A word from GPLN: Newsletter Issue 77 / Sep-Dec 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused more disruption to the energy sector than any other event in recent history. For many producer economies and for oil and gas companies, declines in production from existing fields create a need for new upstream projects, even in rapid energy transitions. However, there are reasons to be positive. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said recently that solar is the new “king of the global electricity market” due to the relatively low investment cost involved. Offshore and onshore wind energy will continue to spread. Natural gas demand is set to recover quickly, as countries continue to switch away from coal. Interest in hydrogen, ammonia and synthetic fuels is widespread, and all should provide long-term opportunities for the heavy lift and project forwarding sector.
Analyst Wood Mackenzie suggests that the power generation sector in Asia Pacific could attract a lot of investments over the decade ending 2030, with an average of 170 GW of capacity added annually. Most is projected to be spent on solar and wind energy in the region. Indonesia’s government announced recently plans to decommission 69 coal-fired or coal/gas-fired plants, totalling over 11 GW, and replace them with renewable power generation facilities, as part of a drive to double the proportion of green electricity to 23 percent. It also aims to double its gas production over the next ten years, following the discovery of huge reserves at the Sakakemang Block in South Sumatra. While the archipelagos of Indonesia are stunning, that geography creates challenges for project transportation. Most of the government’s development projects, whether building new power plants, water treatment facilities, airports, seaports, railways or laying submarine cables, are focused on opening up remote Indonesian locations and new areas.
In hopeful news regarding the Covid-10 vaccine, BioNTech Chief Executive Ugur Sahin has recently said that deliveries of BioNTech-Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines could come as early as Christmas this year. “If all goes well, I could imagine that we gain approval (from US FDA) in the second half of December and start deliveries before Christmas, but really only if all goes positively,” he said. This comes after the drug maker Pfizer on Wednesday said that their coronavirus vaccine candidate has shown 95 per cent efficacy in the late-stage trial. In the meantime, Moderna has also announced that its Covid-19 vaccine was 94.5 per cent effective in preventing coronavirus.
Distributing an effective COVID-19 vaccine to the global population will likely be the greatest logistical challenge since World War II. Delivery by air, which will be challenging given the shortage of air cargo capacity, can only occur to airports certified to receive pharmaceuticals, and these airports can only handle so much product at a given time. The vaccines will then be transported to distributors for allocation to hospitals, pharmacies, and vaccination centres, which have yet to be established. Enhanced security will be required to prevent theft of the valuable products, and many will also require specialized low-temperature packaging and shipping conditions. Considering that most COVID-19 vaccines will require storage at standard refrigerator temperatures (shipping and long-term storage conditions at minus 20 degrees Celsius), except for the BioNTech-Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine which requires minus 70-80 degrees Celsius, this approach will need the development of novel solutions for establishing and maintaining low to very low temperatures in the entire chain of transportation and storage facilities all over the globe.
Our next year’s AGM is scheduled from May 15-17, 2021 at the Dorint Parkhotel in Bremen, just ahead of Breakbulk Europe, so that our delegates can combine both events in the same city. All relevant details about our annual conference are published on our dedicated AGM page of our website. This is obviously subject that the world is back to normal by then.
As this is our last newsletter for this year, we wish you all the best for 2021.
Stay safe and healthy!
Your GPLN team
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