Daily News

Britain’s has embarked on a difficult process of untangling its economic ties with the European Union which may put the construction of three planned EU-UK gas interconnection pipelines at risk. Thierry Bros, OIES research fellow, pointed out the UK needs to “reshape its energy diplomacy” as it will have to negotiate gas supplies with both the EU and Norway, which supplies some 38% of its gas, in the future.

A draft policy paper published by South Korea’s energy ministry this week signals a strategy of adding between 5-10 GW to the county’s installed capacity, mostly from LNG-to-power projects and renewables. The envisaged new clean energy plants would expand Korea’s installed capacity by about 10%.

Shamara Holding Group (SHG), one of Iraq’s largest private industrial conglomerates, has awarded an order to ABB a $30 million order to supply and install a substation at the 3,000 MW Rumaila power plant. The new-build Rumaila plant is expected to boost Iraq’s power generation capacity by 20%.

Czech utility Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) has taken over operation of the Langage combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) from Centrica. The parent company of British Gas had chosen to divest Langage, together with the South Humber Bank CCGT as part of a £318m deal as it seeks to focus more on energy storage and distributed generation.

The energy services division of Australia’s Energy Queensland has joined forces with the energy tech firm GreenSync to create a cloud-based, load control system designed to manage extreme electricity demand during severe temperature events. Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt called it “Australia’s biggest virtual power plant (VPP).”

Eager to electrify remote areas and support energy-intensive industries, governments across Asia are investing in electrical infrastructure projects. The Asia-Pacific region hence is about to become the largest market for power transformers worldwide.

Banks are reluctant to give Nigeria’s Egbin Power new loan facilities as the utility is burdened with substantial debt. The company has been seeking to refinance N125 billion ($352bn) it owes to the Federal Government and now wants to raise another $1.2 billion to expand the Egbin Power plant by up to 1,500 MW by 2020.

Australia’s power provider Hydro Tasmania is preparing to run the combined-cycle gas turbine at its Tamar Valley Power Station as of Tuesday morning local time -- purely for economic reasons. "Mainland electricity prices are currently high. The CCGT will be operated to help reduce the amount of electricity Hydro Tasmania needs to import from Victoria over the drier months, therefore reducing overall cost,” the utility pointed out.

The UK government plans to publish the long-delayed £50 billion hydrogen strategy to clean up emissions from the country’s heat, transport and industrial sectors within weeks. Jon Slowe, a director at Delta-ee, singled out decarbonising heat as “the biggest challenge in reducing carbon emissions.”

EnergyAustralia, one of the nation’s three big power generators, is understood to have hired Morgan Stanley to advise on a bid for IFM Investor’s gas-fired power stations in Victoria. The sale of two Ecogen assets, with a combined capacity of 960 MW, comes amid heightened uncertainty over Australia’s clean energy policy which has propelled up gas and electricity prices.

Decoupling a portion of the low-voltage grid in the Allgäu region of Germany, Siemens and its partners have implemented a self-contained microgrid using only renewable power supply. Insights from this “islanded grid” in Wildpoldsried serve as a model for the “transformation to power supply supported by prosumers.”

Gas-burn for power generation in Spain has ended the month of August with an increase of over 60% to reach 7,800 GWh – the highest figure for this month since 2011, according to Enagas figures. The steep increase in the contribution of gas in the Spanish power mix was caused by very low hydro power availability and a lower generation from wind power.

Indian LNG buyers have been courting the incumbent seller Qatar to invest in stranded gas-fired power station as a precondition for new long-term offtake agreements. "It won't be quid pro quo but mutual interest [...]" oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan commented; “They can share the profit of those power plants."

Having moved to a competitive market, Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) released its first monthly price report on August 18 which shows that Mexican marketers sold gas at $4.10/mmBtu on average in July. CENAGAS, Mexico’s pipeline system operator also launched its natural gas capacity reservation system with electronic bulletin boards for posting natural gas flows.

2G Energy, manufacturer of combined heat and power (CHP) plants, has introduced a new range of low-emission systems. Ranging from 20kWe to 240kWe, the systems emit 90% nitrogen oxide (NOx) compared with standard (500mg) units.

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.