Markets

Global Power Equipment Group said it "remains optimistic regarding future prospects for new natural gas-fired power generation projects", despite posting a drop in Q2 revenue to $94.7 million, down from $138.3 million due to shipment delays and reduced maintenance services.

Japan's high gas-to-power to backfill nuclear generation capacity will be a key driver to prolong the diversion of LNG cargoes from Europe to Asia until 2015, UK investment bank Barclays said in a research note.

Power generation companies have built fewer power plants in the US during the first six months of 2012. New-build capacity dropped by 927 MW as operators realised 54 plant units less than in the first half of 2011, according to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Spot-price elements in long-term gas purchase contracts (LTCs) are required for new gas power projects to ensure enough gas is supplied at a sufficiently low price. "Since the end of 2008, the price level of supply contracts for [gas fired power plants] has often been above the level required for a commercially attractive use in power generation," Uli Brunner, energy expert, PA Consulting Group told Gas to Power Journal.

German utility E.ON said today it expects its first-half underlying net income to be around EUR 3.3bn, more than trippling in value from EUR 0.9bn in the previous year.

The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is facing further cuts in gas supply from the Reliance-operated Krishna-Godavari basin which will reduce gas-to-power generation by another 400-700 MW, exacerbating the energy shortage in the region. 

The profit margin of gas-fired power plants in Germany has dropped to a 4-year low, as the clean spark spread for baseload 2013 delivery has plunged to minus Eur8/MWh at the end of last week. Utilities can only operate their gas plants profitably for generating power for higher priced peak load hours between 8am and 8pm local time.

The price advantage of US LNG exported to Europe over gas prices at the UK National Balancing Point (NBP) is seen to drop to "virtually nil" over the 2016-2020 period. The lack of a price discount means that "US LNG exports cannot directly displace gas into Europe, but could free up flexible LNG supplies which otherwise would have been imported into Asia," analyst Michael Lewis said in a report today.

French-Belgian utility GDF Suez is planning to mothball a total of 1.6 GW of fossil – mainly gas-fired – generation capacity in the period in this and the coming year, Jean Francois Cirelli, the company's vice chairman and president said.

India's power ministry has appointed an expert committee to investigate the reasons for the massive grid failure that affected 600 million people, nearly half of the country's total population on Tuesday, July 31, across all northern states. The new power minister, Veerappa Moily, who took charge late yesterday, declared that the grid is now functioning normally.

An unabated speed of the current switch from coal to gas generation in the U.S. would place at least 49 GW of coal-fired capacity at risk for retirement by 2020, according to the reference case in EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012).

Texas-based Global Power Equipment Group has closed a $31.5 million deal to buy Koontz-Wagner Custom Controls Holdings ahead of schedule in a bit to strengthen its position as a leading manufacturer of natural gas turbine auxiliary equipment. The acquisition "marks the first of what we believe could be many more", said Global Power CEO Luis Manuel Ramírez.

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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.