The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the PennEast pipeline in a 4-1 vote, acknowledging the clear need for more gas transport infrastructure along the East Coast. The $1 billion PennEast interstate pipeline will bring up to 1 billion cubic feet of daily low-cost Marcellus gas to customers in southeast Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Jan 23 – Robust winter demand has propelled up gas prices in Northern China, prompting the government to ease restrictions on coal-burn for power generation. Domestic gas production subsequently increased. In December alone, gas production stood at 13.61 Bcm, up 2.3% year on year - the highest monthly rise since 2010, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
China’s new'2+26' cities policy – a pledge to cut emission in the country’s 28 northern cities by 15% year-on-year in the winter months – is limiting the use of coal for power generation and in industries. As an alternative to coal, gas demand could rise by 23 bcm this year compared to previous winters, according to WoodMackenzie projections. In fact, Chinese LNG imports almost doubled last month, surging 95.7% compared to October 2016, to reach 3.57 million tonnes, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity (MoE) has awarded GE Power a $400 million contract to develop 14 electric substations on a turnkey basis, including supply of transformers and circuit breakers to rehabilitate existing substations. The aim of the project is to bring electricity to remote areas in Iraq with crippling power shortages.
Alarmed about the scale of gas shortages in Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is considering restrictions on LNG exports from Australia’s eastern coast. Santos, Shell and ConocoPhillips have been urged to help plug an estimated shortfall of up to 17% of market demand in 2018.
EnergyAustralia, one of the nation’s three big power generators, is understood to have hired Morgan Stanley to advise on a bid for IFM Investor’s gas-fired power stations in Victoria. The sale of two Ecogen assets, with a combined capacity of 960 MW, comes amid heightened uncertainty over Australia’s clean energy policy which has propelled up gas and electricity prices.
Taiwan’s recent massive blackout raises questions of the government’s wider energy policy which, according to Dr. Guo Yu, principal Asia analyst at Maplecroft, “does not pose an immediate threat to government stability.” However, it may determine the political fortunes of President Tsai and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party as we approach the next election cycle in 2020.
Falling costs for renewables and energy storage will squeeze out gas-fired generation in South Australia as early as 2025, Wood Mackenzie and GTM Research find. By then, wind, solar and battery costs are seen decline by 15%, 25% and 50% respectively – hence they offer a “lower cost alternative” to CCGTs, which cover the bulk of South Australia’s base load power today.
As war-torn Iraq seeks to raise electrification levels, it is becoming increasingly dependent on natural gas from neighbouring Iran to compensate for shortfalls in its domestic gas production. “New power stations are entering into service soon, hence the country’s need for gas imports,” Iraqi News quoted the electricity minister, Qasim Al-Fahdawi.
Unexpected shut-down of two of Nigeria’s power plants on Sunday has increased the number of idle plants to nine and made the nation’s electricity supply nosedive to just over 3,400 MW – a significant drop from last week’s average of 3,920 MW. The latest shut-downs, caused by gas shortages, affected the 625 MW Olorunsogo-II unit and the Trans-Amadi plant (25 MW).