Flat end to a hopeful year


LAST YEAR’S RECOVERY in the global energy industries’ capital spend stalled in the October-December period says the UK-based trade association representing suppliers of both goods and services to this combined sector overall.


At the end of January EIC Monitor said overall business levels in both the up- and mid-stream sectors were well up on Q3’s, but in downstream activities business was down by around 30 per cent, measured in both volume and value terms for new projects.
The previous quarter had shown general recovery. Newly-announced project numbers suffered more than values. In summary Q4 2009 turned out much the same as Q4 2008, which was not a period that anyone wants to recall.
A particularly weak point in global energy business in terms of new investment was the power sector, the gas industry’s major customer, with only the renewables sub-sector showing any bounce.
The company’s report covers worldwide business conditions but it singles out the booming solar generation sector in Algeria where the first major investment under the ambitious international Desertec project – which seeks to export high-voltage DC power to Europe, potentially in direct competition with hydrocarbon-fuelled generators and possibly at the expense of some gas sales – was announced in Q4.
Bidding on a massive scale for new mirror-array/steam generation facilities was taking place in January.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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