology over the next 12-18 months. However, over one third of the respondents found it hard to recruit the skills they need.

Generator rentals slow

Oct 8 – The rental market for power generators has slowed down due to the pandemic, with genset rentals from the oil and gas industry forecast to grow by just $153.87 million this year. However, Technavio expects the market will return to a 3% annual growth rate by 2024.

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