Medco Energi, Indonesia's national oil and gas company, is in talks to acquire the UK-listed Ophir Energy in a cash takeover. No amount or other details have yet been disclosed, other than Medco has to make a clear binding offer by January 28, if a deal is to proceed.
Consultations have officially started as to whether Uniper will divest all its French power plant assets to the Central European energy investment group EPH, majority-owned by the billionaire Daniel Kretinsky. Uniper confirmed it received a unilateral binding offer from EPH, but did not disclose the value of a potential deal.
Flexibility and system integration of renewable energy sources will be in focus of a Ministerial Summit co-hosted by the German government and the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Berlin in September. Tackling the intermittency challenge will be critical for 33 countries are likely to have up to 20% variable renewables in their power systems by 2023.
MIT researchers have developed a membrane-based system that can convert power plant emissions into fuels for cars, trucks and planes, as well as chemical feedstocks. The membrane – made of a compound of lanthanum, calcium, and iron oxide – allows oxygen from a stream of carbon dioxide (CO2) to migrate through, leaving carbon monoxide (CO) behind. Combined with hydrogen or water, this CO can be turned into syngas.
Colder weather in China is pushing up heating demand which is the first resilience test for the gas network. Some 3.2 million new residential gas users have been grid-connected this year, adding 4.5 Bcm in demand which comes on top of even higher demand growth from industries. Overall demand in winter 2018/19 is forecast to be 40 Bcm over last year’s levels.
Future use of hybrid energy will lead to a consistent baseload, without the need for top-up via fossil fuels, says Francesco Falco, chief commercial officer at GE Power Conversion. "When using Silicon Carbide (SiC), – a diamond-like substance – instead of traditional silicon chips in a solar inverter, its high power density feature can reduce power losses by up to 50%."
Despite rising oil prices and production levels U.S. gas fracking companies are continuing to lose money, according to a review of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEA). In the third quarter of 2018, the 32 mid-size U.S. exploration companies reported nearly $1 billion in negative cash flows.
A consortium of Enagás, Snam and Fluxys has completed the acquisition of a 66% stake in DESFY, the Greek gas transmission system operator. The stake was bought from the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) and Hellenic Petroleum for € 535 million.
Saudi Arabia’s 2019 budget has allocated 33 billion riyals ($8.8 billion) for the energy, industry, mining and logistics sectors – more than three times the amount spent in the previous budget. State spending will rise by over 7% next year to an equivalent of $295 million, and most of these higher expenses are intended to be financed through rising oil revenues.
Rising use of thermal coal in the Japanese power sector has led to a 1% drop in LNG imports in November while coal shipments increased by more than 5%. Utilities prefer coal over gas as a fuel for their power stations after the cost of LNG cargoes surged year-on-year by nearly $1 billion.
Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), an independent investor in energy assets, has sold a quarter of its shareholding in the 805 MW Towantic Energy Center in Connecticut to the American subsidiary of Osaka Gas. The Japanese utility previously bought stakes in three other CPV gas power plants.
Research into Integrally Geared Centrifugal (IGC) compressors for gas-fired power units can maximise operating pressures and flows while optimizing the plant's efficiency. “In terms of efficiency, it is typical that we can offer 2-5% of efficiency enhancements," an Ingersoll Rand product manager said, "and in more extreme cases we have seen where we improve that range as high as 10-15% depending on the next best alternative.”
Mubadala and Dubai Holding have set up a joint project vehicle to develop the United Arab Emirates’ (UEA) self-proclaimed “most efficient power plant” at Emirates Global Aluminium’s (EGA) smelter in Jebel Ali. The 600 MW power unit and integrated water desalination plant will be built under a 25-year deal worth over 1 billion dirhams ($272m).
Veolia North America and Arizona Public Service (APS) have selected GE’s Fleet360 total plant solutions to increase performance at power plants in Boston and Arlington. APS expects to garner a 6% higher output and a 2% drop in heat rate will boost flexibility at its Redhawk Power Station (1,060 MW).
Success of the global energy revolution – the shift from fossil to low-carbon power generation – hinges on the quality of the cable that underpins. Yet an estimated 20% of all cables in the UK are either sub-standard, counterfeit or non-approved. Pointing out the risks of such shortcomings, Jean-Sébastien Pelland, Director of Eland Cables said: “For a project, sub-standard cables can result in downtime, reliability issues and ballooning maintenance costs at best and major safety hazards at worst, as well as potential environmental damage.”