Projects & Finance

Maxima-Flevo, a combined cycle plant owned by the French utility ENGIE, will get the world’s first MXL3 turbine upgrade by Ansaldo Energia in spring 2023. The current output of power unit-5 will be boosted by up to 35 MW, driven by the first F-class turbine in Europe to reach over 60% efficiency.

Zukunftsenergie Nordostbayern (ZENOB) and Siemens Smart Infrastructure have signed a letter of intent (LoI) for the turnkey construction of a 100 MW battery storage unit in the German town of Wunsiedel. With 200 MWh storage capacity, the lithium-ion battery will use surplus renewable energy to balance demand peaks in the Bavarian power grid.

As the US West Coast is caught in a cycle of extreme heat, drought and fire, a utility in Washington State has urged GenCell to provide G5 hydrogen-fuelled alkaline fuel cells as a back-up power source. Douglas PUD will run the G5s on its own hydrogen, making the fuel cells cheaper than diesel generators.

Grapeland compressor station in Texas was upgraded within a critical 10-month delivery window during the pandemic. Siemens Energy swiftly supplied and started up two SGT-400 mechanically driven RFBB20 compressors that boost throughput of the CJ Express pipeline, running from East Texas to the US Gulf Coast, by approximately 1 Bcf/d.

Algeria’s state oil and gas company Sonatrach and the Spanish utility Naturgy will bring the expanded Medgaz interconnector into operations in the fourth quarter of 2021. Works were costing $90 million to complete and will add 2 Bcm/y, taking total supply to 10 Bcm, or 25% of Spain’s annual demand.

Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), spanning 303 miles across West Virginia and Virginia, will buy $150 million in carbon offsets for operational emissions during the first 10 years of service. Works on MVP will take until summer 2022 and it will cost more, $6.2 billion, to complete the gas interconnector.

GE Gas Power will supply Marafiq with four TM2500 aeroderivative gas turbines and subsequently build, own and operate a power plant for Tanweer at Duqm in Oman. The 80 MW ‘power plant on wheels’ can be commissioned in just five months.

Construction has started for a hydrogen generator in Wunsiedel, northern Bavaria. The 8.75 MW plant, built by Siemens Smart Infrastructure, will produce up to 1,350 tons of green hydrogen per year from summer 2022 and allow local industries to use waste heat, or oxygen split off during electrolysis.

Finish manufacturer Wärtsilä will supply generating equipment for a 156 MW engine power plant to Omaha Public Power District, a public utility in the US state of Nebraska. The multi-fuel power plant will be dispatched if and when required to balance 400 to 600 MW of solar generation.

Bechtel has been contracted to provide front-end engineering and design (FEED) for a 3,200 MW combined-cycle power plant in Bac Lieu Province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Fuelled by LNG, the plant and is developed by Delta Offshore Energy and due operational in 2023.

Metaenergia Group has contracted Wärtsilä to supply six gas-fired power plants with 380 MW combined capacity to different locations throughout Italy to help balance the grid. The plants are due operational by June 2022, just in time for the start of Italy’s new capacity market.

YPF Luz, part of the Argentinean oil and gas company YPF, is running the Central Térmica Manantiales Behr on associated gas from its oil production operations. The 58 MW peaking unit is powered by five Wärtsilä 31SG engines and was built by the Finish manufacturer under a full EPC contract.

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News in Brief

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

Gazprom evaluates cost of grey hydrogen

June 30 – Scientific studies by Gazprom and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) seek to solve technical challenges in producing grey hydrogen through steam reforming in the most cost-efficient way, as well as transporting the fuel to end-users. The findings of the studies will be factored into Gazprom's sustainable development scenarios up to 2050.

Redox about to overtake Li-ion batteries

June 28 – Li-ion batteries have dominated the energy storage field, but are expected to lose their leading role in stationary applications. According to IDTechEx findings, Redox flow batteries are gaining traction and are likely to overtake the installed Li-ion battery energy capacity before the end of 2030.

B&W proceeds with waste-to-energy projects

June 25 – Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) renewable segment has received limited notice to proceed for a waste-to-energy project in Europe as it finalizes terms for a $24 million contract with the customer. Ohio-based B&W said it looks to capitalize on an estimated addressable market of more than $7 billion in Europe over the next three years.

Japan’s gas-burn on the rise

June 24 – LNG imports for power generation in Japan have rebounded with steady volumes from the Middle East and Australia and higher cargo numbers from Russia and the US, though LNG deliveries were outpaced by thermal coal shipments. The May 2021 LNG shipments amounted to 4.95 million tonnes, or around 73 cargoes, a 8.2% rise on volumes received in May 2020, according to trade figures by the Japanese finance ministry.

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