Markets

The European Energy Exchange (EEX) will start OTC clearing for UK gas futures on 29 February, the bourse said Wednesday. Trading participants that are already admitted on the EEX Derivatives Market for natural gas can use the new service once they have registered for it at ECC, the clearing house of EEX.

Declining demand for Spanish gas-fired generation combined with unusually warm weather conditions this winter has led to an 8.7% drop in LNG imports to Europe in the second half of 2011, according to Deutsche Bank. Gas demand growth in Spain is forecast to remain sluggish as utilities are likely to favour coal over gas due to Spain's domestic coal subsidy scheme that will remain in place until 2014, analysts led by Mark Lewis in Deutsche Bank's latest European gas report.

China's State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) has forecast an 8.5% drop in power consumption in 2012 on the back a slow-down in China's economic growth. Compared with the 11.7% surge in electricity demand to 4.7 trillion kilowatts hours in 2011, this development marks a significant decline in China's energy hunger.

Power cut hit Turkey's north-western region including the city of Istanbul over the weekend, following a system failure in a gas-fired power plant in the city of Bursa.

The link to Trayport's 'Global Vision (GV) Screen' as a trading interface has helped to boost the liquidity at the European Energy Exchange (EEX). "At the EEX, future trades are effectuated via Eurex and spot trades via Comserv, but trades can also be made directly via the GV Screen interface. This helped to boost liquidity together with other steps undertaken in 2011 such as extended Cross-Margining in the clearing process," EEX marketing representative, Eileen Hieke, told Gas-to-Power Journal today.

Power trading in 2011 was the "mainstay of revenue" for the European Energy Exchange (EEX Group), the bourse said today when publishing a review of its business. The bourse said it observed "a shift in trading activities towards shorter terms" in the fields of power and natural gas.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) today announced forecast of a fresh record volume of natural gas consumed for power generation as it aims to close the gap in nuclear power supply following the shutdown of its Fukushima Daiichi plant following an earthquake last March. For the financial year ending March 31, Tepco forecasts gas use will rise to a record of 22.67 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG), increasing an earlier estimate issued in November of 22.6 million tonnes.

Deutsche Bank today slashed its price projections of the German baseload power price for 2012 and 2013 on the back of an expected drop in demand of electricity, natural gas and carbon emission allowances in Europe in the prolonged recession.

Investments in carbon capture storage (CCS) for new-built and operational power plants has a softening effect on carbon prices - albeit not a big one, Energy Brainpool's chief analyst Tobias Federico estimates.

"The scale of the price effect largely depends on how widespread the implementation of CCS technology will be implemented in the power generation sector," he told Gas-to-Power Journal in an interview.

BDEW, Germany's energy and water association, today released data on the country's power generation mix. Gas-fired generation was virtually unchanged at 14% in 2011. The share of renewable energies in the country's overall power generation mix surged by 20% in 2011, according to BDEW statistics. In 2011, renewable energies have already overtaken nuclear plants (18%) and coal-fired power generation (19%) in terms of market share.

Societe Generale is anticipating that 2011 will be far worse than 2009 for gas demand. The year 2011 has so far seen a 9.3% yoy drop in gas consumption and a 1.9% decline in electricity demand, Societe Generale said in its latest SG Energy Pulse report.

The European Network of Transmission System Operators of Gas (entsog) has forecast that Europe has sufficient stocks of natural gas in storage to meet demand in the event of a cold-spell, when demand surges 10% above normal levels.

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News in Brief

Oseberg upstream shifts from oil to gas

Nov 29 – Equinor has announced plans to invest 10 billion Norwegian crowns ($995M) to change the Oseberg field from primarily being an oil field to becoming a substantial natural gas producer with large remaining gas resources. Oseberg is the third-largest oil producing filed on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and the operator has submitted and amended development plan to the energy ministry.

ABB, Metacon and Wärtsilä partner on hydrogen

Nov 26 – ABB, Wärtsilä, Metacon affiliate Helbio, and the classification society RINA are jointly working on delivering a power solution for marine application that is fuelled by hydrogen. The aim is to have a scalable solution that will exceed the IMO 2050 target for a 70% reduction in carbon intensity without the need for extensive investment in new infrastructure. Wärtsilä gas engines can already run on a mix of hydrogen and LNG, and the company strives run them 100% on hydrogen fuel in the near future.

Wärtsilä enters Belgian energy storage market

Nov 25 – Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply a 25 MW / 100 MWh energy storage system to a Belgium customer, marking its entry into the Belgian energy storage market. The order was booked to Wärtsilä’s order intake in October 2021, and the system is scheduled to start operating in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Triveni agrees with GEAE Tech to manufacture LM2500 turbine in India

Nov 25 – Triveni Engineering & Industries has signed a 10-year accord with GEAE Technology USA to produce the LM2500 gas turbine base and enclosure locally in India. The turbine is the chosen propulsion equipment for many surface combatant vessels of the Indian Navy.

