NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT – AUGUST 2019, VOLUME I

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City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

Clean fuel race: CNG may turn out to be key to India's automobile future | Gurugram industrial units which didn't switch to PNG may face closure | Thrust on CNG leads to 50% growth in fuel’s demand

Clean fuel race: CNG may turn out to be key to India’s automobile future

CNG may turn out to be the key to India’s automobile future and the dream of increasing the share of natural gas. The government is going ahead with a massive push for clean fuel, coupled with an expansion of city gas distribution (CGD).

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The ninth and tenth rounds of CGD bidding are expected to see investments of around Rs 1.2 trillion in a decade, of which a major chunk of the business is dependent on compressed natural gas. CNG may turn out to be the key to India’s automobile future and the dream of increasing the share of natural gas to 15 per cent in its energy basket, from around 6 per cent now.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/clean-fuel-race-cng-may-turn-out-to-be-key-to-india-s-automobile-future-119072901696_1.html

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Gurugram industrial units which didn’t switch to PNG may face closure

Industries in the state’s National Capital Region (NCR) districts that are yet to switch to piped natural gas (PNG) as an alternative to traditional fuels, despite the availability of PNG,

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will be liable for closure as per an order by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Officials in the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) said they have identified such industries and begun sending closure notices to individual units. In Gurugram, out of more than 625 units, at least 74 units have adopted PNG, while at least 160 are in process. Pet-coke and furnace oil, frequently used earlier, were banned in Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh by the Supreme Court in 2017. In the context of deadly air pollution levels in Gurugram, the National green tribunal (NGT) has recommended allowing less number of new factories to be set up in and around Gurugram. Moreover, it has also suggested to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the state government that all the industrial units that are running on coal should be barred from functioning. The strict observation comes at a time when a large number of industrial units are already facing action by the public authorities. Taking stern action against those industrial units causing pollution, the Haryana state pollution control board (HSPCB) had earlier sealed 30 industrial units. The strict measures against the industrial units were anticipated as the public agency had serviced notices to various industrial units that were causing pollution. Over 800 such units have been issued notices. Moreover, based on the evaluation, the HSPCB has also categorised industries into various zones based on the pollutions of these units. Around 230 units have been placed under the red category the highest level for those causing maximum pollution.

http://www.millenniumpost.in/delhi/ggn-industrial-units-which-didnt-switch-to-png-may-face-closure-366196 

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Thrust on CNG leads to 50% growth in fuel’s demand

Consumption of petrol and diesel, which have much larger market, rose 48% and 20%. Demand for compressed natural gas (CNG) has expanded by 50% in four years

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due to a combination of the Modi government’s thrust on popularising the less-polluting fuel, expansion of filling stations, lower gas prices and multiple CNG vehicle launches by automakers. CNG sales rose to 3,076 thousand metric tonnes in 2018-19 from 2,037 thousand metric tonnes in 2014-15. Consumption of petrol and diesel, which have much larger market, rose 48% and 20%, respectively, in the same period. “The government’s strong commitment to the natural gas sector has been the biggest demand driver. This has helped expand fuel supply and boosted automakers’ confidence in CNG vehicles,” said ES Ranganathan, managing director of Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), a gas utility active in Delhi and its suburbs. “Automakers have launched CNG variants of several passenger and commercial models in the past few years, increasing vehicle sales and fuel demand.” Ford, Honda, Mahindra and Eicher have in recent years launched CNG variants of passenger cars and commercial trucks joining Maruti and Hyundai, which had mostly dominated the factory-fitted CNG vehicles category for years. As automakers spent more resources on manufacturing CNG vehicles, they also pushed their dealerships to drive up sales. The share of factory-fitted CNG vehicles has rapidly expanded in the past few years. Previously, vehicle owners would mostly retrofit their cars after their warranties had expired. Unavailability of land for setting up filling stations had hampered expansion for years but oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan prompted state-run oil companies to provide space for CNG dispensers at their petrol pumps, helping boost the number of CNG stations by 71% in 4 years to 1,730.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/thrust-on-cng-leads-to-50-growth-in-fuels-demand/70355692

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India to launch rules to end gas distributors’ monopoly in 34 cities

The Indian government is set to introduce rules in six months that could lead to the phase-out of monopolies controlled by natural gas distribution companies 

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in 34 cities, including New Delhi and Mumbai, allowing many consumers to choose a new supplier, a senior regulatory official said. In 2009, natural gas supply regulator – the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) – gave exclusive gas marketing rights, initially for five years, to companies who had established gas distribution networks in cities across the country. It allowed them to use their pipelines exclusively for 25 years to help them recover billions of dollars they had invested. However, now one of the three members of the PNGRB’s board said the regulator is soon moving to open up the still relatively new business to competition. “These companies have more than recovered their costs as indicated by their profitability and market cap,” said the board member, Satpal Garg, who is in control of its commercial and monitoring responsibilities. The rules will be ready in three months, and implementation would take another three months as the regulator will first seek feedback from companies and the public.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/india-to-launch-rules-to-end-gas-distributors-monopoly-in-34-cities/70244533

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Electric vehicles may lower attractiveness of Mahanagar Gas

Mumbai-based city gas distribution company Mahanagar Gas (MGL) may face some challenges thanks to the government’s push to make electric vehicles (EVs) affordable for consumers.

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The Union Budget on 5 July proposed to cut the goods and services tax (GST) on EVs from the current 12% to 5% by recommending it to the GST Council. In addition, an income-tax deduction of up to ₹1.5 lakh can be availed on the interest paid on loans taken for EVs. The move is expected to save tax of around ₹2.5 lakh over a five-year loan period for taxpayers. The Budget also reduced Customs duty on parts exclusively used for EVs like e-drive assembly, on-board charger, e-compressor, and charging gun to zero. In addition to making EVs attractive, the ending of MGL’s marketing exclusivity could make it vulnerable to the entry of new players in Mumbai and Thane where its marketing exclusivity has ended. MGL’s marketing exclusivity will end in Raigad district in the next year. Additionally, Mumbai’s state transport service, BEST has finalised plans to add 400 new air-conditioned mini buses to its fleet. However, its focus is on EVs. “Out of proposed addition of 1,500 buses, 500 buses would be CNG-driven and will increase CNG sales by a mere 1.5%. Thus the volume is likely to grow by 3% in FY20E below MGL’s guidance of 6%,” said Reliance Securities in a note released on 12 July. “We envisage fall in EBITDA margin with limited growth potential, going forward,” added Reliance Securities. Besides, in the piped natural gas (household) segment, the government has reduced the prices of subsidised LPG cylinders by ₹3 per cylinder, which makes a PNG household connection 4% dearer than an LPG cylinder.

https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/electric-vehicles-may-lower-attractiveness-of-mahanagar-gas-1563008126737.html

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PNGRB identifies 19 districts from Odisha for CGD project

Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has identified as many as 19 districts of Odisha for authorizing the development of City Gas Distribution (CGD) network.

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The move is in synchronization with the development of natural gas pipeline connectivity, natural gas availability and techno-commercial viability to provide Piped Natural Gas (PNG) in the state. These 19 districts identified for CGD projects are Khordha, Cuttack, Angul, Dhenkanal, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Bargarh, Debagarh, Sambalpur, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur & Keonjhar. Union petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan informed on the projects in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.  PNGRB has authorised 228 GAs covering 406 districts spread over 27 States and Union Territories up to 10th CGD bidding round. Dharmendra Pradhan distributed the Letter of Intents (LOIs) to 12 successful entities for 50 Geographical Areas (GAs) under the 10th CGD Bidding Round March 2019 awarded by PNGRB. A PNGRB’s report claimed, “As per the commitment made by the various entities in the 50 GAs approved for issuance of LoIs in 10th CGD Bidding Round, 2,02,92,760 domestic PNG (piped natural gas) connections and 3,578 CNG (compressed natural gas) stations for transport sector would be installed largely during a period of 8 years up to March 31, 2029, in addition to 58,177 inch-km of steel pipeline.” “Further, the entities would be authorised to supply natural gas to industrial and commercial units in their respective GAs as per the limits provided in the CGD Authorisation Regulations,” report says.

https://www.orissapost.com/pngrb-identifies-19-districts-from-odisha-for-cgd-project/

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Electric, natural gas autos find few takers in Kozhikode

Absence of compressed natural gas (CNG) bunks and delay in issuing city permit to green autorickshaws have affected the move to promote electric and natural gas autorickshaws in the city limit. Even eight months after the decision to issue city permit to 3,000 green autorickshaws, only 11 people have bought electricity and CNG-run autorickshaws. 

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According to the figures, only nine CNG-run autorickshaws are registered under the Kozhikode regional transport office (RTO).  The number of electric autorickshaws is two in the office limit. “Currently, there is no CNG bunk in the city. We are forced to use petrol as fuel for our vehicle,” said K Bala Subrahmanian, an owner of a CNG-run autorickshaw. The mileage of the vehicle when using petrol is only 26km/litre, and we are not even able to pay the interest of the loan taken for purchasing the autorickshaw, said Subrahmanian. According to the autorickshaw drivers operating CNG autos, the maximum amount they earn daily is Rs 500. They have to spend nearly half of the sum for filling petrol and the remaining sum is not enough to meet the daily expenses and to pay the interest on bank loan. The situation would improve if CNG bunks start operation in the city, said Noushad, leader of city auto drivers’ coordination committee. It was in November 2018 that the motor vehicles department (MVD) had decided to issue fresh city permit to 3,000 autorickshaws, including 2,000 electric and 1,000 CNG autorickshaws. The plan was to give fresh permits only to green autorickshaws to reduce pollution in the city limit.

Though the decision was taken to issue city permit to green autorickshaws, MVD authorities are yet to issue any fresh city permit to green autos. While two owners of CNG autos transferred the permit of their old petrol and diesel autos for their green autos, other seven CNG auto owners are now carrying out service in rural areas. “Many do not prefer electric autorickshaws and CNG autos as they fear mechanical issues,” said deputy transport commissioner Vineesh Kumar.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/electric-natural-gas-autos-find-few-takers-in-kozhikode/articleshow/70368156.cms

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City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

Electric Mobility

Natural Gas / Pipelines / Company News

Policy Matters/Gas Pricing/Others

LNG Development and Shipping

 

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SNAPSHOT: NATIONAL

Electric Mobility

The great EV policy confusion 2.0 begins | Cost of Confusion- EV Policy! | Amsterdam to ban all gas and diesel cars by 2030

The great EV policy confusion 2.0 begins

A plan that gave automakers sleepless nights for weeks does not exist. On Tuesday (July 16), Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the government had no plan to ban fossil fuel vehicles. Same day in Parliament,

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Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari too signaled the ban wasn’t coming. It surprised many of us who had read several media reports over the last few weeks on Niti Aayog’s plan to prohibit the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles as part of the government’s strategy to promote electric vehicle (EV). Enraged automakers met Niti Aayog officials, hoping to persuade them to drop the idea but returned more frustrated and used every media platform available to blast the ‘impractical’ idea. And yet, the Oil Minister said there was no such official plan. The anxiety of automakers was just a result of some ‘miscommunication’, he said. You might wonder what really was happening? Just a few days earlier, on 11th July, Gadkari had told Parliament about a Niti Aayog proposal that required all new three wheelers and two wheelers sold after March 2023 and March 2025, respectively, to be electric. “This has been decided after detailed deliberations with key stakeholders of different Ministries for cleaning up Indian cities and to ensure rapid transition towards Electric Vehicles and making India a manufacturing base for electric two wheelers and electric three wheelers,” Gadkari said. Again, you might wonder if the timelines were frozen after consultations with ‘key stakeholders of different ministries’, how come we have such diverse views emerging from within the government now. You might also be inclined to speculate on the reasons for this. The Modi government isn’t new to the flip flops on EVs. The first term of the Modi government was riddled with instances of ministers airing views and setting timelines on electrification of country’s transportation system that were often contradictory and rarely backed by action, prompting The Economic Times to call it ‘An Electrifying Confusion’ in an article in March 2018 that captured the EV policy muddle of the first term.

