Daily News

Power shortages in South Australia’s heavily wind-reliant electricity market have highlighted the urgency of developing backup capacity, the grid operator warned. Prices had surged tenfold to hit $14,000/MWh amid severe supply shortages, prompting policy makers to plea for the restart of a mothballed gas power station.

China National Machinery Corp (CMEC), in consortium with GE, has secured a $117 million order to repower Ghorashal Unit 3, the largest power station in Bangladesh. The existing 210-MW Power Machines (LMZ 200) – a Russian make –  will be revamped with a GE steam turbine with the aim of generating up to 416.3 MW in combined-cycle operation.

ACEEE’s 2016 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard has ranked Germany as the frontrunner for energy efficiency, followed by Italy and Japan (tied for second place), France and the UK. Though Germany scored highest for ‘national efforts’, ‘buildings’ and ‘industry’, it was overtaken by India, Italy and Japan in the ‘transport’ category. 

Indonesian utility Medco Power Generation is still keen to participate in a tender for the Java-1 power project (2x800MW). However, it now prepares to launch a bid together with Korea Electric and Nebras Power, turning its back on former partner Mitsui. Tender documents have to be submitted to PLN early next week.

In line with Saudi Aramco's ‘In-Kingdom Total Value Add’ program, Siemens has delivered the first shipment out of ten locally-produced gas turbines that will drive the Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant in Jazan. With an installed capacity of 4,000 MW, the IGCC will be the largest facility of its kind to be fuelled with gasified refinery residues.

Six selected Phase-II projects have been awarded funding by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) to further develop technologies for gas turbine components and supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power cycles. The six winners will receive a total of a $30 million of research funding through the National Energy Technology Laboratory over the next 3.5 years.

Just hours after the merger with NextEra Energy feel through, Hawaiian Electric Industries confirmed it is abandoning plans to import LNG through Fortis for a proposed gas-fired power plant. The contract with Fortis Hawaii was contingent on regulatory approval of NextEra’s takeover of Hawaiian Electric.

Importing cheap hydropower from Norway and Denmark is deemed a ‘quick fix’ for Britain’s capacity shortage as investment in new large power projects is hard to come by. Yet, Britain’s vote to leave the EU is jeopardizing the future use of interconnectors in the UK capacity market scheme. Demand-side response and power storage are some of the options left.

Regulatory dismissal of NextEra Energy’s takeover application of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) will see the Juno Beach-based suitor pay $95 million in “break-up” fees and other costs, the companies stated. Part of these funds will go towards Hawaii's state policy objective to get off fossil fuels by 2045.

Veolia Energia Poland has selected GE to modernise of one of three Zamech-made turbine genset at a 275 MW district-heating plant at Poznań. Takeover and integration of Alstom Power's technology portfolio helped GE to expand its service capability for such equipment.

Profitability of combined-cycle gas power plant is dire in Belgium - with spill-over effects to Luxemburg. French ENGIE decided to close the 385 MW Twinerg CCGT, which mostly caters to the Belgian market, by October 2016. This move follows just weeks after EDF Luminus said it intends to close for of its gas power assets.

China Machinery Engineering Corp (CMEC) is evaluating a 500 MW LNG-fuelled power project in Hambantota, southern Sri Lanka, which is meant to expanded to 1,000 MW at a later stage. President Maithripala Sirisena pushes for another 500 MW LNG-to-power plant just north of Colombo as he seeks to scrap coal-fired projects, or have them converted to natural gas.

At two US-based gas-fired combined cycle plants, controllability at the plants was a major issue, the responsible plant manager told Gas to Power Journal on condition of anonymity. Large natural gas swings caused large boiler pressure swings, which "created a situation where the load was swinging around a lot more than it needed to be." Electraulic actuator proved an "expensive yet very effective solution."

Uncertainty over the future operation of Britain’s energy market, rising financing costs and post-Brexit challenges to include interconnectors in the UK’s capacity market are expected to “add a risk premium into all forward capacity auctions,” Cornwall Energy says. Higher clearing prices at auction could add over £360 million to consumers’ energy bills.

Power generation and transmission infrastructure upgrades are the key points of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Cuban’s state-owned utility Unión Eléctrica (UNE) and Siemens. Company heads discussed new energy projects when signing the deal in Havana, including supply of generating technology for plant upgrades and new-builds.

News in Brief

British-Chinese JV for Loznica cogen project

Jul 22 – UK property developer Scarborough Group has joined forces with China National Electric Engineering (CNEEC) to construct a 240 MM combined-cycle gas cogeneration plant in Loznica, western Serbia. The project, subject to local approval, foresees the conversion of a coal-fired plant into a gas-fired CHP – at an estimated cost of €230 million. Construction of Phase I, set to provide 120 MW, is targeted to start in late 2016, and become operational by the end of 2018, Scarborough stated. Phase II construction for the remaining 120 MW is meant to be carried out one year later.

Kineticor power project to curb flaring

Jul 22 – Alberta-based Kineticor Resource Corp. has sealed long-term agreements with multiple oil and gas producers to build, own and operate the 100 MW Peace River Power Project. Once operational in Q2-2017, the power plant will be fuelled by associated gas – a by-product to oil upstream activates in Alberta that would otherwise get flared. The gas power project has an expected capital cost of over $100 million and will create up to 120 construction jobs.

Aramco awards contracts for $13.3bn Fadhili project

Jul 21 – State-run oil giant Saudi Aramco has handed out four engineering contracts, notably to France’s ENGIE and Saudi Electric Company (SEC), in a drive to complete construction works for the $13.3 billion Fadhili gas processing project by the end of 2019. The plan for Fadhili includes a 1,500 MW gas power plant.

