Daily News

Intermittency issues of wind and solar power supply are feared to jeopardize the stability of the U.S. power grid. To remedy this issue scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an “air-breathing” battery storage that, at the cheapest, run about $100/kWh and functions only in certain locations.

Dongfang Electric International, a Chinese engineering contractor, has signed a framework contract with Wärtsilä for the latter to supply the generating equipment for three new power plant projects in Angola. The plants are being built on a fast-track basis and are due to start operation in the third quarter of 2018.

Luminant, a subsidiary of the U.S. power company Vistra Energy, has decided to shut down two coal power plants in Texas, which together with an earlier announced closure, will remove more than 4,200MW of coal generating capacity from the market. The operational end for these units comes irrespective of last week’s pledges EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP), in a bid to ease pressure on the coal industry.

Regardless of the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, NRG and several other large U.S. power generators have already come forward with their own commitments to reduce carbon emissions. Over the past two years, NRG managed to reduce its absolute GHG emissions by 35%, putting it well on track to reach its 50% reduction goal by 2030.

The Brazilian utility Centrais Elétricas do Pará (CELPA) has contracted Siemens to design and install twelve microgrids at twelve distributed power stations across the state in order to remotely operate these assets via a central control center in Belém. Each distribute generator will be monitored as a self-contained island network, with the overall monitoring system scheduled to go into service at the beginning of 2018.

In 2018, energy-related CO2 emissions forecast to rise for each fossil fuel—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—for a total increase of 111 million metric tons. According to EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), this rise in energy-related emissions is caused by an overall rise in electricity output, and reverses a 3-year trend of falling emissions in the power sectors. 

Peak power demand in the UK is forecast to top 50.7GW, but National Grid is “confident” to be able to balance the system “even under colder conditions than we have experienced in recent years,” the grid operator said in its 2017/18 winter outlook. Without intervention, reserve margins would be 1.2% - the lowest in a decade.

US oil major ExxonMobil has started to operate its third cogeneration plant at its Singapore Refinery on Jurong Island. The 84 MW plant makes use of natural gas and waste heat from the refinery to generate electricity and steam, enhancing the overall efficiency of the facility by 25%.

Renewable natural gas (RNG), derived from biogas collected at landfills, is getting increasingly used to meet fuel production targets set out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA). About 189 million gallons of RNG were consumed last year to meet about 82% of federal targets, set specifically for cellulosic biofuel.

As China is following through on plans to expand its power grid and regional connectivity, the country topped the global transmission tower market with a market of $3,963 million in 2016, followed by India with $2,058 million. According to a GlobalData forecast, China’s market will exceed $4,259 million by 2021.

US manufacturers Koch Industries and Dow Chemical are lobbying against the plan of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize nuclear and coal as a fuel for power generation. In a letter to Congress, manufacturers dismissed the Department of Energy’s (DoE) plan as “anti-competitive” and said it could distort or “destroy competitive wholesale electricity markets and increase the price of electricity to all consumers.”

Voicing plans to shut down all coal-fired power stations by 2030, the incoming Dutch government has sent a dramatic signal to energy markets that investments in coal is no longer safe. The far-reaching approach of the new coalition is striking, given that RWE, Uniper and Engie in the past few years commissioned three of Europe’s most modern coal power units in the Netherlands.

Investment in energy efficiency exceeds $231 billion worldwide, growing a 9% rate globally and at 24% in China. Energy efficiency codes and standards now cover about 32% of global energy use which helped to decrease energy intensity by 1.8% last year, said Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Finland’s technology group Wärtsilä has renewed its contract with the mining company PT Aneka Tambang Tbk (ANTAM) to improve the efficiency and operational reliability of its power plant in Indonesia. Wärtsilä has worked with ANTAM for over 15 years, and the latest 5-year agreement was signed in the second quarter of 2017.

“The war on coal is over,” were the words used by Scott Pruitt, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when he announced the Trump administration will put an end to the Obama-era plan aimed at reducing power plant emissions. Pruitt argues that the Clean Power Plan violated federal law by “setting emission standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.”

News in Brief

AsiaPacific drives growth in global GT market

Nov 17– Urbanisation and rapid economic growth in Asia Pacific will dominate market during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets. The global market for gas turbines is expected to grow from an estimated $17.51 billion in 2017 to $20.66 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 3.36%.

Kepco, Tadmax to build 1.3-MW CCGT in Malaysia

Nov 16 – Malaysia’s listed developer Tadmax Resources, together with South Korea’s state-run utility provider Kepco, are planning to build 1,300-MW  combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) some 60km southwest of Kuala Lumpur. The overall project is expected to cost $1 billion. Kepco announced it will invest $50 million to hold a 25% stake, while Tadmax Resources will own the 75% majority share.

Siemens delivers mobile turbines to Afghanistan

Nov 15 – Siemens has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bayat Power and the Government of Afghanistan to provide SGT-A45 mobile gas turbines for a three-phase energy project. Upon completion, it will provide more than 200-MW of electricity, enough to meet the needs of more than 700,000 Afghan homes and businesses.

