Daily News

Intermittency issues of wind and solar power supply are feared to jeopardize the stability of the U.S. power grid. To remedy this issue scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an “air-breathing” battery storage that, at the cheapest, run about $100 per kilowatt hour (kWh) and function only in certain locations.

Low global LNG prices have improved the economics in China to generate electricity from natural gas instead of coal, and the subsequent surge in pipeline gas and LNG imports also increased the number of landed cargoes from the United States. According to the latest figures by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the worth of US LNG exports in Jan-July 2017 exceeded $139 million, already 2% more than the 2016 total.

Dongfang Electric International, a Chinese engineering contractor, has signed a framework contract with Wärtsilä for the latter to supply the generating equipment for three new power plant projects in Angola. The plants are being built on a fast-track basis and are due to start operation in the third quarter of 2018.

Luminant, a subsidiary of the U.S. power company Vistra Energy, has decided to shut down two coal power plants in Texas, which together with an earlier announced closure, will remove more than 4,200MW of coal generating capacity from the market. The operational end for these units comes irrespective of last week’s pledges EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP), in a bid to ease pressure on the coal industry.

Regardless of the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, NRG and several other large U.S. power generators have already come forward with their own commitments to reduce carbon emissions. Over the past two years, NRG managed to reduce its absolute GHG emissions by 35%, putting it well on track to reach its 50% reduction goal by 2030.

The Brazilian utility Centrais Elétricas do Pará (CELPA) has contracted Siemens to design and install twelve microgrids at twelve distributed power stations across the state in order to remotely operate these assets via a central control center in Belém. Each distribute generator will be monitored as a self-contained island network, with the overall monitoring system scheduled to go into service at the beginning of 2018.

In 2018, energy-related CO2 emissions forecast to rise for each fossil fuel—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—for a total increase of 111 million metric tons. According to EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), this rise in energy-related emissions is caused by an overall rise in electricity output, and reverses a 3-year trend of falling emissions in the power sectors. 

Peak power demand in the UK is forecast to top 50.7GW, but National Grid is “confident” to be able to balance the system “even under colder conditions than we have experienced in recent years,” the grid operator said in its 2017/18 winter outlook. Without intervention, reserve margins would be 1.2% - the lowest in a decade.

US oil major ExxonMobil has started to operate its third cogeneration plant at its Singapore Refinery on Jurong Island. The 84 MW plant makes use of natural gas and waste heat from the refinery to generate electricity and steam, enhancing the overall efficiency of the facility by 25%.

Renewable natural gas (RNG), derived from biogas collected at landfills, is getting increasingly used to meet fuel production targets set out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA). About 189 million gallons of RNG were consumed last year to meet about 82% of federal targets, set specifically for cellulosic biofuel.

As China is following through on plans to expand its power grid and regional connectivity, the country topped the global transmission tower market with a market of $3,963 million in 2016, followed by India with $2,058 million. According to a GlobalData forecast, China’s market will exceed $4,259 million by 2021.

US manufacturers Koch Industries and Dow Chemical are lobbying against the plan of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize nuclear and coal as a fuel for power generation. In a letter to Congress, manufacturers dismissed the Department of Energy’s (DoE) plan as “anti-competitive” and said it could distort or “destroy competitive wholesale electricity markets and increase the price of electricity to all consumers.”

Voicing plans to shut down all coal-fired power stations by 2030, the incoming Dutch government has sent a dramatic signal to energy markets that investments in coal is no longer safe. The far-reaching approach of the new coalition is striking, given that RWE, Uniper and Engie in the past few years commissioned three of Europe’s most modern coal power units in the Netherlands.

Investment in energy efficiency exceeds $231 billion worldwide, growing a 9% rate globally and at 24% in China. Energy efficiency codes and standards now cover about 32% of global energy use which helped to decrease energy intensity by 1.8% last year, said Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Finland’s technology group Wärtsilä has renewed its contract with the mining company PT Aneka Tambang Tbk (ANTAM) to improve the efficiency and operational reliability of its power plant in Indonesia. Wärtsilä has worked with ANTAM for over 15 years, and the latest 5-year agreement was signed in the second quarter of 2017.

News in Brief

Dong to remotely operate UK peaking plants

Oct 17 – Denmark’s Dong Energy has agreed with GAM Capital and its project development arm in the UK, Gas Power Developments, to manage the remote control and market optimization of three 6 MW gas power stations. The three gas peaking plants are Prestige House, Newhouse and Clay Flatts, located in Lancashire and Cumbria.

'Generation Energy' debate launched in Canada

Oct 16 – ‘Generation Energy’ has been kickstarted at a forum in Winnipag as a society-wide debate on the pathways to an affordable, low-carbon energy future for Canada. The share of renewables in Canada’s power mix exceeded 65% last year, with 90% of the total derived from hydropower. Prior to the event, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr met bilaterally with IEA head Dr Fatih Birol to provide input to Canada’s Presidency of the G7 in 2018.

