Daily News

DILO, a German manufacturer of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas handling equipment, has launched a SF6 multi-analyser that allows users to simultaneously check three key gas quality parameters- SF6 concentration, humidity and quantity of decomposition products. SF6 quality of gas insulated equipment needs be checked to determine if the gas still complies with the IEC Standard 60480 (SF6 reuse) or whether it needs purification.

In Spain, gas demand for the electricity sector has risen by 19.8% owing to lower hydroelectricity and wind generation and greater demand for power. Consumption of gas for electricity generation reached 465 GWh on 21 June, the highest summer value since 2011, according to Enagas figures. The latest demand peak was caused by the recent heat wave which coincided with low wind power and hydroelectricity output.

Construction of Al-Mansurya, a 720 MW gas-fired peaking power plant northeast of the Iraqi capital Bagdad that has been damaged during the conflict in the area, is being rebuilt. Supporting the Ministry of Electricity’s efforts bring the plant to full operation, GE supplied four GT13E2 gas turbines, two of which have already been synchronized and are feeding electricity into Iraq’s national grid.

Japan’s Mitsui, together with its Bangladeshi consortium partner Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Ltd (CPGCBL), is developing a combined-cycle gas power plant in Matarbari, Cox Bazar. With a generating capacity of up to 600 MW, it will be the second government-led JV power project that will run on regasified LNG.

MAN Diesel & Turbo has signed a contract with the Italian critical equipment manufacturer Walter Tosto for the delivery of essential parts for ITER, an international nuclear fusion research project being built in Cadarache, France. Thirteen so-called Port Stubs, built for Walter Tosto, will be installed in ITER’s vacuum vessel which is set to houses the fusion reactions and acts as a first safety containment barrier.

Off-grid distributed energy systems (DES) – using renewable energy but backed up by flexible gas or diesel generators – are mushrooming throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as technology costs keep falling. This trend helps alleviate electricity shortages of some 133 million people in the region’s rural areas.  

Seven electricity providers in the western part of the United States and Canada are considering joining the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) western energy imbalance market (EIM) which enables more frequent dispatch of generating assets, and electricity trade in the sub-hourly market.  Since late 2014, CAISO estimates the gross financial benefit for EIM members is about $174 million.

As war-torn Iraq seeks to raise electrification levels, it is becoming increasingly dependent on natural gas from neighbouring Iran to compensate for shortfalls in its domestic gas production. “New power stations are entering into service soon, hence the country’s need for gas imports,” Iraqi News quoted the electricity minister, Qasim Al-Fahdawi.

Just days after launching a transformation plan, NRG Energy has disclosed it will divest 6 GW of conventional power generation capacity, and 50-100% of its renewable energy arm, NRG Yield. The American utility said it hoped to raise between $2.5 billion and $4 billion in cash proceeds from the sale. Mauricio Gutierrez, NRG president and CEO said underlined the board’s “commitment to simplify and strengthen the company to thrive through any market cycle.”

Musandam Power Company (MPC), an affiliate of Oman Gas Company (OGC), has started full commercial operation of a 120 MW dual-fuel power plant at Tibat, Bukha province in Oman’s enclave of Musandam. As an area outside of Oman’s national power grid, Musandam used to be supplied with electricity and desalinated water via several diesel gensets.

National Grid projections show that growing use of electric vehicles in the UK could increase peak power demand by 3.5 GW by 2030 and 18 GW by 2050. Today, UK peak power demand is approximately 60 GW. Under the “Consumer Power Scenario,” National Grid anticipates electric vehicle (EV) sales to account for more than 90% of all cars by 2050.

Demand from the industrial sector becomes the main engine of gas consumption growth, replacing power generation, where gas is being squeezed by growing renewables and competition from coal, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says in its latest five-year forecast Gas 2017. Global gas demand is forecast to rise from 3,630 bcm today to nearly 4,000 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2022.

The Finish technology group Wärtsilä will take full operations and maintenance responsibility for Pampa Energia's installation Central Térmica Parque Pilar located in the Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Under the 10-year operation and maintenance (O&M), Wärtsilä will ensure reliable output from the 100 MW power plant and service its six 50DF multi-fuel engines.

Suspension of the ambitious Kemper integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) has amplified concerns over the prospects of this technology, but IEA chief economist Lazlo Varro points out that “more promising developments of projects using IGCCs can be found in Japan.” The Osaki CoolGen project, in his view, has taken a “more measured approach to scaling-up IGCC deployment,” commissioning a 166 MW oxygen-blown IGCC plant in March.

GE’s second HA gas turbine order win in Mexico will see the American OEM provide equipment, services and digital solutions for the Tierra Mojada CCGT in Guadalajara, Mexico. Fisterra Energy, majority-owned by Blackstone Group, will be responsible for bringing power to the grid by December 2019 and selling it onto the new wholesale electricity market, created by Mexico’s Energy Reform.

News in Brief

GE to build four substations in Egypt

Sept 19 – Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and GE have closed a $250 million contract that will see GE build and install four Gas-Insulated Substations (GIS) across Egypt to connect 7 GW to the country’s national power grid by the end of 2018. The contract is fully financed through Deutsche Bank and HSBC France which helps secure smooth execution of the project.

