Daily News

Toning down its green energy ambitions, the Government of South Korea has backed away from plans to convert four out of nine planed coal-fired power plant projects to run on natural gas. Instead, only one coal-to-gas conversion is now likely to go ahead, the country’s energy minister said over the weekend.

Strong seasonal gas demand this winter for power generation and heating, along with high spot LNG prices in Asia and Europe, are forecast to push up US LNG export volumes. Utilization at Sabine Pass is projected to remain well above 90% in winter 2017–2018, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) anticipates.

Inaugurating a 1,263-megawatt LNG-fuelled power plant in Jhang on Saturday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi pointed out the swift project execution and start-up, contrary to what he called the previous government’s “failed rental power plants.”

South Africa’s national utility, Eskom, would benefit its ratepayers and investors by decommissioning its older coal-fired power units and scaling back construction of the controversial 4,800-MW Kusile coal power plant project, said Grové Steyn, lead economist at Meridian Economics in Cape Town. In his view, “South Africa does not for the foreseeable future need a new national nuclear-, coal- or gas-to-power construction program.”

In the South of the United States the intensity and speed of gas replacing coal in the power mix has been greater than anywhere else in the country. Over the course of the past ten years, southern states used natural gas for 42% of their electricity generation – substantially more than the U.S. average of 34% – while the share of coal power plunged to 29%.

Spark Cognition, a global artificial intelligence (AI) technology leader, and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas are working together to advance AI applications in MHPS-Tomoni. This new digital platform from MHPS optimizes power plant processes through cognitive analytics, prioritizing customer collaboration.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has just disclosed that customers in Asia, the U.S., Mexico and South America have technically selected the M501JAC for their projects 26 times, representing over 14 GW of new power projects. MHPS's new JAC-class turbine has unprecedented statistics – 99.5% reliability while approaching 65% efficiency.

By 2019, about 600 MW of Jamaica’s generation will be powered by natural gas and renewables, exceeding the current 580 MW daily average. To help advance this goal, New Fortress Energy (NFE) has pledged to invest close to $1 billion into the country’s gas and power sector – the latest milestone being the ground breaking for a $265 million LNG-fuelled combined heat and power plant (CHP) at Jamalco’s Halse Hall headquarters in Clarendon.

The board of TransAlta Corp has approved additional elements in the company’s strategy to transition to gas and renewables generation. This includes a letter of intent to build a 120km gas pipeline from Tidewater's Brazeau River Complex to TransAlta's generating units at Sundance and Keephills, eventually supplying up to 340 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Tianjin Pauway Power Equipment Co. has commissioned an emergency power supply system based on ten 20-cylinder MTU Series 4000 engines for a new data centre, operated by the Chinese internet provider Sinnet in Beijing. The brand MTU is part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

Gulf Energy, Thailand’s third largest power producer, has made its market debut today at the Thai Stock Exchange. The IPO was Thailand's largest corporate listing in a decade, raising 24 billion baht ($736.20 million). The company said it will use most of the funds to finance new gas-fuelled power plants with a view to reach over 11.1 GW in installed capacity by 2024.

Gemma Power System has selected Matrix North American Construction (Matrix NAC) as a subcontractor to carry out critical equipment erection work during for Exelon West Medway II – a 200 MW dual-fuel simple cycle power plant in Medway, Massachusetts. As the EPC contractor for the Medway II project, Gemma has commissioned Matrix to install the plant’s centerline and erect the stacks and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved debt financing and partial risk guarantees worth $583 million to help Reliance of India develop a $1billion project in Bangladesh, consisting of an LNG import terminal near Kutubdia Island and adjacent gas power generation.

Decentralized generation, independent power production, and microgrids are vital enablers to drive reliable power supply in both emerging economies. To that end, EnPro Industries company Fairbank Morse introduced  at POWER-GEN International a PoweReliability-as-a-Service platform, powered by its new Trident OP engine that is based on a fuel-efficient opposed piston architecture.

Russia’s independent energy company Novatek said today’s start of production at Yamal LNG’s first 5.5mtpa liquefaction train opens “a new chapter in our corporate history.” The first LNG tanker will set sail on December 8, Novatek said, stressing it has completed the $25 billion project on time and on budget.

News in Brief

China’s gas production up 2.3% in Dec-2017

Jan 23 – Robust winter demand has propelled up gas prices in Northern China, prompting the government to ease restrictions on coal-burn for power generation. Domestic gas production subsequently increased. In December alone, gas production stood at 13.61 Bcm, up 2.3% year on year - the highest monthly rise since 2010, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Electric vehicle market on the up

Jan 22 – Electric car deployment is swift in some markets: In Norway, electric cars had a 29% market share last year, the highest globally, followed by the Netherlands with 6.4%, and Sweden with 3.4%. Globally, the number of electric cars on the roads rose to 2 million in 2016, following a year of strong growth in 2015, according to of the International Energy Agency’s latest Global EV Outlook. China was the largest EV market in 2016, accounting for more than 40% of new sales.

Bahrain to commence tight gas drilling

Jan 19 – Bahrain’s oil ministry is in talks with Schlumberger, Haliburton and others to start the development of its tight gas reserves in the course of this year, notably large deposits within the onshore Kuff reservoir. The drive to tap its own gas reserves complement’s Bahrain’s ongoing construction of an LNG import terminal, designed to balance seasonal demand.

Siemens rebrands its HSRG arm

Jan 18 – Siemens has rebranded and renamed its full subsidiary NEM Energy into Siemens Heat Transfer Technology (HTT). Headquartered in the Netherlands, NEM Energy mainly designs, engineers and sells components for power plants: Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HSRG), Waste Heat Recovery Units (WHRUs), Exhaust & Diverter Systems and related equipment.

CPUC rules to replace gas plants with energy storage

Jan 17 – California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has ruled that Calpine needs to replace three gas-fired peaking power plants with energy storage facilities by 2019, “if feasible and at a reasonable cost to ratepayers.” Calpine had initially sought regulatory permission to maintain “must-run status” for the two 47-MW peaking plants in Feather River and Yuba and a 605-MW gas power plant in Metcalf.

Control System market to top 6.2bn by 2022

Jan 16 – As more and more emphasis gets placed on alternative energy production, the market for power plant control systems is set to grow at an annual growth rate of 5.78%, expanding from $4.70 billion in the past year to $6.22 billion by 2022. According to MarketsandMarkets, top players in this electricity management are ABB, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Emerson and GE.

California to close last nuke in 2025

Jan 15 – The Public Utility Commission has reached an agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to close California's last nuclear power plant reactors at Diablo Canyon by 2025. As the state’s largest power plant, Diablo Canyon currently covers 9% of California’s electricity needs.

Halyard hands out EPC contract for Texas peaking plant

Jan 12 – Lauren Engineers & Constructors has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a 348MW natural gas-fired peaking power plant in Texas from Halyard Energy Wharton, a part of Halyard Energy Ventures.

Bord Gáis to develop battery storage, not OCGT in Kilkenny

Jan 11 – Kilkenny County Council is processing an application Greener Ideas, a joint venture set up in 2009 between Bord Gáis Energy and Mountside Properties,for the construction of a 100MW battery energy storage system. Initially the project partners intended to develop an open-cycle gas turbines power plant on the site which is now listed for the battery project.

L&T commissions 360-MW Bheramara plant

Jan 10 – Larsen & Tourbo, the India-based engineering firm, has commissioned and handed over the 360-MW Bheramara gas power plant to North West Power Generation Company, a subsidiary of Bangladesh Power Development Board. L&T said it had carried out EPC for the plant which was built on a turnkey basis for Marubeni, with gas and steam turbines supplied by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS).

Floating power market to hit $1.4bn by 2022

Jan 9 – The floating power plant market is expected to grow from an estimated $889.6 million in 2017 to $1,440.1 million by 2022, growing at an average annual rate of 10.11% through to 2022. According to MarketsandMarkets, growth in this sector is spurred rising electricity demand in remote areas combined with benefits of floating vs. land-based power projects, e.g. issues related to land acquisition.

Israeli refinery to build 135-MW captive power plant

Jan 8 – ORL, Israel's largest refining and petrochemicals group, has confirmed plans to build a 135-MW gas-fired heat and power plant that will eventually be expanded to 340-MW. The cogeneration plant will produce both steam and electricity to power ORL's own operations, replacing an old coal-fired unit. Gas supply for the new CHP will be sourced via Energean from two offshore Israeli gas fields.

JERA sells 6% stake in New York gas power plant

Jan 5 – Japan’s JERA, a fuel joint venture between Tepco and Chubu Electric, has sold 6% of its equity interest in Cricket Valley Energy Center, the operator of 1,100-MW combined-cycle gas power plant under construction in Dover, New York. The buyer of the JERA’s equity stake is the Development Bank of Japan which is already invested in the project.

Pipeline blast halves Nigeria’s power output

Jan 4 – A fire at the NNPC-operated Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline in Nigeria’s southern Edo state has halted gas supply to the 1,320-MW Egbin power plant and five others, according to a statement by the Nigerian Power, Works and Housing Ministry. In total, the pipeline blast interrupted gas supplies to utilities generating more than 3,000-MW. The sudden load change tripped Nigeria’s power grid.

US biodiesel output rises despite tax credits expiry

Dec 21 – Biodiesel production levels in the United States were slightly higher in the first nine month of 2017 than in the previous year, despite the expiration of a federal biodiesel blender's tax credit at the end of 2016. The EIA forecasts a continued increased of domestic US biodiesel production due to changes to import policies which will make it more difficult to import biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.

Aggreko to implement Q-Pulse in 200 sites

Dec 20 – Aggreko, a leading provider of modular mobile power gensets, will install Ideagen’s Q-Pulse software in 200 locations worldwide. Once implemented at Aggreko’s regional hubs, the Q-Pulse software will enable around 200 supplier surveillance audits per year. Live data from the system will also allow Aggreko to assess trends and potential risks from across the business quickly and efficiently.

TimkenSteel to use NextGen off-gas analysis system

Dec 19 – TimkenSteel has placed an order to install Tenova’s NextGen off-gas analysis system, iEAF dynamic process control and water detection at its Faircrest steel plant in Canton, Ohio. When fully implemented, the three technologies combined will help reduce energy consumption, improve water leak detection and increase the plant’s overall productivity.