Daily News

The anti-competition regulator in Australia has ruled against a proposed purchase power generation assets worth $1.35 billion by AGL Energy. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a statement blocking the sale on the grounds that it would “substantially lessen” competition in the electricity market.

Singapore's Sembcorp Industries is gearing up to realise a new gas-fired cogeneration plant serving the Banyan, Tembusu and Angsana areas on Jurong Island. The plant has an initial capacity of 400 MW, with the potential to expand by a further 400 MW, the company said.

The Nigerian government is to sell off a further 10 gas-fired power plants in the Niger Delta on March 7th as part of its privatisation plans. Starting from Friday, the bid will be assessed for the assets on sale that have a combined power output of 5,000MW although not all are fully constructed yet.

Spot gas prices at the UK's National Balancing Point (NBP) softened today by about 2.50 pence in a correction to traders' overreaction to escalating tensions on Crimea that had propelled prices up to 61.30p/th on Monday amid fears about a reduction of Russian gas transits through Ukraine to Europe.

Gas power producer EnergyAustralia has announced writedowns of $133 million on its Australian gas assets, making it the latest energy provider to be hit by rising domestic prices following a dash to export Australian gas to Asia as LNG.

Fossil-fuel power plants will cover the lion's share of the forecast 2% annual rise in global energy demand driven by urbanisation and growth in population. Increasing the use of combined heat and power technology can help maximise fuel utilization up to 85% while minimizing urban space requirements, a Siemens paper shows.

Indonesian power provider PLN is considering a reduction in diesel use at its power plants and greater reliance on natural gas, biofuel and coal in a move to save $860 million in fuel costs. The company aims to cut diesel use by 1 billion litres per year through this diversification.

Equipment manufacturer Alstom has started erection and commissioning supervision for the first GT13E2 gas turbine delivered to the Nizhneturinskaya power plant in Russia’s Ural region. Works are part of an agreement that sees Alstom build 2 combined-cycle plants with a combined capacity of 460 MW on behalf of IES-Holding at a cost of €450 million.

Building on the success of the Trent family of engines, Rolls-Royce is developing two new generation engine designs. The British turbine manufacturer has share some details of its next generation engine designs, saying they "could be ready within ten years".

Independent power provider Calpine Corporation has completed its acquisition of the 1,050MW Guadalupe Energy Center in Texas. It bought the gas power plant from MinnTex Power Holdings as part of a deal valued at $625 million plus adjustments, or approximately $595 per kilowatt.
Many power plants are failing to get insurance cover due to concerns from underwriters over the security of cyber-defences at sites. Lloyd's of London have said that poor test scores from security risk assessors has forced their insurers to turn away potential multi-million pound contracts.

Investment in global energy infrastructure in Asia-Pacific is forecast to grow to $11.7 trillion by 2035, with the bulk spent on power and heat generation in China and India. Though there is no lack of local financing, but investors shy away from regulatory risk as power and gas prices are still regulated in many Asian markets, warns Seethapathy Chander, deputy director general of ADB.

News in Brief

Italy’s power exports Montenegro surge

Jan 22 – Italian electric power exports increased by 28% in 2020, largely driven by flows to Montenegro which surged 26% to 8.6 TWh. In contrast, domestic power demand fell 6% last year to 271.6 TWh with electricity sales from conventional plants down nearly 9% to 140.5 TWh, figures by the Italian energy exchange GME show.

US considers new nuclear

Jan 21 – The new US President Joe Biden has said his country could construct new nuclear power plants and reiterated plans to “swiftly rejoin” the Paris Climate Agreement swiftly. Germany’s environment minister, Svenja Schulze, called it illusionary to believe that newer, smaller reactors will be a technology of the future.

Mitsubishi produces methanol in Trinidad

Jan 20 – Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company has launched commercial operations of a methanol and dimethyl ether plant in Trinidad and Tobago. The plant has an annual production capacity of one million tons of methanol and 20,000 tons of dimethyl ether, which can be used as an alternative fuel for cars and power generation.

First 8-cylinder B36:45 engine delivered

Jan 19 – Rolls-Royce has delivered the first 8-cylinder variant of its Bergen B36:45 gas engine to a tomato producer in Belgium. The medium speed genset is planned for delivery this spring and will drive an onsite power plant that generates 4700 kW electricity and 5520 kW heat. The new engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder and will replace an existing Bergen 12-cylinder B35:40 genset.

