Projects & Finance

Austria's most efficient thermal power plant has started operations after Siemens Energy officially handed over the Mellach combined-cycle power plant (CCPP) to the Austrian utility Verbund Thermal Power on Friday. The plant's record district heating output of 400 MWth facilitates that more than 80 percent of the energy in the fuel is put to effective use, according to Siemens Energy.

Braden, an operating division of Global Power Equipment Group, has won a contract worth 8 million Euros to provide gas turbine exhaust systems to Siemens Energy for the Khormala phase I Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP).

Gama Energji is in talks with two potential partners about setting up a tolling agreement to market the electricity generated at its Kirikkale CCGT project with the aim of reducing financing costs.
"We want to have a tolling accord in place - as a hedging instrument - before we close project financing for Kirikkale, as it could give us a reduction in interest of about 150 basis points," Orkun Eyilik, Commercial Manager, Gama Energji told 'Gas to Power Journal' today.

Financing for new gas-fired power plant is getting tight in Turkey and fewer projects will come to fruition. "Combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGTs)  plants with less than 50% operational efficiency will not get financed in Turkey" Emre Hatem, Manager, Project and Acquisition Finance, Garanti Bank said at a conference organised by 'Gas to Power Journal' in Istanbul today. He forecast a reduction of the share of gas in Turkey's energy mix from currently 45% to 25% by 2020.

General Electric (GE) will supply the Japanes steel producer JFE Steel Co. with a heavy duty Frame 9E gas turbine system for a steel gas-to-energy recovery project at its East Japan Iron Works in Chiba City, east of Tokyo. GE said today it will start delivering the equipment to Japan in December 2013.

Karoo Sustainable Energy (KSE) has won the 2012 Africa Competitive Strategy Leadership award after it negotiated the first Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) as a step towards structuring the financing of a 180 MW gas-fired power plant project.

Sasol New Energy plans to start operations of its gas engine power plant project in Sasolbury, South Africa, before the end of the year. The 140 MW plant is currently under construction and is set to run on 18 Wärtsilä 20V34SG generating units, fuelled by natural gas imported from Mozambique.

Investment into new power generation capacity in the U.K. has ground to a halt as utilities and banks lack certainty about the U.K.'s future market design. "The uncertainty surrounding the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) has put a complete block on financing," Alan White, Head of Conventional Energy at Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets told delegates at PowerGen2012.

India's Reliance Power, the country's second-largest power utility by market value after state-run NTPC, has synchronized two of the gas turbines in India's largest gas-based project – the Samalkot Power Project. The 2,400 MW plant will be equipped with six gas turbines of 240 MW each. Two others have been tested at Full Speed No Load (FSNL), Reliance Power confirmed.

Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, Inc. (DEMEC) has commissioned Unit#2 - a 100 MW gas-fired peaking facility  - at the Beasley Power Station. Construction costs of the unit totalled US$30 million, DEMEC confirmed today.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) is gearing up to develop basic technologies for a triple combined cycle power generation system integrating solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and a gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) power generation system.

In an effort to alleviate Tanzania's power shortage, Japan's Sumitomo Corp. and the Tanzania's state-controlled Electric Supply Co. have joined forces to build a 240MW gas-fired power plant at Kinyerezi in the Dar es Salaam Region of Tanzania.

Haldia Petrochemicals in India has plans to retrofit one of its gas turbines with "uprated" parts this year. "This will reduce the heat rate and increase the efficiency as well as enhance the life of the components," Nirmallya Sen, Deputy General Manager (Mechanical) at the plant, told Gas to Power Journal in an interview. Turbine capacity will also be enhanced by three to four megawatts, he added.

Vattenfall Europe has applied to local authorities for planning permission build a new gas-fired power plant in the city of Wedel near Hamburg. The plant is scheduled to start operations by the end of 2016 and will to replace an existing coal plant built in the 1960s, the Sweden-based utility said.

Alstom, the French turbine manufacturer, has launched turbine shaft welding shop at its turbine factory in Elbląg, Poland. "This is the biggest investment made by Alstom Power in Poland this year," the Levallois-Perret-based company said without revealing the exact capital expenditure.

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News in Brief

Hiroshima waste-to-energy plant gets upgrade

Aug 23 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has been chosen to upgrade and refurbish the combustion facilities at a waste to energy plant in Hiroshima. The Naka plant in Minamiyoshijima, Naka-ku, has a total waste treatment capacity of 600 tonnes per day and generates 15.2 MW of electricity to power the equipment in the factory, while selling the remainder to the grid.

