Daily News

Though Europe’s green energy transition is gaining pace, natural gas demand is seen grow significantly. Wood Mackenzie advises European utilities to share some cross-hub price risk with LNG producers, or else they risk losing market space to international oil companies or state-run energy majors like Gazprom.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has warned the Philippine island of Luzon may face power shortages in the first week of October, when up to 900 MW of gas-fired capacity will be offline for maintenance. Repairs coincide with the four days maintenance shutdown of the huge Malampaya gas field.

New York-based Con Edison and eight other U.S. utilities have filed a legal challenge against the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. The claimants say the rule undermines efforts to curb emissions by investing in renewables and energy efficiency.

The U.S. shale revolution and falling capital costs for renewables are reshaping the power mix both domestically and abroad, the International Energy Agency (IEA) noted. Future production growth and exports will depend on the complementary build-out of oil and gas pipelines, as well as LNG terminals.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned climate action measures could cost at least 40 billion Euros over the next four years. Protecting the climate is a “challenge for humanity” and needs “a real feat of strength" which will “of course cost money,” she said prior to the government’s launch of a climate package on September 20.

By 2030, new-build renewables will outcompete existing fossil fuel generation on energy cost in most regions. According to McKinsey analysts, the northwest of the United States is “the exception with tipping-points post 2035,” due to low gas prices and limited potential for solar photovoltalic.

Drone strikes have reduced Saudi Arabia’s oil output by half which is feared to have reverberations on global energy markets. An increase in oil prices is likely to lead to a corresponding rise in gas and electricity prices, which will be reflected in higher tariffs for customers in the UK and most western economies.

Kogas and Energy Capital Vietnam (ECV) are forging ahead with a privately-funded LNG regas terminal, storage and gas supply system to underpin their 3,200 MW gas-fired power project near Mui Ke Ga, some 150 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City. KBR will provide a feasibility study by the end of September.

European-led Delta Offshore Energy is finalizing plans to develop an LNG import terminal and a 3,200 MW power station in Vietnam’s Bac Lieu Province. The integrated project is due to start up in 2023, underpinned by LNG cargoes from the Magnolia liquefaction project in the U.S. state of Louisiana.

Construction is being fast-tracked on the Thi Vai LNG import terminal and adjacent Nhon Trach unit-3 and 4 power units in the southeastern region of Vietnam. Samsung C&T and PetroVietnam seek to get the integrated LNG-to-Power project on stream by 2022 for an investment of about $286 million.

Mass Energy Group Holding (MGH) and GE Power have won a contract to develop the third phase of Iraq’s largest power plant. Expansion of the Bismaya combined-cycle gas power station will add up to 1.5 GW by 2021, bringing its total capacity to 4.5 GW.

Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity has awarded a $1.3 billion contract to Siemens and Orascom Construction to rebuild Baiji 1 and 2 power units with a combined capacity of 1.6 GW. Works are meant to be completed 28 months after financial close.

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), the utility catering for Abu Dhabi, is about to launch tenders for a 2,400 MW combined-cycle power project at Fujairah as well as a 1,500 MW solar project. Up for grabs are development contracts worth some 4.4 Emirati dirham, or $1.2 billion.

Gas and variable renewables will be the only energy sources for which demand is higher in 2050 than today. Rapidly falling capital costs for solar photovoltaic will make the technology 25% to 50% cheaper than new gas-fired power projects, DNV GL analysts told Gas to Power Journal.

Malay property and industrial developer Tadmax Resources has received government approval to develop a 1,200 MW integrated gasification combined-cycle power plant (IGCC) on the island of Pulau Indah. Posco is building the plant, with a planned in-service date in January 2023.

News in Brief

Wärtsilä launches ‘Expertise Centre’ in Singapore

Nov 15 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has chosen Singapore as the location for its latest Expertise Centre (EC) that provides operational support and dynamic maintenance planning, both for marine and energy business customers. All of Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centres combined currently monitor some 900 installations with more than 2,000 engines around the world.

U.S. storage injection hits record high

Nov 14 – Near-record volumes of natural gas have been placed into storage in the United States in the current injection season. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the amount of gas held in storage in 2019 surged from a relatively low value of 1,155 billion cubic feet (Bcf) at the beginning of April to 3,724 Bcf at the end of October.

SaskPower proceeds with Moose Jaw project

Nov 13 – Canadian utility SaskPower has taken a significant step towards realizing a 350 MW gas power plant at Moose Jaw. The project was first proposed in 2017, but in the Canadian federal government June last year introduced new regulations for gas generation coming online after January 1, 2021, which stalled the plans. Having completed its regulatory review, Sask Power was now granted permission to proceed from the municipality of Moose Jaw. Major Fraser Tolmie said “this $700-million investment into the city of Moose Jaw, will ensure we have base-load power in the province of Saskatchewan and to maintain our power independence.”

