May 6, 2014 Leave a comment
Neoedge Singapore will be launching an event on fuel management, with focus on essentials of global markets for oil, gas, coal, renewable and discussions on strategizing fuel purchase management for feedstocks.
Some 60% to 80% of ongoing costs for electric generators and somewhat lower percentages for energy intensive industries are made up of fuel. For electric utilities and IPPs fuel purchasing also tends to be the greatest source of troubled relations with vendors and suppliers. It is also an area where in many instances management improvements with little or no capital cost can result in significant cost savings.
Fuel purchasing is a function where it is critical that all levels of management understand the fundamentals of the market. Unfortunately it is also a subject upon which there is a great deal of mythology in the business press with discussions of subjects such as the imminent advent of “peak oil” or “peak gas.” All too often judgment on fuel purchasing is made in response to such media discussion.
The goal of the master class is to provide an understanding of how global markets for oil, gas and coal work. This involves an examination of market fundamentals: reserves, the cost of production, and demand. Also included is a discussion of how environmental concerns play an increasing role in inter-fuel competition.
The workshop includes an examination of the rise and importance of paper markets inoil, coal and natural gas, first in North America and Europe, and now developing gradually in Asia, Africa and Australia. There is a critical analysis of how price data is gathered for oil and coal and then published and the role which derivative markets play in spot market pricing.
The various factors which play a role in the development of a purchasing strategy will be reviewed. Ultimately the various factors boil down to trade-offs between supply security and price. Utilities with access to nuclear hydro power may have greater freedom to buy more spot coal or oil in times of soft market conditions. In other instances, the existence or absence of local resource may play a major role in shaping decisions about fuel selection and combustion technology. Increasingly government policies driven by environmental concerns are playing a role in fuel selection and efficiency of fuel use.
Fuel contract design and language is a major part of the programme. Participants shall examine alternative wording for contract fundamentals dealing with volume and quality. Pricing provisions will be an important part of the discussion. Indexation to published prices, long common in the oil markets is becoming increasingly common for coal in Asia. For almost a decade it has been the norm in the European coal market. Although pricing is increasingly determined by reference to published indices, it continues to be important for the buyer and seller to agree to the details of the force majeure, dispose resolution and termination provisions. As well, in order to avoid the risk of disputes and misunderstandings, contracts should carefully define provisions for custody transfer, quality testing and weighing.
The focus of this Master Class will be on fossil fuels purchasing: coal of various sorts, natural gas (pipeline and LNG) fuel oils and if there is participant interest, biomass purchasing can be included. The geographic focus will be South and East Asia, Africa and South America. Experience from North America and Europe will be drawn upon if it is particularly relevant to these other markets. Principals and techniques covered will be applicable to utilities, IPPs, large industrial fuel users such as cement and chemical plants. The Workshop will span a broad range of issues from the primary factors driving global fossil fuel markets and national energy security to the details of drafting effective fuel purchase contracts. Contracted provision language will be drawn from a library of over 300 international fuel contracts. The rising impact on fuel markets of renewables and environmental concerns.