Daily News

Indiana-based Cummins has made an indicative offer to acquire MAN Energy Solutions, the large engine unit of Volkswagen Group. The German car maker reportedly also approached other MAN rivals to divest the engine maker before year-end, hoping to fetch some 3 billion Euros.

The French power grid operator RTE has halted operations of three nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 3 GW amid a lack of cooling water as Europe’s latest heat wave unfolds. The onus is now on flexible combined-cycle gas power stations to balance the grid as demand for air conditioning surges amid scorching temperatures.

Northern Nigeria’s 215-MW Kaduna power plant will be fuelled by regasified LNG from Greenville’s import facility at Dufil Prima, Port Harcourt. A new gas pipeline will be built to deliver the fuel, and in the meantime, Greenville has committed to deliver the LNG by trucking it all the way to the power plant.

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser has signed an the Nigeria Electrification Roadmap, paving the way for a three-phased approach to add 7 GW of generating capacity and debottleneck the power grid. The aim is to eradicate today’s stark mismatch between power supply and demand by boosting installed capacity to 25 GW in the long run.

As Japan’s gas-burn in the power sector falls amid competition from coal, nuclear and renewables, the country is expected to lose its position as the world’s No.1 LNG importer to China by 2022. Despite sustained low LNG spot prices, it is cheaper for Japanese utilities to burn coal than natural gas.

With Europe’s gas demand seen surge nearly 30% to 400 Bcm by 2035, Russia is eager to grow its market share. Wood Mackenzie expects Gazprom will review its traditional, pipeline-based export model and turn to LNG instead, avoiding quarrels over new interconnectors like Nord Stream 2.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has confirmed the country is on track to generate half of its electricity from imported natural gas and renewables. The recent commissioning of New Fortress Energy's floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at Old Harbour helped boost the share of clean fuels to 44% of Jamaica’s energy mix.

Thüringer Energie AG (TEAG) has tasked MAN Energy Solutions and MMEC Mannesmann to build a new gas-engine driven cogeneration plant in Jena, Germany. The new CHP unit will expand an existing plant and is due to start operating in the 2021/22 heating period.

CNPC, Eni, Socar and commodities trader Trafigura are striving to win a LNG tender for 240 cargoes over 10 years from Pakistan LNG, which seeks to secure stable gas imports for power generation. Analysts said the tender is likely to cost up to $6 billion at today’s prices, or $25 million per cargo.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has thrown her political weight behind the introduction of a price on CO2 emissions in the transport and buildings sector, although her climate cabinet will have the last say on September 20. “I advocate such a price,” Merkel said, stressing new paths had to be tried to reach the country’s climate targets.

Diversifying supply sources, Pakistan strives to secure attractively-priced LNG for power generation. Qatar is currently the country’s main supplier but the Pakistani government hopes to buy LNG from Australia and the U.S. at a price of around $3.5 per million British thermal units in the near future.

MAN Energy Solutions' new digital platform CEON collects and evaluates operating and sensor data to enables real-time monitoring of power-plant engines, turbines and compressors. Integrating data from MAN machinery and its operational environment, the new digital platform uses intelligent analysis tools for evaluation and forecasting.

China Energy Group has decided to build 6 gigawatts (GW) of ultra-low emission coal-fired capacity this year. In regions with poor renewables potential, the government supports the use of coal as a “practical measure,” the utility said, as “gas is still too expensive.”

In the Permian, the gas-to-oil ratio keeps rising at mature shale plays. The mismatch between surging gas production and constrained takeaway pipelines has pushed down gas prices into negative territory, forcing well shut-ins from producers like Apache and Chevron.

Chart Industries, the US LNG and energy equipment maker, has posted a rise in net income and revenues after receiving orders across all sectors from large liquefaction plants to small-scale LNG-to-Power installations and completed the acquisition of Harsco Air-X-Changers.

News in Brief

French court rejects appeal against Total CCGT

July 24 – Judges at an appeal court in Nantes have thrown out an appeal by environmentalist against Total’s planned Landivisiau combined-cycle gas power plant in Brittany. The 440 MW project, initiated by Direct Energy which was since acquired by Total, is over two years behind schedule. The French grid operator RTE has singled out the Landivisiau CCGT as “critical” in guaranteeing supply security in winter 2020/21 due to the planned shutdown of four coal power plants.