The second term promised to be different. While the ministers had barely settled in their seats, a slew of media reports showed that a Niti Aayog-led inter-ministerial panel had proposed several high-impact measures for faster adoption of EVs. The biggest of these was a phase-out plan for fossil fuel vehicles. But the heads of some of the stakeholder ministries are now saying: count us out. Is it just a squabble that precedes major policymaking? Is it about industry lobbies fighting back? Does this say something about our commitment to promoting electric vehicles and fighting killer pollution? There could be a variety of views coloured by our experience, beliefs, interests, and goals. But one thing is clear: we have been able to successfully carry The Great EV Policy Confusion from the first to the second term of the Modi government.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/energy-speak/the-great-ev-policy-confusion-2-0-begins/3681

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Cost of Confusion- EV Policy!

The first casualty of confusion is the investor and consumer confidence. If the roadmap for adoption of EV and phase-out of fossil fuel cars remain unclear, it would be harder for automakers to assess project risk and allocate required capital.

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This could result in sub-optimal investments in both conventional and EV manufacturing, leading to demand-supply mismatch in future. Similarly, consumers, unsure of future ecosystem support, would be slower in buying electric vehicles, hurting their demand. This would ensure EVs take much longer, if at all, to go mainstream. The confusion can be equally damaging to the fossil fuel supplier industry as companies’ investment decisions enormously depend on the composition of vehicles in future. If all new vehicles were to be electric, it can dramatically reduce demand for petrol and diesel, which would require refiners to reassess their capital allocation for refining and marketing. Oil firms in India plan to spend more than Rs 1.2 lakh crore to set up brand new city gas network to supply CNG vehicles, homes and industries. They also plan to spend lakhs of crores of rupees to raise refining capacity by three-fourths and double the number of filling stations they operate. The confusion of the last five years has meant we have barely progressed on EV adoption while China, or other countries serious about fighting pollution, have made massive progress. The market share of electric cars is mere 0.06% in India while it’s 2% in China and 39% in Norway, according to the Economic Survey. Similarly, India has about 150 public charging stations while China has 70,000 and the US has 24,000. Meanwhile, pollution has intensified in Indian cities. An estimated 74,000 premature deaths were attributable to transportation emission in India in 2015, up 28% from 2010, according to a report by researchers at The International Council on Clean Transportation. India can decide to permit only electric vehicles after a decade. It can decide against barring fossil fuel vehicles from its roads ever. It can favour a middle path permitting certain low-emission fossil fuel vehicles on roads but not all after a decade or so. Any decision the government takes would have some bitter-sweet consequences for different stakeholders. And yet this would be better than the dense fog of confusion that currently envelops EV policy making. The fog must lift and the government as a whole – not one arm or the other – should lay out the roadmap for the most consequential energy and transport transition of our times.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/energy-speak/the-great-ev-policy-confusion-2-0-begins/3681

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Amsterdam to ban all gas and diesel cars by 2030

This means people are not allowed to drive any gas or diesel cars in the city by 2030. Pollution is the most silent killer and is one of the greatest cause that is dangerous to health in Amsterdam said the councilor responsible for the city’s traffic, Sharon Dijksma.

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The Air clean plan will be implemented in different phases which start from next year onwards. The diesel cars older than more than 15 years will be banned from going within the A10 ring road around the Dutch capital by 2022. Smoke emitting buses and coaches will be banned after 2022. The ban will also be imposed on the pleasure craft and mopeds by 2025 all the traffic in the urban area must be pollution free by 2030. To encourage EV adoption, residents to go electric by providing EV charging stations to every EV buyer. Currently, Amsterdam has 3,000 charging stations and there is a need to add more 16,000 and 23,000 by 2025. As usual, the common hindrances to the good cause, the Rai Association, the automotive industry’s lobby group, is not favoring the plan, “Many tens of thousands of families who have no money for an electric car will soon be left out in the cold. That makes Amsterdam a city of the rich,” said a spokesman. Amsterdam has joined with many European cities which are also following the same cause of removing the pollution from the country. Madrid, a central capital of Spain restricted the access to gas vehicles made prior to 2000 and diesel vehicles to 2006. Rome has taken the pledge to ban diesel vehicles by 2024. The Danish government wants to eliminate gas and diesel cars by 2030 and hybrids by 2035. Many countries are taking initiatives to eliminate pollution levels in the country as it is the need for the people to take a step now, otherwise, the future will become worst to live in. 

Source: electricvehicles.in

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Natural Gas / Pipelines / Company News

Reliance topples Indian Oil to become highest-ranked Indian firm on Fortune Global 500 list| Reliance, BP spending $5 billion on three gas projects in KG-D6 block: Bernard Looney, BP | Government to sign revenue sharing contract with OALP-II & III bid winners

Reliance topples Indian Oil to become highest-ranked Indian firm on Fortune Global 500 list

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has jumped 42 places to become the highest-ranking Indian firm on the Fortune Global 500 list. State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) had been the top-ranked Indian company on the list and was first on the Fortune India 500 list which was started in 2010.

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“This year, ranked 106, Reliance Industries (RIL) has replaced IOC (117) as the top-ranked Indian company on the Global 500 list,” Fortune said. RIL’s revenue soared 32.1 per cent from $62.3 billion in 2018 to $82.3 billion in 2019. In comparison, IOC clocked a 17.7 per cent growth in revenue from $65.9 billion to $77.6 billion. “Over the past 10 years, RIL’s revenue rose at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.2 per cent from $41.1 billion in 2010, while that of IOC rose at 3.64% from $54.3 billion in 2010,” it said. Besides, RIL and IOC, Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), State Bank of India (SBI), Tata Motors, Bharat Petroleum Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Rajesh Exports are the other Indian companies to feature on the list. ONGC has moved up 37 places to 160th rank on the global list, while SBI lost 20 places to 236th rank. Tata Motors slipped 33 places to 265th position. BPCL rose 39 places to rank 275th spot, while Rajesh Exports slipped 90 places to rank 495th. US giant Walmart continues to top the Fortune 500 list followed by Chinese state-owned oil and gas company Sinopec Group, which moved one rank up. Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell was ranked third followed by China National Petroleum and State Grid. Saudi oil giant Saudi Aramco appeared for the first time in top 10 at sixth position, while BP, Exxon Mobil, Volkswagen, and Toyota Motor are ranked 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th position respectively. “The journey of RIL, which marks its 16th year on the Global 500 list this year, to the top position has been interesting. The average difference of its revenues with that of IOC was $9.4 billion in the nine years from 2010 to 2018. The difference was as high as $13.2 billion in 2010. The gap started to narrow after 2016 when RIL’s revenue was $11.3 billion lesser than IOC. The difference further fell to $6.6 billion and $3.6 billion in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and RIL surpassed IOC by $4.7 billion in 2019,” Fortune said. Over the 10-year-period, IOC saw its highest revenue at $86 billion in 2012, which is $9.8 billion higher than its revenue in 2019. Interestingly, 2012 also saw RIL registering its second-highest revenue of $76.1 billion. The absolute increase in RIL’s revenue between 2012 and 2019 is $8.2 billion. At the 2012 peak, IOC and RIL were ranked at 83 and 99 positions, respectively, on the Global 500 list. In 2018, RIL was ranked 148th and IOC was at 137th place, it added.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/reliance-topples-indian-oil-to-become-highest-ranked-indian-firm-on-fortune-global-500-list/70355766

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Reliance, BP spending $5 billion on three gas projects in KG-D6 block: Bernard Looney, BP

BP, British oil and gas firm, and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) are collectively spending $5 billion to execute three gas development projects in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin, said Bernard Looney, BP’s chief executive (upstream), on Tuesday (July 16).

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“Strong relationship between BP and reliance is another great example of what can be achieved by working together at scale. Together we are spending up to $5 billion to execute three gas development projects in the KG-D6 block and together we are expected to bring about one billion cubic feet per day of new domestic gas on stream by 2022,” said Looney. RIL and BP had last month announced the sanction of the MJ project, also known as D55, in Block KG D6. MJ would be the third of three new projects in the Block KG-D6 Integrated Development Plan. The approval follows sanctions for the development of ‘R-Series’ deep-water gas field in June 2017 and for the satellites cluster in April 2018. Together the three projects are expected to develop a total of about three trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
He added that the companies’ hope to unlock a new offshore base in Odisha and are currently working in the Mahanadi basin to explore ways of both economically developing discoveries and building a pipeline of exploration and development opportunities. “As partners we are delighted to also win the new KG-UDW1 block, which is located adjacent to our existing KG-D6 block and within a reasonable time and distance of the existing infrastructure, it therefore provides additional resources to extend the production profile for the KG-D6 facilities,” Looney said. According to Looney, India as per the current trends will overtake China as the largest growth market for energy in the mid-2020s and according to BP’s energy outlook, the country’s.

Source: ET Energyworld

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Govt to sign revenue sharing contract with OALP-II & III bid winners

Government will sign revenue sharing contracts with recently announced winners of the second and third round of oil and gas auctions held under the Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP),

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upstream regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) said in a statement. Oil and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is going to preside over the contract signing ceremony to be held in New Delhi. M M Kutty, secretary at the oil ministry, V P Joy, directorate general of DGH and Bernard Looney, chief executive at BP will address the conference. Government-owned Oil India, Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta, and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) won the maximum number of oil and gas fields under OALP-II and OALP-III auctions. According to DGH, Oil India bagged 12 blocks followed by Vedanta with 10 and ONGC with eight, in both rounds put together. The government had collectively put 37 blocks on offer under OALP-II and OALP-III, of which 32 blocks have been awarded. British oil and gas firm BP along with its Indian upstream partner Reliance Industries (RIL) bagged one block under OALP -II in the Krishna-Godavari basin. According to the oil ministry, the country’s acreage increased 210,000 square kilometre (sq km) by the end of OALP-II and OALP-III in 2019, as compared to 90,000 sq km in 2017. Fourth window of submitting Expression of Interests (EoI) for OALP-IV closed on 15 May this year. Fifth window of EoI submissions commenced from 16 May and would end on 15 November 2019. The new policy replaced the old system of government carving out areas and bidding them out. It guarantees marketing and pricing freedom and moves away from production sharing model to a revenue-sharing model where companies that offer maximum share of oil and gas to the government are awarded the block.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/govt-to-sign-revenue-sharing-contract-with-oalp-ii-iii-bid-winners-tomorrow/70226892

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Oil Ministry eyes Rs 6,000-crore viability gap funding for Northeast gas grid project

The oil ministry will soon approach the Cabinet for about Rs 6,000 crore in viability gap funding (VGF) for the proposed gas grid in the northeast. Indradhanush Gas Grid Ltd (IGGL),

