Saturday, April 29, 2017

Op/Ed: Trump Signals New Day for Offshore Energy

© Lukasz Z / Adobe Stock

National Ocean Industries Association president Randall Luthi weighs in on President Trump’s Executive Order on offshore energy. It’s a new day and a new attitude for American energy. The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) applauds President Donald Trump’s Executive Order recognizing the vital role of offshore energy in an overall national energy policy. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that in the year 2040, traditional forms of energy, particularly fossil fuels, will provide almost 80 percent of our energy needs.

Semco Maritime Revenue Dips 8% in 2016

Photo courtesy of Semco Maritime

Semco Maritime said the low oil and gas prices in 2016 did not encourage new industry activity or investments its customers. The low demand entailed a decline in Semco Maritime’s revenue to DKK 1,598 million compared to DKK 1,744 million in 2015. The revenue decline of 8 percent in 2016 was smaller than the decline in 2015, Semco Maritime noted, adding that positive developments within offshore wind and renewables contributed to accommodating the negative impact from the oil and gas markets.

BOURBON to Install Mooring for Floating Wind Turbine

French offshore marine services company BOURBON said it has been awarded a contract for the mooring installation of the first floating wind turbine in France at the experimental test site of SEM-REV managed by Ecole Centrale de Nantes (ECN), in the context of European project FLOATGEN. The mooring installation will take place during summer 2017 based on a method jointly established by BOURBON and Ideol’s engineering teams in collaboration with the Ecole Centrale de Nantes. The wind turbine will be installed at the SEM-REV site near Le Croisic, France, by the end of the year.

Norway races Australia for Japan's Hydrogen Business

Norway may provide cleanly produced hydrogen to Japan; but Australia hopes to export the fuel extracted from brown coal. Norway and Australia are racing each other to show they can supply Japan with hydrogen, hoping to fulfil its ambition to become the first nation significantly fuelled by the super-clean energy source. While Australia has planned to derive liquid hydrogen from brown coal for some time, Norway could steal a march if a pilot project producing the fuel using renewable energy - a climate-friendly method more in keeping with Japan's aims - is cheaper.

Vestas Contemplates End to Green Power Subsidies

A typical land-based wind turbine. File Image: Credit Vestas

Electricity generation from wind turbines could become profitable even without government subsidies in the next decade if more large-scale developments are allowed, the world's top turbine maker Vestas said on Wednesday. In Denmark, the company's home country, the minister of climate and energy earlier this week outlined plans to end its green subsidies before 2030. "Our ambition is very well in line with the minister's" Vestas' spokeswoman Gry Moger Poulsen told Reuters,…

China to Lead Rising Wind Power Growth

© 孤飞的鹤 / Adobe Stock

China will lead growth in global wind power capacity of almost 65 percent over the next five years, with other Asian countries also developing more renewable energy, the Global Wind Energy Council said on Tuesday. Cumulative wind energy capacity was 487 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2016, a 12.6 percent rise from the year before and should grow by almost 65 percent to 800 GW by the end of 2021, the GWEC said in its annual report on the industry. While China will continue to lead the global market…

Statoil Downplays Risks Ahead of Arctic Drilling

File photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil

Norway's Statoil on Monday played down concerns that drilling in the Arctic is risky, days before it kickstarts its drilling campaign in the Barents Sea, where the country believes around half of its remaining resources could be located. "We will start drilling the first well, Blaamann, during May ... followed by Kayak, Gemini (Nord), Korpfjell and Koigen (Central)," said a Statoil spokesman, adding each might take about a month to drill. All the wells are in areas free of sea ice thanks to the warm Gulf Stream…

US Will Not Issue Drilling Waivers to Russia Sanctions

The United States will not make an exception for American companies, including oil major Exxon Mobil Corp, seeking to drill in areas prohibited by U.S. sanctions on Russia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday. "In consultation with President Donald J. Trump, the Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions," Mnuchin said in a statement. Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers had no immediate comment on the statement.

Prysmian Bolsters Offshore Cable Production

Responding to an increased demand for European offshore wind farms, energy and telecom cable systems manufacturer Prysmian Group has expanded capability at its U.K. production facility in Wrexham to manufacture both 33 kV and 66 kV submarine cable cores used for the inter-array cable connections in offshore wind farms. The new product line will enable the linking and collecting of power produced by offshore wind turbines before onward transmission to the onshore grid. Llyr Roberts…

Iraq's Oil Exports Fall in April Amid Port Work, OPEC Cut

Oil shipments from Iraq's southern terminals have fallen so far in April, according to loading data and an industry source, reflecting a temporary drop in export capacity and Iraqi efforts to comply with OPEC production cuts. OPEC's second-largest producer has curbed output this year as part of an OPEC-led supply reduction deal, although OPEC figures show that until March Iraq had delivered a smaller cut than other members such as top exporter Saudi Arabia. Exports from southern…

WIN WIN: Wind Powered Oil Recovery Concept Progresses

The WIN WIN Concept. (Image: DNV GL)

The DNV GL-led joint industry project, WIN WIN (WINd powered Water INjection), has completed its first phase and determined that wind power could be used to power offshore water injection. The project is currently moving into its second phase, which includes refining and testing the electrical systems, and investigating possibilities for broader applications. The project consists of four partners: DNV GL, ExxonMobil and ENI Norge – all part of the first phase – and the Norwegian Research Council – a new participant for this second phase.

Iraq Completes Basra Oil Jetty Repairs

Repair work at a Basra oil jetty damaged by a tanker collision last month were completed on Sunday, two officials at state-run South Oil Company told Reuters on Monday. Crude exports from the Basra terminal were not affected by the collision that happened on March 24, when strong winds caused a very large crude carrier (VLCC) to lurch into berth number 1. A one-million-barrel vessel, the Storviken, was anchored at that berth early on Monday, loading a cargo of light crude, said the two South Oil Co. officials.

Siemens Expands Logistics Deal with Peterson

Photo: Peterson Chemicals

Peterson Chemicals has secured a second logistics contract with original equipment manufacturer Siemens. The new contract for the Veja Mate wind farm in Germany, includes the supply of Jet A1 aviation fuel in offshore transport fuel tanks which is similar to the first contract awarded in August 2016. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has also extended the original one year frame agreement for the Netherlands Gemini wind farm to three years. The transport department based at Peterson’s supply base in Den Helder…

Shell Lobbies Dutch Government for More Wind Projects

file Image: a typical offshore wind farm (CREDIT: Siemens)

Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell said it has urged the Dutch government to come up with bolder offshore wind targets and quadruple the goal for installed capacity to 20 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. Europe's biggest oil company, which has traditionally invested little in green energy sources, is ramping up renewable energy investments to $1 billion a year by the end of the decade after pressure from shareholders to do so and as it sees governments turning to less carbon intensive and more flexible fuels.

DNV GL Advisor for 3 New UK Wind Farms

Photo: DNV GL

DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, has advised renowned lenders, including Santander, on their GBP 210 million project finance investment for the construction of three new onshore wind farms by Banks Renewables, the first of which is expected to start generating electricity by early 2018. The 151 MW three wind project portfolio, Kype Muir and Middle Muir in Scotland, and Moor House in England, were among 15 projects that…

Saudi Arabia Shortlists Companies for Solar, Wind Projects

© Kenny Tong / Adobe Stock

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has shortlisted companies for its solar and wind power projects, as part of the first round of its renewable energy initiative, the energy ministry said on Monday. France's EDF Energies Nouvelles, Japanese companies Marubeni Corporation and Mitsui & Co. and Saudi Acwa Power are among the firms which have qualified to bid for the 300 megawatt solar PV project in Sakaka, the Al Jouf Province in the north of the kingdom. Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar)…

Neoen Chooses O&M Platform for Australian Wind Farm

Hornsdale (Photo: Neoen - Siemens)

Neoen, a renewable project developer and owner, has chosen QOS Energy’s innovative O&M management platform to monitor the performance of the 315 MW Hornsdale wind project, which will be among the largest wind farms operating in Australia once fully commissioned. The project, consisting of 96 Siemens 3.2MW wind turbines, is being built in three stages; two of which have been completed. Neoen has deployed Qantum, the IEC compliant energy management SaaS powered by QOS Energy, to monitor the two first stages of the project.

