Technology & Innovation

Mitsubishi Power has inaugurated its M701JAC gas turbine at a combined-cycle power plant in Thailand. The turbine powers one of eight CCGT units at two equally sized plants with a combined output of 3,500 MW, built by Gulf Energy Development and Mitsui & Co.

Mercedes-Benz has contracted Siemens to advance the digitalization and automation of its manufacturing processes, both for petrol-based cars and electric vehicles. At Mercedes’ Marienfelde site, near Berlin, the car maker plans to implement the Mercedes-Benz Cars ecosystem MO360 and digitalize the assembly of e-mobility components.

Norwegian classification society DNV has released a new service specification document for Additive Manufacturing (AM), which uses 3D model data to fabricate parts in a shorter time and at a lower cost than traditional engineering practices. The new service specification, DNVGL-SE-0568, is meant to build trust in 3D-printed parts.

Mitsubishi, part of the Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) Partnership, has won a £75 million ($103 million) government contract to help decarbonise the region by 2040. Locally produced hydrogen will be distributed by a shared pipeline network, carrying green hydrogen to industrial customers, electric utilities and to Centrica's gas storage facility at Easington.

Reactive power compensation helps Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) integrate renewable energy into the grid. A reactive power plant, supplied by Siemens Energy, combines static synchronous compensation (STATCOM) technology and a modular multilevel converter (MMC) to enhance the functionality of Barren Ridge Switching Station.

London-based Lloyd’s Register, classification society for ships as well as oil and gas infrastructure, has created a new tool for its users to track non-conforming oil and gas assets through to resolution. The tool not only identifies events but ensures that action is taken before issues become a tangible environmental, economic or safety threat.

The UK government has committed to invest £3 million to kick-start the development of a hydrogen transport hub in Tees Valley – a process that could create up to 5,000 new jobs in the North East. If all goes to plan, the hub could be fully operational by 2025.

Israel-based GenCell has designed a non-metal based catalyst, following 6 years of research to reduce cost. In the process, GenCell removed the noble metal platinum from its nickel-based catalyst compound, CEO Rami Reshef explained. Instead, it developed a cracker that extracts hydrogen from liquid ammonia to generate electricity by means of alkaline fuel cells.

Cummins and Cummins Westport have launched the ISX12N+Endurant HD N powertrain for heavy-duty customers, combining a near-zero emissions gas engine and the Endurant HD N 12-speed automated transmission from Eaton Cummins. The solution is designed for lower emissions of regional haul fleets.

MAN Energy Solutions aims for climate-neutral fuels such as e-methane to replace marine diesel and natural gas or coal used for power generation. “By 2030, sustainable technologies should make up the majority of our company's business,” CEO Uwe Lauber said, though a global CO2 price is vital for the marine and transport sectors to truly embrace green fuels.

The Finish energy and marine technology group Wärtsilä has agreed to provide another €1 million in seed funding to Soletair Power Oy, a Finish start-up focussed on Power-to-X. Soletair developed a new concept to capture CO2 from the air and convert it into a synthetic renewable fuel that can be used for power generation.

From today through March 23, Mitsubishi Power will take part in the “Virtual Japan Pavilion: Innovation for 2050 net-zero,” an online exhibition organised by Japan’s environment ministry. Mitsubishi Power will showcase its hydrogen gas turbines, R&D on producing carbon-free hydrogen and ammonia, as well as capturing CO2 and converting it to synthetic fuels.

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News in Brief

Howden powers methanol plant

July 29 – Howden will deliver a hydrogen compressor to Johnson Matthey to serve the world’s first methanol plant that harnesses energy from the wind, in Patagonia, Chile. The Haru Oni project will deliver around 900,000 litres per year of e-methanol as early as 2022 and will be scaled up to 550 million litres of e-fuels per year by 2026.

Bloom SOFCs to power micro plant in South Korea

July 28 – California-based Bloom Energy, in cooperation with SK ecoplant, will install solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Donghae City, South Korea. The CHP will provide heat and warm water for the nearby Bukpyung sports center. Construction on the project is slated to start this autumn.

Shanghai Electric to digitalise factories

July 27 – Shanghai Electric has entered a partnership with AI Investment Fund at the WAIC 2021 conference to provide digital solutions to industrial parks and medical institutions. Yang Hong, Vice President of Shanghai Electric said the aim is to help industries to minimise emissions and waste while maintaining low unit costs.

Slow LNG uptake in Africa

July 26 – In Africa, the uptake of LNG imports to new markets has been slow. Both Ghana’s 1.7 million tons per annum (mtpa) Tema LNG and Senegal’s 1.0 mtpa Dakar Powership are still awaiting their first LNG deliveries, though their respective FSRUs Vasant and Karmol LNGt Powership Africa have been in place since June.

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

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