Markets

Power prices in Singapore are recovering from a plunge in late October caused by a record increase in registered power generation capacity of combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) and low fuel prices.

Gas-fired combined-cycle power plants (CCPPs) will dominate the US power generation market, as economics of low-cost gas generation and more stringent emissions regulation continue to erode the competitiveness of coal-fired plants, forecasts John Wilson, vice president for product sales Americas at Siemens.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 / Markets

GE bets on 25-year gas super-cycle

GE is betting on a 25-year super-cycle of natural gas generation, underpinned by cheap shale gas supply, hence the company heavily invests to increase this side of the business, says Paul Browning, President and CEO of Thermal Products, GE Power & Water.

Coal generation will regain ground from gas in the US power sector in the coming year leaving less coal available for export to Europe and Asia, investment bank Barclays Capital forecast.

Coal-to-gas substitution in the US power generation sector is set to decline amid a rise in natural gas prices beyond 2012 levels. Prices for gas delivered to power plant operators during 2013 will average about 22 percent higher than during 2012, while the average cost of delivered coal will go up only 1 percent, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts.

Japan's industrial conglomerates Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Hitachi are gearing up to merge their thermal power plant activities with the aim of increasing their market share at the expense of rivals Siemens, Alstom and GE.

The BRIT countries – Brazil, Russia, [India] and Turkey – are what E.ON Generation has singled out as growth markets.

"Europe is still our core market but we are not seeing the greatest growth in this area at the moment. You might want to call the UK 'an exception', but it is the BRIT countries that we at E.ON target as growth markets," Jim Lightfoot, director fleet management Gas CCGT at E.ON Generation told Gas to Power Journal in an interview.

Energy trade between the United States and Canada has exceeded $100 billion dollars in 2011, with the two countries forming the world's largest integrated energy market, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A 'dash for gas' strategy to bolster investment in new power plant capacity will be unveiled over the coming ten days as the UK government will reveal details over capacity payment mechanisms. A gas generation strategy will be published alongside the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on December 5.

Persistently negative profit margins for generating electricity will lead to the closure of 14 GW of thermal power plants in Germany by 2015, pushing up power prices, Deutsche Bank analyst Mark Lewis forecasts.

South Korean utilities are stepping up gas imports in an effort to avert the risk of power cuts following the shut-down of nuclear reactors. South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik reiterated a warning, highlighting the risk of possible power shortages and rolling blackouts triggered by forecast of a harsh winter.

Utilities in Germany can trigger some power price upside if they embark on a "conspicuous plant retirement programme", French investment bank Societe Generale said in a report, suggesting E.on has been "the first utility to blink".

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News in Brief

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 18 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop projects for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

GE to repower Long Lake plant

Jan 17 – GE will modernize four generors at the Long Lake hydropower plant in northwest US, operated by Avista Utilities. Once refurbished, the plant will have an installed capacity of more than 100 MW. The first modernized Long Lake unit is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2024 and the last one in 2029

mtu to power Romania’s largest data center

Jan 14 – mtu Series 4000 gas generators will provide electricity heat and cooling for Romania’s largest data center. ClusterPower is building a 273,000-squaremetre technology campus near Craiova by 2025, where it will host five data centers with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1

Green hydrogen from Quebec

Jan 13 – Charbone has agreed to provide the US propane distributer Superior with green hydrogen from its Sorel-Tracy facility in Quebec, Canada, starting from the third quarter of 2022. The hydrogen will be delivered directly from Charbone’s H2 plant to Superior’s customers which include mining, power generation, transportation and industrial energy users. 

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 12 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop project for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

US rivals Australia as world’s largest LNG exporter

Jan 11 – Analysts at the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) are confident that the growth in US LNG exports could see America’s liquefaction and send-out capacity exceed that of Australia and Qatar – the world’s two largest LNG exporters. Looking ahead, the EIA expects US exports of the super-chilled gas will rise 17% from 2021 levels to average 11.1 Bcf/d from December through March.

