Projects & Finance

National Grid has secured the first multi export credit agency (ECA) covered loan for the Viking Link, a 1,400 MW subsea power cable between the UK and Denmark. The $743 million financing package is made up of $488 million from SACE Export Credit and $255 million from Euler Hermes.

Afghan conglomerate Ghazanfar Group and HA Utilities, part of Egypt's construction giant Hassan Allam Holdings, have set up a joint venture to build a gas-fired power plant at Mazar-e-Sharif. The 59 MW plant will come at an estimated cost of $89 million.

Mutual Energy has selected Siemens to refurbish the Moyle Interconnector between Ballycronan More in County Antrim, Northern Ireland (NI), and Auchencrosh, Scotland. The 500 MW high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link is nearly 20 years old. Refurbishment works and installation of a new HVDC Classic system are due completed in September 2022.

MAN Energy Solutions is supplying three 18V51/60TS engines to expand the Kossodo power plant in Burkina Faso. Situated in a suburb of the capital Ouagadougou, the plant extension will add 55 MW of electrical power – enough for a 20% boost of installed power gen capacity in the West African country.

Tennet, Germany’s largest power transmission system operator, has contracted Tractebel to build a 380 kilovolt (kV) overhead power line. The aim is to bring wind energy from northern Germany’s numerous wind parks to energy-intensive industrial regions further south.

Techint’s Norte III combined cycle power plant in Mexico has started commercial operation, driven by four GE 7F.04 gas turbines, four GE H33 generators and two steam turbines from Toshiba. GE will operate and maintain the 907 MW plant, located in Ciudad Juárez, for the next 25 years.

Edge Gathering Virtual Pipelines 2, better known as Edge LNG, has been selected by EXCO Resources to capture and liquefy gas from a stranded well in the Marcellus Shale. The gas is being trucked to electric utility customers in the Northeast (NE) of the United States.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has re-configured its 163 MW Humboldt Bay Generating Station to provide electricity for Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events. Part of HBGS’ capacity hereby gets separated from regular grid dispatch for use exclusively to re-energise towns in northern California in the event of a blackout.

Siemens Gas and Power, in consortium with Terna, has been awarded a turnkey EPC contract by Ariadne Interconnection to build a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link from Crete to the Greek mainland. Commissioning of the 1,000 MW power link is scheduled for mid-2023.

China National Technical Import & Export Corp. (CNTIC), together with VPower Group, has welcomed an inaugural cargo at the new-built jetty adjacent to their Thanlyin gas power plant (350 MW). Petronas ultimately delivered the cargo directly to the FSU – and not to Myanmar’s land-based Yagon LNG terminal.

Calgary-based Maxim Power has commissioned the H.R. Milner Generating Station in Grande Cache, Alberta, a 204 MW open-cycle gas peaking power plant. Construction works were completed in just 16 months, with 21 months from equipment procurement to project completion.

Black & Veatch has been selected by the Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) as owner’s engineer to help transition its power plant to green hydrogen. IPA plans to retire the coal-fired facility and replace it with an 840 MW gas combined-cycle plant in 2025, capable for hydrogen co-firing.

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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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