Technology & Innovation

The Russian gas giant Gazprom plans to order Russian-manufactured LNG-powered trucks to transport liquid helium from the Amur Gas Processing Plant, where Russian gas gets treated prior to being fed into the ‘Power of Siberia’ pipeline to China. The first 18 trucks will go on the road in 2021.

The HyPER project (Bulk Hydrogen Production by Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming), led by Cranfield University, will build a 1.5 MWth pilot plant to test hydrogen technology invented by GTI. The research is funded by a £7.5 million grant from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and gets support from U.S.-based GTI and Doosan Babcock.

Mýa, a digital interface launched by MAN Energy Solutions, enables the exchange of data in a controlled and secure manner among participating Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), power plant operators and asset owners. The aim is promote collaborations among the marine, power generation, and energy industries.

MAN Energy Solution has launched an intelligent constant monitoring device for industrial lube oil. The certified device has recorded over 18,000 test hours on pilot industrial sites and complies with CE standards. It also received its first order is for third-party equipment in the Pacific region.

Green hydrogen, produced with renewables using electrolysers, is hoped to become the ‘new oil’ and develop into one of the most essential vectors in the decarbonisation process. “The technology already exists to make it possible; the next step is to scale it up to enable it to serve the common interest,” argues the French author Thierry Lepercq.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and NTK Spark Plug have joint forces to manufacture and sell cylindrical cell stacks – a key element used in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). The new joint venture CECYLLS will use NTK’s ceramic knowledge to produce the cell stacks that can efficiently utilize heat.

Stranded gas wells at the Marcellus Basin in Pennsylvania are being tapped via mobile trailor-mounted liquefaction units. Initial operations were launched and are set to last until at least 2020, Edge LNG announced, stressing the technology allows to “reap economic benefits on assets unreachable by pipeline.”

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) will conduct joint research with Indonesia's Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) analyzing big data from local power plant operations on the island of Java to advance clean energy technologies. The aim is to probe new fuels like ammonia and hydrogen.

General Electric, together with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Xerox-held PARC, has been awarded a $1.3 million project to reduce the timeline for designing and validating 3D-printed components by as much as 65 percent. The technique is vital to swiftly design complex gas turbine parts.

The Japanese trading house Marubeni has agreed to help transform the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into a “hydrogen-based society.” The aim is to use green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy, to help dent Abu Dhabi’s growing energy needs in a sustainable way.

Rolls-Royce has purchased a 73.1 percent majority stake in Berlin-based electricity storage specialist Qinous for an unspecified price, effective from tomorrow, January 15. With this move, the British manufacturer wants to “pool all its microgrid activities”  – from simple storage solutions to complex microgrid solutions of various sizes and configurations.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has presented it 2019 "Best Partner Awards" to supplier that made “especially noteworthy contributions” to its business last year. The five recipients are Kajima Corp. of Japan, the Dutch company HP Valves, Himile of China, South Korea’s Sung Il Sim, and the Taiwanese engineering firm Liang Lian.

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News in Brief

Mitsubishi produces methanol in Trinidad

Jan 20 – Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company has launched commercial operations of a methanol and dimethyl ether plant in Trinidad and Tobago. The plant has an annual production capacity of one million tons of methanol and 20,000 tons of dimethyl ether, which can be used as an alternative fuel for cars and power generation.

First 8-cylinder B36:45 engine delivered

Jan 19 – Rolls-Royce has delivered the first 8-cylinder variant of its Bergen B36:45 gas engine to a tomato producer in Belgium. The medium speed genset is planned for delivery this spring and will drive an onsite power plant that generates 4700 kW electricity and 5520 kW heat. The new engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder and will replace an existing Bergen 12-cylinder B35:40 genset.

Moody’s upgrades Enel to Baa1

Jan 18 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Enel’s long-term rating to Baa1, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects Enel’s progress in reducing its risk profile, analysts said, pointing at the Italian utilities ongoing investment in networks and renewables, growing geographical diversification and focus on centralised financing.

GE sues Siemens Energy

Jan 15 – General Electric has sued its German rival Siemens Energy over the alleged use of stolen trade secrets to win gas turbine contracts worth several billion dollars. GE told the US district court in Virginia that Siemens received the secret information from a Dominion Energy employee.

