Daily News

Lawmakers in the U.S. Congress are preparing to hit European investors in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline with a new set of sanctions in an effort to derail the project. Uniper, Winterhall, Engie, OMW and Shell are invested in the Baltic Sea interconnector, and the sanctions could come as soon as February or March.

Quadra’s 233 MW Voronezh CHP plant has successfully run its first week of commercial operation since February 1, using four of GE’s Sprint LM6000 gas turbines. The additional aeroderivative gas turbines enhance flexibility reliability of the Voronezh combined-cycle unit.

MAN Energy Solution has launched an intelligent constant monitoring device for industrial lube oil. The certified device has recorded over 18,000 test hours on pilot industrial sites and complies with CE standards. It also received its first order is for third-party equipment in the Pacific region.

Indonesia, home to 260 million people, will see its population reach 300 million by 2030  which pushes up power consumption 6.4 percent annually from 2,400 TWh per year seen today to 4,400 TWh/year. Considering Indonesia’s “limited renewables potential,” MHPS reckons the country’s rising electricity demand will largely be met by new gas-fired power units.

Eager to avert power shortages in Yangon, the government of Myanmar has asked Wärtsilä to deliver eight 50SG engines for two power plants with 292 MW combined capacity. The two LNG-fuelled gensets are meant to be installed and operational within a matter of months.

Italian turbine manufacturer Ansaldo has approved its 2020-24 Business Plan to reposition its service segment by “exploring partnerships” for its subsidiaries PSM and Ansaldo Thomassen, or the “sale of company stakes.” Compared with past years, Ansaldo said its order book is “more balanced” in 2020, hence some 100 million Euros can be spent on new production technology.

Green hydrogen, produced with renewables using electrolysers, is hoped to become the ‘new oil’ and develop into one of the most essential vectors in the decarbonisation process. “The technology already exists to make it possible; the next step is to scale it up to enable it to serve the common interest,” argues the French author Thierry Lepercq.

Electricity demand has plunged in China’s Hubei province, where factories and construction sites are dormant as workers are told to stay home to contain the coronavirus. Industry accounts for nearly 70 percent of electricity demand, so the quarantine in Hubei slashed peak power load to 22.5 GW, some 21 percent lower than planned.

Anticipating “moderate revenue growth” for Gas and Power, Siemens hopes to reach an adjusted EBITA margin of 2-5% in fiscal 2020. Hence, the company is pushing through a wider cost optimization program with 1,000 million Euros in savings at the Gas and Power segment “on track and confirmed.”

German industrial giant Siemens has “got off to a somewhat slow start into the new fiscal year,” CEO Joe Kaeser noted when presenting first quarter results. Revenues fell 1 percent to 20.32 billion Euros due to a 4 percent drop in orders, hence Kaeser did not rule out redundancies at the energy division.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and NTK Spark Plug have joint forces to manufacture and sell cylindrical cell stacks – a key element used in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). The new joint venture CECYLLS will use NTK’s ceramic knowledge to produce the cell stacks that can efficiently utilize heat.

Advances in technology and drilling techniques have allowed for production of U.S. crude oil and natural gas to keep rising despite fewer wells. According to government figures, the total number of wells fell to just 982,000 last year, down from a peak of 1,035,000 wells.

News in Brief

Zhonghua’s profits halve

April 1 – Hong Kong-listed Zhonghua Gas Holdings has recorded a staggering 46.7% fall in profit, citing a lower margin for LNG supplies and reduced subsidies, although full-year revenue rose by 7.3%. In December, Zhonghua partnered with Shanghai Shenergy to supply LNG in the Yangtze River Delta region, and also has strong business relationships with Tractebel Engineering and Tianjin Jinre Heat-Supply Group.

Endesa donates $28m to fight coronavirus

March 31 – Endesa has created a 25 million euros ($27.8 million) fund to help fight the coronavirus pandemic in Spain. The Spanish utility, subsidiary of Enel, said the fund will be designated for purchases of protective equipment for health-care workers.

 

MAN develops liquid methane terminal in Swedish port

March 30 – OxGas has commissioned MAN Energy Solutions to act as ‘owners engineer’ to develop and build a liquefied methane-based fuels terminal in the Swedish Port of Oxelösund. The terminal will feed both LNG and green methane derived from bio gas to SSAB ’s local steel production, and to re-distribute it via train and trailers to other parts of Sweden for use in the steel industry and decentralized power generation.

