Markets

The German government is striving to set up a production and import chain for renewable hydrogen from West African countries, where it can be produced cheaper due to better wind and solar condition. Once liquefied and shipped to a German port, the green hydrogen would help decarbonize the country's energy-intensive industry and transport sector.

Thailand’s latest Power Development Plan aims for natural gas to provide over 53 percent of the country’s energy by 2037, which requires a boost in LNG imports. With the cost of domestic gas production reaching $8/MMBtu, Electricity Generating Authority (EGAT) is keen to import spot LNG cargoes.

China’s coronavirus health crisis has slashed the country’s gas demand by 2 billion cubic metres (Bcm) by the end of the first week in February, mostly due to industry closures and quarantined workers. Anticipating a “limited resumption of economic activity,” Wood Mackenzie says full-year 2020 gas consumption could be between 6 Bcm and 14 Bcm lower.

Qatar Petroleum's CEO Saad bin Sherida Al-Kaabi has told the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), often referred to as Gas OPEC, that renewables are "no threat" to natural gas but rather “complementary.” As Qatar advances solar PV projects, fast-ramp gas gensets are seen as ideal backup systems.

Energy independence of the United States will be tested in the 2020s, unless there is a sharp reversal in the collapse of fresh capital expenditure in the shale sector, CME Group finds. Currently, CAPEX in shale oil and gas fracking is dwindling, and rig counts are falling.

Nemo Link, the first ever UK-Belgium power cable with 1,000 MW capacity, has allowed National Grid to import substantial amounts of cheap renewable energy. Over 5,889 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity were imported to the UK in the first year of operations and nearly 176 GWh to Belgium through a "near real-time" power trading system.

Royal Dutch Shell and Total have rejected China National Offshore Oil Corp’s (CNOOC) move to invoke ‘force majeure’ to cancel LNG import contracts. Though CNOOC can still cancel delivery of spot cargoes, the two European suppliers threatened to seek compensation.

Turkey’s Karpowership has submitted a proposal to the government of South Africa to provide a several ships to avert a looming power crisis. State-owned utility Eskom frequently resorts to load-shedding and in December, the government issued a request for information (RFI) to source up to 3,000 MW at short notice, and at the least cost.

Indonesia, home to 260 million people, will see its population reach 300 million by 2030  which pushes up power consumption 6.4 percent annually from 2,400 TWh per year seen today to 4,400 TWh/year. Considering Indonesia’s “limited renewables potential,” MHPS reckons the country’s rising electricity demand will largely be met by new gas-fired power units.

Fast economic growth and insufficient power gen capacity makes the Philippines a prime market. For small scale LNG-to-Power projects, MAN Energy Solutions calculates with an electricity wholesales price of 90 Euros per MWh. This is “very attractive” considering gas prices at the genset site of between 10.5 Euros and 35 Euros per MMBtu.

Italian turbine manufacturer Ansaldo has approved its 2020-24 Business Plan to reposition its service segment by “exploring partnerships” for its subsidiaries PSM and Ansaldo Thomassen, or the “sale of company stakes.” Compared with past years, Ansaldo said its order book is “more balanced” in 2020, hence some 100 million Euros can be spent on new production technology.

Anticipating “moderate revenue growth” for Gas and Power, Siemens hopes to reach an adjusted EBITA margin of 2-5% in fiscal 2020. Hence, the company is pushing through a wider cost optimization program with 1,000 million Euros in savings at the Gas and Power segment “on track and confirmed.”

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News in Brief

Exxon, INNIO about to launch gas engine oil

June 1 – ExxonMobil and INNIO have announced the imminent launch of their first co-engineered and co-branded natural gas engine oil. The U.S. oil major and the Austrian engine maker have just extended their global lubricant collaboration agreement for INNIO’s Jenbacher Type 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9 natural gas engines.

BelGAS launches new pressure regulator

May 29 – BelGAS has introduced its new P1098 High-Capacity Pressure Reducing Regulator, a large-volume regulator for natural gas, propane and other fuels. The pilot-operated device has a large-area actuator diaphragm, allowing for fast and accurate response to modulating gas flow conditions. It is adaptable for low to extra-high pressure—up to 400 psi main valve inlet.

GE to sell lightning business

May 28 – GE has signed a definitive agreement to sell its lighting business to Savant Systems, a provider of smart homes. CEO H. Lawrence Culp called the divestment “an important step in the transformation of GE into a more focused industrial company.” The transaction is expected to close in mid-2020.

