August 2019 • Volume 12 • No 6 • Published monthly • ISSN 1757-7365
THE ENERGY INDUSTRY TIMES is published by Man in Black Media • www.mibmedia.com • Editor-in-Chief: Junior Isles • For all enquiries email: enquiries@teitimes.com
Smoothing the
energy landscape
High time for
Flexible generation is smoothing
Europe’s transition to a renewable
energy future. Page 13
Hydrogen has had its share of false
starts in the past. The IEA believes this
time could be different. Page 14
News In Brief
Energy transition
accelerates, as clean energy
investment falls
Renewable energy technology
advances, innovation in storage
and digitalisation and increased
distributed energy generation are
accelerating the pace of the global
energy transition, according to the
latest EY research.
Page 2
ITC extension “critical” for
offshore sector
Proposals to extend nancial support
for the US offshore wind energy
sector have come at a “critical time”
for the industry, according to the
American Wind Energy Association.
Page 4
India assesses optimal 2030
energy mix
In an optimal generation system,
non-fossil fuel sources could
generate almost 50 per cent of
India’s electricity in 2030.
Page 5
Elia warns of capacity
Belgian grid operator Elia says
it envisages increasing capacity
shortages in the country as a result
of the planned nuclear exit.
Page 7
Saipem targets Saudi for
oating wind
Saudi Arabia could emerge as a key
market for oating offshore wind
energy after Sapiem and Plambeck
Emirates signed a deal to build 500
MW of capacity in the Kingdom.
Page 8
Tractebel leads innovative
offshore PV drive
Floating offshore solar photovoltaic
farms could be the next step
in offshore renewable energy
technology, according to a new
international consortium.
Page 9
Technology: CCS gets some
new chemistry
A new process for capturing carbon
dioxide is being demonstrated at
a pilot project at the Drax power
station in the UK.
Page 15
or call +44 208 523 2573
As the UK looks set to miss its CO
emissions reduction targets, the government’s climate
change advisory group says the next 12-18 months are crucial. Junior Isles
New EU presidency will maintain pressure on climate change
Final Word
Back to the future is here
already, says Junior Isles.
Page 16
The UK’s credibility on climate
change hinges on government action
over the next 12-18 months, according
to the Committee on Climate Change
(CCC). The warning came as there
were calls for the UK to maintain its
commitment to achieving net zero
emissions by 2050 following a recent
change in political leadership.
In its annual progress report, the
statutory climate advisor said the
UK’s net zero target would require
strengthening of the current 100
grammes of carbon dioxide per kilo-
watt-hour (CO
/kWh) power industry
carbon intensity ambitions. It also
urged the UK government to target
power sector emissions of below
/kWh by 2030.
The CCC’s scenarios for 100gCO
kWh require around 270 TWh of low-
carbon generation to be online by
2030. The CCC said 180 TWh has
already been built or contracted and a
further 75 TWh could be achieved by
delivering the 30 GW ambition in the
offshore wind sector deal, leaving a
gap of 15 TWh.
However, a 50gCO
/kWh carbon in-
tensity target would add 45-50 TWh to
the gap in 2030, leaving a total of
around 60 TWh additional uncon-
tracted low-carbon generation re-
quired during the 2020s.
The CCC said the forthcoming en-
ergy White Paper should aim to sup-
port a quadrupling of low-carbon
electricity by 2050. The CCC also
called on the government to draw up
contingency plans for delayed or can-
celled low-carbon power projects.
The government has been urged to
make plans for networks to be capable
of meeting higher demand for electri-
cal energy. The body found the UK
has delivered just one of 25 critical
policies needed to get emissions re-
ductions back on track.
CCC chairman Lord Deben said it is
time for the government to show it
takes its responsibilities seriously,
stressing that reducing emissions to
net zero by 2050 requires real action
by government now.
The UK became the rst leading
economy to adopt a net zero emissions
target in June. However, it is set to
overshoot its carbon emissions targets
and could face lawsuits for missing
the country’s legally binding quotas
starting in 2023, warned the CCC.
In its annual Progress Report to par-
liament, published last month, it said
the government has failed to enact
policies to reach the new goal, and that
action during the next 12-18 months
would be critical. The report came as
Boris Johnson replaced Theresa May
as Prime Minister and leader of the
Conservative party.
Commenting on the news, Dr Nina
Skorupska CBE FEI Chief Executive
at the Renewable Energy Association
said: “Coming into this role, Boris
Johnson has a lot of work ahead of
Continued on Page 2
Hopes of the EU reaching an agree-
ment on achieving net zero carbon
emissions by 2050 look more promis-
ing with Finland assuming the EU’s
rotating presidency at the start of July.
Finland has a national climate target
of full carbon neutrality by 2035. It is
also a country in which green politi-
cians hold some of the highest ofces
of state, including the posts of foreign
minister and interior minister. Taking
on the presidency gives it consider-
able power to steer the bloc’s work
over the coming six months.
Some are hoping that Finland’s
strong climate change stance can
help push through a EU 2050 net
zero agreement.
Krista Mikkonen, the country’s en-
vironment minister, said her govern-
ment is committed to reforming
Finnish and EU climate policies. She
will, however, have to win over
Czech Republic, Hungary and Po-
land, who refused to endorse the tar-
get at an EU summit in June, citing
economic and social concerns. Esto-
nia also withheld its support from a
joint text.
Poland has since softened its posi-
tion. Minister Tomasz Dąbrowski
later said: “We will probably sub-
scribe to this target, it’s just we need
to know what the cost will be, and in
what way we can mitigate the social
impact of the whole transformation.”
Dąbrowski reiterated Poland’s po-
sition at the FT Energy Transition
Strategies conference in London,
UK. “For Poland to accept an EU-
wide net zero target would require
some kind of compensation mecha-
nism that would be equivalent to the
costs we have to bear or at least very
close,” he said. The issue will be re-
visited by EU leaders at the end of
the year, he added.
