NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT – Feb 1-15, 2023

National News Internatonal News


City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

Indian Oil Adani Gas Private Ltd could provide only over 9,000 PNG connections in Kochi

The Indian Oil Adani Gas Private Ltd (IOAGPL), the implementing agency of the city gas project, has managed to provide only around 10,000 piped natural gas (PNG) connections to city residents in seven years. This is despite Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) giving extension for the project twice.

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The new deadline is set to be over by May 31, 2023. The project, inaugurated in 2016, was aimed at providing 40,000 PNG connections within five years of the launch.

According to IOAGPL officials, they are confident of completing the work before the May 2023 deadline.“We are focusing on providing infrastructure for our project.

We have completed plumping in more than 40,000 households so far,” said an official with IOAGPL. “We have given more than 9,000 PNG connections so far.

Majority connections are given in Thrikkakara and Kalamassery municipalities,” the official said. Meanwhile, the project has been lagging behind schedule due to issues, including disputes over digging up roads for laying the pipeline. IOAGPL and various local bodies had locked horns over digging roads. Many local bodies didn’t give permission for digging roads citing that the agency failed to restore roads which they dug up.

 “When the new council assumed power two years ago, we had held a meeting for expediting the project in the corporation limits. We gave all the nods which the IOAGPL sought. Despite our nods, they didn’t do anything for the next year. Then, the chief minister instructed that the project should be expedited. Even after that, IOAGPL didn’t start work citing various reasons,” said mayor M Anil Kumar. “A few months ago, we again conducted a meeting to speed up the work.

Now, digging of roads for laying the pipeline is progressing in four divisions of the corporation,” Kumar said.

. Though digging roads has been started in four out of the 74 divisions of the corporation, no PNG connections have been given in the corporation limits so far. No measures have been taken to get permission from the corporation for digging roads in other 70 divisions. Given the fact that it will take at least a couple of months for getting the nod, the claim by IOAGPL to complete the target by May 31 lacks the backing of facts. Industries minister P Rajeeve said that he would soon convene a meeting to review the progress of the work.

 IOAGPL authorities attribute the delay to various aspects like 2018 floods, the pandemic and non-cooperation from the authorities of various local bodies.

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Compared to LPG, piped gas has Kochi’s consumers ‘paying the price’

Consumers say monthly bill for piped-gas connections is higher compared to LPG, which costs Rs 1,000 per cylinder, whereas PNG bill with limited usage is Rs 1,500

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KOCHI:  The gas project implemented by Indian Oil-Adani Gas Pvt Ltd (IOAGPL) is not gaining enough traction among households in Kochi, where piped-gas connections were first introduced in February 2016.
Most consumers who have opted for a connection are not happy with the monthly bill, which they say is higher compared to LPG. A liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder costs around Rs 1,000 and runs for over a month, whereas the piped natural gas (PNG) bill, even with limited usage, comes to around Rs 1,500-2,000 a month.

IOAGPL, a 50:50 joint venture of Indian Oil Corporation and Adani Gas Ltd, is powered by the Kochi-Mangaluru LNG pipeline. It gets the fuel from Gas Authority of India’s (GAIL) main pipeline. Thressiamma Abraham, a resident of Padamugal, Kakkanad, who has been using piped gas for a year, plans to cancel her connection and go back to LPG. “I’m staying alone and my piped gas bill comes to over Rs 1,000 a month, whereas an LPG cylinder would last more than two months for me. At these rates, piped gas is not affordable,” she said. 

“Even when consumption is zero, there is a fixed charge of over Rs 350,” Thressiamma said. 
Explaining the charges, an IOAGPL official said, “Fixed charges include minimum charges, rental fees and GST.” He said the Centre has not issued any orders to provide PNG at a subsidised rate to compete with LPG. “For the last few months, my entire family has relocated, and there is zero usage of PNG at my house. But I still kept receiving an invoice from the service providers,” a former journalist with a PNG connection said. He disconnected the service after clearing a bill for over Rs 4,000. 

Gas prices are never stable across the world. “As a service provider, we are not comparing our [PNG] price with that of LPG. Moreover, there is no compulsion from the government’s end that everyone must take a PNG connection,” the official said. “Our responsibility is to build the infrastructure so that in future if anyone needs a PNG connection, they can,” he added.

The official said there are provisions for temporary disconnection of service. So far, the company has provided 44,500 connections across Ernakulam district. Last month, IOAGPL announced that it will be investing over Rs 4,500 crore in city gas distribution projects over the next five-six years.


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Strike of 250 CNG pump operators in South Gujarat including Surat

Oil companies have not increased the margin of CNG sellers due to the orders of the Ministry of Petroleum : 16 The threat of an indefinite strike

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About 250 CNG pumps in South Gujarat, including Surat, will remain completely closed for a day on February 6 if the oil companies do not increase the margin (commission). The managers will lodge a protest by stopping the sale and if the demand is not resolved, they will go on an indefinite strike from 16th.

Oil companies through United Petroleum Dealers of Gujarat and CNG franchisees have decided to stop sales at 250 CNG pumps in South Gujarat including Surat for one day on Monday 6th. CNG pump operators have demanded increase in margin (commission)..

The margin of CNG pumps is determined by the company on a cost base formula. At the time of renewing the retail agreement every two years, the margin is increased keeping in mind the cost of trade. But after increasing the margin in 2017, no increase has been given till date. To the Ministry of Petroleum dated 1st December, Ordered to increase the margin from 2021. But oil companies have not increased the commission even after repeated representations by the managers.

So the sale will be closed for one day from 6th. And if the demand is not accepted, the sale of CNG will be stopped from 16th till the agreement renewal period.


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4 lakh CNG-run private cars in Mumbai metropolitan region; 13% rise in a year

MUMBAI: The private car population running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) has risen by 13% in the past one year and touched the four-lakh mark, latest transport department statistics on Monday showed.

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The total CNG vehicular population has now gone over nine lakh, it stated.Officials from Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL), which supplies CNG to the region, said there was “a growing demand for CNG vehicles, especially in duo variants of petrol-cum-CNG cars”. With rates dropping from Rs 89.50 per kg to Rs 87 a few days ago, this will encourage registrations of more CNG private cars in Mumbai in 2023, the official added.

Neera Asthana-Phate from MGL said: “The retail rate of CNG offered attractive savings of about 44% compared to petrol at current price level in Mumbai while delivering unmatched convenience, safety, reliability and environmental friendliness to consumers. Besides, the mileage in a CNG-driven vehicle is 60%-70% more than a petrol-run car.”
The sale of CNG-run cars and other vehicles running on the green fuel was badly hit during the Covid pandemic and had dropped by nearly 50% in 2020. However, in 2021, there was recovery in sales and the registrations went up by 24% in Mumbai, thereafter in 2022.

In Greater Mumbai alone, in 2022, the maximum registrations were in the eastern suburbs with 6,709 new CNG vehicles hitting the roads. Th-is was followed by the island city with 6,518 such vehicles. In 2021 and 2022, citizens felt the pinch of rising CNG rates – hiked by around Rs 35 per kg. The price of CNG had skyrocketed to an all-time high of Rs 89.50 per kg, and this was also instrumental in the hike of autorickshaw and taxi fares in the MMR from October 1, 2022.

“More than five lakh public transport in MMR, including autos, taxis and buses, depend on CNG daily,” said auto union leader Thampy Kurien, who added that despite the fare hike, auto drivers were still burdened with heavy fuel costs. “The present decision to reduce CNG rates by Rs 2.50 per kg is welcome as it will provide some relief. But we demand that the price should further drop by Rs 10-12 per kg,” he said.

Transport activists suggested that the region should have more CNG and electric vehicles to ensure reduction in emission levels. Many Ola and Uber cab owners – a total population of 80,000 in the city – have switched from diesel and retrofitted their vehicles with CNG kits. Many school buses have also converted to CNG.

Mumbai’s electric vehicle population has touched 20,000, with over 70% being e-bikes, the statistics showed.

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Natural Gas/ Pipelines/ Company News


CNG sales growth drives Adani Total Gas Q3 net up 12%

City gas distribution player Adani Total Gas Limited (ATGL) reported standalone net profit of ₹148 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2022, up 12 per cent from ₹132 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

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Revenues from operations for the quarter stood at ₹1,185 crore, up 27 per cent against ₹932 crore in the same quarter last year. Total expenses increased 30 per cent to ₹993 crore (₹763 crore).

Standalone EBITDA increased 13 per cent to ₹238 crore (₹211 crore).

On a consolidated basis, the company’s net profit stood at ₹150 crore , up 17 per cent from ₹128 crore in the same quarter last year. Revenue from operations stood at ₹1,185 crore ( ₹932 crore), up 27 per cent.

“During the quarter, ATGL has delivered a good performance with its calibrated approach despite the high input gas price scenario. While gas sector has been seeing volatility in prices due to geopolitical issues, we have seen a moderation in the international gas prices in the recent weeks. We are confident that this, coupled with the increase in domestic gas supply and expected increased allocation to the CGD sector, will drive increased demand across both PNG and CNG segments,” said Suresh P Manglani, CEO of Adani Total Gas.

ATGL has reported total sales volume of 186 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic meter) for the quarter, which was lower by 3 per cent from 192 mmscmd recorded for the same quarter last year. The reduction was observed in Piped Natural Gas (PNG) segment, where sales volumes dipped to 70 mmscmd for the quarter (91 mmscmd). The compressed natural gas (CNG) sales grew 15 per cent to 116 mmscmd from 101 mmscmd.

PNG volume

The company attributed the dip in PNG volume to lesser offtake of gas largely by Industrial consumers owing to high prices resulting from higher gas cost. The CNG volumes, on the other hand, recorded improvement on the back of network expansion of CNG stations.

The revenues increased due to higher volume coupled with increase in sales price. In a statement ATGL said, “the cost of gas increased by 98 per cent majorly on account of replacement of APM price with UBP price for CNG and Domestic PNG. However UBP price gas shortfall was reduced and there was also increase in R-LNG price which is procured for Industrial and Commercial segment.”

The company further stated that in spite of high gas prices, ATGL had maintained balanced pricing strategy. On the debt position, the company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.4x. The net debt-to-EBITDA (annualised) is at 0.9X, it said.

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India Predicts 500% increase in domestic natural gas demand

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday projected that the country’s gas demand would rise 500% due to the rapid pace of development, while its share of global oil demand would more than double.

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While the Indian prime minister did not offer a specific time frame for this major boost in demand, he said that the country’s energy demand would be highest in the present decade.

Modi’s statement, delivered during the opening ceremony of India Energy Week 2023, coincides with a recent OPEC report that expects India to be the largest contributor to incremental demand, with the country expected to add some 6.3 million bpd until 2045.

Overall, OPEC said it saw demand increasing to 110 million bpd in 2045, up from 97 million bpd in 2021. 

Modi predicts India’s share in global oil demand will increase from 5% to 11%. 

The Indian prime minister used the occasion to highlight the country’s plans to boost exploration and production, which he said would provide opportunities for investors. Right now, India relies on imports for some 85% of its energy needs, with India and China being the largest importers of oil and gas in the world. 

With this in mind, India will remove significant restrictions on exploration, reducing “no-go” areas for E&P companies. India also plans to expand its refining capacity, along with its LNG import capacity by 2030. 

Asia is now the biggest buyer of Russian crude since the imposition of Western sanctions following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Some 70% of Russian Urals January loading cargoes were bound for India, according to Reuters data.

India’s oil minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, also said on Monday that regardless of Western sanctions, the country would not shun Russian oil, which it receives at a discount to Brent crude. 

“I will be very frank,” Puri said, “we will play the market card …”


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Plans underway to revive LNG pipeline linking India to Myanmar and Bangladesh

India plans to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline connecting the country to Myanmar and Bangladesh to secure its energy source and counter China’s growing dominance in the region, two people privy to the developments revealed, according to a Daily Observer report.

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This idea was first discussed back in 2005-06 but was shelved after Myanmar opted for a pipeline to China instead. However, with India’s Act East policy and recent instability in energy markets due to the Ukraine war, the country is looking to revive the plan for interconnecting the gas grids of the three nations.

“Pipeline connectivity with the eastern neighbours is being looked at as both the countries have large gas reserves, and they should be willing to sell their produce,” one of the two officials told the Mint in end-January.

The proposed pipeline will be connected to the North East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid run by Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited (IGGL) in Tripura—a joint venture between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, ONGC, GAIL, Oil India Ltd, and NRL.

Myanmar’s natural gas reserves are estimated to be 22.5 trillion cubic feet as of 2021, with China and Thailand among its major importers of LNG. Public sector companies ONGC Videsh Ltd and GAIL also own 17% and 8.5% stakes in Myanmar’s A1 and A3 blocks, respectively.

In 2013, China successfully secured a bilateral pipeline deal with the Myanmar government, which led to shelving of the India-Myanmar pipeline plan. On the other hand, Bangladesh has seen a decline in its natural gas reserves and has a high requirement for power generation.

Dhaka is working to increase its reserves by exploring more exploration activities across the country and recently discovered 20 million cubic feet of gas per day at the Koilastila Gas field, which could significantly boost the country’s reserves.

The proposed pipelines will boost the Indian government’s plans to make the North-east region a hub for oil and gas transit under its Hydrocarbon Vision 2030, as New Delhi looks to increase domestic hydrocarbon production while also expanding its sources of energy imports as it currently imports around 85% of its total energy requirement.

Meanwhile, no formal responses had been received from the Ministry of Petroleum, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi, and the Embassy of Myanmar regarding this matter at the time of reporting.

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Policy Matters/ Gas Pricing/ Others

Stepping on gas for green energy switch, net-zero emission

The government has matched its words with money by putting Rs 35,000 crore on the table for transition to green energy, as part of India’s 2070 ‘net zero’ emission ambition.

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The money will be used to support new-age energy solutions ranging from green hydrogen and ammonia, battery storage and transmission lines for evacuating renewable power and biofuels such as biogas and ethanol — petrol laced with ethyl alcohol. The Budget intent takes a cue from the Economic Survey that had on Tuesday said that the government needs toshow the money for its ambitious green agenda. True to the Budget intention, part of the money will be used for providing VGF (viability gap funding) for 4,000 MWh (megawatt-hour) to reduce the tariff initially till a domestic market scales up and prices come down. A framework for pumped storage generation projects will also be formulated. Both these technologies will play a key role in the government’s bid to promote round-the-clock solar or wind power projects by providing standby power during night or no-wind scenarios. They will be an important element for maintaining grid stability as the share of renewables rises.

VGF of Rs 8,000 crore for the proposed Rs 20,700-crore transmission line for evacuating power from the proposed 13 GW solar-wind-battery storage project in Ladakh. The support will reduce the transmission tariff and breathe life into the proposed showstopper renewable project that has the potential to change the socioeconomic scenario in the Union territory

The Budget also turned its focus on biofuels by reducing customs duty on denatured ethyl alcohol to improve availability as the government moves for blending 20% ethanol — petrol blended with ethyl alcohol — and flex engines with the aim of reducing automotive emission. As natural gas has been identified as the transition fuel, all natural gas entities marketing natural gas will have to earmark 5% of sales to CGD (city gas distribution) projects. This is expected to raise supply for CNG and PNG projects being set up in 400 districts at an investmentof Rs 80,000 crore.

GST-paid biogas used for blending in CNG (compressed natural gas) has been exempted from excise duty to promote biogas projects that have a positive bearing on waste management in cities and potential to create rural earning avenues. The government last month announced Rs 19,700 crore funding to seed the green hydrogen market, including domestic manufacturing of electrolysers, with the aim of achieving 5 million tonne annual green hydrogen production capacity by 2030. It also wants to achieve 500 gigawatts of non-fossil fuelbased power capacity by 2030.

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Vehicle scrapping policy: 9 lakh govt vehicles, buses older than 15 years to be scrapped from April 1

More than nine lakh vehicles, owned by central and state governments, transport corporations and public sector undertakings, that are older than 15 years will go off the road from April 1 and new vehicles will replace them, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.

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Addressing an event organised by industry body FICCI, Gadkari said the government is taking many steps to facilitate the use of ethanol, methanol, bio-CNG, bio-LNG and electric vehicles.

“We have now approved the scrapping of more than nine lakh government vehicles, which are more than 15 years old, and polluting buses and cars will go off the road and new vehicles with alternative fuels will replace them.

“This will further reduce air pollution to a great extent,” the road transport and highway minister said.


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All govt houses to have piped natural gas in 2 years: UT adviser Dharam Pal

CHANDIGARH: All government houses under the UT administration will have piped natural gas (PNG) within two years, announced UT adviser Dharam Pal on Friday after giving approval to a proposal of the engineering department. The decision came after a detailed presentation on the project was made here.

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“We have given in-principle approval to have PNG in all government housing. In private houses, people have the option to avail the connection, but such a network is not available in government housing,” Pal said.

The city has more than 13,000 government houses maintained by the engineering department in both northern and southern sectors. The PNG is considered safer and cheaper by 20% of the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) that is generally used by households.

The Indian Oil Adani Gas Private Limited (IOC-Adnani) will supply the PNG to government houses.

“We will be entering into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the company to supply PNG to government houses. The company has already laid underground gas pipelines across major roads. It will start laying the doorstep network also in sectors where it is not currently in place,” said a UT official. The company was given the exclusive contract for laying pipelines and supplying of PNG in city by the Centre.

“The network has already been laid in around 25 sectors. Most of the southern sectors have been covered. Of the more than 1,000 km planned network, around 300 km has been laid. With the government housing on board, we expect the faster pace of the network to be installed. We have been assured that 4,000 government houses will be covered within a year,” said the official.

The UT will deposit a fixed security amount per house with the company for network installation, while the person to whom house is allotted will have to pay for the monthly charges.


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Mahanagar Gas cuts CNG price in Mumbai, adjoining regions by Rs 2.50/kg

Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) said that it has reduced prices of compressed natural gas (CNG) in Mumbai and adjoining regions, adding that the new rates comes into effect from February 1.

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The price of CNG in Mumbai and adjoining regions has been slashed by Rs 2.50 per kilogram, MGL said in a press statement. With this reduction, the CNG price in the city and its neighbouring satellite towns comes down to Rs 87/kg.

The decision to slash the rates was taken in “anticipation of increased allocation of natural gas from High-Pressure-High Temperature (HTPT) areas to CGD (city gas distribution),” MGL said.

The increased allocation will “reduce Mahanagar Gas’ input cost”, the statement issued by the gas utility further noted.

“The revised MRP of CNG offers savings of around 44 percent compared to petrol at current price level in Mumbai,” according to the gas distribution company.

The reduction in CNG prices comes nearly four months after MGL had increased it by Rs 6/kg in and around the megapolis.

The state-run company had then blamed the 40 percent increase in input prices by the government from October 1, along with a supply cut, as the reasons behind the steep hike.

Once struggling for natural gas, the country began experiencing an oversupply of gas in recent months as prices have shot through the roof.

The government had hiked the price of natural gas by 40 percent for the second half of the current financial year i.e. from October 2022 to March 2023.

The price of gas produced from old fields, which makes up for about two-thirds of all domestically-produced gas, was hiked to $8.57 per Metric Million British Thermal Unit (mmBtu) from $6.1 per mmBtu.

Similarly, natural gas produced from discoveries in deep and ultra-deep water and high-pressure, high-temperature areas was hiked to $12.46 per mmBtu from $9.92.

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LNG Use / LNG Development and Shipping

GAIL and Russia’s Novatek poised to seal gas sales deal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Russia’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer, Novatek, is close to a deal to supply gas to GAIL (India) Ltd as it seeks alternative markets to Europe, three industry sources said.

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The companies are negotiating the terms of a contract and could seal an agreement within a week, the sources said, adding volumes would depend on logistics, such as shipping and insurance.

GAIL and Novatek did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Russia is looking for outlets for its energy resources after Western countries cut back their purchases following its invasion of Ukraine nearly a year ago.

For its part, GAIL needs to recover after its profit sank 93% in the three months to December from a year earlier as a result of disrupted supply from a former unit of Russian giant Gazprom.

A preliminary deal could be signed during Novatek Chairman Leonid Mikhelson’s visit to India next week for an energy conference, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

GAIL, India’s largest gas distributor, has rationed gas supplies and cut runs at its petrochemical plants after supplies under a 20-year deal with Gazprom Marketing and Trading Singapore (GMTS) were halted.

Novatek is offering a few LNG cargoes every month under a long-term deal to GAIL on a free-on-board basis, meaning the buyer arranges for ships and insurance, the sources said.

The Indian company, however, is asking Novatek to deliver gas to Indian ports as shipping and insurance companies are wary of providing services for Russian oil and gas following the West’s imposition of sanctions on Moscow in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

GAIL’s head of finance Rakesh Kumar Jain last week said his company was in talks with various suppliers, including Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, for gas purchases to meet increasing demand in the country.

“We are actively in discussion with a couple of long-term LNG suppliers…Hopefully, we should be able to conclude at least 1 contract shortly,” A. Kaviraj, executive director at GAIL told an analyst call.

GAIL agreed to a 20-year deal with GMTS in 2012 for annual purchases of an average of 2.5 million tonnes of LNG on a delivered basis.

At the time, GMTS was a unit of Gazprom Germania, now called Sefe, but the Russian parent gave up ownership of Sefe after Western sanctions.

The initial contract with GMTS was also for supplies from the Yamal project in the Arctic, but the former Russian entity was arranging supplies from elsewhere to cut freight costs as the deal was done on delivered basis, the sources said.

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Russia’s Novatek, India’s Deepak sign Memorandum on supply of LNG, Ammonia

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 06th February, 2023) Russian gas major Novatek signed a memorandum with India’s Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd. on cooperation in the supply of liquefied natural gas and low-carbon ammonia, Novatek said.

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“Today, as part of the Indian Energy Week, Novatek PJSC and Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd. signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding in the field of LNG and low-carbon ammonia supplies,” the statement says.

The memorandum provides for the supply of LNG to Deepak Fertilisers on a spot and long-term basis, including supplies from the Arctic LNG 2 project.

The parties also intend to cooperate on the implementation of long-term supplies of low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia produced using technologies for capturing and underground storage of carbon dioxide, cracking and renewable energy sources at Novatek’s promising gas chemical complex in Yamal.

Pre-feasibility studies (pre-FEED) for the gas chemical complex were completed in 2022, the company specified.

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GAIL signs advance pricing agreement with CBDT

State-owned GAIL (India) Ltd has signed an advance pricing agreement with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for determining the transfer pricing margin payable on the long-term LNG the firm sources from the US. The pact was signed by Rasmi Ranjan Das of CBDT and R K Jain, Director (Finance), GAIL, the company said in a statement.

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“GAIL and CBDT entered into a landmark advance pricing agreement (APA) fordetermining the transfer pricing margin payable on its long-term LNG sourcing contract from USA for the period of five years,” it said.

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India’s GSPC seeks LNG cargo for March Delivery

India’s Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) is seeking a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo for delivery in the second half of March, said three industry sources on Thursday.

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The tender closes on Feb. 3, said two of the sources. (Reporting by Emily Chow; editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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Electric Mobility/ Hydrogen/ Bio- Methane

100 electric vehicle charging stations to be set up in Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh

In a bid to encourage plying of electric vehicles (EVs), as many as 100 charging stations would be set up in Sirmaur district, Himachal Pradesh.

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Deputy Commissioner, Sirmaur, RK Gautam, has directed all sub-divisional magistrates to identify places where such stations would be stationed. “All SDMs have been directed to submit a report where such charging stations would come up.”

He said stations of 50 kilowatt capacity would be set up on state highways and near the bus stands where vehicles would be charged within 15 minutes to one hour.

The stations, which can charge vehicles within two to four hours, would be installed in the government offices while stations which can charge vehicles for 8 to 10 hours would be provided in residences. Availability of 11 kv power lines is needed for housing bigger charging stations.

The DC has directed the officials to have small charging stations within their official premises to facilitate the users of EVs. “Government vehicles would be gradually replaced by EVs and vehicles, which are condemned, would also be replaced with EVs.”

The state is adopting “Go Green” approach where the state government vehicles are being replaced by EVs in a bid to save fuel and curtail environmental pollution generated from the use of petrol and diesel vehicles. As a beginning, the transport department has completed shifted to the EVs.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that efforts were on to make Himachal India’s first ‘Green Energy State’ by 2025.

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BPCL launches EV Fast Charging Highway Corridor on Delhi – Jalandhar Highway

New Delhi [India], February 11 (ANI/NewsVoir): Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a ‘Maharatna’ and a Fortune Global 500 Company, announced the launch of Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Corridor on the Delhi – Jalandhar National Highway with fast charging stations at 12 BPCL retail outlets strategically located along the highway (part of NH-44) as part of its initiative to address the range anxiety of electric vehicle owners.

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The 750 Km long segment of NH-44 is the fourth such Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Corridor in the country, with fast charging station at roughly every 100 Kms on both sides of the highway. Chennai-Trichy-Madurai, Chennai-Bangalore and Bangalore-Coorg were the first three Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Corridors set up by BPCL.

The EV fast chargers at BPCL Fuel Stations will help customers recharge their EVs in just about 30 minutes to get a driving range of upto 125 kilometers after which there will be another BPCL EV charging station for EV owners going further ahead. All EV customers will be able to use the EV fast charging stations via a pay-per-use online service. The fast chargers can be self-operated without any manual assistance though support staff will be at hand when needed.

Located at BPCL retail outlets, these EV fast Charging stations offer long-distance and inter-city travellers much-needed safe, well-lit and secure pit stops together with amenities like clean and hygienic washrooms toilets, mATMs etc for their convenience while their vehicle is being recharged. BPCL has digitised the entire EV charger locator, charger operations and transaction process through the HelloBPCL app for an online hassle free and transparent user experience.

Going forward, 200 such Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Corridor under the brand eDrive which carries the tagline Clean. Fast. Easy will be set up along key National Highways by 31st March 2023 as part of the drive to support and accelerate EV adoption in India.

BPCL also announced the launch of the Integrated Customer Program with MG Motors, a British automotive brand, who have so far sold 8900 electric vehicles in the country which will enable all MG’s EV customers while driving, to locate BPCL EV Charging stations through their car dashboards and fast charge their electric vehicles with specific benefits accorded to MG EV owners at all BPCL EV Charging stations across the country.

Subhankar Sen, Head Retail Initiatives & Brand, BPCL and Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motors jointly announced the launch of the Integrated Customer Program in an event held in Delhi on 11th February 2023, in the presence of Rajiv Dutta, Head Retail North – BPCL, Mihir Joshi, State Head (Delhi, Haryana, HP & UK)-BPCL and other Senior officers.

Speaking at the launch, Subhankar Sen, Head Retail Initiatives & Brand, BPCL said, “A cleaner planet is better for everyone and decarbonisation is a challenge that requires broad-reaching, multi-faceted solutions and we in BPCL are playing our part by setting up the network of electric vehicle fast charging highway corridors to address the range, discovery and time anxieties of EV owners which we firmly believe will hasten the adoption of Electric Vehicles in the country. Our initiative with MG Motor India in creating a rewarding experience for MG Motor EV customers today is an important initiative under our EV charging strategy and towards our larger objective of achieving our goal of net-zero emissions by 2040. We are excited about our innovative technology integration with MG Motors who have incorporated our EV charging network in their dashboard navigator providing unmatched convenience for MG EV owners. This truly reflects the commitment of both our organisations to bring in cutting-edge technology for the promotion of EV adoption in the country.

Together with MG Motor India, we will be working to improve the EV charging experience along key travel arteries connecting cities, tourist destinations and economic centres in the country.”

Bharat Petroleum Fuel Stations offer the consumers with added convenience of clean and hygienic washrooms, cash withdrawals, safe and secure parking while charging, free digital air facility, 24-hour operations and much more. Select fuel stations also offer Nitrogen filling facility. Several of Bharat Petroleum’s highway fuel stations also offer hygienic food through its strategic alliances with leading brands such as McDonald’s, A2B, Cube Stop, Cafe Coffee Day and other local outlets. Bharat Petroleum has also planned to roll out its chain of In & Out convenience stores at key fuel stations on highways for added convenience to its customers.

Speaking on the occasion, Gaurav Gupta, CCO, MG Motor India said, “MG has been at the forefront of the development of a strong EV ecosystem since the launch of the ZS EV in 2020. It brings us immense pride to announce the inauguration of twelve new DC fast-charging facilities across the most significant highway of the country, in partnership with BPCL. We intend to establish a holistic ecosystem in India to accelerate EV adoption, and the new chargers at the BPCL fuel stations will provide the necessary impetus for people to switch to electric mobility.”

Saurabh Jain, Chief Manager (PR & Brand) moderated the press conference during the launch at New Delhi.

Fortune Global 500 Company, Bharat Petroleum is the second largest Indian Oil Marketing Company and one of the premier integrated energy companies in India, engaged in refining of crude oil and marketing of petroleum products, with a significant presence in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry. The company attained the coveted Maharatna status, joining the elite club of companies having greater operational & financial autonomy.

Bharat Petroleum’s Refineries at Mumbai & Kochi and Bina at Madhya Pradesh have a combined refining capacity of around 35.3 MMTPA. Its marketing infrastructure includes a network of installations, depots, energy stations, aviation service stations and LPG distributors. Its distribution network comprises over 20,000 Energy Stations, over 6,200 LPG distributorships, 733 Lubes distributorships, and 123 POL storage locations, 54 LPG Bottling Plants, 60 Aviation Service Stations, 4 Lube blending plants and 4 cross-country pipelines.

Bharat Petroleum is integrating its strategy, investments, environmental and social ambitions to move towards a sustainable planet. The company has chalked out the plan to offer electric vehicle charging stations at around 7000 energy stations over next 5 years.

With a focus on sustainable solutions, the company is developing a vibrant ecosystem and a road-map to become a Net Zero Energy Company by 2040, in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Bharat Petroleum has been partnering communities by supporting innumerable initiatives connected primarily in the areas of education, water conservation, skill development, health, community development, capacity building and employee volunteering. With ‘Energising Lives’ as its core purpose, Bharat Petroleum’s vision is to be the most admired global energy company leveraging talent, innovation & technology.

This story has been provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir),12%20BPCL%20retail%20outlets%20strategically

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Mahindra & Mahindra to make new investment of Rs 1,000 crore in EV facility at Medak, Telangana

HYDERABAD: Auto giant Mahindra & Mahindra is investing Rs 1,000 crore in setting up a facility for manufacturing electric vehicles for last mile mobility at its Zaheerabad plant in Medak district where it already manufactures tractors.

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The investment, which will see the company churn out electric three and four wheelers, will be made over a period of eight years by the company or a group company, M&M said on Thursday after inking a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Telangana government.

The proposed expansion investment will create an additional 800-1,000 jobs at Zaheerabad, where the company has already been manufacturing tractors since 2013. Announcing the latest investment to drive into the recently announced Telangana Mobility Valley (TMV), industries minister KT Rama Rao said: “The proposed facility by M&M will greatly contribute to the goal of TMV to further accelerate the growth of sustainable mobility in India.”

The location at Zaheerabad, one of the four mega EV manufacturing clusters being developed by the state, will allow M&M to access state-of-the-art infrastructure planned to be created in the mega clusters” he added. Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director (auto & farm), Mahindra & Mahindra, said: “We are delighted to consider expansion of the current manufacturing unit at Zaheerabad for our new EV manufacturing investment. This investment will help continue our leadership position in electric 3-wheeler category.”

KTR’s office said Mahindra & Mahindra will also be collaborating with the state government in laying down the roadmap for development of EV and energy storage systems (ESS) manufacturing units in the state.

According to Mahindra group, considering the size of the investment, the EV manufacturing project is expected to fall under the mega projects category under the Telangana government’s EV investment policy.

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Over 20 lakh electric vehicles registered in country over 6 years: Govt to Lok Sabha

According to the e-vahan4 portal of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), there are 20,40,624 electric vehicles registered in the country as of January 31, 2023

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Over 20 lakh electric vehicles were registered in the country in the past six years, the central government told Lok Sabha in a reply.

“According to the e-vahan4 portal of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), there are 20,40,624 electric vehicles registered in the country as of 31.01.2023,” said the minister of power and new & renewable energy RK Singh in a reply to Lok Sabha.

In terms of electric two-wheelers, the figure has risen from 16,943 vehicles registered in 2018 to 30,063 vehicles in 2019.

In 2020, the number of electric vehicles dipped slightly to 28,936. The electric two vehicles registered rose significantly to 1,55,422 in 2021 which further surged to 6,28,670 vehicles in 2022.

As of 31 January 2023, 57,447 vehicles were registered.

A total of 9,17,481 electric vehicles were registered in the country across the six years up to 30 January 2023.

With regards to three-wheeler electric vehicles, 1,08,351 vehicles were registered in 2018 which rose to 1,31,453 vehicles in 2019.

In 2020, the number of vehicles registered dipped to 88,239 rising again to 1,53,718 in 2021. The number of electric vehicles further surged to 3,38,608 vehicles in 2022.

As of 31 January 2023, 30,022 three-wheeled electric vehicles were registered.

A total of 8,50,391 electric vehicles were registered in the country across the six years up to 30 January 2023.

Singh noted in his reply that Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are in the process of migrating to Vahan and the data presented is only partial, as available in the Vahan database.

Further, data from Telangana and Lakshadweep are not available in the online Vahan database and hence not provided.

Regarding the initiatives undertaken by the government in promoting electric vehicles, Singh noted that the ministry of power has issued a clarification that the charging of batteries of electric vehicles through charging stations does not require any license.

Collaborating with the ministry of road transport and highways, ministry of heavy industries, and NITI Aayog, a nationwide “Go Electric” campaign was launched on 19 February 2021 to educate the general public on the benefits of electric vehicles.

“Action plans for nine major cities have been prepared by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) for installation of public charging stations (PCS). According to the initial estimates, a total of 46,397 PCS are being targeted in these cities by 2030,” Singh noted in his reply.

The minister also noted that central ministries and state governments have been requested to join the government of India’s initiative on transformative mobility and to convert their fleet of official vehicles from present petrol or diesel vehicles to electric vehicles.

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Green Engine for India! Hydrogen train to showcase India’s cultural heritage

India’s First Hydrogen Train: The only obstacle as of now in building multiple green hydrogen trains across the country is the massive cost that is required in its making and development.

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Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on February 1, 2023, announced that India will have its first hydrogen train ready by December this year. Keeping in line with this year’s budget for green growth, Vaishnaw said that the Indian Railway will contribute to this mission via the country’s first hydrogen train which will be designed and manufactured in India by December.

India’s first hydrogen train: Routes that will be taken

The hydrogen train, once ready, will initially run on heritage circuits like Kalka to Shimla. The train route will later be expanded to other places as well. Vaishnaw said that the motive of the train is to show India’s cultural heritage through trains which will also be updated by adding new circuits like the Guru Kripa circuit to the list. This means that these heritage routes will completely go green!

India’s first hydrogen train: What is the technology behind it?

Hydrogen trains, as the name suggests run on hydrogen fuel cells. These are much more environmentally friendly than traditional diesel engines. Hydrogen fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen which then produces the electricity that is used to power the train’s motors.

These trains use clean energy transition fuel that does not emit any air pollutants. By clean energy, we mean that hydrogen can be generated using renewable energy sources like wind, solar power, or hydropower. These trains will truly make Indian Railways the face of Green India. The only obstacle as of now in building multiple green hydrogen trains across the country is the massive cost that is required in its making and development. According to the research and ratings agency ICRA, green hydrogen costs around INR 492/kg in India. Due to this, the cost of operating a fuel cell-based hydrogen engine will be 27% higher than that of a diesel engine.

Ashwini Vaishnaw had in January said that Indian Railways is making a prototype of the hydrogen fuel-based train at the Northern Railway workshop which will be test-run on the Sonipat-Jind section in Haryana.

The Finance Minister has allocated a budget of Rs 2.41 lakh crore for the Railways this fiscal which in hindsight is important considering the number and quality of projects that lie ahead of the Indian Railways. Vaishnaw had said that this budget is going to act as a growth engine for the country. Around 1275 stations are being re-developed, along with the upscaling of  Vande Bharat production.

Hailing the budget allocation for green India, Gautam Mohanka, Managing Director, Gautam Solar noted that the capital investment of Rs. 35000 crores for achieving energy transition and net zero objective and energy security by Ministry of petroleum and natural gas will help the country’s goal of decreasing the share of fossil fuels and increase the share of renewable energy. Mohanka also noted that the Finance Minister highlighted National Green Hydrogen Mission with outlay of 19000 crore to help achieve annual production target of 5 MMT by 2030 for facilitating the net-zero target. This falls in line with Indian Railways move to roll out India’s first hydrogen train this year.

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Himachal transport department switches to electric vehicles, replacing petrol, diesel

Himachal Pradesh has taken a lead in switching over to electric vehicles, CM Sukhu said. In an effort to achieve the target of making Himachal Pradesh a ‘Green Energy State’ by the year 2025, Himachal Pradesh State Transport Department has switched its entire fleet of official vehicles to electric, replacing petrol and diesel fuels.

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Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said the State transport department has achieved the distinction of becoming the first such department in the country to switch over to electric vehicles.

Mr. Sukhu said Himachal Pradesh has taken a lead in switching over to electric vehicles and the motive behind starting the e-vehicles was to curtail the unnecessary expenditure on petroleum products besides preserving the pristine environment of the State.

“All the Government departments will be equipped with electrical vehicles within a year,” he said, adding that Electric Vehicle Policy 2022 has also been notified.

“We will completely transform the existing diesel buses with e-buses in a phased manner. The local bus depot of Shimla will soon have full fleet e-buses. An electric bus depot will also be opened in Nadaun as well and the e-buses will soon run on all the local routes in Shimla,” he said, adding that 300 e-buses will be added to the fleet of HRTC for which an outlay of ₹400 crore has been sanctioned.

“In the coming two years, a target of 60% e-buses will be added to the fleet of HRTC. We working in the direction to make Himachal as India’s first ‘Green Energy State’ by 2025. The HRTC was in a loss since from the last few years. Switching over to electric vehicles will be a step forward to minimise the cost of transportation and will be affordable to all,” said the Chief Minister.

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Tata Power plans pilot in green hydrogen, to invest in battery energy storage

Tata Power is planning a pilot project in green hydrogen before making a full-fledged foray into the segment, while it is actively exploring investing in battery energy storage for which the Central government announced support in the Budget.

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In a media interaction, after announcing the company’s third-quarter results for this fiscal year, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Praveer Singh said the cost of green power was high and it would do a pilot project initially as a test case. In India, Reliance Industries, Adani Group and JSW Energy have announced big investments in the production of green hydrogen.

Q3 numbers

For the quarter ended December, Tata Power reported a net profit of ₹945 crore, up 122 per cent year-on-year, while revenue from operations rose about 30 per cent to ₹14,129 crore. Sequentially, the net profit was up 15.4 percent while the revenue was flat.

The operating profit, as calculated by businessline, was ₹2,334.8 crore, up from ₹1,633.8 crore a year ago. The operating profit margin expanded 155 basis points to 16.52 per cent.

Renewables sector

Sinha said all the segments had performed well, but some solar projects had been delayed and could not be implemented due to high cost of solar modules and other commodities. These projects are likely to be executed next financial year.

In the renewables segment, the company is executing 4 giga watt capacity, of which 2.5 GW is for own generation and the remainder for third parties.

Its order pipeline for the solar arm was at ₹15,440 crore at the end of the quarter, while for rooftop solar the orderbook was at over ₹1,300 crore.

During the quarter, the company had also committed to investing ₹6,000 crore in the distribution business in Odisha.

Earlier this month, the CERC passed an order allowing the ultra mega power plant at Mundra full compensation of coal cost and thus making it more cost-effective.

One unit at the plant has started and tariff discussions are being worked out, Sinha said

On the tariff front, Sinha said the company suggested tariff hikes to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission as costs have risen in the last two years.

According to reports, Tata Power has sought a 10-30 per cent hike in tariffs for low-end consumers and 6-7 per cent drop for high-end ones. Sinha said this was to bring better parity among all classes of consumers.

On Friday, Tata Power shares ended 0.5 per cent lower at ₹205.30 on the NSE.

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Railways to run 35 Hydrogen trains under “Hydrogen for Heritage”: Vaishnaw

Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday said that the Indian Railways is planning to run 35 Hydrogen trains under “Hydrogen for Heritage”.

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In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, the minister said, “Indian Railways (IR) has envisaged to run 35 (thirty five) Hydrogen trains under “Hydrogen for Heritage” at an estimated cost of ₹80 crores per train and ground infrastructure of ₹70 crores per route on various heritage/hill routes.”

Besides, IR has also awarded a pilot project for retro fitment of Hydrogen Fuel cell on existing Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) rake along with ground infrastructure at the cost of ₹111.83 crore which is planned to be run on Jind –Sonipat section of Northern Railway.

According to the ministry, the field trials of the first prototype on Jind –Sonipat section of Northern Railway is expected to commence in 2023-2024.

“The running cost of Hydrogen fuel based train is not established in IR scenario. It is estimated that the initial running cost of Hydrogen fuel train-set will be higher which will subsequently reduce with increase in number of trains,” it added.

Further, the use of Hydrogen as fuel provides larger benefits in the direction of green transportation technology to support zero carbon emission goals as a clean energy source.

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Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines/ Others

Iran: Upward trend in South Pars natural gas field production

“Daily output showed 20,000-barrel growth compared with the corresponding period of 2021 when production was less than 680,000 per day,” Ali Ahmadi said.

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Over 600,000 barrels of gas condensate are supplied to Persian Gulf Star Refinery in Hormozgan Province and Nouri Petrochemical Complex in southern Bushehr Province as feedstock on a daily basis, he added.

SPGC accounts for 73% and 92% of total natural gas and gas condensate output respectively in Iran, Financial Tribune reported.

“The share of fossil fuel in Iran’s energy basket is 74%, of which 50% are produced by SPGC.” 

The official noted that SPGC accounts for 96% of liquefied petroleum gas, 100% of ethane and 55% of sulfur produced in Iran.

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Mexico: Texas natural gas production hitting Records as Mexico ups supply needs

Mexico’s demand for Texan natural gas is set to rise as new infrastructure projects come to fruition.

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Along with plans in Mexico to build up to 5 Bcf/d of liquefied natural gas export capacity, state utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) also is developing over 7 GW of natural gas-fired power generation by 2025.

These power plants would require an additional 1.1 Bcf/d of natural gas, the CEO of CFE’s natural gas marketing affiliates CFE International LLC and CFEnergía, Miguel Reyes, said during the Mexico Infrastructure Projects Forum in Monterrey, Mexico, last week.

Recently, CFE head Manuel Bartlett called Texan gas “the cheapest gas in the world” and said his company was doing all it could to maximize its usage.

Among other projects, he highlighted the $4.5 billion Southeast Gateway offshore pipeline that CFE is jointly developing with TC Energy Corp. Southeast Gateway is set to be an extension of the existing 2.6 Bcf/d Sur de Texas-Tuxpan pipeline. It would bring gas to the cities of Coatzacoalcos and Paraíso, Tabasco, which is the site of the Olmeca oil refinery.

TC Energia Vice President (VP) Leonardo Robles, who oversees commercial and business development, said during the Monterrey event that the underwater pipe would start operating in 2025.

Executives at the conference also cited access to Texan natural gas as helping to fuel nearshoring opportunities.

About 90% of gas imported from the United States originates in Texas, according to NGI data. Almost two-thirds of gas exported from the United States is transported through four cities: Rio Grande City and Brownsville in South Texas, and Presidio and San Elizario in West Texas.

While the majority of volumes are transported through South Texas, exports of U.S. gas to Mexico via West Texas also have been on the rise following the completion of pipelines in western and central Mexico.

The leading exporter of natural gas from the United States into Mexico is CFE International. CEO Reyes said during the event last week that the company was planning on releasing capacity on its pipelines on both sides of the border to facilitate the creation of a secondary market.

Texas Production Rising

Meanwhile, natural gas production in Texas is showing no signs of slowing down.

Texas produced 11.2 Tcf of natural gas last year, a new record, or almost 31 Bcf/d, according to the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO). That would be the equivalent of about 10 times the total production of Mexico. Pennsylvania at 7.6 Tcf was the second-highest producer in the United States in 2022, followed by Alaska (3.6 Tcf), Louisiana (3.6 Tcf) and Oklahoma (2.7 Tcf).

Texas also had the highest rig count in the United States in 2022, with an average of 380 active rigs. This was more than half the total average rig count in the United States. The number of rigs in Texas increased from 332 in January 2022 to 410 in December 2022.

TIPRO expects further growth this year. The report cited projections by the Energy Information Administration for increased natural gas production of 2% in 2023 for total production of over 100 Bcf/d. The major driver of natural gas production growth would be drilling activity in the Haynesville region, which covers East Texas and northwest Louisiana, and the Permian Basin, which covers West Texas and Southeast New Mexico.

One potential stumbling block is a lack of pipelines and takeaway capacity, in particular in West Texas, where natural gas prices have sometimes gone into negative territory. But midstream companies are scrambling to fill the void. One company, Oneok Inc,. is seeking a federal permit that would facilitate exports of Permian natural gas to Mexico.

The roughly 2.8 Bcf/d Saguaro Connector, if sanctioned and completed, would originate at the Waha Hub in Pecos County, TX. The idea would be to export Permian gas from Oneok’s existing WestTex intrastate pipeline system to Mexico.


