Daily News

Over the summer months, EGAS is often forced to turn gas supplies away from industry to cover surging demand from electric power generators. A tender for a third FRSU was launched on Tuesday – additional supply will help meet next year’s peak summer demand before several domestic gas fields come onstream towards the end of 2017.

Hybrid solar & gas generator sets, manufactured by Himoinsa, are said to allow operators reduce their fossil fuel costs while making use of solar energy. Particularly in areas with high levels of solar irradiation, hybrid power projects may also include a battery bank. Sub-Saharan Africa is seen as a growth market for such hybrid installations.

Argentinian rental power supplier Secco has contracted Wärtsilä to deliver three power plants to Santa Fe province. Additionally, the Finnish OEM will carry out two further projects for Argentinian independent power producers (IPPs) – combined output of all five plants will be 382 MW.

Summer blackouts may occur, customers in southern California are being told, as the grid operator puts power rationing measures in place. The state just decided to shut down its last nuclear power plant by 2025, while legislation is in place to build no new coal-fired plants. Replacing the Diablo Canyon nuke is deemed ambitious and ‘very expensive’ - new-build CCGTs and renewables need to fill the capacity gap rather swiftly.

Gas-fired Cummins gensets, delivered to UK Power Reserve’s (UKPR) project in Carrington some three weeks ago, are being fine-tuned on site with a view to starting up the 20 MW facility before the end of August.
Embedded gas gensets in Gloucester (20 MW), Immingham (24 MW) and Tonypandy (18 MW) are “all scheduled to go live late summer also,” the operator told Gas to Power Journal, while similar sites Tottenham, Bracknell, and Hemel Hempstead, are due for commissioning in mid-2017.

Persian Gulf states, notably the UEA, are taking advantage of falling prices for solar PV installations, advancing green energy as an alternative to fuel oil- and gas-fired power plants. In contrast to other Gulf States, the UEA has to import most of the gas its utilities use for power generation; hence the drive to build four nuclear reactors and expand renewables deployment.

Starting from 2017, two MAN turbines, designed for cogeneration, will deliver up to 17 MW of power and 35 MW of heat to an industrial park in China. Changsha ENN Heating Power placed an order for an MGT 6100 gas turbine. It is MAN’s second such order in China, following Anting CHP in Shanghai.

Following the abrupt withdrawal of £1 billion CCS funding by the UK treasury, Whitehall now has to set out its ‘Carbon Plan’ to explain how it will meet targets set in the Paris Agreement without capturing carbon from fossil power plants. Today, CSSA detailed ‘36 lessons-learned’ from UK CCS programmes – a retrospective.  Scotland’s SCCS warned any alternative climate action might cost even more dearly.

Citing an “extremely unfavourable economic context”, EDF Luminus has announced the permanent closure of four of its gas power plants in Belgium. Run-time hours of these plants had decreased to a point that rendered operation uneconomic – use of coal power to balance renewables tends to be cheaper in several EU countries, including Belgium.

Saudi-based Yamama Cement Company has contracted Wärtsilä to supply a 161 MW combined-cycle power plant to in Saudi Arabia. Wärtsilä will deliver a full EPC project for the so-called Flexicycle plant concept; the order volume is around €115 million.

New technology and advanced software controls are changing the ability for gas plants to respond flexibly to demand and harness waste heat driving renewed profitability for operators. “As plant performance improvements are more and more often optimized through smarter software our solutions are increasingly focused on the integration of hardware and software across the plant,”  Andreas Pickard from Siemens told Gas to Power Journal.

Unit 1 of the Big Sandy Power Plant has started to supply up to 268 MW of gas-generated electricity to PJM Interconnection. Operator Kentucky Power, part of the investor-owned electric utility AEP, had opened the plant back in 1963 and operated it on coal until November last year, when conversion works to natural gas commenced.

Varying gas composition impacts performance and component lifetime of internal combustion engines, gas turbines and fuel cell-based machines. By measuring the optical fingerprints of C1-C5 alkanes, the Precisive 5 Gas Analyser enables real-time and high-accuracy fuel gas analysis, according to the firm’s founder and president, Vidi Saptari.

