Daily News

The energy services division of Australia’s Energy Queensland has joined forces with the energy tech firm GreenSync to create a cloud-based, load control system designed to manage extreme electricity demand during severe temperature events. Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt called it “Australia’s biggest virtual power plant (VPP).”

Eager to electrify remote areas and support energy-intensive industries, governments across Asia are investing in electrical infrastructure projects. The Asia-Pacific region hence is about to become the largest market for power transformers worldwide.

Banks are reluctant to give Nigeria’s Egbin Power new loan facilities as the utility is burdened with substantial debt. The company has been seeking to refinance N125 billion ($352bn) it owes to the Federal Government and now wants to raise another $1.2 billion to expand the Egbin Power plant by up to 1,500 MW by 2020.

Australia’s power provider Hydro Tasmania is preparing to run the combined-cycle gas turbine at its Tamar Valley Power Station as of Tuesday morning local time -- purely for economic reasons. "Mainland electricity prices are currently high. The CCGT will be operated to help reduce the amount of electricity Hydro Tasmania needs to import from Victoria over the drier months, therefore reducing overall cost,” the utility pointed out.

The UK government plans to publish the long-delayed £50 billion hydrogen strategy to clean up emissions from the country’s heat, transport and industrial sectors within weeks. Jon Slowe, a director at Delta-ee, singled out decarbonising heat as “the biggest challenge in reducing carbon emissions.”

EnergyAustralia, one of the nation’s three big power generators, is understood to have hired Morgan Stanley to advise on a bid for IFM Investor’s gas-fired power stations in Victoria. The sale of two Ecogen assets, with a combined capacity of 960 MW, comes amid heightened uncertainty over Australia’s clean energy policy which has propelled up gas and electricity prices.

Decoupling a portion of the low-voltage grid in the Allgäu region of Germany, Siemens and its partners have implemented a self-contained microgrid using only renewable power supply. Insights from this “islanded grid” in Wildpoldsried serve as a model for the “transformation to power supply supported by prosumers.”

Gas-burn for power generation in Spain has ended the month of August with an increase of over 60% to reach 7,800 GWh – the highest figure for this month since 2011, according to Enagas figures. The steep increase in the contribution of gas in the Spanish power mix was caused by very low hydro power availability and a lower generation from wind power.

Indian LNG buyers have been courting the incumbent seller Qatar to invest in stranded gas-fired power station as a precondition for new long-term offtake agreements. "It won't be quid pro quo but mutual interest [...]" oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan commented; “They can share the profit of those power plants."

Having moved to a competitive market, Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) released its first monthly price report on August 18 which shows that Mexican marketers sold gas at $4.10/mmBtu on average in July. CENAGAS, Mexico’s pipeline system operator also launched its natural gas capacity reservation system with electronic bulletin boards for posting natural gas flows.

2G Energy, manufacturer of combined heat and power (CHP) plants, has introduced a new range of low-emission systems. Ranging from 20kWe to 240kWe, the systems emit 90% nitrogen oxide (NOx) compared with standard (500mg) units.

Eager to expand its foothold in the power sector, the Russian gas giant Gazprom has formulated strategy for the group’s electricity generating assets between 2018 and 2027. Today, Gazprom’s plants provide for about 16% of the electricity in Russia’s Unified Energy System, running primarily on proprietary gas.

Strengthening its presence in India, Sembcorp Industries of Singapore announced it is acquiring IDFC Private Equity Fund III (IDFC)’s remaining stake in Sembcorp Green Infra (SGI), for INR 1410.2 Crores (about S$301 million). Sembcorp CEO Said Neil McGregor said the deal will “increase our investment in a wind and solar generation portfolio that complements our thermal power assets in the country.”

Threats to automation equipment keep changing, so protection concepts for industrial power plants need to evolve. To address this challenge, Siemens and the International Society of Automation (ISA) have entered a global partnership to share expertise in protecting the automation environment based on the IEC 62443 standard.

Indonesia’s PT PLN (Persero) has ordered 147 units of MGS Series gensets, produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine & Turbocharger (MHIET), to be deployed across the island nation in stand-alone power systems. The units are planned to progressively go into service in 22 districts of Kalimantan and Sulawesi by mid-2018.

News in Brief

Enagas net profit tops €332m

Oct 20 – Spurred by a 9.3% rise in gas demand across Spain, Enagas stand alone net profit was up 1.6% to reach €322.5 million for the first nine months of this financial year. Gas demand was driven by a 60% growth from the industrial sector, combined with a 33.2% rise from the power sector mainly due to lower hydroelectric and wind power supply.

Capstone assigns Russian distribution rights

Oct 20 - Capstone has agreed to grant Turbine International and its affiliate, MTE Service, the sole distribution rights for Capstone products and services in the Russian oil and gas sector in exchange for $6.4 million in cash.