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a joint venture of Indian Oil, ONGC, GAIL, Oil India, and Numaligarh Refinery, plans to lay 1,600-kilometre northeast gas grid at a cost of about RS 10,000 crore. IGGL would need about 60% funding support from the central government for this, an official said. Without funding support from the Centre, state firms will find it hard to launch the project, the official said, adding that the project was crucial to building the national gas grid and the economic development of the northeast region. The government had in 2016 provided a capital grant of Rs 5,176 crore, or 40% of the project cost, for 2,500-km-long Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project, which GAIL is currently executing. A higher 60% project funding support from the Centre would be needed for the northeast gas grid project since it is tougher than Jagdishpur-Haldia project due to the physical and economic conditions in the region, the official said. Indradhanush Gas Grid was set up in August 2018 but has not made much progress in a year due to lack of clarity on project financing. The oil ministry had earlier hoped to receive the Cabinet’s approval on funding ahead of the general election but the process got delayed. Delay in funding can affect the timelines and cost of the project that connects eight states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. The pipeline would connect to the proposed national grid at Guwahati. At present, about 16,800 km of natural gas pipeline is operational and about 14,200 km of pipelines are being developed across the country to increase supply of gas to households and industries. The government plans to raise the share of natural gas in country’s primary energy mix to 15% by 2030 from 6% now. In its quest to turn India into a gas-based economy, the government is encouraging companies to build more gas pipelines, import terminals and compressed natural gas distribution stations. Increased transport and distribution infrastructure and production capability can boost local consumption of natural gas, which is a relatively cleaner fossil fuel. 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/oil-gas/oil-ministry-eyes-rs-6000-crore-viability-gap-funding-for-northeast-gas-grid-project/articleshow/70323134.cms

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AGP secures $100-M investment from 2 Japan firms

AGP International Holdings Pte. Ltd. (AG&P) said on Monday (July 22) that it had received an equity investment of approximately $100 million from two Japanese institutions to back the company’s inroads in the global natural gas value chain. In a statement, the Philippine-based firm identified the investors as Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., through its affiliate Osaka Gas Singapore Pte. Ltd. (Osaka Gas) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

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The two have invested in a minority stake in AG&P. “We are humbled and privileged by the trust that both Osaka Gas and JBIC have placed in AG&P. These are amazing institutions that possess tremendous expertise and experience in their respective fields,” Jose P. Leviste, Jr, AG&P chairman, was quoted as saying. AG&P owns and operates two major yard facilities in the Philippines where it employs 4,000 people. The company said the capital will be used to execute its multiple liquefied natural gas (LNG) initiatives worldwide, including the development and rollout of its city gas distribution business in India. The company has won long-term, exclusive concessions to connect people in India to compressed natural gas (CNG) for their vehicles and piped natural gas (PNG) directly into their homes across South India and Rajasthan. Part of the capital will also be used for small- and medium- scale LNG import terminals, such as AG&P’s pending terminals in Karaikal, India and elsewhere .Investments will also be made on LNG applications and logistics, such as LNG delivery to end-customers by different transportation options, the company said. .AG&P quoted Katz Sato, head of South and East Asia business development for Osaka Gas, as saying: “Osaka Gas has known AG&P since 2014. Since that time, we have come to admire AG&P’s unique ability to disrupt the natural gas value chain in areas such as city gas distribution, LNG import terminals, LNG bunkering, LNG engineering and advanced manufacturing.”“We strongly believe that this investment in AG&P will provide Osaka Gas with a valuable asset to create and develop new markets for Osaka Gas. AG&P’s single-minded focus in developing solutions with the end-customer in mind has been inspirational to our team,” he added. — Victor V. Saulon

https://www.bworldonline.com/agp-secures-100-m-investment-from-2-japan-firms/

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Policy Matters/Gas Pricing/Others

No plan to completely ban petrol and diesel vehicles: Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan | Govt considers splitting GAIL, to hive off pipeline business into a separate entity, sell it to strategic investor | India is likely to set up gas trading hub by first quarter of 2020-21

No plan to completely ban petrol and diesel vehicles: Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan 

The government has no plans to ban petrol and diesel vehicles in the near future but will continue to push for greater use of electric vehicles with a view to cut oil imports and save the environment, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Tuesday (July 16).

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Conventional energy sources of coal and oil constitute more than 80% of India’s energy basket and the demand for energy will continue to grow as the country’s economy expands further. “EV is a priority but the incremental requirement of fuel will have to be met through a combination of BS-VI grade petrol and diesel, CNG and biofuels alongside EV,” he told reporters on sidelines of an industry event here. The NITI Aayog has reportedly proposed that after 2030, only electric vehicles should be sold in India. A panel headed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had earlier suggested that only EV (three-wheelers and two-wheelers) with an engine capacity of up to 150 cc should be sold from 2025 onwards. The policy think-tank believes that a move to allow salve only EVs from 2030 will expand the scope of the clean fuel technology beyond two-and three-wheelers in the country. “Is there any government paper that mentions that petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned from a particular date? India cannot afford to do that,” Pradhan said. India consumed 211.6 million tonne of petroleum products in 2018-19. Of this, diesel consumption was 83.5 million tonne and petrol 28.3 million tonne. While the country will switch to the usage of ultra-clean BS-VI grade petrol and diesel, meeting emission standards equivalent to euro-VI fuels, from April 1, 2020, the government is aggressively pushing for increased usage of CNG by automobiles particularly in public transport. Even in petrol and diesel, it is mixing sugarcane-extracted ethanol and non-edible oils, respectively, to reduce dependence on conventional oil. He also said that biogas generated from city and agriculture waste is being heavily promoted. “India has energy demand that is growing at the fastest rate in the world and no one source can meet it. It has to be a combination of fuels,” he said. According to the NITI Aayog, 100 per cent EV sale by 2030 can reduce India’s import dependence by a big margin. A joint study by the NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute, USA suggests that India can save 64% of anticipated road-based mobility-related energy demand and 37% of carbon emissions in 2030 by pursuing a shared, electric, and connected mobility future. India is currently 83% dependent on imports to meet its oil needs.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/business/2019/jul/16/no-plan-to-completely-ban-petrol-and-diesel-vehicles-petroleum-minister-dharmendra-pradhan-2004856.html

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Govt considers splitting GAIL, to hive off pipeline business into a separate entity, sell it to strategic investor

The government is considering to split state-run gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd by hiving off its pipeline business into a separate entity and selling it off to strategic investors, sources privy to the development said. GAIL is India’s biggest natural gas marketing and trading firm and owns more than two-thirds of the country’s 16,234-km pipeline network, giving it a stranglehold on the market.

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The sources said that to resolve the conflict arising out of the same entity owning the two jobs, bifurcating GAIL is being considered. While previously selling of the marketing business, possibly to another state-owned firm, was being considered, the government is now mulling on hiving off the pipelines into a separate entity and selling off a majority stake in it, they said. GAIL has multiple long-term contracts to import gas in its liquid form (LNG) from countries such as the US and no strategic buyer would like to take the responsibility of those, particularly when the fuel is available at a cheaper price in the spot or current market, the sources said. They said it is now being considered that GAIL continues with the marketing business that would include all the sale contracts as also city gas retailing. The pipeline business can be spun off into a separate company, where the government may divest a majority stake to a strategic investor such as Canadian asset management company, Brookfield that recently bought a 1,480-km pipeline owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries (RIL). The sources said the strategic partner will operate the pipelines and give access on a non-discriminatory basis to any entity wanting to transport gas either from a natural gas field or an LNG import terminal to consumers. GAIL already keeps separate accounts for its gas pipeline and marketing businesses, making it easier to split them into two entities. By unbundling GAIL and opening the sector, the government hopes to increase gas use to 15 percent of the energy mix by 2030 from the current 6.2 percent. The sources said the oil ministry has not been very happy with GAIL’s performance in building a pipeline network. Besides, there is a possible conflict of interest in its role as an infrastructure provider and carrier. GAIL’s marketing business formed 76 percent of its 2018-19 total sales and about 30 percent pre-tax profit. The government has a 54.89 percent stake in GAIL India. Its current market cap is Rs 65,600 crore.

https://www.firstpost.com/business/govt-considers-splitting-gail-to-hive-off-pipeline-business-into-a-separate-entity-sell-it-to-strategic-investor-6999821.html

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India is likely to set up gas trading hub by first quarter of 2020-21

The Narendra Modi government is looking into a plan to unbundle the gas transmission and marketing business of GAIL. India is likely to set up its ambitious gas trading hub by the first quarter of 2020-21, after the bifurcation of GAIL. The split is likely to take place by the end of this financial year.

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The Narendra Modi government is looking into a plan to unbundle the gas transmission and marketing business of GAIL. For the unbundling, the government-owned GAIL had entrusted EY as a consultant. According to a government source, GAIL and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) are likely to take equity in the planned gas exchange, which is a part of the natural gas trading hub. In April 2018, KPMG came out with an initial report submitted to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) for the creation of a gas hub in India. The ministry of petroleum and natural gas is likely to seek the approval of the Union Cabinet. Interestingly, the government is in the process of taking a final call on whether nomination gas will be a part of the gas hub. “If nomination gas sold at a lower rate is brought into this trading hub, it will be a huge boost for producers like ONGC and Oil India. The government is yet to take a final call on this,” he said. Based on the plan, existing commodity exchanges like the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) may be part of the planned gas exchange along with ONGC and GAIL. RS Sharma, former chairman of ONGC, however, said, “I believe a new entity should be created for running the gas exchange. None of the exiting players, including ONGC or GAIL, should be a part of it. If formed like a regulatory body, it will not even require a capital investment.” In 2017, refining companies like Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) had shown their interest in acquiring GAIL to expand their gas marketing business. Under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act of 2006, marketing and transmission functions should not be performed by the same entity. Though GAIL did not spin off its marketing business, it decided to split its business and accounts into marketing and transmission units. Last year, Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said that the primary job of GAIL was to lay gas infrastructure in the country, while the marketing can be “done by anyone.”

https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/india-is-likely-to-set-up-gas-trading-hub-by-first-quarter-of-2020-21-119072201403_1.html

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Government looks to cut stake in select state-run entities to up to 26%

The government is looking to pare down its stake in select state-run entities to up to 26%, setting the stage for some big-ticket strategic sales. A draft note will be put out for consultation before the proposal is finalised, a government official told ET.

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The department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) will be asked to formalise a cabinet note by the end of this month, the person said. The move, if implemented, will help create more options for the government to achieve its disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 lakh crore for the current fiscal. Threshold of 26% is being considered as the company law allows a shareholder with stake of over 25% to block a resolution in a company, the official said. In her budget speech on July 5, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said the government would modify the present policy of retaining 51% government stake in state-run firms to retaining 51% stake inclusive of the stake of government-controlled institutions. This means that companies in which public institutions such as the Life Insurance Corporation of India have stakes, the government will slash its own holding to below 51%. In a post budget interaction with ET, Atanu Chakraborty, secretary at the investment and public asset management department, had noted that the government has for the first time separated the marriage between control and 51% stake. “We have decided to go below 51% and open much larger investment space for people to come in, including international funds, which is needed,” he had said. Chakraborty had also said promoters don’t even hold 2-3% in a lot of professionally run companies, and in around 18 Sensex companies, promoter group holding is below 40%. The official cited earlier said the government can command a premium for its 26% holding if it decides to exit the firm at a later date. Experts, however, opine that the government should not hold on to 26% threshold if it is looking to give up management control. “Look what happened in the case of Air India,” said MP Shorawala, former independent director with state run Concor. Last year, the government had invited expression of interest (EoI) to sell 74% stake in the national carrier but no investor turned up. 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/govt-looks-to-cut-stake-in-select-state-run-entities-to-up-to-26/articleshow/70321026.cms

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India becomes second-fastest growing gas market; $30 billion war chest ready for supply boom

India has become the second-fastest growing natural gas market globally as a result of a sustained policy push by the government that is aided by firm investment plans to the tune of a whopping $30 billion for production, import and distribution infrastructure.

