Daily News

Gazprom and its main partner in China, CNPC, have reviewed the status of Russian natural gas supplies through the eastern route via the ‘Power or Siberia’ project. Following completion of the second tunnel under Amur River, the linear pipeline part from the Chayandinskoye field to the Chinese border is now 84.4% completed, both partners announced.

Published in Projects & Finance

With two ‘digital twins’ – the virtual replication of the physical electric generating asset – First Gen of the Philippines has become the first utility in Southeast Asia to adopt this technology. The Lopez-led gas power plants, built by Siemens, are now being showcased as ‘proof-of-concept’ for the new digital business model to customers in the region.

Shifting tact, Uniper CEO Klaus Schäfer has announced plans to expand the utility’s business supplying LNG to power generators in South America, Middle East and Asia. Speaking to investors he was adamant about Uniper’s aim to “remain independent” even after Fortum of Finland will acquire a significant stake in the German utility.

Published in Markets

China’s LNG trucking capacity is set to double in medium term and WoodMackenzie analysts see trucked LNG and distributed generation have the potential to create synergies. Yet, few distributed generation is currently fuelled by trucked LNG because most of these power units are in areas with pipeline coverage and enjoy discounted gas prices already.

Published in Markets

Seeking to monetize Canada’s abundant natural gas reserves Shell has agreed to its former rival Petronas joining the US$11 billion LNG Canada project with the aim of making a financial investment decision by the end of this year. However, costs will remain a major concern of the project, Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Prasanth Kakaraparthi cautioned, advising the companies to try take advantage of the latest tax breaks announced by the government of British Columbia.

Published in Markets

Outages of power systems have severe financial implications: unplanned downtime can cost an LNG facility as much as $4 million per day. With potential costs so high, profitability is largely linked with unplanned downtime. According to GE Power estimates, unplanned shutdowns in the process industry globally cost 5% of total annual production — that’s as much as $30 billion a year.

China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will unify China’s residential and industrial city-gate natural gas pricing systems from June 10 to better reflect rising demand and costs. The new mechanism will allow gas prices to rise by no more than 20% from a benchmark price, NDRC stated, which is “more flexible” than the existing one which since 2010 kept a ceiling on residential gas prices at at 1.4 yuan (about $0.22) per cubic metres.

Published in Regulation & Policy

Philippine’s dominant power producer First Gen is looking to cooperate with San Miguel Corp., a conglomerate invested in local energy infrastructure, to jointly realize a $1.2 billion LNG import terminal in Batangas province with a regasification capacity of 3-5 mtpa. The imported gas will be designated for the 1,200-MW Ilijan combined-cycle gas power plant, operated by San Miguel, that could be expanded by up to 1,800 MW.

Published in Markets

May 24 – Peter Altmaier, the Germany economy minister, has defended construction of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline, which Washington and many eastern European countries, would like to block. Altmaier attributed the U.S. opposition to its aspiration to boost its own shale gas exports. "They are looking for markets [for LNG], which we can understand, and they can land it here easily," he told German media, "But it is much more expensive than pipeline gas, so blocking Nord Stream-2 on its own won't guarantee exports."

Published in Brief news

Mexico, the largest buyer of US pipeline gas and LNG, is preparing a tender for strategic storage at depleted oil and gas reservoirs. Cenagas, the Mexican National Natural Gas Control Centre, has already selected four underground sites – Acuyo, Brasil, Jaf and Saramako – from a list of 15 proposed sites. Registering strong bidding interest from foreign players, the Mexican Energy Secretariat (Sener) will hold the tender in September 2018.

Published in Regulation & Policy
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News in Brief

ABB relays help protect Brussels power grid

Oct 23 – Sibelga, the distribution system operator (DSO) of the Brussels metropolitan area, implements ABB’s Relion 615 series relays to ensure a protected power supply for 700,000 citizens. The agreement will see ABB add medium-voltage control relays to remote terminal units (RTUs), most of which will be retrofitted.

Fuel-switch capability falls

Oct 22 – U.S. manufacturers’ capability to switch fuels keeps falling because the equipment onsite does not support it. The amount of commonly used fuels that could readily be switched in less than 30 days dropped from 24% in 1994 to currently less than 10%, according to EIA figures. This trend leaves manufacturers vulnerable and less able to adapt to changes in regulations, market conditions and fuel prices.

Gazprom Export joins tax monitoring

Oct 19 – As Gazprom Groups transitions to a new form of tax control – tax monitoring, Gazprom Export will be the first unit to join the new regime as of January 1, 2019. Russia’s Federal Taxation Service (FTS) will be given remote access to Gazprom Export's data mart, with the new cooperation intended to streamline tax administration practices, reduce audit costs, and bring tax disputes to a minimum.

