Daily News

Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK could soon largely depend on variable renewable energy (VRE), as an additional 169 GW of wind and 172 GW of solar power is planned to be grid-connected by 2040. Purpose-built flexibility assets, like gas generators and energy storage, are indispensible for this transition.

Vattenfall has commissioned the Berlin-Marzahn combined heat and power (CHP) plant, built by Siemens as general contractor. The CHP supplies district heating for the eastern part of Berlin and has a maximum fuel efficiency of 92%, making it one of Europe’s most efficient power plants.

MAN Energy Solutions has installed, commissioned and handed over a 56 MW power plant block to its customer, Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO). The new unit expands the Pembroke power station which supplies most of the energy needs of Bermuda’s capital city Hamilton.

Petronas’ Kasawari gas field development project, offshore Sarawak in Malaysia, will be powered by Siemens SGT-300 turbines. With 3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable reserves, the field will produce up to 900 mmcf of gas per day for delivery to the Petronas LNG complex in Bintulu.

Ansaldo Energia has completed construction and commissioning of the Mornaguia gas power plant in Tunisia ahead of schedule, despite difficulties related to the coronavirus pandemic. STEG, the owner of the 625 MW plant, can now bring the facility to full capacity in time for peak summer demand.

New technologies to produce green hydrogen will allow for 34% of global emissions to be cut “at manageable cost,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds. Excess renewable energy can be turned into hydrogen at $0.8 to $1.6/kg in most parts of the world before 2050, which would make it competitive with gas prices in Brazil, China, India and Germany.

Chart Industries has teamed up with privately-held Risco Energy Solutions to provide LNG equipment like storage tanks, ISO containers and trailers in support of Indonesia’s growing LNG-to power market. The agreement, signed in Q2-2020, is part of a series of gas-to-power or LNG fuelling-related orders.

September is the first month when both oil-indexed and JKM LNG prices look commercially competitive with coal in the Korean power market. Energy Aspects says the fuel switch could cause 1 million tons per month of incremental LNG demand from September 2020 until January 2021.

Swiss gas compression solutions company Burckhardt Compression has posted a rise in sales and profits in fiscal 2019 although incoming orders fell below pre-year figures. Gross profit came in at 149.8 million Swiss francs, a 10.4% rise year-on-year, resulting in a profit margin of 23.8%.

Chinese equipment manufacturer Shanghai Electric has upgraded its digital platform SEunicloud to match industrial energy demand with supply from wind farms and distributed thermal power units. The platform integrates various energy sources and energy storage.

Engie, Siemens, Centrax, Arttic, German Aerospace Center (DLR) have started field trials on the world's first industrial-scale power-to-X-to-power demonstrator as part of the HYFLEXPOWER project. The aim is to produce, store and use renewable hydrogen to fire a Siemens SGT-400 industrial gas turbine, installed at cogeneration plant operated by paper factory in France.

Climate policy linked to the European Green Deal and the digital transformation will be “at the centre” of the German EU Council presidency in the second half of 2020, Chancellor Merkel told parliament. “Recovery after the crisis must be a ‘green recovery,’” a strategy paper by the foreign office reads.

News in Brief

Siemens to service Kalamkas gas turbines

June 4 – JSC Mangistaumunaigaz, one of Kazakhstan’s largest oil and gas producers, has contracted Siemens to service two STG-800 gas turbines at a power plant, designed to meet the entire energy needs of the nearby Kalamkas oil and gas field. The nine-year contract covers turbine maintenance and eventual upgrades as well as remote monitoring of operations.

NamPower to invest $575m on grid expansion

June 3 – Namibia’s state-owned utility NamPower is planning to spend $575 million over the next three years in upgrading and extending its power transmission infrastructure. Namibia imports 60% of its total electrical energy requirement, primarily through bilateral contracts from South Africa’s Eskom and to a lesser extent, the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP).

UK TSOs call for £900m green gas investment

June 2 – Britain’s five gas network companies – Cadent, National Grid, NGN, SGN and Wales & West Utilities – have urged the Government to unlock over £900 million (€1bn) for new green gas infrastructure. Research by the Energy Networks Association (ENA) shows that if investment into zero-carbon hydrogen infrastructure started today, the UK could save energy bill payers £89 billion (€99.2bn) by 2044 – five years prior to its 2050 net-zero targets.

Exxon, INNIO about to launch gas engine oil

June 1 – ExxonMobil and INNIO have announced the imminent launch of their first co-engineered and co-branded natural gas engine oil. The U.S. oil major and the Austrian engine maker have just extended their global lubricant collaboration agreement for INNIO’s Jenbacher Type 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9 natural gas engines.

