Daily News

The power generation sector is forecast to be the main driver for global gas demand, according to projections of the International Energy Agency (IAE). "Global gas demand will be driven by power generation", IEA analyst, Warner de Kate, said at the EMART energy conference in Lyon.

Gas markets are a different animals than power markets, so the integration of European gas trading hubs cannot replicate the integration of European power markets, panalists at a gas trading session the EMART Energy conference agreed on today. "Financially, it has already happened; physically, however, gas market integration works different from electricity markets," APX-ENDEX CEO, Bert den Ouden, said at the conference in Lyon.

LNG exports from the U.S. are likely to go to China, where new U.S. LNG imports will be in a price competition with not-yet contracted gas from Russia via the proposed Altai pipeline and with LNG imports from upcoming Australian liquefaction projects, Thierry Bros, senior analyst at Societee Generale said.

The lack of incentive to build new gas-fired power plants may cause problems for balancing supply and demand in European electricity markets, Evariste Nyouki, head of economic research at GDF SUEZ Trading told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' at the sidelines of the EMART Energy conference in Lyon today.

"New gas-fired plants are needed but the market is not prepared to pay for it," Nyouki said, arguing it is only economical for upstream companies to invest in new gas plants at the current price levels. His reasoning is that Gazprom has the means to free up enough CAPEX in order to build new gas-fired power plants in Western Europe, while utilities currently do not have an incentive to do so.

Start-up of a 100-MW gas-fired 'peaker' plant, located near Santee in California , is imminent, after California Energy Commission (CEC) announced it has started a review and certification process of the 100-MW plant.

Dan Smith, Head of Corporate Development at Trayport, has cast doubt over the European Commission's drive to introduce more stringent financial regulation.

"The European Commission supports the creation of liquidity in the wholesale energy markets via the 3rd Energy Package. However, another potential outcome is that the introduction of financial regulation could have a negative impact on liquidity in the wholesale energy markets," said Smith told 'Gas-to-Power Journal' today.

David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, has highlighted the vital role of natural gas for the British economy today, in a statement timed to coincide with a new gas supply contract between Centrica and Statoil over 5 Bcm/year in the period between 2015 and 2025.

"Today's agreement will help to ensure the continued security and competitiveness of gas supplies to Britain, from a trusted and reliable neighbour," UK Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Honeywell has introduced a new Safety Manager Field Device Unit (FDU), particularly designed to implement integrated safety measures for power plants.

"The module's small size makes it ideal for plants that need to quickly implement integrated safety measures for applications such as burner or boiler management systems," the US-based manufacturer said in a statement.

Siemens has inaugurated a new gas turbine factory in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a view to expanding its worldwide network of gas turbine manufacturing facilities. The German company has invested more than $350 million in a 42,000 square metre plant in Charlotte, creating 700 new jobs.

"Charlotte is the only Siemens plant that produces gas and steam turbines, as well as generators,” a company representative said. The facility also plays a key role in Siemens’ profitable power plant service business.

Bernard Anne, managing director of Bureau Veritas' (BV) Marine Division has signalled out LNG as one of the shipping sectors where the indicators are good and positive. "I do not see any good markets except for gas markets and consequentially LNG tankers. There are simply too many ships around," Anne said at the annual BV Beaujolais Party in London on Thursday evening.

Germany's E.ON and the Russian gas incumbent Gazprom are at loggerheads over the terms of gas supply. Arbitration proceeding on contract terms of oil-indexed long-term gas supply are still ongoing. "We can confirm that we have instituted arbitration proceedings in connection with our supply relationship with Gazprom," E.ON spokesman Sebastian Heindrichs told Gas-to-Power Journal.

Alstom, the French engineering giant, did neither confirm nor deny a statement from the Iraqi energy ministry that it has won a $540m contract to construct a 182-MW gas-fired power plant in Iraq. "We are expecting to sign the contract with the Iraqi energy ministry any time soon", an Astom spokesman told Gas-to-Power Journal.

Minera Mexico, a unit of Grupo Mexico, has awarded a contract to Siemens Energy to supply of a 250 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant. Siemens Energy is signing responsible for the full turnkey supply of the plant, named 'La Caridad II', which includes plant engineering, procurement and construction.

Siemens Energy told Gas-to-Power Journal that the main equipment to be installed at the plant includes an SGT6-5000F gas turbine, an SST-900 steam turbine, an SGEN6-1000A generator, a heat-recovery steam generator, and the complete electrical and SPPA-T3000 in-strumentation & control equipment.

