Weekly HEG Global Energy Digest
Italy declares state of emergency following a gas blast in Austria
After an explosion at a main gas hub near Vienna, Europe might deal with gas shortages.
Baumgarten region, where the blast took place, represents the main distribution and reception center for gas exports and imports, including from Russia, Europe’s major gas supplier.
In Italy, where rain, snow and extreme cold weather caused traffic problems in the north-east over the last few days, the industry minister expressed his concerns and declared a state of emergency in Italy because of deficit in gas supplies.
According to a spokesman from Austrian police, the explosion in the north-east of Vienna has occurred due to a technical problem. Fire brigades worked until early afternoon to stop fires caused by the blast.
Carlo Calenda, the Italian industry minister, said the nations could deal with a major energy supply problem and highlighted the need to develop the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). The project is designed to offer Italy a new supply path, but has been postponed by protests.
The Italian wholesale day-ahead price jumped by 97% to a record peak of €47 per megawatt hour. Gas prices in Europe hiked on worries about supply.
Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia are among other countries directly affected.
Article Source: http://www.energymarketprice.com/energy-news/italy-declares-state-of-emergency-following-a-gas-blast-in-austria
Notice signed to continue contracts to build four VVER-1200 units at the El Dabaa nuclear plant
Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov and Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker agreed to proceed with contracts for the construction of four VVER-1200 units at the El Dabaa nuclear power site.
The contracts, inked by the President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, are the continuation of a November 2015 intergovernmental accord, which consists of Russian state-support loan of $25 billion for the project estimated at $30 billion. The funding offered by Rosatom will offer around 85% of the plant’s building costs, and Egypt will have to obtain the rest of money from private investors.
Under the terms of the deals, Rosatom will be responsible for the construction of four VVER-1200 reactors at El Dabaa, in the Matrouh region on the Mediterranean coast, and will supply nuclear fuel during the plant’s lifetime.
Rosatom will also train employees and will back its Egyptian partners in performing operation and maintenance activities during the first ten years of the plant’s working period. The contract comprises the construction of a specific storage site as well and the supply of containers for the storage of used nuclear fuel.
The first unit is likely to be commissioned in 2026. The contracts represent a record business deal in the history of the nuclear industry, being the biggest non-feedstock partnership in Russia’s experience.
Rosatom will also aid Egypt to expand its nuclear infrastructure, as well as raising the level of localisation and helping the country in training its nuclear employees and working on public acceptance of nuclear energy.
Future nuclear workers will be formed both in Russia and Egypt. Hundreds of Egyptian students will learn nuclear disciplines in Russia over the next few years. Several Egyptian firms will take part in the construction project, and the first unit is planned to have a localisation level of at least 20%.
The VVER-1200 is considered by Rosatom as a generation 3+ plant which complies with all post-Fukushima International Atomic Energy Agency requirements.
Russia’s first VVER-1200, unit 1 of the Novovoronezh II plant, became operational earlier this year. El Dabaa will link unit 1 of the Leningrad Phase II nuclear power facility in western Russia, where fuel loading started on 8th of December. The construction operations started on a VVER-1200 at Rooppur in Bangladesh.
Justin Dargin, the global energy expert at the University of Oxford, mentioned: “Egypt, for approximately a decade, has been experiencing natural gas allocation shortages and electricity deficits. This occurred primarily due to demographic growth, on the back of extremely low power tariffs, and overextension of its natural gas supply. As a result, Egypt has been seeking additional ways to solidify its energy security, and nuclear power generation has been at the top of the list. Egypt expects to generate nearly 10 percent of its electricity requirements from nuclear energy by 2026, and plans to generate approximately half of its power needs by nuclear energy by 2050. Furthermore, Egypt will potentially benefit in other ways from its contract with Rosatom.
For example, Egypt is pursuing the development of its indigenous technical expertise through interaction with Russian nuclear energy specialists, alongside expected technology transfer.
Moreover, several years ago, Egypt discovered areas with high concentration of uranium. Egypt hopes to be able to focus on development of domestic uranium production in the near future to complement its progress in its nascent nuclear power industry.
Lastly, Egypt desires to diversify its geopolitical interactions, and rebuilding its historical partnership with Russia is key. Nuclear power development is one avenue, in conjunction with military, trade and fossil-fuel/renewable energy cooperation, in which Egypt will potentially recreate robust ties with the Russian Federation.”
Article Source: http://www.energymarketprice.com/energy-news/notice-signed-to-continue-contracts-to-build-four-vver-1200-units-at-the-el-dabaa-nuclear-plant
Russia starts a massive gas project in the Arctic
Russia started its Yamal gas unit, a huge project in one of the most isolated regions in the world, as this is becoming more accessible because of climate change.
Novatek, the Russian gas producer, has associated with France’s Total and China’s CNPC for the $27 billion site, which has already conveyed its first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the port of Sabetta. It is considered one of the most courageous projects, being expected to commence with a yearly production capacity of 5.5 million tons and boost it to 16.5 million tons by the beginning of 2019.
Yamal LNG shares are held by Novatek (50.1%), Total (20%), China’s CNPC (20%) and the Silk Road Fund (9.9%). The site has had financial and technical hurdles over the years. The Yamal peninsula contains significant hydrocarbon reserves, being situated in a remote area in the Arctic circle where temperatures are around -50°C. Since its initiation in late 2013, an airport and a port have had to be built for the project, as well as gas collectors and the LNG plant itself.
Samuel Lussac, an oil and gas specialist at Wood Mackenzie, declared that LNG was shipped on time and on budget, which is unusual in the LNG industry, taking into consideration challenging operations conditions.
According to him, Yamal LNG still deals with risks as transportation via the Northern Sea Route is less developed and its role of a major LNG delivery path is uncertain.
Russia wishes the route to be shorter and an easier way to desired Asian markets and has produced massive icebreakers recently. The route along the northern coast of Siberia permits ships to save the trip by 15 days to Asian ports in comparison with the main route via the Suez Canal.
Article Source: http://www.energymarketprice.com/energy-news/russia-starts-a-massive-gas-project-in-the-arctic
Germany on the path to have hydrogen powered trains by 2021
Rail manufacturer Alstom plans to replace the diesel vehicles of the transport authority Elbe-Weser-Verkehrsbetriebe (evb) with hydrogen-power trains from December 2021.
Hydrogen-powered trains will operate completely emission-free and will commence the first passenger service in Lower Saxony. Alstom will construct an overall number of 14 fuel cell trains named Coradia iLint for the Local Transport Authority of Lower Saxony (Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen, LNVG).
The cell trains will be constructed at the Salzgitter site and are expected to service travellers between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervorde and Buxtehude from December 2021.
These will replace the diesel multiple units of the transport authority Elbe-Weser-Verkehrsbetriebe (evb) and will cut the pollutant emission on daily basis to zero.
The Linde Group’s own filling station will provide the train with hydrogen. The Coradia iLint can cover around 1,000 kilometers with one tank filled 100%, and can stick to a maximum speed of up to 140 km/h.
Article Source: http://www.energymarketprice.com/energy-news/germany-on-the-path-to-have-hydrogen-powered-trains-by-2021