Markets

European utilities are courted by more and more sellers marketing long-term LNG volumes from pre-FID LNG supply projects. To gain access to attractively-prices US LNG, however, European buyers need to turn their back on hub-pricing and open up to Henry Hub-indexation, instead.

Natural gas and wind are the fastest growing sources of U.S. electricity generation, both rising 6% this year. In 2020, gas power will rise another 2% while generation from wind is seen surge 14%, according to the EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.

Though Europe’s green energy transition is gaining pace, natural gas demand is seen grow significantly. Wood Mackenzie advises European utilities to share some cross-hub price risk with LNG producers, or else they risk losing market space to international oil companies or state-run energy majors like Gazprom.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has warned the Philippine island of Luzon may face power shortages in the first week of October, when up to 900 MW of gas-fired capacity will be offline for maintenance. Repairs coincide with the four days maintenance shutdown of the huge Malampaya gas field.

The U.S. shale revolution and falling capital costs for renewables are reshaping the power mix both domestically and abroad, the International Energy Agency (IEA) noted. Future production growth and exports will depend on the complementary build-out of oil and gas pipelines, as well as LNG terminals.

By 2030, new-build renewables will outcompete existing fossil fuel generation on energy cost in most regions. According to McKinsey analysts, the northwest of the United States is “the exception with tipping-points post 2035,” due to low gas prices and limited potential for solar photovoltalic.

Drone strikes have reduced Saudi Arabia’s oil output by half which is feared to have reverberations on global energy markets. An increase in oil prices is likely to lead to a corresponding rise in gas and electricity prices, which will be reflected in higher tariffs for customers in the UK and most western economies.

Construction is being fast-tracked on the Thi Vai LNG import terminal and adjacent Nhon Trach unit-3 and 4 power units in the southeastern region of Vietnam. Samsung C&T and PetroVietnam seek to get the integrated LNG-to-Power project on stream by 2022 for an investment of about $286 million.

Gas and variable renewables will be the only energy sources for which demand is higher in 2050 than today. Rapidly falling capital costs for solar photovoltaic will make the technology 25% to 50% cheaper than new gas-fired power projects, DNV GL analysts told Gas to Power Journal.

Electric utilities in Turkey are burdened with $47 billion debt of which up to $13 billion are at risk of defaulting. Before the end of this year, loans worth some $10 billion, mostly for gas-fired power plants, will need to be restructured, the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) warned.

Rising dry gas production in the United States will be sufficient to meet demand for power generation and exports at a lower price than forecast. With this assement, the U.S. Energy Administration (EIA) lowered its Henry Hub spot price forecast for 2020 by 20 cents to an average of $2.55 per million British thermal units (mmBtu).

Northwest European near-curve gas prices have fallen in recent days. With the TTF Oct-19 trading as low as 3.86 $/mmbtu, this low price drives up demand for LNG shipping to higher-priced markets in Asia. Energy Aspects says the TTF Oct-19 contract has already priced in much of the incremental demand from the power sector switching to gas from coal.

Page 22 of 215

News in Brief

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.

U.S inventories at record highs

May 4 – Inventories for crude oil and natural gas have reached a new record high in the United States, as fuel demand declines both for transport and the electric power sector. From March 13 – when a national emergency was declared due to the Covid-19 pandemic – to April 24, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 74 million barrels, or 16%, according to government figures. The acute scarcity of crude storage on April 20 led to a sell-off of future contracts at negative prices.

Wärtsilä to service Argentinean power plant

May 1 – Wärtsilä has signed a 10-year maintenance and service agreement with one of Argentina’s upstream companies. Under the deal, Wärtsilä provides a guaranteed performance for a 57.6 MW onsite power plant in the southern part of Argentina, with excess power sold to the national grid.

Zink-Air batteries for NY

April 30 – Zinc8 Energy Solutions has entered a cooperation with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to install a zinc-air battery energy storage, backed by $2.55 million in state funding over a three year period. The Zinc8 ESS units can deliver power in the range 20-50 MW, with capacity of 8 hours of storage duration. The project will help New York State achieve its goal of installing 3 GW of energy storage by 2030.

UK again ‘coal-free’

April 29 – The UK continues to break its coal-free record as thermal coal-fired power plants currently remain off the system, according to National Grid data. Faltering demand due to the pandemic and high renewable energy supply radically altered the energy mix in many developed countries, with power in-feed from solar PV reaching 10 GW in Britain at the start of this week. “Coal is due off the system by 2025 and renewables have shown they are cost competitive with a viable route to market,” Delta-EE director Andy Bradley commented.

China’s fuel demand to rebound in Q2

April 28 – China’s demand for refined fuel is forecast to rebound in the second quarter, nearly reaching year-ago levels, as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus get lifted. Analysts at SIA Energy in Beijing expect second quarter demand for the three main transportation fuels to increase by 1.1 million barrels per day compared with the first quarter of 2020.