Markets

French investment bank BNP Paribas sees "little hope" that the U.S. gas industry will sell more gas to electric utilities during the upcoming peak summer month based on increased cooling requirements.

Demand for natural gas in the EU will reach pre-crisis levels only by 2018, the French investment bank Société Générale said in a recent report.

Alstom, the French manufacturer of power plant turbines, forecasts the market for power equipement in Russia to expand on the back of new-built capacity. "For the power generation market, it is a 12 billion to 13 billion euro market," Denis Cochet, head of sales and marketing at Alstom, said in an analyst presentation.

A surge in shale gas production in the U.S. is underpinning a boost of the market share of gas-fired power generation. Shale natural gas production in key shale plays in the U.S. grew from 1.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) per year to 7.2 Tcf/year between 2007 and 2011, Lippman Consulting said in a recent report.

Demand for daily electricity consumption in the Indian state of Andrah Pradesh is at an all-time high, surpassing the record mark of 13,000 MW and reached a daily record of 13,376 MW on Tuesday, figures published AP TRANSCO, the electricity transmission system operator of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, show.

Increasing price competitiveness of natural gas relative to coal for power generation has led to a plunge in the share of coal in the U.S. energy mix below 40 % in November and December, the Energy Agency (IEA) said in a market update.

hirohisa-yamada-iea80x109

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates under its BLUE Map scenario that around 20% of gas-fired power plants in China will include carbon capture storage (CCS) technology by 2050, Hirohisa Yamada, IEA energy analyst, told Gas-to-Power Journal today.

IEA's BLUE Map Scenario is based on the assumption that one third of overall global carbon emission reductions will need to come from the power generation to reach the global climate goals. In contrast, in IEA's Baseline Scenario, the use fossil energy will surge 82% which will lead to a rise of global temperatures by 6 degrees Celsius.

RWE, Germany's second-largest utility, has posted a 9% drop in its 2011 electricity generation volume to 205.7 billion kilowatt hours (kW). The decrease is attributable to outages of several gas-fired power plants in the Netherlands and in the U.K. as well as to the shut-down of the Biblis nuclear power station, RWE said today when presenting its 2011 annual results.

The volume of natural gas used for power generation in the U.S. surged by 27% this February compared with the same month last year, according to estimates of BENTEK Energy LLC, an energy market analytics company.

India is ready to import 5 GW of electricity from Iran as the two countries reached an agreement to export electricity instead of natural gas. Electricity exports will be "more cost-efficient" for Iran compared with exporting natural gas, Iran's energy minister Majid Namjou said on Sunday.

ETN Christer_Bjorkqvist

Christer Björkqvist

The challenges resulting from Spain's high volumes of intermittent power supply from renewable energy sources will not be solved by the Government's cut in renewable subsidies, Christer Bjorkqvist, Managing Director, ETN-European Turbine Network forecast.

"The cut will of course reduce the growth of renewables, but the problem is still there as Spain already has such a high amount of intermittent renewable energy production in the energy mix," he told Gas-to-Power Journal today.

Gavin Thompson

Gavin Thompson

The use of LNG in the power sector has developed despite the comparatively low average domestic gas price in China and the dominance of domestic coal in the power sector, Gavin Thompson, Head of Wood Mackenzie's China Gas & Power Research team in Beijing told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' today.

"We have something like an additional 30 GW of CCGT coming online in China by 2016 - this is named capacity, so pretty certain it is happening," Thompson said.

Franco-Belgian utility GDF Suez is in the process of restarting operations of its gas-fired power plant in Spem, France. The plant currently generates 47 MW but it is expected to be ramped up to full capacity of 435 MW by the end of today, a GDF Suez representative told 'Gas-to-Power Journal'.

Endesa, Spain's second largest utility, has reinforced its leading position the Spanish power generation market by hiking its electricity output in the country by 12 % to 74,249 GWh in 2011. Endesa has a 39.4% market share in the Spanish electricity market.

India is gearing up to become the largest single market for thermal power plants in the world after China. "The world's leading power plant facilities companies are racing to enter the Indian market," Doosan Heavy said with reference to plans of Indian energy companies to spend US$ 25 billion annually on new power plants through 2020 to ease the country's energy shortage.

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News in Brief

Blackout after Didcot demolition

Aug 21 – Yet another blackout hit thousands of British households early Sunday after the demolition of cooling towers at the disused Didcot-A power station in Oxfordshire. Moments after the explosion at 7am to bring down the cooling towers some nearby electricity poles and overhead transmission lines caught fire, causing a sudden loss of electricity that lasted for one hour and twenty minutes.

