Markets

Petronet, the operator of India’s Dahei and Kochi LNG import terminals, has managed to push down the price for LNG cargoes from the US Gulf Coast. Tellurian, developer of the Driftwood liquefaction terminal, agreed to deliver cargoes to India at a price of $6 per unit – a much lower price than the price cap for output from India’s Malampaya gas field.

Shell Eastern Trading will likely be Hong Kong’s first supplier of US LNG for use in the 2.5 GW Black Point and 3.7 GW Lamma Island power stations. CAPCO and Hong Kong Electric already struck an LNG supply deal with Shell which covers up to 1.2 million tonnes per annum for 10 years, starting from 2020.

Russia’s Gazprom seeks to end a dispute with Naftogaz Ukrainy before a crucial gas transit contract expires on December 31, 2019. Offering an out-of-court settlement, Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller said he could picture a “zero option” whereby all court proceedings would cease and all lawsuits would be withdrawn.

Strike actions by workers at the French utility EDF in protest against the restructuring of the state-controlled company have curbed cumulative power output by 3.7 GW this morning. Production restrictions are expected to continue throughout the day.

Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, will create a new independent entity under the name ‘Siemens Energy’ that combines its conventional and renewable energy businesses. The spin-off will take effect as of April 2020 with a view to getting the new entity listed by September.

Flows of natural gas from the Appalachian Shale Basin to the rest of the U.S. surges as production reached over 16 billion cubic feet per day last month, pushing down prices in the Northeast. Meanwhile, demand rises in other states - both from the power sector and for liquefaction and export.

New offshore wind parks have pushed the share of renewables in the UK past that of fossil fuel power plants over the past three month – a first for the country. Wind farms, solar panels, biomass and hydropower produced a total of 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in Q3-2019 – slightly more than the 29.1 TWh generated from coal, gas and oil.

Rampant US gas supply has been outpacing demand growth for the past year, slashing prices in Europe and Asia. Some US exporters are considering shutting in production as record low gas prices at the Dutch TTF hub challenge the profitability of liquefying and shipping gas to Europe.

Sempra Energy is getting close to offloading its interest in a second South American power company to a Chinese state firm. State Grid Corporation of China is understood to be willing to pay nearly $3 billion to acquire Sempra’s interests in Chilquinta Energía and Tecnored SA of Chile.

Pacific Gas & Electric has been cutting off electricity supply to almost 800,000 customers across California to minimize the risk of wild fire. PG&E’s transmission lines have been linked to recent wildfires, and the utility has told those affected they may be without electricity for up to five days.

Super storm Hagibis made landfall Japan on Saturday, paralyzing the capital and causing landslides and floods. The typhoon unearthed power pylons, leaving nearly half a million home without power and exposing once again exposed the vulnerability of Tepco’s ageing transmission infrastructure.

Sun-soaked Egypt will soon finalize its first utility-scale solar PV power plant, the 1.8 GW Benban Solar Park. The government targets to add 3.5 GW of solar PV by 2027, whereby the cheap but inherently intermittent solar energy is backed up by three new 4.8 GW combined-cycle power plants.

The creation of a national pipeline company in China is meant to maximise the country’s oil and gas output, but analysts warn it could result in higher end-user prices. Using the price-to-book methodology, Wood Mackenzie says China’s new pipeline company may be worth up to $105 billion.

U.S. dry gas production will rise to an all-time high of 91.63 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) this year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said, forecasting a fall in Henry Hub gas prices by more than $1 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) to average $2.43/MMBtu in Q4-2019.

General Electric will freeze pensions for over 20,000 employees in the U.S. to lower its pension deficit by around $5-8 billion and net debt by up to $6 billion. However, analysts at J.P. Morgan say further steps are needed if GE wants to “truly normalize” its balance sheet.

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News in Brief

Ansaldo appoints new CEO

Oct 21 – Ansaldo Energia’s board of directors has appointed Giuseppe Marino as new CEO. Together with the chairman, Giuseppe Zampini, he will decide on the company’s strategy particularly relating to the new Chinese joint ventures.

Slow start of STT pipeline

Oct 18 – U.S. gas exports to Mexico have not picked up substantially despite the start of the Sur de Texas-Tuxpan (STT) pipeline. Exports are still below 6.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), although there no current postings regarding maintenance on the Sistrangas pipeline that feeds from NET Mexico.

EIB defers ban on fossil projects

Oct 17 – Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) has bowed to pressure from Germany and the European Commission and deferred its decision to ban loans to fossil-fuel projects until mid-November. Germany wants the bank to keep financing gas-fired power projects as it views the cleaner-burning fossil fuel as a vital backup for renewable energy sources.

Brexit will not impact UK gas supply

Oct 16 – Security of power and gas supply in the UK will not be jeopardized this winter by the country’s imminent departure from the European Union, even in the event of a hard Brexit, National Grid said. In its assessment, the TSO factored in a halt to flows via the Belgium and Dutch gas interconnectors “from EU exit day one”, but said ongoing deliveries from Norway, the UK Continental Shelf and storage will continue as usual.

Ferrybridge C gets demolished

Oct 15 – Four cooling towers at the Ferrybridge Power Station have been taken down as the coal-fired power station will make way to a new, high-efficiency gas power station. Operator SSE shut down the 500 MW Ferrybridge C unit in March 2016 and now started to tear it down.

Global energy storage tops 10 GW by 2025

Oct 14 – The global market for grid-connected energy storage will grow by 6,900 MW, or 16.6% to reach over 10,500 MW by the end of 2025, according to Reportlinker.com. Germany will add over 267 MW energy storage installations over the next five to six years, while 330 MW will come from other European markets. These numbers are dwarfed by China, where up to 1,200 MW energy storage units could be connected to the grid by 2025.

Wärtsilä services EDL plant

Oct 11 – Energy Developments Ltd (EDL) of Australia has awarded Wärtsilä a service contract for gas engine-based baseload power plant at the McArthur River zinc mine in Northern Territory. The maintenance approach for the 53 MW onsite power plant is no longer pre-planned and scheduled but has been changed to condition-based and predictive maintenance, with an advisory contract.

EPH buys CCGT in Galway

Oct 10 – The Czech energy company EPH has received regulatory approval to purchase an 80% stake in the 400 MW Tynagh Energy combined-cycle gas power plant in Galway, Ireland. Mountainside Partners will continue to own the remaining stake in the CCGT, which operates based on a security-of-supply contract from the Irish TSO based on guaranteed power prices.

ITM gets £38m boost from Linde

Oct 9 – Sheffield-based ITM Power, maker of electrolysers for hydrogen production, has been boosted by a £38 million cash injection, as Linde acquired a 20% stake in ITM at 40 pence per share. Looking ahead, ITM said it is seeking to raise £14 million from new and existing institutional investors.

Drax to convert two power units

Oct 8 – Drax Group has received government approval to convert up to two coal-fired generating units at its power station in North Yorkshire to run on natural gas. With this ruling, the UK regulator overturned objections by ClientEarth, stressing some fossil power is vital for the UK to backup intermittent renewable power source.

Storage use tops 80% in key U.S. regions

Oct 7 – Gas storage utilization in the United States is rising in the autumn, with net injections topping 112 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in the first week of October. According to EIA figures, underground storages are at least 80% full in the East, Midwest, and South Central non-salt regions, allowing for seasonal withdrawals to help meet peak-day gas demand throughout the upcoming winter.

Maine, NY aspire to 100% clean energy

Oct 4 – Three U.S. states—Maine, New York, and Ohio—have updated their renewable portfolio standards (RPS), since May 2019. As a result, Maine and New York joined California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia in requiring 100% clean electricity by 2050.

TransAlta to built CHP in Alberta

Oct 3 – Canada-based Transalta and SemCAMS Midstream have agreed to develop, construct and operate a new cogeneration facility at the Kaybob South No. 3 sour gas processing plant in Alberta. To be built at a cost of some 105 million, the CHP will have an installed capacity of 40 MW. Start of commercial operation is targeted for late 2021.

GE’s 100th HA turbine sold in Greece

Oct 2 – Greek industrial firm Mytilineos has ordered a GE 9HA.02 gas turbine to be the heart of the 826 MW Agios Nikolaos combined-cycle gas power plant. This deal also marks the 100th unit of GE’s HA gas turbine sold. Construction of the CCGT is due to start before the end of the year.

ABB launches M4M analyzer

Oct 1 – Swiss technology firm ABB has launches its first Bluetooth-equipped network analyzers, called M4M. The system gathers data from distribution grids and connects them to a cloud-based control system, allowing users to react on energy consumption and on-site power generation trends.

Microsoft invests in wind power

Sept 30 – Microsoft and ENGIE have entered a long-term solar and wind energy power purchase agreement (PPA) in the United States. The deal will see Microsoft purchase a total of 230 MW from two ENGIE projects in Texas, bringing Microsoft’s renewable energy portfolio to more than 1,900 MW.

Gazprom tackles issue of ownerless gas grid

Sept 27 – Gazprom, the main supplier of pipeline gas to Europe, is trying to settle the issue of ownerless gas pipelines – a relic of the former Soviet Union. Abandoned gas transmission pipeline spanned 6,651 kilometers as of March 1, with the issue seen as “especially acute” in the North Caucasus region where half of this infrastructure is located. If no owner registers these facilities within three months, Gazprom will take over to ensure reliability and safety.