Daily News

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has openly confronted Russia over its energy politics by claiming the Gazprom-led Nord Stream-2 project would distort European energy market. Perry said Nord Stream extension project “would concentrate two-thirds of the imports of Russian gas to Europe in a single pipeline, creating a choke point [exposed to potential] disruption."

Michael R. Bloomberg and Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action have agreed to jointly step up Europe’s clean energy ambitions. In the context of the EC’s Platform ‘Coal Regions in Transition’, Bloomberg Philanthropies will develop plant-by-plant research analysis of coal power installations to allow for more targeted actions.

GE Power’s Monitoring and Diagnostics Center assists power plant operators at risk of being struck by a hurricane. The analytics and remote service ability of the centre helps utilities run their turbines safely and efficiently with a goal of fewer power disruptions due to a major storm.

Super typhoon Mangkhut has battered the Philippine island Luzon late Friday, leaving a 40 people dead and a quarter of a million affected with seven province reportedly flooded and without electricity supply. Now, the storm moved on to hit Hong Kong and mainland China, with more than five million people estimated to be at risk.

Air Products plans to build a new liquid hydrogen plant with a capacity of 30 tons per day at its industrial gas facility in La Porte, Texas. Scheduled for commissioning in 2021, the plant will liquefy hydrogen from Air Product’s existing 600-mile Gulf Coast pipeline system and deliver the liquid product to customers in various industries including petrochemical, metals, oil & gas and electric utilities.

Several thousand delegates are attending Gastech 2018 in Barcelona. The four days event has been declared open by King Felipe VI of Spain. The lineup of speakers includes CEOs and Chairmen of Spain’s leading energy companies Cepa, Enagas and Repsol as well as executives of global LNG projects such as Freeport, Mozambique and Middle East ventures.

Puregas Solutions, a part of Wärtsilä, has been contracted to supply a turnkey biogas upgrading plant to Oregon, U.S. The plant will upgrade an existing anaerobic digester (AD) to produce biomethane, and is scheduled for delivery during the first quarter of 2019.

Imminent landfall of Hurricane Florence has left nearly 300,000 Americans without electricity as the outer bands of the hurricane hit the coast of North Carolina with wind speeds of up to 90mph (150 km/h). Though the storm is now comparatively slow-moving, it brings with it a lot of destructive rainfall and is forecast to make landfall just before 9 am local time today.

Researchers at MIT, the Tokyo Institute of Technology and BMW’s Battery Technology Lab have found the vibrational frequency of lithium can be fine-tuned by tweaking its lattice structure through chemical substitution to alter structural arrangements of atoms. The new concept provides a powerful tool for developing new, better-performing materials that could increase the amount of electricity stored in a battery.

Bechtel, global leader in engineering, procurement and construction, has received the go-ahead for an immediate start of construction on the 1,182-MW South Field Energy facility. The combined-cycle gas power plant is being built in Columbiana County, Ohio, and is scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2021.

Metragaz, the gas compression service provider for the Maghreb-Europe Gas Pipeline, has contracted RWG to provide exchange, overhaul, installation and recommissioning services for their fleet of Siemens SGT-A35 (former Rolls-Royce Industrial RB211) aero-derivative gas generators.

Construction of a third train at Gazprom’s Sakhalin II project has long been in the making, and Gazprom this week held talks with all project stakeholders except Shell at the 4th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Mitsui and Mitsubishi, both partners in the venture, buy Russian LNG for the Japanese power market and for trading purposes.

Texas-based Exelerate Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Argentina’s Transportadora de Gas del Sur (TDS) to evaluate the construction of the country’s first liquefaction plant at Bahia Blanca. The idea is to export part of the flourishing production from Vaca Muerta, one of the world’s largest shale gas plays.

Canada-based AltaGas has sold three gas-fired power plants in California to Middle River Power III, part of the private equity firm Avenue Capital, for $300 million. The proceeds will be used repay part of AltaGas’ debt related to the acquisition of an American electric utility.

GE’s Power Services has announced the launch of its first 6B repowering solution when signing the first agreement for the solution with a global chemical company in Asia. The accord stipulates the repowering of three 6B gas turbines which is expected to help the customer save significant amounts of fuel.

News in Brief

IEA reviews Brazilian gas market

Oct 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a review of the opening of Brazil’s natural gas transportation system. Through its Gás para Crescer initiative, the Brazilian government sets a plan to liberalize the local energy market by enhancing the build-out of natural gas and electricity interconnectors, unbundling of TSOs and implementing of network codes.

Global GT market looses value

Oct 12 – Though Asia emerges as No.1 market for gas turbines, the overall value of the global gas turbine market  is forecast to decline over the coming five years. According to a Global Data report, the market value between now and 2022 will be $37.97 billion, down compared with $52.39 billion in the 2013-2017 period.

