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

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City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

India to have 10,000 CNG stations in next 5 years: Petroleum Minister || Commencement of work ceremony to be launched for 10th CGD Bidding Round || Shell exits city gas biz, sells stake to MGL for ₹770 crore

India to have 10,000 CNG stations in next 5 years: Petroleum Minister

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said India will have ten thousand CNG stations in the next five years. Launching the commencement of work for 10th City Gas Distribution bidding round in New Delhi which will cover 50 Geographical Areas in 124 districts across the country, Pradhan suggested auto companies to retrofit vehicles with CNG to boost sales.

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He said by 2050, India’s incremental energy needs will be primarily met by CNG. The Minister said, India will aim to lead Electronic Vehicle technology and won’t shift to lithium import dependence. Pradhan said, with the 9th and 10th rounds, the country is making a giant leap in the City Gas Distribution. He said that in last 5 years, the number of domestic PNG connections, CNG vehicles and CNG stations have more than doubled. He said, India is the 3rd largest energy consumer of the world and will become top consumer in a decade. The Minister said that country will continue to harness multiple sources of energy, including fossil fuels, renewables, EVs and gas to provide reliable, affordable, sustainable and universal access to clean fuel to all. On the policy enablers to promote gas usage in India, Pradhan said that City Gas Distribution has been granted public utility status. He said, the present share of gas in the energy mix in the country is 6.2 per cent compared to 24 per cent globally and the aim is to increase share of natural gas to 15 per cent by 2030.  Pradhan said that over 5 lakh crore rupees are being invested in gas infrastructure, which includes exploration, distribution, marketing, regasification, pipeline network laying, etc. He said, domestic gas production was 32.87 billion cubic metre in 2018-19 and is likely to go up to 39.3 billion cubic metre in 2020-21. The Minister said, present LNG terminal capacity of 38.8 MMTPA will be augmented to 52.5 MMTPA in next 3-4 years. He said, long term contracts have been signed for importing LNG and its sources are being diversified. He added that the gas grid presently is 16,788 kilometres and work is in progress for additional 14,788 kilometres.

http://www.ddinews.gov.in/national/india-have-10000-cng-stations-next-5-years-petroleum-minister

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Commencement of work ceremony to be launched for 10th CGD Bidding Round

During 2018-19, PNGRB had successfully completed award of 136 Geographical Areas (GAs) for development of City Gas Development Network under 9th & 10th CGD Bidding Rounds.

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After 10th round, 70% of India’s population, 53% of geographical area, covering more than 400 districts, spread over 27 states and union territories, would have access to CGD network. Commencement of work for 9th CGD Bidding Round and launch of 10th CGD Bidding Round was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 22nd November 2018. The Letters of Intent were distributed by Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship to successful entities for 50 GAs under 10th CGD Bidding Round in a ceremony held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on 1st March 2019. Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan will launch the “commencement of work ceremony” for 50 GAs awarded under 10th CGD Bidding Round for development of City Gas Development Network on 26th August 2019 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. These GAs have committed work program of more than 3500 CNG stations, 2 Crore PNG connections and 58,000 Inch KM of steel pipeline over a period of 8 years. These GAs are likely to infuse investment of Rs. 50,000 Crore and generate significant direct and indirect employment in the country.

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/headlines/643420-japans-tepco-to-submit-decommissioning-plan-regarding-five-reactors–media

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Shell exits city gas biz, sells stake to MGL for ₹770 crore

Shell India, the local arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, on Tuesday sold its 10% stake in the city gas distribution business of Mumbai-based Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL)

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for ₹770 crore. According to stock exchange data, BG Asia Pacific Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell, sold 9.98 million shares through block deals at ₹780 each. In 2016, Shell took over BG Group Plc and, subsequently, acquired its assets worldwide. On 4 March 2019, Mint had reported about Shell’s plan to exit MGL. When Mahanagar Gas was listed on 1 July 2016, Shell acquired a 34% stake in the company through BG Asia Pacific. Last year, it offloaded 24% of its shareholding in two tranches—8.5% in April and 14% in August—in the open market through bulk deals. This reduced Shell’s holding to 10%. With the latest stake sale, the company has exited the city gas business in India. Guidelines issued by capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) stipulate minimum promoters’ contribution shall be locked in for three years from the date of allotment in a public issue. With the lock-in period ending, Shell has decided to sell its stake and focus on other businesses in India. Other key shareholders of Mahanagar Gas are state-run gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd and the Maharashtra government. Founded in 1995, Mahanagar Gas sells CNG to over 700,000 retail outlets and piped natural gas to over 1.17 million households. The company runs more than 240 CNG retail outlets and plans to add 20 CNG stations each over the next two years.

https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/shell-exits-city-gas-biz-sells-stake-to-mgl-for-770-crore-1566274931274.html

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Mahanagar Gas may outperform on likely weight gain in MSCI

Shares of Mahanagar Gas NSE -0.50 % , battling the overhang of BG Asia Pacific’s decision to sell its remaining 10 per cent stake in the utility, could outperform now as the exit raises the stock’s free float and likely weight on the MSCI Index. The stock has risen 8% in the last two trading sessions after the stake sale by BG Asia Pacific, closing at Rs 850.50 on Wednesday( August21).

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“We believe this major hangover of promoter stake sale is behind us now and we can witness better pricing for the company’s valuations, which have been at historic lows of 11x PE,” said Reena Shah, analyst, Ashika Stock Broking. The MGL stock fell 24% since 1 April through Monday (August 19), compared with a 6% decline in the Sensex. The MGL stock was under severe pressure as BG Asia was looking to exit. BGBG Asia gives investors the opportunity to focus on MGL’s fundamentals, with EBITDA margin of Rs 8/ scm, superior RoE of 22-23%, and decent volume growth outlook of 6% per annum, said analysts. “With declassification of BG Asia Pacific Holdings as promoter of MGL, the free float has increased by 10% and this could lead to a potential increase in MGL’s weightage on the MSCI Index,” said Abhijeet Bora, Senior Research Analyst, Sharekhan. “We retain our positive view on MGL and expect 18-20% upside as valuations are at a steep discount to historical averages and those for peers.” MGL gives decent dividend yield, and is preparing to seize the opportunity offered by the growing demand in gas sector. It is investing in the infrastructure in Mumbai and adjoining authorised areas.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/mahanagar-gas-may-outperform-on-likely-weight-gain-in-msci/articleshow/70780520.cms

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CNG pumps in MMR run dry, cabs, autos hit

Several CNG pumps in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) had to close on Friday (August 16) because of a gas supply cut owing to a technical reason. Public transport, including autos, taxis, buses and some app cabs, were affected. Some private cars too run on CNG. Officials from Mahanagar Gas , which distributes CNG to pumps in MMR, said the problem was temporary and will be rectified soon.

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They appealed to citizens not to panic and said supply could normalise in a day or two. About 6.9 lakh vehicles run on CNG in MMR, including 3 lakh private cars, 3.2 lakh autos, 61,000 cabs and 6,100 buses. Close to 40% of taxis and autos went off road on Friday evening as more than a dozen pumps in the island city and suburbs shut. Sources said one couldn’t rule out the possibility of nearly 60% of autos not plying on Saturday unless CNG supply is restored by morning. The crisis led to long queues outside pumps that didn’t run out of the fuel. “It is a long queue and I don’t know when I will get gas. We will lose a day’s earnings, like Rs 500-600,” said driver Sunil Mhatre, who is also a union member. Apart from public transport, nearly 3 lakh private cars in MMR have switched to the green fuel, and weekend travel plans of families owning these might be affected. Commenting on the cause, a senior MGL official said, “Due to a major technical problem at ONGC’s gas processing facility at Uran, gas supply to MGL has been affected in terms of a lower volume of flow and high carryover of condensate (a thick liquid), along with gas. This has resulted in major disruption of gas supply to MGL’s City Gate Station at Wadala.” It is this gas station from where all outlets in MMR get supply. There are more than 200 outlets in the region, with 131 in Mumbai alone (52 in the island city and 79 in the eastern and western suburbs). The official said, “MGL is ensuring that supply to its domestic PNG consumers would be maintained on priority without interruption. But many CNG stations across Mumbai may not operate because of low pressure in the pipeline due to low gas availability. It may also impact CNG supply to the state transport undertaking’s buses (MSRTC).” There were long queues and many could not get CNG.” The situation could be similar for kaali-peelis. A L Quadros of Mumbai Taximen’s Union said nearly 60% of taxis could be hit if the problem continued on Saturday.

 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/cng-pumps-in-mmr-run-dry-cabs-autos-hit-hard/articleshowprint/70709322.cms

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Piped gas soon to enter households in Jharkhand State

The dream to get piped gas in every kitchen will be realised soon as people of the State Capital and four other towns of the State will soon get benefit of cheaper gas through Pipeline Natural Gas (PNG) under Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October, 2016. Work of gas pipeline to connect with a total of 3000 households in Ranchi and 2000 households in Jamshedpur is almost completed. Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL)

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Executive Director, KB Singh said that almost all the work have been completed to provide piped gas into kitchens of around 3,000 households in the State Capital. “The schedule to complete the project was March, 2020 but we are ready to launch the project months before the schedule. The project gets delayed due to finalisation of gas procurement centre. The company will procure gas from its Patna centre to start project in Ranchi,” said Singh.  “The project will be launched from Ranchi’s MECON Colony and its adjoining areas where pipelined natural gas (PNG) connections have been provided to around 2,000 households,” Singh said. The Executive Director further informed that the company has set up two CNG stations in Ranchi which are at Ormanjhi and Khukri in Ranchi for the supply of gas to the kitchens. “The company has got all the clearances of various departments of the two gas CNG stations and they are ready to launch. The company is setting up one CNG station at Bistupur in Jamshedpur. The construction work is almost clear for the Bistupur CNG station and it is also almost ready to start as the company has to start piped gas supply in the Steel City from December of this year. People of Sonari residential area will get first of all benefit of the project,” he added. “Around two thousand household will be connected through the project at initial level. Jamshedpur is around 140 Kilo Meter away for the State Capital so the transportation cost in Jamshedpur will be higher than Ranchi. However, we are trying to provide piped gas supply by December in Jamshedpur,” he said. The company has set target to cover 30,000 households in Ranchi and 25,000 households in Jamshedpur in next five years, said Singh. Indian oil corporation limited (IOCL) will lay the infrastructure for piped natural gas (PNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) in Bokaro, Hazaribag, Ramgarh, while the GAIL Gas Limited will lay the pipeline project in Dhanbad and Giridih.

https://www.dailypioneer.com/2019/state-editions/piped-gas-soon-to-enter-households-in-state.html

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Sarbananda Sonowal opens Assam’s first CNG station in Dibrugarh

Taking a step towards making Assam pollution-free, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday inaugurated the state’s first CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) fuel station in Dibrugarh.

