Tag Archives: Multiline Utilities (TRBC level 4)

Future check: Australia’s gas grid looks environmentally friendly with hydrogen | Instant News


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s natural gas pipeline owners are working to prove their future A $ 75 billion ($ 59 billion) asset amid a global push toward clean energy, running tests to mix hydrogen with gas and produce green methane to replace the material fossil fuel.

Cashing in rare bipartisan support for hydrogen across Australian national and state governments to help reduce carbon emissions, owners of pipelines and networks have committed A $ 180 million for a variety of projects involving green hydrogen.

The Australian state has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with many developed countries, but Canberra has not committed to a 2050 term.

“This is a business risk that we have to manage,” said Ben Wilson, chief executive of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), which is owned by a unit of the Hong Kong-based CK Group.

“What was initially defensive has become an opportunity, especially given our renewable energy sources. We could become the world’s biggest exporter of green hydrogen, “he told Reuters.

Pipe owners seeking government funding for a hydrogen project aim to show how their infrastructure can be used to deliver hydrogen in mixtures with gas and store hydrogen as a form of renewable energy storage.

(Graph: Map of the Australian pipeline,)

“Ultimately, we also think that continuing to use this infrastructure allows the entire economy to remove carbon at a lower cost,” said Dennis Van Puyvelde, head of gas for Energy Networks Australia.

A study conducted for the industry body last year found that to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, building a hydrogen distribution network would cost half the cost of expanding the power grid to serve businesses and industries currently dependent on gas, and save Australia around A $ 13. billion.

The pipeline company is working on a shorter timeframe than 2050, as several states push to have 10% hydrogen in gas pipelines by 2030.

EYES WITH GREEN METHAN

A study conducted for the government found that hydrogen can be safely added to gas supplies up to 10% by volume without having to modify pipelines or equipment.

Van Puyvelde said the advantages of mixing hydrogen to gas allow for the gradual buildup of industrial hydrogen, requiring an electrolycer of up to 1 gigawatt, compared to the much larger and more expensive electrolyzers that would be required to export green hydrogen.

In the first testing of hydrogen into distribution networks in Australia, AGIG will begin injecting a volume-based 5% green hydrogen mixture in the gas next month, to 700 homes in Adelaide.

Jemena, a company owned by State Grid Corp of China and Singapore Power, is working on a similar government-backed project in Sydney, mixing up to 2% hydrogen into the country’s largest local gas network later this year.

More projects are in the works, with the pipeline company selected for A $ 70 million in hydrogen funding from the government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency said.

Over the long term, the industry is closely watching Europe’s largest energy grid operator, E.ON, converts gas pipelines in Germany to produce pure hydrogen.

Apart from hydrogen, an ideal substitute for natural gas is green methane, if it can be produced commercially. Methane is chemically the same as natural gas, a fossil fuel.

Testing its potential, APA Group, Australia’s largest pipeline company, is building a pilot plant in the state of Queensland that will use solar energy to drive an electrolyzer to separate water, generate hydrogen and combine it with carbon dioxide extracted from the air to produce methane. .

The project has attracted the interest of US companies, and if successful, could help companies around the world, such as APA, which have billions of dollars invested in pipelines servicing liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants.

“If successful, it will be compatible with the existing LNG infrastructure. You don’t need to retrofit, “APA’s head of transformation, Hannah McCaughey, told Reuters. ($ 1 = 1,269 Australian dollars)

(This story has been rewritten to correct paragraph 3 to improve formatting)

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Edited by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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Germany is ready for a ‘new chapter’ in transatlantic relations | Instant News


BERLIN, February 19 (Reuters) – Germany is poised for a “new chapter” in transatlantic relations in which the United States and Europe follow a common agenda, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

“In our principles and values, in our belief in democracy and its ability to act, we have a broad and sound basis,” he told the Munich Security Conference via video link.

“There is a lot to be done, and Germany is gearing up for a new transatlantic chapter.”

Big challenges like the pandemic and climate change must be tackled together in multilateralism, he said, and the United States and Europe must have a similar attitude towards Russia.

“It is very important for us to develop a general Russian transatlantic agenda, which on the one hand makes cooperative offers, but on the other hand clearly identifies differences,” he said. (Reporting by Paul Carrel; Written by Maria Sheahan)

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Vocus Australia reopens books after Macquarie makes a $ 2.6 billion bid, the stock rises | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Vocus Group on Monday said Macquarie’s fund had made a non-binding bid to acquire the owner of the fire network for A $ 3.42 billion ($ 2.62 billion) and would open the books to the company, sending nearly a fifth more of its stake. high. .

FILE PHOTOS: Cars and trucks passing through electronic toll gates on a highway in Melbourne 24 June 2008. REUTERS / Mick Tsikas

The approach from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Holdings (MIRA) – one of at least three since 2019 – brings in a price of A $ 5.50 per share, which is the highest price of applicants recently, and could trigger a competitive process for telcos.

Vocus stock rose to its highest since November 2016 but at midday it traded at A $ 4.98, below the MIRA bid, which represented a 25.6% premium until its final close, as investors assessed the risk of applicants leaving after seeing the books, as it happened. with a recent approach.

“The Board has concluded that it is in the best interest of Vocus shareholders to explore potential transactions with MIRA,” the company said in a statement to the exchange.

The offer comes a year and a half after power supplier AGL Energy and Swedish private equity firm EQT Infrastructure scrapped a similar proposal to take over the company after a brief period of due diligence.

“We believe a situation like that happening again will be considered very negative, with investors likely questioning what inside the company is driving interest away,” said JPMorgan analysts.

“While on the one hand, MIRA’s actions could lead to bid competition given the interest shown at Vocus in the past, there is clearly no guarantee that the process will lead to a full transaction.”

In 2017, takeover negotiations with private equity firm KKR and Affinity Equity Partners, which had submitted separate bids for the company, also ended after a period of due diligence did not result in an acceptable deal.

MIRA, part of the Macquarie Group asset management, already holds a stake in the telecommunications sector with a stake in the owner of the Axicom cell tower, formerly Crown Castle Australia.

MIRA did not reply to a request for comment.

($ 1 = 1.3053 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney and Arpit Nayak in Bengaluru; Edited by Diane Craft, Sam Holmes, and Michael Perry

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Germany will continue talks to buy TenneT shares after the Dutch election | Instant News


BERLIN, February 3 (Reuters) – Germany will resume talks with the Netherlands about buying an equity stake in network company TenneT after next month’s Dutch elections, an economy ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

“For Germany, it is very important that TenneT can fully fulfill all its obligations regarding network expansion in Germany,” he added.

The Dutch government said on Tuesday that talks about Germany taking a stake in TenneT had stalled over questions about who would control the German subsidiary. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by Thomas Seythal)

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Italy’s Enel joins the race for the UK unit of US utility PPL: source | Instant News


LONDON (Reuters) – Europe’s largest utility company, Enel, is considering entering a race for British power company Western Power Distribution (WPD), as part of a consortium suggested by investment bank Rothschild, two sources close to the matter said.

FILE PHOTO: Italian multinational energy company Enel logo seen at headquarters of Milan, Italy, 5 February 2020. REUTERS / Flavio Lo Scalzo / File Photo

Also in progress are the Global Infrastructure Partners’ investment and pension funds, Brookfield Asset Management and CDPQ, which have formed a consortium, and a group led by the infrastructure investment arm of Macquarie Group Australia, PSP Investments Canada and the Dutch pension fund APG, the said. source.

The sale, launched by current US utility PPL Corp owner in August, has faced a series of delays, partly due to uncertainty at the end of last year about whether Britain will leave the European Union without a trade deal, earlier sources said.

A binding offer is now tentatively expected at the end of February, two separate sources said.

Based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 1.25 billion pounds ($ 1.67 billion) for the financial year ended March, WPD could be assessed for up to 12 billion pounds.

Enel CEO Francesco Starace said in November the company would pursue mergers and acquisitions in the distribution network and had allocated around 46% of spending to its regulated network business.

Enel declined to comment on his interest in the WPD. Rothschild declined to comment.

While the process has not been contested much, given the size of the assets and the impending regulatory regime for the UK network, which establishes a fixed return on investment for network owners, PPL and its adviser JP Morgan have gauged the interest of many European utilities and investment funds.

Spanish energy group Naturgy, which is reported to be considering partnering with Germany’s Allianz, has refrained from expressing interest, the two sources said.

WPD delivers electricity to about eight million customers in central and southwest England, and south Wales, according to its website.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes in Milan and Clara Denina in London. Additional reporting by Arno Schuetze. Edited by Mark Potter

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