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World’s first floating nuclear power unit supplies electricity to Russian grid
The floating power unit (FPU) Akademik Lomonosov has been connected to the grid and has started supplying electricity in the isolated Chaun-Bilibino network in Pevek of Chukotka at Russia’s Far East. Alexey Likhachev, CEO of Rosatom said, “Following its connection to the grid, Akademik Lomonosov becomes the world’s first nuclear power plant based on Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology to generate electricity. This is a remarkable milestone for both the Russian and the world’s nuclear energy industry.” The project has been welcomed by scientists, nuclear energy experts and environmentalists across the world, said a press release. Kirsty Gogan, Head of Energy for Humanity, a London based NGO, said,“For hard-to-reach regions, with a climate that is simultaneously too harsh to support the use of renewable energies and too fragile to continue its heavy dependence on fossil fuels, small nuclear, including floating plants, is the only answer. Akademik Lomonosov is the first step towards demonstrating its potential for decarbonisation of the Arctic and beyond.” Connecting the FPU generators to the network was carried out after parameter synchronisation with the coastal network. This happened after the completed construction of the onshore facilities, ensuring the transfer of electricity from the FPUs to Chukotka’s high voltage networks. Once the FNPP begin commercial operations, it will become Russia’s 11th nuclear power project. Akademik Lomonosov is a pilot project and a ‘working prototype’ for a future fleet of floating nuclear power plants and on-shore installations based on Russian-made SMRs. The small power units will be available for deployment to hard-to-reach areas of Russia’s North and Far-East, as well as for export. Akademik Lomonosov is equipped with two KLT-40C reactor systems (each with a capacity of 35 Mw) similar to those used on icebreakers. It is designed by Rosatom to work as a part of the Floating Nuclear Thermal Power Plant (FNPP). The vessel is 144 metres long and 30 metres wide, and has a displacement of 21,000 tonnes. SMR-based nuclear power plants (featuring reactors of less than 300MWe each), floating and on-shore, can operate non-stop without the need for refueling for three to five years, thereby considerably reducing the cost of electricity generation. The plant can be delivered to any point along a coast and connected to existing electricity grids.
Oil slips further below $59 on weaker economic outlook
October 17, 2019 Thursday 7:01 PM By Reuters
Oil slipped further below $59 a barrel on Wednesday, pressured by concerns about weaker demand for fuel due to slower economic growth and forecasts of a further rise in US crude inventories. Signs from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that further curbs to oil supply could come in December lent support, as did wider market optimism about a potential Brexit deal. Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, slipped 16 cents to $58.58 a barrel by 0850 GMT. US crude CLc1 gained 2 cents to $52.83. “Prices are under pressure from increasing pessimism about the global economy and subsequent demand-side concerns,” Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM said. In a bearish signal for demand, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday the US-China trade war would cut 2019 global growth to its slowest since the 2008-2009 financial crisis. “Prices remain under pressure,” said Craig Erlam, analyst at OANDA. “Oil inventory today from API may be notable albeit unlikely to have any major impact on the broader trend.” The American Petroleum Institute (API) reports its weekly US inventory numbers at 2030 GMT, ahead of Wednesday’s government stocks data. Analysts estimate US crude inventories rose by around 2.8 million barrels last week. British and European Union officials resumed talks to clinch a Brexit deal on Wednesday just a few hours after late-night negotiations wound up, but it was far from clear they would reach an agreement before a leaders’ summit on Thursday. Analysts have said any agreement that avoids a no-deal Brexit should boost economic growth and, in turn, oil demand. Providing more price support, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo has said an option for OPEC and its allies is to implement deeper cuts in oil production. OPEC, Russia and other producers have a deal to cut oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day until March 2020. They meet on Dec. 5-6 in Vienna to review the decision. On Tuesday, Barkindo said OPEC would do what it could with allied producers to sustain oil market stability beyond 2020, in a signal the producers would continue to cooperate.
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Rosatom Chief stresses on maximizing use of nuclear technology
October 10, 2019 Thursday 12:34 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation- ROSATOM emphasized on maximum harnessing the potential of nuclear technologies in order to implement the decisions of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and achieve sustainable development goals. He was addressing the plenary session of the 63rd Annual General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded in Vienna recently, said a press release. The IAEA Conference brought together high-level delegates from more than 170 member states to discuss the most relevant issues and set priorities for developing cooperation in the global nuclear industry. Highlighting the importance of applying diversified nuclear energy solutions he said, “Another promising area is the introduction of small and medium capacity reactors. This opens up new opportunities to develop hard-to-reach regions where safe and affordable energy is needed”.  Alexander Merten, President of Rusatom International Network (a company of Rosatom) underscored the significance of increasing public acceptance at each stage of the national nuclear program. He was speaking at a session on the large-capacity NPP project in Uzbekistan. ROSATOM Corporate Academy organized the session “Professional communities and cooperation development” to discuss personnel development strategies for the energy sector. On sideline of the conference Russia signed a number of documents of strategic importance; an intergovernmental agreement with Uganda on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and another similar agreement with Dominican Republic. Besides, ROSATOM and IAEA signed agreements to foster cooperation in the economic evaluation methodology in the nuclear power industry. At this year’s General Conference, ROSATOM demonstrated cutting-edge Russian nuclear technologies, as well as their role in achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals.
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Oil dips after three days of gains
August 30, 2019 Friday 5:45 PM By Reuters
Oil prices eased on Friday after three days of gains, with concerns about the state of the global economy amid the US-China trade war keeping prices in check. US oil fell 6 cents, or 0.1 per cent, to $56.65 a barrel by 0050 GMT. The contract is heading for a gain of more than 4 per cent this week, boosted by a decline in U.S inventories and the approach of a hurricane towards Florida. Brent crude was down 10 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $60.98, after adding 1 per cent on Thursday. Worries about a slowdown in economic growth due to the US-China trade war and the flow-on to oil demand have kept a lid on price gains, even as falling inventories indicate a balancing market. China`s commerce ministry said on Thursday the world`s two biggest economies were discussing the next round of face-to-face trade talks scheduled for September, but hopes for progress hinged on whether Washington could create favourable conditions. The approach of Hurricane Dorian toward Florida raised fears that offshore US crude producers may slow output if the storm passes into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. Dorian is heading toward landfall on the Atlantic coast of Florida over the weekend and may enter into the eastern Gulf of Mexico next week. It is is forecast to strengthen and become a highly dangerous Category 4 hurricane on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said. Chevron Corp`s 356,440 barrel-per-day Pascagoula, Mississippi, refinery is closely monitoring the progress of Hurricane Dorian, a company spokesman said on Thursday. Last month, Hurricane Barry prompted offshore oil companies to shut as much as 74 per cent of production, lifting US crude prices, before it weakened to a tropical storm. Government data on Wednesday showed US crude stocks dropped last week by 10 million barrels to their lowest since October as imports slowed, while gasoline and distillate stocks each fell by over 2 million barrels. Inventories at the nation`s main delivery hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, where WTI futures are priced, slumped last week by nearly 2 million barrels to their lowest since December, the data showed. Cushing stocks have dropped by over 300,000 barrels since the government report, traders said, citing market intelligence firm Genscape`s midweek report.
Category: Other Countries
Oil prices drop amid concerns over weaker demand
July 29, 2019 Monday 10:43 AM By Xinhua
Oil prices retreated on Wednesday, despite a decline in US crude inventories last week, as investors concerned about weakening demand. For the week ending July 19, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 10.8 million barrels from the previous week, the US Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. Yet at 445 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 2 per cent above the five year average for this time of year. The decline was due to disruptions caused by a Gulf of Mexico storm earlier this month and seen as a “one-off event,” an energy expert told MarketWatch. Analysts also noted that the ongoing US-Iran tensions have triggered worries over weakening demand in the Middle East. The chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps denied on Wednesday that any of Iran’s drones has been downed by the United States in the Strait of Hormuz region recently. US President Donald Trump announced the U.S. action last Thursday, claiming that the Iranian drone was “destroyed” in the Strait of Hormuz. The West Texas Intermediate for September delivery dropped 0.89 U.S. dollar to settle at 55.88 US dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery declined 0.65 dollar to close at 63.18 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
Category: Other Countries
Higher Asian prices, European gas stocks trigger LNG flow reshuffle
June 30, 2019 Sunday 9:21 PM By Reuters
Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices rose this week on some demand for summer cargoes, while European prices continued to drop, with an increased price spread between the two regions triggering interest in sending some Atlantic cargoes to Asia Pacific. The LNG price for August deliver in northeast Asia is estimated at $4.80 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), a 20 cent rise from last week. Several deals were done this week at a price close to $5.00 mmBtu for August delivery in Asia, but sources said prices could have decreased slightly by Friday after deals closed. In contrast, front-month gas price on the Dutch hub in Europe dropped below $3.20 per mmBtu. Decreased price netbacks in Europe are making some producers to consider re-exporting cargoes from northwest Europe to more profitable regions, like Asia or the Mediterranean. Up to four transhipments of Russia’s Yamal LNG cargoes have been agreed for July, a market source said. In addition, trading houses and utilities are discussing reloads in Europe, another source said. One of these will take place in France’s Fos terminal on July 9, data from operator Fosmax showed. Japan’s Mitsui is expected to deliver a European cargo to Japan to cover a position that was initially expected to be supplied by a cargo from new U.S. plant, Cameron LNG, which was eventually sent to France, another market source said. Cameron exported its second commissioning cargo this week after earlier delays with loadings. PRICE DRIVERS An uptick in Asian demand has improved Asian LNG prices this week. Demand came from Japanese and Chinese buyers, market sources said. Japan’s JERA was on the market, as well two or three Chinese companies, sources said but added demand was still