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U.S. LNG exports drop as domestic demand climbs

Exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) out of the United States dropped by 5% in January compared to December amid higher U.S. demand in colder weather, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon cited by Reuters

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U.S. exporters sent out 95 cargoes with 6.84 million tons of LNG on board in January, with Europe getting 68% of those and Asia receiving 23% of all U.S. LNG exports, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. To compare, LNG exports from the United States were 7.22 million tons in December, and Europe was the destination of 79% of those.   

Europe continues to attract most of the U.S. exports of LNG as demand in Asia is still weak. Both the European benchmark prices and spot Asian LNG prices have dropped in recent weeks amid a comfortable level of inventories and tepid demand in Asia at the start of the Chinese reopening and around the Lunar New Year holiday.

In the U.S., lower LNG exports mean higher volumes of gas available domestically. During the current cold snap, gas demand in the United States is projected to be high to very high by the end of the week at least, according to

“While this week will bring strong to very strong national demand as frigid air sweeps across the northern and central US , the weather data keeps trending warmer for Feb 5-13 and where light to very light national demand is expected as the southern and eastern US warm well above normal,” said on Wednesday.  

Lower LNG exports and thus higher availability of gas for domestic use, coupled with strong domestic production, have sent the U.S. benchmark natural gas prices to a 20-month low in recent days.  

The restart of the Freeport LNG export facility could lend some support to U.S. natural gas prices, but the delays in the resumption of export activity at the plant have been bearish for U.S. natural gas prices.

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Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

Greece: LNG Floating Terminal will supply new 840-MW Gas-Fired Plant

A joint venture featuring three energy companies is developing an 840-MW natural gas-fired power plant at the Aegean port of Alexandroupolis, Greece. The plant will be linked to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) floating terminal at the port. It is expected to supply electricity to Greece and also to markets in southeastern Europe.

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Damco Energy, a subsidiary of Copelouzos Group; Public Power Corp., or PPC, the largest electric power company in Greece; and DEPA Commercial are collaborating on the gas-fired plant. The facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. The Alexandroupolis LNG terminal, with a regasification capacity of 5.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year, is expected to become operational by the end of 2023. The terminal will be 20% owned by Bulgaria, which is expected to receive the first electricity produced by the plant, according to the project designers.

“We are here to welcome a project that is changing the energy landscape: Greece is now shielded … it acquires energy sufficiency,” said Copelouzos Group CEO Christos Copelouzos during a Jan. 14 ceremony announcing the project. “At the same time, a new energy pillar is being created for southeastern Europe, as our country will be able to export electricity to the neighboring Balkan states … to Bulgaria, North Macedonia and even Serbia.”

The port-based power plant will be a combined-cycle facility, with both gas and steam turbines, with the steam turbines powered by exhaust heat from the gas turbine. The plant’s electricity output is replacing that of three lignite coal-fired power plants that are being decommissioned. The Copelouzos Group in a news release said the power plant will have mixed-fuel capability, and will be able to run on hydrogen fuel. The company said the plant aligns with targets outlined in the European Green Deal, and will promote decarbonization in Greece’s power sector and ensure a reliable electricity supply.

Georgios Stassis, president and CEO of PPC, said, “The new Alexandroupolis power plant … is the result of the creative collaboration between the PPC Group and two important partners, DEPA Commercial and the Copelouzos Group, with the aim to contribute to the consolidation of the country’s role as a strong and, why not, an exporting productive player in the wider region of southeastern Europe. As is well known, clean energy is at the heart of our strategic planning.”

Ioannis Papadopoulos, chairman of DEPA Commercial, said, “Today is an important milestone, both for DEPA Commercial and the major energy groups we joined forces with for the implementation of the investment, as well as for Alexandroupolis, Greece and southeastern Europe. With the Alexandroupolis Power Plant, Greece acquires another crucial project that will contribute to the continuous supply of more cost-effective energy. At the same time, our country also has a new gateway for the transition to green energy, as the combined cycle plant will balance the system, allowing greater penetration of [renewable energy] in the energy mix.”

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Sweden: Volvo launches new bio-LNG truck

Sweden-based Volvo Trucks has launched a new, stronger gas-powered truck that can run on bio-LNG.

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The new truck can carry out demanding, long distance transport tasks, while reducing overall CO2 emissions, according to a statement by Volvo Trucks.

Five years ago, Volvo Trucks launched its trucks that can run on liquefied biogas, or bio-LNG, which is a renewable fuel that can be produced from many types of organic waste, including food scraps.

Volvo Trucks claims the fuel can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 100 percent.

The gas-powered trucks, the Volvo FH and FM are now getting a new power level of 500 hp, joining the previous 420 and 460 hp engines.

Also, the gas engines also get “major technical upgrades” that makes them up to 4 percent more fuel efficient, which together with a new 10 percent larger gas tank, contributes to a longer range, Volvo Trucks said.

 “Our efficient gas-powered trucks have a performance comparable to their diesel equivalents. Fueling up is almost as fast as a diesel truck and the growing network of more than 600 fuel stations for both bio-LNG and LNG in Europe makes them ideal for long-haul transports,” Daniel Bergstrand, product manager for gas-powered trucks at Volvo Trucks, said in the statement.

Bio-LNG production in Europe on the rise

Volvo Trucks noted that European production of bio-LNG is expected to ramp up quickly to shift away from the use of fossil LNG.

The EU Commission has put forward a plan called REPower EU, where the focus is on creating greatly increased domestic production capacity for different kinds of energy, it said.

Moreover, the plan is to boost annual biogas production ten times by 2030 and the sector has already started a rapid growth phase.

Also outside of Europe the potential for biogas is gaining interest, Volvo Trucks said.

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Global LNG Development

NUS: Freeport to restart liquefaction train at Texas LNG export plant

Feb 3 (Reuters) – Freeport LNG, the second-biggest U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, said on Friday it plans to restart one of three liquefaction trains at its long-idled Texas export plant this week.

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Liquefaction trains turn natural gas into LNG for export.

In a filing with Texas environmental regulators, Freeport said it “anticipates the purge and restart of Liquefaction Train 3 will begin on Feb. 3 with Trains 2 and 1 following sequentially.”

That will allow “time between startups for each train to stabilize and run for several days at nominal rates,” Freeport said in the filing.

Freeport also said the “initial purging, restart, and cooldown of each train will result in venting to the Liquefaction Flare as the trains are brought to operating temperatures that allow for the cessation of flaring.”

Federal regulators this week approved Freeport’s plan to start sending gas to Train 3. On Thursday, Freeport asked regulators for permission to start loading LNG on ships to free up space in the storage tanks for the new LNG expected to be produced.

Federal regulators, meanwhile, will hold a public meeting on Feb. 11 to provide members of the community and other interested parties an opportunity to voice their concerns about Freeport’s restart plans and get an update on what’s happening at the plant, according to a filing by the Sierra Club, an environmental group.

Energy analysts expect it will take until mid-March or later for Freeport to return to full LNG production.

The Freeport plant shut after a fire in June 2022. The energy market expects gas prices to rise once the plant starts producing LNG again. When operating at full power, Freeport can turn about 2.1 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas into LNG each day. That is about 2% of total U.S. daily gas production.

Despite the planned Freeport restart, however, U.S. gas futures fell about 3% to a 25-month low on Friday due to forecasts for milder weather in February.,Texas%20export%20plant%20this%20week.

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China: South China’s largest LNG storage station completes new structure

A very large Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) station for south China’s Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) completed the construction of a storage tank in Zhuhai on Tuesday. This was announced in a press release by the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC).

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The station, named Jinwan “Green Energy Port” as it’s located at Gaolan Port in Jinwan District of Zhuhai City, is the largest LNG terminal on the western bank of the Pearl River Estuary.

Phase I of the station is already in operation and has been offering continuous, stable clean energy for the GBA since 2013. With five more tanks under construction and expected to be completed by 2024, the station is set to become the largest LNG storage and transport base in South China.

Each of the new tanks for phase II has a diameter of 94.2 meters and stands 65.7 meter tall, and can store 270,000 cubic meters of gas.

Together, the station can process 7 million tonnes of liquified natural gas annually, equivalent to about 10 billion cubic meters of gaseous natural gas, sufficient to supply nearly 30 million households for one year.

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EU: Launch of global LNG reference price

European Union regulators launched a new reference price for LNG, as part of plans to cap benchmark gas prices if they increase like they did last year after Russia curbed supply.

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According to Reuters, the reference, based on global LNG prices, will be used along with the European gas price to set a cap on benchmark gas in case prices rise to a certain level though for now both are trading well below such levels.

More specifically, from February 15, EU gas will be capped if the benchmark price exceeds 180 eur/MWh for three days and is 35 eur/MWh above the LNG reference price.

That LNG reference price was assessed at 55.21 eur/MWh, by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), Reuters adds.

European gas prices topped 140 eur/MWh in mid-December but have fallen since amid unusually warm winter weather and near-full EU storage tanks.

What is more, the European Commission is also considering setting a $100 per barrel price cap on premium Russian oil products like diesel and a $45 per barrel cap on discounted products like fuel oil.

As Reuters reports, the proposal was sent on January 26 to EU governments, whose representatives will discuss it at a meeting on January 27. The aim is to reach a deal before the price cap on imported Russian oil products is to come into force on February 5, in line with an agreement by G7 countries.

The price cap on Russian oil products comes after a $60 per barrel cap imposed on Russian crude on December 5th as G7 countries and the 27-nation EU as a whole seek to limit Russia’s revenue from its oil exports without disrupting world supply.

The price caps imposed by the G7 and the EU aim to obstruct Russia’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine.

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Bangladesh resumes import of LNG from spot market

Bangladesh Government has resumed purchasing liquefied natural gas or LNG from the spot market after almost 6 months even as it stopped doing to after LNG price went up in the global market.

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As per reports, the move followed after a cabinet committee on Government purchases recently approved a proposal from the energy division to import one cargo of LNG from the spot market under a competitive bidding following slight drop in LNG price.

It may be mentioned here since July 2022, the Government stopped purchasing LNG from the spot market even if officials attending the recent meeting reportedly maintained about 33,600MMBtu LNG would be procured later in February while reportedly adding the procurement deal was won by the French company named Total Energies.

As per reports, Bangladesh also imports LNG under long-term deals with countries like Oman and Qatar.

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Australia: Aussie east coast LNG exports down 12% in January

LNG exports from the three projects on the Australian east coast in January were 1.8mn metric tons, down 11.7% year/year, Gladstone Port Corp. said on February 6. The exports were down 2.7% month/month.

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Exports to China were 976,398 mt, down from 1.05mn mt last year. The data showed that the east coast projects exported 410,533 mt of LNG to South Korea, up slightly from 410,140 mt last year. The exports to Japan were 125,611 mt, down from 186,981 mt in January 2022. Malaysia shipped in 243,43 mt of LNG, up from 125,375 mt a year ago.

The three east coast projects are Australia Pacific LNG, Gladstone LNG, and Queensland Curtis LNG. LNG exports from these projects came in at 22.64mn mt in 2022, down from a record 23.47mn mt in 2021.

The three LNG exporters in late September signed a heads of agreement with the Australian government to increase the gas supply to the domestic market.

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Republic of Congo: Expro secures contract for LNG Pre-Treatment Plant in Congo

Global energy major, ENI, through its subsidiary in the Republic of Congo, ENI Congo, has signed a contract with energy services firm, Expro Group, for the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) pre-treatment plant in the Central African country.

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The ten-year contract will see Expro designing, operating and maintaining an onshore LNG pre-treatment system near the Litchendjili gas plant to boost LNG production for local electricity generation. The plant will be connected to Eni’s offshore floating LNG system and will represent part of the larger Marine XII development.

The facility will process up to 80 million cubic feet of gas per day which will be distributed for electricity generation via the Centrale Electrique du Congo’s Pointe-Noire Power Plant.

The project represents part of efforts by Eni to maximize LNG production in Congo for exports to meet growing energy demand in Europe while enhancing the country’s gas monetization agenda to expand gross domestic product growth.

Colin Mackenzie, Expro’s Regional Vice President for Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, stated that Expro’s “expertise in designing, engineering, delivering, building, operating, and maintaining modular production plants on a fast-track basis is a recognized market differentiator and will further strengthen our presence in the region,” adding that, “Expro’s experience and capabilities in empowering operators to quickly access reserves can play a critical role in supporting Africa’s significant and growing LNG industry, providing opportunities to support secure energy supplies.”

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Italy: Egypt’s Damietta terminal ships 500th LNG cargo

Italian energy firm ENI said that the Damietta liquefaction plant in Egypt had produced and loaded its 500th LNG cargo since the start of operations in 2005.

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The 5 mtpa facility located on the Mediterranean coast, about 60 km northwest of Port Said, started exporting LNG again in Februar 2021 following a deal between Egypt’s EGPC and EGAS, ENI and Naturgy.

It stopped operations in 2012 due to declining domestic production, but new finds such as Eni’s giant Zohr field in the East Mediterranean allowed the partners to restart the plant and ship the first cargo in 2021.

Following Naturgy’s departure, Eni owns 50 percent in SEGAS, the owner of the liquefaction plant, while EGAS owns 40 percent, and EGPC holds 10 percent.

Since its restart in 2021, the export LNG facility exported 7.2 MT of LNG, according to a statement by Eni issued on Wednesday.

During 2022, Damietta LNG produced and exported some 4 million tons of LNG, which considered the largest volume in its almost 20-year history, making it the first LNG terminal in Egypt in terms of LNG exports and contributing to Egypt’s role as an energy hub in the Mediterranean, Eni said.

Around 60 percent of the total shipments from the LNG plant were delivered to Europe, the firm said.

Eni said that it is currently Egypt’s leading producer with an equity production of hydrocarbons of approximately 350,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The company claims it produced almost 60 percent of the total gas produced in the country last year.

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LNG as a Marine Fuel/Shipping

LNG Shipping Primed for a Stellar 2023

The LNG shipping market is about to experience a great year earnings-wise, at least according to existing fundamentals projections. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “in a market where LNG spot prices follow a downward trajectory since late December, period charter rates for LNG vessels are also marginally retreating from their firm positions.

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Yet, owners still require firm figures amid a positive demand outlook, especially for 2H2023”.

According to Intermodal’s Research Analyst, Ms. Chara Georgousi, “in 2022, LNG imports have skyrocketed mainly driven by the war in Ukraine which prompted growth in wealthy European countries. In the meantime, extended covid restrictions in China were reflected in lower imports as the country largely shifted away from the spot market. According to Bloomberg, China’s 2022 imports marked a 19.4% y-o-y decline and averaged 64.44m tons. Instead, Europe’s imports skyrocketed to 124.93m tons over the same period, marking a spectacular 59% y-o-y surge”.

She added that “in 2023, the dynamics established in 2022 are to persist with Europe maintaining elevated LNG imports, while the reopening of China may boost demand. To begin with, the much-anticipated recovery of the Chinese economy will pivot global gas markets. China’s LNG demand is set to rise, especially from 2Q onwards. In numbers, demand growth in 2023 is forecast at 382 billion cbm, with the industrial sector leading the way. Still, Chinese spot demand will remain tight due to the start of new contract deliveries. In the meantime, European countries will continue to scramble to replace lost Russian pipeline volumes. Imports will remain elevated and will be pulled from farther away, thus increasing ton-miles for seaborne deliveries. Demand destruction will persist in 2023, however, the trajectory is uncertain. Seaborne imports are expected to peak towards the 3Q and ahead of the next winter when the bloc’s countries will need to refill their storage. In SE Asia, Thailand will lead the LNG demand growth amid declining domestic production and pipeline imports, while Singapore will witness increased demand for the power sector, as well as increased usage of LNG as bunkering fuel during 2023. Overall, global LNG demand could increase by 19m tons in 2023, according to Bloomberg”, Ms. Georgousi said.

“And while demand shows signs of recovery, limited supply growth will keep the supply/demand balance tight through 2023. Supply growth is projected to be a marginal 3.4% which will be driven by recoveries from plant outages rather than new capacity. In the US, gas production will remain strong, however, it will be constrained by limited LNG export capacity additions over the course of the year. Meanwhile, an additional 56m tons of project capacity approvals are expected within 2023 mainly on behalf of Qatar and the US. These two major producing countries are set to drive a gigantic global expansion program. Overall, supply growth will be limited until 2025, but between 2026-28 we foresee an average supply growth of 5.7%, based on post-final investment decisions. The key driver behind this projected growth is pressure from regulators and investors for cleaner LNG across the value chain which will buoy long-term demand”, Intermodal’s analyst said.

 “Seaborne-wise, in terms of vessel supply, according to our preliminary data, in 2023, a total number of 144 new vessels will enter the LNG trade which is anticipated to match the new liquefaction capacity that will be added this year of more than 15m tons. Ton-mile growth is forecast more than 3.5%, underpinned by the resumption of exports from the Freeport LNG Terminal.

Moreover, the scheduled dry-docking of several older vessels within the year will limit vessel availability and thus, underpin freight rates. As for IMO’s CII regulation which came into force in Jan-23 and will be reinforced by 2026, this will act supportively as it will prompt vessels to slow steam and thus, increase ton days. Lastly, S&P activity seems to gain momentum, as in 2022 a total of 43 vessels exchanged hands, according to our database, while in 2021 only 8 vessels have been reportedly sold. As the short-term and spot market continues to develop, more independent owners will be prompted to enter the trade in 2023, and we could expect to see more second-hand sales being reported throughout the year”, she concluded.

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China: Chinese Shipbuilders Expanding LNG Carrier Production Capacity

Chinese shipyards are expanding their production capacity for high value-added ships such as liq

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China’s largest shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, which is a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC), announced a plan to double its LNG carrier production capacity in a business plan announced at the beginning of 2023, according to foreign media outlets and industry sources on Feb. 6.

Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding is currently working on the expansion of the Changxing Shipbuilding Base near Shanghai, China. When the expansion is completed, the company’s LNG carrier production capacity is expected to jump from five to six vessels per year to 10 to 12 vessels per year.

Other Chinese shipbuilders are also preparing to build LNG carriers. Dalian Shipbuilding and Jiangnan Shipbuilding started taking orders for LNG carriers in earnest.

Abundant labor supply lies behind Chinese shipyards’ ability to ramp up their production capacities. They can aggressively expand production capacities as they can recruit workers on time in line with a recent increase in global shipbuilding orders.

China’s LNG carrier orders have grown eightfold from 460,000 CGT in 2021 to 4.4 million CGT in 2022, Clarkson Research said. During the same period, orders awarded to Korean shipyards increased by 73 percent to 10.12 million CGT.

