Italy has declared a state of emergency for energy after an explosion at Austria’s Baumgarten gas hub on Tuesday interrupted onward flows of Russian gas imports from the strategic hub towards Italy, the Balkans and southern Germany. Gas and power prices soared across Europe as the Baumgarten blast adds to fears over winter supply security, already impacted by Monday’s emergency closure of the UK’s Forties Pipeline System.
Chinese authorities have mandated power producers in some regions to return to burning coal, responding to acute gas shortages. Coal imports rebounded from a three-month low in November as utilities seek to replenish stocks prior to the period of peak winter demand.
Returning to Libya with contracts in the range of 700 million euros, Siemens will expand the installed power generation capacity of state-owned General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) by 1.3 GW. The deals will see Siemens build a 650 MW open-cycle power plant in Misrata, and a 690 MW open-cycle power plant in Tripoli West.
The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded a 7-year operation and maintenance (O&M) agreement to ensure efficiency and reliability of Termo Mechero Morro's power plant near Yopal in Colombia. The latest servicing deals expands on an earlier Wärtsilä construction contract (EPC) for the gas-powered plant, which is set to begin production in December 2017.
Dec 12 – Italy’s Printing House of Martinengo, a major supplier to global fashion and couture brands, has partnered with ABB to upgrade with Ekip UP, digitizing its existing switchgear and circuit breakers. ABB Ekip UP is ideal for updating older facilities, capturing data and sharing it with cloud-based energy management functions without any other meter or external gateway required.
Demand for natural gas in Spain has reached a record 1,670 GWh on December 4 – the highest level seen in the past six years. Outage of one nuclear plant, combined with low wind power availability, propelled up gas demand from the power sector; but Enagas expects demand will rise further as the winter progresses.
Attending the inauguration of Novatek’s landmark $27-billion Yamal LNG plant, the Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih confirmed the Middle East oil nation is considering investing in future LNG projects in the Russian Arctic. Talks are being held about setting up a $1 billion energy fund, aimed at fostering future supply of Russian LNG as part of a Saudi government plan to use more gas for power generation.
Fluctuation in power supply to the grid amid rising renewable penetration has been increasing the need for black-start generators. Analysts expect this market will grow at a rate of 3.8%, up from an estimated $1.24 billion this year to $1.50 billion by 2021.
Toning down its green energy ambitions, the Government of South Korea has backed away from plans to convert four out of nine planed coal-fired power plant projects to run on natural gas. Instead, only one coal-to-gas conversion is now likely to go ahead, the country’s energy minister said over the weekend.
Strong seasonal gas demand this winter for power generation and heating, along with high spot LNG prices in Asia and Europe, are forecast to push up US LNG export volumes. Utilization at Sabine Pass is projected to remain well above 90% in winter 2017–2018, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) anticipates.