weak and prices will likely drop back to $4.50 mmBtu if there is not enough rise in Asia’s temperatures to drive gas demand for cooling this summer. On Friday, JERA bought a September cargo from Vitol at $4.80 per mmBtu at Platts Market on Close window. In India, there is some short-term LNG demand from power plants, a source active in the Indian markets said. In addition, India’s Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) and Reliance Industries were both looking for an October cargo each, the source added. On the supply side, Angola LNG is selling a cargo for delivery in August in a tender closing July 2, two market sources said. Malaysia’s Petronas has offered two cargoes via the LNG trading marketplace Global LNG Exchange (GLX), a market source said. In Europe, high gas storage levels are weighing on prices. Aggregated storage level in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany reached around 370 terrawatt hours (TWh) this week, data compiled by Refinitiv showed. Current stock level is 74% more than a year ago and 42% more than an average at the same period in past four years. Market sources expect that in some European countries storage may be filled by August, leading to a further drop in European prices in the rest of summer months. Usually storage injections stop at the end of October. High storage levels may increase the number of relaods in Europe later this year. “I think we will have too much gas (in stocks) for September, so something will have to move,” a gas trader in Europe said.
Category: Other Countries
India, China, US see 70% rise in energy demand: IEA
March 28, 2019 Thursday 8:44 AM By The Economic Times
China, the US and India together accounted for nearly 70 per cent of the rise in energy demand, even as such demand worldwide grew by 2.3 per cent last year, at its fastest pace this decade, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday. This exceptional rise in energy demand was driven by a robust global economy and stronger heating and cooling needs in some regions, according to the IEA report. "The Global Energy & CO2 Status Report" also said that China remains the global leader in renewables -- both for wind and solar. Natural gas emerged as the fuel of choice, posting the biggest gains and accounting for 45 per cent of the rise in energy consumption. Gas demand growth was especially strong in the US and China. These findings are part of the IEA`s latest assessment of global energy consumption and energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for 2018. The report provides a high-level and up-to-date view of energy markets, including latest available data for oil, natural gas, coal, wind, solar, nuclear power, electricity and energy efficiency. Demand for all fuels increased, with fossil fuels meeting nearly 70 per cent of the growth for the second year running. Solar and wind generation grew at double-digit pace, with solar alone increasing by 31 per cent. Still, that was not fast enough to meet higher electricity demand around the world that also drove up coal use. As a result, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 1.7 per cent to 33 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2018. Coal use in power generation alone surpassed 10 Gt, accounting for a third of the total increase. Most of that came from a young fleet of coal power plants in developing Asia. The majority of coal-fired generation capacity today is found in Asia, with 12-year-old plants on average, decades short of average lifetimes of around 50 years. Electricity continues to position itself as a fuel of the future, with global electricity demand growing by four per cent in 2018 to more than 23,000 terawatt hours. This rapid growth is pushing electricity towards a 20 per cent share in total final consumption of energy. Increasing power generation was responsible for half of the growth in primary energy demand.  Renewables were a major contributor to this power generation expansion, accounting for nearly half of electricity demand growth. China remains the leader in renewables, both for wind and solar, followed by Europe and the US. Energy intensity improved by 1.3 per cent last year, just half the rate of the period between 2014 and 2016. This third consecutive year of slowdown was the result of weaker energy efficiency policy implementation and strong demand growth in more energy intensive economies, the report said. "We have seen an extraordinary increase in global energy demand in 2018, growing at its fastest pace this decade," said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. "Last year can also be considered another golden year for gas, which accounted for almost half the growth in global energy demand. But despite major growth in renewables, global emissions are still rising, demonstrating once again that more urgent action is needed on all fronts -- developing all-clean energy solutions, curbing emissions, improving efficiency, and spurring investments and innovation, including in carbon capture, utilisation and storage." Almost a fifth of the increase in global energy demand came from higher demand for heating and cooling as average winter and summer temperatures in some regions approached or exceeded historical records. Cold snaps drove demand for heating and, more significantly, hotter summer temperatures pushed up demand for cooling. The US saw the largest increase in oil and gas demand worldwide. Its gas consumption jumped 10 per cent from the previous year, the fastest increase since the beginning of IEA records in 1971. Global gas demand expanded at its fastest rate since 2010, with year-on-year growth of 4.6 per cent, the second consecutive year of strong growth, driven by higher demand and substitution from coal.
