Markets

Shanghai Electric Power has made a fresh and slightly improved offer to K-Electric to acquire 66.4% of its shareholding. Arif Habib Ltd, the local bidding manager of Shanghai Electric, specified his client wants to buy up to 18.336 billion of K-Electric’s total issued shares.

Rumours of a Chinese takeover of the British multinational engineering company Rolls-Royce are circulating once again. In a statement, the company confirmed it is in “early stages of reviewing options to strengthen its balance sheet,” though no decisions have been made.

Dominion Energy has struck a $9.7 billion deals to sell its gas transmission and gas storage assets to Berkshire Hathaway Energy, owned by the U.S. billionaire investor Warren Buffet. As part of the transaction, Berkshire Hathaway will acquire 25% of the Cove Point LNG plant in Maryland.

Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have increased U.S. residential electricity use substantially in April through June. The sector would have used 3.1 million MWh of electricity per day in April, as per the previous five years, but in April 2020 demand was 3.3 million or about 6% higher.

Indonesia’s LNG imports are expected to be resilient against the coronavirus-led global economic downturn. Wood Mackenzie says import volumes could hit 3.1 million tonnes in the second half of 2020, rising 1.2 million tonnes or 63% year-on-year.

Black Bear Transmission has agreed to acquire six intrastate natural gas pipelines spanning approximately 1,400 miles in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi from a subsidiary of Third Coast Midstream. The transaction marks Black Bear’s second bolt-on acquisition, having bought the Ozark system from Enbridge in April 2020.

Natural gas spot prices at the U.S. Henry Hub have fallen to historic lows despite rising gas-burn for power generation. Production keeps exceeding demand, with feedgas for liquefaction and export at low levels of around 4.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) so far in June and storages filling fast.

Cargo cancellations mount at US liquefaction terminals amid dwindling LNG prices, particularly in Europe. Analysts at Energy Aspects say forward prices at the TTF have fallen so low that it is now more economic for Asian buyers to reload European cargoes than to dip into the US spot market.

Energy demand in the UK has started to recover from a 15-20% plunge, incurred by coronavirus lockdowns. According to Cornwall Insight, transmission system electricity demand rose to just below 0.64 TWh on Friday, June 19, but is still below the 0.70 TWh recorded in 2019 on similar days in late June. 

Myanmar has become the newest LNG importing country when a cargo from Malaysia was delivered to a temporary jetty at Thilawa port on June 6. A second Malay cargo is now on route, headed to a larger jetty that will be able to accommodate regular-sized FSU vessels starting from July.

Falling gas prices have substantially improved the economics of coal-to-gas switching, the International Energy Agency (IEA) finds. Still, nearly 130 Gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired capacity was under construction at the start of 2020, and a further 500 GW in a planning phase but may now be at risk.

Power storage specialist Qinous is being expanded into Rolls-Royce’s new Mircogrid Competence Center. The UK engine maker acquired a 73.1% stake in the Berlin-based startup in January with a view to pooling its microgrid and energy storage business in one of Europe’s largest renewable energy markets.

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News in Brief

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.

Petronas to truck LNG to off-grid users

Sept 29 – Petronas Dagangan Group is gearing up to build a LNG truck delivery service for off-grid customers in Peninsular Malaysia. Trucks fitted with cryogenic tanks will bring the super-chilled fuel to remote industries and small-scale power generators with no access to the natural gas grid. Malaysia’s Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU) pipeline is only 2,500 kilometers in length and was initially built to export gas to Singapore.

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