Technology & Innovation

Jenbach-based INNIO has published its inaugural Sustainability Report, outlining its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance in 2020. In focus are digitalization and hydrogen technologies, as showcased in INNIO’s recently commissioned first engine in the 1 MW-range that runs on a variety of hydrogen-natural gas mixtures, or on 100% green hydrogen.

MAN Energy Solutions is forging ahead with installing the world’s first ETES (Electro-Thermal Energy Storage) heat-pump for multi-utility company, DIN Forsyning. Once completed, the power plant will supply climate-neutral district heating to 25,000 households in the Danish port town of Esbjerg.

Ansaldo Energia has joined the European Union’s ‘Digital Volunteer Program’, aimed at bridging the digital skills gap in small and medium-sized industries. As part of this project, Ansaldo is mentoring the Italian manufacturer ATLA to develop a new procedure for inspecting hot gas components from turbines.

Hydrogenious Technologies, a spinoff of FAU University Erlangen, has raised €50 million to scale up and commercialise its LOHC (liquid organic hydrogen carrier) technology. Liquid hydrogen is an efficient way to store and transport the increasingly popular fuel. The funding round was led by JERA Americas, investing €15 million, along with Temasek, Chevron and Pavilion Capital.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems and its affiliate MTU showcase microgrids for mining companies that supply decentralized power while reducing emissions by up to 30% at the MINExpo, held in Las Vegas this week. The system connects diesel and/or gas-fuelled generator sets, MTU’s EnergyPack battery system as well fuel cells into one microgrid.

Toray Industries and Siemens Energy were chosen to partake in Japan’s Green Innovation Funding Program to promote multi megawatt class PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) electrolysis in Japan. Together with Tokyo Electric, the two manufacturers will install a demo plant based on Toray's proprietary hydrocarbon electrolyte membranes.

Software-as-a-service provider Innowatts has developed a cloud-based solution by using the agility of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to process 4.3 billion data points per hour. By combining Innowatts AI data-analysis tool with AWS’s scalability and pay-as-you-go model, utilities can adapt their operations to customer needs and more volatile energy markets.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS), alongside with electrification could substantially decarbonise LNG projects. More than 25% of overall emissions could be removed depending on the technology adopted, Wood Mackenzie says, with capturing reservoir CO2 found to be much cheaper than post-combustion capture.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has deployed a “linear generator” – a mobile genset running on natural gas and biogas to displace diesel generators – at its Angwin microgrid in Napa County, California. Working with the local utilities Mainspring and NextEra Energy, PG&E installed the linear gensets for emergency power supply during winter storms.

Mitsubishi Power, part of MHI Group, is developing combustion burners that can use ammonia (NH3) as zero-emission fuel in thermal power plants. Tests have been conducted with basic combustion furnaces to compile data on ammonia and coal co-firing and ammonia-exclusive firing, though the by-product nitrogen oxide (NOx) is still of some concern.

Innowatts’ Core Analytics help power generators turn customer demand date into actionable insight. Analysis of smart meter data reduces forecasting errors by 20-40% which empowers the US retailer Direct Energy and the Colombian utility Celsia to tailor power plant dispatch, reduce the need to buy balancing energy and lower hedging costs.

ExxonMobil and Global Thermostat, an R&D firm, have been testing an agile solution of soaking up carbon dioxide emissions from the air – notably from industrial facilities and power stations – at a pilot plant in California. Once economically viable, the solution could help meet the world’s climate goals.

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News in Brief

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines to Sanlorenzo

Sept 27 – Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems will become one of the leading engine suppliers for Sanlorenzo, delivering MTU 10V, 12V and 16V 2000 yacht engines with a compact IMO 3 solution. A framework contract from 2022 through 2024 has been signed at the Monaco Yacht Show.

Shell exits Permian Basin

Sept 24 – Royal Dutch Shell has sold all its upstream interested in US Permian Basin to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion in cash. Shell’s assets in the Permian include around 225,000 net acres with a current production of around 175,000 barrels per day equivalent.

Global biogas market tops $88bn in 2030

Sept 22 – The global biogas market is set to expand at a rate of 8.4% annually and reach $88.47 billion in 2025. According to ResearchAndMarkets, the main growth drivers are small-scale power generators that use biogas derived from municipal or agricultural waste through anerobic digestion.  Europe was the largest region in the biogas market in 2020, though Asia Pacific recorded the fastest growth.

Fatih Birol on Time 100 list

Sept 20 – The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol has been named as one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in its annual list. ““In a world where facts are assaulted, Fatih Birol combines the best of high-tech data, optimistic know-how and old-school rhetorical finesse,” US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry commented, suggesting the IEA head would use his authority to “slash carbon emissions and save our planet.”

