Daily News

Baltic Pipe, connecting the Polish gas grid with Norway, has secured construction permits through Sweden’s territorial waters - the final permits required before works can begin. The pipeline will have nearly 1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of capacity and is due on stream by October 2022.

Investment in energy infrastructure is being slashed by one-fifth, or almost $400 billion, in 2020 due to lower energy demand and prices caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the International Energy Agency (IEA) finds. Tracking of company announcements and investment-related policies before the crisis had suggested energy spent could grow by 2% worldwide.

The spin-off of Siemens Energy will go ahead in September, whereby shareholders will automatically receive one share of Siemens Energy for every two shares of Siemens AG. In the following 12 to 18 months, Siemens AG intends to further reduce its stake in Siemens Energy by a “significant” amount.

Rolls-Royce and Daimler Truck plan to cooperate on stationary fuel-cell generators for data centers, hospitals and other safety-critical infrastructure. These fuel-cell gensets will offer emission-free alternatives to diesel generators, currently used as emergency units to cover peak loads.

Uniper’s new Datteln 4 coal plant is running in test operation in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) despite the low demand for electricity on the market. Scheduled to go online this summer, Datteln 4 was repeatedly tested at full capacity which on some days pushed down prices to minus €80/MWh.

SSE chief executive Phillips-Davies has said it may take two to three years for UK power demand to recover from the pandemic. He expects a “slight recovery in prices” once industry and business resume operations, though demand will likely be around 10% less than normal throughout the summer.

U.S. oil and gas producers have sharply reduced output since mid-March, reacting to a plunge in energy demand due to lockdowns. Rigs fell by 433, or 56% since March 17, with most wells shut-in occurring in oil-focused shale plays like the Permian, Eagle Ford and the Bakken region.

EthosEnergy has been awarded a five-year, multi-million pound turbine maintenance contract by a major UK North Sea operator for its full fleet of gas turbines. The contract includes the support 37 units across 10 offshore production platforms covering a range of OEM equipment such as Siemens small-scale gas turbines, GE Frame and LM units and Solar gas turbines.

Thailand’s energy regulator has approved Gulf Energy’s application to import 0.3 million tons of LNG for use in 19 small-scale power plants, operated by the state-owned utility EGAT. Hin Kong Power Holding, 49% owned by Gulf Energy, also won a license to import 1.4 mtpa of LNG, bringing the total to 1.7 mtpa.

Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Co. (AG&P) has advanced its technology for LNG carriers to help fuel decentralized power generators. The Philippines-based company designed a small-scale LNG carrier (LNGC) – a workhorse to meet delivery challenges posed by shallow rivers and restricted harbours.

Terms of natural gas sales are changing. In the power sector gas no longer competes with oil, but coal and renewables – making hub-indexation traders' preferential choice. In Asia, the Platts Japan Korea Marker (JKM) grows in popularity and several long-term gas supply contracts have come under review following the recent plunge in oil prices.

Fast adoption of floating LNG technology across Asia is opening up new gas markets in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. According to Black & Veatch, gas-fired power projects are “attractive for emerging markets” due to advantages in price, reliability and fuel access over developing technologies such as battery storage.

News in Brief

Germany ups support for CO2 conversion in industry

Oct 30 – Industries in Germany will enjoy a further 75 million in funding to convert carbon dioxide emissions in heavy industry into useful chemical products. Thyssen-Krupp is already testing the process of converting CO2 emissions into substances like ammonia and methanol. The steel industry alone accounts for 6% of global CO2 emissions.

Operating assets ‘from anywhere’

Oct 29 – GE Digital’s latest software gives electric utilities remote and mobile control over their power stations for remote start-up, external monitoring and operational fine-tuning. The goal is to safe cost through autonomous operation from any location.

Enlit Europe goes digital

Oct 28 – In face of the second wave of the pandemic, Enlit Europe has decided to move its Milan trade show online. A virtual keynote will be held on Thursday, October 29, starting from 9:30 CET.

