Technology & Innovation

Siemens Energy and Bentley Systems have launched APM4O&G, an asset performance management system for oil and gas, which helps enhance operations, eliminates unplanned asset downtime, and reduce maintenance costs.

Cummins’ HSK78G gas generators have achieved an installation capacity of more than 80 MW, equivalent to powering around 52,000 homes. Since its launch in March 2019, the gas gensets provide organisations across all industries with lower-carbon intensive electricity.

Mitsubishi Power has signed a memorandum with PLN Group and Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) to jointly promote biomass co-firing at coal and gas power plants in Indonesia. Financial support frameworks will set up by September 2021, followed by some pilot projects.

German utility RWE is turning from coal to hydrogen by installing electrolysers in Lingen to allow Thyssenkrupp convert its blast furnace to run on gaseous hydrogen by 2022. A 100 MW electrolyser produces 1.7 tons of H2 per hour, enough to make 40,000 tons of climate-neutral steel.

Smart integration of local energy sources and storage is in focus of ROBINSON research, an EU Horizon 2020 project backed by 8.4 million Euros. The aim is to help industrialised island nations become energy self-sufficient through a mix of renewables, thermal gensets and energy storage.

Success of the global energy revolution – the shift from fossil to low-carbon power generation – hinges on the quality of the cable that underpins. Yet an estimated 20% of all cables in the UK are either substandard, counterfeit or non-approved.

AES Corp, a global Fortune 500 energy provider, is preparing to operate its power stations at Alamitos and Huntington Beach remotely to ensure continuity and leverage staffing. The Virginia-based utility will employ GE software at a new central control centre due to be built by early 2021.

Siemens has launched an artificial intelligence (AI)-based Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service that helps shield the energy industry from cyber-attacks. Powered by Eos.ii, the solution gathers real-time energy asset intelligence to monitor, detect and uncover attacks before they occur.

Japan’s largest utility and LNG importer JERA has launched proceedings to digitalise power plant Operation & Maintenance (O&M). Artificial intelligence (AI) and standardisation of work processes is meant to allow workers to “shift from many troublesome tasks to creative data-based work."

GenCell Energy, an Israel-based fuel cell manufacturer, has developed a cracker that extracts hydrogen from liquid ammonia to generate electricity by means of alkaline fuel cells. The technology is designed to replace diesel generators and produce green energy in remote, off-grid locations.

US oil major ExxonMobil and the engine maker INNIO have co-developed a new lubricant for Jenbacher Type 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9 gas engines. Performance of the new N Oil 40 has been confirmed by more than 160,000 hours of field data across multiple engine platforms in Germany, Russia and the UK.

Mitsubishi Power is expanding its boiler smart inspection offering, part of TOMONI digital solutions, to petroleum and chemical industries and power providers. With this move, the Japanese OEM seeks to tap new customer categories as it works to become an energy solution provider.

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News in Brief

Energy storage for LNG-powered vessels

Oct 21 – Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf has asked Wärtsilä to retrofit its energy storage system (ESS) on four LNG-fuelled platform support vessels. Once upgraded in early 2022, all vessels will be of full tri-fuel operation.

Mott McDonald starts construction on ALCP6

Oct 20 – US construction firm Mott McDonald has started building the ALCP6 waste to energy project in Krabi province, southern Thailand. The plant will incinerate 144,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, and the heat obtained will be converted into 6 MW of electricity to be exported to the Thai national grid.

Brace for EU sustainable finance rules

Oct 19 – Sustainable finance practices, drawn up by the European Commission, could create a "bureaucratic monster" that smaller companies and energy investors would find overbearing, the Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (ifo) warned. The regulation should hence prioritise closer scrutiny of large and listed companies.

UK could become net power exporter

Oct 16 – Increased interconnection could provide a route for excess offshore wind power in Britain to be consumed elsewhere in Europe. National Grid Interconnector Register shows up to 16 GW of interconnection could be operational by 2025 and up to 25.4 GW by 2030.

