Daily News

Striving to jump-start Australia’s economy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tabled a National Gas Development Plan, promising over $28 million to develop five gas basins and another $10.9 million on priority pipelines. Subsidies for gas-fired power are also on the cards as the PM aims for a “gas-led manufacturing recovery.”

Western Power Distribution (WPD), network operator for South West, Midlands and South Wales, is adopting digital technologies to make its network more flexible and efficient to better integrate distributed green energy sources. The aim is to lower customers’ energy bills and work towards net-zero emissions.

Global gas demand is recovering from the Covid-19-related “dip” and grows robustly over the next 15 years, spurred by coal-to-gas switching in China, India and Southeast Asia, the Rapid Scenario of BP’s Global Energy Outlook shows. From 2035, however the impetus from Asia fades and gas demand falls back to 2018-levels.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the South Korean shipbuilder, has been granted Approval in Principle (AIP) from Bureau Veritas for its ‘all-in-one type’ floating LNG power plant. The power barge is equipped for on-board power generation and transmission, LNG containment and gas supply.

Gas prices at the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) are set to fall in the near term as the rebound in global LNG prices is encouraging more pipeline gas deliveries to Europe. Analysts at Energy Aspects see supply coming back from the Troll field in Norway, as well as from Algeria to Spain.

Technology companies in Europe and China have embarked on a race to develop and commercialise electrolysers to produce hydrogen as a fuel for industry and power generation. Though China can make the cheapest electrolysers, Europe leads on lean hydrogen technologies. Competition is rife, and set to improve project economics.

Mitsubishi Power has shipped the first JAC gas turbine manufactured in America to J-POWER USA Development for its 1,200 megawatt Jackson Generation project in Elwood, Illinois. The M501JAC gas turbine, currently in transit, will be the first such turbine installed in North America.

Rising use of coal bed methane (CBM) for power generation could make the global CBM market reach $25.2 billion by 2027, growing at an annual rate of 5.9%. CBM, a pure form of natural gas, is often supported by tax incentives and carbon offsets which increases the attractiveness of the fuel.

Spot price differentials between regional U.S. gas trading hub and the benchmark Henry Hub have narrowed in the first half of 2020 amid lower production and a Covid-19-related plunge in demand. Basis prices are set to stay narrow at most hubs, with Winter 2020/21 forward basis swaps for SoCal Citygate and Waha Hub averaging $1.11/MMBtu and -$0.47/MMBtu.

MIT researchers have developed a novel battery, based on sodium/nickel chloride electrodes and a new type of metal mesh membrane. Costs of this battery type are significantly lower due to its stronger and more flexible material that can better withstand the rigors of daily use for industrial-scale energy storage.

Mitsubishi Power’s newly launched ‘Hydaptive package’ for green hydrogen integration will be used at three U.S. projects, worth over $3 billion. The Japanese OEM will build the 600 MW plant in Newburgh, New York, a 1,600 MW project in Virginia and a 1,084 MW project in Ohio.

Xodus Group has been selected by Infinite Blue Energy (IBE) to carry out phase one work for the $300 million Arrowsmith Hydrogen Project, Australia’s first large-scale 100% green hydrogen plant. Situated 320km north of Perth, the 152 MW plant will produce 25,866 kg of hydrogen a day once operational in 2022.

News in Brief

Petronas to truck LNG to off-grid users

Sept 29 – Petronas Dagangan Group is gearing up to build a LNG truck delivery service for off-grid customers in Peninsular Malaysia. Trucks fitted with cryogenic tanks will bring the super-chilled fuel to remote industries and small-scale power generators with no access to the natural gas grid. Malaysia’s Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU) pipeline is only 2,500 kilometers in length and was initially built to export gas to Singapore.

Siemens to reduce emissions at NLNG

Sept 28 – Nigeria LNG has contracted Siemens Energy to provide a cryogenic boil-off gas (BOG) compression train for its liquefaction plant on Bonny Island. The new BOG train will be driven by an high-efficiency electric motor and includes two compressors. Manufactured in Duisburg, Germany, the equipment will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Supercapcitors to replace batteries

Sept 25 – The global market for supercapacitors was valued at over $487 million last year and is forecast to top $1,570 millio by 2025, growing at an annual rate of 21.8%. Supercapacitor, an emerging technology for energy storage systems, can offer higher power density than batteries was may soon replace the latter.

Atos, Siemens expand digital partnership

Sept 24 – Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, has expanded its strategic partnership with Siemens AG for five years, helping the latter with data driven digital, cloud transformation and cybersecurity. The extension comes in the context of 5-year total €3 billion agreements which were separately signed with Siemens AG, Siemens Energy and Siemens Healthineers.

