Daily News
Gavin Thompson

Gavin Thompson

The use of LNG in the power sector has developed despite the comparatively low average domestic gas price in China and the dominance of domestic coal in the power sector, Gavin Thompson, Head of Wood Mackenzie's China Gas & Power Research team in Beijing told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' today.

"We have something like an additional 30 GW of CCGT coming online in China by 2016 - this is named capacity, so pretty certain it is happening," Thompson said.

Direct Energie, a French electricity supplier, and Siemens Energy have won a tender to build a combined cycle gas-turbine (CCGT) power plant in Brittany. Direct Energie, the owner and operator of the plant, said today it commissioned Siemens to supply the gas turbine.

Verbund, Austria's largest power company, is in the process of commissioning its 832 MW gas-fired power plant in Mellach. Full commercial operations at the plant will start in the coming weeks.

ladwig michael

Michael Ladwig

Alstom has optimized the operation concept of the KA26 combined cycle power plant for fast start-up as the French gas turbine manufacturer is focusing on the operational flexibility of its gas turbines.

“Operational flexibility is not just having a high ramp rate, rather it’s a combination of start-up and shut down times, ramp rates and efficiency at part load operations,” Michael Ladwig, Director of Marketing and Product Management for Alstom's Global Gas Business told ‘Gas-to-Power Journal’ in an interview.

AES Corporation, a Fortune 200 global power company, is divesting power plant assets with a combined capacity of 2,700 MW in Spain and New Jersey, U.S. Aggregate proceeds from the agreed sale of its 100% interest in the Red Oak and Ironwood plants and its 80% interest in the Cartagena CCGT are estimated to total $463 million, it said.

With more Russian industries turning to on-site power technologies to reduce their operational costs and increase their energy security, GE Energy sees an increasing demand for its Jenbacher cogeneration units.

Investment in new combined heat and power (CHP) projects in Spain has become uneconomic following the decision of the Spanish government to abandon the cogeneration tariff, Peter Ward, sales manager at Centrax Gas Turbines told Gas-to-Power Journal.

China's largest landfill gas (LFG) power generation project, the Laogang LFG facility, will be powered by ecomagination-qualified Jenbacher gas engines. Seven of GE's Jenbacher J420 gas engines with a capacity of 10 MW each, will supply electricity to the new Laogang LFG facility located in Shanghai, GE Energy said.

PREdistribuce, the Czech electricity distribution network operator, has selected Siemens to implement a Smart Grid as a network control system  to stabilise electricity supply in Prague's power grid. Siemens said it will implement the latest software version of the Spectrum Power network control system over the next three years.

Franco-Belgian utility GDF Suez is in the process of restarting operations of its gas-fired power plant in Spem, France. The plant currently generates 47 MW but it is expected to be ramped up to full capacity of 435 MW by the end of today, a GDF Suez representative told 'Gas-to-Power Journal'.

GE has implemented a new maintenance strategy, including modular replacement of gas turbines, at the Qatargas liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City with the aim of reducing downtime.

Toshiba Corporation, a developer of power systems, has negotiated U.S. dollar-denominated loans totaling approximately US$1 billion to counter yen appreciation. The Tokyo-based company said it will receive some $600 million from the government fund and $400 million from Japanese private banks.

News in Brief

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.

VELO distributes Sapphire Metal 3D-Printers in the US

Dec 18 – California-based VELO3D has formed a distribution partnership with GoEngineer for Flow pre-print software, Sapphire metal AM printer, and Assure quality assurance and controls. GoEngineer will be VELO’s only distributor in the United States.

Indian electric boats to achieve zero emissions

Dec 17 – Cochin Shipyard, India’s largest shipbuilder, has asked Siemens Energy to equip India’s first fleet of 23 boats with electric propulsion drive train, integrated with batteries and vessel automation. Combining the electric propulsion drive trains, energy storage, and automation systems is expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption.

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