Daily News

Surging energy prices in Germany are hitting industry and household customers, but the economy ministry does not intend to intervene at this point. Nord Stream 2 will bring some respite, though the start-up date of the Russian gas interconnector has been pushed back from October to the end of 2021.

Siemens Energy and consortium partner Sumitomo Electric have signed a contract with Greenlink Interconnector to deliver high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converters for the 190km UK-Ireland interconnector. Works for the bi-directional 500 MW power link will begin at the start of 2020.

Fast-rising gas prices at the UK National Balancing Point (NBP) are causing a wave of bankruptcies. Bulb, Britain's sixth largest energy company, is seeking a bailout and Government promised to intervene by offering state-backed loans to surviving energy firms to ensure stable supply to end-customers this winter.

Traded natural gas prices at Europe’s main hubs, the British NBP and the Dutch TTF, have reached record levels. The UK NBP price for the end of the summer season has risen more than four-fold in six months to the equivalent of $25.95 per million British termal units (MMBtu) on September 21, while TTF prices soared to the equivalent of $25.80 per MMBtu the same day.

Virginia-based AES has acquired the remaining half of its LNG-fuelled power station in Panama from Inversiones Bahia. The purchase of a 49.9% stake in AES Colón gives the American multi-national utility full control over the 381 MW combined-cycle gas power unit and the adjacent LNG regas terminal with 180,000 cbm storage at the Atlantic seaport town.

MAN Energy Solutions is forging ahead with installing the world’s first ETES (Electro-Thermal Energy Storage) heat-pump for multi-utility company, DIN Forsyning. Once completed, the power plant will supply climate-neutral district heating to 25,000 households in the Danish port town of Esbjerg.

US-based 8 Rivers Capital has teamed up with Navigator Terminals to enter the UK market for handling and storing carbon dioxide, hydrogen and ammonia. Their pilot projectis the Whitetail 300 MW ‘Net Zero’ power station at Teeside (NET), where nearly all air emissions will be eliminated while CO2 will be captured and stored offshore.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is calling for tougher regulation on methane emissions. Downstream oil and gas – notably refining, transmission, storage and distribution – is responsible for more than 20% of methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas. Worldwide, downstream methane emissions amounted to 16 million tons (Mt) in 2020.

Ansaldo Energia has joined the European Union’s ‘Digital Volunteer Program’, aimed at bridging the digital skills gap in small and medium-sized industries. As part of this project, Ansaldo is mentoring the Italian manufacturer ATLA to develop a new procedure for inspecting hot gas components from turbines.

Quantifying the impact of Hurricane Ida, the US Department of Energy (DoE) said the storm initially left more than 1.2 million in the dark in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Entergy still hasn’t restored power to all customers. By its estimates, full electricity supply may not be restored in certain southeastern Louisiana parishes until the end of September.

The German industry federation BDI has issued a stark warning against Government plans to bring forward the phase-out date for all coal power plants in the country from 2038. An early coal exit would undermine the security of electricity supply, BDI head Siegfrid Russwurm said, as gas-fired plants could not be built quick enough to make up for the lost capacity.

Petronet plans to build an LNG import facility in India’s East Coast state of Odisha. A feasibility study for a 4 mtpa Floating Storage and Regas Unit (FSRU) at Golapur Port is in the making, chairman Tarun Kapoor said, but the project would compete with another East Coast terminal at Dhamra Port, proposed by GAIL and the Adani Group.

Japan’s largest utility JERA, along with Mitsui and partners, has agreed to sell its entire stake in the Mexican utility MT Falcon Holdings to the British investment fund Actis GP for an undisclosed sum. JERA holds 20% in MT Falcon which runs five combined-cycle power plants (2.2 GW combined).

Germany could transform its economy to net zero emission by 2045 at no cost, McKinsey claims, as switching to green technologies opens up new growth. However, it would have to invest €1 trillion in new infrastructure, and €5 trillion to modernise existing power plants and gas grids.

News in Brief

German utilities invest record amounts

Jan 21 – Energy companies in Germany invested a record €20.5 billion in 2021, and the industry association BDEW expects capital expenditure will stay high throughout 2022. Out of the total sum, €4.3 billion were invested in electricity generation plants, €9.9 billion in transmission and distribution plants and €1.2 billion in other assets, such as metering points and information technology.

H2-powered plant for French Guiana

Jan 20 – Siemens Energy will set up a hybrid plant to supply stable baseload electricity to 10,000 households in French Guiana. An intelligent combination of 55 MW photovoltaics, an electrolyser to produce green hydrogen, fuel cells and energy storage is scheduled to be commissioned in the autumn of 2023.