Wärtsilä launches lighter IQ-Series scrubber

Nov 24 – Wärtsilä has launched a new IQ Series exhaust gas treatment system, designed by its Exhaust Treatment business unit in Moss, Norway. Designed with a smaller footprint, the new scrubber takes up 25% less space, is 30% lighter, and has 35% less volume which makes it particularly adapt for use on container ships, but also for stationary engines.

Afreximbank signs loan for Aba IPP in Nigeria

Nov 23 – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a $50 million term loan facility for the Aba Integrated Power Project (IPP) in Nigeria, which comprises of a 141 MW gas-fired power plant and a 27-kilometer feeder pipeline and a distribution utility. Before greenlighting the loan, the bank advised projects sponsor Geometric Power on restructuring sol-called “gap capital” in the $332 million recapitalisation funds for the Aba IPP.

SiGreen tracks products’ emissions data

Nov 22 – Siemens has developed an ecosystem-based approach to calculate Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) with a with a view to track and reduce emissions. SiGreen helps exchange emission data along the supply-chain and combine it with data from a company’s own value creation to obtain a product’s true carbon footprint.

ELGi expands oil-free compressor series

Nov 19 – Belgium-based ELGi Compressors Europe has marketed introduced four new air compressors, the AB11, AB15, AB18 and AB22 that expand the company’s AB Series portfolio, ranging from 11KW to 110KW. The new the AB11-22 range helps customers optimize moisture separation, cooling and capacity control which directly translates into savings on electricity use.

Double-digit growth seen for GT market

Nov 18 – The market for gas turbines (GT) is forecast to witness a double-digit growth between 2021 and 2028, according to Global Market Vision projections. Leading manufacturers surveyed in the consultancy’s latest report include Doosan, Mitsubishi, MJB International, Siemens, GE, PW Power Systems, Solar Turbines, Dresser-Rand, Kawasaki, MAN Diesel & Turbo, OPRA Technologies, MTU Aero Engines, Wood Group and Chromalloy Gas Turbine.

Gazprom aims to increase contractual supply to VNG

Nov 17 – Russia’s Gazprom is in negotiations with VNG, one of Germany’s largest gas importers, to extending long-term gas supply contracts and “increase the supply volume thereunder.” Leipzig-based VNG imports and stores Russian gas in Germany’s eastern states and Berlin, and together with Gazprom it is building the Katharina underground gas storage (UGS) project with a design capacity of 650 million cubic meters (mmcm) of working gas volume and 26 mmcm daily withdrawal rate. The Katharina UGS is due completed in 2025.

Eaton offers IFPM73 fluid purifier with higher flow rate

Nov 15 – The Filtration Division of energy management company Eaton has added a higher volume flow rate system to its IFPM series of PLC-controlled, mobile, off-line fluid purifiers. Complementing the IFPM 33, which has a flow rate of 8 gpm (30 l/min), the new IFPM 73 has over double the flow rate of 20 gpm (70 l/min) for purifying oils and gas liquids stored in large tanks and reservoirs. 

General Fusion sets up new base in Tennessee

Nov 12 – General Fusion has set up a new operations base in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as it seeks to commercialize fuson technology in collaboration with national laboratories, universities, and the U.S. government. This expansion will create up to 50  technical jobs. 

Bloom Energy delivers 1 MW renewable power from dairy farm waste

Nov 10 – Bloom Energy has been contracted to deploy a 1 MW fuel cell at Bar 20 Dairy Farms in Kerman, California, to produce on-site, renewable electricity from dairy cow manure. Dairy biogas contains up to 65% methane and the waste-to-energy project captures methane that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. The installation marks Bloom’s first biogas project.

German TSOs want three phased-out coal plants as backup

Nov 9 – Three hard coal-fired power plants in Germany, due for phase-out and decommissioning next summer,  might have to stay onstream to ensure supply security after regional TSOs said the units were “system relevant”. It is now up to the federal grid agency BNetzA to decide whether the three plants, owned by Uniper, RWE and STEAG and situated in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW), will be given permission to stay operational or whether they need to be retrofitted or shuttered.

Wärtsilä to service GasLog LNG carriers

Nov 8 – Greek shipowner and operator GasLog has selected Wärtsilä to service and maintain ten of its very large LNG carriers. The agreement, signed in June, covers the vessels’ twin two-stroke dual-fuel main engines and includes AI-based condition monitoring and advanced asset diagnostic services.

EU CO2 price in focus of German climate policy

Nov 5 – Germany should think of its climate policy plans on a European and ultimately global level, economists Gabriel Felbermayr (Wifo Institute Kiel), Clemens Füst (Ifo Institute Munich) and Jens Südekum (University of Düsseldorf) said in a joint statement. The economists call for a Europe-wide CO2 price to act as a central instrument to reduce emissions whereby the EU emissions trading system should include all sectors, notably heavy industry and transport.

Transport sector struggles with 2030 climate goals

Nov 4 – Germany's new government must agree on a wide variety of policy instruments to achieve its 2030 climate target in the transport sector, a Prognos report says. "A high CO2 price alone is not enough to reach the tightened climate targets," analysts find, adding that "an ambitious mix of measures is necessary” to have a chance of meeting the new goals which are still subject to much controversy.