Markets

Saudi Arabia will become the largest Middle East wind power market, Wood Mackenzie finds, with developers expected to build 6.2GW of wind capacitry, or 46% of the region’s total wind capacity addition, between 2019 and 2028. Flexible gas turbine or engine-driven power plants will be an ideal backup for rising volumes of intermittent wind energy.

JERA Co Inc., the largest Japanese LNG buyer and owner of power generation assets, has announced an overhaul of its business to increase medium-term LNG purchase activities, striving to cater for an anticipated rise in gas-burn in the Japanese power sector through 2030.

California, dubbed the Sunshine State, remains the largest net importer of all United States, receiving an average of 77 million megawatthours (MWh) annually, according to EIA figures. Pennsylvania was the largest net exporter, sending an annual average of 59 million MWh of electricity outside the state.

Global energy majors should take action to help governments promote the use of LNG and clean energy sources to meet national carbon emission targets, says Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman. Implementing carbon pricing internationally, in his view, would be “the most effective mechanism” to reduce emissions.

China’s powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has decided to reduce city-gate natural gas prices and trans-provincial gas pipeline tariffs starting from April. Electricity tariffs for industrial and commercial users are also being slashed, said the state-planner who just cut VAT rates for several key industries.

Utilities in the United States implement more and more demand-side management programs to help customers save energy and reduce peak power demand. The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) allows demand-response aggregators to participate in reserve markets, which reduces close to 4% of annual peak energy demand.

New-built gas power stations and weather-related factors have led to 3.8 Bcf/d increase in domestic natural gas demand in the United States, pushing up the country’s total gas use by 10% to total of 82.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2018, according to EIA’s recently released Natural Gas Monthly.

Florida Power & Light (FLP), a principal subsidiary of NextEra Energy, is advancing plans to build the world’s largest solar-powered battery energy storage system that will replace two fossil power units due for retirement. The future FPL Manatee Energy Storage Center will have 409 MW of capacity when it begins serving customers in late 2021.

Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the Mexican oil and gas company, says its 2% month-on-month rise in its natural gas production is aimed at reducing the country’s dependency on pipeline gas and LNG imports from the United States. It consequently strives to intensify fracking at its new Ixachi find in the state of Veracruz.

Growth in global energy demand picks up speed, up 2.3% last year, its fastest pace this decade. Demand for all fuel types grew but fossil fuels still cover about 70% of incremental growth. According to IEA data, natural gas “emerges as the fuel of choice” accounting for 45% of the rise in energy consumption amid strong demand in the U.S. and China.

IGas Energy, an independent UK shale oil and gas exploration company, expects “extremely positive prospects” for developing the country’s shale resources as a preferred alternative to importing pipeline gas or LNG. Demand for natural gas is bound to rise, IGas CEO Stephen Bowler said, suggesting “gas will be the transition fuel in Britain as we move to a cleaner energy future.”

Despite closures, electricity supply from U.S. nuclear power plants has hit a record high in 2018, surpassing its previous peak. By 2025, however, the EIA expects U.S. nuclear capacity to fall by 10.5 GW due to the closing of twelve reactors. Much of this lost capacity will be replaced with flexible gas power plants and renewable energy.

MAN Energy Solutions has agreed to buy a 40% stake in the Lübeck-based electrolysis technology and hydrogen specialist H-TEC SYSTEMS for an undisclosed price. The contact also makes provisions for a complete takeover of H-TEC SYSTEMS at a later date.

Security of European natural gas supply is coming under threat as around 100 billion cubic metres (bcm) of long-term contracts expire by 2025, domestic production declines and consumption increases as coal and nuclear power plants are being retired. IEA analysts say the EU needs to secure additional imports – either pipeline gas or LNG – to meet up to one-third of its consumption.

Ansaldo Energia and China United Gas Turbine Company (UGTC) have signed technology collaboration agreement in the field of heavy duty gas turbines. The cooperation is meant to help UGTC to complete its goal of developing China’s proprietary technology to manufacture gas turbines independently.

Page 6 of 150

News in Brief

Evol LNG helps power Australian gold mine

June 18 – Kirkalocka Gold Mine in Western Australia will use Evol LNG to fuel Zenith Energy’s 14.5 MW power station with regasified natural gas starting from September 2019. The mine is run by Adaman Resources and had been relying on diesel to cover its energy needs. Based on the current diesel price, Adaman Resources expects to reduce fuel costs by more than A$13 million (US$9 million) during the first six years of operation of the new onsite LNG-to-Power plant.

Shell Energy ordered to refund overcharged UK customers

June 17 – UK energy regulator Ofgem has ordered Shell Energy Retail to refund around 12000 customers who were overcharged after the Government’s cap on gas and electricity prices came into force in January. Shell Energy Retail s agreed to refund these customers by paying £29,000 in compensation (£5 per fuel), and also pay an additional £200,000 into Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund.

BASF enters battery market

June 14 – German chemical company BASF is using NGK Insulators’ sodium sulfur batteries as its entry point into the energy market. The Japanese manufacturer NGK is currently the only maker of the large-scale sodium sulfur (NAS) batteries, capable to store several hours of energy. A joint project in northern Germany uses NAS batteries that store energy for five hours, while a recently completed project in Abu Dhabi using 108MW / 648MWh of the systems with a full six hours storage duration.

CNPC boosts domestic gas production

June 13 – China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the largest Chinese oil and gas company, has announced plans for domestic natural gas output to reach 55% of overall domestic supply by 2025. Last year, CNPC managed to boost production by 5.9% to reach 138.02 billion cubic metres, while also increasing imports of pipeline gas and LNG.

