National News

CITY GAS DISTRIBUTION – CNG/PNG/AUTO LPG

Policy and regulatory pushes in city gas drive optimism for gas demand

  • The l The 9th City Gas Distribution (CGD) Bidding round, offering 86 permits for selling CNG and piped cooking gas in 174 districts in 22 states and union territories, received a good response from both domestic companies and MNCs through their partners in India.
  • Following a great response to the ninth round, PNGRB has launched the 10th round as well where 50 geographical areas have been offered covering 124 districts in 14 states. The bids can be submitted by February 5, 2019.
  • The apex body of Auto LPG wants LPG included in city gas projects and has urged the government to give them a level-playing field as LPG is as effective as CNG in curbing vehicular pollution. “Why include only CNG in #CityGasBidding rounds?

Ninth CGD round was the highlight of the year

  • The work program is estimated to see funds worth Rs 70,000 crore from winning bidders. The total commitment by the winning companies for the 86 areas include 4346 CNG stations, over 21 million PNG connections and over 0.1 million inch km of steel pipe.
  • Some tweaking of the existing regulations/norms in the bidding process for the ninth round was carried out. The Board in the new regulations asked companies to quote the number of CNG stations to be set up and number of domestic cooking gas connections to be given in the first eight years of operation.
  • 406 bids were received for the 86 GAs on offer.
  • Gujarat firms bet big on gas, placed 99 out of 406 bids for 86 cities. BPCL, IOC, Adani Gas and GAIL emerged as top bidders. Adani, IOC, GAIL, BPCL arms bagged most ‘areas’ in CGD bids.
  • Bharat Gas Resources Limited (BGRL), Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited (MNGL) and Unison Enviro Private Limited (UEPL) have lined up investments of Rs 8,000 crore in setting up CGD networks
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone to mark the start of work for CGDs in 65 GAs in 129 districts and declared that the nation was now moving towards Gas-Based Economy.

 Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi, lays foundation stone for commencement of work for the 9th CGD round and launches 10th bidding round.

 CNG/PNG in process of spreading pan-India-Faces heat from Electric  

  • India plans to have 10,000 CNG stations in next 10 years, on track to adapt cleaner fuels: Dharmendra Pradhan
  • India could have 10 million CNG vehicles on roads by 2025: The estimated one crore CNG vehicles by 2024-25 will include passenger vehicles, three-wheelers and busses, according to the report.
  • Maruti Suzuki achieved the milestone of five lakh CNG vehicles sales in India, cumulatively. The company presently offers CNG option in seven of its models, which include Alto 800, Alto K10, WagonR, Celerio, Dzire, Eeco and Super Carry.
  • Petronet LNG plans to launch around 20 LNG fuel stations on a 4,000-km route running from Delhi to Thiruvananthapuram.
  • IGL to set up CNG stations in housing complexes and it also plans to foray into e-vehicle charging segment by setting up charging facility at its CNG stations
  • Delhi’s environment department has informed the Supreme Court appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority that all industrial units in the capital need to switch to PNG from the other fuel sources; plans to give incentives to industries for using PNG instead of polluting pet coke and furnace oil
  • 475 polluting industrial units switch to cleaner PNG fuel, more to follow – Delhi: Of the 1,500-odd polluting industrial units operating in Delhi’s industrial and redevelopment areas, around one-third have already shifted to PNG according to officials in the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. More have applied to shift to the cleaner fuel.
  • IOC plans to invest Rs 20,000 crore on  city gas projects and aims to generate 15% revenue from natural gas business in five years.
    In the short term IOC plans to invest Rs 54 billion in CGD for retailing CNG in 7 districts
  • In a first, Gujarat will launch the new PNG/LPG SahayYojana—an extension to the UjjwalaYojana.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the Varanasi CGD network to the Nation through the ‘PradhanMantriUrja Ganga’ project.
  • Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) plans to expedite the process of introducing CNG in Patna to address air pollution after a World Health Organization (WHO) report noted that Patna is the fifth most polluted city in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentration.
  • Gujarat is set to become India’s first State to be fully covered by CGD network post the execution of the 9th round of bidding.
  • Jalandhar in Punjab has become the latest city to boast of CNG supplies by Jay Madhok Energy which commissioned a CNG outlet in Jalandhar in early 2018 and plans to start the same in Ludhiana too.
  • IRM Energy Pvt. Ltd has started supply of PNG to the industries in the Asia’s biggest steel town MandiGobindgarh in Fatehgarh Sahib district in Punjab.
  • The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways in India notified dual-fuel usage for agricultural and construction equipment vehicles in a bid to expand the use of natural and renewable gas.

