Around the Globe: companies

Vericor widens power offering in US markets

Vericor Power Systems of Atlanta, Georgia and Manchester, UK-based ENER-G Group announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding at Power-Gen Europe in Milan last month. The two companies will co-operate within the US market where Vericor will now offer ENER-G’s Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems based on reciprocating engines.

“This relationship will enable Vericor to expand from our current aeroderivitive gas turbine-based OnsitePower solutions on the 0.5-3.5 MW range to include ENER-G’s Combined Power CHP systems,” said Thomas Bray, president and general manager of Vericor Power Systems. “Both types of systems are ideal for a variety of customer sites similar to those ENER-G has installed in Europe with industrial companies, hospitals, fitness centres, universities, hotels and office complexes.

The newly announced relationship brings together the complementary Onsite Power and Combined Power CHP systems. ENER-G’s reciprocating engine system suits commercial installations such as hotel or office sites, where electricity as well as hot and chilled water is required whereas Vericor’s aeroderivative gas turbine-based systems are best suited for industrial companies that require power and steam.

SEC approves E.ON’s takeover of Powergen

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has ruled on E.ON’s acquisition of Powergen granting the German utility conditional approval for the deal which will create the world’s largest investor-owned energy service provider.

The SEC approval marks the last regulatory hurdle and was required as E.ON will be acquiring Louisville, Kentucky-based LG&E Energy Corp., giving E.ON access to the the world’s largest energy market.

The SEC imposed a number of conditions, none of which were unexpected, according to E.ON. These include reporting requirements concerning significant changes in the parent company’s business and the divestment of non-energy activities in the medium term.

The commission accepted E.ON’s proposal to retain ownership of its German water utility operations.

Orders up at VA Tech Hydro

VA Tech Hydro reported a 66 per cent increase in orders during 2001 and profits for the period of €16.8m ($16.4m). Order intake stood at €1.06bn although with a large number of uncleared orders, recorded sales were down at €671m.

During 2001 the VA Tech Hydro group was formed by bringing together the brand names Elin, Escher Wyss and Voest MCE.

Commenting on recent trends in the industry, VA Tech Hydro chairman Christian Haregger said, “[The year] 2001 saw a growing tendency in Europe towards combined cycle power plants as they feature low costs, high efficiency and reduced emissions.”

World’s largest gas engine launched

Wärtsilä has launched a new four-stroke dual-fuel engine, the 50DF, that can be run on either natural gas or light fuel oil (LFO). The engine is the largest of its type in the world, and the Helsinki-based company sees cogeneration as its target market. The 50DF units have a power output range of 5.7-17.1 MW.

The 50DF can be modified to run on heavy fuel oil. The design has minimal piping and external connections with ample safely margins using a built-in electronic safety protection system and can be easily maintained.

The new engine is designed to provide high output with fuel flexibility, low emission rates, high efficiency and reliability. The engine functions are controlled by an advanced automation system that allows optimum running conditions to be set independent of the ambient conditions or fuel.

The first six-cylinder model off the production line has been sold to Gaz de France.

ABB sustainability targets set

ABB has published a report on its sustainability performance in 2001 in which it claims to be well ahead of its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one per cent over five years.

The report outlines how ABB is aiming to improve its sustainability performance in four key ways: by improving its economic achievements, extending its Environmental Management Systems, implementing its new social policy and supporting electrification projects to promote economic development.

Decentralized energy group formed

A group of major companies and national associations have launched WADW, the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy, to bring about change in the way the world makes electricity by improving efficiency and reducing pollution. The group will promote the benefits of cogeneration and decentralized renewable energy technologies.

News digest

Alstom division: Alstom has created a new energy automation and information business within the company’s T&D sector. The business will focus on the market for digital equipment and brings together its Protection and Control and Energy Management and Markets businesses.

Enel shortfall: Enel’s group profits for the first quarter fell nearly €100m to €279m ($97.8m to $273m) with both sales and pre-tax earnings also lower. The results fell short of market forecasts. The government has named Piero Gnudi as the next chairman of the energy group.

Hess/Kirell: Kirrell Energy Systems has signed a four-year Preferred Supplier Agreement with Hess Microgen. The Kirrell system, when bundled with the Hess Microgen cogeneration system, is expected to increase the efficiency of of Hess system by 20 per cent.

Kvaerner Encore: Kvaerner’s Power Division is to market its product range for sustainable energy solutions under the name Encore.

Mirant auditors: Mirant has appointed KPMG as the company’s independent auditor to replace Andersen. Mirant said that recent developments at Andersen has prompted them to invite bids for accounting services.

Mott MacDonald links: Engineering and management consultant Mott MacDonald and capital project consultant Franklin & Andrews – each with core businesses in the energy sector – have joined forces to expand the project delivery capabilities of both companies.

Nexans restructures: Cable specialists Nexans has announced the acquisition of Petri, a Germany-based business which designs and manufactures accessories for power cables. Nexans also said it has sold the Swiss company Agro AG, a manufacturer of equipment for electrical systems.

Nordex advances: German wind technology firm Nordex has signed contracts for 50 wind turbines worth €44m ($43m) as it moves into the second half of its financial year. Nordex has also taken a majority stake in Natcon7, a company it has established to develop and sell automation and information technologies in the wind power sector.

RWE/Innogy: RWE’s acquisition of Innogy has been completed with RWE’s offer of 275p ($4.14) per share accepted by 83 per cent of Innogy shareholders. Dr. Juergen Dennersmann joins the Innogy board as Chief Integration Officer.

Veag improves: Veag, the east German power producer, said it expects to return to profit by 2004. It reported a reduced loss for 2001 of à‚£131m ($197m).

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