Daily News

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems’ T-Point 2 gas turbine validation facility has started up in Japan. Powered by a JAC gas turbine, the T-Point 2 power station has entered operations at record-setting combined-cycle efficiency greater than 64% and a turbine inlet temperature of 1650°C.

Europe’s largest power producer E.ON and the German steelmaker thyssenkrupp have teamed up to produce hydrogen by linking large-scale electrolysis units, built by the latter, with E.ON’s virtual power plants (VPPs). That way, industrial hydrogen can help integrate green energy into the grid.

Germany’s Evonik and UK’s Omexom have ordered 18 of GE’s ‘Green Gas for Grid’ solutions, or ‘g³’ gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) bays for use at industrial sites. g³ is an alternative to sulphur hexafluoride (SF₆), a potent greenhouse gas, used in high-voltage equipment including switchgear.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has issued requests for proposals (RFP) for up to 500 MW of mobile temporary capacity to meet peak summer demand. PREPA said it still assess the damages of an earthquake earlier this year, which incapacitated the 967 MW Costa Sur power plant.

Cummins has taken legal actions against Turbo Lab for infringement of patents by the unauthorized selling of turbo nozzle rings, a critical component of the Holset VGT engine. Turbo had to concede Cummins’ patents were valid and infringed, and must now destroy all existing infringing stock.

MAN Energy Solutions has completed the Sund power plant extension and handed it over to Elfelagið SEV, the local energy supplier on the Faroe Islands. Four MAN 9L51/60 engines were added, enhancing the plant's generating capacity by 37 MW as well as district heating.

Indonesia’s LNG imports are expected to be resilient against the coronavirus-led global economic downturn. Wood Mackenzie says import volumes could hit 3.1 million tonnes in the second half of 2020, rising 1.2 million tonnes or 63% year-on-year.

Black Bear Transmission has agreed to acquire six intrastate natural gas pipelines spanning approximately 1,400 miles in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi from a subsidiary of Third Coast Midstream. The transaction marks Black Bear’s second bolt-on acquisition, having bought the Ozark system from Enbridge in April 2020.

Global battery manufacturing capacity is seen surge as energy storage is increasingly installed in conjunction with fast-start gas engine gensets and renewables. By 2021, battery making is forecast to more than double to 278 Gigawatt-hours (GWh), up from 103 GWh at present.

Thailand’s oldest industrial conglomerate, the B.Grimm Group, has filed an application for a second LNG import license to the Thai Energy Regulatory Commission. The aim is to increase fuel supplies for the utility's proposed new gas-fired power plants.

Japanese manufacturer Marubeni is getting close to start trial runs for ammonia co-firing at some of JERA’s thermal power plants in Japan. Ammonia stores hydrogen at low cost and can be used as a fuel to generate electricity.

UK’s National Grid and the Norwegian TSO Statnett have achieved the halfway mark in laying the world’s longest subsea cable – the North Sea Link. Due completed in 2021, the interconnector will allow Norway to export hydro and wind energy to the British Isles.

News in Brief

KKR buys stake in First Gen

July 3 – Valorous Asia Holdings, owned by KKR investment funds, has bought a 11.9% stake in First Gen through a voluntary tender offer. First Gen, one of the Philippines’ largest independent power producers with 3,492 MW installed capacity, is owned by First Philippine Holdings which is controlled by the Lopez family. KKR’s acquisition of the First Gen stake is worth nearly $192.3 million.

Gazprom’s ‘BBB’ rating affirmed

July 2 – S&P Global Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have affirmed Gazprom's long-term credit ratings as part of their annual reviews. The ‘BBB’ ratings for Gazprom from S&P and Fitch are in line with the sovereign credit rating of the Russian Federation, while Moody's ‘Baa2’ rating is a notch higher.

MHIEC to refurbish WtE plant in Kushiro

July 1 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co (MHIEC) has received an order from the Kushiro Wide-Area Federation to repair and improve the core equipment at the local Waste-to-Energy plant in Takayama. The WtE plant has a capacity of 240 tonnes per day (tpd). Renovation will increase the energy efficiency of the fluidized bed type gasification and ash melting furnace facility, reducing emissions by around 15% annually. Works are due completed in September 2023.

Nigeria: Only two of six power projects on target

June 30 – Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises has disclosed that only two out of six privatized power plants were delivered on target. Only Transcorp Power Ltd and Geregu Power Ltd out of the six privatised electricity generation companies (GENCOs) were said to have met their performance targets since taking over.

