Daily News

Eager to expand its foothold in the power sector, the Russian gas giant Gazprom has formulated strategy for the group’s electricity generating assets between 2018 and 2027. Today, Gazprom’s plants provide for about 16% of the electricity in Russia’s Unified Energy System, running primarily on proprietary gas.

Strengthening its presence in India, Sembcorp Industries of Singapore announced it is acquiring IDFC Private Equity Fund III (IDFC)’s remaining stake in Sembcorp Green Infra (SGI), for INR 1410.2 Crores (about S$301 million). Sembcorp CEO Said Neil McGregor said the deal will “increase our investment in a wind and solar generation portfolio that complements our thermal power assets in the country.”

Threats to automation equipment keep changing, so protection concepts for industrial power plants need to evolve. To address this challenge, Siemens and the International Society of Automation (ISA) have entered a global partnership to share expertise in protecting the automation environment based on the IEC 62443 standard.

Indonesia’s PT PLN (Persero) has ordered 147 units of MGS Series gensets, produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine & Turbocharger (MHIET), to be deployed across the island nation in stand-alone power systems. The units are planned to progressively go into service in 22 districts of Kalimantan and Sulawesi by mid-2018.

Rolling blackouts are commonplace in war-torn Libya, which is why General Electric Company of Libya (GECOL) has been rebuilding the electrical infrastructure and contracted with APR Energy to bring in temporary generators to provide a rapid 450 MW boost. Some of these units are equipped with inlet fogging systems, attaining a 15% increase in output in the hot Sahara operating conditions.

Drilling activity and production of crude oil and natural gas is picking up in Oklahoma’s Anadarko Region, notably in two areas commonly known as the STACK (Sooner Trend Anadarko Canadian and Kingfisher) and the SCOOP (South Central Oklahoma Oil Province) plays. According to EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report, the rig count in the region has risen from 84 in January to 129 in July.

JFE Steel Corp.’s combined-cycle power plant in Chiba, Japan, will be modernized by GE via a MXL2 gas turbine upgrade, a low-pressure steam turbine retrofit and a new lifetime management concept on the GT26 gas turbine.

Seeking to complement fossil power plants, South Australia has invited bids from investors in energy storage and bioenergy to share a $150 million fund. The tender is part of the government's wider $550 million energy plan that will see the world’s largest battery being built, and additional flexible gas power capacity. Applications for the $150 million fund close on September 28.

Deployed to help stabilized Ghana’s energy supply, the 470 MW Karpowership ‘Osman Khan’ is now moored in the Port of Tema after having arrived from Turkey on Saturday. The mobile plant is scheduled to start producing electricity in September.

Over 250,000 inhabitants of Texas were left without electricity and electric utilities were struggling to restore supply as Hurricane Harvey barely moved away from the greater Houston area. With rescuers still working around the clock to help flooded citizens, utilities in the southeastern parts of Texas are facing days, or even weeks, before the floodwaters recede and they can begin to repair the damage.

Integrally geared technology provides the most efficient, space-saving and reliable solution possible. “More compact and efficient than comparable single-shaft designs, these solutions allow for a level of process control that other technologies can’t match,” Michael Andrews, Vice President of Research and Development at Atlas Copco Gas and Process told Gas to Power Journal.

“Market designs may be inadequate” to keep “traditional” power generation online, cautions a long-awaited report by the Department of Energy (DoE) on the security of the U.S. power grid. To alleviate risks, the study calls on regulators to facilitate easier permitting for coal, nuclear and hydropower plants.

Expanding their cooperation in ‘lifecycle service offerings’, ABB has granted Wärtsilä the Authorized Service Provider status for standard maintenance of ABB turbochargers installed with Wärtsilä 4-stroke engines. The new accord builds on their cooperation dating back to 2005, and will result in 25 new authorised Wärtsilä turbocharger workshops.

Multiple record-breaking heat waves swept across the western United States this summer, with temperatures reaching 105 degrees in Portland – some 23 degress higher than the 30-year average. Record peak summer demand for electricity has been challenging some of the largest electricity balancing authorities in the area.

Rebuking reports about a recovery of U.S. coal industry, IEEFA energy data analyst Seth Feaster stressed that in actual fact coal companies keep losing money. AEP, one of the country's largest electric utilities, just purchased a wind farm while it is looking to retire, or sell two coal power plants by 2022.

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.