Archive: Gas

Global Gas Glut

Marcellus Shale gas has increased recoverable natural gas reserves in the U.S. by about a third over estimates prepared a few years ago. Europe is also exploring shale gas as an alternative to problematic Russian gas supplies and low proven natural gas reserves. POWER contributors in the U.S. and UK examine the comparative economic value, public acceptance, and political implications of these massive shale gas reserves.

Top Plant: Irsching 4 Combined Cycle Power Plant, Irsching, Bavaria, Germany

The Irsching 4 Combined Cycle Power Plant has set a new world record in power plant efficiency with its new SGT5-8000H gas turbine. With an output of more than 578 MW and efficiency of 60.75% (net) achieved at a world record test run in May 2011, the plant demonstrates that climate protection, low-cost power generation, and flexible operation using fossil fuels can be attained simultaneously through technical advances. Due to its high efficiency, the gas-fired plant uses significantly less fuel and produces lower carbon dioxide emissions than traditional combined cycle plants.

Top Plant: Emirates Aluminum Smelter Complex (EMAL), Al-Taweelah, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The new 2,100-MW Phase 1 EMAL combined cycle power plant provides dedicated power with a high level of reliability to the Emirates Aluminum Smelter Complex, which is designed to be the world’s largest aluminum smelter upon completion. Located on the Persian Gulf, the gas-fired combined cycle plant uses seawater cooling towers to eliminate thermal stress on local marine life.

Top Plant: Astoria II Combined Cycle Plant, Queens, New York

Managing construction of the 550-MW Astoria II Combined Cycle Plant in the midst of Queens, a densely packed New York City borough, required extensive off-site modular construction and a high level of logistical organization. Now the new Astoria II plant is operating successfully in conjunction with the Astoria Energy I plant as the largest natural gas–fired power plant in the Big Apple.

Top Plant: Arvah B. Hopkins Generating Station, Unit 2, Tallahassee, Florida

Known for its progressive, pro-sustainability policies, the City of Tallahassee recently repowered a 30-year-old conventional steam plant unit, turning it into a new 300-MW facility. The utility redesigned the Arvah B. Hopkins Generating Station, Unit 2 as a 1 × 1 combined cycle plant in order to improve efficiency, switched the primary fuel from oil to natural gas, and thereby reduced fuel costs and emissions. The plant’s flexible design even will enable expansion to a 2 × 1 configuration when additional capacity is needed in the future.

Top Plant: Adapazari Power Plant, Adapazari, Sakarya Province, Turkey

In 2010, the 2,310-MW Adapazari Power Plant achieved 99.8% availability, which is nearly 7% higher than the industry average and a global record in F-class gas turbine technology. The new turbine upgrade is helping ENKA Power bolster Turkey’s evolving economy by improving its energy sector’s efficiency and productivity.

Explosion Devastates Major Cypriot Power Plant

A brush fire that spread and detonated explosives stored at the Evangelos Florakis naval base in Mari on the southern coast of Cyprus on July 11 killed 13 people, injured 62 others, and severely damaged the Vassilikos Power Station—an oil- and gas-fired plant that supplied almost 60% of the island nation’s power. Cyprus, which was once considered an “economic miracle,” has been battling crippling power shortages that have beleaguered its financial and tourism sectors since the blast and left it on the verge of economic collapse.


Heat waves, droughts, and other weather and climate phenomena; economic woes; aging or inadequate infrastructure; fuel shortages. These are some of the most obvious causes that have led to record peaks in power demand or sudden drops in available capacity. The results have been sometimes debilitating load-shedding, brownouts, and blackouts around the globe this summer (and, in some cases, for much longer). Here’s an overview of which countries are affected by which difficulties. For a more detailed look at the extent of shortages and what’s causing them, visit Web Exclusives at