Projects & Finance

NorthWestern Energy has contracted Caterpillar to supply six Cat G20CM34 gas gensets to replace combustion turbines currently operating at the Huron Generating Station in South Dakota. Construction activities will begin in July, with a view to starting commercial operation at the end of 2021.

Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has awarded 5 stars to the Waad Al Shamal integrated solar and combined cycle power plant (ISCC) project for environment, health and safety standards. The plant consists of 50 MW solar plus 1,000 MW thermal capacity (four GE 7F gas turbines) and is due to enter service this fall.

GE has completed the first major inspection project in China since the coronavirus outbreak. Modernisation of two 9E.03 turbines at the 360 MW Baochang power plant, Guangdong province, was delivered safe and ahead of schedule on behalf of Shenzhen Baochang Power Supply Company.

Though travel restrictions are still in place in the Dominican Republic to contain the coronavirus, Siemens is striving to deliver a barge-mounted power plant, based on SGT-800 gas turbine, on time and on budget. The 145 MW Estrella del Mar III is due to start operations by spring 2021.

National Grid has secured the first multi export credit agency (ECA) covered loan for the Viking Link, a 1,400 MW subsea power cable between the UK and Denmark. The $743 million financing package is made up of $488 million from SACE Export Credit and $255 million from Euler Hermes.

Afghan conglomerate Ghazanfar Group and HA Utilities, part of Egypt's construction giant Hassan Allam Holdings, have set up a joint venture to build a gas-fired power plant at Mazar-e-Sharif. The 59 MW plant will come at an estimated cost of $89 million.

Mutual Energy has selected Siemens to refurbish the Moyle Interconnector between Ballycronan More in County Antrim, Northern Ireland (NI), and Auchencrosh, Scotland. The 500 MW high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link is nearly 20 years old. Refurbishment works and installation of a new HVDC Classic system are due completed in September 2022.

MAN Energy Solutions is supplying three 18V51/60TS engines to expand the Kossodo power plant in Burkina Faso. Situated in a suburb of the capital Ouagadougou, the plant extension will add 55 MW of electrical power – enough for a 20% boost of installed power gen capacity in the West African country.

Tennet, Germany’s largest power transmission system operator, has contracted Tractebel to build a 380 kilovolt (kV) overhead power line. The aim is to bring wind energy from northern Germany’s numerous wind parks to energy-intensive industrial regions further south.

Techint’s Norte III combined cycle power plant in Mexico has started commercial operation, driven by four GE 7F.04 gas turbines, four GE H33 generators and two steam turbines from Toshiba. GE will operate and maintain the 907 MW plant, located in Ciudad Juárez, for the next 25 years.

Edge Gathering Virtual Pipelines 2, better known as Edge LNG, has been selected by EXCO Resources to capture and liquefy gas from a stranded well in the Marcellus Shale. The gas is being trucked to electric utility customers in the Northeast (NE) of the United States.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has re-configured its 163 MW Humboldt Bay Generating Station to provide electricity for Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events. Part of HBGS’ capacity hereby gets separated from regular grid dispatch for use exclusively to re-energise towns in northern California in the event of a blackout.

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News in Brief

Mitsubishi produces methanol in Trinidad

Jan 20 – Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company has launched commercial operations of a methanol and dimethyl ether plant in Trinidad and Tobago. The plant has an annual production capacity of one million tons of methanol and 20,000 tons of dimethyl ether, which can be used as an alternative fuel for cars and power generation.

First 8-cylinder B36:45 engine delivered

Jan 19 – Rolls-Royce has delivered the first 8-cylinder variant of its Bergen B36:45 gas engine to a tomato producer in Belgium. The medium speed genset is planned for delivery this spring and will drive an onsite power plant that generates 4700 kW electricity and 5520 kW heat. The new engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder and will replace an existing Bergen 12-cylinder B35:40 genset.

Moody’s upgrades Enel to Baa1

Jan 18 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Enel’s long-term rating to Baa1, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects Enel’s progress in reducing its risk profile, analysts said, pointing at the Italian utilities ongoing investment in networks and renewables, growing geographical diversification and focus on centralised financing.

GE sues Siemens Energy

Jan 15 – General Electric has sued its German rival Siemens Energy over the alleged use of stolen trade secrets to win gas turbine contracts worth several billion dollars. GE told the US district court in Virginia that Siemens received the secret information from a Dominion Energy employee.