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The CNG station, set up by the Assam Gas Company Limited (AGCL) near the Assam State Transport Bus Terminus at Chowkidinghee, has the capacity to cater to 400 vehicles on an average daily. With its inauguration, Assam became the second northeastern state after Tripura to have CNG facility. “When the BJP came to power in Assam, we promised to make the state corruption-free, terror-free and pollution-free. Today is a big leap in our endeavour to make the state pollution-free. Now people can buy CNG fuel at a cheaper price compared to petrol and diesel. This is a step towards making Assam a clean and green state. In coming days, CNG fuel stations will be set up in other districts of the state,” Sonowal said after inaugurating the CNG facility. “CNG is a cheap fuel compared to petrol and diesel. It will cost Rs 50 per kg. As of today, a litre of petrol costs Rs 72 per litre while diesel costs Rs 65 per litre. While the mileage of petrol driven cars is around 15 km per litre, CNG provides a mileage of around 21 km per kg. So, CNG is a clear winner both in terms of price and mileage,” an AGCL official said.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/sarbananda-sonowal-opens-assams-first-cng-station-in-dibrugarh/articleshow/70722546.cms

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Convert three-wheelers into CNG, get incentive in Patna

In a bid to curb pollution in Patna due to emission from diesel-operated autorickshaws, the state government has decided to provide incentives to those converting such vehicles into compressed natural gas (CNG). Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said the state transport department is working on plans to convert all diesel-run three-wheelers in the city into CNG. He said the transport department has already stopped issuing permits to diesel-operated three-wheelers in Patna.

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“As part of its crack down on vehicles emitting pollution, the government has stopped issuing permits to diesel-run three-wheelers. Also, the government will give incentives to people converting their diesel-run three-vehicles into CNG. The transport department is preparing an action plan in this regard,” Modi told TOI. Sources in the transport department said more than 10,000 autorickshaws run in Patna. Of them, only around 1,500 are CNG-operated. The supply of CNG is done at two fuel stations in the city – one Rukanpura and another on Bypass Road. The deputy CM said the number of CNG refilling points in the city would be increased soon. The supply of CNG in Patna is being done under the city gas distribution scheme, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Begusarai on February 17. As per an estimate, an autorickshaw can run up to 45km with 1 kg CNG in Patna, while a four-wheeler can cover a distance of 30km. The deputy CM claimed that steps were also being taken to curb noise pollution due to vehicles.  “Cases of hearing impairment are on the rise due to needless honking and steps are being taken in a phase-wise manner to stop the problem. Drivers of government vehicles will be given training in this regard and action taken against motorists,” SuMo said.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/convert-three-wheelers-into-cng-get-incentive/articleshow/70718246.cms

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Dharmendra Pradhan will launch CNG supply stations in Ranchi

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will launch CNG supply stations in Ranchi today. K.B. Singh, Executive Director of GAIL, the eastern region said that the Union Minister launch the CNG stations at Madhuvan Bihar and Kakuri of Ranchi along with Chief Minister Raghubar Das and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda. 

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According to news agency IANS, the natural gas will reach Ranchi in special containers which will be transported by road from Patna. Later the natural gas will be supplied through Jamshedpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dharama natural gas pipeline which is popularly known as Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga. The CNG pipeline which is under construction will be completed by December 2020. The government will set up 22 CNG stations at Ranchi and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand with GAIL gas supply to 10.46 lakh households. In order to supply CNG to over 1.25 lakh vehicles and piped natural gas, the City Gas Distribution (CGD) project will be taken up along with Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga pipeline.

https://www.khabarindia.in/dharmendra-pradhan-will-launch-cng-supply-stations-ranchi/

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Indian firms looking at fresh Rs 5 lakh crore investment in natural gas: Pradhan

India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said domestic companies are looking at fresh investments worth a mammoth Rs 5 lakh crore in the natural gas sector.

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This comes amid last week’s stimulus package announced by the government and calls from India Inc for further measures to boost investor sentiment.
Pradhan, who was speaking at an event on the commencement of work on projects under the tenth City Gas Distribution round, called for healthy competition between CNG and Electric Vehicles (EVs) highlighting that while EVs will come in due course CNG has already become a reality in India. “We have already set-up more than 1,700 CNG stations, almost double the 2014 levels. We are now targeting to set-up 10,000 CNG vehicles in a few years. Pradhan emphasized that investments in the gas sector have outstripped investments in oil sector, both globally and in India, and hydrogen will be a “big play” while natural gas will be used more to produce electricity. “When we (NDA government) took over, we used to import 7 MTPA gas from Qatar under a term-contract and used to pick up another 1 MTPA from spot contracts. Now, after renegotiation, we are importing 8 MTPA of LNG from Qatar, 5.8 MTPA from USA, 2.5 MTPA from Russia and 1.44 MTPA from Australia. Term-contracts now are as high as 18-20 MTPA per year,” the minister said. He also added that India’s LNG-re-gasification capacity is on its way to reach 52 MTPA in some time from the current 38.8 MTPA and LNG terminals will be set-up on the east coast soon. The government is working to create a natural gas grid and over 14,000 Km of additional gas pipeline infrastructure is being created. Pradhan also said India will be a world leader in EVs.

Source: EnergyWorld.com

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Auto LPG Industry seeks alternate fuel policy and lower GST rates

The Indian Auto LPG Coalition has sought framing of an alternate fuel policy in the country. Indian Auto LPG Coalition (IAC) is the nodal body for the promotion of liquified petroleum gas (LPG or the IAC told BusinessLine.
“While the centre is subsidising EVs, they should also extend subsidies for Auto LPG which is a cleaner and cheaper fuel. 

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The government may start by subsidising LPG conversion kits,” Gupta said. The IAC has also written to the GST council seeking a reduction in the tax rate on auto LPG and cooking gas) in India.
“In addition to promoting electric vehicles (EVs), the centre should also focus on formulating an alternate fuel policy to bridge the gap till EVs can be proliferated,” Suyash Gupta, Director General of conversion kits.
“We have sought bringing down the GST rate on Auto LPG conversion kits from 28 per cent to 5 per cent. We also seek bringing down the GST rate on Auto LPG from 18 per cent to 5 per cent,” Gupta said.
Source: Business Line/Indian Oil & Gas

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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

RIL-BP may set up EV charging points at its fuel retail outlets ||Government sanctions 5595 electric buss for 64 cities under FAME II

RIL-BP may set up EV charging points at its fuel retail outlets

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and BP Plc plan to offer electric vehicle (EV) charging points at their energy stations across India, a senior RIL official said, as the two companies seek to benefit from the government push to increase sales of eco-friendly vehicles.

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RIL, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is expected to tap the expertise of BP, its British partner in the field of charging EVs, said the official, on condition of anonymity. “RIL has always looked at offering CNG (compressed natural gas), LNG (liquefied natural gas) and EV charging options at its outlets as most of them are located on highways, a convenient location to have,” the RIL official said. Last June, BP acquired Chargemaster, the UK’s largest EV charging company, and renamed it BP Chargemaster. The company operates Polar, the largest EV charging network in the UK, with more than 7,000 public charging points, providing a comprehensive public charging solution. RIL and BP had on 6 August announced their fuel retailing partnership for India. The joint venture, which is owned 51% by RIL and 49% by BP, plans to set up 5,500 fuel retail outlets across India. The energy stations would not only have EV charging facilities but also retail petrol, diesel, CNG, and LNG, the RIL official said. “The joint venture will explore options for other mobility services, CNG, LNG, and electric charging at our retail network,” an RIL spokesperson said in an emailed reply to queries from Mint sent on 13 August. “Our analysis provides a view that EVs would grow rapidly, but oil will continue to have a major share in transportation till 2040,” the spokesperson said. Mint had on July 2017 reported that RIL plans to foray into retailing CNG and LNG and set up charging points for EVs. This would be RIL’s second innings in the domestic fuel retail market. The firm, which had a 12% market share in fuel retailing in 2005, saw this fall to less than 0.5% in 2014, by when it had shut most of its fuel retail outlets because of spiralling crude prices.

https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/ril-bp-may-set-up-ev-charging-points-at-its-fuel-retail-outlets-1566238272634.html[Edited]

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Government sanctions 5,595 electric buses for 64 cities under FAME II

The Department of Heavy Industry has sanction 5,595 electric buses for 64 cities under the FAME India scheme’s second phase to give a further push to clean mobility in public transportation, according to an official statement released.

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These buses will run about 4 billion kilometers during their contract period and are expected to save cumulatively about 1.2 billion liters of fuel over the contract period. This will result in the avoidance of 2.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The department had invited expressions of interest (EoIs) for submission of proposal for deployment of electric buses on an operational cost basis. A total of 86 proposals from 26 states and union territories for the deployment of 14,988 e-buses were received. After evaluation of these proposals, the government-sanctioned 5,095 electric buses to 64 cities and state transport corporations for intra-city operation, 400 electric buses for inter-city operation and 100 electric buses for last-mile connectivity to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Each selected city and state transport undertaking is required to initiate the procurement process in a time-bound manner for the deployment of sanctioned electric buses on an operational cost basis. The buses which satisfy required localization level and technical eligibility will be eligible for funding under the FAME India scheme’s second phase. FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of [Hybrid and] Electric Vehicles) scheme is an incentive for the promotion of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country. Its first phase started in 2015 and was completed on March 31 this year. The second phase started from April 1 and will be completed by March 31, 2022.

Source: EQ International

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SNAPSHOT: NATIONAL

Natural Gas / Pipelines / Company News

RIL’s $4 billion petcoke bet hurt by too much gas || Stay on land acquisition for gas pipeline vacated || ONGC To Invest Rs.83,000 crore in 25 Projects || GAIL to invest Rs 45,000 crore for pipeline expansion, CGD

RIL’s $4 billion petcoke bet hurt by too much gas

The 10 synthetic gasifiers that make up the project are now finally commissioned. A global glut in natural gas is threatening to undermine a $4 billion investment by Reliance Industries aimed at boosting profits at the world’s largest oil refining complex.

