UK Firm Tenders for 200MW Gas Engines
Singapore-owned company UK Power Reserve said July 11 it has begun a tender to acquire 200 MW of gas reciprocating engines so that it can help balance UK electricity supplies at crunch times.
The UK's largest flexible distributed electricity generator – owned by SembCorp Industries, whose largest shareholder in turn (with 49.5%) is the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek – was a big winner at February’s UK Capacity Market auction, with 200 MW of contracts; it should take the company’s total portfolio to over 1 gigawatt.
UK Power Reserve is now looking to work with engine suppliers that can provide highly efficient and flexible equipment to respond rapidly to energy stress events in the UK "when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow." It already has 500 MW of these assets operational across England and Wales, and is building 160 MW of gas engines, and a total of 120 MW power storage assets (including batteries).
Makers include GE, Siemens, Finland's Wartsila, the UK's Rolls-Royce, and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Niigata. Less efficient than combined-cycle gas turbines, they ramp up output much faster.
SembCorp announced May 31 this year it had agreed to buy UK Power Reserve for £216mn ($286mn) from its private equity owners Inflexion and Equistone (each 42.5%) and from members of UKPR management (who owned 15%).