NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT – May1-15, 2023

National News Internatonal News


City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

OIL, AGCL to form joint-venture for natural gas distribution

The company will also set up numerous compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, the statement said


The Assam Gas Company Limited (AGCL) and Oil India Limited (OIL) on Saturday signed an agreement for the establishment of a joint venture company to lay, build and operate city natural gas distribution networks in parts of Assam and Tripura.

The agreement was signed between the two sides at a ceremony here in the presence of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, an official statement said.

The Assam government-owned AGCL will have 51 per cent stake, while the OIL will hold the remaining 49 per cent share in the joint venture company.

It will build local natural gas grids and provide piped natural gas to domestic and commercial establishments in Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Darrang, Udalguri, Sonitpur and Biswanath Chariali in Assam, and a few districts of Tripura.

The company will also set up numerous compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, the statement said.

Speaking at the event, Sarma said the signing of the agreement between AGCL and OIL would provide a major thrust to the ongoing process of industrial development in the state.

The JV company, with an authorised share capital of Rs 500 crore and initial paid-up capital of Rs 100 crore, would prove to be a milestone in the strengthening of the state’s economy, he added.

The chief minister also expressed hope the JV company would help in the state’s endeavour to make the transition towards a greener fuel-based economy, in sync with the Northeast Hydrocarbon Vision 2030.

He lauded the OIL management for reinvesting a part of its earnings in Assam and other parts of the Northeast through initiatives such as the agreement signed today.

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Director (Marketing) of HPCL inaugurates CNG facility at RK Anurag Fuel Mart, Karmanghat

Amit Garg, Director (Marketing) along with R K Jain, Chairman, Bhagyanagar Gas Ltd inaugurated CNG Facility at HPCL Outlet, RK Anurag Fuel Mart, Karmanghat

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New Delhi: State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) said in a tweet that Amit Garg, Director (Marketing) along with R K Jain, Chairman, Bhagyanagar Gas Ltd, inaugurated CNG Facility at HPCL Outlet, RK Anurag Fuel Mart, Karmanghat.

Inaugurating the CNG Station, Amit Garg said that “CNG stations will give a boost for building eco-friendly mobility network across the country. Being one of the cleanest transport fuels, CNG is becoming the preferred transportation fuel for vehicles of all sizes because of price stability, lower maintenance costs and lesser emissions.”

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Pune District Faces CNG Supply Shortage From Torrent Gas, Dealers Seek Resolution

Pune, 9th May 2023: Petrol Dealers Association, Pune, has raised concerns over the shortage of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) supply from Torrent Gas to pumps in the Pune district.

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According to the association’s president, Dhruv Ruparel, the problem has been persisting for the past one month and there has been no resolution to it.

Ruparel stated that Torrent Gas executives have been informed about the issue, but nothing has been done to address it. As a result, customers have been facing inconvenience and have been forced to go back without filling CNG as the pumps remain dry for 8-14 hours every day. This problem is being faced by all the offline pumps in the district.

Dealers had no other option but to raise their grievance with the district supply officer and officials from the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC). The association has urged the administration to take action against Torrent Gas for the shortage of CNG in rural Pune.

The shortage of CNG is a matter of concern as it impacts not only the customers but also the dealers who face a loss of business. The association has emphasized that Torrent Gas should take responsibility for the problem and ensure that the supply of CNG to pumps is restored as soon as possible.

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Natural Gas/ Pipelines/ Company News


Adani Total Gas logs 21% rise in net profit over CNG sales

The company has pushed for an aggressive expansion of CNG stations at a time when piped natural gas volumes have dropped

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Higher sales of compressed natural gas (CNG) in the fourth quarter of 2022-23 (Q4FY23) pulled up consolidated profit after tax (PAT) for Adani Total Gas by 20.7 per cent to Rs 97.91 crore, results announced by the company on Tuesday showed. PAT had stood at Rs 81.09 crore in the same quarter of the previous year.

The energy company is a joint venture between the Adani group and TotalEnergies of France and retails CNG for automobiles, and supplies piped natural gas (PNG) to households. On a sequential basis, the company’s net profit fell 34.8 per cent. Overall, PAT for FY23 rose 7.28 per cent to Rs 546.49 crore. The company also announced a dividend of Rs 0.25 per equity share.

In Q4FY23, CNG sales volume rose to 121 million standard cubic meters of gas (mmscm), up from 100 mmscm in the same quarter of the previous year. Meanwhile, PNG sales volume fell to 72 mmscm, down from 89 mmscm in Q4 of FY22.

“The fast-track development of steel pipeline and CNG stations has helped create a natural gas ecosystem in geographical areas where we are present and will now help in connecting PNG consumers going forward. To provide wider energy offerings to consumers, ATGL, through its SPVs have forayed into e-mobility and bio,” Suresh P Manglani, executive director & CEO, Adani Total Gas, said.

Revenue from operations rose 12.3 per cent YoY to Rs 1,197.31 crore in the latest quarter. Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) surged 49 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 195.2 crore and margins increased to 17.5 per cent from 13 per cent in the same quarter of the previous year.

Through the SPVs, the company also plans to create over 3,000 EV charging points in the next 12-18 months, Manglani said. The company is also building one of India’s largest biogas plants in Uttar Pradesh, work on which is in full swing, he added.

For FY23, the company’s CNG volumes increased by 28 per cent on account of a fast network expansion of CNG stations while PNG volumes decreased 13 per cent due to less offtake of gas largely by industrial consumers owing to high PNG prices, the company said. With global liquefied natural gas price indices on the wane, the company expects demand in both segments rising in coming months.

The company’s newly built Rs 6,000-crore facility to import LNG at Dhamra on the Odisha coast will start commercial operations at the end of May. Dhamra, with an annual capacity of 5 million tonne LNG, is expected to be a key starting point for state-run GAIL’s “Urja Ganga” pipeline, which will bring natural gas to India’s eastern states.

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Mahanagar Gas could hit lifetime high, brokerage sees 75% potential upside

Mid-size company Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) reported a market valuation of ₹9,676 Cr on Friday during the closing session. On May 8, 1995, Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL), one of India’s top natural gas distribution companies, was established. The brokerage firm Ventura Securities sees up to 75% upside potential upside for the stock which could trigger it to touch lifetime high.

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“In addition to the cool-off in the Natural Gas (NG) prices (from a peak of $9.71/mmbtu (Sept 22) to the current $2.05/mmbtu), downward NG price revision by the government based on Kirit Parik committee recommendation has created a favourable environment for demand growth. We expect MGL to report an NG 4 year CAGR volume of 7% to 1,528 million SCM. Taking into consideration a benign price environment and lower forecasted EBITDA per SCM (~ INR 8 per SCM, lower range of last 5 years), we expect a 4-year CAGR Revenue/EBITDA/PAT of 20%/7%/6% to INR 7,269/1,225/706 crores over the period FY22-26,” said Ventura Securities in a note.

 “We value the stock at Rs. 1,719 based on the DCF methodology representing a potential upside of 74% from the CMP of Rs. 990 over the next 24 months. We believe that at the current price there is significant upside potential with reasonable margin of safety. The current dividend yield of 2.8% is an additional sweetener,” said the research analysts of Ventura Securities in a note.

“GA 3 – Raigarh District – Out of the total sales volume, GA-3 currently contributes ~ 3% (0.1 mmscmd) of the total MGL sales volume. This market is estimated to have a potential to double sales from an average of 3000-4000 kgs currently to 8000 kgs per day over the next 5 years. We think that target is easily achievable as the first CGS and mother filling station are prepared for pipeline delivery, and 24 CNG daughter stations are expected to be connected to this network (CAPEX of around INR 60 crores expected to be incurred),” said Ventura Securities.

“INR 531 crore Unison Enviro Pvt Ltd (UEPL) acquisition to provide access to the high growth new & under-penetrated geographies of Ratnagiri, Chitradurga & Davanagere & Latur & Osmanabad – This transaction is expected to be consummated no later than Q3FY24 and presents new growth opportunities for MGL. MGL estimates the volume potential to reach 1.1 mmscmd over the next 7-8 years from the current 0.1 mmscmd volume. The acquired GAs cover some prolific highways like Mumbai – Goa highway (Ratnagiri), Mumbai – Bangalore highway (Davanagere), Mumbai – Hyderabad Highway (Latur) and is a good CNG potential market (90% of sales mix). Already, 43 CNG stations are established, and 47 more stations will be commissioned in the next 4-5 years,” said the brokerage firm.

“As a result, we expect overall volumes to grow a CAGR of 7% over the forecast period FY22- 26 significantly higher than the period FY19-22 (1% CAGR). Of this overall volume, we expect CNG volumes to reach 1,110 mmscm (10% CAGR growth). We expect new PNG domestic connections to average 2,60,000 per annum over the forecast period to scale to 29,27,845 from the 18,60,000 connections (FY22). As a result, PNG volumes (domestic + industrial + commercial) are expected to reach 418.9 mmscm from the FY22 volume level of 323.2 mmscm,” the brokerage further added.

“Over the period FY22-26E, we expect MGL’s Revenue to grow at a CAGR of 15% to INR 7,268 cr. EBITDA is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7% to INR 1,225 cr while net earnings are expected to grow at 6% to INR 749 cr over the forecasted period. We expect a drop in the EBITDA & PAT margins to ~ 17% & 10.8% from FY22 levels of 25.9% & 16.8% respectively. The drop in EBITDA is a result of current elevated pricing (compared to FY22) while the net margins are expected to be lower, considering the CAPEX cost of new rollouts. ROE is expected to dip by 430 bps to 12.3% while ROIC is expected to improve by 432 bps to 39.9% respectively by FY26,” Ventura Securities added.

On Friday the shares of Mahanagar Gas closed on the NSE at ₹979 apiece down by 0.50% from the previous close of ₹983.95. The stock touched a 52-week-high of ₹1,035.00 on (18-Apr-2023) and a 52-week-low of ₹665.80 on (20-Jun-2022). The stock touched its lifetime at ₹1,377.50 levels during October 2017.

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Policy Matters/ Gas Pricing/ Others

India maintains price of gas from old fields at $6.5/mmBtu for May

The domestic natural gas price will remain steady at $6.5 per mmbtu for the month of May, according to an oil ministry notification.

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The domestic price is revised every month after the last month’s Cabinet decision linked the gas price for a month to the India crude oil basket price of the previous month. The revised rate, calculated as 10% of the crude price, is $8.27 per mmbtu for the month of May. But since a cap of $6.5 per mmbtu applies to the domestic gas, the effective price would remain as it was in April.

The domestic gas price also has a floor of $4 per mmbtu. The current floor and ceiling will be valid for two years after which the price cap will start rising by 25 cents every year. This new formula applies only to gas produced by the fields operated by Oil and Natural Gas Corp and Oil India.

Under the new mechanism, the producers will also get a 20% premium over the monthly applicable price for the additional volume of gas they produce from their fields.


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LNG Use / LNG Development and Shipping

HPCL’s subsidiary is developing Greenfield LNG storage & regasification terminal in Gujarat

HPCL’s wholly-owned subsidiary, HPLNG is developing a greenfield LNG terminal at Chhara Port, located in Gujarat.

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New Delhi: Maharatna oil PSU HPCL’s wholly-owned subsidiary, HPLNG is developing a greenfield LNG terminal at Chhara Port, located in Gujarat, informed the PSU in a tweet on Saturday. Further, the company also shared a brief informative video about the LNG terminal.

The company said that the terminal is being built in the coastal region of East Somnath district in Gujarat. Further, the company informed that the terminal has a regasification capacity of five MMTPA which has the potential to expand till 10 MMTPA. The terminal is spread over 139 acres and its estimated cost is around Rs 4,293 crores.

Additionally, the project will involve the development of an LNG terminal with all its associated facilities like receipt, unloading, storage, and regasification of LNG and supply of regasified LNG to the gas grid, it added. 

Marine facilities for ship unloading

Sharing the details about the project on its website, the subsidiary company said, “For unloading LNG Carrier ships, a 1.2 kilometre long jetty with unloading arms and pipeline for transporting LNG to storage tanks is being constructed. The unloading facility will be able to cater to LNG carriers of 80,000 to 2,66,000 cubic metre of capacity for unloading LNG. The provision of the additional jetty for the future is also available for Phase 2.”

Storage facilities

“LNG will be stored in two full containment LNG storage tanks. The tanks at the terminal are the largest LNG storage tanks in India, having capacity of 2,00,000 cubic meter each. These tanks are designed to store LNG at very low temperatures of -162° C. The LNG tanks are above-ground, double-walled full containment tanks with steel inner tanks and outer concrete tanks,” it added.

Regasification facilities

“The LNG stored in LNG tanks will be converted back to natural gas at ambient temperature and transported to the gas grid at high pressure. For regasification of LNG, facilities like LNG Vaporisers, Air Heaters, BOG Compressor, and HP Pumps are used at the Terminal. A facility for loading of LNG into tank trucks for transporting LNG to small LNG stations is also being constructed at the terminal,” it added.

“For sending out the regasified LNG, a tie-in connectivity pipeline from Chhara Terminal to Londhpur Terminal is being laid out and Gujarat State Petronet Limited (GSPL) has been authorised by PNGRB for constructing this pipeline,” it added.

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Electric Mobility/ Hydrogen/ Bio- Methane

India’s IGL partners Acme for H2 infrastructure

Indian state-controlled city gas distributor Indraprastha Gas (IGL) has signed an initial agreement with Indian renewables firm Acme to develop domestic green hydrogen infrastructure.

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The companies will work together to explore opportunities for setting up hydrogen generation plants, including electrolysers to blend green hydrogen in IGL’s existing pipeline networks supplying gas to households and industrial and commercial set-ups, as well as compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles, IGL said on 4 May. IGL operates a 18,811km pipeline network across Delhi’s national capital region.

The companies will also co-operate in policy matters and promote adoption of green hydrogen and green ammonia to customers.

IGL is also looking at opportunities for green hydrogen use in the automobile sector and production of green ammonia from green hydrogen, said managing director Sanjay Kumar.

Blending green hydrogen into city gas-distribution networks is a key component under the first phase of India’s National Green Hydrogen Mission, which runs until 2026.

The scaling up of green hydrogen production and use should drive down costs, allowing for greater and wider deployment in the second phase that is scheduled to run until 2030. Then the government will seek to make green hydrogen costs competitive with fossil-fuel alternatives for refineries and fertilizer production, exploring commercial-scale green hydrogen-based projects in the steel, mobility and shipping sectors.

The government aims to make India “the global hub for production, usage and export of green hydrogen and its derivatives”, according to the National Green Hydrogen Mission policy document, with an intention to reach 5mn t/yr of green hydrogen production by 2030.

Indian state-controlled gas distributor Gail has already begun blending grey hydrogen with natural gas to be supplied to Avantika Gas, its joint venture with state-controlled refiner Hindustan Petroleum. Gail launched the hydrogen blending project as a pilot venture, seeking to establish the feasibility of blending hydrogen into the city gas distribution network. It aims to subsequently replace grey hydrogen with green hydrogen. Gail has successfully blended up to 2pc of hydrogen in natural gas in the city gas network, it said last year.

State-controlled power utility NTPC also has started blending green hydrogen into the piped natural gas (PNG) network of gas distributor Gujarat Gas. The joint venture is equipped with a 6.5kW polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyser powered by a 1MW floating solar power unit, the first of its kind in India, according to a NTPC official.

Hydrogen can be blended with natural gas for industries such as ammonia, refining and methanol and into natural gas pipelines for the existing city gas network of PNG and CNG, according to a report by government think-tank Niti Aayog.

The blending of hydrogen into city gas distribution is currently at the nascent stage as the government is experimenting and monitoring its outcome. There is a limit to blending hydrogen in existing pipeline infrastructure because of its low density and higher diffusivity, as existing gas pipelines should be coated or made of different material to withstand higher compression ratios, the report added.

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Hyundai Motor to invest $2.45 bn in Tamil Nadu over next 10 years to increase EV production

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co said on Thursday it will invest 200 billion rupees ($2.45 billion) in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu over the next 10 years to beef up electric vehicle production in the world’s most populous country.

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Tamil Nadu’s Chennai, dubbed the Detroit of Asia, is a hub for automobile manufacturing where the likes of Ashok Leyland , TVS Motor and Renault-Nissan churn out millions of vehicles every year.

Hyundai, through its Indian subsidiary Hyundai Motor India, will also set up a battery pack assembly unit with an annual capacity of 178,000 units and install 100 EV charging stations across the southern state in the next five years, it said in a statement.

The company plans to increase the production volume at its factory near Chennai to 850,000 vehicles per year from roughly 775,000 currently.

However, the car maker did not disclose a timeline to achieve the target, citing volatile demand.

Hyundai also expects its export volumes to hit 319,000 vehicles by 2032, from 181,000 in 2022.

The investment plan comes days after India’s federal government said it would raise taxes on imported vehicles to boost local manufacturing.

Hyundai is also developing a local vendor base for EV parts instead of importing them, as the government’s production incentive scheme is applicable only when manufacturing is done within the country, Puneet Anand, a senior executive for corporate affairs, said in a news conference.

India’s EV industry is growing rapidly with a slew of launches by domestic carmakers Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra as well as global rivals Nissan Motor and Renault SA.

Hyundai is lining up five new EV launches in the third largest car market in the world, targeting a 20% share by 2032.

However, India’s EV market is still small, accounting for barely 1% of the country’s total car sales in 2022. The federal government aims to push that share to 30% by 2030.

Hyundai holds about 15% share in India’s passenger vehicle market, only behind top car maker Maruti Suzuki India, the local unit of Japan’s Suzuki Motor.

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Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines/ Others

Nigeria: Energy companies in Nigeria produce 149.3bscf of gas in February

The latest data has shown that energy companies operating in Nigeria produced 149.263 billion standard cubic feet (SCF) of gas in February 2023, 6.72 per cent lower than the 160.013 billion SCF of gas produced in January.

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According to gas utilisation data released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), 93.52 per cent of the gas produced was utilised, while 6.48 per cent was flared.

Specifically, 139.589 billion SCF of gas was utilised in February 2023, dropping by 7.25 per cent of the 150.493 billion SCF of gas utilised in the previous month, while 9.674 billion SCF of gas was flared, up by 1.62 peA breakdown of total gas output for February 2023 showed that associated gas output stood at 107.702 billion SCF, while non-associated gas output stood at 41.561 billion SCF.r cent, compared to the 9.520 billion SCF flared in January 2023.

In the gas utilisation segment, the NNPC stated that 9.084 billion SCF of gas was used as fuel gas; 45.977 billion SCF was allocated to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), while 5.247 billion SCF was allocated to Escravos Gas to Liquid (EGTL) project.

In addition, 2.353 billion SCF of gas was used for Natural Gas Liquids/Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG); domestic gas sales by the Nigerian Gas Company and others gulped 23.222 billion SCF, while 53.705 billion SCF was used by gas re-injection and gas lift make-up.

In the Joint Venture (JV) segment, Mobil Nigeria recorded the highest gas output, with 25.668 billion SCF, followed by Shell with 24.203 billion SCF; TotalEnergies produced 23.481 billion SCF of gas, while Chevron recorded a gas output of 20.683 billion SCF of gas.

However, despite producing the highest quantity of gas in the month under review, Mobil flared 6.26 per cent of its total gas output; Shell flared 4.19 per cent of its total output; Total Energies flared 2.37 per cent of its total output, while Chevron flared 9.03 per cent of its gas output.

In the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) segment, Star Deepwater – Agbami Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO), operated by Total Energies and its partners, produced 12.744 billion SCF of gas, out of which 1.06 per cent was flared; while TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria’s Akpo FPSO produced 11.975 billion SCF of gas and flared 1.22 per cent of the total.

Belema Oil, Seplat and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company were the worst offenders in the sector in February 2023, as they flared 100 per cent of their gas output; followed by Agip Energy and Natural Resources, which flared 95.93 per cent of its total gas output, while First Exploration and Production Limited flared 95 per cent of its total gas output.

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USA: StarTran adds 11 new compressed natural gas buses to fixed-service bus routes in Lincoln

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department transit system, StarTran, announced the addition of 11 new compressed natural gas fuel buses to the fixed-service bus routes in Lincoln Tuesday.

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LTU said compressed natural gas, which the buses will be using, is a sustainable renewable fuel source that is more environmentally friendly than diesel fuel.

With the new buses, LTU said it has increased the amount of vehicles in the StarTran fleet using renewable fuel to 75%. Prior to the new additions, StarTran had a total of 67 buses with 39 buses and two trolleys running on CNG, 10 being electric buses, and 16 buses running on diesel fuel.

“We are continuing to invest in and prioritize transit in Lincoln every day through sustainable fleet purchases like these new CNG buses,” Liz Elliott, LTU Director, said. “The new buses offer smooth, quiet rides for our passengers and lower maintenance costs. The buses also help move the city toward its Climate Action Plan goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a net 80% by 2050 and contribute to converting the City’s vehicle fleet to 100% electric or alternative fuel vehicles by 2040.”

The 11 new buses were paid for using American Rescue Plan Act funds and cost $587,609.76 each.

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Europe’s largest gas producer is set to nationalize its gas pipelines

Norway will nationalize all of its natural gas pipelines within the next five years, the country’s oil and energy ministry said on Friday.

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The nationalization plan would provide Norway with greater control over its critical infrastructure. Standing in the way of an immediate nationalization are existing concessions, which aren’t due to expire until 2028. After that, Norway will be able to move forward with its plan.

Norway became germany’s single-largest natural gas supplier last year, overtaking Russia, with Germany’s gas imports dropping by 12.3%. Norway provided Germany—Europe’s largest economy—with 33% of all of the gas it imported in 2022, while Russia’s share of the German gas market fell to 22% last year, the Germany Federal Network Agency Bundesnetzagentur said in early January.

Also in January, Norway disclosed plans to pump its current high volumes of natural gas for at least another five years—through 2028—as operators pledged $30.3 billion to develop new fields and to extend the lifetimes of currently producing fields.

Norway’s gas production was 9 billion standard cubic meters higher in 2022 than in 2021, with gas now accounting for more than half of production from the shelf. “Gas production is projected to remain at around 2022 levels for the next four to five years,” the directorate said in January.

Norway’s oil and gas ministry said on Friday that it was notifying licensees to let them know that the country wants to “make use of the right of repatriation at the end of the license period,” adding that it “wants complete state ownership of the central parts of the Norwegian gas transport system.”

Norway also owns the country’s largest bank, telecom operator Telenor, and oil giant Equinor, Reuters noted on Friday.

Norway’s gas pipeline network is currently owned by Gassled through a decades-long partnership by offshore oil and gas producers in the area.

One of Gassled’s co-owners told Reuters on Friday that it was surprised by Norway’s move to nationalize the pipeline network.

Norway already holds a 46.7% interest in Gassled through its state-run Petoro and Equinor—both of which hold stakes in Gassled.

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Nigeria has been listed among ten global countries with biggest gas reserves.

Nigeria, according to a report, came after the United Arab Emirates, UAE, with natural gas reserves of 5.85 trillion cubic meters.

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This makes it the country with the largest proven natural gas reserves in Africa, but utilizing these reserves has lagged behind the utilization of its oil reserves.

Natural gas has been hailed as the bridge between a fossil fuel past and a low-carbon future. It has also been demonized as a Trojan horse for the fossil fuel industry to continue to be relevant in that low-carbon future envisioned by the architects of the transition.

Over the past year, events in Europe made it quite clear that envisioning a future may be a noble thing but energy needs are immediate, and gas is perfect for meeting them with a lower emission footprint than fellow fossil fuels oil and coal.

It is a bit unfortunate for Western gas consumers, then, that the countries with the biggest gas reserves in the world happen to be Russia and Iran. Fortunately, the United States is also on the list of the top 5 biggest gas reserve holders, as are several Middle Eastern countries.

Russia is reported as worlds number one and has natural gas reserves of as much as 38 trillion cubic meters, according to the 2020 edition of BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy. Production last year totaled 573 billion cubic meters, down by 13.4% on the year.

Historically, Europe and Turkey were Russia’s biggest gas buyers, but after last year’s events, Turkey has remained the only big consumer of Russian gas with any footprint in Europe. Today, China is the main destination for Russian pipeline gas. Russia also exports Liquified Natural Gas, LNG, and, in an ironic twist, European imports of Russian LNG rose strongly last year.

The world’s second-largest natural gas reserves is Iran with 32 trillion cubic meters, and is home to 16 per cent of the global total.

A lot of Iran’s gas reserves are concentrated in the South Pars offshore field in the Persian Gulf, which it shares with Qatar. Total production for 2020 reached 234 billion cubic meters or a daily average of 645 million cubic meters.

Development of the country’s massive gas reserves has been challenging because of the pullout of Western supermajors such as TotalEnergies in the wake of the reinstated U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

Iran’s neighbour Qatar, which calls its part of the massive Persian Gulf field the North Field, is a notch below Iran in terms of gas reserves, with 24.7 trillion cubic meters. Until recently, the largest LNG exporter in the world, Qatar, was expanding its production capacity, aiming for 126 million tons annually from the current 77 million tons.

Qatar was a first choice for European gas buyers in the wake of the anti-Russian sanctions that saw gas flows decimated, but it turned out sealing a deal would be tougher than expected: Qatar turned out to like long-term purchase commitments, and Europe has an aversion to those.

Little known outside Central Asia but one of the biggest states there, Turkmenistan is home to the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves, with a total of some 19.5 trillion cubic meters according to BP’s statistical review.

Production is low, however, at just some 59 billion cubic meters in 2020, most of which was exported to China because domestic consumption is also relatively low. The country also exports gas to its Central Asian neighbours.

As with crude oil, the largest producers of gas are not necessarily the countries with the largest reserves. The U.S. has become the world’s top gas producer and LNG exporter, but it only ranks fifth in terms of reserves.

At the end of 2020, these stood at 13.179 trillion cubic meters, according to the CIA’s World Factbook or 625.4 trillion cubic feet at the end of 2021, according to the Energy Information Administration, EIA.

With the abundance of shale gas, the United States has become a major LNG world power in a matter of years. It could cement its place as the number-one exporter within the next decade if all planned projects come online, for a total annual capacity of 169 million tons by 2027.

The rest of the top 10 countries with substantial gas reserves is dominated overwhelmingly by OPEC members. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Nigeria, and Venezuela all boast abundant gas reserves, as does China, at number 10.

Saudi Arabia comes in at number 6 with 8.5 trillion cubic meters in natural gas reserves, which it only recently decided to develop more seriously in response to growing global demand.

The OPEC de facto leader is followed by its Gulf neighbor the UAE, which OPEC estimates has some 8.2 trillion cubic meters in natural gas reserves. The country’s state oil and gas company recently spun off its gas business, which turned into the biggest IPO for the year, fetching ADNOC $2.5 billion.

Venezuela is also among the world’s top natural gas reserve holders, with 5.54 trillion cubic meters in proven reserves.

The exploitation of those reserves, however, is mismatched with the volume of gas it is sitting on, especially since 2019 when the U.S. slammed Caracas with sanctions specifically targeting its oil and gas industry.

The last entry on the top-ten list of gas reserve holders may be a bit surprising. It is China, the world’s largest energy importer and one of the largest consumers.

The country, which imports massive amounts of oil and gas, has substantial reserves of its own, but it has been challenging to tap them in volumes large enough to satisfy its fast-growing demand.

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Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

Walmart, Cummins partner on CNG-powered trucks

The retailer says incorporating alternative fuel vehicles and EVs is a step toward its goal to reach zero emissions by 2040.

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Walmart and engine maker Cummins are out to prove natural gas-powered engines can help the trucking industry reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The retail giant debuted the first of five new tractors powered by a Cummins-built compressed natural gas (CNG) engine on April 18. A CNG engine is designed to provide similar performance and range to a diesel engine, but run quieter and offer lower maintenance costs, according to the manufacturer.

The tractor made it inaugural trip from Indiana to California last month and refueled at six Chevron stations, which offer CNG, along the way.

The introduction of CNG trucks into its fleet is part of a broader effort by Walmart to achieve zero emissions across its global operations by 2040.

Renewable natural gas is produced when biomethane from decomposing organic matter or landfill waste is captured and processed into natural gas.

The process aims to make use of methane gas, which is 25 times worse than carbon dioxide at trapping heat within the atmosphere and contributing to climate change when uncaptured and non-processed, according to Walmart.

A small but growing role for ‘the most mature, least disruptive’ alternative fuel

Walmart also has incorporated other alternative fuel vehicles into its fleet of 10,000 tractors, including electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered trucks. 

