Daily News

Ten judges on the US Court of Appeals in Washington have heard supporters and opponents clash during a 7-hour hearing on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) – a controversial cornerstone of President Obama’s legacy on environmental law. Facing opposition from Republican-led states in the Senate, he was using federal administration such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to drive through his climate agenda.

Doreen Power, a privately-run utility in Bangladesh, has contracted MAN Diesel & Turbo to supply three 18V 48/60TS engines for a 56.7 MW baseload power plant near Dhaka. “48/60’s can be retrofitted to 51/60s without any major effort,” a MAN spokesman said, but cautioned about Bangladesh’s current gas supply constraints.

Siemens, in partnership with Hangzhou Steam Turbine Co (HTC), has secured a long-term service program (LTP) order from Golden Concord Power Group for two Siemens SGT-800 gas turbines at the Kunshan GCL Blue Sky distributed energy project. This is Siemens' first industrial gas turbine LTP order in China, the company pointed out.

Shale oil and gas production from the Appalachian Basin's Utica play has hit 3.5 Bcf/d this June, jumping from very low levels of 0.1 Bcf/d in December 2012. The surge in output from the vast Utica play keeps a lid on US natural gas prices and incentivise more power station operators to shift from coal to gas. The capacity factor for CCGTs has risen to 56% and is expected to increase further.

Unit 4 of Tepco’s LNG-fuelled Futtsu power station will be retrofitted with GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) system under an accord, signed by the two companies, to roll-out APM software throughout the Tepco’s thermal power plant fleet.

The government of Afghanistan has signed an accord for Ghazanfar Group to develop the country’s first gas-fired power plant Mazar-e-Sharif. The 50-megawatt facility will be realised on a build, own, and operate (BOO) basis – all electricity will sold to the national power grid on a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Scientists at Japan's Kyoto University have tested various compositions of molybdenum silicides for use at turbine blades, improving the strength of the material at temperatures around 1,400 degrees Celsius. Research shows that adding tantalum to the composite helps boost material resilience.

Harrison County Community Improvement Corp (CIC) has been working with the Texan village of Cadiz to make Houston-based EmberClear advance its 1,000 MW combined-cycle power project. CIC said it would help EmberClear with obtaining necessary permits, with the CCGT set to be fuelled with low-cost shale gas from nearby resources. Financial close and start of construction is scheduled for Q3-2018.

Outcome of a court ruling could determine whether the Obama administration’s plan to curb power plant emissions by 32% by 2030 will become a reality. Republican-led states and the coal lobby filed various lawsuits – a key decision will be made by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday.

Completion of construction and commissioning of the 653 MW Avon open-cycle gas power plant this summer, just month after the start-up of its 342 MW Dedisa sister plant, puts the Ansaldo Energia/FATA consortium in pole position to win tenders for further projects in South Africa and beyond.

Even though thermal coal prices increased by nearly 50% this year, the effect on fuel switching is not enough to make the use of LNG economically viable for power generators. For coal-to-gas switching in Asia, analysts say that LNG would have to fall by another third from its recent lows around $6/mmBtu.

Irish utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has announced that the 880 MW Carrington Power Station in Manchester has started full commercial operation earlier this week. The CCGT – the first new-build gas power plant in three years – has already secured a capacity contract for winter 2019/20.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has commissioned four industry experts to examine options for ‘whole system’ reform, given the mounting pressure on UK power grids. A more decentralised dimension to decisions on energy networks was agreed on by all experts – though there are differences on governance.

Stockton Council has received a proposal by London-based Stratera Energy for a gas-fired power plant on Teesside. In the planning application, the prospective plant operator said its ‘energy reserve facility’ would provide an electricity output up to 49.95 MW, mainly for grid balancing purposes.

In the face of gas supply shortages following a major and prolonged leak at SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon storage facility, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) now provides timely updates in its ‘Southern California Daily Energy Report’. Withdrawal rates at Aliso Canyon have fallen sharply below the usual 1.9 Bcf/d – causing regulators to place a cap on gas-burn and spurring electricity imports from neighbouring states.

News in Brief

CFE relaunches tender

Sept 28 – Mexico's state-owned utility CFE has relaunched a tender for the Topolobampo III combined-cycle gas power station. The 666 MW plant is projected to be built in the town of Ahome in Sinaloa state, on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The winning bidder would develop, build, own, operate and maintain the facility under an IPP model.

GT333S microturbines bound for Puerto Rico

Sept 28 –FlexEnergy has received an order for two GT333S microturbine generators to power an industrial facility in Puerto Rico. The two propane-fuelled GT333S turbines will be installed in a CHP system designed to provide electricity to the facilities of an industrial customer, while exhaust energy will be used to generate steam.

Most US states ‘on track’ to meet Clean Power Plan

Sept 27 – Though 27 US states have challenged more stringent emissions targets set out by the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, claimants such as the states of Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Dakota are already well on track to meet early targets. Federal policies that incentivise clean generation are seen pushing most of the rest toward timely compliance with EPA rules.

