Technology & Innovation

Hydrogen-ready solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are being introduced to the British wholesale power market by Bloom Energy, Conrad Energy and Electricity North West. The trio agreed to jointly develop, build and operate behind-the-meter (Btm) projects to bring Bloom’s SOFC platform to UK with first orders hoped to materialise in December 2021.

South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy’s refining unit Hyundai Oilbank has agreed to import liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from Saudi Aramco to produce blue hydrogen, made through steam methane reforming with subsequent carbon capture. This blue H2 will be sold as a fuel to Korean power generators.

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) and GE Gas Power have agreed to develop a roadmap to reduce emissions from EGA’s operating fleet of gas turbines by turning to hydrogen as well as carbon capture, utilisation, and storage solutions (CCUS). The aim is to retrofit EGA’s turbines to partially run on clean hydrogen and capture most gas-based emissions.

MAN Energy Solutions works to upgrade its four-stroke engines to run on power-to-X fuels such as synthetic natural gas (SNG) and hydrogen. The Augsburg-based company aims to offer hydrogen-fired engines to power stations from 2025, and engines are also meant to run ammonia and methanol by the end of 2022.

Effective smart grids need to gather, store and interpret vast amounts of data from physical assets which can be facilitated through Ovarro’s latest remote telemetry unit (RTU). The device acts autonomously to maximise the output of decentralized, hybrid power gen assets as the world’s electricity consumption is forecast to surge 70% from 2015-levels by 2040.

INNIO Jenbachers’ combined heat and power (CHP) systems supply climate-friendly energy based on natural gas and hydrogen. And to best utilize complex, hybrid energy systems, the Austrian manufacturer developed myPlant Optimisation which uses artificial intelligence (AI) for overall plant operation.

Striving to eliminate greenhouse gases from power transmission, Siemens Energy is investing over €60 million in a new factory, where vacuum interrupters without fluorinated gases – especially sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) – will be manufactured within the company’s switchgear plant. The new facility is scheduled start producing in 2023.

Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) only make sense together with direct-air-capture technologies. Hydrocarbons will be needed even in a CO2-neutral economy – whether in artificial paraffin or for plastics –  analysts at Germany’s federal environment agency (UBA) say, hence "future carbon cycles can only be closed permanently with additional carbon extraction from the atmosphere.”

‘Spirit of Innovation’, developed by Rolls-Royce, is claimed to be “the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft” with a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over 3 kilometres. Electric flight, if adopted at scale, can help significantly decarbonise the aviation sector and Rolls-Royce says all its new products will be compatible with net zero operation by 2030. 

Improving its servicing capabilities, GE has delivered the first repaired HA component from its recently opened Advanced Manufacturing & Repair Technology Centre (AMRT) in Singapore. The new hub reduces repair-time for H-Class turbines in wider Asia – where GE has over 90% in-region self-sufficiency for turbine repair and a growing installed base.

Ansaldo Energy has published its first sustainability report in what it calls an “important step in the direction of transparency.” The report’s statistics show Ansaldo managed to reduce greenhouse gas reductions by -280.6 tCO2e to date (-1,563.8 of induced emissions) while using less water per hour worked. Going forward, the focus is on green energy and digital transition. 

German classification society TÜV SÜD has tested and certified Siemens Energy’s ‘H2-Ready’ power plant concept, increasing investment security for utilities. Firing combined-cycle gas power plants partially or fully on hydrogen significantly lowers the plant’s carbon footprint. Some single-cycle plants are already being sold as ‘H2-Ready’ today.

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News in Brief

Ms Mulliez new chair of Siemens Energy’s audit committee

Dec 6 – Laurence Mulliez (55) has been appointed as new Chairwoman of the audit committee at Siemens Energy. Consisting of eight members, the audit committee is part of the company’s supervisory board and tasked with monitoring the accounting process, the internal control system, and audit of the company’s financial statements. 

INEOS digitalises Grangemonth terminal

Dec 3 – INEOS Forties Pipeline System (FPS) has announced plans to digitalise operations at Kinneil Terminal in Grangemouth. The AI-driven optimisations software will help lower emissions and streamline operations of the oil and gas receiving terminal in Scottish waters. The decision follows INEOS’ commitment to curb emissions from its operation at Grangemouth by more than 60% by 2030 as it targets Net Zero by 2045. 

Yokogawa, CCC launch new control system

Dec 2 – Tokyo-based Yokogawa Electric has entered a commercial agreement with Compressor Controls (CCC) to sell a new jointly developed solution. Named ‘CCC Inside for CENTUM VP’ and released on November 2, the device can control processes and turbomachinery at the same time. Under the deal, Yokogawa will supply hardware and software for the system while CCC will leverage its control algorithms, global engineering and technical support for turbomachinery.

Rolls-Royce extends runtimes for MTU engines

Dec 1 – Rolls-Royce has managed to significantly extend engine running times of up to 96,000 hours between overhauls (TBO) for the latest generation of its mtu Series 4000 engines. These engines can now run for up to 25 years before they need a major overhaul, depending on the duration and intensity of use.

