Daily News

Italy's power grid operator Terna, through its subsidiary Terna Plus has signed an agreement with Brazil's civil and infrastructural works company Planova for the acquisition of two concessions to create and operate some 500 km of power grid infrastructures in the country.

EU member states have agreed February 17 on the Commission's proposal to invest some Eur444 million in key European energy infrastructure projects.

Gross inland energy consumption in the European Union accounted for 1,626 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2015, 2.5% below 1990 levels and 11.6% below its peak of almost 1,840 Mtoe in 2006, according to Eurostat.

French gas grid operator has lifted the supply alert for LNG supplies at the Fos-sur-Mer terminal this week, on the back of milder temperatures and increasing LNG deliveries, after a situation of bottleneck partly due to tight LNG supplies had affected South-East of France at the end of January.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) and China are stepping up cooperation on energy security, capacity building, data and statistics through a new three-year work programme that is also intended to support China’s energy transition and efforts to address environmental and air-quality issues.

Wartsila is to supply a 30 MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant to CGGC UN Power in China. This will be the first gas-fired medium-speed engine power plant in China “marking the entry of a new technology in the market” Wartsila said.

Honeywell has been appointed by Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) for a five-year project worth more than $200 million for the installation of Honeywell’s metering technology throughout MLGW’s service territory.

GE and Harbin Electric International Company Limited (HEI) announced they have successfully achieved the first fire of a GE 9HA gas turbine installed at the 1,180 MW Bhikki power plant in Pakistan.

The share of electricity generated from gas-fired power plants sold on the Italian day-ahead regulated electricity market continued to see year on year increases in January, standing at 53.3% of total sales against 46.1% in January 2016, according to data from exchange manager Gestore Mercati Energetici (GME).

UK energy regulator Ofgem has set levels of the price cap for households that have a prepayment arrangement for their energy bills.

Natural gas in the form of LNG is expected to continue playing a key role in Japan's energy mix in the future, despite some forecasts suggesting a decrease in consumption is to be expected compared to current levels, according to a senior official at major utility Tokyo Gas.

Capstone Turbine Corporation has received orders for a C800 Signature Series microturbine and two C1000 Signature Series microturbines for two oil and gas customers operating in the Marcellus Shale play.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has received an order for gas-fired gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) power generation system equipments for Hongkong Electric' Lamma power station in Hong Kong.

Enel’s subsidiary Enel Brasil has finalised the purchase of a 94.8% stake in energy distributor Celg Distribuição for 2.187 billion Brazilian reais (around $640 million).

Wartsila's power generation business is increasingly focusing on renewable integration in power grids as well as a decentralised approach to energy generation, Melle Kruisdijk, Europe area vice president at Wartsila power plants said.

The combination of renewables and gas generation “has a bright future in the European energy system” he told Gas to Power Journal.

News in Brief

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.

Greece, IEA discuss energy strategy

Feb 10 - The executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol has met with the Greek minister for environment and energy, George Stathakis, to discuss the energy sector transition and the outlook of global energy markets.

Stathakis shared “the good progress Greece has made in increasing the share of renewables in the power sector and highlighted the importance accorded to energy efficiency and the positive impact it can have on overall economic development” the IEA said in a statement.

The IEA is to conduct its 5-year review of energy policies of Greece in 2017, “including those that are relevant for energy security of the country, and its ambition to reduce the carbon footprint of its energy sector” it said.

EBRD to support Egypt's green economy transition

Feb 9 - The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved its first country strategy for Egypt.

EBRD said Egypt's green economy transition is among the key priorities identified by the strategy.

Specifically, the EBRD will “support Egypt’s efforts in diversifying its energy mix by financing renewable energy projects and energy efficiency investments across sectors, including energy efficiency credit lines for SMEs,” it said.

Enel expands electricity storage portfolio

Feb 8 - Italy's Enel has partnered with storage systems provider Aton Storage in order to expand its portfolio in the sector.

The deal follows agreements reached by Enel in recent months with Tesla, BYD and LG Chem.

Enel has also incorporated the Aton storage system in its commercial offering of photovoltaic panels combined with energy storage systems “which will launch shortly” it said.

