Category Archives: ENERGY

Mott MacDonald appointed owner’s engineer on Turkish power plant

Mott MacDonald has been appointed owner’s engineer by Icanadolu Doğalgaz Elektrik Üretim ve Ticaret  A. Ş. – a subsidiary of Gama Enerji A. Ş. – for a new 840MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Kirikkale, Central Anatolia, Turkey. The approximately US$900 million facility is being developed to meet the region’s growing electricity demand and has the capacity to provide over 50% of the electricity in Ankara.

The project represents one of the largest investments in Turkey in recent years. The state-of-the art power plant will use a highly-efficient and economical General Electric combined cycle system, comprising gas and steam turbines, generators and heat recovery steam generators and controls. Mott MacDonald will review and verify the power plant’s design, carry out factory inspections and monitor construction on site.

Cetin Atmaca, Mott MacDonald’s power manager for Turkey, said: “We are delighted to be working on such a prestigious project with Gama Enerji. It has been extremely satisfying as we have been involved in the project throughout its development, supporting Gama Enerji’s project team.”

“Mott MacDonald has been established in Turkey for a number of years. This new project at Kirikkale will feature substantial involvement from our office in Istanbul, which is also working on a number of other power projects in the country,” Cetin added.

The project is due to be completed by the end of 2016.


Written By admin 
January 28, 2014 10:21 am
Posted In ENERGY

Why Europe’s cities are getting turned on by LED lighting

As more and more cities and towns across Europe make the switch from conventional to LED (light-emitting diode) lighting in the public realm, we take a look at what’s driving this quiet revolution…

Keeping an average municipality lit accounts for about 50% of its overall energy consumption, yet LED lighting can save up to 70% on energy used, thus significantly reducing both costs and CO2 emissions. LED and compact fluorescent bulbs also last considerably longer than sodium or mercury vapour bulbs, making them easier and cheaper to maintain once installed.

In addition, many opinion polls about local pilot schemes – such as a recent one in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh – have shown decisively that citizens prefer the white light of LED to the orange glow of sodium, saying they can see better and feel safer.

And in some environments, the potential benefits of LED can go even further when combined with a ‘dynamic control system’ allowing subtle shifts in colour temperature and light intensity. The results of a year-long scientific experiment using indoor dynamic lighting in schools across Hamburg, Germany showed that attention span, concentration and the behaviour of pupils all improved significantly. Not only did their performance improve, they read faster and made fewer mistakes.

Northern Lights

Back on the streets of Scotland, in an attempt to show just what can be achieved using advancing technologies, Glasgow is set to become one of the world’s leading ‘smart’ cities. By the time it hosts the Commonwealth Games this summer, some 10,000 sodium streetlights will have been replaced. The new LED lamps will be equipped with digital sensors allowing them to be controlled remotely, responding to changes in local environment such as increases in traffic. Such controls can push energy savings even higher.

Also leading the way in the lighting revolution are cities such as Manchester and Birmingham (UK), Albertslund (Denmark), Eindhoven and Tilburg (The Netherlands), Mechelen (Belgium), Lyon (France), and Hódmezövásárhely (Hungary).

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Written By admin 
January 27, 2014 16:18 pm

Mott MacDonald explains why Kusile is one of the most advanced coal-fired power stations in the world

Mott MacDonald PDNA are delivering sophisticated water treatment facilities for one of the world’s largest power stations to cut sulphur dioxide emissions by 90% and eradicate liquid effluent.


South Africa’s state-owned utility company Eskom produces 95% of the country’s electricity and almost half that of the entire continent. But power generation is stretched to capacity, leading the company to invest in a series of bold new projects – including the 4.8GW Kusile power station, which will be one of the world’s biggest coal fired power stations. The facility comprises six 800MW units, scheduled for phased introduction from 2014 to 2018. Its boilers stand 115m tall and its chimneys tower 220m into the sky. During its eight year construction, the project is expected to be the largest single stimulus to South Africa’s economy, creating thousands of jobs.

Water is fundamental to the power production process, used to generate electricity, to control temperature and to treat waste. Eskom is keen to make the most efficient use of water possible in a region where it is scarce. The company has also set out a ‘zero liquid effluent’ policy to protect the natural environment. These requirements call for sophisticated wastewater treatment and purification processes that help make Kusile one of the most advanced coal fired power stations in the world.

Eliminating liquid effluent:

Electricity is generated when superheated steam is forced through turbine blades. Feed water is repeatedly cycled through the system and must be kept pure to prevent build up of mineral deposits when it turns to steam. Purifying the water also reduces the risk of the water becoming acidic, which would corrode metal components. At Kusile, almost 1600 tonnes of water will be purified per hour.

Purification produces brine which is often released into estuaries to mix with seawater. But at Kusile, the brine will be treated in a further process that will convert it into dry salt suitable for landfill disposal.

