Daily News

European gas demand is set to increase by 6% year on year in 2016, reaching some 447.1 billion cubic meters.

This rise is partly due to increased demand for gas in power generation following signs of revival in industrial activity, as well as greater use of gas in transport, the European gas wholesale, retail and distribution sectors association Eurogas said in a recent report.

Electricity demand in Italy accounted for 26.3 GWh in September, down by 0.7% year on year, Italian power grid operator Terna said. Some 89% of the electricity consumed was generated domestically, while the remaining 11% was imported from foreign markets.

National production stood at 23.6 GWh in September, increasing by 1.4% year on year.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has revised up its renewable capacity growth forecast, with global renewable electricity capacity now expected to increase by 42%, or 825 GW by 2021. That's 13% than what previously forecast, reaching a 28% share of the electricity generation mix by the end of the five-year period.

Aluminium of Greece has signed a long-term electricity supply agreement with Public Power Corporation (PPC), ending a long-running dispute between one of the country's biggest energy consumers and its dominant electricity producer.

A consortium formed by Italian grid operator Terna and Italian infrastructure fund F2i SGR has submitted a binding offer for the acquisition of a 24% stake in Greek grid operator ADMIE.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a long term loan of up to PLN 320 million (€75 million equivalent) for the conversion of a combined heat and power plant in Krakow into a gas-fired unit.

Finnish marine and energy solutions provider Wartsila has signed a contract with independent oil and gas company Imetame Energia for the construction of the 28 MW UTE Prosperidade I gas-fired power plant in Brazil.

Finnish marine and energy solutions provider Wartsila is progressing construction of three new LNG-powered vessels commissioned by Canada's ferry services company BC Ferries, with delivery of the first vessel expected by the end of the year, Wartsila said.

Natural gas demand in Italy posted a strong year on year increase in September, rising by 13% to 4.6 million cubic meters. That was mostly due to a sharp rise in demand for power generation, which was up by 21.1% year on year at 2.2 million cubic meters, Italian gas and power exchange operator, Gestore Mercati Energetici said.

Italy's Enel, through its subsidiary Enel Green Power North America, has started construction of a 300 MW wind farm in the US. The wind power installation is located in Rock Creek, Missouri and will be able to generate some 1,250 GWh per year of electricity, equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 100,000 american households, the company said.

A ministerial meeting with representatives from over 70 countries was hosted on October 18 and 19 by Morocco, ahead of the COP22 Marrakech Climate Change Conference, which will run from November 7 to 18.

Italian cable and wires manufacturer La Triveneta Cavi has inaugurated a new factory in Moldova's Straseni industrial park, following a €24 million investment supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The new factory will produce low- and middle-voltage electrical cables for use in buildings, industrial processes, power distribution, telecommunications and data transmission.

Italian gas infrastructure operator Snam and car makers IVECO and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of natural gas as car fuel. This market is worth some Eur1.7 billion in Italy, with one billion vehicles currently in circulation which consumed 1 billion cubic meters of gas in 2015.

The president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, and chairman of Qatargas, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi concluded this week a series of meetings in Japan with senior executives of major Japanese energy companies. The visit was "designed to follow up on all issues that relate to the existing cooperation and business relationships and ways to enhance them" the company said.

Development of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is progressing without delays, and first gas is still expected to be delivered to the European market by 2020, Azerbaijan's energy minister Natig Aliyev said.

News in Brief

EBRD launches Eur200 mil energy efficiency programme in Poland

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched a Eur200 million programme for improving residential energy efficiency in Poland and reduce its dependency on imports.

The residential sector consumes about 40% of the country’s primary energy.

“The Polish Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Facility (PolREFF) addresses this challenge by providing credit lines to local partner banks for on-lending” to a number of parties, EBRD said.
Eligible borrowers will be able to receive loans for projects such as insulation of walls, upgrades of heat supply systems, heat pumps, installation of solar thermal and PV systems.

So far Bank Zachodni WBK has signed up to the programme, with "a second institution expected (to join) shortly," EBRD said.

EU, Gazprom close to reaching deal over antitrust probe: FT

Oct 24 - The European Commission is close to reaching a draft settlement with Gazprom which would end a five-year probe into alleged overcharging, the Financial Times reported.

The EU's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager and Gazprom's deputy chairman, Alexander Medvedev, are “expected to meet this week and agree draft terms or signal they are close” the FT reported Monday. “This could at least be the beginning of the end” one person familiar with the case told the financial newspaper.
Gazprom is accused of having imposed unfair charges for its gas supplies to eastern and central European countries.

France's RTE reports new generation outages

Oct 24 - A number of new power plants in France have been added to the list of expected outages of generating units by grid operator RTE.

The new outages include: the forced unavailability of the Emile Houchet 6 (coal), Emile Houchet 8 (gas) and Provence 5 (coal) plants from October 21 to 25; the planned maintenance of the Tricastin 4 (nuclear) between October 22 to December 19, Brennilis 3 (oil) from October 23 to November 7 and Aigle 6 (hydro) plants on October 24, this latter lasting just one day.

The unavailability of the first three is going to bring offline a total of more than 1.4 GW, while the second group of plants account altogether for some 1.2 GW.

Greece-Italy transmission capacity down to zero Oct 22-23

Oct 21 - The long-term allocated power transmission capacity for delivery date October 22 and 23 on the Greece-Italy interconnector has been reduced to 0%, the European auction platform Joint Allocation Office (formerly CASC.eu) announced on its website.
That was “due to Network Security as per request from the TSO” JAO said.

