NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT – Nov 16-30, 2023

National News Internatonal News


City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

Union min Hardeep Singh Puri launches city’s 2nd floating CNG stn at Ravidas Ghat

Varanasi: Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday inaugurated the city’s second floating compressed natural gas (CNG) mobile refueling unit (MRU) station at Ravidas Ghat and said it was a significant step towards viable sustainable energy solutions.


Earlier, Namo Ghat had a floating station for filling CNG in boats.

“The decision to set-up this floating CNG station is a testament to our belief in the transformative power of clean energy. This will provide great convenience to boatmen as they will not have to go all the way to NaMo Ghat for refueling, thus saving time and money. On an average, it is estimated that each boatman can potentially save over Rs 36,000 per year by using CNG as fuel,” said the minister. Puri said CNG boats not only reduces pollution but also leads to savings as it is more efficient.

The boatmen are getting 35-40% more mileage due to replacement of old engines with efficient CNG engines (1 kg of CNG is energy equivalent to 1.39 litres of petrol and 1.18 litres of diesel), he said. Both the stations have been developed by GAIL (India) Limited.

With this, floating CNG stations are now operational on both sides of the main ghats of Varanasi. According to GAIL officials, the floating stations have been developed at a cost of Rs 17.5 crore. The CNG mother station at Namo Ghat has been operational since December 2021. The new station is CNG MRU. CNG will be filled in cascades from Namo Ghat and transported by water ways to Ravidas Ghat for fueling boats. It has a capacity of 4,000 kg/day and can cater to 300 to 400 boats a day.

GAIL chairman and managing director, Sandeep Kumar Gupta, director (human resources), Ayush Gupta, director (marketing), Sanjay Kumar and a host of dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

Later, Puri also interacted with students at the Varanasi centre of GAIL Utkarsh, a CSR initiative of the company that provides all-expenses paid residential coaching to 60 girls from economically weaker sections to compete for engineering and medical entrance examinations.

We also published the following articles recently

CNG price hike: Petrol vs CNG running cost and fuel-efficiency comparedThe article discusses the rise in CNG prices and compares the fuel expenses of a Maruti Suzuki Fronx with petrol and CNG options. The 1.2-litre petrol engine has a claimed mileage of 21.8 km/l with a 5-speed manual transmission. On the other hand, the Fronx CNG offers a fuel efficiency of 28.51 km/kg. For a monthly distance of 1,500 km, the petrol-powered Fronx would cost around Rs 6,654, while the Fronx CNG would cost Rs 3,976. This shows a potential saving of Rs 2,678 by switching to CNG. However, it should be noted that filling up CNG takes longer and occupies space in the car’s boot.105461684

Gujarat government gives approval for FDODO to enhance use of clean fuel like CNGGujarat government promotes green mobility by adopting a unique approach of developing CNG stations through PPP model. The Full Dealer Owned Dealer Operated (FDODO) CNG scheme will be implemented by Gujarat Gas Limited and Sabarmati Gas Limited. The selection process will be transparent. Gujarat has a gas grid network spread throughout the state. The state has 1002 CNG stations and aims to increase the coverage. Under the FDODO scheme, dealers will be responsible for land, construction, and installation of CNG equipment. Gas will be delivered through a steel network of approximately 3050 km.105392565

Dev Deepawali: 11L diyas to light up Kashi ghatsThe holy city of Kashi is preparing for the grand celebration of Kartik Purnima, also known as Dev Deepawali. Over 11 lakhs diyas will be lit, and a series of religious activities will take place. Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri and 160 foreign delegates will participate in special Ganga Aartis and witness the celebrations. The event will also include laser and sound shows, green fireworks, and cultural activities. Additionally, Prakash Utsav and Mulagandha Kuty Vihara’s anniversary will be observed during the festivities.105521420

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UT shelves conversion of CTU diesel buses to CNG

Chandigarh: More than a year after it decided to convert all old diesel buses of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) plying on the Tricity route to compressed natural gas (CNG), UT administration has shelved the project. The decision was taken despite the fact that the tendering process for the project was completed and work order given in October 2022.


“These buses are already in their extended life period. A three-year extension was given to bus operations after their standard life cycle was completed. Now, only two-year operations are left for these old buses, so maintenance costs are a concern. Besides, the firm to which work was given didn’t deliver as per requirement and was blacklisted. We are also recovering dues from it,” said Pradhuman Singh, director, transport.

In March 2022, the administration decided to convert more than 200 buses of Chandigarh City Bus Services Society (CCBSS, under the aegis of CTU) into CNG within six months. The decision was taken in the governing body meeting of CCBSS held under the chairmanship of the UT adviser. The move aimed at reducing financial burden on society and taking the green route. It was stressed that only electric buses would be procured for local operations instead of diesel ones.

The UT was to spend Rs 35 crore on conversion, which entailed capital expenditure of around Rs 19 crore for retrofitting of CNG kits.  

We also published the following articles recently

Buses dont turn up, autos dont plySanjana V, after waiting for a bus that never arrived, tried different ride-hailing apps to reach home. One auto driver refused to come unless she paid extra. Frustrated with the daily struggle, she bought a car with a loan. Share autos partially cover some areas, but not the complete stretch. MTC acknowledges the lack of frequent and people-friendly bus services on OMR.105424868

CNG price hike: Petrol vs CNG running cost and fuel-efficiency comparedCNG prices in Delhi have increased by Re 1 per kg. Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) has hiked the prices of CNG in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, and Ghaziabad. Despite the rise in CNG prices, it is still a cost-effective alternative to petrol. Comparing the fuel expenses of a Maruti Suzuki Fronx running on petrol and CNG, there is a significant difference in cost. Running the same distance of 1,500 km, using petrol would cost around Rs 6,654, while using CNG would cost only Rs 3,976. However, it should be noted that filling up CNG takes longer and requires space in the car’s boot.105461684

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Natural Gas/ Pipelines/ Company News


GAIL wins SAP ACE Best Financial Transformation Award 2023

New Delhi: GAIL (India) Limited has won SAP ACE Award – 2023 for the Best Financial Transformation for implementation of Vendor Invoice Management Systems. The award has been received by GAIL’s Director (Finance) RK Jain and Executive Director (F&A) Sashi Menon and other officials involved in the implementation of the system.


Commenting on the achievement, Jain said, “It is a great honour and privilege to receive this prestigious award. We have always been committed to make a difference in the lives of stakeholders by empowering them in every possible way.”

Under Vendor Invoice Management System initiative, GAIL implemented Vendor Invoice Management of SAP, established centralized Shared Service Center – “SARATHI”, Supplier Portal – “SPARSH” and for vendor query resolution CHATBOT – “ASHA.”

These key initiatives automates and consolidate the operations of vendor invoice processing from across multiple locations of GAIL. This has enabled GAIL to operate on one standardized platform and drive efficiencies across the Finance operations and enhance the vendor experience. The project was implemented in a record timeframe which is a testament to the close collaboration between GAIL and its partners.

SAP ACE awards are an industry benchmark to recognise the best-run businesses in the Indian subcontinent. It recognises and lauds excellences in IT innovation across lines of businesses, which are bringing about a digital impact in India’s economy through implementation of SAP Solutions.

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Indian Oil To Double Ennore LNG Terminal’s Capacity To 10 Million Tpy – Exec

Indian Oil Corp, the country’s top refiner, aims to double the capacity of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Ennore in southern India, Sandeep Jain, the company’s executive director for gas business, said on Friday.


The company plans to expand capacity to 10 million metric tons per year (tpy) amid the growing demand for gas in the country, Jain told reporters at an industry event. He did not elaborate on the details.

India wants to raise the share of gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030, up from the current 6.2%, as part of an effort to cut emissions. Jain said IOC hopes to boost local sales of gas to 20 million tpy by 2030, a substantial increase from the current 6.3 million tpy.

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GAIL to build strategic reserves by storing gas in depleted wells

India is looking at building its first strategic natural gas reserves by using old, depleted hydrocarbon wells to store the fuel and hedge against global supply disruption, a senior executive of the country’s largest natural gas company Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) said on Friday.


The strategic facilities would be built in phases in India’s western and north-eastern regions with an initial capacity to store three to four billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, Sumit Kishore, an executive director at the public sector GAIL, told reporters at an industry event.

India has five million tonnes of strategic petroleum reserves but no storage facilities for natural gas. Indian companies together currently hold two bcm of gas in pipelines and liquefied natural gas tanks for commercial use.

Kishore said the first strategic gas storage facility would take three to four years to build after government approval.

India aims to raise the share of natural gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030 from about 6.2% now. The nation consumes around 60 bcm gas annually.

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Policy Matters/ Gas Pricing/ Others

Govt Makes CBG Blending Mandatory In CNG, PNG; Eyes Rs 37,500 Crore Investment For 750 Projects by 2028-29

India has made Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) blending mandatory in the CNG (Transport) & PNG (Domestic) segments of the CGD Sector. The key objectives of the CBO are to stimulate demand for CBG in the CGD sector, import substitution for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), save in Forex, promote circular economy and assist in achieving the target of net zero emission etc.


Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs said that it will encourage investment of around Rs 37,500 crores and facilitate the establishment of 750 CBG projects by 2028-29.

Key factors in the mandatory CBG blending are:

– CBO will be voluntary till FY 2024-2025 and mandatory blending obligation will start from FY 2025-26. – CBO shall be kept as 1%, 3% and 4% of total CNG/PNG consumption for FY 2025-26, 2026- 27 and 2027-28 respectively. From 2028-29 onwards CBO will be 5%. – A Central Repository Body (CRB) shall monitor and implement the blending mandate based on the operational guidelines approved by the Minister, PNG. Apart from this, the government discussed on Saturday measures for promoting the production of ethanol from maize with all stakeholders especially with the Department of Agriculture and Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) to make it a prominent feedstock in coming years. It was discussed that in the last few years, there has been an increase in Maize cultivation area, yield per hectare and production. Work has been initiated by this ministry in consultation with the Department of Agriculture and DFPD to further develop high starch-yielding varieties, improve the quality of maize DDGS (Dried Distillers Grain Solids) by removing aflatoxins, faster registration of new seed varieties with high starch. To further promote maize training program for distillers with seed companies has also been initiated.

Also, another important announcement was made for promoting biofuels in the country. Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF/Bio-ATF) initial indicative blending percentage targets were set by the committee. Based on the comments received from the stakeholders, like MoCA, Niti Aayog, OMCs, etc., the capacities of Sustainable Aviation Fuel plants coming up in the country and projected ATF sales, the following initial indicative blending percentages of SAF in ATF are approved: – 1% SAF indicative blending target in 2027 ( Initially for International flights) – 2% SAF blending target in 2028 (Initially for International flights ).

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PNGRB adds Mizoram to gas bid round

New Delhi: Oil regulator PNGRB has added Mizoram to the areas it has offered for bidding for a licence to retail CNG and piped cooking gas in the latest city gas bid round. In a notice, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) said in continuation of the bids invited on October 13 for the development of the city gas distribution network for seven geographical areas, electronic bids are invited for the same in the state of Mizoram.


Last date of bidding is February 23, it said. PNGRB had offered seven geographical areas (GAs) of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Union territory (UT) of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh under the 12th city gas distribution (CGD) bidding round for retailing of CNG to automobiles and piping the fuel to household kitchens and industries.

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Govt approves PPP model for CNG stations

Gandhinagar: The state government on Tuesday granted its approval to developing CNG stations through a public-private-participation (PPP) model in order to promote green mobility in the state. The government sanctioned the Full Dealer Owned Dealer Operated (FDODO) CNG scheme which will be implemented by the Gujarat Gas Limited and the Sabarmati Gas Limited.


Gujarat is at the forefront in the country with 1,002 CNG stations. The FDODO scheme has been initiated to further increase the coverage of CNG stations in the state and to make CNG fuel easily available to CNG vehicle owners, an official statement said.

Under this scheme, the dealer will be fully responsible for taking the permission regarding the land and getting the documents for setting up the CNG station.

We also published the following articles recently

Gujarat government gives approval for FDODO to enhance use of clean fuel like CNGThe Gujarat government has approved a Full Dealer Owned Dealer Operated (FDODO) CNG scheme to develop CNG stations through a public-private partnership model. This decision aims to promote a green-clean environment and green mobility in the state. Gujarat has a gas grid network spread throughout the state, with 1002 CNG stations. Under the scheme, the dealer will be responsible for obtaining land permission, setting up the CNG station, and purchasing the necessary equipment. Gujarat Gas and Sabarmati Gas will supply gas to the dealer’s stations through a steel network.105392565

After trucks, bus ban now likely in Delhi: CNG, electric and BS-6 buses only exceptionThe Delhi government is considering banning passenger buses from entering the city in response to severe air pollution levels. The ban would have exceptions for buses running on CNG, electricity, and BS-6 diesel. The implementation of the ban is likely to occur after the Chhath Puja festival. Previously, buses entering Delhi from Haryana were required to run on electricity, CNG, or BS-VI diesel. Similar regulations may be extended to buses from all states. Despite strict measures, Delhi’s air quality has worsened recently. The government also has the option to implement the ‘odd-even’ scheme, which would further impact public transport.105249390

Gensol to develop NHPC’s green hydrogen mobility station project in LadakhGensol Engineering Ltd has been announced as the lowest bidder for NHPC’s Kargil Green Hydrogen Mobility Station EPC Project in Ladakh. The company will develop a 500-kW solar power project to provide energy to the hydrogen refuelling station. The project includes the installation of the green hydrogen system, storage, and dispensing facilities, as well as the necessary infrastructure for the integrated solar and hydrogen operation. The project is expected to be completed within 12 months. This win will strengthen Gensol’s position in the renewable energy sector.105258534

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Gujarat govt approves FDODO compressed natural gas scheme

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has approved the full dealer-owned dealer-operated (FDODO) compressed natural gas (CNG) scheme, which will be implemented by Gujarat Gas (GGL) and Sabarmati Gas (SGL).


The state government’s approach to developing CNG stations through the public-private partnership (PPP) model is to promote green mobility and a clean environment. The scheme aims to increase the coverage of CNG stations and make CNG fuel more accessible to CNG vehicle owners. The government maintains that the selection for this scheme will be completely based on a transparent selection process.

