Daily News

Industry in South Africa is used to rolling blackouts and load-shedding due to a chronic lack of power generation infrastructure. But Absa Bank expects President Cyril Ramaphosa’s latest move to allow businesses produce up to 100 MW electricity without a generation license will unlock fresh investment in decentralized power plants, reducing reliance on state-run Eskom.

Effective smart grids need to gather, store and interpret vast amounts of data from physical assets which can be facilitated through Ovarro’s latest remote telemetry unit (RTU). The device acts autonomously to maximise the output of decentralized, hybrid power gen assets as the world’s electricity consumption is forecast to surge 70% from 2015-levels by 2040.

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) and GE Gas Power have agreed to develop a roadmap to reduce emissions from EGA’s operating fleet of gas turbines by turning to hydrogen as well as carbon capture, utilisation, and storage solutions (CCUS). The aim is to retrofit EGA’s turbines to partially run on clean hydrogen and capture most gas-based emissions.

Italy’s TSO Snam Rete Gas has acquired a stake in pipelines carrying Algerian gas to Italy in a bid to accelerate hydrogen imports to Europe. Snam agreed to pay Eni €385 million for a 49.4% stake in the pipelines that could soon carry green hydrogen from Algeria to fuel Italian power stations and help decarbonise heavy industry.

Gazprom’s management has endorsed the 2022 investment budget of 1,757.69 billion Roubles (US$23.37bn), including 1,427 billion Roubles for capital investments, while borrowings amounts to over 272 billion Roubles. Top priority projects include new gas production centres at Yamal, Yakutia and Irkutsk well as upgrades of the Power of Siberia gas trunkline to boost exports to China.

London-based sustainable energy specialist Gresham House Energy Storage Fund (GRID) has secured a £380 million bespoke funding package from NatWest to support its UK energy storage pipeline. The funds will help ensure seven newly announced BESS projects can be completed in 2022.

TEPCO Power Grid, JERA and Tokyo Electric Power Services (TESPCO) agreed to carry out a data collection survey on Indonesia’s decarbonisation pathways. With 6-7% GDP growth since 2010, Indonesia sees strong electricity demand growth - currently mainly covered by coal - though the Government in Jakarta pledged to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

Gazprom plans to develop and implement a series of natural gas-based hydrogen projects in a bid to decarbonise industry and transport in Russia. A draft roadmap has been submitted to the government, Gazprom said, whose group enterprises currently produce over 350,000 tons of hydrogen and hydrogen-containing gas per year. 

E.ON plans to invest over €27 billion in its core business – grids and retail power – by 2026, joining rival RWE which said days earlier it will spend €50 billion through 2030 to double its green power capacity. "Decarbonisation of Europe's economies places the energy industry at the threshold of a key decade of growth," commented E.ON CEO Leonhard Birnbaum.

Siemens Energy has secured a turnkey contract to build GNA II, a 1.7 GW integrated LNG-to-Power plant at Port of Açu, in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. Customer is Gás Natural Açu for whom Siemens commissioned the equally-sized GNA I complex in summer 2021 – at an overall project value of more than €1 billion.

INNIO Jenbachers’ combined heat and power (CHP) systems supply climate-friendly energy based on natural gas and hydrogen. And to best utilize complex, hybrid energy systems, the Austrian manufacturer developed myPlant Optimisation which uses artificial intelligence (AI) for overall plant operation.

Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) only make sense together with direct-air-capture technologies. Hydrocarbons will be needed even in a CO2-neutral economy – whether in artificial paraffin or for plastics –  analysts at Germany’s federal environment agency (UBA) say, hence "future carbon cycles can only be closed permanently with additional carbon extraction from the atmosphere.”

Striving to eliminate greenhouse gases from power transmission, Siemens Energy is investing over €60 million in a new factory, where vacuum interrupters without fluorinated gases – especially sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) – will be manufactured within the company’s switchgear plant. The new facility is scheduled start producing in 2023.

German state-owned railway company Netinera has contracted Rolls-Royce to overhaul up to 180 PowerPacks, based on mtu Series 183 engines. Netinera uses these PowerPacks in its regional trains of the type Siemens Desiro. The contract follows a similar deal for Alstom Lint trains.

News in Brief

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 18 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop projects for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

GE to repower Long Lake plant

Jan 17 – GE will modernize four generors at the Long Lake hydropower plant in northwest US, operated by Avista Utilities. Once refurbished, the plant will have an installed capacity of more than 100 MW. The first modernized Long Lake unit is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2024 and the last one in 2029

mtu to power Romania’s largest data center

Jan 14 – mtu Series 4000 gas generators will provide electricity heat and cooling for Romania’s largest data center. ClusterPower is building a 273,000-squaremetre technology campus near Craiova by 2025, where it will host five data centers with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1

Green hydrogen from Quebec

Jan 13 – Charbone has agreed to provide the US propane distributer Superior with green hydrogen from its Sorel-Tracy facility in Quebec, Canada, starting from the third quarter of 2022. The hydrogen will be delivered directly from Charbone’s H2 plant to Superior’s customers which include mining, power generation, transportation and industrial energy users. 

