Daily News

Siemens and RWE are gearing up to expand a jointly-operated virtual power plant (VPP) with additional energy sources. In 2012, RWE plans to market about 20 MW of electricity and the cap will be increased tenfold to about 200 MW by 2015, the companies said today.

Dominion Energy is considering converting the 745 MW coal and oil-fired Salem Harbor Power Station in Massachusetts into a natural gas-fired power plant. The Virginia-based utility already had to scale down the operations of the plant in reaction to rising coal and oil prices in relation to gas prices.

The Bangladeshi utility Energy Bangla expects to complete its 150 MW Chandpur gas-fired power plant project by June this year. "90% of the works for the project have been completed," the utility said with reference to an assessment of the Bangladesh Power Development Board.

The new UK energy minister, Charles Hendry, has criticised proposals and time-schedules of the European Commission's (EC) energy infrastructure plan as "overly prescriptive".

Operators of gas-fired power plants in Spain have joined forces to lobby for higher capacity payments in return for providing vital backup capacity to stabilize the grid against rising fluctuations in electricity supply from renewable energy sources, Stephen Woodhouse, Director at Pöyry Energy Consulting said. "In a true market environment, the flexible plants would earn higher prices for this new mode of operating but if there is a surplus of capacity then some of the generation fleet will become uneconomic," Woodhouse told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' in an interview.

BG Group, U.K.'s third-largest natural-gas producer, has forecast a 40% surge in underlying profits on the back of higher oil and LNG prices. "The outlook for global gas and LNG demand is strong," BG Group's chief executive Sir Frank Chapman said this morning.

RWE sees fossil power plants as vital partners of renewable energy sources. Quick ramp rates are vital to provide flexible backup capacity and gas-fired plants still in the lead, outperforming coal-plants. "It takes RWE only 18 minutes to ramp the output of its 876 MW Lingen combined cycle gas turbine plant up or down by 600 MW," a RWE spokesman told Gas-to-Power Journal.

General Electric (GE) has launched a new GE TS1000 coalescer, a gas turbine filtration product that improves plant performance and lowers maintenance costs for power plants in harsh weather conditions near costal environments.

Fischer

Roland Fischer

Siemens Energy is expanding turbine sales based on the attractiveness of its H-class technology. "We believe our H-class technology is two to three years ahead of competition," Roland Fischer, CEO of the division Fossil Power Generation at Siemens told Gas-to-Power Journal in an interview.

 

Siemens now holds over 40% in the market segment of advanced gas turbines in terms of gigawatts (GW). In terms of unit sales, the number is slightly below 40%. "We will surely not rely on our lead as competition is tough and challenging. We will do our utmost not to allow any rival to take that position from us," Fischer said.

Trianel and Curenta, the operator of CHEMPARK, a chemical park in Krefeld-Uerdingen, plan to take Final Investment Decision (FID) on building a 1,200 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant in Germany by late summer 2012.

Pratt & Whitney's aero-derivative industrial gas turbines can operate open cycle with fast start-up to back up renewable wind energy power drop-off, while simultaneously providing reactive power to stabilize the grid, Swift Tarbell, area director at Pratt & Whitney Power Systems said.

Siemens, the German engineering company, has received an order worth over US$1 billion to supply key components for the IPP Qurayyah combined cycle power plant (CCPP) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Commissioning of the total of six blocks is scheduled for 2014, Siemens said today.

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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