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Projects & Finance

Slashing the financing granted for coal-fired power projects is part of the World Bank's new energy strategy. "Only in rare circumstances" will the bank support new greenfield coal power generation projects, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said, while the help for natural gas projects will be scaled up.

Swiss-based operator KTG has selected China's EPC Sepco III Electric Power Construction Corp as the winning bidder to build a 390MW gas-fired combined cycle cogeneration plant in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.Sepco III was chosen as it offered the lowest price in the tender, bidding to carry out project at a cost 218 million euro ($284.44 million).

Royal Dutch Shell's Nigerian business unit SPDC has halted operations of the Afam VI power plant (624MW) over a gas shortage due to the closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline.

Energos, a supplier of small-scale waste to energy plants, has received permission from the Environmental Ministry in Northern Ireland to build a waste to heat CHP facility in Lisburn, Ireland. Construction is scheduled to start in 2014 at a gasification facility as part of AmeyCespa's Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, has filed for approval to build a 700MW combined cycle gas-turbine (CCGT) plant in Flint at a cost of $750 million to replace coal-fired capacity that is up for retirement by 2017.

GE Water & Power will supply the Chinese steel and iron company, Jiangsu Yonggang Group with an innovative blast-gas fueled 7.88MW cogeneration system for its steel mill in Zhangjiagang City. The project marks the first commercial use of blast furnace gas to generate power and heat worldwide, GE said.

Rio Tinto has selected GE's aeroderivative gas turbines to power the expansion of mining operations at two sites in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia. Keen to expand the capacity of its Pilbara operations from currently 237 million tonnes per annum to up to 360 million tonnes per annum in 2015, Rio Tinto is implementing Australia's largest-ever, integrated mining project.

Carroll County Energy gears up to investing $800 million to build an 700MW combined-cycle gas-fired power plant, powered by a GE turbine, in Ohio, US. The proposed plant is in a pre-permitting stage, completing environmental surveys, project partners said.

Myanmar's Ministry of Electrical Power has opened a tender to buy up to 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day before March 2014 to fuel power plants and meet the country's growing energy demand. The ministry considers increasing its gas purchase to up to 600 MMcf/d starting from 2015.

The Sasol Gas Engine Power Plant – the largest power plant running on gas engines on the African continent, and the first of its kind in the Republic of South Africa – will be inaugurated today. Wärtsilä supplied the plant on a fast-track basis with performance guarantees.

A three year construction project has been kickstarted in Frankfurt, Germany, to develop Thüga Group's pilot power-to-gas project. "By the end of 2013, the plant should be converting electricity into hydrogen for the first time and feeding into the local gas distribution network," project partners said.

Swiss power and automation group ABB has been commissioned by Italy's TSO Terna to install a synchronous compensator to adjust power supply from the new Codrongianos cogeneration power plant plant within an older power station in northern Sardinia. Project partners plan to begin construction in November and commission the $20 million power plant project in 2014.

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News in Brief

Tokyo Gas snaps up US shale assets

July 31 – The Japanese utility Tokyo Gas has agreed to raise its stake in the U.S. firm Castleton Resources to 70 percent from 46 percent to increase its foothold in shale gas production in Texas and Louisiana.  Castleton Resources holds acreage in the Haynesville and Cotton Valley formations. The transaction is scheduled to be completed on August 14.

Electrical PE market to grow 1.7% through 2027

July 30 – The market for electrical protective equipment (PE) in North America, valued at $2,787 million in 2019, is forecast to rise at an annual rate of 1.7 percent to reach $3,163 million by 2027. Main growth drivers, according to ResearchandMarkets, are ongoing power transmission projects in the context with U.S. LNG export infrastructure expansions.

GE wins turbine order from Italian paper mill

July 29 – DS Smith Paper Italia has ordered a GE LM6000PF aero-derivative gas turbine for its paper mill in Lucca, Italy. The paper mill is currently powered by two aero-derivative turbines, and the additional unit will increase plant efficiency by 2%, while assuring steam supply for the industrial process.

Aceleron secures £2m green energy investment

July 28 – UK battery developer Aceleron today announced receipt of a £2 million equity investment from BGF and Mercia Asset Management. Aceleron is BGF’s second investment into a pure clean technology, signalling a shift in behaviour as more and more fund managers support a green recovery and the UK’s policy of net-zero carbon by 2050.