Singapore sets aside $36m for low-carbon tech

Oct 27 – The Singapore government is supporting low carbon tech by setting aside SG$49 million ($36m) for research into hydrogen, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and energy storage. Testbeds for blending of low-carbon hydrogen with natural gas in combined cycle gas turbines, will yield insights into low-carbon tech and facilitate future deployment, said Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

Researchers develop lightweight battery

Oct 26 – Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability (LBF) have developed a lightweight battery pack to reduce the overall weight of e-car batteries. The new pack holding the battery cells is made of fibre-plastic composites, reducing the weight by 40 percent compared to a casing made of aluminium. The new battery is hoped to drive the upward trend for e-car registrations in Germany and help lower emissions in the transport sector.

MAN to maintain power plant in Benin

Oct 23 – PrimeServ, the after-sales brand of MAN Energy Solutions, has signed a service agreement with BWSC for the Maria Gleta power plant near the city of Cotonou, Benin. The 127 MW plant is powered by seven MAN 18V51/60DF engines. The ten-year contract covers the supply of spare parts and the provision of technical services for scheduled maintenance.

Gas saves Virginia over $14bn

Oct 22 – Virginia’s businesses and families saved more than $14.2 billion between 2008 and 2018 thanks to low-cost natural gas and expanded energy infrastructure, according to a new Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) report. Almost 60% of power generation relies on natural gas and a third of its households use gas for home heating.

Energy storage for LNG-powered vessels

Oct 21 – Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf has asked Wärtsilä to retrofit its energy storage system (ESS) on four LNG-fuelled platform support vessels. Once upgraded in early 2022, all vessels will be of full tri-fuel operation.

Mott McDonald starts construction on ALCP6

Oct 20 – US construction firm Mott McDonald has started building the ALCP6 waste to energy project in Krabi province, southern Thailand. The plant will incinerate 144,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, and the heat obtained will be converted into 6 MW of electricity to be exported to the Thai national grid.

Brace for EU sustainable finance rules

Oct 19 – Sustainable finance practices, drawn up by the European Commission, could create a "bureaucratic monster" that smaller companies and energy investors would find overbearing, the Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (ifo) warned. The regulation should hence prioritise closer scrutiny of large and listed companies.

UK could become net power exporter

Oct 16 – Increased interconnection could provide a route for excess offshore wind power in Britain to be consumed elsewhere in Europe. National Grid Interconnector Register shows up to 16 GW of interconnection could be operational by 2025 and up to 25.4 GW by 2030.

Wärtsilä to deploy GridSolv in US city

Oct 15 – AEP OnSite Partners has contracted Wärtsilä to deploy its GridSolv Quantum energy storage in the city of Martinsville, Virginia. The system includes an UL9540A limiting 2-hour battery firewall and will help lower the city’s energy costs.

Rolls-Royce spends $13.9m in Mankato

Oct 14 – Britain’s engine maker Rolls-Royce has decided to invest nearly $14 million in its Power System business to build a new R&D centre at its MTU manufacturing plant in Mankato, Minnesota, US. The expansion will see 28,000 square foot added to the facility’s existing hall, making room for the production of high-power MTU gas gensets, enhanced product testing and the creation of 20 new manufacturing positions.

Clarke commissions Vitalait power unit in Tunisia

Oct 13 – Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher have completed the commissioning of an onsite power plant of a milk producer in Tunisia. The installation of another Jenbacher gas engine has increased the plant’s output to 4 MW of electricity as well as 1,100 kW of hot water and 800 kW of steam.

Secondary battery market to top $55bn

Oct 12 – Technavio expects the secondary battery market to grow by $55.62 billion through 2024, rising at an 11% rate over the forecast period. Falling costs for lithium-ion batteries as well as growing demand in Asia Pacific allowed the market to grow 2.01% this year, despite adverse effects of the pandemic. Top battery suppliers are Tesla, Clarious, Exide, LG Chem, GS Yuasa and Samsung.

Shift to sustainable tech

Oct 9 – Three quarters of utilities, surveyed by EIT InnoEnergy, are considering adopting sustainable technology over the next 12-18 months. However, over one third of the respondents found it hard to recruit the skills they need.

Generator rentals slow

Oct 8 – The rental market for power generators has slowed down due to the pandemic, with genset rentals from the oil and gas industry forecast to grow by just $153.87 million this year. However, Technavio expects the market will return to a 3% annual growth rate by 2024.

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