Technology & Innovation

As renewable, intermittent wind and solar energy replaces traditional base load coal-fired and nuclear energy in Europe, the need for substantial sources of cost-effective backup power will be great, forecasts Eleazar Rodriguez, Director of Sales for Spain, Portugal and Latin America at Pratt & Whitney Power Systems.

German engineering conglomerate Siemens has started a second project on carbon capture and storage (CCS) with the Masdar Institute. The R&D projects focus on improvement and adaptation of proprietary Siemens Post-Combustion technology to CO2 capture at gas fired power stations, the Erlangen-based company said.

MAN Diesel & Turbo will bring the prototype of a new 6 MW gas turbine family to the market shortly after development completion, Roland Herzog, Vice President, Material Technology at MAN Diesel & Turbo said today. "The first model of MAN's new 6 MW gas turbine will be commercially used at a CHP cogeneration unit at a chemical production plant in Rheinberg," he told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' at the sidelines of the 'Turbine Forum 2012' in Nice.

The focus in hot section coatings is shifting from temperature to time. "It's all about coating durability," Carol Crowe, aftermarket coatings discipline chief at Pratt & Whitney said today.

Alstom has developed a new nozzle design for gas turbines and is getting ready to put it to production. "We started to use them in production, now that we've solved an initial problem with nozzle life time," Sebastian Mihm, coating engineer at Alstom said today.

Robustness and increased thickness of thermal barrier coatings (TBC) of industrial gas turbines  is 'key' as the industry aims to ramp up firing temperatures and pressure ratio to boost turbine performance. "We need to spend more R&D money on TBC process robustness," Matthias Oechsner, professor for materials technology at the technical university of Darmstadt, Germany, told an industry forum in Nice today.

Iran is gearing up to produce 'home-made' gas turbines. "A contract has been signed with Oil Turbo-Compressor Company to make a 100% indigenous [gas] turbine," Iran's deputy oil minister, Mohammad-Reza Moqaddam, said on Monday.

Mechanical and plant engineering group Dürr and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have teamed up to further develop micro gas turbine technology. Dürr set up a new Clean Technology Systems division with the aim of achieving sales of over € 200 million by 2015.

General Electric's (GE) global fleet of 47 heavy duty gas turbines have achieved an industry milestone, operating more than 2 million fired hours on low British thermal unit (BTU) fuels.

Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Ltd (GYMCL), a subsidiary of China Yuchai International, said today it is developing a new line of natural gas-powered engines to complement GYMCL's line of diesel engines used in power generators and marine engines.

Alstom Power has launched a GT13E2 gas turbine upgrade, offering over 200 MW power, an additional 10% of electricity output when compared to the earlier rating. "The higher output has an increased efficiency of 38% - the best in this segment of gas turbines," Michael Ladwig, Director, Marketing & Product Management at Alstom's Gas Business said at a web conference today.

Power generator can improve safety, reliability and efficiency by installing multifunctional wireless networks in power plants, a white paper published by Honeywell Process Solution shows.

General Electric's (GE) TM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbine has received ecomagination qualification for its ability to help power cities and industries during emergency power challenges. "The TM2500+ is a workhorse in the global aeroderivative mobile fleet," GE said.

ladwig michael

Michael Ladwig

Alstom has optimized the operation concept of the KA26 combined cycle power plant for fast start-up as the French gas turbine manufacturer is focusing on the operational flexibility of its gas turbines.

“Operational flexibility is not just having a high ramp rate, rather it’s a combination of start-up and shut down times, ramp rates and efficiency at part load operations,” Michael Ladwig, Director of Marketing and Product Management for Alstom's Global Gas Business told ‘Gas-to-Power Journal’ in an interview.

GE Energy's Industrial Solutions business has won the 2011 North America Supplier of the Year award from Gexpro, a part of Rexel Holdings, U.S. 

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News in Brief

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.

Fuel switch could abate 1.2bn tons of CO2

July 19 – Some 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 could be abated by switching to gas using existing infrastructure, if prices and regulation are supportive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this would be enough to bring global CO2 emissions back down to where they were in 2013.

IEA launches methane tracker

July 18 – A new ‘methane tracker’, launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA), provides up-to-date estimates of current oil and gas methane emissions by drawing on the best available data. Analysts stressed methane emissions could be reduced by nearly half at no net cost.

Canada’s CO2 tax also affects gas power

July 17 – Change in Canada’s carbon tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could cause SaskPower to reconsider its planned upcoming Moose Jaw gas power station.