Markets

Plans for debut trading in Hygo Energy at the US stock exchange NASDAQ have been shelved amid corruption allegations against the company’s CEO Eduardo Antonello. Hygo, a joint venture between Golar LNG and the U.S. private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, had plans to develop two LNG-to-Power projects in Brazil.

Asia’s largest LNG exporters, Indonesia and Malaysia, are stepping up domestic LNG deliveries. A flurry of decentralised gas power plants are under development in Malaysia and across the Indonesian archipelago, looking for steady and attractively-priced LNG supply.

erThough delivered prices for coal at US power plants keep declining, burning gas is more profitable. Fuel costs for coal power units fell from $2.25 per MMBtu to less than $2.00/MMBtu, but this is not enough to outcompete combined-cycle power plants running on cheap shale gas.

Shares in Siemens Energy have opened lower than anticipated on their first trading day in Frankfurt in what analysts called a “modest market debut.” Shares opened at 22.01 Euros apiece on Monday, giving the Siemens spin-off a market value of 16 billion Euros – less than the previously estimated 22 billion Euros.

The spin-off Siemens Energy has decided to locate is corporate headquarters in Berlin, where the mother company was founded in 1847. CEO Christian Bruch was quick to point out the choice of Berlin will not distract from the important functions of other locations across Germany – notably Mühlheim and Erlangen.

Investment in U.S. generating capacity is dominated by gas power units due to its cheap capacity costs. Though construction costs for solar PV more than halved to $1,848 and costs for onshore wind fell to $1,382, both lose out on gas-fired units which cost just $837 per capacity added.

US engineering giant GE has decided to exit the market for new-build coal power plants in a bid to transform the structure of the company. “We are focused on power generation businesses that have attractive economics and a growth trajectory,” said Russel Stokes, CEO of GE Power Portfolio.

Gazprom Export’s electronic sales platform is offering new trade tools, enabling buyers to choose from several delivery points and allowing volumes to vary on a daily basis. The pricing of these new contracts can now be linked to different energy carriers and gas indexes.

A cold start to winter across Northeast Asia could boost demand and widen spreads between the Japan Korea Marker (JKM) and the Dutch TTF trading hub for Nov-20 and Dec-20 contracts. If JKM-TTF spreads widen to $0.71 per MMBtu, Asian buyers will rush to snap up US spot LNG cargoes.

The U.S. economy still runs largely of fossil fuels, with petroleum, gas and coal accounting for 80% of both domestic energy production and consumption. Renewables account for just over 12% of the energy mix and nuclear for the remaining 8%, with little drive towards green energy sources except for California.

To reach net-zero emissions globally by 2070, the industry needs to “dramatically scale up clean energy technologies” particularly in areas beyond the power sector. The International Energy Agency (IEA) hence compiled over 800 options to curb emissions, e.g. shuttering inefficient coal power plants, steel mills and cement kilns.

Gas-fired power plants in China a struggling to stay afloat as profits are squeezed by Beijing’s reduction in regulated power tariffs. Since June, tariffs for electricity generated from gas have been cut by 16% to 28% in key coastal provinces to bolster energy-intensive industries amid trade tensions with the U.S.

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News in Brief

MAN to maintain power plant in Benin

Oct 23 – PrimeServ, the after-sales brand of MAN Energy Solutions, has signed a service agreement with BWSC for the Maria Gleta power plant near the city of Cotonou, Benin. The 127 MW plant is powered by seven MAN 18V51/60DF engines. The ten-year contract covers the supply of spare parts and the provision of technical services for scheduled maintenance.

Gas saves Virginia over $14bn

Oct 22 – Virginia’s businesses and families saved more than $14.2 billion between 2008 and 2018 thanks to low-cost natural gas and expanded energy infrastructure, according to a new Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) report. Almost 60% of power generation relies on natural gas and a third of its households use gas for home heating.

Energy storage for LNG-powered vessels

Oct 21 – Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf has asked Wärtsilä to retrofit its energy storage system (ESS) on four LNG-fuelled platform support vessels. Once upgraded in early 2022, all vessels will be of full tri-fuel operation.