TenneT hikes grid fees by 80%

Sept 27 – German households will have to pay €30 more per year for electricity as grid operator TenneT plans to raise its grid fees by 80% in early 2017. “The main reason for this increase is that the grid expansion doesn’t progress as fast as renewables development,” Urban Keussen, TenneT board chairman told Handelsblatt. Around 95% of the additional costs were due to the rising number of measures to stabile the gird and only 5% resulted from grid expansion, he said.

Price range for Innogy IPO determined

Sept 26 – Preparations for the IPO of Innogy have entered their final stage as RWE determined the share price for its spinoff to range from 32 to 36 euros. Innogy would be valued between €17.8 billion and €20 billion and RWE will remain the majority shareholder with 75-82% of shares, the company stated. With a total of 101 million shares to be placed, Innogy could receive gross proceeds from the IPO of up to €2 billion, while RWE expects to get around €1.6 billion.

RWG to overhaul Avon engines in Thailand

Sept 26 – Chevron has contracted Aberdeen-based RWG to overhaul of two Siemens Industrial Avon gas generators, before the end of this year. The scope of RWG’s work includes complete disassembly, detailed inspection, component repair and reassembly, followed by performance testing prior to return to customer. The two Industrial Avon engines, used at Chevron’s offshore gas production rigs in Thailand, have operated reliably in gas compression duty for over 30,000 hours since their last overhaul.

Himoinsa gensets support Romania’s gas network

Sept 23 – Transgaz, Romania’s national gas transportation company, has turned to Himoinsa gas generator sets to help ensure the stable operation of its pipelines. Four HGP-100 T5 NG models, equipped with PSI motors, have been supplied to Transgaz. All gensets will be powered by with the same gas that Transgaz transports, making the fuel readily available and avoiding the use of more costly diesel fuel.

Siemens opens service centre in Nigeria

Sept 23 – A new workshop to service Siemens gas turbines and DresserRand compressors in West Africa has just been opened in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. Catering for both businesses under one roof, according to the OEM also allows to service flow valves and non-OEM rotating and reciprocating equipment.

Tests start for SOFC-MGT hybrid power gen

Sept 22 - Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has started demonstration testing of a pressurized hybrid power generation system integrating a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack and a micro gas turbine (MGT). The Japanese manufacturer said it targets a commercial launch in fiscal 2017.

Microturbine market to top $940m by 2020

Sept 22 – Growing at a rate of 21% per year, the global microtrubine market is estimated to exceed $940 million before the end of the decade. Technavio analysis surveyed major vendors and evaluated trends on distributed power, notably .for micro-combustion turbines with an output range between 25 kW and 500 kW.

Fuel cell plant up in Mannheim

Sept 21 – The first European fuel cell of megawatt size is now operational in Mannheim, Germany, delivering heat and electricity virtually absent of pollutants. Jointly installed by E.ON and FuelCell Energy Solutions at Friatec, the plant went onstream at the start of this week and will now provide clean energy for Friatec’s material production process for at least ten years to come.

Marubeni, Sumitomo buy stake in NJ plant

Sept 21 – Japan’s Marubeni and Sumitomo have respectively acquired 35% and 10% interests in West Deptford Energy Holdings, which owns the 775 MW West Deptford combined-cycle gas power plant in New Jersey, US. Since its start-up in November 2014, the CCGT has supplied power to the north-eastern part of the PJM grid zone.

Most US states ‘on track’ to meet Clean Power Plan

Sept 20 – Though 27 US states have challenged more stringent emissions targets set out by the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, claimants such as the states of Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Dakota are already well on track to meet early targets. Federal policies that incentivise clean generation are seen pushing most of the rest toward timely compliance with EPA rules.

Afghanistan reaches out to foreign energy investors

Sept 20 – In a US government-backed move, Afghanistan has sealed its first independent power producer (IPP) deal – a 10 MW solar project in Kandahar province, won by the Indian company Jaguar Overseas with a bid just below $0.08/kWh. Though small-scale, the first IPP is hoped to convince prospective investors to also back gas-fired IPPs as the head of Dabs utility said he would “soon award the first IPP contracts for a gas-fired plant.”

Blackstone, ArcLight pay $2.2bn for AEP plants

Sept 19 – American Electric Power has agreed to sell four of its power plants for $2.17 billion to Blackstone and ArcLight. The deal includes two gas power plants – the 840 MW Waterford Energy Center and the 507 MW Darby Generating Station – as well as three coal-fired plants, including the 2,6655 MW Gavin plant in Cheshire, Ohio.

Siemens places US bonds

Sept 19 – Siemens announced it has secured “favourable conditions” when issuing bonds worth $6.0 billion with maturities of three, five, seven, ten and thirty years. At the time of price fixing, the interest rate premium over comparable US government bonds averaged 10 basis points below the initial indication at the beginning of the marketing period.  Proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes – notably refinancing of matured and outstanding debt, the German OEM said.

GE supplies transformers for Karpowerships

Sept 12 – Karadeniz Energy Group has selected GE to supply 16 power transformers to be installed in four Karpowership. These floating power barges, at up to 486 MW capacity, drop anchor at countries with urgent electricity needs, providing short-term power supply by connecting its onboard high-voltage transformers to the electrical grid.