Markets

Brazil, second-largest producer of hydropower in the world after China, is implementing policy measures to add more solar PV capacity to the country’s energy mix, backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage. As part of the government’s 10-year energy expansion plan, nonhydro renewables is intended to grow 3% per year and reach up to 28% of Brazil’s domestic energy mix by 2027.

Cyprus has been racking up a string of giant gas discoveries, notably ExxonMobil’s Glaucus and Eni’s Calypso find. In total Wood Mackenzie estimates 11 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable gas resource was recently discovered in Cypriot waters but analysts question whether all discoveries can be commercialized. Building a pipeline to Egypt, or an FLNG plant off Cyprus, are the most viable options.

BP, one of the world's seven oil and gas supermajors, is understood to have agreed to pay around $10 billion to the private firm of the Romanian businessman Frank Timis after having purchased his stake in a gas field off the coast of Senegal for $250 million in 2017. BBC reporters uncovered this suspicious deal, but both BP and Mr. Timis deny any wrong doing.

Siemens has won a contract from an U.S. shale gas producer to supply three electric-drive centrifugal Dresser-Rand DATUM compression trains for two 250 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) cryogenic gas plants in the Delaware Basin, part of the greater Permian Basin in West Texas. The equipment will be commissioned in the latter part of 2020.

MAN Energy Solutions has won the "Africa Europe Award 2019" for its efforts in promoting German-African economic relations and establishing a sustainable and efficient local power supply on the continent. By 2050, Africa will be home to 25% of the world's population, hence sustainable power supply is vital to reach global climate goals.

Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, has pledged he would fight to save jobs at GE Power sites throughout the country. The minister’s comments come in reaction to GE's announcement it is seeking ways to lay off more than 1,044 employees at its Belfort manufacturing plant in eastern France, near the border with Switzerland.

Blackstone affiliate Zarou Ltd as well as Edra Power Holdings of Malaysia have both expressed interest to purchase three Siemens-build combined-cycle gas power stations in Egypt with a total capacity of 14.4 GW. A sale of the plants would ease the debt burden of state-run Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC), which owns and operates the three CCGTs.

Despite significant progress in energy access, the world is falling short of meeting the global energy targets set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030. The global electrification rate is now just over 89%, but the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns there is still a “dramatic lack of access to reliable, modern and sustainable energy in certain parts of the world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Spreads for arbitrage trading are narrowing between the Dutch TTF and the US Henry Hub as well as the TTF and the Japan Korea Marker (JKM), so Energy Aspects warns "any further tightening could close the arb windows and lock-in US supply.” The coal-to-gas switching level is seen at $3.70/mmbtu, or €11.1/MWh – below the breakeven to ship cargoes from the US to Europe at current freight rates.

Con Edison, the largest utility in the New York City area, has imposed a moratorium on new natural gas connections in most of Westchester County, claiming it it cannot guarantee uninterrupted service to new connections. Despite rising shale gas production in the Northeast, the rise in demand and infrastructure bottlenecks in the NYC area is now jeopardizing supply security.

Infigen Energy, an Australian listed renewable energy developer, has surprised market observers by announcing it will buy a 159 MW gas peaking power plant in New South Wales. The utility claims the Smithfield gas peaking plant will serve as a backstop, and allow it to invest in “up to 400 MW more cheap renewables.”

Japanese LNG imports notched up 0.3% in April, after dropping for five straight months over slowing demand for thermal energy as the restart of nuclear reactors progresses and coal outcompetes regasified LNG on price. Nine of Japan's 54 nuclear power stations were re-started last month, although only seven are currently operating.

Indian imports of LNG increased 9.75% in April, spurred by a drop in the costs of shipment and tepid demand from the power sector. Demand is bound to rise further if the Government will allow power plants running on regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to sell electricity into the higher-priced spot market.

Russia’s Federal Agency for Mineral Resources has approved Gazprom’s latest gas discoveries on the Yamal Peninsular, the Dinkov and Nyarmeyskoye fields, containing over 500 Bcm of proven reserves combined. The finds underpin Gazprom’s plans to produce up 360 Bcm/y from its 32 fields in the region, with most of the volume designated for export through the Nord Stream pipeline.

Accelerating its green energy transition, Xcel Energy has announced plans to retire its last coal power plants in the Upper Midwest a decade earlier than scheduled. Instead, the utility will expand renewables and operate its Monticello nuclear plant until at least 2040.

Page 10 of 158

News in Brief

Slow start of STT pipeline

Oct 18 – U.S. gas exports to Mexico have not picked up substantially despite the start of the Sur de Texas-Tuxpan (STT) pipeline. Exports are still below 6.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), although there no current postings regarding maintenance on the Sistrangas pipeline that feeds from NET Mexico.

EIB defers ban on fossil projects

Oct 17 – Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) has bowed to pressure from Germany and the European Commission and deferred its decision to ban loans to fossil-fuel projects until mid-November. Germany wants the bank to keep financing gas-fired power projects as it views the cleaner-burning fossil fuel as a vital backup for renewable energy sources.

