Projects & Finance

Russia's largest combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) unit started full commercial operation at the Kirishskaya GRES power plant, reaching the nominal planned power production capacity of 800 MW late Friday.

Poweo, an independent French power and gas company, today posted a net loss of €63.4 million in 2011, incurred primarily by losses in its power generation business. Revenue from power generation revenue dropped from €185 million in 2010 to €124 million last year due to unfavourable profit margins at its CCGT power plant at Pont-sur-Sambre (412 MW).

The board of directors of Poweo, a French independent power distributor, and its peer Poweo have approved a merger, the two companies announced late Wednesday.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has received orders for ten M501J gas turbines for installation at four power plants in South Korea. The order from South Korea marks the first for the J-Series gas turbine from overseas, MHI said today.

Tata Power has emerged as India's largest private sector power generating company as the start-up of the second unit (525 MW) of its Maithon Mega Power Project in Dhanbad lifts the company's overall power generation to 5,297 MW.

International Power proposes to close the 210 MW Shotton Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plant by the end of 2012. The 210 MW plant is no longer competitive in the U.K. wholesale electricity market, the operator said today.

Austria’s Verbund is going ahead with works to start-up the proposed 412 MW Toul gas-to-power plant as planned in 2013, despite loss-making operations at the Poweo’s Pont-sur-Sambre combined cycle gas turbine plant (CCGT). “The Toul CCGT does not have a gas contract with Eni,” Verbund spokeswoman Ines Schurin told ‘Gas-to-Power Journal’, implying operations of the Toul plant are expected to be profitable.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced today it has won an order from Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO) to supply three M501GAC gas turbines and one steam turbine for VEPCO's Brunswick County Power Station, located some 60 miles south of Richmond, Virginia, U.S.

Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), the sole vertically integrated utility in Pakistan, has failed to restart operations at its Bin Qasim Power Plant II due to a lack in gas supply for the plant. Operational start of the plant depends on Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) supplying an additional 130 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/day) to the plant.

Japan's Marubeni Corporation announced the Shuweihat S2 IWPP, an Independent Water and Power Project, located at 250 km south west of the city of Abu Dhabi, has achieved project commercial operation.

GE Energy has started a technology upgrade of two GE Frame 7FA Gas Turbines at the Progress Energy power plant in the Smith Energy Complex in North Carolina, U.S. The upgrade will result in an increase of the site's output by 16 MW and fuel efficiency by more than 1%, GE said.

South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction is focusing on new business for its power plant section in growth markets such as India and the Middle East, shifting its focus away from its South Korean home market. “India has become the biggest growth market for us, followed by Vietnam and Indonesia,” Doosan spokesman Jeong Chol Seo told ‘Gas-to-Power Journal’.

Centrica is set to shut down an ageing gas fired power plant in King’s Lynn, West Norfolk on April 1. The operation of low-efficiency plants like King’s Lynn is not economically viable as a rise in gas prices curtails profits, Centrica said.

Siemens Energy will supply a ‘power island solution’, consisting of two steam turbines and four gas turbines, for the proposed 242 MW Diamantina combined cycle power plant in Mount Isa in Queensland, Australia. Commissioning of the combined cycle plant is scheduled for early 2014, the Erlangen-headquartered company said today.

General Electric (GE) will supply Fluor Corporation with two Frame 7FA Gas Turbine-Generators for the Ferguson Replacement Project, a 540 MW combined-cycle power plant near Marble Falls, Texas. The new Ferguson CCGT power plant will be replacing the 37-year-old Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant (420 MW) at the site. Start of commercial operation of the plant is scheduled for summer 2014, GE said today.

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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.