Category: Other Countries
Oil rises to 2019 highs on strong China demand despite economic slowdown
January 21, 2019 Monday 11:15 AM By Reuters
Oil prices rose to their highest for 2019 on Monday after data showed refinery processing in China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, climbed to a record in 2018, despite a slowing economy last year. Prices are further being supported by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), analysts said. International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $62.94 per barrel at 0404 GMT, up 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close. Brent earlier rose above $63 for the first time in 2019. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $54.05 a barrel, up 25 cents, or 0.5 percent. It was the first time this year that WTI rose above $54 a barrel. Traders said the price rises came after data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics on Monday showed crude oil refinery throughput climbed to record 603.57 million tonnes in 2018, or 12.12 million barrels per day (bpd), up 6.8 percent from the previous year. The strong oil demand figures came despite China’s 2018 economic growth slowing to the weakest in 28 years, at 6.6 percent versus 6.8 percent in 2017. Although the slowdown was in line with expectations and not as sharp as some analysts had expected, the cooling of the world’s second-largest economy casts a shadow over global growth. “The global outlook remains murky, despite emerging positives from a dovish Fed (now boosting U.S. mortgage applications), faster China easing (China credit growth stabilizing) and a more durable U.S.-China truce,” U.S. bank J.P. Morgan said in a note. Despite this, analysts said supply cuts led by OPEC would likely support crude oil prices. “Brent can remain above $60 per barrel on OPEC+ compliance, expiry of Iran waivers and slower U.S. output growth,” J.P. Morgan said. It recommended investors should “stay long” crude oil, referring to buying futures in the expectation that prices will rise. Researchers at Bernstein Energy said the supply cuts led by OPEC “will move the market back into supply deficit” for most of 2019 and that should cause prices to rise to $70 a barrel before the end of the year. In the United States, energy firms cut the number of rigs drilling for oil by 21 in the week to Jan. 18, taking the total count down to 852, the lowest since May 2018, energy services firm Baker Hughes said in a weekly report on Friday. It was biggest decline since February 2016, as drillers reacted to the 40 percent plunge in U.S. crude prices late last year. However, U.S. crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA still rose by more than 2 million bpd in 2018, to a record 11.9 million bpd. With the rig count stalling, last year’s growth rate is unlikely to be repeated in 2019, although most analysts expect annual production to average well over 12 million bpd, making the United States the world’s biggest oil producer ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Category: Other Countries
Russia to supply nuclear fuel for China’s fast-neutron reactor
January 10, 2019 Thursday 7:05 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
TVEL Fuel Company, a subsidiary of Russia’s state atomic energy corporation- Rosatom and CNLY, a subsidiary of  China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) have signed a contract for supply of nuclear fuel for CFR-600 fast-neutron reactor which is currently under construction in China. The contract covers the initial loading of nuclear fuel, as well as supplies for refueling during the first seven years of the reactor operation, said a press release. New manufacturing line for the CFR-600 fuel assemblies is planned at the Machine-building Plant of TVEL Fuel Company in Elektrostal in Moscow. The Chinese side addressed Rosatom State Corporation with a request for production of the CFR-600 fuel assemblies, considering its almost 40 years long experience of nuclear fuel manufacturing for the Russian fast-neutron reactors. “In addition to our long-time experience with uranium-based fuel manufacturing for commercial fast-neutron reactors, in 2018, Rosatom has launched batch production of uranium-and-plutonium MOX fuel for the BN-800 reactor,” said Natalia Nikipelova, the president of TVEL. Rusatom Overseas coordinates negotiation of the whole package of agreements on cooperation in the nuclear industry between Russia and China. “Given that this project is a demonstration type, Russian engineers will come up with, in fact, a new kind of nuclear fuel, based on the Chinese design” Evgeny Pakermanov, the president of Rusatom Overseas informed. The CFR-600 fuel contract has been signed as a part of the agreement between the Government of Russia and of China on the joint construction and operation of the fast reactor in China. The agreement mainly covers construction of innovative power units of the Russian design (generation III +) with VVER-1200 reactors at two sites in China - Tianwan NPP and Xudabao NPP. TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom incorporates enterprises for the fabrication of nuclear fuel, conversion and enrichment of uranium, production of gas centrifuges, as well as research and design organizations. It is the only supplier of nuclear fuel for Russian nuclear power plants. TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom provides nuclear fuel for 72 power reactors in 14 countries, research reactors in eight countries, as well as transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. Every sixth power reactor in the world operates on fuel manufactured by TVEL.
Category: Other Countries
Power Unit 4 of the China’s Tianwan NPP goes for operations
December 31, 2018 Monday 11:59 AM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
The power unit 4 of Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant Starts of commercial operations on December 22, 2018 after successful completion of commissioning of the its nuclear island. All the tests for Power Units 3 and 4, stipulated in the Commissioning Program were conducted and the results were found compliant with the technical specifications and safety requirements as mentioned in the General Contract. A preliminary acceptance certificate for the Tianwan NPP Unit 4 nuclear island, based on the tests results will be issued shortly, said a press release. General contract for Units 3 and 4 of Tianwan NPP was made by and between Atomstroyexport, the general contractor from Russia and Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation (JNPC) of China. ‘This means that a two-year warranty period for the plant operations has commenced, and once expired the Unit will  ultimately be handed over to the Chinese Party,’ says Alexey Bannik, Vice President for Projects in China,  Rosatom’s Engineering Division.  Tianwan NPP handover for commercial operations means that electricity generated by the Unit 4 starts to be supplied to the national grid of China at the fixed price quoted by the authorities. The Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant is being constructed by the Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation (JNPC) of China in cooperation with the Russian company Atomstroyexport. Under an agreement signed this year Russia will build 4 new power units with 3+ generation VVER-1200 reactors -Power Units 7 and 8 with VVER-1200 reactors at the Tianwan NPP and 2 power units at the new Xudapu site.
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Asian LNG demand to quadruple by 2030
December 21, 2018 Friday 10:52 AM By Oilprice.com
The biggest buyers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Northeast Asia—which account for more than half of the world’s LNG market—could see their total uncontracted demand rising fourfold by 2030, new research by Wood Mackenzie has shown. At the same time, U.S. LNG export capacity is set to significantly increase in the coming years with several projects awaiting final investment decisions (FIDs) and several others currently in commissioning stages. Rising LNG demand in Asia is welcome news for the variety of projects under construction and commissioning in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast. With the massive surge in Chinese natural gas demand and legacy contracts of other Asian buyers expiring, the seven largest LNG buyers in the world are set to soon embark on a hunt for a mix of contracts to cut average costs and enhance security of supply sources, according to WoodMac. These seven major LNG buyers—CNOOC, PetroChina, Sinopec, CPC, JERA, KOGAS, and Tokyo Gas—account for more than 50 percent of the global LNG market. On the supply side, next year could be a record year for FIDs on more than 220 million tons per annum (mmtpa) taken. “Some of the less prepared or competitive projects will slip into 2020 and beyond, but nonetheless a bumper year beckons,” WoodMac says. In 2019, the favorites to reach FID include the US$27-billion Arctic LNG-2 project in Russia, at least one project in Mozambique, and three projects in the United States. Expansion and backfill projects in Australia and Papua New Guinea—closer to the Asian market—could also see FID next year, according to Wood Mackenzie. As the LNG market is changing with more short-term and spot purchases, LNG suppliers have to ensure that they can meet the buyers’ needs of a variety of contracts. Buyers will be looking not only at prices, but also at contract flexibility, diversification of sources, seasonality, and upstream participation, WoodMac said. “Market liberalisation and uncertainty on longer-term demand in more mature markets, such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, will mean more room for spot and short-term purchases,” research director Nicholas Browne said. “While oil indexation will continue to dominate markets due to familiarity and ability to hedge, Asian buyers should be more inclined towards hub indexation to boost diversity and enable sales into Europe,” Browne noted. In the United States, export capacity of LNG is expected to more than double by the end of 2019—to 8.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), which will make the United States the world’s third-largest LNG export capacity holder behind Australia and Qatar, the EIA said last week. The United States is now exporting LNG from Sabine Pass in Louisiana—the first LNG facility that began operations in 2016, from Cove Point LNG in Maryland, and most recently—from Corpus Christi in Texas. Cheniere Energy said last week that its first commissioning cargo of LNG had loaded and departed from Corpus Christi in Texas, marking the first LNG export from the state. Cameron LNG in Louisiana and Freeport LNG in Texas are currently being commissioned, with all three trains at Cameron LNG and two trains at Freeport LNG expected to be placed in service in 2019. Another four export terminals—Magnolia LNG, Delfin LNG, Lake Charles, and Golden Pass—plus a sixth train at Sabine Pass have been approved by both the U.S. Federal Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy, and they are expected to make FIDs in the coming months, the EIA said. Other projects are also planned in the United States, although they still hinge on regulatory approvals. Tellurian expects to receive a final environmental impact statement on its proposed Driftwood LNG project in January 2019 and to take FID in the first half of 2019. Tellurian has just signed a preliminary agreement to sell LNG from Driftwood to commodity trader Vitol based on the Platts Japan Korea Marker (JKM). “The LNG business is evolving into a true commodity market, which includes LNG purchases and sales based on actual LNG prices rather than indexing to other energy products. JKM has emerged as the most liquid and transparent pricing mechanism for LNG,” President and CEO Meg Gentle said. Another LNG developer, NextDecade, received last week a series of air permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for its Rio Grande LNG project in South Texas. The project must receive final environmental impact statement and a review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). NextDecade anticipates a final investment decision on Rio Grande LNG in the third quarter next year. Asia is set to dominate long-term LNG demand growth and rising U.S. export capacity can play a role in meeting it.
