Markets

Fitch Ratings believes the recent gas-fired power tariff cut in China's Guangdong province came in response to the falling spot gas price. The government aims to increase the ratio of gas-fired power in the province’s energy mix, allowing utilities to take advantage of falling procurement costs.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems has formed a joint venture with Shanghai Cooltech Power Co. to serve the fast-growing Chinese market. Cooltech Power Systems will produce gensets based on MTU Series 1600, 2000 and 4000 engines for use in hospitals, airports, mining and data centres.

Royal Dutch Shell today posted a significant asset impairment of 16.8 million post-tax. Net losses amount to $18.1 billion, mainly from write-down on assets such as Queensland Curtis LNG and the Prelude FLNG hull, compared with a profit of $2.99 billion, the oil major said in an update to its Q2-2020 outlook.

Italian energy major Eni has said its latest exploration in Block 114 of the Song Hong Basin offshore Vietnam shows a “significant natural gas accumulation.” The Ken Bau discovery will complement LNG imports and “provide a fast-track solution” to realise several gas-fired power projects.

Tesla will be manufacturing battery cells for energy storage along with electric vehicles at its planned German factory in Grünheide near Berlin. “There will be local cell production that meets the needs of the Berlin factory," Tesla CEO Elon Musk told investors during a virtual conference.

Myanmar’s Thanlyin LNG-to-Power venture is now seen importing LNG near full capacity, with the super-chilled fuel supplied by Petronet of Malaysia. The 350 MW power unit, developed by V-Power and CNTIC, has been built within seven months though commissioning was delayed over fuel supply issues.

Producing electricity from gas, coal or wind sees substantial amounts of input energy lost during the generating process. In 2019, U.S. utility-scale power plants consumed 38 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) of energy to provide 14 quads of electricity, with over 60% input energy lost.

Siemens Financial Services (SFS) is set to become a major shareholder in Berkeley Energy Commercial Industrial Solutions (BECIS). Targeting Asia Pacific, the two partners said they want to give customers access to distributed energy via a flexible ‘Energy as a Service’ (EaaS) model.

MAN Energy Solutions is restructuring. Plans are to cost cuts of 450 million Euros, partly through layoffs, with the aim of improving the OEM’s cash position and liquidity, and achieve a 9% operating margin by 2023. Steam turbine production in Hamburg will come to an end, and MAN also considers closing its production in Berlin.

Three main players – PowerSecure, Enchanted Rock and The American Red Cross – have installed over two-thirds of all microgrids added in the United States over the past 10 months. A total of 546 microgrids were installed in 2019 alone, more than in any previous year.

Natural gas demand in the United States has plunged over Covid-related lockdowns but analysts say “late July and August will be a litmus test for just how much industrial demand has recovered.” August is a month without a U.S. federal holiday, so baseload demand might return to “more normal levels.”

The U.S. Administration has decided to end of grandfather clauses, a legal exception that spares companies involved in TurkStream from sanctions. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the move “a clear warning” though Gazprom and Botas keep pushing ahead with works.

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News in Brief

MAN to maintain power plant in Benin

Oct 23 – PrimeServ, the after-sales brand of MAN Energy Solutions, has signed a service agreement with BWSC for the Maria Gleta power plant near the city of Cotonou, Benin. The 127 MW plant is powered by seven MAN 18V51/60DF engines. The ten-year contract covers the supply of spare parts and the provision of technical services for scheduled maintenance.

Gas saves Virginia over $14bn

Oct 22 – Virginia’s businesses and families saved more than $14.2 billion between 2008 and 2018 thanks to low-cost natural gas and expanded energy infrastructure, according to a new Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) report. Almost 60% of power generation relies on natural gas and a third of its households use gas for home heating.

Energy storage for LNG-powered vessels

Oct 21 – Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf has asked Wärtsilä to retrofit its energy storage system (ESS) on four LNG-fuelled platform support vessels. Once upgraded in early 2022, all vessels will be of full tri-fuel operation.

Mott McDonald starts construction on ALCP6

Oct 20 – US construction firm Mott McDonald has started building the ALCP6 waste to energy project in Krabi province, southern Thailand. The plant will incinerate 144,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste, and the heat obtained will be converted into 6 MW of electricity to be exported to the Thai national grid.

Brace for EU sustainable finance rules

Oct 19 – Sustainable finance practices, drawn up by the European Commission, could create a "bureaucratic monster" that smaller companies and energy investors would find overbearing, the Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (ifo) warned. The regulation should hence prioritise closer scrutiny of large and listed companies.

UK could become net power exporter

Oct 16 – Increased interconnection could provide a route for excess offshore wind power in Britain to be consumed elsewhere in Europe. National Grid Interconnector Register shows up to 16 GW of interconnection could be operational by 2025 and up to 25.4 GW by 2030.

Wärtsilä to deploy GridSolv in US city

Oct 15 – AEP OnSite Partners has contracted Wärtsilä to deploy its GridSolv Quantum energy storage in the city of Martinsville, Virginia. The system includes an UL9540A limiting 2-hour battery firewall and will help lower the city’s energy costs.

Rolls-Royce spends $13.9m in Mankato

Oct 14 – Britain’s engine maker Rolls-Royce has decided to invest nearly $14 million in its Power System business to build a new R&D centre at its MTU manufacturing plant in Mankato, Minnesota, US. The expansion will see 28,000 square foot added to the facility’s existing hall, making room for the production of high-power MTU gas gensets, enhanced product testing and the creation of 20 new manufacturing positions.

Clarke commissions Vitalait power unit in Tunisia

Oct 13 – Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher have completed the commissioning of an onsite power plant of a milk producer in Tunisia. The installation of another Jenbacher gas engine has increased the plant’s output to 4 MW of electricity as well as 1,100 kW of hot water and 800 kW of steam.

Secondary battery market to top $55bn

Oct 12 – Technavio expects the secondary battery market to grow by $55.62 billion through 2024, rising at an 11% rate over the forecast period. Falling costs for lithium-ion batteries as well as growing demand in Asia Pacific allowed the market to grow 2.01% this year, despite adverse effects of the pandemic. Top battery suppliers are Tesla, Clarious, Exide, LG Chem, GS Yuasa and Samsung.

Shift to sustainable tech

Oct 9 – Three quarters of utilities, surveyed by EIT InnoEnergy, are considering adopting sustainable technology over the next 12-18 months. However, over one third of the respondents found it hard to recruit the skills they need.

Generator rentals slow

Oct 8 – The rental market for power generators has slowed down due to the pandemic, with genset rentals from the oil and gas industry forecast to grow by just $153.87 million this year. However, Technavio expects the market will return to a 3% annual growth rate by 2024.

GE upgrades Italian CHP

Oct 7 – GE has completed an axial fuel staging upgrade on its 9E gas turbine at an onsite combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Milazzo refinery in Sicily. The entire electricity needs of the refinery, over 780 GWh in 2019, will soon be supplied by the upgraded and more flexible gas turbine.

Operating assets ‘from anywhere’

Oct 6 – GE Digital’s latest software gives electric utilities remote and mobile control over their power stations for remote start-up, external monitoring and operational fine-tuning. The goal is to safe cost through autonomous operation from any location.

Chart wins order from New Fortress Energy

Oct 5 – Chart Industries has secured a second leasing order, worth $7.7 million, for ISO containers for LNG applications from New Fortress Energy for a project in the Caribbean. The US equipment maker sees double digit near-term growth in its repair, service and leasing business, notably from growing demand for LNG equipment for infrastructure.

Siemens energises Togo

Oct 2 – Siemens Energy has delivered a SGT-800 gas turbine and other components for the Kékéli Efficient Power plant project. Located in the Togolese capital Lomé, the 65 MW plant will cover almost 40% of country’s expected electricity demand.

Batteries get cheaper

Oct 1 – Cost for battery production is falling rapidly as manufacturers bring large Gigafactories on-line. By 2030, Bloomberg New Energy Finance anticipates battery pack prices to drop to $73 per kilowatt-hour, down from a current volume-weighted average of below $270/kWh.

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