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Daily Energy News

Policy & Regulatory

The German coalition government has approved a €40bn compensation package for power utilities, which operate hard coal-fired power plants in the country and should shut them down by 2038 at the latest.

Companies

Shell plans to cut the value of its oil and gas assets by US$15-22bn in a context of enduring impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and energy demand and of likely transition to a lower-carbon energy system.

The Japanese telecom group Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) intends to increase its renewable power capacity from 300 MW to 7.5 GW by 2030, in order to cover 30% of its power consumption with renewables (up from the current 4.5%). To reach this objective, the company plans to invest more than JPY1,000bn (US$9.3bn), mostly in solar and offshore wind project. The group will seek to create its own transmission network as regional electric utility have priority for use of existing transmission lines.

The US shale oil and gas producer Chesapeake Energy has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in a context of falling energy demand and prices in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will implement a restructuring plan to eliminate around US$7bn of debt and has secured a US$925m in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing to support the group in continuing its business operations as usual.

The Spanish energy group Iberdrola has raised its bid for Infigen Energy, Australia’s largest renewable power producer, by 3.5%, offering AUD 0.89 (€0.545, or US$0.61) per staple security of Infigen, instead of the AUD 0.86 (€0.527, or US$0.59) bid presented earlier in June 2020. This new price would raise the offer to AUD 870m (US$595m).

Energy & Climate Markets

Groupement Touat Gaz (GTG),  a consortium of Neptune Energy Touat (65%) and Algeria's national oil and gas company Sonatrach (35%), has officially taken over operations of the Touat gas facility in Algeria from the contract company Técnicas Reunidas. Neptune Energy Touat is held by Neptune (54%) and Engie (46%).

Infrastructure & Investments

Russia's state-owned nuclear company Rosatom has launched the preparations to build four new nuclear power units in the Leningrad and Smolensk Regions in Russia. The group plans to build two new VVER-TOI with a total capacity of 2,510 MW at Smolensk II and two VVER-1200 units (3 and 4) at Leningrad II. Rosatom plans to prepare and approve an action plan on the Smolensk project by the end of 2020, in order to start the project financing process.

China has started to commission its 10.2 GW Wudongde hydropower project on the Jinsha river in southern China. The project is developed by the state-owned Three Gorges Project Corporation, for at total investment of CNY120bn (US$17bn). Construction started in 2015 and the dam is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2021. It should generate nearly 39 TWh/year of electricity.

Nigeria has officially launched the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project. The AKK gas pipeline will deliver 3.5 bcf/d (99 mcm/d or 36.1 bcm/year) of gas from several gas projects in the south of the country. In a first phase, it will deliver 2.5 bcf/d (57 mcm/d or 20.7 bcm/year) to domestic customers.

Paks II. Atomerőmű has submitted an application to the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) for a construction license for the Paks II nuclear power project in Hungary. The independent nuclear authority has fifteen months to assesses the application. If no o deficiencies are found, construction of the main building could be allowed by September 2021 and construction could begin. The two units could be put into commercial operation around 2029-2030.