Projects & Finance

The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has signed an EPC contract for a new 100 MW/100 MWh energy storage project in South East Asia. The facility, including GEMS and the GridSolv solution, will be used for grid balancing purposes. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) committed to meeting 23 percent of its energy needs from renewables by 2025.

Singapore-based Delta Offshore Energy has been handed an investment permit to develop a $4 billion LNG-to-Power project in Vietnam’s southern province of Bac Lieu. Fuel for the 3,200 MW combined-cycle power plant will be shipped from the Magnolia LNG export plant in Louisiana, U.S.

The Argentine President Alberto Fernandez is preparing a bill to encourage more hydraulic fracking in the Vaca Muerta shale with a view to boosting domestic gas production for the power sector. Excess supply is sold via YPF’s small-scale liquefaction plant ‘Tango FLNG’ and plans for a larger, onshore LNG export plants are already in the making.

In the first seven weeks of operation, Stadtwerke Kiel’s new gas-fuelled combined heat and power plant (CHP) has set “new standards in terms of flexibility, efficiency and sustainability,” the operator said. Powered by 20 Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines, Kiel’s new coastal power plant provides 190 MW electricity and 192 MW thermal energy.

To enhance reliability of its Alon Tavor power plant, MRC Group has signed a 15-year service deal with General Electric. The contract covers parts, repairs, and predictive maintenance for GE’s 9FA unit installed at the 375 MW combined cycle unit, located in the northern Israeli city of Afula.

The Brazilian utility Rio Amazonas Energia (RAESA) has contracted Wärtsilä to convert the Cristiano Rocha power plant in Manaus to run fully on natural gas, while increasing output from 85 MW to 92 MW. This will reduce the plant’s OPEX, and reduce emissions. Works are due completed in the first half of 2021.

Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) has awarded another order to GE to provide a second 9HA.01 gas turbine for the Orot Rabin modernization project. The aim is to convert parts of the 2.59 GW coal-fired power station at Hadera into Israel’s largest combined-cycle gas turbine plant, delivering up to 1,260 MW.

French oil and gas major Total has signed an agreement with Gigajoules Group of South Africa to import and deliver regasified LNG for a projected large-scale gas power station at the outskirts of the Mozambican capital Beluluane. Importing LNG is vital given that there is not enough domestic gas supply to fuel the 2,000 MW power project.

Zhefu Holding Group of China and the Myanmar-listed firm Supreme Trading Co. have made plans to invest up to $2.57 billion to build an LNG import terminal and adjacent gas-fired power station at Mee Laung Gyaing. The integrated project will cover the energy needs for regional industrial zones, hotels and the city of Yangon.

Hong Kong-listed VPower Group, together with Myanmar’s Zeya Associates, are fast-tracking construction works for four emergency power projects in Myanmar, after having won a competitive tender in mid-October. The three power units, with a combined capacity of 900 MW, will be operated on imported LNG.

US equity fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), alongside Alberta Investment, has sealed a deal to purchase a 65 percent equity interest in the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. Spanning over 416 miles, the gas interconnector links the Montney Shale with the Pacific Coast and has been built by TC Energy at a cost of cost of C$6.6 billion (US$5.04bn).

Brazil’s state development bank (BNDES) has agreed debt financing of over 2 billion Brazilian Real (US$0.49bn), spread over 24 years, for the 565 MW Marlim Azul combined-cycle gas power project in Macaé, Rio de Janeiro State. The 565 MW plant is being co-developed by Patria Investments, Shell and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas (MHPS).

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News in Brief

Zhonghua’s profits halve

April 1 – Hong Kong-listed Zhonghua Gas Holdings has recorded a staggering 46.7% fall in profit, citing a lower margin for LNG supplies and reduced subsidies, although full-year revenue rose by 7.3%. In December, Zhonghua partnered with Shanghai Shenergy to supply LNG in the Yangtze River Delta region, and also has strong business relationships with Tractebel Engineering and Tianjin Jinre Heat-Supply Group.

Endesa donates $28m to fight coronavirus

March 31 – Endesa has created a 25 million euros ($27.8 million) fund to help fight the coronavirus pandemic in Spain. The Spanish utility, subsidiary of Enel, said the fund will be designated for purchases of protective equipment for health-care workers.

 

MAN develops liquid methane terminal in Swedish port

March 30 – OxGas has commissioned MAN Energy Solutions to act as ‘owners engineer’ to develop and build a liquefied methane-based fuels terminal in the Swedish Port of Oxelösund. The terminal will feed both LNG and green methane derived from bio gas to SSAB ’s local steel production, and to re-distribute it via train and trailers to other parts of Sweden for use in the steel industry and decentralized power generation.

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.