Up to 60 percent of Saudi Arabia's ageing oil-fired capacity is foreseen to be replaced by gas generation by 2030. "If electric power continues to be generated on a large scale by inefficient oil-fired power plants, as it is today, then the Middle East would have to import crude," warns a Siemens study, carried out by the Technical University of Munich.
Power market liberalisation in Japan and South Korea is slowly forthcoming; and the lack of clarity over nuclear energy has prompted major utilities to delay firm LNG procurement decisions which could cause a supply crunch in the Pacific Basin, warns Gavin Thompson, head of Asia Pacific gas & power analysis at Wood MacKenzie.
Action seems forthcoming from policy makers in continental Europe to follow Britain's lead and introduce a carbon-floor price as a means to improve the profitability of gas-fired power generation (spark spreads). Germany's Green party calls for a minimum national carbon price of €15/ton, while the CEO of Austria's biggest utility Verbund, Wolfgang Anzengruber suggested only a carbon price at €35/ton would promote a switch from coal to gas.
Japanese utilities are rushing to step up LNG imports, spurred by Kansai Electric Power's announcement it will suspend operations of its two Ohi reactors until they comply with more stringent safety regulations. Gas-fired generation is vital to make up for the lost nuclear capacity and to avert the risk of power shortages.
Despite Europe's sub-par gas demand growth, with indigenous supply collapsing and global LNG supply diverting to Asia, suppliers like Gazprom "regain the whip hand" in Europe, Deutsche Bank analysts warn.
"A market that should be in the doldrums looks poised to see prices breaking to the upside," they forecast, singling out US LNG exports as a panacea to avert the risk of high-priced oil-indexed Russian gas that threaten to further undermine the profitability of gas power generation.
Myanmar's state-owned power producer has awarded Wood Group GTS a $13million contract to overhaul and upgrade three GE Frame 6B gas turbines in operation at a plant near the city of Yangon. "The order is our first major contract win in Myanmar," a Wood Group representative said, adding the retrofit is expected to increase the utility's revenue by $1million per year.
The 'Energiewende' (energy turnaround) is profoundly reshaping the energy landscape in Germany: Regulatory changes, financial incentives and technological developments are the driving factors for transforming a previously centralized, hierarchical energy system to an ever-more distributed conundrum with a rapidly-increasing share of renewables at its heart, says Frank Reichenbach, manager at The Advisory House (TAH).
Chinese investors are gearing up to spend close to $4 trillion on building and commissioning 88GW of new power generation capacity every year between now and 2030 – mainly hydro, renewables and gas-fired plants. A report compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecasts that China may annually start-up the equivalent of the UK's total generating capacity, boosting supply by more than 1,500GW in the coming 18 years.
Scotland-headquartered turbine services company, Wood Group GTS has upgraded its two facilities in Aberdeen, UK and Houston, US to add more gas turbine maintenance services for turbines used to power industrial oil and gas production. Previously, these engine lines were supported nearly exclusively by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
The Nigerian government's National Council on Privatization has received 110 submissions from joint venture companies interested in operating 10 power plants under construction, including gas-fired ones. The Nigerian government is in the midst of a privatisation program that will draw to a close at end of this year, a deadline set out by Vice President Namadi Sambo, chairman of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).