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INDUSTRY REVIEWNON-RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION


aimed at China – to slap 25 percent tariffs on steel imports, has angered the same domestic energy stakeholders he wants to help. Raising prices of steel needed for drilling equipment and pipelines, they say, would mean job losses for the US energy sector. “Although this is aimed to revive the domestic steel industry, historical data does not paint a rosy picture,” observed Vilasini Krishnan, corporate global key account manager at deugro. “This could potentially impact other industries in the USA by making them less competitive.” Krishnan said 2018 had seen a generally sluggish start from the power industry. “Market demands are dampened and most power clients are undergoing restructuring to reduce cost and improve efficiency. “Having said that, we still see power driving activity in the Americas, Middle East, India and Southeast Asia, with a strong focus on gas and also – to a lesser degree – on nuclear power.


“There has also been some project activity in North Africa – namely Egypt and Algeria – which are made up of various non-renewable power projects including oil and gas.” Egypt urgently needs new capacity to meet its rapidly rising energy demand. In December it signed a record-breaking deal with Russian-state energy firm Rosatom to build a USD30 billion, 4.8 GW nuclear power station at El Dabaa.


Gas turbine plants Later this year, together with Siemens, Egypt will complete the simultaneous construction of three 4.8 GW combined-cycle gas turbine plants. Said to be the largest such plants ever built, the EUR8 billion (USD9.79 billion) projects will boost the country’s generating capacity by 45 percent and provide electricity to 45 million people.


This is no-doubt a landmark project for Egypt and highlights its push for cleaner energy. This trend in previously coal- dominated countries, such as Egypt, is one that is likely to continue.


“This is a paradigm shift we have seen over the last few years,” said Krishnan. “Gas is expected to make up more than 40 percent of the global energy demand over the next 25 years and oil majors such as Shell and Exxon Mobil are focusing on LNG in response to support this projected demand.”


deugro believes the trend towards cleaner fuel has had a definitive impact on project forwarders. “The size of projects has shrunk. The mega power projects that were commonplace in the past few years are now few and far between. The new projects are


128 May/June 2018


DHL loads out a barge in China.


smaller in size but are awarded on a fast- track basis. This in turn facilitates smaller and more flexible investment, which allows a higher number of projects to come online over a shorter period of time. “As a result, the challenges on these projects have grown in terms of risk, especially concerning delivery schedules over shorter periods. The proportion of critical cargo on these fast-track projects is higher,” said Krishnan. Furthermore, she noted, sustainable energy supply has dampened demand for non-renewables, and this has been compounded by the low selling price of electricity per kilowatt (kW), making the commissioning of new coal or oil power plants “simply not viable” in many developed economies.


“As a direct result, it has become essential to transfer energy over long distances, from point of generation to more remote locations via underground or subsea cables. This requirement has created new and exciting opportunities related to high- voltage direct current (HVDC) projects. “With multiple converter transformers and associated equipment to be transported to various locations, the challenges and opportunities are not dissimilar to those of traditional newbuild power stations.”


Indonesia shortages


We still see power driving activity in the Americas, Middle East, India and Southeast Asia, with a strong focus on gas and also – to a lesser degree – on nuclear power. – Vilasini Krishnan, deugro


Of course, in developing economies such as Indonesia, coal is often the only financially viable solution for meeting energy needs. Home to the world’s fourth-largest population and facing a huge electricity demand challenge, Southeast Asia’s vast archipelago nation set a target of 35 GW of additional capacity by 2019. It is unlikely to hit this target due to slow implementation and funding problems. In March, the government set a new target of 106 GW of new capacity installed within the next seven years, 57 GW of which will come from coal. “The state electricity company’s main objective remains increasing the electrification ratio of the country by providing stable electricity supply with sufficient reserves on the densely populated islands of Java and Sumatra, and bringing electricity to far flung provinces of the archipelago,” explained Krishnan. “Ultimately, its aim is to consolidate its businesses which are heavily burdened by increasing debts. Compounded by huge domestic coal reserves, the focus is still largely on coal-fired power plants. The aim is to build these plants with more efficient, cleaner technology where possible.”


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