Sembcorp powers up first BESS unit in the UK

Nov 12 – Sembcorp Energy UK, part of Singapore-based Sempcorp Group, has started to operate the first 60 MW unit of its battery energy storage system (BESS) fleet, supplied by GE. Combined, the three storage units in Leicestershire and Cheshire will bring Sembcorp Energy UK’s total energy portfolio to 973 MW.

Global gas glut may clear in 2021

Nov 11 – Economics of exporting American liquefied natural gas to Europe no longer add up. With Henry Hub spot prices around $2.7/MMBtu, moving LNG cargoes from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Europe is “not workable,” BP analysts said, indicating that production shut-ins could help clear the massive supply overhang towards the end of 2021.

Gazprom reassures Germany of Ukraine gas transits

Nov 8 – Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, has been trying to reassure the German government commissioner Georg Graf Waldersee that Russia was ready to signing a new transit contract with Naftogaz if both companies mutually waive claims. Before gas flows can proceed, however, Ukraine will have to create an independent gas transmission operator by January 1, 2020.

GE makes gains in wind power

Nov 7 – GE Power is gradually turning away from its loss-making fossil power segment to focus on the fast-growing renewable business. This week, GE struck a deal for its new Haliade-X turbines to be used at Dogger Bank Wind Farms. The three 1.2 GW Dogger Bank projects, situated offshore the UK’s Yorkshire coast, are expected to trigger approximately £9 billion of capital investment between 2020 and 2026.

PetroVietnam eyes LNG-to-Power project

Nov 6 – PetroVietnam has signed an agreement with B.Grimm Power Public Company (BGRIM) to jointly study the development of an integrated LNG import and power generation project. The aim is to build a 3,000 MW gas-fuelled power plant and an adjacent LNG import terminal. The location of the project has not been disclosed.

ABB launches ‘Smart City’

Nov 5 – Electrification specialists of the Swiss manufacturer ABB have designed an interactive ‘Smart City’ that contains smart buildings, e-mobility, energy management and data centers. The use of smart technologies and digitalization are encouraged by the United Nations as a way to help decarbonize cities around the world.

Gazprom, BASF cooperate on sulfur separation

Nov 4 – The Russian major Gazprom and the German chemical company BASF have agreed to devise a comprehensive solution for separation of sulfur from natural gas. The aim is to  enhance eco-efficiency of the Astrakhan gas processing plant and improve operational efficiency of BASF’s amine gas treatment units at the Orenburg gas-fired power plant.

Germany’s emission fall ‘markedly’

Nov 1 – Germany is headed for second consecutive year of substantial reductions in carbon emissions, amid a sharp drop in coal-burn in the power sector and an overall decline in energy use in 2019. If this trend continues, the country could get much closer to its 2020 climate target than widely anticipated.

Exmar to refinance Tango FLNG

Oct 31 – Exmar, the Belgian shipping company, is trying to refinance the Tango FLNG vessel, moored offshore Argentina on behalf of YPF. The aim is to generate around $60 million in additional capital, Exmar said, suggesting a deal will likely be struck in the first months of 2020.

Petronet doubles net profit

Oct 30 – Indian LNG importer Petronet has nearly doubled its net profits in the third quarter although revenues fell by 13%. Net profits came in at 1,089 crore rupees ($153.6m), an increase of 90% on the same period in 2018 as the company benefited from India’s lower corporate tax rates. Third-quarter revenues, in contrast, fell to 9,449 crore rupees ($1.33 billion).

Wildfires spread around LA

Oct 29 – Thousands of Los Angeles residents have been evacuated as wildfires spread fast around the metropolis and power outages brought life close to a standstill. The risk of fires caused by overland transmission lines prompted Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to prolong precautionary blackouts that could last up to three days.

Dominion embraces solar & storage

Oct 28 – Dominion Energy South Carolina has signed contracts for more than 1,000 MW of solar capacity. About half of that capacity has entered service. To complement intermittent solar energy supply, Dominion earlier announced several energy storage projects.

Wärtsilä downgrades outlook for its energy business

Oct 25 – Wärtsilä has downgraded the outlook of its Energy Business from “soft” to “weak” amid low equipment demand, although the its services activity “remains sound.” The current order book for 2019 deliveries is 1,708 million Euros, comprised mainly of equipment deliveries, Wärtsilä stated today when posting mixed Q3 results. Looking ahead, the company said its operating result for full-year 2019 will be approximately 100 million Euros lower than in the 2018 result of 577 million Euros.

Siemens names new CIO

Oct 24 – Hanna Hennig will be appointed as new Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Siemens starting from January 2020. The change at Siemens’ IT organization supports the execution of the company’s Vision 2020+.