Projects & Finance

The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has signed a 15-year operation and maintenance (O&M) agreement with Energía del Pacífico for a 378 MW power plant in El Salvador. The deal takes effect once the gas-fired plant starts operations at the end of 2021.

Manila-listed First Gen Corp. is fast-tracking a floating storage and regas unit (FSRU) to ensure continuous fuel supply for 3.2 Gigawatt (GW) gas-fired power gen capacity near Batangas City. Construction of the FSRU is slated to start in May with the aim of receiving the first LNG cargo in the autumn of 2022.

General Electric is working towards adding 3 Gigawatt of power generation capacity to the grid in Iraq before peak summer demand sets in. Overhauling Iraq’s war-turn infrastructure, GE repairs and brings back existing units and develops phase-3 of the 1.5 GW Besmaya combined-cycle gas power plant.

Iren Energia has awarded a €180 million contract to Ansaldo Energia to install a 430 MW combined-cycle power unit at the Turbigo Power Station. Once fully operational, the new CCGT unit will increase the installed capacity at the Turbigo site near Milan to 1,280 MW by summer 2022.

Ansaldo Energia is in talks with the Azerbaijani utility JSC Azerenerji to realise the new 1,000 MW Yashma combined-cycle power plant as and EPC turnkey power plant project. In addition, Ansaldo proposes to service two of Azerenerji’s existing gas combined-cycle plants under a 10-year contract.

Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, has asked Wärtsilä to deliver 100 MW energy storage for projects in Oxford and Kent by the end of December 2020. The two lithium-ion batteries will be Pivot’s first units as it aims to own and operated up to 2 GW grid-connected energy storage in the UK.

The first battery-assisted black start of a GE 7F.03 gas turbine has been completed at Entergy’s Perryville Power Station in Louisiana. The battery was used to re-bout the idle 150 MW open-cycle power plant, without support from the grid.

Terna, operator of Italy’s high-voltage power transmission grid, has awarded a 70 million Euros order to Ansaldo Energia and ABB to improve the quality of grid services. Ansaldo will design, supply and install three synchronous condensers, each rated 250 MVAR, in central and southern Italy in 2022.

Mobile power provider Aggreko has signed a 4-year contract to provide a hybrid power and energy storage solution for an upstream company in Argentina’s remote Patagonia region. The integrated battery storage will allow the gas-fired generator to take large steps in electric load, without compromising voltage and frequency.

Saudi Aramco has received regulatory approval to develop the Al-Jafurah unconventional gas field in the Eastern Province. State-run Aramco said it will invest $110 billion to start commercial production by early 2024, in line with the government’s goal to turn Saudi Arabia into a gas and petrochemical exporter.

Sempra Energy's Mexican subsidiary IEnova has seen fourth quarter earnings rise 22 percent to $253.4 million as the South Texas-Tuxpan pipeline went in service. However, these gains were partially offset by the revenue deferment at the Guaymas-El Oro gas pipeline.

Venture Global has awarded Siemens a contract to supply and install three boil-off compressor (BOG) packages for the Calcasieu Pass LNG project, currently under construction. Kiewit, the project’s EPC contractor, selected Siemens as equipment supplier.

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News in Brief

American ISOs to delay grid investments

March 27 – North America’s independent system operators (ISO) are considering delaying investments in grid upgrades and enhancement as electricity demand weakens due to industry shutdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic. PJM Interconnection, the largest U.S. bulk power market which spans 13 Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, revised its daily forecast of about 100,000 MW of load but actual demand came in at 95,500 MW.

Wärtsilä starts combustion trials using ammonia

March 26 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has initiated combustion trials using ammonia in an effort to reduce emissions. Based on initial results, the tests will be continued on both dual-fuel and spark-ignited gas engines, followed by field tests in collaboration with ship owners from 2022, and potentially also with energy customers.

Xodus sees growth in cable services

March 25 – Xodus Group has stepped up services related to subsea power cables over the last twelve months. The number of new consulting assignments grew by more than 50%, resulting in more than 70 active work streams that are handled by more 30 permanent staff.

Electricity “more indispensible than ever”

March 24 – Disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis lay bare how much modern societies rely on electricity, according to the International Energy Agency (IAE). Millions of people are mandated to stay home, causing a surge in teleworking, e-commerce and video streaming which pushes up domestic electricity use.