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“India is second-fastest growing gas markets globally. In recent years, there has been a significant policy push by the Indian government to improve infrastructure, which has included giving new licences for city gas distribution, raising pipeline tariffs for long-haul pipes, and banning more polluting fuels like fuel oil and petcoke,” Morgan Stanley said today. The multinational investment bank added that India is investing significantly to meet its growing demand. “The county has over $30-billion capex allocated to the creation of gas import and distribution infrastructure and the revival of domestic gas production from financial year 2019-20 onward for pipelines, city gas infrastructure, fuelling infrastructure, and doubling its LNG import facilities,” it said in a report. The country has five new terminals under construction with 25.5 MMTPA of capacity that are likely to be completed by 2020. These terminals will ease import constraints in the existing western and northern market and also make gas available in the southern and eastern parts of the country. India’s LNG demand is expected to grow from 22 MMT in 2018 to 31 MT in 2025 at a compounded annual growth rate of 4%. India, as a gas market, is extremely price-sensitive, with demand fluctuating between LNG, propane, and fuel oil, depending on the economics, especially for power and industrial gas usage. With gas prices set to remain low structurally after nearly 20 years of oil parity economics, the potential for this market to use gas could be as high as $12 billion to $15 billion by 2025, according to the report. The banks also pointed out that cheap gas is a boon for Indian consumers at a time when gas is will likely to form a big part of the solution to control fossil fuel pollution, with nearly 177 cities set to have gas networks by 2025. Gas infrastructure will cover 2.2 times more people, or 50 per cent of the population in five years, and five times more households will have access to gas. We estimate this will drive investment of about four times the current market cap of listed city gas players. By 2024, we see India’s gas penetration rising two times to about 12 per cent, the equivalent of China in 2006,” it said. The report also pointed out that despite significant growth, India is still a decade behind China – the fastest-growing gas market — on gas infrastructure and penetration, with current gas penetration levels similar to China in 2004. China is expected to maintain double-digit growth on gas consumption in 2019-21, supported by the government’s strong initiatives to improve air quality.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/india-becomes-second-fastest-growing-gas-market-30-billion-war-chest-ready-for-supply-boom/70342243

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SNAPSHOT: NATIONAL

LNG Development and Shipping

French energy firm Total picks up 50 per cent stake in Dhamra LNG Terminal

French oil and gas giant Total SA has taken a 50% stake in Dhamra LNG Terminal Pvt Ltd (DLTPL), a unit of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), which is constructing a 12 MMTPA LNG regasification terminal at its port located at Dhamra in Odisha’s Bhadrak district.

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BusinessLine could not ascertain the value of the deal, the first after the New York Stock Exchange-listed French multinational and the world’s second biggest private LNG firm, announced a joint venture in October 2018 with the Adani Group to develop multi-energy offerings for the Indian market, including LNG and fuel retailing, multiple sources said. Total could not be reached immediately for comment, while a comment from APSEZ is awaited. The LNG terminal is set to start operations by mid-2021. Apart from meeting local demand for gas, the terminal is of strategic importance for gas supply to neighbouring Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. The Dhamra terminal can supply Bangladesh 3-5 mtpa (Dhamra to Bangladesh is less than 300 nautical miles by sea and the distance by road to eastern Bangladesh is under 500 km). India’s biggest oil refiner, Indian Oil Corporation, and the country’s largest natural gas firm, GAIL (India) Ltd, have separately signed long-term offtake agreements with Dhamra LNG Terminal for re-gasified LNG. IOC has booked 3 MMTPA regasification capacity for 20 years at the Dhamra facility on a use or pay basis, helping the state-run oil refiner supply gas to its refineries in Paradip, Haldia and Barauni. GAIL India has booked 1.5 MMTPA regasification capacity for 20 years on a use or pay basis. GAIL plans to supply the gas to its customers located in the eastern region and along the Jagdishpur– Haldia gas grid, which is under development. Initially, the terminal will have two full containment type tanks of 180,000 cubic metre capacity each. The LNG terminal will have a 18-metre draft jetty capable of handling a wide range of LNG supply vessels, including the largest Q-max (266,000 cubic metre) fleet from Qatar, thereby optimising sea transportation. The terminal will be capable of reloading LNG to service proximate markets via the marine route and will also have truck loading gantries to help grow the nascent LNG by truck market. The cost advantages of LNG are such that for a 4% replacement of crude imports with LNG, India will save $1 billion in foreign exchange annually.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/french-energy-firm-total-picks-up-50-per-cent-stake-in-dhamra-lng-terminal/article28696957.ece

 

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GAIL hires LNG ship from Mitsui for ferrying US gas

State-owned gas firm GAIL India has hired a newly-built LNG ship from Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines for ferrying gas from nations such as the US for three years beginning 2021, and plans to charter hire additional vessels. GAIL in its latest annual report said it has contracted long-term LNG from the USA (5.8 MMTPA) and Russia (2.5 MMTPA) and is now actively trading the gas in international market.

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The company in 2017 chartered hired the vessel Meridian Spirit from Total for three years, extendable by one year, to transport the LNG sourced from the USA. It also hired two vessels – Cadiz Knuten and CLean Horizon – in 2018 for shorter periods to meet its shipping requirements “Based on the intermittent spot requirements during the FY 2019-20, GAIL plans to charter hire additional LNG ship(s) on spot / short term basis,” it said. “Recently, GAIL has signed a Charter Party Agreement with Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) for the hiring of a new build LNG vessel for a period of three years from the year 2021 onwards.” GAIL said it is fully equipped to meet its spot /short/mid/ long term shipping requirements and has been able to develop LNG shipping capabilities in a very short span of time. GAIL has also been instrumental in renegotiating LNG supply contract from Australia through Petronet LNG Ltd.  These contracts, GAIL said, were entered into with the primary objective of meeting the demand of a growing Indian economy and with power sector being considered as one of the major long-term buyers of LNG. “However, power produced from LNG is not being scheduled by Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) due to cheaper alternatives including renewables thereby leading to the stranding of significant capacity out of the approx 25,000 MW of installed gas-based power plants,” it said. To mitigate this risk, GAIL said it is exploring opportunities to market LNG volumes in the international markets either directly and/or through its subsidiary, GGSPL Singapore. “In parallel, your company has also optimized LNG sourced from the US through destination swap transactions to optimize the cost of shipping this LNG to the Indian ports resulting in the efficient management of the portfolio. Your company has also undertaken time swap transactions to even out the LNG supply-demand fluctuations,” the report said. . 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/oil-gas/gail-hires-lng-ship-from-mitsui-for-ferrying-us-gas/articleshow/70347969.cms[Edited]

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INTERNATIONAL

Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines / Others

Summer natural gas prices in the USA on track to be the lowest in more than 20 years | Berkeley to ban natural gas lines in new buildings

Berkeley to ban natural gas lines in new buildings

Members of the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on Tuesday night which makes their city the first in the nation to ban the installation of natural gas lines in new buildings.

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The ordinance, which was authored by Councilwoman Kate Harrison, takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. Harrison said the ordinance will make electricity the standard for energy in new buildings. She said the legislation isn’t intended to impact building owners making renovations to existing buildings because the city is pursuing a separate incentive for them. Harrison said the ordinance instead affects new building types and systems which she said the California Energy Commission has demonstrated to be feasible and cost-effective as an all-electric model.

https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/bay_area/berkeley-to-ban-natural-gas-lines-in-new-buildings/article_e82fd0cc-a8fc-11e9-8d37-47f54670b060.html

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Summer natural gas prices in the USA on track to be the lowest in more than 20 years

In its July 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts Henry Hub natural gas spot prices for June, July, and August this year will average $2.37 per MMBtu. If realized, this price would be the lowest summer average Henry Hub natural gas price since 1998. EIA expects Henry Hub natural gas prices will be 55 cents/MMBtu, about 19%, lower than last summer’s average. In the July STEO, EIA revised its forecast for 2019 Henry Hub natural gas prices down from the June STEO following three consecutive months of price declines.

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Prices in June averaged $2.40/MMBtu and have declined by 19% since March. Spot prices at key trading hubs across the country have traded close to the Henry Hub basis. Prices at the Transcontinental Pipeline Zone 6 trading point for New York City and the Chicago Citygate were both at $2.12/MMBtu, the lowest June average price and a decrease of 25% and 23%, respectively, from June 2018. The PG&E Citygate near San Francisco had the highest June average price at $2.59/MMBtu, a 14% decrease from last June.

The recent natural gas price declines reflect relatively mild weather for the start of summer that led to lower than expected natural gas-fired electricity generation, which allowed natural gas inventory injections to outpace the previous five-year average rate. Between April and June, cumulative net injections into underground storage fields have exceeded the five-year average by 41%, reducing the current five-year average deficit by more than 300 billion cubic feet (Bcf). In addition to the recent price declines, the lower price forecast reflects EIA’s updated assessment of U.S. drilling activity and average well productivity, both of which are higher than previously assumed. However, if summer temperatures are warmer than expected, electricity consumption, natural gas-fired electricity generation, and, ultimately, natural gas prices could be higher than forecast. EIA expects that as supply growth begins to moderate in late 2019 and in 2020, natural gas prices will likely increase. EIA forecasts that Henry Hub natural gas spot prices will average $2.50/MMBtu in the second half of 2019 and $2.77/MMBtu in 2020.

Source: LNG Global/U.S. EIA

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Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines / Others

Global LNG Development

Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

LNG as a Marine Fuel / Shipping

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

 

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SNAPSHOT: INTERNATIONAL

Global LNG Development

Singapore to stop 'Sling' LNG indices, sheds hopes of main price hub | TechnipFMC wins $7.6 billion contract for Arctic LNG-2 project | South Africa sees new LNG import terminal ready by 2024

Singapore to stop ‘Sling’ LNG indices, sheds hopes of main price hub

Singapore Exchange will stop producing and publishing its spot price indices – Sling – for liquefied natural gas (LNG), less than four years after their launch, dashing the city-state’s hopes of becoming Asia’s main pricing hub for the fuel. Sling – short for SGX LNG Index Group –

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indices will be published until Oct. 31 this year, provided “there is sufficient data for an accurate and robust index to be published”, Energy Market Company (EMC) said in an undated statement on its website. Sling was developed jointly by EMC, the market operator of Singapore’s wholesale electricity market, and Singapore Exchange (SGX) SGX.SI, and introduced in late 2015 in a bid to develop Singapore as a price hub for the super-chilled fuel. EMC is a wholly owned unit of Asian Gateway Investments, which is also a SGX subsidiary. EMC will discontinue the Sling indices after low participation over the past few years, an SGX spokeswoman told Reuters in an emailed statement. SGX delisted the futures and swaps settling on these indices with effect from July 29, the spokeswoman added. “LNG remains an important commodity for SGX. Following our acquisition of the Baltic Exchange in 2016, we are refocusing our efforts on the carriage of LNG as an internationally traded seaborne commodity,” she said, adding that the company will shift efforts toward delivering indices for LNG shipping. Through the Baltic Exchange, it has created a number of LNG freight indices, the first of which was launched in March and it plans to launch two more indices by the year-end, she said. Sling comprise three indices – Singapore Sling, North Asia Sling and Dubai/Kuwait/India Sling. It was not immediately clear if any contracts are currently using the Sling indices as pricing reference. “While SGX has been keen to promote itself in the LNG commodity space, it has faced competition from more established pricing agencies and has failed to gain a foothold,” said Chong Zhi Xin, associate director of Southeast Asia Power, Gas, Coal and Renewables at research firm IHS Markit. S&P Global Platts’ Japan Korea Marker (JKM) in which liquidity has been growing rapidly over the past two years is fast becoming the main benchmark for spot cargoes in Asia and appears to have nudged out competitors in the sector.

Source: LNG Global [edited]

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TechnipFMC wins $7.6 billion contract for Arctic LNG-2 project

Oil services company TechnipFMC won a $7.6 billion contract with Russia’s Novatek and its partners for the Arctic 2 liquefied natural gas project in western Siberia, pushing TechnipFMC’s shares higher.

