Technology & Innovation

Mitsubishi Power, part of MHI Group, has started to develop a MW-class gas turbine that will be 100% fuelled by ammonia (NH3), producing no emissions in the combustion process. The first NH3-fired, carbon-free gas turbine will be based on the H-25 Series turbine, and is targeted to be ready for commercialization by 2025.

For the first time in Belgium, hydrogen will be used at a commercial-scale gas cogeneration plant situated at INEOS’ Phenol chemical park in Doel, just north of Antwerp in East-Flanders. The gas turbine will initially be 10% co-fired with hydrogen but the aim is to increase the feed to 20% hydrogen.

Japanese battery manufacturer TDK and the Israeli fuel cell maker GenCell agreed to invest $85 million into developing a low-cost approach for green ammonia. The new low temperature process is designed to produce carbon-free ammonia that could replace the 235 million tons of industrial ammonia produced today, worth an estimated $70 billion.

Cast Aluminum Solutions (CAS) has launched a new CAST-X high temperature heater with 1500 Watt electrical power that is capable to withstand operating temperatures of up to 1110°Fahrenheit, or 600°Celsius. Thanks to its isolated fluid path, the new device can safely heat natural gas, diesel fuel, jet fuel and various alcohols under high pressure.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has invested into the California-based hard tech startup C-Zero to upscale and commercialise of the firm’s drop-in decarbonisation technology. It produces hydrogen via methane pyrolyis, in a process often referred to as ‘turquoise hydrogen.’

Siemens Energy has agreed to commission a heat-to-power pilot plant in Alberta for TC Energy before the end of 2022. The plant will be based on Echogen Rankine Cycle technology, using supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) as working fluid to convert waste heat into power. This results in a 10% rise in compressor station efficiency.

Maersk Drilling has commissioned Siemens Energy to upgrade two CJ70 jack-up drilling rigs in the North Sea with hybrid power plants that include lithium-ion energy storage. The rigs – Maersk Intrepid and Maersk Integrator – were retrofitted with BlueVault batteries, allowing the operator to reduce the runtime of onboard combustion engines.

MAN Energy Solutions is targeting ASEAN and Africa with integrated LNG-to-Power solutions, with new projects under development in the Philippines as well as in North and West Africa. Business development manager Carsten Dommermuth said, “for the entire project cycle – until commercial start-up – we allocate a time frame of 3 to 5 years.”

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) plans to spend $3 billion each year in 2021 and 2022 to better mitigate wildfires. In a proposal filed to CPUC, the California energy regulator, PG&E said it will deploy weather stations and cameras throughout its service area to pre-empt risks.

A Franco-German cooperation on hydrogen has been set up by Siemens Energy and Air Liquide. Combining their expertise in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology, the two companies develop an industrial-scale electrolyser that will be piloted at the H2V Normandy project (200 MW).

Danish utility DIN Forsyning has commissioned MAN Energy Solutions to supply a turnkey solution for heat generation at the Port of Esbjerg. Two electro-thermal energy storage (ETES) units will be installed in a new 50 MW district heating plant, operating on the principle of a CO2-based heat pump.

ExxonMobil has set up a Low Carbon Solutions business, pledging to invest $3 billion on green energy and carbon capture storage (CCS) through 2025. The new unit, led by Joe Blommaert, is evaluating multiple projects in Southeast Texas and Wyoming, as well as the Porthos project in Rotterdam.

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News in Brief

CCUS market to reach nearly $3bn in 2025

Oct 25 – The global carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) market will grow from $1.30 billion in 2020 to $1.46 billion in 2021, according to ResearchAndMarket estimates. The rebound comes as companies return to normal operations and sales, after a pandemic-related slowdown. Analysts expect the market will keep growing at a rate of nearly 20% annually to reach $2.97 billion by 2025.

SDG&E accelerates drive towards Net Zero by 2045

Oct 20 – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has set a new sustainability strategy, outlining new and accelerated goals to help meet its pledge to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045. SDG&E it now seeks to operate a 100% zero emissions vehicle fleet by 2035 – five years earlier than planned.