Irma slashes energy demand in Florida

Sept 18 – Hurricane Irma has proved to be a demand-side event in Florida. At its trough, the state appeared to lose 1.9 bcf/d of demand versus pre-storm levels, mainly in the power sector. According to Energy Aspects figures, electricity demand on September12 dropped to 0.8 bcf/d, compared to a pre-storm baseline of 3.6 bcf/d.

Drax plans to convert two coal units to natural gas

Sept 15 – Drax Group has filed plans to the UK Planning Inspectorate to build a 200MW battery storage unit, and convert up to two coal units at the Drax power station to run on natural gas. If approved, the repowering could result in up to 3.6 GW of new flexible gas generation capacity. The utility stated its investment at Drax is backed by a 15-year capacity contract.

Azura Edo IPP ready to startup in early 2019

Sept 8 – Siemens-built Azura Edo Independent Power Project (IPP) is planned to add 459MW to the Nigerian national power grid by early 2019, Siemens Nigeria CEO Onyeche Tifase said. The Azura Edo IPP is an open-cycle gas turbine power plant project, which could potentially account for up to 20% of Nigeria’s installed capacity of 12.5MW by 2020.

Oman’s oil output hits new record

Sept 7 – Oil production in Oman has reached a new record, totalling 1 million barrel per day (b/d) in 2016. Dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports, Oman’s state finances have been hit by the plunge in oil prices which made 2016 oil and gas revenues plunge 67% compared with 2014 levels.

Petrofarc to build South Stream

Sept 6 – UK contractor Petrofarc won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract worth 340 million Euros ($404m) by the Gazprom-owned South Stream Transport company to build onshore pipelines and a gas receiving terminal near the Turkish town Kiyikoy.

Gas prices slowly return to normal after Harvey struck

Sept 5 – The price of natural gas and other petroleum products has surged in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Yet as of Monday, key gasoline prices started to return to pre-Hurricane levels as key refineries and pipelines along the US Gulf Coast are resuming operation, easing supply concerns.

ACER to set deadline

Sept 4 – The European energy regulatory authority ACER is consulting until September 15 on an implementation date for harmonized prices in the EU's day-ahead and intraday power markets. Introducing maximum and minimum prices is meant to enhance market coupling.

Pöyry to review Shoaiba-4 plant

Sept 1 – The Saline Water Conversion Company (SWCC) has awarded Pöyry with the owner's engineer services assignment for the Shoaiba-4 desalination plant which will meet the potable water requirements of Saudi Arabia's second largest city and its five million people. Pöyry's scope includes review of contractor's engineering and supervision of construction, erection and commissioning.

Wärtsilä wins 220 MW power plant contract in Bangladesh

Aug 31 – Desh Energy Chandpur Power Company, an independent power producer (IPP) in Bangladesh, has contracted Wärtsilä of Finland to supply twelve 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50 engines for a new 220 MW baseload power plant to be installed in Chandpur. The customer required a nine-month implementation time, with the plant due to be fully operational in May 2018.

Works start on Hickory Run CCGT

Aug 30 – Tyr Energy has started construction works on the Hickory Run Energy Center in Pennsylvania. The combined-cycle gas power plant has a nominal generating capacity of 1,000 MW.

Canadian Cats dealers merge

Aug 29 – Toromont Industries will acquire the businesses and net operating assets of fellow Canadian Caterpillar dealer Hewitt Group. The deal was agreed in turn for C$917.7 million cash plus the issuance of 2.25 million Toromont shares, the two companies said.

Ansaldo to service Thai cogen plant

Aug 25 – Glow Energy, one of Thailand’s private power producers, has contracted Ansaldo of Italy to service a 328 MW cogeneration plant, located in Map Ta Phut Industrial Park, 200km southeast of Bangkok. Apart from electricity, the plant produces 160 tonnes/hour of steam to support local industries. Ansaldo’s 15-year service deal covers maintenance, replacement capital parts and remote monitoring and diagnostics for the gas turbine.

Low voltage drives for China

Aug 24 – Siemens is to equip several Chinese aluminum factories with medium and low voltage drives. The value of the order is in the low tens of millions Euros. Commissioning will be completed in several stages between November 2018 and April 2019.

Oil price seen rebound toward $60/bbl

Aug 23 – Oil pricing dynamics will increase, through near-term $50-60 range, forecasts Wood Mackenzie principal analyst, Patrick Kirby. For olefins, and polyolefins, this means the global and particularly European view is sensitive to demand, particularly from China, given that the supply landscape is well defined.

GS EPS commissions 900 MW plant in Oman

Aug 22 – South Korea’s GS EPS and GS Holdings have completed the construction of Phase IV, a 900 MW combined-cycle plant in Muskat, Oman. The CCGT has a power efficiency rating of 64% and is run by imported LNG. As an independent associate of Oman Oil Company (OOC), the Korean power producer helped with knowledge transfer and now aims to realise renewable energy projects in Oman.

U.S. demand to eke out growth

Aug 21 – Energy Aspects says the total U.S. power sector is about to “eke out growth”, with balances for the week ending August 18 averaging 34.3 bcf/d, meaning demand was just 0.5 bcf/d higher week-on-week. Although cooler weather is forecast for the Western and Central US over the next 10 day, much warmth is set to emerge in the East, limiting energy demand.