German investors prefer solar over wind

June 29 – Energy infrastructure investors are keen to build solar power projects in Germany, but shun wind parks. In the latest solar power auction, investors offered to build almost 450 MW of capacity – more than four times the 96 MW of volume on offer– with the average successful bid at 5.27 cents per kilowatt-hour (ct/kWh). The wind auction, in contrast, was undersubscribed: The German network agency  (BNetzA) tendered around 826 MW, but successful bids only totalled 464 MW, at an average price of 6.14 ct/KWh.

MAN ventures into synthetic fuels

June 26 – MAN Energy Solutions has entered the hydrogen economy with the recent pro rata acquisition of H-TEC SYSTEMS, an electrolysis tech firm. The German OEM also committed itself to upgrading its gas turbines to run on 100% hydrogen by 2030.

Varegro starts using Cummins gas genset

June 25 – Belgian-based horticultural company Varegro, has started to use a Cummins HSK78G gas generator to power its greenhouses in Oostrozebeke, West Flanders. Varegro said it selected the Cummins HSK78G genset to produce combined heat and power (CHP) on its premises at a competitive cost for use in energy-intensive greenhouse facilities.

GE names Deloitte as independent auditor

June 24 – GE’s audit committee has selected Deloitte as the company’s independent auditor for the 2021 fiscal year, replacing KPMG. The selection of Deloitte concludes GE’s latest audit tender process.

Northern German states push for hydrogen pilot cluster

June 23 – Northern German states are pushing for greater hydrogen use with a pilot project cluster. Some 12 large demonstration plants for the production and use of green hydrogen are meant to be realised in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The aim is to demonstrate how 75% of CO2 emissions can be saved in the region by 2035.

Wärtsilä to design and equip battery-powered ferries

June 22– The Finish engine maker Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to design and equip two new zero-emissions ferries on behalf of the Norwegian operator Boreal Sjö. For each ferry Wärtsilä will supply the thruster motors, batteries, onboard and shore-based battery charging equipment, the back-up generators, and various electrical systems. The equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard in early 2021 for the ships to start commercial operations in autumn 2021.

Subsidy cut slashes Chinese wind turbine margins

June 19 – China’s wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) could have their gross profit margins halved due to subsidy cuts, Wood Mackenzie forecasts. Commissioned onshore wind power capacity is expected to drop by more than 16% to 19 gigawatts (GW) from 2020 to 2021 as government subsidies were terminated. This could also lead to a 27% drop in turbine prices over the next five years, slashing OEMs’ gross profit margins by half.

PowerPHASE converts gas peakers into storage engine

June 18 – U.S. emergency power provider PowerPHASE has developed an upgrade to convert 7F gas turbine-based peaking plants (350 MW each) to a so-called Storage Engine (400 MW). The unit would be able to store 3500 MWh daily and discharge 4800 MWh daily. CEO Bob Kraft claims utility customers could dispatch the Storage Engine, despite its lower heat rate (4000), ahead of higher heat rate options (9000 for gas peakers) in a competitive market like ERCOT in Texas.

Cummins names Davis head of New Power unit

June 17 – Cummins has appointed Amy Davis as Vice President and President of the company’s New Power Segment, effective July 1. The new unit includes Cummins’ electrified powertrains, battery design and assembly, battery management, fuel cell and hydrogen generation.

GE powers USS Zumwalt

June 16 – The US Navy has taken delivery of the USS Zumwalt, its first full-electric power and propulsion ship, equipped by GE’s Power Conversion. The ship features a high-voltage system, propulsion drive trains with multi-phase VDM25000 power converters and advanced induction motors. Kevin Byrne, head of GE’s North America marine segment said “the full-electric power and propulsion ship has the flexibility to direct energy where it is needed on the platform.”

New England power prices down 40%

June 15 – Spot electricity prices in New England (NE) has fallen since winter 2019/20 when it stood at an average $28/MWh, down 40% from an average $47/MWh in the previous winter. Low natural gas prices, warmer-than-normal temperatures, lower loads, and reduced needs to run expensive peakload generators were the cause for the substantial drop in NE’s winter electricity prices, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) finds.

Calpine closes $1.1bn in financing for Geysers Power

June 12 – Calpine Corp has closed $1.1 billion Climate Bonds Certified financing for its subsidiary, Geysers Power, the largest complex of geothermal power plants in the U.S. Geyers will use the proceeds to repay some debt it owes to Calpine and to fund ongoing operations and maintenance.

UK coal-free for two months

June 11 – The UK managed to keep the lights on without using coal for power generation for two months by now, National Grid figures show. Lower demand due to lockdowns and a rising contribution from gas and renewables has rendered less-efficient coal power units uneconomic. All unabated coal power stations are mandated to close by 2025, though Britain’s largest fossil power station Drax has converted its coal units to biomass.