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TechnipFMC’s Paris-listed shares rose 3.2% in early session trading, as analysts welcomed the new contract. TechnipFMC said the consolidated value of the contract to it for Arctic LNG-2 was $7.6 billion and consisted of three LNG trains, each with a capacity of 6.6 MMTPA. The Arctic LNG 2 project aims to develop more than 7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of resources. Novatek holds a 60% stake in the project, while French oil and gas major Total, China’s CNPC, CNOOC , and Japan Arctic LNG consortium each hold 10%. Novatek said on Tuesday it had reached its target for participation in the project with the completion of stake sales, meaning it could now make a final investment decision. The project is expected to have a total production capacity of 19.8 MMTPA, or 535,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. TechnipFMC, created by a 2016 merger of France’s Technip and U.S. rival FMC Technologies, had previously carried out design engineering and construction work on Novatek’s Yamal LNG project. “We are extremely honoured to be entrusted with this new contract by Novatek and its partners. We are leveraging our successful track record on the Yamal LNG project and notably the modular fabrication scheme,” Nello Uccelletti, president of onshore/offshore operations at TechnipFMC, said in a statement. In a separate statement, the company said its board had approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.13 per ordinary share payable on or shortly after Sept. 4.

Source: LNG Global/Reuters [Edited]

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South Africa sees new LNG import terminal ready by 2024

State-owned freight logistics firm Transnet plans to launch a tender next year for South Africa’s first terminal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Richards Bay port, with first gas expected to land in 2024, a senior official said on Thursday (July 25).

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South Africa is pushing to diversify its energy sources away from coal, which supplies more than 90% of its electricity, and to expand capacity to reduce power cuts that have hit growth. Transnet, which operates gas pipelines, railway lines and ports in South Africa, will lead the project after the World Bank’s International Finance Corp pledged $2 million to help finalise the design, finance, construction and operation plans. The project requires re-purposing existing pipelines to transport gas between the east coast city of Durban and commercial hub Johannesburg. “We are hoping second quarter or third quarter 2020 for the request for quotations,” which is part of the tender process, said Jabulani Sithole, a Transnet oil and gas business manager. “Based on the work we have done we believe that we are able to land the gas in South Africa by 2024,” Sithole told Reuters. He said it was vital to secure new gas supplies as Sasol , which pipes the bulk of South Africa’s gas needs from Mozambique, had flagged it would face supply constraints from 2023 due to maturing fields at Temane and Pande. A Sasol spokesman confirmed the supply deficit scenario. A pre-feasibility study would determine costs of the LNG terminal project, Sithole said, adding that Transnet would seek to attract LNG suppliers such as Shell and BP. “The final cost of the gas will be determined in the negotiations between the gas supplier and off-takers,” said Sithole, adding that a special purpose vehicle would be formed to help fund the project through debt and equity financing. Transnet aims to use its existing gas pipelines and rail infrastructure to lower local transport and distribution costs. Sithole said the  regasification terminal could be on land or a Floating Storage Regasification Unit serving Richards Bay and other ports, including Coega where plans for a gas-fired power plant were being considered. “We are looking at all options,” he said. France’s Total said in February it had found about 1 billion barrels of hydrocarbon resources, including a significant gas condensate resource, off South Africa’s east coast. 

Source: Reuters/LNG Global

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Asian prices slip but traders expect demand to pick up for winter

Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) slipped this week tracking a fall in European gas prices though traders anticipate prices to bottom out soon ahead of peak winter demand.

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Spot prices for September delivery to Northeast Asia are estimated to be about $4.60 per MMBtu, down 10 cents from last week, trade sources said. Prices for cargoes delivered in August are estimated to be $4.20 per MMBtu, down 20 cents from last week, they added. Traders are likely waiting for the European gas prices to come down before taking a position on LNG, a Singapore-based industry source said. “The LNG market is quiet but the gas market is not and many LNG buyers are just waiting on the sidelines for the gas market to cool down before they come in to buy,” the source added. Both the Dutch month-ahead and British month-ahead contracts have fallen 20 percent in the past week after a two-week long period of rises on expected supply flows due to outages in Norway and short-covering.     September contracts, which are not front-month yet, have also fallen over the week to around $4.10 per MMBtu for the British price and $3.85 for the Dutch, widening the spread between spot Asian LNG and the European hubs considerably. Despite that, many traders say the spread is not wide enough and nor is there the kind of Asian demand to kick-start arbitrage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Basin.

Still, traders expect demand to pick up ahead of winter. “There have been transactions above $5 this week, but European (gas) hubs are very volatile, and that is reflected by traders into optimisation,” a Singapore-based LNG trader said. Angola LNG offered a cargo for August to September delivery to as far as Singapore in a tender that closes next week while Russia’s Novatek has offered a cargo for mid-September loading from Rotterdam’s Gate terminal in the GLX platform, industry sources said. In term contracts, four companies are vying for a massive LNG tender by Pakistan to buy 240 cargoes for a period of 10 years, sources said. Indonesia’s Tangguh LNG plant may have offered two cargoes a month for loading or delivery over October to December into Northeast Asia earlier this month though it was not immediately clear if it had sold the cargoes.

Japan’s Nippon Steel may have bought a cargo for delivery in September at about $4.60 per MMBtu, an industry source said. Royal Dutch Shell’s LNG tanker ‘Barcelona Knutsen’ has loaded a cargo at Peru LNG and is now crossing the Pacific Ocean to deliver a cargo into China in the first half of August, data intelligence firm Kpler said on Thursday (July18). This will make it the fourth LNG cargo to be delivered from Peru to China so far this year, up from just one cargo last year, Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed.

Source: LNG Global

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US, China will be world’s biggest LNG exporter and importer in 2024: IEA        

U.S. LNG exports are expected to rocket to over 100 bcm in 2024, dislodging current market leaders Australia and Qatar, according to Peter Fraser, Head of the Gas, Coal and Power Markets Division at IEA.

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The United States and China will become the world’s biggest LNG exporters and importers, respectively, in five years, according to projections by the International Energy Agency (IEA). He was speaking at a presentation sponsored by Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs Centre on Global Energy Policy in New York. China’s LNG imports, meanwhile, are expected to surge to over 100 bcm in 2024, topping those of current world leader Japan. Japan’s LNG imports have mostly declined since peaking in 2014 as utilities restart some nuclear plants shut for mandatory safety inspections and testing after an earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011. IEA said it expects world LNG demand to grow about 4% a year through 2024. To meet that demand, developers made final investment decisions in 2018 to add about 29 bcm of new export capacity and have doubled that to 58 bcm so far in 2019, Fraser said. In addition, some developers said they could make final investment decisions later this year that would add over 120 bcm of capacity, IEA said, including about 30 bcm in the United States and 43 bcm in Qatar. “We need something, but we’re not sure we need anything near that much,” Fraser said, noting “We think that without further investment just assuming those projects that have already taken (final investment decisions) to date … things will start to get tight around 2024.” World LNG demand reached a record 432 bcm in 2018 after soaring about 10% a year over the past few years due primarily to fast growth in China. IEA said China’s demand for natural gas, which soared 18% in 2018, is driven by environmental policies switching most industrial and residential consumers from coal to gas to reduce air pollution. IEA said it expects the increase in gas consumption in China to slow to an annual rate of 8% through 2024 due to slower economic growth. The United States, which is already the world’s biggest gas producer, will see production grow to over one trillion bcm in 2024, boosting its share of global output to about 23%, according to IEA projections.

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/world/us-china-will-be-worlds-biggest-lng-exporter-and-importer-in-2024-iea-4213011.html

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European gas prices exceed Asian spot LNG, shuts arbitrage

European gas hub prices have risen above the price of LNG on the Asian spot market in a rare occurrence that largely rules out arbitrage of LNG cargoes from the Atlantic to the Pacific basins.

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Dutch and British month-ahead gas prices exceeded Asian spot LNG in April for the first time in four years. Asian LNG prices tend to be higher due to the huge demand there with few alternative supplies. The switch in the price values is another twist in a unique year for the fast-expanding commodity as soaring production from new plants, much of it in the U.S. Gulf Coast, coincides with tepid demand from Asia, normally consumer of 75% of global LNG. Month-ahead Dutch gas was $4.56 per MMBtu and the British equivalent was $4.48 per MMBtu by 1315 GMT on Monday (July 15), while Asian spot LNG for August was heard at $4.40 per MMBtu. The arbitrage, whereby Atlantic Basin LNG – including from the U.S., Russia and West Africa – headed for Europe instead travels the longer distance to Asia to fetch a higher price, has been largely closed for most of the year. That is because the spread has rarely exceeded the extra cost of shipping – broadly defined as a dollar per MMBtu. Forward price curves moreover indicate the situation is unlikely to change until at least October. When the Japan/Korea Marker (JKM) for the months of August, September and October is compared to the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) forward prices, the spread is below $1 per MMBtu. For October, it is 46 cents and was as low as 28 cents. The JKM is a benchmark published by commodity pricing agency S&P Global Platts and Asia’s main LNG pricing benchmark for the spot market. Dutch and British month-ahead gas prices soared this month in part due to a string of planned outages in Norway, although their 38% to 44% gains in the past two weeks have not fully reversed the prolonged 66% percent fall since last October. The rise has, nevertheless, given a breather to European suppliers that had contracted to buy U.S. LNG by widening the spread with the U.S. Henry Hub gas price. At one point last month the spread did not cover shipping costs. With U.S. production the largest source of increased supply in the past year, Europe’s ability to absorb excess LNG is being tested. Europe has long been seen as the industry’s “destination of last resort” due to its flexible continent-wide markets.

Source: LNG Global

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Woodside returns dip on Pluto LNG issues, low prices          

Woodside Petroleum has been impacted by an extension to planned maintenance at the Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility offshore Western Australia and lower-than-expected market prices.

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Pluto was shut down for planned maintenance in June, but this period had to be extended by nearly three weeks to the end of the month due to unexpected problems with the plant’s mixed refrigerant compressor. The company’s total revenue for the second financial quarter of 2019 has fallen to $US836 million ($1.19 billion) from the previous quarter’s $US1.424 billion, a 41% drop. Its sales revenue accounted for $US738 million of the $US836 million figure, down from $US1.22 billion in sales revenue posted in the previous quarter (a 32% drop). The company’s production also fell to 17.3 million barrels of oil equivalent from 22.1 million barrels a year earlier. This represented Woodside’s first drop in sales revenue since the June 2018 quarter, where the company suffered a smaller dip of $87 million on the previous quarter. “Production and sales revenue were lower compared with the previous quarter due to the major turnaround at Pluto LNG,” Woodside chief executive officer Peter Coleman said. “We delivered strong LNG production from both North West Shelf, where we have optimised performance of the LNG trains, and Wheatstone LNG, which achieved record daily LNG production.” Woodside also started commissioning at the $US1.9 billion Greater Enfield oil project offshore Western Australia in the quarter. Greater Enfield is set up as a joint venture between Woodside (60 per cent) and Mitsui, one of Japan’s seven major sogo shosha (trading companies).

https://www.australianmining.com.au/oil-gas/news-oil-gas/woodside-returns-dip-on-pluto-lng-issues-low-prices/ https://www.australianmining.com.au/oil-gas/news-oil-gas/woodside-returns-dip-on-pluto-lng-issues-low-prices/

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Total to develop FSRU facility in Benin

Total, the Republic of Benin and the Société Béninoise d’Energie Electrique (SBEE) have signed an agreement for the development of an LNG import floating terminal.

