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Dong sells 25 per cent share in London Array for $1.06bn

January 31st, 2014

Dong Energy has announced that it is selling half of its 50 per cent share in London Array to La Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec for $1.06bn (£644m). This means Dong will continue to have a 25 per cent share in the 630MW London Array 1 offshore wind farm.

It is the second major development at the Danish company in the last 24 hours. Yesterday the Danish government agreed to sell 20 per cent of its share in Dong to Goldman Sachs.

The deal signals the final stage in DONG Energy’s group divestment strategy whereby capital is being used to fuel future growth in DONG’s core markets and sectors.

London Array
At completion of the transaction, La Caisse will enter the existing joint venture with a 25 per cent ownership share alongside Dong Energy (25 per cent), E.ON (30 per cent) and Masdar (20 per cent).

Dong will remain the service provider of O&M services to the facility.

Samuel Leupold, Executive Vice President of DONG Energy Wind Power said in an emailed statement, “Farm down of our ownership shares in wind projects is a central part of our business model and our strategy is to continuously enter into partnership agreements with industrial and financial partners to extract part of the value creation from our projects, share the risk in our portfolio and attract capital to be able to continue to invest in new offshore wind farms.”

“We look forward to continuing the collaboration with the partners behind the consortium of London Array, now including La Caisse.”

Macky Tall, Senior Vice-President, Infrastructure, at La Caisse said, “We are investing in this project with a long-term horizon and expect to generate attractive returns for many years ahead. We have had excellent dialogue with the company over the last several months and are delighted to announce this agreement today.”

For more wind power generation news

EDF unveils UK pacts as Cameron and Hollande stress nuclear imperative

January 31st, 2014

EDF is to expand its role in the UK nuclear industry with three initiatives announced today.

The initiatives were unveiled following French President Francois Hollande visit to Britain today – his first since taking office in 2012.

In speeches to the media, Hollande and Prime Minister David Cameron said that nuclear power was crucial to both France and the UK.

Following the talks between the two governments, EDF – which is to build Britain’s first new nuclear reactor in a generation at Hinkley Point (pictured in an artist's impression) in Somerset – announced three initiatives.Hinkley Point

It will sponsor a new Franco-British partnership between the UK’s Nuclear Industry Association SME Partnership and the French Partenariat France Monde Électricité to bring new small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to the new nuclear supply chain.

EDF will also expand its partnership with Imperial College London and its collaboration with the National Nuclear Laboratory to include research, education and training for nuclear energy and in particular the new build programme.

And the French company will also support the development of a South West Nuclear Research Hub in partnership with The University of Bristol.

EDF Energy’s chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: “France and Britain have much to gain by sharing their strength and experience to boost the capability of their nuclear industries at home and around the world. That will be underpinned by their in-depth and growing expertise in nuclear research and development.

“Experience in France also shows that small and medium enterprises can win global nuclear business by working together. EDF is confident that British businesses can be just as successful, forging new alliances with their French counterparts and increasing the opportunities for all through this partnership.”

Lord Hutton, Chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “The UK nuclear new build programme, potentially worth up to £60 billion, represents a major opportunity for British industry. Like EDF Energy we are keen to see SMEs play the fullest possible role in this, and have set up a special working group to maximise their opportunities.”

He said the agreement with PFME “will bring UK SMEs together with their opposite numbers in the French nuclear supply chain… and enable our companies to learn from French nuclear experience”.

“It will also, in the longer term, lead to mutually beneficial partnerships that will help both parties to make the most of their skills in the UK market and, subsequently, overseas." 

Coincidentally, the European Commission today published the full letter it sent to the UK announcing its intention to carry out a state aid probe of the Hinkley deal. To read the letter in full click here.

Meanwhile, Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in the UK was partly closed this morning due to “elevated levels of radioactivity”.

Only “essential” staff are being asked to come to work at the site in West Cumbria, England.

Sellafield is keen to stress that it believes there is no risk to the workforce or the public.

In a statement it said the site was operating at “reduced manning levels… following the detection of elevated levels of radioactivity at one of the on-site radiation monitors”.

It added that these levels are “above naturally occurring radiation but well below that which would call for any actions to be taken by the workforce on or off the site”.

It said the site was at “normal status” and continuing to operate “as investigations continue”.

Feature: The nuclear renaissance starts here

Isolux wins $90m T&D contract in Mexico

January 31st, 2014

Isolux Corsán has signed a new contract in Mexico for the construction and installation of 26 kilometres of transmission lines and 10 substations in Mexico City.

