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Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), California’s largest utility, has been cutting power starting from Tuesday due to high winds and heat that could exacerbate the spread of wildfires. An all-time record heat across Southern California keeps fuelling fires, with up to 3 million residents at the brink of power outages.

U.S. liquefaction plant developer Venture Global sees LNG-fuelled power generation as “a counter” to China’s building spree of new coal power units. By turning to LNG, utilities can “regain control of the energy transition in the post-Covid-19 era," Venture Global co-founder Michael Sabel told the Gastech Virtual Summit.

Carbon emissions will remain “stubbornly high” for another 15 years, the Norwegian classification society DNV GL says, though global emissions from energy use are forecast to fall 15% in the years through 2035. The oil & gas industry will still account for over 80% of energy-related emissions in 2050.

Coal is losing out against natural gas in the U.S. on fuel cost; hence utilities have started to use their under-utilized coal power units to cover seasonal demand peaks. This became evident during the latest heat wave that gripped most of the United States during July and August 2020.

Global regasification capacity under construction is forecast to reach a 10-year high at 144 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 2020, with China accounting for over a third of the new-built capacity. Wood Mackenzie warned, however, the expansion of the Caofeidian and Rudong LNG terminals could be delayed to 2021.

Mitsubishi Power, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, has changed its corporate name from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS). The rebranding marks the company’s fresh focus on green energy solutions, notably hydrogen- and ammonia co-firing.

Siemens Energy has laid out its post-spin-off strategy and set a target for an adjusted EBITA margin of 6.5 to 8.5% for fiscal year 2023. In its first phase, the company will focus on increasing profitability and cash flow by implementing a leaner cost structure, optimized logistics and centralized purchasing.

Japanese power utilities’ LNG demand has partially recovered this month, due to high temperatures, specifically in western Japan. However, the outlook for the autumn and winter season remains bearish as a coronavirus-related recession dampens energy demand from the industrial sector.

Fitch Ratings believes the recent gas-fired power tariff cut in China's Guangdong province came in response to the falling spot gas price. The government aims to increase the ratio of gas-fired power in the province’s energy mix, allowing utilities to take advantage of falling procurement costs.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems has formed a joint venture with Shanghai Cooltech Power Co. to serve the fast-growing Chinese market. Cooltech Power Systems will produce gensets based on MTU Series 1600, 2000 and 4000 engines for use in hospitals, airports, mining and data centres.

Royal Dutch Shell today posted a significant asset impairment of 16.8 million post-tax. Net losses amount to $18.1 billion, mainly from write-down on assets such as Queensland Curtis LNG and the Prelude FLNG hull, compared with a profit of $2.99 billion, the oil major said in an update to its Q2-2020 outlook.

Italian energy major Eni has said its latest exploration in Block 114 of the Song Hong Basin offshore Vietnam shows a “significant natural gas accumulation.” The Ken Bau discovery will complement LNG imports and “provide a fast-track solution” to realise several gas-fired power projects.

Page 20 of 240

News in Brief

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

Gazprom evaluates cost of grey hydrogen

June 30 – Scientific studies by Gazprom and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) seek to solve technical challenges in producing grey hydrogen through steam reforming in the most cost-efficient way, as well as transporting the fuel to end-users. The findings of the studies will be factored into Gazprom's sustainable development scenarios up to 2050.

Redox about to overtake Li-ion batteries

June 28 – Li-ion batteries have dominated the energy storage field, but are expected to lose their leading role in stationary applications. According to IDTechEx findings, Redox flow batteries are gaining traction and are likely to overtake the installed Li-ion battery energy capacity before the end of 2030.

B&W proceeds with waste-to-energy projects

June 25 – Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) renewable segment has received limited notice to proceed for a waste-to-energy project in Europe as it finalizes terms for a $24 million contract with the customer. Ohio-based B&W said it looks to capitalize on an estimated addressable market of more than $7 billion in Europe over the next three years.

Japan’s gas-burn on the rise

June 24 – LNG imports for power generation in Japan have rebounded with steady volumes from the Middle East and Australia and higher cargo numbers from Russia and the US, though LNG deliveries were outpaced by thermal coal shipments. The May 2021 LNG shipments amounted to 4.95 million tonnes, or around 73 cargoes, a 8.2% rise on volumes received in May 2020, according to trade figures by the Japanese finance ministry.

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