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The deal includes the supply of up to 0.5 MMTPA of regasified LNG from Total’s global portfolio to Benin for 15 years, starting in 2021. Total will develop and operate the regasification infrastructure that will comprise a floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) located offshore Benin and an offshore pipeline connexion to the existing and planned 127MW power plants in Maria Gléta. Benin’s government is working to restore Benin’s energy independence. A new legislative framework fosters the participation of private capital in the energy sector. For Total, the project is in line with group’s strategy to develop new gas markets by unlocking access to LNG for fast-growing economies, said Laurent Vivier, Senior Vice President Gas at Total. “Access to LNG will help Benin to meet growing domestic energy demand and add more natural gas to the country’s current energy mix, hence reducing its carbon intensity.” Total is the second-largest private global LNG player, with an overall portfolio of around 40 MMTPA by 2020 and a worldwide market share of 10 percent. Through its stakes in liquefaction plants located in Qatar, Nigeria, Russia, Norway, Oman, Egypt, the UAE, the U.S., Australia or Angola, the Group sells LNG in all global markets.

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/total-to-develop-fsru-facility-in-benin

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Leviathan partners considering LNG facility offshore Israel

The partners in the Leviathan field off Israel’s Mediterranean coast are considering building a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility to enable LNG exports, Delek Drilling said on Tuesday, July 30. The partners,

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which include Delek and Noble Energy, signed agreements with Golar LNG Ltd and Exmar NV to receive plans for a FLNG facility. The aim is to enter into a long-term agreement with one that will finance, build, operate and maintain the facility if a final decision is made to go ahead with the project. The facility will allow liquefaction of natural gas at a capacity of 2.4-5 million tons per year. According to the plan being examined, processed natural gas will be piped from the Leviathan production platform to the FLNG facility which will be located offshore Israel, where the gas will be liquefied and transferred to LNG vessels. “Liquefying the natural gas from Leviathan will enable us to transport it worldwide, thus reaching new export markets, mainly in Europe and in Asia,” Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu said. Leviathan, with 22 trillion cubic feet of reserves, is one of the world’s largest gas discoveries of the past decade.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/leviathan-partners-considering-lng-facility-offshore-israel/

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SNAPSHOT: INTERNATIONAL

Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

Italy first in Europe for heavy LNG transport | Ivory Coast expands CNG bus fleet with 50 new Iveco Crealis NP | Brazil announces plan to convert its truck fleet to natural gas | Miami-Dade tightens standards on CNG buses gas leaks

Italy first in Europe for heavy LNG transport

In recent months, Italy has overtaken Spain for the number of service stations for trucks that use LNG, becoming the leading operator in the sector in Europe. The ConferenzaGNL has noted this trend on the basis of the data published by REF-E in the abstract of the interim report 2019 ‘SSLNG Watch’.

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The number of LNG truck stations in Italy is now 53, of which 15 opened since the beginning of the year. Another nine plants are equipped with a cryogenic tank but only deliver compressed gas (L-CNG) for the cars. The Spanish Gasnam specialised site reviews 44 plants in Spain, all for truck refuelling. According to Natural Gas Vehicle Association Europe (NGVA), Italy and Spain are followed by France with 31 plants, Holland with 24, Great Britain with 13, and Belgium with 10. Germany is still behind, with only 6 plants but entered the sector only two years ago. Worldwide, China is in first place with around 1300 LNG stations and 80 000 trucks (Google search system data), followed by Europe with 218 (NGVA census updated with the most recent openings in Italy and Spain) and over 5000 trucks, almost 2000 of which are registered in Italy. In third place is the US, with 144 plants registered by NGV America.

https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/29072019/italy-first-in-europe-for-heavy-lng-transport/

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Ivory Coast expands CNG bus fleet with 50 new Iveco Crealis NP

Abidjan, the economic capital and largest city in the Ivory Coast, continues to invest in strengthening its public transit system, expanding its fleet of buses. The city’s latest order from IVECO BUS consists of 200 Crossway Low Entry (LE) and 50 Crealis Natural Power (NP) 18-meter buses.

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This delivery will provide Abidjan with the latest CNG and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) technologies. The signature for this new delivery took place in the presence of Amadou Kone, the Ivory Coast’s Minister of Transport; Meité Bouaké, Director of SOTRA (Abidjan transport company); and Sylvain Blaise, Head of the Global Bus Division at CNH Industrial. The Ivory Coast is the first country in Africa to order high-value CNG buses. This choice offers low environmental impact vehicles, which are also the most ideal and viable solution for the country, given its substantial reserves of natural gas both on land and off-shore. With this latest agreement, the city’s running IVECO BUS fleet will amount to more than 750 city buses, 100 of which are BRT running on CNG. Further to its pioneering leadership in natural gas, IVECO BUS is also a leader in BRT solutions. As a result, Abidjan has invested in transforming the structure of its urban public transit system to high-capacity BRT. Natural gas vehicles are an effective answer to environmental concerns and represent a real, mature and efficient solution for mass passenger transport. CNG vehicles offer major benefits in terms of their low running costs and a reduction in pollution and noise: fine particle emissions are reduced to nearly zero, NOx emissions by more than one third and noise level is reduced by half.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/ivory-coast-expands-cng-bus-fleet-with-50-new-iveco-crealis-np/

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Brazil announces plan to convert its truck fleet to natural gas

Speaking to Folha de Sao Paulo, Brazil’s energy minister Bento Albuquerque said they will seek to convert the fleet of trucks to run on natural gas. In addition, they plan to replace the thermal plants that operate with diesel with others based on natural gas while their contracts expire,

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which will also impact on a growth in the national consumption of this alternative fuel. According to the Brazilian oil and gas specialist Bruno Epiro, the new discoveries in the Sergipe basin, together with the increased production capacity of the Presal, “will significantly increase the amount of natural gas in the country.” However, ministry calculations require a challenging 35% advance. In this regard, Argentina could take advantage of the growing natural gas consumption in the neighboring country, if it continues to increase its production levels thanks to the development of Vaca Muerta. In the case of natural gas for vehicles, the most recommended method is LNG, since it allows a greater radius of action. In this sense, the liquefaction plant that YPF is planning to install in Bahía Blanca acquires greater commercial appeal. Of the 20 million cubic meters per day that YPF wants to export through Bahía Blanca, half could go to Brazil, leaving the rest to the Asian markets that are the ones that buy the most LNG. “Brazil would have us as its most competitive LNG provider for a matter of distance and for the economic integration agreements that facilitate the exchange. It would be a very interesting opportunity that can lead to an LNG corridor between both countries that even helps reduce regional production costs,” said Cristian Alonso, Argentinean industrial engineer and energy consultant, to the newspaper La Política Online.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/brazil-announces-plan-to-convert-its-truck-fleet-to-natural-gas/

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Miami-Dade tightens standards on CNG buses gas leaks

Perhaps it was Jeffrey Mitchell’s reference to the gas explosion at a Plantation shopping plaza this month that convinced Miami-Dade lawmakers to delay plans to buy more compressed natural gas (CNG) buses.

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Maybe it was his and fellow transit union leader Joseph D’Elia’s assertion that one of the two manufacturers set to fill the 140-bus order, New Flyer of America, was bringing the county vehicles rife with problems. The New Flyer buses, bought for millions to replace the county’s aged diesel fleet, arrive unready to roll once here, resulting in more 200 missed service hours, Mr. De’Elia said. Doors open while buses are in motion despite fail-safes there to prevent such malfunctions, Mr. Mitchell said. But what should be most alarming, he told county commissioners July 10, was that the new buses were leaking fuel while in service – a problem the county transportation department was not only aware of but had codified it into its maintenance practices. In a July 15 letter to Mayor Carlos Giménez, Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava said she wanted answers, including records of repairs and reports of leaking gas or fuel lines. The mayor responded a day later, writing in a report that he’d directed county staff to “issue an invitation to bid immediately” for a follow-up mixed delivery of buses from New Flyer and manufacturer Gillig. The union men’s claims, he said, were “inflammatory” and “recklessly insinuated.” Of 272 New Flyer buses delivered, 265 have been accepted for service, the report showed. Thirty-one of those buses were out of service as of July 11 for various repairs. “No bus is ever released for service in a dangerous or unsafe condition,” the mayor wrote, adding that CNG “has very narrow flammability limits” and is less volatile than gasoline, partly because its ignition temperature is about double that of traditional fuel. But the county’s “Standard Operating Procedure for Natural Gas Vehicle Cylinder Inspection and Bus Maintenance” last updated in April, includes provisions for buses leaking CNG to continue operation. Buses found to be leaking CNG could still enter service, it said, as long as they were “within allowable tolerance” leakage levels of 10,000 parts per million – or twice the levels recommended federally. “When a fuel leak is verified on a [CNG] vehicle… by a reading of 5,000 parts per million, [the] condition is deemed hazardous and the vehicle is declared out-of-service,” the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wrote in a July 2015 guide on detecting leaks in natural gas and propane commercial motor vehicle. Asked Monday why county procedures allow for double the CNG leakage levels as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Miami-Dade Transportation Director Alice Bravo said her department was “researching what other bus manufacturers provide and national standards.”

https://www.miamitodaynews.com/2019/07/23/miami-dade-tightens-standards-on-cng-buses-gas-leaks/[Edited]

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Valencia fleet management company goes green with new CNG vehicles

Iberofleeting, a Valencia-based company that is a benchmark in the integral and outsourced management of corporate vehicle fleets, recently renewed the Serunión Vending fleet,

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which, also committed to sustainability and to the maximum reduction of harmful emissions from its vehicles, has opted for NGVs that have the “ECO” label from the Spanish General Directorate of Traffic (DGT). This will be an added value not only in environmental terms but also in the purely professional aspect, since the “ECO” label will allow the vehicles to access all city centers. After the corresponding analysis carried out by Iberofleeting, finally, the models selected for the best performance of the tasks requested by Serunión Vending are the Volkswagen Caddy and Crafter, in their CNG versions. In this fleet renewal for Serunión Vending, Iberofleeting has provided an integral management from the preliminary study of the more suitable brand and models for the use and required features, exterior signage and interior equipment.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/valencia-based-fleet-management-company-adds-volkswagen-cng-vehicles/

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Spain: parcel company adds 10 Volvo gas trucks for national deliveries

SEUR has added 10 Volvo LNG tractors to increase the number of their environmentally-friendly fleet. With each of these vehicles, the company will save 10% of fuel consumption in each route compared to diesel, getting a total saving of 50,000 liters of fuel in a year.

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These tractors are operational since July in transport routes throughout the Spanish geography. This new acquisition is part of DrivingChangeTM, the company’s corporate social responsibility strategy, which includes its “carbon neutral” commitment aimed at measuring, reducing and compensating their carbon footprint, and offering neutral carbon shipments at no cost additional to all their customers. In this sense, SEUR has displaced more than 65,000 tons of CO2 and managed to reduce 5.22% of its emissions, reaching an average of 0.47 kg CO2e per package delivered last year. Thanks to these 10 tractor trucks, which have a power of 460 HP, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 234.4 tons per year, CO by 30%, and NOx by 35%. SEUR will also minimize the environmental noise caused by the vehicles’ circulation, and will reduce the emissions of harmful particles that cause pollution in the cities by 99%. SEUR, in its commitment to corporate social responsibility and improving efficiency in the last mile distribution, has focused on different projects such as urban hubs, alternative fuel vehicle fleet and the commitment to the pickup network.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/spanish-parcel-company-adds-10-volvo-gas-trucks-for-deliveries-all-over-the-country/

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LA Metro retrofits its buses with the Cummins near zero natural gas engine

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) recently completed an engine retrofit project to reduce emissions on a significant number of its fleet of more than 2,200 CNG buses. Metro repowered 125 of its transit buses

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with new Cummins ISLG and L9N Near Zero Emission Natural Gas Fueled Heavy Duty Engines, which will reduce emissions of NOx by 90% and greenhouse gases by 9%. The Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) provided Metro with $1,875,000 in Clean Transportation Funding to complete the installation of the 125 new lower emitting engines in its fleet of 45-foot series composite buses. Over its nearly 30-year history, the MSRC has distributed more than $440 million in funding to innovative clean air projects – like these near zero emission engine retrofits – throughout LA, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The Cummins ISLG and L9N Near Zero Emission Natural Gas Fueled Heavy Duty Engine was the first CNG mid-range engine to receive emissions certifications from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) which meet the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional near zero NOx emission standard.

