Technology & Innovation

Global ECP contractor Worley, in partnership with the software company Arundo, has launched DataSee as one of the initial products of its wider Data Refinery technology that brings new speed and accuracy to processing engineering diagrams for energy infrastructure projects.

Siemens has launches its new Grid Diagnostic Suite at the European Utility Week (EUW) in Paris today, helping grid operators cope with new challenges from the expansion of e-mobility and increasing infeed of volatile generating capacity. Four cloud-based applications collect data from devices installed anywhere in the grid for better distribution automation and power quality.

The Canadian power producer ENMAX has asked GE to upgrade and hybridize an LM6000 gas turbine at the Crossfield Energy Center in Alberta. Coupled with GE’s battery energy storage system (BESS) and hybrid controls, the turbine will supply backup energy starting from the third quarter of 2020.

General Electric has decided to invest up to US$60 million (S$81.4m) over ten years to turn its global repair center in Singapore into an engineering and development center – the first of its kind outside the Americas. The enlarged facility will add 160 advanced manufacturing jobs to GE’s team in Singapore starting from early 2021.

Distributed generation is growing as utilities increasingly rely on wind and solar power installations, backed up by flexible gas- or diesel-fuelled generator sets. Remote monitoring of such decentralized assets – through the newly launched CAT Connect – moves beyond Caterpillar's SCADA system of supervisory control and data acquisition.

Italgas, Europe’s third largest gas distributor, has contracted Turboden to install 650 kWe gas expanders to increase the efficiency of gas pressure reduction stations at Rome’s main pipeline network. The expanders produce electricity from the pressure differentials between mainline and transmission pipelines.

Today’s data centers consume about 3% of the total energy generated globally, and INNIO’s new gas generator delivers that electricity in a more reliable way. The fast-start Jenbacher J620 genset can power up to 3 MW in less than 45 seconds.

Critical power distribution, designed by ABB, allows GIGA’s data center in North Carolina reduce customers’ operating costs by 31% compared to rival facilities. ABB’s aim was to maximize scalability while achieving an ultra-low Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating.

Italian turbine manufacturer Ansaldo Energia and the Norwegian energy company Equinor have joined forces on validitation tests for the use of hydrogen for gas-fired power plant turbines. Equinor agreed to co-fund these full scale, full pressure combustor tests on Ansaldo’s GT36 and GT26 turbines.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries has obtained Approval in Principle (AiP) from the classification society DNV GL for its floating LNG power plant, driven by a combined-cycle gas turbine. The approval is based on DNV GL’s latest ‘Gas Power Plant Rules.’

Utilities, particularly in China and Europe, are retrofitting their gas turbine with combustor enhancements to make assets more cost-effective. To support this market, Ansaldo Energia affiliate PSM developed a Low Emission Combustor (LEC-III) and new FlameSheet combustor retrofit for B, E and F-class gas turbines.

Evonik and Siemens have launched the second phase of Rheticus in Marl, Germany, based on €3.5 million in government funding. The test plant contains a bioreactor and electrolyzers to turn water and CO2 into valuable chemicals, making use of excess electricity from renewable sources.

Global energy utilities are facing a growing risk of cyberattacks with potentially severe financial damage. A survey by Siemens and the Ponemon Institute finds that 54% of utility respondents fear an attack on critical infrastructure in the next 12 months. To mitigate this risk, utilities need to improve the interface between Operational Technology (OT) and IT systems.

General Electric has installed an evaluation of its HA turbine at Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) Dania Beach Clean Energy Center near Fort Lauderdale. The newly launched 7HA.03 has the lowest cost conversion of gas to electricity for 60-hertz customers.

High-tech firm Leonardo will provide cyber security solution for Ansaldo Energia’s ‘Lighthouse Plant’ for the production of gas and steam turbines. As the first of Italy’s four intelligent factories, the project will benefit from state funding under the Industry 4.0 plan.

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News in Brief

OGUK responds to Labour Party Manifesto

Nov 21 – The UK North Sea industry association Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) has warned of an investment hiatus in reaction to Labour’s pledge to introduce a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, if it wins the General Election on December 12. Responding to this, OGUK said any increase in tax rates would drive investors away, damage the competitiveness of the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry, and could potentially increase the country’s reliance on imports. OGUK underlined it has put in place a ‘Roadmap 2035 a blueprint for net zero emission’ and is investing in technology to achieve this goal.

France, Germany and UK led on demand-side flexibility

Nov 21 – France, Germany and the UK are leading on demand-side flexibility (DSF) and grid-integration of decentralized energy sources while Sweden, Spain and Portugal are lagging behind the rest of Europe, the consultancy Delta-EE and SmartEN finds. Areas covered by their new DSF monitoring tool include availability and accessibility of demand-side response, and its monetization across the gas value chain.

AI predicts peak in power use

Nov 20 – ABB and Verdigris Technologies have developed machine-learning algorithms to predict unplanned peaks in electricity consumption and help avoid them. The Energy Forecasting app will enable users to reduce their electricity bills by reducing peak demand charges.