China eases ban on coal power

Aug 22 – The Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA) has allowed 11 provinces to resume building coal power plants in a move that lies bare the country’s dependency on thermal coal even after several hundred billion dollars were invested cleaner energy sources, notable wind, solar and natural gas. Areas earmarked by NEA for new coal power plants include Qinghai, Chongqing, Guangxi, Guangdong, Yunnan, Guizhou and Henan.

Blackout after Didcot demolition

Aug 21 – Yet another blackout hit thousands of British households early Sunday after the demolition of cooling towers at the disused Didcot-A power station in Oxfordshire. Moments after the explosion at 7am to bring down the cooling towers some nearby electricity poles and overhead transmission lines caught fire, causing a sudden loss of electricity that lasted for one hour and twenty minutes.

Fuel cell vehicle market gathers speed

Aug 20 – Sales revenue from fuel cell vehicles will soar to $255.2 billion in 2032, up from just $400 million last year, driven by fast growth in China and wider Asia. Hydrogen fuel cells achieve an energy conversion efficiency of 50% to 60% amid zero emissions and a low maintenance cost thanks to the engine’s modular design.

Tohoku Electric tenders for LNG cargo

Aug 19 – Tohoku Electric Power, the fourth-largest electric utility in Japan in terms of revenue behind Tepco, Kepco and Chubu, is understood to be seeking an LNG cargo for delivery in September. A tender process is ongoing.

Cost for decarbonizing industry tops $21tr

Aug 16 – Total costs to fully decarbonize the four most polluting industries – cement, steel, ammonia and ethylene – are estimated to amount to $21 trillion between today and 2050. McKinsey said this could be lowered to about $11 trillion if zero-carbon electricity prices come down further compared to fossil fuel prices. In this event, industry could switch to using electricity for heating processes.

Co-firing Braskem plant with hydrogen

Aug 15 – Siemens is making fossil energy greener at the Braskem onsite power plant in Brazil. In this modernization project two SGT-600 gas turbines are co-fired up to 60% with hydrogen, enhancing efficiency for the production process of the adjacent the petrochemical complex.

Canada's CO2 tax to hit CCGTs

Aug 5 – Change in Canada’s carbon emissions tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could significantly lower the profitability of gas generation and could prompt SaskPower reconsider its planned Moose Jaw gas power station.

GE CFO steps down

Aug 2 – Jamie S. Miller, General Electric’s chief financial officer, has decided to quit after two years in the job and 11 years with the company. Having overseen GE’s fiscal activities during a period of intense restructuring, Miller will remain in office while the GE board is looking for a successor.

Siemens HR boss quits

Aug 1 – Janina Kugel, Siemens chief HR officer, is leaving the company amid an apparently scattered working relationship and stark personal differences with CEO Joe Kaeser. Her contract will expire by mutual agreement on January 31, 2020.

ABB standardizes eBus chargers

July 31 – Zurich-based ABB, a member of the ASSURED consortium, is working on standardizing the specifications for automatic charging of heavy vehicles. The aim is to drive down the total cost of ownership for electric fleet operators, helping increase adoption of eBuses and eTrucks. Conformance and interoperability tests will be carried out in Q4-2019.

U.S. Senate helps fund EV charging stations

July 30 – The need for expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure is greater than expected given that there had been over 1.75 million electric vehicles (EV) in North America at the end of 2018, a nearly 60% increase from the previous year. To help fund additional charging stations, among other things, the U.S. Senate approved the $287 billion America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA).

PNOC, Lloyds to develop merchant LNG-to-Power projects

July 29 – Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lloyds Energy to develop a 1,200 MW LNG-fuelled power plant in partnership with Mitsubishi. Dubai-based Lloyds Energy is looking at ways to develop integrated LNG import facilities and gas power plants on a merchant basis in Bataan and Batangas provinces.

Macquarie finances CCGT in Mexico

July 26 – 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.

Naturgy cashes in on gas network

July 25 – Spanish gas utility Naturgy has posted a 7% rise in core earnings for the first half of the year due to strong gains from its gas network business that helped offset falling revenues from power generation and slimmer LNG margins.

French court rejects appeal against Total CCGT

July 24 – Judges at an appeal court in Nantes have thrown out an appeal by environmentalist against Total’s planned Landivisiau combined-cycle gas power plant in Brittany. The 440 MW project, initiated by Direct Energy which was since acquired by Total, is over two years behind schedule. The French grid operator RTE has singled out the Landivisiau CCGT as “critical” in guaranteeing supply security in winter 2020/21 due to the planned shutdown of four coal power plants.

U.S. gas production falls in wake of ‘Barry’

July 23 – Shut-ins related to Hurricane Barry have scaled back U.S. gas production by 1.6 billion cubic feet per day, compared to last week, while power sector gas demand rose by just over 2.0 bcf/d. Consequently, there is significantly less gas available for storage so the injection rate has halved, according to Energy Aspects figures.