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The project made all the sense in the world when energy magnate Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate announced it in 2012: convert petroleum coke, or petcoke, one of the cheapest and dirtiest refinery by-products, into gas needed to power the massive Jamnagar complex on India’s west coast. Then it hit about three years of delays, and global gas markets crashed amid a growing supplies of liquefied cargoes from the US, Australia and Russia. The 10 synthetic gasifiers that make up the project are now finally commissioned. But the imported LNG they’re meant to displace has fallen from about $15 per MMBtu in 2012 to less than $5. And that price slump has reduced the project’s viability, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s finances. Reliance predicted in 2014 that the project would boost Jamnagar’s refining margins by as much as $2 a barrel. Now, Mumbai-based brokerage Centrum Broking sees an uplift of about $1.30 to $1.50 a barrel by the 2021-2022 fiscal year, according to a July 21 report by Analysts Probal Sen and Akshay Mane. “It’s not the most conducive environment to bring the petcoke project on stream,” said Somshankar Sinha, Head of India Equity Research at Jefferies Financial Group. “The LNG surplus has caused prices to fall much more than the usual decline in summer months,” the Mumbai-based analyst added. Jefferies said it expects a full ramp-up of Reliance’s project in financial year 2021. The gasifiers, originally scheduled to begin operations in 2016, are now in the final stages of being stabilized and integrated with other facilities, with an expected increase to full capacity in March, according to people with knowledge of operations, who asked not to be identified as information isn’t public. Reliance has said the units are still profitable at current LNG prices and it will cut down on imports of the fuel when they come online. “Whenever it comes, gasification will be cost-effective,” Joint Chief Financial Officer V. Srikanth said in Mumbai last month. With the plant still not fully operational, the company is still importing LNG, recently picking up several cargoes for delivery between July and October. Meanwhile, it has also been selling petcoke, according to a trader who distributes the product. Based on the forward curve for Asia’s dominant LNG benchmark for supplies in Japan and South Korea, the super-chilled gas is priced at between $5.50 and $8 per MMBtu from 2020 to 2023. Prompt LNG prices are pegged at around $4.70 per MMBtu. Low LNG spot prices could encourage Reliance to take more spot volumes in the coming quarters, although the company won’t shift its long-term strategy away from eliminating petcoke residue, said Senthil Kumaran, a Singapore-based analyst at industry consultant FGE. The payoffs from Reliance’s investment in gasifiers, however, “won’t be as rich as it was originally thought,” he added.

https://www.mydigitalfc.com/companies/220819/rils-4-billion-petcoke-bet-hurt-by-too-much-gas.html

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GAIL to invest Rs 45,000 crore for pipeline expansion, CGD

Gas major GAIL India will invest Rs 45,000 crore into the expansion of national gas grid and city gas distribution networks over the next five years, said the state-run company’s chairman Ashutosh Karnatak on Tuesday. 

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Speaking to shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting, Karnatak said that the company is currently implementing several major projects that will expand its national gas pipeline network by over 5,700 kilometres cumulatively. “Investments worth over Rs 45,000 crore are envisaged in the next few years across major cross-country pipeline projects and other crucial pipelines connecting supply and demand centres envisaged under the National Gas Grid,” said Karnatak. Of the total Rs 45,000 crore capital expenditure planned over the next five years, Rs 32,000 crore will go into projects expanding GAIL’s gas pipeline network, while another Rs 12,000 crore will be invested in expanding city gas distribution networks, which will deliver compressed natural gas (CNG) intended for CNG automobiles and piped natural gas to households. Karnatak also said that the company will set aside some capex to expand its petrochemical factories. GAIL currently operates 11,000-km long gas pipeline network and has more than two-thirds market share in domestic natural gas sales. Among major projects GAIL will be executing is a proposal to set up 400 CNG filling stations across India alongside a rapid expansion of its supply infrastructure. According to Karnatak, the company is building a 2,655-km gas pipeline from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to West Bengal and Odisha, and will expand the recently inaugurated Urja Ganga project (Jagdishpur-Haldia & Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline) by 750 km, linking it to Guwahati.  GAIL will also lay a 600 km-long pipeline between Srikakulam-Angul. “This limb is expected to be an important segment of the National Gas Grid,” Karnatak said. 

http://www.newindianexpress.com/business/2019/aug/21/gail-to-invest-rs-45k-cr-for-pipeline-expansion-cgd-2022020.html

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Stay on land acquisition for gas pipeline vacated

Madurai: The Madras high court has vacated the interim stay granted on the notification issued for land acquisition for Indian Oil Corporation Limited’s (IOCL) gas pipeline project from Ramanathapuram to Tuticorin.

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On Friday, a division bench of justice M Sathyanarayanan and justice B Pugalendhi passed the order while allowing the petition filed by IOCL for vacating the stay. Earlier in May, the court granted stay on the notification after a PIL was filed by K Chellam, a resident of South Veerapandiapuram village in Tuticorin district if this project was allowed, then the agricultural lands and forest areas would be affected. The petitioner stated that already several acres of agricultural lands had been acquired for government projects. At present, a notification has been issued by the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas for the purpose of acquiring the ‘Right of User’ of agricultural lands. He said the IOCL project, meant for the purpose of delivering natural gas to industries such as SPIC and Sterlite in Tuticorin district is proposed at a cost of Rs 700 crore. He submitted that as admitted by IOCL, the proposed pipeline would cross several rivers, canals, forest areas and eco-sensitive zone including bird sanctuaries and Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. Hence, the petitioner prayed for a direction seeking to restrain laying of the gas pipelines.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/stay-on-land-acquisition-for-gas-pipeline-vacated/articleshow/70707995.cms

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ONGC To Invest Rs.83,000 crore in 25 Projects

Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is investing around ₹83,000 crore in 25 major projects to boost oil and gas production, chairman and managing director Shashi Shanker said. Addressing ONGC employees on the 73rd Independence Day,

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he said: “Fifteen of these projects are currently under execution and will directly contribute to oil and gas production.” “The cumulative oil and gas gain from these projects is expected to be over 180 MMT of oil and oil equivalent gas in their life cycle.” The firm produced 24.23 MMT of crude oil in 2018-19 and 25.81 BCM of natural gas from its domestic fields. Another 10.1 MMT of oil and 4.736 BCM of gas was produced from its overseas assets. ONGC envisages a natural gas output of over 32 BCM by FY24, Shanker said in his address, which was webcast from the company’s headquarters in Dehradun to 30,000-plus employees across 38 work locations of ONGC, according to a company statement.

https://www.khabarindia.in/ongc-invest-rs-83000-crore-25-projects/

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Policy Matters/Gas Pricing/Others

Road ministry seeks GST rate cut for hybrid cars and CNG vehicles

Road ministry seeks GST rate cut for hybrid cars and CNG vehicles

Late last month, the GST Council had cut rates on EVs from 12% to 5%. The ministry of road transport and highways has written to the finance ministry, seeking a goods and service tax rate cut for vehicles running on hybrid power and compressed natural gas.

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Business Standard has learnt that this communication was sent earlier this month, before the announcements by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to boost economic activity. The finance ministry will consider whether to include this in the agenda of the next GST Council meeting, which is expected to be held on September 19 and 20 in Goa. The decision will be with the GST Council. Officials said the finance ministry will consider revenue implications of a rate cut for CNG and hybrid vehicles before making any move. At present, all four- and two-wheelers for commercial or personal use are in the 28% GST bracket, except electric vehicles, bicycles, rickshaw, etc. Late last month, the GST Council had cut rates on EVs from 12% to 5%. Earlier this month, Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava had also demanded a tax cut for hybrid and CNG vehicles, amidst slowdown concerns in the auto industry. “Personally, we would like to see GST benefits linked to cleaner cars. The government gave tax cut on EVs but hybrid should be given duty cut. There should be tax cut on CNG vehicles as well,” he had told a news channel. Sitharaman’s announcements came as a breather for the auto sector, which is facing its worst slowdown in two decades and is hoping for a boost in sales in the festive season.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/road-ministry-seeks-gst-rate-cut-for-hybrid-cars-and-cng-vehicles-119082601483_1.html

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SNAPSHOT: NATIONAL

LNG Development and Shipping

SIndia could review long term LNG contract prices: Oil Minister Pradhan || India keen to import more LNG from Australia but wants affordable pricing: Pradhan || India’s LNG imports rise 4.6% year on year in June ||India: Kerala announces pilot project to convert fishing boat to LNG

India could review long term LNG contract prices: Oil Minister Pradhan

India will look at reviewing the pricing of its long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) deals at an “appropriate time” due to a fall in spot prices, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday( August 26).

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“We will look at reviewing long-term LNG contracts,” Pradhan said at a natural gas event in New Delhi. The spot price of imported LNG into Japan, one of the world’s biggest importers of the super- volumes, experts have said.”Long-term contracts are supposed to be honoured. We will look at an appropriate time (to review cooled fuel, has more than halved in the last year. This has led buyers in Japan and China to request delays in term cargoes, while many other countries are considering lifting lower term). In the past also we had renegotiated the deals,” Pradhan said. India’s biggest gas importer Petronet LNG Ltd said earlier this month that it would consider renegotiating its long-term LNG supply deals if spot prices remained weak for a prolonged period.

“We have to be sensitive to the international market. If spot prices continue to be low for 2-3 years then you don’t have much of a choice, and there would be a case to look at renegotiation,” Prabhat Singh, Petronet’s managing director, told Reuters. Pradhan said India is investing up to 5 trillion rupees ($70 billion) to boost its natural gas sector, including city gas distribution projects, setting up LNG liquefaction facilities and natural gas exploration. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target to raise the share of natural gas in the country’s overall energy mix to 15% by 2030 from the current 6.2%.

Source: Reuters/Indian Oil & Gas

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India keen to import more LNG from Australia but wants affordable pricing: Pradhan

India is looking to raise import of liquefied natural gas(LNG) from Australia but wants the fuel at affordable price to meet the energy needs of the world’s fastest-growing economy. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday met with Australian Minister for Resources Matthew Canavan to discuss bilateral energy cooperation, an official press statement said here. 