As per the GGL and SGL’s specifications, the dealer will be fully responsible for securing permission regarding the land and the documents for setting up the CNG station under this scheme, the station setup, mechanical or electrical work of construction will also have to be done by the dealer in the CNG station. In addition, it will also be the dealer’s responsibility to purchase and install the necessary compressors, cascades, CNG dispensers, tubings, etc. for the CNG equipment and to commission it.

GGL and SGL will deliver gas to the dealer’s online stations through a steel network of around 3,050 km. For places where such gas cannot be extended , CNG stations will supply CNG to dealer’s light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles without underground pipeline or booster compressor.

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Indian govt plans to build strategic natural gas reserve

India is drawing up a plan to build a strategic natural gas reserve with a capacity to store up to 4 billion cubic metres (BCM) of imported gas, which can be used in case of supply emergencies and to smoothen the domestic market.


After oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri recently gave a green signal to the idea of setting up the gas reserve, the oil ministry directed Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Oil India and GAIL to jointly prepare a detailed feasibility report on the same, people said. The companies are expected to submit the report in three months.

India has evaluated building strategic gas storage in the past as part of its energy security plan but didn’t go ahead with it due to its prohibitive costs. The geopolitics-driven frenzy in the global gas market last year, which disrupted India’s gas imports and forced some factories to cut production, has brought a strategic policy rethink, people said.

The 3-4 BCM gas storage capacity being targeted now can cost $1-2 billion to build, the person cited previously said. India, which consumed 60 BCM of natural gas last fiscal year, aims to increase the share of gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030 from the current 6%. A large multi-location storage, a well-laid pipeline network, and a mature gas exchange can help develop the domestic gas market. Large gas storage can also help India become the regional hub and supply to neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar in the future, the person said.

The feasibility report will present cost estimates, probable locations, construction timelines, and the business and financial models for the reserves, he said. Depleted wells of ONGC and Oil India could be used for the storage, he said, adding that ONGC has already identified two such wells in Gujarat while Oil India is aiming to do the same in the North East.

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LNG Use / LNG Development and Shipping

GAIL Completes World’s Inaugural Ship-To-Ship LNG Transfer

Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has successfully executed the world’s first ship-to-ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) transfer to reduce shipping costs and cut emissions significantly. In a groundbreaking move, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), the country’s leading gas firm, has successfully executed the world’s first ship-to-ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) transfer. This innovative approach aims to reduce shipping costs and cut emissions significantly, marking a pivotal moment for GAIL as it explores unconventional methods to enhance its business operations.


GAIL’s LNG Contracts and Conventional Shipping Process

GAIL has secured contracts for 5.8 million tonnes per annum of LNG from the United States.

Traditionally, this volume is transported to India via LNG ships, covering a vast distance of approximately 19,554 nautical miles for a round trip.

The journey, which includes transiting through the Suez Canal and Gibraltar, takes around 54 days and emits about 15,600 tonnes of CO2.

The Challenge of Emissions in LNG Shipping

Emissions in LNG shipping are typically managed through advanced technology or altering the cargo’s destination.

GAIL, however, has taken a novel contractual approach, optimizing the vessels’ paths to achieve a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.

GAIL’s Innovative Ship-to-Ship Transfer

In a recent operation, GAIL’s hired vessel, Castillo De Santisteban, performed a ship-to-ship (STS) transfer mid-way through its journey.

The LNG cargo was transferred to another chartered vessel, Al Gharrafa of QatarGas, making this the world’s first STS transfer.

The QatarGas vessel then proceeded to Dahej in Gujarat to discharge the cargo originally planned for GAIL’s vessel, subsequently returning from Gibraltar to the next loading port.

Significant Environmental and Economic Benefits

This innovative maneuver resulted in a remarkable savings of about 8,736 nautical miles, equivalent to 7,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Additionally, it reduced the voyage duration for GAIL’s chartered vessel from 54 days to approximately 27 days.

The optimized gain for GAIL in this charter exceeded USD 1 million, marking a win-win situation for both GAIL and QatarGas.

Scaling Up the Concept

GAIL officials suggest that the proof of concept demonstrated in this operation has the potential to be scaled up across the entire LNG shipping industry.

By implementing unique contractual arrangements, owners and charterers could significantly reduce shipping distances, leading to substantial carbon emission savings.

Implications for the LNG Shipping Industry

Scaling up this concept could result in distance savings of 2,09,664 nautical miles per year with a corresponding emission saving of 1,67,731 tons of CO2.

Moreover, it could contribute to a significant increase in vessel utilization.

This innovation aligns with GAIL’s commitment to sustainability and could pave the way for transformative changes in the LNG shipping industry.

Recognition and Awards

GAIL’s commitment to innovation, coupled with its recent achievements, has earned the company the ‘Innovation Award – India and Midstream Project of the Year‘ at the Asian Oil and Gas Awards.

This recognition highlights GAIL’s leadership in adopting pioneering solutions to address environmental and economic challenges in the oil and gas sector.

Floating CNG Station and Further Initiatives

In addition to the STS transfer, GAIL has made strides in environmental initiatives, including the installation of the first floating Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) station.

This station, situated in the Ganges in Varanasi, serves as a refueling point for boats running on eco-friendly fuel.

The CNG dispensing infrastructure manages variable water levels and has resulted in the conversion of diesel and petrol engines to CNG-propelled engines.

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GAIL India issues swap tender for 24 LNG cargoes in 2025

GAIL (India) Ltd has issued a swap tender offering 24 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes loading out of the United States next year in exchange for 24 other cargoes for delivery to India in 2025, said two industry sources on Thursday.


India’s largest gas distributor is offering two cargoes per month, from January to December, for loading from Sabine Pass on a free-on-board (FOB) basis. It is seeking the cargoes for delivery to the Dhamra terminal for the same months on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis.

The tender closes on Nov. 29.

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GAIL charter hired LNG vessel AI Gharrafa from QatarGas in Gibraltar

GAIL, India’s Natural Gas leader and a Public Sector undertaking gets two prestigious awards at the Asian Oil and Gas Awards event held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The coveted “Innovation Award – India” was given to GAIL for reduction in LNG Shipping cost & emissions through Ship-to-Ship (STS) transfer of LNG with backhauling. Another top notch award “Midstream Project of the Year – India” has been given for the installation of the first floating Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) station at Varanasi. The Award recognizes the most outstanding players in Asia’s oil and gas sector.


GAIL charter hired LNG vessel AI Gharrafa from QatarGas in Gibraltar and transferred cargo from Castillo De Santisteban into AI Gharrafa through STS transfer. This. is the world’s first STS between a large conventional LNG vessel and aQ-Flex LNG Vessel. QatarGas Vessel proceeded to Dahej to discharge the Cargo originally planned to be discharged by GAIL’s Vessel and the vessel returned back from Gibraltar to the next loading port. This innovation has resulted in saving of approximately 8,736 nautical miles, equivalent to approximately 7,000 tonnes of C02 emission. Furthermore, this has resulted in shortening the voyage of the GAIL’s chartered vessel from 54 days to approximately 27 days.