"Financial & technology moves continued during the year by companies 

  • l Adani Gas listed at Rs 72 post demerger with Adani Enterprises: Adani Gas Ltd. — the gas sourcing and distribution business that was spun off from Adani Enterprises Ltd earlier last year — listed at Rs 72 per share (pre-market discovery price) on the NSE Ltd. Shares of Adani Gas rose considerably, largely driven by allotment of city gas distribution rights for 13 geographical areas under the recently-concluded ninth bidding round.
  • BG Asia Pacific Holdings Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell India, sold 14% stake in Mahanagar Gas Ltd in the open market, reducing its holding to 10%.
    l India’s long-range heavy vehicles now can run on clean fuels: Agility Fuel Solutions has launched its efficient, globally-used clean energy storage and powertrain systems in the Indian market.
  •  Tata Motors chooses NG technology and ties up with Westport Fuel Systems Inc to meet India’s new Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission standards, scheduled to take effect in April of 2020.
  • MoPNG has signed an MoU with National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation Limited (NAFED) for collecting agricultural and food waste for conversion into energy by IOC’s biogas and Bio-CNG plants.

 NATURAL GAS/PIPELINES/COMPANY IN THE NEWS

E&P initiatives and natural gas production-Hopes of KG Basin being a game changer 

  • l First growth in India’s natural gas production in six years: India’s natural gas production grew for the first time in six years in 2017-18. Gas output grew 2.35 per cent to 32,649 Million Standard Cubic Meter (MMSCM) primarily due to production from onshore blocks offsetting a decline in production from offshore blocks
    l Open Acreage licensing Policy: In January 2018, MoPNG issued the Notice Inviting Offer (NIO) for exploration and development of 55 oil & gas blocks (46 onland, 8 shallow and 1 deep-water) in India under the Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP).
  • India put up for bidding 25 discovered oil and gas fields, holding resources of an estimated Rs 1 lakh crore, as it looked to expedite production from areas lying idle for years
  • Vedanta wins 41 blocks in small field auction by the Ministry
  • KG basin will play crucial role in India natural gas move: At a time when production at traditional offshore assets on the west coast is set to decline over the next decade, the upcoming deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin at the Bay of Bengal will play a crucial role in India’s move towards a natural gas-based economy, says GlobalData.
  • ONGC kick-started its USD 5.07 billion KG oil and gas project by spudding the first of the 34 wells, targeting first gas by end of 2019.
  • KG Basin gas migration dispute: An arbitration panel has issued an award in favour of Reliance-led consortium in the so-called gas migration dispute case
  • The government has constituted a six-member committee to look at selling as many as 149 small and marginal oil and gas fields of ONGC and OIL to private and foreign companies to boost domestic output. The panel is headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and includes Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, Oil Secretary M M Kutty, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and ONGC CMD Shashi Shanker.
  • Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated CBM plant at Gomia, Jharkhand in February 2018– two of the four blocks are expected to produce 1.7 MMSCMD by the second half of 2018.
  • ONGC wants $8.35 price for its CBM gas from West Bengal to break even on producing coal-seam gas from Raniganj block.
Pipeline Infrastructure
  2014-15  2015-16  2016-17  2017-18
Gas Pipeline network km (at March end) 15808 16250 16150 16793
Gas Pipeline capacity (mmscmd) (at March end) 350.5 350.5 383.8 374.7
Source: PPAC, NGS Research        