U.S. gas production falls in wake of ‘Barry’

July 23 – Shut-ins related to Hurricane Barry have scaled back U.S. gas production by 1.6 billion cubic feet per day, compared to last week, while power sector gas demand rose by just over 2.0 bcf/d. Consequently, there is significantly less gas available for storage so the injection rate has halved, according to Energy Aspects figures.

Blackout after fire at Madison substation

July 22 – Electricity is gradually being restored at Madison, Wisconsin, after 13,000 people experience a blackout following an explosion at a substation near Madison Gas & Electric’s 100 MW gas-fired Blount Generating Station. No injuries were reported.

Fuel switch could abate 1.2bn tons of CO2

July 19 – Some 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 could be abated by switching to gas using existing infrastructure, if prices and regulation are supportive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this would be enough to bring global CO2 emissions back down to where they were in 2013.

IEA launches methane tracker

July 18 – A new ‘methane tracker’, launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA), provides up-to-date estimates of current oil and gas methane emissions by drawing on the best available data. Analysts stressed methane emissions could be reduced by nearly half at no net cost.

Canada’s CO2 tax also affects gas power

July 17 – Change in Canada’s carbon tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could cause SaskPower to reconsider its planned upcoming Moose Jaw gas power station.

MAN, Daewoo, HSD partner on engine digitalization

July 16 – MAN Energy Solutions, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and HSD Engine (HSD) have signed a strategic agreement to cooperate in the field of marine engine systems digitization. The three companies also work together on auxiliary systems and data analysis, aiming to apply part of their know-how to power generation and related sectors.

Canada launches first utility-scale smart microgid

July 15 – The Ontario-based municipal utility North Bay Hydro Services is cooperating with the smart grid solutions firm S&C Electric to launch Canada’s first utility-scale microgrid system. Among some solar power, the 789KW microgrid system will be powered by two 265kW natural gas generators.

Macquarie funds Mexican power plant

July 12 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

B&V launches distributed energy group

July 11 – Black & Veatch has launched a dedicated distributed energy group to place its conventional power business in the context of the global energy transition. The distribute energy group will look into new fuel sources such as hydrogen and aspires to “re-power the more-than-century-old power industry.”

Funding secured for Kazah CHP project

July 10 – Kazinform Erg has committed to spend $500 million on a gas cogeneration station that will provide heat and electricity to the south of Kazakhstan. Over 87% of Kazakhstan’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, and in 2018 the country produced 107,060 billion kWh of electricity, a 3.8% increase over the previous year and enough to cover total power use of 103,228 kWh.

Bitcoin mining uses much energy

July 9 – Estimates of bitcoin’s electricity consumption are wide-ranging, on the order of 20‑80 TWh annually. According to George Kamiya, digital energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), bitcoin mining consumed around 45 TWh in 2018 although this has risen significantly this year. Through the first six months of 2019, bitcoin mining has already consumed an estimated 29 TWh.

Coal exit doesn’t impact Germany's supply security

July 8 – Electricity supply security in Germany is set to stay “very high” even as the country begins to phase out coal-fired power generation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said in a monitoring report. “Energy supply is adequately ensured”, the ministry said, in all scenarios examined up to 2030. Thereafter, things are less clear but the German Coal Commission is adamant that its proposal to exit coal power by 2038 is feasible and won’t seriously impact reserve margins.

Hydrogen demo plant starts in Adelaide

July 5 – The Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), has received A$4.9 million in government funding for an A$11.4m hydrogen electrolyser demonstration project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. At the test site, AGN plans to blend 5% renewable hydrogen with natural gas for supply to customers using its existing gas distribution networks. The project is based on a Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, running based on wind and solar power.

Wärtsilä forms biogas solution

July 4 – Wärtsilä Puregas Solutions, specialists in biogas upgrading technology, has merged with Wärtsilä’s biogas liquefaction team to create a one-stop-shop service for biofuel production. Having installed the world’s largest bioLNG facility in Skogn, Norway, Wärtsilä will deliver two more bio-LNG plants to customers in Scandinavia. The company’s Puregas CA process recovers more than 99.9% of the biomethane present in raw biogas.

PNM to close San Juan Generating Station

July 3 — New Mexico's largest energy holding, PNM Resources, has filed an application to the Public Regulation Commission to close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. For replacement power, PNM said the preferred option was a mix of gas power plants, solar and wind farms and new battery storage facilities. The utility strives to be ‘emissions-free’ by 2040.

ADB opens office in Singapore

July 2 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to open an office in Singapore. The lean office with twelve staff will focus on the expansion of its private sector operations, e.g. through Public-Private Partnerships. “We estimate that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum,” commented Singapore’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat.