Project Update

Siemens inaugurates first phase of Egypt megaproject

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi headed the list of VIPs as Siemens inaugurated the first phase of its so-called megaproject in Egypt earlier in March.

Siemens is building three combined-cycle power plants which together will have a capacity of 14.4 GW and are expected to boost the country’s power generation capacity by 45 per cent.

The contract was the biggest single order ever signed by Siemens and now the company has marked the first fire of the first gas turbine. Siemens says this milestone is all the more notable, as it claims it “broke all records in modern power plant construction”, by connecting the 4.8 GW of new capacity to the grid only 18 months after signing the original contract.

The construction work involved in the megaproject is enormous.

More than 1,600,000 tonnes of material will be processed for its completion, including 960,000 tonnes of concrete and 48,000 tonnes of steel.

Siemens has also announced a strategic alliance with Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support occupational training in Egypt.

Siemens will join forces with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fàƒ¼r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of BMZ to set up and operate a joint training centre.

Siemens president Joe Kaeser said: “This strategic partnership signifies a new milestone in Siemens’ history in Egypt and underscores our joint commitment to support the country’s long-term growth and development.”

The new training centre will be built in the Ain Sokhna area and will train 5500 selected technicians and engineers over four years in advanced skills such as operation, maintenance, and repair in the energy sector.

Construction is scheduled to begin this year and it is due to open in 2018.

Toshiba wins Cambodia coal plant contract

Toshiba has become the first Japanese company to win a power station construction contract in Cambodia with a deal for a coal-fired plant.

The 150 MW project will be built in Sihanoukville, on Cambodia’s southwest coast, for Cambodian Energy II by Toshiba Plant Systems & Services Corporation and its subsidiaries, TPSC Engineering of Malaysia and TPSC from Thailand.

Electricity from the plant will be bought by Electricité du Cambodge.

Toshiba and its subsidiaries will be responsible for the overall project, including engineering, equipment supply, construction work, installation and testing, and construction of the plant is due to be completed by November 2019.

‘Biggest battery in Nordics’ put in biomass plant

A lithium-ion battery said to be the biggest in the Nordic countries has gone into operation today for storage use at Fortum’s Jarvenpaa biomass power plant.

Installed as part of Fortum’s so-called Batcave project, a $1.6m ‘battery cave’ which is a construction container equipped with the latest battery technology and created as a test environment for new ideas.

The battery’s nominal output is 2 MW, its energy capacity 1 MWh and it consists of approximately 6600 lithium-ion cells. It has been supplied by French battery company Saft.

“Our Batcave project takes us a big step closer towards the solar economy, where electricity storage plays an important role alongside renewable energy production forms,” said Tatu Kulla, head of business development at Fortum.

“The electricity battery brings flexibility to the national electricity market, benefitting all electricity users. In addition to storing electricity, the Batcave project allows us to test completely new ideas for optimal control of the battery together with other flexible electricity production forms.”

Deals signed for German onshore wind parks

Siemens has won contracts for the supply and installation of 13 of its gearless wind turbines in Germany.

At the WPD Windpark Damme in Lower Saxony, Siemens will install and commission six units of its SWT-3.3-130 turbine, while another project in Karlum in Schleswig-Holstein will receive seven units of the SWT-3.0-113 turbine.

Both deals include a long-term service agreement for 15 and 20 years respectively.

The WPD Windpark Damme turbines have a hub height of 135 metres and will be installed later this year. Citizens of the Damme community are being given the option to invest in the new project.

The Bàƒ¼rgerwindpark Brebek wind farm in Schleswig-Holstein is also a citizens’ project and the community wind farm association which will operate the project now consists of more than 280 residents of the three municipalities in the region.

Siemens will install the turbines this spring on steel towers at a hub height of 115 metres.

Thomas Richterich, chief executive of onshore business at Siemens Wind Power, said: “The further success of our direct-drive onshore wind turbines in the German market underlines the fact that our technology is now established as good choice for demanding sites.

“With the new generation of gearless wind turbines we have now expanded our portfolio to offer competitive solutions for inland low wind sites. This will enhance the popularity of our turbines in the middle and the south of Germany.”

AUMA in India six-plant actuator project

Electric actuator manufacturer AUMA is currently supplying nearly 2300 actuators for six large coal-fired power plants being built by NTPC, India’s largest power utility.

AUMA India is providing 500 actuators for each of the three plants at Lara, in Chhattisgarh; Barh in Bihar and Gadarwara in Madhya Pradesh. Another 484 actuators are going to Malwa, also in Madhya Pradesh, 306 to two smaller projects at Meja in Uttar Pradesh and Solapur in Maharashtra.

The six projects range in size from 2 x 660 MW to 5 x 800 MW and all except the Lara plant are supercritical.

AUMA says that the actuators are deployed for intelligent valve control across all processes within the plants, including feedwater treatment, steam generation, combustion air control, turbine control, flue gas management, and cooling water supply.

UK battery firm wins à‚£2m funding for storage and EV development

A UK company has secured à‚£2m funding to further develop its batteries for use in energy storage and electric vehicles.

Edinburgh-headquartered Dukosi won the funding from intellectual property commercialisation company IP Group, the Scottish Investment Bank and Scotland’s Par Equity.

Dukosi has developed a battery management system that collects, processes and stores data directly at the cell. Using wireless technology the system transmits real-time information on cell performance to support master level control of the battery pack. The company says its approach enables improved design, deployment and management of batteries in electric vehicles, industrial and grid energy storage applications.

Following several years of research, development and testing, Dukosi is readying for production of its semi-conductor chip based solution that collects data at a cell level, to generate real-time state of charge and health results.

Dukosi says using its technology reduces battery complexity, removes almost all data wiring, improves measurement accuracy, and provides a history of each cell.

The company states that the demands of complex, high-voltage, multi-cell applications are pushing traditional battery pack management technologies to their limits and quotes analyst predictions that the battery sector for electric vehicles alone will rise to a $10bn market by 2020.

Dukosi chairman Clive Scrivener said the new funding would enable the company to take “the next step to make our vision a reality and bring a new level of intelligence to batteries”.

Jamie Vollbracht, director of Cleantech at the IP Group, said: “We back companies with transformative approaches to provide clean energy. Technologies that bring more intelligence to batteries represent a compelling area for investment.”

Turkey to get 23 MW solar plant

A 23.6 MW solar plant is to be built in Turkey.

The plant in Hilvan, Sanliurfa , will be built by Hilvan Enerji with 87,630 modules from Chinese solar panel provider Upsolar.

It is expected to generate approximately 40 GWh and provide enough electricity to power around 17,500 homes.

“This project paints a bright future for Turkey and the Middle East as both regions continue to ramp-up their solar energy capacity,” said Ioannis Markatatos, Turkey and Middle East Director of Upsolar Group.

He added he was “confident and optimistic about our outlook in the region as we continue our expansion into the Middle East and we see this as a sign of more things to come”.

Aggreko to supply gas gensets to Ireland data centre

Aggreko has signed a two-year contract to supply 14 MW of gas-generated power to a new data centre in Ireland.

UK-based Aggreko will also install an additional 4 MW as contingency power to ensure uninterrupted supply for periods of repair and maintenance, bringing the total installation to 18 MW.

Aggreko will install the gas generators in April and expects them to operational by the end of June.

The gensets will be the primary source of power for the data centre until it can be connected to the main utility grid network, which is expected in 2019.

There is already piped gas in the area, which Aggreko will use to fuel the gensets.

Billy Durie, Aggreko’s Head of European Sector and Account Development, said: “Data centres are being constructed at such a speed that in some countries the local infrastructure just cannot keep up with demand. Temporary gas-generated power makes perfect sense for data centres that need to be operational before a connection is available from the local power supplier, or simply where there is not enough capacity from the grid.”

MAN Diesel wins Gabon training contract

MAN Diesel & Turbo has landed a contract to train the staff of a power plant in Gabon.

The deal with the West African country’s public development company for power and water, Société du Patrimoine, will see MAN Diesel train workers at the Cap Lopez plant, located close to Port Gentil.

Some 37 staff are undergoing an extensive 12-month training programme at MAN Diesel & Turbo’s training facility in St Nazaire in France.

As well as covering the maintenance of engines and turbochargers, the programme will upgrade their skills on plant operation and management as well as on engine performance analysis and safety regulations.

