Daily News

As Japan’s gas-burn in the power sector falls amid competition from coal, nuclear and renewables, the country is expected to lose its position as the world’s No.1 LNG importer to China by 2022. Despite sustained low LNG spot prices, it is cheaper for Japanese utilities to burn coal than natural gas.

With Europe’s gas demand seen surge nearly 30% to 400 Bcm by 2035, Russia is eager to grow its market share. Wood Mackenzie expects Gazprom will review its traditional, pipeline-based export model and turn to LNG instead, avoiding quarrels over new interconnectors like Nord Stream 2.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has confirmed the country is on track to generate half of its electricity from imported natural gas and renewables. The recent commissioning of New Fortress Energy's floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at Old Harbour helped boost the share of clean fuels to 44% of Jamaica’s energy mix.

Thüringer Energie AG (TEAG) has tasked MAN Energy Solutions and MMEC Mannesmann to build a new gas-engine driven cogeneration plant in Jena, Germany. The new CHP unit will expand an existing plant and is due to start operating in the 2021/22 heating period.

CNPC, Eni, Socar and commodities trader Trafigura are striving to win a LNG tender for 240 cargoes over 10 years from Pakistan LNG, which seeks to secure stable gas imports for power generation. Analysts said the tender is likely to cost up to $6 billion at today’s prices, or $25 million per cargo.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has thrown her political weight behind the introduction of a price on CO2 emissions in the transport and buildings sector, although her climate cabinet will have the last say on September 20. “I advocate such a price,” Merkel said, stressing new paths had to be tried to reach the country’s climate targets.

Diversifying supply sources, Pakistan strives to secure attractively-priced LNG for power generation. Qatar is currently the country’s main supplier but the Pakistani government hopes to buy LNG from Australia and the U.S. at a price of around $3.5 per million British thermal units in the near future.

MAN Energy Solutions' new digital platform CEON collects and evaluates operating and sensor data to enables real-time monitoring of power-plant engines, turbines and compressors. Integrating data from MAN machinery and its operational environment, the new digital platform uses intelligent analysis tools for evaluation and forecasting.

China Energy Group has decided to build 6 gigawatts (GW) of ultra-low emission coal-fired capacity this year. In regions with poor renewables potential, the government supports the use of coal as a “practical measure,” the utility said, as “gas is still too expensive.”

In the Permian, the gas-to-oil ratio keeps rising at mature shale plays. The mismatch between surging gas production and constrained takeaway pipelines has pushed down gas prices into negative territory, forcing well shut-ins from producers like Apache and Chevron.

Chart Industries, the US LNG and energy equipment maker, has posted a rise in net income and revenues after receiving orders across all sectors from large liquefaction plants to small-scale LNG-to-Power installations and completed the acquisition of Harsco Air-X-Changers.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has signed a preliminary deal with Uzbekistan’s energy ministry to expedite a Comprehensive Service and Maintenance Program (CSMP) for the country’s thermal power plants.

Wärtsila’s energy segment has lost market share as the performance in the second quarter was burdened by fewer power plant deliveries, as well as an unfavourable project and equipment mix. “We still need some orders to come through in the energy sector, but the sales pipeline is good and we expect those orders to be signed,” said Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola.

MAN Energy Solutions and China National Heavy Machinery Corporation (CHMC) have jointly won a contract to build a 200 MW power station in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. While CHMC will carry out engineering, procurement and construction, MAN will deliver and commission the plant’s eleven 18V51/60DF engines.

Switching from coal to existing gas-fired plants could help avoid up to 1.2 Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon emissions, lowering global power sector emissions by 10%, the International Energy Agency finds. Most potential for fuel switching is seen in the United States and in Europe.

News in Brief

Slow start of STT pipeline

Oct 18 – U.S. gas exports to Mexico have not picked up substantially despite the start of the Sur de Texas-Tuxpan (STT) pipeline. Exports are still below 6.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), although there no current postings regarding maintenance on the Sistrangas pipeline that feeds from NET Mexico.

EIB defers ban on fossil projects

Oct 17 – Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) has bowed to pressure from Germany and the European Commission and deferred its decision to ban loans to fossil-fuel projects until mid-November. Germany wants the bank to keep financing gas-fired power projects as it views the cleaner-burning fossil fuel as a vital backup for renewable energy sources.

Brexit will not impact UK gas supply

Oct 16 – Security of power and gas supply in the UK will not be jeopardized this winter by the country’s imminent departure from the European Union, even in the event of a hard Brexit, National Grid said. In its assessment, the TSO factored in a halt to flows via the Belgium and Dutch gas interconnectors “from EU exit day one”, but said ongoing deliveries from Norway, the UK Continental Shelf and storage will continue as usual.