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ABB nears sale of power grids to Hitachi in $11 billion deal
December 20, 2018 Thursday 5:50 PM By Bloomberg
ABB Ltd is nearing an agreement to sell about 80 percent of its power-grids unit to Hitachi Ltd in a deal that would value the entire business at about $11 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The Swiss engineering giant and the Japanese conglomerate are scheduled to announce the transaction as early as Monday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because discussions are private. A representative for ABB declined to comment while Hitachi couldn’t immediately be reached for comment outside of regular business hours. A sale of the business--which makes power transformers, long distance electricity-transmission systems and energy storage units -- would shrink ABB’s revenue by about a quarter and leave it more focused on robotics and automation. A divestment would also meet a longtime demand of activist investor Cevian Capital AB, which became a major ABB shareholder more than three years ago. After conducting a strategic review, Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer defied the investor in 2016 by deciding to hang on to the division, arguing the business was significantly undervalued. That stance changed this year after the value of the power-grids business rebounded following productivity and margin gains, prompting ABB to work with advisers to consider options, people familiar with the matter said in October. Change of Heart ABB plans to sell the remaining 20 percent stake over time, the people said. The business generated $7.1 billion in revenue in the first nine months of 2018 and a profit margin of 9.8 percent. ABB and Hitachi said last week that they were in discussions to expand and redefine an existing strategic power-grid partnership that dates to 2014, without providing details on the terms. If completed, the acquisition would bolster Hitachi’s position in the growing power transmission and distribution sector, and help it diversify away from its nuclear plant business. Chief Executive Officer Toshiaki Higashihara has been restructuring the diversified company by spinning off some assets. Hitachi is vying to become one of the top grid companies in the world, according to a June presentation. Taking advantage of low financing costs, Japanese companies have been scouting for growth overseas. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is on course to complete its $62 billion takeover of Shire Plc after shareholders cleared the deal this month. In October, KKR & Co.’s Calsonic Kansei agreed to acquire car-parts maker Magneti Marelli from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV in a deal valued at 6.2 billion euros ($7 billion). Daikin Industries Ltd. last month agreed to buy Austrian commercial refrigerator maker AHT Cooling Systems GmbH in a deal worth about $1 billion. Hitachi shares have declined 26 percent this year, valuing the company at about $28 billion. ABB is down 25 percent in the same period, giving it a market capitalization of about $43 billion.
Category: Other Countries
World’s only floating nuclear power plant gets ready to connect to Russian grid
December 15, 2018 Saturday 6:25 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
World’s only floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) AkademikLomonosovis expected to start injecting electricity to Russia’s power grid next year, ushering a new era in global nuclear power industry. Built by Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation Reactorof Unit-1 has successfully gone through the  first stage of its  power start-up , last week ( December10) in Murmansk of Russia, said a press release. Power start-up is a series of functional and safety tests to be conducted on AkademikLomonosov’s reactors, before connection to the grid.  At the first stage the reactor was tested at 1-10% of its capacity and at the final stage it will be tested at 110%. During each stage, various operation modes are tested in order to ensure the safety of the power plant. “The floating nuclear power plant is an ideal solution for power supply to remote areas. We consider this project as a new product, which is of interest not only for the grid-isolated Russian Arctic regions, but also for a number of countries around the world,”said Alexey Likhachev, CEO of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation. “Today we are demonstrating to our potential partners referential technologies in the field of small nuclear power reactors. I am sure that the growing demand for this product will bolster Russia’s leading position in theworld’s nuclear technology market.” Likhachev added. All the tests are likely to be completed by March 2019 and in the second half of the year, the FPU will be towed to its final destination-port of Pevek of Chukotka, extreme north-eastern region of Russia to replace the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant. A FNPP is basically a mobile, low-capacity reactor unit, designed for operation in remote areas, isolated from the main power distribution system, or in places hard to access by surface. They are capable to maintain both uninterruptible power and desalinated water supply in remote areas. The AkademikLamonosov has a total capacity of 70MW and is equipped with two reactors, each of 35MW. Its operational life span is 40 years, with the provision of extending up to 50 years. Russia has already started working on second generation floating nuclear power plant, which will also have e two reactors, but each with an increased capacity of 50 MW. In addition to having a greater power capacity, the plant will be smaller than its predecessors. Rosatom’s strategy envisages supplying latest generation floating nuclear power plants to the most promising markets for small modular reactors (SMRs) across the globe. So far Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia countries shown significant interest in the FNPP technology. The first ever nuclear power plant of Bangladesh is being constructed by Rosatom at Rooppur village of Pabna district. The plant will have two units, each of 1,200 MW capacity. Latest and the safest Russian VVER-1200 reactors to be set up at Rooppur nuclear power plant.  