The World Energy Council (WEC) has published its 2011 assessment of country energy and climate policies, including the annual global "Energy Sustainability Index". WEC urges policymakers to address the "Energy Trilemma" – a triple whammy of Energy Security, Social Equity and Environmental Impact Mitigation.

Doosan Heavy Industries, Korea's leading power plant manufacturer, has secured a 513 billion won ($455 million) order to build a power plant in South Korea.

News in Brief

Rumours of Engie bid interest in Innogy

According to reports in Bloomberg, French utility, Engie, is considering a bid for German renewable energy utility Innogy, which is majority owned by RWE. Other sources claim this is not the case.

RWE holds a 76.8% stake in Innogy, which had a market value of about €18.6B ($19.8B) before the reported interest.
Bloomberg said that the former French natural gas monopoly was speaking to advisers and had not made a final decision about whether to proceed. The French government has been reducing its holding in Engie but still owns a 29% stake.
However, other sources reported that Engie was not interested in making a bid. French BFM TV, quoted a source close to Engie: "We have no interest in being a minority shareholder in a big company that already has a controlling shareholder."

EIA: Warm weather leads to first recorded natural gas storage injection in February

Warmer than normal weather throughout much of the United States resulted in the first recorded net natural gas injection during a week in February since weekly storage data has been collected. For the week ending February 24th, the amount of natural gas in storage in the Lower 48 states increased by 7 Bcf.

Engie acquires UK regeneration business

March 3 - France's Engie has signed an agreement to acquire the regeneration business of Keepmoat, a UK’s provider of regeneration services for local authorities.

The company specialises in the design, refurbishment and upgrade of buildings and places.

The acquisition, worth at £330 million “is in line with ENGIE’s strategy to be leader of the energy transition in the world” by developing “integrated and innovative solutions for its clients” Engie said.
 

ABB divests high-voltage cable business

March 2 - ABB has completed the divestment of its high-voltage cables and cable accessories businesses to NKT Cables.

The divestment, which was announced in September 2016, is in line with ABB’s commitment to active portfolio management, the company said.

As part of the strategic partnership, ABB and NKT Cables will work together on future project opportunities and R&D, it said.

Engie, Schneider Electric ink digital solutions MoU

March 1 - Energy management and automation specialist Schneider Electric and French energy company Engie have signed a memorandum of understanding “to explore and deploy new digital solutions” for operational efficiency of renewable assets (wind and solar PV).

Under the MoU, Engie looks to leverage Schneider Electric's software, including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), Engie said.

Asset management, remote monitoring and diagnostics and cybersecurity in a complex ecosystem will also be investigated as part of the agreement, it added.

IoT network reaches 95% coverage in Singapore

Feb 28 - French energy company Engie, together with communication services provider Sigfox and technology company UnaBiz jointly announced that they have reached a milestone in the deployment of the first Internet of Things (IoT) network in Singapore, achieving 95% outdoor coverage across the island.

This network, which is “the first of its kind in Southeast Asia” is set to “help improve energy efficiency, facility management and customer-centred solutions for businesses in the region” with the capacity to support over 100 million connected devices while maintaining high network reliability and security, Engie said.

Tap “strategic” for Italy's energy system: industry ministry

Feb 27 - The Trans Adriatic Pipeline project and the partnership with Azerbaijan are “strategic” for Italy's energy system, the Italian energy ministry reiterated February 27.

The statement came after a meeting in Baku between Italy's industry minister, Carlo Calenda and the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.

The ministry said once completed, Tap will strengthen the energy collaboration between the two countries. It added Italy was also evaluating business opportunities for Italian companies in the country, as some twenty major Italian companies accompanied the minister in its visit to Azerbaijan, including Telecom Italia Sparkle, Danieli, Ferrero, CNH and Enerco.

IEA, Australia discuss energy security

Feb 24 - IEA's executive director Fatih Birol and Australia's prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have met in Sidney on February 24 as part of an official visit to Australia.

They discussed Australia's domestic energy situation and its options to ensure affordable, reliable and secure energy as it works towards its commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions under the Paris climate change treaty.

Their talks also covered prospects for carbon capture and storage and the role Australia is playing as a major energy exporter, particularly in Asia, IEA said.

Southern gas corridor advisory council meets in Baku

Feb 23 - Energy ministers of countries involved in the Southern Gas Corridor initiative and representatives of EU institution have started the third ministerial meeting of the Southern gas corridor advisory council on February 22 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The meeting was also attended by EU Commission vice-president for energy union, Maros Sefcovic.