Vestas Eyes Opportunities in Energy Storage

File Image: A Vestas Wind Farm (CREDIT: Vestas)

Denmark's Vestas  is looking at expanding its core wind business into areas such as energy storage in a bid to expand global usage of wind. Energy storage could overcome the current problem where power is generally consumed just at the time it is generated. "We will have a combination of renewable energy and we see a great opportunity to take an expanding role in the new energy systems that we think will be built," chief executive Anders Runevad told the firm's general assembly.

EBRD to Lend Up to 50 mln Euros for Serbian Wind Farm

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Wednesday it would lend up to 50 million euros ($53 million) to Serbian company Electrawinds K-Wind to help finance one of the Balkan country's first wind farms. The 104.5 megawatts (MW) project in the northern town of Kovacica, estimated to cost 185 million euros, will be among the first large-scale privately-run wind farms in Serbia. Currently there are no private or state-run wind farms in Serbia but several are in the planning or construction stages.

LNG Turns to Trading, Risk to Maintain Market Share

File Image: A typical LNG STS transfer underway (CREDIT: Exelerate)

Woodside, Shell see big opportunity in small-scale LNG. Producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have shot themselves in the foot with oversupply, and face calls for flexibility and greater competition from other fuels that may force them to take more risks and start trading just like other commodity dealers. That's a big change for a market long dominated by large producers such as Royal Dutch Shell and BP who provide major importers with fixed volumes under multi-decade contracts linked to the price of oil.

Ofgem Winds Up Support Scheme for New Renewable Projects

Britain's energy regulator Ofgem on Friday closed one of the main support mechanisms for large-scale renewable electricity projects to new developers. Since it was set up in 2002, the Renewable Obligation scheme helped boost the share of Britain's electricity generated from low-carbon energy to 23.5 percent from 1.3 percent, Ofgem said. The government has reined in subsidies on renewable energy projects since 2015, including ending support for onshore wind farms. When announcing the cuts, the government said it wanted renewable energy projects to compete on a commercial basis.

New EU Rules Aim to Make Power Cheaper

Utilities in the European Union may have to offer more flexible prices from 2020 to encourage consumers to use more electricity when supplies are abundant and cheap, according to proposed new rules, a top EU official said. Most European utilities sell at fixed prices, regardless of price swings on wholesale markets, which makes sense when most power comes from coal and nuclear plants that are always on. But the surge in intermittent renewable energy, like solar and wind generation…

Safety Insight on Offshore Wind Industry

Photo: Danish Maritime Authority

New safety analysis can be used to harmonize safety on board offshore vessels carrying wind turbine technicians. The Danish Maritime Authority is striving to make the International Maritime Organization (IMO) develop international standards. The Danish Maritime Authority has hosted two workshops with experts from the offshore wind industry at which a safety analysis was made for vessels carrying wind turbine technicians – now, this has resulted in a report. The normal operations…

Danfoss, General Electric Join Forces

Danfoss Silicon Power has  announced it is establishing production in the U.S. and entering into a collaboration with industrial giant General Electric (GE). The collaboration means that Danfoss Silicon Power will become the world’s leading provider of silicon-carbide (SiC) power modules. The SiC power modules will create smaller, faster, and more effective electronic devices — and are expected to revolutionize the technology within solar and wind energy as well as the future generations of electric and hybrid cars.

New Drill Ship Equipped with AHC Drilling Platform

Photo courtesy of MacArtney

Newly launched multipurpose drill ship FREJA integrates a high-performance active heave compensated drilling platform manufactured by MacArtney. The drilling setup on board the vessel has been designed to provide enhanced drilling conditions even in rough seas. A customized, motion-compensated working platform of 10 times seven meters is situated amidships. This means that the working deck remains stationary while the vessel follows the movements of the waves. The platform design includes a roll function compensating for the vessel rolls by +/- 7 degrees.

Partners Spur Renewable Electricity Integration

Photo: DNV GL

Hydrogen addition from renewable sources to natural gas supports the decarbonization of the natural gas system and integration of sustainable energy sources. However, the properties of hydrogen differ significantly from those of natural gas, and its introduction into the gas infrastructure may negatively impact public safety, the integrity of the gas system and the performance of end-use equipment. The HYREADY Joint Industry Project (JIP), led by DNV GL, will encourage the…

Green Power Law Impacting U.S. Utilities

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

In the last four years, North Carolina has become the second largest solar market in the United States, behind only California. It has installed more solar energy than Texas, which has nearly three times the population; more than Arizona, which has twice as many sunny days; and more than New York, which has far more aggressive renewable energy targets. North Carolina’s solar boom is rooted in a federal law enacted four decades ago – one that has only recently had much impact.