GAIL’s floating CNG station on River Ganga at Namo Ghat, Varanasi is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the world to run boats on cleaner fuel-CNG in the river. GAIL has created a CNG dispensing infrastructure, which manages the response of the edifice against the variating water level. The project has led to gradual transitioning of motorized boats from polluting fuels to cleaner and affordable CNG.

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CONCOR Partners with Indraprastha Gas for LNG Infrastructure Exploration

The logistics giant, CONCOR, has recently entered into a promising partnership with Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) to explore opportunities in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector. This collaboration aims to harness the synergies of CONCOR’s logistical prowess and IGL’s expertise in the gas industry, fostering advancements in eco-friendly energy solutions. As global markets increasingly shift towards cleaner energy alternatives, the alliance between CONCOR and IGL signifies a proactive step towards environmental sustainability.


The exploration of LNG infrastructure aligns with the shared commitment of both companies to reduce carbon footprints and promote a greener future. This venture not only exemplifies corporate responsibility but also positions CONCOR as a trailblazer in adopting innovative solutions for a cleaner and more sustainable tomorrow.

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Electric Mobility/ Hydrogen/Bio-Methane

Punjab Govt Inks Mou With GAIL To Set Up 10 Compressed Biogas Projects Across State

(MENAFN– KNN India) New Delhi, Nov 22 (KNN) The Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has inked an MoU with GAIL (India) Limited to set up 10 compressed biogas projects and other new and renewable energy projects in the state.


The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by PEDA CEO Amarpal Singh and GAIL (India) Executive Director RK Singhal, an official release said.

Speaking about the pact, Punjab New and Renewable Energy Sources (NRES) Minister Aman Arora said the pact will help the state to manage five lakh tonnes of paddy straw per annum and generate clean energy out of it.

“Punjab is an agrarian state, and it has immense potential for crop residue-based CBG plants,” he said, adding that the Punjab government’s business-friendly policies are helping in facilitating companies to set up their industries in the state.

NRES Secretary Ravi Bhagat said that with the implementation of these 10 projects, paddy straw in around 1.25 lakh acres is expected to be prevented from being burnt.

“These projects will also create around 50 rural entrepreneurs for the supply of paddy straw to these plants, further generating employment for over 500 persons by these rural entrepreneurs,” he added.

The 10 CBG projects will be set up with an investment of about Rs 600 crore, producing 35,000 tonnes of biogas and about 8,700 tonnes of organic manure annually.

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Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines/ Others

Nigeria: FG: Nigeria ‘ll Continue to Support W’African Gas Pipeline Project

Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, has restated the commitment of the President Bola Tinubu-led federal government in supporting the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) project to realise its full potential and objectives.


Ekpo stated this in his speech at the WAGP Authority Committee of Ministers (COM) meeting in Cotonou, Benin Republic assuring other member countries, including Benin, Togo and Ghana of uninterrupted gas supply from Nigeria to meet their domestic needs.

He said the Nigerian government targets strengthening the brotherhood of the West African sub-region and ensuring energy stability through the West African gas pipeline system.

He said at present, Nigeria is pursuing gas as a destination fuel, and therefore working through various initiatives to monetise its abundant natural gas resources.

Ekpo listed some of the initiatives to include the “Decade of Gas” that would develop and monetise over 5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of gas for the  domestic and export market.

This, he said, also include auto gas initiative such as the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) programme, and the Nigerian Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) geared at encouraging the switch from liquid fuel to gas for automobiles and many more.

“The above initiatives will ensure continuous supply of reliable gas to WAGP through the N-Gas Limited that has been the vehicle for commercialising the Eastern gas,” he said.

Ekpo also pledged his support for N-Gas Ltd and other value chain participants, especially Nigerian Gas Infrastructure Company (NGIC) to resolve the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) pressure issues.

The gas minister said the NGIC was carrying out various projects that would address the ELPS pressure challenge, including connecting the gas reach from the eastern region with the western and northern demand regions and installation of midline compressors that would provide total solution to the pressure challenges.

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Saudi Arab: Saudi Aramco discovers two new natural gas fields in Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on Sunday announced the discovery of two new gas fields in the Eastern Province and the Empty Quarter respectively.


A statement issued by the Ministry of Energy stated that Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Saudi Aramco, made the first discovery at the Hanifa reservoir in the Al-Hiran-1 well. It said the field was discovered after gas flowed at a rate of 30 million standard cubic feet per day from the said reservoir, along with 1,600 barrels of condensate, and gas flowed at a rate of 3.1 million scf per day from the Arab-C reservoir in the same field.

The second discovery was made at the Al-Mahakek-2 well where natural gas flowed at 0.85 million scf per day.

Natural gas was also discovered in five other reservoirs in previously discovered fields which includes the Jalla reservoir in the Assekra field where gas flowed at a rate of 46 million scf per day.

Unaizah-A reservoir located in the Shadoun field also witnessed a natural gas flow of 15.5 million scf per day, while gas gushed at a rate of million scf per day in the Mazalij field in the Unaizah B/C reservoir in southwest Dhahran.

According to the ministry report, reservoirs were also detected in the Al-Sara field and Al-Wadihi field, where natural gas flowed at a rate of 11.7 million and 5.1 million scf per day respectively.

The discovery of natural gas reservoirs is expected to complement Aramco’s strategic plan to increase gas production by over 50 percent from 2021 levels, with the goal of meeting domestic demand by 2030.

Earlier this month, Saudi Aramco began the production of unconventional tight gas from its South Ghawar operational area, two months ahead of its schedule.

Unconventional tight gas, also known as shale gas, is typically found in reserves where hydrocarbons are tightly trapped within rock layers. Extracting this gas demands specialized techniques like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for extraction.

The commissioned facilities at South Ghawar currently have a processing capacity of 300 million standard cubic feet per day for raw gas and 38,000 barrels per day for condensate.

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Tanzania: Tanzania launches the first integrated natural gas filling station center

TAQA Dalbit has announced the commissioning of Tanzania’s first integrated Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Filling Station and Conversion Center branded “Master Gas” located at Pugu Road-Airport Area in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


The project was developed by TAQA Dalbit, a Joint Venture (JV) between TAQA Arabia and JCG Oil & Gas, to bolster the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation’s resolve to increase the use of its natural gas reserves, which offers a cleaner and cheaper alternative to consumers.

Hon. Dr. Doto Mashaka Biteko, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy of Tanzania, who presided over the commissioning ceremony, lauded TAQA Arabia and JCG Oil & Gas for their joint investment and support to the government. He noted that:

“We are on the cusp of a transformative shift in Tanzania’s energy landscape. With the dedication and foresight of industry leaders like TAQA Dalbit, we are ushering in an era of sustainable energy solutions. The new CNG Filling Station and Conversion Center is a monumental achievement by TAQA Dalbit, demonstrating our nation’s technological prowess and commitment to a sustainable, greener, and economically efficient future.”

