Technology & Innovation

RWE's decision as to which gas turbine vendor to use for its newly opened Pembroke Power Station has been largely driven by Alstom's service agreement, according to Andy Smith, project development manager at RWE.
"In the UK, the market for building new combined-cycle plants is EPC-based and we were therefore exposed to the equipment choices that the different turbine manufacturers have on offer," he told Gas to Power Journal at a conference organised by the publication in London.

Rolls-Royce has launched the retrofit upgrade RB211-Gzero that can provide existing users of industrial RB211 aeroderivative gas turbine engines with a nominal power increase of 10 percent, depending on ambient temperature and engine type.

Toshiba Corp and GE have joined forces to sell a combined cycle power generation system that integrates GE's advanced 7F 7-series gas turbine and GE's 60Hz gas turbine with Toshiba's high efficiency steam turbines and generators.

GE has launched its new FlexEfficiency 60 power generation portfolio, saying the solution was "engineered to harness natural gas" while taking into account the rising market share of renewable energy.

ExxonMobil is adding a new cogeneration plant in Singapore as part of the expansion of its petrochemical complex in Jurong. Located on a man-made island in the south-west of Singapore, the new facility is part of an industrial and power generation hub.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has completed of the development of a new 30 MW gas turbine – the Kawasaki L30A. Start-up of the first L30A package, installed at a plant in Japan, is due this October.

Aggreko, a leading provider of temporary power generation services, has opened its first service centre in Walvis Bay, Namibia, to meet to power demand of the country's rapidly growing mining industry. Located next to the Port of Walvis Bay, the facility is also well positioned to supply backup power generation to Namibia's shipping and fishing industries.

Alstom has developed a MXL2 upgrade for GT26 gas turbines, offering power plant operators to adapt production hours of their plants to fluctuating demand and to significantly extend inspection intervals and increase availability – key features in markets with a large share of intermittent wind generation such as Spain, says Leone Tessarini, product manager at Alstom's gas turbine services.

GE Energy Management has announced the launch of Multilin™ Intelligent Line Monitoring System -  an end-to-end overhead line monitoring solution, enabling utilities for improving the reliability and efficiency of their networks.

Alstom has developed a MXL2 upgrade for GT26 gas turbines, offering power plant operators to adapt production hours of their plants to fluctuating demand – a key feature in markets with a large share of intermittent wind generation such as Spain.

Alstom and Toshiba said today they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish complementary partnership in the smart grid business with the aim of developing systems that support wide scale integration of renewable energy sources into the grid and help to bring down the cost of power generation.

A pilot power-to-gas plant that will enable the storage of electicity generated by wind turbines in the gas grid will start operations in Germany in 2013. E.on said it started construction works of the pilot facility, located in Falkenhagen, north-east Germany.

As Europe increases its dependence upon green renewable energy as a major source of power generation, it will also need to install fast-starting, aero-derivative gas turbine generators to backstop the electricity grid, forecasts Swift Tarbell, Area Director for Europe with Pratt & Whitney Power Systems.

The Pratt & Whitney Power Systems' 30MW / 60MW FT8 and soon-to-be-launched 60MW / 120MW FT4000 SwiftPac gas turbine units can reach full load on the grid in less than 10 minutes from cold start, and are able to quickly fill the sporadic gaps in power supplied from intermittent wind and solar power technologies.

Schmack Biogas, a German suppliers of biogas technologies, is close to finalising construction works of a 2.85 MW biogas-to-energy plant Tongere, Belgium. "We plan to get the plant ready to start full commercial operations in the second half of this year," Schmack Biogas sales representative, Gernot Buchta, told Gas-to-Power Journal.

Siemens Flex-Plant technology enables the operator of the new 300-MW Lodi Energy Center (LEC) to deliver about 200 MW of power to the grid within 30 minutes. California Power Agency (NCPA) runs the plant in full commerical operations since August 10.

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News in Brief

Hiroshima waste-to-energy plant gets upgrade

Aug 23 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has been chosen to upgrade and refurbish the combustion facilities at a waste to energy plant in Hiroshima. The Naka plant in Minamiyoshijima, Naka-ku, has a total waste treatment capacity of 600 tonnes per day and generates 15.2 MW of electricity to power the equipment in the factory, while selling the remainder to the grid.

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.