Carbon prices reached an all-time
high in July as polluters and specula-
tive investors scrambled for credits
amid an environmental crackdown
from the EU. The price of one carbon
credit allocated under the EU’s
Emissions Trading Scheme hit a re-
cord €29.27 in July, double the level
of January last year and almost 20
per cent higher than the start of this
The rise has come as the total issu-
ance of 950 million credits last year is
expected to drop to about 550 million
this year. At the same time there is a
continuing bullish political backdrop
on environmental policy. Ms von der
Leyen, the newly elected President of
the European Commission, promised
environmentally friendly policies in-
cluding carbon neutrality by 2050, a
new EU carbon border tax and a green
deal on investment within her rst
100 days in ofce. She will assume
ofce on November 1st.
Next 12-18 months
will determine UK
climate change
Under scrutiny: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
must not let climate change commitment slip
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Asia News
The Central Electricity Authority
(CEA) has released a draft report on
India’s optimal generation capacity
mix for the year 2029-30.
The report, which was open for com-
ments until July 31st, is a study pri-
marily aimed at nding out the least
cost-optimal generation capacity mix,
which may be required to meet the
peak electricity demand and electrical
energy requirement of the year 2029-
30 in line with the 19th Electric Pow-
er Survey.
Notably, the report points out that
the capacity expansion for coal-based
projects is not signicant as compared
to solar and wind capacity additions.
It is projected that solar and wind ca-
pacity will be 300 GW and 140 GW,
respectively by the end of the year
2029-30, which is more than 50 per
cent of total installed generating ca-
pacity of 831 GW.
It also said the cost trajectory for
battery energy storage system is as-
sumed to be falling uniformly from
Rupees70 million ($1.2 million) in
2021-22 to R43 million in 2029-30 for
a 4-hour battery system, which also
includes an additional cost of 25 per
cent due to the depth of discharge. The
operation and maintenance (O&M)
cost for the battery energy storage
system has been considered as 2 per
The report projects that non-fossil
fuel (solar, wind, biomass, hydro and
nuclear)-based installed capacity is
likely to be about 65 per cent of the
total installed capacity and non-fossil
fuels will contribute around 48 per cent
of the gross electricity generation in
the year 2029-30.
The report comes as India begins
preparing a road map for the power
sector, known as the ‘Vision Document
for Power Sector for the next Five
In order to help India meets its tar-
gets and ensure states provide reliable
and affordable electricity to consum-
ers, the power ministry recently pro-
posed a “power sector council”. The
proposal is part of the ministry’s 100-
day action plan for the second term of
the Narendra Modi government. The
council will comprise the political
executive as well as the energy bu-
reaucracy’s power sector to tackle
issues between the Union and state
The proposal also comes against the
backdrop of the ongoing crisis in dis-
tribution companies caused by their
poor nancial health, which has led to
delayed payments to power genera-
tion utilities.
n In the latest budget announcement,
the Gujarat government announced it
plans to increase its target for power
generation capacity from renewable
sources to touch or surpass 30 GW by
2022. The state government has set its
sights on tripling its renewable gen-
eration capacity over the next three
years, and also envisions selling close
to 10 000 MW of the generated pow-
er to other states. Gujarat also plans
to launch a rooftop solar power gen-
eration scheme for slum areas.
India assesses 2030
energy mix
In an optimal generation system, non-fossil fuel sources could generate almost 50 per cent of India’s electricity in 2030,
according to a recent CEA draft report. Syed Ali
South Korea will build the world’s
largest oating solar farm in a fresh-
water lake next to Saemangeum, a
reclaimed area on the west coast, the
government said in July.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and
Energy said the project to build a 2.1
GW solar farm on the lake that spans
30 km
was approved in an electricity
committee meeting, with the project
estimated to cost Won4.6 trillion ($3.9
Work on the solar farm is expected
to start in the latter half of 2020 fol-
lowing regulatory review processes,
the Ministry said. The plant will be
built in two stages a 1.2 GW rst
stage, expected to be completed in the
fourth quarter of 2022, and a 900 MW
second stage to be completed in 2025.
If the facility is built as planned, it
would be 14 times the size of the
world’s largest oating solar farm in
China’s Huainan and 1.6 times the
combined capacity of the global oat-
ing solar facilities for all of last year,
the ministry said.
The project is expected to bring the
government closer to the goal of its
renewable energy initiative, which
aims to nearly triple the portion of re-
newable energy to 20 per cent by 2030.
The roadmap calls for adding 30.8
GW of solar and 16.5 GW of wind
power to have a total renewable ca-
pacity of 63.8 GW by 2030, which
would require vast spaces across the
A strategic agreement struck between
Three Gorges Power Energy Manage-
ment Co., Ltd., Tianda Energy (Shen-
zhen) Co., Ltd., Shenshang Technol-
ogy (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. and
Ideanomics Inc. last month illustrates
the role China’s power companies
could play in broadening decarbonisa-
tion beyond their own sector.
Under the agreement, the partners
will work to promote and distribute
methanol, and hydrogen-based EV
fast-charging solutions, into existing
fuel station networks, as well as resi-
dential and industrial areas.
These new energy management so-
lutions will be part of an integrated
network access that includes large
industrial and commercial com-
pounds, as well as other areas of ve-
hicle concentration throughout China
and the ASEAN region.
The partnership’s directive is to de-
velop technology to facilitate the shift
away from petrol and diesel fuelled
vehicles, while developing more con-
venient fuel charging areas in addition
to utilising the extensive network in-
frastructure of fuel stations so that
these assets are redeveloped over time
and not simply abandoned.