CNG-powered passenger vehicles are estimated to emit about 25% less CO2, CNG is on average, 50% cheaper for the consumer than liquid fuel. This filling station will increase consumption of clean energy that has minimal carbon content and is environmentally friendly. The CNG Station has a capacity of 11,000 KG of CNG (7600 sqm of compressed gas)  capable of serving up to 800 vehicles daily, while the conversion center will have the capacity to convert 1,000 vehicles/year. The conversion center will be able to convert all types of vehicles from passenger cars, multi-utility vehicles, sports utility vehicles, buses, and trucks.

The CNG station is the first of 12 stations TAQA Dalbit plans to deploy in the coming years in Tanzania to support the government’s strategic plans and increase the use of CNG as a cleaner, more affordable alternative fuel.

“JCG Oil & Gas is pleased to with work TAQA Arabia and the Tanzania Government to utilize the nation’s natural gas supplies with the go-live of our first TAQA Dalbit station. Through this joint venture, the Group’s vision of building a sustainable future is being realized. The provision of a combination of Natural Gas and traditional fuels will help us move our vision forward. We have been present in Tanzania for the last 15 years providing fuel solutions through Dalbit Tanzania, which was established in 2008. Natural gas is a more sustainable alternative energy source compared to petrol and diesel. Coming at a time when the cost of living is rising, motorists will be happy to know that this CNG station will provide a cheaper alternative for their daily vehicle use and that they can seamlessly convert their vehicles at our center.”

“We’re delighted to announce the commissioning of Tanzania’s inaugural integrated CNG Filling Station and Conversion Center in Dar es Salaam. We consider this a major milestone for TAQA Arabia as we join hands with JCG and the Tanzanian government, marking a significant stride in our commitment to serving Tanzania’s energy needs while aligning with the nation’s energy vision. TAQA Arabia, a leading energy provider and a pioneer in CNG technology, is thrilled to bring this cost-effective and eco-friendly solution to Tanzania, enhancing economic growth, and reducing emissions. With its know-how, and track record of successful energy projects, TAQA Arabia is willing to support Tanzania in benefiting from its gas reserves and great energy potential in the most effective, efficient, and sustainable solutions. TAQA Arabia is looking also to add greater value to clients with natural gas distribution, conventional and renewable power generation and distribution, and other utility services that the company provides.

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Australia: State Gas Limited CNG facility construction update

Brisbane, c (ABN Newswire) – State Gas Limited (ASX:GAS) (OTCMKTS:STGSF) provides this update on the construction of its compressed natural gas (“CNG”) facility which will support the processing and initial sale of production testing gas from the Company’s Rolleston West Project.


In response to several days of continuous rain on site, the Company has instructed construction crews to demobilise to limit the impact of standby costs. Civil construction and mechanical crews will remobilise to site when ground conditions are sufficient to allow productive work to resume. Only a few days of additional field work are required to complete the gathering system and construction pad. Once the construction pad is completed, mechanical and commissioning work on the CNG Facility can be undertaken even if wet weather persists.

State Gas Limited (ASX:GAS) is a Queensland-based developer of the Reid’s Dome gas field, originally discovered during drilling in 1955, located in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland. State Gas is 100%-owner of the Reid’s Dome Gas Project (PL-231) a CSG and conventional gas play, which is well-located 30 kilometres southwest of Rolleston, approximately 50 kilometres from the Queensland Gas Pipeline and interconnected east coast gas network.

Permian coal measures within the Reid’s Dome Beds are extensive across the entire permit but the area had not been explored for coal seam gas prior to State Gas’ ownership. In late 2018 State Gas drilled the first coal seam gas well in the region (Nyanda-4) into the Reid’s Dome Beds and established the potential for a significant coal seam gas project in PL 231. The extension of the coal measures into the northern and central areas of the permit was confirmed in late 2019 by the Company’s drilling of Aldinga East-1A (12 km north) and Serocold-1 (6 km to the north of Nyanda-4).

State Gas is also the 100% holder Authority to Prospect 2062 (“Rolleston-West”), a 1,414 km2 permit (eight times larger than PL 231) that is contiguous with the Reid’s Dome Gas Project. Rolleston-West contains highly prospective targets for both coal seam gas (CSG) and known conventional gas within the permit area. It is not restricted by domestic gas reservation requirements.

The contiguous areas (Reid’s Dome and Rolleston-West), under sole ownership by State Gas, enable integration of activities and a unified super-gasfield development, providing economies of scale, efficient operations, and optionality in marketing.

State Gas is implementing its strategic plan to bring gas to market from Reid’s Dome and Rolleston-West to meet near term forecast shortfalls in the east coast domestic gas market. The strategy involves progressing a phased appraisal prog

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Russia: Gazprom enters deal on construction of pipeline in far east to supply gas to China

Gazprom, a Russian majority state-owned multinational energy corporation, recently announced the signing of an agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China Oil & Gas Pipeline Network Corporation (PipeChina) in St. Petersburg for clean energy development.


The deal involves agreement on the design and construction of a pipeline section in the Far East, which will be used to deliver Russian gas to China. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee.

The agreement, according to Gazprom, governs the cooperation between the parties with regard to the design development and construction of the trans-border section of the gas pipeline to cross the Ussuri River in the vicinity of the Dalnerechensk town (Russia) and the Hulin city (China).

“The trans-border section is an essential element in the project for gas supplies from Russia to China via the Far Eastern route,” said Gazprom in a statement

Gazprom’s main partner in China is CNPC, a state-owned oil and gas company.

“China and Russia have strong complementarities in the energy sector, and there is still plenty of room for cooperation. The latest agreement will further enrich the channels for Russian gas imports to China,” said Lin Boqiang, the director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University

In 2014, Gazprom and CNPC signed a 30-year Sales and Purchase Agreement for 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year to be supplied via the eastern route (Power of Siberia gas pipeline). The ceremony marking the start of the first-ever pipeline supplies of Russian gas to China took place on December 2, 2019. This is the time Russia started gas supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline.

At present, China and Russia have only one land-based natural gas pipeline, which is known as the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline.

The long-term Sales and Purchase Agreement for natural gas to be supplied via the Far Eastern route was signed in February 2022. As soon as the project reaches its full capacity, the amount of Russian pipeline gas supplies to China is going to grow by 10 billion cubic meters, totaling 48 billion cubic meters per year.

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Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

Japan: MOL welcomes LNG-powered coal carrier Reimei

Japanese shipping companies Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Kyushu Electric Power Co. have revealed that LNG-powered coal carrier Reimei was delivered and started operation on November 14.


In a naming and delivery ceremony held at the Imari Shipyard and Works of Namura Shipbuilding Co. the new vessel was named Reimei.

Reimei, a 235-meter-long LNG-fueled coal carrier, is operated by MOL to transport coal from overseas to Kyuden’s coal-fired thermal power plants.

Compared to conventional marine fuel, LNG can reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide (CO2) by about 30%, sulfur oxides (SOx) by about 100%, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by about 80%.

The ship departed from Imari Port for shore-to-ship bunkering at Tobata Port in Fukuoka Prefecture scheduled for November 15, where it will receive fuel directly from the onshore LNG shipping terminal.

In the future, ship-to-ship bunkering from an LNG bunkering vessel can also be adopted as a way for the vessel to receive fuel.

A long-term transport agreement between MOL and Kyuden was concluded on December 25, 2019.