Pemex orders GE’s TM2500 for refinery

Oct 19 – While recovery efforts continue in Mexico after the recent earthquake, GE Power and its partner APR Energy will supply Pemex with TM2500 mobile power plant solutions for refinery some 5km northeast of the city of Salina Cruz. Operations of the refinery will benefit from nearly 70 MW of urgent power generation as regular supply via the national grid is being restored.

Surging energy use in India’s buildings

Oct 18 – India is forecast to see the fastest growth in building energy consumption through 2040. In the IEO2017 Reference case, delivered energy consumption for residential and commercial buildings in India is expected to increase by an average of 2.7% per year between 2015 and 2040, more than twice the global average increase.

Dong to remotely operate UK peaking plants

Oct 17 – Denmark’s Dong Energy has agreed with GAM Capital and its project development arm in the UK, Gas Power Developments, to manage the remote control and market optimization of three 6 MW gas power stations. The three gas peaking plants are Prestige House, Newhouse and Clay Flatts, located in Lancashire and Cumbria.

'Generation Energy' debate launched in Canada

Oct 16 – ‘Generation Energy’ has been kickstarted at a forum in Winnipag as a society-wide debate on the pathways to an affordable, low-carbon energy future for Canada. The share of renewables in Canada’s power mix exceeded 65% last year, with 90% of the total derived from hydropower. Prior to the event, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr met bilaterally with IEA head Dr Fatih Birol to provide input to Canada’s Presidency of the G7 in 2018.

MHPS starts manufacturing turbines in Dammam

Oct 13 – MHPS Saudi Arabia, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, has opened its new Turbine Rotor Repair Facility in Dammam today. The Japanese manufacturer announced plans to plans to manufacture its most advanced gas turbines in the Saudi kingdom, and use the new facility to service compressors and turbines used in petroleum and chemical plants.

Azura-Edo IPP to startup 8 months early

Oct 12 – Azura Power Holdings has announced that its 450 MW Auzura-Edo Independent Power Project (IPP) will be ready to start operations eight months ahead of schedule. First fire is planned in December this year, for commissioning to be finalised for a start-up in May 2018.

Evaluating GT owners take on dry air injection

Oct 11 – Sargent & Lundy has been hired by gas turbine (GT) owners to analyze the impact of Turbophase dry air injection system at different site conditions. Turbophase installed on multiple gas turbine frames over the past years, clocking up thousands of run-time hours.

Gas turbine market tops $24bn by 2022

Oct 10 – The global market for gas turbine is growing at an annual rate of 5.3% to reach $24.12 billion by 2020, according to htfmarketreport. Increasing demand distributed power generation, technology advancement, and more stringent regulations on carbon emissions are fuelling the market growth.

Trump nominates pro-coal lawyer as EPA deputy

Oct 9 – US President Donald Trump has nominated Andrew R. Wheeler, a lawyer whose clients include the coal mining firm Murry Energy, as the deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Wheeler opposes Obama’s Clean Power Plan and supported the US coal industry’s opposition to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Tokyo Engineering to finish new Azeri CCGT by May 2018

Oct 6 – Japan’s Tokyo Engineering Corp is building a new combined-cycle gas power unit at the Shimal power plant in Baku. The 409-MW unit is schedule to start full commercial operation in May 2018. Project costs, estimated to exceed $330 million, are partly covered by a $275 million loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

Spain’s gas demand up 13% in September

Oct 5 – Demand for natural gas in Spain has increased by 13% to 26,153 GWh in September, the highest level in the past five years. Gas-burn in the power sector was up 44% month-on-month, reaching 7,085 GWh.

Capstone to deliver C1000s to Italy

Oct 4 – Capstone Turbine Corp has received an order for a C1000 Signature Series microturbine to provide combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) for a large cured meat company in Veneto, Italy. IBT Group, Capstone’s Italian distributor, secured the order for the plant, which is due to be commissioned in early 2018.

Marubeni invests in biomass co-fired plant

Oct 3 – Marubeni Thermal Power has signed a shareholder agreement with Tokuyama and Tokyo Century Corp to invest in the latter’s the construction and operation of a biomass co-firing power project in Shunan City. Preparation for construction works are getting underway this month, for a start of commercial operation in 2022.

Puerto Rico powered by fuel oil in the wake of Hurricane Maria

Oct 2 – Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is busy trying to restart power plants as well as transmission and distribution lines after Hurricane Maria hit the island earlier this month. In the absence of firm natural gas supply, PREA turned to Puma Energy to purchase fuel oil for emergency power generators.

Wärtsilä helps boost offgrid power in India

Sept 29 – Wärtsilä’s Indian office is supporting Arkay Energy (Rameswarm) to boost electrical output and productivity of its 150 MW baseload power plant in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, in southern India. An O&M deal for the plant's 16 Wärtsilä 34SG engines was renewed in June 2017 for another five years.