Daily News

The greenfield Salalah-2 IPP project, built at a cost of SAR1.7 billion ($465million) by a consortium of Japan’s Mitsui, Saudi’s ACWA Power and Oman’s Dhofar International Development and Investment Company (DIDIC), has been running smoothly for the first four days. The consortium managed to bring the 455-MW unit online ahead of schedule.

Cost competitiveness of wind and solar power is rapidly increasing, hence many installations in favourable locations are now economically viable without subsidies. This accelerating green energy transition drives the need for flexible gas engine solutions. Benefitting from this trend, Wärtsilä managed to boost its market share in the <500 MW market segment from 13% in 2016 to 19% in 2017, according to the McCoy Power Report.

Supporting the energy infrastructure in Sudan, Siemens has signed a long-term agreement with the Sudanese Thermal Power Generating Company (STPGC) to provide service and maintenance for components at the 337- MW Port Sudan and 502-MW Garri power plants. Siemens will also provide O&M advisory services for both plants.

GE Reservoir, a new power storage platform for AC or DC coupled systems, condenses 4MWh of energy capacity into a 20’ box. The system improves battery the lifecycle by about 15%, delivers 5% higher efficiency and reduces installation time and costs, GE said, adding it already has a 20 MW, 80 MWh pre-launch commitment.

About two-thirds of the utility-scale battery storage capacity installed in the United States is located in two electricity markets: the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and the PJM Interconnection which covers all or parts of 13 eastern states.

Despite Gazprom’s latest threat to end gas supply contracts with Naftogaz Ukrainy, the Russian gas giant continues to rely on transiting gas through Ukraine to meet its contractual obligations to European customers. According to Wood Mackenzie data, the Ukrainian route in 2017 accounted for over 45%, or 93.5 bcm, of Gazprom’s exports to Europe and Turkey. Alternative routes will not be available until 2020.

Delivery of the 20th and final J920 FleXtra gas engine at the K.I.E.L. coastal power plant has just been announced by Stadtwerke Kiel, Kraftanlagen München and GE. The new cogeneration plant has 192-MW electric and 190-MW thermal output, helping to secure the supply of district heating in Kiel after a municipal utility-run coal power plant will be decommissioned on March 31, 2019.

Siemens has delivered five gas turbine-driven compressor trains to Fermaca Enterprises for two pipeline stations in Mexico. The pipeline projects are part of the regulator CFE’s ongoing energy reform, aimed at increasing the availability of low-cost electricity to boost Mexico’s economic growth. Commissioning of both stations will start later this year, and the entire 500 kilometer pipeline is expected to begin commercial operation in early 2019.

Orka Energy, through its Peruvian subsidiary Lantera Energy, has entered a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Flesan Enregia of Chile that will see the provision of gas generator sets for Peru’s first small-scale gas liquefaction facility. The LNG export facility is under construction in the northern town of Pirua, slated to start up by July 1.

Come 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects that up to 32% of electricity generated will be variable, putting greater stress on reliability. In Ireland, Germany and the UK, wind and solar will exceed 25% of total generation already in the coming five years.

AGL Energy, one of Australia’s integrated energy companies, has signed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with Wärtsilä for the Barker Inlet Power Station (211-MW) located on Torrens Island near Adelaide. The Notice to Proceed (NTP) has been issued and project execution work has begun.

Florida Power & Light (FPL) has been given the green light by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) to build its proposed 1,163-MW Dania Beach Clean Energy Center in Florida. When granting the approval, the Florida regulator said the more efficient $888 million Dania Beach project was needed to replace FPL’s existing plant in Broward County.

Low winter temperatures have caused a surge in Spain’s use of natural gas and demand from the power generation sector ended the month with an increase of 26.9%, to 4,520 GWh. Yet despite this firm domestic demand, the Spanish TSO Enagas on February 28 exported some 22 GWh of natural gas to neighbouring France.

Nearly three-quarters of gas-fired power plants in the continental United States fulfill all of their fuel requirements through firm contracts that obligate the pipeline operator to send the natural gas to the power plant when requested. Only 16% of plant operators purchase gas on interruptible contracts, while 13% use some mix of firm and interruptible supply.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), has developed the ‘Q-ton Circulation,’ an air-source circulation type heat pump, jointly with Chubu Electric Power. The new heat pump will be marketed by MHI starting from August.

News in Brief

Thermo Fisher launches new online sulphur analyser

April 23 – U.S.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched SOLA iQ, an online sulphur analyser, that helps engineers in the oil and gas industry to measure total sulphur content of liquid or gas phase samples without requiring time-consuming lab analysis. Measurement ranges of the tool are from 2 parts per million (ppm) to 100%, with and limits of detection as low as 25 parts per billion (ppb).

FERC considers change of pipeline certification

April 20 – Kevin J. McIntyre, the chairman of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given a general oversight hearing over plans for natural gas pipeline policy changes. “I decided that the first such review of my Chairmanship would involve taking a fresh look at FERC’s 1999 policy statement on the certification of interstate natural gas pipeline facilities,” he said. Under the Natural Gas Act, FERC has the responsibility to determine whether a proposed natural gas pipeline project is required by public convenience and necessity.