BelGAS launches new pressure regulator

May 29 – BelGAS has introduced its new P1098 High-Capacity Pressure Reducing Regulator, a large-volume regulator for natural gas, propane and other fuels. The pilot-operated device has a large-area actuator diaphragm, allowing for fast and accurate response to modulating gas flow conditions. It is adaptable for low to extra-high pressure—up to 400 psi main valve inlet.

GE to sell lightning business

May 28 – GE has signed a definitive agreement to sell its lighting business to Savant Systems, a provider of smart homes. CEO H. Lawrence Culp called the divestment “an important step in the transformation of GE into a more focused industrial company.” The transaction is expected to close in mid-2020.

China’s fuel demand recovers

May 27 – The Chinese government has lifted restrictions on private travel since April which pushed up demand for transport fuels. Gasoline demand has recovered particularly fast and is expected to return to last year’s levels by June 2020. Wood Mackenzie estimates gasoline consumption to reach 3.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in the second quarter, down just a 0.8% year on year. Diesel or gasoil demand is expected to reach 3.4 million b/d in Q2 2020, a 3% decline year-on-year. Overall, China’s oil demand is seen rise a “modest” 13.6 million bpd, or 2.3%, in the second half of 2020.

Wärtsilä to retrofit CHP in Spain

May 26 – The Finish engine maker Wärtsilä has bagged an order to supply and install a 34SG gas-fuelled engine generating set for Rofeica Energia's combined heat and power plant in Barcelona, Spain. The installation of the gas engine will allow Rofeica to switch the CHP from heavy fuel oil to gas-fuelled operation, reducing emissions.

New York body rejects William’s plans for gas pipeline expansion

May 21 – New York’s and New Jersey’s state bodies for environmental conservation have rejected Williams’ plans for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project, designed to transport 400 million cubic feet per day of gas from Pennsylvania to New York. The state bodies had already denied wetland permits in 2019, but Williams pipeline subsidiary Transco filed another application with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), arguing firm services under the project were agreed with UK’s National Grid for customers in New York City districts of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.

UK inflation at 4-year low amid falling energy costs

May 20 – The rate of inflation in the UK has fallen to a four-year low as the pandemic pushed down global oil and fuel prices which translate into lower wholesale power prices. The consumer price index fell to an annual rate of 0.8% in April, down from 1.5% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Deficit grows in German green energy fund

May 19 – German regional grid operator TransnetBW has warned of a growing shortfall in the country’s fund for green energy sources, financed under the so-called renewable energy (EEG) levy. TransnetBW, the TSO in southwest Germany, said “due to the EEG cost allocations defined for 2020, we anticipate there will be a negative year end bank account balance in the high three-digit million euro range for 2020.”

Spanish gas companies ‘resilient’

May 18 – Spain’s regulated gas companies “should prove to be resilient” to external shocks arising from coronavirus containment measures, Standard & Poor’s analysis finds, calculating with an average drop in EBITBA at less than 3% in 2020. A new remuneration framework for 2021-2026, recently enacted by the Spanish government, provides enhanced visibility rated grid operators amid the pandemic.

German electricity prices second highest in EU

May 15 – Taxes and the renewable energy surcharge have pushed up Germany’s household electricity prices to the second highest level in Europe, topped only by prices in Denmark. While Danish households paid 29.2 Euros per 100 kWh on average in the second half of 2019, prices in Germany averaged 28.7 Euros, according to the EU statistics office Eurostat.

Calpine’s Q1 earnings fall

May 14 – Calpine, America’s largest generator of electricity from gas and geothermal, has reported a net income of $128 million for the first quarter of 2020, down from $175 million in the prior year period. Lower commodity margins and unfavourable change in income taxes were partially offset by earnings from hedge positions for the three month ending March 31.

Siemens to supply hybrid plant in the Philippines

May 13 – Berkley Energy has contracted Siemens Energy to build a hybrid power project on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. The project links 16 MW wind power with battery storage, stabilizing energy supply in a remote location with a weak link to the grid and reducing its dependence on diesel.

U.S. energy emissions fall

May 12 – Energy-related carbon emissions in the United States have fallen more than energy consumption, down 2.8% over the course of last year to 5,130 million metric tons (MMmt). Power sector emissions were down 145 MMmt, due to a switch from coal to gas and renewables. In April 2020, emissions experienced another unprecedented fall in due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

MAN expands Omincare concept

March 11 – MAN Energy Solutions’ service brand has extended its ‘PrimeServ Omnicare’ concept from turbomachinery to the marine and power segments. The one-stop service solution is now also applicable for maintenance of third-party machinery, including engines, turbochargers and related auxiliaries.