Decarbonising UK homes

Jan 19 – Just 9 million hot water cylinders are currently installed in British homes, leaving a gap of 18 million homes whose heating would need to be decarbonised for the UK to meet Net Zero. According to the trade body HWA, the political focus of decarbonising heating has been solely on the heat source; such as boilers and heat pumps – while little to no focus has been on hot water cylinder. This gap in in government policy, which could result in unnecessary costs to consumers.

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 18 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop projects for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

GE to repower Long Lake plant

Jan 17 – GE will modernize four generors at the Long Lake hydropower plant in northwest US, operated by Avista Utilities. Once refurbished, the plant will have an installed capacity of more than 100 MW. The first modernized Long Lake unit is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2024 and the last one in 2029

mtu to power Romania’s largest data center

Jan 14 – mtu Series 4000 gas generators will provide electricity heat and cooling for Romania’s largest data center. ClusterPower is building a 273,000-squaremetre technology campus near Craiova by 2025, where it will host five data centers with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1

Green hydrogen from Quebec

Jan 13 – Charbone has agreed to provide the US propane distributer Superior with green hydrogen from its Sorel-Tracy facility in Quebec, Canada, starting from the third quarter of 2022. The hydrogen will be delivered directly from Charbone’s H2 plant to Superior’s customers which include mining, power generation, transportation and industrial energy users. 

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 12 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop project for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

US rivals Australia as world’s largest LNG exporter

Jan 11 – Analysts at the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) are confident that the growth in US LNG exports could see America’s liquefaction and send-out capacity exceed that of Australia and Qatar – the world’s two largest LNG exporters. Looking ahead, the EIA expects US exports of the super-chilled gas will rise 17% from 2021 levels to average 11.1 Bcf/d from December through March.

Africa’s first FLNG plant arrives in Mozambique

Jan 10 – Coral Sul FLNG, Africa’s first-ever floating LNG facility has arrived in Mozambican waters. The plant is critical to develop the US$7 billion Coral South project, led by the Italian oil and gas company Eni. Some of the produced gas will be used for power generation in Mozambique, though most will be liquefied and sold to global markets.

GE snaps up Opus One Solutions

Dec 23 – GE Digital has agreed to acquire Opus One Solutions Energy Corp, a Californian software company that helps utilities integrate renewables and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) at scale across the electric grid. The transaction is expected to close within 30 days, GE stated without disclosing what price was paid for the takeover.

Qatar invests in Rolls-Royce’s nuclear power business

Dec 22 – Qatar Investment Authority, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to invest £85 million in Rolls-Royce SMR, the company’s new technology for small-scale, low carbon nuclear power. UK business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng called the investment a “clear vote of confidence” in the UK’s nuclear innovation. It follows £210 million Qatari investment in the development in Small Modular Reactors. Now fully funded, Rolls-Royce SMR business also received £490 million through commercial equity and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant funding. 

JERA helps Japanese film producer curb emissions

Dec 20 – Toho, a Japanese film producer and entertainment company, will get support from the country’s largest power producer JERA to reduce CO2 emission from film production. To that end, JERA will supply zero-emissions energy to Toho and draw up a roadmap to decarbonise the media company as a whole.

Tractebel develop concept to store H2 offshore

Dec 17 – Tractebel Overdick and partners have developed an offshore infrastructure and processing facilities concept that relies on the storage of hydrogen (H2) in offshore caverns. The design study outlines a scalable offshore platform for the compression and storage of up to 1.2 million cubic meters of hydrogen.

Ethatec uses CO2-free power to produce ethanol

Dec 15 – ESG Clean Energy has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Ethatec to use ESG’s patented CO2-free gensets to its ethanol production. Ethatec uses waste from bakeries and pizza factories which is being crushed and then mixed with water and enzymes and heated in a multi-stage mashing process to saccharify the starch. It is then cooled and fed into fermentation tanks, where yeast is added. for alcoholic fermentation of the sugar. After 72 hours, the mixture is fed to a distillation system where ethanol is obtained.

Anax helps Magellan mine bitcoin under US$12m deal

Dec 16 – Ohio-based Magellan Scientific has entered a long-term accord, worth US$12 million, with Anax Power to generate zero-emission electricity from natural gas flows for Magellan’s distributed data centres, using 500 kW Anax turboexpanders. This green power will be used to lower the carbon-intensity of bitcoin mining and help US interstate pipeline operators and utilities accelerate their net-zero emission goals.

Cryogenic insulation market to top $4.6m by 2026

Dec 14 – The global market for cryogenic insulation is forecast to reach $4,659.85 million by 2026, expanding at an annual rate of 8.76% over the next five years. According to ResearchandMarkets, companies need to keep investing in R&D to deliver more efficient products at a lower cost and improve product durability.