B&W develops biomass-to-hydrogen plant in Australia

Oct 19 – B&W's Renewable segment and Port Anthony Renewables Ltd have started to develop a biomass-to-hydrogen energy project in Victoria, Australia, based on B&W’s BrightLoop technology. When completed, the plant is expected to be part of the largest green hydrogen hub in south-eastern Australia.

LNG prices rise faster than oil

Oct 18 – Liquefied natural gas and pipeline supplies have experienced an even sharper increase in prices in 2021 than oil, driven by a combination of circumstances that included a strong recovery in demand in North Asia, southeast Asia and Europe, unseasonal weather and planned and unplanned capacity outages.

Wärtsilä shaft gensets to power two LNG carriers

Oct 14 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to supply four shaft generators to provide electricity take-off from the main engines of two LNG carriers. The ships are being built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Korea on behalf of the Capital Gas Ship Management of Greece.

VoltH2 gets green light for large hydrogen plant

Oct 13 – Vision Hydrogen Corp has announced that its affiliate VoltHe has received building and environmental permits to realise its first large-scale hydrogen plant at the Dutch North Sea Port of Vlissingen. The 5 MW hydrogen plant is located near existing high voltage power and gas infrastructure as well as large wind power assets. Once operational, it will produce around 3,500 tons of green hydrogen per year and will be scalable to 100 MW or 14,000 tons.

Tesla overtakes German e-cars

Oct 12 – Sales of Tesla in Germany has overtaken that of leading German carmakers. In September, more electric Tesla Model 3s were registered in the country than leading domestic models, such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class combined.

EnerMech spends £500k on crane training tech

Oct 11 – EnerMech has invested £500,000 in new crane simulator training systems at its Luanda (Angola), Doha (Qatar) and Great Yarmouth (UK) facilities. The British company recently formed a joint venture with 3t Energy Group to bring the KraneSIM-6000 equipment to both Qatar and Angola and offer in-country training across client organisations globally.  

Germany finances green hydrogen projects abroad

Oct 8 – The German government has agreed to support green hydrogen projects in other countries with up to €350 million by 2024, the economy ministry said when publishing a directive with relevant guidelines. Moreover, financial support is given to projects that produce and process green hydrogen for storage, transport and use in countries outside the EU through investment grants worth up to €15 million each.

UK e-car sales surge 186%

Oct 6 – Sales electric cars in the UK have surged 186% to a total of 108,000 in 2020 during the pandemic, up from just 38,000 in the previous year. Latest statistics show there were nearly 300,000 pure-electric cars on UK roads at the end of August 2021, and more than 600,000 plug-in models if including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

FogHorn deploys AI software at Chugoku Electric Power in Japan

Oct 4 – FogHorn, developer of Edge AI software, has deployed its Internet of Things (IoT) software at the Chugoku Electric Power hydroelectric power plant. The AI solutions will make the power gen process more efficient and enhances workplace safety. Chugoku Electric Power employs nearly 9,200 workers across 114 power units in the western part of Honshū, the largest island of Japan.

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines for ferry propulsion

Oct 1 – Rolls-Royce's new MT engines, automation system, and MTU Go! tool for remote service have future-proofed the high-speed catamaran Avemar Dos, run by the Spanish operator Balearia. Four MTU 20V1163 M84 units replaced the previous 1163 units, taking the vessel to a "new level of ecological soundness," the manufacturer says.

GES appoints former Puma Energy Chairman as NED

Sept 30 – Global Energy Storage (GES) has appointed the former Puma Energy Chairman, Graham Sharp, as an NED. Graham will support GES on its ‘new energies’ strategy for the energy transition, focusing on hydrogen fuels and hydrogen carriers space.

Aggreko reaches 2 GW of live power gen capacity

Sept 29 – Aggreko has today announced it has reached 2GW of live global gas power capacity and growth in flare gas to power and stranded gas projects. This new record follows a milestone of exceeding 1GW of delivered flare gas power projects in 2020.

Wärtislä renews O&M agreement with Lafarge Africa

Sept 28 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has renewed a long-term Operation & Maintenance (O&M) agreement with Lafarge Africa, a large producer of building materials in Nigeria. The agreement covers the 100 MW Lafarge Ewekoro power plant, which provides a dedicated supply of electricity to the company’s concrete and cement manufacturing processes.

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.

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