As part of its fleet expansion efforts, MOL recently placed an order for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier at Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI). The price tag for the vessel is $260 million. The LNG carrier is slated for delivery in 2026.

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Feance: CMA CGM orders a brace of LNG-powered RoPax ferries for La Méridionale

French shipping giant CMA CGM, on behalf of its newly acquired ferry subsidiary La Méridionale, has placed an order for two RoPax ferries which will be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG).


In February this year, CMA CGM revealed that it entered into exclusive discussions with STEF Group to acquire 100% of La Méridionale, a mixed freight and passenger shipping company based in Marseille. The acquisition was finalized in May 2023. With this new division, which aims to transport cargo and passengers more sustainably, CMA CGM intends to strengthen its overall decarbonization efforts.  

La Méridionale, which operates a daily freight and passenger service between Corsica and the continent, unveiled the design of the new ships. They will have a length of 180 meters and a width of 30.8 meters. The two new ships will be able to accommodate 1,000 passengers.

Furthermore, the ferries will be equipped with the latest environmentally friendly technologies, including two electric propulsion engines of 10.5MW powered by LNG.

With the use of this type of fuel, the ferry company expects that the units will achieve 99% of sulphur emissions reduction, and nitrogen oxide emissions will be reduced by 80%. The new vessels will also be able to use a variety of alternative fuels, including biogas and synthetic methane. They will sail under the French flag.

“With the support of its new shareholder, CMA CGM, La Méridionale is building a new chapter in its history. This order demonstrates our unwavering commitment to serving Corsica as part of our Public Service Delegation, our desire to offer a modern and unique experience to our customers, and our commitment to limiting our environmental footprint,” Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, President of La Méridionale, commented.

La Méridionale has four RoPax vessels, which operate up to 13 weekly crossings between Marseille, Porto Vecchio and Ajaccio, plus connections between Marseille and Morocco.

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Japan: MOL’s huge LNG carrier fleet continues to grow

The company’s CEO, Takeshi Hashimoto, and CFO, Hisashi Umemura, discussed MOL’s LNG business during a recent presentation on the company’s business performance for the second quarter of fiscal 2023.


According to the presentation, MOL had 97 LNG carriers in its fleet as of September 30 this year, three more vessels compared to the prior quarter.

MOL expects that it will have 99 LNG carriers in its fleet by the end of March next year.

This includes LNG carriers owned and/or operated by joint venture companies.

Besides LNG carriers, the liquefied gas carrier fleet also includes 2 LNG bunkering vessels, 1 LNG powership, 4 FSUs/FSRUs, 16 ammonia/LPG ships, and 6 ethane carriers.

Umemura said during the presentation that the company’s LNG carrier business performed better than expected reflecting entry into new contracts, while the FSRU business generated profit mostly in line with the forecast due to the start of the FSRU-based LNG import terminal in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s first FSRU-based LNG import facility, owned by a joint venture of CLP Power and HK Electric, started commercial operations in July.

MOL’s 263,000-cbm FSRU Bauhinia Spirit serves the offshore terminal under a charter deal.

Umemura said that the company’s LNG carrier and FSRU business will continue to generate “stable” profits due to start of new projects.

“We have ordered more than 30 LNG vessels based on the growth and the need for LNG transportation due to the increasing demand for LNG in Europe and other regions,” he said.

These vessels are expected to contribute to “stable” profit growth in fiscal 2024 and onwards, Umemura said.

MOL’s finance chief did not provide any additional details regarding the ordered LNG carriers.

A presentation by the company released earlier this year shows that MOL had 33 LNG carriers on order as of the end of March and a total of 127 LNG vessels in its fleet.

MOL said in the presentation that is the biggest LNG carrier fleet in the world looking at the number of vessels. NYK has the second-largest fleet, followed by Nakilat, K-Line, Maran Gas, and Teekay, the presentation showed.

South Korea and China

VesselsValue data shows that MOL has at least 34 LNG carriers on order in South Korea and China and scheduled for delivery between 2023 and 2027.

MOL previously ordered vessels at China’s Hudong-Zhonghua under the giant QatarEnergy giant shipbuilding program as well as vessels for charter to China’s ENN and for charter to China’s CNOOC.

The Japanese firm has in total 16 LNG carriers on order at Hudong-Zhonghua, the data shows.

Moreover, MOL has at least 3 LNG carriers on order at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries and 15 LNG carriers on order at Hanwha Ocean, previously known as DEME, according to the data.

Shipbuilding sources previously said that MOL has ordered five LNG carriers this year at Samsung Heavy, including the latest order in October.

MOL booked two LNG carriers at Hanwha Ocean this year.

Last month, MOL signed a new deal to charter one LNG carrier to compatriot LNG trading and power firm Jera.

This is the sixth LNG carrier charter contract for the two firms and follows a deal announced in June this year.

In June, UK’s Ineos also chartered two LNG carriers from MOL to ship its contracted US LNG supplies to Germany.

LNG-powered vessels

In addition to its growing fleet of LNG carriers, MOL plans to have 90 LNG-fueled vessels and methanol-powered ships in its fleet by 2030 as it looks to phase out heavy fuel oil and decarbonize its operations.

A spokeswoman for MOL told LNG Prime that the company currently has 27 oceangoing vessels and 6 coastal vessels powered by LNG in its fleet. This includes vessels on order.

In September, MOL ordered two more LNG-powered car carriers at compatriot Nihon Shipyard.

MOL has six LNG-powered car carriers with a capacity of 7,000 units on order at Nihon.

Besides these vessels, MOL also has four LNG-powered car carriers with the same capacity on order at Shin Kurushima Dockyard.

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Global LNG Development

France: MSC Cruises orders two LNG-fuelled ships from Chantiers de l’Atlantique

New ships, expected to be delivered in 2026 and 2027, will be ready to use a variety of alternative bunker fuels, including bio and synthetic methane and green methanol. MSC Cruises has confirmed the order for two cruise ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) with French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique, according to the latter on Monday (13 November). 


These two ships will complete the World Class series – “World Class” – already made up of the MSC World Europa which was delivered in October 2022 and the MSC World America which is expected to be delivered in spring 2025. 

The two new ships ordered – currently called World Class 3 and 4 – will be delivered in 2026 and 2027. Added to this order is an option for a fifth ship in the same series.

MSC World Europa and MSC World America are already the most energy efficient ships in the cruise industry, performing significantly above the requirements of the Organization’s Energy Efficient Design Index (EEDI) Maritime International (IMO).

“The new ships will represent yet another evolution compared to the previous ones, with even more innovative solutions to maximise energy efficiency, including intensive use of heat recovery, which will achieve an even smaller carbon footprint,” said the shipbuilder. 

Additionally, the new ships will be ready to use a variety of alternative bunker fuels, including bio and synthetic methane and green methanol. The ships will also be equipped with new generation internal combustion engines, notably allowing a reduction in methane leaks.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive President of the MSC Group Cruise Division, said: “We are proud to continue our 20-year partnership with Chantiers de l’Atlantique, with whom we have already built 18 ships, with our 19th ship currently under construction.”

