Monday, May 25, 2020

Sumitomo Corp News

Virus Lockdowns Pummel Global Gas Demand, Force LNG Output Cuts

Illustration; An LNG Carrier - Image by vladsv/AdobeStock

Lockdowns to slow the coronavirus pandemic are pummelling gas demand in the world's biggest buyers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), pushing Asia's spot prices to record lows and forcing some suppliers to start cutting output. Economies worldwide have ground to a halt as virus containment measures have taken their toll, slashing gas demand for power generation, heating, cooking, vehicles and chemical manufacture. The world's biggest LNG markets - Japan, China, South Korea, and India - are all seeing a drop in demand.

Freeport Signs Initial LNG Offtake Deal with Sumitomo for Train 4

* Privately-owned U.S. liquefied natural gas terminal operator Freeport LNG said it had signed a binding agreement with a U.S.

First Cove Point LNG Lifting Departs Maryland

File Image: CREDIT Dominion Energy

The first contractual liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from Dominion Energy Inc's newly constructed Cove Point LNG export plant in Maryland in the United States left the facility on Monday, Thomson Reuters Eikon ship tracking data showed. The cargo is expected to act as a drag on spot LNG prices <LNG-AS> as it coincides with the resumption of exports of the fuel from the Papua New Guinea LNG plant, which had been shut following a powerful earthquake. The 160,000-cubic metre LNG tanker Adam LNG left Cove Point on Monday with a draft of 91 percent…

Glencore Acquires Rio Tinto's Hail Creek Coal Mine

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

Glencore consolidating in coal as Rio exits; Rio Tinto shares rise 0.9 pct, Glencore slips. Glencore is buying Rio Tinto's Hail Creek coal mine and the Valeria coal project in Australia for $1.7 billion, tightening the Swiss trading and mining giant's grip on coal as its rivals exit the industry. The acquisition, announced by both companies on Tuesday, follows Glencore's purchase of half of Rio Tinto's Hunter Valley coal operations, also in Australia, for $1.1 billion last year in a deal with China's Yancoal Australia Ltd.

EU Mergers and Acquisitions

© mybaitshop/Adobe Stock

The following are mergers under review by the European Commission that could be of interest to the global maritime and energy communities. -- Austrian company Borealis, Canada's Nova Chemicals and French oil and gas major Total to set up a joint venture (notified Feb. -- British turnaround specialist Melrose Industries to acquire British engineering company GKN (notified Feb. -- German steel company ELG Haniel and and Spanish peer Iberinox 88 SA to set up a joint venture (notified Feb.

Vessel Docks at Maryland Cove Point LNG Terminal

The Dominion Energy Cove Point Terminal. (CREDIT: Dominion Energy)

Gemmata could be the first vessel to pick up fuel from the facility since the tanker came from Spain - a non-LNG exporting country - with less than a full cargo, according to the shipping data. In addition to Gemmata, another vessel, the Methane Spirit, is also headed for Cove Point, according to the shipping data. Methane Spirit is located near Singapore and is expected to reach Cove Point around March 31. Once it enters service, Cove Point will be the second big LNG export terminal in the lower 48 U.S.

Cove Point LNG Terminal's First Export Imminent

File photo: Methane Spirit loads from the Australia Pacific LNG Gladstone terminal (Photo: Teekay)

Methane Spirit, a liquefied natural gas tanker, said on Thursday it would arrive at Dominion Energy Inc's Cove Point LNG export facility in Maryland around March 31, according to Reuters shipping data. If correct, that could be the first vessel to pick up a cargo from the LNG facility, which Virginia-based Dominion said it expects to enter service in March. Dominion said it planned to spend $4 billion to add export facilities at Cove Point, long an LNG import terminal on the Chesapeake Bay.

Japan Fires Up Biomass Energy as Fuel Shortage Looms

© Mikael Damkier / Adobe Stock

As the sun sets on Japan's solar energy boom, companies and investors are rushing into wood-burning biomass projects to lock in still-high government subsidies. More than 800 projects have already won government approval, offering 12.4 gigawatts (GW) of capacity -- equal to 12 nuclear power stations and nearly double Japan's 2030 target for biomass in its basic energy policy. The sheer number of projects has raised questions about how they will all find sufficient fuel…

Vietnam to Approve Coal Power Plants

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Snap Happy)

Vietnam expects to grant investment licences for three coal-fired power plants worth a combined $7.5 billion, the country's investment minister said. Although Vietnam wants to boost renewable energy output amid resources scarcity and environmental issues, it has been mostly reliant on coal-fired and hydro power plants to meet its annual electricity demand growth of around 11 percent. Two of the projects by Japanese, South Korean and Saudi Arabian investors are expected to receive licences ahead of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's visit to Japan next month…

