Markets

Officials from the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) have called on the Pakistani government to reconsider a hike in gas tariffs for the power sector that they claim will impact power generation in the country. 

In the United States, 97% of all steam coal is used to generate electricity but this consumption fell 29% from its peak of 1,045 million short tons (MMst) in 2007 to an estimated 739 MMst in 2015. According to EIA figures, consumption fell in nearly every state, rising only in Nebraska and Alaska over that period.

Though planned upgrades of some gas transmission lines will limit fuel supply to power plants, the grid operator for New England says the region is expected to have “sufficient electricity this summer.” Power demand is forecast to peak at 26,704 MW.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 08:37 / Markets

E.ON to float 53% of Uniper this year

Aiming to become “a leading company of the distributed, renewable and digital energy world”, Germany’s E.ON has announced dates for the spinoff and listing of about 53% of shares in its power generation, gas and oil spinoff company, Uniper. A final decision on the Uniper spinning off will be taken by an E.ON shareholders meeting on June 8.

The selecting of the United States as the ‘partner country’ for this years' Hannover Messe underlines the momentum that manufacturing and automation have gained in the US. For Siemens, the country is one of its biggest sales markets and the company is presenting its next-generation software, known as the "Digital Enterprise", at the trade show.

Coal demand has escalated in India’s power sector as over a third of the 65 GW of planned new coal-fired capacity has already been added to the grid. According to India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the country has over 249 GW of utility-based centrally installed capacity – mostly from coal power plants. Renewables are also expanding fast but the government sees flexible gas plants mainly as a supply source for peakload power requirements.

Banpu, a Thai coal mine developer, ventures into upstream gas exploration by investing $112 million in a stake in US shale gas operation in the northeast section of the Marcellus formation in Pennsylvania.
"The timing is good, given low oil and gas prices, and we have invested at a very attractive valuation with substantial upside potential," CEO Somruedee Chaimongkol stated. 

Claudio Descalzi, Eni CEO, has reinforced the firm’s ‘model of partnership’ with the African continent, saying Eni will invest $20 billion in Africa in 2016-19 – not just in oil and gas exploration, but also in downstream power generation projects.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 08:33 / Markets

India: LNG-to-power imports surge

Prevailing low global gas prices and weak hydropower availability have stimulated LNG demand in India, where the market share of gas-fired power generation surged by 1.1 TWh, or 40% in February. Ship tracking data indicates a 22% rise in imports in March; hence Energy Aspects has revised its 2016 forecast of Indian LNG imports upwards.

Monday, 18 April 2016 10:36 / Markets

US gas production reached record high

Despite relatively low prices, production of US natural gas production reached a record high level of 79 Bcf/d in 2015, up 5% year-on-year, according to EIA figures. Five states – Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and North Dakota – produced most of the growth, offsetting declining gas output in much of the rest of the United States.

The Government of Ghana has signed an accord to acquire a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) to enable supply of LNG to power plant in the eastern part of the country where around 600 MW of gas-fired capacity is stranded.

Producing electricity from natural gas is profitable again in the Netherlands for the first time in four years, incentivising RWE to restart parts of its mothballed 426 MW Moerdijk II combined-cycle gas power plant in early October. Record low fuel prices make previously unprofitable units economically viable again.

Falling gas prices and UK coal power stations, such as Eggborough and Ferrybridge, exiting the market has sparked a sharp rise in electricity generated from CCGTs in the first quarter of 2016. According to Enappsys analysis, gas-fired plants generated 32% more power than in the previous quarter while the contribution of coal generation fell by 18%.

Further fall in US natural gas prices could lead to the closure of several large-scale power plants, Moody’s warned. "Persistently low natural gas prices" have put several coal and nuclear plants at risk of closure, while merchant generators scramble to cut costs.

With Henry Hub futures $0.75/MMBtu below the April 2015 average after a mild winter left gas inventories on record highs, US power producers now have even greater incentive to burn gas compared to previous years, EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook finds.

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