Three Gorges Power Energy, the
world’s largest hydroelectric power
company with signicant cash re-
serves, will provide the nancing
capital, additional operation teams,
and the technical resources for energy
IoT solutions, intelligent operation and
maintenance solutions, smart power
solutions, comprehensive energy solu-
tions, and nancing resources that will
include, but not limited to, Three
Gorges Capital Group.
Tianda Energy (Shenzhen) will pro-
vide operational teams and technical
resources for cold storage technology,
and the resources for the external con-
nections such as attachment and con-
duit technologies, as well as other
channel resources.
Ideanomics, through its NECV divi-
sion, will provide client acquisition,
strategic sales and marketing services,
as well as other advisory services.
Alf Poor, CEO of Ideanomics, said:
“This latest partnership enables us to
participate in the lucrative after market,
including spare and replacement fuel
cells, and the recurring revenue streams
from the fast charging station networks
we will help to develop and imple-
ment… Three Gorges is one of the
world’s largest energy companies,
bringing tremendous expertise and re-
sources at scale. Their Hubei division,
along with the other partners in this
deal will see us begin to move into EV
infrastructure and the long-term reve-
nues offered by charging networks and
energy management systems.” He
added: “The fast charging technology
that NECV is working with aims at
cutting charging time from the current
charge of 30 minutes to between 5-10
Vietnam could face an electricity short-
age of 6.6 TWh in 2021 and 11.8 TWh
in 2022. The shortage could increase
to 15 billion kWh in 2023, according
to the Ministry of Industry and Trade
The potential shortage is due to de-
layed progress in 47 out of 62 power
projects with capacities of more than
200 MW in the Vietnam Power Mas-
ter Plan VII, according to Phuong
Hoang Kim, Director of the Ministry’s
Electricity and Renewable Energy
Deputy Minister of Industry and
Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said the
main reason for the delayed progress
was due to capital and contractor is-
sues. Power projects are often on a big
scale with total investment of more
than $2 billion each and long construc-
tion times. Therefore, it was not easy
to nd capable contractors. In addition,
the removal of the government guar-
antee mechanism for power projects
has made it difcult to raise capital.
In addition, it took a long time for
BOT projects to negotiate power pric-
es with EVN to ensure their prots,
thus causing delays. Vuong also said
that prolonged land clearance and low
power tariffs were not attractive
enough for investors.
Although it is expected that the coun-
try will still meet its power demand in
2020, he said there would be risks of a
shortage if demand is higher than fore-
cast, water ow to hydropower reser-
voirs is poor, or there is a lack of coal
and gas for electricity production.
To partially mitigate the problem, the
Ministry said it would increase elec-
tricity imports from Laos and China.
Increasing electricity imports is only a
temporary solution, however, and the
Ministry stressed the need to speed up
work on major power projects.
Several projects have come on line
in recent weeks. The 49.5 MW Cat
Hiep solar power plant was ofcially
inaugurated in Binh Dinh’s Phu Cat
district on July 12, 2019, becoming the
rst of its kind in the south central
coastal province to join the national
grid. In June, Xuan Tho 1 and Xuan
Tho 2 solar power plants were also
inaugurated, each adding 49.6 MW to
the grid. The 40.6 MW BCG - CME
Long An 1 solar power plant was also
started up in June.
n Gelex Energy Ltd has started con-
struction of two wind power plants
with a total capacity of 50 MW in Hu-
ong Phung commune, Huong Hoa
district of the central province of
Quang Tri.
S. Korea to
build world’s
largest oating
solar farm
China gears up for fast EV
charging and hydrogen
Power shortages on the horizon
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Special Technology Supplement
Floating good ideas
Having a power plant that can be moored near-shore or on a river has many advantages. With its new SeaFloat
concept, Siemens has resurrected the idea of oating power plants but this time with the possibility of putting almost
any of its high efciency land-based gas turbine plants on a barge. Already, the rst order has been secured for the
Dominican Republic – a project that will also feature battery storage. Junior Isles
market is desperately screaming for
the SGT-800, not only because it is a
technology frontrunner but because
of the various congurations that are
possible. You can use it for new
power generation installations based
on LNG, and expansion of industrial
applications in remote coastal areas.
“For a peaker, or fast-start plant; i.e.
start-up in less than ve minutes in
cold conditions or less than two min-
utes under hot conditions, the SGT-
A65 is the right solution.”
Because of its size, the SGT-8000H
would be best deployed in situations
where a large amount of bulk power
is needed, and space is limited but the
grid is stable. Hossain said: “It’s not
possible to take an H-class unit capa-
ble of 620 MW or 1.3 GW in a 2-on-1
conguration and feed it into a weak
grid in a developing country but in
these cases we could offer our trans-
mission grid stability solutions. And
the H-class would have advantages. If
for example, you want to replace a
large coal red power plant in a region
that has a more stable grid, with a
more efcient, lower emissions plant,
here the H-class is the right t.”
He noted that customers in countries
with labour challenges or those want-
ing to avoid the time and effort in-
volved in obtaining permits to install
land-based plants, are interested in
installing SeaFloat plants.
Project risk resulting from brown-
eld activities such as demolition
works, site levelling activities, re-
location of existing structure, etc.,
can be avoided when replacing old
plants. As the barges are built at
modern shipyards, the project sched-
ule does not depend on availability
of qualied labour and infrastructure
at the nal location. According to
Siemens, this can cut construction
time by 20 per cent.
Siemens believes it is the simple
plug and play, connect and go, possi-
bility that makes SeaFloat plants so
The concept allows fast and easy
installation at shipyards. A SeaFloat
plant, with the SGT-800 in particular,
has a high degree of modularisation,
where delivery of pre-assembled and
pre-tested plant modules minimises
he idea of oating gas red
power plants is not a new one.