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“Both ministers stressed on the importance of energy and resources in the bilateral relationship and agreed to expand the scope of cooperation given that India offers a large energy market and Australia is rich in natural resources particularly coal and LNG, apart from uranium,” it said. India already imports 1.44 MMTPA of LNG from Australia on a long-term contract. “Given India’s major initiatives to move into a gas-based economy, there is significant scope for expanding LNG imports from Australia,” the statement said. This shift would cut down the usage of polluting hydrocarbon fuels. The statement said Pradhan mentioned to the Australian Minister that “Indian consumer is price sensitive, and therefore affordability of LNG imports from Australia will be an important factor in enhancing cooperation in this area.” It did not elaborate. The comment assumes importance as there is a growing chorus for renegotiating pricing of its long-term LNG import contracts from suppliers such as Australia to help reflect falling rates of the spot market.  While long-term LNG comes for USD 8-9 per MMBtu, the same gas is available in the spot market for less than half the price. India has in the past used its status as Asia’s third-largest LNG buyer to renegotiate deals with Qatar, Australia, and Russia. In 2015, it renegotiated the price of the long-term deal to import 7.5 million tonne per year of LNG from Qatar, helping save Rs 8,000 crore. In 2017, it got Exxon Mobil Corp to lower the price of Gorgon LNG to save Rs 4,000 crore in import bill and last year convinced Gazprom to lower rates too.  The two ministers agreed to build further cooperation on a wide range of energy resources, which have a multiplier effect on the economy, in the coming months so that the energy pillar of bilateral engagement can be strengthened.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/india-keen-to-import-more-lng-from-australia-but-wants-affordable-pricing-pradhan/70885516[Edited]

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India’s LNG imports rise 4.6% year on year in June

India’s LNG imports rose 4.6% year-on-year and 15.6% month-on-month to 91 MMSCMD in June, according to data from the Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell and Ministry of Petroleum and

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Natural Gas. Lower domestic natural gas production in June coupled with higher demand and lower prices at Henry Hub—major distribution centre–led to the rise in LNG imports. During the first quarter of the current fiscal, imports increased 6.8% year-on-year to 86 MMSCMD following a five-month period–from November 2018 till March 2019– of lower imports, with average LNG imports 10.4% lower at 69.5 MMSCMD than the corresponding five-month period last year. “The recovery can be largely attributed to a gradual decline in Henry Hub prices to $2.4/MMBtu in June 2019 from $4.1/MMBtu in November 2018,” said India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) in a report published today. During April-June, the average Henry Hub prices were 11.8% lower year-on-year at $2.5 per MMBtu due to global supply-demand equations. Domestic natural gas (NG) production declined 1.6% YoY to 88 MMSCMD during June and declined 0.5% YoY to 88 MMSCMDd during 1QFY20. During the month, Oil and tural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL) registered a 2.8% YoY and 1.8% YoY rise, respectively, in NG production volume, while private/joint venture fields recorded a fall of 20.0% YoY. Natural gas consumption increased 1.3% YoY in June and rose 2.8% YoY during 1QFY20. Henry Hub prices were stable at $2.4/MMBtu in July, which would likely keep LNG imports largely stable during the month. NG prices have moderated over the last few months, in line with historical trend. In June, India’s crude oil production fell 6.8% YoY. Production volumes at ONGC and OIL declined 5% YoY and 4% YoY, respectively, and that of fields under production-sharing contracts fell 11.7% YoY.

Source: LiveMint/Indian Oil & Gas

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India: Kerala announces pilot project to convert fishing boat to LNG

Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC), which is a think-tank and advisory body set up by the government of the southern state of Kerala, issued an expression of interest (EOI) for a pilot project to use LNG to fuel a fishing boat.

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The initiative, which plans to retrofit an existing fishing boat diesel engine currently in the city of Kochi, responds to stricter international rules on marine fuel emissions next year (the International Maritime Organization, IMO, is limiting the sulfur content of fuel used in ships by 2020) and could also help take advantage of an under-used LNG terminal in the south of the country. “The project requires to select a suitable vendor who shall modify the existing marine diesel engine and install required LNG fuel storage tank and other associated equipment and pipelines. The project also requires modification in the boat hull to accommodate LNG tanks, pipelines, and other associated equipment,” says to the EOI. K-DISC has asked for the work, officially titled “Conversion of existing 325hp Fishing boat Diesel engine to Dual Fuel (LNG + Diesel fuel)”, to be done in 18 weeks and is requesting proposals by September 7, with commercial bids to be submitted by late October.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/india-kerala-plans-to-convert-fishing-boat-to-lng-dual-fuel-technology/

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BPCL to invest Rs 1,500-1,700 cr in floating LNG terminal in AP

Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) plans to invest Rs 1,500-1,700 crore in building a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh by 2022, its chairman D Rajkumar said on Monday (August 26). BPCL, the country’s second-biggest state-owned oil refining and fuel marketing company, is betting big on gas business in anticipation of energy consumption basket undergoing change as focus shifts to cleaner sources. 

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The company will hold 74% interest in the project while the remaining 26% will be with Petronet LNG Ltd, he said here. “Initially it will be a 1 MMTPA FSRU based terminal which can be scaled up to 3 MMTPA or 5 MMTPA in future,” he said. The project is likely to be commissioned by 2022. “It (the project) may cost Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 1,700 crore,” he said. The global oil and gas market is going through a transformation as mounting climatic concerns drive changes in the energy mix in favour of natural gas and renewables.  In India, natural gas demand is slated to grow at a rate much faster than oil as the share of environment-friendly fuel rises in the energy basket.  To tap this opportunity, BPCL has made a foray into city gas distribution (CGD) and is now looking to set up an LNG import terminal of its own. Krishnapatnam will be the sixth LNG terminal to be announced, on the coast.  Petronet had previously signed a firm and binding term sheet for developing a land-based Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at Gangavaram Port in Andhra Pradesh with an initial capacity of 5 MMT with Gangavaram Port Ltd (GPL) but later dropped it. State-owned GAIL too had planned a facility at Paradip in Odisha but it also dropped the plans. This space was quickly taken up by Adani Group which is building a 5 MMTPA facility at Dhamra in Odisha. GAIL as also Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has booked capacity on the Dhamra terminal. IOC recently commissioned a 5 million tonne per annum import facility at Ennore. GAIL had also previously announced plans for setting up an LNG terminal at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh but the project has not taken off. Hiranandani Group-promoted H-Energy is executing a Rs 3,500-crore project in West Bengal. Rajkumar said BPCL is transferring its gas business to a new subsidiary, Bharat Gas Resources Ltd (BGRL). The company on its own or in a joint venture with other companies now has CGD licence for 37 geographical areas (GAs), he said. 

Source: EnergyWorld.com

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INTERNATIONAL

Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines / Others

Russia, Iran cite 'Ecological Concerns' in opposing Trans-Caspian Pipeline || Equinor, Gazprom lose European gas market share as LNG surges || Gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export facilities reach record high

Russia, Iran cite ‘Ecological Concerns’ in opposing Trans-Caspian Pipeline

The Caspian Economic Forum just took place in Turkmenistan’s Caspian resort area of Avaza on August 12, exactly one year to the day after the Convention

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On The Legal Status Of The Caspian Sea was signed at a summit of Caspian littoral state leaders in Aqtau, Kazakhstan. The document signed in Aqtau was supposed to finally clarify for all five Caspian states — Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan — how the water and, more importantly, the seabed was to be used. Use of the seabed included construction of undersea pipelines, such as the Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP), a project to bring natural gas from Turkmenistan to Europe that has been on the drawing board since the mid-1990s. The topic of the TCP project to bring gas from Turkmenistan across the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan was certain to receive attention at the Avaza forum. And it did, but not the sort of attention that would inspire much confidence that the TCP would be built anytime soon. Plans for construction of a pipeline across the Caspian have been on the drawing board for about a quarter of a century and, for most of that time, Moscow and Tehran have demonstrated they were not going to support the project. The Russian and Iranian representatives at Avaza made it clear their positions have not changed. In his speech in Avaza, Behrouz Namdari of Iran’s National Gas Company said that “Iran is against any trans-Caspian pipelines.” Namdari suggested any party wishing to ship gas from the eastern side of the Caspian Sea to the western side would be better off shipping the gas through Iran’s pipeline network, neglecting to mention how that network is poorly developed and could not yet handle large volumes of gas. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was also in Avaza and said in his speech that he was “absolutely convinced that all major projects in the Caspian Sea should undergo a thorough and impartial environmental evaluation involving specialists from all Caspian countries.” The EU hopes to receive some 30 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas from the TCP as part of the Southern Gas Corridor initiative that aims to augment and diversify suppliers of gas to EU markets, at the same time lessening EU dependence on Russian gas. Moscow and Tehran say they are worried about possible ecological damage caused by undersea pipelines. But there already are undersea pipelines in the Caspian Sea that run from Caspian oil and gas fields to both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

If, for example, Russia claims its experts are in no way inferior to Western experts, and that Russia has studied the Caspian biosphere for longer and in greater detail than Western experts, which would be difficult to argue, then it becomes a matter of who polices the Caspian Sea. The answer to that is clear: the Russian Navy controls the Caspian and if Moscow does not want something constructed in the Caspian, ultimately there is no one in any position to oppose that.

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-iran-trans-caspian-pipeline-turkmenistan/30111805.html[Edited]

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Equinor, Gazprom lose European gas market share as LNG surges

Europe’s two biggest suppliers of pipeline gas, Norway’s Equinor and Russia’s Gazprom, have lost market share for the first time in at least four years amid a tripling in liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports into the region over the past 10 months. LNG imports into Europe have jumped amid lower than expected spot demand from Asia, which has helped to send European gas prices to 10-year lows and filled European storages to multi-year highs.

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Data compiled by Refinitiv showing changes in the market share of gas from Norway, Russia and LNG sources is the latest example of how LNG is transforming Europe’s gas market. The share of LNG in gas supplied to western and central Europe increased to 14% between October 2018 and August 2019 from 5% in the same period of 2017-18. The share of Norwegian gas dropped to 33% from 38%, a multi-year low, calculations by Refinitiv show. Gazprom’s share was around the average of the past three years, edging down by 1% from the previous year to 32%. But it was the first year-on-year drop since 2014-2015, when it was hit by low gas demand in Europe. LNG from the United States into northwest Europe accounted for 2% of total gas supply into the region, contributing to the strong increase in LNG in Europe. Despite its market share loss, Gazprom’s total gas exports to Europe rose as the region imported 9% more gas from October to August, compared with the same period in 2017-2018. “Most of the increase which we see in Russian supply this year came to Slovakia and the Czech Republic – countries which do not have direct access to LNG and which need to prepare their storages in case transit via Ukraine stops from January 2020,” said Marina Tsygankova, gas market analyst at Refinitiv. The gas transit agreement between Russia and Ukraine is due to expire at the end of this year. The lack of progress in talks has spurred Europe to stockpile gas to prevent possible supply disruption in winter. In countries with LNG terminals, Russian flows have given some ground to LNG volumes, an LNG market source said. The drop in Norwegian flows, meanwhile, was seller-driven, with Equinor conducting extensive maintenance on its production and also reducing output, probably for commercial reasons. In contrast, a drop in Russian gas flows to some western European countries, such as Germany, was buyer-driven. “If I have a long-term contract and some flexibility left, I would run the contract low now and ramp it up again in September or later,” a gas trader in Europe said, pointing to current low spot prices. A drop in Dutch production has also helped to create room for LNG arrivals. The analysis was based on gas volumes for Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Britain, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Slovakia from October to August over the past six years.

Source: LNG Global

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Gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export facilities reach record high

Natural gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export facilities set a monthly record in July 2019, reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Natural gas delivered by pipelines to Mexico and to U.S. LNG export facilities reached 10.9 Bcf/d in July and averaged 10.0 Bcf/d in the first seven months of this year, 30 percent more than in the same period of 2018.

