Daily News

The Palestinian Energy Authority and Massader are about to agree on terms to start construction of a much-needed power plant in Jenin. The 450 MW combined-cycle gas power plant will be the largest of its kind in the conflict-ridden country, fuelled by gas from the Gaza Marine field.

Electric utilities in Turkey are burdened with $47 billion debt of which up to $13 billion are at risk of defaulting. Before the end of this year, loans worth some $10 billion, mostly for gas-fired power plants, will need to be restructured, the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) warned.

Rising dry gas production in the United States will be sufficient to meet demand for power generation and exports at a lower price than forecast. With this assement, the U.S. Energy Administration (EIA) lowered its Henry Hub spot price forecast for 2020 by 20 cents to an average of $2.55 per million British thermal units (mmBtu).

Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries has spent $175 million to develop a floating gas-fired power plant, fuelled by LNG, and aimed at the Southeast Asian market. The power ships will be offered to utility customers on remote islands and in isolated locations with underdeveloped gas pipeline infrastructure.

Hungary’s CHP Erömü, a subsidiary of Veolia, has awarded Wärtsilä a 5-year extension to a power plant service agreement for the combined heat and power station. High plant availability of more than 95% had led to the deal.

Northwest European near-curve gas prices have fallen in recent days. With the TTF Oct-19 trading as low as 3.86 $/mmbtu, this low price drives up demand for LNG shipping to higher-priced markets in Asia. Energy Aspects says the TTF Oct-19 contract has already priced in much of the incremental demand from the power sector switching to gas from coal.

To test Power-to-Gas systems locally, Fraunhofer ISE installed a modular hydrogen injection system in the local gas distribution network in Freiburg, southwest Germany. Researchers coupled an electrolyzer with 120 kW electric connection power with a small hydrogen unit that is capable of storing 300 kWh of chemical energy.

Nearly 16 gigawatt of utility-scale gas power generation has been added in Florida between 2008 and 2018 – the most in any U.S. state. The share of natural gas in Florida’s energy mix surged from 47% to 72%, and EIA analysts anticipate gas-fired generation will continue to displace less cost-competitive plants fuelled by coal and petroleum liquids.

Spot LNG deliveries to Japan have decreased despite record-low prices as power generators like Jera, Tepco, Kepco and Chubu Electric prefer thermal coal over natural gas. Peak electricity demand is now largely met by thermal coal which remains the cheapest fuel source.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has received an order from Hongkong Electric to supply power generation equipment for Lamma Power Station's Unit 12. The 380 MW combined-cycle gas power unit will be built with a view to start full commercial operations in early 2023.

Germany’s nearly simultaneous coal and nuclear exit is jeopardizing the country’s current high power supply security. Unless new flexible gas generators and renewable power sources get built in time, along with sufficient grid infrastructure, Germany is set to miss several key energy transition targets for the year 2020, McKinsey finds.

Wind and solar power are forecast to outperform combined-cycle gas power plants in most parts of the United States on a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) basis through 2040. However, Wood Mackenzie finds that combined-cycle gas power stations beat renewables on cost in Florida, the Midcontinent and in some spots in PJM West where gas prices are exceptionally low.

Caithness Energy, a privately-held American Independent Power Producer, is preparing to start construction of the 1,864 MW Guernsey Power Station in Ohio in 2022. The CCGT project, to be powered by GE 7HA.02 gas turbines, is moving to the next phase after having just secured $1.6 billion in financing.

MAN Energy Solutions has commissioned three power plants in Indonesia, equipped with dual fuel engines that can be operated with low-emission LNG. Ten gensets with a combined capacity of 140 MW were installed in the provinces of West Nusa Tenggara and on Flores island.

New Fortress Energy (NFE), the sole gas supplier to Jamaica, has completed the first phase of its $180 million bond issue to finance the completion of its LNG-fuelled cogeneration project in Carendon. The bond issue was fully subscribed, according to NCB Capital Markets.

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+.