Africa’s first FLNG plant arrives in Mozambique

Jan 10 – Coral Sul FLNG, Africa’s first-ever floating LNG facility has arrived in Mozambican waters. The plant is critical to develop the US$7 billion Coral South project, led by the Italian oil and gas company Eni. Some of the produced gas will be used for power generation in Mozambique, though most will be liquefied and sold to global markets.

GE snaps up Opus One Solutions

Dec 23 – GE Digital has agreed to acquire Opus One Solutions Energy Corp, a Californian software company that helps utilities integrate renewables and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) at scale across the electric grid. The transaction is expected to close within 30 days, GE stated without disclosing what price was paid for the takeover.

Qatar invests in Rolls-Royce’s nuclear power business

Dec 22 – Qatar Investment Authority, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to invest £85 million in Rolls-Royce SMR, the company’s new technology for small-scale, low carbon nuclear power. UK business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng called the investment a “clear vote of confidence” in the UK’s nuclear innovation. It follows £210 million Qatari investment in the development in Small Modular Reactors. Now fully funded, Rolls-Royce SMR business also received £490 million through commercial equity and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant funding. 

JERA helps Japanese film producer curb emissions

Dec 20 – Toho, a Japanese film producer and entertainment company, will get support from the country’s largest power producer JERA to reduce CO2 emission from film production. To that end, JERA will supply zero-emissions energy to Toho and draw up a roadmap to decarbonise the media company as a whole.

Tractebel develop concept to store H2 offshore

Dec 17 – Tractebel Overdick and partners have developed an offshore infrastructure and processing facilities concept that relies on the storage of hydrogen (H2) in offshore caverns. The design study outlines a scalable offshore platform for the compression and storage of up to 1.2 million cubic meters of hydrogen.

Ethatec uses CO2-free power to produce ethanol

Dec 15 – ESG Clean Energy has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Ethatec to use ESG’s patented CO2-free gensets to its ethanol production. Ethatec uses waste from bakeries and pizza factories which is being crushed and then mixed with water and enzymes and heated in a multi-stage mashing process to saccharify the starch. It is then cooled and fed into fermentation tanks, where yeast is added. for alcoholic fermentation of the sugar. After 72 hours, the mixture is fed to a distillation system where ethanol is obtained.

Anax helps Magellan mine bitcoin under US$12m deal

Dec 16 – Ohio-based Magellan Scientific has entered a long-term accord, worth US$12 million, with Anax Power to generate zero-emission electricity from natural gas flows for Magellan’s distributed data centres, using 500 kW Anax turboexpanders. This green power will be used to lower the carbon-intensity of bitcoin mining and help US interstate pipeline operators and utilities accelerate their net-zero emission goals.

Cryogenic insulation market to top $4.6m by 2026

Dec 14 – The global market for cryogenic insulation is forecast to reach $4,659.85 million by 2026, expanding at an annual rate of 8.76% over the next five years. According to ResearchandMarkets, companies need to keep investing in R&D to deliver more efficient products at a lower cost and improve product durability.

Industry wary about new German energy policy

 Dec 13 – The German industry is closely watching how the new coalition government will implement its clean energy policies.  Security of supply is a major issue given that the coal exit date has been pushed forward by eight years to 2030, while electrification of transport and hard to abate industries is set to push up demand substantially. To decarbonise traffic, over 15 million electric cars are meant to be on the roads by the end of this decade.

ADNOC awards FEED contract to Technip

Dec 10 – Technip Energies has been awarded a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract to integrate carbon capture technology to ADNOC’s Ghasha mega project in Abu Dhabi. The Ghasha Concession is the world’s largest offshore sour gas development, where ADNOC together with Eni, Wintershall Dea, OMV and Lukoil aim to develop up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of natural gas, as well as condensate and oil.

US gas-burn down 3.6% on mild weather

Dec 9 – Natural gas used in the US power sector has fallen by 3.6%, or 1.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) over the past week amid mild weather conditions, although industrial sector consumption was up 0.5%, or 0.1 Bcf/d over the same period. Natural gas exports to Mexico increased 3.6%, or 0.2 Bcf/d . Natural gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export facilities (LNG pipeline receipts) averaged 12.0 Bcf/d, or 0.3 Bcf/d higher week-on-week, according to government data.