Markets

Growth in small- and medium industries drives the need for low capacity gas turbines, which are affordable and easily transported. Gas turbines with less than 50 kW are expected to surpass 1 GW in annual installations by 2024, while the overall market will top 34 GW over the same period.

Simultaneous failures at a gas-fired power station and an offshore wind farm have cut electricity for almost 1 million people in England and Wales on Friday night. The energy watchdog Ofgem requested an urgent report from National Grid into the causes of the outage.

The US set a new daily record on 19th July, of 44.5 bill cu ft natural gas consumption by electric power plants, according to S&P Global Platts. US power sector natural gas consumption exceeded the previous record of 43.1 bill cu ft – set on 16th July, 2018 – on five days last month.

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser has warned about a “significantly weaker” environment hitting profits in the company's key business units Digital Industries and Gas and Power. “Geopolitics and geoeconomics are harming an otherwise positive investment sentiment,” he said, stressing Siemens is still getting more orders that it executes.

Royal Dutch Shell has seen second quarter profits plummet 25% to $3.6 billion – way short of analysts’ forecast of $4.93 billion. Shell CEO Ben van Beurden blamed lower oil and gas prices and pointed out the company’s “good cash flow performance” not least due to the start-up of Prelude FLNG.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is taking steps to stop funding new fossil fuel-reliant energy projects by the end of 2020. A draft of the EIB’s new leaning strategy states the bank will no longer support upstream oil and gas, coal mining and power generation from fossil fuel sources.

TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, has agreed to divest three gas-fired power stations in Ontario for around C$2.87 billion (US$2.18bn) to Ontario Power Generation (OPG). The proceeds will be used to pay for construction of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline that will deliver feedgas to the LNG Canada project in Kitimat, B.C.

Engas, the Spanish gas network operator, has reported record gas deliveries to the electricity sector. July demand grew by 45% compared to the same month last year due to a sharp rise in gas-burn compared to coal amid high temperatures and low hydroelectricity production.

Retirements of coal-fired power plants by U.S. utilities over fuel economics or environmental reasons is expected to reduce the country’s overall coal generating capacity by nearly 120 gigawatts (GW) by 2025. Several retired plants are getting repowered with combined-cycle turbine technology, as utilities shift to cheaper and cleaner burning natural gas.

Iain Conn, the Centrica CEO, has decided to step down 2020 after posting a statuary operation loss of £446 million, mainly due to the UK energy price cap. The departing CEO also announced Centrica will stop producing oil and gas to focus on customer-facing business such as supplying electricity and energy services.

Australia will see solar costs – already competitive against gas power – breaking through the coal-fired power price barrier. Levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar power has fallen 42% in the past three years, according to Wood Mackenzie, and is forecast to reach $48/MWh in 2020 – beating all fossil fuel competitors.

With heat waves becoming more frequent and widespread, an additional 720 million people will seek to get access to air-conditioning by 2050. According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) ‘Cooling for All’ this would require roughly 105 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in 2050.

Summer gas prices in the United States are increasingly likely to fall to record lows not seen over the past 20 years due to high gas inventories and abundant new supply. For June, July and August, Henry Hub spot prices will average $2.37/MMBtu – some 19% lower than last summer’s average, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts.

Indiana-based Cummins has made an indicative offer to acquire MAN Energy Solutions, the large engine unit of Volkswagen Group. The German car maker reportedly also approached other MAN rivals to divest the engine maker before year-end, hoping to fetch some 3 billion Euros.

The French power grid operator RTE has halted operations of three nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 3 GW amid a lack of cooling water as Europe’s latest heat wave unfolds. The onus is now on flexible combined-cycle gas power stations to balance the grid as demand for air conditioning surges amid scorching temperatures.

Page 9 of 162

News in Brief

Norway’s oil fund starts investing in renewables

Dec 11 – The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), traditionally heavily exposed to the oil and gas industry, has been permitted to shift its strategy. Acknowledging heavy losses of the world’s largest pension fund, worth an estimated $1 trillion, the government in Oslo has allowed GPFG fund managers to also invest in unlisted infrastructure, notably renewable energy sources and alternative fuels, including hydrogen.

ENGIE invests in wind energy in Italy and France

Dec 10 – France’s largest energy company ENGIE has completed the acquisition of Renvico from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and KRR. The move contributes to utility’s ambition of boosting its renewable energy assets to 3 GW in Europe and 9 GW worldwide by 2021. The Renvico takeover comprises 329 MW of operating wind farms of which 142 MW in Italy and 187 MW in France. It also includes a 300 MW greenfield portfolio of various fossil power assets.

Dominion issues Scammer Alert

Dec 9 – Dominion Energy Ohio has reminded customers they will begin receiving the next U.S tax credits automatically, beginning in April 2020, in their monthly bills. Customers were warned not to provide banking details to scammers who claim such data is required to receive the federal tax credits.

BOL finances entire 220 MW plant in Nassau

Dec 6 – Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) has agreed to cover the entire costs to build a 220 MW power plant at the Clifton Pier site in Nassau, and transfer the assets to Shell North America. BPL and Shell had agreed to jointly develop a 220 MW power plant plus LNG regas terminal, but the Bahamas state utility later signed a $95 million contract with Wärtsilä to install a 132 MW engine-driven power plant at the same site.

Kepco to operate CCGT in Uruguay

Dec 5 – Kepco KPS has been awarded a contract to operate and maintain the recently commissioned combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant in Punta del Tigre, Uruguay. Under the O&M contract, Kepco said it expects to earn 17 billion Won in sales every year, for a maximum eight years.

Siemens to create thermal twin for Bajaj Energy plant

Dec 4 – Lalitpur Power Generation Company Ltd (LPGCL), part of Bajaj Group, has contracted Siemens to create a complete twin for its fossil power plant in Uttar Pradesh, India. The thermal twin, powered by thermodynamic analysis and machine learning, allows power plant operators to diagnose performance gaps for every asset in the cycle in real time.

Talks between Gazprom and Naftogaz continue

Dec 3 – Russia’s Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukrainy have continued difficult negotiations about an extension of Russian gas supplies and transit after the current contract expires on December 31, 2019. The two state-run companies are embroiled in a legal dispute that still needs resolving, however, they confirmed talks are underway and focus on the technical aspects of transiting Russian gas to Europe from 2020 onwards.

Asia seen add 400 GW by 2030

Dec 2 – Asian nations are expected to add more than 400 gigawatts (GW) of electrical capacity to the grid over the next decade — equaling about twice the installed capacity of Germany. Much of the new capacity will be renewables, backed up by some 140 GW of dependable gas-fired capacity, according to GE Energy findings. Hence, the U.S. turbine manufacturer decided to invest up to US$60 million to convert its Singapore repair center into a HA engineering and development center.

Total starts up hybrid plant with energy storage

Nov 29 – Total Quadran has started up the largest hybrid power plant combined with energy storage to harness the ample solar power potential of New Caledonia, a French overseas territory. With an installed capacity of 16 MW-peak, the plant also features a 10 MW lithium-ion energy storage system. Combining of hybrid solar PV units and possibly gas-powered generator sets with energy storage balance out supply swings and enhances the reliability of the electricity grid.

Rolls-Royce, AVK partner on standby gensets

Nov 28 – AVK, Britain’s largest supplier of critical power solutions for data centres and the financial sector, has partnered with Rolls-Royce’s MTU brand for standby gensets in UK and Ireland. The deal covers MTU Series 2000 and 4000 diesel systems in a range from 825 to 4,000 kVA. In the past 30 years, AVK has developed into the largest solutions provider in the UK’s critical power market and has to date supplied gensets equipped with MTU engines with a total capacity of more than 3.5 GW.

Golar suffers setback amid restructuring

Nov 27 – Golar LNG, owner of a fleet of 27 vessels, has seen operating revenues plunge 20% to $98.67 million, in the first nine month of this year, while net losses amounted to over $236 million. Bermuda-registered Golar in May 2019 announced plans to spin off its LNG carrier fleet with the aim of becoming a gas project developer. It recently won a contract for the Barcarena power project (605 MW) in northeastern Brazil.

Burckhardt buys remaining share of Arkos

Nov 26 – Burckhardt Compression’s subsidiary in North America has purchased the remaining 60% of Arkos Group. The US has the world’s largest installed base of reciprocating compressors, and the integration of Burckhardt and Arkos Field Services, will turn the company into the only independent one-stop provider for equipment and service in the upstream, midstream and downstream business.

Gazprom’s exports to Austria reach fresh record

Nov 25 – Supplies of Russian gas to Austria and transits to Western Europe have already exceeded record levels set last year. From January 1 through November 21, 2019, Gazprom delivered over 12.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas – 33.5% more than in the same period in 2018. Austria’s OMV imports Russian gas under a long-term contract that was recently extended until 2040.

OGUK responds to Labour Party Manifesto

Nov 21 – The UK North Sea industry association Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) has warned of an investment hiatus in reaction to Labour’s pledge to introduce a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, if it wins the General Election on December 12. Responding to this, OGUK said any increase in tax rates would drive investors away, damage the competitiveness of the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry, and could potentially increase the country’s reliance on imports. OGUK underlined it has put in place a ‘Roadmap 2035 a blueprint for net zero emission’ and is investing in technology to achieve this goal.

France, Germany and UK led on demand-side flexibility

Nov 21 – France, Germany and the UK are leading on demand-side flexibility (DSF) and grid-integration of decentralized energy sources while Sweden, Spain and Portugal are lagging behind the rest of Europe, the consultancy Delta-EE and SmartEN finds. Areas covered by their new DSF monitoring tool include availability and accessibility of demand-side response, and its monetization across the gas value chain.

AI predicts peak in power use

Nov 20 – ABB and Verdigris Technologies have developed machine-learning algorithms to predict unplanned peaks in electricity consumption and help avoid them. The Energy Forecasting app will enable users to reduce their electricity bills by reducing peak demand charges.

India’s first UHVDC link commissioned

Nov 19 – GE Grid Solutions has commissioned Pole-3 - the ultra high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission line in India, capable to transmit 4,500 MW of electricity. Once completed the Champa-Kurukshetra UHVDC project will be expanded to transmit 6,000 MW of electricity at 800 kV, serving customers in the areas of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh.