Daily News

South Korea today announced an energy roadmap for 2017-2031 which sets out steps on how to shift the country’s reliance on coal and nuclear power towards renewable energy and natural gas. Paik Ungyu, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy confirmed the government's plan to shut down seven ageing coal power stations and convert six coal power projects to run on LNG.

France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK have announced at the One Planet Summit in Paris that they would “examine or introduce” an effective CO2 price in "relevant sectors." The UK already in April 2013 unilaterally introduced a carbon tax in the power sector, and the five EU energy ministers underlined their new joint initiative could be “an effective tool to comprehensively decarbonise the world economy.”

Insisting it needs more time, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has pushed a decision on whether to lend €1.5 billion to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) into early 2018, leaving project developers in limbo over the future of this strategic pipeline link in the EU’s Southern Gas Corridor.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has handed an Emerging Technology Award to Siemens for the first successfully 3D- printed and fully tested gas turbine blades. Vetting what they call “ascending technologies”, ASME said the award winning products and processes have “left the breakthrough stage, crossed the commercialization valley of death, and are poised to reshape the industries where they compete.”

German utility Uniper and the British commodities trading house Javelin have teamed up to start selling 45 million tons of thermal- and metallurgical coal though a new joint venture with the coal miner Blackjewel. This JV also bought Noble Group’s US coal business for an estimated $34 million.

Adding value to an existing service agreement, GAMA Enerji has turned to GE’s Power Services for help to reduce fuel costs and improve reliability at its İçanadolu Doğal Gaz Elektrik Üretim Ve Ticaret (ICAN) combined-cycle gas power plant in the city of Kırıkkale, using a variety of digital solutions. Benefits from fuel savings will be shared between the two companies.

Gas flows on all major transit pipelines from Austria’s Baumgarten hub have resumed to Italy, Germany and Hungary before midnight, less than 24 hours after a deadly explosion shut it down on Tuesday. “All transit lines are 100% productive,” Harald Stindl, co-head of Gas Connect Austria told ORF Radio this morning.

Shale gas production in the Appalachia region has been increasing rapidly for the past five years, growing by more than 14 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) since 2012, according to EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report. Overall Appalachian natural gas production grew from 7.8 Bcf/d in 2012 to 22.1 Bcf/d in 2016 and was 23.8 Bcf/d in 2017, based on EIA data through October 2017.

Italy has declared a state of emergency for energy after an explosion at Austria’s Baumgarten gas hub on Tuesday interrupted onward flows of Russian gas imports from the strategic hub towards Italy, the Balkans and southern Germany. Gas and power prices soared across Europe as the Baumgarten blast adds to fears over winter supply security, already impacted by Monday’s emergency closure of the UK’s Forties Pipeline System.

Chinese authorities have mandated power producers in some regions to return to burning coal, responding to acute gas shortages. Coal imports rebounded from a three-month low in November as utilities seek to replenish stocks prior to the period of peak winter demand.

Returning to Libya with contracts in the range of 700 million euros, Siemens will expand the installed power generation capacity of state-owned General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) by 1.3 GW. The deals will see Siemens build a 650 MW open-cycle power plant in Misrata, and a 690 MW open-cycle power plant in Tripoli West.

The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded a 7-year operation and maintenance (O&M) agreement to ensure efficiency and reliability of Termo Mechero Morro's power plant near Yopal in Colombia. The latest servicing deals expands on an earlier Wärtsilä construction contract (EPC) for the gas-powered plant, which is set to begin production in December 2017.

Demand for natural gas in Spain has reached a record 1,670 GWh on December 4 – the highest level seen in the past six years. Outage of one nuclear plant, combined with low wind power availability, propelled up gas demand from the power sector; but Enagas expects demand will rise further as the winter progresses.

Attending the inauguration of Novatek’s landmark $27-billion Yamal LNG plant, the Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih confirmed the Middle East oil nation is considering investing in future LNG projects in the Russian Arctic. Talks are being held about setting up a $1 billion energy fund, aimed at fostering future supply of Russian LNG as part of a Saudi government plan to use more gas for power generation.

Fluctuation in power supply to the grid amid rising renewable penetration has been increasing the need for black-start generators. Analysts expect this market will grow at a rate of 3.8%, up from an estimated $1.24 billion this year to $1.50 billion by 2021.

News in Brief

China’s gas production up 2.3% in Dec-2017

Jan 23 – Robust winter demand has propelled up gas prices in Northern China, prompting the government to ease restrictions on coal-burn for power generation. Domestic gas production subsequently increased. In December alone, gas production stood at 13.61 Bcm, up 2.3% year on year - the highest monthly rise since 2010, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Electric vehicle market on the up

Jan 22 – Electric car deployment is swift in some markets: In Norway, electric cars had a 29% market share last year, the highest globally, followed by the Netherlands with 6.4%, and Sweden with 3.4%. Globally, the number of electric cars on the roads rose to 2 million in 2016, following a year of strong growth in 2015, according to of the International Energy Agency’s latest Global EV Outlook. China was the largest EV market in 2016, accounting for more than 40% of new sales.

Bahrain to commence tight gas drilling

Jan 19 – Bahrain’s oil ministry is in talks with Schlumberger, Haliburton and others to start the development of its tight gas reserves in the course of this year, notably large deposits within the onshore Kuff reservoir. The drive to tap its own gas reserves complement’s Bahrain’s ongoing construction of an LNG import terminal, designed to balance seasonal demand.