Orbital Energy launches Eclipse

Jan 14 – Nasdaq-listed Orbital Energy Group has launched a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation, a drilled shaft construction company. The new company specialises in providing services for power transmission and substations, communication tower and a disaster restoration through emergency power.

S’Korean coal and LNG imports slide

Jan 13 – South Korea’s imports of thermal coal and LNG have fallen 12% and 11%, respectively, as the government cracks down on fossil fuel usage to curb air pollution. Customs data shows that coal imports amounted to 10.2 million tons in December, down 1.4 million tons from the same month last year but up from November’s imports of 9.5 million tons.

SMC builds 1.7 GW CCGT in Batangas

Jan 13 – Excellent Energy Resources, part of SMC Global Power Holdings, is building a 1,700 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Barangay Dela Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City with investments of about 67.863 billion Philippine Pesos ($1.41bn). The project is estimated to be completed in 36 to 40 months.

UK’s National Grid issues supply warning

Jan 12 – Natural gas prices in the UK surged as National Grid issued warnings on supply deficit as LNG cargoes are being diverted to North Asia. Prices at the British NBP gas trading hub soared to the equivalent of $8.95 per MMBtu, while the JKM price for North Asian spot LNG cargoes for February 2021 was last at $19.700 per MMBt.

Fortistar invests in hydrogen

Jan 11 – Fortistar, a privately-held fund, has joined an equity investment of up to $157 million in hydrogen producer BayoTech. Cottonwood Technology Funds and the New Mexico State Investment Council also participated in the latest financing round. BayoTech’s systems produce local hydrogen close to the application, serving end users in the industrial gas and petrochemical segment as well as those who use of hydrogen to power fuel cells.

Ashtead appoints new CFO

Jan 5 - Ashtead Technology has appointed a chief financial officer (CFO) and five managers for newly created roles across its international team. The appointments are meant to cement the company’s position in the offshore energy market, including offshore wind and decommissioning of thermal power plants

NFE secures LNG for Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua

Dec 23 – New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to purchase Henry-Hub-indexed LNG for its integrated gas and power businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. The New York-based project developer said it now has covered 80% of its expected needs throughout Latin America, thus reducing its need for spot purchases and its exposure to changes in the market price for LNG.

China and Korea mandate coal-to-gas switch

Dec 22 – The Chinese government has launched a coal-to-gas boiler switching programme, targeting 7.1 million homes, which makes gas demand more weather-sensitive this winter. Similarly, South Korea mandated the closure of 15 coal-fired plants since the start of December in an effort to reduce air pollution. Analysts expect this will accelerate the drawdown of LNG terminal inventories going into Q1-2021.

GE repowers oil field in Brazil

Dec 21 – GE Power Conversion has been awarded a contract by Sulzer Pumps UK to supply motors for four water injection pumps of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The 8,000 kW, two pole motors will run at 3,600 rpm with a limitation of the starting current at 300%, enabling the oil and gas field operator to optimise the generator which supplies electricity on the FPSO.

VELO distributes Sapphire Metal 3D-Printers in the US

Dec 18 – California-based VELO3D has formed a distribution partnership with GoEngineer for Flow pre-print software, Sapphire metal AM printer, and Assure quality assurance and controls. GoEngineer will be VELO’s only distributor in the United States.

Indian electric boats to achieve zero emissions

Dec 17 – Cochin Shipyard, India’s largest shipbuilder, has asked Siemens Energy to equip India’s first fleet of 23 boats with electric propulsion drive train, integrated with batteries and vessel automation. Combining the electric propulsion drive trains, energy storage, and automation systems is expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption.

Terna BESS auction six times oversubscribed

Dec 16 – A pilot auction, held by the Italian TSO Terna, for battery energy storage systems (BESS) to provide reserve grid services has been six times oversubscribed. The auction was held with an expectation that around 230 MW would be on offer, but Terna received 1,327 MW worth of bids and eventually awarded contracts for 249.9 MW.

New £150m link to UK’s Easington terminal

Dec 15 – National Grid has completed a gas pipeline under the River Humber, build in 18 months and at a cost £150 million, as new link to the import terminal at Easington. Following commissioning, the pipeline is now operational and can now transport between 70 to 100 million cubic metres - around a quarter of Britain's gas needs.

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