Daily News

EU carbon emission permits almost halved in value today in a record drop after the European Parliament rejected the backloading proposal that had been intended to temporarily curb the surplus of allowances. MEPs turned down the proposal by 334-315 votes, with 63 abstentions.

Hours before today's vote in the European Parliament on backloading, Société Générale analyst said they expect MEPs to adopt the proposal, in a move likely to propel up traded carbon prices in the EU ETS from current lows around 4.8€/t to closer to €6/t.

On the eve before the European Parliament's vote on backloading – a measure deemed crucial for the future of EU emissions trading - over 40 power producers and technology developers including Areva, Alstom, EDF, EnBW, E.on, GDF Suez, GE, Shell and Statkraft, have made a strong case in favour of the proposal, arguing current carbon price levels at 4-6 €/ton are "insufficient to stimulate investments in low-carbon power generation.

Clarke Energy, a distributor and service partner for GE's Gas Engine Business, has been contracted by the Nigerian medical equipment maker IMIL to build a 14MW captive combined heat and power (CHP) plant power the company's manufacturing of syringes and healthcare products for the West African Market.

Even though Malta's Delimara power station could be immediately converted from using heavy fuel oil to diesel and eventually natural gas, the government has decided to shelf such plans for about two years until the necessary gas transportation infrastructure is in place.

Power markets in South America and Mexico are currently dominated by thermal power, but analysts expect the market share of thermal power in the total energy mix will drop to 35 percent by 2020, while the share of renewable energy will "increase substantially".

Wood Group GTS has won a contract to install 15 ECOMAX systems –an automated combustion tuning technology – for an unnamed owner of a large fleet of combined-cycle power (CCPP) in the US. Twelve of the units have already been installed and the remaining three will be installed later this year, the company said.

Project sponsors in Germany seem to have shelved nineteen out of 46 larger power plant projects by leaving open commissioning dates for the proposed plants in reaction to uncertain investment climate, German energy industry association BDEW told Gas to Power Journal.

US power producers used 16 percent, or 3.5 Bcf/day, less natural gas to generate electricity in March 2013 compared to the same month of the previous year, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. The lower use of gas compared with coal for power generation follows a rebound of traded wholesale gas prices at Henry Hub to $4 MMBtu by late March.

French GDF Suez will proceed with plans to mothball three power plants with a combined capacity of 1360 MW starting from May 25, it said in a market note posted on the website RTE, the French electricity transmission system operator.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has entered an agreement to license its KU gas engine technologies to ZGPT Diesel Heavy Industry Co. (ZGTP), a Chinese manufacturer of stationary and marine engines as a step towards entering the Chinese market for gas-fired distributed power generation.

Stricter emissions regulations from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could make many of the country's coal-fired power plants just as expensive to run as gas-fired plants, even at much higher prices for natural gas, Lincoln F. Pratson, professor at Duke University told Gas to Power Journal, commenting on a study under his lead from Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.

GDF Suez, Europe's biggest utility by market value, has plans to halt operations and mothball three of its four gas-fired power plants in France with a combined capacity of 1360 MW in the coming months, due to low demand and lower, the company confirmed today.

Low gas prices, state incentives, environmental regulations and the retirement of old power plants helps fuel rising investment in combined heat and power (CHP) installations in the US, according to a Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.

President Barrack Obama supports an initiative to expand the currently installed capacity of 82GW by another 40GW by the end of 2020.

Bavarian municipal utility Stadtwerke Rosenheim has installed a 9.5MW GE Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engine as the centrepiece of is newly upgraded and expanded cogeneration plant.

News in Brief

France imports more Russian gas

March 21 – Demand for Russian gas continues to grow in France, with Gazprom’s exports rising 5.4% last year to 12.9 billion cubic meters (bcm). The upward continued into early 2019 and provisional estimates show some 2.5 bcm of gas was exported to France from January 1 to March 14, 2019, a 1.9% increase on the previous year period, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller noted when discussing contractual supplies with his counterpart at ENGIE, Isabelle Kocher.

Merger wave grips UK oil &gas sector

March 20 – Significant pressures are here to stay in the UK oil and gas sector, with the trade association Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) saying the industry is facing a “new reality” amid high levels of M&A activity and the related transfer of assets. The ongoing consolidation process forces the industry to embrace new forms of collaboration and business models.

Chevron Nigeria to supply gas to Dangote

March 19 – Chevron Nigeria has agreed to supply natural gas to Dangote’s fertilizer plant in Nigeria. The deal is part of the international oil major’s gas supply obligation to the domestic market under the Nigerian Gas Master Plan.

POSCO wins $100m CHP deal in Mexico

March 18 – POSCO Engineering & Construction, part of the leading South Korean steelmaker POSCO, has signed a $100 million agreement with Ener AB to build a 100-MW combined heat and power plant in Mexico. Situated in Coahila, the CHP will serve the energy needs of the nearby Magnelec chemical plant.

