Daily News

Seeking to secure attractively-priced LNG for its power plant fleet, Thailand’s state-run Electricity Generating Authority (EGAT) has announced it will hold a bidding round in May and June. To qualify, interested bidders need to register by April 18. EGAT will then shortlist participants for the first auction in early May.

With more than a third of Germany’s electricity generated by renewables, the number of Power-to-X projects has surged in a bid to make use of this intermittent energy supply. Over 35 plants with over 50 kW of installed electrolysis capacity will be in operation by 2022 in Germany alone, according to forecasts by certification service provider TÜV SÜD.

Investment in wind power is largely driven by China, where removal of regulatory restrictions in the country's northern provinces sparked a 2 GW, or 37%, rise in 2018 to a total installed capacity of 5.6 GW. Worldwide, nearly 52.2 GW of net wind power capacity was added last year – a 4% annual rise, according to Wood Mackenzie’s Global Wind Power Market Outlook Update: Q1-2019.

Renewable generation in the United States has nearly doubled over the past ten years, reaching a new record of 742 million MWh of electricity, or 17.9% of the total U.S. power supply. Amid a steep drop in construction costs, the contribution of wind and solar surged to nearly 90% installed renewable capacity, and the IEA anticipates more capacity additions in the near-term future.

Chart Industries and Indian Oil Corp, owner of India’s first East Coast LNG import terminal at Kamarajar Port, Ennore, have entered a cooperation to promote LNG developments in India. In focus are modular liquefaction and regas technologies, which could spur new decentralized LNG-to-Power projects and alleviate gas shortage for some of India’s stranded power plants.

State-owned GAIL India, the country’s largest gas transmission operator, has contracted Siemens to install its remote diagnostic services at 29 gas turbines operating across GAIL’s Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur gas pipeline and the Vijaipur C2/C3 power plant.

As renewable energy combined with batteries are becoming part of modular power networks, natural gas the ideal fossil fuel source to supplement these power networks, says Craig Wilkins, Director Prime Power at Cummins. Headquartered in Indiana, U.S., the manufacturer has responded to the intermittency challenge of renewable power supply with the launch of its HSK78G gas-powered generator.

U.S. gas pipeline operator Williams and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) have set up a US$3.8 billion joint venture that centers around Williams' Ohio Valley Midstream (OVM) and Utica East Ohio (UEO) Midstream systems. CPPIB agreed to invest about $1.34 billion for a 35% ownership stake in the joint venture, while William will retain the majority stake.

SSE, one of the UK’s Big Six energy companies with more than 7 million customers, has chosen Contigo’s energy nomination and scheduling platform, enVoy, for electronic data transfer with National Grid. Since going live, the system already handled approximately two million submissions.

The President of Serbia, Aleksander Vucic, has confirmed his government is evaluating ways to support the construction for four gas-fired power plants and several LNG import terminals in a bid to encourage the country’s re-industrialization.Gazprom Energoholding offered to build and partially finance most of the proposed power plants.

Fitch Group affiliate BMI Research expects natural gas will contribute more than half of the UK’s electricity needs in less than 10 years, up from currently about 45%. Gas gains importance in the UK power sector amid Government policies to exit coal power by 2025, and as private investors cancelled some new nuclear power projects.

Aspiring full electrification by 2030, the Government of Myanmar has vowed to fast-track several gas-fired power projects as it aims to add some 3,000 MW to effectively double the country’s installed capacity over the next two to three years. Realizing this plan comes with a price tag of $5.16 billion, according to estimates by Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE).

Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries has achieved first fire at it S$420 million (US$310m) Mandalay combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Myanmar. With an installed capacity of 225 MW, the new Mandalay power plant is Myanmar’s biggest and most efficient CCGT, capable to generate up to 1,500 Gigawatthours (GWh) of electricity per year.

Works on $11 billion Nord Stream-2 twin pipeline project are 34% complete, with over 830km of pipes having been laid in the Baltic Sea to date, the Gazprom and Uniper chairmen, Alexey Miller and Bernhard Reutersberg said after a meeting in Moscow. Uniper is a key customer of Russian gas supplied through the 55 Bcm/y Nord Stream-2 interconnector.

China has chosen April 1 as the date when two-digit reductions in Value-Added Tax (VAT) will have to be implemented by key industries, including electric power producers, in bid to lower fuel costs and ultimately reduce electricity prices. Manufacturing companies will benefit from 13% to 16% VAT cuts, while construction and transport firms will pay around 10% less VAT and industrial users of thermal coal, including power producers will see VAT drop by 3%.

News in Brief

France imports more Russian gas

March 21 – Demand for Russian gas continues to grow in France, with Gazprom’s exports rising 5.4% last year to 12.9 billion cubic meters (bcm). The upward continued into early 2019 and provisional estimates show some 2.5 bcm of gas was exported to France from January 1 to March 14, 2019, a 1.9% increase on the previous year period, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller noted when discussing contractual supplies with his counterpart at ENGIE, Isabelle Kocher.

Merger wave grips UK oil &gas sector

March 20 – Significant pressures are here to stay in the UK oil and gas sector, with the trade association Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) saying the industry is facing a “new reality” amid high levels of M&A activity and the related transfer of assets. The ongoing consolidation process forces the industry to embrace new forms of collaboration and business models.

