Bruce Williamson

Bruce Williamson, president of Duke Energy International, dispelled the myth that doing business outside the US is inherently riskier. "Risks are everywhere and risk management tools have cross-border applications," Williamson said. Duke Energy International will not take a minority share in a project as they want to control their investment.

Williamson defines Europe as 15 member states of the European Union (EU) plus Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Norway and Switzerland that are not members of the EU.

The European Market is the second largest energy consumption market in the world after North America. Its liberalization is driven by slow, but steady implementation of the European Union Gas and Power Directives. New EU Cross-Border Energy Trading Directives are under consideration. Natural gas consumption of 16TcF, roughly seventy percent the size of the US market, is growing at four percent per year driven by increasing environmental sensitivities and the trade-out of gas-fired power for aging nuclear and coal-fired plants. Natural gas major supplies come from the North Sea, the Netherlands, Russia and North Africa. Power consumption totals 2700 Twh, about eighty percent the size of the US market. Growing cross-border energy trading and arbitrage is supported by a highly developed and interconnected gas and power transmission grid throughout the region.

According to Williamson, DEI's primary trading office is in London, England, where the company trades both power and gas.

From the Hague, DEI markets the gas positions obtained in the MEGAS acquisition. The company also has a small trading office in Milan where both gas and power in the Italian market are traded. "Our trading position provides us market information in a market where ninety-five percent of the gas is delivered by SNAM", says Williamson. "It also provides us a seat at the table to help define and influence competitive rules for the energy sector".

Williamson goes on to say that the Australian market is the fourth largest energy consumption market in Asia Pacific after China, Japan and South Korea. The power consumption growth rate is four percent a year with 44 GW of installed capacity dominated by coal, but gas generation is being used for peaking power plants. At least 3200 MW of gas-fired generation is expected to be added in the next decade. With new players entering the Australian market and new pipeline capacity being built, natural gas trading and marketing is also developing.

Williamson discussed the Central American market. "It is a small but increasingly interconnected energy market with 6000 MW of generation fueled by a mix of bunker, diesel, hydro and geothermal plants". He continues to note that there is a growing cross-border power trading connection between countries with fully competitive wholesale electric markets like ElSalvador and Guatemala. Panama, a net exporter of inexpensive hydro power to neighboring markets, is another player in the area. The area has had significant privatization and new private sector greenfield builds throughout the region, with more slated over the next two years. There is also increasing interconnection of cross-border transmission grids, with 1125 miles of additional transmission links planned over the next decade through the "SIEPAC" regional transmission project.

The Northern Latin American market is made up of Peru and Ecuador with 8000 MW of generation. Power demand in these areas is growing at four percent per year from a base of 27 Twh. In Ecuador, the liberalization process is in the final stages. Generation privatizations are expected in both Peru and Ecuador over the next two years.