Markets

South Korea has risen high on the agenda of Siemens, Germany's engineering giant, who is targeting the country as a key growth market for gas turbine sales.

Sales prospects and revenue generated in Asia and the Middle East currently more than offsets reduced earnings in ailing European markets, says Lothar Balling, Head of Gas Turbine Power Plant Solutions in the Fossil Power Generation Division at Siemens Energy.

Germany's largest utility E.on said it has no intention of building additional gas or coal-fired capacity in western Europe until 2020 as it expects markets to be oversupplied with power generation capacity until the final shutdown of all German nuclear reactors.

Hong Kong has secured sufficient natural gas supplies from China but pricing issues constrain operators to switch from coal-to-gas generation, Larry Chuen-Ho Chow, Director, Hong Kong Energy Studies Centre at Hong Kong Baptist University told Gas to Power Journal.

Investment in combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGTs) power plants in Germany are "highly problematic" as decreasing, even negative clean spark spreads resulting from reduced runtime hours have cut profit margins to zero". Unless capacity remuneration mechanisms are introduced, PricewaterhouseCoopers sees no market signals that could convince operators to build new plants.

During the first half of 2012, new gas-fired and renewable capacity has dominated power plant additions in the United States. As total of 165 new electric power plants were added in the 33 federal states, with combined new capacity of 8,098 megawatts (MW), according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Whether US operators choose to dispatch electric generators largely depends on system demand for electricity and the relative cost of operating the plant, a report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows.

Doosan Heavy Industries (Doosan HI) is considering local investment in India with the aim of better tapping into the country's rapidly growing power generation market.

Russian gas exports to Europe have dropped 14.5% to 32.8 Bcm in the second quarter of 2012 on reduced offtake volumes from Gazprom's continental European buyers who prefer coal over gas generation.

Germany's second-largest utility RWE on Tuesday announced it will cut more than 2,400 jobs as first-half year profit came in 'unchanged', while electricity sales fell 8 percent and gas sales dropped 11 percent. "The present framework conditions are anything but favourable", Peter Terium, RWE chief executive said when presenting the H1 results in Essen today.

As profitability at several of E.on's conventional gas- and coal-fired power plants across Europe is squeezed due to reduced operating hours and low power prices, E.on chief executive Johannes Teyssen said plant closures may have to be considered.

Average on-peak wholesale electricity prices in the US have plunged between 24% and 39% across major price hubs from January to June this year as natural gas prices fell to a 10-year low, according to EIA statistics.

German utility E.on today posted a Eur2.4 billion increase in its H1 earning to Eur6.7 billion, largely due to successful gas negotiations with suppliers.

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News in Brief

Oseberg upstream shifts from oil to gas

Nov 29 – Equinor has announced plans to invest 10 billion Norwegian crowns ($995M) to change the Oseberg field from primarily being an oil field to becoming a substantial natural gas producer with large remaining gas resources. Oseberg is the third-largest oil producing filed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and the operator has submitted and amended development plan to the energy ministry.

ABB, Metacon and Wärtsilä partner on hydrogen

Nov 26 – ABB, Wärtsilä, Metacon affiliate Helbio, and the classification society RINA are jointly working on delivering a power solution for marine application that is fuelled by hydrogen. The aim is to have a scalable solution that will exceed the IMO 2050 target for a 70% reduction in carbon intensity without the need for extensive investment in new infrastructure. Wärtsilä gas engines can already run on a mix of hydrogen and LNG, and the company strives run them 100% on hydrogen fuel in the near future.

Wärtsilä enters Belgian energy storage market

Nov 25 – Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply a 25 MW / 100 MWh energy storage system to a Belgium customer, marking its entry into the Belgian energy storage market. The order was booked to Wärtsilä’s order intake in October 2021, and the system is scheduled to start operating in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Triveni agrees with GEAE Tech to manufacture LM2500 turbine in India

Nov 25 – Triveni Engineering & Industries has signed a 10-year accord with GEAE Technology USA to produce the LM2500 gas turbine base and enclosure locally in India. The turbine is the chosen propulsion equipment for many surface combatant vessels of the Indian Navy.

Wärtsilä launches lighter IQ-Series scrubber

Nov 24 – Wärtsilä has launched a new IQ Series exhaust gas treatment system, designed by its Exhaust Treatment business unit in Moss, Norway. Designed with a smaller footprint, the new scrubber takes up 25% less space, is 30% lighter, and has 35% less volume which makes it particularly adapt for use on container ships, but also for stationary engines.

Afreximbank signs loan for Aba IPP in Nigeria

Nov 23 – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a $50 million term loan facility for the Aba Integrated Power Project (IPP) in Nigeria, which comprises of a 141 MW gas-fired power plant and a 27-kilometer feeder pipeline and a distribution utility. Before greenlighting the loan, the bank advised projects sponsor Geometric Power on restructuring sol-called “gap capital” in the $332 million recapitalisation funds for the Aba IPP.

SiGreen tracks products’ emissions data

Nov 22 – Siemens has developed an ecosystem-based approach to calculate Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) with a with a view to track and reduce emissions. SiGreen helps exchange emission data along the supply-chain and combine it with data from a company’s own value creation to obtain a product’s true carbon footprint.

ELGi expands oil-free compressor series

Nov 19 – Belgium-based ELGi Compressors Europe has marketed introduced four new air compressors, the AB11, AB15, AB18 and AB22 that expand the company’s AB Series portfolio, ranging from 11KW to 110KW. The new the AB11-22 range helps customers optimize moisture separation, cooling and capacity control which directly translates into savings on electricity use.

Double-digit growth seen for GT market

Nov 18 – The market for gas turbines (GT) is forecast to witness a double-digit growth between 2021 and 2028, according to Global Market Vision projections. Leading manufacturers surveyed in the consultancy’s latest report include Doosan, Mitsubishi, MJB International, Siemens, GE, PW Power Systems, Solar Turbines, Dresser-Rand, Kawasaki, MAN Diesel & Turbo, OPRA Technologies, MTU Aero Engines, Wood Group and Chromalloy Gas Turbine.

Gazprom aims to increase contractual supply to VNG

Nov 17 – Russia’s Gazprom is in negotiations with VNG, one of Germany’s largest gas importers, to extending long-term gas supply contracts and “increase the supply volume thereunder.” Leipzig-based VNG imports and stores Russian gas in Germany’s eastern states and Berlin, and together with Gazprom it is building the Katharina underground gas storage (UGS) project with a design capacity of 650 million cubic meters (mmcm) of working gas volume and 26 mmcm daily withdrawal rate. The Katharina UGS is due completed in 2025.

Eaton offers IFPM73 fluid purifier with higher flow rate

Nov 15 – The Filtration Division of energy management company Eaton has added a higher volume flow rate system to its IFPM series of PLC-controlled, mobile, off-line fluid purifiers. Complementing the IFPM 33, which has a flow rate of 8 gpm (30 l/min), the new IFPM 73 has over double the flow rate of 20 gpm (70 l/min) for purifying oils and gas liquids stored in large tanks and reservoirs. 

General Fusion sets up new base in Tennessee

Nov 12 – General Fusion has set up a new operations base in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as it seeks to commercialize fuson technology in collaboration with national laboratories, universities, and the U.S. government. This expansion will create up to 50  technical jobs. 

Bloom Energy delivers 1 MW renewable power from dairy farm waste

Nov 10 – Bloom Energy has been contracted to deploy a 1 MW fuel cell at Bar 20 Dairy Farms in Kerman, California, to produce on-site, renewable electricity from dairy cow manure. Dairy biogas contains up to 65% methane and the waste-to-energy project captures methane that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. The installation marks Bloom’s first biogas project.

German TSOs want three phased-out coal plants as backup

Nov 9 – Three hard coal-fired power plants in Germany, due for phase-out and decommissioning next summer,  might have to stay onstream to ensure supply security after regional TSOs said the units were “system relevant”. It is now up to the federal grid agency BNetzA to decide whether the three plants, owned by Uniper, RWE and STEAG and situated in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW), will be given permission to stay operational or whether they need to be retrofitted or shuttered.

Wärtsilä to service GasLog LNG carriers

Nov 8 – Greek shipowner and operator GasLog has selected Wärtsilä to service and maintain ten of its very large LNG carriers. The agreement, signed in June, covers the vessels’ twin two-stroke dual-fuel main engines and includes AI-based condition monitoring and advanced asset diagnostic services.

EU CO2 price in focus of German climate policy

Nov 5 – Germany should think of its climate policy plans on a European and ultimately global level, economists Gabriel Felbermayr (Wifo Institute Kiel), Clemens Füst (Ifo Institute Munich) and Jens Südekum (University of Düsseldorf) said in a joint statement. The economists call for a Europe-wide CO2 price to act as a central instrument to reduce emissions whereby the EU emissions trading system should include all sectors, notably heavy industry and transport.

Transport sector struggles with 2030 climate goals

Nov 4 – Germany's new government must agree on a wide variety of policy instruments to achieve its 2030 climate target in the transport sector, a Prognos report says. "A high CO2 price alone is not enough to reach the tightened climate targets," analysts find, adding that "an ambitious mix of measures is necessary” to have a chance of meeting the new goals which are still subject to much controversy.