Projects & Finance

Shanxi Ruiguang Heat & Power Company has started commercial operations of the second unit of its 2x300 MW Ruiguang power plant, located in China's Jiangsu province.

American Electric Power (AEP) has started commercial operation of the 580 MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Dresden, near Ohio, U.S. The operational start-up of the Dresden plant is "another step in the transformation of AEP's generating fleet", said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP president and CEO.

GE Energy plans to complete works to upgrade two 30-year-old 9B Gas Turbines at an Italian power plant in Trapani to GE 9E Gas Turbines in 2013, the company's Italian division told Gas-to-Power Journal today.

Utilities in Europe currently have access to a lot of natural gas, but it is cheaper for them to use their coal-fired plants for generating electricity, Albrecht Müller von Blumencron, director project finance Bayern LB said today. Nonetheless, he foresees a "brighter future" for the gas-to-power sector in Europe in the mid-term, provided utilities will have to more flexible gas supply.

The U.K. will face a capacity gap at the end of this decade. Investors in new flexible gas-fired power generation capacity will have to find a way to handle the risks posed by ambitious renewable targets and uncertainties surrounding the implications of the Energy Market Reform, Clare Duffy, General Manager, ESB International, said in London today.

Uncertainty about the liberalization process of the Turkish natural gas market may hamper investors to commit to realizing large gas-fired power plant projects in Turkey, Robert Selim Hill, researcher at Energy Brainpool said today. "For the near future it will especially be difficult to plan and realize large natural gas power plant projects," he told Gas-to-Power Journal.

TLT-Bancock India said today it will open a new manufacturing facility near Bangalore, in April 2012. The components produced at the facility will be sold to power producers in the growing Indian market. "When production begins in a few months, TLT-Babcock will have fully arrived in support of India's electric power expansion and general growth plans," David Klossner, President of TLT-Babcock said.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is supporting a 216 MW gas-fired power plant project in Cameroon with 29.5 million euro in long-term funding. Kribi will be the first gas-to-power plant in Cameroon.

Fortum, a Finland utility with power generation assets in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Poland and Russia, is at the brink of commissioning a biomass-fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant in Järvenpää in early 2013. The proposed 130 GWh plant will run on biomass as a replacement for natural gas.

Wartsila, the Finnish producer of lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets, today posted a 15% decrease in net sales to EUR 1,238 million, down from EUR 1,462 in the previous quarter, mainly due to a backlog in power plant deliveries. "After a very strong fourth quarter, we managed to fulfill our order intake target and reached 11.1% profitability. Due mainly to delayed power plant deliveries, our net sales decreased slightly more than expected," Wartsila's president and CEO, Bjorn Rosengren said.

Australia's ERM Power confirmed it has received development approval to build and operate a 500MW gas-fired power plant at Braemar, around 240 kilometres west of Brisbane. "The next stage in the development of the Braemar 4 project is finalising fuel supply and electricity take-off agreements, which will allow us to make a final investment decision on this development," Philip Baker, managing director and CEO at ERM Power said.

In North-West Europe, investments in new gas-fired power plant projects will be in the money post 2018 at the earliest, Thomas Birr, VP corporate development & strategy at RWE Group forecast. "In Turkey and Eastern Europe, where power demand is rising, things are looking better," he said at the Gas-to-Power Europe Forum in Berlin.

If the spark spread stays below 10 Euro/MWh at times of peak electricity demand, building new gas-fired plants in Germany does not make economic sense, Torsten Amelung, senior vice president Trading and Origination at Statkraft Markets said today. "The only way out is ramping down capacity simply by shutting down power stations, until peak electricity prices are sufficiently high to sustain operations of the remaining gas-fired plants," he told Gas-to-Power Journal at the sidelines of a conference in Berlin.

Markets in Asia, the Middle East and North America are the "centres of growth" for new projects of gas-fired power plants , Brigitte Urban, VP global marketing, energy solutions at Siemens Energy forecasts. In reaction to the surge in gas-to-power demand in Saudi Arabia, Siemens has started construction of a new gas manufacturing plant in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, she confirmed in Berlin today.

Denmark's Dong Energy has set out the vision of shifting its power generation portfolio to a 85% share in green energies by 2020, including gas-fired plants, by reducing its share of coal-fired plants to 15%. "Throughout the transition period, when coal will leave Dong's power generation portfolio, gas-fired capacity is crucial as it delivers the flexibility required by modern and sustainable energy systems," Anders Eldrup, CEO of Dong Energy said in Berlin today.

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