Baker Huges to supply 150MW of power gen equipment to Iraq

Nov 14 – Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), has won a contract by PetroChina International Iraq to deliver Frame 6B gas turbine electric generator trains , with a combined output of 150 MW, for production at the onshore Halfaya oilfield in Iraq.

Gazprom gets €700m loan from Unicredit

Nov 13 – Gazprom and Unicredit have signed a five-year loan agreement worth €700 million. The loan will be used by Gazprom for “corporate purposes,” the company said in a statement.

Emerson to retrofit at turbines Engie’s DK6

Nov 10 – Emerson Electric, an American multinational corporation, has won a contract to retrofit controls on two Alstom GT13 turbines at Engie’s DK6 combined-cycle gas power plant (800 MW) in Dunkirk, France. The upgrade is the first time a vendor other than the turbine OEM has been selected to retrofit GT13 combustion turbine controls, Emerson pointed out. The first retrofitted unit is due to be back operational in September 2018, and the second in July 2019.

Rolls-Royce’s trading outlook unchanged

Nov 9 – providing a brief update on its trading outlook, Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East reconfirmed the full year outlook. Looking beyond 2017, he added: “While markets for our Power Systems products continue to improve, we note the ongoing weakness in offshore oil and gas markets for Marine and timing changes to new export orders for Defence Aerospace.”

Public consultation starts for Drax’s coal-to-gas conversion

Nov 9 – Plans by Drax Power to upgrade two units at its 2,000 MW coal- and wood pellet-fired power station to run on natural gas have gone to public consultation. The operator said it also notified the UK planning inspectorate about its intention to build a new natural gas pipeline and a 200-MW battery storage at the site near Selby, North Yorkshire.

ABB to optimize its transformer manufacturing

Nov 8 – Swiss-based ABB has announced a strategic realignment of its global transformer manufacturing, engineering and service divisions. In the United States, ABB will consolidate its power transformers manufacturing footprint by investing in its South Boston and Crystal Springs units and discontinue production at its unit in St. Louis, Missouri, which will continue to focus on engineering and service activities.

Flow-Cal launches on-demand gas measurement software

Nov 7 – Flow-Cal Inc., a Houston-based a developer of measurement data management software, has launched CALCit.Cloud, a an on-demand measurement calculator for natural gas and petroleum liquids. It allows users to perform various spot calculations, including gas volume, plate size, liquid correction factors and speed of sound. The source code of the application is in C computer language, or as a DLL that can be integrated into other applications. 

Russia, Iran sign MoE on gas cooperation

Nov 6 – A number of documents, aimed at fostering Russian-Iranian cooperation in the gas sector, were signed in Tehran over the weekend during the visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Iran. The parties will evaluate prospects in developing Iranian gas fields with subsequent monetization either through liquefaction and export or petrochemical production. Gazprom and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) also signed a MoU to work together on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

MHI to launch new engineering company in 2018

Nov 3 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will launch a dedicated engineering company on January 1, 2018, to be named Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd. The new company, to be formed under an absorption-type split, will take over MHI's engineering businesses relating to chemical plants, transportation systems and environmental technologies. Shigehisa Kobayashi will serve as the new company’s inaugural President and CEO.

AsiaPacific drives growth in global GT market

Nov 2 – Urbanisation and rapid economic growth in Asia Pacific will dominate market during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets. The global market for gas turbines is expected to grow from an estimated $17.51 billion in 2017 to $20.66 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 3.36%.

Global Power divests Mexico facility for $3.5m

Nov 1 – Global Power Equipment Group has completed the sale of its facility in Mexico and the auction of the remaining production equipment for net proceeds of $3.5 million – about $1.5 million of which will be used to reduce debt. Following the divestment of its Mechanical Solutions segment, Global Power will focus on Electrical Solutions and Services.

GE’s Predix to enhance performance at Energo fleet

Oct 31 – Pakistan-based utility Energy has contracted GE to roll out Predix across its power  generation fleet in Pakistan and Nigeria. Under the 10-year agreement, GE will implement its asset performance management solution, Predix, at Energy’s six power plants with combined capacity of 1,500 MW. The facilities include the 220MW Engro Powergen Qadirpur CCGT, Engro 660MW Thar power plant, 450MW Kolachi CCGT and two new-built wind power sites in Pakistan, as well as the GEL 75MW facility in Nigeria.

Cummins, Microsoft team up in fuel cell lab

Oct 30 – Columbus-based Cummins, a large US maker of diesel engines, has partnered with Microsoft and McKinstry by opening an Advanced Energy Lab in Seattle. The aim is to demonstrate that an enclosed facility, e.g. a data centre, can run without power from the grid by integrating fuel cells directly into the 20-rack data center.

Construction starts for Żerań CCGT in Warsaw

Oct 27 – PGNiG Termika and the consortium of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems and Polimex-Mostostal have laid the foundation stone for a new combined-cycle gas turbine unit at the Żerań cogeneration power plant in Warsaw. The new unit (output 490 MWe, 326 MWt) will be build by the MHPS/Polimex consortium under an EPC contract; handover is scheduled for 2020.