Daily News

The US$1.25 million acquisition of Origin Energy’s subsidiary, Lattice Energy through Beach Energy will be “positive for the eastern Australian gas market,” according to WoodMackenzie’s Australasia senior analyst Chris Meredith who expects Beach to step up its exploration effort to cash in on high regional gas prices. “The company is selling under long-term contracts,” he stressed, and “average portfolio price for 2018 will be above A$6.10/GJ.”

Australia’s Origin Energy has agreed to sell its conventional upstream oil and gas business, called Lattice Energy, to Beach Energy for A$1.585 billion (US$1.24 billion). The divestment leaves Origin focussed its power generation assets in eastern Australia but will keep getting much of Lattice’s future east coast gas production under a long-term supply accord.

Vivid economic growth across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is driving up demand for electricity. The regions’ installed power generation capacity of 209 MW cannot meet burgeoning demand, and WoodMackenzie estimates about US$500 billion will be needed to build an additional 270 GW by 2035.

Oil, natural gas and coal all differ in their energy content – and most fuels can be converted into one another though chemical transformation processes. Rather than collecting energy data independently across different commodities, an energy balance combines all fuels and ads up their energy content which can be visualised through an interactive Sankey chart.

Barely three years after Alstom shrugged of a Siemens offer for its energy division in favour of bid from rival GE, the German engineering group is now taking over Alstom’s train division. The Franco-German rail merger is a breakthrough for President Emmanuel Macron, but has stirred up fierce opposition among trade unions and the French right-wing party.

Cost barriers to clean energy deployment are falling, but system-level integration of more variable energy resources has emerged as a new challenge. System flexibility is of the essence to handle the fluctuating balance of electricity supply and demand, the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) said at this week’s launch of its “Advanced Power Plant Flexibility Campaign.”

Zhejiang Satellite Energy, China’s largest acrylic producer, has contracted Siemens to supply a compressor train – powered by two SGT-750 industrial gas turbines – for the second phase of its propane dehydrogenation plant. Installation of the compressor train is due in late 2018, for a plant commissioning by early 2019.

Rising costs of fuels burnt for power generation have caused a substantial rise in residential electricity prices across the United States. The price of natural gas averaged $3.53/mmBtu in the first half of 2017 – a 37% rise compared with the first half of 2016; meanwhile the average delivered cost of coal dropped 2%, according to EIA figures.

Alarmed about the scale of gas shortages in Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is considering restrictions on LNG exports from Australia’s eastern coast. Santos, Shell and ConocoPhillips have been urged to help plug an estimated shortfall of up to 17% of market demand in 2018.

Highland Group Holdings (HGHL) has agreed with Symbion Energy to co-invest $100 million towards the $370 million for a 106 MW project of generating electricity from methane at Lake Kivu in Rwanda. Paul Hinks, Symbion CEO promised “the work will begin in earnest in November 2017 and this funding means we can fast-track at least 22 MW within 18 months."

Cherat Cement has contracted Wärtsilä to supply three 34DF dual-fuel engines to power an extension of one of Cherat’s manufacturing facilities in Pakistan. The two engines, running on natural gas and heavy fuel oil (HFO), will produce a total output of approximately 29 MW.

ABB announced the acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions, GE’s global electrification solutions business for $2.6 billion. Zurich-based ABB said it expects to realize approximately $200 million of annual cost synergies in year five, which will be "key in bringing the GE arm to peer performance”.

Black-yellow-green: a Jamaica coalition between the Conservatives, Liberals and the Green Party is now the sole option for Germany’s new government – after the Social Democrats decided for the opposition. With the Greens participating, the time is ripe for a fierce debate in parliament in about the feasibility of phasing out coal-fired power plants; in close succession to Germany’s nuclear exist.

Digitalisation unfolds in the energy sector as utilities are seeking to achieve revenue and efficiency gains, but there is a corresponding need to identify cyber threats at their earliest stages – going beyond compliance regulations to secure operations. To that end, Siemens and PAS Global have joint forces to provide fleet-wide, real time monitoring for control systems.

Events like major hurricanes lay bare the fragility of utility infrastructure and the value of adopting onsite distributed generation. With the resiliency of microturbines, most Capstone customers in the U.S. experienced minimal downtime, if any at all, and kept powering through Hurricane Harvey, Irma and now Maria.

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.