American ISOs to delay grid investments

March 27 – North America’s independent system operators (ISO) are considering delaying investments in grid upgrades and enhancement as electricity demand weakens due to industry shutdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic. PJM Interconnection, the largest U.S. bulk power market which spans 13 Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, revised its daily forecast of about 100,000 MW of load but actual demand came in at 95,500 MW.

Wärtsilä starts combustion trials using ammonia

March 26 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has initiated combustion trials using ammonia in an effort to reduce emissions. Based on initial results, the tests will be continued on both dual-fuel and spark-ignited gas engines, followed by field tests in collaboration with ship owners from 2022, and potentially also with energy customers.

Xodus sees growth in cable services

March 25 – Xodus Group has stepped up services related to subsea power cables over the last twelve months. The number of new consulting assignments grew by more than 50%, resulting in more than 70 active work streams that are handled by more 30 permanent staff.

Electricity “more indispensible than ever”

March 24 – Disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis lay bare how much modern societies rely on electricity, according to the International Energy Agency (IAE). Millions of people are mandated to stay home, causing a surge in teleworking, e-commerce and video streaming which pushes up domestic electricity use.

U.S. frackers cut Capex

March 23 – Sharp cuts in capital spending among Appalachian gas producers are now being replicated in other U.S. basis, with Energy Aspects anticipating the deepest impact on production and earnings to take place starting from the second half of 2020. So far, E&P companies just hedged 52% of this year’s expected production even though some Appalachian producers are seen “lock in some pure gas volumes at prices above the curve.”

EV makers face bankrupcy

March 20 – Electric vehicles (EVs) remain particularly exposed to the corona effect of supply-side constraints and demand erosion. Gigafactory facilities are likely to be delayed and fledging EV manufacturers could face bankruptcy, Wood Mackenzie warns. On the flip side, declines in EV sector demand may be gains for the stationary energy storage segment.

Manufacturing rebounds in Asia

March 19 – Asian-dominant supply chains for solar and energy storage are gradually rebounding after contractions in February. Moving forward, Wood Mackenzie expects near-term development activity and local logistics in leading European and North American markets will outweigh lingering supply issues.

Italy’s gas demand plunges

March 18 – Corona-struck Italy has seen demand for natural gas plunge 8% from the previous week, with similar declines likely in other EU countries as national governments impose lockdowns to contain the virus. Industrial demand is “particularly volatile,” while gas generators will bear the brunt of demand loss, Wood Mackenzie says, as a carbon price decline is bolstering thermal coal.

Nexif raises funds for Rayong CHP

March 17 – Nexif Energy, a joint venture between Singapore-based Nexif and Denham Capital, has raised project financing for the Rayong gas-fired cogeneration project in Thailand. The 92 MW plant is being developed project with Ratch Group, based on 25-year power purchase agreement with Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).

ADB provides $10m loan for Afghan IPP

March 16 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide $10 million in debt financing for a gas-fired power unit in Mazari Sharif with a capacity of nearly 60 MW. Phase-1 of the Independent Power Project (IPP) will get another $10 million loan from the Leading Asia's Private Sector Infrastructure Fund (LEAP).

IEA models 50% Carbon-Free Generation

March 13 – Analysts at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) have drawn up the 50% Carbon-Free Generation case - assuming a stark shift in state-level policies. In this event, the U.S. would have 19% more nuclear power generation, 10% more wind power and 17% more solar PV contribution than in its Annual Energy Outlook 2020 (AEO2020) reference case.

E-charging market to top $15bn by 2030

March 12 – By 2030, the U.S. market for energy-optimisation in support of charging electric-vehicles could be worth $15 billion per year, McKinsey finds. The consultancy expects high demand for home-charging appliances as residential power tariffs are comparatively cheap and most charging can happen overnight when off-peak electricity prices are lower.

Oversupply builds up

March 10 – Energy Aspects’ end-March forecast has added on another 100+ billion cubic feet of natural gas supply while demand remains subdued. In the U.S., the seasonal decline in heating degree days nearly halved the natural gas withdrawal rate. Gas-burn in the power sector and residential/commercial demand are forecast to fall by 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) and 4.0 bcf/d, respectively.

Small-scale LNG cuts cost for power plants

March 10 – Decentralized gas power plants in remote locations can source cheaper fuel from small-scale LNG regas terminals than from trucking the super-chilled gas across long distances. “Trucking LNG further inland would entail additional costs as well as logistical challenges,” IEA analysts noted. For example, a 100 MW baseload power plant would require, on average, around 20 daily deliveries from tanker trucks.