But rising global population,
many of which are moving to live in
megacities, where land is limited and
expensive, could see the resurgence of
these mobile power plants. Certainly
Siemens sees this as one of the key
drivers behind the development of a
new oating combined cycle power
plant concept it calls SeaFloat.
According to Siemens, SeaFloat
technology combines state-of-the-art
combined cycle power plant technol-
ogy with the mobility and exibility
required by the current and future
energy market.
Explaining why he thinks the mar-
ket is now right for SeaFloat, Hamed
Hossain, Business Owner SeaFloat
Power Plants, Siemens Gas and
Power, said: “In the mid 90s, oating
power plants were becoming popular.
At the time, Westinghouse (later
bought by Siemens) was building
oating power plants with gas tur-
bines operating in open cycle. How-
ever, we saw an increase in oil and gas
prices, which meant it was not worth
building these plants anymore be-
cause of their low efciency.”
“Now it’s different. We are building
state-of-the-art combined cycle power
plants with really high efciency,
which means if oil and gas prices in-
crease even more then it’s still
worthwhile, economically. And if
prices fall, we can use open cycle
plants. So we have all the technology
that’s available for land-based power
plants on a oating structure. This
allows exibility on plant congura-
tion, since installations are less af-
fected by fuel price.”
The real impetus to re-boot the idea
of oating power plants, however,
came about three or four years ago in
response to market demand. Hossain
said: “Customers were asking: ‘can
you supply your technology on a
oating device?’ So we decided to do
it again. Two and a half years ago,
when we saw that the market was re-
ally pushing for it, we set up an entity
within Siemens to specically focus
on it.”
Hossain sees SeaFloat as a technol-
ogy that essentially gives customers
more options when it comes to locat-
ing power plants, i.e. they can be built
on water when land is too expensive
or unavailable, and in locations where
there is a high country risk.
The technology has numerous ap-
plications, such as: powering up re-
mote areas like islands; development
of industrial areas on shorelines or
major rivers (for example, chemical
and desalination plants); the replace-
ment of out-dated plants, allowing the
existing plant to continue operating
until the new one is in place and ready
to be connected to the grid.
SeaFloat power plants, which can
provide from 145 MW up to 1.3 GW,
can also be used as emergency backup
for existing power plants during peak
loads or outages and to provide power
supply in the event of a humanitarian
Another area where Siemens an-
ticipates great demand is in the oil
and gas sector. “We are in contact
with all the oil and gas majors. Our
portfolio is to put our power plants
on FSRUs (oating storage regasi-
cation units),” said Hossain. “Look-
ing at FPSOs (Floating Production
Storage and Ofoading vessels),
traditionally they all use open cycle
plants, which have higher emissions
relative to power output compared to
combined cycle plants.
Installing a power plant for this ap-
plication has its challenges, however.
Although the SeaFloat power plant is
compact and has a high power density,
for an oil and gas platform, the weight
and footprint has to be reduced even
further. For a platform it should also
be easy to install and have a high de-
gree of modularisation.
“This is how we came up with the
ultra-light oating combined cycle
power plant, which is part of the
SeaFloat portfolio,” said Hossain.
“It’s a major game changer; we have
reduced the weight and footprint of
the power plant by more than 50 per
cent compared to combined cycle
power plants already installed on
existing platforms.”
Installing a SeaFloat plant would
certainly help oil and gas majors im-
prove their green credentials and
lower the cost of emitting carbon. In
a country or industry where CO
prices are high, of the order of €50/t,
the savings can be signicant.
“Putting a combined cycle plant on
an oil and gas platform or FPSO could
reduce CO
footprint by 80 000-110
000 t/annum. This translates to high
single digit millions of euros in sav-
ings from CO
taxes and certicates
each year,” said Hossain.
Siemens currently offers SeaFloat
power plants based on three main gas
turbine technologies – the SGT-800,
SGT-A65 and the SGT-8000H series
– but says it is not limited to these
machines. “In addition to these, we
also have the SGT-750, SGT-A35
(formerly the RB211), which will be
for the oil and gas market,” noted
With the three initial technologies
on offer, Siemens says it can address
the majority of the market require-
ments it has seen so far. The turbines
were selected following careful mar-
ket analysis, an examination of the
advantages of each turbine and ac-
cording to feedback from customers
and developers that have contacted
Each of the three gas turbine solu-
tions has its own benets. Hossain
explained: “The SGT-800 solution is
our frontrunner. Two thirds of the
Hossain: Customers were
asking, ‘can you supply your
technology on a oating
(HGI) and major overhaul (MO) at
every 30/60 000 equivalent operating
hours (EOH).
The SST-600 steam turbine (ST) is
also provided as a pre-assembled and
system tested single-lift package on a
3-point mount base frame. It has a
weight of about 475 t. The steam tur-
bine single-lift package consists of
steam turbine, condenser with evacu-
ation systems, generator and genera-
tor switchgear. It has a size of 25 m x
7.0 m x 5.5 m (length, width, height).
The Once Through Steam Genera-
tor (OTSG) will be provided as a
package with maximum modulari-
sation. This modular approach has
been applied in dozens of units
worldwide and, says Siemens, results
in safer and better quality fabrication
under optimised shop conditions. The
arrangement enhances faster and
smoother installation at the shipyard.
The steel structure for the OTSGs is
designed as one combined block, so a
rigid structure is formed to withstand
marine environment conditions.
The OTSG package has a weight of
approximately 665 t. The SCC-800
2-on-1 plant conguration has a size
for the OTSG combined structure of
14 m x 23.6 m x 28 m (length x width
x height).
The entire power plant can be in-
stalled under various commercial
models, including straightforward
sale and various lease options. “We
are open to all options,” said Hossain.
“At the moment the market is asking
more for sale options, where the
the manpower required at the con-
struction yard and the hook-up time
at place of operation.
