Markets

The Finish marine and energy technology company Wärtsilä has posted an 8% growth in net sales to €1,151 million for the period from January to March 2019, and a 6% rise in order intake to € 1,416 million. “Demand improved in the gas carrier segment but despite this positive development, reduced activity in the energy markets resulted in a decline in group order intake,” Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola said.

Energy trade between Mexico and the United States has undergone massive change. The value of U.S. exports of petroleum products nearly tripled from $10.4 billion in 2008 to a record high of $30.5 billion in 2018, while U.S. energy imports from Mexico stayed a near record low of $15.8 billion for a second year in a row.

The U.S.-based Fortune 500 power company AES Corp is divesting its interests in six power plants in Jordan and the United Kingdom for a total of $211 million. Andrés Gluski, AES’ President and CEO said the company decided to cut back the number of countries in which it operates and will shift its focus to renewables, energy storage and LNG.

Natural gas future prices for May at the U.S. benchmark Henry Hub have firmed to $2.535/MMBtu due to increased demand from the power sector and for feedgas for a growing number of liquefaction and export plants. Energy Aspects flow data shows Sabine Pass LNG is taking 3.4 bcf/d would indicate all five trains are operating.

Imports of liquefied natural gas to Japan have dropped for a fifth straight month as thermal coal imports is outcompeting gas in the power sector. In March, some 9.58 million tons of thermal coal was imported, up 3% on February, while LNG cargoes delivered in the same month totaled nearly 7.3 mt, down from 7.93 mt a month earlier, according to Japanese custom’s data.

Working natural gas inventories in the U.S. have ended the withdrawal season on 30% lower levels than the previous five-year average for that time of year. According to EIA figures, natural gas in storage in the Lower 48 states at the end of March totaled 1,137 billion cubic feet (Bcf).

Resurgent economic growth in many developing countries will push the market for steam turbines to over $32 billion by 2024. Analysts at Global Market Insights anticipate the <3 MW steam turbine market will grow over 2% annually, with demand driven by decentralized cogeneration and geothermal units.

The Indian government may give way to utilities’ demands and allow power plants running on regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to sell electricity into the higher-priced spot market, without having to adhere to their power purchase agreements. The proposed e-RLNG scheme will likely require fewer subsidies than in past years due to the fall in global oil prices.

Working natural gas in storage in the Lower 48 United States ended the heating season on March 31 at 1,137 billion cubic feet (Bcf) – the lowest level since 2014. The 2018–19 heating season was characterized by periods of significantly colder-than-normal temperatures, particularly in the Upper Midwest, the EIA said in its latest Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report.

Chevron’s $33 billion takeover of Anadarko, one of the world’s largest independent oil companies, will boosts its lead in the Permian Shale, and grow its midstream and LNG export business. Chevron CEO, Michael Wirth commented: “The transaction underscores our commitment to short-cycle, higher-return investments.”

Demand for natural gas in the U.S. power sector keeps rising as the number of combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants has overtaken coal-fired plants, making the power sector compete for fuel with LNG export projects. Thankfully, the production of U.S. dry gas is going from strength to strength.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects natural gas prices at the benchmark Henry Hub will to fall to an average $2.82/MMBtu this year, and decline further in 2020. The bearish sentiment is caused by a continuous rise in U.S. dry gas production, forecast to expand by 7.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) this year to reach around 91.0 Bcf/d.

In the wake of Egypt’s latest tender for exploration licenses in the Red Sea, the Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Tarek El-Molla has forecast the country's overall natural gas output will reach more than 5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) by the early 2020s. Anticipating a substantial gas surplus, the Government aims to use these volumes to increase power generation and to meet Egypt's LNG export obligations.

Updated data for 2019 by the International Energy Agency (IEA) show Chinese-added power generation capacities in Sub-Saharan Africa will total 9 GW over the decade between 2014 and 2024.  This does not include two large dams currently under construction  – the 2,160 MW Cacula dam in Angola and the 3,048 MW Mambila dam in Nigeria, which are unlikely completed before 2024.

Saudi Arabia will become the largest Middle East wind power market, Wood Mackenzie finds, with developers expected to build 6.2GW of wind capacitry, or 46% of the region’s total wind capacity addition, between 2019 and 2028. Flexible gas turbine or engine-driven power plants will be an ideal backup for rising volumes of intermittent wind energy.

Page 10 of 155

News in Brief

Bonny Train-7 to cost $6.5bn

Sept 16 – Nigeria LNG is preparing to add a seventh processing train to Bonny LNG, bringing total capacity from 22 million tons per annum (mtpa) to 30 mtpa. Estimated to cost $6.5 billion, Bonny Train-6 will include a new liquefaction unit, a storage and a condensate tank as well as three gas turbine generators.

Schneider to complete L&T takeover by early 2020

Sept 13 – Venturing into India, Schneider Electric hopes to finalise the Rs 14,000 crore acquisition of Larsen & Toubro's electrical and automation business by early 2020. After the transaction is completed, Schneider will have a 65% stake in L&T, while the remainder will be held by Temasek.