Although China is in hot pursuit of Korea in the LNG carrier market, Korean shipbuilders have no plan for production capacity expansion, with the worker shortage being one of the reasons. The LNG carrier order intake that Korean shipyards can digest annually is estimated to be around 60 units – 24 for Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), 20 for Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and 20 for Samsung Heavy Industries.

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China obtains LNG container refueling ships with mobile tanks

China has acquired a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) container refueling ship with mobile tanks, making it a new mode of ship refueling.

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With these tank containers, the two 5,000-tonne LNG-powered container ships on Tuesday set sail on the southern stretch of the Grand Canal, which connects Beijing and Hangzhou in east China’s Zhejiang Province.

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China: Fujian Mawei starts construction on COSCO Shipping’s LNG-fuelled RoRo ship

China’s shipbuilder Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding has held a steel-cutting ceremony for the first roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) that is being built for COSCO Shipping.

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As informed, the ceremony, which marked the beginning of the construction of the 7,500-cbm ship, was held at the company’s yard on 9 February.

The total length of the ship will be 199.9 meters, the molded width is 38 meters, the molded depth is 14.8 meters, the design draft is 8.65 meters, and the maximum draft is 10 meters. The ship’s propulsion system is designed as a single engine and single propeller, using LNG dual-fuel main engine, single bow thruster, and electric RoRo system. 

The cargo deck is equipped with 13 vehicle decks. It will be used for ships of various types, including heavy trucks carrying packaged dangerous goods, and it can transport new energy vehicles fueled by hydrogen and natural gas. The car carrier will be classified by classification society ABS.

Driven by the green agenda of the whole automobile industry, fleet renewal of car carriers has become the focus of current and future fleet development in China.

In December last year, COSCO Shipping, through its joint venture Guangzhou Yuanhai Car Carrier Transportation, placed an order for six 7,500 CEU dual-fuel LNG car carriers.

The vessels will be built by Fujian Shipbuilding’s Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry and Mawei Shipyard, with delivery scheduled for 2025 and 2026.

The latest order comes on the back of a contract for 15 LNG-fuelled Pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTC) inked at the end of November 2022. The vessels range in size from 7,000 to 8,600 CEU and are scheduled to start delivery in the second half of 2024.

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Malaysia: Malaysia’s MISC takes delivery of two LNG Carriers

Malaysian shipping firm MISC has taken delivery of two of its latest new generation of LNG carriers (LNGCs), Seri Damai and Seri Daya, it said on January 31.

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These 174,000 m3 LNGCs were built for MISC by Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries Co. The carriers will be on long-term charters to ExxonMobil’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SeaRiver Maritime (SRM) and will be managed by Eaglestar Shipmanagenent. The deal between MISC and SRM was signed in 2019. The two parties signed another charter deal last year. 

The LNGCs have enhanced cargo tank insulation with the GTT Mark-III Flex PLUS cargo containment system which reduces the boil-off rate to 0.07% of cargo volume per day for improved efficiency, MISC said.

Powered by WinGD X-DF propulsion, the vessels fulfill the International Maritime Organisation’s Tier-III emission requirements without any external exhaust gas after-treatment system, MISC added.

With the addition of Seri Damai and Seri Daya, MISC now has 31 LNGCs in its fleet. 

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Taiwan: U-Ming takes delivery of third LNG-powered bulker

Taiwanese bulk carrier company U-Ming Marine has taken delivery of its third 190,000-ton dual-fuel LNG bulk carrier from Chinese shipbuilder Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding.

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According to a statement from the shipbuilder, the vessel named Ubuntu Integrity was delivered on 31 January.

The length of the ship is 299.80 metres, the width is 47.5 metres, the depth is 24.70 metres, the design draft is 18.25 metres, and the vessel can reach a speed of 14 knots. The ship uses LNG fuel and is equipped with two C-type LNG fuel tanks. 

This is the third in a series of four LNG-powered bulkers ordered by U-Ming from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding in 2020. Its sister vessels Ubuntu Harmony and Ubuntu Equality were delivered in December 2022 and January 2023, respectively.

The fourth ship, Ubuntu Loyalty, is also slated for delivery from Shanghai Waigaoqiao in 2023.

All four vessels have been chartered by mining giant Anglo American on long-term deals of 10 years each. The company recently loaded Ubuntu Harmony with the first cargo of iron ore from Kumba operations in South Africa.

According to Anglo American, the Ubuntu fleet is a key component of its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality for its controlled ocean freight by 2040 – with an interim target to reduce emissions from these activities by 30% by 2030.

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Netherlands: Titan picks up pair of Seapeak’s small-scale LNG carriers

Dutch fuel supplier Titan has purchased two small-scale LNG carriers from Stonepeak’s Canadian gas ship owner Seapeak for bunkering capability retrofits.

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The 2011-built 12,000 cu m Seapeak Unikum and Seapeak Vision, VesselsValue estimates as worth around $61.5m in total, will be retrofitted for both transport and bunkering of LNG, liquefied biomethane (LBM), and in the longer-term hydrogen derived e-methane (e-LNG). After the upgrades, the vessels will be able to load at all major LNG terminals and perform ship-to-ship bunkering and loading operations, Titan said.

“Retrofitting these ships offers Titan even more flexibility in its clean fuel operations. The team is currently specifying the upgrades and finding a suitable shipyard for the retrofit work,” said Douwe de Jong, fleet development director at Titan.

The ships will join Titan’s fleet in March this year and operate in the Mediterranean and Northwestern Europe. The company said the new additions would allow it to deliver fuel to a wider range of LNG-powered vessels, including all containerships. The deal, including the retrofit, is financed by Sole Shipping Group through a long-term bareboat charter leasing structure, while Endegeest Consulting acted as an advisor to Titan.

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Technological Development for Cleaner and Greener Environment Hydrogen & Bio-Methane

Sweden: Wärtsilä to supply biogas liquefaction technology for project in Sweden

Wärtsilä will supply its biogas liquefaction technology for an important new project in Mönsterås, Sweden. The system has been ordered by Scandinavian Biogas Mönsterås, a joint venture company between Scandinavian Biogas Fuels (SBF), the majority owner, and local farmers supplying manure and agricultural waste to the project.

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The plant will produce bio-LNG, a substitute for fossil LNG, and will be used as transport fuel for heavy vehicles, thereby contributing to a fossil-free transport system. The order was booked in Wärtsilä’s order intake in December 2022.

The system will have the capacity to produce 30 tpd of bio-LNG. It will be the first project of this capacity using Wärtsilä’s amine scrubber type Puregas CA technology to pre-treat the biogas, which is then liquefied using the company’s mixed refrigerant (MR) process. The system will produce bio-LNG with a negative carbon dioxide footprint, and will thus contribute to a net reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“We are pleased to have once again been selected by Scandinavian Biogas Fuels to supply our industry-leading biogas liquefaction technology for their latest project. This will be a step-up in capacity from their plant in Norway, and we look forward to strengthening the cooperation between our companies. Decarbonisation is central to all Wärtsilä products and solutions, and this project is completely in line with this ambition,” commented Magnus Folkelid, Manager Global Sales, Biogas Solu-tions.

In addition to the biogas liquefaction system, a bioLNG storage facility and export station will be supplied. Additionally, a three-year service agreement has been signed. While this 30 tpd capacity is an advance on earlier systems, Wärtsilä believes that plants with a capacity of as much as 50 tpd will soon be needed. This is because the biogas industry is being industrialised, and larger plants will be required to capture positive scale effects and synergies. The main challenge to upsizing will be the availability of substrates (feedstock) from which to produce biogas.

Delivery of the Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled to commence in 1H24, and the plant is expected to be fully operational later that year.

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US: Air Liquide to build its largest biomethane production unit in the world

Air Liquide continues its development of biomethane activities with the construction in the USA of its largest biomethane production unit in the world. This will bring the worldwide biomethane production capacity of the Group to 1.8 TWh. The new production unit in the State of Illinois will allow Air Liquide to keep providing low-carbon solutions to its customers in the industrial and transportation sectors and to accompany them in the reduction of their emissions.

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Located in Rockford, Illinois, the new production unit will produce biomethane from biogas from a solid waste treatment plant, owned and operated by Waste Connections Inc. It will have a production capacity of 380 GWh per year, which represents the largest production capacity per plant for the Group. It will be operational by the end of 2023. Another biomethane production unit from another landfill is also being built in Delavan, Wisconsin, and will be operational at the beginning of Q2 2022. Thanks to these two new units, Air Liquide is becoming a significant biomethane production player in the U.S. to accompany its customers from the industrial and transportation sectors in the USA and in Canada.

Air Liquide has developed competencies throughout the whole biomethane value chain, from biogas production from waste, to its purification into biomethane, liquefaction, storage, and transportation to distribution. For these two projects, Air Liquide will use, in addition to its own membrane technology, a complementary technology developed by Waga Energy, a company specialized in the valorization of biogas from landfill sites, founded in 2015 and supported by ALIAD, the Group’s capital venture fund.

Globally, Air Liquide now has 21 biomethane operational production units in the world for a yearly production capacity of about 1.4 TWh. After the commissioning of the two new Rockford and Delavan plants, the Group’s biomethane production capacity will reach 1.8 TWh per year.

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