“We are testing and trialing many different alternatives to reach our zero emissions goal by 2040,” Walmart spokesperson Cherry Evans said in an email. 

Amid a spurt of advancements in the development of alternative fuels, Cummins is pushing to create a place for CNG fuel in the trucking industry.

Cummins’ engine used in Walmart’s new tractor is its first 15-liter natural gas motor designed as a heavy-duty, line-haul solution for North America. Cummins will put the engine into full production next year, according to spokesperson Chris Vanasdalan.

The engine maker expects to deliver 25 engine test units across 16 fleets this year. 

For the Walmart partnership, the CNG engine and fuel storage system were installed in a standard-diesel Freightliner Cascadia 126 truck provided by the retailer, Vanasdalan added.

Cummins’ work with Walmart coincides with its Destination Zero strategy, which includes a target to cut emissions from newly sold products by 25% by 2030, with the ultimate goal of achieving zero emissions by 2050.

“Our customers need the right tools for their work, but those tools need to be reliable, efficient, cost-effective, sustainable, and scalable,” Vanasdalan said. “Our Destination Zero strategy focuses on new powertrains including advanced diesel, natural gas, hydrogen engines, hybrids, battery electric, and fuel cells along with an increased use of low-carbon fuels and renewable electricity and related infrastructure.”

Natural gas powertrains represent a small portion of the North American truck market, but interest in the technology has increased over the past year due to their financial and environmental benefits, he added.

Werner Enterprises announced April 25 it will be testing the same engine from Cummins as part of the carrier’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions 55% by 2035. 

CNG has a competitive edge over other emerging fuel sources and electric vehicles because it’s been commercially available for decades, with an established national network of fueling sites.  

“It’s fair to say that natural gas is the most mature, least disruptive alternative fuel technology available today,” Vanasdalan said.

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Philippines’ Aboitiz Power looks at adding 1,200 MW capacity via LNG venture

MANILA, May 3 (Reuters) – Aboitiz Power Corp AP.PS, one of the Philippines’ biggest electricity producers, is looking at adding 1,200 megawatts to its capacity through a liquefied natural gas venture, President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio said on Wednesday.

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The company, partly owned by Japan’s biggest power generator JERA, is undertaking feasibility studies for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project before finalising the investment, Rubio told local news channel ANC in an interview.

The project will likely include an imported LNG terminal, which he said might be built in Pagbilao in the Quezon province on the main Luzon island, where it operates coal-fired power plants.

“There are a number of options, a number of plant configurations. Should we go for 1,200 (MW) right away or do 600 first? All of these are actually now being considered,” he said.

The LNG-fired plant could come in to meet baseload requirement by 2028 to 2030, he said.

The Philippines’ energy department has approved seven LNG terminal projects, including two facilities scheduled to operate starting this year to fuel existing power plants that ran on the country’s dwindling Malampaya natural gas output.

Aboitiz is also studying venturing into nuclear energy and has been in talks with a number of small modular reactor (SMR) technology providers, including U.S.-based NuScale Power Corp SMR.N, Rubio said.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who has reopened talks on repowering the mothballed 620 MW Bataan Nuclear Power Plant as an option in pursuing a program, has said the Philippines needs to consider other technologies to address its power supply shortfalls.

Marcos on Monday met with NuScale executives in the U.S., as the company was planning to conduct a study to locate a site for its SMR system in the Philippines, according to the President’s communications office.

A NuScale spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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U.S. LNG exports go full steam ahead, sales to Latin America rise

 U.S. producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exported at top capacity in April for a second consecutive month, with over two-thirds of shipments bound for Europe and rising volumes to Latin America, Refinitiv Eikon data showed on Monday.

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Following the full restart of a key Texas export facility in February, U.S. LNG producers are taking advantage of firm prices overseas and increasing demand in some markets.

A total of 107 cargoes departed from U.S. ports last month carrying 7.78 million tonnes of LNG, slightly below the previous month’s record of 7.80 million tonnes, according to the preliminary data, based on tanker movements.

Customers in Europe are set to receive 72% of the U.S. LNG shipped in April, followed by Asia with 12% of the total.

“The U.S. remains Europe’s major LNG exporter, while Russia, the third biggest supplier, continues to deliver robust volumes,” said Nikoline Bromander, an analyst at consultancy Rystad Energy, in a note to clients last week.


Higher demand for U.S. LNG in the Dominican Republic, Brazil and particularly in Argentina, lifted shipments to the region, which took 6% of total exports last month versus 4.5% in March.

Argentina in March announced what could be its “last big purchase of LNG” for the winter, planning $1.8 billion of imports of the super-chilled gas to cover demand peaks before the inauguration later this year of a key gasline to the country’s north, set to balance domestic supply.

The South American country, which last year paid up to $40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) for imported LNG, expects to pay about half of that this season, Argentina’s Energy Secretary Flavia Royon said in March.

Natural gas futures rose about 2% last week in the United States, settling at $2.355 per mmBtu as the more expensive June contract became the new front-month and gas supply to LNG plants remained on track to hit a record high for a second month in a row.

Average gas flows to the seven big U.S. LNG export plants rose to 14 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) until late April, up from a record 13.2 bcfd in March, according to Refinitiv.

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Asian spot LNG prices remain at 22-month low on weak demand

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices remained at their 22-month lows on Friday, as demand in China, Japan and South Korea was muted, keeping buyers away from spot market and encouraging continuous flows to Europe.

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The average LNG price for June delivery into northeast Asia was $11.5 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), down $0.50 or 3.8% from the previous week, industry sources estimated.

“Rates have continued to erode, driven by weak spot demand during a typically less active period. South Asia and the Indian subcontinent are more active, taking advantage of lower numbers and absent contender countries,” said Toby Copson, global head of trading at Trident LNG.

Forecast of high temperatures across South Asia is expected to shore up demand.

In China, the maximum temperature forecasts for southern China over the coming fortnight are broadly in line with historical norms, suggesting little potential for early summer cooling demand in the region, said Samuel Good, head of LNG pricing at commodity pricing agency Argus.

He added that while South Korean and Japanese forecasts are expected to have slightly above-average temperatures, it is too early for that to translate to a sizeable shift in cooling power demand, especially as both markets continue to hold sizeable LNG stocks and are set to see much more nuclear generation this summer.

In Europe, Argus assessed its daily northwest Europe (NWE) LNG price delivered in June on an ex-ship (DES) basis at $10.55/mmBtu on April 27, a $2.10 discount to the June gas price at the TTF Dutch gas hub.

The front-month gas prices at the Dutch TTF hub continued to ease recently despite last week’s below average temperatures that are also set to last for next week.

“These relatively low temperatures will keep gas demand higher than normal, especially with a negative dark spread and a positive spark spread,” said Hans Van Cleef, chief energy economist at PZ – Energy Research & Strategy, referring to gas-fired generation being more economic than coal generation.

Spark Commodities assessed Northwest Europe DES LNG price for May deliveries fell to a new low since June 2021, at $10.687/mmBtu, on strong supplies and high inventories.

Alex Froley, LNG analyst at data intelligence firm ICIS, said the market is generally looking much more comfortable now, with Europe’s high stock levels removing concerns about whether storage can be refilled before next winter.

Traders are also keen to know how fast Europe’s industrial demand could rebound, but while summer prices are lower, it could be difficult for some users to return in strength if they fear higher prices in the winter ahead, Froley said.

“Forward prices suggest winter months at higher levels than summer. And while gas prices are down from 2022’s massive spikes, they remain double the long-term average, and could do so for some time to come,” he added.

On LNG freight, the Atlantic spot rates held steady this week at $43,000 per day on Friday, said Edward Armitage, an analyst at Spark Commodities.

Pacific rates continued to soften, falling to $52,500 per day on Friday.

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South Africa: Renergen pens LNG supply deal with South African transport company

Renergen, the operator of a small liquefied natural gas plant in South Africa, said it had signed agreements with transport company Timelink to supply LNG and displace diesel in the latter’s fleet of trucks.

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According to a statement by Renergen, privately-owned Timelink, which offers specialist services in long-distance transport, will convert its fleet to operate on diesel dual-fuel (DDF) technology.

Renergen signed the deal via its subsidiary Tetra4did but it did not reveal any further details regarding the contract.

In September last year, Renergen launched what it says is South Africa’s first commercial LNG production plant as part of the first phase of its Virginia gas and helium development.

Renergen also plans the second stage of the Virginia gas project and expects it to become operational in 2026.

The company said in the statement that the first phase will produce around 50 tons of LNG daily, while Virginia Phase 2 will see this increase to about 680 tons, or 940,000 diesel liter equivalent a day.

Renergen said it plans to have “multiple” LNG filling points across South Africa that will deliver the fuel to selected customers across all the major highways once the Virginia project is in its second phase.

“The adoption of sustainable solutions in business has reached a tipping point, partners like Timelink are among those leading the pack,” Renergen CEO Stefano Marani said in the statement.

“Timelink now has a distinct advantage over competitors when speaking to customers demanding a lower carbon footprint from their logistics suppliers, as well as enjoying a reduced operating cost and increasing operational flexibility,” he said.

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Global LNG Development

Japan: Louisiana-based LNG supplier signs 20-year deal with Japan’s largest power generator

Venture Global has reached a long-term agreement to sell liquified natural gas from its Calcasieu Parish facility to Japan’s largest power provider. 

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JERA will buy roughly a million tons of LNG per year for 20 years, the companies announced this morning. 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, U.S. LNG developers have signed more than 30 sale and purchase agreements with buyers looking to shield themselves from a volatile spot market, according to Natural Gas Intelligence. While contracting has slowed down, more than a dozen LNG projects have been approved by federal regulators but aren’t under construction yet. 

Last month, Venture Global announced it would go forward with the second phase of its Plaquemines Parish facility after securing $7.8 billion in financing.

Louisiana industry leaders see LNG exports as an economic opportunity as well as a way to help U.S. allies counter the loss of Russian gas, though critics worry competition with international consumers accustomed to paying high natural gas prices will drive up energy prices at home.

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Mexico: AMLO: Mexico Pacific Limited to invest US $14B in Sonora LNG plant

President López Obrador said on Tuesday that the Houston, Texas, company Mexico Pacific Limited (MPL) will invest US $14 billion in a natural gas pipeline and liquefaction plant in the northern state of Sonora. 

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“The good news is that the Pacific Limited company will build a gas pipeline and a liquefaction plant in Sonora, whose investment amounts to [US $14 billion],” the president said on his Twitter account. 

His office later clarified that López Obrador was referring to Mexico Pacific Limited. 

Last year, President López Obrador announced the same company would build an LNG production plant near the municipality of Puerto Libertad, Sonora, to be called Saguaro Energía. The plant represented a US $2.5 billion investment in Mexico, he said. 

While no details were given about this new pipeline and gas liquefaction plant AMLO referred to, MPL does have plans to construct an LNG production facility near Puerto Libertad, Sonora — the planned Saguaro Energía LNG plant — which, according to MPL’s application with the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), would export natural gas to Mexico from U.S. producers via existing cross-border pipelines.

Its application, which explained the entire transport chain from the U.S. to Mexico and then to Asia, did not mention building any new pipelines in Mexico.

An update to MPL’s permitting with the U.S. government in January made clear that construction on the plant has not yet begun. 

It’s not entirely clear if the president was referring to the Saguaro Energia project or perhaps an expansion of it or, indeed, a new project. But the description Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard gave of his discussions with MPL officials earlier this week shares similarities with MPL’s description of the Saguaro project in its DOE application. 

Ebrard said he’d discussed with MPL “a considerable investment in liquefied natural gas,” and added that MPL will ship the resulting LNG “out of the Pacific, because its main market is in Asia.” 

Furthermore, a pipeline project in the state is already being undertaken by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), Carso Energy and Sempra Infraestructura, announced in February. However, the objective of that project is to increase the CFE’s electricity generation capacity in Sonora and Baja California. 

Also on Tuesday, President López Obrador said that the recently merged Canadian Pacific-Kansas City Southern railroad companies are considering a partnership with the federal government to offer connections to North America through the trans-isthmus corridor and the Maya Train. 

Currently, the railroad extends from the U.S. and Canada to central Mexico. 

“The president would like [CPKC’s rail network] to connect with the south of the country,” Ebrard said. 

Kansas City Southern Mexico’s president, Óscar del Ceuto, told Radio Formula that such a partnership would allow the company to make a “seamless” connection between Mexican ports and those on the eastern coast of the U.S. and Canada, which would benefit companies nearshoring to Mexico. 

CPKC officials told a Reuters reporter that they have “agreed to work together exploring how we can support the administration’s initiatives, including sharing out experiences, best practices, and technology” for two train lines being constructed by the government.

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Italy: Snam starts the test phase of FSRU with the arrival of the first LNG carrier

The first test phase for the FSRU Golar Tundra, Snam’s regasifier ship, recently began in the port of Piombino, pending the plant’s commissioning.

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Between 4 – 5 May 2023, the LNG carrier Maran Gas Kalymnos was moored, carrying the first load of gas for the first set of safety checks and testing to be run on the equipment and pipelines that make up the plant.

The two ships, both of which were moored side by side on the East quay of the North dock at the port in Piombino, were visited by representatives from national and local institutions such as the Minister for the Environment and Energy Security, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, the Special Commissioner for the Piombino regasification plant and President of the Region of Tuscany, Eugenio Giani, and the President of the Piombino Port Authority, Luciano Guerrieri; they were accompanied on the tour of the plant by Stefano Venier, CEO of Snam.

Venier stated: “The arrival of the first load of gas, which will allow us to carry out the plant’s testing and fine-tuning operations, is another important step in equipping the country with an infrastructure that is fundamental to the security and diversification of supplies. Proof of this is the fact that 86% of the entry capacity has already been sold to multiple operators for 20 years, and all of it in the next three years. We started this 11 months ago with the purchase of the Golar Tundra, and, for the past six months, we have been working with about 450 people on the shore and quayside sites employing, 150 sub-contractors and suppliers, and about half of them are Tuscan. It is a complex, innovative project but one that is not unusual for a company like Snam, which has guaranteed the country’s energy infrastructure for 80 years.”

The LNG carrier Maran Gas Kalymnos, carrying an Eni cargo of 170 000 m3 of LNG, left Damietta in Egypt for Piombino on 27 April 2023. It was launched in 2021 and measures 294.9 m long, 46.4 m wide and 55 m high.