Wärtsilä 31DF engine to power cruise ship

Oct 18 – Wärtsilä’s 31DF dual-fuel engine has been selected to power a polar ice-class cruise vessel, built for the French operator Ponant at the Vard Søviknes yard in Norway. The equipment is scheduled to be delivered in 2020, one year before the in-service date of the cruise ship.

U.S. navy bases mulled to handle coal, gas exports

Oct 17 – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has proposed using some West Coast naval facilities to handle U.S. coal or natural gas exports, thereby circumventing local opposition. In particular, the abandoned military base at on Adak Island could be an option as an LNG export hub, he said.

DHIC partners with Dell EMC

Oct 16 – Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction (DHIC) has partnered with Dell EMC on digital energy, and the first joint project is to implement a digital solution at an Indian power plant. The Dell EMC system has a built-in power plant combustion optimizer, developed by DHIC based on the SAP platform.

IEA reviews Brazilian gas market

Oct 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a review of the opening of Brazil’s natural gas transportation system. Through its Gás para Crescer initiative, the Brazilian government sets a plan to liberalize the local energy market by enhancing the build-out of natural gas and electricity interconnectors, unbundling of TSOs and implementing of network codes.

Global GT market looses value

Oct 12 – Though Asia emerges as No.1 market for gas turbines, the overall value of the global gas turbine market  is forecast to decline over the coming five years. According to a Global Data report, the market value between now and 2022 will be $37.97 billion, down compared with $52.39 billion in the 2013-2017 period.

FERC approves $6bn CenterPoint/Vectren merger

Oct 11 – US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the $6 billion merger of CenterPoint Energy and Vectren, whereby shareholders of the latter will be paid $72.00 in cash for each CenterPoint share. Vectren CEO Carl Chapman welcomed the ruling and added the companies “now anticipate a closing no later than the first quarter of 2019.”

Dürr buys part of Babcock & Wilcox

Oct 10 – Dürr Group, a Germany-based mechanical and plant engineering firm, has completed the acquisition Babcock & Wilcox’ (B&W) industrial environmental technology business. The takeover broadens Dürr’s portfolio on exhaust-air purification technologies, with a workforce of around 1,500 and estimated sales of € 400 million.

Azure achieves $12.50 per share

Oct 9 – India-based Azure Power Global Ltd has priced its underwritten public offering of 14,800,000 equity shares at a price of $12.50 per equity share. The company also granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,200,000 shares at the same price, less underwriting discounts and commissions. The offering will close on October 10, 2018.

Global gas use grows at 2%/yr

Oct 8 – The International Gas Union (IGU) expects global gas consumption to grow by 1.6 to 2% per year in the coming decades. “Competitiveness, affordability, and eco-friendliness will remain essential in that regard,” said IGU President Joe M. Kang.

Financing agreed for EVM-II plant in Mexico

Oct 5 – A financing package of $740 million has been agreed for the Energias del Valle de Mexico II (EVM-II) combined-cycle power plant. Commercial banks involved in the financing were led by BNP Paribas, Citi, SMBC, and Mexico’s Banco National del Comercio Exterior. Milbank served as legal advisor.

MAN wins award for small-scale LNG paper

Oct 4 – A whitepaper by MAN Energy Solutions entitled ‘Small-scale LNG - powering the future of Asia’s island communities’ has won the Best Paper Award at this year’s Power-Gen Asia trade show. The paper ties in with MAN’s new strategy to deliver the entire value chain from small scale regas and import terminals to decentralized gas- and dual-fuel engine, and turbine-driven power plants. Carsten Dommermuth, International Business Development Manager, said “this setup is a real advantage for customers seeking to source a complete LNG-to-Power solution from the same provider.”

IEA laments steep drop in clean energy investment

Oct 3 – The latest steep drop in clean energy investment is “worrying,” according to Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Official figures show spending on renewables fell to $298 billion worldwide in 2017, down from $318bn in the previous year, marking the biggest absolute fall on record.

Siemens closes Mendix acquisition

Oct 2 – The German engineering conglomerate Siemens has closed the Mendix acquisition, just eight weeks after the transaction was first announced. Part of Siemens’ Vision 2020+ strategy, the integration of Medix digital platform is aimed at creating new SaaS solutions and extensions, particularly for the Digital Enterprise Software, MindSphere.

Merger of BASF Wintershall and DEA goes ahead

Oct 1 – BASF Group has agreed to merge its German oil and gas business BASF Winterhall and with Deutsche Erdöl AG (DEA), owned by the Russian investor group LetterOne. The joint venture will operate under the name Wintershall DEA.