“Metro is always looking at innovative solutions and new technologies to improve performance and reduce emissions,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “These new low emission engines will help the agency reduce its carbon footprint and provide clean, reliable service for our customers.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/la-metro-125-buses-now-feature-new-cummins-near-zero-natural-gas-engine/

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Canadian logistics company debuts CNG truck for deliveries in Ontario

Bunzl Canada, food and retail packaging company, announced the pilot test of the company’s first natural gas-powered transport truck for delivery routes in southwestern Ontario.

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The Volvo vehicle will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease fuel consumption but will also achieve engine noise reduction of an estimated 10 decibels. There are currently more than 1,100 CNG vehicles operating in Ontario and eastern Canada, and over 50,000 operating in the U.S. “This new technology is projected to reduce emissions by 25% while improving overall fuel efficiency,” said Tim McKinnon, Operations Director. “Now that there are tractor-friendly refueling stations located across Ontario, we can operate these vehicles on the Highway 401 corridor from Windsor to Montreal. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to reduce our environmental footprint on some of our busiest transportation routes.”  “We are confident that Bunzl Canada’s CNG transport truck pilot test will demonstrate why cleaner and more affordable CNG trucks are the ideal choice in the competitive transportation business,” commented Scott Dodd, Director of Business Development for Enbridge Gas. “In addition to long-term cost savings and emission reductions as compared to diesel, other proven advantages include a quieter, cleaner truck for employees and the customers they deliver to.” Sustainability is a key corporate focus for Bunzl Canada in both its operations and the products it supplies. “This is just one of a number of high priority initiatives designed to reduce our company’s environmental footprint, and help our customers do the same,” added the company’s President, John Howlett.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/canada-logistics-company-trials-first-cng-truck-for-delivery-routes-in-ontario/

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Colombia: Bogotá is asked to include all clean fuels in its public transport

The Colombian Association of Natural Gas (Naturgas) requested the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá to include all zero and low emission technologies within the bidding stages to renew buses of the Integrated Public Transportation System (SITP), and thus guarantee a greater competition in the process while maintaining the city’s goal of improving air quality.

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The association requests that, due to their air quality and environmental benefits as well as their high competitiveness for the city’s finances, Euro VI natural gas vehicles be allowed to compete in all stages of the tender that will deliver more than 3,000 new buses to the country’s capital city. “Both the electric and the natural gas options have similar benefits in terms of the city’s air quality: emissions of 2.5 fine particulate matter, responsible for more than 3,000 deaths per year in Bogotá, are reduced to almost 100% with both technologies,” said the president of Naturgas Orlando Cabrales Segovia. Using CNG allows to reduce fine particulate matter and SOx to nearly 100%, and NOx to more than 75%, which are the pollutants that most affect the air quality of a city. In addition, it represents a reduction of around 30% of CO2, compared to those generated by a diesel-powered vehicle. On the other hand, according to the analysis made by the Economic Consultants firm, opting for electric fleets would imply raising public transport rates or allocating additional resources from municipal budgets to subsidize the service. However, migrating to natural gas vehicles would entail savings for users and the district of $309/trip for buses, $151/trip for standard buses and $207 for articulated buses compared to the electric alternative.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/colombian-ngv-industry-ask-bogota-to-include-all-clean-fuels-in-transport-system/

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SNAPSHOT: INTERNATIONAL

LNG as a Marine Fuel / Shipping

World’s largest LNG bunkering operation took place in Singapore | BHP calls tender for LNG-fuelled bulk carrier | Balearia’s third LNG-powered smart ship starts operations in Spain | First simultaneous operations of LNG bunkering in Europe

World’s largest LNG bunkering operation took place in Singapore

Titan LNG successfully completed the largest LNG bunkering in the world. HEEREMA’s new LNG-powered crane ship ‘Sleipnir’ that was just completed in Singapore, was supplied with over 3000 metric tons of the chilled fuel.

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This is the largest quantity of LNG that has ever been bunkered and proves that this clean fuel is available anywhere now. Moreover, the business case for LNG-powered vessels remains very compelling and hurdles are coming down for the widespread adoption of this fuel. “It was a complex project to supply this eight-legged innovative crane vessel. I’d like to thank Pavilion Gas and SLNG for the support in Singapore and Anthony Veder and Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, our shipping partners, which completed this Dutch-Singaporean project. Titan LNG looks forward to supplying HEEREMA with more LNG in the future to fulfil our mission of lowering harmful emissions of the marine and industrial sector,” said Niels den Nijs, CEO Titan LNG. Koos-Jan van Brouwershaven, CEO HEEREMA, also commented: “Not only is the Sleipnir the world’s largest and strongest vessel, it is also first of its kind as far as sustainability goes. Sustainability is an integral part of HMC’s identity, embedded in our daily work practices. But we intend to do far more than that. It shows that we act sustainable because we want to. Not because we have to. This specific project of bunkering LNG is proof of this ambition. We are very pleased to work together with Dutch Company Titan LNG, since it provided us with good solutions for bunkering, in Singapore as well as in Spain.” Titan LNG chartered the Coral Fraseri for this delivery, the newest addition of the Anthony Veder small scale LNG pool of vessels. The ship loaded in Singapore at the SLNG terminal where Titan LNG sourced the fuel from Pavilion Gas, the Singaporean gas and LNG supplier. The Coral Fraseri followed the Sleipnir offshore and performed a ship-to-ship operation to cool down and fill the tanks.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/worlds-largest-lng-bunkering-operation-took-place-in-singapore/

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BHP calls tender for LNG-fuelled bulk carrier

Australia’s BHP is introducing low emissions freight as it is calling a tender for the world’s first LNG-powered bulk carrier to transport up to 27m tonnes of iron ore.

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The mining giant said that introducing LNG-fuelled ships into its maritime supply chain will help to eliminate nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide emissions, and significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions along the busy bulk transport route globally. “We recognise we have a stewardship role, working with our customers, suppliers and others to influence emissions reductions across the full life cycle of our products,” commented Rashpal Bhatti, vice president of maritime and supply chain excellence at BHP. The tender is open to a select group of industry leaders, from shipowners, banks and LNG fuel network providers. As well as LNG-fuelled transport for up to 10% of its iron ore, the tender seeks other innovative solutions that can lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase productivity from BHP’s freight requirements. “While LNG may not be the sustainable homogenous fuel of choice for a zero carbon future, we are not prepared to wait for a 100% compliant solution if we know that, together with our partners, we can make significant progress now,” Bhatti said. “This new tender adds to the work BHP is doing with customers, suppliers and parties along our value chain to influence emissions reductions from the transport and use of our products,” he added. The latest tender comes more than two years after the signing of a ‘Green Corridor’ project involving BHP, DNV GL, Rio Tinto, Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (Sdari) and Woodside Energy, on studying the launch of LNG-fuelled capesize bulk carriers. The ‘Green Corridor’ project looks to deploy LNG-fuelled capsizes to serve the route between Australia and China.

http://www.seatrade-maritime.com/news/asia/bhp-calls-tender-for-lng-fuelled-bulk-carrier.html

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Balearia’s third LNG-powered smart ship starts operations in Spain

Abel Matutes, which is Spanish ferry company’s, Baleària’s third LNG-fueled vessel starts operations.

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The ship experienced a change of engines in recent months, and is joining the new-build smart ship Hypatia de Alejandría and the also converted Nápoles, which are already operating with this cleaner fuel. The Abel Matutes covers the València-Ibiza-Palma route and at the end of the month it will join the Huelva-Canarias route, where the Nápoles LNG-powered ferry is currently sailing. The main engines of the Abel Matutes ferry, which has already completed the sea tests with satisfactory results, were replaced by two MAK 9M 46 dual fuel engines, which allow it to sail with both natural gas and fuel oil. In the conversion works, which lasted five months, two LNG tanks of 178 cubic meters each were installed. This will allow the ship to have a range of about 1,000 miles. Abel Matutes was the first passenger ferry in Spain to sail with auxiliary natural gas generators in 2017. This project, which began in 2015, was Baleària’s first contact with natural gas navigation, being today the pioneer shipping company in the use of LNG as fuel. The conversion process was carried out thanks to the LNGHIVE2 Green & Smart Links project, co-financed by the CEF program of the European Commission. By 2021 Baleària will have nine ships powered by LNG: six converted and three new-build.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/balearias-third-lng-powered-smart-ship-starts-operations-in-spain/

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First simultaneous operations of LNG bunkering in Europe

Containerships, subsidiary of the CMA CGM Group, has successfully completed its first simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) of bunkering, which allows for the concomitant bunkering of LNG and execution of loading and unloading procedures.

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The SIMOPS bunkering was carried out on the LNG-powered CONTAINERSHIPS NORD vessel in the Port of Rotterdam. The ship thus became the first container carrier performing SIMOPS in Europe by means of “ship-to-ship” bunkering. To ensure a fluent and safe ship-to-ship bunkering, Containerships worked closely together with Shell, its bunker supplier, with the Port of Rotterdam and with the RST Terminal. The vessel received approximately 200 tons of LNG. This unprecedented achievement paves the way for this procedure to be performed on other LNG-powered vessels, including the recently delivered CONTAINERSHIPS POLAR, the sister ship of the CONTAINERSHIPS NORD. Thanks to SIMOPS, the ship’s stay in the port can be reduced significantly and operational delays avoided. Therefore, transit times can be reduced, offering CMA CGM Group customers a highly reliable and fast connection between Northern Europe and the Baltics. A pioneer in the use of LNG to power container ships, CMA CGM is set to take delivery of 20 LNG-powered vessels by 2022, including nine 22,000-TEU ships which are scheduled to be delivered from 2020.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/first-simultaneous-operations-of-lng-bunkering-in-europe/

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Oman plans to become a regional LNG bunkering hub

McDermott International, Inc. has been awarded a contract by Total Oman E&P Development B.V. in partnership with Oman Oil Company S.O.A.C. to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) services for the Sohar LNG Bunkering Project in Oman.

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This project is intended to establish Oman as a regional LNG bunkering hub capable of supplying LNG as a fuel to marine vessels. The scope of work during the FEED phase includes fully defining the onshore mid-scale LNG facilities and preparing a competitive tender for the engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning phase. The global LNG bunkering market is entering a rapid growth period driven largely by the International Maritime Organization’s legislation to significantly limit sulfur emissions. “This award is a reflection of McDermott’s 60-year history of delivering innovative LNG solutions worldwide, beginning with our tank storage solutions in the 1950s, to our liquefaction capabilities today,” said Linh Austin, Senior Vice President, Middle East and North Africa. Work on the project will begin immediately and the contract award will be reflected in McDermott’s second quarter 2019 backlog.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/oman-plans-to-become-a-regional-lng-bunkering-hub/

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Total moves forward with LNG bunkering at Port of Sohar

American petroleum engineering company McDermott has been awarded a large contract to do the front-end engineering design (FEED) work for the planned Sohar LNG Bunkering Project at the port of Sohar, Oman.