“Twisties” to Aid Offshore Wind Logistics

Image: DNV GL

DNV GL launched a new joint industry project (JIP) to develop a Recommended Practice intended to de-risk the adoption of “Twisties” and demonstrate the unitization of wind project cargo. The innovative concept is called “Twisties” - a modular project-cargo transport frame system that is sea-fastened using container twist locks – and which gives the frames their name. The increasing size and quantities of wind turbines installed offshore means that a change in requirements is needed for shipping project cargo between manufacturing and marshalling port facilities…

Trump Signs Order Sweeping away Obama-era Climate Policies

Donald Trump (Official White House photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to undo a slew of Obama-era climate change regulations that his administration says is hobbling oil drillers and coal miners, a move environmental groups have vowed to take to court. The decree's main target is former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan that required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants - a critical element in helping the United States meet its commitments to a global climate change accord reached by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015.

Vattenfall to Invest $1.9 bln in Wind Power in 2017-2018

© Shutter81 / Adobe Stock

Sweden's Vattenfall will invest 17 billion crowns ($1.94 bln) in onshore and offshore wind power during 2017-2018, the state-owned utility said on Tuesday. Spending on wind power will account for 60 percent of an investment programme worth 28 billion crowns, highlighting a strategic shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Most of the rest of the funds will go on solar power and distribution. The company aims to commission 2,300 megawatts (MW) or more of new renewable capacity in the five years to 2020.

C-Job to Provide Basic Design for DEME’s Orion

Photo courtesy of C-Job Naval Architects

Having recently supplied the concept design for DEME Group’s new offshore installation vessel Orion, C-Job Naval Architects said it will now provide COSCO OFFSHORE CO. Ltd (Qidong) with the vessel’s basic design package. Orion will be built at COSCO SHIPPING HEAVY INDUSTRY in China for delivery in 2019. The technical specs of the vessel, to be operated by DEME subsidiary GeoSea, will service offshore wind installation, oil and gas and decommissioning activities. While working on this next phase of ship design…

Commodities Trader Trammo Shedding East Coast LPG assets

Commodities trader Trammo Inc is continuing to shed its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) assets, putting its Newington, New Hampshire, propane terminal on the block and selling a Tampa, Florida, facility, the company told Reuters on Friday. The shakeup comes as the large energy and fertilizer trader is winding down its LPG trading desk following steep losses last year, sources familiar with the matter have said. The New-York based firm in November said it would seek to maximize the value of its waterborne propane terminals across the United States…

As Trump Targets Energy Rules, Oil Companies Downplay their Impact

President Donald Trump (Official White House photo)

President Donald Trump’s White House has said his plans to slash environmental regulations will trigger a new energy boom and help the United States drill its way to independence from foreign oil. But the top U.S. oil and gas companies have been telling their shareholders that regulations have little impact on their business, according to a Reuters review of U.S. securities filings from the top producers. In annual reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 13 of the 15 biggest U.S.

Yaskawa Invests In Large-capacity Kinetic Energy Storage Company, Teraloop

Team picture: left to right: Mikko Järvinen (legal advisor), Philippe Pépin (COO), Edward Ridgway Watt (CEO), Petri Saarinen (CDO), Marco Tatti (Board Director) (Photo: Yaskawa)

Yaskawa Electric Corporation has completed a strategic investment in Helsinki-based Teraloop, a startup grid- and utility-scale kinetic energy storage company. This equity investment aims to help Teraloop accelerate the steps needed to bring its patent-pending storage solution to the market within the next two years. The financing will allow the prototype to be finalized for a complete simulation in commercial working conditions. This latest equity investment supports Yaskawa’s continued focus to achieve its long-term “Vision 2025” business plan in its chosen Clean Power business area.

SOLV Deploys QOS Energy’s O&M Management Platform

PHOTO CREDIT: Construction Contractor, RES America Construction Inc.

SOLV, an independent solar O&M service provider in America and a division of EPC contractor Swinerton Renewable Energy, has begun deployment of QOS Energy’s Qantum software to monitor and support the operations and maintenance of more than 1 GW of solar PV plants in the United-states. Qantum is an innovative cloud-based analytics platform that allows SOLV to harness the power of the data generated by the multiple PV installations they manage on behalf of leading renewable energy project owners.

James Fisher Acquires Wind Turbine Specialists Rotos 360

Photo courtesy of James Fisher

James Fisher and Sons plc has announced the acquisition of Rotos 360, a specialist wind turbine inspection, repair and installation company. The acquisition further enhances James Fisher’s existing offshore renewables capabilities, Rotos 360’s innovative and uniquely efficient blade curing repair techniques have been proven to significantly reduce wind turbine downtime. The expanded service offering from James Fisher enables customers to achieve further supply chain optimisations and reduce contractual interface risks.

DONG Energy Wins Order to Sell Onshore Wind Power in the UK

Photo: DONG Energy

Danish utility and wind farm developer DONG Energy has signed an agreement with Britain's Banks Renewables, in what would be its first move into distributing onshore wind in the UK, the company said on Tuesday. The 15-year order includes buying power from three onshore wind farms under development by Banks Renewables, a unit within UK land developer Banks Group, and reselling it on the UK's power market. "This is the first time DONG will manage the production of onshore wind farms and the biggest PPA (Power Purchase Agreement), we've entered...

The World's First Offshore Wind Farm is Retiring

Photo: DONG Energy A/S

DONG Energy has decided to retire “Vindeby”, the world’s first offshore wind farm, which 25 years ago marked the birth of the offshore wind industry. Today, offshore wind is a recognised and proven renewable energy technology, and the offshore wind turbines harvest the energy from the wind, transforming it into green power for millions of households. But it is actually only some 25 years ago that the world's first offshore wind farm was constructed close to shore in the low waters off Vindeby near Lolland in the south east of Denmark.

Nordex CEO Resigns Following Drastic Outlook Cut

File photo: Nordex

Nordex Chief Executive Lars Bondo Krogsgaard will step down at the end of March, taking responsibility for a loss of confidence among investors after the wind turbine maker slashed its financial targets last month. Weaker expectations for business in Brazil, India and South Africa caused Nordex to significantly lower its sales and profit outlook for 2018. It said in February it now expected revenues of 3.4 to 3.6 billion euros ($3.7-3.9 billion), down from previous guidance for 4.2 to 4.5 billion.

IEA Finds CO2 Emissions Flat for Third Straight Year

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were flat for a third straight year in 2016 even as the global economy grew, according to the International Energy Agency, signaling a continuing decoupling of emissions and economic activity. This was the result of growing renewable power generation, switches from coal to natural gas, improvements in energy efficiency, as well as structural changes in the global economy. Global emissions from the energy sector stood at 32.1 gigatonnes last year…

Statkraft Eyes Distressed Assets After Offshore Wind Exit This Year

* Says still sees high interest for renewable energy in California and other state of the U.S. and willingness to continue putting up investment schemes, despite lack of clarify from the new U.S.

First Turbine Installed at Rampion

Photo: E.ON

The construction of Rampion Offshore Wind Farm has entered into its final phase, as the first of 116 wind turbines was installed for the project based in the English Channel off the coast of Sussex. For the installation each tower with a length of 80 meters, weighing approximately 200 metric tons, is positioned and bolted onto each turbine foundation. Next the nacelle, which houses the generator and gearbox, is fitted onto the tower, and finally the three blades, each measuring 55m in length, are hoisted and connected one at a time. During spring, offshore cabling work will continue.

Singapore’s Survivability

New business: Keppel has begun building dredgers like the Cristobal Colon, seen hear outside Rio de Janeiro. (Photo: copyright Jan de Nul Offshore)

Singapore’s shipyards are looking to recent investments in capacity, design and newly acquired technology to combat order declines after a decades-long offshore buildup. Sembcorp and peer Keppel are making the most of partnerships in FLNG and showing signs they’ll be okay through the downturn, helped by their gas-hungry Australasian backyard and renewed ties with old charterer parties and suppliers. With drilling contractors unable to pay for the offshore rigs they’ve ordered, Singapore’s heavyweight yards have had to defer deliveries and become defacto rig owners.