Rotterdam Port to store CO2 beneath the North Sea

Sept 23 – The Porthos project, a joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Gasunie and EBN, seeks to transport CO2 from industry in the port to empty gas fields beneath the North Sea. In its early years, the Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) will be able to store approximately 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year with plans to be operational by 2024.

German power sector to reach net zero in 2040s

Sept 22 – Revisions to Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG) stipulate the power sector should become greenhouse-gas neutral in the early 2040s. Despite the gradual electrification of heating and transport, the German energy ministry is so far sticking to its estimate of 580 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power consumption in 2030 – close to current levels.

B&W to supply superheaters to Lumiant

Sept 21 – Babcock & Wilcox’s thermal segment has been contracted to design, manufacture and supply new superheater components for a high-efficiency boiler at Luminant’s Oak Grove Power Plant near Franklin, Texas. Material delivery to Oak Grove is scheduled for February 2021.

EC targets 55% emission cut by 2030

Sept 17 – The European Commission’s latest 2030 Target Plan stipulates a 55% cut in emissions by 2030, compared to 1990-levels. The lobby group COGEN Europe stressed the importance of combined heat and power generation (CHP) to reach that goal, calling for more stable policies and supportive regulation.

Rolls-Royce may sell ITP Areo

Sept 17 – Britain’s prime manufacturer Rolls-Royce confirmed it is looking to strengthen its balance sheet, possibly by disposing of ITP Aero which his hoped to generate proceeds of more than £2bn over the next 18 months. Further cost cutting is meant to deliver £1 billion and revamping of the company’s Civil Areospace business should save another £1.3 billion.

China’s GDP may grow 1.8%

Sept 16 – China’s GDP is forecast to grow 1.8% this year as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. The government slashed electricity tariffs to support manufacturing but the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns of mounting credit risk for banks. Fiscal revenue pressure also intensifies as 1.5% of China’s GDP growth in the first half of 2020 was based on bond-funded investment by local governments.

Zeebrugge goes for green hydrogen

Sept 15 – Colruyt Group (Eoly), Parkwind and Fluxys aim to spend up to 35 million Euros to develop a green hydrogen plant in Zeebrugge, Belgium, by 2023. The plan is to convert off-shore wind energy into green hydrogen which can then be injected in the high-pressure natural gas transmission grid.

Shale gas market to top $41bn

Sept 14 – Global markets for unconventional gas, mostly developed by shale fracking, is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 7% to reach $ 41.76 billion by 2024. According to Technavio, the Americas region will remain dominant with an 87% market share as hydraulic fracturing technologies evolve. Top players in the market are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, PetroChina, Gazprom, Shell, Santos, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., and YPF.

SNAM, Saipem join forces on hydrogen

Sept 11 – Two Italian energy companies, SNAM and Saipem, have agreed to develop initiatives for green hydrogen production and transport, as well as for carbon dioxide capture, transport and reuse or storage (CCRS). The move supports the European Commission’s Hydrogen Strategy to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

MAN, Wasco to drive Power-to-Gas Tech in Asia

Sept 10 – MAN Energy Solutions and Wasco have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote and commercialize Power-to-X (PtX) projects in South-East Asia. The technology in question converts electricity into carbon-neutral synthetic fuels, gas or liquid, for use as a clean, carbon-neutral energy source.

Romgaz, GSP to realise 200 MW gas and solar project

Sept 9 – Romania’s state gas company Romgaz has agreed to build 200 MW power generation capacity with the privately-owned Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) which is controlled by the local businessman Gabriel Comanescu. The project entails a 150 MW gas-fired power plant and a 50 MW solar photovoltaic park, to be built on the site of a disused coal power plant in southern Romania.

Alaska uses twice as much energy for transport as NY

Sept 8 – More energy is used per person for transportation in U.S. states with low population density. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA), people in geographically large states with small populations, such as Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota, are useing twice as much energy for transportation than the U.S. average on a per capita basis. That’s in stark contrast to states with higher population density, such as Rhode Island and New York.

Hydrogen Council launched in Kobe/Kansai area

Sept 7 – Mitsubishi Power, part of MHI, and various Japanese energy companies have set up the so-called ‘Kobe/Kansai Hydrogen Utilization Council’ to develop new utilization methods and establish a regional hydrogen supply chain. The aim is to help Japan shift to a carbon-free, hydrogen-powered society by 2030.

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