Fuel cell vehicle market gathers speed

Aug 20 – Sales revenue from fuel cell vehicles will soar to $255.2 billion in 2032, up from just $400 million last year, driven by fast growth in China and wider Asia. Hydrogen fuel cells achieve an energy conversion efficiency of 50% to 60% amid zero emissions and a low maintenance cost thanks to the engine’s modular design.

Tohoku Electric tenders for LNG cargo

Aug 19 – Tohoku Electric Power, the fourth-largest electric utility in Japan in terms of revenue behind Tepco, Kepco and Chubu, is understood to be seeking an LNG cargo for delivery in September. A tender process is ongoing.

Cost for decarbonizing industry tops $21tr

Aug 16 – Total costs to fully decarbonize the four most polluting industries – cement, steel, ammonia and ethylene – are estimated to amount to $21 trillion between today and 2050. McKinsey said this could be lowered to about $11 trillion if zero-carbon electricity prices come down further compared to fossil fuel prices. In this event, industry could switch to using electricity for heating processes.

Co-firing Braskem plant with hydrogen

Aug 15 – Siemens is making fossil energy greener at the Braskem onsite power plant in Brazil. In this modernization project two SGT-600 gas turbines are co-fired up to 60% with hydrogen, enhancing efficiency for the production process of the adjacent the petrochemical complex.

Canada's CO2 tax to hit CCGTs

Aug 5 – Change in Canada’s carbon emissions tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could significantly lower the profitability of gas generation and could prompt SaskPower reconsider its planned Moose Jaw gas power station.

GE CFO steps down

Aug 2 – Jamie S. Miller, General Electric’s chief financial officer, has decided to quit after two years in the job and 11 years with the company. Having overseen GE’s fiscal activities during a period of intense restructuring, Miller will remain in office while the GE board is looking for a successor.

Siemens HR boss quits

Aug 1 – Janina Kugel, Siemens chief HR officer, is leaving the company amid an apparently scattered working relationship and stark personal differences with CEO Joe Kaeser. Her contract will expire by mutual agreement on January 31, 2020.

ABB standardizes eBus chargers

July 31 – Zurich-based ABB, a member of the ASSURED consortium, is working on standardizing the specifications for automatic charging of heavy vehicles. The aim is to drive down the total cost of ownership for electric fleet operators, helping increase adoption of eBuses and eTrucks. Conformance and interoperability tests will be carried out in Q4-2019.

U.S. Senate helps fund EV charging stations

July 30 – The need for expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure is greater than expected given that there had been over 1.75 million electric vehicles (EV) in North America at the end of 2018, a nearly 60% increase from the previous year. To help fund additional charging stations, among other things, the U.S. Senate approved the $287 billion America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA).

PNOC, Lloyds to develop merchant LNG-to-Power projects

July 29 – Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lloyds Energy to develop a 1,200 MW LNG-fuelled power plant in partnership with Mitsubishi. Dubai-based Lloyds Energy is looking at ways to develop integrated LNG import facilities and gas power plants on a merchant basis in Bataan and Batangas provinces.

Macquarie finances CCGT in Mexico

July 26 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

Naturgy cashes in on gas network

July 25 – Spanish gas utility Naturgy has posted a 7% rise in core earnings for the first half of the year due to strong gains from its gas network business that helped offset falling revenues from power generation and slimmer LNG margins.

French court rejects appeal against Total CCGT

July 24 – Judges at an appeal court in Nantes have thrown out an appeal by environmentalist against Total’s planned Landivisiau combined-cycle gas power plant in Brittany. The 440 MW project, initiated by Direct Energy which was since acquired by Total, is over two years behind schedule. The French grid operator RTE has singled out the Landivisiau CCGT as “critical” in guaranteeing supply security in winter 2020/21 due to the planned shutdown of four coal power plants.

U.S. gas production falls in wake of ‘Barry’

July 23 – Shut-ins related to Hurricane Barry have scaled back U.S. gas production by 1.6 billion cubic feet per day, compared to last week, while power sector gas demand rose by just over 2.0 bcf/d. Consequently, there is significantly less gas available for storage so the injection rate has halved, according to Energy Aspects figures.

Blackout after fire at Madison substation

July 22 – Electricity is gradually being restored at Madison, Wisconsin, after 13,000 people experience a blackout following an explosion at a substation near Madison Gas & Electric’s 100 MW gas-fired Blount Generating Station. No injuries were reported.

Fuel switch could abate 1.2bn tons of CO2

July 19 – Some 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 could be abated by switching to gas using existing infrastructure, if prices and regulation are supportive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this would be enough to bring global CO2 emissions back down to where they were in 2013.