POLICY MATTERS/GAS PRICING/OTHERS

Reforming the gas sector 

  • Cabinet approves policy framework for exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons
  • Oil ministry is considering redefining ‘arm’s length sale’ for oil and gas contracts to include sale to an affiliate, which would allow a producer to sell its output to a related party
  • India’s first Gas Trading Hub to be a reality soon: The Gas Trading Hub, a first-of-its-kind initiative in India, has been initiated to encourage use of cleaner fuels by facilitating trading and supply of gas and ensuring fair price.
  • India and the US announced the formation of a joint task force on natural gas aimed at increasing the share of gas in India’s primary energy mix.

Dual role of gas transportation & trading under lens

  • GAIL is set to restructure operations and become a pure infrastructure provider. It opened its natural gas pipeline open access system governing the 11,400 Km pipeline network to private gas marketing companies. This would strengthen the marketing business of the company, along with freer movement of gas. PNGRB is working out plans to unbundle its marketing and pipeline business in a phased manner. Meanwhile, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is pushing GAIL to concentrate on building pipeline infrastructure and sell off non-core businesses like petro-chemical complexes at an ‘appropriate’ time and price.

Growing push to electric presents big threat to gas 

  • PM Modi unveils mobility road map, seeks investments in e-vehicles manufacturing
  • With many parts of Delhi registering severe levels of air pollution, the state government has announced ‘The Draft Delhi EV Policy 2018’, to speed up the adoption of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). The policy aims to make 25% of all vehicles to be EVs by 2023. The draft policy will remain valid for five years (2018-2023) from the date of notification
  • Priority allocation of gas to power plants may end: The government plans to end priority allocation of natural gas to power plants, which would be a major setback to the already-stressed sector that gets 37% of the total domestic supply. It could be a blow particularly to top power producer NTPC, which has seven gas-fired plants.
  • Now, no permit required for commercial vehicles using alternative fuel: The government has provided incentives for electric mobility and policies would support electric vehicles and that commercial vehicles that are powered by alternate fuels such as “Ethanol, Methanol, Bio-diesel and CNG” will be
    exempted from the permit requirements

LNG DEVELOPMENT/SHIPPING

Growing gas demand and LNG imports in India leading to progress in planned LNG terminals 

Source: PPAC, NGS Research

  • Gujarat State Petroleum Corp commissioned 5MMTPA LNG import terminal at Mundra, Gujarat
  • Royal Dutch Shell to acquired French oil major Total’s 26% stake in the company that operates 5-MTPA Hazira LNG terminal in Gujarat.
  •  The newly-created arm of GAIL India, Konkan LNG, will pump in around Rs 3,000 crore to double the capacity at its LNG terminal at Dabhol in the Konkan region of Maharashtra to 10 MMTPA over the next three years.
  • Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) has signed a long-term agreement with IOC to provide LNG re-gasification services on a use-or-pay basis to the state-run refiner, at its Dhamra import terimal in Odisha
  • H-Energy, a unit of realtor Hiranandani Group, launched the country’s first floating LNG terminal at Jaigarh Port in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district.
  • India received the first consignment of Russian natural gas at Dahej port in Gujarat.
  • GAIL reworked Gazprom LNG deal, raised volume: This is the third such negotiation by India to make the imported fuel more affordable to its price-sensitive customers.
  • Anadarko in talks with nine Indian firms to sell gas from Rovuma basin: Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is in talks with nine Indian companies, Petronet LNG, Oil and Natural Gas Corp., Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. among others to sell gas from Mozambique’s Rovuma basin.
  • Royal Dutch Shell Plc to Petronet LNG Ltd. are betting that LNG and not oil products like diesel, will increasingly be the highway fuel of choice for heavy-duty trucks in the world’s fastest growing big economy.

