Daily News

Russia's Gazprom and the German utility RWE have ended negotiations on a potential joint venture (JV) for building and operating gas-fired power plants in Germany, the Netherlands and in the U.K., RWE confirmed. "We were unfortunately not able to agree on a framework for co-operation which would be sustainable for both parties," Jürgen Grossmann, RWE chief executive commented on the end of JV talks today.

Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom is considering building gas-fired power plants in the southern German state of Bavaria, following the ratification of a roadmap for cooperation in power generation and gas supply. "The document sets out the intentions of Gazprom and the Federal State of Bavaria to cooperate on power production in Bavaria," Gazprom said today.

UK energy regulator Ofgem will foster the transparency between retail and wholesale energy prices by disclosing price reports more frequently than in the current 3-4 month timescale. "Ofgem is to move towards updating the report on a weekly basis in the New Year," it said in a statement today.

E.ON UK has begun commercial operations at its Holford gas storage plant in Cheshire in the north-west of England. Once completed, the projected gas withdrawal rate at the facility will be 16 MMcm/day – sufficient to qualify the Holford gas storage plant as vital backup infrastructure for supplying fuel to gas-fired power plants.

General Electric (GE) will upgrade two 9B gas turbines to GE 9E gas turbines in an E.ON power plant in Trapani, located in the west of the Italian island of Sicily. E.ON selected GE to upgrade Trapani's two gas turbine trains from 85 MW and 89 MW, respectively, to 107.8 MWs per unit.

Indonesia's state electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PTLN) is forging ahead with plans to increase LNG imports as a fuel for gas-fired power generation with the aim of denting the country's energy hunger. Nur Pamudji, PTLN's recently appointed president director, said a milestones in 2012 would be that "for the first time, we are going to utilize (LNG) in our electricity system".

BDEW, Germany's energy and water association, today released data on the country's power generation mix. Gas-fired generation was virtually unchanged at 14% in 2011. The share of renewable energies in the country's overall power generation mix surged by 20% in 2011, according to BDEW statistics. In 2011, renewable energies have already overtaken nuclear plants (18%) and coal-fired power generation (19%) in terms of market share.

China Machinery Engineering Corp (CMEC) has won a $1.19 billion contract to build a 1,260-MW gas-fired power station in Iraq. CMEC will construct the plant over a timeframe of 45 month in Salahuddin governorate north of Bagdhad, an Iraqi electricity ministery spokesman told local reporters during the signing ceremony in Baghdad on Thursday.

Societe Generale is anticipating that 2011 will be far worse than 2009 for gas demand. The year 2011 has so far seen a 9.3% yoy drop in gas consumption and a 1.9% decline in electricity demand, Societe Generale said in its latest SG Energy Pulse report.

General Electric's LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine technology was chosen for an expansion of a Russian power plant to meet growing electricity demand of the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, located on Sakhalin Island in eastern Russia.

China Gas has rejected a bid from China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and ENN Energy, saying the offer of $2 billion in cash to buy the entire company would not fully reflect its value. Sinopec and the Chinese gas distributor ENN Energy had made a joint bid of HK$3.50 ($0.45) a share for the Hong Kong-based gas distributor China Gas, they said in a regulatory filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange .

BG Group will sell the entire volume of natural gas produced at Kazakhastan's vast Karachaganak gas condensate field to local utilities for use in CNG vehicles and power generation. "All raw gas produced from the Karachaganak field is sold locally and into Russia or it is re-injected into the reservoir to help maintain reservoir pressure," Mark Todd, spokesman for BG Group, told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' today.

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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