Markets

Demand from Chinese energy companies drives the expansion of the global stream condenser market for thermal power plants to US$3.3 billion by 2020, GlobalData analysts forecast.

Siemens has posted an overall 3% decline in new orders in the first fiscal quarter of 2013 amid weakening industrial demand for products from its 'automation & drive' sector. Revenue from its 'energy' segment continues to grow.

2013 could be the year in which the share of total European supply priced under oil-indexed formulas falls to less than 50%. "We believe this could be a tipping point," says SocGen analyst Thierry Bros.

In the face of persistently high oil-indexed gas prices in Asia, the Institute for Energy Economics in Japan (IEEJ) calls for demand-side response and urges operators to improve the efficiency of gas-fired power plants.

Despite the quest of the Chinese government to fast-track developing domestic shale gas reserves to underpin new gas-fired power plant projects, analysts stay sceptical. 

"We remain cautious about the potential of shale gas in China," says Gavin Thompson, Principal Consultant, Asia Pacific Gas & Power at Wood Mackenzie. "The proven reserves in China are incredibly low, most of the terrain is very rough and challenging and the companies involved are inexperienced in terms of technological expertise in extracting gas," he told Gas to Power Journal by phone from Beijing today.

A cold spell in the US Northeast has propelled up forward gas prices in New England fourfold to levels rivalling north-western European prices, which could lead to an increase in LNG imports, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG), Australia's largest investment bank, has bought a second gas-fired power plants in the U.K., taking a long-term view that profitability of burning gas will improve.

The economics of gas generation in India hinge on peak production and buyers need to be prepared to pay higher prices for reliable power supply at times of peak demand, says Rajeev Mathur, executive director marketing at the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL).

The danger of power shortages in Brazil, the world's sixth largest economy, have dispersed as rainfall replenishes reservoirs at hydroelectric dams while energy minister Edison Lobao insists there will be "no shortages of gas for the thermo-electric plants".

Steam turbines demand is expected to pick up slowly in Japan after 2014, Frost & Sullivan forecasts. The growth rate in the Asia Pacific steam turbine market contacted to 4.7% in 2012 from 50.4% in the previous year as coal-fired power plants using steam turbines were not used as a substitute for nuclear power shut-down in the wake of the Japan's Fukushima disaster, says Subha Krishnan, research analyst, Asia-Pacific Energy and Power Systems at Frost & Sullivan.

Enerjisa is on the lookout for opportunities to increase gas import volumes as it aims to more than double its power generation capacity to 8 GW to reach a minimum market share of 10% by 2020, a Turkish market source told Gas to Power Journal.

The Netherlands have become the largest importer of Germany's rising surplus of intermittent power supply. Net exports to the country amounted to 17.5 TWh between January and October last year, according to data published by the German energy association BDEW.

To restore the competitive of natural gas against coal as a fuel for power generation, coal prices by would have to rise almost $80 to reach levels over $160 per tonne, according to Deutsche Bank analysts.

Weak economic growth forecast, reduced power consumption and rising renewable power supply amid new solar PV installations, "clearly point to sustained difficulties for German [conventional] generators during 2014," Société Générale analysts forecast.

The newly sworn-in Japanese government is considering taking a U-turn on nuclear power, overthrowing the 2030 nuclear exit policy of the former administration, with the greater market share of nuclear curtailing poised to curtail gas generation.

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News in Brief

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.

COP25 urged to step up climate efforts

Nov 18 – The COP25 UN climate conference in Madrid is urged to enshrine greater commitments from the world's industrialised nations to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. “Europe will have to play a key role in this regard,“ environment minister Svenja Schulze said, adding Germany's recently announced climate package marks a "restart" in the country's climate policy.

Wärtsilä launches ‘Expertise Centre’ in Singapore

Nov 15 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has chosen Singapore as the location for its latest Expertise Centre (EC) that provides operational support and dynamic maintenance planning, both for marine and energy business customers. All of Wärtsilä’s Expertise Centres combined currently monitor some 900 installations with more than 2,000 engines around the world.

U.S. storage injection hits record high

Nov 14 – Near-record volumes of natural gas have been placed into storage in the United States in the current injection season. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the amount of gas held in storage in 2019 surged from a relatively low value of 1,155 billion cubic feet (Bcf) at the beginning of April to 3,724 Bcf at the end of October.