Projects & Finance

Danish utility Dong Energy has decided to drop plans to build a 1,100 MW gas-fired power plant in Ludwigsau in the German state of Hesse and is searching a buyer for the rights to build a plant at the same site. "We've started the sales process for the project rights and aim to find a buyer by the end of this year," said company spokeswoman Iris Franco-Fratini.

Siemens Energy has been awarded a contract by Nigeria's Edo Cement, part of Nigeria's BUA Group, for delivery of three SGT-500 gas turbines to produce power for the Edo Cement's Okpella Cement Factory, located in Okpella, a town in Nigeria's Edo state. Delivery of the turbines is scheduled for spring 2014.

GE has signed a multimillion dollar, multi-year maintenance plan with RWE npower to provide a full range of services intended to help increase the operational flexibility and reduce costs of the gas-fired 740MW Little Barford and 400MW Great Yarmouth power plants in the UK.

NRG Energy has begun commercial operations at its new gas-fired 720MW Marsh Landing Generating Station, a peaking plant located near Antioch, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The entire output from the plant will be purchased by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company under a 10 year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) has filed a request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to invest $631 million into a new 650MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant at its Eagle Valley Generating Station in Morgan County, near Martinsville, Indiana. Construction works are scheduled to begin in 2014 and the plant is expected to be completed in 2017.

State owned electricity supplier Namibia Power Corporation has extended the tender closing date to prequalify for the engineering and design of the Kudu gas field and the construction of the $1.1 billion 800MW gas-fired combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) Kudu Power Project it will feed, by two weeks to 17 May. In pre-qualification clarifications, the company said the extension is once-off and final. It will announce the winning bidders by March 2014.

Wärtsilä has signed a three year Operations & Maintenance (O&M) agreement with Central Termica de Ressano Garcia, owned by South Africa's Sasol New Energy and Mozambique's state utility Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), covering the company's upcoming gas engine power plant in Ressano Garcia which is scheduled for completion by May 2014.

Siemens Energy has won an order from Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co., to deliver two SGT5-2000E gas turbines with associated generators for the Punta del Tigre combined cycle power plant (535 MW) in Ciudad del Plata, Uruguay. The two power units are scheduled to come online in fall/winter 2015/16.

UK bank Standard Chartered has been appointed by Azura Power West Africa to lead the debt capital raise for a new $700 million open-cycle gas turbine power station to be built near Benin City in Nigeria's Edo State.

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, has started-up operations of the Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Center in Florida. The gas-fired combined-cycle plant with a capacity of over 1,200 MW cost FPL $900 million to build, coming in $140 million under budget.

Two turnkey 744MW gas-fired combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) projects in Oman, Sohar 2 and Barka 3, have been completed and commissioned by Siemens Energy and its consortium partner, the South Korean EPC contractor GS E&C. The plants originally went into simple-cycle operation in 2012 to meet Oman's increasing demand for electricity before being put into commercial operation in combined-cycle mode this month to meet peak electricity demand during the upcoming summer.

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) announced on Tuesday that it will seek approval to construct a new natural gas-fired power plant named the Wildcat Point Generation Facility near the town of Rising Sun, Maryland on existing property of its Rock Springs Generation Facility. ODEC says the plant will generate about 1000MW of power – enough to supply 390 000 homes annually – and is expected to become operational in 2017.

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News in Brief

Denmark paves the way for Nord Stream 2

July 7– Denmark on late Monday gave the Nord Stream 2 consortium permission to utilize pipe-laying vessels with anchors in Danish waters, paving the way for the Gazprom-led consortium to complete the interconnector. Construction of the 1,230-kilometre pipeline is nearly complete, except for a final stretch of about 120-kilometers in Danish waters. The project was halted in December when the Swiss-Dutch pipe-laying company Allseas suspended works over threats of U.S. sanctions.

EPRI tests early warning system

July 6– The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is conducting trial tests with multiple utilities across the United States of an early warning system. It can detect an off-gassing event as a precursor to thermal runaway up to 30 minutes prior to a cascading failure. This gives plant operators time to mitigate the problem or shut down the system.

KKR buys stake in First Gen

July 3 – Valorous Asia Holdings, owned by KKR investment funds, has bought a 11.9% stake in First Gen through a voluntary tender offer. First Gen, one of the Philippines’ largest independent power producers with 3,492 MW installed capacity, is owned by First Philippine Holdings which is controlled by the Lopez family. KKR’s acquisition of the First Gen stake is worth nearly $192.3 million.

Gazprom’s ‘BBB’ rating affirmed

July 2 – S&P Global Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have affirmed Gazprom's long-term credit ratings as part of their annual reviews. The ‘BBB’ ratings for Gazprom from S&P and Fitch are in line with the sovereign credit rating of the Russian Federation, while Moody's ‘Baa2’ rating is a notch higher.

MHIEC to refurbish WtE plant in Kushiro

July 1 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co (MHIEC) has received an order from the Kushiro Wide-Area Federation to repair and improve the core equipment at the local Waste-to-Energy plant in Takayama. The WtE plant has a capacity of 240 tonnes per day (tpd). Renovation will increase the energy efficiency of the fluidized bed type gasification and ash melting furnace facility, reducing emissions by around 15% annually. Works are due completed in September 2023.

Nigeria: Only two of six power projects on target

June 30 – Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises has disclosed that only two out of six privatized power plants were delivered on target. Only Transcorp Power Ltd and Geregu Power Ltd out of the six privatised electricity generation companies (GENCOs) were said to have met their performance targets since taking over.

German investors prefer solar over wind

June 29 – Energy infrastructure investors are keen to build solar power projects in Germany, but shun wind parks. In the latest solar power auction, investors offered to build almost 450 MW of capacity – more than four times the 96 MW of volume on offer– with the average successful bid at 5.27 cents per kilowatt-hour (ct/kWh). The wind auction, in contrast, was undersubscribed: The German network agency  (BNetzA) tendered around 826 MW, but successful bids only totalled 464 MW, at an average price of 6.14 ct/KWh.

MAN ventures into synthetic fuels

June 26 – MAN Energy Solutions has entered the hydrogen economy with the recent pro rata acquisition of H-TEC SYSTEMS, an electrolysis tech firm. The German OEM also committed itself to upgrading its gas turbines to run on 100% hydrogen by 2030.

Varegro starts using Cummins gas genset

June 25 – Belgian-based horticultural company Varegro, has started to use a Cummins HSK78G gas generator to power its greenhouses in Oostrozebeke, West Flanders. Varegro said it selected the Cummins HSK78G genset to produce combined heat and power (CHP) on its premises at a competitive cost for use in energy-intensive greenhouse facilities.

GE names Deloitte as independent auditor

June 24 – GE’s audit committee has selected Deloitte as the company’s independent auditor for the 2021 fiscal year, replacing KPMG. The selection of Deloitte concludes GE’s latest audit tender process.

Northern German states push for hydrogen pilot cluster

June 23 – Northern German states are pushing for greater hydrogen use with a pilot project cluster. Some 12 large demonstration plants for the production and use of green hydrogen are meant to be realised in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The aim is to demonstrate how 75% of CO2 emissions can be saved in the region by 2035.

Wärtsilä to design and equip battery-powered ferries

June 22– The Finish engine maker Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to design and equip two new zero-emissions ferries on behalf of the Norwegian operator Boreal Sjö. For each ferry Wärtsilä will supply the thruster motors, batteries, onboard and shore-based battery charging equipment, the back-up generators, and various electrical systems. The equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard in early 2021 for the ships to start commercial operations in autumn 2021.

Subsidy cut slashes Chinese wind turbine margins

June 19 – China’s wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) could have their gross profit margins halved due to subsidy cuts, Wood Mackenzie forecasts. Commissioned onshore wind power capacity is expected to drop by more than 16% to 19 gigawatts (GW) from 2020 to 2021 as government subsidies were terminated. This could also lead to a 27% drop in turbine prices over the next five years, slashing OEMs’ gross profit margins by half.

PowerPHASE converts gas peakers into storage engine

June 18 – U.S. emergency power provider PowerPHASE has developed an upgrade to convert 7F gas turbine-based peaking plants (350 MW each) to a so-called Storage Engine (400 MW). The unit would be able to store 3500 MWh daily and discharge 4800 MWh daily. CEO Bob Kraft claims utility customers could dispatch the Storage Engine, despite its lower heat rate (4000), ahead of higher heat rate options (9000 for gas peakers) in a competitive market like ERCOT in Texas.

Cummins names Davis head of New Power unit

June 17 – Cummins has appointed Amy Davis as Vice President and President of the company’s New Power Segment, effective July 1. The new unit includes Cummins’ electrified powertrains, battery design and assembly, battery management, fuel cell and hydrogen generation.

GE powers USS Zumwalt

June 16 – The US Navy has taken delivery of the USS Zumwalt, its first full-electric power and propulsion ship, equipped by GE’s Power Conversion. The ship features a high-voltage system, propulsion drive trains with multi-phase VDM25000 power converters and advanced induction motors. Kevin Byrne, head of GE’s North America marine segment said “the full-electric power and propulsion ship has the flexibility to direct energy where it is needed on the platform.”

New England power prices down 40%

June 15 – Spot electricity prices in New England (NE) has fallen since winter 2019/20 when it stood at an average $28/MWh, down 40% from an average $47/MWh in the previous winter. Low natural gas prices, warmer-than-normal temperatures, lower loads, and reduced needs to run expensive peakload generators were the cause for the substantial drop in NE’s winter electricity prices, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) finds.