Source: PPAC, NGS Research

India’s policy push for development of LNG import, storage and regasification facilities 

Government drafting policy on FSRU-based LNG import facility: Government is working on a policy for setting up floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU)-based LNG import terminal at major ports in the country, a top Shipping Ministry official said. Meanwhile, PNGRB has proposed that new LNG import terminals in the country should reserve a fifth of the capacity for third-party access on common carrier principle. The PNGRB issued draft regulations for setting up and operation of LNG terminals in the country.


International News

NATURAL GAS/ TRANSNATIONAL PIPELINES/COMPANIES/OTHERS

Saudi Aramco to follow the USA in its endeavor to ramp up natural gas business. Re-focussing on natural gas is the new mantra for most major oil & gas companies

Source: BP, IGU

  • In Europe, Gas Is King: Natural gas demand in Europe is growing at a remarkable pace, according to a report published last week. And this growth is set to quicken over the next five years. This isn’t just about market forces – it’s the result of concerted European Union policy.
  • United States remains the world’s top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons
  • Shell’s gas production could be triple oil by 2050 –Royal Dutch Shell could boost the share of natural gas production to triple that of oil in order to meet self-imposed goals to halve carbon emissions by 2050 according to Chief Executive Ben van Beurden.
  • Saudi Aramco ‘on way to becoming gas powerhouse’: Saudi Aramco has outlined to Arab News how it plans to massively ramp up its multibillion-dollar natural gas business, both in the Kingdom and overseas, as gas gradually replaces coal and oil in global power generation. Aramco said that SA has already produced about 14 BSCFD of gas, which is on the road to being expanded to 23 BSCFD, will increase our share of cleaner gas in domestic utilities from the current 55% to 75%, the highest in G-20.
  • State-owned Qatar Petroleum is to join ExxonMobil in exploring offshore Mozambique under a deal that came as US Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited the country, following its surprise exit from OPEC. QP’s acquisition of a 10% stake in three offshore blocks operated by ExxonMobil diversifies their already extensive cooperation. Also, Qatar Petroleum is looking to invest $20 billion in U.S. in major expansion.

New pipelines are being developed across the world for gas supply. The question being asked is whether pipeline supply is cheaper than LNG? Russia still very bullish about pipeline supply to Europe as LNG from the USA is likely to be expensive.

  • Ukraine which currently imports natural gas, seeks to become gas exporter by 2025 according to Ukrainian Prime Minister VolodymyrGroysman
  • India has sought re-negotiation of the natural gas
    price it is to source through a proposed USD 10 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline.
  • BP-led international consortium started its first commercial deliveries of natural gas to Turkey from Azerbaijan’s giant Shah Deniz field.
  • Russian pipeline gas is twice cheaper for Europe than US LNG OMV CEO, according to Chief Executive
    Officer of Austria’s OMV Rainer Seele.
  • Cross-border natural gas pipelines from the United States to Mexico could be displacing Mexican imports of LNG, a government report found.
  • New Gas Pipeline in Alaska-BP Alaska signs onto the Alaska LNG Project in a ‘historic milestone’: A gas sales agreement between BP Alaska and the state is being touted as ‘a historic milestone’ in the decades-long effort to construct a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope for sale abroad.

NATURAL GAS/ TRANSNATIONAL PIPELINES/COMPANIES/OTHERS

US LNG exporters reshaping global natural gas markets: As the LNG trade continues to grow and importers gleefully note incremental volumes of US cargoes in a market that saw nearly 300 MMT change hands in 2017/18, the relatively new American exporters at the center of it all are invariably bringing profound changes along with them in a variety of ways. New liquefaction capacities were developed across the globe but mostly in the USA adding comfort to the supply side while the demand side continued to grow with increasing number of import destinations

