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Daily Energy News

Energy & Climate Markets

According to the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, Russian coal exports may fall by 10 to 22% in 2020, due to COVID-19 pandemic and collapsing energy demand. In addition, domestic coal demand may fall in the range from 4% to 12%, by 20-33 Mt. 

Infrastructure & Investments

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has authorised the 20 Mt/year Alaska LNG project to liquefy gas and export it. The project is developed by Alaska Gasoline Development Corporation (AGDC), which signed an agreement with BP and ExxonMobil to move ahead with the US$43bn project in March 2019.

The government of New South Wales (NSW, in south-east Australia) has given the final approval to the 2,000 MW Snowy 2.0 expansion project, which will consist of a 2,000 MW pumped-storage hydropower plant with six 333 MW units, to be built at the existing Snowy Scheme (also known as Snowy Mountains scheme), a hydropower complex consisting of nine power stations with a combined capacity of nearly 4,100 MW.

The High Court of Justice of the United Kingdom (UK) has ruled legal the UK’s government approval of the 3,600 MW Drax CCGT power project in Selby, North Yorkshire (United Kingdom) in October 2019.​ Drax announced plans to build the project in 2017 but the final investment decision (FID) on the project has not yet been reached. It would consist of two 1,800 MW units and could potentially add two 100 MW battery energy storage systems (BESS).

The third train of the Cameron LNG liquefaction and export project has started production operations in Hackberry, Louisiana (United States).

Policy & Regulatory

Croatia has introduced a new law to tender 2,265 MW of renewable capacity. The Croatian authorities have allocated 1,075W of solar capacity, including 210 MW for solar projects ranging in size from 50 kW to 500 kW, 240 MW for solar installations with capacities between 500 kW and 10 MW, and 625 MW for PV power plants exceeding 10 MW.

The Germany energy regulator (Bundesnetzagentur) has published the results of the latest tender for 200 MW of onshore wind and solar capacity, with a bidding date set for 1 April 2020. The auction was oversubscribed as 113 solar offers with a total capacity of 552 MW were submitted, while 30 bids totalling 204 MW were awarded. The value of the submitted bids ranged between €49.7/MWh and €56.1/MWh, with an average bidding price of €53.3/MWh (€51.8/MWh in the technology-specific solar auction in March 2020). The regulator received no bid for onshore wind.

The Algerian government plans to develop several solar power plants with a total capacity of 4 GW over the 2020-2024 period, at a cost of US$3.2bn to US$3.6bn. Thanks to the so-called TAFOUK1 project, Algeria expects to meet growing domestic for electricity and to export electricity.

Companies

Malaysian state-run oil and gas company Petronas plans to reduce its capital expenditures by 21% and its operating costs by 12% in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, collapsing energy demand and falling oil prices. The company originally planned to spend MYR50bn (US$11.5bn) in 2020. Most of the capital expenditures cuts will be made outside of Malaysia, but some domestic projects are likely to be delayed due to the impact of the pandemic. Petronas invested only MYR8.5bn (US$1.95bn) during the first quarter of 2020.

Engie has signed a BRL2.7bn (US$490m) deal with the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) to finance the 361.2 MW Campo Largo wind project (phase 2) in the state of Bahia (north-eastern Brazil) and the Gralha Azul power transmission project, which includes the construction of 1,000 km of transmission lines, 5 new substations and the expansion of an additional 5 substations in the state of Paraná.