Daily News

Snow storms have made Japan’s utilities scramble to secure spot LNG as gas-burn for power generation rises to compensate for unplanned coal power outages. One utility buyer reportedly snapped up several spot LNG cargoes for February delivery – though the JKM spot LNG price, benchmark for cargoes to Northeast Asia, last traded as high as $18.945 per MMBtu.

Plans for H2H Saltend, Equinor’s 600 MW hydrogen production with carbon capture, have been submitted into the UK government’s cluster sequencing process. Six industrial operators back the project: Centria Storage, INEOS Acetyls, Pensana, Triton Power, Vital Energi and Vivergo Fuels. Application for H2H Saltend is now in phase-2, with results expected around May 2022.

Green hydrogen (H2), made from renewable energy, could get three-fourth cheaper as China invests in boosting output. H2 was last trading at $6 per kilo, but Shell Hydrogen anticipates the cost could drop to about $1.40 to $2.30/kg by 2030 in regions with abundant wind and solar power such as northwest China, the Middle East and Australia.

Siemens Energy has reduced its target for fiscal 2022 as revenue from its gas and power segment fell 5.9% to €4.140 million and amid a profit warning from its Spanish wind power arm Gamesa. Management now expects FY2022 revenue to be in a range of 2% decline to 3% growth, compared with -1% to 3% in earlier guidance.

Gencogas, the company managing power plants for the Italian utility A2A, has contracted Wärtsilä to supply a 110 MW gas-fuelled power plant to Cassano d’Adda near Milan. Powered by six Wärtsilä 50SG engines, it is meant to receive capacity payments upon operational start in early 2023.

Mitsubishi Power is working to install, test and commission three M701 JAC-class gas turbines at the Fujairah F3 combined-cycle power plant by early 2023. The 2.4 GW unit under development at Ras Al Qidfa will be the United Arab Emirate's largest power station, capable to supply 380,000 households with electricity.

Electricity demand growth in China is forecast to exceed 8% in 2022, driving up global coal and LNG prices, which forces power generators to think twice whether to import natural gas or rather keep burning coal. Wood Mackenzie expects a “doubling of spend by Chinese NOCs in 2022,” up from its current US$4 billion guidance.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) was mistaken when stating in July 2021 that global demand for fossil fuel-based electricity peaked. On the contrary, coal- and gas-burn rebounded 9% and 2%, respectively, once lockdowns were lifted and analysts now say this trend will not change before 2024, when renewables could outpace fossil power additions.

Wherever connectivity goes, vulnerability follows, so as electrification progresses the risk rises that batteries may be hacked. “But the trend to electric vehicles is just the start. Power is set to be the platform our world is built on,” finds Erik Laykin, head of global data risk at Duff & Phelps.

US State Department officials have asked European utilities where they would source natural gas from if the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine impairs supplies. Gazprom already reduced deliveries since the autumn, creating artificial tightness, but the US promises to ship LNG if contracted Russian gas flows get halted due to conflict or sanctions.

China may triple electricity generation to cover 60%, instead of currently 23% of total energy demand to reach Net Zero by 2060, Royal Dutch Shell reckons. The oil major also predicts green hydrogen to play a key part in China’s future energy mix as the country’s carbon price will quadruple to 1,300 yuan ($204.82) per tonne in 2060.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has dismissed rumours that Europe’s high gas and electricity prices are caused by the clean energy transition. “This is not a renewables crisis; it’s a gas market crisis,” IEA head Fatih Birol said, pointing out Gazprom lowered export to Europa by 25% since November 2021 and currently delivers one-third less than it could.

Switching to synthetic e-fuels – like carbon-neutral methanol or bio-ethanol – will not be a solution to decarbonise transport in Germany, simply because not enough e-fuel is available. “We will predominantly need e-fuels for aviation,” the transport minister Volker Wissing said, suggesting the public can drive in a carbon-neutral way using e-mobility.

The EU taxonomy’s classifies new gas power as ‘transitional investment’ if the rate of unabated gas declines over time. At least 30% of low-carbon gas needs to be co-fired by 2026, and the rate is envisaged to reach 100% by 2035 – though utilities will struggle to source enough hydrogen in time.

News in Brief

German utilities invest record amounts

Jan 21 – Energy companies in Germany invested a record €20.5 billion in 2021, and the industry association BDEW expects capital expenditure will stay high throughout 2022. Out of the total sum, €4.3 billion were invested in electricity generation plants, €9.9 billion in transmission and distribution plants and €1.2 billion in other assets, such as metering points and information technology.

H2-powered plant for French Guiana

Jan 20 – Siemens Energy will set up a hybrid plant to supply stable baseload electricity to 10,000 households in French Guiana. An intelligent combination of 55 MW photovoltaics, an electrolyser to produce green hydrogen, fuel cells and energy storage is scheduled to be commissioned in the autumn of 2023.