Cutting SO2 by 90%:

Water is also important in flue gas desulphurisation (FGD), a technology that reduces emissions of sulphur dioxide – SO2 – which results from burning coal and which causes air pollution and acid rain. It is being used for the first time in South Africa at the Kusile plant.

The FGD technology being put to work at Kusile removes pollutants from flue gases in devices called wet scrubbers. These spray the gases with a slurry of water and pulverised limestone. The droplets absorb sulphur dioxide molecules, preventing more than 90% of SO2 leaving the chimneys. The resulting waste material is used to make drywall lining and ceiling materials.

Although most water loss in the power station is caused by evaporation, the FGD process does produce some wastewater, which is highly contaminated and must be treated in a dedicated facility.

Intelligent safety systems:

As Kusile is a fully automated plant, Mott MacDonald had to design bespoke systems to run the water purification and treatment operations that would fit seamlessly into the overall plant design. One of these is the automated sample analysis process, which uses leading edge technology to analyse water purity. The system provides immediate analysis of samples; by continually measuring water quality, operators can detect problems before they arise.

The Mott MacDonald team used an intelligent 3D computer model to assist with scenario planning. The model plots outcomes depending on specific operational conditions to mitigate the risk of accidents. It enables accurate hazard studies, which improves efficiency and safety for operators and maintenance crews.

Benefits now for local people:

As this is the first time FGD technology has been used in South Africa, the project calls on specialists from the UK, Canada, Germany, Italy and Hungary, where the process has been used for many years. But local suppliers and skills are being extensively used too: 40% of the workforce and over 50% of materials are sourced locally, with particular attention given to developing skills in engineering, construction and quality assurance.

Kusile statistics:

90% of sulphur dioxide emissions cut

Zero liquid effluent policy to protect the natural environment

1600 tonnes per hour of water purified

40% workforce sourced locally

50% materials sourced locally



Written By admin 
January 23, 2014 10:05 am
Posted In ENERGY

PositivEnergy Practice is Engineer for Astana EXPO 2017

PositivEnergy Practice (PEP) is pleased to announce its role as the Energy, Mechanical, Electrical and Civil Engineering team supporting the implementation of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture’s (AS+GG) competition-winning master plan for EXPO 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Credit: PositivEnergy PracticeBased on the ‘Future Energy’ EXPO theme, the AS+GG master plan presents a strong vision for the first ever constructed ‘Third Industrial Revolution Community’, an example of environmental, economic and social sustainability. Renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar and earth, will be incorporated into the development, a global model for the design and operation of next generation smart grids, distributed generation technologies, and energy storage in future cities.

Split into two phases, the 174 hectare project will feature exhibition and cultural pavilions; a residential development; service areas including shopping, socio-cultural, educational and civic facilities; parks; and parking. Construction is expected to begin by April 2014.

The first phase will see construction of the exposition buildings on a 25 hectare site. At the heart of the Expo site is the Kazakhstan pavilion, surrounded by international and theme pavilions, a performing arts center and congress center. The second phase will finalize the Third Industrial Revolution City with conversion of the Expo buildings into an office research park and the development of a sustainable community beyond the Expo site, including an additional 700 residential units, as well as office buildings, hotels, local markets, and civic and university facilities.

PEP will provide site infrastructure and civil engineering design to support the project’s highly ambitious sustainability goals, focusing on a closed loop approach to resource consumption and reuse.  PEP will also provide the design for the highly efficient mechanical, electrical, plumbing/fire protection and low voltage systems for the numerous buildings across the site.  Finally, PEP will lead the engineering design of the site-and building-based renewable energy generation and storage technologies tied together by a smart grid infrastructure.

PEP will implement a parametric modeling platform and visualization dashboard that will be exhibited in the constructed EXPO 2017. This platform will demonstrate to visitors the flow of energy across the Expo site and show how energy technologies are working together in the smart grid of the future.

AS+GG’s design was selected as the winner of the international competition that featured 105 entries from all over the world. Astana was chosen by the International Bureau of Exhibitions to host EXPO 2017, which is anticipated to draw participation from more than 100 countries and attract up to 5 million visitors from June through September 2017.

Written By admin 
January 20, 2014 16:17 pm
Posted In ENERGY

Operations start at Japan’s new 70MW mega solar power plant

Kagoshima Nanatsujima Solar Power

The Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, Japan’s largest utility-scale solar plant to date, began operations on 1st November 2013. The clean electricity it generates will provide equivalent power for roughly 22,000 average households, and will help to offset about 25,000 tons of CO2 per year. Situated in Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Japan, the plant is being operated by electronics giant, Kyocera, in conjunction with six other companies. Its overall cost came in at around 27 billion yen ($275.5 million).

The impressive looking plant covers an area of some 1,270,000 sqm – roughly the same as 27 baseball stadiums. A tour facility has been built adjacent to it, featuring a circular viewing room where visitors can observe the 290,000 solar panels from an elevated vantage point, with the ocean and (the still active) Sakurajima volcano in the background. The aim is to deepen public understanding of renewable energy and its importance.

Indeed, expectations and interest in solar energy have reached new levels in Japan in response to power supply issues resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. To further promote the use of renewable energy, the Japanese government launched a restructured FIT program in July 2012, which stipulates that local utilities are required to purchase 100% of the power generated from solar installations of more than 10 kilowatts (kW) for a period of 20 years. Accordingly, all the electricity generated by the new Kagoshima plant will be sold to a local utility.

Exploring a new business model for utility-scale solar power generation, Kagoshima Mega Solar Power Corporation was established by Kyocera and six other companies in July 2012. Under a financing plan devised by Mizuho Corporate Bank, the new company was tasked to develop and operate the 70MW solar power plant on land owned by IHI Corporation, with the power generated to be purchased by Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc under the FIT program. As the largest shareholder of the new company, the Kyocera Group was responsible for the supply of solar modules as well as part of the construction, and will also undertake maintenance of the system with Kyudenko Corporation.

Gail Taylor

Written By admin 
November 27, 2013 16:49 pm
Posted In ENERGY, Solar

London Underground to heat hundreds of homes

london underground heating

The Mayor of London announced an innovative new scheme on Friday that will see waste heat captured from the capital’s underground train tunnels and used to warm hundreds of homes in the city. The first of its kind in Europe, the scheme is hoped to cut fuel bills as well as lowering pollution. According to Islington Council, it is estimated that “carbon emissions will fall by more than 500 tons annually” as a result.

The project – a partnership between London’s Mayor Boris Johnson, Islington Council, UK Power Networks and Transport for London – comes as part of the Mayor’s sustainability drive in the capital. The system will make use of Islington Council’s pioneering Bunhill Heat and Power network, which currently supplies over 700 homes in the borough with greener heating and is forecast to reduce heating costs for locals.

An expansion of this network will ensure the utilisation of two major sources of wasted heat: from a London Underground ventilation shaft, and from a UK Power Networks sub-station. A further 500 homes will be connected to Islington’s heat network as a result.

The Mayor of London’s Senior Advisor on Environment and Energy, Matthew Pencharz, said: “We need to do everything possible to create a more secure, cost-effective and sustainable heat and power supply for London. By supporting locally sourced energy and heat networks which can reduce bills and lower carbon emissions, we can not only save money but also drive innovation, jobs and growth in this burgeoning sector.”

Leader of the Council, Cllr Richard Watts, stated: “The expanded Bunhill Heat Network will cut energy bills for hundreds more local people. With energy prices going up and up, it’s vital we do what we can to cut bills. It’s all part of the Council’s work to help people manage the rising cost of living. Last winter was one of the coldest for decades and record energy prices meant many families on fixed incomes spent it in misery, unsure whether to heat or eat.”

Islington Council’s executive member for sustainability, Cllr Rakhia Ismail, said: “Recycling heat from London Underground and the electrical network are exciting new ideas and a boost to our work to tackle fuel poverty and make Islington a fairer place. This cheaper energy scheme is greener too – local communities will see CO2 emissions drop by around over 500 tonnes each year.”

Babcock considers stake in new British nuclear reactors

babckock dounreay nuclear

FTSE-100 engineering services group Babcock International is reportedly looking to take an equity stake in the new generation of UK nuclear plants.

The company, whose business with the Ministry of Defence spans Heathrow baggage handling to the maintenance of the Trident submarine fleet, is holding talks with Japan’s Hitachi over a stake in the new Advanced Boiling Water Reactor plants planned for sites at Gloucestershire, Oldbury, and Wylfa at Anglesey. Up to six new reactors are planned under Hitachi’s Horizon programme.

Babcock chief executive Peter Rogers said, “We told Hitachi we could be an equity partner in the station build. The equity piece would be tens of millions of pounds rather than hundreds of millions. Five years from now I would expect to have a bigger nuclear business.”

Babcock’s growing interest in the nuclear field comes after six months of “strong growth”, particularly in the marine division, as described by Rogers. The firm is also leading the consortium bidding for the 20-year, £5b contract to decommission the UK Magnox reactors, and has already secured the contract to clean up Scotland’s Dounreay nuclear plant.

Sales and group profit have been boosted by increased work on UK and Canada submarine programmes, in addition to ongoing assembly of £6.2b Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers at the firm’s Rosyth yard, and the commencing of Australia’s warship refit contract

Last week’s decision by BAE Systems to close their Portsmouth shipyard will have no effect on the Rosyth carrier assembly, according to Rogers. “It looks to me a very sensible commercial decision. There has been all this puff about Portsmouth being the home of shipbuilding but Portsmouth hasn’t built a major ship in two to three decades.”

