Projects & Finance

Australia-listed LNG Ltd, developer of U.S. Magnolia liquefaction plant, faces a financial crunch as a takeover bid by a Singaporean investor has been pushed back to mid-April. Magnolia LNG hence postponed shipment of the first cargo to the Bac Lieu power plant in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

Polish utility PGE is adding two gas-fired units, powered by GE’s 9HA.01 gas turbines, to its Dolna Odra power plant. By adding flexible combined-cycle units, PGE gradually converts the 1,832 MW coal-fired plant into a cleaner-burning facility to meet regional emission standards.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed Gazprom to proceed to the pre-investment phase for the ‘Power of Siberia 2’ pipeline. Supplies via this route may total up to 50 billion cubic meters per year (bcm/y), with the gas set to be brought to western China.

French industrial company Eranove is fast-tracking the development of the 390 MW Atinkou combined-cycle power plant in Ivory Coast, having just taken financial close after receiving €303 million in debt financing. Total cost of the CCGT is €404 million, developers disclosed.

Tokyo-based Yokogawa Electric will provide a control system and field instruments for the Zerger open-cycle gas power plant in Turkmenistan. The order was awarded by Renaissance Heavy Industries, the Turkish EPC co-contractor that is building the 400 MW gas peaking plant on behalf of Turkmenenergo. Start-up is due by September this year.

Competitive Power Ventures’ (CPV) new gas-fired Fairview Energy Center has been adapted to use ethane in its combustion mix. Using GE’s DLN2.6+ AFS combustion system, the Fairview combined-cycle gas power plant successfully completed testing with 25% ethane mix and is now ready for full commercial operation.

The Japanese utility Osaka Gas, part of Daigas Group, is fast-tracking development of the Himuka LNG import terminal and integrated gas power plant on Kyushu Island. The project, set to replace a coal power unit of Ashai Kasei chemicals company, is on schedule for start-up in 2022.

MAN Energy Solutions is supplying gas engines for a new 125 MW power plant and Chandpur, Bangladesh, and has handed over another three power plants in the cities of Bogra and Chittagong. Together, the four plants bring MAN’s recently installed capacity in the country to 400 MW.

Four pipelines – currently in planning or under construction – will significantly step up gas deliverability into New England, in the northeastern United States. Once operational, these interconnectors will gradually add more than 350 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of pipeline capacity into the region by 2023.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has begun work on a full turnkey contract to build Unit 1-3 at the Anegasaki Power Station, operated by JERA in Japan. Three 650 MW combined-cycle gas power units will replace four ageing units at the plant, and are due to start operations successively from early 2023.

Golar Power, together with Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, has agreed to develop an integrated LNG import and power generation project at Port of Suape in northeastern Brazil, its second such project in the region. The venture is due operational in the second half of 2020.

Canada-based Demand Power, a behind-the-meter energy storage company, has secured $71 million (€63.9m) in equity and project finance from a group of investors, led by Star America. The funds will be used to deploy industrial-grade batteries and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) on customer sites, with the first project due onstream by the end of 2020.

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News in Brief

Tokyo Gas snaps up US shale assets

July 31 – The Japanese utility Tokyo Gas has agreed to raise its stake in the U.S. firm Castleton Resources to 70 percent from 46 percent to increase its foothold in shale gas production in Texas and Louisiana.  Castleton Resources holds acreage in the Haynesville and Cotton Valley formations. The transaction is scheduled to be completed on August 14.

Electrical PE market to grow 1.7% through 2027

July 30 – The market for electrical protective equipment (PE) in North America, valued at $2,787 million in 2019, is forecast to rise at an annual rate of 1.7 percent to reach $3,163 million by 2027. Main growth drivers, according to ResearchandMarkets, are ongoing power transmission projects in the context with U.S. LNG export infrastructure expansions.

GE wins turbine order from Italian paper mill

July 29 – DS Smith Paper Italia has ordered a GE LM6000PF aero-derivative gas turbine for its paper mill in Lucca, Italy. The paper mill is currently powered by two aero-derivative turbines, and the additional unit will increase plant efficiency by 2%, while assuring steam supply for the industrial process.

Aceleron secures £2m green energy investment

July 28 – UK battery developer Aceleron today announced receipt of a £2 million equity investment from BGF and Mercia Asset Management. Aceleron is BGF’s second investment into a pure clean technology, signalling a shift in behaviour as more and more fund managers support a green recovery and the UK’s policy of net-zero carbon by 2050.

