• World Industry News

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  • Shell and Exxon to dispose of their gas grid asset in Gasunie

Both Shell and ExxonMobil are selling their stakes in pipeline unit of Dutch Gas firm Nederlanse Gasunie to the Dutch Government paying a sum of € 2.78 Bn.  This move is part of a restructuring of the Dutch Gas industry.  However, Gasunie’s retail division will remain as a joint venture between the three with the Dutch state owning 50% and Shell and Exxonmobil owning 25% of the retail division. (Source: BBC News)

  • Holcim sees industry consolidation on horizon

Holcim, the world’s second largest cement group yesterday predicted a new merger round in the cement industry spurred by bouyant growth and revived profitability.  Markus Akerman, CEO of Holcim, had said that hne doubted that the Swiss company will not follow the footstep of Cemex (merger with RMC last September) with multi-billion dollar deal, but will consolidate by purchase of small and medium sized companies.  He also noted the outlook for 2005 will be pretty good even with an increase price in oil and coal.  Clearly Holcim has benefitted from switching to alternative fuels. (Source: Financial Times).

  • Exxon rethinks natural gas delivery options from Sakhalin-1

Exxonmobil, the US energy group, would consider how natural gas from Sakhalin-1 project in the form of Liquified Natural Gas – Lee Raymond (CEO of Exxon) said.  This move could be seen as an embarrassing climbdown by the company which has alway insisted that pipeline is the most cost effective way of delivering natural gas.  Mr. Raymond has said that the Exxon led consortium was considering several options including converting gas to LNG or piping it to Japan or China.  Sakhalin-1 project which was initially financed by the Japanese government before Exxon took over had always intended to pipe gas to Japan. However, due to recent deregulation in the electricity market, Japanese utilities have refused to sign a long term agreement to make pipeline economically feasible.  Sakhalin-2 ($ 10 Bn) development project led by Shell that neighbors Exxon’s led project has stolen the march from Sakhalin-1 partly because it was marketed as LNG has a long term contract to deliver 3.4 m tonnes of gas to Japanese utilities signed and with interest in South Korea and California.  Energy analyst says that if Sakhalin-1 decided to convert gas to LNG, they need to strike a deal with Shell to use 800 km pipeline down the lenght of Sakhalin to two trains with the capacity to liquify 9.6 m tonnes of gas a year which will clearly enhance the value of LNG plant built by Shell led group. (Source: Financial Times)

  • Scottish and Southern Energy buys Westfield 120 MW CCGT

Scottish and Southern Energy has confirmed that it has bought Westfield power station, a 120MW CCGT in Cardenden, Fife. The company is reported to have paid for £12.3m for the station, which was previously owned by Global Energy of the US. (Source: Energy-Directory.com)

  • Wind could meet a third of Europe’s needs

Garrad Hassan, a leading wind consultancy, has estimated that offshore wind could provide 730TWh by 2020, and meet one third of Europe’s power needs. This would require 50,000 of the largest turbines (accounting for 240GW), which would be dispersed over 3% of Europe’s seabed. Meanwhile, the German Wind Energy Institute says that global capacity of wind will reach 120 GW by 2012, which represents a trebling of current capacity. (Source: Energy-Directory.com)

  • Endesa announces capacity plan

Endesa has announced its New Capacity Plan for 2004-2008. The plan calls for the closure of 2,560MW of old oil and coal plants and commissioning of 5,85 MW of CCGT and renewable capacity. The company intends to build 2.8 GW of CCGTs in mainland Iberia and 0.9 GW on the islands, plus more than 2 GW on renewables. With this new capacity Endesa expects to increase the share of renewables in its total generation from 4.5% to 12% and the share of CCGT from 5.2% to 16%. Oil and coal’s combined share is projected to fall from 51% to 37%. Meanwhile Endesa has announced will sell its 11.64% in Aguas Barcelona, with InverCaixa, acting as the lead bank on the disposal. (Source: Energy-Directory.com)