  • USA – Cheniere Energy Inc officially opened its $15 billion Corpus Christi LNG export facility in Texas.
  • Ghana’s LNG import project is finally under construction, years after its original inception, with two vessels contracted to store and regasify the fuel by the second quarter of 2020
  • Golar LNG announced the start of production at its floating LNG (FLNG) platform in Cameroon, the world’s second working example of the nascent technology and a milestone likely to boost its Fortuna project in Equatorial Guinea.
  • Qatar Petroleum is adding a fourth liquefaction train to the LNG expansion project it announced in 2017. When the expansion is complete, Qatar’s LNG production capacity will be 110 MMTPA, a roughly 43% increase from the current 77 MMTPA.
  • USA – Dominion’s Cove Point LNG ships first cargo
  • The next cycle of LNG investments is set to start in Canada: Shell gives green light to invest in LNG Canada, Shell (40%), PETRONAS (25%), PetroChina (15%), Mitsubishi Corporation (15%) and KOGAS (5%) have taken a Final Investment Decision (FID) to build the LNG Canada export facility in Kitimat, British Columbia
  • Chinese entities eyeing $43 billion Alaska LNG, send large delegation to study project
  • Mozambique ready for next LNG phase: Exxon Mobil and Eni announce submission of development plans for a LNG facility to the
    Mozambique government
  • China’s state-owned CNPC has replaced France’s Total in Iran’s multibillion-dollar South Pars gas project, Iranian Oil Minister BijanZanganeh said.
  • Russian energy firm Novatek has shipped its first contracted cargoes of LNG from its Yamal plant in the Russian Arctic during the year.
  • China National Offshore Oil Corporation has launched its ninth LNG terminal in Shenzhen.
  • First LNG terminal in Germany expected to supply ships and trucks: Gasunie LNG
    Holding B.V., Oiltanking GmbH and Vopak LNG Holding B.V. are in the process of establishing the joint venture “German LNG Terminal GmbH”.
  • Bangladesh receives first imported LNG from Qatar: Excelerate Energy’s floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Excellence arrived at Bangladesh’s Moheshkhali Port in April 2018 bringing with it a commissioning cargo from Qatar.
  • AGL Energy Ltd, Australia’s biggest power producer, expects to make a final investment decision on the country’s first LNG import terminal in the financial year of 2019.

New deals for sale and purchase of LNG and equity participation were signed. Trade war between USA and China impacted LNG supply to China. Global LNG markets move from oversupply to rebalancing: Fears of an oversupplied LNG market are beginning to ease as indications point towards a more modest rebalancing

  • As the China-US trade war escalates, fewer vessels carrying U.S. LNG have gone to China in last few months.
  • China’s demand for LNG is expected to grow by 20 to 25% in 2018 despite heightened trade tensions with the US, according to Qatari Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada.
  • Trucks fill Chinese gaps in LNG market: China has the largest market for trucked LNG in the world, a report from consultant group Wood Mackenzie found.
  • China passed South Korea as world’s No. 2 LNG importer as China imported 38.1 MMT of LNG in 2017.
  • South Korea expects its natural gas demand to rise to over 40 MMT in 2031, driven by higher household and industrial consumption of the fuel as per the Energy ministry
  • Polish state-run gas firm PGNiG signed a long-term deal with Cheniere Marketing International to secure LNG supplies from the US, as Poland seeks to cut dependence on Russian fuel. Poland consumes around 17 BCM of gas annually, more than half of which comes from Russia’s Gazprom under a long-term deal that expires in 2022.
  • After booming production from shale deposits in the VacaMuerta region turned Argentina into a seasonal exporter, the country plans to close a facility for importing LNG.
  • According to IGU, Nigeria has huge gas potential and could become the third largest LNG exporter in the world with the coming on board of the $7 billion Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) train seven project.
  • Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp has agreed to acquire 25 percent of Bangladesh’s Summit LNG
    terminal.

NG/LNG UTILITLISATION- ROADWAYS

Policy pushes including fiscal incentives have driven the NGV markets globally. Europe took the lead in offering fiscal benefits to users of clean fuel (CNG, LNG biogas) and electricity.

  • An e-mobility project, MULTI-E, between Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Italy will receive 12.9 million euros under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The MULTI-E (Multiple Urban and Long-distance Transport Initiatives – Electric and CNG) project is aimed at electrifying urban and regional bus routes and is worth a total of 64.5 million euros. It is one of the 49 key projects to develop sustainable and innovative transport infrastructure in Europe across all transport modes. The European Commission has proposed to invest €695.1 million in the 49 projects to build clean fuel mobility infrastructure.
  • Peruvian government announced program to finance CNG conversions which is expected to initially encourage the conversion of 15,000
    vehicles per year.
  • German government’s announcement of new subsidies for energy-efficient and low CO2 trucks confirms the country is promoting environmentally friendly vehicles and embracing natural gas as a solution to pollution.
  • US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $4 million to support three new cost-shared research projects focused on medium to heavy-duty on-road NG engines and $3 million to support two new cost-shared research projects for off-road vehicles.
  • The National University of Ireland Galway and Gas Networks Ireland, Ervia, announced they are leading the introduction of CNG and renewable natural gas (RNG) for trucks, vans and buses in Ireland through the “Causeway” project.

More and more countries and companies jump onto the CNG/LNG bandwagon because of its clean environment mandate. Auto manufacturers also invested heavily in cleaner technology.

  • Spanish alliance of transport services company Andamur and energy company Molgas signed an agreement to create first network of multi-fuel service stations offering LNG and CNG, in addition to conventional fuels.
  • China is increasing conversions of heavy duty engines to natural gas
  • ENGIE Romania SA, a subsidiary of French ENGIE, launched its first CNG refuelling station in Romania
  • MAN to supply 110 Lion’s City CNG uses to Warsaw in 2019 and Scania showcases its wide range of natural gas vehicles in Madrid
  • Vietnam’s capital city put into operation first CNG bus routes.
  • Abbey Logistics has begun trials of Volvo’s new natural gas powered FM tractor, the first 6×2 heavy regional and long-haul LNG tractor
    in the UK.
  • Snam and Api will develop 200 CNG and biomethane stations in Italy.
  • Transmilenio, Ecopetrol, TGI, Gas Natural Fenosa and Scania launched the first biarticulated Euro 6 natural gas bus in the world in Columbia.
  • Volvo introduced the first LNG-powered heavy-duty truck offering a viable alternative for heavy regional and long-haul operations in Finland.
  • Russian-Chinese partnership will develop network of 170 CNG stations: An agreement to set up a joint venture for construction and operation of a network of CNG stations in Russia on the basis of Vankor UTT was signed by Rosneft and Beijing Gas Group Company Limited during the first Russian-Chinese Energy Business Forum.

LNG AS A MARINE FUEL/BUNKERING/ LNG SHIPPING

The IMO sulphur cap, which kicks in 2020, is meant to help shipping clean up its act directly, by reducing air pollution and particulate matter, and indirectly, as it is expected to boost the uptake of lower carbon fuels, including LNG. Other steps put forward to meet the 0.5% limit include retrofitting ship exhaust stacks with so-called scrubbers, which filter out the sulphur. Scrubbers are seen as a short-term but cost-effective option that does not resolve the issue of what to do with the sulphur once it has been filtered

  • Australian Maritime Industry plans integration of LNG bunkering standards: In order to meet the new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) environmental regulations including reduction in sulphur emissions in 2020 the maritime industry in Australia is planning to adopt a greenhouse gas reduction strategy which calls for a 50% cut to shipping GHG emissions by 2050
  • Recent moves by the IMO have signalled a strong determination by the sanctioning body to strictly enforce a tightening of marine fuel low-sulphur regulations, which will result in a period of huge upheaval in global oil markets, extraordinary margins for some oil refiners, and a potential doubling of fuel costs for shippers, according to new analysis from IHS Markit.
  • Panama Canal may carry 30 million tonnes of LNG, five times as much as it did last year, by 2020 as Asian import demand rises and production of fuel expands in the US, according to the head of the canal’s governing agency.
  • Another Spanish port Ayesa is upgraded to offer LNG bunkering services
  • Natural gas from onshore basins in Oman could be used to develop a maritime fueling point for LNG according to French major Total.
  • World’s first floating LNG transfer system launched by Gas Natural Fenosa for transferring LNG that consists of a platform fitted with a connection system compatible with methane tankers.
  • Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) signed a long-term charter contract for a large LNG bunker vessel of 18,600 m³, to be delivered in 2020.

