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Companies

Iberdrola published its 2016 key figures. The utility managed to increase its net profit by 11.7% (€2.71bn) and remains the largest producer of wind energy in the world.

Overall revenues fell by 7% down to €29.22bn and the gross margin improved by 1% (€12.92bn). Iinvestments were also 32.3% higher and stood at €4,264.3m. The results were particularly strong in the United States where the network business revenues increased by 53% (€3.98bn).

Energy Markets

Allseas, a Swiss company, has recently signed an offshore pipelay contract regarding the Nord Stream 2 project in the Baltic Sea. Nord Stream 2 AG has awarded this contract in the wake of an international tender process.

The company will be in charge of the first and second strings of the project and the pipelay works are expected to take place in 2018 and 2019.

Greece's power market operator LAGIE and the Athens stock exchange have agreed to jointly set up a power trading exchange, that would start operations as early as mid-2018.

The new power trading exchange would replace the existing mandatory pool system, where power producers may enter into bilateral contracts that are constrained within the pool. It is expected to improve power sales transparency, boost competition and lower electricity prices for end users.

The Israeli integrated energy company Delek Group has recently signed a loan deal for its share in the future development of the Leviathan natural gas offshore field in Israel. According to Delek Group, the loan will be invested in several facilities. The deal was signed by Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, both subsidiaries of the Delek Group, together with around 20 Israeli and international financial institutions.

According to preliminary statistics, German gas imports went down by 3% year-on-year in 2016. Moreover, the oil-linked average prices dropped by 25%, cutting the total gas import bill by 27.3%, from €24.5bn in 2015 to €17.8bn in 2016.

Germany's key suppliers are the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and Russia. Gazprom earlier announced its 2016 gas exports to Germany hit a record high of 49.8 bcm.

Areva and the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) have signed a framework agreement in order to enhance mutual cooperation in the nuclear cycle. The document is a milestone for future strategic partnership and mentions negotiations regarding the construction of a Chinese used fuel reprocessing facility.

Areva announced it "remains open" to a possible investment from CNNC in its activities.

Energy Prices & Taxes

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) announced it has allowed the state-owned power firm Eskom to increase its tariffs by 2.2% in 2017 and 2018.

Previously in March 2016, the NERSA has allowed Eskom to it raise electricity tariffs by 9.4% for 2016 and 2017.

Infrastructure & Investments

The Vietnam Nghi Son oil refinery expects to receive first crude oil in May 2017 and to start production by the third quarter of the year. The project is valued at US$7.5 bn and is expected to produce 200 000 bbl/d.

Policy & Regulatory

The German Federal network regulator (Bundesnetzagentur) will limit the German onshore wind power expansion to 902 MW at least until August 2019 in order to adapt the grid to renewable energies and to avoid future bottlenecks.

The energy transition has set the pace for the increase of wind energy use, which accounts for 58% of the German added capacity in 2013-2015. As of today, bids for news grid installations can only be added on top until the new limit is reached. For comparison, the current nationwide onshore wind power annual tender volume stands at 2800 MW.

Singapore will implement a new carbon tax as of 2019 which will cost between US$10 and US$20 per ton of emissions. The exact schedule will be published in March, after consultations with the industry.

The tax will be more likely applied on largest emittors rather than on individuals. According to Singapore's finance minister, the idea is to create an incentive to push the industry to reduce its emissions. The tax has been put forward within the frame of the Paris Agreement which Singapore has signed. The country committed itself to reduce its emissions by 36% by 2030.