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The Government of India has announced it will cap the price of domestically produced natural gas at $4.66/mmbtu between April 1 and September 30, 2015 – a 7.7% cut from previous prices at $5.61/mmbtu. Affordable gas is meant to help increase the load factor of stranded power plants. Meanwhile, operators are gearing up to bid for subsidized imported gas in a reverse auction.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's minister for economic affairs and energy, has faced fierce criticism for proposing carbon-intensive power plants should pay a new 'climate protection fee'. Several federal states in Germany see lignite coal as a vital domestic and comparatively cheap energy source – in contrast to natural gas, with some high-efficiency units being lossmaking and at the brink of closure.

Political risk in Nigeria's lengthy election process has hindered the startup of a new 140 mmscf/day gas pipeline, leaving power stations stranded that were built under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) in the western part of the country. Foreign commissioning experts refused to come to Nigeria during the election period amid fears over public unrests.

Though paid to stay on this winter, RWE Generation's Littlebrook oil-fired power plant in Kent is closing down today. The operator confirmed it shuts down the 1,245 MW plant in Kent in accordance with EU environmental law, while three 35 MW open-cycle gas turbines on the site will continue to operate.

Papua New Guinea's gold mine in Lihir is powered by onsite generators, driven by 22 Wärtsilä engines with a combined output of 172 MW. The OEM has signed a servicing agreement with Newcrest Mining Ltd to improve availability and performance of the power plant.

An ownership consortium consisting of E.ON, HSE, Mainova, and N-ERGIE has officially notified the German energy regulator and the network operator TenneT of its plans to shut down Irsching 5 on April 1, 2016.
E.ON furthermore asked the regulator to shut down its Irsching 4 unit on the same date, claiming the lack of plant dispatch for merchant power has rendered operations unprofitable.

UK and Scottish Governments have vowed to jointly provide £4.2 million for industrial research and feasibility work for a full–chain 570 MW Carbon-Capture-Storage (CCS) coal-gasification power station in Grangemouth, Scotland. If realised the Grangemouth project would follows a design approved in Texas by U.S regulators.

Financial incentives for cogeneration under Romania's revised energy efficiency law have spurred Bepco to install four combined heat and power (CHP) plants in the city of Brasov. The upgraded plants, driven eleven Jenbacher Type 6 gas engines, are generating 42 MW of electricity and 38 MW of heat for the local community.

A major blackout has hit large parts of Amsterdam as well as the wider province of North Holland this morning, forcing Schiphol airport to cancel all flights to and from the city. About 90 minutes after the outage struck, Dutch power grid operator TenneT said that electricity has been partly restored in the densely populated region. The TSO explained the incident was caused by a "technical fault" at a substation in the Amsterdam suburb of Diemen.

Major U.S. utility Dominion Virginia Power has proposed to build a gas-fired power station with a capacity of about 1,600 MW in Greensville County at a cost of more than $1 billion. The combined-cycle facility would consist of three gas combustion turbines and a steam turbine.

Expanding its rental operations in Australia, GE's sales and service provider for Jenbacher gas engines Clarke Energy has stuck a deal to supply three J320s to Horizon's short-term power project. With a capacity of 3 MW, the engines will supply electricity for the remote coastal town of Onslow, Western Australia, prior to the construction of a permanent power station.

The Cabinet of India has given permission for supply of more LNG to power producers in a bid to rescue and revive stranded generation assets. Gas supply is limited by regasfication and import capacity, so utilities are asked to participate in a reverse auction by bidding the lowest amount of subsidy they need to produce electricity at Rs 5.50 per unit.

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News in Brief

RINL commissions 120 MW captive power plant

Apr 1 – India's Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. (RINL) has started up what it deems a "completely pollution-free" 120 MW captive power plant at the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant which runs on blast furnace and coke oven gas. The steel manufacturer need 418 MW of electricity on average, and RINL said it aims to step up its captive generating capacity at the site to 315 MW.

Locamation signs MoU with Liaoning for Shenzhen low carbon city

Apr 1 – Dutch power distribution operator Locamation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Liaoning Construction to cooperate for the supply of substation automation and smart grid technology for the Shenzhen Low Carbon City Project. Both parties have agreed to take part in an innovation consortium for the Shenzen – one of China's most innovative regions.

ITM Power wins grant hydrogen refuelling stations in London

Mar 31 – UK energy storage firm ITM Power has been awarded a grant of £2.89m to invest in two new Hydrogen Refuelling Stations (HRS) in London. Both stations will incorporate on-site hydrogen generation using the Company's PEM HGas electrolyser platform.

ABB lands contract to improve Kuwait power grid

Mar 31 – Swiss –based ABB has won an order worth $12 million from the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) of Kuwait to refurbish and upgrade three existing substations in the greater Kuwait City metropolitan area. ABB said the three transmission substations, located in Hawalli Governorate, require modernization in order to enhance their reliability after approximately 30 years in operation.