U.S. frackers cut Capex

March 23 – Sharp cuts in capital spending among Appalachian gas producers are now being replicated in other U.S. basis, with Energy Aspects anticipating the deepest impact on production and earnings to take place starting from the second half of 2020. So far, E&P companies just hedged 52% of this year’s expected production even though some Appalachian producers are seen “lock in some pure gas volumes at prices above the curve.”

EV makers face bankrupcy

March 20 – Electric vehicles (EVs) remain particularly exposed to the corona effect of supply-side constraints and demand erosion. Gigafactory facilities are likely to be delayed and fledging EV manufacturers could face bankruptcy, Wood Mackenzie warns. On the flip side, declines in EV sector demand may be gains for the stationary energy storage segment.

Manufacturing rebounds in Asia

March 19 – Asian-dominant supply chains for solar and energy storage are gradually rebounding after contractions in February. Moving forward, Wood Mackenzie expects near-term development activity and local logistics in leading European and North American markets will outweigh lingering supply issues.

Italy’s gas demand plunges

March 18 – Corona-struck Italy has seen demand for natural gas plunge 8% from the previous week, with similar declines likely in other EU countries as national governments impose lockdowns to contain the virus. Industrial demand is “particularly volatile,” while gas generators will bear the brunt of demand loss, Wood Mackenzie says, as a carbon price decline is bolstering thermal coal.

Nexif raises funds for Rayong CHP

March 17 – Nexif Energy, a joint venture between Singapore-based Nexif and Denham Capital, has raised project financing for the Rayong gas-fired cogeneration project in Thailand. The 92 MW plant is being developed project with Ratch Group, based on 25-year power purchase agreement with Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).

ADB provides $10m loan for Afghan IPP

March 16 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide $10 million in debt financing for a gas-fired power unit in Mazari Sharif with a capacity of nearly 60 MW. Phase-1 of the Independent Power Project (IPP) will get another $10 million loan from the Leading Asia's Private Sector Infrastructure Fund (LEAP).

IEA models 50% Carbon-Free Generation

March 13 – Analysts at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) have drawn up the 50% Carbon-Free Generation case - assuming a stark shift in state-level policies. In this event, the U.S. would have 19% more nuclear power generation, 10% more wind power and 17% more solar PV contribution than in its Annual Energy Outlook 2020 (AEO2020) reference case.

E-charging market to top $15bn by 2030

March 12 – By 2030, the U.S. market for energy-optimisation in support of charging electric-vehicles could be worth $15 billion per year, McKinsey finds. The consultancy expects high demand for home-charging appliances as residential power tariffs are comparatively cheap and most charging can happen overnight when off-peak electricity prices are lower.

Oversupply builds up

March 10 – Energy Aspects’ end-March forecast has added on another 100+ billion cubic feet of natural gas supply while demand remains subdued. In the U.S., the seasonal decline in heating degree days nearly halved the natural gas withdrawal rate. Gas-burn in the power sector and residential/commercial demand are forecast to fall by 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) and 4.0 bcf/d, respectively.

Small-scale LNG cuts cost for power plants

March 10 – Decentralized gas power plants in remote locations can source cheaper fuel from small-scale LNG regas terminals than from trucking the super-chilled gas across long distances. “Trucking LNG further inland would entail additional costs as well as logistical challenges,” IEA analysts noted. For example, a 100 MW baseload power plant would require, on average, around 20 daily deliveries from tanker trucks.

Abu Dhabi investor expands Uzbek CCGT

March 9 –Some key Uzbek energy infrastructure is being modernized with foreign monies. Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company recently agreed with JSC Thermal Power Plants and the Uzbek government to acquire, finance, develop and operate the 1.7 GW Talimarjan Power Complex.

Oversupply keeps growing

March 6 – In its fourth quarter report, Awilco LNG warned that demand is now unable to keep up with strong gas production growth. Gas demand from China’s industry and power utilities, the world’s second largest LNG importer last year, has fallen by 10-14% thus far in 2020.

Simatic IOT2050 gateway launched

March 5 – Siemens’ newly launched Simatic IOT2050 links cloud, in-company IT and production. Energy companies, and others, can retrofit the solution in existing plants, where it then harmonizes communication between different data sources, analyzes the data, and passes it on for evaluation to a cloud.