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经济学人:天燃气发电业逐渐升温

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Business.

商业。
Electric power.
电力。
Slow burners.
天燃气发电业逐渐升温。
Cheap gas will boost makers of giant turbines.
廉价天然气将促进大型涡轮机生产厂家的发展。
THE boom in shale-gas production in America, using "fracking" technology, is becoming a bust for some big drilling firms. On August 3rd BHP Billiton announced a near-$3 billion write-down on some of its American gasfields because soaring production has made prices crash. Three days later Chesapeake Energy revealed a slump in quarterly profits because of the glut. However, if gas is cheap and abundant, more of it will be used to generate electricity. This should help the handful of global firms that make the massive turbines used in gas-fired power stations.
由于"水力压裂"技术的使用,美国的页岩气开采迅速发展,但这却使一些大型钻井公司破产。 8月3日,必和必拓公司宣布美国部分气田预估值将减少近30亿美元,这是由于页岩气开采量的猛增导致了天然气价格的暴跌。三天后,切萨皮克能源公司透露,由于页岩气供大于求,最新一季度利润大幅下跌。但是,如果天然气供应充足,价格低廉,那将有更多的天然气用于发电。那么为数不多的几家生产大型燃气发电涡轮机的国际公司将由此获益。
Even before their fuel became so plentiful, gas-fired stations had hefty advantages. They are quick and cheap to build-perhaps a third of the cost of coal-fired stations, and less than a quarter of the cost of nuclear ones. Gas-fired stations emit much less carbon dioxide, per unit of electricity, than coal, which also gives off all sorts of other nasties when burned, from sulphur dioxide to mercury.
即使在这之前,天然气供应不是很充足的情况下,燃气发电厂也有巨大优势:修建速度快,且造价便宜——成本大概是燃煤电厂的三分之一,不足核电站的四分之一。生产同一单位的电,燃气发电厂排放的二氧化碳比燃煤发电厂排放的少。除此之外,煤在燃烧时也会产生各种有害气体,包括二氧化硫和汞。
Strict new air-pollution laws, approved in America last year, will accelerate the retirement of old coal-fired stations. Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein, a bank, reckon that 66 gigawatts of coal-fired generation-around 6.5% of America's capacity-will shut by 2015. Gas will replace much of the coal. Other countries with huge shale-gas reserves, such as China and Australia, have barely begun to exploit them. When they do, some of the new supplies will be used to generate electricity.
去年,美国通过了严格的新空气污染法规,这将加速淘汰老式燃煤电厂。美国Sanford C. Bernstein银行的分析人员估计,发电能力为66千兆瓦(约占全美总发电量的6.5%)的燃煤电厂将在2015年前关闭。天然气将取代大部分燃煤,成为新的燃料。其他页岩气储量丰富的国家,比如中国和澳大利亚,还几乎没有进行开采。等这些国家开始开采时,新供应页岩气中的一部分将用于发电。
So the world's four main makers of gas turbines-GE of America, Siemens of Germany, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan and Alstom of France-are looking forward to a surge in new orders. There are early signs of this in America. If recent trends continue, Bernstein's analysts reckon that about 74 new gas-turbine projects will get started in America, up from 64 last year. But this is still below the level in the boom before the financial crisis and nothing compared with the mad dash for gas seen in 1999-2001 (see chart).
因此,全球主要的四家燃气涡轮制造商——美国通用、德国西门子、日本三菱重工以及法国阿尔斯通——都在盼着新订单的激增。这已在美国初见端倪。伯恩斯坦研究公司的分析者认为,如果当前趋势得以保持,那么美国将有74项新涡轮机项目开工,较去年的64项有所上升,但仍低于金融危机前的增长水平,更不可与1999-2001年的疯狂攀升同日而语(看图表)。
One reason why the growth in gas-fired stations will be more gradual this time is that American regulators are ordering power utilities to make more use of wind, solar and other renewable sources of energy. Another is that utilities in many states have plenty of spare capacity. Widespread "brownouts" across the country in 1998 made power companies scramble to build new gas-fired stations, only for these to come on line in time for the 2001 recession.
这次新建燃气发电厂的数量将有所放缓,原因之一在于,美国电力监管机构下令让电力公司使用更多的风能、太阳能以及其他可再生能源。多个州的电力公司拥有大量剩余产能也是其中一个原因。1998年的全国大面积"灯火管制"使得很多电力公司争先恐后修建新的燃气发电厂,但等这些发电厂竣工投产时,却正好赶上2001年的经济衰退。
But that is just America: although historically it has represented 15-50% of world demand for utility-sized gas turbines, the growth of emerging economies means that it is now just 8%, reckons Bernstein. Power-hungry China generates only 4% of its electricity from gas but that share is growing fast. Both GE and Siemens have joint ventures in China. Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are likely to build many new gas-fired stations; as is Japan, after the Fukushima nuclear accident last year.
伯恩斯坦研究公司表示,但那只是美国的情况:尽管美国以往对燃气发电机的需求量占到了全世界的15%-20%,但由于新兴经济体的崛起,现在仅占8%。用电紧张的中国发电总量仅有4%来自燃气发电,但这一比重正在快速增加。通用和西门子都在中国建有合资公司。伊拉克、土耳其和沙特阿拉伯也有可能会修建更多的燃气发电厂。去年福岛核电站事故之后,日本也有可能开始新修燃气发电厂。
So the global market for utility-sized gas turbines, now worth up to $15 billion a year by Bernstein's estimates, is set for years of growth. Emerging-market makers, in places such as Russia, are keen to muscle in. But it will take time, and huge sums of money, to catch up with the big four rich-country firms: Siemens and GE each spent around $500m developing their newest turbines. Even for challengers with deep-pocketed governments to support them, that is quite some barrier to entry.
伯恩斯坦研究公司估计,全球燃气发电机市场现在每年高达150亿美元,在未来数年内,还将继续增加。俄罗斯等地的新兴市场生产商也渴望强行挤入该市场。但要想迎头赶上在富有国家的四大巨头,还需要很长的时间和大量的投资:西门子和通用公司各自投入约5亿美元开发最新涡轮机。即便有了财力雄厚政府的支持,潜在进入者想要进入市场,壁垒还指不胜屈。

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关键字: 天燃气 发电业 升温

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