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Daily Energy News

Policy & Regulatory

The four main German power transmission system operators (TSOs), namely 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT and TransnetBW, have published the update for the 2020 German renewable energy surcharge (EEG-Umlage, a levy on end-consumer power prices to support the expansion of renewable energies). The EEG surcharge will increase by 5.5% to €6.756c/kWh in 2020. In 2019, the EEG-Umlage declined by 5.7% to €6.405c/kWh, from €6.792c/kWh in 2018.

The Crown Estate has issued the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) for Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4, which will offer seabed rights for at least 7 GW of new offshore wind projects in England and Wales (United Kingdom). Interested bidders will have to submit their PQQ by the end of November 2019 and the PQQ stage will run until January 2020.

The latest coal mine auction held by the Ministry of Coal of India has attracted a low interest. Out of the 27 coal mines offered for the iron and steel, cement, and captive power plant end-use (with up to 25% of commercial sale of coal), only 6 coal mines received at least three bids, a minimum threshold for the government to hold auction.

Companies

Sempra Energy has entered into an agreement with State Grid International Development (SGID) - a fully-owned subsidiary of the Chinese power transmission company State Grid Corporation of China - to sell its equity interests in its Chilean activities. The sale will include Sempra's 100% stake in Chilquinta Energía for US$2.23bn in cash, its 100% interest in Tecnored and its 50% stake in Eletrans.

The Spanish energy group Naturgy and the Algerian national oil and gas company Sonatrach have signed an agreement to buy the 42.09% stake held by Abu Dhabi state-owned holding Mubadala (United Arab Emirates) through Cepsa in Medgaz, which operates the 8 bcm/year gas pipeline linking Beni Saf (Algeria) to Almeria (Spain). Naturgy, which currently owns a 14.95% stake in Medgaz, will acquire 34.05% in the company for €445m, reaching 49% in Medgaz. Sonatrach, which owns 42.96% in the company will acquire the remaining 8.04% and raise its interest in Medgaz to 51%.

Total, which signed last year an agreement with Adani, the largest private energy and infrastructure group in India, to cooperate in fuel retail and LNG activities, has decided to expand its strategic partnership with Adani, to further take part to the development of the Indian gas market.

Infrastructure & Investments

Lekela Power, a developer of renewable power projects in Africa, has issued a Notice to Proceed to Siemens Gamesa, which has officially started the construciton of the 250 MW West Bakr Wind project near Ras Ghareb in Egypt. The project is being built under the Egyptian government’s Build, Own, Operate (BOO) framework. As the turnkey EPC contractor, Siemens Gamesa will install 96 of its wind turbines, with the first one to be delivered in the summer of 2020. The project is expected to be fully operational in 2021, and to generate more than 1 TWh/year.

Hong Kong-based Towngas intends to increase its natural gas storage capacities in mainland China by 1.1.5 bcm in 2026. To do so, the company plans to build 10 underground reservoirs with a combined capacity of 453 mcm in a first phase expected to be achieved by 2023. In a second phase, expected in 2026, 15 storage facilities with a total capacity of 701 mcm will be built. Located in the cities of Changzhou and Yixing (Jiangsu province, close to Nanjing) in eastern China, the storage facilities will be linked to the pipelines of state-owned oil and gas companies PetroChina and Sinopec.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has received a record low bid of US$1.6953c/kWh (US$16.95/MWh) for the fifth phase (900 MW) of its Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar PV project. This is the lowest bid ever submitted in a solar tender worldwide. The name of the bidder has not been disclosed. The 900 MW phase will be developed under the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model and is expected to be commissioned in stages as of the second quarter of 2021.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a €138m (US$152m) funding to the Tunisian electricity and gas company (Société tunisienne d’électricité et gaz, STEG), to develop and upgrade its power transmission network. The €290m (US$319m) grid development programme will receive €108m (US$119m) from the AfDB and €30m (US$33m) from the Africa Growing Together Fund. It has also secured from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) (€121m, i.e. US$133m), while STEG will finance €31m (US$34m).