Npower, one of the UK’s Big Six energy companies and owned by E.ON, has announced it will shed up to 4,500 jobs in Britain and merge its domestic customer service operations with E.ON UK. A carve-out of Npower’s industrial and commercial customers is meant enhance profitability but the restructuring will cost the energy supplier an estimated £500 million.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she disapproves of the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) decision to ban funding for natural gas projects by the end of 2021. Speaking in Parliament, Merkel said Germany would rely on gas as a bridging technology as it exits both nuclear and coal.
New EU-wide emission rules for large combustion plants, known as BREF, will take effect in 2021. Rising carbon prices - last seen trading at €25.01 per ton, combined with falling renewable energy costs will likely make European utilities opt for closing coal plants, instead of retrofitting them.
Jeju Island, South Korea’s southern resort, is now home to a newly built LNG import terminal that will fuel a 240 MW combined-cycle power plant. According to the South Korean energy ministry, the first LNG cargo will arrive shortly and Jeju households and business should have access to gas-fired power from March next year.
Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller has met Belarusian government officials to discuss the terms of Russian gas supplies and transit through Belarus from the start of 2020. Current contracts will expire on December 31 – the very date when Gazprom’s transit agreement with Ukraine also comes to an end.
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D-printing, is making inroads in the energy sector. According to Global Data, power utilities and equipment manufacturers are “witnessing a huge opportunity in 3D printing to make their operations more efficient.” Early adopters of this technology are GE, Siemens, Rosatom and Westinghouse.
Defending Golar LNG’s new strategy to spin off shipping operations, Chairman Olav Troim said “significant progress” has been made on downstream LNG distribution for power generation and as a transportation fuel. In Brazil, Golar just won a 605 MW gas power project in Barcarena, while a similar project in Sergipe is about to come onstream.
The United Kingdom and Germany are ready to expand their cooperation in offshore wind and take the lead on hydrogen production in Europe. Together, the two countries are home to 85% of Europe’s installed offshore wind farms whose excess low-cost electricity output can be used to produce hydrogen, which can then be stored in the natural gas grid.
Siemens has installed the world’s first HL-class gas turbine, a SGT6-9000HL, at Duke Energy’s new 402 MW simple-cycle unit at the Lincoln Combustion Turbine Station near Denver, North Carolina. During a four-year testing period the customer only pays some fuel costs. When testing is finished in 2024, Duke will receive the unit at a discount.
The technology of Siemens’s new SGT6-9000HL engine, first installed for the customer Duke Energy, builds on four generations of technologies and five previous models, including the H-class. “But it’s the combustion system where the magic happens,” explains Peter DeHaan, who is leading development of the 9000HL.
Alternative use of gas pipelines for green hydrogen, combined with technologies like enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) could turn the UK North Sea into a “global leader for the energy transition,” a survey finds, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Oil & Gas UK.
The European TSO group ENTSO-E has allayed fears of electricity shortages in Continental Europe in 2025 amid rising intermittent supply from renewable power sources, combined with a coal and nuclear exit in Germany and staggered coal power closures in Belgium and France.
China Gas Holdings, the largest independent Chinese city-gas distributor, has reported a 22.2% rise in fiscal half-year net profits to HK$4.91 billion (US$627.3m) and over US$3.5 billion in revenues as Beijing’s ‘Blue Skies’ anti-pollution policies led to rising use of natural gas for power generation and as a transport fuel.
FirstGen of the Philippines has freed up another $300 million for its projected floating storage and regas unit (FSRU), developed to ensure continuous fuel supply for 3,200 MW gas power capacity near Batangas City. LNG imports are vital for FirstGen as contracts for domestic gas supply from the Malampaya field will run out in 2024.
U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil and GE Power have teamed up to develop the new Mobil SHCTM 918 EE gas turbine oil, capable of improving the efficiency of turbine bearings by up to 15% compared to conventional oils. The newly launched lubricant oil is designed for use in multi-shaft 7HA, 9HA, 6FA.01 and 7FA GE turbines.