Mott McDonald starts construction on ALCP6

Oct 20 – US construction firm Mott McDonald has started building the ALCP6 waste to energy project in Krabi province, southern Thailand. The plant will incinerate 144,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, and the heat obtained will be converted into 6 MW of electricity to be exported to the Thai national grid.

Brace for EU sustainable finance rules

Oct 19 – Sustainable finance practices, drawn up by the European Commission, could create a "bureaucratic monster" that smaller companies and energy investors would find overbearing, the Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (ifo) warned. The regulation should hence prioritise closer scrutiny of large and listed companies.

UK could become net power exporter

Oct 16 – Increased interconnection could provide a route for excess offshore wind power in Britain to be consumed elsewhere in Europe. National Grid Interconnector Register shows up to 16 GW of interconnection could be operational by 2025 and up to 25.4 GW by 2030.

Wärtsilä to deploy GridSolv in US city

Oct 15 – AEP OnSite Partners has contracted Wärtsilä to deploy its GridSolv Quantum energy storage in the city of Martinsville, Virginia. The system includes an UL9540A limiting 2-hour battery firewall and will help lower the city’s energy costs.

Rolls-Royce spends $13.9m in Mankato

Oct 14 – Britain’s engine maker Rolls-Royce has decided to invest nearly $14 million in its Power System business to build a new R&D centre at its MTU manufacturing plant in Mankato, Minnesota, US. The expansion will see 28,000 square foot added to the facility’s existing hall, making room for the production of high-power MTU gas gensets, enhanced product testing and the creation of 20 new manufacturing positions.

Clarke commissions Vitalait power unit in Tunisia

Oct 13 – Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher have completed the commissioning of an onsite power plant of a milk producer in Tunisia. The installation of another Jenbacher gas engine has increased the plant’s output to 4 MW of electricity as well as 1,100 kW of hot water and 800 kW of steam.

Secondary battery market to top $55bn

Oct 12 – Technavio expects the secondary battery market to grow by $55.62 billion through 2024, rising at an 11% rate over the forecast period. Falling costs for lithium-ion batteries as well as growing demand in Asia Pacific allowed the market to grow 2.01% this year, despite adverse effects of the pandemic. Top battery suppliers are Tesla, Clarious, Exide, LG Chem, GS Yuasa and Samsung.

Shift to sustainable tech

Oct 9 – Three quarters of utilities, surveyed by EIT InnoEnergy, are considering adopting sustainable technology over the next 12-18 months. However, over one third of the respondents found it hard to recruit the skills they need.

Generator rentals slow

Oct 8 – The rental market for power generators has slowed down due to the pandemic, with genset rentals from the oil and gas industry forecast to grow by just $153.87 million this year. However, Technavio expects the market will return to a 3% annual growth rate by 2024.

GE upgrades Italian CHP

Oct 7 – GE has completed an axial fuel staging upgrade on its 9E gas turbine at an onsite combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Milazzo refinery in Sicily. The entire electricity needs of the refinery, over 780 GWh in 2019, will soon be supplied by the upgraded and more flexible gas turbine.

Operating assets ‘from anywhere’

Oct 6 – GE Digital’s latest software gives electric utilities remote and mobile control over their power stations for remote start-up, external monitoring and operational fine-tuning. The goal is to safe cost through autonomous operation from any location.

Chart wins order from New Fortress Energy

Oct 5 – Chart Industries has secured a second leasing order, worth $7.7 million, for ISO containers for LNG applications from New Fortress Energy for a project in the Caribbean. The US equipment maker sees double digit near-term growth in its repair, service and leasing business, notably from growing demand for LNG equipment for infrastructure.

Siemens energises Togo

Oct 2 – Siemens Energy has delivered a SGT-800 gas turbine and other components for the Kékéli Efficient Power plant project. Located in the Togolese capital Lomé, the 65 MW plant will cover almost 40% of country’s expected electricity demand.

Batteries get cheaper

Oct 1 – Cost for battery production is falling rapidly as manufacturers bring large Gigafactories on-line. By 2030, Bloomberg New Energy Finance anticipates battery pack prices to drop to $73 per kilowatt-hour, down from a current volume-weighted average of below $270/kWh.

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