MHPS starts manufacturing turbines in Dammam

Oct 13 – MHPS Saudi Arabia, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, has opened its new Turbine Rotor Repair Facility in Dammam today. The Japanese manufacturer announced plans to plans to manufacture its most advanced gas turbines in the Saudi kingdom, and use the new facility to service compressors and turbines used in petroleum and chemical plants.

Azura-Edo IPP to startup 8 months early

Oct 12 – Azura Power Holdings has announced that its 450 MW Auzura-Edo Independent Power Project (IPP) will be ready to start operations eight months ahead of schedule. First fire is planned in December this year, for commissioning to be finalised for a start-up in May 2018.

Evaluating GT owners take on dry air injection

Oct 11 – Sargent & Lundy has been hired by gas turbine (GT) owners to analyze the impact of Turbophase dry air injection system at different site conditions. Turbophase installed on multiple gas turbine frames over the past years, clocking up thousands of run-time hours.

Gas turbine market tops $24bn by 2022

Oct 10 – The global market for gas turbine is growing at an annual rate of 5.3% to reach $24.12 billion by 2020, according to htfmarketreport. Increasing demand distributed power generation, technology advancement, and more stringent regulations on carbon emissions are fuelling the market growth.

Trump nominates pro-coal lawyer as EPA deputy

Oct 9 – US President Donald Trump has nominated Andrew R. Wheeler, a lawyer whose clients include the coal mining firm Murry Energy, as the deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Wheeler opposes Obama’s Clean Power Plan and supported the US coal industry’s opposition to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Tokyo Engineering to finish new Azeri CCGT by May 2018

Oct 6 – Japan’s Tokyo Engineering Corp is building a new combined-cycle gas power unit at the Shimal power plant in Baku. The 409-MW unit is schedule to start full commercial operation in May 2018. Project costs, estimated to exceed $330 million, are partly covered by a $275 million loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

Spain’s gas demand up 13% in September

Oct 5 – Demand for natural gas in Spain has increased by 13% to 26,153 GWh in September, the highest level in the past five years. Gas-burn in the power sector was up 44% month-on-month, reaching 7,085 GWh.

Capstone to deliver C1000s to Italy

Oct 4 – Capstone Turbine Corp has received an order for a C1000 Signature Series microturbine to provide combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) for a large cured meat company in Veneto, Italy. IBT Group, Capstone’s Italian distributor, secured the order for the plant, which is due to be commissioned in early 2018.

Marubeni invests in biomass co-fired plant

Oct 3 – Marubeni Thermal Power has signed a shareholder agreement with Tokuyama and Tokyo Century Corp to invest in the latter’s the construction and operation of a biomass co-firing power project in Shunan City. Preparation for construction works are getting underway this month, for a start of commercial operation in 2022.

Puerto Rico powered by fuel oil in the wake of Hurricane Maria

Oct 2 – Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is busy trying to restart power plants as well as transmission and distribution lines after Hurricane Maria hit the island earlier this month. In the absence of firm natural gas supply, PREA turned to Puma Energy to purchase fuel oil for emergency power generators.

Wärtsilä helps boost offgrid power in India

Sept 29 – Wärtsilä’s Indian office is supporting Arkay Energy (Rameswarm) to boost electrical output and productivity of its 150 MW baseload power plant in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, in southern India. An O&M deal for the plant's 16 Wärtsilä 34SG engines was renewed in June 2017 for another five years.

GE builds Turkey’s largest generator transformer at Gebze

Sept 28 – TERNA, the construction arm of GEK TERNA Group, has asked GE to manufacture what will become the Turkey’s largest generator transformer. The 820 MVA is being built in Gebze and scheduled for completion in mid-2018, when it will be installed at the Ptolemais power plant in Greece.

PowerLink IP launched

Sept 27 – Siemens has launched PowerLink IP, a power line carrier (PLC) for digital high-voltage substations. It uses the high-voltage lines between the substations as a channel by overlaying a modulated carrier frequency on the frequency of the transmission voltage in the overhead lines.

Hyundai wins 1st EPC contract in Nigeria

Sept 26 – Kingline Development Nigeria has awarded a $330 million contract to Hyundai Engineering to carry out a engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for a power plant in Ondo, Nigeria. The 550 MW simple-cycle gas power plant will be Hyundai’s first EPC project in Nigeria, the South Korean company said. The Ondo OCGT will be built some 170km northeast of Lagos.

Australia: Cap on LNG exports looms large

Sept 26 – Santos, Shell and ConocoPhillips face restrictions on exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia’s east coast in 2018 if they fail to prevent a projected 17% shortfall in domestic supply. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he would press the east coast LNG exporters to plug the 110 petajoules supply gap.