Turbine filter markets grows at 20%

April 19 – Market Insights Reports anticipates the global gas turbine filter market to grow at an annual rate of 15 to 20% through to 2023. The report gauges growth prospects by analysing diverse factors such as total market size, key market drivers, challenges and growth opportunities, technological changes as well as major manufacturers.

Kuwait spends over $140m on two power plant upgrades

April 18 – Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water has signed two contracts, worth US$141 million (KWD47m), to upgrade the fuel reception and control systems of the Doha West and the Sabiya power plants. Works on the Doha West power station will span over 30 months, according to the ministry’s schedule, while project completion for the Sabiya project is set for no later than 29 November, 2018.

Enel launches 1st energy storage project in Canada

April 17 – Enel X, the energy services division of Enel Group through its US subsidiary EnerNOC, has struck an agreement with Algoma Orchards of Ontario, Canada to deploy a 1 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system under a contract spanning 11 years. The storage system will be deployed in the first half of 2018.

Investment in solar PV dwarfs new fossil generation

April 16 – Solar power is forecast to become the leading contributor of renewable energy, accounting for 98 GW, or 38%, of newly installed power generation capacity worldwide. Nearly $161 billion was invested worldwide in solar power technology in 2017, according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report, compiled by BNEF under the UN Environment Program.

Simotics SD Pro suitable for up to 690 volts

April 13 – At Hannover Fair, Siemens is presenting its new low-voltage motor Simotics SD Pro suitable for mains-fed and converter operation with voltages up to 690 volts. The motor works reliably at efficiency class IE3 at both 50 and 60 hertz.

ABB controller now IEC 62443 certified

April 12 – ABB’s SD Series HPC800 controller, part of the company’s Symphony Plus portfolio, has received Embedded Device Security Assurance (EDSA) and IEC 62443 certifications. In the assessment, the controller met all requirements in the categories of software development lifecycle, functional security and communications robustness.

Rolls-Royces launches ‘Intelligent Insights’

April 11 – Rolls-Royce has introduced ‘Intelligent Insights’, part of its IntelligentEngine vision, at the MRO Americas conference. The tool brings new agility to decision making and improves the quality of data harnessed for customers.

GE to lead EPC for 1GW Ostroleka C power plant

April 10 – GE Power, together with Alstom Power Systems, has been selected to lead Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for the ultra-supercritical (USC) coal power plant Ostroleka C in Poland. Subject to the financial closure of the project, the plant will start commercial operation within 56 months after the notice to proceed and generate a gross output of 1,000 MW.

EDF’s new Bouchain CCGT reaches 62.22% efficiency

April 9 – Electricite de France (EDF) and GE have celebrated the official start of operation of the first ever combined-cycle power plant equipped with GE's HA gas turbine in Bouchain, France. Integrating high-efficiency power gen equipment with digital technology the CCGT reaches an overall efficiency of 62.22%.

GenOn sells 1.1GW Canal Generating Plant for $390m

March 28 – Due to bankruptcy restructuring, Houston based GenOn Energy (now part of NRG Energy), has agreed to divest the 1,112-MW units 1&2 at the Canal Generating Plant in Sandwich, Massachusetts to Stonepeak Kestrel Holdings for $320 million. Factoring in working capital, excess fuel inventory payments, and an anticipated refund from NRG for an expired option on Canal Unit 3, GenOn expects to receive $390.3 million from the deal.

Floating power market to top $1.4bn by 2022

March 27 – The market for floating power plants (<250MW capacity) is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.11%, expanding from $889.6 million at present to reach $1,440 million by 2022. Main growth drivers, according to MarketsandMarkets, are cost advantages of floating over land-based power plants, particularly in regions with a lack of power infrastructure.

Cost for solar PV keeps falling

March 26 – System costs for utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) on a per-watt basis have fallen about 10% to 15% per year from 2010 through 2016. In the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2018) analysts anticipate that installed capital costs will come in at 1.85 per watt (AC) for fixed-tilt PV systems, and $2.11 per watt (AC) for single-axis tracking systems in 2018.

Sembcorp delivers ‘energy that makes a difference’

March 23 – Sembcorp Power, the electricity retail arm of Sembcorp Industries, has unveiled a series of initiatives that are meant to deliver Energy that Makes a Difference in Singapore. These measures include a commitment of S$100,000 to support social enterprises in energy, water and resource recovery over the next five years as well as competitive price plans to help businesses save money. For every new customer signed up, Sembcorp Power will give S$5 to selected beneficiaries to offset their electricity bills.

Siemens awards in-kind technology grant to UCF

March 22 – Siemens has entered the next phase of its 30-year academic partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF), awarding researchers a major in-kind technology grant of its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software with a commercial value of $593 million. The software grant amplifies a similar 2016 grant that benefitted students in UCF's Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER).

ABB creates virtual flow meters with Arundo Analytics

March 21 – Arundo Analytics, a Houston-based software developer, and ABB have worked together to create the first cloud-based virtual multiphase flow meters for the offshore oil and gas industry. Connecting ABB Ability and Arundo’s Composer and Fabric software, the virtual flow meter helps upstream companies gain real-time data to understand the constituent properties of any given stream of produced fluids.