Markets

E.ON, Germany's largest utility, is facing a loss in the lower double-digit million euro range on deals of an ex-trader. E.ON did not disclose whether the losses were incurred by traded contracts of natural gas or electricity in the forward market.

To launch capacity payment schemes at a national level in EU countries makes "no sense", said Philip Lowe, Director General for DG Energy in the European Commission. Only pan-European mechanisms could make sense and would support investment in new gas-fired plants, he said at Eurelectric's annual conference in Malta on Tuesday.

Investments in carbon capture storage (CCS) for new-built and operational power plants has a softening effect the carbon price - albeit not a big one, Energy Brainpool's chief analyst Tobias Federico said. Gas-fired power plants are allowed to operate without CCS until 2045 in the U.K., the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) confirmed.

Amid gas replacing coal as the fuel choice for American power plant operators, the stockpile of coal has risen to a record high, latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows.

Demand for natural gas is estimated to surge by more than 50% by 2035, provided that vast global resources of unconventional gas can be tapped in a profitable and environmentally friendly manner, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a special report.

The U.S. is experiencing a boom in shale gas production, with gas prices on record lows and power producers switching from coal to comparatively cheap and less carbon-intensive gas.

Hong Kong is running out of natural gas and is looking to augment its supply sources, Maggie Go, Business Engineer at Hong Kong power utility CLP said in Singapore today. "Demand for natural gas in power generation - a cleaner and more environmentally friendly alternative to coal - is burgeoning," Go told delegates at IBC Asia's 6th annual Gas Turbines Conference.

The dynamics of European energy prices are intertwined with those relative to the Euro area debt crisis. "As long as markets do not perceive a real turning point, there will continue to be a lot of volatility and – at times – some lack of strong direction coming from the fundamentals," the French investment bank Société Générale forecasts.

Turkey is close to importing natural gas from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region with the buyer understood to have earmarked some of the volumes for gas-to-power generation. A deal could be struck soon: "A buyer is out there, right next door to Iraq," said Ibrahim Palaz, general manager of Botas International.

As the UK government is searching for a cheap and quick fix to avert a looming gap in power generation capacity, new gas-fired power plants are likely to emerge as the preferred solution, investment bank JP Morgan said today.

EU power demand is holding up better than anticipated despite declining gas consumption, Société Générale said today. Between January and April, EU gas consumption declined by 1.8% year-on-year (yoy) while electricity demand increased by 0.7%, respectively, figures in the bank's monthly demand report 'SG Energy Pulse' show.

Profitability of combined cycle power plants (CCGTs) in Spain is likely to deteriorate further on rising electricity supply from solar PV and wind power generation. “We may not have reached the bottom yet. No investment in new CCGTs is likely in the next 10 to 15 years,” James Cox, Principal Consultant, Poery Energy Consulting, said at the ‘Gas to Power conference’ in Valencia today.

The share of LNG re-exports from Spain has risen to a record 30% of import volumes in 2012 as shippers divert cargoes contracted on flexible terms to profit from high gas prices in Asia, lga Vedernikova, LNG Divisions Director at Clarksons said today. Spain gas demand is forecast to remain on low levels, leaving regas capacity underutilized.

 The volatility of natural gas demand in Spain is set to rise as the integration of electricity and gas market intensifies, Maria Teresa Bravo, responsible of European gas infrastructure development at Enagas said today. "Natural gas is as a facilitator for Spain's rising renewable energy production, therefore gas infrastructure needs provide sufficient flexibility for gas to play that role, she said at the LNG & Gas-to-Power conference in Valencia.

Operating profit of Statkraft, Norway's largest utility, eased off slightly in the first quarter as the negative impact of lower power prices was offset by higher electricity production.

Japan's hunger for LNG imports to fuel gas-fired power plants is set to ease off gradually as a regional government approves the restart of nuclear reactors. Global LNG markets, however, are forecast to stay tight, investment bank JP Morgan forecasts.

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News in Brief

MHI-MME to take over turbocharger production

Sept 20 – Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems will no longer produce MET turbochargers, the standard worldwide exhaust gas turbochargers used in stationary engines. Starting from January 1, 2020, these devises will be produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Equipment (MHI-MME) instead.

Japan starts electricity futures trading

Sept 19 – Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) has launched trading in electricity futures to advance price competition in Japan’s liberalized energy market. The East Area peakload electricity contract for October delivery first traded at 10.9 Yen per kWh, lower than the standard price of 11 Yen set by TOCOM in advance.

Duke to reduce rates in 2020

Sept 18 – Duke Energy Florida (DEF) customers will see lower bills in 2020. The utility filed a proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission to reduce rates for electricity and gas by more than 3% while adding more solar power and making grid improvements.

Myanmar approves three power projects

Sept 17 – Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy has given the green light to plans for a 1,230 MW gas-fired power plant in Kanpauk, Taninthayi region, a 377 MW gas-fired unit in Ahlon, Yangon region and a 1,390 MW thermal plant in Milaunggyine in Ayeyawady region. The conflict-ridden country is currently producing electricity from 5,600 MW installed capacity, derived both from state- private-owned power stations.

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.