Quarterly Status Report: Global Gas Power Projects

This edition of our quarterly report offers a snapshot of the new projects and key project developments taking place in the global gas power sector in Q4 (Oct–Dec) 2012.

EICDataStream currently records a total of 481 gas power projects under construction and a further 244 projects proposed for future development, which together have a total potential investment value of nearly $540 billion. EICDataStream is a global project database that tracks m 9,850 of the most significant projects across the energy industry, but it should be noted that there will always be a proportion of proposed projects that do not gain planning approval and the requisite finance. 

Project activity increased slightly in Q4 2012 with 37 projects added to the database with a total potential investment value of nearly $26 billion. In comparison, Q3 saw 27 projects added worth $20 billion. The highest volume of new projects is in the U.S., which has a total of 13 new projects planned with a combined potential investment value of nearly $7.6 billion. These projects, if all built, could have a total generating capacity of over 8 GW. As in Q3 2012, the largest project by capacity and value has been proposed in Japan.

Q4 2012 was a particularly buoyant quarter for gas power projects in the U.S., with the country accounting for over 35% of new projects this quarter. The majority of projects in the U.S. (10) are for the construction of new gas-fired plants. Two of these are Moxie Energy’s Patriot and Liberty combined cycle plants in Pennsylvania, which will both use natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation to power two turbine generator units with a total capacity of 450 MW to 700 MW. These turbines will be connected to two heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs), which will produce an additional 250 MW to 300 MW. Moxie plans for the two plants, located in Lycoming County and Bradford County respectively, to be identical but it is unclear yet which plant will start construction first.

Also in Pennsylvania, a conversion project is taking place with Sunbury Generation planning to close five of its six coal-fired generators at Shamokin Dam and replace them with three gas-fired units, coupled with three HRSGs. The total planned capacity for the project on completion is just over 1 GW.

Another interesting project in the U.S. is NET Power’s $75 million carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) demonstration project in Durham County, North Carolina. NET Power plans to develop a 25-MW gas-fired plant in order to demonstrate its oxyfuel combustion process, known as the Allam Cycle. The UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has awarded the project £4.9 million as part of its CCS Innovation Programme.

Under the terms of the grant, NET Power will use British low-carbon power technology and equipment that is under development by Goodwins and Toshiba. There are plans for a full-scale 250-MW plant to follow after the demonstration plant.

In Japan, the upgrade at Sodegaura Power Plant is the largest project with a total potential investment value of $3.9 billion. The operator, TEPCO, plans to replace the current generating units at the plant in the Chiba Prefecture, which have a current combined capacity of 3.6 GW. The refurbishment is expected to be completed towards the end of 2017.

Also in the Asia-Pacific region, the $1.2 billion Pengereng Power Plant in Malaysia has been proposed by Petronas as part of the wider Refinery and Petrochemicals Development (RAPID) project. RAPID is a $20 billion integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex incorporating a crude oil refinery, a naptha cracker, and a petrochemicals and polymer complex dedicated to producing specialized chemicals. The 1.2-GW plant would supply power to the RAPID site and surrounding areas in southern Johor and Singapore.

In other parts of the world where there have been low levels of activity, just one project has been announced in Western Europe, the $509 million Landivisiau CCGT Power Plant (400 MW) in northern France. Only two projects have been proposed in the Middle East: the $400 million Dhofar Independent Power Project (400 MW) in Oman and the $150 million Samra Simple Cycle Power Plant (146 MW) in Jordan. In Africa, one project was proposed in the last quarter, the $600 million Kpone Power Plant (340 MW) in Ghana.

In 2012, a total of 126 gas power projects were added to the database, potentially worth $86 billion. Throughout the year the level of both project activity and investment has remained consistent, indicating a healthy, steady trend in new project developments. 

—Neil Golding is head of business information for the Energy Industries Council.

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