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China overtakes Japan to become world’s top natural gas importer
November 12, 2018 Monday 6:38 PM By Oilprice.com
China has recently overtaken Japan to become the world’s biggest importer of natural gas and will likely keep that crown as pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure grow, according to an analysis by S&P Global Platts. In the first ten months of this year, China imported a total of 72.06 million metric tons of natural gas, a 33.1-percent increase compared to January-October 2017. China’s natural gas imports in January-October this year were higher than all of its natural gas imports of 68.57 million tons in 2017, Platts notes, citing Chinese customs data. During the same period, Japan’s imports of LNG stood at 67.36 million tons. According to official data from Japan and China collected by Platts, China first overtook Japan in April this year, when it imported a total of 6.818 million tons of natural gas, higher than Japan’s imports of 6.079 million tons of LNG. Last year, the Chinese government drive to switch millions of residents from coal to natural gas resulted in China surpassing South Korea to become the world’s second-largest LNG importer behind Japan. China’s natural gas imports are set to rise with the construction of new LNG import terminals and the Power of Siberia pipeline from Russia, expected to come into service in late 2019. China is raising its domestic natural gas production, but it is importing and is expected to continue to import growing volumes of gas as domestic production growth can’t keep up with surging demand. According to the Gas 2018 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), due to the policy to reduce air pollution, China’s natural gas demand is expected to grow by 60 percent through 2023. China is projected to account for 37 percent of the global growth in natural gas consumption between 2017 and 2023, more than any other country, the IEA said. The share of imports in China’s natural gas supply is seen rising from 39 percent to 45 percent by 2023, the agency forecasts.
Category: Other Countries
OPEC oil output rises to highest since 2016 despite Iran
November 1, 2018 Thursday 10:53 PM By Reuters
OPEC has boosted oil production in October to the highest since 2016, a Reuters survey found, as higher output led by the United Arab Emirates and Libya more than offset a cut in Iranian shipments due to U.S. sanctions. The 15-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pumped 33.31 million barrels per day this month, the survey on Wednesday found, up 390,000 bpd from September and the highest by OPEC as a group since December 2016. OPEC agreed in June to pump more oil after pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to curb rising prices and make up for an expected shortfall in Iranian exports. Oil hit a four-year high of $86.74 a barrel on Oct. 3 but has since eased to $76 as concerns over tight supplies faded. "Oil producers appear to be successfully offsetting the supply outages from Iran and Venezuela," said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. The June pact involved OPEC, Russia and other non-members returning to 100 percent compliance with output cuts that began in January 2017, after months of underproduction in Venezuela, Angola and elsewhere had pushed adherence above 160 percent. In October, the 12 OPEC members bound by the supply-limiting agreement lowered compliance to 107 percent as production rose, from a revised 122 percent in September, the survey found. This is the closest OPEC has moved to 100 percent compliance since the June agreement. UAE, LIBYA The biggest increase has come this month from the UAE. Output in October rose by 200,000 bpd to 3.25 million bpd, the survey found, and could in theory rise further as the UAE says its oil-production capacity will reach 3.5 million bpd by the year-end. The second-largest came from Libya where production averaged 1.22 million bpd, the survey found, a rise of 170,000 bpd. Libyan output remains volatile due to unrest, raising questions about the stability of current OPEC production. Saudi Arabia, after opening the taps in June and then scaling back its plans to pump more, supplied 10.65 million bpd in October, more than in June and close to a record high, the survey found. The kingdom, OPEC`s top producer, has indicated it is concerned about potential oversupply, raising the prospect that its next production adjustment could be to rein in output. OPEC`s second-largest producer, Iraq, also raised output in October. Iraqi supply could rise further if Iraq`s new government goes ahead with a deal reached by the outgoing administration and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to resume exporting Kirkuk crude to Turkey via the KRG. Angola, where natural declines at oilfields curbed production in recent years, boosted supply in October due to supply from a new field, Gindungo. Output is still far below its OPEC target. Supply in Nigeria rose by 30,000 bpd. Like Libya, Nigeria is not part of the OPEC supply-cutting pact because it often faces unplanned outages stemming from unrest. Output in Kuwait edged lower, the survey found. The country had raised production in July following the OPEC deal, and kept it steady in August and September. Among countries with lower output, the biggest drop - 100,000 bpd - occurred in Iran. Exports fell as returning U.S. sanctions discouraged companies from buying the country`s oil, although the decline was lower than some analysts expected. "Iran is going to come in above expectations," said an industry source who tracks OPEC output, referring to Iranian supply in October. Production also slipped further in Venezuela, where a lack of funds for the oil industry because of the country`s economic crisis is cutting refinery operations and crude exports. Despite these decreases, OPEC output in October has risen to the highest since December 2016, the month before the supply-cutting pact took effect, according to Reuters surveys. Some of the extra oil has come from Congo Republic and Equatorial Guinea, which joined OPEC in 2018 and 2017 respectively. Before Congo joined, OPEC had an implied production target for 2018 of 32.78 million bpd, based on cutbacks detailed in late 2016 and Nigeria and Libya`s expectations of 2018 output. According to the survey, OPEC excluding Congo pumped about 530,000 bpd above this implied target in October. The survey aims to track supply to the market and is based on shipping data provided by external sources, Thomson Reuters flows data and information provided by sources at oil companies, OPEC and consulting firms.  
