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Daily Energy News

Companies

The Greek privatization agency (Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, HRADF) has accepted the €535m bid submitted by a consortium of Snam, Enagás and Fluxys, for the acquisition of a 66% stake in the state-owned gas transmission network operator DESFA. The consortium includes Italian gas transmission operator Snam (60%), and its Spanish and Belgian counterparts, namely Enagás (20%) and Fluxys (20%).

The multinational integrated oil and gas company Total has reached an agreement with French energy supplier Direct Energie to acquire 74.33% of its share capital for a price of €42 per share, i.e. a total consideration of €1.4bn. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals from the French Financial Market Authority (Autorité des marchés financiers).

Brazilian electricity distribution company Eletropaulo has announced the issue of 58.9 million new shares, equivalent to a 26% stake, attracting bids from Neoenergia, the Brazilian subsidiary of Spain's Iberdrola group, and from Enel Brasil (part of Italian energy group Enel).

Policy & Regulatory

The French Ministry of the Ecological and Solidary Transition (MTES) has unveiled the list of the 392 winning projects in the fourth round of the three-year tender for rooftop PV systems ranging between 100 kW to 8 MW and meant to be installed installed on buildings, greenhouses, agricultural facilities and carports. 200 MW of solar PV capacity have been attributed in this round, i.e. 50 MW more than in the last tender held in January 2018.
The average price of the selected projects reached €80.8/MWh, a 5% decrease on the €85/MWh average in the January 2018 auction.

Energy Markets

According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), US coal exports rose by 61% to 97 million short tons (MMst) in 2017. Coal exports to Asia more than doubled from 15.7 MMst in 2016 to 32.8 MMst in 2017, even though Europe remained the top market recipient for US coal.

The Japanese power utility Kyushu Electric will start to load fuel at the Genkai-4 nuclear reactor by the end of April 2018, which could lead to the reactor restart shortly. In March 2018, the company already restarted the Genkai-3 facility.

Argentina's nuclear regulator (Autoridad Regulatoria Nuclear or ARN) has extended the operating license of the 362 MWe Atucha-1 pressurised heavy water reactor (PWR), near Lima for another five years at full power or until September 2024, whichever occurs first. The 44-year old facility will be modernised in order to be operated on the longer term.

Infrastructure & Investments

According to a statement issued by the Russian nuclear state-held company Rosatom, the Leningrad II-1 nuclear reactor is at the final stage of commissioning and has already generated 100 GWh. The reactor is now planned to be put it in industrial operation by the end of 2018.

The Minister of Energy of Indonesia has approved the plan of development (PoD) for the Merakes offshore gas field in the East Sepinggan PSC (Makassar Strait, East Kalimantan), that Italian energy group submitted three months earlier.

Interstate Power and Light, the Iowa subsidiary of the US energy company Alliant Energy, has secured approval from the Iowa Utilities Board (United States) for the development of 1,000 MW of new wind power generation in the state. The utility currently plans to add this capacity by 2020 for a total investment of US$1.8bn. By this date, wind energy is expected to account for roughly one-third of Iowa's power generation capacity. The first wind park to be built is the 300 MW Upland Prairie wind park.