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The U.S. has been exporting more natural gas than it imports on an annual basis since 2017, and EIA expects that U.S. natural gas exports will continue to increase as new LNG facilities come online. In the first half of 2019, two new liquefaction trains came online: Cameron LNG Train 1 in Louisiana in May and Corpus Christi LNG Train 2 in Texas in June. Two new LNG export facilities, Elba Island LNG in Georgia and Freeport LNG in Texas, plan to place their first trains in service in the next two months. Current plans are to complete construction and bring the remaining trains at Elba Island, Corpus Christi, and Cameron online in 2020 and 2021. Earlier this week, Venture Global LNG announced the final investment decision and closing of the project financing for the company’s Calcasieu Pass LNG facility and associated TransCameron pipeline in Louisiana. February 2019, and the project is expected to be operational in 2022. Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners provided a $1.3 billion equity investment. The project has 20-year LNG sale and purchase agreements with Shell, BP, Edison S.p.A., Galp, Repsol and PGNiG.  Venture Global LNG is also developing the 20 MTPA Plaquemines LNG project and the 20 MTPA Delta LNG project, both in Louisiana.  

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/deliveries-to-u-s-lng-export-facilities-reach-record-high

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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

Asian LNG prices steady as heat in Japan bolsters demand || Traders spot opportunity as LNG price dips to record low || African LNG to attract $103Bln in 2019 || LNG traders look to make huge profits using ‘Idle Tankers’

Asian LNG prices steady as heat in Japan bolsters demand

Asian spot prices for LNG held steady this week, supported by demand from Japan where sweltering weather continued, catching some buyers short. Deals for spot October delivery to Northeast Asia were heard at $4.70 per MMBtu, slightly below last week’s $4.80 per MMBtu, sources said.

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For September delivery, deals were heard at $4.80 per MMBtu and at about $4.60 per MMBtu, both of them purchases made by Tohuku Electric, according to Asian-based traders. Traders said demand from Japan and Korea was good due to the hot weather, with the fuel used to generate power for air conditioning. The Japan Meteorological Agency said temperatures in Tokyo averaged 35 degrees Celsius in the past two weeks. Japan’s JERA traded six to eight cargoes including buying one that had been offered by Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) from its Australian Wheatstone plant and a couple more for prompt delivery, traders said. “They (JERA) were caught short because of the hot weather so they had to buy,” one Asian-based trader said. Woodside was heard selling a cargo for mid-October delivery to North East Asia priced in the high $4s, another trader said. Unipec bought a cargo at $4.70 per MMBtu from Petronas while BP bought a cargo for mid-October delivery from Vitol for delivery to Korea at $4.30 per MMBtu on the Platts window. Indian buyers were also seen in the market with Reliance Industries and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) both seeking a cargo each for October delivery, according to sources. India’s Essar sought 12 cargoes, one a month, for delivery in 2020, in a tender that was supposed to close on Friday (August23). On the supply side, Freeport LNG, a new facility in Texas owned by private equity and Japanese buyers, began producing its first LNG this month. That makes it the third new U.S. facility to start up this year after Cheniere’s second Corpus Christi train and the Cameron LNG plant in Louisiana. Despite these recent starts, the unrelenting supply growth from the United States, which upended the global LNG market this year, has slowed in August due to maintenance work at the largest export plant, Cheniere’s Sabine Pass. Australia’s Ichthys offered a cargo for loading in mid-September while in the Atlantic basin, Nigeria’s NLNG offered a cargo for loading on Sept. 15-16.

Source: LNG Global

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LNG firm seeks tax break for port facility        

Cameron County commissioners will consider approving a tax abatement agreement with Annova LNG for a port facility.

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Commissioners will take up the matter at their regular meeting at 9 a.m. on Aug. 20 at the Cameron County Courthouse/Dancy Building, 1100 E. Monroe St. Annova is one of three liquefied natural gas companies that have proposed building multi-billion-dollar liquefaction and export facilities at the Port of Brownsville and are awaiting final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Houston-based company has proposed building up to six liquefaction trains, or complete units for liquefying natural gas, on more than 730 acres at the port. Fully built out, the plant would be capable of producing 6 million tons of LNG per year for export. The natural gas would be transported to the facility via pipeline. In April 2015, the county agreed to enter into contract negotiations with Annova to discuss the company’s request for a 100-percent property tax abatement as an economic development incentive. In September of that year, the commissioners court voted to table consideration of a 10-year tax abatement. Also in 2015, the Point Isabel Independent School District rejected Annova’s request for a tax abatement that would have limited the valuation on the company’s proposed plant to $25 million over 10 years. In 2017, the county approved a $373 million tax abatement for Rio Grande LNG, another of the three proposed LNG projects. Environmental groups opposed to construction of LNG facilities at the port due to the environmental and economic damage they contend the plants will cause are urging the county to vote against granting Annova’s current request.

https://www.valleymorningstar.com/2019/08/15/lng-firm-seeks-tax-break-for-port-facility/

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Oil Search seeks LNG resolution as profits jump

Oil Search is seeking a resolution of the uncertainty over a gas deal with the Papua New Guinea government by the end of this month as it battles to keep a $US14 billion ($20.7 billion)

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LNG expansion project on track after the change of leadership in PNG.Managing director Peter Botten said a delay would put at risk bids at “attractive” prices for initial engineering and design work on the project that expire in September.In comments as Oil Search posted a more-than-doubling in net profit for the first half, Mr Botten reiterated that initial work on engineering for the expansion can’t proceed without agreement with the government on terms for the development of gas. The LNG expansion, which is led by energy multinationals Total and ExxonMobil, was thrown in doubt when James Marape took over as Prime Minister of PNG promising he would ensure more benefits flowed to local people and the economy from gas development. The government late last week sent a negotiating team to Singapore to re-negotiate the deal on the Papua LNG project with Total, in an about-turn from its declaration only earlier this month assuring it would respect the broad terms of the agreement.

https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/oil-search-seeks-lng-resolution-as-profits-jump-20190819-p52inv

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Pakistan gets poor response to LNG tender

Pakistan has failed to get encouraging response from liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers in a tender seeking supply of 200 million cubic feet of LNG per day (mmcfd) through a long-term contract. Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) had invited bids for the supply of 240 LNG cargoes over a period of 10 years with the arrival of two cargoes a month.

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Only four companies participated in the tender as they had been qualified in technical bids. These companies included Italian energy giant Eni, Trafigura, Socar of Azerbaijan and Chinese firm PetroChina. PLL has hired a consultant for evaluating the financial bids before their opening. Sources told The Express Tribune that Trafigura, Socar, and PetroChina were trading companies whereas only Eni was the LNG producer. Other renowned companies like Shell and Mitsubishi, which were also LNG producers, stayed away from the tender. According to officials, the LNG producers were reluctant as they came to know that bids had been invited to seek a price that matched the one offered by Qatar. Though Saudi Arabia and Qatar had been keen to export LNG to Pakistan, their companies skipped the tender. Qatar had offered a price of 11.25% of Brent crude for a 15-year LNG supply contract and 11.5% of Brent for a 10-year contract. These prices were higher compared to the spot prices which had been below 8% of Brent. The Petroleum Division was interested in securing more LNG supply from Qatar, with whom the government had signed a state-to-state deal, but it sparked controversy over ignoring other LNG suppliers. Fearing criticism, the government decided to float a tender but received a poor response from the bidders. Afterward, PLL issued another tender to secure 10 LNG cargoes on a spot basis, which were separate from the 240 cargoes sought over the long term. “Spot prices have dropped in recent months, therefore, the government is hoping to secure 10 LNG cargoes at cheaper rates,” a government official said. The government has also recently allowed the private sector to utilise the additional capacity of the second LNG terminal at Port Qasim.

The private sector is interested in importing LNG at cheaper rates to meet its demand and market the remaining gas. However, bureaucratic hurdles have caused a delay in this regard. Recently, gas exploration companies have reduced supply from the fields due to the failure of public utilities to receive gas due to heavy LNG imports.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2038386/2-pakistan-gets-poor-response-lng-tender/

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Spain boosts LNG imports to cover for loss of hydroelectric power

Spain is importing near-record levels of LNG as persistent heat boosts air conditioning demand for electricity and depletes the amount of water available for hydropower generation.

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With global prices for LNG near their lowest in three years, traders may also be betting on a recovery by filling up storage sites in the nation, which account for almost a third of Europe’s total capacity. Shippers are continuing to buy gas despite the tanks being almost full. It’s another example of how gas storage tanks are filling up across the continent to reach peak levels way before heating demand kicks in. That leaves a bigger-than-usual buffer for potential shocks in the winter, increases trading opportunities for when prices rise and raises questions about whether Europe can absorb all the gas that’s flowing in. Spanish gas demand increased 43 percent in the first 19 days of this month, compared with the same period last year. That’s in part due to above-normal temperatures this summer and hydropower reserves about 17 percent below their 10-year median. Lower spot LNG prices allowed Spain to boost gas power use, contributing to considerable coal-to-gas switching. A lot of the increase in LNG imports was due to more cargoes from Russia, which has grabbed a 6 percent share of Spain’s total gas supply.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/spain-boosts-lng-imports-to-cover-for-loss-of-hydroelectric-power/

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LNG traders look to make huge profits using ‘Idle Tankers’

Spot LNG prices are currently at their lowest in three to four years, but the futures curve of the LNG market points to a wide premium of prices in the coming winter months over current prices—

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so wide that some traders may have started to use full LNG tankers as floating storage, awaiting the winter heating season and higher prices. LNG tanker owners and producers say that the current market structure would make sense for traders to sit the current low prices out by holding LNG cargoes in floating storage for a month or a few, hoping that prices will recover from multi-year lows once the heating season in the northern hemisphere, in the world’s top LNG importing region northeast Asia in particular, begins in October-November. Around half a dozen LNG tankers are currently thought to be idling around the world, and some of those carriers may have been used for floating storage, according to vessel tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. Betting on higher prices in the coming winter, traders could be looking to take advantage of the wide contango on the LNG market right now, analysts, LNG tanker owners and producers said.

Contango is the market structure in which front-month prices are lower than prices out in the future months—pointing to an oversupply and making storage for future sales profitable. In the first days of August, Asian spot prices slumped to more than a three-year low of US$4.10 per MMBtu, and spot cargo deals have been made even at below US$4/MMBtu in the past weeks. A week later, by August 9, prices had recovered slightly to US$4.20 per MMBtu, as hot weather in parts of the largest LNG importers in world—Japan, China, and South Korea—spurred some demand. As of last week, Asian LNG spot prices for October were estimated at US$4.75 per MMBtu, trade sources tell Reuters, which suggests that there are trading opportunities. Two weeks ago, industry sources told Reuters that traders had started to inquire about potentially hiring LNG tankers for storing or shipping the super-chilled fuel. The wide contango makes floating LNG storage a possibility right now, some traders told Reuters, while others warned that a rush to floating storage would send shipping rates higher, which in turn would make the purpose of floating LNG storage moot. In its Q2 earnings call last week, U.S. LNG producer and exporter Cheniere Energy said that the steep contango points to demand growing into the winter season and allows for some floating storage opportunities. “And things like in the short-term market, the steep contango driving floating storage dynamics just like it did a year ago.” Cheniere believes that in Europe “there will be opportunities to use a floating storage in order to take advantage of this contango,” Feygin said. Last year’s mild winter in northeast Asia turned out to be harsh for LNG price bulls. Sure, demand did increase compared to the previous winter season, but prices did not, due to the milder weather and to growing new supply on the LNG market. Demand in the fourth quarter this year—when the winter begins in the northern hemisphere—will lift LNG prices, and traders hope that prices will be high enough to justify idling tankers to use them as floating storage until prices pick up.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/LNG-Traders-Look-To-Make-Huge-Profits-Using-Idle-Tankers.html[Edited]

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African LNG to attract $103Bln in 2019

With greenfield investments in Nigeria, Egypt, Mozambique and elsewhere reaching nearly $103 billion this year, it is clear that liquefaction is viewed as the most profitable strategy for realizing Africa’s gas potential, said Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

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Africa is an exciting frontier in the global natural gas sector. The continent holds 7.1 percent of proven global gas reserves and is expected to contribute nearly 10 percent of global production growth through to 2024.Nigeria accounts for over 50 percent of current LNG production capacity on the continent. With October 2019 seeing a final investment decision on the $12 billion expansion of the country’s liquefaction plant at Bonny Island in Rivers State, the Train 7 expansion project would increase Nigerian LNG production capacity by 35%, from 22 MMTPA to 30 MMTPA. Current indications point to a positive verdict. The twenty-year-old facility is owned and operated by a consortium which includes NNPC, Shell, Total and Eni. In North Africa, Egypt has successfully re-established itself as an important investment destination following the downturn in the gas sector in 2014. In the first half of 2019, the behemoth Zohr offshore gas field produced 11.3 billion cubic meters – 3.6 times more than it did in 1H2018.In June, Anadarko gave its final approval for a $20 billion gas liquefaction and export terminal in Mozambique. Investors are also paying attention to smaller projects in countries like Mauritania, Senegal and Cameroon. Operators have been successfully able to deploy FLNG technology to realize the value of smaller assets in these markets and this could be a continuing trend in 2020 and beyond. Eni and partners are considering a $7 billion FLNG for the Coral South field in Mozambique. In terms of African demand for LNG, South Africa – the most industrialized economy on the continent – could be an influential market. Heavy coal consumption and unreliable power generation make natural gas an attractive solution to diversify its power generation base. In 2020, Transnet – a state-owned freight logistics firm – will launch a tender for the development of an LNG import terminal at Richards Bay Port. The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation has committed $2 million to fund the project planning .These and other recent developments reflect a growing and diverse African LNG sector. From top-tier greenfield developments to faster-to-market, agile FLNG operations; massive new discoveries to expanding existing liquefication infrastructure. It is an exciting time to be involved, as demonstrated by the high-profile speakers taking part in this year’s Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum, be hosted by Equatorial Guinea in Malabo.

https://www.marinelink.com/news/african-lng-attract-bln-469813

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Traders spot opportunity as LNG price dips to record low

It’s bargain time in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. After prices plunged to their lowest on record for this time of year, traders say buyers from Japan to India have started to snap up cargoes in anticipation of a pickup in winter demand.

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Procurement for the colder season is only expected to intensify over what’s left of the summer. “We have likely reached bottom,” Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analysts, including Neil Beveridge, said in a report. The rout can be traced back to last winter, when mild weather dented demand for heating in large parts of the northern hemisphere. To make matters worse for producers, which are adding supply at a record pace, consumption for cooling in the past few months wasn’t very strong either. A market in contango is also pushing some traders to consider storing gas on tankers to sell later at a higher price. Cargoes for early September delivery to North Asia were bought between high-$3 to low-$4 per MMBtu, while October shipments are currently priced around the mid-$4 level, according to traders. In Europe, where inventories are already above last year’s high point, traders see the gap of as much as $1.50 per million Btu between September and the fourth-quarter contract as an opportunity to sell the fuel later.

https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/traders-spot-opportunity-as-lng-price-dips-to-record-low-1566498477164.html

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SNAPSHOT: INTERNATIONAL

Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

NGVs have the best carbon footprint, says German automobile club’s study || CNG truck will serve Austria-Serbia route to transport consumer goods || SKODA KAMIQ: the carmaker offers first SUV with CNG technology

NGVs have the best carbon footprint, says German automobile club’s study

Natural gas when used as a car fuel is currently the least harmful to our climate, according to the preliminary results of a new study by Germany’s automobile club, ADAC. In the results, natural gas cars are followed by electric- and diesel cars (which are practically on par).

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The ADAC study shows that – compared with petrol, diesel and electric cars, which drive using the current electricity mix – CNG cars perform best if all the relevant energy components are calculated across the entire life cycle of the car. Conducted by research institute Joanneum Research, the study analyzed and compared the exhaust emissions from cars running on the most common fuel (or energy) types. This included greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated during vehicle manufacturing and recycling, as well as all emissions released during the fuel or electricity production, provision and consumption. In other words, from well-to-tank as well as from tank-to-wheel. In addition to carbon dioxide, which is mainly produced during the combustion of fossil fuels, methane emissions (CH4) from gaseous fuels and nitrous oxide (N2O) from the cultivation of biomass were also considered. The preliminary evaluation of the data provided a ‘small surprise,’ as ADAC explains in its article: the natural gas car has the best GHG balance over its life cycle. Only an e-car driving on 100% renewable electricity would have a significantly better carbon footprint than a CNG car, according to ADAC.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c1-markets/german-leading-automobile-clubs-study-says-cng-has-the-best-carbon-footprint/

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CNG truck will serve Austria-Serbia route to transport consumer goods

The logistics company Gebrüder Weiss and the consumer goods manufacturer Henkel are collaborating to implement an eco-friendly transport solution: from now on, a truck fully powered by natural gas will be carrying freight between the Henkel plants in Vienna and Kruševac in Serbia.

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For each return trip, the Gebrüder Weiss’ truck will cover a distance of about 1,700 kilometers. The new, sustainable direct service scores very highly for its environmental footprint: the CNG truck saves about 20% of the CO2 on every trip, compared with a Euro 6 diesel truck. “On this regular circuit, the truck will transport detergents and cleaning agents between Austria and Serbia two or three times a week, covering over 200,000 kilometers a year. We’re currently working with Gebrüder Weiss to see whether this transport solution could also be used on other routes,” said Patrick Csar, Logistics and Export Manager, Supply Chain Laundry & Home Care, at Henkel. For Gebrüder Weiss, the new truck for Henkel is already the third vehicle that runs on natural gas and represents another step in the testing out of eco-friendly drive technologies in everyday logistics work. Other natural gas trucks are already in service at the locations in Vienna and Memmingen. The partnership between Gebrüder Weiss and Henkel goes back over 25 years. By now, the logistics company carries out large numbers of shipments by land and sea between various Henkel production locations in Europe and Asia.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/new-cng-truck-will-service-austria-serbia-route-to-transport-consumer-goods/

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SKODA KAMIQ: the carmaker offers first SUV with CNG technology

The ŠKODA KAMIQ comes with a choice of five different engines offering power outputs that range from 66 kW (90 PS) to 110 kW (150 PS). Customers can choose between three petrol versions, one diesel or – as a first in ŠKODA’s SUV family – a 1.0 G-TEC.

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This efficient and low emission engine, which will follow in the fourth quarter of 2019, runs on natural gas. “Although the ŠKODA KAMIQ’s petrol and diesel engines already demonstrate excellent consumption, we still opted to offer the even more eco-friendly 1.0 G-TEC. We are therefore producing the first ŠKODA SUV to run on efficient CNG,” said Christian Strube, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Technical Development. The portfolio of engines available for the ŠKODA KAMIQ comprises five modern and efficient versions with direct injection and turbocharging. The CNG variant of the three-cylinder 1.0 G-TEC delivering 66 kW (90 PS) is the first engine in a ŠKODA SUV to run on natural gas. When running on CNG, the engine generates lower CO2 and NOx emissions compared to conventional fuels. As standard, all engines come with a 6-speed manual gearbox (5-speed for the 1.0 TSI outputting 70 kW / 95 PS). A 7-speed DSG is available as an option for all versions with power outputs of 85 kW (115 PS) or more.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/skoda-kamiq-the-carmaker-offers-first-suv-with-cng-technology/

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Egypt announces plan to convert 50,000 vehicles to CNG in a year

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources stated preparations are underway for implementing an integrated work plan to expand the use of natural gas as vehicle fuel and encourage citizens to turn their cars into bi-fuel vehicles that are capable of running on two fuels (natural gas and gasoline)

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through offering payment facilities. Minister Tareq el Mulla said that they aim to convert 50,000 cars to natural gas during the current fiscal year. 33,000 cars were converted in 2018 and 14,000 in 2017. There are currently about 280,000 vehicles using natural gas in Egypt, served by 187 filling stations and 72 conversion centers. The new plan aims to support the vision of the political leadership and the government to replace gasoline and diesel with natural gas in public transport and private vehicles, via coordination among the ministries concerned. This goal will also be achieved by building CNG fueling stations in governorates and providing new financing mechanisms needed to convert vehicles to CNG. An executive plan has been drawn up for the next three years to build 54 natural gas stations in cities, governorates and main roads. According to the statement, demand for converting cars to natural gas has increased over the past two years as those who make the switch aim to take advantage of alternative fuel’s low cost and high quality compared to those of gasoline and diesel.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c1-markets/egypt-announces-plan-to-convert-50000-vehicles-to-cng-in-a-year/

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Bolivia announces that 25% of its vehicle fleet runs on natural gas

25% of Bolivia’s automotive fleet has been converted to CNG, a percentage that has generated savings of more than USD 275 million to the country, said the director of the Executing Entity for Natural Gas Vehicle Conversions (EEC-GNV) Alejandra Huaylla.

