Monday, July 15, 2024

Energy Suppliers News

Centrica Pauses Spirit Energy Sale, Scraps Dividend. Shares Hit Record Low

Photo: Spirit Energy

Britain's largest energy supplier Centrica canceled its 2019 dividend and cut costs in anticipation of an increase in nonpayments by customers and a drop in demand due to the COVID-19 outbreak, sending its shares to record lows.The government has ordered sweeping measures to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, shutting down much of the economy and raising the prospect of mass job losses.Shares in the company hit 34.35 pence on Thursday, morning, their lowest level since the company's inception in 1997."We also expect to see an increase in working capital outflows and customer bad debt…

E.ON, RWE Renewables Sign Clean Power Deal

Global energy company E.ON has signed an agreement to purchase clean energy from British wind farms of RWE Renewables.The 2.5-year agreement is on purchasing the output of more than 20 British wind farms, supplying sustainable power to the grid and supporting E.ON’s commitment to provide 100% renewable power for its UK customers.With this power purchase agreement (PPA) E.ON buys around 3TWh of power annually from wind farms around Great Britain which are operated by RWE. It covers a capacity of 892MW of onshore and offshore wind generation and includes a proportion of the London Array…

French Court Repeals Law on Regulated Gas Prices

France's highest administrative court repealed on Wednesday a law on regulated gas prices, under which about half of France's residential clients and 11 percent of professional users buy gas, saying it hurt competition and was against EU regulations. "The Council of State...repeals the decree of 16 May 2013 on the regulated tariffs for the sale of natural gas on the grounds that the maintenance of such tariffs is contrary to European Union laws," the court said in a statement. ANODE, a lobby for alternative retail energy suppliers, had taken the matter to the court arguing the scheme gave an unfair advantage to energy group Engie.

UK Energy Market Watchdog to Review Supply Licences This Year

Britain's energy market regulator Ofgem will review the way it awards supply licences and financial requirements on energy suppliers later this year, it said, following calls for firms to undergo stricter financial stress tests. In a speech on Thursday, Ofgem Chief Executive Dermot Nolan said there had been a lot of interest in the energy sector's financial stability due to the increasing number of suppliers, many of which are very small. "We have had many representations from those who consider we should require companies to meet more significant financial tests both before and after receiving a licence," he said.

Naftogaz CEO says EU Should Block Nord Stream-2

The chief executive of Ukraine's state energy firm Naftogaz on Friday said the European Union should block the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline as it would give Russia too much leverage over Germany, Poland and Slovakia. "There is an easy legal way (to stop it). The EU should apply the same logic like with South Stream, apply the Third Energy Package, then you can't build Nordstream 2. Legal arguments have been overlooked so far," Naftogaz Chief Executive Andriy Kobolev told Reuters in an interview. The EU's Third Energy Package sets regulations that seek to prevent energy suppliers from dominating infrastructure.

UK Rule Change for Small Power Producers Could Raise Costs, Risk Supply

Changes to Britain's local power generation rules could drive up energy bills and curb growth in new small plants just when the government is seeking to boost the country's electricity supply. Smaller power generators with less than 100 megawatt capacity embedded into local power grids have grown rapidly thanks to rules that let them avoid the costs of using and maintaining the national transmission network. But encouraged by Britain's "big six" energy suppliers, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and energy sector watchdog Ofgem plan to remove some of these advantages.

Britain's SSE to Freeze Energy Prices This Winter

SSE, one of Britain's "big six" energy suppliers, has frozen its standard energy prices this winter, it said on Friday, putting pressure on its rivals to do the same. British wholesale gas and electricity prices have risen about 30 and 40 percent respectively since June, along with a bounce-back in other commodities such as coal, leading to speculation that some electricity suppliers could raise prices. "We understand that the prospect of increasing bills during the colder months is a real concern for customers, particularly as they start to turn up the heating," Will Morris, SSE managing director, Retail, said in a statement.

Egypt Launches Record LNG Tender for 96 Cargoes

Egypt launched the world's biggest tender for liquefied natural gas (LNG) as officials from top energy companies and trading houses converged on Cairo undeterred by new rules that could force them to wait for as long as six months to get paid. After months of speculation and delay, state-run Egypt Natural Gas Holding (EGAS) released tender documents on Sunday bidding to secure 96 LNG shipments in 2017 and 2018, participants in the tender told Reuters. An additional 12 optional cargoes were included in the tender, which EGAS may decide not to award, they said.

Renewables to Generate 50% of NY's Electricity by 2030

The New York State Public Service Commission has approved New York’s Clean Energy Standard, which will require 50 percent of New York's electricity to come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced. The plan will see an aggressive phase-in schedule over the next several years. In its initial phase, utilities and other energy suppliers will be required to procure and phase in new renewable power resources starting with 26.31 percent of the state's total electricity load in 2017 and grow to 30.54 percent of the statewide total in 2021.

EU to Rule on Russian Access to Nord Stream Gas Pipeline

Brussels is expected to rule next month on whether to allow Russia to pump more gas via its Nord Stream pipeline's gas link to Germany, risking fresh discord between member states over energy dependence on Russia, EU and Gazprom sources said. Full access to Opal, which provides a land link between Russia's Nord Stream pipeline to Germany and the Czech Republic, is crucial to Gazprom's plan to double capacity of the undersea pipeline in a project known as Nord Stream 2. The expansion would see more Russian gas bypass Ukraine - a move seen depriving Kiev of transit fees as the route for more than half of Russian gas supplies to Europe.