Chevron lacks Net Zero target

Sept 17 – US oil major Chevron is plans to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions along its oil and gas value chain, but lacks a clear Net Zero target. CEO Mike Wirth told investors and shareholders “an ultimate pathway to net zero will require technology advancements, more ambitious government policy, and development of large offset markets.” Concrete steps will be revealed in next month’s update to Chevron’s climate change resilience report.

Paul Browning to lead MHI’s energy transition team

Sept 15 – Mitsubishi has appointed Paul Browning as deputy head of Energy Transition & Power Headquarters, Energy Systems at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). Browning is currently CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas and will move to the new position on October 1, 2021.

Linde to help build liquefaction plant in Russia

Sept 14 – Gazprom has handed an EPC contract to Linde, Renaissance Heavy Industries and RusKhimAlyans, to build a gas liquefaction plant within the Gas Processing Complex (GPC) at the port of Ust-Luga, west of St Petersburg. The GPC will process ethane-containing gas into various fuels, and the two-Train liquefaction plant will have a design capacity for 13 million tons of LNG per year.

Santos completes Oil Search takeover

Sept 13 – Australian LNG exporter Santos has completed the takeover of Oil Search in a deal worth A$8.40 billion (US$6.25 billion). The all-share transaction brings together upstream oil and gas and LNG export assets in the Timor Sea, the Australian state of Queensland and in Papua New Guinea. Under the deal, Santos holds a 61.5% share of the merged company and Oil Search the remaining 38.5%.

Rolls-Royce goes green at DSEI trade show

Sept 10 – Rolls-Royce Energy Solutions is showcasing a range of sustainable power solutions at the DSEI trade show in London this week. The company’s is currently exploring how its Defence business can contribute to wider corporate objectives such as sustainability, electrification, and the development of digital technologies

Wärtsilä develops mobile battery for inland vessels

Sept 8 – Wärtsilä has developed and delivered a mobile battery container to enable inland waterway vessels to operate with zero emissions to ZES, a Dutch company founded in 2020 by ING Bank, the French utility Engie and the Port of Rotterdam. The two containers were delivered in June and the batteries are in continues operation since then.

EU-funds project for energy efficiency

Sept 7 – Today, the European Union (EU) funded HEATLEAP project has been launched to demonstrate the benefits of waste heat recovery systems such as large heat pumps for industries and gas expanders for electric utilities. Turboden will coordinate the project whereby heat pumps and gas expanders are tested at real scale.

EnerMech signs new deals in Americas

Sept 6 – Integrated solutions specialist EnerMech has secured several multi-sector contracts in the Americas. The multiple sector awards span the oil and gas, petrochemicals, maritime, and power generation industries. The largest contract is for nitrogen and leak testing of installations for an E&P operator in offshore Gulf of Mexico. As a result of these new awards EnerMech doubled its electrical team, and increased the number of mechanical pipefitters.

ACWA Power to hold IPO

Sept 3 – ACWA Power International has launched an initial public offering (IPO) to list its shares on the Saudi stock exchange, the Tadawul. The ACWA Power share sale will be the biggest in the Kingdom since the 2019 floatation of Saudi Aramco, which sold 1.5% of its shares and the trading debut valued the oil and gas business at $1.88 trillion.

Iran braces for winter gas shortage

Sept 2 – Iran’s Thermal Power Plant Holding (TPPH) has urged the energy ministry to take precaution to avoid fuel shortages in the coming winter. “We have faced serious problems last year due to the lack of gas and liquid fuel required by the power plants, and there is a concern that we will not be able to fully meet the country’s electricity needs this winter either,” said TPPH’s managing director Mohsen Tarztalab. Since households customers are prioritised and significantly increase their gas consumption in the coal season, power generators often have to resort to burning liquid fuels instead.

LYTT technology monitors carbon capture

Sept 1 – LYTT, a provider of real-time insights to oil and gas operators through a fiber optic sensor, LYTT is testing novel technology to monitor CO2 transport and migration in storage reservoirs together with SINTEF, an institute for applied research. Tracking dynamic multiphase flow is essential when monitoring the long-term effectiveness of carbon capture storage (CCS).

Gazprom invests in Russian gas grid

Sept 1 – Gazprom’s board of directors has approved 2.9 times more financing for new gas supply and infrastructure in 2021-2025 than in the previous five-year period. Over two-thirds of the investments will be made in rural areas, Gazprom explained, and by 2026, the gas grid expansion is planned to be “completed to the fullest extent possible in 35 regions of Russia.”

Woodside pioneers MAN’s Factory LNG solution

Aug 30 – Australian LNG pioneer Woodside is working with MAN to commercialise a solution for small-to-mid scale LNG production. Known as Factory LNG, concept involves a nominal 0.05 mtpa unit, the size of 40-foot ISO shipping container that can be transported via standard heavy-lift ships and trucks. The compact design shortens construction timeframes compared to traditional stick-built or modular LNG trains.

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