NRG buys Centrica’s North American arm for over $3.6bn

July 27 – U.S. utility NRG Energy has agreed with Centrica to acquire the latter’s North American subsidiary Direct Energy for $3.625 billion in an all-cash transaction. The transaction will diversify NRG’s earnings by adding more than three million retail customers and generate an estimated $740 million in adjusted EBITDA upon closing.

Siemens rolls out Comfy app

July 24 – Siemens is deploying its workplace experience solution Comfy across its global offices, including major utility customers. The aim is to equip approximately 600 company locations by October 2020.

BlackRock puts $18bn into sustainable investment

July 23 – Sustainability aspects are poised to bring about "fundamental change" to the way financial market actors operate, said Philipp Hildebrand, vice head of U.S. investment company BlackRock. About 18 billion dollars have been put into BlackRock's sustainable investment products since the beginning of 2020, he told the German business daily FAZ, arguing this would be "only the beginning" of a much larger shift in investment practices.

Vaca Muerta output slows

July 22 – Argentina has resorted to importing LNG for the Southern Hemisphere winter as domestic production at the vast Vaca Muerta shale formation fell in the first half of 2020. State-owned IEASA purchased 28 LNG cargoes at average prices of $2.87 million British thermal units (mmBtu).

GE to implement air quality control systems in India

July 21 – GE Power India Ltd (GEPIL) has won three contracts with a combined value of $112.57 million to supply air quality control systems. One semi-dry flue-gas desulfurization (FDG) unit will be installed for Hindalco Industries’ 1x150MW power plant at the Aditya aluminium smelter in Sambalpur. A wet FDGs system will be installed on behalf of NTPC for their Feroze Gandhi Unchahar thermal power plant (2x210MW plus 2x210 MW plus 1x210MW units) in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh.

Wärtsilä CEO sees “tough” H2 ahead

July 20 – Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola has told analysts he sees a “tough second half of the year ahead,” as the Finish manufacturer seeks to mitigate Covid-related business disruptions. In the segment of up to 500 MW, Wärtsilä’s market share fell from 9% to 8%, while orders for gas- and liquid- power plants increased by 1% to 17.8 GW during the twelve-month period ending in March 2020.

GE launches update to digital plant software

July 17 – GE Digital has unveiled updates to its digital power plant software: Proficy Plant Applications, Proficy Operations Hub, Proficy Historian, and Proficy CSense. The software accelerates digitization for industries and integrates related onsite power generation units.

Germany EEG fund slips into the red

July 16 – Germany's green energy fund, funded through the renewable energy surcharge (EEG levy), has slipped into the red for the first time since 2013, according to TSO data. The account, funded by end-customers through a surcharge on their power bill, fell from about €2 billion in available funds to €-1.16 billion in the first six months of 2020.

China seen overtake Japan as worlds’ largest LNG buyer by 2025

July 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects China to overtake Japan as the world’s biggest LNG buyer with imports of 128 Bcm a year by 2025, equivalent to around 174 million tonnes. However, IEA analysts cautioned this scenario is “highly dependent on China’s future policy direction” and whether that includes an ongoing push for coal-to-gas switching for industry, residential heating and power generation.

IEA stages Clean Energy Transitions Summit

July 14 – Ministers from dozens of countries, accounting for over 80% of the world economy, have participated in the first Clean Energy Transitions Summit organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said there “clearly is momentum” behind a sustainable recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants agreed to reconvene in mid-2021.

Siemens Energy to exit coal

Jul 13 – Newly formed technology company Siemens Energy wants to phase-out any operations and technology to related to coal-fired power generation, CEO Joe Kaeser said, without giving a specific timeline. Siemens had been harshly criticised earlier this year for participating in the Adani coal mine project in Australia.

Statkraft, GE enhance GB grid stability

July 10 – Statkraft and GE Power Conversion are working together to stabilise Britain’s power grid. To that end, GE will manufacture and install two Rotating Stabiliser synchronous machines at Statkraft’s site in Keith, Moray. Statkraft was awarded four stability contracts (two at Keith and two at Lister Drive) by National Grid ESO (NGESO) earlier this year.

Siemens Energy spin-off approved

July 9 – A large majority of Siemens shareholders have voted to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business. The spin-off was approved by 99.36 percent of capital stock represented at today’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.

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