Markets

Alexey Miller, CEO of Gazprom, and the Government of Belarus have agreed on the pricing of Russian gas deliveries until the start of 2021. The transit volume of Russian gas is understood to remain at the same level, ensuring stable onward deliveries to Germany via the Belarus-Poland pipeline.

The German government is striving to set up a production and import chain for renewable hydrogen from West African countries, where it can be produced cheaper due to better wind and solar condition. Once liquefied and shipped to a German port, the green hydrogen would help decarbonize the country's energy-intensive industry and transport sector.

Thailand’s latest Power Development Plan aims for natural gas to provide over 53 percent of the country’s energy by 2037, which requires a boost in LNG imports. With the cost of domestic gas production reaching $8/MMBtu, Electricity Generating Authority (EGAT) is keen to import spot LNG cargoes.

China’s coronavirus health crisis has slashed the country’s gas demand by 2 billion cubic metres (Bcm) by the end of the first week in February, mostly due to industry closures and quarantined workers. Anticipating a “limited resumption of economic activity,” Wood Mackenzie says full-year 2020 gas consumption could be between 6 Bcm and 14 Bcm lower.

Qatar Petroleum's CEO Saad bin Sherida Al-Kaabi has told the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), often referred to as Gas OPEC, that renewables are "no threat" to natural gas but rather “complementary.” As Qatar advances solar PV projects, fast-ramp gas gensets are seen as ideal backup systems.

Energy independence of the United States will be tested in the 2020s, unless there is a sharp reversal in the collapse of fresh capital expenditure in the shale sector, CME Group finds. Currently, CAPEX in shale oil and gas fracking is dwindling, and rig counts are falling.

Nemo Link, the first ever UK-Belgium power cable with 1,000 MW capacity, has allowed National Grid to import substantial amounts of cheap renewable energy. Over 5,889 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity were imported to the UK in the first year of operations and nearly 176 GWh to Belgium through a "near real-time" power trading system.

Royal Dutch Shell and Total have rejected China National Offshore Oil Corp’s (CNOOC) move to invoke ‘force majeure’ to cancel LNG import contracts. Though CNOOC can still cancel delivery of spot cargoes, the two European suppliers threatened to seek compensation.

Turkey’s Karpowership has submitted a proposal to the government of South Africa to provide a several ships to avert a looming power crisis. State-owned utility Eskom frequently resorts to load-shedding and in December, the government issued a request for information (RFI) to source up to 3,000 MW at short notice, and at the least cost.

Indonesia, home to 260 million people, will see its population reach 300 million by 2030  which pushes up power consumption 6.4 percent annually from 2,400 TWh per year seen today to 4,400 TWh/year. Considering Indonesia’s “limited renewables potential,” MHPS reckons the country’s rising electricity demand will largely be met by new gas-fired power units.

Fast economic growth and insufficient power gen capacity makes the Philippines a prime market. For small scale LNG-to-Power projects, MAN Energy Solutions calculates with an electricity wholesales price of 90 Euros per MWh. This is “very attractive” considering gas prices at the genset site of between 10.5 Euros and 35 Euros per MMBtu.

Italian turbine manufacturer Ansaldo has approved its 2020-24 Business Plan to reposition its service segment by “exploring partnerships” for its subsidiaries PSM and Ansaldo Thomassen, or the “sale of company stakes.” Compared with past years, Ansaldo said its order book is “more balanced” in 2020, hence some 100 million Euros can be spent on new production technology.

Page 4 of 211

News in Brief

American ISOs to delay grid investments

March 27 – North America’s independent system operators (ISO) are considering delaying investments in grid upgrades and enhancement as electricity demand weakens due to industry shutdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic. PJM Interconnection, the largest U.S. bulk power market which spans 13 Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, revised its daily forecast of about 100,000 MW of load but actual demand came in at 95,500 MW.

Wärtsilä starts combustion trials using ammonia

March 26 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has initiated combustion trials using ammonia in an effort to reduce emissions. Based on initial results, the tests will be continued on both dual-fuel and spark-ignited gas engines, followed by field tests in collaboration with ship owners from 2022, and potentially also with energy customers.

Xodus sees growth in cable services

March 25 – Xodus Group has stepped up services related to subsea power cables over the last twelve months. The number of new consulting assignments grew by more than 50%, resulting in more than 70 active work streams that are handled by more 30 permanent staff.