FERC approves $6bn CenterPoint/Vectren merger

Oct 11 – US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the $6 billion merger of CenterPoint Energy and Vectren, whereby shareholders of the latter will be paid $72.00 in cash for each CenterPoint share. Vectren CEO Carl Chapman welcomed the ruling and added the companies “now anticipate a closing no later than the first quarter of 2019.”

Dürr buys part of Babcock & Wilcox

Oct 10 – Dürr Group, a Germany-based mechanical and plant engineering firm, has completed the acquisition Babcock & Wilcox’ (B&W) industrial environmental technology business. The takeover broadens Dürr’s portfolio on exhaust-air purification technologies, with a workforce of around 1,500 and estimated sales of € 400 million.

Azure achieves $12.50 per share

Oct 9 – India-based Azure Power Global Ltd has priced its underwritten public offering of 14,800,000 equity shares at a price of $12.50 per equity share. The company also granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,200,000 shares at the same price, less underwriting discounts and commissions. The offering will close on October 10, 2018.

Global gas use grows at 2%/yr

Oct 8 – The International Gas Union (IGU) expects global gas consumption to grow by 1.6 to 2% per year in the coming decades. “Competitiveness, affordability, and eco-friendliness will remain essential in that regard,” said IGU President Joe M. Kang.

Financing agreed for EVM-II plant in Mexico

Oct 5 – A financing package of $740 million has been agreed for the Energias del Valle de Mexico II (EVM-II) combined-cycle power plant. Commercial banks involved in the financing were led by BNP Paribas, Citi, SMBC, and Mexico’s Banco National del Comercio Exterior. Milbank served as legal advisor.

MAN wins award for small-scale LNG paper

Oct 4 – A whitepaper by MAN Energy Solutions entitled ‘Small-scale LNG - powering the future of Asia’s island communities’ has won the Best Paper Award at this year’s Power-Gen Asia trade show. The paper ties in with MAN’s new strategy to deliver the entire value chain from small scale regas and import terminals to decentralized gas- and dual-fuel engine, and turbine-driven power plants. Carsten Dommermuth, International Business Development Manager, said “this setup is a real advantage for customers seeking to source a complete LNG-to-Power solution from the same provider.”

IEA laments steep drop in clean energy investment

Oct 3 – The latest steep drop in clean energy investment is “worrying,” according to Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Official figures show spending on renewables fell to $298 billion worldwide in 2017, down from $318bn in the previous year, marking the biggest absolute fall on record.

Siemens closes Mendix acquisition

Oct 2 – The German engineering conglomerate Siemens has closed the Mendix acquisition, just eight weeks after the transaction was first announced. Part of Siemens’ Vision 2020+ strategy, the integration of Medix digital platform is aimed at creating new SaaS solutions and extensions, particularly for the Digital Enterprise Software, MindSphere.

Merger of BASF Wintershall and DEA goes ahead

Oct 1 – BASF Group has agreed to merge its German oil and gas business BASF Winterhall and with Deutsche Erdöl AG (DEA), owned by the Russian investor group LetterOne. The joint venture will operate under the name Wintershall DEA.

Toshiba splits R&D for Power and Industrial Systems

Sept 28 – Toshiba Corp has announced it completed all necessary steps to separate its Power and Industrial System Research and Development Center and transfer the R&D on electricity to Toshiba Energy Systems, while research on industrial systems will be taken over by the company’s infrastructure arm. The split take effect on October 1.  

Gazprom’s supply to Austria up 34%

Sept 27 – The Russian gas major Gazprom has delivered record volumes to its Austrian partner OMV after an existing longterm contract was extended in June to run through to 2040.  From January 1 through September 23, 2018, Gazprom delivered 7.8 billion cubic meters (Bcm) of gas to Austria, a 34.5% rise compared with the same period last year. Full-year 2017 export volumes amounted to 9.1 Bcm.

Keystone XL construction to start in 2019

Sept 26 – TransCanada has received a key permit for $8bn Keystone XL pipeline, with the U.S. State Department ruling the 1,900km pipeline will not have any significant impact to either water or wildlife. Construction is now slated to start next year.

ABB partners with UBC

Sept 25 – Zurich-based ABB has entered a 3-year partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC), focusing on biometric sensing. ABB will provide a total of $300,000 in funding ($100,000 per year), which will be matched by the Government of Canada.

GE launches ServiceMax 18.3.

Sept 24 – GE Digital has launched Service Max 18.3., a new version of its Predix ServiceMax Field Service Management (FSM). The new solution is said to give service technicians greater autonomy, dispatchers with more robust decision-making tools which utilities to better plan and execute complex service projects.

Aramco collaborates with Schneider Electric

Sept 21 – Saudi Aramco has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Schneider Electric to work together on various advanced digital technologies, including virtual reality. The MoU is one of several accords to support the Aramco’s 2020 Transformation Programme and the kingdom’s own Vision 2030 economic blueprint.