Uncertainty abounds after Britain voted for Brexit amid concerns over implications on foreign direct investment, not least in the UK energy sector. The very future of the Hinkley Point nuclear power project is up in the air, as observers warn that the departure of UK prime minister David Cameron might give EDF a pretext to pull the plug on financing.

Already one of the least carbon-intensive regions, the US Northeast is anticipated to further reduce its power sector carbon intensity from 1,037 pounds of CO2 per megawatthour last year to 986 lbs CO2/MWh in 2030. CO2 prices in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) fell to $4.53 per metric ton at the latest auction in June – 40% below their previous peak value.

News in Brief

Launch of new STAR-CCM+ version

Jul 1 – CD-adapco has launched STAR-CCM+ v11.04, an engineering simulation solution that is used as part of Siemens’ Simcenter portfolio as for simulations and solutions in the field of predictive engineering analytics. The latest release expands on applications for industries such as turbomachinery, marine, oil & gas, aerospace, ground transportation, and electric machines.

UK to spend over £300m on district heating

Jul 1 – The UK government is consulting on how to deploy £320 million ($429m) allocated in the Spending Review for investment in heat networks. It is yet unclear, however, how towns and cities are meant to be kept warm through this scheme. Heat can be taken from a range of sources including large heat pumps, combined heat and power plants and deep geothermal plants.

Herdecke-H6 stays operational

Jun 30 – Owners and operators of the 417 MW Cuno Herdecke-H6 gas power plant have reversed a decision to mothball the plant, opting to keep it operational for peak-load power supply. Regional utility Enervie and Statkraft each own 50% of the plant, are now seeking to cash in from short-term price spikes on the German wholesale markets at times of low supply from wind and solar power facilities. The regulator had not opposed earlier plans for a closure, saying the power plant would be “no longer needed for grid stabilisation purposes.”

Seeking more synergies in oil & gas

Jun 30 – Despite a material downturn in the sector, Siemens believes the acquisition of Dresser-Rand and Rolls-Royce’s former energy business will create “considerably greater synergies than originally anticipated.” Board member Lisa Davis forecast the integration process would generate synergies of €365 million by fiscal 2019 – or €165 million above the planned figure. Of the total €115m is meant to come from the former RR energy arm and another €250m from Dresser-Rand.

WEC urges utilities to help drive growth in electric cars

Jun 29 – Utilities are called upon to help bring together stakeholders from the automotive, technology and home services industries to encourage customer uptake of electric cars through “more attractive electricity tariff structures” as well as bundles such as “connected car & home solutions.” The World Energy Council (WEC) expects that any additional power demand attributed to new electric vehicles could by handled by utilities through “proper planning.”

Medium voltage cable market to grow over 6%

Jun 29 – With annual growth rates of 6.4% the medium voltage cables & accessories market is expected to grow from $37.52 billion this year to $51.24 billion by 2021, according to MarketsandMarkets estimates. The industrial sector held around half of the market share in 2015, although growth in construction of large infrastructure projects and renewables is expected to shift the balance in the coming years.

Spanish gas demand seen fall 8% in July

Jun 28 – Enagas, the Spanish TSO, has forecast that the country’s overall natural gas demand will come in 8% lower in July, down at 23.3 TWh – triggered by 26% plunge in gas-fired generation to a monthly output of just 5.8 TWh.  Further drops in CCGT dispatch are anticipated the coming month– particularly compared with July 2016 when Spain was hit by a major heat wave. Gas use from the country’s industrial, residential and CHP sector is forecast to stay flat year-on-year, according to Enagas projections.

Mexico: ABB to help enhance power quality in Campeche

Jun 28 – ABB has commissioned to deliver a turnkey Static Var Compensator (SVC) solution for a substation in Ciudad Del Carmen, in the southern Mexican state of Campeche. The order was placed by CFE, Mexico’s state-owned electric utility which serves over 36 million customers in 190,000 communities. 
The SVC, rated at -15/50 megavolt-ampere reactive (MVAr), will control the 115-kV voltage in the substation under transient and steady-state conditions, lowering the risk of outages and enhancing power quality due to smaller voltage variations.