Electricity “more indispensible than ever”

March 24 – Disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis lay bare how much modern societies rely on electricity, according to the International Energy Agency (IAE). Millions of people are mandated to stay home, causing a surge in teleworking, e-commerce and video streaming which pushes up domestic electricity use.

U.S. frackers cut Capex

March 23 – Sharp cuts in capital spending among Appalachian gas producers are now being replicated in other U.S. basis, with Energy Aspects anticipating the deepest impact on production and earnings to take place starting from the second half of 2020. So far, E&P companies just hedged 52% of this year’s expected production even though some Appalachian producers are seen “lock in some pure gas volumes at prices above the curve.”

EV makers face bankrupcy

March 20 – Electric vehicles (EVs) remain particularly exposed to the corona effect of supply-side constraints and demand erosion. Gigafactory facilities are likely to be delayed and fledging EV manufacturers could face bankruptcy, Wood Mackenzie warns. On the flip side, declines in EV sector demand may be gains for the stationary energy storage segment.

Manufacturing rebounds in Asia

March 19 – Asian-dominant supply chains for solar and energy storage are gradually rebounding after contractions in February. Moving forward, Wood Mackenzie expects near-term development activity and local logistics in leading European and North American markets will outweigh lingering supply issues.

Italy’s gas demand plunges

March 18 – Corona-struck Italy has seen demand for natural gas plunge 8% from the previous week, with similar declines likely in other EU countries as national governments impose lockdowns to contain the virus. Industrial demand is “particularly volatile,” while gas generators will bear the brunt of demand loss, Wood Mackenzie says, as a carbon price decline is bolstering thermal coal.

Nexif raises funds for Rayong CHP

March 17 – Nexif Energy, a joint venture between Singapore-based Nexif and Denham Capital, has raised project financing for the Rayong gas-fired cogeneration project in Thailand. The 92 MW plant is being developed project with Ratch Group, based on 25-year power purchase agreement with Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT).

ADB provides $10m loan for Afghan IPP

March 16 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide $10 million in debt financing for a gas-fired power unit in Mazari Sharif with a capacity of nearly 60 MW. Phase-1 of the Independent Power Project (IPP) will get another $10 million loan from the Leading Asia's Private Sector Infrastructure Fund (LEAP).

IEA models 50% Carbon-Free Generation

March 13 – Analysts at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) have drawn up the 50% Carbon-Free Generation case - assuming a stark shift in state-level policies. In this event, the U.S. would have 19% more nuclear power generation, 10% more wind power and 17% more solar PV contribution than in its Annual Energy Outlook 2020 (AEO2020) reference case.

E-charging market to top $15bn by 2030

March 12 – By 2030, the U.S. market for energy-optimisation in support of charging electric-vehicles could be worth $15 billion per year, McKinsey finds. The consultancy expects high demand for home-charging appliances as residential power tariffs are comparatively cheap and most charging can happen overnight when off-peak electricity prices are lower.

Oversupply builds up

March 10 – Energy Aspects’ end-March forecast has added on another 100+ billion cubic feet of natural gas supply while demand remains subdued. In the U.S., the seasonal decline in heating degree days nearly halved the natural gas withdrawal rate. Gas-burn in the power sector and residential/commercial demand are forecast to fall by 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) and 4.0 bcf/d, respectively.

Small-scale LNG cuts cost for power plants

March 10 – Decentralized gas power plants in remote locations can source cheaper fuel from small-scale LNG regas terminals than from trucking the super-chilled gas across long distances. “Trucking LNG further inland would entail additional costs as well as logistical challenges,” IEA analysts noted. For example, a 100 MW baseload power plant would require, on average, around 20 daily deliveries from tanker trucks.

Abu Dhabi investor expands Uzbek CCGT

March 9 –Some key Uzbek energy infrastructure is being modernized with foreign monies. Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company recently agreed with JSC Thermal Power Plants and the Uzbek government to acquire, finance, develop and operate the 1.7 GW Talimarjan Power Complex.

Oversupply keeps growing

March 6 – In its fourth quarter report, Awilco LNG warned that demand is now unable to keep up with strong gas production growth. Gas demand from China’s industry and power utilities, the world’s second largest LNG importer last year, has fallen by 10-14% thus far in 2020.

Simatic IOT2050 gateway launched

March 5 – Siemens’ newly launched Simatic IOT2050 links cloud, in-company IT and production. Energy companies, and others, can retrofit the solution in existing plants, where it then harmonizes communication between different data sources, analyzes the data, and passes it on for evaluation to a cloud.