Brexit will not impact UK gas supply

Oct 16 – Security of power and gas supply in the UK will not be jeopardized this winter by the country’s imminent departure from the European Union, even in the event of a hard Brexit, National Grid said. In its assessment, the TSO factored in a halt to flows via the Belgium and Dutch gas interconnectors “from EU exit day one”, but said ongoing deliveries from Norway, the UK Continental Shelf and storage will continue as usual.

Ferrybridge C gets demolished

Oct 15 – Four cooling towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station have been taken down as the coal-fired power station will make way to a new, high-efficiency gas power station. Operator SSE shut down the 500 MW Ferrybridge C unit in March 2016 and now started to tear it down.

Global energy storage tops 10 GW by 2025

Oct 14 – The global market for grid-connected energy storage will grow by 6,900 MW, or 16.6% to reach over 10,500 MW by the end of 2025, according to Reportlinker.com. Germany will add over 267 MW energy storage installations over the next five to six years, while 330 MW will come from other European markets. These numbers are dwarfed by China, where up to 1,200 MW energy storage units could be connected to the grid by 2025.

Wärtsilä services EDL plant

Oct 11 – Energy Developments Ltd (EDL) of Australia has awarded Wärtsilä a service contract for gas engine-based baseload power plant at the McArthur River zinc mine in Northern Territory. The maintenance approach for the 53 MW onsite power plant is no longer pre-planned and scheduled but has been changed to condition-based and predictive maintenance, with an advisory contract.

EPH buys CCGT in Galway

Oct 10 – The Czech energy company EPH has received regulatory approval to purchase an 80% stake in the 400 MW Tynagh Energy combined-cycle gas power plant in Galway, Ireland. Mountainside Partners will continue to own the remaining stake in the CCGT, which operates based on a security-of-supply contract from the Irish TSO based on guaranteed power prices.

ITM gets £38m boost from Linde

Oct 9 – Sheffield-based ITM Power, maker of electrolysers for hydrogen production, has been boosted by a £38 million cash injection, as Linde acquired a 20% stake in ITM at 40 pence per share. Looking ahead, ITM said it is seeking to raise £14 million from new and existing institutional investors.

Drax to convert two power units

Oct 8 – Drax Group has received government approval to convert up to two coal-fired generating units at its power station in North Yorkshire to run on natural gas. With this ruling, the UK regulator overturned objections by ClientEarth, stressing some fossil power is vital for the UK to backup intermittent renewable power source.

Storage use tops 80% in key U.S. regions

Oct 7 – Gas storage utilization in the United States is rising in the autumn, with net injections topping 112 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in the first week of October. According to EIA figures, underground storages are at least 80% full in the East, Midwest, and South Central non-salt regions, allowing for seasonal withdrawals to help meet peak-day gas demand throughout the upcoming winter.

Maine, NY aspire to 100% clean energy

Oct 4 – Three U.S. states—Maine, New York, and Ohio—have updated their renewable portfolio standards (RPS), since May 2019. As a result, Maine and New York joined California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia in requiring 100% clean electricity by 2050.

TransAlta to built CHP in Alberta

Oct 3 – Canada-based Transalta and SemCAMS Midstream have agreed to develop, construct and operate a new cogeneration facility at the Kaybob South No. 3 sour gas processing plant in Alberta. To be built at a cost of some 105 million, the CHP will have an installed capacity of 40 MW. Start of commercial operation is targeted for late 2021.

GE’s 100th HA turbine sold in Greece

Oct 2 – Greek industrial firm Mytilineos has ordered a GE 9HA.02 gas turbine to be the heart of the 826 MW Agios Nikolaos combined-cycle gas power plant. This deal also marks the 100th unit of GE’s HA gas turbine sold. Construction of the CCGT is due to start before the end of the year.

ABB launches M4M analyzer

Oct 1 – Swiss technology firm ABB has launches its first Bluetooth-equipped network analyzers, called M4M. The system gathers data from distribution grids and connects them to a cloud-based control system, allowing users to react on energy consumption and on-site power generation trends.

Microsoft invests in wind power

Sept 30 – Microsoft and ENGIE have entered a long-term solar and wind energy power purchase agreement (PPA) in the United States. The deal will see Microsoft purchase a total of 230 MW from two ENGIE projects in Texas, bringing Microsoft’s renewable energy portfolio to more than 1,900 MW.

Gazprom tackles issue of ownerless gas grid

Sept 27 – Gazprom, the main supplier of pipeline gas to Europe, is trying to settle the issue of ownerless gas pipelines – a relic of the former Soviet Union. Abandoned gas transmission pipeline spanned 6,651 kilometers as of March 1, with the issue seen as “especially acute” in the North Caucasus region where half of this infrastructure is located. If no owner registers these facilities within three months, Gazprom will take over to ensure reliability and safety.

Investors flock to Myanmar

Sept 26 – Fitch Ratings has singled out Myanmar’s power sector as one of the largest beneficiaries of foreign direct investments (FDI) worldwide. Nearly $21.2 billion was poured into power generation and energy infrastructure projects thus far in 2019, which is 27% of total FDI under the Myanmar Investment Law.