The SGT-800 combined cycle
SeaFloat can be provided in SCC-
800 2+1, 3+1 or 4+1 congurations
to produce 150-450 MW. The SCC-
800 2x1 has a length of 55 m and
width of 30 m. According to Siemens,
these plants are an excellent choice
for providing baseload power to
public or industrial grids, as well as
for oil and gas applications. They
offer broad exibility in fuels, oper-
ating conditions, maintenance con-
cepts, package solutions, and ratings.
The plant is designed to withstand
near-shore conditions, with equip-
ment intended for on-board installa-
tions based on international codes and
standards valid for power plants.
Certain modications are imple-
mented to suit the marine environ-
ment with respect to, but not limited
to air intake lters, materials, surface
treatments and protection against
water ingress and corrosion. Move-
ments and deection are addressed by
particular technical modications.
Hossain noted: “SeaFloat is not
re-inventing the wheel; it’s not
rocket science for the Gas and Power
business. It is the same technology
we use on a land-based plant that has
been optimised for a oating device.
You could look at it as a power plant
with a moving foundation. This
means it has roll, pitch and accelera-
tion; and the hull of the oating de-
vice has deections. When you want
to build a power plant on top of a
foundation that is bending and mov-
ing up and down, you have to ensure
your equipment can withstand the
roll and pitch, acceleration, as well
as the deection.”
As an example, he noted that the
SGT-800 comes as a single-lift pack-
age on a 3-point mount frame, con-
sisting of turbine, mechanical auxil-
iary systems, gearbox, generator and
generator switchgear. It has a weight
of about 265 t and comes pre-assem-
bled and system tested with a dedi-
cated electrical and control module.
“This means the solution stands on
three legs, designed as a foundation to
withstand the deection of the hull.
The gas turbine is almost the same [as
the land-based machine]; it’s just the
connection point to the foundation
needs some smart solutions to really
make it happen,” noted Hossain.
“Deection must not be transferred to
the gas turbine, so it has to be decou-
pled. For roll and pitch and accelera-
tion, you have to address the lube oil
systems. If the barge moves in one
direction as a result of roll and pitch,
you have to ensure the gas turbine
bearings remain lubed.”
The single-lift package concept en-
ables 48 h core engine exchange for
plants with highest requirements on
availability. The easy ‘roll-out’ capa-
bility of the gas turbine core engine
enables on-board maintenance and
overhaul, with turbine inspections/
overhauls, hot gas path inspection
Special Technology Supplement
The SGT-800 gas turbine will
be provided as a single-lift
package and 3-point mount
installation, consisting of
turbine, mechanical auxiliary
systems, gearbox, generator
and generator switchgear
SeaFloat gives owners more
options when it comes to
locating power plants
Reliable technology –
dependable partner.
Since 1990, Siemens has completed over 500 turnkey power
plants with total output exceeding 155,000 megawatts. With
more than 7,000 installed gas turbines in over 100 countries, we
are the leading original equipment manufacturer – not only for
this technology but for all plant needs throughout the lifetime
of the asset. With the right ideas, innovations and know-how we
are the dependable partner of our customers.
Reliable energy for today –
and for generations to come.
connected to the grid, providing fre-
quency control when needed. This is
made possible with a battery storage
system. Here, Siemens can also de-
liver its hybrid SIESTART solution,
combining a exible (gas turbine)
combined cycle power plant with a
battery energy storage system.
The SeaFloat concept is already be-
ginning to bear fruit. At the end of
November 2018, Siemens and the
marine arm of ST Engineering in
Singapore jointly secured the rst or-
der for a project for a SCC-800 2x1C
SeaFloat power plant from Seaboard
Corporation subsidiary Transconti-
nental Capital Corporation (Bermuda)
Ltd., an independent power producer
(IPP) with operations in the Domini-
can Republic.
Under a turnkey plug and play con-
cept, Siemens as consortium leader
will provide a 145 MW SeaFloat
combined cycle power plant known as
Estrella del Mar III, along with its
power plant is sold to the customer.
Some are also asking for Siemens to
operate the plant; so we can add an
O&M contract to the sale. Others ask
for a special purpose vehicle to be set
up to own and operate the project and
ask if Siemens is willing to take a
share in the project as a stakeholder if
a project is viable. We have done it for
land-based plants – where we bring in
equity or nancing and can also do
it for sea-based applications.”
The economics of SeaFloat projects
appear to be sound. According to Sie-
mens, the SeaFloat concept completed
in a shipyard will provide the cus-
tomer with “a quality proven power
plant” at a potentially 20 per cent
lower CAPEX than a similar land-
based plant.
A SeaFloat power plant could oper-
ate as a baseload power plant with
the aim of selling electricity but with
the owners also being paid a premium
for having the ability to always stay
SIESTART solution. ST Engineering
will be responsible for the engineer-
ing design, procurement and con-
struction of the oating power barge,
the balance-of-plant and the installa-
tion of the oating power plant.
ST Engineering will receive the gas
turbine as a pre-installed package, the
steam turbine as a separate package
and the boiler in three modules, where
it will be erected and pre-installed at
a controlled, highly skilled shipyard.
It will then be towed to the nal des-
tination and connected to the grid.
For the SIESTART solution, Fluence
Energy, a company jointly owned by
Siemens and AES, is providing a
5 MW/10 MWh battery energy stor-
age system to be integrated as part of
the power plant for frequency regu-
lation control. This will allow the
plant to operate at full capacity with
highest fuel efciency.
The Estrella del Mar III plant will
replace existing power barges based
on reciprocating engines at the cus-
tomers location in the capital city
Santo Domingo. Using combined
cycle gas turbine technology will in-
crease efciency and lower emis-
sions, which is especially important
in built-up areas.
Due to site constraints with limited
free land and Seaboard’s experience
with previous power barges, the plant
owner selected a SCC-800 2x1 Sea-
Float concept with two Siemens
SGT-800 gas turbines and one SST-
600 steam turbine.
This rst SeaFloat project is ad-
vancing smoothly. Power plant equip-
ment is expected to leave Siemens’
manufacturing facilities shortly so
that erection at the shipyard can begin
soon after. The plant will be connected
to the grid of the Dominican Republic
in the spring of 2021.
And with the rst order secured,
Siemens expects others will follow
soon. “We are involved in many ac-
tivities all around the world. There
could be orders from any country –
from the US to Asia, where we are
currently supporting customers. We
are not limited to any specic country;
there are a lot of opportunities.”
Siemens will also continue to de-
velop the technology. As Hossain
concluded: “Siemens always takes an
evolutionary approach as opposed to
a revolutionary approach. So we are
continuously checking our design,
receiving feedback from execution
teams – both land-based and those
that will be in the Dominican Repub-
lic – and feeding it back into our team.
This will allow us to continue im-
proving our solution, so that each
customer can expect the highest
quality SeaFloat application based on
the experience of our eet.
Special Technology Supplement
The SCC-8000H SeaFloat can replace a
large coal red power plant in a region with
available grid capability
Types of SeaFloat plants
Length (m) Width (m) Area (m²) Net power Efciency (%)
output (MW)
2x SSC-A65 (50/60 Hz) ~50 ~22 ~1.100 147/151 55/55.3
SCC-800 2x1 ~55 ~30 ~1.650 149.4 56.6
SCC-800 3x1 ~65 ~40 ~2.600 224.4 56.6
SCC-800 4x1 ~75 ~40 ~3.000 299.3 56.7
SCC5-8000H 1x1 (50/60 Hz) ~170 ~60 ~10.200 665/460 61
SCC5-8000H 2x1 (50/60 Hz) ~170 ~90 ~15.300 1330/930 61
Note: SSC = Siemens simple cycle; SCC = Siemens combined cycle
A new process for
capturing carbon
dioxide is being
demonstrated at a
pilot project at the
Drax power station in
the UK.
Junior Isles reports.
ccording to many industry
observers, the world will not
be able to achieve its climate
ambitions without carbon capture
and storage (CCS). Although the
electricity sector is making a rapid
transition away from fossil fuels,
globally, coal and gas will continue
to play a signicant a role for de-
cades to come. Finding a way of de-
carbonising existing and future fossil
red eet is therefore crucial. Cut-
ting carbon emissions in industry is
also important and currently there
are very limited options when it
comes to cutting carbon dioxide
The International Energy Agency
(IEA) states that CCS could reduce
global CO
emissions by 19 per cent,
and that ghting climate change
could cost 70 per cent more without
But in spite of the pressing need
for the technology, its commercial
uptake has been very slow. A report
published in May by the Internation-
al Association of Oil and Gas Pro-
ducers (IOGP) noted there are only
18 commercial projects in operation
globally today with a total capture
capacity of some 40 Mtpa CO
CCS deployment has been predom-
inantly limited by economics – sev-
eral projects have seen budgeted
capital costs spiral, and the technolo-
gy also imposes an energy penalty
on power plants, which makes the
business case in power generation
But this could be set to change as a
team of chemists and engineers look
to implement a new carbon capture
technology at the massive Drax
power station in North Yorkshire,
In June, C-Capture, the designer of
innovative chemical processes for
carbon dioxide removal, working
alongside the Drax Group, secured a
£5 million grant from the UK gov-
ernment for a two year programme
of work to progress their £11 million
bioenergy and carbon capture and
storage (BECCS) pilot project at
The funding will be used by
Leeds-based C-Capture, a company
established in 2009 out of Leeds
University’s School of Chemistry
following investment from IP
Group, and Drax’s Innovation team
to further develop its understanding
of how C-Capture’s technology
could be scaled up.
Explaining the origins of C–Cap-
ture and the technology, Professor
Chris Rayner, an organic chemist
and Founder of the group, said:
“About 10 years ago, maybe longer,
we started looking at ways where we
could selectively get CO
to react in
the presence of other gases – particu-
larly things like nitrogen and oxy-
gen, which is typically what is in
ue gases and try to develop new
chemistry to do that. People have
been doing CO
separation for many
years. The original technology pat-
ented in the 1930s used amines.
They capture CO
very well but
they’ve been around for so long,
when we set up C-Capture we
thought there must be a better way to
do it.”
After four or ve years of research
and development, the company has
come up with a process that allows
to be captured under much
milder conditions than has been pre-
viously possible.
“The chemistry is much better in
terms of performance and environ-
mental prole but still uses very sim-
ple chemicals... and for the scale that
CCS is done on, it has to be simple
and really scalable,” said Professor
The technology is what Professor
Rayner calls a post-combustion, sol-
vent-based capture process.
He explained: “When you gener-
ate power, you’re usually burning
something... The ue gas produced
will usually have anything between
5-15 per cent of CO
, as well as
quite a lot of nitrogen and some ox-
ygen. The key thing is to selectively
react the CO
and leave anything
else unreacted.”
This is achieved in a two-step pro-
cess. The rst stage has an absorber
column, where a shower of the new
amine-free solvent comes down the
column while the ue gas is blown
upwards. When the solvent comes
into contact with the ue gas, it se-
lectively reacts with the CO
, leaving
the remaining gases to continue up-
wards to exit the top of the column
free of CO
Solvent with CO
attached to it re-
mains at the bottom of the column.
This is then pumped into a stripper
column that operates at a much high-
er temperature, around 100-120°C,
compared to 20-30°C in the rst. At
this temperature, the bond between
the solvent and the CO
breaks and
the CO
comes out of the stripper
column as a pure stream that can be
used or sequestered. This stripper
column also serves to regenerate the
solvent, so that “lean” solvent is
ready to capture more CO
“It’s a continuous process, where
the solvent is pumped around the ab-
sorber and stripper, so ue gas goes
into one end and a stream of CO
comes out of the other,” said Profes-
sor Rayner.