MHI to advice China on energy conservation

Sept 12 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems, part of MHI, has set up a joint venture withan affiliate of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) to perform technical consulting for energy conservation projects in China. The focus of SGCC lies on building new decentralized power stations, biomass-derived power gensets and energy saving solutions.

Tender extended

Sept 11 – Turkmengas has extended a tender for the overhaul of the gas turbine engines of the NK-12ST and NK-14ST brands. Bidders need to pay to receive the tender documents, and then submit a written application to Turkmenistan’s state gas company.

Gas power units to buffer Germany’s coal exit

Sept 10 – Electricity output of Germany’s fleet of gas-fired power plants has risen to a over 13,5 billion kilowatt-hours in the three months from June to August, Fraunhofer ISE figures show. These productivity gains put CCGTs in pole position to balance supply swings in connection with the German coal exit.

Power of Siberia gas flows to start on Dec 1

Sept 9 – Russian gas supplies to China via the eastern route are going to start on December 1, 2019, Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller told his counterpart at CNPC in Beijing. The huge Chayandinskoye field, containing some 1.2 trillion cbm of gas, had already been connected to the 38 Bcm per year ‘Power of Siberia’ gas pipeline in August.

Hurricane Dorian causes havoc in the Bahamas

Sept 6 – In the aftermath of Hurricane Doran, a Category 5 storm, Bahamas Power and Light has said there is a total blackout in New Providence, the most populous island of the archipelago. Dorian made landfall twice on Sunday, ripping off roofs and electricity lines. In most parts, electricity has not been restored.

LNG cargoes via Bab-el Mandeb decrease

Aug 30 – Northbound LNG shipments via Bab el-Mandeb, a sea route chokepoint between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East, have fallen over the past three years as Egypt imports less natural gas from the Persian Gulf. In 2015 and 2016, both Jordan and Egypt imported up to 1.4 Bcf/d of LNG into Red Sea ports but these shipments fell sharply following the development of large gas finds in the Mediterranean.

Hokuriku Electric buys LNG cargo

Aug 29 – Japanese utility Hokuriku Electric has purchased an LNG cargo for delivery in November as soaring temperatures drew down gas in storage for the autumn. The cargo is understood to be scheduled for delivery in the second half of November from Malaysia’s Petronas and may well be destined for Hokuriku Electric’s first LNG-fired power generation unit,  the Toyama Shinko plant.

Technip spins off LNG activities

Aug 28 – TechnipFMC, has decided to spin off its European-based engineering and construction operations into a separate business, leaving the American half of the firm as an equipment supplier to the oil and gas sector. The split is due to be completed in the first half of 2020.

FLNG power market to top $930m by 2023

Aug 27 – The global market for floating LNG power vessel is projected to reach $ 931.6 million by 2023, up from $ 860.1 million seen last year, according to ReportsnReports. Major vendors of FLNG power vessels are Siemens, MAN, Wärtsilä, Caterpilar and GE which are targeting to use the technology to supply decentralized power to island nations in Southeast Asia and along the coast of sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas.

EIA monitors grid hourly

Aug 26 – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has launched a beta release of its hourly electric grid monitor. The enhanced version analyses hourly generation by energy source and hourly sub-regional demand for certain balancing authorities in the Lower 48 states.

Hiroshima waste-to-energy plant gets upgrade

Aug 23 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has been chosen to upgrade and refurbish the combustion facilities at a waste to energy plant in Hiroshima. The Naka plant in Minamiyoshijima, Naka-ku, has a total waste treatment capacity of 600 tonnes per day and generates 15.2 MW of electricity to power the equipment in the factory, while selling the remainder to the grid.

China eases ban on coal power

Aug 22 – The Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA) has allowed 11 provinces to resume building coal power plants in a move that lies bare the country’s dependency on thermal coal even after several hundred billion dollars were invested cleaner energy sources, notable wind, solar and natural gas. Areas earmarked by NEA for new coal power plants include Qinghai, Chongqing, Guangxi, Guangdong, Yunnan, Guizhou and Henan.

Blackout after Didcot demolition

Aug 21 – Yet another blackout hit thousands of British households early Sunday after the demolition of cooling towers at the disused Didcot-A power station in Oxfordshire. Moments after the explosion at 7am to bring down the cooling towers some nearby electricity poles and overhead transmission lines caught fire, causing a sudden loss of electricity that lasted for one hour and twenty minutes.

Fuel cell vehicle market gathers speed

Aug 20 – Sales revenue from fuel cell vehicles will soar to $255.2 billion in 2032, up from just $400 million last year, driven by fast growth in China and wider Asia. Hydrogen fuel cells achieve an energy conversion efficiency of 50% to 60% amid zero emissions and a low maintenance cost thanks to the engine’s modular design.

Tohoku Electric tenders for LNG cargo

Aug 19 – Tohoku Electric Power, the fourth-largest electric utility in Japan in terms of revenue behind Tepco, Kepco and Chubu, is understood to be seeking an LNG cargo for delivery in September. A tender process is ongoing.