Markets

Indonesia's state electricity company PLN has halted operations at six gas-fired power plants as it is struggling to obtain sufficient gas supplies from the Tangguh Field. "Some of PLN's power plants have not received gas supply [at all]," PLN chief executive Nur Pamudji told local reporters today.

French investment bank Société Générale recommends selling the Summer 2012 contract for natural gas traded at the British National Balancing Point (NBP), forecasting additional deliveries of Russian gas in over the coming months will leave markets oversupplied.

Snam Rete Gas, the Italian gas grid operator, has alerted market participants late Monday that Russian gas supplies have dropped below contractually committed volumes. Operators of gas-fired power plants may face a squeeze in supplies.

RWE has halted operations of three units (1,065 MW) of the gas-fired Gersteinwerk power plant, located near Dortmund, due to a lack of gas supply. "We buy the gas for running the plant on a short-term basis from Open Grid Europe, so gas supply can be intermittent," a RWE Power spokesman told Gas-to-Power Journal.

French investment bank Société Générale today forecast the German baseload 2013 clean spark spread – the profit margin from generating electricity using gas – will remain negative at €5.1/MWh.

The Japanese electricity sector is understood to be close to hitting a physical limit in its overall gas-to-power generation capacity at about 6 million tonnes per month. Keen to avert looming electricity shortages, the Tokyo government now considers restarting two nuclear reactors in April, according to a Japanese media report.

E.ON Energy has extended the 446 MW capacity reduction at its gas-fired power plant Irsching 5 until Wednesday, February 15, an E.ON Energy spokeswoman told Gas-to-Power Journal today. The plant operator had filed an Urgent Market Message (UMM) this morning, indicating capacity at the plant was cut due to "issues with fuel supply".

Power supply in Nigeria has plunged to as low as 3,900 MW from already reduced levels at 4,400 MW, as operations at the Sapele Power Station were halted following the failure of a domestic gas transmission pipeline that feeds the plant.

South Korean operators of gas-fired power plants increasingly focus on the efficient operation of their plants as prices for importing LNG remain at high levels. Siemens Energy, a major seller of gas turbines, has singled out efficiency as the key selling point for selling turbines into Asian markets.

BG Group, U.K.'s third-largest natural-gas producer, has forecast a 40% surge in underlying profits on the back of higher oil and LNG prices. "The outlook for global gas and LNG demand is strong," BG Group's chief executive Sir Frank Chapman said this morning.

Operators of gas-fired power plants in Spain have joined forces to lobby for higher capacity payments in return for providing vital backup capacity to stabilize the grid against rising fluctuations in electricity supply from renewable energy sources, Stephen Woodhouse, Director at Pöyry Energy Consulting said. "In a true market environment, the flexible plants would earn higher prices for this new mode of operating but if there is a surplus of capacity then some of the generation fleet will become uneconomic," Woodhouse told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' in an interview.

ETN Christer_Bjorkqvist

Christer Björkqvist

Excessive subsidies for renewable energies have distorted the Spanish power market, forcing utilities to significantly curtail the operating hours of gas-fired power plants, Christer Björkqvist, Managing Director, ETN-European Turbine Network said today.

Now, the Spanish government has suspended all subsidies for new renewable energy installations in a move that is unlikely to prove a 'quick remedy' for the market distortion.

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News in Brief

Howden powers methanol plant

July 29 – Howden will deliver a hydrogen compressor to Johnson Matthey to serve the world’s first methanol plant that harnesses energy from the wind, in Patagonia, Chile. The Haru Oni project will deliver around 900,000 litres per year of e-methanol as early as 2022 and will be scaled up to 550 million litres of e-fuels per year by 2026.

Bloom SOFCs to power micro plant in South Korea

July 28 – California-based Bloom Energy, in cooperation with SK ecoplant, will install solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Donghae City, South Korea. The CHP will provide heat and warm water for the nearby Bukpyung sports center. Construction on the project is slated to start this autumn.

Shanghai Electric to digitalise factories

July 27 – Shanghai Electric has entered a partnership with AI Investment Fund at the WAIC 2021 conference to provide digital solutions to industrial parks and medical institutions. Yang Hong, Vice President of Shanghai Electric said the aim is to help industries to minimise emissions and waste while maintaining low unit costs.

Slow LNG uptake in Africa

July 26 – In Africa, the uptake of LNG imports to new markets has been slow. Both Ghana’s 1.7 million tons per annum (mtpa) Tema LNG and Senegal’s 1.0 mtpa Dakar Powership are still awaiting their first LNG deliveries, though their respective FSRUs Vasant and Karmol LNGt Powership Africa have been in place since June.

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.

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