Gazprom taps new gas deposits for Nord Stream 2

June 12 – Gazprom is fast-tracking hydrocarbon production in northwest Russia to boost reserves for export through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (55 Bcm/y), currently being built through the Baltic Sea. At a meeting with Nord Stream shareholders, Gazprom noted that its Yuzhno-Russkoye field has yielded about 276 Bcm of natural gas, including 0.9 Bcm of hard-to-recover Turonian gas, since the start of operations. Turonian gas reserves, consisting of about 99% methane with no heavy residues, lie at a depth of 800–850 meters in reservoirs with low permeability. Commercial production at the Turonian deposit is scheduled to start in late 2019.

PG&E turns off electricity to avoid wild fires

June 11 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has turned off electricity for some Californian communities at risk of a wildfire during the lastest heat wave. The authorized blackout started on Saturday in Napa, Solano and Yolo counties, with electricity being gradually restored over the course of Monday. Approximately 16,000 customers have been affected.

Gazprom to build power plants in Serbia

June 10 – Gazprom Energoholding has signed an Agreement of Intent (AoI) to build an upgrade several gas-fired power plants in Serbia. Together with Novi Sad, Gazprom Energoholding is already building a CCGT with some 200 MW capacity near a refinery in the Serbian town of Pancevo.

U.S. fund splashes out $4bn to buy El Paso Electric

June 7 – Infrastructure Investment Fund (IIF), a private investment vehicle within J.P. Morgan Inc., has agreed to acquire the U.S. utility El Paso Electric Co for $68.25 per share in a cash transaction. The enterprise value on the transaction is estimated at $4.3 billion. El Paso Electric customers will receive a total $21 million in bill credits over three years.

Caterpillar gensets back up Finnish data center

June 6 – The Swedish telecom giant Telia has ordered 12 Caterpillar gensets to provide standby emergency power to back up operations at its new data center in Helsinki. The Cat dealer Witraktor figured a system which includes eight Cat 3516B and four 3516E generator sets. The Telia Helsinki Data Center is the largest such facility in Finland, and its primary electric power supply comes from a combination of wind, hydroelectric and biomass.

Capstone wins orders in Iraq

June 5 – Micro-turbine producer Capstone has secured an order for two C600 Signature Series microturbines to provide 1.2 MW of energy to power a triethylene glycol (TEG) dehydration facility near Basra, in southern Iraq. The contract also includes Capstone’s new self-cleaning pulse filtration system, allowing the turbines to better withstand hot and sandy conditions with minimal maintenance.

Gas to supply record 43% of US power needs

June 4 – This summer, natural gas is forecast to cover between 40% and 43% of 2019 peak electricity demand in all U.S. states except Texas, according to projections by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gas demand soared to nearly 10,700 billion cubic feet (Bcf) last summer, a 16% rise from 2017 levels. Should there be another heat wave this year, that record may well be broken. Capacity wise, natural gas is on course to top its 45% share in the U.S. power mix.

Lukoil to upgrade CHP at Krasnodar

June 3 – Russia’s oil and gas company Lukoil has received government approval to modernize and expand three combined heat and power units in Krasnodar. The gas-fired CHP units have more than 400,000 hours and ran an average 74% utilization rate, the operator said. The upgrade will add 150 MW of power generation capacity and Lukoil said it expects the revamped power plant to be ready for commissioning as early as 2022.

GE commissions Al-Qudus CCGT in Iraq

May 31 – GE Power has installed and commissioned a new 9E gas turbine at the Al-Qudus combined-cycle gas power plant, run by the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity’s (MoE). The CCGT was previously capable of generating up to 1,125 MW and the turbine upgrade adds another 125 MW of capacity.

Groundbreaking takes place for Ohio CCGT project

May 30 – This Thursday morning, groundbreaking will take place for the $500 million Long Ridge Energy Generation Project in Hannibal, Ohio. Long Ridge, a 485 MW combined-cycle power project, is being developed by Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors (FTAI). It will create up to 350 construction jobs and some 25 permanent jobs. The CCGT is expected to open in 2021.

Asia to spend more on renewables than oil & gas by 2020

May 29 – Utilities in Asia-Pacific region will invest more in renewables than on oil and gas exploration by 2020. Total capital expenditure in renewables will rise above $30 billion in the region by 2020, according to forecast of the consultancy Rystad Energy. India, Australia, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea will led the way in Asia’s green energy transition.

Ichthys LNG looses court claim against power sub-contractor

May 28 – JKC Australia LNG consortium, developer of the US$34 billion Inpex-built Ichthys LNG plant near Darwin, has lost a US$1.9 billion court case claim against a power station sub-contractor. Construction of the power station was subcontracted to UGL-led group which CIMIC took over in 2016 and subsequently cancelled the Ichthys power contract. The Western Australian Supreme Court in Perth now dismissed an application by JKC Australia LNG for upfront payment of damages. The power plant’s five gas turbines have already been handed over to Inpex, and KBR aims for the plant to be ready for commissioning this autumn.

San Miguel Energy claims $6.19bn subsidy for Ilijan plant

May 24 – South Premier Power Corp. (SPPC), San Miguel Energy’s development vehicle for the 1,200-MW Ilijan gas power project, has claimed that it already paid $6.19 billion in subsidies to state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp (PSALM) for its financial obligations as independent administrator. The build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract for the Ilijan plant will expire in 2022; and by that time, SPPC will get ownership of the plant.