Daily News

Dutch energy company Nuon's said it has connected its new 435-MW gas-fired Diemens-34 power plant to the Dutch power transmission network, as the starting point for further testing and optimisation before the plant will start full commercial operations by the end of the year.

Alstom has developed a MXL2 upgrade for GT26 gas turbines, offering power plant operators to adapt production hours of their plants to fluctuating demand – a key feature in markets with a large share of intermittent wind generation such as Spain.

InterGen, a global power producer with a total installed capacity of 7,686 MW worldwide, has applied for generation licences in the UK for 1,800 MW of new gas-fired capacity, the British industry regulator Ofgem said on Monday.

Global gas and coal markets will be in a slight surplus for the remainder of the year and in 2013 as subdued demand is outweighed by ample supplies; however by 2014 gas markets are forecast to tighten, Barclays Capital said in its Global Energy Outlook.

Deutsche Bank analysts expect Japan's total thermal power generation requirement to rise to 90 GW in December 2012, provided that no further nuclear reactors will be restarted and overall demand pattern are consistent with the previous year. "This forecast implies that thermal power requirement will be 5 GW to 8 GW higher in January and February 2013 than it was this past winter," analysts Isabelle Curien and Mark Lewis said in an emailed report today.

Siemens Infrastructure & Cities announced it has bought Australia's Kaon Holdings Pty Ltd,  effective as of August 31, 2012, with the aim of expanding its share of the global market in energy distribution solutions for overhead power lines. Siemens said it will "take over and continue to sell all of Kaon's existing products" and establish a centre of competence in Australia for medium-voltage products.

Alstom and Toshiba said today they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish complementary partnership in the smart grid business with the aim of developing systems that support wide scale integration of renewable energy sources into the grid and help to bring down the cost of power generation.

Wood Group GTS has secured a $10 million contract with Pasadena Water & Power (PWP) for repair and restoration of the GT-1 generating unit at their Glenarm Power Plant in Pasadena, California.

Despite most of the oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico being shut down following the landfall of Hurricane Issac, natural gas market in the US barely reacted. The abundance of shale gas supply has reduced the significant of offshore production, analysts say.

GE has been commissioned to install two of its aeroderivative gas turbines at a combined heat and power plant (CHP-1) in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, owned by OJSC (RAO Energy System of East). The total project cost is 3.3 billion rubles ($ 0.101 billion), GE said.

India's power ministry and the eight north Indian states, which were affected by prolonged blackouts after the collapse of the power grid on 30 and 31 July, have agreed on a 12-point resolution to avoid a similar crisis. "The Centre and the concerned states agreed to abide by a 12-point resolution to ensure that such breakdowns in the power grid do not recur," the ministry said in a statement.

Starting from 2013, E.on Russia will source its entire gas supply for its power plant fleet from Russia's second largest gas supplier Novatek instead of Gazprom. Under a $22 billion agreement, Novatek will supply gas to E.on Russia's plants at Smolensk, Surgutsk, Shatursk and Yaivinsk until 2027.

News in Brief

EPRI tests early warning system

July 6– The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is conducting trial tests with multiple utilities across the United States of an early warning system. It can detect an off-gassing event as a precursor to thermal runaway up to 30 minutes prior to a cascading failure. This gives plant operators time to mitigate the problem or shut down the system.

KKR buys stake in First Gen

July 3 – Valorous Asia Holdings, owned by KKR investment funds, has bought a 11.9% stake in First Gen through a voluntary tender offer. First Gen, one of the Philippines’ largest independent power producers with 3,492 MW installed capacity, is owned by First Philippine Holdings which is controlled by the Lopez family. KKR’s acquisition of the First Gen stake is worth nearly $192.3 million.

Gazprom’s ‘BBB’ rating affirmed

July 2 – S&P Global Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have affirmed Gazprom's long-term credit ratings as part of their annual reviews. The ‘BBB’ ratings for Gazprom from S&P and Fitch are in line with the sovereign credit rating of the Russian Federation, while Moody's ‘Baa2’ rating is a notch higher.

MHIEC to refurbish WtE plant in Kushiro

July 1 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co (MHIEC) has received an order from the Kushiro Wide-Area Federation to repair and improve the core equipment at the local Waste-to-Energy plant in Takayama. The WtE plant has a capacity of 240 tonnes per day (tpd). Renovation will increase the energy efficiency of the fluidized bed type gasification and ash melting furnace facility, reducing emissions by around 15% annually. Works are due completed in September 2023.