MAN Diesel will also send three experts to Gabon to the plant to assist in site management and offer support in maintenance and power plant operation management.

“Comprehensive and qualified training of the people operating a plant is absolutely essential”, said Wayne Jones of MAN Diesel & Turbo. “We are extremely happy to pass on our knowledge and expertise to Société du Patrimoine.”

The Cap Lopez power plant and its sister plant Alénakiri, in Gabon’s capital Libreville, have a capacity of 119 MW and are equipped with four MAN 18V51/60 dual fuel engines, which can operate on either natural gas or diesel.

The two plants are central elements of Gabon’s plans to expand its base for power generation. With 600 MW currently installed nationwide, Port Gentil and Alenakiri account for approximately 20 per cent of Gabon’s overall generation capacity.

Parker completes Chile energy storage project

Parker Hannifin has completed work on an energy storage project in Chile.

The 20 MW AES Gener Cochrane energy storage project is in Mejillones, in the Antofagasta region and was developed by AES Energy Storage and AES Gener.

It will provide spinning reserve and grid reliability services for the Norte Grande Interconnected System, one of Chile’s four separate electricity systems, which primarily supports mining operations in the northern region of the country.

In addition to this project, Parker’s Energy Grid Tie Division supplied the power conversion system for the AES Gener Los Andes 12 MW installation at the Norgener power station, which has been delivering improved grid reliability since 2009.

The Cochrane project consists of ten 2.2 MVA outdoor-rated 890GT-B PCS and 2 MW energy storage containers and was engineered and built at the Parker EGT division headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

First Rampion windfarm turbine installed

The first of 116 wind turbines has been installed at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm in the UK.

The rest of the turbines will be placed throughout the year and once complete the project will have a capacity of 400 MW.

All the turbines are being installed by a jack-up vessel which will transport the components for eight turbines in each trip from Esbjerg in Denmark to the Rampion site, off the English southeast coast.

Carrying eight 80-metre towers, eight nacelles and 24 turbine blades, the vessel will install each turbine in turn, a process that should take about 24 hours per turbine.

Chris Tomlinson, development and stakeholder manager for the wind farm, said: “After seven years of planning, development and initial construction, we are especially proud to have reached this major milestone, which will see the Rampion project really begin to take shape. The first turbine is a powerful symbol of the engineering achievement that Rampion and other offshore wind farms represent.”

Rampion is being built by E.ON, the UK Green Investment Bank and Canadian energy company Enbridge.

E.ON targets Texas energy storage market

German energy giant E.ON is continuing its push into the US energy storage market with a new deal for two projects in Texas.

The Texas Waves energy storage projects will see E.ON construct two batteries with a total storage volume of nearly 20 MW. They will be located at E.ON’s existing wind parks in Pyron and Inadale in the west of the state.

Both projects are expected to be operational by the end of this year, when they will each provide 9.9 MW of energy to the grid.

The batteries will provide system services for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market, balance out fluctuations across the grid, and improve supply security. The lithium-ion battery systems connected to the grid will be an integral component of the E.ON wind parks near Roscoe and will be charged by the wind turbines there.

For the Texas Wave projects, E.ON is collaborating with Virginia-based Greensmith Energy, a provider of energy storage software and services in which E.ON has invested since 2015.

Greensmith is also a partner in Iron Horse, E.ON’s first grid-connected battery project located southeast of Tucson, Arizona. This 10 MW energy storage system, which includes a neighbouring 2 MW solar plant, will come online in the first half of this year.

Scotland approves floating wind farm plan

Approval has been granted for a floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland.

Scottish Government ministers have given the green light to Kincardine Offshore to build what the company believes will be the world’s largest floating wind array, consisting of up to eight 6 MW semi-submersible turbines, which will operate 15 km off the coast of Kincardineshire.

The first turbine of the 50 MW array is expected to be on site in the second quarter of 2018.

Project director Carlos Barat said: “This is a significant development not just for Kincardine Offshore, but for the offshore renewables sector in Scotland, the wider UK and across Europe.

“Through the Kincardine project we will open up new opportunities for other offshore floating wind developments. This will herald a new era allowing turbines to be installed in deeper waters further offshore.”

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