SLNG and Linde Gas to develop CO2 liquefaction unit

Nov 30 – Singapore LNG (SLNG) and Linde Gas have teamed up to develop a carbon dioxide liquefaction and storage facility. A feasibility study is underway to build a CO2 liquefaction unit next to the SLNG Terminal on Jurong Island. SLNG chief executive Tan Soo Koong said the company’s objective is cold energy recovery with high efficiency, as well as effective liquefaction and storage to reduce CO2 emissions.

Oseberg upstream shifts from oil to gas

Nov 29 – Equinor has announced plans to invest 10 billion Norwegian crowns ($995M) to change the Oseberg field from primarily being an oil field to becoming a substantial natural gas producer with large remaining gas resources. Oseberg is the third-largest oil producing filed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and the operator has submitted and amended development plan to the energy ministry.

ABB, Metacon and Wärtsilä partner on hydrogen

Nov 26 – ABB, Wärtsilä, Metacon affiliate Helbio, and the classification society RINA are jointly working on delivering a power solution for marine application that is fuelled by hydrogen. The aim is to have a scalable solution that will exceed the IMO 2050 target for a 70% reduction in carbon intensity without the need for extensive investment in new infrastructure. Wärtsilä gas engines can already run on a mix of hydrogen and LNG, and the company strives run them 100% on hydrogen fuel in the near future.

Wärtsilä enters Belgian energy storage market

Nov 25 – Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply a 25 MW / 100 MWh energy storage system to a Belgium customer, marking its entry into the Belgian energy storage market. The order was booked to Wärtsilä’s order intake in October 2021, and the system is scheduled to start operating in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Triveni agrees with GEAE Tech to manufacture LM2500 turbine in India

Nov 25 – Triveni Engineering & Industries has signed a 10-year accord with GEAE Technology USA to produce the LM2500 gas turbine base and enclosure locally in India. The turbine is the chosen propulsion equipment for many surface combatant vessels of the Indian Navy.

Wärtsilä launches lighter IQ-Series scrubber

Nov 24 – Wärtsilä has launched a new IQ Series exhaust gas treatment system, designed by its Exhaust Treatment business unit in Moss, Norway. Designed with a smaller footprint, the new scrubber takes up 25% less space, is 30% lighter, and has 35% less volume which makes it particularly adapt for use on container ships, but also for stationary engines.

Afreximbank signs loan for Aba IPP in Nigeria

Nov 23 – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a $50 million term loan facility for the Aba Integrated Power Project (IPP) in Nigeria, which comprises of a 141 MW gas-fired power plant and a 27-kilometer feeder pipeline and a distribution utility. Before greenlighting the loan, the bank advised projects sponsor Geometric Power on restructuring sol-called “gap capital” in the $332 million recapitalisation funds for the Aba IPP.

SiGreen tracks products’ emissions data

Nov 22 – Siemens has developed an ecosystem-based approach to calculate Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) with a with a view to track and reduce emissions. SiGreen helps exchange emission data along the supply-chain and combine it with data from a company’s own value creation to obtain a product’s true carbon footprint.

ELGi expands oil-free compressor series

Nov 19 – Belgium-based ELGi Compressors Europe has marketed introduced four new air compressors, the AB11, AB15, AB18 and AB22 that expand the company’s AB Series portfolio, ranging from 11KW to 110KW. The new the AB11-22 range helps customers optimize moisture separation, cooling and capacity control which directly translates into savings on electricity use.

Double-digit growth seen for GT market

Nov 18 – The market for gas turbines (GT) is forecast to witness a double-digit growth between 2021 and 2028, according to Global Market Vision projections. Leading manufacturers surveyed in the consultancy’s latest report include Doosan, Mitsubishi, MJB International, Siemens, GE, PW Power Systems, Solar Turbines, Dresser-Rand, Kawasaki, MAN Diesel & Turbo, OPRA Technologies, MTU Aero Engines, Wood Group and Chromalloy Gas Turbine.

Gazprom aims to increase contractual supply to VNG

Nov 17 – Russia’s Gazprom is in negotiations with VNG, one of Germany’s largest gas importers, to extending long-term gas supply contracts and “increase the supply volume thereunder.” Leipzig-based VNG imports and stores Russian gas in Germany’s eastern states and Berlin, and together with Gazprom it is building the Katharina underground gas storage (UGS) project with a design capacity of 650 million cubic meters (mmcm) of working gas volume and 26 mmcm daily withdrawal rate. The Katharina UGS is due completed in 2025.

Eaton offers IFPM73 fluid purifier with higher flow rate

Nov 15 – The Filtration Division of energy management company Eaton has added a higher volume flow rate system to its IFPM series of PLC-controlled, mobile, off-line fluid purifiers. Complementing the IFPM 33, which has a flow rate of 8 gpm (30 l/min), the new IFPM 73 has over double the flow rate of 20 gpm (70 l/min) for purifying oils and gas liquids stored in large tanks and reservoirs. 

General Fusion sets up new base in Tennessee

Nov 12 – General Fusion has set up a new operations base in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as it seeks to commercialize fuson technology in collaboration with national laboratories, universities, and the U.S. government. This expansion will create up to 50  technical jobs.