LNG shipping costs will increase, driven by rising charter rates, higher fuel costs and the growth in inter-basin trade flows, according to estimations by Fitch Solutions Macro Research. New constructions are picking speed

  • Ship scarcity threatens LNG market growth more than tight supply according to IEA. The lack of timely investments in building the LNG carrier fleet threatens market development and security of supply, which could materialize earlier than insufficient liquefaction capacity.
  • South Korea will order 140 LNG vessels by 2025 and provide 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion) in financial aid for the ailing shipbuilding industry.
  • The Panama Canal reached a new milestone in October 2018 after the successful transit of four LNG ships with beams of up to 160 feet (49 meters) in a single day through the Neopanamax Locks.
  • World’s largest LNG bunkering vessel M.V. Kairos, has been delivered to Babcock Schulte Energy, a 50:50 joint venture between Babcock and Bernhard Schulte Ship management. It commenced operation in December 2018.
  • South Korean shipyards have boxed out their Japanese rivals from the market for building large ships carrying LNG, winning all of the orders for the next three years worth more than $9 billion.
  • Royal Dutch Shell said that Prelude floating LNG facility in Australia, the world’s largest floating production structure started production in December 2018.

TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT FOR CLEANER ENVIRONMENT/BIO-METHANE

THydrogen fuel cell is gaining traction in Europe for the automotive sector, France and Germany taking the lead.

  • French government launches €100 million hydrogen development plan: Minister for the Environmental Transition Nicolas Hulot announced that France will become a world leader in hydrogen. Nikola Motor Company announces new hydrogen fuel cell truck for European market. World’s first hydrogen-powered taxi fleet reaches 100 cars in Paris.
  • Hydrogen station network keeps growing across Germany: The launch of the 50th public hydrogen service station was celebrated by H2 MOBILITY, a company formed by Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and TOTAL turning the German public hydrogen refueling infrastructure into the second largest globally, ahead of the US (40 stations) and only surpassed by Japan with 91 public stations.
    l Hyundai Motor Company entered into a MOU with Swiss hydrogen company H2 Energy (H2E) making it the first brand to register a vehicle powered by hydrogen in Spain.
  • Hexagon Composites has been selected by Resato International BV, based in Assen, Netherlands, to supply high-pressure hydrogen tanks assembly for the first Dutch full-sized hydrogen refueling station in The Hague, Netherlands. Meanwhile, Shell kicked off hydrogen refueling network in The Netherlands.
  • Toyota Motor Corporation announced that sales began in March of the “Sora,” the first hydrogen fuel cell bus (to receive vehicle type certification in Japan) and that it plans to deploy over 100 hydrogen buses in Japan by 2020
  • Anheuser-Busch and Nikola Motor Company announced that U.S. largest brewer acquired 800 hydrogen-powered trucks.

 

Bio gas too has taken off in many countries as a source of clean fuel. India is catching up with biogas technology and production. The first steps to electrify shipping fleets were taken in Europe

  • Three new bio-methane production units (in US, France and UK) since the beginning of 2018, double Air Liquide’s capacity.
  • Gazprom orders 24 LNG locomotives to be used on Gazprom’s railway line in the Yamal
    Peninsula.
  • Southern California Gas Co., Canadian natural gas utility Énergir, and French utilities GRDF and GRTgaz announced a new collaboration aimed at advancing the R&D of renewable natural gas and technologies such as power-to-gas.
  • Renewable gas use will help reduce Europe’s GHG to net-zero by 2050, according to a study published by the Gas for Climate initiative.
  • Europe takes first steps in electrifying world’s shipping fleets: MS Ampere, was launched in Norway without a whiff of smokestack exhaust or a decibel of engine roar. Finland, the Netherlands, China, Denmark, and Sweden — also are beginning to launch electric ships. China commissioned a 230-foot all-electric cargo ship to transport coal.

 

Final snapshot press

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