Gas


Several German cities plan to ban diesel-powered vehicles from city districts – further bans will follow throughout Europe. Stricter sulfur and carbon dioxide limit values on the North and Baltic Seas, as well as later in the Mediterranean, are forcing the ship-owners to make extensive retrofits. And so, the diesel gradually fades from roads and sea routes.

LNG could benefit from it. The burning of liquefied natural gas produces only a fraction of the pollutants compared to diesel, gasoline or heavy fuel oil – and the range is greater. But it lacks the value chain – from liquefaction to transport fueling the entire supply-chain is missing, preventing the fuel’s final breakthrough in the gas station business. How this can be achieved was a subject of the recent LNG conference organized by Wisdom Events in Hamburg.

Wisdom gathered the who-is-who of the industry: representatives of ENI, Elengy, Gas Natural Fenosa, Uniper, Fluxys, Linde subsidiary Nautricor, Baker Hughes and NASA were present to discuss the chicken egg problem: If the decrease of LNG in large quantities is not secured, nobody will run a gas station. As long as LNG prices fluctuate, a freight forwarder will shy away from switching its fleet to LNG. Without the critical mass of demand, an LNG supplier will not offer the gas on long-term contracts with reasonable pricing.

Creon Capital is ready to invest in projects along the value chain for small and mid-scale LNG through the Creon Energy Fund. “We believe in strong medium term growth in this segment,” said Florian Willershausen, BD Director of the Luxembourg Private Equity Fund. “Banks are hesitating to finance because of the high volatility in the market. As a consequence, an equity partner like us is more than ever needed to realize the projects.” Creon Capital is currently evaluating several potential LNG projects and technology providers in Europe.



The US is likely to replace Russia as the world’s largest gas producer by the end of 2018. Within ten years, US companies have been able to keep developing their fracking technology. As a result, the country is not only able to meet domestic demand through domestic gas production, but also to gain a foothold in exports.

America’s LNG market was the subject of a conference organized by CREON’s partner Wisdom Events partners on 27 and 28 February in Houston, Texas. Creon Capital was on board as silver sponsor. Florian Willershausen, Director of Business Development, Marketing & Communications, discussed the LNG market and current challenges in a panel discussion with representatives from GE, Red Box, SNC Lavalin and Monkey Island LNG.

There are many challenges for the US gas market, though. It is not a coincidence, that in the past two and a half years no final investment decision has been made for the construction of new large-scale export terminals: The US manufacturers have difficulties to find customers for their hydrocarbons, given the current oversupply of gas. Since the good utilization of the terminals is crucial for banks and equity partners in the context of project financing, many projects are on hold.

Over the next few years, Australia will bring more gigantic quantities of liquefied natural gas onto the world market. At the same time, Russia is increasing its export of gas in the form of LNG and pipeline supplies. Nonetheless, analysts expect China’s rapidly growing demand to rapidly absorb additional available volumes.

In general, the Creon Energy Fund is also holding back on the financing of the large-scale LNG infrastructure. Instead, Creon Capital, as a fund manager, is examining entry into technology companies that make the handling and transportation of LNG more efficient. An entry into small scale LNG projects, especially in Europe, can also be an attractive topic for the Fund. The latter are aimed primarily at the supply of decentralized power plants, as well as the refueling of ships and truck fleets. These are growth markets that CREON keeps a clear eye on.

You have any questions, remarks or project ideas? Please contact us: fw@creoncapital.lu



There are some good news from Italy, most recently: The country left a deep recession crisis behind. The economy is growing again, the situation on the labor market has eased, no more banks threatened to collapse due to large non-performing loans. At the same time, the country returns to an economic growth with appears to be much more sustainable than ever before. Italy fulfilled and over-fulfilled the targets of the European Energy and Climate strategy already, reducing the level of energy consumption by 24 percent compared to the 1990’s, “Renewables” account already for 18.6 percent of the energy mix.

These “good news” are no “bad news” for the gas industry, though. Finally, Italy pushes forward reforms of the gas distribution market and the diversification of gas supplies. The regulator is keen to develop a liquid gas hub for Southern Europe, which will lead to more competition on the domestic market and increased exports soon.

Creon Capital identified five directions of investments in Italy, which could provide attractive opportunities for the Fund and its partners. This is the conclusion of a study, which was presented by the Fund’s Business Development Director Florian Willershausen in Milan during a Wisdom conference on Small Scale LNG.

In particular, the Italian market is in need for additional gas storage facilities, Small Scale LNG terminals, new trading platforms, new LNG suppliers and operators, who are capable to provide solutions for peak shaving and emergency management.