The key thing in the process is the
new class of solvent, which has quite
a different reactivity compared to
amines. An important aspect of the
solvents is their energy requirement
– a big drawback with current sol-
vent-based post combustion capture
is they require a signicant amount
of energy to heat up the solvent in
order to release the CO
. This para-
sitic load reduces the efciency of
the power station.
According to Professor Rayner, the
new solvents are less reactive with
air than existing amine solvents and
therefore oxidise less, resulting in
less degradation over time. “We
think we have major benets in
terms of solvent lifetime compared
with the current best technologies,”
he noted.
He added that the new solvents are
much less corrosive than many of
the amines that are currently used.
This means cheaper construction
materials can be used, which could
in turn signicantly lower the cost of
building plants.
With the economics of CCS being
a major stumbling block, the devel-
opment of the technology comes at a
crucial time.
Professor Rayner said: “Pretty
much everyone says we need to de-
carbonise as rapidly as we can. In
three of the four scenarios presented
by the IPCC, we need CCS to limit
warming to 2°C... if the [UK] gov-
ernment is to reach its net zero target
by 2050, then CCS is essential. So
we need to start doing things now
and we need to start doing them on
“Costs are an issue but there have
been numerous high-level studies
that show that the cost of doing noth-
ing far outweighs the cost of deploy-
ing CCS... The costs of these things
are always coming down.”
“To calculate the cost of capturing
a tonne of CO
from a very large
power station is a very difcult cal-
culation but what I can say, is that
the energy penalty of our process is
signicantly lower when comparing
our technology with others that are
out there. World-leading amine pro-
cesses use about 2.5 GJ per tonne of
captured. Ours is in the region
of 1.5-2 GJ/t. The Drax project is
trying to understand that number and
rm up whether it’s nearer to 1.5 or
2. Even if it’s 2 GJ, that’s still a ma-
jor improvement compared to all the
current technologies.”
Since it began capturing carbon
dioxide in February, proving the
technology works, the team at the
Drax pilot has done different up-
grades on the solvent and this work
will continue.
The recent government grant will
help take the pilot project up from
about 1 t/day of CO
capture to 100
t/day over the next two years. This
size will provide much of the
chemistry and engineering informa-
tion needed to design a much larger
“We hope that we will have every-
thing we need to design a very large
process within a couple of years,”
said Professor Rayner. To give an
idea of the nal scale needed, he
says Drax would need roughly a 10
000 t/day capture installation on its
The Drax pilot will be running for
at least another six months before
trials are shifted to Norway. Here a
chemistry validation and testing pro-
gramme will be conducted with re-
search partners SINTEF and the CO
Technology Centre Mongstad. The
pilot scale rigs at Mongstad will en-
able more accurate measurement of
parameters such as energy consump-
tion and emissions. In addition to be-
ing larger in scale, the Norway facil-
ity will also provide a degree of
independent validation.
“As the programme begins to get
nalised at Drax we will move
things over to Norway, which will
probably be some time towards the
end of next year,” said Professor
Rayner. “It will happen when we
think we have enough good data to
operate the plant in Norway.”
The goal is to have a large scale
process on the Drax site in the mid
2020s. This would coincide with the
government’s timeframe of having
capture clusters and CO
port infrastructure in place.
“There’s no point building a big
capture plant if you have no way of
disposing of the CO
,” noted Profes-
sor Rayner. “Over the next 5-10
years, there will be lots of develop-
ments where clusters of CO
ers will have to come together in dif-
ferent locations to provide hubs,
which can then take the CO
pipelines to the North Sea for stor-
age in geological features, mainly
depleted oil wells.”
With Drax being the UK’s largest
power plant, and one that has
switched from coal to biomass, the
world will be watching this next step
closely. Notably, as it runs on bio-
mass it will become the world’s rst
negative emissions power station –
effectively removing carbon dioxide
from the atmosphere while electrici-
ty is being produced. This is impor-
tant in offsetting emissions from oth-
er sectors that are very difcult to
decarbonise such as aviation.
Professor Rayner summed up:
“The Drax project has given us a
high prole, which has helped with
enquiries from outside. Now, a num-
ber of projects are under discussion
around world. We also will be de-
ploying the technology in other areas
which require large scale CO
ration such as industrial emitters like
cement, iron and steel, and hydrogen
manufacture, and gas upgrading ap-
plications, such as purication of
natural gas and biogas.
“Working with Caspar Schoolder-
man, our COO and Director of En-
gineering and Doug Barnes, Head
of Chemistry, we’ve developed
something that is incredibly new
and important for the future... see-
ing something go from a very small
scale in a lab up to, say, 10 000 t of
capture a day, would be awe-
some. And that really is just getting
things started.”
CCS gets some new
Professor Rayner: “we’ve
developed something that is
incredibly new and important
for the future”
Final Word
he energy transition is real. And
the speed at which it is happen-
ing is exhilarating; everyday,
the rhetoric around electrication and
the hydrogen economy increasingly
becomes a reality.
Recently, I had the pleasure of at-
tending the Goodwood Festival of
Speed and the opportunity to not only
see the latest fast cars – as well as the
old classics – in action, but also get a
rst hand look at how quickly times
are changing.
Siemens was the technology partner
for what is dubbed as ‘the world’s
greatest festival of motor sport’,
showcasing a host of clean, green and
digital technologies, ranging from
electric motorcycles and fast charging
systems for electric vehicles, to fuel
cells and 3-D printing.