CMA probe costs taxpayer £5m

Jul 27 – A freedom of information request of not-for-profit energy provider Ebico reveals that the CMA probe has cost £5 million of tax payers’ money and that energy consumers will see some of the costs passed on their energy bills. Phil Levermore, Ebrico CEO called the CMA probe “a complete waste of time and public money.” Several independent suppliers, including First Utility, criticised that “the CMA has missed the mark” as meaningful proposals were watered down amid pressure from the Big Six; and as Ebrico sees it “the energy market has simply moved on in the time it’s taken to publish the recommendations.”

Ghana’s eyes two FSRUs to meet gas-power demand

Jul 27 – Growing electricity demand in Ghana could underpin two additional floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs), even after domestic gas production from two offshore fields will come onstream. Pointing at Ghana’s two main power hubs - one in the west, one in the east,- John Abdulai Jinapor, Ghana’s minister of power told press in London that ”nothing prevents us from putting in two LNG facilities [adjacent to both centres of power generation.]”

Headed for Porth Elizabeth, SA

Jul 27 – Himoinsa ventures further into South Africa and is set to open a new subsidiary in Porth Elizabeth, South Africa. A local management team will provide local employees and experience of the regional power gen business, the Spanish OEM said.

Siemens opens new headquarters in Munich

Jun 24 – New Siemens headquarters have opened in the Bavarian capital Munich today. Completed in only about three years, the new building provides space for 1,200 employees. Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser said the new headquarters is meant to establish a “symbol that stands for working together in the spirit of global entrepreneurship, for integration into society and for taking action in accordance with the principles of sustainability.”

Enemalta pays Shanghai Electric to use the BWSC plant

Jun 24 – Enemalta is paying an undisclosed sum of money, “possibly running into tens of thousands of euros a day,” to Shanghai Electric to operate the BWSC power plant in Delimara, local media reported. An Enemalta stated it is buying electricity from different entities, including Shanghai Electric, for supplying its offtakers in Malta. 
The cash-strapped Maltese utility divested the BWSC plant to the Chinese operator for €100 million in December 2014, but claimed earlier this month it had retaken possession of the facility until the conversion of the turbines into gas was completed.

ABB supports smart meter roll-out in Memphis

Jun 24 – Zurich-headquartered ABB has been selected to provide wireless network products and services for the deployment of nearly 1 million smart meters across the city of Memphis, Tennessee, US. The roll-out of smart meters is expected to improve efficiency of electricity, water and gas supplies and mitigate loss and theft.

Wärtsilä snaps up Weir American Hydro

Jun 23 – Finnish Wärtsilä has acquired Weir American Hydro from its parent company Weir Group. Ownership of the company will be transferred to Wärtsilä, with effect from 30 June 2016 and is seen to complement its industrial services business. With its headquarters in York, Pennsylvania and a service center in Montreal, Weir American Hydro currently employs 241 people, with net sales of $45.6 million in 2015.

Rolls-Royce, SKF seal shaft bearings contracts

Jun 23 – Sweden’s SKF has signed contracts worth over 1 billion Swedish krona ($120m) with Rolls-Royce to supply main shaft bearings for their new gas turbine engine programmes. Among others, the SKF bearings will be uses in industrial gas turbines but also in the well-known Trent XWB, designed for Airbus A350. Deliveries have started and are expected to reach their full rate by 2018.

Italy’s AB orders 115 GE Jenbacher biogas engines

Jun 23 – AB, a biogas CHP project developer based in Italy, has bought 115 of GE’s Jenbacher Type 3 and Type 4 biogas engines. Following a 2012 biogas boom spurred by government incentives, demand faltered but GE claims its latest engine order “illustrates AB’s new service strategy to give agricultural customers a cost-effective option to repower their existing biogas energy facilities.”