Nigeria: Only two of six power projects on target

June 30 – Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises has disclosed that only two out of six privatized power plants were delivered on target. Only Transcorp Power Ltd and Geregu Power Ltd out of the six privatised electricity generation companies (GENCOs) were said to have met their performance targets since taking over.

German investors prefer solar over wind

June 29 – Energy infrastructure investors are keen to build solar power projects in Germany, but shun wind parks. In the latest solar power auction, investors offered to build almost 450 MW of capacity – more than four times the 96 MW of volume on offer– with the average successful bid at 5.27 cents per kilowatt-hour (ct/kWh). The wind auction, in contrast, was undersubscribed: The German network agency  (BNetzA) tendered around 826 MW, but successful bids only totalled 464 MW, at an average price of 6.14 ct/KWh.

MAN ventures into synthetic fuels

June 26 – MAN Energy Solutions has entered the hydrogen economy with the recent pro rata acquisition of H-TEC SYSTEMS, an electrolysis tech firm. The German OEM also committed itself to upgrading its gas turbines to run on 100% hydrogen by 2030.

Varegro starts using Cummins gas genset

June 25 – Belgian-based horticultural company Varegro, has started to use a Cummins HSK78G gas generator to power its greenhouses in Oostrozebeke, West Flanders. Varegro said it selected the Cummins HSK78G genset to produce combined heat and power (CHP) on its premises at a competitive cost for use in energy-intensive greenhouse facilities.

GE names Deloitte as independent auditor

June 24 – GE’s audit committee has selected Deloitte as the company’s independent auditor for the 2021 fiscal year, replacing KPMG. The selection of Deloitte concludes GE’s latest audit tender process.

Northern German states push for hydrogen pilot cluster

June 23 – Northern German states are pushing for greater hydrogen use with a pilot project cluster. Some 12 large demonstration plants for the production and use of green hydrogen are meant to be realised in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The aim is to demonstrate how 75% of CO2 emissions can be saved in the region by 2035.

Wärtsilä to design and equip battery-powered ferries

June 22– The Finish engine maker Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to design and equip two new zero-emissions ferries on behalf of the Norwegian operator Boreal Sjö. For each ferry Wärtsilä will supply the thruster motors, batteries, onboard and shore-based battery charging equipment, the back-up generators, and various electrical systems. The equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard in early 2021 for the ships to start commercial operations in autumn 2021.

Subsidy cut slashes Chinese wind turbine margins

June 19 – China’s wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) could have their gross profit margins halved due to subsidy cuts, Wood Mackenzie forecasts. Commissioned onshore wind power capacity is expected to drop by more than 16% to 19 gigawatts (GW) from 2020 to 2021 as government subsidies were terminated. This could also lead to a 27% drop in turbine prices over the next five years, slashing OEMs’ gross profit margins by half.

PowerPHASE converts gas peakers into storage engine

June 18 – U.S. emergency power provider PowerPHASE has developed an upgrade to convert 7F gas turbine-based peaking plants (350 MW each) to a so-called Storage Engine (400 MW). The unit would be able to store 3500 MWh daily and discharge 4800 MWh daily. CEO Bob Kraft claims utility customers could dispatch the Storage Engine, despite its lower heat rate (4000), ahead of higher heat rate options (9000 for gas peakers) in a competitive market like ERCOT in Texas.

Cummins names Davis head of New Power unit

June 17 – Cummins has appointed Amy Davis as Vice President and President of the company’s New Power Segment, effective July 1. The new unit includes Cummins’ electrified powertrains, battery design and assembly, battery management, fuel cell and hydrogen generation.

GE powers USS Zumwalt

June 16 – The US Navy has taken delivery of the USS Zumwalt, its first full-electric power and propulsion ship, equipped by GE’s Power Conversion. The ship features a high-voltage system, propulsion drive trains with multi-phase VDM25000 power converters and advanced induction motors. Kevin Byrne, head of GE’s North America marine segment said “the full-electric power and propulsion ship has the flexibility to direct energy where it is needed on the platform.”

New England power prices down 40%

June 15 – Spot electricity prices in New England (NE) has fallen since winter 2019/20 when it stood at an average $28/MWh, down 40% from an average $47/MWh in the previous winter. Low natural gas prices, warmer-than-normal temperatures, lower loads, and reduced needs to run expensive peakload generators were the cause for the substantial drop in NE’s winter electricity prices, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) finds.

Calpine closes $1.1bn in financing for Geysers Power

June 12 – Calpine Corp has closed $1.1 billion Climate Bonds Certified financing for its subsidiary, Geysers Power, the largest complex of geothermal power plants in the U.S. Geyers will use the proceeds to repay some debt it owes to Calpine and to fund ongoing operations and maintenance.