Technology & Innovation

Use of premix combustion chambers has helped MAN Diesel and Turbo achieve a breakthrough by reducing nitrogen-oxide (NOx) emissions at its MGT 6100 gas turbine (6-8 MW) to single digits at up to 100 percent load.

Alstom has validated its MXL2 upgrade for GT26 gas turbines, enabling operators to flexibly dispatch their plants and match production hours to fluctuating demand – a key requirement in markets with high volumes of intermittent renewable power supply such as Spain or Germany.

General Atomics has submitted a modified version of its Gas-Turbine Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR) design in a bid for funding from the US Department of Energy (DoE).

American electronics multinational GE is expanding its oil and gas facility in Fót, a suburb of the Hungarian capital Budapest, with a view to locally manufacture central unit control panels (UCP) for gas and steam turbine power plants.

Waste heat absorption to prevent power use and to reduce fuel consumption during summer Combined Heat & Power (CHP) operation is an often overlooked feature, Manfred Klein, former chairman of the Industrial Applications of Gas Turbines (IAGT) Committee told Gas to Power Journal.

 

Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas (MPSA), the US arm of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has completed performance testing of a Selective Catalytic NOx Reduction (SCR) system before installing it at an 800MW gas turbine simple-cycle power plant.

Smoother airfoil designs through Tomo-Lithographic Molding (TOMO) help improve the cooling capabilities of gas turbines and increase overall efficiency, Siemens representative Tim Rokita told Gas to Power Journal.

Flexible operation of Repsol's combined head and power (CHP) stations makes it difficult to optimize production costs. To alleviate uncertainties the operator developed and installed a real-time thermodynamic model, made up of 70 independent variables and over 900 functions or dependent variables, that controls operations of the CHP's three high-pressure boilers and one auxiliary boiler.

Japanese telecoms and energy provider SoftBank Group and American fuel cell producer Bloom Energy have formed a 50/50 joint venture, Bloom Energy Japan, to start selling distributed installations for base-load power. Bloom Energy Servers are based on gas-fired solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks, with a net base load power output of 200kW.

Wood Group GTS has completed a maintenance contract worth $2 million for Frame 5 and 6B gas turbines at power stations in Costa Rica and the US. 

Taking steps to enter the Chinese market, Alstom has signed a long term agreement to license its GT13E2 gas turbine for manufacture, assembly and sales in China through the Harbin Turbine Corporation (HTC).

Siemens is contracted to provide long-term service for Blackhawk Power Station – a 230-megawatt gas-fired cogeneration facility located in Borger, Texas.

Californian consumers could save up to $890 million per year, or 11 % in system level generating costs, by replacing 5.5 GW of gas turbines with an equal amount of Smart Power Generation (SPG), a KEMA DNV study finds.

GE is celebrating "20 years of powering progress around the world" as its LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine that achieved more than 26 million operating hours.

Dehumidification is key for keeping a mothballed power station operationally ready while protecting it from corrosion or degradation during its temporary closure, says Carl Webb who worked with Andrews Sykes when Barking Power Ltd. temporarily closed one 500MW unit at its gas-fired power plant.

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News in Brief

China eases ban on coal power

Aug 22 – The Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA) has allowed 11 provinces to resume building coal power plants in a move that lies bare the country’s dependency on thermal coal even after several hundred billion dollars were invested cleaner energy sources, notable wind, solar and natural gas. Areas earmarked by NEA for new coal power plants include Qinghai, Chongqing, Guangxi, Guangdong, Yunnan, Guizhou and Henan.

Blackout after Didcot demolition

Aug 21 – Yet another blackout hit thousands of British households early Sunday after the demolition of cooling towers at the disused Didcot-A power station in Oxfordshire. Moments after the explosion at 7am to bring down the cooling towers some nearby electricity poles and overhead transmission lines caught fire, causing a sudden loss of electricity that lasted for one hour and twenty minutes.

Fuel cell vehicle market gathers speed

Aug 20 – Sales revenue from fuel cell vehicles will soar to $255.2 billion in 2032, up from just $400 million last year, driven by fast growth in China and wider Asia. Hydrogen fuel cells achieve an energy conversion efficiency of 50% to 60% amid zero emissions and a low maintenance cost thanks to the engine’s modular design.

Tohoku Electric tenders for LNG cargo

Aug 19 – Tohoku Electric Power, the fourth-largest electric utility in Japan in terms of revenue behind Tepco, Kepco and Chubu, is understood to be seeking an LNG cargo for delivery in September. A tender process is ongoing.

Cost for decarbonizing industry tops $21tr

Aug 16 – Total costs to fully decarbonize the four most polluting industries – cement, steel, ammonia and ethylene – are estimated to amount to $21 trillion between today and 2050. McKinsey said this could be lowered to about $11 trillion if zero-carbon electricity prices come down further compared to fossil fuel prices. In this event, industry could switch to using electricity for heating processes.

Co-firing Braskem plant with hydrogen

Aug 15 – Siemens is making fossil energy greener at the Braskem onsite power plant in Brazil. In this modernization project two SGT-600 gas turbines are co-fired up to 60% with hydrogen, enhancing efficiency for the production process of the adjacent the petrochemical complex.

Canada's CO2 tax to hit CCGTs

Aug 5 – Change in Canada’s carbon emissions tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could significantly lower the profitability of gas generation and could prompt SaskPower reconsider its planned Moose Jaw gas power station.

GE CFO steps down

Aug 2 – Jamie S. Miller, General Electric’s chief financial officer, has decided to quit after two years in the job and 11 years with the company. Having overseen GE’s fiscal activities during a period of intense restructuring, Miller will remain in office while the GE board is looking for a successor.

Siemens HR boss quits

Aug 1 – Janina Kugel, Siemens chief HR officer, is leaving the company amid an apparently scattered working relationship and stark personal differences with CEO Joe Kaeser. Her contract will expire by mutual agreement on January 31, 2020.

ABB standardizes eBus chargers

July 31 – Zurich-based ABB, a member of the ASSURED consortium, is working on standardizing the specifications for automatic charging of heavy vehicles. The aim is to drive down the total cost of ownership for electric fleet operators, helping increase adoption of eBuses and eTrucks. Conformance and interoperability tests will be carried out in Q4-2019.

U.S. Senate helps fund EV charging stations

July 30 – The need for expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure is greater than expected given that there had been over 1.75 million electric vehicles (EV) in North America at the end of 2018, a nearly 60% increase from the previous year. To help fund additional charging stations, among other things, the U.S. Senate approved the $287 billion America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA).

PNOC, Lloyds to develop merchant LNG-to-Power projects

July 29 – Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lloyds Energy to develop a 1,200 MW LNG-fuelled power plant in partnership with Mitsubishi. Dubai-based Lloyds Energy is looking at ways to develop integrated LNG import facilities and gas power plants on a merchant basis in Bataan and Batangas provinces.

Macquarie finances CCGT in Mexico

July 26 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

Naturgy cashes in on gas network

July 25 – Spanish gas utility Naturgy has posted a 7% rise in core earnings for the first half of the year due to strong gains from its gas network business that helped offset falling revenues from power generation and slimmer LNG margins.

French court rejects appeal against Total CCGT

July 24 – Judges at an appeal court in Nantes have thrown out an appeal by environmentalist against Total’s planned Landivisiau combined-cycle gas power plant in Brittany. The 440 MW project, initiated by Direct Energy which was since acquired by Total, is over two years behind schedule. The French grid operator RTE has singled out the Landivisiau CCGT as “critical” in guaranteeing supply security in winter 2020/21 due to the planned shutdown of four coal power plants.

U.S. gas production falls in wake of ‘Barry’

July 23 – Shut-ins related to Hurricane Barry have scaled back U.S. gas production by 1.6 billion cubic feet per day, compared to last week, while power sector gas demand rose by just over 2.0 bcf/d. Consequently, there is significantly less gas available for storage so the injection rate has halved, according to Energy Aspects figures.

Blackout after fire at Madison substation

July 22 – Electricity is gradually being restored at Madison, Wisconsin, after 13,000 people experience a blackout following an explosion at a substation near Madison Gas & Electric’s 100 MW gas-fired Blount Generating Station. No injuries were reported.