Advanced testing of gear units

Jul 21 – Renk, part of the MAN Group, has opened a test facility for gear units in Augsburg, southern Germany. The manufacturer of special gear units and transmitters said it already received queries from external customers for third-party use of the test beds for prototypes.

Ghana awaits 450 MW barge by November

Jul 20 – Karpower Ghana is advancing talks with state-owned Eetricity Company of Ghana (ECG) as it seeks to boost Karpower’s generation capacity to 675 MW. To that end, a 450 MW power barge is currently constructed in Turkey and due to be shipped to Ghana in early November.

Wärtsilä teams up with Greensmith Energy

Jul 20 – Finnish Wärtsilä has entered a cooperation with US-based has entered Greensmith Energy as it seeks to make use of the GEMS platform to optimise the integration of hybrid energy systems. As a combined solution, Wärtsilä's gas gensets and solar PV, together with Greensmith's integration capabilities, is meant to provide sustainable and reliable power – particularly in regions with limited grid infrastructure.

Six CCGT projects underway in Ohio

Jul 19 – A boom in gas power plant projects is unfolding in Ohio – six plants with a combined capacity of 5,100 MW are in the making across the US Midwestern state. Four CCGTs are under construction, one is in the permitting phase with state regulators, and the sixth gas power project near Circleville is said to “soon to seek permits.”

UKI starts building pipeline for Hummel Power Plant

Jul 19 – Having received the final permit, UGI Energy gets ready to build a 34-mile pipeline that will bring natural gas to the $710 million MW Hummel Power Station under construction in Shamokin Dam. Timely construction of the $160 million pipeline is vital for getting the 1,124 Hummel CCGT ready to start full operation as planned before the end of 2017.

US fuel switching

Jul 18 – With Henry Hub now near 2.77 $/mmBtu, prices have softened from the last fuel switching trigger of 2.99 $/mmbtu (6,300 gas vs 11,300 coal), Energy Aspects said in a note. “Pricing more gas into merit over coal,” would be achievable at the next major fuel switching level seen at 2.59 $/mmbtu (7,500 gas vs 10,000 coal). For comparison, CSX August delivery coal prices rose slightly w/w, at 38 $/t.

Capstone ships 1st microturbines to EU

Jul 18 – California-based Capstone Corp has shipped its first C1000 microturbine to Europe, following an order win to upgrade a refractory manufacturer in Slovenia. Installed in CHP application, the clean exhaust from the turbines will be used to direct dry the refractory material during the manufacturing process.  Some month earlier, Capstone sold its first C600 microturbines to for the Italian pasta maker Maffei.

Global energy intensity falls further

Jul 15 – Energy intensity, measured as energy consumption per unit of GDP, declined by nearly one-third between 1990 and 2015 worldwide. Non-OECD countries managed to reduce energy intensity by over 40% from substantially higher levels than seen in major industrialized nations; the marker fell by 28% in OCED countries. The world’s energy hunger seems undented: Over past 25 years, China’s energy output surged 113%, more than double the 58% rise in U.S. energy productivity, EIA figures show.

ABB props up Vietnam’s grid reliability

Jul 15 – Vietnamese power company Central Power Corporation (CPC) has contracted ABB to supply of SCADA/DMS software to improve reliability of the power grid in the cities of Pleiku and Tam Ky in Central Vietnam. Real-time monitoring will enable swift action in the event of unscheduled outages of regional power plants – one step on Vietnam’s 10-year roadmap for smart grid roll-out.

French carbon tax could hit CCGTs

Jul 14 – Should France go ahead and implement a carbon floor price unilaterally, this risks to further increase losses incurred by operating gas-fired power plants. Critics oppose taxing all fossil power plants in the same way for carbon emissions, suggesting this would not set a strong enough signal for shifting from coal to gas generation, while limiting power imports.

Singapore taps solar PV to curb emissions

Jul 14 – Pledging to curb carbon emissions by 36% by 2030, from 2005 levels, Singapore’s ‘Climate Action Plan’ aims to step up energy efficiency and raise the share of solar PV in the city-state’s energy mix. 
"We will reduce emissions from power generation, by raising solar power in our system to a 350 MW peak by 2020, an 18 times increase as compared to 2014. This would constitute about 5% of Singapore’s expected peak electricity demand,” explained Singapore’s President, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam.

Hydrogen helps decarbonise UK heat

Jul 13 – Converting the UK gas grid to hydrogen is a viable way to decarbonise heat says a new report published yesterday by Northern Gas Networks. The report, entitled H21 Leeds City Gate focuses on moving away from natural gas to a hydrogen grid and estimates that the conversion would reduce heat emissions by "a minimum of 73%"

Levelised cost for CCS in UK at £15/ton

Jul 13 – Large potential for CCS, estimated at 78 gigatonnes, has been identified in the UK –some of which 15% could serve the country for 100 years. Pale Blue Dot analysis shows an average levelised cost for transport and storage of around £15 per tonne of CO2. Calculated in the same way as for electricity generation by DECC, this would add £7.50/MWh to the levelised cost of power from gas (current cost around £50-70/MWhr).

NV Energy puts a price on Arizona CCGT

Jul 12 – As part of a pending deal with Calpine, NV Energy seeks to buy Arizona-based South Point Energy Center from Calpine for $75.6 million, saying it would be ready to invest $21 million in the facility. The purchase is part of a wider plan filed to Public Utilities Commission and is now pending approval; NV Energy also aims to tap some of South Point’s installed capacity in Southern Nevalda and said it seeks additional funding for a $33 million transmission line.