Siemens rebrands its HSRG arm

Jan 18 – Siemens has rebranded and renamed its full subsidiary NEM Energy into Siemens Heat Transfer Technology (HTT). Headquartered in the Netherlands, NEM Energy mainly designs, engineers and sells components for power plants: Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HSRG), Waste Heat Recovery Units (WHRUs), Exhaust & Diverter Systems and related equipment.

CPUC rules to replace gas plants with energy storage

Jan 17 – California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has ruled that Calpine needs to replace three gas-fired peaking power plants with energy storage facilities by 2019, “if feasible and at a reasonable cost to ratepayers.” Calpine had initially sought regulatory permission to maintain “must-run status” for the two 47-MW peaking plants in Feather River and Yuba and a 605-MW gas power plant in Metcalf.

Control System market to top 6.2bn by 2022

Jan 16 – As more and more emphasis gets placed on alternative energy production, the market for power plant control systems is set to grow at an annual growth rate of 5.78%, expanding from $4.70 billion in the past year to $6.22 billion by 2022. According to MarketsandMarkets, top players in this electricity management are ABB, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Emerson and GE.

California to close last nuke in 2025

Jan 15 – The Public Utility Commission has reached an agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to close California's last nuclear power plant reactors at Diablo Canyon by 2025. As the state’s largest power plant, Diablo Canyon currently covers 9% of California’s electricity needs.

Halyard hands out EPC contract for Texas peaking plant

Jan 12 – Lauren Engineers & Constructors has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a 348MW natural gas-fired peaking power plant in Texas from Halyard Energy Wharton, a part of Halyard Energy Ventures.

Bord Gáis to develop battery storage, not OCGT in Kilkenny

Jan 11 – Kilkenny County Council is processing an application Greener Ideas, a joint venture set up in 2009 between Bord Gáis Energy and Mountside Properties,for the construction of a 100MW battery energy storage system. Initially the project partners intended to develop an open-cycle gas turbines power plant on the site which is now listed for the battery project.

L&T commissions 360-MW Bheramara plant

Jan 10 – Larsen & Tourbo, the India-based engineering firm, has commissioned and handed over the 360-MW Bheramara gas power plant to North West Power Generation Company, a subsidiary of Bangladesh Power Development Board. L&T said it had carried out EPC for the plant which was built on a turnkey basis for Marubeni, with gas and steam turbines supplied by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS).

Floating power market to hit $1.4bn by 2022

Jan 9 – The floating power plant market is expected to grow from an estimated $889.6 million in 2017 to $1,440.1 million by 2022, growing at an average annual rate of 10.11% through to 2022. According to MarketsandMarkets, growth in this sector is spurred rising electricity demand in remote areas combined with benefits of floating vs. land-based power projects, e.g. issues related to land acquisition.

Israeli refinery to build 135-MW captive power plant

Jan 8 – ORL, Israel's largest refining and petrochemicals group, has confirmed plans to build a 135-MW gas-fired heat and power plant that will eventually be expanded to 340-MW. The cogeneration plant will produce both steam and electricity to power ORL's own operations, replacing an old coal-fired unit. Gas supply for the new CHP will be sourced via Energean from two offshore Israeli gas fields.

JERA sells 6% stake in New York gas power plant

Jan 5 – Japan’s JERA, a fuel joint venture between Tepco and Chubu Electric, has sold 6% of its equity interest in Cricket Valley Energy Center, the operator of 1,100-MW combined-cycle gas power plant under construction in Dover, New York. The buyer of the JERA’s equity stake is the Development Bank of Japan which is already invested in the project.

Pipeline blast halves Nigeria’s power output

Jan 4 – A fire at the NNPC-operated Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline in Nigeria’s southern Edo state has halted gas supply to the 1,320-MW Egbin power plant and five others, according to a statement by the Nigerian Power, Works and Housing Ministry. In total, the pipeline blast interrupted gas supplies to utilities generating more than 3,000-MW. The sudden load change tripped Nigeria’s power grid.

US biodiesel output rises despite tax credits expiry

Dec 21 – Biodiesel production levels in the United States were slightly higher in the first nine month of 2017 than in the previous year, despite the expiration of a federal biodiesel blender's tax credit at the end of 2016. The EIA forecasts a continued increased of domestic US biodiesel production due to changes to import policies which will make it more difficult to import biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.

Aggreko to implement Q-Pulse in 200 sites

Dec 20 – Aggreko, a leading provider of modular mobile power gensets, will install Ideagen’s Q-Pulse software in 200 locations worldwide. Once implemented at Aggreko’s regional hubs, the Q-Pulse software will enable around 200 supplier surveillance audits per year. Live data from the system will also allow Aggreko to assess trends and potential risks from across the business quickly and efficiently.

TimkenSteel to use NextGen off-gas analysis system

Dec 19 – TimkenSteel has placed an order to install Tenova’s NextGen off-gas analysis system, iEAF dynamic process control and water detection at its Faircrest steel plant in Canton, Ohio. When fully implemented, the three technologies combined will help reduce energy consumption, improve water leak detection and increase the plant’s overall productivity.