With the help of four tugboats, the LNG carrier entered the port of Piombino on the evening of 4 May when the ferry traffic had stopped as part of a manoeuvre lasting around two hours. The LNG carrier was moored at the Golar Tundra and will transfer the LNG through six hoses to the FSRU’s tanks, which are to be returned to a gaseous state and fed into the national transport network.

The tests will begin by connecting and cooling down the hoses linking the LNG carrier to the FSRU, resulting in the transfer of approximately 70 000 m3 of LNG (out of a total of 170 000) into the Golar Tundra’s tanks. The next phase of testing involves the start of the regasification test phases (commissioning), which will involve setting up the necessary plants and systems, with part of the gas being sent through the new pipeline to the entry point on the national grid.

Around a few weeks later, the LNG carrier will return to the port to be moored again at the Golar Tundra to offload the remaining 90 000 m3 of LNG. The final testing phase involves checking the performance at different regasification profiles (acceptance test). Some 90% of the cargo will be fed into the grid for domestic consumption while the remaining 10% will be used to ensure the vessel’s operability.

Around 100 crew and ground personnel will be involved in this testing period. In the future, it is expected that the regasifier will be staffed by approximately 60 people, some 40 of whom will be crew.

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LNG as a Marine Fuel/Shipping

World’s largest and most technologically advanced cruise ship ‘icon of the seas’ to commence trials in June

Icon of the Seas, the first-ever and newest LNG-powered cruise ship of Royal Caribbean International, is scheduled to embark on sea trials in mid-June this year.

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Per Meyer Turku, the shipbuilder of what is expected to be the world’s largest and most technically advanced cruise vessel, the construction has been progressing at a good pace, and the preparations for her trials have started.

As the largest prototype vessel in the world, Icon’s early sea trials are key to ensuring that the vessel’s main equipment, like the propulsion equipment, primary engines, power plant, thrusters, and fin stabilisers, are operating as they ideally should, mentioned Meyer Turku via a social media update on 5 May.

The Finnish shipbuilding major began constructing the Icon of the Seas in 2021 (June) and installed an LNG fuel tank back in 2021 (November).

The vessel was unveiled on 9 December last year and shifted to the outfitting dock. The Icon of the Seas is the first vessel of the Royal Caribbean that operates on LNG and uses fuel cell technology.

The vessel is expected to have shore power connections and waste heat recovery systems. Besides, it will boast air lubrication of the underwater hull, sending several million microscopic bubbles along the vessel’s hull to lower friction.

It will operate on six Wärtsilä primary engines that utilise natural gas and diesel. In March, the first of these was initiated, hitting a milestone in the shipbuilding procedure. The icon of the Seas is expected to be handed over to the client by the end of 2023. It is going to set sail on its first-ever voyage in January 2024.

The vessel will cruise from Miami throughout the year in the Western and Eastern Caribbean.

It measures 365 meters in length, nearly 50 meters in width, and has a gross tonnage of about 250,000. The Icon of the Seas is the first vessel in the Icon series out of three on order at the Meyer Turku. The two other ships have been scheduled for delivery in 2025 and 2026.

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South Korea: HD KSOE wins multiple contracts worth $2.1 billion for gas carriers

HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) won 2.79 trillion won ($2.1 billion) worth of orders from multiple clients in Europe, Oceania and Asia to build 12 gas carriers.

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HD KSOE said Tuesday that it signed the contracts with four shipping companies between April 26 and 28.
“We were able to win large-scale contracts for gas carriers with high profitability using our advanced technology and quality,” an HD KSOE official said.

The shipbuilding company has secured an order for two 200,000-cubic-meter liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers from an Oceanian shipper, four 174,000-cubic-meter LNG carriers from an European shipper, and two 88,000-cubic-meter liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers from an Asian shipper on April 28. The shipbuilding orders total 2.42 trillion won.
HD KSOE also signed a contract to build four 45,000-cubic-meter LPG carriers from an Asian shipowner on April 26 that is worth 367.4 billion won.
The 12 ships will be built by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, and will be delivered sequentially starting from 2026.
One of the notable features of the carriers ordered in these contracts is the application of Hi-ERSN, an LNG reliquefaction system, and Hi-ALS, an air lubrication system — both developed by HD KSOE — into the 174,000-cbm LNG carrier.
Hi-ERSN is a system that fully liquefies evaporated gas generated within the LNG cargo hold, using only nitrogen as a refrigerant. This process is environmentally friendly and boosts energy efficiency by over 20 percent compared to existing systems, according to KSOE.
Hi-ALS supplies air to the surface of the vessel, reducing friction and lowering fuel consumption and carbon emissions, the company explained.
In addition, the 88,000-cubic-meter LPG carrier will be equipped with LPG dual-fuel propulsion engines. It will be able to transport ammonia, an environmentally friendly energy source.–Offshore-Engineering-KSOE/20230502182156305.html

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South Korea: Knutsen, PKN Orlen take delivery of second LNG carrier in South Korea

The delivery ceremony for the 174,000-cbm Grazyna Gesicka took place at the yard in Ulsan on April 28, according to a brief social media post by Knutsen LNG France, a unit of Knutsen.

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Hyundai Heavy hosted a naming ceremony for this LNG carrier and its sister vessel Lech Kaczynski in December last year.

The 174,000-cbm Lech Kaczynski is already serving PKN Orlen.

Norway’s Knutsen ordered these vessels at Hyundai Heavy in October 2020 for about $187.5 per ship.

PGNiG, now part of PKN Orlen, chartered these carriers to ship its contracted US LNG supplies to Poland for a period of 10 years.

Besides these two newbuilds, PGNiG also took on charter four more newbuild LNG carriers from Knutsen and two from Greece’s Maran Gas for a total of eight and scheduled for delivery by 2025.

LNG carrier to serve Engie

Knutsen LNG France said in the post that South Korea’s Hyundai Samho held a naming ceremony for another 174,000-cbm LNG carrier.

The vessel named Gordon Waters Knutsen will go on charter to France’s Engie.

Knutsen ordered this LNG carrier at Hyundai Samho in April 2021 for about $189 million, according to VesselsValue data.

The Norwegian firm now has seven LNG carriers sailing under the French flag, Knutsen LNG France said.

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

USA: Republicans Cry Foul on Grants Going to Electric School Buses

Republicans say they envisioned the $5 billion in the infrastructure act for climate-friendlier school buses would replace older polluting diesel buses with a mix of ones that run on electricity, compressed natural gas or propane.

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But nearly all of the first batch of funding the Environmental Protection Agency has given out to school districts around the country has gone to help schools buy electric buses, according to the agency’s data. Of the first $965 million of the Clean School Bus program funds the EPA has given out, 95% of the money was spent on 2,408 electric buses. Only 109 of the grants supplemented propane buses and 16 grants helped buy compressed natural gas (CNG) buses.

Spokespeople for schools in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Hawaii, all of which received funding to help them buy electric school buses, did not answer inquiries asking why they prefer electric buses. According to the EPA, more than 90% of the 2,000 applications the agency received for the money last year were to buy electric buses, compared to only 9% for propane buses and 1% for compressed natural gas.

Experts and Democrats say districts are asking for electric buses in greater numbers because they cost less to operate than other kinds of buses and have a greater impact on the environment. And as the cost of batteries goes down, that will add to the savings that electric buses bring, said Chris Hendrickson, faculty director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic 21 transportation research institute.

Additionally, Hendrickson said, while buses that run on compressed natural gas or propane pollute less than those on diesel, they still use internal combustion engines that send greenhouse emissions into the air.

However, Republicans like Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, are accusing the EPA of pushing electric buses by giving out much higher grants to buy those buses than for those that run on propane and natural gas.

And because electric buses cost more, Rodgers said, it is a waste of money and the EPA funding will end up helping to buy fewer buses.

“They are not implementing it the way that Congress had laid out that program and they’re paying like three times the prices for electric buses that they could be using on other alternatives,” Rodgers told Route Fifty, adding that she plans to grill EPA officials about the issue in her committee.

A trade group, the Propane Education & Research Council, is also criticizing the outsized purchase of electric buses. Because buses that run on propane are cheaper, the association said, EPA grants could be used to buy more of those kinds of buses and get more older, polluting buses off of the road. Rather than funding 2,350 electric school buses, the nearly $1 billion being spent this year could have paid for 29,000 propane buses, according to the council.

“If the program’s goal is to add a few electric school buses to a U.S. fleet that includes nearly half a million dirty diesel buses, it’s a start,” the group said in a statement last November. “But if the program’s goal is to decarbonize the U.S. school bus fleet by replacing as many diesel school buses as possible with low-emission buses, we have much better options.”

Rodgers wrote to EPA Administrator Michael Regan last week complaining that the agency was pushing electric buses by offering schools up to $375,000 for electric buses, compared to $25,000 for other buses. That, “inherently disincentivizes the purchase of clean school buses,” Rodgers wrote in the letter co-signed by Rep. Bill Johnson, an Ohio Republican, who chairs the committee’s ​​Environment, Manufacturing, & Critical Materials subcommittee.

It appears that with such a large portion of the grants earmarked to buy electric buses, some schools that wanted to buy ones running on propane have been left out. Mobile County public schools in Alabama, for example, applied to buy 25 propane school buses, but the request was put on an EPA waiting list for the next batch of funding. A spokeswoman for the schools did not respond to an email asking why they preferred propane buses.

A Senate Democratic aide defended the way the EPA is running the program and disputed Republican claims that Congress wanted half of the funding to go for buses that run on compressed natural gas and propane.

The bill dedicated half the money for electric school buses. The other half of the funding can be used for other kinds of buses, including those running on propane, or for more electric buses, the aide said. “It’s clear that schools in all 50 states are eager to transition to American-made electric school buses, which are better for our health and for the planet,” he said.

Sue Gander, director of the World Resources Institute’s Electric School Bus Initiative, said in an interview that school districts buying electric buses need higher subsidies because they are more expensive.

The money is having an impact. The World Resources Institute estimated that last year the 480,000 school buses on the roads made up 80% of all buses nationwide, but that less than 1% ran on electricity. The funding has helped to almost double the number of electric buses, according to an analysis by the institute. While schools had 1,398 electric school buses in December 2022, they now own or are in the process of acquiring 5,612 of them.

“School districts are increasingly interested in moving towards electric vehicles. So this was a really, you know, fantastic opportunity for them to acquire the funding that is needed to be able to help make this transition at this stage,” Gander said. “Once the school districts are able to pay for the buses, then they can start recouping the operations and maintenance savings.”

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USA: Entergy breaks ground on 1.2 GW hydrogen-capable CCGT plant

The plant – approved by Texas regulators in November 2022 – would have the initial capability of using up to 30% hydrogen.

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Entergy has officially broken ground on the Orange County Advanced Power Station (OCAPS), a 1,215 MW combined cycle plant that will be located near Bridge City, Texas.

Nearly 200 people, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, attended a groundbreaking ceremony this week to celebrate the start of construction.

Located in one of the largest industrial regions in the country, the plant would have the initial capability to use up to 30% hydrogen by volume along with natural gas to generate power.

Mitsubishi Power is supplying the two M501JAC gas turbines, steam turbine, heat recovery steam generator and advanced control recovery system. The company said OCAPS would eventually work up to 100% hydrogen. Hydrogen produces zero carbon emissions when combusted as a fuel source for electric generation.

A consortium of Mitsubishi Power, Sargent & Lundy and TIC—The Industrial Company will provide Entergy with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to build the plant.

The expected total cost of the project is $1.2 billion, which includes the estimated costs of the generation facilities, transmission upgrades, contingency, allowance for funds used during construction and necessary regulatory expenses, among others.

The construction of OCAPS is expected create nearly $1.8 billion in total economic activity in Southeast Texas.

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Cambodia : Deal sealed for 100MW biogas plant in Sihanoukville

In line with the government’s mission to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and promote green energy, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to set up a biogas plant capable of producing up to 100MW in Kampong Seila District in Sihanoukville.

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The MoU was signed between Mong Sotheary Trading Co Ltd (MST) and its partners, Samaiden Energy (Cambodia) Co Ltd, Panna Energy Sdn Bhd (Pannatech) and Management Venture Asia (Cambodia) Ltd (MVA) at a function held in the district.

Hau Soteara, Director, MST; Fong Yeng Foon, Executive Director, Samaidan; Salah Essa, Director, MVA; and Micheal Tan, Director, Pannatech, signed the MoU on behalf of their companies. The function was held in the presence of Kampong Seila District Mayor Luk Apibhal Chhay Sokunda, Marty Yang who represented Senator Yang Sem and Mong Sotheary.

The plant, expected to be completed in 2024, aims to produce 2.4 million litres of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) per annum, equivalent to 100MW of electricity. According to project developers, 100MW of power is equivalent to the amount of electricity that can power 100,000 homes for an entire day. “It is like flipping on 100,000 light switches all at once.”

The project, initiated in 2022 to promote the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) programme, has already achieved nine of its 17 goals and is expected to be completed by 2024.

It is considered to be a milestone in the Kingdom’s mission to achieve energy sufficiency while emphasising green energy production methods.

Speaking at the event, Hau said the day has turned out to be highly remarkable for the Kampong Seila District as well as the whole nation. “The project will bring enormous economic benefits in the district in terms of future opportunities as
well as investments.

“There is no doubt that this project is pro-economy, pro-climate and also will have an effect on reducing the energy imports from other countries. It is also vital in terms of reducing carbon footprint. Biogas is one of the cleanest energy sources available now in the world.

“It has been our vision to promote sustainable development projects in Kampong Seila’s agricultural zone. The positive impacts of this development will offer Cambodia a new approach to energy generation, while also mitigating the waste challenge that is currently disposed of in conventional manners.”

He pointed out that the project also offers avenues to connect the local communities together. “Here, in this project, we don’t have any waste, but only resources.”

Exclusively speaking to Khmer Times, Fong said the location for the project was chosen after carrying out many feasibility studies. “This project is going to be a transformation point in the country’s green journey. We need more projects like this capable of increasing energy production from green sources,” he added, highlighting Samaiden’s expertise in the technological implementation of biogas development and their exploration of the Cambodian market.

Micheal commented on their participation in the venture, saying that it ensures commercial assistance can be executed efficiently. He also forecast a positive circular economy impact chart upon project completion.

Salah Essa, expressed his appreciation to MST for their trust and confidence in the group to realise the concept. He stated that the MoU not only solidifies the cooperation between the parties, but also serves as a mission dedicated to Cambodian citizens, providing them with a learning curve for a better environment and future generations.

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