Demand for natural gas from the US power generation sector is expected to flatline, if not slump, over the next five years, analysts say – provided that President Trump goes ahead with plans to scrap the Clean Power Plan (CPP).
"With increasingly low clean energy costs, renewables-based hydrogen production could once again be competitive with steam methane reforming (SMR)," says Cédric Philibert, senior energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA). New-built wind farms in Morocco, and solar PV in Dubai and Chile where electricity costs are around $30/MWh, according to his insight, can compete with SMR paired with carbon capture and storage.
Shell, Engie of France, Austria’s OMV and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall have agreed to each pay €950 million to fund the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. The financing deal paves the way for the 55 Bcm/year gas interconnector that had faced strong opposition from some EU member states on competition grounds.
Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries is on time and budget with construction works for the Myingyan combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant. Upon commissioning in 2018, the 225MW facility will be the biggest CCGT in Myanmar. It will be run by Sempcorp for 22 years, and then the Government of Myanmar will take ownership.
Energy engineers and surveyors have carried out boiler inspections for over 25 years, but there are still instances that can shock them: Such as the boiler showing 180 cracks just two years after purchase, says Mark Ormrod, NDT & Material Testing Manager at British Engineering Services. “Of course, most plants are simply running their boilers in line with manufacturers’ guidelines and there are no unexpected shocks found on inspection. We’ve taken a look at the practical issues underpinning our worst and best findings for industrial boiler maintenance, to highlight how to maximise your boiler lifespan, instead of running it into the ground.”
Working gas storage in the United States as of March 31 stood at 2,051 billion cubic feet (Bcf), ending the most recent gas year around 15% above the five-year average. Responding to slightly higher prices, gas consumed in electric power generation fell 2.1 Bcf from the 2015–2016 heating season, but the drop was almost entirely offset by a 2.0 Bcf increase in US gas exports, according to data from PointLogic.
The Government of Pakistan is pushing for 3,600 MW of gas power generation capacity to be added to the grid before the end of this year. The Jhang, Sheikhupura and Balloki projects are all due to be completed in 2017, Punjab chief minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said, pointing out that developers managed to save a combined Rs.112 billion (US$1.06bn) during construction as many project are being fast-tracked.
Competitive natural gas prices, growth in renewables generation, EU air quality directives and weak electricity consumption have squeezed the role of coal in Europe's power mix, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit finds. The EU market environment for coal-fired power is described as "a tough one," with little upside potential.
As Ireland moves towards an Integrated Single Electricity Market (I-SEM), the regulator has just set out a methodology for a transition to competitive power auctions in a bid to attract investment in new capacity. The first auction will be held on December 15 for the rest of the delivery year 2017/18.
Together with the Chinese EPC contractor SEPCOIII, Siemens is carrying out the conversion of the Az Zour South 3 power plant from open-cycle to combined-cycle mode. The plant, operated by Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water, will have 263MW more generating capacity, once the upgrade is competed in mid-2019.
Egypt is positioning itself as a prominent gas importer during the northern hemisphere summer while becoming a winter exporter. WoodMackenzie points out that “a pragmatic approach to pricing” by the Petroleum Ministry has secured over US$28 billion in new gas field investment since 2015, so “this could be just the start of Egypt's second gas boom.”
Future use of hybrid energy will lead to a consistent baseload, without the need for top-up via fossil fuels, anticipates Francesco Falco, chief commercial officer at GE Power Conversion.
"When using Silicon Carbide (SiC), – a diamond-like substance – instead of traditional silicon chips in a solar inverter, its high power density feature can reduce power losses by up to 50 percent," he explains.
With global energy demand forecast to grow by 30 percent through to 2030, driven by industry and rising prosperity in emerging markets like ASEAN, Thailand’s energy secretary Areepong Bhoocha-Oom seeks to turn the country into a regional energy hub. For the Thai power sector that means liberalising integrated utilities and transforming the fuel mix toward clean gas and renewables.
Steep rise in the deployment and use of new Floating Regasification and Storage Units (FSRUs) – notably in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa – will substantially increase the supply of natural gas for decentralised power generation projects worldwide. From 2019 onwards, Energy Aspects anticipates the deployment of three to four new FSRUs per year, with a combined LNG import capacity of some 12-15mtpa, as “the maximum level of uptake.”
“Effective digitalization is key to driving performance,” ABB's Tarak Mehta said at the pre-Launch of its cloud-based Electrical Distribution Control System ‘ABB Ability’ that is claimed to make power grids “safer, smarter and more reliable for industry 4.0”. The Zurich-based manufacturer will showcase the grid control system, along with new switch gear, at Hanover Fair next week.