Markets

Asia’s Japan/Korea LNG (JKM) price marker is “potentially undervalued”, Energy Aspects says, pointing at a strong demand upswing in South Korea. Should KOGAS switch decisively from coal to gas generation, this would pull JKM prices above levels at the Dutch TTF starting from the fourth quarter.

Rising volumes of US LNG exports have boosted liquidity at traded gas markets, leading to greater price correlation of regional hubs and more integrated markets. Still, prices at the U.S. Henry Hub, Asia’s Japan/Korea LNG (JKM), and the UK National Balancing Point (NBP) show much less correlation than crude oil benchmarks.

U.S. electric carmaker Tesla has applied to the British energy regulator Ofgem to sell electricity in the UK. The purpose of the licence may be to introduce Tesla’s Autobidder energy trading platform in the UK, which is already running at Tesla’s Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia.

The rental market for mobile power gen equipment is seen grow at a 6% annual rate, expanding by $1.5 billion in the years through 2024. Growth is largely driven by infrastructure programs, as well as rising demand from mining and the oil and gas industry.

Electricity use in Europe increased for the first time in eight weeks as lockdowns are lifted, Entso-E data shows, but prices remain in the doldrums. Wholesale power prices collapsed 30-40% in the wake of the pandemic and may not fully recover until 2025, Aurora Energy Research finds.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast global energy demand will fall 6% this year – seven times the decline after the 2008 global financial crisis. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic marks the biggest shock since the Second World War, with electricity demand down 2.5% in Q1-2020 though lockdown measures were in place for less than a month.

As lockdowns are gradually eased in Europe, gas demand stages a cautious recovery. If current restrictions persist for three months, Wood Mackenzie expects 17.6 Bcm of demand will be lost across seven of Europe's largest gas markets: Germany, UK, Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium.

Aspiring to become climate-neutral by 2050, the German government is supporting clean hydrogen technologies both at home and as a future export success for the country’s engineering companies. “Green hydrogen is tomorrow’s oil,” the German research ministry noted, stressing the flexible energy carrier “opens up new markets.”

West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. benchmark oil price, has shed 16.12% in early trading today, extending Monday’s losses of nearly 25% as the pandemic erased about a third of global oil demand and storage fills up fast. Henry Hub spot gas price fell to $1.65/MMBtu, near parity to the British NBP.

Banks accelerate their exit from coal financing as the credit appeal of mining and coal power plants deteriorates amid faltering electricity demand during the pandemic. Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) and Mizuho Financial Group head for the exit, followed by South Africa’s ABSA bank and Citi Group.

JERA, Japan’s largest LNG importer and electric utility, is trying to avert shortages of power supply as only two weeks of LNG remain in stock due to lockdowns to contain the coronavirus. With much of nuclear baseload capacity offline, supply security hinges on gas-fired power.

Most added power gen capacity in the United States are either gas-fired or renewables. Nearly 23 GW of new capacity came on-stream last year, led by onshore wind (9.1 GW), gas-fired units (8.3 GW) and solar photovoltaic (5.3 GW). Half of the additions are in the South region.

Page 3 of 216

News in Brief

Exxon, INNIO about to launch gas engine oil

June 1 – ExxonMobil and INNIO have announced the imminent launch of their first co-engineered and co-branded natural gas engine oil. The U.S. oil major and the Austrian engine maker have just extended their global lubricant collaboration agreement for INNIO’s Jenbacher Type 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9 natural gas engines.

BelGAS launches new pressure regulator

May 29 – BelGAS has introduced its new P1098 High-Capacity Pressure Reducing Regulator, a large-volume regulator for natural gas, propane and other fuels. The pilot-operated device has a large-area actuator diaphragm, allowing for fast and accurate response to modulating gas flow conditions. It is adaptable for low to extra-high pressure—up to 400 psi main valve inlet.

GE to sell lightning business

May 28 – GE has signed a definitive agreement to sell its lighting business to Savant Systems, a provider of smart homes. CEO H. Lawrence Culp called the divestment “an important step in the transformation of GE into a more focused industrial company.” The transaction is expected to close in mid-2020.

China’s fuel demand recovers

May 27 – The Chinese government has lifted restrictions on private travel since April which pushed up demand for transport fuels. Gasoline demand has recovered particularly fast and is expected to return to last year’s levels by June 2020. Wood Mackenzie estimates gasoline consumption to reach 3.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in the second quarter, down just a 0.8% year on year. Diesel or gasoil demand is expected to reach 3.4 million b/d in Q2 2020, a 3% decline year-on-year. Overall, China’s oil demand is seen rise a “modest” 13.6 million bpd, or 2.3%, in the second half of 2020.

