Technology & Innovation

Siemens Energy’s new Unified Power Flow Controller, called UPFC PLUS, helps grid operators manage the load flow in alternating-current grids. Reacting within milliseconds, the tool enhances network resilience in the face of rising volumes of fluctuating renewable energy supply.

US oil major ExxonMobil and Global Thermostat have expanded their joint development agreement of Direct Air Capture Technology, designed to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Amine-based adsorbents act like a filter to efficiently capture CO2, which can then be stored underground or used to make chemicals or construction materials.

Evonik and Siemens Energy have commissioned a pilot plant in Marl, northern Ruhr region, which produces sustainable chemicals from carbon dioxide and hydrogen, powered by renewables. Part of the Rheticus research, the pilot plant is backed by 6.3 million Euros in state funding.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the South Korean shipbuilder, has been granted Approval in Principle (AIP) from Bureau Veritas for its ‘all-in-one type’ floating LNG power plant. The power barge is equipped for on-board power generation and transmission, LNG containment and gas supply.

Mitsubishi Power’s newly launched ‘Hydaptive package’ for green hydrogen integration will be used at three U.S. projects, worth over $3 billion. The Japanese OEM will build the 600 MW plant in Newburgh, New York, a 1,600 MW project in Virginia and a 1,084 MW project in Ohio.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T India) and Siemens Energy have applied a new method to successfully conduct a remote steam blowing of the gas turbine at the 400 MW Bibiyana South power plant in Bangladesh. The steam blowing was carried out from Erlangen, Germany, owing to the Covid-19 situation.

State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) has contracted Nokia to deploy IP/Optical solutions to ensure stable power supply for SGCC’s 1.1 billion customers. The network upgrade helps the Chinese TSO to monitor and control the world’s largest utility grid and transfer large data volumes across long distances.

PrimeServ, MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division, has launched a stability analysis of new fuel types – first introduced to the market in 2020 – to test their compatibility with other fuels. The so-called P-value analysis is now part of PrimeServ Lab’s standard programme.

South Korean equipment provider LS ELECTIC and Nokia have agreed to develop analytics-based platforms to evaluate power generation assets. Nokia’s SpaceTime asset lifecycle optimization platform – based on big data analytics and machine learning – allows LS ELECTRIC enhance its offerings for utility customers.

Rolls-Royce Power System is preparing to start manufacturing MTU EnergyPacks in the Siemens-Technopark in Ruhstorf, Bavaria, from early 2021. The tenancy agreement with Siemens has just been signed, allowing Rolls-Royce to boost production in Germany where it recently bought a majority stake in the Berlin-based energy storage specialist Qinous.

Uniper, Europe’s largest utility based on sales, is decarbonising its gas-fired power plants in the Netherlands and the UK with the help of GE technology. The two partners agreed to focus on converting units to hydrogen co-firing, and will set out a detailed decarbonisation roadmap by early 2021.

MHI Compressor International (MCO-I) has launched a test stand for API617 centrifugal compressors in Houston. The investment turned MCO-I into the only compressor maker at the U.S. Gulf Coast which can carry out PTC 10 Type 2 performance tests as well as mechanical running tests.

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News in Brief

Supercapcitors to replace batteries

Sept 25 – The global market for supercapacitors was valued at over $487 million last year and is forecast to top $1,570 millio by 2025, growing at an annual rate of 21.8%. Supercapacitor, an emerging technology for energy storage systems, can offer higher power density than batteries was may soon replace the latter.

Atos, Siemens expand digital partnership

Sept 24 – Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, has expanded its strategic partnership with Siemens AG for five years, helping the latter with data driven digital, cloud transformation and cybersecurity. The extension comes in the context of 5-year total €3 billion agreements which were separately signed with Siemens AG, Siemens Energy and Siemens Healthineers.

Rotterdam Port to store CO2 beneath the North Sea

Sept 23 – The Porthos project, a joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Gasunie and EBN, seeks to transport CO2 from industry in the port to empty gas fields beneath the North Sea. In its early years, the Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) will be able to store approximately 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year with plans to be operational by 2024.

German power sector to reach net zero in 2040s

Sept 22 – Revisions to Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG) stipulate the power sector should become greenhouse-gas neutral in the early 2040s. Despite the gradual electrification of heating and transport, the German energy ministry is so far sticking to its estimate of 580 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power consumption in 2030 – close to current levels.