Wood to install Siemens turbine in North Carolina

March 15 – Wood Group has secured a contract from Siemens to install a HL-class gas turbine at a power plant in North Carolina. Construction works are estimated to involve 400 people and last for approximately 11 months, Wood Group said. Once installed, the turbine will add 400 MW to the plant's existing capacity 1,200 MW. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

J-series turbine passes 750000 hours

March 14 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has announced their global fleet of J-Series gas turbines accumulated over 750,000 hours of commercial operation. The J-Series fleet now includes 39 turbines in commercial operation, with 28 of those exceeding 8,000 hours and the fleet leader having more than 45,000 hours of operation.

German gas prices up 9% in March

March 13 – Household energy prices in Germany have risen substantially in March 2019, compared to the same month in the previous year, according to the price comparison site Verivox.  Electricity prices increased 5% to a new record of 29.42 cents per kilowatt hour (ct/kWh) in March to date, up from 27.99 cents a year ago, while natural gas prices jumped 9% to 6.1 ct/kWh.

MAN turbines commissioned at Chinese CHP

March 12 – MAN Energy Solutions has installed and commissioned a MGT6000 gas turbine and a THM-series gas turbine at a combined heat and power (CHP) plant that replaces a coal-based power plant in Changsa, Hunan Province. Another MGT6000 just started commercial operation at a cogeneration plant, optimized to run on natural gas, at an industrial zone of Dongguan City in Guangdong Province.

Gazprom breaks ground on 200-MW CHP plant in Serbia

March 11 – Russia’s state-run Gazprom has started construction of a combined-cycle gas cogeneration plant near Pancevo Refinery in Serbia. The site is owned by Novi Sadpart, part of Gazprom Neft Group. The 200 MW plant will be Gazprom Energoholding Group’s first power project outside of the Russian Federation and is slated for commissioning in 2020

ABB pilots digital control rooms in Sweden

Jan 8 – Swiss-based ABB has launched a new digital solution for control centers that is being pioneered and tested in a pilot project by the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE). The cloud-based application works in synergy with many other ABB Ability solutions, and provides a platform for information-sharing.

MHPS opens new office in Bangladesh in bid to boost sales

Jan 7 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. (MHPS) has opened a branch office in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, to strengthen its regional sales capabilities for thermal power stations. With the economy growing 6% in recent years, the Bangladeshi government seeks to boost the nation’s power generation capacity from currently 17 GW to approximately 24 GW by 2021 and further to 40 GW by 2030. To reach this goal, Bangladesh has started importing LNG amid state supports for private sector investment in large scale LNG-to-Power projects.

Shell mulls sale of Mahanagar Gas stake

March 6 – Shell India, the local business of Royal Dutch Shell, is considering to exit its city gas distribution business by selling its 10% stake in Mahanagar Gas Ltd. Shell acquired the stake in connection with the BG takeover in 2016, and last year already offloaded most of shareholding two two bulk divestment deals.

Siemens buys KACO’s string inverter arm

Jan 5 – Siemens announced it will acquire the string inverter business of the KACO GmbH, a manufacturers of power electronics, for an undisclosed amount. Siemens said wants to integrate KACO in its new Smart Infrastructure Operating Company, and expects the deal to close in H1-2019.

Power gen dominates Rolls-Royce’s engine business

March 4 – For the first time, Rolls-Royce Power System has manufactured more engines for electric power generation than for marine propulsion, the UK-based company said when reporting solid full year results. Revenue surged 15% to a record €3.9 billion in 2018, with adjusted profit up at €358 million resulting in a 9.1% return on sales.

Siemens produces module batteries in Trondheim

March 1 – Siemens has invested in a battery module factory in Trondheim, northern Norway, equipping the factory with a robotizied and digitally supervised production line with eight 300 MWh stations. Up to 55 battery modules per shift can be assembled every day, for use mainly in the marine and offshore market.

GE CEO committed to reduce debt “soon”

Feb 28 – General Electric CEO Larry Culp, in his first letter to shareholders, has said the company has too much debt and needs to reduce it “thoughtfully and soon.” Seeking to rebuild the ailing manufacturer, Culp focuses on GE’s four core businesses: power, renewable energy, aviation and healthcare. By adopting a “disciplined financial policy,” he wants GE achieve an industrial net debt/EBITDA ratio of less than 2.5x and a dividend in line with peers over time.

IEA launches ESCOs directory

Feb 28 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has launched a new web resource dedicated entirely to energy service companies (ESCOs). The value of the global ESCO market grew 8% to $28.6 billion in 2017, helped by an 11% expansion in China and continued strong growth in the U.S.