Wärtsilä to retrofit CHP in Spain

May 26 – The Finish engine maker Wärtsilä has bagged an order to supply and install a 34SG gas-fuelled engine generating set for Rofeica Energia's combined heat and power plant in Barcelona, Spain. The installation of the gas engine will allow Rofeica to switch the CHP from heavy fuel oil to gas-fuelled operation, reducing emissions.

New York body rejects William’s plans for gas pipeline expansion

May 21 – New York’s and New Jersey’s state bodies for environmental conservation have rejected Williams’ plans for the Northeast Supply Enhancement project, designed to transport 400 million cubic feet per day of gas from Pennsylvania to New York. The state bodies had already denied wetland permits in 2019, but Williams pipeline subsidiary Transco filed another application with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), arguing firm services under the project were agreed with UK’s National Grid for customers in New York City districts of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island.

UK inflation at 4-year low amid falling energy costs

May 20 – The rate of inflation in the UK has fallen to a four-year low as the pandemic pushed down global oil and fuel prices which translate into lower wholesale power prices. The consumer price index fell to an annual rate of 0.8% in April, down from 1.5% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Deficit grows in German green energy fund

May 19 – German regional grid operator TransnetBW has warned of a growing shortfall in the country’s fund for green energy sources, financed under the so-called renewable energy (EEG) levy. TransnetBW, the TSO in southwest Germany, said “due to the EEG cost allocations defined for 2020, we anticipate there will be a negative year end bank account balance in the high three-digit million euro range for 2020.”

Spanish gas companies ‘resilient’

May 18 – Spain’s regulated gas companies “should prove to be resilient” to external shocks arising from coronavirus containment measures, Standard & Poor’s analysis finds, calculating with an average drop in EBITBA at less than 3% in 2020. A new remuneration framework for 2021-2026, recently enacted by the Spanish government, provides enhanced visibility rated grid operators amid the pandemic.

German electricity prices second highest in EU

May 15 – Taxes and the renewable energy surcharge have pushed up Germany’s household electricity prices to the second highest level in Europe, topped only by prices in Denmark. While Danish households paid 29.2 Euros per 100 kWh on average in the second half of 2019, prices in Germany averaged 28.7 Euros, according to the EU statistics office Eurostat.

Calpine’s Q1 earnings fall

May 14 – Calpine, America’s largest generator of electricity from gas and geothermal, has reported a net income of $128 million for the first quarter of 2020, down from $175 million in the prior year period. Lower commodity margins and unfavourable change in income taxes were partially offset by earnings from hedge positions for the three month ending March 31.

Siemens to supply hybrid plant in the Philippines

May 13 – Berkley Energy has contracted Siemens Energy to build a hybrid power project on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. The project links 16 MW wind power with battery storage, stabilizing energy supply in a remote location with a weak link to the grid and reducing its dependence on diesel.

U.S. energy emissions fall

May 12 – Energy-related carbon emissions in the United States have fallen more than energy consumption, down 2.8% over the course of last year to 5,130 million metric tons (MMmt). Power sector emissions were down 145 MMmt, due to a switch from coal to gas and renewables. In April 2020, emissions experienced another unprecedented fall in due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

MAN expands Omincare concept

March 11 – MAN Energy Solutions’ service brand has extended its ‘PrimeServ Omnicare’ concept from turbomachinery to the marine and power segments. The one-stop service solution is now also applicable for maintenance of third-party machinery, including engines, turbochargers and related auxiliaries.

MIVOLT launches cooling fluid

May 7 – MIVOLT, part of the British company M&I Materials, has launched two specialist fluids to improve cooling efficiency at data centres. The electricity demand of data centres is forecast to rise to 20% of global supply to accommodate lifestyle changes like 5G internet network, autonomous vehicles and bitcoin mining.

Germany adds 1,300 km to power grid

May 6 – Germany has made progress in expanding its strained power grid. According to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), over 1,300 kilometres of new power transmission lines have been built and another 830km approved. A further 3,600km are planned to be built by 2030 to alleviate grid bottlenecks and allow transporting rising volumes of offshore wind southbound.

 

 

 

Oman nationalizes first IPP

May 5 – Manah Power, the first privately-run Independent Power Project (IPP) in Oman, has been transferred to state ownership, following the expiry of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between United Power Company and state-owned OPWP. Manah IPP was developed under Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model, which stipulates an eventual nationalization of the assets – a feature absent in subsequent IPPs.