Wärtsilä to deploy GridSolv in US city

Oct 15 – AEP OnSite Partners has contracted Wärtsilä to deploy its GridSolv Quantum energy storage in the city of Martinsville, Virginia. The system includes an UL9540A limiting 2-hour battery firewall and will help lower the city’s energy costs.

Rolls-Royce spends $13.9m in Mankato

Oct 14 – Britain’s engine maker Rolls-Royce has decided to invest nearly $14 million in its Power System business to build a new R&D centre at its MTU manufacturing plant in Mankato, Minnesota, US. The expansion will see 28,000 square foot added to the facility’s existing hall, making room for the production of high-power MTU gas gensets, enhanced product testing and the creation of 20 new manufacturing positions.

Clarke commissions Vitalait power unit in Tunisia

Oct 13 – Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher have completed the commissioning of an onsite power plant of a milk producer in Tunisia. The installation of another Jenbacher gas engine has increased the plant’s output to 4 MW of electricity as well as 1,100 kW of hot water and 800 kW of steam.

Secondary battery market to top $55bn

Oct 12 – Technavio expects the secondary battery market to grow by $55.62 billion through 2024, rising at an 11% rate over the forecast period. Falling costs for lithium-ion batteries as well as growing demand in Asia Pacific allowed the market to grow 2.01% this year, despite adverse effects of the pandemic. Top battery suppliers are Tesla, Clarious, Exide, LG Chem, GS Yuasa and Samsung.

Shift to sustainable tech

Oct 9 – Three quarters of utilities, surveyed by EIT InnoEnergy, are considering adopting sustainable technology over the next 12-18 months. However, over one third of the respondents found it hard to recruit the skills they need.

Generator rentals slow

Oct 8 – The rental market for power generators has slowed down due to the pandemic, with genset rentals from the oil and gas industry forecast to grow by just $153.87 million this year. However, Technavio expects the market will return to a 3% annual growth rate by 2024.

GE upgrades Italian CHP

Oct 7 – GE has completed an axial fuel staging upgrade on its 9E gas turbine at an onsite combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Milazzo refinery in Sicily. The entire electricity needs of the refinery, over 780 GWh in 2019, will soon be supplied by the upgraded and more flexible gas turbine.

Operating assets ‘from anywhere’

Oct 6 – GE Digital’s latest software gives electric utilities remote and mobile control over their power stations for remote start-up, external monitoring and operational fine-tuning. The goal is to safe cost through autonomous operation from any location.

Chart wins order from New Fortress Energy

Oct 5 – Chart Industries has secured a second leasing order, worth $7.7 million, for ISO containers for LNG applications from New Fortress Energy for a project in the Caribbean. The US equipment maker sees double digit near-term growth in its repair, service and leasing business, notably from growing demand for LNG equipment for infrastructure.

Siemens energises Togo

Oct 2 – Siemens Energy has delivered a SGT-800 gas turbine and other components for the Kékéli Efficient Power plant project. Located in the Togolese capital Lomé, the 65 MW plant will cover almost 40% of country’s expected electricity demand.

Batteries get cheaper

Oct 1 – Cost for battery production is falling rapidly as manufacturers bring large Gigafactories on-line. By 2030, Bloomberg New Energy Finance anticipates battery pack prices to drop to $73 per kilowatt-hour, down from a current volume-weighted average of below $270/kWh.

Barclays may help fund Rolls-Royce

Sept 30 – UK’s prime engine maker Rolls-Royce is understood to be close to getting fresh financing from Barclays Bank. The Derby-based company, however, insists no final decision has been taken on the precise amount that may be raised or any allotment of shares to any investor.

Petronas to truck LNG to off-grid users

Sept 29 – Petronas Dagangan Group is gearing up to build a LNG truck delivery service for off-grid customers in Peninsular Malaysia. Trucks fitted with cryogenic tanks will bring the super-chilled fuel to remote industries and small-scale power generators with no access to the natural gas grid. Malaysia’s Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU) pipeline is only 2,500 kilometers in length and was initially built to export gas to Singapore.

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