POWER Digest [May 2019]: News Briefs From Around the World

MHPS Receives Order for UAE Power Plant

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has been tabbed to build a 1,026-MW gas turbine combined cycle power plant for the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Al Layyah plant will include two M701F gas turbines. The project is for the Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (SEWA) in the coastal city of Layyah. The plant is scheduled to begin commercial operation in mid-2021. It is the first in Sharjah to be financed with a loan from Japan’s export credit agency. MHPS received the order to build the plant on a full turnkey basis in a consortium with an affiliate of El Sewedy Electric S.A.E., a Cairo, Egypt-based company that provides energy infrastructure services in the Middle East and Africa. SEWA currently operates a 2,850-MW power plant in Sharjah fired by natural gas and oil. In addition to supplying electric power, the plant uses the steam created on-site to convert seawater to fresh water, which SEWA supplies within the emirate. MHPS said it has to date delivered 87 gas turbines to the Middle East market.

Jordan Commissions ACWA Combined Cycle Plant

Jordan’s National Electric Power Co. (NEPCO) has commissioned the 485-MW ACWA Power Zarqa combined cycle power plant, a repowering project that features three GE Power-developed 9E gas turbines. The plant also includes three heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) and one steam turbine generator. The plant has six stacks, one for each gas turbine and each HRSG. The plant is located northeast of the city of Zarqa. The new plant is designed to replace the generation from the decommissioned Hussein Thermal Power Station, which burned heavy fuel oil and diesel. NEPCO officials said the new plant is the most efficient of its kind in Jordan, capable of operating at more than 51% combined cycle efficiency. NEPCO is supplying natural gas for the plant through a new gas pipeline that connects with the country’s main gas pipeline. ACWA Power was the developer of the plant and SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction was the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor. The plant is part of Jordan’s National Energy Strategy, a plan to increase power generation capacity by 40% in the next year.

Joint Venture Will Build Power Plant for LNG-to-Power Project in Brazil

Gás Natural Açu (GNA), a joint venture including Siemens, BP, and Prumo Logístic, a Brazilian logistics company, has been contracted to build a 1.3-GW combined cycle power plant for the integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG)-to-power project GNA 1 owned by GNA in Brazil. The GNA 1 project is located in the Port of Açu in Rio de Janeiro state. Siemens also signed a long-term service agreement with GNA and will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the LNG-fired power plant. Brazilian company Andrade Gutierrez also is part of the construction team. Siemens is supplying the complete power island of the power plant, which includes three H-class gas turbines, four generators, a steam turbine, heat recovery steam generators, and instrumentation and control systems. The project is scheduled to begin commercial operation in early 2021. Along with the power plant, the GNA 1 project includes an LNG import and regasification terminal, a substation, and a transmission line that will connect the power plant to the grid. GNA 1 is the first phase of the Açu Gas Hub, a project being developed in the Port of Açu Complex, that will be a logistics solution for receiving, processing, consumption, and transportation of natural gas from Campos and Santos Basins, and also import and storage of LNG.

Chinese Company Will Build New Hydro Plant in Rwanda

China’s SynoHydro is partnering with the government of Rwanda to build the Nyabarongo-II Hydropower Plant. The new 43.5-MW facility, estimated to cost $214 million, is expected to begin operation in 2024 and supply more than 11.5% of the electricity on Rwanda’s national grid. Théoneste Higaniro, head of power generation projects implementation at Energy Development Corp. Ltd. (EDCL), the state-run utility, said the multipurpose dam will be used for flood control. It also will help development of irrigation systems, and the reclaiming of land for agricultural purposes downstream. The plant is phase two of the Nyabarongo project; the Nyabarongo I hydropower project has 28 MW of generation capacity and is designed solely for power generation. The Rwanda Energy Group, the government holding company, which has EDCL as a subsidiary, said the country has 40 power plants, mostly hydro facilities, and wants to add several more power plants—and upgrade existing facilities—to add 400 MW of generation capacity by 2024, bringing access to power across the country. Government data shows 51% of the country’s households have access to electricity, with 37% connected to the national grid and 14% to off-grid systems.

Global Wind Installations Fall as Market Dynamics Shake Up Sector

The Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC’s) April 3-released annual report notes 51.3 GW of new wind capacity was installed worldwide in 2018, bringing total cumulative installations up to 591 GW. In the onshore market, 46.8 GW was installed, a decrease of 4.3% compared to 2017. China and the U.S. remained the largest onshore markets, adding 21.2 GW and 7.6 GW of new capacity, respectively. The European onshore market installed 9 GW, a notable 32% decrease compared to 2017. GWEC expects the onshore market to install more than 50 GW per year until 2023. “Mature markets in Asia, Europe and North America will continue with stable volumes. Growth will come from developing wind energy markets in Africa/Middle East, Latin America and South-East Asia,” it said. The offshore wind market remained stable in 2018 with 4.5 GW of new additions, bringing cumulative installations to 23 GW. Future growth is anticipated in Asia and in North America, GWEC said.

Japan Ministry Suggests It Will Block New Coal Plants

Japan’s Environment Ministry in a policy initiative on March 28 said it will evaluate environmental impact statements for new coal-fired power plants more strictly, and, in principle, it will not approve construction of new large coal-fired power plants or coal-fired boiler upgrades at existing facilities. Decisions by the ministry, which conducts environmental impact assessments for new plants with an output capacity of 150 MW or more, are considered by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, which has final say on whether to approve new coal plant projects, and which forecasts a dominant 26% role for coal in the country’s power mix in 2030. According to the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ), coal power plants produced 30% of the country’s power in fiscal year 2018, a share that it expects will remain stable this year. The bulk of Japan’s power in 2018 was produced by liquefied natural gas (40%). IEEJ in December forecast that oil-fired power generation, which produced 5% of Japan’s power in 2018, is set to see a marked decline as more than 13 GW is subjected to idling or retirement in 2019. In 2018, nuclear produced 6%, hydro supplied 10%, and other renewables provided 9%. ■

Sonal Patel and Darrell Proctor are POWER associate editors.