Gazprom has made a loss due to a weak Russian currency and 40% plunge in sales to Europe as the pandemic depressed demand and prices. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Gazprom booked a net loss of 218.38 billion Rubles ($2.85 billion) compared with a 1.048 trillion Rubles profit in the pre-year period.
Winter has come early in northern China this year and municipalities fired up district heating plants from November 1, causing stock-draws and encouraging buyers to look for spot LNG. Seasonal LNG demand also keeps rising in South Korea due to coal power plant closures, widening the JKM-TTF spread.
The pandemic has slashed the UK’s energy demand by 12% in the first three quarters of the year as the economy contracted by 11.3%. Up to 30,000 jobs in Britain’s oil and gas industry are at risk and the lobby group OGUK urges to government to help the industry transition to a green energy future.
Electricity Generating Public Company (Egco) of Thailand has applied to the state regulator for a licence to import LNG to fuel gas-fired power plants. Egco said the 256 MW Banpong plant and the 121 MW Klongluang plant “could use additional supplies,” though they already source gas from state-run PTT.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Power, part of MHI Group, has struck a licensing agreement with the French metallurgical firm Aubert & Duval related to metal powders used for additive manufacturing, or 3D Printing. The supply deal allows Mitsubishi to develop a 3D Printing base within its Hitachi Works in Ibaraki.
Gazprom says the global health and economic crisis in 2020 keeps a lid on high-cost shale gas production, with US LNG exports seen as “insufficiently competitive.” The current economic slowdown could create a niche especially in China and Europe, to be filled by cheaper Russian conventional gas.
Fast-start capability is vital for peaking plants and about a quarter of US power generation capacity can start up within one hour. Most hydroelectric turbines can go from cold start to full operations in less than 10 minutes, as can aero-derivative and some flexible combustion turbines.
GE Research has been awarded a $1.6 million project to develop refractory alloys, based on novel material that would enable turbine blades to operate at 1,700°Celsius, or 3,092°Fahrenheit. The aim is to develop niobium-based alloys to push combined-cycle gas turbine efficiency beyond 65%.
Japan’s largest power producer JERA is testing the data platform linked to its Battery Energy Storage System’s (BESS) until March 2021. Batteries are mostly installed for back-up energy, so they have surplus capacity at normal times which could be used for peakload-shifting.
Toshiba has developed an aqueous rechargeable lithium-ion battery in a bid to realise the world’s first large-scale battery that can operate at -30°C. The high durability battery has over 2,000 charge- and discharge-cycles and by using water as aqueous electrolyte, it is safe even if exposed to fire.
Nokia and the Austrian telecommunication provider A1 are looking to set up a private wireless network (VPN) to operate utility microgrids. The application will be tested at A1’s so-called campus solution, deployed at the company’s headquarters in Vienna.
The US government has started to call companies involved in the 27.5 Bcm/y Nord Stream 2 pipeline, threatening sanctions if they do not pull out. The Trump administration heavily opposes the Russian gas interconnector to Germany, but all five investors continue to support the project.