B&W to supply superheaters to Lumiant

Sept 21 – Babcock & Wilcox’s thermal segment has been contracted to design, manufacture and supply new superheater components for a high-efficiency boiler at Luminant’s Oak Grove Power Plant near Franklin, Texas. Material delivery to Oak Grove is scheduled for February 2021.

EC targets 55% emission cut by 2030

Sept 17 – The European Commission’s latest 2030 Target Plan stipulates a 55% cut in emissions by 2030, compared to 1990-levels. The lobby group COGEN Europe stressed the importance of combined heat and power generation (CHP) to reach that goal, calling for more stable policies and supportive regulation.

Rolls-Royce may sell ITP Areo

Sept 17 – Britain’s prime manufacturer Rolls-Royce confirmed it is looking to strengthen its balance sheet, possibly by disposing of ITP Aero which his hoped to generate proceeds of more than £2bn over the next 18 months. Further cost cutting is meant to deliver £1 billion and revamping of the company’s Civil Areospace business should save another £1.3 billion.

China’s GDP may grow 1.8%

Sept 16 – China’s GDP is forecast to grow 1.8% this year as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. The government slashed electricity tariffs to support manufacturing but the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns of mounting credit risk for banks. Fiscal revenue pressure also intensifies as 1.5% of China’s GDP growth in the first half of 2020 was based on bond-funded investment by local governments.

Zeebrugge goes for green hydrogen

Sept 15 – Colruyt Group (Eoly), Parkwind and Fluxys aim to spend up to 35 million Euros to develop a green hydrogen plant in Zeebrugge, Belgium, by 2023. The plan is to convert off-shore wind energy into green hydrogen which can then be injected in the high-pressure natural gas transmission grid.

Shale gas market to top $41bn

Sept 14 – Global markets for unconventional gas, mostly developed by shale fracking, is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 7% to reach $ 41.76 billion by 2024. According to Technavio, the Americas region will remain dominant with an 87% market share as hydraulic fracturing technologies evolve. Top players in the market are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, PetroChina, Gazprom, Shell, Santos, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., and YPF.

SNAM, Saipem join forces on hydrogen

Sept 11 – Two Italian energy companies, SNAM and Saipem, have agreed to develop initiatives for green hydrogen production and transport, as well as for carbon dioxide capture, transport and reuse or storage (CCRS). The move supports the European Commission’s Hydrogen Strategy to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

MAN, Wasco to drive Power-to-Gas Tech in Asia

Sept 10 – MAN Energy Solutions and Wasco have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote and commercialize Power-to-X (PtX) projects in South-East Asia. The technology in question converts electricity into carbon-neutral synthetic fuels, gas or liquid, for use as a clean, carbon-neutral energy source.

Romgaz, GSP to realise 200 MW gas and solar project

Sept 9 – Romania’s state gas company Romgaz has agreed to build 200 MW power generation capacity with the privately-owned Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) which is controlled by the local businessman Gabriel Comanescu. The project entails a 150 MW gas-fired power plant and a 50 MW solar photovoltaic park, to be built on the site of a disused coal power plant in southern Romania.

Alaska uses twice as much energy for transport as NY

Sept 8 – More energy is used per person for transportation in U.S. states with low population density. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA), people in geographically large states with small populations, such as Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota, are useing twice as much energy for transportation than the U.S. average on a per capita basis. That’s in stark contrast to states with higher population density, such as Rhode Island and New York.

Hydrogen Council launched in Kobe/Kansai area

Sept 7 – Mitsubishi Power, part of MHI, and various Japanese energy companies have set up the so-called ‘Kobe/Kansai Hydrogen Utilization Council’ to develop new utilization methods and establish a regional hydrogen supply chain. The aim is to help Japan shift to a carbon-free, hydrogen-powered society by 2030.

B&W sets up Asia-Pacific HQ in Perth

Sept 4 – Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) has setup new Asia-Pacific headquarters in Perth, Australia, and named Nick Carter as managing director of the region. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, the engineering company is also establishing or expanding operations in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, China and India.

Germany boosts RES targets

Sept 3 – Striving to meet 2030 emission targets, the Germany government is increasing its renewable energy targets while adjusting the grid to accommodate a greater influx of fluctuating power supply. The draft reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) stipulates raising the solar photovoltaic capacity to 100 GW (up from 52 GW today), onshore wind capacity to 71 GW (from 55 GW), offshore wind to 20 GW and biomass to 8.4 GW.

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