Written By admin 
November 13, 2013 10:39 am
Posted In ENERGY, Nuclear

EDF’s Hinkley Point C nuclear plant given go-ahead

hinkley point c

French energy giant EDF Energy has been given the green light to build Britain’s first nuclear plant in a generation. EDF will lead a consortium, including Chinese investors, to build the long-mooted Hinkley Point C plant at Somerset.

Hinkley C will be built by EDF, the firm holding a 45-50 per cent stake in the scheme. A further 30-40 per cent is held by the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN), while another 10 per cent is held by French engineering company Aveva.

Subject to a final investment decision, key contract terms for the four chief suppliers to the project have been finalised. These are with Alstom for turbines; Areva for instrumentation and controls, the nuclear steam supply system and fuel; Bouygues TP/Laing O’Rourke for the civil work contract; and Costain for marine work.

The site’s proposed two reactors will offer lower generating costs, it has been claimed, during their operation span of 60 years. The scheme represents the UK coalition government’s shift away from fossil fuels and towards low-carbon energy. It is estimated the plant will cost £16b to construct.

The existing Hinkley plant currently generates around 1% of the UK’s total energy, but this figure is expected to rise to 7% once Hinkley C is complete in 2023. Construction of the new plant is expected to create around 25,000 jobs, with 900 permanent jobs forecast for the site’s 60-year operation.

Richard Greenan

Written By admin 
October 22, 2013 11:48 am
Posted In ENERGY

National Grid rebuffs criticism of diesel generators

national grid diesel generators

An article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph claims that “National Grid has been quietly signing up thousands of diesel generators, linked by computers to the grid, which can be automatically switched on at a moment’s notice to cover for any power shortage”. The report continues, “And their main purpose, although National Grid tries to deny it, is to make up for the unreliability of that ever-increasing number of heavily subsidised wind farms the Government wants to see built”.

It describes payments to companies involved in creating these ‘mini-power stations” as “so lavish that, in proportion, that [sic] they make the subsidy bonanza enjoyed by wind-farm operators look like chicken feed”.

However, when we spoke to Gemma Stokes, Corporate Media Relations Manager for National Grid, she told us, “Short Term Operating Reserve is not a tool we have created to manage wind power intermittency. The key driver for the bulk of STOR is to manage our single largest potential loss on the system, which is currently up to 1,320MW (what we would lose if Sizewell nuclear power station went down). And STOR has been around long before we were managing wind generation on the network.

“It is a very important tool for us. As system operator, it’s important to be prepared for any eventuality on the network. There are occasions when power stations – coal or nuclear – break down, or demand is higher than forecast, so it’s important we have generation held in reserve to manage these unforeseen circumstances.

“There have been some misleading reports about the cost of STOR and prices increasing. STOR is a £100million a year service and is procured through a competitive tender process – we do three rounds a year – which is pushing down prices. We publish detailed market information reports after each tender round. The current feedback is that costs are not forecast to increase in the near future. As to diesel, it is a small part of STOR overall.”

She also told us that National Grid would soon be publishing the findings of its STOR fuel type analysis, which, she said, would highlight that diesel makes up quite a small percentage of what National Grid buys. The report should make interesting reading when it comes out.

Gail Taylor

Written By admin 
October 17, 2013 15:38 pm
Posted In ENERGY

£1b earthquake bill for Spanish gas plant

escal ugs gas earthquakes

Operations at a Spanish gas plant have been linked to over 500 mini earthquakes registered in Spanish towns on the Catalonia-Valencia coast since September. The tremors – the largest of which clocked in at a magnitude of 4.2 – have caused threats of a £1.1b compensation bill to be levelled at the Spanish Government for reported negligence at the offshore site.

Researchers claim that warnings of potential earthquakes at the plant, majority owned by Spanish firm Escal UGS, were ignored by the Spanish authorities in the run-up to the operation’s approval. It is now thought that gas injections into a depleted oil reservoir a mile under the seabed were responsible for the tremors, which occurred in an area not known for its seismic activity.

The Spanish energy and industry minister, José Manuel Soria, has now admitted there was a “high probability of a relationship between the injections of gas and the seismic movements on the coastal zone facing the facility.” Activity has since been halted at the plant, which was operational for a mere two months.

Soria continued, “This halt will continue in force until there is an absolute guarantee of 100 per cent safety for the whole population.” While investigations into the plant’s future safety are now underway, it is feared that permanent closure of the site will mean a hefty compensation bill to be footed by the Spanish Government.

Written By admin 
October 10, 2013 09:24 am
Posted In ENERGY