Daily News

Trucking LNG to remote demand centres has surged in China amid a policy push to switch from coal to natural gas in power generation. Pipeline networks take years to develop, hence LNG trucking increased to 8.8 million tons in the first quarter of 2021, up 45.2% year-on-year.

Cummins and KBR have joined forces to produce ammonia from renewables. The partners will use Cummins’ proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser as well as K-GreeN ammonia technology from KBR, with the aim to fuel 250+ MW power projects with both hydrogen and ammonia.

Cleantech startup Geyser Batteries has developed a water-based electrochemical battery technology and is now taking steps to manufacture its novel battery cells and modules. A pilot production site will be built in Mikkeli, Eastern Finland, due operational before next summer.

Tesla, VW and China’s BYD have started to clean up emission-intensive battery production for electric vehicles. Most scale up assembly lines and run them on renewables. Tesla’s Gigafactory, being built near Berlin, could eventually also produce utility-scale batteries for energy storage.

South Korea, the world’s third-largest LNG importer, will likely see natural gas demand rise 15% over the next 12 years as the country transitions from coal to gas generation and renewables. The energy ministry forecasts gas demand will amount to 41.7 million this year, and grow to 47.9 mt by 2034.

If the world takes decisive actions to limit global warming to 2°C by 2050, the scale of change is likely to unravel the energy industry. “Progressive electrification will squeeze the most polluting hydrocarbons out of the energy mix,” Wood Mackenzie says, forecasting oil demand will take a hit while gas demand remains resilient.

New York-based New Fortress Energy (NFE) today has posted first-quarter net loss of $39.5 million as it strives to complete LNG import projects for the local power sector in Mexico and Nicaragua in the next two months. “Developments are advancing on budget and schedule,” the company said, adding the terminals are due operational in Q2-2021.

Schlumberger New Energy, the energy transition unit of the US oilfield service giant, is developing a lithium extraction pilot plant in response to growing demand for utility-scale battery storage in the transport and power sector. To be built through NeoLith Energy in Clayton Valley, Nevada, the pilot plant is due operational before the end of 2021.

Electricity Supply Board‘s (ESB), Ireland’s largest utility, has ordered a grid stabilizing system from Siemens Energy for Moneypoint power station where ESB launched a ‘Green Atlantic’ project. The coal power site in County Clare will be transformed into a green energy hub, based on renewables and hydrogen with a view to powering 1.6 million homes.

The rapid build-out of Philippine LNG import and power project puts many assets at risk of becoming stranded. The total investment in ports, LNG regas facilities, pipelines and power plants is estimated at over $13.6 billion (PHP 653.5bn), but much might be underutilized, analysts warned, as renewables become cheaper.

The Port of Rotterdam plans to take a financial investment decision on its H-Vision project this year, with a view to producing hydrogen from natural gas and refinery fuels gas by the end of 2026. Such fossil fuel-based, “blue” hydrogen projects, however, do not enjoy the same support as “green” hydrogen projects, based on renewables.

Siemens Energy today posted a substantial rise in second quarter orders, up 39% to €10.5 billion, driven by the wind turbine segment. However, the German OEM lowered the upper end of its revenue growth forecast for fiscal 2021 to 3-8%, amid weaker-than-expected demand and project delays.

News in Brief

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

Gazprom evaluates cost of grey hydrogen

June 30 – Scientific studies by Gazprom and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) seek to solve technical challenges in producing grey hydrogen through steam reforming in the most cost-efficient way, as well as transporting the fuel to end-users. The findings of the studies will be factored into Gazprom's sustainable development scenarios up to 2050.

Redox about to overtake Li-ion batteries

June 28 – Li-ion batteries have dominated the energy storage field, but are expected to lose their leading role in stationary applications. According to IDTechEx findings, Redox flow batteries are gaining traction and are likely to overtake the installed Li-ion battery energy capacity before the end of 2030.

B&W proceeds with waste-to-energy projects

June 25 – Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) renewable segment has received limited notice to proceed for a waste-to-energy project in Europe as it finalizes terms for a $24 million contract with the customer. Ohio-based B&W said it looks to capitalize on an estimated addressable market of more than $7 billion in Europe over the next three years.

Japan’s gas-burn on the rise

June 24 – LNG imports for power generation in Japan have rebounded with steady volumes from the Middle East and Australia and higher cargo numbers from Russia and the US, though LNG deliveries were outpaced by thermal coal shipments. The May 2021 LNG shipments amounted to 4.95 million tonnes, or around 73 cargoes, a 8.2% rise on volumes received in May 2020, according to trade figures by the Japanese finance ministry.

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