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“In the last five years Bolivia’s vehicle fleet has shown a significant growth rate as a work of the State policy that has been implemented by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons,” said Huaylla during her presentation on the “Integral System of Environmentally-Friendly Transport”, in the framework of the second version of the “Week of Hydrocarbons – Gas, Petrochemicals and Green Fuels.” She explained that one of the biggest challenges facing Latin America and Bolivia is to achieve efficient energy consumption within sovereignty, energy security and the reduction of greenhouse gases. In that context, she added that the largest share of final consumption is in the transport sector. Through the Ministry of Hydrocarbons, the entity works along with the subnational governments in order to develop and implement the ‘SIT-GNV’ (Integral System of NGV Environmentally-Friendly Transport). “We want to expand the vision of using natural gas with CNG and LNG technology. The entity is responsible for the standardization, certification, authorization, execution, monitoring and control of these new technologies,” added Huaylla. On the other hand, the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) will carry out the regulatory management for the expansion in the marketing and distribution of CNG through refueling stations and conversion and requalification workshops. At the same time, YPFB will implement the service stations for these new technologies in order to provide sustainability, accessibility and safety along with municipal and departmental governments.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c1-markets/bolivia-announces-that-25-of-its-automotive-fleet-runs-on-natural-gas/

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NY-based lender funds development of CNG vehicle leasing in Mexico

Mutuo Financiera, a vehicle fleet leasing company focused on clean energy passenger transportation in Mexico, has closed on a senior secured credit facility, provided by Crayhill Capital Management, a New York-based private credit manager and asset-based lender.

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The financing facility, which has a capacity of up to $100 million, will be used for the acquisition of new natural gas vehicles to be leased to commercial and passenger transportation fleets across Mexico. “Mutuo’s edge in the Mexican market comes from its ability to construct use-based payment leases that fit the operating profiles of fleet operators and its digitally enabled customer service platform,” said Antonio Diego González-Karg, CEO of Mutuo. “We are excited about this new partnership with Crayhill which will allow us to continue achieving our goals of delivering and scaling a better automated fleet management solution and customized leasing products for the benefit of our customers.” Demetris Papademetriou, Board Member of Mutuo and Partner at MiddlemarchPartners, a NY-based Merchant Banking firm that helps develop Mutuo’s growth and capital strategy, also commented, “As investors and advisors to energy-related shared savings products, we recognized a unique opportunity to finance the growth of a dynamic sector for Mutuo.” The Mexican transport market is rapidly transitioning to cleaner fuels, driven by government directives and economically favorable solutions for lessees. In this regard, Mutuo plans to grow aggressively throughout Mexico to improve the way passenger transportation is managed around the country and help transition to more efficient sources of energy, better urban mobility, and access to remote financial services. Mutual provides lease opportunities to clients with poor credit history who otherwise would not be able to do so.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/nyc-based-lender-finances-development-of-cng-vehicle-leasing-in-mexico/

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Canada: BC Transit expands green fleet with 68 new CNG buses

New Flyer Industries Canada ULC announced that the BC Transit Corporation has issued an order for 68 CNG Xcelsior® 40-foot buses.

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The order follows BC Transit’s 2018 purchase of CNG buses. This announcement follows the July 29, 2019 launch of BC Transit’s low carbon program. Within this plan, BC Transit will transition all 1,200 of its buses from traditional propulsion to zero-emission vehicles. Earlier in July, the Canadian and British Columbia provincial government pledged $79 million to BC Transit for a new green bus fleet. “BC Transit is a shining example of a progressive transit agency utilizing safe and readily available buses to lead the low carbon revolution,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer. “With the ability to reduce nitrogen oxides emissions by 90%, CNG has an immediate impact on improving air quality. Since 1994, New Flyer has delivered over 13,000 CNG buses across North America and is proud to build on this low-emission footprint with BC Transit. Together, and alongside our electric buses in Toronto, Montreal, and Laval, we are driving sustainable transit in Canada.” New Flyer has been advancing zero-emission bus (ZEB) mobility in Canada since 1968 when it delivered its first ZEB to the Toronto Transit Commission. Since then, it has delivered over 540 ZEBs across Canada. New Flyer’s first CNG bus was delivered in 1994.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/canada-bc-transit-expands-green-fleet-with-68-new-cng-buses/

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Volvo Trucks keen on introducing LNG-fuelled fleets

Volvo Trucks Malaysia is hatching out a plan to introduce liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered trucks in the Malaysian market as a cleaner substitute to diesel trucks. Volvo Trucks MD Mitch Peden (picture) said the initiative is in response to the increasing awareness on the dangers of diesel fuel on the environment among Malaysians. He said the company is in the early stages of discussion with various stakeholders to explore the future of LNG-fuelled trucks in the country.

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“There is a real future for LNG-powered trucks. We are thinking about how we might be working with some key partners and the government to facilitate the launch of LNG trucks onto the market,” Peden told The Malaysian Reserve in a recent interview. He said Volvo Trucks is ready to deliver such trucks to Malaysia, but two important factors — infrastructure and pricing point — are to be considered. “A lot of it depends on infrastructure. If you cannot refuel, you cannot go far on the road. I think it is worth a conversation and to plan a collaboration with some of the big suppliers,” he said. He added that Volvo Trucks is keen on discussing with the government and gas supply companies on ways to enable local truck operators to refuel gas on key routes in long-haul operations. LNG-based engine vehicles have cheaper fuel costs than the conventional units and they emit less carbon dioxide which contributes to air pollution. Peden said Volvo Trucks has been investing heavily in LNG-powered truck technology and the main goals are to provide environmental and economic benefits to end-users. The Gothenburg, Sweden-based vehicle manufacturer had launched the Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG trucks in European countries. Volvo Trucks said these trucks produce 20% less carbon dioxide than the regular models and the emissions can be reduced by 100% on bio-LNG.

https://themalaysianreserve.com/2019/08/22/volvo-trucks-keen-on-introducing-lng-fuelled-fleets/

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Rally for LNG and CNG fuelled vehicles begins

Gazprom has announced that, on 29 August, the ‘Blue Corridor – Gas into Engines 2019 Rally’ commenced in Istanbul, Turkey. The event is a large scale international rally for vehicles powered by natural gas.

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The race features over 20 cars, trucks and passenger vehicles powered by CNG and LNG, traversing Europe and Russia. It is organised by Gazprom and Uniper. According to the statement, the route of the rally is divided into two parts: European and Russian. During the European section, NGVs will travel 5320 km across Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Belgium, Austria and Germany. The first stage will finish on 20 September in Lubmin, Germany. The same day, the rally will commence in Russia, beginning at the Russkaya compressor station in the Krasnodar Territory. Its route will then pass through the Rostov, Voronezh, Belgorod, Moscow, Novgorod and Leningrad regions. The Russian section of the rally totals 2760 km. Gazprom claims the race will finish on 3 October 2019 at the EXPOFORUM Convention and Exhibition Centre during the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum. The program of the rally includes meetings with major players in the NGV market, as well as representatives of government authorities and experts. In addition to this, Gazprom claims that there are plans to launch several refuelling stations at the Russian stage of the race.

https://www.lngindustry.com/small-scale-lng/30082019/rally-for-lng-and-cng-fuelled-vehicles-begins/

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SNAPSHOT: INTERNATIONAL

LNG as a Marine Fuel / Shipping

UPM Logistics to charter seven LNG fueled newbuilds || LNG bunkering barge under construction for U.S. East Coast route || Daewoo Shipbuilding bags LNG ship order

UPM Logistics to charter seven LNG fueled newbuilds

Helsinki, Finland, headquartered UPM Logistics says that it has entered into a long-term charter agreement with Finland’s Bore Ltd and Defzijl, Netherlands, based Wijnne Barends that will see the design and building of seven state-of-the-art vessels for sustainable sea transportation for UPM in Europe. Bore Ltd will build three three RoLo vessels for transporting UPM’s paper products and Wijnne Barends four LoLo vessels for transporting the company’s pulp and other forest products.

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The vessels will be built in China and are scheduled to be delivered in 2021 and 2022. When taken into service, the vessels will employ approximately 60 maritime transportation professionals. Bore and Wijnne Barents are both affiliates of the Netherlands basecSpliethoff Group. Together, “This arrangement is a consistent step in UPM’s logistics strategy. It will safeguard a sustainable, competitive and reliable shipping solution for our businesses and customers on long term,” says Lauri Rikala, Director, Global Break Bulk Shipping, UPM Logistics. All vessels are time chartered by UPM and will be fully operated by the company. They will be ice-strengthened and meet the latest technological, operational and environmental standards. “The vessels will be fueled with liquid natural gas (LNG) which results in a significant (approximately 25%) reduction of CO2 emissions compared with commonly used marine gas oil. In addition, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sufur oxides (SOx) emissions will decrease approximately 85% and 99%, respectively. The emissions of soot particles will also decrease by 99%.” Bore Ltd says it has signed a newbuilding contract with China’s Wuhu Shipyard for its three new 7,000 dwt LNG-powered RoLo vessels. They will be built during 2020-2021.The vessel main particulars are; length 120 m, width 21m, and a speed of about 15 knots for suitable and economical transport solutions in the trade. They will be built to Swedish/Finnish ice class1A.

https://www.marinelog.com/news/upm-logistics-to-charter-seven-lng-fueled-newbuilds/[Edited]

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LNG bunkering barge under construction for U.S. East Coast route

NorthStar Midstream, a portfolio company of funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, announced the creation of Polaris New Energy (PNE), a marine transportation company focused on the transportation and distribution of LNG along the coastal and inland waterways of the United States.

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Under this frame, NorthStar has executed an agreement with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding to build a 5,400 cubic meter barge, with the ability to potentially construct two sister barges, for coastwise transportation of LNG. Utilizing a suitable tugboat, the barge will operate as an articulated tug and barge unit (ATB) that will initially run along the East Coast of the United States providing LNG bunkering solutions to NorthStar’s customers. PNE will be sourcing LNG from JAX LNG, a new state-of-the-art LNG production facility in Jacksonville, Florida created through a partnership between NorthStar and Pivotal LNG. The 5,400 cubic meter ATB will be fitted with four 1,350 cubic meter IMO Type C tanks. It will utilize a cargo handling system designed and developed by Wartsila. Dimensions of the vessel will be 340’ overall length, 66’ beam, and a depth of 32’-10”. The ATB will be an ABS Classed barge. “The construction of this barge will expand our ability to solve the logistics behind delivering LNG to our customers in both an economical and safe manner. As domestic natural gas continues to rise, LNG has quickly become both a clean and competitively priced fuel alternative. We see increased domestic industries looking to LNG as their future fuel source, and we are extremely excited to be on the forefront of LNG domestic marine transportation,” said Tim Casey, Executive President of LNG for NorthStar Midstream. “Entry into the U.S. LNG transportation vessel market has been a strategic interest of our organization. Partnering with NorthStar and its affiliate companies on this project gives us the opportunity to be part of this exciting emerging industry and related market growth. As we put this project into place, we will bring the expertise of Fincantieri and our own designs to the LNG market,” added Todd Thayse, Vice President and General Manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/united-states-lng-bunkering-barge-under-construction-for-east-coast-route/

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Daewoo Shipbuilding bags LNG ship order

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., a major South Korean shipyard, said Thursday it has secured an order to build a LNG carrier for a Greek shipper. Under the deal with Maran Gas Maritime (MGM) Inc., an affiliate of Greece’s largest shipper,

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Angelicoussis Shipping Group, Daewoo Shipbuilding will deliver the vessel by the fourth quarter of 2021, the shipbuilder said in a statement. The company didn’t provide the value of the contract. With the order, Daewoo Shipbuilding has achieved 36 percent, or US$3 billion, of this year’s annual order target of $8.37 billion, it said. The company said six of the seven LNG shipbuilding orders received this year were from MGM, adding the two sides are currently in talks on additional LNG carrier orders.