Offshore Wind: BOEM Fields Pair of Unsolicited Bids

Map of the unsolicited offshore New York bid. (Source: BOEM)

BOEM has received unsolicited lease requests from two companies seeking to develop offshore wind energy on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). These requests are for areas located offshore New York and Massachusetts and are not in response to a formal call for interest. BOEM has finished its review of the unsolicited lease requests and deemed the requests complete. Moreover, BOEM has reviewed the applicants' qualification materials and determined that the applicants are legally, technically, and financially qualified to pursue offshore wind energy leases.

Britain to Review Tax to Speed up North Sea O&G Deals

Britain will look at ways of making it easier to sell North Sea oil and gas fields by changing tax rules in order to keep them producing for longer, the finance ministry said. The move, which is due to be announced in finance minister Philip Hammond's budget on Wednesday, follows a call by the industry's oil lobby group for a change to decommissioning tax rules that have prevented deals in the North Sea. Owners of oil and gas assets get tax relief on the future costs of dismantling them, but as assets are sold the relief cannot be passed on to new owners.

What does Trump's Presidency Mean for the Power Industry?

President Donald Trump (Official White House photo)

Donald Trump has promised numerous changes, many of which impact the sectors that NES Global Talent operates in. Although he has only been in office for 39 days at the time of writing, he has already made numerous policy adjustments. In a recent NES survey, 63% of oil and gas professionals felt Trump’s government will have a positive effect on the oil and gas industry and 64% from the U.S. felt more confident about their job prospects as result, but we also wanted to get an expert opinion on how Trump's government may effect the power market.

A Case for LNG-fueled Mobile Offshore Units

Image: GustoMSC

GustoMSC, a Dutch design and engineering company focused on offshore energy, says the offshore industry has much to gain from examining the feasibility of using liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel mobile offshore units such as construction vessels, drillships, jack-ups and semi-submersibles. GustoMSC has been monitoring the development of LNG as a marine fuel for several years, culminating in a recently finished R&D project into LNG for its design portfolio. The firm’s associated report…

New Offshore Installation Vessel for GeoSea

Image: DEME

COSCO will build a new offshore installation vessel in China for DEME subsidiary GeoSea, to be used for offshore wind farm construction, oil and gas industry services and decommissioning work. The vessel, Orion, is due to be delivered in 2019. With a total installed capacity of 44,180kW Orion will be equipped with a high-tech crane with lifting capacity of 3,000t at more than 50m. The loads can be lifted to an unrivalled height of more than 170m. Deck space has been maximized to provide exceptionally high transport and load capacity.

EDP Renovaveis Sees Profit Growth Picking Up

Photo: EDP Renovaveis

Portugal's EDP Renovaveis , the world's fourth-largest wind energy producer, expects its earnings growth to accelerate to 10 percent this year from just 3 percent reported on Tuesday in a weaker than expected performance. EDPR said that it expected its "strategy implementation to deliver solid and profitable growth" this year, pointing specifically to increased capacity and technical innovation. However, it projected the selling price to slip again to around 58 euros from last year's average of 61 euros per megawatt-hour.

Vitol Launches JV for UK Battery Project

Vitol owned VPI Immingham and renewable investment fund Low Carbon Ltd have launched a joint venture to invest up to 250 million pounds ($311 million) in energy storage and distributed power generation in Britain, the companies said on Tuesday. The VLC Energy joint venture will initially build two battery storage plants, one in Cleator, Cumbria and one in Glassenbury, Kent, to be connected to Britain's electricity grid by the end of the year. The two plants have already won contracts with Britain's National Grid to provide super fast balancing services…

MOL Invests in Self-Elevating Platform Vessel Operator

One of the world’s largest Self-Elevating Platform vessels, the Seajacks Scylla, owned and operated by Seajacks Photo MOL

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced a plan to acquire a 5% share in Seajacks International Limited (Seajacks) Group, which owns and operates five Self-Elevating Platform vessels(*1), from Marubeni Corporation. This is a new offshore business for MOL, following FPSO(*2), FSRU (*3), shuttle tanker (*4), and subsea support vessel (*5). It is also the first step to move into the renewable energy business field through involvement in installation of offshore wind power generation systems, which is expanding in Europe and other areas around the world.