Israel agrees to providing gas for Gaza power plant

Mar 30 – Hamas has claimed Israel agreed to a Qatar-funded project under which it will provide a gas pipeline to Gaza's sole power plant at Nusairat. Qatar will fund the $25 million project of building the pipeline. Gas flows could either be supplied directly from an Israeli gas company located opposite the Gaza coast, or might have to be piped from Israel via Egypt's Sinai Peninsula into the Gaza Strip.

Tokyo Gas, Idemitsu, Kyushu Electric eye 2-GW coal power plant

Mar 30 – In an effort to reduce reliance on LNG for gas-based power generation, three Japanese power generators are considering to jointly build a 2 Gigawatt coal-fired plant near Tokyo, close to Idemitsu's base for coal imports. Full liberalisation of Japan's retail electricity market is slated in 2016, as the government wants to spurs investment in new capacity. The three firms announced they aim to start up their mega coal power plant around 2025.

SSE cuts 33% of withdrawals capacity at Hornsea storage

Mar 27 – Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has identified that the costs of operating, maintaining and upgrading the older withdrawal plant at its Hornsea gas story facility are not currently supported by market returns. Hence, it decided to mothball 33% of the withdrawal capacity of the site (6 mcm/d) with effect from 1 May 2015. 
SSE has an interest in two gas storage facilities in East Yorkshire, namely in Hornsea and Aldbrough, with the latter being partly owned by Norway's Statoil.

Turkmenistan to launch tender for gas power plant repair

Mar 27 – Turkmenenergo State Electric Power Corp. has announced it will launch a tender for international bidder to compete for a contract to repair the gas turbine and engine parts of its power stations. The tender fee is understood to be 230 Turkmen Manat ($65.71)

Yokogawa to power Petronas' 2nd FLNG facility

Mar 27 – Malaysia's business arm of Electric Corp. has won an order from GC Corp. and Samsung Heavy Industries to supply control systems and safety instrumented power systems for Petronas' PFLNG2. It will deliver a Yokogawa CENTUM VP integrated production control system, a ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system, a plant resource manager package, a plant information management system, as well as other power components.

Qatari LNG set to boost Pakistan's power production

Mar 26 – First LNG shipment from Qatar will arrive in Pakistan today, with the gas to be fed into the system by March 31.
Pakistan's Petroleum Minister stressed that the regasified LNG it will add 10% more electricity to the existing levels of generation and could provide almost $300 million saving to power producers.

Japan: Glencore's coal deal at six-year price low

Mar 25 – Faced with Japan's nuclear renaissance and fierce competition with natural gas, Glencore is understood to sell coal to Japanese utility buyers at a price not seen that low for the past six years. Analysts estimate that the world's largest exporter coal will from April 1 sell annual supplies to Japan at $70 a tonne – the lowest since 2009, and down from last year's settlement at $81.80.

Capstone to deliver microturbine to El Salvador

Mar 25 – California-based Capstone Turbine Corp has secured an order to upgrade the Salvaplastic manufacturing plant in capital city San Salvador. A propane-fuelled Capstone C200 microturbine will be installed in a grid connect configuration to provide electricity to the Salvaplastic manufacturing plant – in parallel with the local utility.

Limerick plant to convert waste into electricity

Mar 25 – A €240 million waste disposal project in Ireland will turn household waste into electricity in county Limerick. Cadence EnviroPower will build a gasification facility adjacent to the Gortadroma landfill, with the gas produced on site to be used in a 30 MW power generator.

India aims to bring back 14,000 MW of idled gas capacity

Mar 24 –The Indian government is fast-tracking policies to revive about 14,000 MW of gas-fired power plants in the month of April. Pooling the price of domestic gas with the imported LNG is meant to make the stranded power plants generate power.

Cameroon: Victoria Oil and Gas starts supply to 2 power plants

Mar 24 – Victoria Oil and Gas has started to supply gas to the Bassa power station, which now produces 20 MW of electricity for Cameroon. Gas will also be supplied to the 30 MW Longbada plant which is scheduled to start operations in April, with commissioning pushed back slightly due to shipping delays.

InterGen celebrates 20th anniversary

Mar 24 – The global independent power producer InterGen celebrates its 20th anniversary this month, with 11 power plants in operation that produce a combined 7,686 megawatts of electricity. Incorporated in 1995, InterGen was formed as a joint venture between Bechtel Enterprises and Pacific Gas & Electric.

Gas may fuel new UFA power plant

Mar 23 – The University of Alaska (UFA) is now evaluating the use of natural gas as a fuel for its proposed new power plant at UA Fairbanks after an initial design for a coal-fired plant came in well over budget. An initial EPC design for a new plant using coal came in much higher than the $245 million approved by the legislature last year for the project.

Latest News on Natural Gas Power Generation, Plants and Generators

Gas to Power Journal is a specialist publication for the natural gas power generation industry, supplying analysis and insight on topics including combined cycle gas turbine technology and gas fired power plant efficiency, as well as developments in plant projects, financing and markets. Our daily updated journal provides insight into the UK, European and world energy markets for those seeking to explore the technical, strategic and commercial opportunities in natural gas power generation and its related topics.

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