Switzerland-Italy capacity curtailed Oct 20

Oct 20 - The long-term allocated power transmission capacity for delivery date October 20 on the Switzerland-Italy interconnector has been reduced to 92%, the European auction platform Joint Allocation Office (formerly CASC.eu) announced on its website.

It added this was “due to Network Security as per request from the TSO.”

This is the last of a series of curtailment on the same interconnector in the past days, amid an uptick in power demand in Italy in day-ahead markets in the central two weeks of October.

German BAFA gas import prices above spot in August

Oct 19 - The average price for natural gas imported into Germany stood at Eur14.15/MWh in August. That was above spot levels recorded on the German NetConnect and Dutch TTF gas hubs over that period, price reporting agency Platts said.
The average day-ahead price at Germany's GASPOOL and NCG hubs in August was assessed by Platts at Eur12.217/MWH and Eur12.084/MWh respectively, some Eur1.93/MWh and Eur2.07/MWH below the price reported by export control agency BAFA.
The BAFA price is the monthly average price of natural gas on the border, based on a formula including long-term contracts linked to oil, spot gas and other mechanisms.

Jiangsu Etern signs $1.1 bn deal to develop Bangladesh's power grid

Oct 18 – China's Jiangsu Etern signed a $1.1 billion deal with the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh to develop Bangladesh's power grid.
The four-and-a-half year deal envisages the “expansion, alteration and upgrading” of Bangladesh's power grid, Etern said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Russia's discount to Turkey might be linked to supply rise

Oct 17 - A discount on the price of Russian natural gas supplies to Turkey could be linked to the delivery of some 2 Bcm of additional volumes through the Trans-Balkan pipeline, Sputnik News reported, citing the Russian Kommersant newspaper last week.
The possibility of a discount was suggested by Russia's president Vladimir Putin after the signing of a deal between Russia and Turkey for a new gas pipeline.
Turkey has currently some 28 Bcm of gas contracted with Russia, it reported.

Elengy reaches 50th LNG cargo reload

Oct 17 - French LNG terminal operator Elengy and its subsidiary Fosmax LNG have reached their 50th LNG cargo reload since April 2012, Elengy said.
That was an average of nearly one per month, with cargoes directed to some 18 different countries, it said.
“This milestone illustrates the high level of adaptability and operational reliability of Fos Cavaou and Montoir-de-Bretagne LNG terminals, ideally located on two maritime coasts, Mediterranean and Atlantic” Elengy added.

Enlarged GEMTEC opened in Saudi Arabia

Oct 14 – GE has opened the second phase of its manufacturing and technology centre (GEMTEC) in Saudi Arabia. The enlarged facility, spanning a total of 26,000 sqm, will now have the ability to manufacture F-class and HA turbine. It will also offer services for gas turbine repair and the first balance of plant (BOP) tests.

Entergy proposes 993-MW CCGT in Texas

Oct 13 - Entergy Texas has filed plans to build a 993-MW combined-cycle gas power plant just north of Conroe, Texas, at an estimated cost of for a $937.3 million. If approved by the regulator, construction would start in early 2019 and for the CCGT to enter service in 2021.

Gauging profitability of gas CCS

Oct 13 – Britain’s Energy Technology Institute (ETI) has appointed the engineering and construction group SNC-Lavalin to develop a business case for a gas-fired power plant fitted with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Both AECOM and the University of Sheffield’s Energy 2050 Institute are also involved in the nine month project, which will see the ETI invest £650,000 ($793,200).

S&P revises Edison rating on Hinkley Point approval

Oct 12 - Italy's Edison has seen its long-term credit rating revised by Standard & Poor's from BBB- to BB+, following approval of the Hinkley Point C project. The revision follows the similar action on EDF’s rating (downgraded to A- from A, stable outlook). S&P said it sees Edison as “highly strategic for EDF”, suggesting that new terms of its gas supply contracts are should help “mitigate pressure” on margins coming from the negative trend in electricity generation markets.

NAES sold to Calpine for $1.05bn

Oct 11 – Singapore-listed commodities trader Noble Group has divested its North American energy distribution unit to Calpine Corp for S$1.05 billion as it seeks to restructure its business to cut debt. The sale of Noble Americas Energy Solutions (NAES) is part of the group company’s $2 billion capital raising initiative.

Burns to carry out EPC for Texas plant

Oct 11 – Burns & McDonnell has won an EPC contract to build the 225 MW Denton Energy Center in Texas on behalf of the local municipality. The 225 MW gas-fired facility will be driven by twelve 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 18V50SG engines and is scheduled for commissioning by July 2018.

BP eyes shale assets in Argentina

Oct 10 – Revising its current engagement in the US Permian basin, the UK major BP is considering investing in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale fields instead. “There is enormous potential,” CEO Bob Dudley said with reference to recent reforms that made Argentina more attractive by simplifying the market entry of foreign companies.

Korean fund invests in US CCGT

Oct 10 – KB Asset Management has decided to invest $200 million in Marcus Hook Energy Center in Pennsylvania – a 790 MW combined-cycle gas power plant with a 90% operating rate. KB created a fund with Korean institutional investors from which it will allow Starwood Energy to take out further loans worth $520 million to acquire the $760 million power plant asset.