Technology & Innovation

Future gas turbine research and development (R&D) needs to focus on a 'big is beautiful' approach to developing smaller, flexible units that can run efficiently at part-load, OEM representatives from Alstom, GE, Mitsubishi HI, Siemens and Pratt & Whitney Power Systems agreed at a conference in Brussels today.

Singapore is building three new large combined cycle plants to cater for the city state's growing electricity demand.

"The selection of combined cycle plants based on GT26 advanced gas turbines for all three of these projects indicates the importance of high plant flexibility while maintaining high efficiency and low emissions in many of today's electricity markets," says Pascal Radue, regional vice president, Alstom Gas Business, Asia.

GE will supply eight gas turbine-generators for the expansion of Saudi Electricity Company's (SEC) Riyadh Power Plant 12 (PP12). Once operational in 2015, the combined-cycle plant will be the first application of GE's 7F-5 series gas turbine technology in Saudi Arabia, adding  nearly 2,000 megawatts of electricity to help  meet the Kingdom's future energy demand.

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.

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News in Brief

Tokyo Gas snaps up US shale assets

July 31 – The Japanese utility Tokyo Gas has agreed to raise its stake in the U.S. firm Castleton Resources to 70 percent from 46 percent to increase its foothold in shale gas production in Texas and Louisiana.  Castleton Resources holds acreage in the Haynesville and Cotton Valley formations. The transaction is scheduled to be completed on August 14.

Electrical PE market to grow 1.7% through 2027

July 30 – The market for electrical protective equipment (PE) in North America, valued at $2,787 million in 2019, is forecast to rise at an annual rate of 1.7 percent to reach $3,163 million by 2027. Main growth drivers, according to ResearchandMarkets, are ongoing power transmission projects in the context with U.S. LNG export infrastructure expansions.

GE wins turbine order from Italian paper mill

July 29 – DS Smith Paper Italia has ordered a GE LM6000PF aero-derivative gas turbine for its paper mill in Lucca, Italy. The paper mill is currently powered by two aero-derivative turbines, and the additional unit will increase plant efficiency by 2%, while assuring steam supply for the industrial process.

Aceleron secures £2m green energy investment

July 28 – UK battery developer Aceleron today announced receipt of a £2 million equity investment from BGF and Mercia Asset Management. Aceleron is BGF’s second investment into a pure clean technology, signalling a shift in behaviour as more and more fund managers support a green recovery and the UK’s policy of net-zero carbon by 2050.

NRG buys Centrica’s North American arm for over $3.6bn

July 27 – U.S. utility NRG Energy has agreed with Centrica to acquire the latter’s North American subsidiary Direct Energy for $3.625 billion in an all-cash transaction. The transaction will diversify NRG’s earnings by adding more than three million retail customers and generate an estimated $740 million in adjusted EBITDA upon closing.

Siemens rolls out Comfy app

July 24 – Siemens is deploying its workplace experience solution Comfy across its global offices, including major utility customers. The aim is to equip approximately 600 company locations by October 2020.

BlackRock puts $18bn into sustainable investment

July 23 – Sustainability aspects are poised to bring about "fundamental change" to the way financial market actors operate, said Philipp Hildebrand, vice head of U.S. investment company BlackRock. About 18 billion dollars have been put into BlackRock's sustainable investment products since the beginning of 2020, he told the German business daily FAZ, arguing this would be "only the beginning" of a much larger shift in investment practices.

Vaca Muerta output slows

July 22 – Argentina has resorted to importing LNG for the Southern Hemisphere winter as domestic production at the vast Vaca Muerta shale formation fell in the first half of 2020. State-owned IEASA purchased 28 LNG cargoes at average prices of $2.87 million British thermal units (mmBtu).

GE to implement air quality control systems in India

July 21 – GE Power India Ltd (GEPIL) has won three contracts with a combined value of $112.57 million to supply air quality control systems. One semi-dry flue-gas desulfurization (FDG) unit will be installed for Hindalco Industries’ 1x150MW power plant at the Aditya aluminium smelter in Sambalpur. A wet FDGs system will be installed on behalf of NTPC for their Feroze Gandhi Unchahar thermal power plant (2x210MW plus 2x210 MW plus 1x210MW units) in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh.

Wärtsilä CEO sees “tough” H2 ahead

July 20 – Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola has told analysts he sees a “tough second half of the year ahead,” as the Finish manufacturer seeks to mitigate Covid-related business disruptions. In the segment of up to 500 MW, Wärtsilä’s market share fell from 9% to 8%, while orders for gas- and liquid- power plants increased by 1% to 17.8 GW during the twelve-month period ending in March 2020.

GE launches update to digital plant software

July 17 – GE Digital has unveiled updates to its digital power plant software: Proficy Plant Applications, Proficy Operations Hub, Proficy Historian, and Proficy CSense. The software accelerates digitization for industries and integrates related onsite power generation units.

Germany EEG fund slips into the red

July 16 – Germany's green energy fund, funded through the renewable energy surcharge (EEG levy), has slipped into the red for the first time since 2013, according to TSO data. The account, funded by end-customers through a surcharge on their power bill, fell from about €2 billion in available funds to €-1.16 billion in the first six months of 2020.

China seen overtake Japan as worlds’ largest LNG buyer by 2025

July 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects China to overtake Japan as the world’s biggest LNG buyer with imports of 128 Bcm a year by 2025, equivalent to around 174 million tonnes. However, IEA analysts cautioned this scenario is “highly dependent on China’s future policy direction” and whether that includes an ongoing push for coal-to-gas switching for industry, residential heating and power generation.

IEA stages Clean Energy Transitions Summit

July 14 – Ministers from dozens of countries, accounting for over 80% of the world economy, have participated in the first Clean Energy Transitions Summit organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said there “clearly is momentum” behind a sustainable recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants agreed to reconvene in mid-2021.

Siemens Energy to exit coal

Jul 13 – Newly formed technology company Siemens Energy wants to phase-out any operations and technology to related to coal-fired power generation, CEO Joe Kaeser said, without giving a specific timeline. Siemens had been harshly criticised earlier this year for participating in the Adani coal mine project in Australia.

Statkraft, GE enhance GB grid stability

July 10 – Statkraft and GE Power Conversion are working together to stabilise Britain’s power grid. To that end, GE will manufacture and install two Rotating Stabiliser synchronous machines at Statkraft’s site in Keith, Moray. Statkraft was awarded four stability contracts (two at Keith and two at Lister Drive) by National Grid ESO (NGESO) earlier this year.

Siemens Energy spin-off approved

July 9 – A large majority of Siemens shareholders have voted to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business. The spin-off was approved by 99.36 percent of capital stock represented at today’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.

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