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20190822003800320

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Port Authority undertaking projects to facilitate growth in cruise industry-Jamaica

The Port Authority of Jamaica has said it is undertaking development projects at key ports with the aim of facilitating growth in the cruise industry. The PAJ said projects are in progress in Montego Bay, St. James; Ocho Rios, St. Ann; and

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Falmouth, Trelawny. In Montego Bay, the berth space at the port is being upgraded to accommodate larger cruise vessels. William Tatham, Vice President of Cruise Shipping and Marina Operations at the PAJ, said in the next financial year, the entity will be looking at building a new cargo terminal and converting the existing facility into a cruise terminal. He also noted that the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Montego Bay has made the port more attractive to cruise lines. Mr. Tatham pointed out that the next generation of cruise ships are LNG-powered.

http://rjrnewsonline.com/business/port-authority-undertaking-projects-to-facilitate-growth-in-cruise-industry

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LNG carriers idling at sea may be a sign of floating storage

Liquefied natural gas carriers are taking longer-than-usual journeys to deliver cargoes and spending more time idling at sea in a sign some traders are starting to use vessels for storage. There may be other reasons for keeping the cargoes on the water, including logistical or weather issues,

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such as a monsoon in India. But with spot-market prices near their lowest since April 2016, sellers may be betting that prices will rise as the Northern Hemisphere heating season approaches. “It is saying one thing for sure: people are not too worried about shipping length,” said Jean-Christian Heintz, head of LNG brokering at SCB Brokers in Nyon, Switzerland. “Whether they are waiting for a logistical or trading or pricing issue … there is no hurry in going back and loading the next cargo.” LNG carrier owners GasLog and Flex LNG are seeing increased inquiries from traders to use ships as floating storage. That will likely intensify as traders hold fuel before the heating season officially starts in October. The use of floating storage this long before the heating season is unusual because of the costs of keeping gas in its liquid form. It is partly due to the shale boom that transformed the U.S. into the third-largest exporter, increased spot trading, linked prices increasingly to gas hubs rather than oil and spurred a global drive for flexible contracts. But floating storage is a risky business because anticipated heating demand may be softer, as happened last winter, and vessel charter rates may shoot up to new records.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/lng-carriers-idling-at-sea-may-be-a-sign-of-floating-storage/

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Sinanju and ExxonMobil to develop LNG-powered bunker vessel

Sinanju Tankers’ operating arm, Sinanju Logistics Services, inked a two-year time charter agreement with ExxonMobil Asia Pacific (ExxonMobil) to build a new-build bunker tanker five months ahead of commencing operations.

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The 7,990 dwt newbuilding will be the first bunker tanker for Singapore and Sinanju, to be powered mainly by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The deal will commit the vessel to deliver ExxonMobil’s new EMF.5 Engineered Marine Fuels to ocean-going vessels within Singapore port limits from the first quarter of 2020. The vessel, called “Marine Vicky”, is a 103-m-long, 19-m-wide bunker tanker classed by Bureau Veritas. It is equipped with a 55-m3 LNG tank paired with a fuel gas supply system on deck for engine propulsion.

The vessel will join Sinanju’s 13-vessel bunker fleet in December 2019.

https://sbr.com.sg/shipping-marine/more-news/sinanju-and-exxonmobile-develop-lng-powered-bunker-vessel

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Germany: half of all AIDA guests will sail on LNG-powered ships by 2023

On August 15, 2019, the first steel cut took place at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg for the sister ship of AIDAnova, the world’s first cruise ship that is fully powered with low-emission LNG.

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Just a few days ago, AIDA Cruises was awarded the Blue Angel, the German Federal Government’s ecolabel, for AIDAnova’s environmentally friendly ship design. With the official start of construction for the second ship of this innovative AIDA ship generation to be put into service in spring 2021, the company is continuing its course and making a further contribution to reduced emissions in cruising. As early as 2023, the third LNG cruise ship of AIDA Cruises, “Made in Germany,” will set sail. “By 2023, around half of all AIDA guests will be sailing on our state-of-the-art LNG ships that stand apart with many further technical innovations for greater efficiency, less fuel consumption and conserved resources,” said AIDA President Felix Eichhorn. “At the same time, we are offering our guests on board our ships an extraordinary variety of individual vacation options, innovative entertainment and culinary concepts that provide lasting impulses to the vacation market in Germany.” With an investment of around two billion euros just for the construction of both ships in Germany, the company is contributing to the economy and to the creation of secure jobs in the shipbuilding and maritime supply industry. Moreover, AIDA Cruise is currently exploring the use of fuel cells and LNG from renewable sources in cruising. The company plans to test the first fuel cell unit on board an AIDA vessel in 2021.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/germany-half-of-all-aida-guests-will-sail-on-natural-gas-powered-ships-by-2023/

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SNAPSHOT: INTERNATIONAL

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

Indian Oil Corporation to invest Rs 25,000 cr in green energy || Renewable natural gas station for trucks opens in western Finland || TPS tests natural gas engine with nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition system

Indian Oil Corporation to invest Rs 25,000 cr in green energy

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation’s largest refiner and fossil fuel plans to invest Rs 25,000 crore in green energy projects, including solar and wind plants, bio-fuels plants, and solar panels at filling stations.

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“Indian Oil has developed road map and action plan to usher in clean and green energy alternatives to mitigate risk of global warming,” the company said in its annual report. Rising environmental concerns are increasingly swaying government energy policy across the globe, prompting energy companies to invest in greener options. Over  5-7 years, Indian Oil aims to invest Rs 2 lakh crore to “evolve into a future-ready c that provides comprehensive energy solutions to diverse user groups”, company C&MD Sanjiv Singh said in the annual report. “Indian Oil is aggressively leveraging its R& expertise to move into horizon technologies like 2G & 3G (second and third genera ethanol, biofuels, coal gasification, hydrogen-CNG, hydrogen fuel cells, battery technologies, etc.,” he said. Indian Oil plans to scale up its solar and wind power portfolio to 260 MW by 2020 f 216 MW now, which includes 167 MW of wind and 49 MW of solar. An interesting transition is visible at more than half the company’s filling stations w solar panels are helping cut dependence on grid power. Pumps have experienced suffered from unreliable grid supply. Of the total 27,800 fuel stations, 14,173 are so MW. In 2018-19, 5,000 stations were converted to operate on solar. The biggest push is set to come in the biofuel space. “Biofuels is a space the core renewed policy thrust on modern bioenergy,” the company said. It plans to invest for 3G ethanol plant, and integration of refinery processes with biofuel production. It has issued letters of intent to entrepreneurs to set up 75 plants to supply 792 ton government’s sustainable alternative towards affordable transportation (SATAT) the next few years.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/oil-gas/indian-oil-corporation-to-invest-rs-25000-cr-in-green-energy/printarticle/70744980.cms

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Renewable natural gas station for trucks opens in western Finland

The new natural gas filling station, built and operated by Gasum, is located in Roves industrial area at Piirturinväylä 1, in Seinäjoki. Its central location supports both heavy-duty vehicles and cars in western Finland and also towards destinations in northern Finland by offering inexpensive and environmentally friendly biogas and natural gas.

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The adoption of natural gas as vehicle fuel is growing considerably in Finland and plays an important role in the achievement of national and international emission reduction targets. “The growing natural gas filling station network offers more and more consumers and businesses the opportunity to reduce their transport emissions. I believe that the new station will result in more and more transport companies operating in South Ostrobothnia introducing environmentally friendly natural gas vehicles in their fleet,” saod Jani Arala, Senior Sales Manager, Traffic, Gasum. “As forerunners in the logistics sector, we want to be leading the way for cleaner transport and utilize low-emission fuel alternatives as soon as they become available. The use of LNG will reduce our company’s emissions while at the same time the competitive price of the fuel will provide us with a valuable competitive advantage. Our customers are also increasingly interested in low-emission fuel alternatives,” said Managing Director Tero Mattila from Huhtala Logistics Oy. “The new filling station improves the conditions for natural gas use in the Seinäjoki area and will increase the demand for natural gas cars. NGV models can be found in all of the most popular car makes, such as Audi, Seat, Škoda and Volkswagen. We’re happy to be able to provide a diverse service to those interested in running their car on natural gas,” added Managing Director Jyrki Viitala from Käyttöauto, a Seinäjoki car dealer selling natural gas models.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/renewable-natural-gas-station-for-heavy-trucks-opens-in-western-finland/

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TPS tests natural gas engine with nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition system

Transient Plasma Systems Inc. (TPS), which develops nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition systems to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has achieved a new milestone in internal combustion engine testing.

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The new TPS test marks the first multi-cylinder demonstration of the company’s nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition technology in a mass-manufactured, on-road natural gas engine. TPS tested its Transient Plasma Ignition System in multi-cylinder operation on a Cummins Westport ISX12N natural-gas engine. “The successful multi-cylinder testing of nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition technology gets us one step closer to widespread market demand and adoption. We are very grateful to the California Energy Commission (CEC) for providing the grant, to Cummins Westport for providing the engine and engine support, and to SoCal Gas for providing additional funding for this effort,” said Dan Singleton, co-founder and CEO of Transient Plasma Systems. The testing, conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, under a grant by the CEC with support from SoCalGas and Cummins Westport, demonstrated stable operation of the Transient Plasma Ignition System under on-road conditions, including improved brake thermal efficiency, reduced CO and NOx emissions, and extension of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) dilution tolerance. “This is a major milestone in the development of our nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition technology,” said Jason Sanders, co-founder and chief scientist at Transient Plasma Systems. “Our ignition technology reduces fuel consumption in combustion engines by a significant amount, and it can do so with an easy-to-implement solution that requires no engine redesigns.”

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c5-products/natural-gas-engine-tested-with-nanosecond-pulsed-plasma-ignition-system/

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