Concrete investment projects are under discussion already. The presentation can be downloaded under this link. In case of questions don’t hesitate to contact us under: info@creoncapital.lu



Premiere in Berlin: For the first time outside of Russia, the CREON Group presented the widely-established rating of environmental responsibility of oil and gas companies. The study, which CREON conducts together with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia annually since 2013, was presented at the conference “Ecological Responsibility in the Russian Energy Sector” in Hotel Marriott Berlin. 90 participants witnessed dynamic debates on the prospects of renewable energies in Russia, the country’s deficits in processing associated gas in oil production, LNG refueling of ships as an environmentally friendly alternative to heavy fuel oil.

From the beginning, the aim of the event was to bring together German and Russian companies as well as experts from associations and environmental organizations. German businesses provide various technologies that contribute to a more sustainable oil and gas production. At the same time, the sensitivity to ecology issues is growing among Russian industrial companies, not least due to better state regulation and the attention paid to ecology issues with instruments such as the CREON rating. The practice-oriented event was supported by the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

In contrast to other policy areas of German-Russian relations, ecology topics in the energy sector offer considerable scope for bilateral cooperation. Ursula Borak, director of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), Deputy Director-General and head of the department “International, fossil fuels and nuclear energy”, emphasized in her speech: “German-Russian energy relations lay the fundament for the economic relations between both countries, which is not only due to their high share in bilateral trade. They also imply great modernization potential for cooperation between Germany and Russia. There are many opportunities for projects where environmental protection and economic interests go hand in hand. Together with our Russian partners, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports companies in recognizing and taking advantage of these opportunities.”

Dr. Christiane Schuchart, Russia Director at the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, said: “Mutual investment and joint projects in the energy sector create trust due to their long-term perspective and can thus make a positive contribution to the political rapprochement between Russia and Germany. Environment and climate – and thus all of us – benefit from the fact that German-Russian energy cooperation is becoming “green.” With the topic of ecology in the Russian energy sector, the CREON event stands out in the lush conference landscape.

It is crucial to reduce mutual prejudices and strengthen the exchange of projects related to environmental responsibility. In this sense, the presentation by Natalia Zaytseva, who heads the Center for Sustainable Businesses at the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, turned out to be a helpful overview. In independent European sustainability rankings, Russia ranks midfield, after all. The number of companies that recognize their responsibility for a sustainable economy is also growing steadily in Russia.

This is in line with the observations of Alexey Knizhnikov, who is responsible for the ranking at WWF Russia: “Four years ago, it was extremely difficult for us to even get data and information on accidents and pollution. In the meantime, especially the big oil and gas companies are getting more and more transparent from year to year, because the pressure of the public is growing. “However, there are still deficits: “Satellite imagery suggests that in the oil production much more accompanying gas is flared than the official data of government and companies claim”, Knizhnikov called an example. Incidents in factories are all too often concealed.

Gazprom, Sakhalin Energy and Nord Stream 2 representatives commented on the criticism: Nikias Wagner, Head of Public Affairs at Gazprom Germania, referred to around one billion euros in expenses that Gazprom invests annually in environmental protection: “I believe this number speaks for itself. “Andrey Samatov, Head of the Environmental Division at Sakhalin Energy, explained his numerous projects to reduce greenhouse gases in liquefied natural gas production. In the Environmental Responsibility ranking of Russian oil and gas companies, Samatov may find confirmation that they are on the right track: Sakhalin Energy took first place in 2017, followed by Exxon Mobil and Surgutneftegaz.

The ecological responsibility event will not be a one-time event in Germany. CREON agreed with the East Committee of German Business and the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organize the event again and expand it next year. “Russia is moving in the field of ecology and sustainability. That is why it is in the interests of the German economy to further develop bilateral economic relations in this field too”, says the Committee’s Managing Director Michael Harms.

Fares Kilzie, Founder and Chairman of the CREON Group, said about future activities: “It is no coincidence that we have chosen Berlin as the location for our first German-Russian ecology conference. Here, German-Russian cooperation is already taking place at a high level, which also confirmed the top-class participation in the conference. CREON is a pioneer in the field of ecological modernization. Now it is time to implement projects together with our German partners.”

Pictures:

1) Ursala Borak (German Ministry of Economy and Energy) held a keynote speech on German-Russian Economic Relations.

2) Andrey Samatov (Sakhalin Energy,  and Alexey Knizhnikov (WWF Russia)

3) Round table discussions during the coffee-break.

 

4) The 2017 Rating of Environmental Resposibility of Russian oil and gas companies is available in English language. 

4) Svetlana Scheynfeld, United Nations Development Program

5) Discussion the perspectives of renewable energies in Russia: Mikhail Babenko (WWF), Georgy Kekelidze (Eurosolar Russia), Thomas Heidemann (CMS Hashe Sigle), Christopfer Frey (Enercon) and Moderator Sebastian Kiefer (AHK).

 

Media contact:

Florian Willershausen
Director Communications
Creon Capital S.à.r.l.
T (GER) +49 151 162 44 591 (WhatsApp)
T (RUS) +7 968 783 84 12
T (LUX) +352 621 235 126
E willershausen@creoncapital.lu
www.creoncapital.lu