Category: Other Countries
Chinese nuclear power unit built with Russian assistance connects to grid
October 28, 2018 Sunday 6:48 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Unit 4 of Tianwan Nuclear Power Project (TNPP) of china started injecting electricity to national grid on October 27. The unit is constructed with Russian assistance using VVER-1000 reactor, said a press release. Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom State Corporation termed Tianwan NPP as the biggest  power project  under Russia-China co-operation  and said , “ We sincerely hope that our  cooperation both in construction of the next phase of Tianwan NPP and  other at Xudapu site shall also be successful.” Following permission from the Chinese regulator, power at Tianwan 4 was raised to 25% of capacity, after which the turbine was brought into operation and electrical tests of the field and power delivery systems were carried out. Power unit 4 was, thereby, connected to the grid. All systems performed in normal operational mode. Reactor operation will be checked at 200 MW output dynamic tests will be performed at 50%, 75% and 100% of capacity. Upon completion of initial testing at full thermal capacity, demonstration operation will proceed at nominal capacity for 100 hours, after which preliminary acceptance procedures will follow. Preliminary acceptance is the starting point of a two-year warranty period for the operation of Tianwan 4. According to Valery Limarenko, Head of Rosatom State Corporation Engineering Division, power start-up of Unit 4 of Tianwan NPP is another victory for the team of Russian and Chinese specialists. He said, “Our partnership lasting for several decades provides additional confidence in successful continuation of our future work. We have even greater challenges ahead as we have to construct minimum four more power units with VVER-1200 rectors in China.” Construction of Tianwan nuclear power plant is being carried out by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation (JNPC) in cooperation with Russian company Atomstroyexport, an engineering division of ROSATOM. Start-up of Tianwan NPP power units 1 and 2 was held in 2007 and of unit-3 in December 2017.    
Category: Other Countries
Uzbekistan embarks on nuclear power plant construction with Russian design
October 20, 2018 Saturday 7:29 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Central Asian country Uzbekistan formally begins implementation of their first ever nuclear power project. The project envisages the construction of two Generation III+ Russian VVER-1200 power units. The first power unit is scheduled to be commissioned before the end of 2028, said a press release. Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Alisher Sultanov and Director General of ROSATOM Alexey Likhachev inaugurated the study of one of the potential sites in the country on October 19. President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and President of Russia Vladimir Putin, joined the event through a videoconference from the Uzbek capital Tashkent. Leaders of the two countries pressed a symbolic button, launching drilling operations at the construction sites to collect soil samples. Few sites were primarily selected based on the results of seismological, geological, ecological and economic feasibility studies. “The creation and development of the nuclear power sector, initiated by the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, marks a new era for the country’s energy industry and  which will stimulate stable economic development and  will help increase quality of life  of the people,” noted Alisher Sultanov. Alexey Likhachev said, “History of cooperation between Uzbekistan and Russia in the nuclear field is more than half a century long, and we are proud that Uzbekistan chose Russian technologies for the construction of the first NPP in the country. In Uzbekistan ROSATOM will build the most advanced Generation III+ nuclear power plant with two VVER-1200 power units that meets all international safety requirements.” Moreover, both the countries signed a memorandum of understanding on formation of positive public opinion towards nuclear energy in Uzbekistan. The document lays the foundation for bilateral cooperation to promote nuclear power in Uzbekistan and create awareness about modern nuclear energy technologies, to train national media representatives, organize and hold joint conferences, and implement social and educational projects in Uzbekistan.  
Category: Other Countries
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