Daily News

Sluggish industrial demand will impact US gas prices at Henry Hub well into the New Year. Baseload industrial gas demand is forecast to only reach pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter of 2021, with US Steel having over half of its tubular production capacity idled as pipeline projects are on hold.

Kansas-headquartered Burns & McDonnell has been selected to act as owner’s engineer for Kineticor’s Cascade gas power plant in Edson, Alberta. The $1.5 billion project is designed to generate 900 MW of electricity and is scheduled to start full commercial operation by 2023.

If China is serious about becoming carbon neutral by 2060 it has to clamp down on coal, the International Energy Agency (IEA) argues. Beyond 2040, there is “practically no carbon budget for unabated coal generation," so China’s next 5-Year Plant needs to cap unabated coal use.

Newly-listed Siemens Energy has reported a net loss of €390 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of €79 million in the previous-year period. The Berlin-based company had to adjust its aero-derivative gas turbine segment, writing down €956 million.

GenCell, along with other fuel cell makers, have urged the incoming US President to focus on hydrogen. The Biden administration’s climate plan will see $400 billion spent on clean energy over 10 years, and fuel cell makers want a similar commitment to building out the hydrogen economy.

US-Vietnamese joint venture Chan May is developing a $6 billion integrated LNG import and power plant in central Vietnam’s Hue province. The first 2,400 MW of generating capacity is meant to be operational by 2026, followed by an additional 1,600 MW by 2028.

Jo Biden is set to transform US energy policies, promising a boost for offshore wind and restrictions for hydrocarbons. The President-elect pledged to end sales of new leases on public lands and waters. If permanent, this would lower US offshore oil and gas production by about 30% by 2035.

Targeting industrial customers, Siemens has worked with MW Storage, Fluence and Vibeco to develop a new virtual power plant (VPP) with energy storage, supported by financing. The first project will be installed at the Finnish brewery Sinebrychoff, part of Carlsberg Group, by summer 2021.

Cummins has installed QSV91G gas generators at a new 16 MW power plant in the city of Dawei. Myanmar’s southern trade hub has been suffering from inadequate power supply and grid infrastructure, so the government asked Petro & Trans Co to install a fast-ramp power plant.

Austria-based INNIO, formerly part of GE, has acquired the two firms ECI-Distribution and PowerUp in an effort to increase its expertise in service and components for gas engine and cogeneration plants. The transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals.

Natural gas use by Mexico’s industries and power generators has recovered since August after having slumped to 7.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in May 2020 following Covid-related lockdowns. The demand rebound sparked a rise in US gas exports, almost all transported by pipeline.

Gazprom has obtained commercial gas inflow of over 1 million cubic meters per day at the Leningradskoye field, which proves the field’s productivity is “much higher than anticipated.” Development of the Russian Arctic Shelf is key to ensure reliable long-term gas supplies to customers in Europe.

News in Brief

First 8-cylinder B36:45 engine delivered

Jan 19 – Rolls-Royce has delivered the first 8-cylinder variant of its Bergen B36:45 gas engine to a tomato producer in Belgium. The medium speed genset is planned for delivery this spring and will drive an onsite power plant that generates 4700 kW electricity and 5520 kW heat. The new engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder and will replace an existing Bergen 12-cylinder B35:40 genset.

Moody’s upgrades Enel to Baa1

Jan 18 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Enel’s long-term rating to Baa1, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects Enel’s progress in reducing its risk profile, analysts said, pointing at the Italian utilities ongoing investment in networks and renewables, growing geographical diversification and focus on centralised financing.

GE sues Siemens Energy

Jan 15 – General Electric has sued its German rival Siemens Energy over the alleged use of stolen trade secrets to win gas turbine contracts worth several billion dollars. GE told the US district court in Virginia that Siemens received the secret information from a Dominion Energy employee.

Orbital Energy launches Eclipse

Jan 14 – Nasdaq-listed Orbital Energy Group has launched a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation, a drilled shaft construction company. The new company specialises in providing services for power transmission and substations, communication tower and a disaster restoration through emergency power.

