Daily News

Heat rates of gas-fired power plants in the U.S., and notably of combined-cycle units, have decreased 7% between 2006 and 2015 – indicating more efficient generation, because less fuel is needed per kilowatthour. In contrast, heat rates of coal power plants remained stable, according to EIA data, showing no improvement.

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.

KAR Group in Iraq has extended Siemens’ service agreement to provide operations and maintenance (O&M) for two newly added units at the Khormala gas power plant in Kurdistan. The 930 MW plant covers nearly 30% of the region’s electricity demand and supplies more three million people with reliable electricity.

Taiwan’s recent massive blackout raises questions of the government’s wider energy policy which, according to Dr. Guo Yu, principal Asia analyst at Maplecroft, “does not pose an immediate threat to government stability.” However, it may determine the political fortunes of President Tsai and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party as we approach the next election cycle in 2020.

A massive blackout recently revealed the fragility of Taiwan’s power grid, and prompted the resignation of Chen Chin-te, chairman of Taiwanese gas supplier CPC Corp. Now, the Ministry of Science is considering the launch of a power storage system from Tesla.

SoCal’s inability this summer to fully utilize Aliso Canyon, California’s largest storage with a capacity of 86 Bcf, is impacting flow, pricing and storage dynamics in the U.S. Pacific Region. Peak summer demand conjured up fierce competition for gas between Northern and Southern California which let to tighter price spreads between the two regional gas trading hubs, SoCal and PG&E, this August.

Bangladesh’s Summit Group has contracted Wärtsilä to supply equipment for a power plant with a capacity of 300 MW. Located in Gazipur, the plant will run on eighteen Wärtsilä 46 engines, operating on heavy fuel oil, and possibly gas at a later stage. Start-up of the fast-track project is envisaged for March 2018.

The re-balancing of global oil markets is viewed by the IEA as “a stubborn process” given that some producers, party to the OPEC’s output cut agreement, are "showing signs of weakening their resolve." The compliance rate fell again in July to a new low of 75% from June’s 77%. Still, IEA analysts believe “the market is re-balancing” as the price of Brent crude recently stabilised above $50/bbl.

Two offshore projects by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) – the Penglai 19-3 oil field and the Dongfang 13-2 gas field – will be powered by Dresser-Rand equipment. The business, now part of Siemens Power and Gas, won orders from CNOOC and from Harbin Guanghan Gas Turbine (HGGT).

Dirty king coal is still on track to surpass natural gas generation for 2017, with total shares of almost 32 % and 31%, respectively, the latest short-term energy outlook from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows. That near-tie comes after natural gas generated 34% of the nation’s electricity needs in 2016, with coal finishing at 30%.

Turning his back on former President Obama’s clean energy aspirations, the new FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee calls for coal to be “properly compensated” for baseload power and “recognized as an essential part of the fuel mix.” Asserting his commitment to the “resilience and reliability” of the US electric system, he said in a podcast released by FERC this week that ensuring security of supply would merit keeping even uneconomic coal and nuclear power plants operational. “These are essential to national security,” he claimed.

To restore deteriorating output, La Paloma Generating Company (LPGC) considered an upgrade of turbine components, but found a cheaper way: "After doing a net present value analysis of the money we would have to invest and how much power we would recover, fogging turned to be really, really good in terms of dollars per kW," said Pablo Cortes Oseguera, LPGC engineering and maintenance manager. "It made a lot of sense to our owners."

ComEd, a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corp, has turned to ABB’s latest distribution and outage management systems in order to minimize the impact of outages for its customers across northern Illinois. ABB Ability, an integrated software platform, allows for real-time monitoring, network analysis and outage management.

A tender for the procurement of LNG for 500 MW decentralized power in Indonesia will be opened by Singapore in due course. Maritime minister Luhut Pandjaitan announced the LNG cargoes will be shipped to small-scale, decentralized power plants (25-50 MW) in seven locations in close proximity to Singapore.

Driven by falling costs, increasing investor confidence and policy support, renewable power and decarbonisation technologies are reshaping global energy markets. In Wood Mackenzie and GTM Research’s latest report ‘Future of renewables: a radical disruption,’ over 21% of all cars on the road are estimated to be electric by 2035 under the carbon-constrained scenario. Such a stark shift to EVs can displace up to 6.5 million barrels of oil demand.

News in Brief

Floating power market to top $1.4bn by 2022

Sept 22 – The floating power plant market is expected to grow from an estimated $889.6 million in 2017 to $1,440.1 million by 2022, at a cumulated annual growth rate of 10.11%, from 2017 to 2022. Driving factors, according to MarketsandMarkets, are increasing demand for power, coupled with the lack of land-based power generation infrastructure.

ITM Power sells 1.1-MW power-to-gas plant to Gasunie

Sept 21 – UK hydrogen specialist ITM Power has sold a 1.1-MW power-to-gas electrolyser to EnergyStock, a subsidiary of Dutch gas grid operator Gasunie. The rapid-response PEM electrolyser will be deployed at the Zuidwending salt cavern storage; the generated hydrogen will be used on-site within EnergyStock's systems or dispensed into tube trailers for future hydrogen refuelling stations.

CCGT market to grow at 4.25% through to 2021

Sept 20 – The combined-cycle gas turbine market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 4.24 % during the period from 2017 to 2021. Renewable energy’s high initial cost is still proving to be a major driver for the global CCGT market that offers a lower cost of power installation than renewable and nuclear energy.

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.