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 12 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop project for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

US rivals Australia as world’s largest LNG exporter

Jan 11 – Analysts at the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) are confident that the growth in US LNG exports could see America’s liquefaction and send-out capacity exceed that of Australia and Qatar – the world’s two largest LNG exporters. Looking ahead, the EIA expects US exports of the super-chilled gas will rise 17% from 2021 levels to average 11.1 Bcf/d from December through March.

Africa’s first FLNG plant arrives in Mozambique

Jan 10 – Coral Sul FLNG, Africa’s first-ever floating LNG facility has arrived in Mozambican waters. The plant is critical to develop the US$7 billion Coral South project, led by the Italian oil and gas company Eni. Some of the produced gas will be used for power generation in Mozambique, though most will be liquefied and sold to global markets.

GE snaps up Opus One Solutions

Dec 23 – GE Digital has agreed to acquire Opus One Solutions Energy Corp, a Californian software company that helps utilities integrate renewables and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) at scale across the electric grid. The transaction is expected to close within 30 days, GE stated without disclosing what price was paid for the takeover.

Qatar invests in Rolls-Royce’s nuclear power business

Dec 22 – Qatar Investment Authority, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to invest £85 million in Rolls-Royce SMR, the company’s new technology for small-scale, low carbon nuclear power. UK business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng called the investment a “clear vote of confidence” in the UK’s nuclear innovation. It follows £210 million Qatari investment in the development in Small Modular Reactors. Now fully funded, Rolls-Royce SMR business also received £490 million through commercial equity and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant funding. 

JERA helps Japanese film producer curb emissions

Dec 20 – Toho, a Japanese film producer and entertainment company, will get support from the country’s largest power producer JERA to reduce CO2 emission from film production. To that end, JERA will supply zero-emissions energy to Toho and draw up a roadmap to decarbonise the media company as a whole.

Tractebel develop concept to store H2 offshore

Dec 17 – Tractebel Overdick and partners have developed an offshore infrastructure and processing facilities concept that relies on the storage of hydrogen (H2) in offshore caverns. The design study outlines a scalable offshore platform for the compression and storage of up to 1.2 million cubic meters of hydrogen.

Ethatec uses CO2-free power to produce ethanol

Dec 15 – ESG Clean Energy has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Ethatec to use ESG’s patented CO2-free gensets to its ethanol production. Ethatec uses waste from bakeries and pizza factories which is being crushed and then mixed with water and enzymes and heated in a multi-stage mashing process to saccharify the starch. It is then cooled and fed into fermentation tanks, where yeast is added. for alcoholic fermentation of the sugar. After 72 hours, the mixture is fed to a distillation system where ethanol is obtained.

Anax helps Magellan mine bitcoin under US$12m deal

Dec 16 – Ohio-based Magellan Scientific has entered a long-term accord, worth US$12 million, with Anax Power to generate zero-emission electricity from natural gas flows for Magellan’s distributed data centres, using 500 kW Anax turboexpanders. This green power will be used to lower the carbon-intensity of bitcoin mining and help US interstate pipeline operators and utilities accelerate their net-zero emission goals.

Cryogenic insulation market to top $4.6m by 2026

Dec 14 – The global market for cryogenic insulation is forecast to reach $4,659.85 million by 2026, expanding at an annual rate of 8.76% over the next five years. According to ResearchandMarkets, companies need to keep investing in R&D to deliver more efficient products at a lower cost and improve product durability.

Industry wary about new German energy policy

 Dec 13 – The German industry is closely watching how the new coalition government will implement its clean energy policies.  Security of supply is a major issue given that the coal exit date has been pushed forward by eight years to 2030, while electrification of transport and hard to abate industries is set to push up demand substantially. To decarbonise traffic, over 15 million electric cars are meant to be on the roads by the end of this decade.

ADNOC awards FEED contract to Technip

Dec 10 – Technip Energies has been awarded a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract to integrate carbon capture technology to ADNOC’s Ghasha mega project in Abu Dhabi. The Ghasha Concession is the world’s largest offshore sour gas development, where ADNOC together with Eni, Wintershall Dea, OMV and Lukoil aim to develop up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of natural gas, as well as condensate and oil.

US gas-burn down 3.6% on mild weather

Dec 9 – Natural gas used in the US power sector has fallen by 3.6%, or 1.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) over the past week amid mild weather conditions, although industrial sector consumption was up 0.5%, or 0.1 Bcf/d over the same period. Natural gas exports to Mexico increased 3.6%, or 0.2 Bcf/d . Natural gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export facilities (LNG pipeline receipts) averaged 12.0 Bcf/d, or 0.3 Bcf/d higher week-on-week, according to government data.