NRG buys Centrica’s North American arm for over $3.6bn

July 27 – U.S. utility NRG Energy has agreed with Centrica to acquire the latter’s North American subsidiary Direct Energy for $3.625 billion in an all-cash transaction. The transaction will diversify NRG’s earnings by adding more than three million retail customers and generate an estimated $740 million in adjusted EBITDA upon closing.

Siemens rolls out Comfy app

July 24 – Siemens is deploying its workplace experience solution Comfy across its global offices, including major utility customers. The aim is to equip approximately 600 company locations by October 2020.

BlackRock puts $18bn into sustainable investment

July 23 – Sustainability aspects are poised to bring about "fundamental change" to the way financial market actors operate, said Philipp Hildebrand, vice head of U.S. investment company BlackRock. About 18 billion dollars have been put into BlackRock's sustainable investment products since the beginning of 2020, he told the German business daily FAZ, arguing this would be "only the beginning" of a much larger shift in investment practices.

Vaca Muerta output slows

July 22 – Argentina has resorted to importing LNG for the Southern Hemisphere winter as domestic production at the vast Vaca Muerta shale formation fell in the first half of 2020. State-owned IEASA purchased 28 LNG cargoes at average prices of $2.87 million British thermal units (mmBtu).

GE to implement air quality control systems in India

July 21 – GE Power India Ltd (GEPIL) has won three contracts with a combined value of $112.57 million to supply air quality control systems. One semi-dry flue-gas desulfurization (FDG) unit will be installed for Hindalco Industries’ 1x150MW power plant at the Aditya aluminium smelter in Sambalpur. A wet FDGs system will be installed on behalf of NTPC for their Feroze Gandhi Unchahar thermal power plant (2x210MW plus 2x210 MW plus 1x210MW units) in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh.

Wärtsilä CEO sees “tough” H2 ahead

July 20 – Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola has told analysts he sees a “tough second half of the year ahead,” as the Finish manufacturer seeks to mitigate Covid-related business disruptions. In the segment of up to 500 MW, Wärtsilä’s market share fell from 9% to 8%, while orders for gas- and liquid- power plants increased by 1% to 17.8 GW during the twelve-month period ending in March 2020.

GE launches update to digital plant software

July 17 – GE Digital has unveiled updates to its digital power plant software: Proficy Plant Applications, Proficy Operations Hub, Proficy Historian, and Proficy CSense. The software accelerates digitization for industries and integrates related onsite power generation units.

Germany EEG fund slips into the red

July 16 – Germany's green energy fund, funded through the renewable energy surcharge (EEG levy), has slipped into the red for the first time since 2013, according to TSO data. The account, funded by end-customers through a surcharge on their power bill, fell from about €2 billion in available funds to €-1.16 billion in the first six months of 2020.

China seen overtake Japan as worlds’ largest LNG buyer by 2025

July 15 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects China to overtake Japan as the world’s biggest LNG buyer with imports of 128 Bcm a year by 2025, equivalent to around 174 million tonnes. However, IEA analysts cautioned this scenario is “highly dependent on China’s future policy direction” and whether that includes an ongoing push for coal-to-gas switching for industry, residential heating and power generation.

IEA stages Clean Energy Transitions Summit

July 14 – Ministers from dozens of countries, accounting for over 80% of the world economy, have participated in the first Clean Energy Transitions Summit organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said there “clearly is momentum” behind a sustainable recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Participants agreed to reconvene in mid-2021.

Siemens Energy to exit coal

Jul 13 – Newly formed technology company Siemens Energy wants to phase-out any operations and technology to related to coal-fired power generation, CEO Joe Kaeser said, without giving a specific timeline. Siemens had been harshly criticised earlier this year for participating in the Adani coal mine project in Australia.

Statkraft, GE enhance GB grid stability

July 10 – Statkraft and GE Power Conversion are working together to stabilise Britain’s power grid. To that end, GE will manufacture and install two Rotating Stabiliser synchronous machines at Statkraft’s site in Keith, Moray. Statkraft was awarded four stability contracts (two at Keith and two at Lister Drive) by National Grid ESO (NGESO) earlier this year.

Siemens Energy spin-off approved

July 9 – A large majority of Siemens shareholders have voted to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business. The spin-off was approved by 99.36 percent of capital stock represented at today’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.

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