The project also entails works in the states of Mexico and Hidalgo, has a price tag of $90m and was awarded by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
Isolux
The 2nd Phase of the "Mexico Valley Distribution" Project includes the construction of four 85 and 230 kV transmission lines and 10 substations, 4 of which GIS, include 230/115/85 and 23 kV, with a capacity of 420 MVA and 73.8 MVAr compensation and 83 high voltage feeders.

Isolux has been awarded numerous projects in Mexico over the last two decades including the construction and commissioning of about 5,000 km of high and medium voltage transmission lines, 50 high and medium voltage transformer and distribution substations and the execution of the 188 SE 1116, valued at more than €900m.

For more power T&D news

Statoil chief rails against coal’s place in European energy

January 31st, 2014

Rune Bjørnson, Statoil's senior vice president of Natural Gas, said the European Union must overhaul the bloc's emissions trading scheme (ETS) to raise carbon prices and make coal less price-competitive.

In an interview with the Petroleum Economist website Mr Bjornson says the European Union ought to prioritise the displacement of coal ahead of increasing the production of renewables.
Rune Bjørnson
"The EU should stick to trying to fix the Emissions Trading System (ETS) and leave the rest to the markets. I'm more and more in doubt about the EU's ability to deal with the (emissions reduction) issue.”

“The elephant in the room is coal. Without displacing it Europe is going to struggle to reach its targets."

Just last week, the EU said it wanted to boost Europe's use of renewable energy to comprise 40 per cent of the continent's energy mix by 2030.

Advocates of gas energy say natural gas-fired power plants emit lower levels of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides than coal-fired plants, while burning natural gas produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions (25 to 40 per cent lower per unit of generated electricity) than coal.

For more gas-fired power generation news

WBI launches Dakota natural gas pipeline open season

January 30th, 2014

WBI Energy Inc., a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc., has launched an open season for its planned 375-mile Dakota natural gas pipeline running from western North Dakota to northwestern Minnesota.

CSB issues report on Washington refinery blast

January 30th, 2014

The US Chemical Safety Board has determined the cause of an April 2010 explosion and fire at Tesoro’s 120,000-b/d Anacortes, Wash., refinery could have been prevented by the US independent refiner.

Senate panel hears arguments for, against US crude oil exports

January 30th, 2014

Witnesses on both sides of the debate over whether to expand US crude oil exports used improved energy security and creation of more domestic jobs to support their viewpoints during a US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the subject.

Experimental Observation of Permeability Changes In Dolomite at CO2 Sequestration Conditions

January 30th, 2014

TOC Graphic

Environmental Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1021/es4036946

5 Energy Savers for Commercial Buildings

January 30th, 2014

Going “green” is becoming an important part of modern office and commercial building management. Cost savings and environmental concerns are the primary drivers for energy saving in the commercial real estate world.

Let’s take a look at five techniques from the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) to enhance the energy savings potential of a commercial building. According to BOMA, 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are due to the office buildings industry, so these are important items to look at implementing.

Don’t Skimp on the Energy Audits

Energy audits help to find actionable items to improve the energy efficiency of a building. Be sure to perform them at midnight as an empty building allows for better evaluation of the space’s HVAC and lighting systems.

Use Fluorescent Lighting

Commercial buildings should replace all incandescent lighting with the equivalent compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. This will lead to significant energy savings over time. CFLs emit less heat as well.

Modernize the Rest Rooms

Leveraging low-flow toilets and hands-free sink fixtures uses much less water than older models. The scarcity of water resources is expected to grow in the 21st Century.

Occupancy and Photo Sensors mitigate Energy Waste

When building tenants aren’t using specific rooms, their lighting shouldn’t be on. Occupancy sensors prevent this energy waste by turning off lights in unoccupied areas of a building. Photo sensors work in a similar fashion by decreasing lighting during daylight hours.

Install Bike Racks and Electric Charging Stations

Making the effort to install bike racks and electric charging stations is a great way for a commercial building management company to go green. It promotes alternative transportation methods that waste less energy and carbon when compared to gas-powered vehicles.

Implementing these five simple techniques will go a long way in fostering energy conservation in the office building sector.

If these kinds of green practices inspire you to further a career in engineering, talk to the staffing pros at The Talley Group. Since they are one of the leading engineering staffing companies in the Seattle area, they have the experts on hand to help your career. If you are looking for electrical engineering employment in Washington, contact our team today.

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West Chirag platform starts production off Azerbaijan

January 30th, 2014

Azerbaijan International Operating Co. (AIOC) has started oil production from the West Chirag platform in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) complex of fields offshore Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea.

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