Markets

A growing number of power plant operators in the U.S. are choosing to retire coal-fired power plants in favour of gas-to-power generation in a move likely to propel up demand for domestic shale gas production.

Overcapacity in the German power generation mix and deteriorating economics of fossil-fuel plants has prompted Deutsche Bank to forecast closures, particularly of gas-fired power plants, until 2015.

Natural gas consumption in India and China has witnessed annual growth rates of 14% and 18%, respectively, over the last five years. Inaugurating the 7th Asia Gas Partnership Summit, in New Delhi today, India's Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh highlighted the role of gas as "an efficient fuel for power generation".

Electricity prices in Turkey have surged as markets are concerned about a looming reduction in Russian gas supply as well as bottlenecks in the country's gas transmission infrastructure, energy traders told ‘Gas-to-Power Journal’.

E.ON, the world’s largest utility by sales, is not planning to mothball any of its gas-fired power plants in Germany, despite the negative impact of oil-indexed gas purchase on the economics of operating power plants, a spokesman said today.

Electricity generated from gas still has an important role to play over the coming decades as the U.K. transitions to a low carbon economy, Energy and Climate Secretary, Edward Davey, said. "We can't take our foot off the gas for some time yet," he said with reference to the closure of a fifth of the UK's ageing fleet of power stations this decade.

French investment bank BNP Paribas sees "little hope" that the U.S. gas industry will sell more gas to electric utilities during the upcoming peak summer month based on increased cooling requirements.

Demand for natural gas in the EU will reach pre-crisis levels only by 2018, the French investment bank Société Générale said in a recent report.

Alstom, the French manufacturer of power plant turbines, forecasts the market for power equipement in Russia to expand on the back of new-built capacity. "For the power generation market, it is a 12 billion to 13 billion euro market," Denis Cochet, head of sales and marketing at Alstom, said in an analyst presentation.

A surge in shale gas production in the U.S. is underpinning a boost of the market share of gas-fired power generation. Shale natural gas production in key shale plays in the U.S. grew from 1.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) per year to 7.2 Tcf/year between 2007 and 2011, Lippman Consulting said in a recent report.

Demand for daily electricity consumption in the Indian state of Andrah Pradesh is at an all-time high, surpassing the record mark of 13,000 MW and reached a daily record of 13,376 MW on Tuesday, figures published AP TRANSCO, the electricity transmission system operator of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, show.

Increasing price competitiveness of natural gas relative to coal for power generation has led to a plunge in the share of coal in the U.S. energy mix below 40 % in November and December, the Energy Agency (IEA) said in a market update.

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News in Brief

Decarbonising UK homes

Jan 19 – Just 9 million hot water cylinders are currently installed in British homes, leaving a gap of 18 million homes whose heating would need to be decarbonised for the UK to meet Net Zero. According to the trade body HWA, the political focus of decarbonising heating has been solely on the heat source; such as boilers and heat pumps – while little to no focus has been on hot water cylinder. This gap in in government policy, which could result in unnecessary costs to consumers.

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.