POWER Digest (March 2010)

Masdar, BP Hydrogen Power Plant to Be Completed in 2014. The $2.2 billion Hydrogen Power project — a joint venture between the United Arab Emirates’ renewable energy initiative Masdar (60%) and oil company BP (40%) — should be completed in 2014, the companies said on Jan. 18. The 420-MW plant, located in Abu Dhabi, would use a natural gas reformer and carbon capture facility to convert 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen would then be used to fuel gas turbines and generate electricity, while the carbon dioxide will be injected into a producing oil field to replace natural gas that is currently being used maintain pressure. Hydrogen Power will also reportedly have a small-scale desalination plant for its own use.

The project originally included a third partner, Rio Tinto, but the mining and exploration company sold its 20% share in the project to BP last December. Foster Wheeler completed preliminary engineering and design. Natural gas for the project will be supplied by state firm Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., and the bulk of the power generated will be sold to state-run Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority.

National Grid Proposes Smart Grid Pilot for N.Y. International energy delivery company National Grid in January proposed a comprehensive smart grid demonstration program in the Syracuse, N.Y., area. The company’s test site would include 39,400 homes and businesses. The company submitted its plan to the New York Public Service Commission and said that the plan aligns with the recently adopted New York State Energy Plan, which calls for reducing state electricity use to 15% below forecast levels by 2015.

If approved, the plan could be implemented within two to three years, National Grid said. The company was selected as a sub-applicant in a recent Department of Energy award for a three-year project to demonstrate advanced energy storage in several locations, including Syracuse.

B&W to Replace Condenser at Columbia Generating Station. Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Power Generation Group last December said it had been awarded a contract to support a condenser replacement project at Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station in Richland, Wash. B&W will begin preparations for the project that will take place during a 2011 outage at the plant. During the outage, B&W will remove the existing waterboxes and copper-nickel tube bundles, then replace them with new waterboxes and titanium tube bundles. B&W will also perform piping rerouting and reconnections to the condenser. When the outage is complete, B&W will restore the interferences and inspect the final vacuum test of the condenser shell.

Alstom to Upgrade Equipment at Swedish Nuclear Plant. Alstom on Dec. 15 said it had been awarded a €90 million contract by Forsmarks Kraftgrupp AB, a subsidiary of Swedish state-owned energy company Vattenfall Group, to upgrade equipment at Unit 3 of the Forsmark nuclear power plant. Located on Sweden’s east coast, the nuclear plant generates a sixth of the country’s total power. The scope of Alstom’s order includes delivery, erection, and commissioning of a new 1,500-MW turbo generator, as well as auxiliary equipment, such as the excitation system, hydrogen system, oil system, and cooling water system. The generator replaces the existing 1,200-MW Alstom-delivered machine that entered service in 1985. Equipment delivery is scheduled for March 2014, and installation will be finalized in August 2014.

Basin Electric OKs FEED Study for Carbon Capture at Antelope Valley. North Dakota – based Basin Electric’s board of directors on Dec. 18 authorized Doosan Babcock Energy and technology providers HTC Purenergy, to conduct a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study to evaluate the feasibility of adding carbon capture equipment at the regional cooperative’s Antelope Valley Station (AVS) near Beulah, N.D. The FEED study will focus on the costs and engineering of retrofitting AVS to add the carbon capture equipment and technology to one of the plant’s two 450-MW units.

It is expected that the retrofit would capture the equivalent of a 120-MW slipstream from exhaust gases. HTC’s proprietary CO 2 capture technology, supported by Doosan, is designed to capture 90% of the CO 2. Some $2.7 million of the $6.4 million study will be funded by the North Dakota Industrial Commission.

E.ON Divests 5,000 MW of German Generation Capacity. German energy giant E.ON on Jan. 5 announced it had virtually completed divestment of 5,000 MW of its generation capacity in Germany in deals with France’s Électricité de France (EDF) and German utility Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW). The announcement follows earlier deals with Norway’s Statkraft, Belgium’s Electrabel, and Austria’s Verbund. The transactions are part of a commitment made by E.ON to the European Commission in 2008 for antitrust reasons to promote competition in the German energy market.

E.ON now owns EnBW’s 800 MW of nuclear power capacity from France. It has also acquired EDF’s and Charbonnage de France’s 35% stake in the French energy firm SNET — making it the sole owner of the company that owns 2,500 MW of mainly coal-fired generation in France. In return, EnBW owns 800 MW of E.ON’s German nuclear power station capacity. At the same time, EnBW is taking over E.ON’s 50.4% stake in the Rostock coal-fired power station and is receiving power from the Buschhaus coal-fired power plant. The transfer of E.ON’s 50% stake in Kraftwerk Mehrum GmbH, likewise agreed upon in October between E.ON and Stadtwerke Hannover, has also been finalized. E.ON has also agreed to sell its ultra-high-voltage grid in Germany.

Foster Wheeler Wins HRSG Supply Contract for Spanish Plant. Foster Wheeler subsidiary Global Power Group in early January said it had won a contract to design, supply, and erect a heat-recovery steam generator (HRSG) from Spanish company REPSOL PETROLEO S.A. The HRSG and auxiliary equipment will be integrated in a cogeneration plant being built at the REPSOL Cartagena Refinery in Murcia, Spain.

Foster Wheeler will also provide start-up supervision services. The HRSG will be coupled with a General Electric PG-6581 gas turbine and recover heat from the gas discharge stream, producing high-pressure and medium-pressure steam for use in refinery processes and electricity generation at the Cartagena facility. The unit will be equipped with a bypass stack and diverter, as well as post-firing and fresh air capability, for continuous operation even after a combustion turbine trip. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Commercial operation is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012.