Daily News

Coal has been displacing gas generation in Europe since 2009 and the International Energy Agency expects this trend to continue: "We will have a Golden Age of Coal in Europe, at least over the next five years," says Anne-Sophie Corbeau, senior gas analyst for the International Energy Agency (IEA).

SSE, formerly known as Scottish & southern Energy, has completed the acquisition of Endesa Ireland Ltd for a total cash consideration of 308m plus an estimated 53m for working capital, the UK utility said on Tuesday. Once completed, the acquisition makes SSE the third largest generation capacity owner in Ireland's all-island Single Electricity Market (SEM) with 1,568 MW, or around 13% of installed capacity, in operation.

Gazprom is considering laying down a third 27.5 Bcm/year pipeline leg of Nord Stream as it aims to increase gas supplies to Germany, Netherlands and the UK. "Investment decision will be made in a short time," the Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said at a press conference at the Gastech conference in London today.

China, the fastest growing gas market globally, is forecast to keep growing at annual rates of around 13 percent, Anne-Sophie Corbeau, senior analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today, but she cautioned that the two-tier pricing system, with high prices paid for LNG imports and regulated low domestic gas prices, will keep hampering the growth of gas generation.

Siemens has been awarded contracts for the combined cycle conversion of two gas-fired simple cycle power plants in Argentina by Unión Temporal de Empresas (UTE), a joint venture between Isolux Ingeniería and Inversora Andina Ibérica. The upgraded plants are scheduled to achieve commercial operation in the fall of 2014.

BG Group chief executive Frank Chapman has today said US LNG exports would add flexibility to global gas market, but he cautioned that exported volumes will not big enough to change the regionalized pricing structure of global LNG markets.

UK energy and climate change secretary Edward Davey has today urged the gas industry to step up investment, singling out gas generation with carbon capture storage (CCS) as "vital" to provide backup electricity supply as generation margins are seen dropping to close to zero by 2015/16.

Gas generation is poised to play a bigger role in denting Brazil's need for peakload power supply, providing bottlenecks in the gas pipeline network get resolved in order to allow the country's power companies make full use of domestic gas reserves. Gas generation in 2011 made up 59.1 percent, or 13,220 megawatt, of Brazils 22,368 MW installed thermal capacity, according to GlobalData.

An increasing share of variable renewable energy sources in the grid requires a market push for the development and demonstration of flexible conventional power generation, says Christer Björkqvist, Managing Director of the European Turbine Network (ETN).

Britain's energy regulator Ofgem today said the projected tightening of the spare power generation margin over the next four years would step up the urgency for the upcoming energy reform (EMR) package to encourage investment.

General Electric expects a surge in demand for gas turbines in Saudi Arabia, as the government supports plans to double power generation capacity to 60 GW by 2023 as it aims to meet demand growth of about 8 percent a year.

Investment in combined heat and power (CHP) generators is on the rise in the United States, with proposed new cogeneration capacity for 2013-2016 amounting to more than 3,700 MW, latest statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) show.

Siemens is profiting from South Korea's growing demand for gas-fired power plants with high power density, Thomas Hagedorn, Sales Vice-President, who is heading the front office of Siemens Energy Solutions in Singapore, told Gas to Power Journal.

The UK Government has proposed capacity payments as a way to bridge the gap for gas fired generators, but EMR market interventions as proposed have the effect for many investors of replacing market risk with political risk, says Dr. Jim Fitzgerald, Associate Partner at The Advisory House.

"While CFD FiTs could mitigate political risk for low carbon generators, many gas-fired investors consider that without CFD FiTs, they will be less able to mitigate political risk as they may historically have done for market risks," he told Gas to Power Journal.

Deutsche Bank has reduced its forecast for German base and peakload power prices again by €2-3/MWh for the 2012-2015 period, amid a 21,500 MW rise in net capacity over the forecast period and subdued electricity demand growth.

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.