S’Korean coal and LNG imports slide

Jan 13 – South Korea’s imports of thermal coal and LNG have fallen 12% and 11%, respectively, as the government cracks down on fossil fuel usage to curb air pollution. Customs data shows that coal imports amounted to 10.2 million tons in December, down 1.4 million tons from the same month last year but up from November’s imports of 9.5 million tons.

SMC builds 1.7 GW CCGT in Batangas

Jan 13 – Excellent Energy Resources, part of SMC Global Power Holdings, is building a 1,700 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Barangay Dela Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City with investments of about 67.863 billion Philippine Pesos ($1.41bn). The project is estimated to be completed in 36 to 40 months.

UK’s National Grid issues supply warning

Jan 12 – Natural gas prices in the UK surged as National Grid issued warnings on supply deficit as LNG cargoes are being diverted to North Asia. Prices at the British NBP gas trading hub soared to the equivalent of $8.95 per MMBtu, while the JKM price for North Asian spot LNG cargoes for February 2021 was last at $19.700 per MMBt.

Fortistar invests in hydrogen

Jan 11 – Fortistar, a privately-held fund, has joined an equity investment of up to $157 million in hydrogen producer BayoTech. Cottonwood Technology Funds and the New Mexico State Investment Council also participated in the latest financing round. BayoTech’s systems produce local hydrogen close to the application, serving end users in the industrial gas and petrochemical segment as well as those who use of hydrogen to power fuel cells.

Ashtead appoints new CFO

Jan 5 - Ashtead Technology has appointed a chief financial officer (CFO) and five managers for newly created roles across its international team. The appointments are meant to cement the company’s position in the offshore energy market, including offshore wind and decommissioning of thermal power plants

NFE secures LNG for Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua

Dec 23 – New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to purchase Henry-Hub-indexed LNG for its integrated gas and power businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. The New York-based project developer said it now has covered 80% of its expected needs throughout Latin America, thus reducing its need for spot purchases and its exposure to changes in the market price for LNG.

China and Korea mandate coal-to-gas switch

Dec 22 – The Chinese government has launched a coal-to-gas boiler switching programme, targeting 7.1 million homes, which makes gas demand more weather-sensitive this winter. Similarly, South Korea mandated the closure of 15 coal-fired plants since the start of December in an effort to reduce air pollution. Analysts expect this will accelerate the drawdown of LNG terminal inventories going into Q1-2021.

GE repowers oil field in Brazil

Dec 21 – GE Power Conversion has been awarded a contract by Sulzer Pumps UK to supply motors for four water injection pumps of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The 8,000 kW, two pole motors will run at 3,600 rpm with a limitation of the starting current at 300%, enabling the oil and gas field operator to optimise the generator which supplies electricity on the FPSO.

VELO distributes Sapphire Metal 3D-Printers in the US

Dec 18 – California-based VELO3D has formed a distribution partnership with GoEngineer for Flow pre-print software, Sapphire metal AM printer, and Assure quality assurance and controls. GoEngineer will be VELO’s only distributor in the United States.

Indian electric boats to achieve zero emissions

Dec 17 – Cochin Shipyard, India’s largest shipbuilder, has asked Siemens Energy to equip India’s first fleet of 23 boats with electric propulsion drive train, integrated with batteries and vessel automation. Combining the electric propulsion drive trains, energy storage, and automation systems is expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption.

Terna BESS auction six times oversubscribed

Dec 16 – A pilot auction, held by the Italian TSO Terna, for battery energy storage systems (BESS) to provide reserve grid services has been six times oversubscribed. The auction was held with an expectation that around 230 MW would be on offer, but Terna received 1,327 MW worth of bids and eventually awarded contracts for 249.9 MW.

New £150m link to UK’s Easington terminal

Dec 15 – National Grid has completed a gas pipeline under the River Humber, build in 18 months and at a cost £150 million, as new link to the import terminal at Easington. Following commissioning, the pipeline is now operational and can now transport between 70 to 100 million cubic metres - around a quarter of Britain's gas needs.

US emissions fall 11%

Dec 14 – Energy sector-related emissions in the US are expected to fall 11% this year, largely due economic and behavioural effects the coronavirus pandemic. According to the EIA's December Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), emissions in 2020 are forecast fall by 19% for coal, by 13% for petroleum, and by 2% for natural gas.

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