Daily News

The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is the most pressing challenge in the global energy industry, says Jantine Zwinkels, Consultant at Royal HaskoningDHV. Throwing in a word of caution, she added that “the challenge for our [renewable] industry is to stand truly on its own two feet and outcompete fossil fuels without public money.”

Amandi Energy, together with consortium partner GE, is preparing to start construction works for a 200MW power plant in Aboadze, Ghana. The facility's tri-fuel 9E.04 gas turbines will be initially fuelled by light crude oil, and later switched to run on indigenous gas, once supply from Ghana’s offshore Sankofa field will be available.

The electrical grid of tomorrow will require substantially more wind and solar power. Yet integrating intermittent renewable energy with energy-on-demand generation, as well as agile power T&D networks with energy storage, is “an engineering challenge”, says Dr. Steven Chu, who served as the 12th US Secretary of Energy.

MAN Diesel & Turbo has struck a contract with the Indonesian energy company PT Sumberdaya Sewatama to deliver and install four MAN 18V32/40 gensets for an industrial power plant (24MW). Once fully operational, the decentralised plant will generate electricity specifically for the Martabe Gold Mine, one Asia’s premier opencast mines.

The global gas insulated switchgear (GIS) market is forecast to grow from $5.23 billion in 2015 to $8.61 billion by 2020. According to GlobalData analysis, extensive power plant capacity additions in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and the need to improve access to electricity are driving grid expansion and the GIS market.

Electricity will make up about 25% of final energy consumption by 2040, as estimated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) – a dynamic that drives GE’s Power Conversion business to design and develop electric consumer devices. Decarbonisation is, so far, mostly an issue for the power generation sector, less so for end-consumers of electric gadgets.

Jera, 50:50 joint venture of Tokyo Electric and Chubu Electric, is participating in a 1,000 MW combined-cycle power plant in New York state through its operating company Cricket Valley Energy Center. Start of commercial operation is slated for 2020.

Gas could be the “ideal partner for renewable energy generation” in a future sustainable energy mix, says Remi Eriksen, head of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Germanischer Lloyd (GL). He calls on the energy industry to work together to help policymakers, planners and the public understand and embrace the “non-price benefits of the fuel.”

Throughout the US, the running costs of solar-tracking photovoltaic units vary greatly dependent on the weather and how much the unit is exposed to the sun throughout the year. In Nevada and California, and other areas of the western United States which receive more direct solar radiation, single-axis PV panels track the sun’s path from east to west – a technology that is becoming increasingly cost-competitive with burning fossil fuels to generate electricity.

At Hannover Messe, running until the end of this week, Siemens is showcasing how a modular, hybrid power grid converter can work together with different decoupled DC sources. Sinacon HC, Siemens’ latest offering, links different power sources and batteries to the public grid or microgrids which allows for renewables integration and decentralised power.

GE Power and Marubeni have signed an agreement to deploy GE’s Predix-based digital solutions at its Nakasode Clean Power Plant, a 100MW combined-cycle unit, located in Sodegaura-city, Chiba Prefecture. Installation will start in April 2017 and full operation is slated to begin in March 2018.

Demand for natural gas from the US power generation sector is expected to flatline, if not slump, over the next five years, analysts say – provided that President Trump goes ahead with plans to scrap the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

Shell, Engie of France, Austria’s OMV and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall have agreed to each pay €950 million to fund the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. The financing deal paves the way for the 55 Bcm/year gas interconnector that had faced strong opposition from some EU member states on competition grounds.

Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries is on time and budget with construction works for the Myingyan combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant. Upon commissioning in 2018, the 225MW facility will be the biggest CCGT in Myanmar. It will be run by Sempcorp for 22 years, and then the Government of Myanmar will take ownership.

Energy engineers and surveyors have carried out boiler inspections for over 25 years, but there are still instances that can shock them: Such as the boiler showing 180 cracks just two years after purchase, says Mark Ormrod, NDT & Material Testing Manager at British Engineering Services. “Of course, most plants are simply running their boilers in line with manufacturers’ guidelines and there are no unexpected shocks found on inspection. We’ve taken a look at the practical issues underpinning our worst and best findings for industrial boiler maintenance, to highlight how to maximise your boiler lifespan, instead of running it into the ground.” 

News in Brief

ABB enhances power supply for Canadian data centre

May 25 – Zurich-headquartered ABB will supply an integrated substation to the Canadian IT solutions provider Hypertec to support the expansion of one of its existing data center. As part of the upgrade, the existing 25 kilovolts (kV) power supply will be enhanced to 120kV to meet growing electricity demand. The turnkey project includes the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the 120kV Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) substation with 25kV distribution. ABB said the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

German gas, coal-burn up in Q1

May 24 – Germany’s total primary energy consumption dropped 1.4% yoy in the first quarter of 2017. But despite lower demand for electricity, the use of natural gas for power generation increased by 1%, while use of hard coal and lignite were 2.6% and 0.4% higher respectively, according to figures by the energy industry think tank AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB).

Siemens wins 3D printing award

May 24 – An award in category "3D Printing application of the year" was given to Siemens for the worldwide first successful test of gas turbine blades manufactured with Additive Manufacturing. At the start of 2017, a multi-location Siemens team successfully tested the performance of the first gas turbine blade, produced through AM, under full-load conditions

Wolf Power, Myriad start CHP cooperation

May 23 – Wolf Group, a German supplier of combined heat and power systems, has entered a cooperation with Myriad Power Products, an equipment supplier based in Leicestershire, UK. Myriad can supply chip, pellet and gas heat only/ CHP systems from 10kW to 10MW; it is about to bid for public sector contracts in the UK and some other smaller clients.