Nippon Steel, Sumitomo renew contract to supply line pipes to BP

Japan's biggest steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp and trading firm Sumitomo Corp have renewed their contract with Britain's BP to supply line pipes. The new contract is effective for five years from July 1, with an option to extend the contract for another five years, Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Corp said on Friday. A plunge in global oil prices since mid-2014 has forced a number of oil and gas companies to scale back capital spending plans, hurting companies like Nippon Steel that saw orders for its seamless pipes…

Gerdau, Sumitomo, JSW Form Wind Power JV

Brazilian steelmaker Gerdau SA will form a joint venture with Japan's Sumitomo Corp and Japan Steel Works Ltd (JSW) to compete in the wind power sector in Brazil, Gerdau said on Wednesday. With 280 million reais ($70 million) in investment for new equipment, the joint venture would use Gerdau's mill in Pindamonhangaba in the state of Sao Paulo to supply parts for wind turbines from 2017. In the midst of a downturn in Brazilian steel because of a collapse in the construction and auto sectors, Gerdau said the wind power sector in Brazil was set to grow in coming years.

Australia's tinkler Acquires Anglo American Mine

Australian coal baron Tinkler returns with mine purchase; Australian Pacific buys Anglo American mine Dartbrook. Former Australian coal baron Nathan Tinkler has surfaced as buyer for one of the first of many businesses Anglo American is trying to offload as commodity markets deteriorate. Anglo American last week agreed to sell its 83.33 percent interest in the Dartbrook coal mine - mothballed since 2006 - to Tinkler-led Australian Pacific Coal Ltd. Tinkler, who rode the mining boom to become Australia's youngest billionaire before losing it all when coal prices collapsed…

Rio Tinto Sheds Aussie Mine Stake

Rio sells out of Australian coal mine; New Hope Corp buys 40 pct stake for $606 million. Global miner Rio Tinto on Wednesday said it had agreed to sell its 40 percent stake in the Bengalla coal mine in Australia to New Hope Corp for $606 million, the latest shuffle of Australian coal assets amid a sector-wide downturn. Rio has been looking to offload less profitable businesses to help fund its promise to raise dividends and focus on iron ore and copper mining amid a broad slump in commodities prices caused by slowing economic growth in China.

Mongolian Mines to Yield $8 bln in Investments

Mongolia will soon finalise negotiations that will free up $8 billion for expansions at the country's largest coal and copper mines, its prime minister said in a national address on Sunday. Talks between the government and investors are progressing towards the close of deals on Mongolia's multi-billion dollar Oyu Tolgoi copper mine and Tavan Tolgoi coking coal mine, Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg's said late on Sunday. Mongolia is desperate for a revival in…

Marubeni Halves Profit Outlook

Firm will consolidate divisions, boost oversight to manage risk. TOKYO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp halved its annual profit forecast on Monday after plunging oil, copper and coal prices weighed on its resource assets and it booked an impairment charge for its grains unit Gavilon. Like international oil majors and mining companies, Japan's trading companies have been caught flat-footed by the rout in commodities, with oil down as much as 60 percent and copper falling about 25 percent since the middle of last year.

Turning Point for Coal? Japanese Buying Coal Assets

Japan is world's second-biggest coal importer; trading houses take advantage of depressed coal markets. Only a few months ago, a potential buyer said Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp was prepared to sell a costly stake in a Canadian coal mine for as little as $1. But a flurry of acquisitions of high-quality coal assets by Japanese firms in recent weeks signals that some trading houses at least are betting a depressed coal market where prices have halved in three years may be bottoming out.

China Shenhua and Partners Bid for Giant Mongolian Coal Project

China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd and its partners have submitted a bid to develop the giant Mongolian coal project Tavan Tolgoi, the Chinese coal producer said on Thursday. Shenhua Energy said it had formed a consortium with Mongolian Mining Corp (MMC) and Japan's Sumitomo Corp, and the consortium handed in the bid on Dec. 1 to the Mongolian government to develop east Tsankhi and west Tsankhi, two blocks of the Tavan Tolgoi project. Mongolia relaunched an international…

Japan Trading Houses: Keep the Faith in U.S. Shale

Japan trading houses to push on with N.America shale investments; confident in sector's long-term prospects. Japan utilities looking to diversify fuel sources in wake of Fukushima. Japanese trading houses say they will push on with investments in North American shale oil and gas fields, despite writedowns in the sector on low gas prices and reduced reserve estimates. The comments from executives at Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui & Co, Itochu Corp and other trading houses are a vote of confidence in the long-term outlook for unconventional drilling in the United States and Canada…