Low prices for pipeline gas imports have rendered the economics of building a German LNG import plant less attractive. The Government’s maritime coordinator, Norbert Brackmann, said companies are moving forward with their investments, though "not in the greatest hurry."

Westwood Global Group says engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract awards for floating structures will reach just over $5 billion in 2020, a 59% decline from $13 billion seen last year. However, markets are expected to recover to pre-crisis levels starting from 2021.

Marketed gas production in the United States keeps falling to an average 96 Bcf/d in 2020, down from 99 Bcf/d in the previous year, according to EIA projections. In April, at the height of the coronavirus crisis, gas production declined less than crude oil production, down “only” 2.3 percent.

Should Germany’s energy demand stay subdued, wholesale power prices could fall by €10.20 per MWh in 2021, compared to pre-COVID estimates. Energy Brainpool says a deepening recession could pull down prices by another 5%, extending losses by further €3.60 per MWh.

Australia’s Woodside Petroleum has announced write-downs of nearly A$6.3 billion (US$3.92bn), mostly related to its exploration assets. Australia’s largest oil and LNG exporter today posted a US$768 million drop in Q2 sales, largely due to a 28.2 percent fall in its realised LNG price.

Monthly gas prices at the U.S. Henry Hub have fallen to a low of $1.63 per MMBtu in June – the lowest inflation-adjusted price recorded over the past three decades, according to government data. Starting from March, mild weather and Covid-19 related lockdowns depressed demand and prices.

Coal is no longer a favourite fuel in Japan’s new energy policy which stipulates to mothball or retire up to 100 inefficient coal-fired power plants by 2030. Analysts say this will shift Japan’s energy mix towards nuclear and gas, creating upside for LNG imports.

Though U.S. rig counts decline and dry gas production fell by 0.3% in recent weeks, overall gas supply is up 0.6%, largely due to rising output at Marcellus Shale. Gas-burn in the power sector is the only let-out for excess supplies, with rock-bottom prices accelerating coal-to-gas switching.

Denmark’s decision to allow Gazprom to build Nord Stream-2’s final stretch with Russian pipe-laying vessels means the controversial interconnector will become a reality. Fresh U.S. sanctions “cannot stop the project now” analyst say, as the permit makes works “cheaper and easier” for Gazprom.

Rolls-Royce’s power systems arm, hit hard by Covid-19 disruptions, has today posted a double-digit decline in revenue. Long-term, the outlook for sustainable power “remains positive,” Rolls-Royce's H1-2020 trading update reads. CEO Warren East stressed “as for Power Systems, many of our impacted end markets are forecast to recover by the end of 2021."

The UK energy industry has welcomed the £3 billion green energy stimulus package, unveiled by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of a wider strategy to revive the economy from the impact of the coronavirus. Grants to insulate homes, improve energy efficiency and retrofit green heating technology are seen as “critical” for the UK’s overall 2050 net-zero emission targets.

Natural gas exports from the United States to Mexico are seen rise by 40% with the completion of the southern-most segment of the Wahalajara system, also known as the Villa de Reyes-Aguascalientes-Guadalajara (VAG) pipeline. The 0.89 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) pipeline entered service this June.

Page 5 of 224

News in Brief

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.

Barclays may help fund Rolls-Royce

Sept 30 – UK’s prime engine maker Rolls-Royce is understood to be close to getting fresh financing from Barclays Bank. The Derby-based company, however, insists no final decision has been taken on the precise amount that may be raised or any allotment of shares to any investor.

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