Verisk acquires MAKE

May 23 – Verisk Analytics, part of Wood Mackenzie, has announced its latest acquisition of MAKE, an advisory that specializes in wind power. This latest acquisition follows WoodMac’s takeover of Greentech Media in July 2016.

OPEC’s net oil revenues on 12-year low

May ‎22 – Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) net oil revenues have plunged to $433 billion in 2016, the lowest since 2004. In real dollar terms, the 2016 revenue represents a 15% decline from the $509 billion earned in 2015. The EIA projects that OPEC’s 2017 net oil export revenues will rise to about $539 billion dollars (nominal), based on a slight recovery in average crude oil prices, as well as higher OPEC output during the current year.

Burckhardt to help modernize MOL petchem plant in Hungary

May 19 – Burckhardt Compression has won an order to modernize MOL Petrochemicals’ third-party Hyper Compressor at its LDPE plant in Tiszaújváros, Hungary, that has been operating since 1991. Burckhardt Compression is well-known for its Hyper Compressors and the MOL Group already has positive experiences working with the Swiss manufacturer at another LDPE site. The project scope includes the Burckhardt Hypropack cartridge system, plungers and central valves for two second-stage cylinders.

Pumps, motor market to top $100bn by 2021

May 19 – Upgrades of ageing power infrastructure, a rise in renewable energy investment and a progressing urbanisation is driving the markets for pumps and motors to reach $100.66 billion by 2021, up from 71.01 billion last year. According to MarketsandMarkets, growth of notably the market for ‘permanent magnet synchronous motors’ is spurred by power plant modernization, as well as demand for energy-efficient motors and use of low-cost ferrite permanent magnets.

MHPS opens new Warsaw office

May 18 - Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) is opening a new office in Warsaw, to strengthen its relationships with local customers and bolster orders for advanced coal power generation systems and Air Quality Control Systems (AQCS). The new branch office centralizes MHPS' corporate and business development function for Poland in one single location.

Low utilisation of US oil peaking plants

May 18 – Monthly generation from petroleum-fired generators has totalled 1 million to 2 million MWh in recent years, according to EIA figures. Most of the 36.4GW installed oil-fired generators in the United States, either turbines or internal combustion engines, only supply peak-load electricity. Capacity factors for oil-fired steam turbines are about 10% and approach 20% only in the summer months. Capacity factors for oil-fired combustion turbines and internal combustion engines are lower, remaining well below 5%.

Wärtsilä wins 5-year O&M deal in Pakistan

May 17 – Helsinki-based technology group Wärtsilä has signed a 5-year full operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement with Pakistan’s Technomen Kinetics Private Ltd (TKL) for two of the latter’s gas-fired power plants. Wärtsilä’s installed base in Pakistan totals around 2.2 GW power generating capacity, with 600 MW of power output under service agreements.

MAN helps CNOOC tap offshore gas in South China Sea

May 17 – CNOOC China’s branch in Zhanjiang, a city in south-western Guangdong province, has commissioned MAN Diesel & Turbo to supply six compressor trains for the Dongfang 13-2 gas field development project. Manufactured by in Switzerland by MAN, the compressor trains will be used for gas reinjection at new platforms in the Dongfang field, located in the Yinggehai Basin of the South China Sea.

New man at the helm of COGEN Europe

May 16 – COGEN Europe has appointed Hans Korteweg as new managing director. His leadership starts at a time of ongoing debate about the EU’s Clean Energy Package, aimed at ensuring a safe and cost-effective energy transition.

Wärtsilä snaps up Greensmith

May 16 – Wärtsila has agreed to buy Greensmith Energy Management System, an US energy storage technology provider, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition of Greensmith is still subject to US regulatory approvals; it will allow Wärtsilä to expand its latest focus on energy storage. The Finish turbine manufacturer stated it expects the takeover to take legal effect no later than July 2017.

Dresser-Rand supplies compressor trains for Thai pipeline

May 15 – Dresser-Rand, part of Siemens Power and Gas, will supply three SGT-400 gas turbine-driven turbocompressor trains for Thailand’s Wang Noi compressor station, located 70 kilometers from Bangkok. The station is currently being built by Samsung Engineering; it is owned by PTT Public Company, Thailand’s state oil & gas company. The compressor station project is expected to be completed in 2018; it will enhance the capacity of the Ratchaburi - Wang Noi pipeline to meet the increasing natural gas demands of nearby power plants.

Turbocompressor markets grows 6.5% per year

May 12 –Global turbocompressor market is seen expand at a rate of 6.5% per year to reach $18,424 million by 2022, up from $11,703 million in 2015.Turbocompressors are highly used in dirty and corrosive applications such as petrochemical plants, refineries, natural gas processing, coal gasification & power stations due to their longer life, low maintenance, and continuous service. According to Allied Market Research, the oil & gas sector is currently dominating end-user demand for turbocompressors.

Energy storage market to hit $16bn by 2020

May 11 – Advanced energy storage systems market is estimated to be worth $15.96 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarket estimates. Technologies included pumped hydro energy storage as well as battery power storage. The dominant manufacturers – such as Toshiba, ABB, Siemens, Voith, Alstom and Dominion Energy – are trying to penetrate developing economies to grab a bigger market share.