“The World Class is a truly innovative prototype and together we are building some of the most advanced ships in the world. We are committed to researching and investing in future environmental technologies as they become available, to continue progressing our decarbonization journey to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Laurent Castaing, Managing Director of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, said: “At a difficult time for European shipbuilding, with this order, MSC Cruises is showing us its confidence in our capabilities and skills. We therefore firstly express our gratitude to MSC Cruises for its renewed confidence at this crucial moment.

“Furthermore, MSC Cruises, always looking for a rapid and significant reduction in the environmental impact of its ships, has accepted a significant additional cost in order to improve the energy efficiency of these new ships which, according to the EEDI index of the The OMI will emit half as much CO2 as the 2008 IMO reference.”

The new World Class ships will feature dock connection to reduce carbon emissions in ports, the most advanced wastewater treatment systems designed in accordance with IMO. They will also benefit from new advances in waste management and a full range of energy-efficient on-board equipment to optimise engine usage and energy requirements to further reduce emissions.

The implementation of the two new orders is subject to access to financing, in accordance with industry practices.

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South Korean: HD KSOE nets $530 million deal to build LNG carrier duo

South Korean shipbuilding giant HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. (HD KSOE) has received an order to build two liquified natural gas (LNG) carriers for an undisclosed shipowner from Africa.


According to the company’s stock exchange filling, the vessels will be built by HD KSOE’s subsidiary HD Hyundai Heavy Industries. 

The new LNG carriers have a price tag of KRW 698 billion ($530 million). The vessels are slated for delivery by the end of February 2028.

LNG carriers are attracting strategic investments from companies around the world.  These orders reflect the increasing prominence of liquefied natural gas as an efficient energy source, driving demand for specialized carriers to transport LNG.

Yesterday, HD KSOE revealed it won an order for the construction of two crude oil carriers. The tanker duo has been ordered by an unnamed shipping company from Liberia.

Since the beginning of the year, HD KSOE clinched $20.89 billion worth of orders to build 146 vessels and a floating production unit. This represents 132.7 percent of its yearly order target of $15.74 billion.

To remind, 2022 for South Korean shipbuilders was a very successful year when it comes to orders for the construction of the vessels.

The country’s builders won 70 percent (10.1 million CGT) of global orders (14.5 million CGT) for large-scale LNG carriers in a bumper year for the sector which saw a 131 pct rise in orders resulting in 14.5 million CGT. The ordering spree was triggered by heightened demand for LNG tonnage stemming from energy security tensions instigated by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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Bangladesh: Excelerate Energy and Petrobangla sign long-term LNG SPA

Excelerate Energy, Inc. has signed a long-term LNG sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with the Bangladesh Oil, Gas & Mineral Corp. (Petrobangla). Under the SPA, Petrobangla has agreed to purchase 0.85 – 1.0 million tpy of LNG from Excelerate for a term of 15 years beginning January 2026. Excelerate will deliver 0.85 million tpy of LNG in 2026 and 2027 and 1 million tpy from 2028 – 2040.


“Bangladesh is one of the most dynamic LNG markets in the world, and Excelerate has been a key player since the country began importing LNG. Natural gas is important to Bangladesh’s economy, and we look forward to partnering with Petrobangla to help the country meet its rapidly growing energy needs,” said Steven Kobos, President and CEO of Excelerate. “Long-term LNG offtake agreements like this SPA are an essential part of our integrated growth strategy. Our ability to secure long-term SPAs is expected to result in rateable economic uplift on our existing infrastructure and meaningful val-ue creation for our shareholders.”

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Japan: MOL announces LNG-fuelled coal carrier “Reimei” commencing operation

Vessel departed from Imari Port on 14 November for shore-to-ship bunkering at Tobata Port on 15 November, where it will receive bunker fuel directly from the onshore LNG shipping terminal.


Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. (Kyuden) on Tuesday (14 November) announced a LNG-fuelled Panamax coal carrier, which runs on LNG bunker fuel, was delivered and started operation on 14 November.

In a naming and delivery ceremony held at the Imari Shipyard and Works of Namura Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., the new vessel was named Reimei.

The Reimei departed from Imari Port on 14 November for shore-to-ship bunkering at Tobata Port in Fukuoka Prefecture on 15 November, where it will receive fuel directly from the onshore LNG shipping terminal.

Reimei is operated by MOL to transport coal from overseas to Kyuden’s coal-fired thermal power plants.

“In the future, ship-to-ship bunkering from an LNG bunkering vessel can also be adopted as a way for the vessel to receive fuel,” MOL said in a statement.

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Russia: Serbia secures Azeri gas supplies from next year

One of Russia’s closest allies in Europe, Serbia has signed a deal that involves diversifying from Russian gas pipeline supplies, despite strong political connections between the two nations and an existing long-term gas purchase agreement with Russian gas giant Gazprom.


The new agreement involves the supply of 400 million cubic metres of gas from Azerbaijan next year and was signed by Serbia’s Mining & Energy Minister Dubravka Djedovic Handanovic and Azeri Energy Minister Pyarviz Shakhbazov in Baku on Wednesday.

The first supplies are expected when Serbia and Bulgaria commission a pipeline between the two countries sometime next year.

Construction started early this year on the 1700-kilometre interconnector pipeline, which will run from Novi Iskar in Bulgaria to Nis in Serbia.

The pipeline will have a throughput capacity of 1.8 billion cubic metres per annum of gas, with reverse flow capability enabling imports of gas from Serbia if needed, according to Bulgaria’s transmission operator Bulgartransgaz.

As well as imports of Azeri gas through the Southern Gas Corridor trunkline network that links Azerbaijan with Southern Europe, the upcoming connector pipeline is expected to be used to carry gas across Bulgaria to Serbia from liquefied natural gas terminals in Greece and Croatia.

According to the Azeri Energy Ministry, deliveries of gas to Serbia will be handled by state run oil and gas producer Socar, with the supply contract being the company’s eighth in Europe.

Azerbaijan has agreed to almost double gas exports to the European Union to about 20 Bcm per annumin the next five to seven years, as the bloc seeks to secure long-term contracts to replace Russian gas pipeline supplies lost following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine early last year.

Serbia is currently receiving gas via the Russian Gazprom-owned and operated Turkstream gas pipeline, which crosses the Black Sea to Turkey, and then runs onshore to Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

Serbia already has a 15-year long-term supply contract with Gazprom for about 3.5 Bcm per annum of Russian gas.

Djedovic-Handanovic said gas supplies from Azerbaijan to Serbia may increase further after 2024, but did not specify anticipated volumes.

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LNG as a Marine Fuel/Shipping

NYK takes delivery of seventh LNG-fuelled PCTC “Sweet Pea Leader”

NYK recently took delivery of the LNG-fuelled pure car and truck carrier Sweet Pea Leader at Tadotsu Shipyard Co., Ltd., a member of the Imabari Shipbuilding Group, on 26 October.


Japanese shipping firm NYK on Friday (10 November) said it took delivery of the LNG-fuelled pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) Sweet Pea Leader at Tadotsu Shipyard Co., Ltd., a member of the Imabari Shipbuilding Group, on 26 October. 

The vessel was ordered by NYK from Nihon Shipyard Co., Ltd. and is NYK’s seventh LNG-fuelled PCTC. 

NYK said it aimed to introduce a total of 20 new LNG-fuelled PCTCs by 2028 as a bridge-solution to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) by 2050 for the NYK Group’s oceangoing businesses.Like NYK’s other LNG-fuelled PCTCs, the vessel was named after flowers with the desire to realise and pass on a healthy global environment through environment-friendly transportation.

NYK has established “Sail GREEN” as the company’s brand to emphasise NYK’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions through the transport of goods and contribute to the eco-friendly supply chains of customers, regardless of the mode of transport. Completion of this vessel is an initiative of that brand.

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

UK: Building starts on new HGV biomethane refuelling station in Doncaster

Construction has begun in Doncaster on the latest HGV refuelling station by ReFuels NV, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of renewable biomethane (Bio-CNG) for the decarbonisation of HGVs.


The company says the site in South Yorkshire – one of the country’s largest logistic hubs – ”puts 90% of the UK’s population and four of the country’s largest ports within a four to five hours of the station. It is within an hour’s range of Immingham Docks, the UK’s largest port by tonnage. With 76% of all intermodal journeys involving HGVs beginning or ending at a shipping dock, ReFuels claims the new station will play a fundamental role in enabling major fleets to cut emissions by over 90% when compared to diesel. 

The new station will host 12 refuelling pumps, capable of refuelling more than 500 HGVs daily. At capacity, this is estimated to cut 60,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Philip Fjeld, CEO & Co-Founder of ReFuels, said: “Fleets around the country are under significant pressure to slash emissions and today, there’s only one viable option – 100% renewable biomethane. Our latest site to enter construction in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, is set to transform access to Bio-CNG for fleets travelling to and from the UK’s largest ports.

“As a key logistics hub in the UK, the Doncaster station will not only expand the reach of low-carbon deliveries for our existing customers, including the likes of Amazon, DHL, and Lidl, but many more major brands and local hauliers looking to make substantial emission cuts of over 90% from fleets. And we’re not stopping here – ReFuels is continuing to open and build new stations up and down the country, to cater to the soaring demand for low-carbon fuel.”

The station is a joint venture between CNG Fuels, the infrastructure arm of ReFuels, and sustainability-led investment management company, Foresight Group.

Renewable biomethane – derived from food waste and manure – is described as the lowest carbon, most cost-effective alternative fuel to diesel available to HGVs today, cutting emissions by over 90% while providing up to 40% lifetime fuel cost savings.

As the UK Government sets out to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles by 2040, fleet operators are under growing pressure to seek alternative solutions that will enable major emission cuts. Such pressure is reflected in the soaring demand for Bio-CNG from fleet operators. In July 2023 alone, ReFuels said it saw an 80% increase in fuel dispensed compared to the same period in the previous year.

The company has major plans to expand its network of renewable biomethane refuelling stations across the UK to meet the growing demand for low-carbon, renewable Bio-CNG. By 2026, ReFuels plans to open between 30-40 new stations, with a total capacity to refuel 15,000 HGVs daily, and dispense more than 600,000 tonnes of renewable biomethane every year – equivalent to cutting the UK’s HGV emissions by 8%.

The company is also preparing for future technologies, with plans to host hydrogen trials across its sites, to ensure the infrastructure is readily available to cater to new technologies when they come commercially viable. CNG Fuels – ReFuels’ infrastructure arm – is already working alongside industry to deliver the largest hydrogen mobility corridor in the UK.

The group has one more station under construction in Aylesford in Southeast England and expects another station to commence construction during the financial reporting year ending March 31, 2024.

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US: One Auto Stock to Buy Now to Split the EV Difference

For car companies, it hasn’t been easy being stuck someplace in the transition to electric vehicles. The old-fashioned combustion engine is on its way out, creating a major headwind for traditional auto companies. But the transition to EVs has hit some roadblocks, creating uncertainty about where it goes next.


Coming from Danaher means Vontier applies the Danaher Business System, or DBS, to its business. That essentially means small bolt-on acquisitions to boost growth while improving profit margins using lean manufacturing techniques. Among industrial investors, DBS is the gold standard—and it has also paid off for shareholders. Danaher stock has gained more than 140% over the past five years, outpacing the S&P 500’s 73% rise.

Despite its storied ancestry, Vontier is only starting to hit its groove. One problem has been perception. Vontier sells gas pumps to convenience stores and gas stations, and as cars go electric, the concern is that no one will need gas pumps. That isn’t quite right. Heavy-duty trucking might never go fully electric, and Vontier technology can dispense hydrogen, natural gas, or anything else trucks need.

What’s more, just 1% or so of the total number of vehicles on U.S. roads are battery-electric vehicles, and even if 40% of light vehicles sold in the U.S. were all-electric by 2023, they would represent roughly 10% of the total fleet. Vontier will benefit from that transition through its EV-charging business. “We’ve actually got 50,000 plugs under management,” says CEO Mark Morelli. “That’s one of the leading platforms [based on the] number of plugs under management.”

 Vontier (ticker: VNT), which makes a variety of gear for both gas-powered and electric vehicles, has been stuck in a different kind of transition. It was spun out of Fortive (FTV) in 2020, after Fortive itself was split off from Danaher in 2016. That has left Vontier in an in-between state as investors try to figure out what the company is and where its business is going. Shares have dropped 8% since peaking in September 2021, even after gaining more than 70% this year.

Despite the lackluster returns since the spin, Vontier is a stock that can win no matter what kind of car people decide to drive. The Raleigh, N.C.–based company specializes in software and hardware for every stage of driving. It sells gas pumps to gas stations and convenience stores as well as the card readers and point-of-sale software that make them work. It helps commercial fleet owners know how their equipment is being used. It also sells the tools mechanics need to fix all the vehicles. Its products are in hundreds of thousands of locations, mainly in North America and Europe.

Another technology transition has caused some bumps: the shift from credit-card swipes to chip readers. Vontier makes all the equipment and software for card readers. The switch to chips provided a nice $500 million boost to sales from roughly 2020 through 2022, but when that surge ended, Vontier’s revenue stagnated. Over the coming two years, Wall Street sees sales growth returning to about 4% a year on average. “The stock is pricing in revenue declines, while we see growth ahead,” UBS analyst Robert Jamieson writes. He rates shares Buy and has a $38 price target for the stock, up 14% from a recent $33.43 a share.

The Danaher business system—or Vontier business system, as the company refers to it—will turn those sales into earnings. The approach relies on decentralized, hands-on management, and pulls together people from all levels of the company. As a result, operating profit margins should hit 22% in 2024, above the 16% average for industrial companies in the S&P 500. For the coming two years, Wall Street expects earnings growth of about 10% a year on average, to $3.45 a share in 2025.

Vontier’s valuation seems too low for that kind of growth. It trades at just 10.7 times 2024 earnings, below the S&P 500’s 18.2 times, where earnings have grown at about 12% a year on average for the past few years. Jamieson’s $38 target would put Vontier’s valuation at 12 times. If it can get to 15 times, it would be worth $52 a share, up 50% from recent levels.

Vontier’s technologies will be around for decades, and the company will continue to adapt to the rules of the road. It’s time to buy the stock.

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