Engie to build its first geothermal power plant in Indonesia

Feb 7 – France's Engie, as part of PT Supreme Energy Muara Laboh consortium, has reached the financial closing for phase I of the Muara Laboh geothermal project in Indonesia, the company's first high temperature geothermal power generation plant in the world.

With commissioning planned in 2019, this first phase will generate 80 MW of emission-free electricity, the equivalent of the energy consumption of around 120,000 households, Engie said.

Enel brings online two new PV plants in South Africa

Feb 6 - Italy's Enel, through its renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA, has brought the 82.5 MW Adams and Pulida solar PV plants, located in South Africa’s Northern Cape and Free State provinces, into commercial operation. 
 
The two solar plants are supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with South African power utility Eskom, which Enel was awarded in 2014 following the third round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) tender promoted by the South African government, Enel said.

ABB wins $75 mil power link order in Brazil

Feb 3 - ABB has won a $75 million order to supply advanced converter transformers for the Belo Monte 800 kV ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission link.

The 2,518 km link will transmit clean power generated in the north of Brazil, from the Xingu substation to the Rio Substation in the southeast. It will transport up to 4000 MW of electricity, enough to meet the needs of around ten million people, ABB said.

Enel Green Power adds 2 GW capacity in 2016

Feb 2 - Italy's Enel renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power built some 2,018 MW of new capacity in 2016.

The company said this was a “record” as new capacity had doubled compared to 2015.

New projects completed in 2016 include the the 102 MW Apiacas hydropower park in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, and the 160 MW Finis Terrae solar PV park in Chile, as well the 400 MW Cimarron Bend wind farm in Kansas, US.

LNG exports at Algeria's Skikda terminal resumed

Feb 1 - LNG exports out of the Algerian terminal of Skikda have resumed since January 26, after they had stopped in December due to technical issues.

The restart allowed Sonatrach to send to France “the additional LNG loads requested by Engie” the CEO Amine Mazouzi was quoted by media reports as saying.

Earlier in December, French grid operator GRTgaz had warned of a short gas system in the South-East of France, due to a cold snap. Requests of additional volumes from Algeria however could not be met due to the stoppage at Skikda.

Eni, Sonatrach sign MoU to build petrochemical complex in Algeria

Jan 31 - Eni's subsidiary Versalis and Algeria's Sonatrach have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to carry out joint feasibility studies for an integrated petrochemical complex to be built in Algeria.

The MoU follows the cooperation agreement signed by Eni and Sonatrach last November and sets the objective of enhancing hydrocarbons with value added petrochemical products through the development, in Algeria, of “one or a few world-scale industrial petrochemical facilities” Eni said.

“This agreement represents an opportunity for Versalis to collaborate with an integrated oil corporation, to which the Italian chemical producer will offer its industrial experience in managing large petrochemical plants, and the access to its proprietary technologies, within the framework of strategic joint projects” the company added.

PEGAS launches time spread gas trading products

Jan 30 - PEGAS, the pan-European gas trading platform operated by Powernext, has launched on January 24 new spread products on its PEGAS Futures hubs (CEGH VTP, GASPOOL, NBP, NCG, PEG Nord, PSV, TTF and ZEE).

On the first day, a total volume of 3.5 TWh was traded on the new products and 61 transactions were made by 38 different members, including all maturities (months, quarters, seasons and calendar years), mainly on the PEGAS CEGH VTP, PSV and TTF market areas.

“Time spread trading is an important enhancement requested by our members” said Richard Katz, director of sales at Powernext adding that “with these products, the market participants are now able to trade the difference between the prices of two contracts of the same maturity with different delivery periods within the same market area.”

Dresser-Rand commissions first micro-scale LNG liquefaction plant

Jan 27 - Dresser-Rand, part of Siemens power and gas, has commissioned its first micro-scale natural gas liquefaction system at the Ten Man liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Pennsylvania, US.

The modular, portable LNG technology enables distributed production of LNG and can be installed in a short period of time to meet local demand for LNG, Siemens said.

“This cost-effective solution, developed by the Dresser-Rand business, allows the operator, Frontier Natural Resources, to monetize stranded gas assets at Tenaska Resources LLC's Mainesburg field” located in the Marcellus shale play, it said.