China’s fuel demand recovers

May 27 – The Chinese government has lifted restrictions on private travel since April which pushed up demand for transport fuels. Gasoline demand has recovered particularly fast and is expected to return to last year’s levels by June 2020. Wood Mackenzie estimates gasoline consumption to reach 3.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in the second quarter, down just a 0.8% year on year. Diesel or gasoil demand is expected to reach 3.4 million b/d in Q2 2020, a 3% decline year-on-year. Overall, China’s oil demand is seen rise a “modest” 13.6 million bpd, or 2.3%, in the second half of 2020.

Wärtsilä to retrofit CHP in Spain

May 26 – The Finish engine maker Wärtsilä has bagged an order to supply and install a 34SG gas-fuelled engine generating set for Rofeica Energia's combined heat and power plant in Barcelona, Spain. The installation of the gas engine will allow Rofeica to switch the CHP from heavy fuel oil to gas-fuelled operation, reducing emissions.

New York body rejects William’s plans for gas pipeline expansion

May 21 – New York’s and New Jersey’s state bodies for environmental conservation have rejected Williams’ plans for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project, designed to transport 400 million cubic feet per day of gas from Pennsylvania to New York. The state bodies had already denied wetland permits in 2019, but Williams pipeline subsidiary Transco filed another application with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), arguing firm services under the project were agreed with UK’s National Grid for customers in New York City districts of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.

UK inflation at 4-year low amid falling energy costs

May 20 – The rate of inflation in the UK has fallen to a four-year low as the pandemic pushed down global oil and fuel prices which translate into lower wholesale power prices. The consumer price index fell to an annual rate of 0.8% in April, down from 1.5% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Deficit grows in German green energy fund

May 19 – German regional grid operator TransnetBW has warned of a growing shortfall in the country’s fund for green energy sources, financed under the so-called renewable energy (EEG) levy. TransnetBW, the TSO in southwest Germany, said “due to the EEG cost allocations defined for 2020, we anticipate there will be a negative year end bank account balance in the high three-digit million euro range for 2020.”

Spanish gas companies ‘resilient’

May 18 – Spain’s regulated gas companies “should prove to be resilient” to external shocks arising from coronavirus containment measures, Standard & Poor’s analysis finds, calculating with an average drop in EBITBA at less than 3% in 2020. A new remuneration framework for 2021-2026, recently enacted by the Spanish government, provides enhanced visibility rated grid operators amid the pandemic.

German electricity prices second highest in EU

May 15 – Taxes and the renewable energy surcharge have pushed up Germany’s household electricity prices to the second highest level in Europe, topped only by prices in Denmark. While Danish households paid 29.2 Euros per 100 kWh on average in the second half of 2019, prices in Germany averaged 28.7 Euros, according to the EU statistics office Eurostat.

Calpine’s Q1 earnings fall

May 14 – Calpine, America’s largest generator of electricity from gas and geothermal, has reported a net income of $128 million for the first quarter of 2020, down from $175 million in the prior year period. Lower commodity margins and unfavourable change in income taxes were partially offset by earnings from hedge positions for the three month ending March 31.

Siemens to supply hybrid plant in the Philippines

May 13 – Berkley Energy has contracted Siemens Energy to build a hybrid power project on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. The project links 16 MW wind power with battery storage, stabilizing energy supply in a remote location with a weak link to the grid and reducing its dependence on diesel.

U.S. energy emissions fall

May 12 – Energy-related carbon emissions in the United States have fallen more than energy consumption, down 2.8% over the course of last year to 5,130 million metric tons (MMmt). Power sector emissions were down 145 MMmt, due to a switch from coal to gas and renewables. In April 2020, emissions experienced another unprecedented fall in due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

MAN expands Omincare concept

March 11 – MAN Energy Solutions’ service brand has extended its ‘PrimeServ Omnicare’ concept from turbomachinery to the marine and power segments. The one-stop service solution is now also applicable for maintenance of third-party machinery, including engines, turbochargers and related auxiliaries.

MIVOLT launches cooling fluid

May 7 – MIVOLT, part of the British company M&I Materials, has launched two specialist fluids to improve cooling efficiency at data centres. The electricity demand of data centres is forecast to rise to 20% of global supply to accommodate lifestyle changes like 5G internet network, autonomous vehicles and bitcoin mining.

Germany adds 1,300 km to power grid

May 6 – Germany has made progress in expanding its strained power grid. According to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), over 1,300 kilometres of new power transmission lines have been built and another 830km approved. A further 3,600km are planned to be built by 2030 to alleviate grid bottlenecks and allow transporting rising volumes of offshore wind southbound.

 

 

 

Oman nationalizes first IPP

May 5 – Manah Power, the first privately-run Independent Power Project (IPP) in Oman, has been transferred to state ownership, following the expiry of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between United Power Company and state-owned OPWP. Manah IPP was developed under Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model, which stipulates an eventual nationalization of the assets – a feature absent in subsequent IPPs.