Moody’s upgrades Enel to Baa1

Jan 18 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Enel’s long-term rating to Baa1, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects Enel’s progress in reducing its risk profile, analysts said, pointing at the Italian utilities ongoing investment in networks and renewables, growing geographical diversification and focus on centralised financing.

GE sues Siemens Energy

Jan 15 – General Electric has sued its German rival Siemens Energy over the alleged use of stolen trade secrets to win gas turbine contracts worth several billion dollars. GE told the US district court in Virginia that Siemens received the secret information from a Dominion Energy employee.

Orbital Energy launches Eclipse

Jan 14 – Nasdaq-listed Orbital Energy Group has launched a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation, a drilled shaft construction company. The new company specialises in providing services for power transmission and substations, communication tower and a disaster restoration through emergency power.

S’Korean coal and LNG imports slide

Jan 13 – South Korea’s imports of thermal coal and LNG have fallen 12% and 11%, respectively, as the government cracks down on fossil fuel usage to curb air pollution. Customs data shows that coal imports amounted to 10.2 million tons in December, down 1.4 million tons from the same month last year but up from November’s imports of 9.5 million tons.

SMC builds 1.7 GW CCGT in Batangas

Jan 13 – Excellent Energy Resources, part of SMC Global Power Holdings, is building a 1,700 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Barangay Dela Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City with investments of about 67.863 billion Philippine Pesos ($1.41bn). The project is estimated to be completed in 36 to 40 months.

UK’s National Grid issues supply warning

Jan 12 – Natural gas prices in the UK surged as National Grid issued warnings on supply deficit as LNG cargoes are being diverted to North Asia. Prices at the British NBP gas trading hub soared to the equivalent of $8.95 per MMBtu, while the JKM price for North Asian spot LNG cargoes for February 2021 was last at $19.700 per MMBt.

Fortistar invests in hydrogen

Jan 11 – Fortistar, a privately-held fund, has joined an equity investment of up to $157 million in hydrogen producer BayoTech. Cottonwood Technology Funds and the New Mexico State Investment Council also participated in the latest financing round. BayoTech’s systems produce local hydrogen close to the application, serving end users in the industrial gas and petrochemical segment as well as those who use of hydrogen to power fuel cells.

Ashtead appoints new CFO

Jan 5 - Ashtead Technology has appointed a chief financial officer (CFO) and five managers for newly created roles across its international team. The appointments are meant to cement the company’s position in the offshore energy market, including offshore wind and decommissioning of thermal power plants

NFE secures LNG for Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua

Dec 23 – New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to purchase Henry-Hub-indexed LNG for its integrated gas and power businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. The New York-based project developer said it now has covered 80% of its expected needs throughout Latin America, thus reducing its need for spot purchases and its exposure to changes in the market price for LNG.

China and Korea mandate coal-to-gas switch

Dec 22 – The Chinese government has launched a coal-to-gas boiler switching programme, targeting 7.1 million homes, which makes gas demand more weather-sensitive this winter. Similarly, South Korea mandated the closure of 15 coal-fired plants since the start of December in an effort to reduce air pollution. Analysts expect this will accelerate the drawdown of LNG terminal inventories going into Q1-2021.

GE repowers oil field in Brazil

Dec 21 – GE Power Conversion has been awarded a contract by Sulzer Pumps UK to supply motors for four water injection pumps of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The 8,000 kW, two pole motors will run at 3,600 rpm with a limitation of the starting current at 300%, enabling the oil and gas field operator to optimise the generator which supplies electricity on the FPSO.

VELO distributes Sapphire Metal 3D-Printers in the US

Dec 18 – California-based VELO3D has formed a distribution partnership with GoEngineer for Flow pre-print software, Sapphire metal AM printer, and Assure quality assurance and controls. GoEngineer will be VELO’s only distributor in the United States.

Indian electric boats to achieve zero emissions

Dec 17 – Cochin Shipyard, India’s largest shipbuilder, has asked Siemens Energy to equip India’s first fleet of 23 boats with electric propulsion drive train, integrated with batteries and vessel automation. Combining the electric propulsion drive trains, energy storage, and automation systems is expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption.

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