As the end of this week winds down and people prepare for the holidays next week, light liquidity will most likely be the name of the game in our energy markets. Light liquidity means trading volume is lower than normal which is to be expected during this time of year. Therefore, the bid/ask spreads are wider. Meaning that if the computer-driven trading houses decide to either buy or sell a lot of volume, the market can move violently in one direction rather quickly. What does this mean for our industry? This means that our customers can be very opportunistic especially if we see a retracement in prices after this rally we’ve seen since the beginning of December.
With an attempt to boost the shipbuilding industry in the U.S., the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act has been reintroduced with bipartisan support. It is being supported by Senator John Wicker (R-Mississippi) and Congressman John Garimendi (D-California). This act would require 15 percent of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports be moved by U.S. crewed and built tankers by the year 2041. It also applies to 10 percent of seaborne crude exports by the year 2033. During this same time, the act would also require an additional 50 U.S. ships be built during the same time-frame. Wicker and Garimendi are supporters of the Jones Act – where cargo ships transporting goods between U.S. ports must be built, owned and operated by U.S citizens.
Clean energy being a hot topic, the Pennsylvania Department of Energy has issued grant's totaling just shy of $2.7 million in an order to push cleaner energy alternatives. These grants are to help business owners cover the costs of swapping over to CNG powered vehicles. The quest is to find a cleaner burning alternative to gasoline and diesel fuels. This grant assistance is estimated to cut gasoline consumption with 17 participating businesses by approximately 1 million gallons annually, and reduce emissions by 2,800 tons.
Move over lithium, there’s about to be a revolution in how energy is stored and it’s about to get bigger and better than ever before. Vanadium might not be new to the scene in general as its presence in steel has grown over the years. Vanadium steel is lighter and stronger than other metal alloys and is currently used in airplanes, cars, and rocket engines. In fact, Vanadium steel is used in about 43% of cars but estimated to increase to 85% of cars by 2025. The price of Vanadium has risen 300% since 2015 and the upward tick just might continue.