But perhaps the most interesting,
from the viewpoint of how fast our
energy system is actually changing,
was its tie-up with GeoPura to use a
100 kW fuel cell powered by green
hydrogen to charge all of the EVs at
the festival. Not so long ago, electric-
ity for these festival-type applications
would have come from a diesel fuelled
Here was a real life demonstration
of what the future will look like. The
interest in fuel cells and hydrogen as
one way of electrifying transport
cleanly is growing and coming from
a variety of areas, not just the ones
According to GeoPura, it is not just
those responsible for areas where
people want to park car park owners,
local authorities supermarkets and
even large corporations with car parks.
Andrew Cunningham, Managing Di-
rector of GeoPura, noted that these
organisations are beginning to realise
they have “a bit of a problem” even at
this early stage of EVs.
“They are beginning to hit up against
local distribution network issues and
are wondering what the future holds
for them. So we expected a lot of inter-
est from that sector but other things
have also come out the woodwork.
Caravan club members, for example,
is a group I never thought would be
interested but they have signicant
issues with people turning up and
needing to charge. And it’s not such a
small market either.”
For things to really take off, how-
ever, these positive conversations rst
need to be turned into contracts. “Get
these in place, and the rest of the in-
frastructure will follow, because there
will be contracts in place to invest
against,” said Cunningham.
According to Cunningham, the
economics of using hydrogen to
charge electric vehicles already makes
sense. He estimated that the charge
needed to run an EV the same distance
as a petrol engine would equate to
roughly about £1.10-1.15 per litre,
which is a about 10 pence less than
current UK petrol prices. And it is
expected that these prices will only fall
with reducing capex and opex costs.
Ian Wilkinson, Programme Manager
at Siemens Corporate Technology
said: “The trajectory for the big
capital cost, the electrolyser, is down-
wards. Electrolyser prices are at the
beginning of the cost curve. The world
volume is still in the 10s of MWs.
Tens of GWs are required to do this at
scale and that’s when, inevitably,
you’ll get the economies of scale...
the trajectory for the big operational
cost, i.e. the cost of electricity is also
downwards. We’ve seen renewable
electricity prices come down substan-
tially over the past few years.
“So this is why we are starting with
EVs. The commercials work at today’s
prices with today’s available equip-
ment, and it will only get better.”
Facilitating the hydrogen economy
shows that EVs have a major role to
play in the new decarbonised energy
landscape – one that goes beyond just
replacing combustion engines with a
emitting mode of transport.
Although they will add signicant
demand to local electricity networks,
EVs could also be a key tool in provid-
ing utilities and network operators
with storage and grid support through
smart charging.
Just a few weeks ago UK Power
Networks launched a trial called
‘Shift’, where 1000 vehicles will take
part in the UK’s rst ever trial of a
market-led approach to smart charg-
ing. The trial aims to develop a large-
scale, smart charging solution that can
be rolled out nationwide by exibility
service providers like charge-point
operators, aggregators and energy
Ian Cameron, head of innovation at
UK Power Networks said: “There has
been a lot of talk about how smart
charging could save customers money
and help manage the network, but this
is the rst time we’ve actually set out
to discover how.”
It is hoped the trial will show how
smart charging could limit the need to
build new infrastructure, which could
be a major stumbling block in the UK’s
effort to only sell EVs by 2040, and its
new legal obligation to reach net zero
emissions by 2050.
While car parks in shopping malls
and workplaces, etc. are ne if a
driver plans to be at a location for a
long period of time, much investment
is still needed for charging vehicles en
route. Obviously car manufacturers
and companies developing charging
systems are a big part of en route
charging. Here, rapid charging is key.
Wilkinson noted: “The trend is de-
nitely upwards for faster charging
rates. Having a charging post that can
supply the power you need is rela-
tively easy – charging posts that can
do 350 kW can be designed now and
made available. The particular chal-
lenge is with managing the heat the
battery generates when it’s being
charged rapidly. So the limitation will
be the battery management system on
the car; the charge rates that will be
widely adopted is largely a question
for the car manufacturers.”
Siemens and GeoPura’s vision is that
charging points are available wher-
ever they are needed and that making
the dedicated trip to a refuelling point
is no longer necessary.
That, however, will require a big shift
in the existing mindset. It is therefore
no surprise that key players in the chain
are making their move.
David Hall, Vice President of Power
Systems at Schneider Electric said:
“We’re now seeing some of the big
fuel companies talk about how they
change their fuel stations. A fuel sta-
tion is not about a trickle charge... so
we’re now starting to break this market
down into destination venues – where
somebody might stay overnight at a
hotel or somewhere for several hours
– and the high rapid chargers, where
you can pull in somewhere and get an
80 per cent charge in 15 minutes. This
rapid charging is the area where invest-
ment in infrastructure is needed.”
The big question, he asked, is who
will roll-out this rapid charge infra-
structure? “Will it be the utilities or the
contracting businesses that can do
connections to the grid? Or might the
end-user customer want to own the
asset? It’s very early but things are
starting to move. Customers are com-
ing to us saying they have large eets,
ofces, petrol stations etc., and asking:
‘what can you do for us’?”
On this basis, if things continue to
accelerate along with car battery de-
velopment, Hall believes the UK can
meet its EV and net zero targets. He
notes, however, that the biggest chal-
lenge is the general infrastructure to
connect the substations for the high-
power chargers.
It was a point echoed by Wilkinson,
who said “there is the challenge up-
stream of providing enough electricity
to charge a signicant number of cars”
from the 350 kW chargers, adding that
the Siemens, GeoPura approach ad-
dresses that issue.
Whether the future is “lling up” in
car parks, etc., where power is pro-
vided by fuel cells or whether it is at
back-to-the-future petrol stations
converted to provide fast charging,
remains to be seen. Whatever the nal
outcome, neither us nor the kids will
be saying “are we there yet?” for too
much longer.
High speed change
Junior Isles
Cartoon: jemsoar.com