The UK Shale Gas Commissioner Natascha Engel has resigned after just six months in office, stating she quit over “ridiculously low” tremor limits which effectively prevent fracking. Under current law, the fracking process must be halted every time a 0.5 magnitude tremor occurs. Opposing these stringent rules, Ms Engel said this cautious approach had created a ‘de-facto ban on fracking’.
The French utility ENGIE has signed a deal to divest its entire coal-fired power generation assets in Germany and the Netherlands to Riverstone Holdings, a global energy-focused investment firm. The sale of the four units, with a combined capacity 2,345 MW, will reduce ENGIE’s net debt by approximately €200 million.
Although the owners of three new Dutch coal power stations – ENGIE, RWE and Uniper – are burdened with around €4 billion in losses due to market headwinds and a mandated coal phase-out, only ENGIE has chosen to divested its assets. RWE and Uniper, in contrast, seek compensation for shutting down their plants which risks delaying the shift to clean energy in the Netherlands.
Economic growth, combined with a rapidly expanding population, has led to an investment boost in the Indonesian power sector which is forecast to quadruple in size over the coming decade, growing at a 18.7% rate to reach $63.6 billion in market value by 2022. Coal-fired power will retain its leading position while decentralized LNG-fuelled projects also gain attractiveness.
JERA, the world’s largest LNG buyer and owner of half of Japan’s power generating capacity, has pledged to reduce its reliance on coal power faster than the government’s official target. The aim is to scale down the contribution of coal in Japan’s energy mix from 33% in 2016 to less than 26% by 2030.
The UK Government has been urged by the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee that it needs to do more, and act quicker, on vital clean energy technology such as carbon capture and storage (CCS). The Committee calls for firm targets for storing CO₂, and to deploy CCS sooner and in more places than government’s current plan.
GE Power has completed the installation of Advanced Gas Path (AGP) upgrades on four 9E gas turbines at the West Damietta Power Plant (4x125MW), operated by the East Delta Electricity Production Company. The upgrades help enhance the turbines' fuel efficiency by 2.2% and generate up to 18 MW of additional output at the site.
South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) has released a briefing note, detailing the nation’s ambition to move away from coal and towards renewable energy. If realized, these policies are expected to significantly reduce Korea’s coal imports from Australia. Analysts see significant implications for KEPCO’s Bylong Coal mine proposal.
The Finish marine and energy technology company Wärtsilä has posted an 8% growth in net sales to €1,151 million for the period from January to March 2019, and a 6% rise in order intake to € 1,416 million. “Demand improved in the gas carrier segment but despite this positive development, reduced activity in the energy markets resulted in a decline in group order intake,” Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola said.
Energy trade between Mexico and the United States has undergone massive change. The value of U.S. exports of petroleum products nearly tripled from $10.4 billion in 2008 to a record high of $30.5 billion in 2018, while U.S. energy imports from Mexico stayed a near record low of $15.8 billion for a second year in a row.
Power Grid Corporation of India has chosen Siemens to modernize the country's 30-year old high voltage direct current (HVDC) link, the 550 MW Vindhyachal power line. By installing its latest HVDC components and replace the thyristor valves, Siemens will extend the useful life of the interconnector. The upgrade is due to be completed in 2021.
Bangladesh is getting ready to commission its second floating storage and regas unit (FSRU) in an effort to import more LNG for use in the power sector. Moored offshore the port of Cox’s Bazar, the FSRU vessel ‘Summit LNG’ has been chartered from Excelerate Energy in a project involving Summit Power.
An Iraqi cement producer has awarded a repeat order to Wärtsilä to supply dual-fuel engines and related equipment for a 20 MW power plant that will serve the Najmat Al-Samawa factory. The equipment is scheduled for delivery in late 2019, for the plant to become fully operational in Q3-2020.
“Enormous efforts” still have to be made if Germany wants to reach its climate and energy targets in the transport and buildings sectors. Government calculations show that renewables will cover more than their target share but energy use in transport keeps growing and is likely to exceed 2005 levels next year and in 2030.
The U.S.-based Fortune 500 power company AES Corp is divesting its interests in six power plants in Jordan and the United Kingdom for a total of $211 million. Andrés Gluski, AES’ President and CEO said the company decided to cut back the number of countries in which it operates and will shift its focus to renewables, energy storage and LNG.