India’s first UHVDC link commissioned

Nov 19 – GE Grid Solutions has commissioned Pole-3 - the ultra high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission line in India, capable to transmit 4,500 MW of electricity. Once completed the Champa-Kurukshetra UHVDC project will be expanded to transmit 6,000 MW of electricity at 800 kV, serving customers in the areas of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh.

COP25 urged to step up climate efforts

Nov 18 – The COP25 UN climate conference in Madrid is urged to enshrine greater commitments from the world's industrialised nations to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. “Europe will have to play a key role in this regard,“ environment minister Svenja Schulze said, adding Germany's recently announced climate package marks a "restart" in the country's climate policy.

Wärtsilä launches ‘Expertise Centre’ in Singapore

Nov 15 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has chosen Singapore as the location for its latest Expertise Centre (EC) that provides operational support and dynamic maintenance planning, both for marine and energy business customers. All of Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centres combined currently monitor some 900 installations with more than 2,000 engines around the world.

U.S. storage injection hits record high

Nov 14 – Near-record volumes of natural gas have been placed into storage in the United States in the current injection season. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the amount of gas held in storage in 2019 surged from a relatively low value of 1,155 billion cubic feet (Bcf) at the beginning of April to 3,724 Bcf at the end of October.

SaskPower proceeds with Moose Jaw project

Nov 13 – Canadian utility SaskPower has taken a significant step towards realizing a 350 MW gas power plant at Moose Jaw. The project was first proposed in 2017, but in the Canadian federal government June last year introduced new regulations for gas generation coming online after January 1, 2021, which stalled the plans. Having completed its regulatory review, Sask Power was now granted permission to proceed from the municipality of Moose Jaw. Major Fraser Tolmie said “this $700-million investment into the city of Moose Jaw, will ensure we have base-load power in the province of Saskatchewan and to maintain our power independence.”

Sembcorp powers up first BESS unit in the UK

Nov 12 – Sembcorp Energy UK, part of Singapore-based Sempcorp Group, has started to operate the first 60 MW unit of its battery energy storage system (BESS) fleet, supplied by GE. Combined, the three storage units in Leicestershire and Cheshire will bring Sembcorp Energy UK’s total energy portfolio to 973 MW.

Global gas glut may clear in 2021

Nov 11 – Economics of exporting American liquefied natural gas to Europe no longer add up. With Henry Hub spot prices around $2.7/MMBtu, moving LNG cargoes from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Europe is “not workable,” BP analysts said, indicating that production shut-ins could help clear the massive supply overhang towards the end of 2021.

Gazprom reassures Germany of Ukraine gas transits

Nov 8 – Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, has been trying to reassure the German government commissioner Georg Graf Waldersee that Russia was ready to signing a new transit contract with Naftogaz if both companies mutually waive claims. Before gas flows can proceed, however, Ukraine will have to create an independent gas transmission operator by January 1, 2020.

GE makes gains in wind power

Nov 7 – GE Power is gradually turning away from its loss-making fossil power segment to focus on the fast-growing renewable business. This week, GE struck a deal for its new Haliade-X turbines to be used at Dogger Bank Wind Farms. The three 1.2 GW Dogger Bank projects, situated offshore the UK’s Yorkshire coast, are expected to trigger approximately £9 billion of capital investment between 2020 and 2026.

PetroVietnam eyes LNG-to-Power project

Nov 6 – PetroVietnam has signed an agreement with B.Grimm Power Public Company (BGRIM) to jointly study the development of an integrated LNG import and power generation project. The aim is to build a 3,000 MW gas-fuelled power plant and an adjacent LNG import terminal. The location of the project has not been disclosed.

ABB launches ‘Smart City’

Nov 5 – Electrification specialists of the Swiss manufacturer ABB have designed an interactive ‘Smart City’ that contains smart buildings, e-mobility, energy management and data centers. The use of smart technologies and digitalization are encouraged by the United Nations as a way to help decarbonize cities around the world.

Gazprom, BASF cooperate on sulfur separation

Nov 4 – The Russian major Gazprom and the German chemical company BASF have agreed to devise a comprehensive solution for separation of sulfur from natural gas. The aim is to  enhance eco-efficiency of the Astrakhan gas processing plant and improve operational efficiency of BASF’s amine gas treatment units at the Orenburg gas-fired power plant.

Germany’s emission fall ‘markedly’

Nov 1 – Germany is headed for second consecutive year of substantial reductions in carbon emissions, amid a sharp drop in coal-burn in the power sector and an overall decline in energy use in 2019. If this trend continues, the country could get much closer to its 2020 climate target than widely anticipated.

Exmar to refinance Tango FLNG

Oct 31 – Exmar, the Belgian shipping company, is trying to refinance the Tango FLNG vessel, moored offshore Argentina on behalf of YPF. The aim is to generate around $60 million in additional capital, Exmar said, suggesting a deal will likely be struck in the first months of 2020.