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 Sohar is adjacent to the Strait of Hormuz, making it well positioned as a potential LNG bunkering hub as IMO2020 approaches.  “This award is a reflection of McDermott’s 60-year history of delivering innovative LNG solutions worldwide, beginning with our tank storage solutions in the 1950s to our liquefaction capabilities today,” said Linh Austin, McDermott’s SVP for Middle East and North Africa. The scope of work includes defining the onshore LNG liquefaction facility, which will be a mid-size installation. The plan calls for a capacity of 1 MMTPA – much smaller than most LNG export terminals, which usually have capacities in the range of 5-15 MMTPA. McDermott will also prepare the tender for the project’s EPC contract.  French oil major Total is partnering with the Oman Oil Company to develop the bunkering terminal, which will be fed by several new natural gas discoveries in Oman’s Greater Barik region. Total hopes to reach a gas production potential of about 500 million cubic feet per day, and perhaps more. (Shell is the operator of the gas fields with a 75% stake, while Total holds the remaining 25%.) . French ocean carrier CMA CGM’s flagship rotation, French Asia Line 1, is served by the line’s very largest vessels, and it includes a port call near Sohar. The line has ordered nine LNG-powered megamax boxships of 22,000 TEU each, and an LNG bunkering facility in Oman would provide them with a refueling station near the midpoint of their voyage. Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas) has studied the possibility of an LNG bunkering service at the nearby port of Fujairah, the region’s primary hub for conventional bunker fuel. 

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/total-moves-forward-with-lng-bunkering-at-port-of-sohar

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McKinsey: 9 MMTPA increase in use of LNG as LNG carrier bunker fuel on 1/1/2020

On January 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will introduce increased limitations on sulphur emissions by ships. Set forth by MARPOL (see sidebar,

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“The adoption of MARPOL”), these global limitations will require operators to consider alternatives to the current widespread use of high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO). Such alternatives include the installation of scrubber systems to remove sulphur from the gas stream or a switch to very-low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), marine gasoil (MGO), or liquefied natural gas (LNG). Limited desulphurization-refining capacity  as well as other logistical considerations constrain the supply of VLSFO and MGO. Therefore, vessel operators may experience fuel shortages and a sharp rise in prices on the back of an expected spike in demand. LNG’s widespread use as a marine transport fuel, however, is primarily constrained by limited LNG bunkering infrastructure. In fact, several countries, such as Belgium and Singapore, are currently investing in this area to increase the viability of LNG as an alternative fuel supply, though converting existing vessels to accommodate LNG is expensive. Therefore, nearly all growth in this area will come from newly built vessels or LNG-ready vessels. In addition to the cost of conversion, shipowners and operators face three challenges. First, there are only a few months left before the new emissions limitations come to pass. Second, owners and operators will need to consider the potential LNG shortages and price increases, both likely results of the sudden increase in demand. And finally, they will be on the hook to provide commercial rationale to stakeholders for meeting these new regulations. While the value proposition of LNG varies across segments of the shipping sector, it is (perhaps unsurprisingly) most attractive as a fuel for the approximately 550 LNG carriers currently operating worldwide. We expect to see a rapid rise in adoption of LNG as a fuel in this segment, potentially increasing demand by 9 MMTPA, or 3.0 percent of annual demand, over the next two years. Therefore, ship-owners and operators in 2020 should consider switching to forced LNG boil-off gas (BOG).

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/mckinsey-9-mtpa-increase-in-use-of-lng-as-lng-carrier-bunker-fuel-on-1-1-2020/[Edited]

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SNAPSHOT: INTERNATIONAL

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

First hydrogen refueling station for buses opens in France | Corporation’s first waste incinerator to come up at Manali, Tamil Nadu | U.S. public-private cooperation funds biogas production & upgrading | Fortis of Canada encourages transition to CNG, RNG

First hydrogen refueling station for buses opens in France

The first refueling station for hydrogen buses in France is located in Houdain and will service buses operated by Artois-Gohelle transport authority (SMT-AG).

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The SMT-AG has attributed to ENGIE, via its subsidiary GNVERT, the design, supply, installation and maintenance of the filling station. Moreover, McPhy, a specialist in hydrogen production and distribution equipment, is equipping the station with its McLyzer and McFilling technologies. The new facility will enable the refueling of six hydrogen buses that will be deployed on the new BHNS (High Level Service Bus) bus line connecting Bruay-La-Buissière and Auchel. Clean hydrogen will be produced on site by electrolysis, from renewable electricity of certified French origin, before being distributed by the station. Fifteen minutes of refueling will give the buses a range of more than 300 km. “We are proud to contribute, with our technologies and products, in this innovation in France that has enabled us to set up, in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France, the first McPhy station for hydrogen buses. With its state-of-the-art research and innovation and first-rate industrial infrastructure, McPhy provides its expertise in producing and distributing hydrogen. Our McLyzer electrolyzer will produce on site and from renewable electricity of certified French origin supplied by ENGIE, the clean hydrogen for a high-capacity McFilling hydrogen refueling station with a high service rate. The public transport sector is in the midst of a revolution. By opting for hydrogen mobility, the SMT-AG is combining passenger comfort and service continuity while helping reduce atmospheric pollution and improve public health,” said Pascal Mauberger, Chairman and CEO of McPhy. In its current configuration, the McPhy station can produce and deliver more than 200 kg of clean hydrogen a day. Its capacity can be increased by 30% without changing the facility’s total surface area, if required by the SMT-AG’s future needs.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/first-hydrogen-refueling-station-for-buses-opens-in-france/

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Corporation’s first waste incinerator to come up at Manali

The city’s first solid waste incinerator is to be set up in Manali zone in August, followed by plants in Madhavaram and Thiruvottiyur zones.

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Greater Chennai Corporation commissioner G Prakash it was planned to set up at least two incinerators in a zone and the numbers may go up based on the amount of waste generated. “For now, about 30 such plants are being planned. For Manali, a 10 tonne capacity plant will be set up to deal with dry waste. The waste would be burned to produce pure carbon ash that is not harmful to environment and can be used to manufacture paver blocks, in brick mixing and to make other construction material.” The civic body plans to set up at least three plants at three locations in Madhavaram zone. Setting up a 10 tonne plant costs about Rs 70 lakh, it is Rs 90 lakh for a 15-tonne plant and Rs 1 crore for a 20-tonne plant, with the minimum area required just 5,000 sqft. “We have already awarded tenders and the work order has been issued. The plant will be ready by August-end and will be inaugurated. We are in talks with various NGOs, corporates and companies to sponsor more such plants,” said an official from the solid waste management department. T Narayanaswami, CEO of MAK group of companies which will set up the plant, said their pilot project was a 10-tonne plant in Erode last year which was expanded to 50 tonnes. “The founder, Athapa Manickam, with Saravanan Manickam and Raman Shivakumar founded this green incineration technology that does not involve burning any fossil fuel. Athapa Manickam earlier worked with APJ Abdul Kalam and DRDO on various projects,” he said. Using this technology, waste can be burned at 900 degrees C, removing harmful dioxins ensuring only water vapour and carbon remain.” The plant can burn 1.25 tonnes of waste in one hour. Corporation officials said that at least 55% of the 5,500 tonnes of garbage generated in the city daily is wet waste. About 450 tonnes of wet waste is processed through composting and 250 tonnes of dry waste is sold every day. Another 50 tonnes is set to be converted into CNG gas as three plants have been proposed

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/corpns-first-waste-incinerator-to-come-up-at-manali/articleshowprint/70268207.cms

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U.S. public-private cooperation funds biogas production & upgrading

Xebec Adsorption Inc. announced its inclusion in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) US$24 million commitment to a public-private collaboration funding 77 energy technology projects. One of these initiatives includes the collaboration of Xebec,

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Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) and a California treatment facility, and is being conducted through Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) by lead researcher Sarah Baker. The $500,000 grant to the LLNL will be used to develop and seek to commercialize their composite sorbent technology to more effectively remove CO2 from biogas. This proposed technology has the potential for significant improvements over the current state-of-the-art adsorbents used for biogas upgrading. Xebec will play an important advisory role with their expertise in sorbents and biomethane production. Also, there is the opportunity to commercialize the technology in a small-scale biogas upgrading plant if proven successful in early stages. “LLNL is excited to work with Xebec, who has decades of experience with biogas upgrading technology, to rigorously test LLNL’s biogas upgrading materials and move them toward commercialization,” said Sarah Baker, Staff Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “We are proud to be working alongside LLNL and SoCalGas to research how new sorbents can enable more economical biomethane production. This is the first time Xebec has participated in a DOE funded project, and we look forward to vigorously testing LLNL’s biogas upgrading materials. The renewable natural gas industry is seeing unprecedented growth and cost reduction will be important in developing the market further,” added Dr. Prabhu Rao, Chief Operating Officer, Xebec Adsorption Inc.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c1-markets/u-s-public-private-collaboration-funds-biogas-production-and-upgrading/

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Fortis of Canada encourages transition to CNG, RNG

Commercial transportation is the largest contributor to B.C.’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at 25 per cent. According to FortisBC, the emissions rate in the Comox Valley is 60 per cent.

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The company is appealing to Courtenay council to transition to CNG (compressed natural gas) in order to lower GHG emissions and to improve air quality. The City is interested in CNG to fuel contracted solid waste collection vehicles, and other fleet assets such as sweepers and vactor trucks. “These vehicles are 10 times quieter than diesel that’ll be operating in your community,” Georgina Wheatcroft, manager of natural gas for transportation at Fortis, said in a July 15 presentation. “It’s almost half the cost of diesel right now to run natural gas vehicles.” FortisBC has a time sensitive opportunity for funding from Natural Resource Canada to build a multi-fuelling station in the Comox Valley. The company is asking the City to support the station by including the requirement of CNG, or potentially RNG (renewable natural gas), in future requests for proposals for the waste hauling contract. Another option is to consider giving a heavier weighting for CNG-fuelled trucks in the RFP process. She said there are more than 1,000 medium- to heavy-duty vehicles running on natural gas in B.C. that have come through a Fortis incentive program.

“Most of those would be in the waste hauler sector and transit,” Wheatcroft said. Coun. Doug Hillian — noting the transitional use of natural gas in the move away from fossil fuels — asked Wheatcroft to comment about public concerns about fracking and its inherent environmental risks. “We do have an abundance of natural gas in this province, over 100-year supply,” she said. “Most of it’s coming from the traditional ways that we have gotten natural gas for years. Studies at this point are kind of mixed about fracking.” The City has been in discussion with other regional local governments in an effort to co-ordinate and plan solid waste decisions, and options for curbside collection and regional composting. A staff report in September will include more information on options for the solid waste contract.

https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/fortis-encourages-transition-to-cng-rng/

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S. Department of Energy allocates $50M for alternative fuels research

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $50 million for new and innovative research of technologies for trucks, off-road vehicles, and the fuels that power them. Funded through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and

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Renewable Energy (EERE), these selections highlight the DOE’s priorities in gaseous fuels research, including natural gas, biopower, and hydrogen; heavy-duty freight electrification; hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell technologies for heavy-duty applications; and energy efficient off-road vehicles. “As the fastest growing fuel users in the United States, it is important our trucking industry has access to advanced technologies as a way to move goods efficiently and economically,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “EERE has a strong track record of successful investment in the research and development of a broad portfolio of technologies, including electrification, advanced combustion engines, and fuels such as natural gas, hydrogen, and biofuels, that can significantly improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of transportation energy. These selections reinforce DOE’s commitment to sustainable transportation options.”

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c1-markets/u-s-department-of-energy-allocates-50m-for-alternative-fuels-research/

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