Decarbonising UK homes

Jan 19 – Just 9 million hot water cylinders are currently installed in British homes, leaving a gap of 18 million homes whose heating would need to be decarbonised for the UK to meet Net Zero. According to the trade body HWA, the political focus of decarbonising heating has been solely on the heat source; such as boilers and heat pumps – while little to no focus has been on hot water cylinder. This gap in in government policy, which could result in unnecessary costs to consumers.

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 18 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop projects for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

GE to repower Long Lake plant

Jan 17 – GE will modernize four generors at the Long Lake hydropower plant in northwest US, operated by Avista Utilities. Once refurbished, the plant will have an installed capacity of more than 100 MW. The first modernized Long Lake unit is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2024 and the last one in 2029

mtu to power Romania’s largest data center

Jan 14 – mtu Series 4000 gas generators will provide electricity heat and cooling for Romania’s largest data center. ClusterPower is building a 273,000-squaremetre technology campus near Craiova by 2025, where it will host five data centers with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1

Green hydrogen from Quebec

Jan 13 – Charbone has agreed to provide the US propane distributer Superior with green hydrogen from its Sorel-Tracy facility in Quebec, Canada, starting from the third quarter of 2022. The hydrogen will be delivered directly from Charbone’s H2 plant to Superior’s customers which include mining, power generation, transportation and industrial energy users. 

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 12 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop project for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

US rivals Australia as world’s largest LNG exporter

Jan 11 – Analysts at the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) are confident that the growth in US LNG exports could see America’s liquefaction and send-out capacity exceed that of Australia and Qatar – the world’s two largest LNG exporters. Looking ahead, the EIA expects US exports of the super-chilled gas will rise 17% from 2021 levels to average 11.1 Bcf/d from December through March.

Africa’s first FLNG plant arrives in Mozambique

Jan 10 – Coral Sul FLNG, Africa’s first-ever floating LNG facility has arrived in Mozambican waters. The plant is critical to develop the US$7 billion Coral South project, led by the Italian oil and gas company Eni. Some of the produced gas will be used for power generation in Mozambique, though most will be liquefied and sold to global markets.

GE snaps up Opus One Solutions

Dec 23 – GE Digital has agreed to acquire Opus One Solutions Energy Corp, a Californian software company that helps utilities integrate renewables and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) at scale across the electric grid. The transaction is expected to close within 30 days, GE stated without disclosing what price was paid for the takeover.

Qatar invests in Rolls-Royce’s nuclear power business

Dec 22 – Qatar Investment Authority, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to invest £85 million in Rolls-Royce SMR, the company’s new technology for small-scale, low carbon nuclear power. UK business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng called the investment a “clear vote of confidence” in the UK’s nuclear innovation. It follows £210 million Qatari investment in the development in Small Modular Reactors. Now fully funded, Rolls-Royce SMR business also received £490 million through commercial equity and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant funding. 

JERA helps Japanese film producer curb emissions

Dec 20 – Toho, a Japanese film producer and entertainment company, will get support from the country’s largest power producer JERA to reduce CO2 emission from film production. To that end, JERA will supply zero-emissions energy to Toho and draw up a roadmap to decarbonise the media company as a whole.

Tractebel develop concept to store H2 offshore

Dec 17 – Tractebel Overdick and partners have developed an offshore infrastructure and processing facilities concept that relies on the storage of hydrogen (H2) in offshore caverns. The design study outlines a scalable offshore platform for the compression and storage of up to 1.2 million cubic meters of hydrogen.

Ethatec uses CO2-free power to produce ethanol

Dec 15 – ESG Clean Energy has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Ethatec to use ESG’s patented CO2-free gensets to its ethanol production. Ethatec uses waste from bakeries and pizza factories which is being crushed and then mixed with water and enzymes and heated in a multi-stage mashing process to saccharify the starch. It is then cooled and fed into fermentation tanks, where yeast is added. for alcoholic fermentation of the sugar. After 72 hours, the mixture is fed to a distillation system where ethanol is obtained.

Anax helps Magellan mine bitcoin under US$12m deal

Dec 16 – Ohio-based Magellan Scientific has entered a long-term accord, worth US$12 million, with Anax Power to generate zero-emission electricity from natural gas flows for Magellan’s distributed data centres, using 500 kW Anax turboexpanders. This green power will be used to lower the carbon-intensity of bitcoin mining and help US interstate pipeline operators and utilities accelerate their net-zero emission goals.

Cryogenic insulation market to top $4.6m by 2026

Dec 14 – The global market for cryogenic insulation is forecast to reach $4,659.85 million by 2026, expanding at an annual rate of 8.76% over the next five years. According to ResearchandMarkets, companies need to keep investing in R&D to deliver more efficient products at a lower cost and improve product durability.