Vattenfall Seeks to add Turbines to Scottish Wind Farm

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

Swedish utility Vattenfall is seeking to add 16 more turbines to a 36.9-megawatt onshore wind farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the company said on Thursday.   Vattenfall is consulting technical experts and the public prior to submitting a planning application for the Clashindarroch Wind Farm extension, near Huntly, it said in a statement.   The wind farm started generating electricity in 2015.   Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic 

Australia says clean energy fund could underwrite new coal plants

Minister Josh Frydenberg and a helmeted honeyeater. Photo from Offical Australian Government Website

Australia is considering altering legislation to enable funds slated for clean energy developments to be used to bankroll construction of new low emission, coal-fired power plants. The suggestion by Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg comes after a major power outage during a heat wave in South Australia state worsened a row with the national government over energy security and the state's heavy reliance on wind and solar power. Frydenberg said current laws governing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) prevented it from investing in the high-energy, low emission (HELE) coal plants.

VBMS awarded EnBW Hohe See cabling contract

Photo Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) announces that its subsidiary VBMS has been awarded an inter-array cabling contract with a value of approximately EUR 80 million by EnBW Hohe See GmbH & Co.KG for the 500 MW EnBW Hohe See Offshore Wind Farm. The contract includes the supply, installation and burial as well as termination and testing of seventy nine (79) 33kV inter-array cables. The project execution will commence in 2017 with cable installation activities scheduled for 2018 and 2019.

Saudi Arabia Debating Shape of Aramco Ahead of IPO

Saudi Arabia is considering two options for the shape of Saudi Aramco when it sells shares in the national oil giant next year: a global industrial conglomerate, and a specialised international oil company, industry and banking sources said. The listing of Aramco <IPO-ARMO.SE>, expected to be the world's biggest initial public offer and raise tens of billions of dollars, is a centrepiece of the government's ambitious plan - known as Vision 2030 - to diversify the economy beyond oil.

Senate Set to Approve Trump's EPA Pick

The U.S. Senate is expected to approve President Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and green groups worried he will gut the agency, as the administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners. Trump's nominee, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is likely to pass the vote scheduled for midday with the support of nearly all the Republicans in the Republican-controlled Senate. The vote could take place earlier in the day.

Former EPA Employees Oppose Trump's Nominee

Despite nearly 800 former Environmental Protection Agency officials urging the U.S. Senate to reject President Donald Trump's nominee to run the agency as the chamber moved closer on Thursday to approving his pick, Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of oil-producing Oklahoma is likely to be confirmed. The 773 former officials signed a letter organized by the nonprofit group Environmental Integrity Project that said Pruitt's record and public statements suggest he does not agree with underlying principles of environmental laws.

Statoil to Close Mongstad Power Plant from 2019

Statoil will shut down its loss-making Mongstad gas-fired heat and power plant in Norway from the start of 2019, it said on Wednesday, as Nordic power prices are set to remain low for a decade. The 270-megawatt (MW) capacity plant supplies power and heat to Statoil's nearby Mongstad refinery, the biggest in the country. The refinery can also get power from the national grid. The plant will be closed as its agreement to purchase gas from the Troll field will be terminated at the end of 2018, Statoil said in a statement to the Nordic power exchange Nord Pool.

California Wind Demand Energizes Transmission Firms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

A firm controlled by Philip Anschutz, the billionaire entertainment and pro sports magnate, will soon build the largest wind farm in the United States to serve utilities in California, where officials have set ambitious green power goals. The $5 billion project, however, will be constructed 700 miles away in Wyoming, a state better known for coal mines and oil fields. The vast distance between the two states provides a different Anschutz-owned firm with another big opportunity…

Siemens to Shutter Danish Wind Blade Factory

File Image: a Siemens built wind farm (CREDIT: Siemens)

Siemens will close a factory making blades for wind turbines in Engesvang in Denmark and cut 430 jobs, as it is unable to expand the site to meet demand for bigger blades, the company said on Wednesday.   Siemens will instead focus on production of blades for wind turbines at two other plants in Denmark, spokesman Rasmus Windfeld said.   After the job cuts, Siemens will employ around 6,500 people in Denmark, which is more than the company employed a year ago, he said.   Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen