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Russia’s ageing plants present growing services opportunities, finds Frost & Sullivan

September 30th, 2011

Russia’s ageing power generation sector presents a growing opportunity for power service companies after years of low investment, finds Frost & Sullivan’s Strategic Analysis of the Power Plant Services Market in Russia.

The Russian power service market’s revenues totalled €849.2m in 2010 and will reach €1134.1m in 2017, according to the analysis. Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examined the segments of gas turbines, steam turbines and boiler servicing.

“Despite the challenges that the Russian power plant services market faces, there are a number of opportunities across the various functional segments of gas turbines, steam turbines and boilers,” said Frost & Sullivan’s analysts.

“The market is projected to expand, driven by ageing electricity generation fleet, ongoing liberalisation of the electricity market, together with the rising trend of outsourcing services.”

An ageing electricity generation fleet is the strongest driver for expanding the services market in Russia. Its impact is predicted to rise with privatisation requirements that oblige buyers to upgrade and maintain plants, regardless of their age and condition.

Yet a reluctance to outsource power plant services, along with the strong presence of local companies with competitive prices, are hurdles for new entrants and foreign companies, said analysts.

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UK city to set up as energy provider

September 30th, 2011

The UK’s second largest city plans to set up its own energy supply business.

Birmingham City Council plans to take on the UK’s major energy providers by offering gas and electricity to its 440,000 residents and 50,000 businesses.

Most of the power in the UK is provided by six companies: British Gas, Scottish Power, Scottish & Southern Energy, Npower, EDF and EON. In the past year both consumer groups and politicians have voiced a desire to see this so-called cartel broken, and last week the government’s energy secretary Chris Huhne he would encourage smaller companies to enter the market.

The city council’s deputy leader Paul Tilsley said: “The citizens and businesses of Birmingham all buy their energy off retailers, not manufacturers of energy. With that kind of market there is an opportunity for Birmingham City Council, which is a major wholesale purchaser of energy, to sell some on. We can buy it in bulk.”

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Seismic set in Wyoming’s W. Oregon basin field

September 30th, 2011

Breitburn Energy Partners LP plans to begin a seismic survey of the West Oregon Basin oil field in Park County, Wyo., the US Bureau of Land Management’s Cody field office said on Sept. 27.

Eawag at 75

September 30th, 2011
Environmental Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1021/es203291e

Long-Range Transported Atmospheric Pollutants in Snowpacks Accumulated at Different Altitudes in the Tatra Mountains (Slovakia)

September 30th, 2011

TOC Graphic

Environmental Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1021/es202111n

Nuclear tops 20 per cent in UK generation mix

September 30th, 2011

Nuclear power provided more electricity in the UK in the second quarter of this year than in any time since 2006.

Nuclear rose from 15.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2010 to 21.3 per cent in this year’s corresponding period. In the same timeframe, electricity from gas fell from 53 per cent to 44 per cent and coal dropped from 22.3 per cent to 21.1 per cent.

Renewables increased their slice of the UK electricity energy mix from 6.3 per cent to 9.6 per cent.

Figures released today from the UK government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change also show that coal production was up 1.2 per cent to 4.8 million tonnes while indigenous production of crude oil and natural gas liquids dropped 15.9 per cent, the biggest fall since quarterly reporting began in 1995 and reflecting the global decrease in production.

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Lake Kivu methane to fuel 25 MW Rwandan power plant

September 30th, 2011

A 25 MW power plant in Rwanda will use methane gas from the nearby Lake Kivu as fuel.

The plant will be built by Wartsila and operated by KivuWatt, a subsidiary of New York-based power company ContourGlobal, and is expected to be operational by the end of 2012.

The facility will be powered by 20-cylinder Wartsila 34SG gas engines and KivuWatt plans to increase its output by another 75 MW once it is up and running.

Lake Kivu, on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, contains high concentrations of naturally occurring methane gas ­– so high that extraction is essential to avoid a “catastrophic” saturation point said ContourGlobal’s president Joseph C. Brandt.

"For the Republic of Rwanda this is a win-win situation. On the one hand, gas levels in Lake Kivu need to be reduced in order to lessen the risks of a spontaneous gas eruption in the future that could have hazardous consequences. At the same time, the country urgently needs additional power generation capacity, and so by utilizing the lake's methane gas, both goals are achieved," he said.

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Chinese regions may face winter power shortage, says NEA

September 30th, 2011

China’s southern and central regions, which depend heavily on hydropower, will face a power supply squeeze this winter due to strong demand growth and low water storage, says China’s National Energy Administration (NEA).

This echoes a statement by the state-run China Southern Power Grid Corporation, which estimated that shortages in five southern provinces – Guangdong, Guizhou, Guangxi, Yunnan and Hainan – would amount to about 14 GW. This shortage represents roughly 8 per cent of the total installed capacity of the Southern Power Grid, and will potentially curb industrial operations.

In August, China’s power use grew at the slowest pace this year at 9.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis, with consumption growth by heavy industry falling to single digits for the first time since February.

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Moinak hydro plant reaches final construction stage

September 30th, 2011

The final stage of construction of the 300 MW Moinak hydropower plant in Kazakhstan has been launched at an official ceremony headed by Asset Issekeshev, Kazakhstan’s deputy premier and minister of industry and new technologies.

The plant is scheduled to begin operation in December, and to be fully operational in February 2012, removing the country's reliance on imported power, said Yerlan Upushev, CEO of Samruk-Energo.

“With the introduction of the Moinak hydropower plant working at full capacity in spring next year, we will be fully independent from electricity imported from Kyryzstan," he said.

"There used to be a power shortage in Kazakhstan, which is why this is one of the programmes directly aimed at modernising the country’s power generation capacities.”

A subsidiary of Samruk-Energo is in charge of construction, while the China International Water and Electric Company is the general contractor. The Development Bank of Kazakhstan and the China Development Bank are financing the project.

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ExxonMobil completes deal for two Alaska tankers

September 29th, 2011

ExxonMobil Corp.’s US marine affiliate, SeaRiver Maritime Inc., signed an agreement with Aker Philadelphia Shipyard for construction of two US-flagged Liberty Class crude oil tankers.

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