Ferrybridge C gets demolished

Oct 15 – Four cooling towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station have been taken down as the coal-fired power station will make way to a new, high-efficiency gas power station. Operator SSE shut down the 500 MW Ferrybridge C unit in March 2016 and now started to tear it down.

Global energy storage tops 10 GW by 2025

Oct 14 – The global market for grid-connected energy storage will grow by 6,900 MW, or 16.6% to reach over 10,500 MW by the end of 2025, according to Reportlinker.com. Germany will add over 267 MW energy storage installations over the next five to six years, while 330 MW will come from other European markets. These numbers are dwarfed by China, where up to 1,200 MW energy storage units could be connected to the grid by 2025.

Wärtsilä services EDL plant

Oct 11 – Energy Developments Ltd (EDL) of Australia has awarded Wärtsilä a service contract for gas engine-based baseload power plant at the McArthur River zinc mine in Northern Territory. The maintenance approach for the 53 MW onsite power plant is no longer pre-planned and scheduled but has been changed to condition-based and predictive maintenance, with an advisory contract.

EPH buys CCGT in Galway

Oct 10 – The Czech energy company EPH has received regulatory approval to purchase an 80% stake in the 400 MW Tynagh Energy combined-cycle gas power plant in Galway, Ireland. Mountainside Partners will continue to own the remaining stake in the CCGT, which operates based on a security-of-supply contract from the Irish TSO based on guaranteed power prices.

ITM gets £38m boost from Linde

Oct 9 – Sheffield-based ITM Power, maker of electrolysers for hydrogen production, has been boosted by a £38 million cash injection, as Linde acquired a 20% stake in ITM at 40 pence per share. Looking ahead, ITM said it is seeking to raise £14 million from new and existing institutional investors.

Drax to convert two power units

Oct 8 – Drax Group has received government approval to convert up to two coal-fired generating units at its power station in North Yorkshire to run on natural gas. With this ruling, the UK regulator overturned objections by ClientEarth, stressing some fossil power is vital for the UK to backup intermittent renewable power source.

Storage use tops 80% in key U.S. regions

Oct 7 – Gas storage utilization in the United States is rising in the autumn, with net injections topping 112 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in the first week of October. According to EIA figures, underground storages are at least 80% full in the East, Midwest, and South Central non-salt regions, allowing for seasonal withdrawals to help meet peak-day gas demand throughout the upcoming winter.

Maine, NY aspire to 100% clean energy

Oct 4 – Three U.S. states—Maine, New York, and Ohio—have updated their renewable portfolio standards (RPS), since May 2019. As a result, Maine and New York joined California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia in requiring 100% clean electricity by 2050.

TransAlta to built CHP in Alberta

Oct 3 – Canada-based Transalta and SemCAMS Midstream have agreed to develop, construct and operate a new cogeneration facility at the Kaybob South No. 3 sour gas processing plant in Alberta. To be built at a cost of some 105 million, the CHP will have an installed capacity of 40 MW. Start of commercial operation is targeted for late 2021.

GE’s 100th HA turbine sold in Greece

Oct 2 – Greek industrial firm Mytilineos has ordered a GE 9HA.02 gas turbine to be the heart of the 826 MW Agios Nikolaos combined-cycle gas power plant. This deal also marks the 100th unit of GE’s HA gas turbine sold. Construction of the CCGT is due to start before the end of the year.

ABB launches M4M analyzer

Oct 1 – Swiss technology firm ABB has launches its first Bluetooth-equipped network analyzers, called M4M. The system gathers data from distribution grids and connects them to a cloud-based control system, allowing users to react on energy consumption and on-site power generation trends.

Microsoft invests in wind power

Sept 30 – Microsoft and ENGIE have entered a long-term solar and wind energy power purchase agreement (PPA) in the United States. The deal will see Microsoft purchase a total of 230 MW from two ENGIE projects in Texas, bringing Microsoft’s renewable energy portfolio to more than 1,900 MW.

Gazprom tackles issue of ownerless gas grid

Sept 27 – Gazprom, the main supplier of pipeline gas to Europe, is trying to settle the issue of ownerless gas pipelines – a relic of the former Soviet Union. Abandoned gas transmission pipeline spanned 6,651 kilometers as of March 1, with the issue seen as “especially acute” in the North Caucasus region where half of this infrastructure is located. If no owner registers these facilities within three months, Gazprom will take over to ensure reliability and safety.

Investors flock to Myanmar

Sept 26 – Fitch Ratings has singled out Myanmar’s power sector as one of the largest beneficiaries of foreign direct investments (FDI) worldwide. Nearly $21.2 billion was poured into power generation and energy infrastructure projects thus far in 2019, which is 27% of total FDI under the Myanmar Investment Law.