Chevron Nigeria to supply gas to Dangote

March 19 – Chevron Nigeria has agreed to supply natural gas to Dangote’s fertilizer plant in Nigeria. The deal is part of the international oil major’s gas supply obligation to the domestic market under the Nigerian Gas Master Plan.

POSCO wins $100m CHP deal in Mexico

March 18 – POSCO Engineering & Construction, part of the leading South Korean steelmaker POSCO, has signed a $100 million agreement with Ener AB to build a 100-MW combined heat and power plant in Mexico. Situated in Coahila, the CHP will serve the energy needs of the nearby Magnelec chemical plant.

Wood to install Siemens turbine in North Carolina

March 15 – Wood Group has secured a contract from Siemens to install a HL-class gas turbine at a power plant in North Carolina. Construction works are estimated to involve 400 people and last for approximately 11 months, Wood Group said. Once installed, the turbine will add 400 MW to the plant's existing capacity 1,200 MW. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

J-series turbine passes 750000 hours

March 14 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has announced their global fleet of J-Series gas turbines accumulated over 750,000 hours of commercial operation. The J-Series fleet now includes 39 turbines in commercial operation, with 28 of those exceeding 8,000 hours and the fleet leader having more than 45,000 hours of operation.

German gas prices up 9% in March

March 13 – Household energy prices in Germany have risen substantially in March 2019, compared to the same month in the previous year, according to the price comparison site Verivox.  Electricity prices increased 5% to a new record of 29.42 cents per kilowatt hour (ct/kWh) in March to date, up from 27.99 cents a year ago, while natural gas prices jumped 9% to 6.1 ct/kWh.

MAN turbines commissioned at Chinese CHP

March 12 – MAN Energy Solutions has installed and commissioned a MGT6000 gas turbine and a THM-series gas turbine at a combined heat and power (CHP) plant that replaces a coal-based power plant in Changsa, Hunan Province. Another MGT6000 just started commercial operation at a cogeneration plant, optimized to run on natural gas, at an industrial zone of Dongguan City in Guangdong Province.

Gazprom breaks ground on 200-MW CHP plant in Serbia

March 11 – Russia’s state-run Gazprom has started construction of a combined-cycle gas cogeneration plant near Pancevo Refinery in Serbia. The site is owned by Novi Sadpart, part of Gazprom Neft Group. The 200 MW plant will be Gazprom Energoholding Group’s first power project outside of the Russian Federation and is slated for commissioning in 2020

ABB pilots digital control rooms in Sweden

Jan 8 – Swiss-based ABB has launched a new digital solution for control centers that is being pioneered and tested in a pilot project by the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE). The cloud-based application works in synergy with many other ABB Ability solutions, and provides a platform for information-sharing.

MHPS opens new office in Bangladesh in bid to boost sales

Jan 7 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. (MHPS) has opened a branch office in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, to strengthen its regional sales capabilities for thermal power stations. With the economy growing 6% in recent years, the Bangladeshi government seeks to boost the nation’s power generation capacity from currently 17 GW to approximately 24 GW by 2021 and further to 40 GW by 2030. To reach this goal, Bangladesh has started importing LNG amid state supports for private sector investment in large scale LNG-to-Power projects.

Shell mulls sale of Mahanagar Gas stake

March 6 – Shell India, the local business of Royal Dutch Shell, is considering to exit its city gas distribution business by selling its 10% stake in Mahanagar Gas Ltd. Shell acquired the stake in connection with the BG takeover in 2016, and last year already offloaded most of shareholding two two bulk divestment deals.

Siemens buys KACO’s string inverter arm

Jan 5 – Siemens announced it will acquire the string inverter business of the KACO GmbH, a manufacturers of power electronics, for an undisclosed amount. Siemens said wants to integrate KACO in its new Smart Infrastructure Operating Company, and expects the deal to close in H1-2019.

Power gen dominates Rolls-Royce’s engine business

March 4 – For the first time, Rolls-Royce Power System has manufactured more engines for electric power generation than for marine propulsion, the UK-based company said when reporting solid full year results. Revenue surged 15% to a record €3.9 billion in 2018, with adjusted profit up at €358 million resulting in a 9.1% return on sales.

Siemens produces module batteries in Trondheim

March 1 – Siemens has invested in a battery module factory in Trondheim, northern Norway, equipping the factory with a robotizied and digitally supervised production line with eight 300 MWh stations. Up to 55 battery modules per shift can be assembled every day, for use mainly in the marine and offshore market.

GE CEO committed to reduce debt “soon”

Feb 28 – General Electric CEO Larry Culp, in his first letter to shareholders, has said the company has too much debt and needs to reduce it “thoughtfully and soon.” Seeking to rebuild the ailing manufacturer, Culp focuses on GE’s four core businesses: power, renewable energy, aviation and healthcare. By adopting a “disciplined financial policy,” he wants GE achieve an industrial net debt/EBITDA ratio of less than 2.5x and a dividend in line with peers over time.

IEA launches ESCOs directory

Feb 28 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has launched a new web resource dedicated entirely to energy service companies (ESCOs). The value of the global ESCO market grew 8% to $28.6 billion in 2017, helped by an 11% expansion in China and continued strong growth in the U.S.