Projects & Finance

Development banks of Brazil and Germany, BNDES and KfW Ipex-Bank, have agreed a corporate financing deal worth R$1.76 billion ($471m) for an LNG-fuelled power project at the port of Açu, Brazil. The financing covers 39% of the total project costs of R$4.5 billion, with the 1.3 GW plant to be built by Prumo Logística and Siemens.

The first Power-to-Gas (P2G) pilot project in South Korea is about to be built under a government scheme, funded by 49 billion Korean won (US$44 million). The P2G project will convert surplus electricity supply from wind or solar power sources into hydrogen or methane gas. It is scheduled to start operating in 2023.

Wärtsilä has stared site work for a 378 MW power plant being supplied under an EPC contract in El Salvador. Ordered by Energía del Pacífico, the facility will be one of Central America’s first LNG-fuelled power plants, with a floating regas terminal being built nearby.

Aspiring to build a 5,700 km gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has awarded the first phase of a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) contract to Phenspen. FEED Phase I entails a detailed design of the pipeline system, its route and project economics.

Britain’s energy firm Drax has completed the £702 million acquisition of a 2.6GW portfolio of gas, hydro power and energy storage assets operated by Scottish Power from its parent company Iberdrola. Now, Drax aims to expand the Cruachan pumped storage plant by up to 600 MW and maximise the flexibility of the four CCGTs with a combined capacity of 2 GW.

McDermott, the EPC contractor of Calpine’s York 2 Energy Center Project, expects to achieve substantial project completion in the first quarter of this year. First fire of units 5 & 6 at the 828-MW power plant was achieved in late December, with units running smoothly ever since.

Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), an independent investor in energy assets, has sold a quarter of its shareholding in the 805 MW Towantic Energy Center in Connecticut to the American subsidiary of Osaka Gas. The Japanese utility previously bought stakes in three other CPV gas power plants.

Veolia North America and Arizona Public Service (APS) have selected GE’s Fleet360 total plant solutions to increase performance at power plants in Boston and Arlington. APS expects to garner a 6% higher output and a 2% drop in heat rate will boost flexibility at its Redhawk Power Station (1,060 MW).

Mubadala and Dubai Holding have set up a joint project vehicle to develop the United Arab Emirates’ (UEA) self-proclaimed “most efficient power plant” at Emirates Global Aluminium’s (EGA) smelter in Jebel Ali. The 600 MW power unit and integrated water desalination plant will be built under a 25-year deal worth over 1 billion dirhams ($272m).

TransCanada, the Canadian pipeline network operator, has agreed to sell its Coolidge Generating Station in Arizona, U.S., to a subsidiary of Southwest Generation Operating for US$623 million (C$623m). The Coolidge plant is a 575-MW gas-fired power facility that is underpinned by a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).

Korea Zinc, a manufacturer in Onsan near Ulsan City, has contracted GE to deploy two flexible 6F.03 gas turbines at its LNG-fuelled combined-cycle power plant. All electricity produced by the 270 MW combined-cycle gas power plant will be used for Korea Zinc’s metal production.

Anglo-Swiss commodity trader Glencore is understood to partner with Limay LNG Power Corp. on realizing a LNG-fuelled power plant in Batan, Luzon Island, with a capacity of 1,100 MW. Glencore could provide project financing and help with LNG procurement, adding to supplies from the Philippines’ depleting Malampaya field.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has agreed a financing deal for the 1,760 MW Jawa-1 gas power plant and an accompanying floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU). The integrated LNG-to-power project will be built at a cost of $1.8 billion by PT Pertamina, Marubeni and Sojitz and is due operational in December 2021.

Indonesian state-owned energy firm Pertamina, together with Marubeni and Sojitz, has reached financial close for a $1.8 billion integrated LNG regas and power generation project. The 1,760 MW Jawa-1 combined-cycle power plant (CCGT), as well as an adjacent floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), is slated to start operation in December 2021.

Momentum for GE’s flagship HA gas turbine “continues to be strong,” the manufacturer said when announcing two order wins in the third quarter. The customers are Florida’s Tampa Electric (TECO) and the Taiwanese independent power producer (IPP) Chiahui Corp.

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News in Brief

Blackout after fire at Madison substation

July 22 – Electricity is gradually being restored at Madison, Wisconsin, after 13,000 people experience a blackout following an explosion at a substation near Madison Gas & Electric’s 100 MW gas-fired Blount Generating Station. No injuries were reported.

Fuel switch could abate 1.2bn tons of CO2

July 19 – Some 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 could be abated by switching to gas using existing infrastructure, if prices and regulation are supportive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this would be enough to bring global CO2 emissions back down to where they were in 2013.

IEA launches methane tracker

July 18 – A new ‘methane tracker’, launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA), provides up-to-date estimates of current oil and gas methane emissions by drawing on the best available data. Analysts stressed methane emissions could be reduced by nearly half at no net cost.

Canada’s CO2 tax also affects gas power

July 17 – Change in Canada’s carbon tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could cause SaskPower to reconsider its planned upcoming Moose Jaw gas power station.

MAN, Daewoo, HSD partner on engine digitalization

July 16 – MAN Energy Solutions, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and HSD Engine (HSD) have signed a strategic agreement to cooperate in the field of marine engine systems digitization. The three companies also work together on auxiliary systems and data analysis, aiming to apply part of their know-how to power generation and related sectors.

Canada launches first utility-scale smart microgid

July 15 – The Ontario-based municipal utility North Bay Hydro Services is cooperating with the smart grid solutions firm S&C Electric to launch Canada’s first utility-scale microgrid system. Among some solar power, the 789KW microgrid system will be powered by two 265kW natural gas generators.

Macquarie funds Mexican power plant

July 12 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

B&V launches distributed energy group

July 11 – Black & Veatch has launched a dedicated distributed energy group to place its conventional power business in the context of the global energy transition. The distribute energy group will look into new fuel sources such as hydrogen and aspires to “re-power the more-than-century-old power industry.”

Funding secured for Kazah CHP project

July 10 – Kazinform Erg has committed to spend $500 million on a gas cogeneration station that will provide heat and electricity to the south of Kazakhstan. Over 87% of Kazakhstan’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, and in 2018 the country produced 107,060 billion kWh of electricity, a 3.8% increase over the previous year and enough to cover total power use of 103,228 kWh.

Bitcoin mining uses much energy

July 9 – Estimates of bitcoin’s electricity consumption are wide-ranging, on the order of 20‑80 TWh annually. According to George Kamiya, digital energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), bitcoin mining consumed around 45 TWh in 2018 although this has risen significantly this year. Through the first six months of 2019, bitcoin mining has already consumed an estimated 29 TWh.

Coal exit doesn’t impact Germany's supply security

July 8 – Electricity supply security in Germany is set to stay “very high” even as the country begins to phase out coal-fired power generation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said in a monitoring report. “Energy supply is adequately ensured”, the ministry said, in all scenarios examined up to 2030. Thereafter, things are less clear but the German Coal Commission is adamant that its proposal to exit coal power by 2038 is feasible and won’t seriously impact reserve margins.

Hydrogen demo plant starts in Adelaide

July 5 – The Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), has received A$4.9 million in government funding for an A$11.4m hydrogen electrolyser demonstration project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. At the test site, AGN plans to blend 5% renewable hydrogen with natural gas for supply to customers using its existing gas distribution networks. The project is based on a Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, running based on wind and solar power.

Wärtsilä forms biogas solution

July 4 – Wärtsilä Puregas Solutions, specialists in biogas upgrading technology, has merged with Wärtsilä’s biogas liquefaction team to create a one-stop-shop service for biofuel production. Having installed the world’s largest bioLNG facility in Skogn, Norway, Wärtsilä will deliver two more bio-LNG plants to customers in Scandinavia. The company’s Puregas CA process recovers more than 99.9% of the biomethane present in raw biogas.

PNM to close San Juan Generating Station

July 3 — New Mexico's largest energy holding, PNM Resources, has filed an application to the Public Regulation Commission to close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. For replacement power, PNM said the preferred option was a mix of gas power plants, solar and wind farms and new battery storage facilities. The utility strives to be ‘emissions-free’ by 2040.

ADB opens office in Singapore

July 2 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to open an office in Singapore. The lean office with twelve staff will focus on the expansion of its private sector operations, e.g. through Public-Private Partnerships. “We estimate that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum,” commented Singapore’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat.

Testing starts at Haliade-X

July 1 – Technology testing has started at GE’s Haliade-X, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine. The 12 MW nacelle and 107-metre long blade was shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program, focused on enhancing the platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.

Tata to build UK’s first CCUS plant

June 28 – Tata Chemicals has announced plans to build the UK’s first industrial-scale Carbon Capture, Usage and Demonstration plant at its Northwich industrial site. The CCUD unit will be built at an estimated cost of£16.7 million and is planned to start operation in 2021. It will make use of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants and turn it into sodium bicarbonate, which can then be sold to pharmaceutical industries.