Orbital Energy launches Eclipse

Jan 14 – Nasdaq-listed Orbital Energy Group has launched a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation, a drilled shaft construction company. The new company specialises in providing services for power transmission and substations, communication tower and a disaster restoration through emergency power.

S’Korean coal and LNG imports slide

Jan 13 – South Korea’s imports of thermal coal and LNG have fallen 12% and 11%, respectively, as the government cracks down on fossil fuel usage to curb air pollution. Customs data shows that coal imports amounted to 10.2 million tons in December, down 1.4 million tons from the same month last year but up from November’s imports of 9.5 million tons.

SMC builds 1.7 GW CCGT in Batangas

Jan 13 – Excellent Energy Resources, part of SMC Global Power Holdings, is building a 1,700 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Barangay Dela Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City with investments of about 67.863 billion Philippine Pesos ($1.41bn). The project is estimated to be completed in 36 to 40 months.

UK’s National Grid issues supply warning

Jan 12 – Natural gas prices in the UK surged as National Grid issued warnings on supply deficit as LNG cargoes are being diverted to North Asia. Prices at the British NBP gas trading hub soared to the equivalent of $8.95 per MMBtu, while the JKM price for North Asian spot LNG cargoes for February 2021 was last at $19.700 per MMBt.

Fortistar invests in hydrogen

Jan 11 – Fortistar, a privately-held fund, has joined an equity investment of up to $157 million in hydrogen producer BayoTech. Cottonwood Technology Funds and the New Mexico State Investment Council also participated in the latest financing round. BayoTech’s systems produce local hydrogen close to the application, serving end users in the industrial gas and petrochemical segment as well as those who use of hydrogen to power fuel cells.

Ashtead appoints new CFO

Jan 5 - Ashtead Technology has appointed a chief financial officer (CFO) and five managers for newly created roles across its international team. The appointments are meant to cement the company’s position in the offshore energy market, including offshore wind and decommissioning of thermal power plants

NFE secures LNG for Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua

Dec 23 – New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to purchase Henry-Hub-indexed LNG for its integrated gas and power businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. The New York-based project developer said it now has covered 80% of its expected needs throughout Latin America, thus reducing its need for spot purchases and its exposure to changes in the market price for LNG.

China and Korea mandate coal-to-gas switch

Dec 22 – The Chinese government has launched a coal-to-gas boiler switching programme, targeting 7.1 million homes, which makes gas demand more weather-sensitive this winter. Similarly, South Korea mandated the closure of 15 coal-fired plants since the start of December in an effort to reduce air pollution. Analysts expect this will accelerate the drawdown of LNG terminal inventories going into Q1-2021.

GE repowers oil field in Brazil

Dec 21 – GE Power Conversion has been awarded a contract by Sulzer Pumps UK to supply motors for four water injection pumps of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The 8,000 kW, two pole motors will run at 3,600 rpm with a limitation of the starting current at 300%, enabling the oil and gas field operator to optimise the generator which supplies electricity on the FPSO.

VELO distributes Sapphire Metal 3D-Printers in the US

Dec 18 – California-based VELO3D has formed a distribution partnership with GoEngineer for Flow pre-print software, Sapphire metal AM printer, and Assure quality assurance and controls. GoEngineer will be VELO’s only distributor in the United States.

Indian electric boats to achieve zero emissions

Dec 17 – Cochin Shipyard, India’s largest shipbuilder, has asked Siemens Energy to equip India’s first fleet of 23 boats with electric propulsion drive train, integrated with batteries and vessel automation. Combining the electric propulsion drive trains, energy storage, and automation systems is expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption.

Terna BESS auction six times oversubscribed

Dec 16 – A pilot auction, held by the Italian TSO Terna, for battery energy storage systems (BESS) to provide reserve grid services has been six times oversubscribed. The auction was held with an expectation that around 230 MW would be on offer, but Terna received 1,327 MW worth of bids and eventually awarded contracts for 249.9 MW.

New £150m link to UK’s Easington terminal

Dec 15 – National Grid has completed a gas pipeline under the River Humber, build in 18 months and at a cost £150 million, as new link to the import terminal at Easington. Following commissioning, the pipeline is now operational and can now transport between 70 to 100 million cubic metres - around a quarter of Britain's gas needs.

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