Tag Archives: Natural Gas Utilities (TRBC level 4)

The EU says it doesn’t need Nord Stream 2, but only Germany can block it | Instant News


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union does not need the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for its energy security but any decision to stop a project bringing Russian natural gas to Germany must come from Berlin, a senior European Commission official said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A worker is seen at the gas pipeline construction site Nord Stream 2, near the city of Kingisepp, Leningrad region, Russia, June 5, 2019. REUTERS / Anton Vaganov

The $ 11 billion pipeline project led by Russian state energy company Gazprom, whose completion is more than 90%, will double the capacity of an existing submarine pipeline passing through Ukraine and eliminate Kyiv’s transit costs.

The project pits Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, against central and eastern European countries that say it will increase the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas.

“For the EU as a whole, Nord Stream does not contribute to the security of supplies,” Ditte Juul Jorgensen, director general of the Commission’s energy department, told lawmakers on the European Parliament’s industry committee.

Investments over the past decade in other pipelines, liquefied natural gas import terminals and interconnectors in Europe have secured sufficient supplies to meet the bloc’s energy needs, he said.

Any decision to stop the project must be made by Germany, said Juul Jorgensen.

“Actually stopping development requires a decision at the national level. That is not a decision that can be taken at the European level, “he said.

Nord Stream 2 is facing increased scrutiny as European relations with Russia deteriorate over the treatment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The European Parliament last month asked the European Union to stop building a pipeline in response to Navalny’s arrest.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions on four senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin, in large part symbolic action on the issue.

Despite US sanctions on the pipeline, Berlin is sticking to Nord Stream 2, which it says is a commercial project.

(This story adds the dropped “official” word)

Reporting by Kate Abnett; Edited by Sonya Hepinstall

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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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Australia needs an LNG import terminal to avoid gas shortages by 2024 – watchdog | Instant News


MELBOURNE, February 16 (Reuters) – Australia’s southern state needs to import natural gas to fill a looming shortfall by 2024, as falling oil and gas prices caused by COVID-19 last year have slowed investment in new fields, said the country’s competition watchdog. . Tuesday.

Regulators have warned of a potential gas shortage since 2016 as the market’s mainstay of gas sources off the south coast dries up, but the supply crisis is now approaching fast, said the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC).

“It is worrying that the risk of a gas shortage in the southern state of Australia continues, although this has been a looming issue for some time,” said ACCC Chair Rod Sims in a statement.

The fall in oil and gas prices last year brought some relief to gas buyers but has slowed down investment in new gas projects, which have “increased the supply risks facing the gas market in the medium term,” said the ACCC.

Even if existing and probable proven gas reserves in the northern state of Queensland are developed, there could be a 30 petajoule (PJ) supply gap as early as 2024 in the southern states, the ACCC estimates.

“To ensure sufficient supply to meet demand, the southern states will need to increase the capacity of the north-south pipeline, develop additional onshore and offshore gas fields, or construct one or more LNG import terminals,” he said in his latest report. gas market renewal.

There are five proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals, two in New South Wales, two in Victoria and one in South Australia. Only one of them, Port Kembla in New South Wales, has moved to site preparations so far.

If the Port Kembla terminal is built before 2024, it will close the supply gap in the southern states and east coast markets until 2028, the ACCC said.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Edited by Christian Schmollinger

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Germany will agree to the phased introduction of hydrogen transportation | Instant News


FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany is gearing up to take the first steps in using carbon-free hydrogen fuel in the transportation sector, by gradually incorporating new energy sources as a boost to efforts to meet its climate targets.

The government is expected to pass a bill on the issue at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The meeting agenda and the bill, both seen by Reuters, suggest the initial focus is on shifting existing pipelines carrying hydrogen made from fossil fuels to “green” hydrogen, which is made from wind and solar energy via electrolysis, and building a new green hydrogen pipeline.

It does not regulate the direct absorption of green hydrogen into the existing natural gas network, which is regulated by local monopolies.

Some operators of Germany’s 550,000 km long gas transport network have pushed for faster system integration, arguing this would increase green hydrogen use and help refinance their green hydrogen investment through network usage fees.

The draft explicitly calls the law a “provisional arrangement” that will allow a step-by-step approach to putting the country’s 9 billion euro ($ 10.89 billion) hydrogen strategy into practice.

The final integration of the gas and hydrogen network remains “a problem for many years,” he said.

The law must be passed by parliament as part of a series of energy initiatives the government wants to finalize before the summer holidays and general elections in September.

The government has prioritized green hydrogen which is relatively expensive for industries that are difficult to electrify, such as steel making and chemicals.

German industry consumes about 55 terawatt hour (TWh) of “gray” hydrogen made from fossil fuels each year, while all sectors, including home heating, use up to 1,000 TWh of natural gas.

Heating and transportation can get electricity faster, for example through geothermal pumps and private passenger cars that run on batteries.

Reporting by Markus Wacket and Vera Eckert, editing by Kirsten Donovan

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RPT-UPDATE 1-Germany supports Nord Stream 2 ‘for now’ – Merkel | Instant News


(Repeat to fix slugs, add pix to slugs)

BERLIN / PARIS, Feb. 5 (Reuters) – Germany remains supportive of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline “for the time being,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday after condemning the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Sweden, Germany and Poland.

Russia previously announced the expulsion, accusing diplomats of taking part in illegal protests last month against the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Merkel condemned the expulsion as “unjustified” and Moscow’s next move away from the rule of law.

A German government official said the Foreign Ministry had summoned the Russian ambassador “for an urgent meeting and made Germany’s position very clear to him.”

After speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron, Merkel told reporters: “With regard to events in Russia, we have said that we have the right to continue with sanctions, especially against individuals.”

“The position on Nord Stream 2 is not affected by this at the moment; this is a project where you find out where the federal government is, “Merkel said.

It is a “diplomatic duty” to keep the channels of communication open with Europe’s giant eastern neighbors, he added.

The German position is that Nord Stream 2 is a commercial project. However, Merkel expanded her description of the pipe, which she said she discussed openly with Macron.

“On the one hand, this is a commercial project, on the other hand, it has political implications and plays a big role in the transatlantic region,” said Merkel.

Washington has long argued that the pipeline would increase Russia’s influence over Europe. The new US President Joe Biden believes it is a “bad deal for Europe”.

Navalny’s poisoning and imprisonment have pushed Nord Stream 2 to the top of Germany’s political agenda, creating serious problems for Merkel’s successor following the country’s September elections.

The pioneer to replace Merkel, the new leader of Christian Democrats Armin Laschet, firmly supports Nord Stream 2 but her future government partner, ecologist Greens, is against it.

Macron said he “very harshly” condemned Moscow’s behavior towards Navalny from his poisoning to his arrest and expulsion of foreign diplomats.

On Nord Stream 2, he said: “We have set a European course and I will stick with it. Nothing can be done without close Franco-German cooperation. We want to implement a more sovereign energy transition and a more demanding discussion with Russia ”.

The $ 11 billion pipeline, 90% complete, will double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream line to deliver gas from Russia to Europe via Germany under the Baltic Sea.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Paul Carrel in Berlin, and by Dominique Vidalon in Paris. Edited by Jane Merriman

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