The event was expected to focus on the financing of the project, among other things, with the participation of representatives of the World Bank and European bank for reconstruction and development (EBRD), according to a statement from the Azeri energy ministry.

Gazprom inks contract for construction of TurkStream second string

Feb 22 - South Stream Transport and construction company Allseas Group have signed a contract to build the second string of the TurkStream gas pipeline’s offshore section.

South Stream, which is responsible for the construction of TurkStream’s offshore section, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom.

TurkStream is the project for the construction of a transit-free export gas pipeline stretching across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further to Turkey’s border with neighbouring countries.

The first string of the gas pipeline is intended for Turkish consumers, while the second string will deliver gas to southern and southeastern Europe. Both will have a throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

In October 2016, Russia and Turkey signed the Intergovernmental Agreement on the TurkStream project.

World's first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel delivered

Feb 21 - Engie, Fluxys, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK have taken delivery of the world’s first purpose built liquefied natural gas bunkering vessel (LBV) from Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction at the Yeongdo shipyard in Busan, Korea.

Zeebrugge in Belgium will be the home port of the vessel.

From there, the 5,000 m3 LNG capacity LBV will supply LNG as a marine fuel to ships operating in Northern Europe, Engie said.

BNetzA consults on underground power cabling

Feb 20 - Germany's regulator Bundesnetzagentur has launched a public consultation, which closed on February 13, on documentation requirements for TSOs in order to install new direct current (DC) power lines underground. 

According to recent legislation in Germany, underground cabling should have priority for new projects.

BNetzA said “the aim is to increase public acceptance and, consequently, speed up grid expansion' adding that the use of overhead lines will be considered “only in exceptional cases.”

ABB delivers substation at Dubai solar park

Feb 17 - ABB has successfully energised a substation in Dubai that will help distribute power from the Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) Solar Park.

The 400/132 kilovolt (kV) gas-insulated switchgear substation has been built for Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) to connect the second phase of the MBR Solar Park and integrate 200 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the transmission grid.

Further expansions are planned at the facility, which, when completed by 2030, will be “the largest single-site solar project in the world with a capacity of 5,000 MW” ABB said.

OPEC agreed cuts achieve “record compliance rate”: IEA

Feb 16 - Oil production cuts agreed by members of OPEC and eleven non-OPEC countries have “achieved a record initial compliance rate” of 90%, with some producers, notably Saudi Arabia “appearing to cut by more than required” the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

The IEA estimates that OPEC production in January was 32.1 mb/d.

OPEC “appears to have made a solid start to what is a six-month process” the IEA said, adding “this first cut is certainly one of the deepest in the history of OPEC output cut initiatives.”

EBRD, Moldova hold talks on energy and transport projects

Feb 15 - A delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) met Moldova's PM Pavel Filip, minister of economy Octavian Calmic, minister of finance Octavian Armasu, and governor of the National Bank Sergiu Cioclea on February 13-14.

The two sides discussed the implementation of large transport, energy and municipal infrastructure projects, including those co-funded by the European Union.

The EBRD is working with the authorities to promote key reforms in these sectors, it said.

Eni sells 10% stake in Egypt's Shorouk concession to BP

Feb 14 - Eni’s CEO, Claudio Descalzi, Bob Dudley, CEO of BP, and   the Egyptian minister of petroleum, Tarek El Molla signed a deed completing the sale to BP of a 10% stake in the Shorouk concession, offshore Egypt.

Eni and BP first agreed on the sale of the concession stake, where the super-giant Zohr gas field is located, in November 2016, Eni said.

Eni, through its subsidiary IEOC, now holds a 90% stake in the license, while Rosneft has agreed to acquire a 30% stake, subject to the Egyptian governmental approval.

Vattenfall to supply Chinese high-tech datacenter in northern Sweden

Feb 13 - Chinese tech company Canaan Creative is to open a new 10 MW data center in northern Sweden, which will rely on smart energy supplies from Vattenfall.

Canaan is a “world-leading producer of blockchain solutions and ASIC microprocessors and the first Chinese company within the sector to open a data center in Europe” Vattenfall said, adding that the chosen location was due to “technological development, climate smart energy in abundance and the lowered tax rates."

In autumn 2016, Vattenfall and Skelleftea Kraft acquired The Node Pole Alliance, which is dedicated to supporting data centers and high tech industry establishment in the north of Sweden.