Shanghai Electric has commissioned its first combined-cycle power plant in Sylhet, eastern Bangladesh, on behalf of the regional Power Development Board (PDB). The project entailed the upgrade of a 150 MW open-cycle gas power plant unit to a 225 MW combined-cycle unit.
Russia’s Gazprom is fast-tracking major investments within its Eastern Gas Program to ramp up production and gas transmission capacities from Siberia to China. In Yakutia, Gazprom is working to bring the Chayandinskoye gas field to its design output of 25 Bcm and expand the gas treatment unit that feeds into the Power of Siberia interconnector.
OPEC producers and Russia, supported by the U.S. and Mexico, have agreed to cut output by about 10%, or 9.7 million barrels per day, after demand slumped due to coronavirus lockdowns. Though oil prices did not jump in early trading in Asia today, Wood Mackenzie says the supply cuts will lift oil and gas prices “significantly” starting from the second quarter.
Demand destruction due to lockdowns has shifted the relative economics of Europe's fossil power generators towards gas. Clean spark spreads are 10-14 EUR/MWh higher than dark spreads, but lower power prices mean it's still insufficient to see positive margins for CCGTs in Germany or France.
As China returns to work and energy demand recovers, four U.S. LNG cargoes are en route to Chinese import terminals. Two cargoes are seen heading for Tianjin and analysts suspect the buyers are CNOOC or Sinopec, which are likely to use part of the regasified LNG for power generation.
Shutdowns are lifted in China and South Korea, allowing battery supply chains to ramp back up while rivals in Europe and North America are in lockdown. Electric vehicle sales stayed strong through February, according to Wood Mackenzie, and China’s labour force is returning, expected to be at 70% in March and over 90% in April.
Germany’s largest utility Uniper and Siemens have agreed to jointly produce green hydrogen, derived from renewable energy, for use in Uniper’s existing gas turbines and gas storage units. The share of hydrogen co-firing is meant to be gradually increased in both gas- and converted coal-fired power plants.
Nokia is deploying the world’s first 450 MHz private wireless LTE network for the Polish power grid operator PGE Systems to enable wireless connectivity for up to 14 million smart meters and 35,000 SCADA connections. The 450 MHz band is being adopted across Europe.
Lockdowns will lead to more hours of negative wholesale electricity prices at the European Energy Exchange (EEX) this year. With many industries shut, energy use in Germany is forecast to fall 6% while wind and solar power output remains high, pushing prices below zero.
Carmakers are calling for a two year delay of Germany's national CO2 price in the transport and heating sector to help businesses stay afloat. Covid-19 lockdowns greatly reduce emissions, so the industry claims this would "make further climate policy measures unnecessary for the time being."
Though China’s economy and gas demand is picking up, the coronavirus pandemic chocked energy consumption elsewhere. Delivered gas prices into Northeast Asia today fell below $2.40/MMBtu, hence Wood Mackenzie warns spot LNG prices in Asia might soon drop below breakeven costs of U.S. upstream companies, causing production shut-ins.
The world’s first SGT6-9000HL gas turbine has been fired up at Duke Energy’s Lincoln Combustion Turbine Station near Denver, North Carolina. Siemens achieved first fire on April 6, and the turbine is now in full commercial operation at the new 402 MW simple-cycle unit.