French Regulator to Assign Energy Buyers to New Suppliers

Corporate French gas or power buyers who have not switched from regulated tariffs to a market-based offer by July 1 will be assigned a new supplier selected by energy market regulator CRE, CRE said in a statement on Tuesday. Following the opening of French energy markets to competition, non-residential energy buyers are forced to chose a new supplier, but at the start of this month some 36,000 of 468,000 corporate power customers and 10,500 out of 108,000 corporate gas customers were still on contracts with former monopoly suppliers EDF and Engie.

EU Leaders say Nord Stream Must Be Legal

EU leaders are set to agree on Friday that the Nord Stream pipeline extension to double shipments of Russian gas directly to Germany must abide by EU anti-monopoly and security of energy supply rules, EU diplomats said. Russia's Gazprom, together with a group of European shareholders, in September signed an agreement to develop Nord Stream-2, prompting stiff opposition from a group of EU nations that say the project further destabilises Ukraine and divides the European Union. A draft document for the EU summit, seen by Reuters, says any new infrastructure must "entirely comply" with all EU goals to diversify energy suppliers…

Drax, Infinis Take UK Government to Court

Power producers Drax and Infinis Energy have started legal proceedings against the British government for not providing enough notice when it announced the removal of a climate change tax exemption in July. Drax, whose originally coal-fired power station in North Yorkshire is generating a growing amount of energy from burning "biomass" pellets made of wood, estimates the removal would reduce its core earnings by 30 million pounds ($46 million) this year and 60 million next. Drax and Infinis, which generates power from wind farms and landfill gas…

UK Energy Suppliers Actions are Legal: watchdog

Britain's largest energy suppliers have acted in line with competition laws, the country's anti-trust watchdog said on Tuesday in its preliminary findings of an anti-trust probe. "The presence of vertically integrated firms does not have a detrimental impact on competition," the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said. A year ago, the CMA launched an investigation into whether Britain's six largest energy suppliers, which hold around 90 percent of the market, are abusing their dominant market position. The six utilities are now unlikely to face the worst-case scenario of being broken up.

Gazprom, E.ON, Shell, OMV to Expand Baltic Gasline

Russian gas giant Gazprom has agreed to build a new pipeline to Germany under the Baltic Sea with some of its biggest gas buyers: Anglo-Dutch Shell, Germany's E.ON and Austria's OMV. The move comes as the Russian gas company, under U.S. sanctions, is trying to find new ways to deliver gas to Europe bypassing conflict-stricken Ukraine. "Since the commissioning of Nord Stream pipeline, Gazprom has been investigating potential extension of this export route. Now we are going to proceed with the implementation of this project together with our partners," Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said in a statement.

Europe to Draw Up Energy Crisis Contingency Plans

The European Union is working on emergency plans to make member states better prepared for any kind of energy supply outages, Europe's energy and climate chief said on Thursday. Already last year the European Commission carried out gas stress tests to find out which parts of Europe were most vulnerable, given uncertainty surrounding the European Union's biggest energy supplier Russia. Russia last year cut off gas to Ukraine, the main transit route for Gazprom to ship gas to the EU, because of a pricing dispute. Nations have also experienced power outages.

EDF Energy Cutting Consumer Gas Price

EDF Energy will reduce its standard gas price by 1.3 percent on Feb. 11, becoming the final company of the UK's six big energy suppliers to cut consumer rates, reflecting a fall in wholesale energy costs. EDF Energy, a subsidiary of France's EDF, said that the cut would make its standard dual fuel prices cheaper than all but one of the major suppliers, E.On. "If wholesale gas prices create cost reductions which allow further price cuts these will be passed to customers as soon as possible," said Vincent de Rivaz, Chief Executive of EDF Energy. Reporting by Sarah McFarlane

E.ON Cuts UK Household Gas Prices

E.ON has cut household gas prices on the back of a drop in wholesale energy prices, becoming the first energy supplier in Britain to pass on savings to consumers and putting pressure on other providers to do the same. The company said it would reduce British household gas prices by 3.5 percent, a cut that it expects will lower customers' gas bills by about 24 pounds ($36) a year. Wholesale gas prices have fallen on the back of a steep drop in oil prices and British politicians, gearing up for a May national election, have urged energy companies to pass on those savings.

GE Wins$1b Cheniere LNG Train Service Deal

GE and Sabine Pass Liquefaction, a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P., have entered into a $1 billion, 20+-year service contract under which GE will provide spare parts and planned inspections, maintenance services and round-the-clock technical support for the gas turbines and refrigerant compressors on the first four LNG trains currently under construction at the Sabine Pass LNG export facility. Each train will have six gas turbines and is expected to have nominal capacity to produce approximately 4.5 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG.

Scottish Power Faces Sales Ban Over Customer Service Woes

One of Britain's "big six" energy suppliers, Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power, could face a selling ban if it doesn't improve certain customer services, including cutting helpline waiting times, the energy regulator said on Friday. Watchdog Ofgem launched an investigation into some of Scottish Power's customer services on Friday and gave the energy supplier monthly deadlines to improve them or it will suspend the company's sales activities. Britain's energy suppliers are in stiff competition for new customers as smaller providers are gaining market share and a sales ban would hurt Scottish Power's ability to gain new users.