Energy News Monitor | Volume XIV; Issue 28

     Kudankulam, Energy Monitor, ENM, ICICI, coal, fuel, CIL, BHEL, UDAY, ONGC

    Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant with installed capacity of 2,000 MW

    US COAL CROSSING THE OCEANS TO INDIA

    Coal News Commentary: November - December 2017

    India

    India’s coal imports from North America are likely to surge as buyers are looking to boost purchases amid a domestic shortage of the fuel and a regional ban on petroleum coke, traders said. Shipping data showed that India’s coal imports from North America tripled to 2.1 mt in October from a year ago which is more than 70 percent of last month’s purchases. Other trading sources put this figure lower, at 1.47 mt. Coal imports for November 1-20 have reached 1.14 mt. Indian imports of North American coal, including supplies from Canada, stand at about 1.5 mt from November 1 to 20, data showed, already more than 70 percent of last month’s purchases. A ban on the use of petroleum coke, a dirtier but better-burning alternative to coal, is spurring expectations India will buy even more coal from the US in coming months. Cement companies account for nearly 75 percent of India’s annual petcoke demand of 27 mt according to trade data, and small industries such as lime manufacturers are also considering the use of US coal, which is almost as efficient as petcoke. The petcoke ban may deter the plan to cut India’s coal imports, which have risen for the first time in the past two months after falling in the past few years. Petcoke has been banned in some states around the Indian capital New Delhi which is battling heavy smog. Buyers are looking to boost purchases amid a domestic shortage of the fuel. But rising pollution in other Indian cities could lead to tougher restrictions such as a nationwide ban on use and imports of petcoke, with environmentalists requesting other states in the country to consider banning the use and import of the dirty fuel.

    CIL is considering raising prices to meet the cost of the 20% wage hike. It last raised prices by 10% in May last year. The company said the wage bill puts an additional burden ₹ 58 billion annually, and another ₹ 95 billion needs to be spent on expansion. Further, the company has decided to sell more coal to power plants, which gets it lesser revenue than other buyers. Coal sold through spot e-auctions earns the highest while that sold to the non-power sectors earns 20% higher revenue. In the second quarter of the current financial, CIL’s profit halved to ₹ 3.68  against ₹ 6.12 billion a year ago. CIL the world’s largest coal miner, will pay its executives about ₹ 8 billion ($124.08 million) in salary rises retroactive from January this year. The pay increase, which was approved by the board, comes over a month after the company approved a rise in the salaries of its workers, costing ₹ 56 billion over five years. The company employs more than 300,000 people, about 18,000 of whom are executives.

    After an average wage revision of 20 percent for around 298,000 permanent employees of CIL trade unions are now readying to pitch for a similar wage agreement for contractual workers of the miner. The company had said it has signed a wage agreement with workers' unions, proposing a 20 percent hike in salaries for a period of five years. The 10th wage agreement effected in October would have an estimated impact of ₹ 56.67 billion per year on the world's largest coal miner. Trade unions expect the average wage hike for the contract workers - whose number is estimated to be anywhere between two to three lakh - in the range of 15-20 percent.

    Coal dispatches from state-run miner CIL to power sector improved by 18 percent to 39.9 mt  in October, data showed. The power ministry earlier this month had also stated that coal stocks at power plants were "much better" and dry fuel inventories had started building up at the plants. CIL had supplied 33.8 mt of dry fuel to power producers in October 2016. The dispatches by the world's largest coal miner rose by 9.6 percent to 248.9 mt in the April-October period of this financial year over 227 mt in the year-ago period. The supply of coal by SCCL, a state-owned coal mining company, also registered an increase of five percent to 4.2 mt, over 4 mt in the same month of the previous financial year. The number of plants facing acute coal shortage had come down to 12-13. The coal ministry earlier had blamed power producers for low stocks of dry fuel at their plants. Karnataka had asked the Centre to ensure adequate supply of coal and early allocation of a coal block situated in Odisha to meet the severe fuel shortage being faced by power units in his state. Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam in September had said that power generation at thermal power stations reduced by 2,700 MW due to shortage of coal, forcing it to resort to load shedding in the state.

    The government has asked CIL to focus on production enhancement, saying it cannot let the "profitability tumble" as the recent wage hike will have an estimated impact of nearly ₹ 60 billion annually. CIL had in October signed a wage agreement with workers' unions proposing 20 percent hike in salaries for a period of five years, which will have an estimated impact of ₹ 56.67 billion per year to the world's largest coal miner. The public sector firm had signed the agreement at 20 percent hike in salaries against workers' demand for a 50 percent raise. In 2017-18, CIL has been pegged production target at 600 mt with an annualised growth of about 8.3 percent over the last year. In 2018-19, the envisaged coal production projection is 773.70 mt with a growth of about 28.95 percent. Making a case for CIL’s foray into metal and mineral mining, the government has said the state-owned firm being the biggest miner in the world would like to leverage the expertise for diversification. CIL had said that the modalities for diversification into new mineral mining was expected to be ready in the next few months. According to CIL, the foray into new metals and minerals will not hinder or cause any conflict with coal production targets. CIL, which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production, is eyeing 1 billion tonnes output by 2019-20.

    Making a case for CIL’s foray into metal and mineral mining, the government has said the state-owned firm being the biggest miner in the world would like to leverage the expertise for diversification. CIL had said that the modalities for diversification into new mineral mining was expected to be ready in the next few months. According to CIL, the foray into new metals and minerals will not hinder or cause any conflict with coal production targets. CIL, which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production, is eyeing 1 billion tonnes output by 2019-20.

    BHEL announced commissioning of a 54 MW coal-fired captive power project in Indonesia. The 3x18 MW power project located at Sangatta, East Kalimantan, Indonesia has been set up by BHEL for PT Citra Kusuma Perdana for their coal-mining operations, BHEL said. BHEL has executed several projects in the region including projects in Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. In Indonesia, the company has earlier successfully executed a 2x30 MW boiler project for PT Makmur Sejahtera Wisesa and 2x11 MW and 1x15 MW captive power projects for PT Indo Bharat Rayon.

    The GSPCB has moved court seeking criminal prosecution against MPT and SWPL for handling excess coal. GSPCB said that the board pleaded before the first class judicial magistrate in Vasco that MPT and SWPL should be prosecuted for violating the conditions of the consent to operate issued to it under the Air and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. The MPT, which is located at Vasco, has been accused of handling excess coal at berth Nos. 10 and 11 for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 in violation of the consent orders issued by the GSPCB. The SWPL, the GSPCB said, handled excess coal at Berth Nos. 5A and 6A at MPT for 2012-13, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

    The underground coal fire in Ramgarh which is threatening to damage NH-33 and Koderma-Barkakana rail route in Kuju, may have been caused by illegal coal miners, said CCL, a subsidiary of CIL. Though authorities of the CCL recently got the nod from the state forest and environment department to start digging on a 5-acre plot of forest land to prevent the fire from doing further damage, the root cause of the problem remains unaddressed.

    Indian energy giant Adani's controversy-hit Carmichael coal mine project in Australia may not receive a A$900 million (900 million Australian dollars) after the Labour party- led Queensland government said it will exercise its veto to not support the financial assistance. The A$16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine project, one of the world's largest, will start construction after being given the green light by the federal and Queensland state governments. The Adani group had applied for NAIF loan worth A$900 million for building a train line to connect its mine to the coast. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that her Labor party would veto the NAIF loan if it retains the power in the state. Palaszczuk said her government will exercise its 'veto' to not support the NAIF loan to remove doubt about any perception of conflict.

    Power ministry is not mulling any amendment in laws for passing on the cost of retrofitting coal based-power plant to consumers. Power producers can always go to their respective regulators or electricity regulatory commissions to seek approval for increasing power tariff to recover any such expenditure citing new norms issued by environment ministry in December 2015. The generators have no option but to go for retrofitting of their plants. The cost of retrofitting a power plant ranges from ₹ 10-12 million/ MW while that for new coal-based plant would be around ₹ 50 million/MW. As many as 295 coal-based power plants have got more time of two to four years to meet strict new environment norms which were to be implemented by December 2017.

    Scurrying for solutions to fight the toxic air pollution, the government has said it plans to transport coal in covered rail wagons and trucks across the country. Ferrying of coal in uncovered vehicles and rail wagons is said to be one of the key reasons behind high pollution levels along the transportation route from coal mine or importing sea port to user plants like power generation houses. For the third straight year, in the month of November, thick toxic smog enveloped the national capital region (NCR), leading to what has been called a health emergency. Coal-fired power plants are said to be one of the sources of pollution. India generates about 65 percent of its electricity using coal as fuel. It is abundantly available in the country and is cheaper than alternate fuel sources like natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons. Power plants follow stringent standards but newer equipment like Flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD), which removes sulphur dioxide, will take time to be installed. But, to begin with, transporting coal in covered wagons and trucks is being done.

    Rest of the World

    Chinese coal imports rose in November from the month before on firm demand during the winter heating season, even as Beijing encourages a shift to cleaner fuels in its battle against pollution. Shipments into the world’s top coal importer reached 22.05 mt in November, up 3.6 percent from October, but down from 26.97 mt a year ago, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. Coal prices in China have risen steadily this year, touching their highest since at least 2015 at 688.8 yuan ($104.07) a ton on December 4.

    China is likely to complete its coal capacity reduction target by 2018, the NDRC, China’s top economic planner, said. China is expected to cut the total number of coal mines to 7,000 next year, from 10,800 in 2015, NDRC said. Coal supplies will be ample in 2018 with many coal mines increasing their production capacity. The domestic market will be balanced next year as China keeps importing coal and increases domestic output.

    China’s biggest coal producers China Energy Investment Group and China National Coal Group (ChinaCoal) will keep their 2018 coal contract prices at the same level as 2017. After rounds of discussions between policy makers, major producers and utilities, the producers will set the price at 535 yuan ($80.72)/tonne. The new level has disappointed utilities just one week before China’s annual coal trade meeting in the northern port city of Qinhuangdao from November 21 to 23 when producers and utilities will negotiate volumes for next year. Last year, the NDRC, China’s top economic planner, asked coal producers to sell at 535 yuan per tonne to bring down rising prices. Rolling the policy over to this year will not help lower coal prices.

    China has again urged coal suppliers and buyers to sign more medium- and long-term contracts, amid robust demand for the fuel during the peak winter-heating season. The NDRC said that medium- to long-term contracts should make up 75 percent of supply deals signed by government and municipal authorities as well as power firms. It said that railways, ports and shipping firms should make handling such contract business a priority. Contracts should run for at least a year. The NDRC had already ordered coal companies and utilities in April to fix 75 percent of their total coal purchases through long-term contracts. But Chinese thermal coal futures have still surged this year, recently rallying about 7 percent since early November to 655.6 yuan ($99.29)/tonne.

    A Chinese company started construction of a new 350 MW unit at Serbia’s second largest coal-fired power plant, the first new electricity capacity in the Balkan country in nearly 30 years. The $613 million project is part of a wider deal between Serbia and China that includes expansion of a nearby coal mine and upgrade of existing capacity in the Kostolac coal-fired plant complex. Export-Import Bank of China will provide 80 percent of the funding for the entire project of $715 million through a 20-year loan. The Serbian government will secure the rest of the funds. China Machinery and Engineering Corp is carrying out the construction. Serbia generates two thirds of its electricity from ageing coal-fired plants and the rest from hydro power. It urgently needs to upgrade its energy infrastructure to meet rising demand.

    Four cities in northeast China have secured a loan of $310 million from the ADB to revitalize their economies, the bank said, two years after mass layoffs at local coal mines triggered unrest in the region. The cities of Hegang, Jixi, Qitaihe and Shuangyashan - in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province - were the major casualties of a 2015 decision by state-owned Longmay Group to slash coal production, close depleted mines and lay off as many as 100,000 local workers, part of nationwide efforts to tackle overcapacity and shore up prices in the sector. The ADB loan to the four cities will be used in a project worth a total $1 billion that is designed to support the development of small- to medium-sized enterprises and help tackle environmental damage caused by decades of coal mining, the bank said.

    Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, Japan’s biggest steelmaker, expects coking coal to stay above $200 a ton through the January-March quarter amid lower supplies from Australia, which may drag on its earnings. Australian premium coking coal futures in Singapore have surged nearly 30 percent from a November low of $174 to above $220 a ton in the first few days of December.

    Greece has finalised a deal with its official creditors on the coal-fired plants the country will sell to comply with an EU court ruling. The issue was at the top of the agenda of talks between Greece and its EU and International creditors, who are reviewing the country’s bailout progress on energy and labor market reforms, on fiscal targets and privatisations.

    EU state aid regulators opened an investigation into Spain’s environmental incentives for coal power plants, concerned that the scheme may give the facilities an unfair advantage. Fourteen coal power plants have received more than €440 million ($525 million) for installing new sulphur oxide filters since the scheme was introduced in 2007, with the payments due to continue until 2020. The European Commission said such incentives to reduce harmful sulphur oxide emissions may not have been justified as coal power plants were already required by EU environmental laws to do so.

    Japan’s METI is seeking to determine whether clauses in long-term coal contracts that bar buyers from diverting and reselling cargoes are limiting trade. Destination clauses limit where cargoes can be delivered and prevent companies from selling excess coal to third parties in other places. METI is examining whether there’s a need to shift to spot and short-term trading from long-term coal contracts, the report said, adding that it had held a meeting with several firms and plans to draft an interim report on the coal market in February.

    At least 15 countries have joined an international alliance to phase out coal from power generation before 2030, delegates at UN climate talks in Bonn said. Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Mexico and the Marshall Islands have joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance, delegates said. The alliance aims to have 50 members by the next UN climate summit in 2018 to be held in Poland’s Katowice, one of Europe’s most polluted cities. But some of the world’s biggest coal users, such as China, the United States, Germany and Russia, have not signed up. The event triggered a peaceful protest by anti-coal demonstrators and jarred with many ministers who are working on a rule book for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to move the world economy off fossil fuels. Since signing the Paris Agreement in 2015, which aims to wean the world off fossil fuels, several countries have made national plans to phase out coal from their power supply mix.

    Indonesia coal miner Bumi Resources estimates its output will rise to around 95 mt in 2018 from between 88-90 mt this year. Bumi had not officially revised its earlier guidance of up to 94 mt this year. But with “unusually heavy rainfall” the company hopes to achieve sales of between 87 million and 88 mt of coal in 2017. Higher coal prices this year compared to a year ago would compensate for the flatter than expected output volumes.

    NATIONAL: OIL

    HPCL asks Airtel Payments Banks to refund wrongfully transferred subsidy

    December 18, 2017. Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) has written to Airtel and sought a reversal of subsidy amounts that have been wrongfully credited to the Airtel Payment bank accounts. ₹ 167 crore have been wrongfully credited to the Airtel Payment Bank interface through 31 lakh transactions. The oil marketing companies (OMCs) and the oil ministry have been getting a large number of complaints from consumers regarding non-credit of the LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) subsidy amounts into their earlier bank accounts for the past few weeks, HPCL said. In order to link LPG subsidy to earlier bank account, HPCL has written to Airtel Bank and requested that the subsidy amounts of these consumers be immediately either transferred back to the customer’s earlier bank account or to the respective OMC’s, HPCL said.

    Source: The Hindu Business Line

    ONGC tears into DGH proposal to auction its oil, gas fields

    December 17, 2017. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has torn into regulator DGH's proposal for auctioning its discovered oil and gas fields, saying national oil companies can raise production if they are offered the same fiscal concessions as being extended to private companies. In para-wise comments on the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons' (DGH) proposal to auction 60 percent stake in some producing oil and gas fields of ONGC and Oil India Ltd, ONGC said national oil companies (NOCs) should also be allowed to participate in the auction. DGH has identified 15 discovered and producing fields - 11 of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and four of Oil India Ltd - with a cumulative in-place reserve of 791.2 million tonnes of crude oil and 333.46 billion cubic metres of gas, for auctioning on the plea that private involvement will raise output. DGH has in the policy proposed to auction the fields to the bidder who commits the maximum investment and pledges the largest share of its net revenue to the government.

    Source: Business Standard

    Kerosene subsidy may go by 2020

    December 15, 2017. With the Centre’s flagship energy schemes Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) and Saubhagya set to achieve their targets in the next two years, the subsidy on kerosene is likely to be phased out by 2020. While there could be an increase in the subsidy on LPG (cooking gas), analysts said there would not be much net increase. For the first six months of FY18, the cumulative subsidy claims on LPG and kerosene to the petroleum ministry stood at Rs 9,079 crore. The kerosene subsidy is expected to decline by 40 percent from Rs 7,595 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 4,500 crore this financial year. According to the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), kerosene consumption fell 33.7 percent for the period April to October from the same period last year. The annual fall in kerosene consumption over the past five years has been 8.1 percent. During 2016-17, it was 5.3 million tonnes, down from 6.8 mt in 2015-16. Over the years, LPG has been replacing kerosene as a fuel in rural India. During 2016-17, its consumption rose almost 10 percent from the year before, to 21.5 mt. Under PMUY, the government has so far added 31.9 million consumers, taking the India total to 251.1 mn as of November.

    Source: Business Standard

    Council may bring petrol, real estate under GST in future: Bihar Deputy CM

    December 14, 2017. All powerful GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council will consider bringing electricity, petroleum products and some other items under the ambit of GST in future, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister (CM) Sushil Kumar Modi said. If petroleum products are brought under the GST regime, he said, it will attract the highest tax slab prevalent at that time and states would be at liberty to levy cess on it in order to protect their revenues. Both states and the Centre earn 40 percent of their revenue from petroleum products at present.

    Source: Business Standard

    India's November Iran oil imports skid to lowest since February 2016

    December 14, 2017. India’s refiners imported nearly half as much crude oil from Iran in November as the month before, ship tracking data showed, cutting purchases to a 21-month low in protest at Tehran’s decision to award a giant gas field to a Russian company. India, the world’s No. 3 crude oil consumer, received about 266,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Iran last month, a decline of 43 percent from October and 55 percent from a year ago. For the fiscal year to March 2018, Indian refiners have opted to order about a quarter less Iranian crude as Tehran decided to award development rights for its huge Farzad B gas field to Russian rivals instead of an Indian consortium that discovered the field. For April-November, the first eight months of this fiscal year, India shipped in 19 percent less Iranian oil at about 427,200 bpd, according to the data. But India’s oil imports from Iran will likely rise in December, as vessels holding about 4 million barrels of oil sailed from the Iranian ports in end-November and discharged cargoes in early December, the data showed.

    Source: Reuters

    Oil crossing $65 mark is a worrying sign for Modi government

    December 13, 2017. Oil prices are closely aligned with the Narendra Modi government's fiscal fortunes. When Prime Minister (PM) Modi was sworn in late May 2014, the price of the Indian basket of crude oil was around $108 per barrel. Within a few months, it fell to below $60. For three years, the price remained at more than half of what it was when Modi took charge as PM. Oil bonanza helped Modi tide over fiscal troubles. But now it seems, Modi's oil luck is running out. Oil rose above $65 a barrel for the first time since mid-2015 as an unplanned shutdown of the UK's biggest North Sea oil pipeline supported a market already tightened by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries)-led production cuts. India is heavily dependent on imports for a large chunk of the crude oil that it consumes. In 2016-17, around 82.1 percent of the oil consumed in India, was imported. The net rate of exports is one of the contributing factors to a country's GDP (gross domestic product). The higher the imports, the bigger negative impact it has on the net rate. So with oil prices on the decline since 2014, it meant that the export metric in GDP calculation did not have as severe a negative hit. A 2014 report from Macquarie Capital Securities India said a $10 per barrel fall in oil prices would reduce India's import bill and the current account deficit by $9.2 billion (0.43% of the then GDP). Due to falling oil prices, India’s macro-economic indicators such as inflation, current account deficit (CAD), and trade balance improved. On the back of contraction in the trade deficit, the CAD came down to $22.1 billion, or 1.1 percent of GDP from $26.8 billion, or 1.3 percent of GDP, in 2014-15. In the last three years, despite the fall in global crude oil prices, the average Indian consumer of petroleum products has not been a beneficiary of it. Instead, increased excise duty and VAT (Value Added Tax) on petrol and diesel has meant that despite the 56 percent fall in oil prices, the prices of petrol and diesel are at most 5 percent less than what they were in May 2014. Since June 2014, when international oil prices started declining, India has increased its excise duties from Rs 15.5 per litre to Rs 22.7 per litre as of December 2016 for branded petrol and from Rs 5.8 per litre to Rs 19.7 per litre for branded diesel. In contrast, the governments of most advanced countries simply passed on the benefits to consumers. Modi now faces a situation critical for his party's fortunes in the next Lok Sabha polls. With oil prices increasing, an unchanged excise duty would mean that the end consumer would have to pay even more, while a cut in excise duty would mean that petroleum companies will not be able to reap the benefits of the revival in the industry. The government thinks the oil prices are within the range where they cannot upset the fiscal math.

    Source: The Economic Times

    NATIONAL: GAS

    India to hire consultant for setting up first gas trading exchange

    December 19, 2017. India's oil ministry has asked its arm Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) to engage a consultant for setting up the country's first gas trading exchange, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. Pradhan said that a high-level committee has been set-up to examine issues related to creating synergy among Research and Development centres of Oil Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), tax issues, ways to benefit from Good Service Tax (GST) by the oil PSUs. The committee will also look at merger, acquisition and consolidation of Oil PSUs and their joint ventures, the possibility of formation of a new entity dealing with oil services and supply of qualified manpower to the oil sector around the world. He said the government has prioritized increasing the availability of natural gas by enhancing domestic gas production, encouraged the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG), completion of national gas grid and speedier roll out of City Gas Distribution (CGD) network in the country. Pradhan has on multiple occasions highlighted the low share of natural gas in the country’s energy mix and the need to have a market-driven and uniform price mechanism for gas to propel the country’s gas share in the overall energy mix to 15 percent by 2020. Pradhan said that the main idea behind the move is to set up a pooling mechanism of the kind that exists in the fertilizer sector and using a transparent market-driven mechanism to arrive at gas price. Currently, crude oil, petrol, diesel, Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) and natural gas are outside the purview of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) regime that came into effect beginning 1 July this year. So, while the goods and services sourced by oil and gas companies are subjected to GST, sale of crude oil, gas and products attracts earlier taxes. Hence, no credit on input GST is available to the industry creating additional tax burden. India’s ambitious plan to build a natural gas trading hub is aimed at enabling better price discovery for domestic as well as imported gas, with the ultimate objective of becoming Asia’s gas pricing hub.

    Source: The Economic Times

    India's GAIL renegotiating LNG deals with US companies

    December 18, 2017. Indian gas firm GAIL (India) Ltd is renegotiating its liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchase deals with US (United States)-based Cheniere Energy and Dominion Cove Point, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. GAIL has signed contracts for sourcing up to 5.8 million tonnes of LNG from the US. India wants to raise the share of natural gas in its energy mix to 15 percent in the next few years from about 6.5 percent now. But price-sensitive customers in the South Asian nation forced renegotiation of the price of two long-term LNG deals. Pricing of US LNG is linked to a formula but other charges including freight to India add an extra $2-$3 per million British thermal units, leading to GAIL scouting for destination, time and volume swap deals. India has in the past renegotiated LNG deals with Qatar’s RasGas and Exxon Mobil Corp as spot prices have declined substantially amid a supply glut.

    Oil Minister inaugurates Eastern India's first CNG stations

    December 16, 2017. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated eastern India's first compressed natural gas (CNG) stations for scooters. Pradhan inaugurated two CNG stations for scooters and three-wheelers at Chandrasekharpur and Patia area. Pradhan also launched CNG-run scooters. The CNG stations were part of GAIL's Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga and City Gas Distribution (CGD) projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Two more stations are being constructed in Khandagiri and Tamando area in Odisha's state capital. In coming years, 25 CNG stations will be commissioned in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to supply CNG to vehicles. He said while many cities of India are suffering due to pollution, CNG will be a smart fuel for smart city like Bhubaneswar. Construction and maintenance of these pipelines will create huge employment opportunities for local youths and it will help in boosting Odishas economy, he said. Initially, natural gas will reach Bhubaneswar in special containers called cascades which will be transported by road from Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Later, Natural Gas will be supplied through the 2,655 km long Jagdishpur Haldia & Bokaro Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL), popularly known as the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga. Meanwhile, Pradhan is scheduled to lay the foundation stones for new Dhamra-Angul 36 inch main line and BhubaneshwarCuttack Paradip 12 inch spur line tomorrow which are part of this pipeline project. Earlier, CNG for scooter and three wheelers were available only in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. To make convenient for people to convert their two-wheelers to CNG, GAIL has associated with Bank of Maharashtra to launch a unique financing scheme which will enable the user to convert his or her scooter by paying an EMI of Rs 500 every month. Further, tie up for other banks like Punjab National Bank are also being done on similar lines, GAIL (India) Ltd said.

    Source: Business Standard

    GAIL's Rs 3.5 bn claim against Deepak Fertiliser rejected in arbitration

    December 15, 2017. Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corp Ltd said that an arbitration tribunal has rejected GAIL's claim of Rs 357 crore against the company for supply of domestic natural gas. Deepak Fertilisers said that as per two contracts entered into 20016 and 2010 between the two companies, the purchase of gas was contractually and clearly intended, supplied and utilised for industrial applications. The fertiliser firm said that the Department of Fertilisers had the full knowledge that as per the industrial license, utilisation of gas since the company's inception was for its integrated NPK fertiliser complex.

    Source: Business Standard

    India in talks with Indonesia for refineries, LNG plants

    December 13, 2017. India is discussing setting up refineries and LNG (liquefied natural gas) plants in Indonesia, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. In an attempt to increase its presence in its eastern neighbourhood, India is selling diesel to Bangladesh via rail. Stating that India's presence in the ASEAN region has been historic, he said one of the country's oldest overseas oil and gas fields was acquired in 1988 in Vietnam. ASEAN region, he said, is also a source of crude oil and LNG to meet India's hydrocarbon requirement. Last year, India imported 6 million tonnes of crude oil from Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, accounting for 2.8 percent of the total crude oil imports, which is an increase of 12 percent from the year before. It also imported 1.45 million tonnes of LNG mainly from Singapore and Malaysia accounting for 7 percent of the total LNG imported. India also imported one million tonnes of petroleum products and some quantities of LPG from the region, he said. He said there is a healthy collaboration between oil majors Indian Oil Corp and Petronas of Malaysia. The two companies, he said, are working in India and third country. The Malaysian national oil company is a reliable partner in technology. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, has invited heads of ASEAN countries next month.

    Source: Business Standard

    NATIONAL: COAL

    Coal power generation in India likely to rise: IEA report

    December 18, 2017. India's coal fired power generation will continue to rise due to the increasing fleet of coal power plants and robust power demand, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report. Coal-fired power generation in India may increase at nearly 4 percent per year through 2022, the IEA said. The report said that global demand for coal should remain nearly flat between 2017 and 2022, resulting in a decade of stagnation for coal consumption. Coal based thermal power plants constitute 67 percent of India's power generation capacity, further more coal based electricity forms 80 percent of power on the electrical grid. Coal is expected to remain the mainstay of India's power generation for next two to three decades.

    Source: Business Standard

    Adani drops contractor for Australian coal mine

    December 18, 2017. Adani said it had cancelled plans with Downer EDI Ltd to help develop and run its Carmichael coal mine in Australia after failing to secure a cheap government loan for the A$16.5 billion ($13 billion) project. Adani and Downer said they had agreed to cancel all letters of award for mine services and related infrastructure, after the premier of the state of Queensland said she would veto a A$900 million loan from the federal government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for the mine’s rail line.

    Source: Reuters

    Government expects to achieve 1.5 bn tonne of coal output by 2022

    December 18, 2017. The country is expected to achieve the coal production of 1.5 billion tonne by 2022, Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar said. Of the 1.5 billion tonne, 1 billion tonne would be contributed by Coal India Ltd (CIL) and the rest by private producers and Singareni Collieries, he said. Earlier, the government had announced to achieve a coal output of 1.5 billion tonne by 2019-20. The coal ministry had set the target of 1 billion tonne by 2019-20 for state-run miner Coal India to cut imports and increase availability of the dry fuel to bolster growth. The world's largest coal miner CIL accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production. India being a country which believes in international trade, not all imports can be stopped, he said, adding that but the government's endeavour is to reduce the import of thermal coal specially for inland power plants. Stating that thermal coal imports till date are lower than last year's, Kumar said that his assessment is that overall declining trend of import will probably continue for the entire year.

    Source: Business Standard

    CIL asks states to specify their power demand for next 3 yrs

    December 14, 2017. In an effort to avert the coal scarcity that dogged thermal power plants this year, Coal India Ltd (CIL) has asked states to indicate their revised power demand for the next three years, on the basis of which it will allocate the fuel. The company has threatened to stop supplies to states that do not cooperate in this exercise. CIL has requested the Central Electricity Authority to assess coal requirement of state utilities on the basis of power demand and plans to ask private firms and state-run companies like NTPC Ltd to share their revised coal requirement in the next three years. It would be applicable for companies that have supply agreement with the coal producer. The exercise, being undertaken for the first time, will help the world’s largest coal producer to assess its production requirement and will enable it to plan ahead. India’s thermal power capacity of 137 GW requires about 1.43 million tonnes of coal daily. Bulk of this is sent on the railways. Power plants are required to stock 21 days of coal but they currently have enough for only eight days.

    Source: The Economic Times

    Ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda convicted in coal scam case

    December 13, 2017. A court convicted former Jharkhand Chief Minister (CM) Madhu Koda, among others on corruption charges in a coal block allocation case. Special Judge Bharat Parashar held Koda, former Coal Secretary H.C. Gupta, Jharkhand's then Chief Secretary A.K. Basu, among others, guilty of criminal conspiracy and cheating under various provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. The court's order came in the case related to Jharkhand's Rajhara North coal block allocation to Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL). The Central Bureau of Investigation had alleged Koda, Gupta and others conspired to favour VISUL in allocating the coal block.

    Source: The Economic Times

    NATIONAL: POWER

    All Bihar villages will be electrified by month-end: Deputy CM

    December 19, 2017. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister (CM) Sushil Kumar Modi said all the villages of the state would be electrified by the end of this month. Modi said that by May 2018, electricity would reach 10,000 human habitations ("tola") and not a single of these habitations would remain without electricity. Modi said that the work on installing separate feeders for irrigation under the Centre's Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, at an estimated cost of Rs 6,000 crore, had begun.

    Source: Business Standard

    January 2019 deadline for reducing power losses to 15 percent: Power Minister

    December 19, 2017. Power Minister R K Singh said that the government had set a deadline of January 2019 for bringing down power losses due to theft and unmetered supply to 15 percent of the total generation in the country. He said the deadline was fixed at a meeting of Power Ministers of all states as some states had more losses than others. He cited the example of Uttar Pradesh which has suffered a lost of 21 percent. He said the main reason for power losses were theft and unmetered supply of power. He said in an ideal world, the power losses should be down to 5-6 percent.

    Source: Business Standard

    Sterlite Power bags $800 mn transmission project in Brazil

    December 18, 2017. Sterlite Power said it has bagged a contract worth $800 million to construct 1800 km transmission project in Brazil. The project will be executed in north of Brazil, in the states of Par and Tocantins, with more than 1800 km of transmission lines, the company said. The project will be part of the North-Southeast and North-Northeast inter-connections.

    Source: Business Standard

    Power ministry may ask discoms not to wait for regulator’s nod

    December 18, 2017. Power ministry may ask distribution companies (discoms) to accept the revised tariffs quoted by power plants to win coal contracts in auctions without waiting for the regulator’s nod. Under the scheme, power plants have to amend power purchase agreements (PPAs) with distribution companies to factor in the discount in tariffs offered by them during the auction. As per the scheme, state-run miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) has to issue letters of intent to the power companies within 15 days of conclusion of the auction and the companies have 45 days to amend the PPAs and get approval of Electricity Regulatory Commission. CIL will have 30 days to convert the letters of intent into fuel supply agreements. The move is being planned in the backdrop of a three-month delay in approval of the bids by CIL’s board that led to worry that some plants might have to shut down in absence of coal supply. The board approved the winning bids of a bunch of power producers including Adani Power, GMR Energy and KSK Energy that quoted the highest discount in electricity tariffs to receive coal from CIL.

    Source: The Economic Times

    Stable outlook for Indian power sector over next 12-18 months: Moody's, ICRA

    December 18, 2017. Moody's Investors Service and its Indian affiliate, ICRA said that their stable outlook for the power sector in India over the next 12-18 months reflects their expectation of generally stable industry conditions and government policy initiatives. Improvements in the financial position of state-owned electricity distribution companies are likely to be seen in this period. The Indian government's debt restructuring of the financially weak distribution utilities under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) will gradually improve the financial conditions of state-owned distribution companies, thereby alleviating off-taker risk, which is a key negative factor for the credit quality of power generators, Moody's said.

    Source: Business Standard

    EESL’s reverse auction for 5 mn smart meters under a cloud

    December 18, 2017. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL)’s decision to conduct a reverse auction for procuring 5 million smart meters, after announcing that Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Ltd had emerged as the lowest bidder in the regular tender by bidding 40% below prevalent market prices, has raised eyebrows. The reverse auction has led to ITI Ltd and Karnataka State Electronics Development Corp Ltd—two companies with no past experience of manufacturing such meters—emerging as L1 and L3 bidders, two people aware of the development said. Genus Power Infrastructures Ltd emerged as the L2 bidder in the reverse auction. The smart meter tenders are part of the government’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure solutions aimed at better demand response designed to reduce energy consumption during peak hours.

    Source: Livemint

    Tamil Nadu’s power demand in December reaches new high

    December 17, 2017. The total power demand in the state in December has hit a new peak with an increase of more than 3000 MW compared to previous years. The demand touched 14,000 MW while on the same date during the last three years, it was only 10,000 MW-11,000 MW. Since the weather this December was not as cold as previous years, power demand from households had gone up.

    Source: The Times of India

    Schneider introduces digital architecture for power distribution utilities

    December 16, 2017. Schneider Electric has recently launched its digital architecture EcoStruxureTM Grid in Hyderabad which is aimed at digital transformation of power distribution utilities as it uses disruptive technology to generate higher efficiency. The challenges related to power infrastructure in India mostly come from its distribution with high T&D (transmission & distribution) losses which can be addressed through digitization and offers tremendous opportunities for improving the quality and efficiency of power distribution. Grid modernisation addresses reliability and resilience of ageing infrastructure, as well as the flexibility to accommodate a growing presence of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) connected to the grid. While Telangana is striving to become power surplus, at the same time, the newly formed state is witnessing strong demand from agriculture, domestic and industrial sectors and the metro city of Hyderabad. The overall energy requirement in the state is set to see a quantum jump.

    Source: The Economic Times

    Record 12 GW power supplied in Madhya Pradesh

    December 16, 2017. A record 12,018 MW power was successfully supplied by electricity distribution firms in Madhya Pradesh. The state faced a peak demand of 12,018 MW and the same quantity was supplied by power companies operating in Madhya Pradesh. This was the highest-ever power supply in the history of the state. The previous highest peak demand was 11,466 MW, recorded on November 11. The surge in energy requirement was due to the growing demand in the agriculture sector, where farmers are being supplied 10 hours of quality power continuously. In the last 14 years, the maximum demand of power has increased by 2.5 times in the state.

    Source: The Times of India

    UP plans Power for All in one year to power 2019 polls

    December 16, 2017. In order to add pace to the Prime Minister’s Saubhagya scheme to electrify over four crore households across the country in one year, Uttar Pradesh (UP) has decided to set up committees in each district and encourage competition among them to emerge as the best performer on set parameters. Out of the 4.12 cr un-electrified households to be covered under the scheme by December 2018, 1.56 cr households are in UP. Electricity is a major issue in UP and ‘Saubhagya’ is seen similar to Narendra Modi’s electrical success as Gujarat Chief Minister by bringing 24X7 power in Gujarat villages. UP has 52% electrification, only better than Bihar (48%) and Jharkhand (45%). The maximum un-electrified households in UP are in Azamgarh (5.21 lakh), Bahraich (4.89 lakh), Lakhimpur Kheri (4.63 lakh), Ghazipur (4.29 lakh) and Jaunpur (4.03 lakh). Districts like Sonbhadra, Saharanpur, Jalaun, Jhansi and Lalitpur are the least electrified ones in UP. Under the Saubhagya scheme, poor families in both urban and rural areas are to be provided metered electricity connections free-of-cost while above-poverty-line families in rural areas are to be charged Rs 50 per month for 10 months for the same.

    Source: The Economic Times

    Punjab committed to offer power at Rs 5 per unit to industry: Power and Irrigation Minister

    December 16, 2017. Punjab Power and Irrigation Minister Rana Gurjit Singh reiterated the Congress government’s commitment to providing electricity to the state industry at Rs 5 per unit, claiming the required modalities to implement it were being worked out. Without elaborating on the reasons behind the delay in issuance of the notification to bring down the cost of power for the industry from existing Rs 6.12-Rs 7.39 per unit to Rs 5 per unit, the Minister said Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is keen on implementing the proposal. He also assured the project would be introduced soon. According to the Punjab State Power Corp Ltd (PSPCL), offering electricity at Rs 5 per unit to the industry, along with other subsidies being offered in the state, would increase the annual subsidy bill of the government to over Rs 13,000 crore. The subsidy to be given to the industrialists would add around Rs 2,800 crore to this bill.

    Source: The Economic Times

    NATIONAL: NON-FOSSIL FUELS/ CLIMATE CHANGE TRENDS

    Suzlon bags 252 MW contract in Gujarat

    December 19, 2017. Wind turbine maker Suzlon has bagged a 252 MW contract from a global firm as a part of Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI) II bid in Gujarat. Under the contract, the company will install 120 units of 2.1 MW of S111 120m in Gujarat, it said.  With this order, Suzlon has secured combined orders of 502 MW across SECI-I and SECI-II auctions, the company said. Bengaluru-based real estate player Kumari Builders and Developers plans to invest Rs 500 crore to develop two villa projects in the city, marking its foray into the segment. Spread across 50 acre, the project in Malur will offer 750 homes, while the 12 acre project on Sarjapur Road includes 192 villas, the company said.

    Source: Business Standard

    Tamil Nadu power utility to set up solar park in Ramanathpuram

    December 19, 2017. The Centre has given its nod to TANGEDCO (Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp) to set up a 500 MW solar park in Ramanathapuram district. This could well be the first such park to be set up by a government-owned power distribution company in the country. The state government had announced on the floor of the assembly earlier this year that a solar park would be set up in Ramanathapuram district. Under the scheme, for every MW of solar power generation capacity set up within the park, Rs 20 lakh can be availed as subsidy. The proposed solar park will be set up at Naripaiyur village in Kadaladi, a coastal town in Ramanathapuram district. The plant is expected to be commissioned in 2019. With the proposed project, the total solar power generation in Ramanathapuram will cross 3,000 MW. Ramanthapuram, Sivaganga and Tuticorin are the three districts with maximum solar radiation in Tamil Nadu. While Tamil Nadu Energy Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has fixed 19% as the PLF (plant load factor) per MW, in Ramanathapuram it is 22% and all the solar power units in the district are seeking relaxation of TNERC (Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission) norms.

    Source: The Economic Times

    YES Bank, EIB to co-finance $400 mn for clean power projects

    December 19, 2017. YES Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) will co-finance $400-million funding for renewable power generation in the country. Of the $400 million, the EIB will fund $200 million, while the rest will be supported by YES Bank, the project promoters and other financial institutions. Under this renewable power generation initiative, several solar projects in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka have been identified. Additional wind and solar projects are also being examined. The EIB loan of $200 million has a tenor of 15 years. YES Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Rana Kapoor said the bank remains well on track to achieve its commitment to finance 5,000 MW of renewable energy made at the first Re-Invest Summit in 2015.

    Source: The Hindu Business Line

    IIT scientists use onion skin to generate electricity from body movements

    December 18, 2017. Scientists at IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Kharagpur have used waste onion skins to develop an inexpensive device that can generate 'green' electricity from body movements, and may power pacemakers, smart pills and wearable electronics. The non-toxic, biodegradable and biocompatible device takes advantage of the suitable piezoelectric properties of the onion skin, researchers said. Piezoelectric materials have the ability to convert energy from everyday mechanical motions into electricity. Increasing population, industrialisation, and ubiquitous use of electronics and vehicles are playing a huge role in destroying the environment day by day.The rising burden on fossil fuels and depletion of natural resources has made the development of sustainable and alternative green energy technologies a pressing requirement in current energy deficiency world, researchers said. Piezoelectric materials can be used to convert simple body movements into green energy without adding any pollution to our environments. However, piezoelectric nanogenerators are difficult to synthesise and are often very expensive. They are also usually highly toxic or pose environmental hazards, which means their use in real life application remains limited. The device could be used in various biomedical applications such as pacemakers powered by heart beats or edible devices that can track health from inside the body. Researchers estimate that the device could be manufactured easily at a cost of less than a rupee, with existing technologies. This would make the system accessible to people the economically weaker sections of the society. To build the device, the researchers coated an onion skin with a thin layer of gold and added copper wires with silver paste. The device developed by researchers has an output of 18 volts and can turn on 30 green LEDs under repeated human finger touch response, according to the study published in the journal NanoEnergy. The device could withstand repeated cycles of pressing and releasing for up to five months. The voltage generated remained almost unchanged even after long cycles, indicating good mechanical stability of the device for bio-medical applications, researchers said.

    Source: Business Standard

    Mangalore varsity to go green

    December 18, 2017. Mangalore University is all set to go green with its power requirements. Selected under a pilot project of Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Mangalore University is the only government building in Karnataka and among 37 across India that will get grid-connected rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system. The university will be eligible for 550 kW of power at zero investment under the pilot. Implemented by Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI), the pilot will see 1,000 MW power generated across these 37 institutions and SECI has contracted ReNew Solar Energy Pvt Ltd to execute the project as per the technical specifications and other tender conditions. The pilot will benefit the university immensely and it does not have to make any investment in the project. ReNew will make the entire investment as per terms and conditions of the pilot. ReNew will maintain the project for the next 25 years. With the project likely to be up and running by March 2018, ReNew will execute a power purchase agreement for 25 years where the university will receive a flat Rs 3.839 per unit of power generated. All unused rooftop spaces on the Mangalagangothri campus will be used for installing rooftop solar PV system. The university on an average incurs a power bill of Rs 16 lakh per month and this shoots up to Rs 18-19 lakh during summer. The pilot will result in an annual saving of around Rs 1.5 crore. ReNew has completed the process of identifying the places where the PV system will be set up and the university would receive the green power by March 2018.

    Source: The Times of India

    TPREL commissions solar plant in Karnataka

    December 18, 2017. Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL) has announced the commissioning of its 100 MW solar plant at Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka. TPREL has built the two 50 MW solar plants on over 533 acres. Sale of power from the plant has been secured under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with NTPC Ltd. at a tariff of Rs 4.79 per unit, the company said. TPREL won the project in May 2016 under the National Solar Mission. With this development, TPREL's total installed operating capacity now stands at 1,614 MW, the company said.

    Source: Business Standard

    Students in power deficit areas to get solar lamps in UP

    December 17, 2017. The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is likely to distribute over 34 lakh solar lamps to school children in power deficit districts of Uttar Pradesh (UP) from December 22. The Solar Urja through Localisation for Sustainability (SoULS) project in association with the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, was started on September 19. Lakhimpur Kheri is a major beneficiary of the project, where more than one lakh solar lamps are to be assembled and distributed among the rural students of Pallia, Nighasan and Lakhimpur blocks, UP project manager of IIT-Bombay Shailendra Dwivedi said. The self-help group members assembling and distributing the solar lamps would earn Rs 12 to Rs 17 per unit, Ajay Pandey, deputy commissioner of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), said.

    Source: Business Standard

    Government proposes Rs 110 bn plan to boost domestic solar panel manufacturing

    December 16, 2017. To promote manufacturing in India of solar photovoltaic cells and modules, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has drafted a set of proposals for financial and other support. Direct financial support of Rs 11,000 crore is proposed. Domestic solar manufacturing had been hit by cheaper import in earlier years. So, MNRE initiated a Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) under the National Solar Mission. Government proposes Rs 11k cr plan to boost domestic solar panel manufacturing Government procurement is proposed at 12,000 MW, from the existing 1,000 MW. A new quality order is proposed for solar cells and molecules, with infrastructure for quality testing. The plan proposes Central Financial Assistance in the form of a capital subsidy of 30 percent for setting up or upgrading manufacturing capacity. The policy will target the creation of manufacturing capacity of 10 GW (10,000 MW) over five years, with focus on an integrated silica to modules package and intermediate standalone packages or combinations. The central government would also offer exemption from customs duty on import of capital goods. With a manufacturing unit requiring high capital investment, the government would allow a solar power plant of twice the required capacity, to earn through power sale as well. However, any manufacturing plant availing of this would not be eligible for any other incentive, goes the draft.

    Source: Business Standard

    Colruyt plans to invest Rs 10 bn in renewable energy space in India

    December 15, 2017. After setting up its IT development centre in Hyderabad, Belgian retail giant Colruyt Group is gearing up to make a big splash in the renewable energy space in India and has lined up an investment of around Rs 800-1,000 crore for the next two years, Hari Subramanian, head (India operations), Colruyt Group, said. The group plans to set up a separate entity for it's India renewable energy venture, which will also be headquartered in Hyderabad, Subramanian said. He said that that the company is also open to setting up solar projects but the first few projects will be in the wind energy space and will be set up in the southern part of the country. Each wind project will have the capacity of around 30 to 50 MW, he said.

    Source: The Times of India

    PM to open Tuirial hydro project in Mizoram

    December 15, 2017. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi will dedicate the Tuirial Hydroelectric Power Project in Mizoram to the nation, the power ministry said. The 60 MW Tuirial Hydro Electric Power Project (HEPP) has been constructed as a Central Sector Project and implemented by North Eastern Electric Power Corp (NEEPCO), under the administrative control of the Union power ministry. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) cleared the project for implementation in July 1998 with commissioning scheduled in July 2006. After the completion of about 30 percent of the project activities, the work was totally suspended from June 2004 due to local agitation. The work resumed in January 2011. Unit-I of the project was commissioned on August 25 this year, and Unit-II on November 28. The project has been built at a cost of Rs 1,302 crore. It is the biggest power project in Mizoram and will feed the entire energy to be generated to the state, which will help it achieve the Centre's ambitious and flagship Mission '24x7 Affordable Clean Power for All'. The state's current demand of electricity is only 87 MW and this is being met by the state's mini power projects and availability of its share of power from central sector projects. Mizoram will now be the third power-surplus state in North East India after Sikkim and Tripura.

    Source: Business Standard

    Hybrid solar systems to be installed in government schools of Haryana

    December 15, 2017. The Haryana government has decided to install hybrid solar systems in all government schools of the state in a phased manner. To begin with, the hybrid solar systems would be installed in 3,222 government high and senior secondary schools at a cost of Rs 236.57 crore. The state education department said the hybrid solar systems to be installed in schools would have a battery bank of 7.2 VAh/Wp so as to ensure uninterrupted power at schools after installation. The department said the central assistance of 30%, which is on reimbursement basis, would help fund the additional burden of Rs 110 crore to provide the battery bank. Moreover, any amount which is left after installation of hybrid solar systems in all the government schools and receipt of central assistance would be used for operations and maintenance, upgrading and replacement of consumer items (battery) considering the fact that the solar panel would have a warranty period of 25 years and the power conditioning unit (PCU) and batteries would have a warranty of five years after successful commissioning, the department said.

    Source: The Times of India

    India's first offshore wind projects auction for 5 GW in 2018

    December 14, 2017. India will invite bids for the first time to set up offshore wind power projects in the country with the government planning to auction for 5 GW of capacity, Power and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh said. Addressing the National Energy Conservation Awards event with President Ram Nath Kovind as the chief guest, Singh said that India will surpass its target of having 175 GW renewable energy capacity and achieve 200 GW by 2022. He also said the current fiscal would see auctions for 9 GW of wind energy, which also includes already auctioned capacities. The next two fiscals will each see bidding for 10 GW of wind capacity. The government has already auctioned 2 GW wind capacity in two rounds so far this year. The country's current wind power installed capacity is 32 GW. The government issued the norms for wind power auction.

    Source: Business Standard

    ICICI Lombard offers solar panel warranty insurance policy

    December 13, 2017. ICICI Lombard General Insurance announced it now covers solar park developers by insuring the park owners. The domestic solar power industry has witnessed huge growth over the past few years with the government’s push for the National Solar Mission initiative. The mission focuses on promoting solar power under the National Action Plan on Climate Change and has led to a rise in the country’s solar power generation capacity from 2,650 MW in May 2014 to 12,288 MW in March 2017. Of this, 5,525 MW was added in 2016-17, the highest in any year. The government has mandated all PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings) to consume 30 percent of power from solar energy and the increased level of activity associated with this capacity brings along with it associated risks. The Solar Panel Warranty Insurance caters to solar park developers with the park owner as the insured and sole beneficiary. The policy safeguards the insured against performance degradation of PV (photovoltaic) modules, under performance warranty due to the hazards related to faulty manufacturing, material defects and material ageing.

    Source: The Economic Times

    GST led to 12 percent rise in cost of solar projects: AISIA

    December 13, 2017. The GST (Goods and Services Tax) has led to 10-12 percent rise in overall cost of solar projects, the All India Solar Industries Association (AISIA) has said, while petitioning the government against the rise in tax incidence on solar power equipment under the new regime. While solar power generating systems are charged 5 percent tax, procurement and supply of equipment like module mounting structures, trackers, inverters, transformers and cables are being charged the GST at varying rates. AISIA said solar module were exempt from all duties in the pre-GST regime but since July 1 they are being charged 5 percent GST. Inverters, cables and transformers were levied by 2 percent central sales tax and excise was exempt but post GST they are charged 5-8 percent tax. Similarly, the tax incidence on services and civil work has risen to 18 percent from 15 percent and 6 percent respectively previously. Under the current GST regime, "solar power cost will see upward escalation", AISIA said, while urging the government to remove the ambiguity. It suggested re-introduction of MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy)-certification or self-certification supported by an undertaking that such equipment is required for the setting up of a solar power generating system.

    Source: Business Standard

    Solar auctions, tenders drop in November: Mercom

    December 13, 2017. Solar tender and auction activity declined steeply in India during November, Mercom Capital Group said. The solar capacity tendered across the country during the month fell by 25 percent to 300 MW compared to October and the amount of solar auctioned dropped by 98 percent to just 5 MW, Mercom said. The largest tender seen during the month was issued by Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) which re- tendered 200 MW of solar to be developed at the Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka. The Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI) was responsible for the only solar auction held in November when it auctioned a 5 MW grid-connected solar PV (photovoltaic) project under the National Solar Mission Defense viability gap funding (VGF) programme for the Ordinance Factory in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Giriraj Renewables Pvt Ltd emerged as the successful bidder by quoting a tariff of Rs 4.18 ($0.064)/kWh (kilowatt hour) without VGF. According to Mercom's India Solar Project Tracker, cumulative solar installations in India surpassed 17 GW as of September 2017, with over 7 GW installed in the first nine months of 2017.  In the third quarter of 2017, a total of 1,456 MW of solar power was tendered and 1,232 MW of solar was auctioned. That total represented a marked reduction from the activity seen in the second quarter when 3,408 MW of solar projects were tendered and 2,505 MW projects were auctioned.

    Source: Business Standard

    Jain temple harnesses solar power for environmental welfare over profit

    December 13, 2017. A Jain temple on the outskirts of Mumbai is shining light on a new path of environmental conservation that could serve as an example to other pilgrimage spots. The prominent Manas Mandir derasar in Shahapur has installed solar rooftop panels that will reduce pollution and save 40% of its annual cost of electricity. Manas Mandir is set amid a large 100 acre campus in Shahapur along the Mumbai-Nashik highway. Nearly six lakh devotees arrive from all parts of the country each year, so the trustees run a large kitchen and dharamshala for their benefit. The temple requires 250 kW power to fulfil its requirements. The first phase began generating solar power in November. Since the panels became functional last month, several devotees are flocking to ask questions. The derasar invested Rs 40 lakh towards installation.

    Source: The Economic Times

    Uttarakhand CM discusses hydro projects with Gadkari

    December 13, 2017. Uttarakhand Chief Minister (CM) Trivendra Singh Rawat met Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and discussed several matters including hydro power projects on Alaknanda and Bagirathi rivers. Rawat said that 33 hydro power projects on Alaknanda and Bagirathi rivers with total capacity of 4060 MW were stalled due to instructions from the National Ganga River Basin Authority and the Supreme Court. Besides deliberating on 300 MW Bawla Nandprayag project on the Alaknanda in Chamoli district, Rawat and Gadkari also discussed issues related to compensation for acquisition of farmers' land.

    Source: The Economic Times

    INTERNATIONAL: OIL

    Moscow oil refinery suspends diesel exports due to pipeline damage

    December 19, 2017. Russia’s Moscow oil refinery, owned by Gazprom Neft, has suspended exports of diesel due to a damaged pipeline, traders said. Gazprom Neft said the plant was working according to schedule. Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft said it had stopped pumping oil products such as diesel through one of its pipelines after finding signs of an oil spill.

    Source: Reuters

    Iraq to use drones to protect oil pipelines from 2018

    December 18, 2017. Iraq plans to use drones to monitor and protect its oil export and production pipelines from the first quarter of 2018, the oil ministry said. Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi has asked the ministry to seek out professional security companies that can supply Iraq with drones and sophisticated camera systems to protect its pipelines. Luaibi announced plans to build a network of pipelines which will carry crude oil and refined products across all its territory, as an alternative to expensive and hazardous transport by tanker trucks. The use of drones to monitor pipelines is common in advanced energy producing countries but a new step for Iraq which has seen attacks from insurgents on pipelines since the 2003 US-led invasion which toppled Saddam Hussein. The only international crude pipeline now in operation in Iraq links the northern, semi-autonomous Kurdish region to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

    Source: Reuters

    Petrobras oil production in Brazil falls 1.5 percent in November from October

    December 16, 2017. Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) produced 2.13 million barrels of oil per day on average in Brazil in November, 1.5 percent less than in October, the company said. Petrobras said the fall was mainly caused by a scheduled interruption of operations at the FPSO Cidade de Niterói, based in the Marlin East field in Campos basin, for maintenance. Natural gas output in November fell 2.3 percent from October to 78.4 million cubic meters/day, for the same reason.

    Source: Reuters

    Ineos shuts 110k bpd crude unit at Grangemouth refinery

    December 16, 2017. Ineos has shut the 110,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland due to a lack of feedstock following an outage on the Forties crude pipeline. Ineos shut the 65,000 bpd CDU at the refinery but the unit restarted again.

    Source: Reuters

    Poland's Lotos to take at least five oil shipments from US in 2018

    December 13, 2017. Poland’s second-biggest oil refiner Lotos signed an agreement to receive at least five crude oil shipments from the United States (US) next year, it said. The state-run Lotos received its first US oil earlier this year as part of a bigger plan to reduce reliance on Russian supplies.

    Source: Reuters

    INTERNATIONAL: GAS

    Russia lifts gas re-export ban for Serbia

    December 18, 2017. Russia has dropped the requirement for Serbia to consume its gas only on the domestic market, a Russian government document published showed, allowing the Balkan state to re-export the fuel. The concession was made ahead of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Moscow. Gazprom has made a number of concessions to consumers, including price reductions, as it faces increasing competition form other energy sources, such as liquefied natural gas, as well as political pressure in Europe, which has tried to cut its reliance on energy supplies from Moscow. The new document amends the 2012 contract for gas supplies until 2021 for the volume of 5 billion cubic meters per year.

    Source: Reuters

    ExxonMobil, BHP end Australia gas sales JV

    December 18, 2017. ExxonMobil Corp and BHP Billiton Ltd have agreed to end a nearly 50-year-old gas marketing joint venture (JV) in Australia, bowing to pressure from the nation’s competition watchdog amid concerns about gas supply and soaring prices. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the companies said they would start marketing their gas from the Gippsland Basin separately, starting in 2019. The ACCC flagged it might force the firms to sell their gas separately.

    Source: Reuters

    Venezuela gives Russia's Rosneft gas field concessions

    December 17, 2017. Venezuela has awarded licenses to a unit of Russian oil major Rosneft to develop two offshore gas fields, Rosneft said. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed the deal during a visit to Venezuela by Rosneft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Igor Sechin. During the visit, Sechin also discussed Rosneft’s cooperation with Venezuelan state energy company PDVSA. Under the agreement, which is valid for 30 years, wholly-owned Rosneft unit Grupo Rosneft will become the operator of the Patao and Mejillones offshore gas fields, Rosneft said. Rosneft will have the right to sell all of the fields’ production for export, including in the form of liquefied natural gas, Rosneft said. It said total estimated reserves at the two fields are 180 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, and that maximum annual production would be 6.5 bcm.

    Source: Reuters

    TransCanada seeks US approval to put Leach natural gas pipe in service

    December 16, 2017. TransCanada Corp’s Columbia Gas Transmission unit asked US (United States) regulators for permission to commence service on the company’s Leach XPress natural gas project in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia on January 1, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The $1.6 billion project includes a 160-mile (257-km) pipeline and compression facilities that will transport up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from Appalachian shale basins to Ohio, West Virginia and other parts of the country. The Leach pipe will help supply gas toward the Southeast via the recently completed 0.6-bcfd Rayne XPress project in Kentucky.

    Source: Reuters

    US looks to Germany to stop Baltic undersea Russian gas pipeline

    December 13, 2017. A Russian pipeline project that would boost Moscow’s ability to manipulate European energy markets can be slowed by Denmark but ultimately Germany would be needed to stop it, US (United States) State Department said. Russian natural gas company Gazprom and its European partners are seeking to build Nord Stream 2, a project to move gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, bypassing existing land routes through Ukraine and Poland. Russia cut gas shipments in winter months in 2006, 2009 and 2014 during pricing disputes with neighbouring countries including Ukraine. Washington hopes to diversify Europe’s gas supply with shipments of US liquefied natural gas (LNG), a business that has emerged recently with advent of the fracking boom. Currently 90 percent of US LNG goes to markets in Asia. But the exports are expected to soar in coming years as US facilities open, which could mean more will be available for Europe.

    Source: Reuters

    Gas supply from Austrian gas hub back to normal after deadly blast

    December 13, 2017. The operator of Austria’s main pipeline hub focused on finding the cause for a deadly blast after successfully bringing gas supplies to neighbouring countries back to normal. Gas prices across Europe fell. The hub in eastern Austria is a major regional transfer node, taking gas from as far away as Russia and pumping it towards neighbours including Italy - its biggest recipient - as well as Germany, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. Currently one third of Russian natural gas is transported via the Baumgarten hub, according to operating company Gas Connect Austria.

    Source: Reuters

    INTERNATIONAL: COAL

    British coal still burning abroad despite push for global ban

    December 18, 2017. Britain led calls for an end to coal-fired power generation at United Nations (UN) climate talks in Bonn but at the same time British companies are active in coal projects around the world, often with government help. In Britain, the use of coal in electricity generation has declined sharply since the introduction of a carbon tax in 2013, although the country remains a center of coal-mining expertise. Britain led an international alliance to phase out coal from power generation in the EU and developed countries by 2030 and by 2050 worldwide at UN talks in Bonn on implementing the Paris agreement on climate change. At home, Britain plans to phase out coal power plants by 2025, unless they have technology to capture and store emissions.

    Source: Reuters

    Growth in global coal demand subdued over next five years: IEA

    December 18, 2017. Global coal demand will be subdued over the next five years, growing at just 0.5 percent a year, marginally higher than current levels, due to lower consumption in China, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. Coal consumption fell last year by 1.9 percent to 5.357 billion tonnes from a year earlier as lower gas prices, a surge in renewables and efficiency improvements dampened demand, the IEA said in its annual coal market report. Coal use will decline in Europe, Canada, the United States and China - the world’s largest coal consumer - but rise in southeast Asia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. U.S. coal consumption will increase slightly next year then decline to 469 million tonnes by 2022, while EU (European Union) consumption is expected to fall to 293 million tonnes by 2022. After years of decline, coal prices continued to strengthen this year, driven by a sharp cut in Chinese coal output coupled with strong demand across the Asia-Pacific region and in Europe.

    Source: Reuters

    Vale workers in Mozambique down tools at Moatize coal mine over bonus pay

    December 15, 2017. Workers at Brazilian mining giant Vale’s Mozambique Moatize coal mine downed tools in a dispute over bonus payments. The workers embarked on a strike early, paralyzing work at the plant. Vale cut the bonus because the price of coal had dropped sharply globally, and wanted the bonus reinstated as the price has recovered.

    Source: Reuters

    ContourGlobal to build $1.17 bn coal-fired power plant in Kosovo

    December 14, 2017. Kosovo government has signed an agreement with US-based ContourGlobal for the construction of the €1 bn ($1.17 bn) Kosova e Re coal-fired power plant in the country to meet the increasing power demand. The commercial agreement between the Kosovo government and ContourGlobal for the power plant is planned to be signed in near future. The new coal-fired power plant is claimed to be first major energy project in the Balkan country in more than two decades. Construction of the new project is scheduled to commence next year with planned commissioning in 2023.

    Source: Energy Business Review

    China approves 15 mt coal mine in Inner Mongolia

    December 13, 2017. China has given the go-ahead for a 15 million tonnes (mt) open-pit coal mine to be built in Inner Mongolia, the country’s top producing region, the latest in a string of approvals as Beijing seeks to ensure sufficient fuel supplies. The mine, owned by state utility Guodian Group, will be based in eastern Inner Mongolia and cost about 4.2 billion yuan ($634.39 million), the National Development & Reform Commission said. The decision comes soon after the Chinese government approved two other projects in the region, each owned by China Coal, and with a combined annual capacity of 14 mt. Guodian recently merged with Shenhua Group, the country’s top coal miner, to create China Energy Investment Corp. Inner Mongolia produced 838 mt of coal last year. Beijing had approved 90 mt of new coal capacity in the first half of the year. However, the government has pledged to eliminate 800 mt of outdated coal capacity nationwide by 2020, including 250 mt this year.

    Source: Reuters

    INTERNATIONAL: POWER

    SSEN seeks to improve resilience of electricity networks in United Kingdom

    December 18, 2017. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks is taking to the skies to improve the resilience of its electricity networks. Working with NM Group, SSEN is using innovative aerial 3D laser scanning technology (LiDAR) to survey its entire overhead electricity network and is using this data to carry out preventative works designed to minimise the risk of tree-related power cuts to customers. Using a fleet of specially equipped aircraft, the LiDAR system uses light sensors to create extremely accurate and detailed maps, revealing the exact distance – to as little as 2cm accuracy – that trees and other vegetation are positioned next to SSEN’s overhead electricity lines in the north of Scotland and central southern England. In central southern England, SSEN has now flown 99% of its network and processed this data to directly inform its tree-cutting programmes and improve the resilience of the electricity network.

    Source: Energy Business Review

    UK MMO approves 1 GW UK-France electricity interconnector project

    December 13, 2017. The United Kingdom (UK) Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has issued a comprehensive decision for the 1000 MW Interconnexion France-Angleterre (IFA2) link project. The high voltage direct current (HVDC) project, under the TEN-E Regulations, has received all of the required statutory consents in UK consenting regime. It is planned to be commissioned in 2020. ABB will be responsible for providing two high-voltage direct current HVDC Light converter stations, which will be installed in France and England. The converter stations will be linked with a subsea cable.

    Source: Energy Business Review

    NextBridge selects Quanta to construct Ontario transmission line project

    December 13, 2017. Texas-based Quanta Services has been selected by NextBridge Infrastructure to construct the Ontario East-West Tie Line Project, a double-circuit, power transmission line in northwestern Ontario in Canada. NextBridge is a partnership formed by affiliates of Enbridge, NextEra Energy Canada and OMERS Infrastructure with an intention to take part in the Ontario transmission market. Valard’s services in this regard include project management, material management, construction permitting and the installation of about 467 km of double circuit 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line. The new transmission line will link Wawa Transformer Station, Marathon Transformer Station and Lakehead Transformer Station, all owned by Hydro One. The objective of the project is to ensure the long-term reliability of the power supply in the northwest region of Ontario. In particular, the new transmission line is expected to meet the strong demand for electricity from the industrial activities in the area, especially in the mining sector. Quanta said that construction on the project is likely to start in late 2018 and could be completed in late 2020. The project will be built parallel to an existing double-circuit 230 kV transmission line corridor. However, it will avoid certain sensitive features such as the Pukaskwa National Park and others which have been crossed by the existing transmission line.

    Source: Energy Business Review

    INTERNATIONAL: NON-FOSSIL FUELS/ CLIMATE CHANGE TRENDS

    EU governments agree renewable energy targets for 2030

    December 19, 2017. European Union (EU) Environment and Energy Ministers agreed renewable energy targets for 2030 ahead of negotiations next year with the European Parliament, which has called for more ambitious green energy goals. Ministers said they would aim to source at least 27 percent of the bloc’s energy from renewables by 2030, up from a target of 20 percent by 2020. EU member states set a 14 percent renewables target for fuels used in road transport by 2030, with bonuses given for the use of renewable electricity in road and rail transport. The inclusion of rail into the renewable transport targets was criticized by the European Commission, as large parts of the European rail network are already electrified. Europe’s climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete added that with falling prices for renewables, the EU could reach a target of 30 percent of renewables with similar costs as had been previously estimated for the 27 percent. The European Council and the European Parliament will need to find a compromise in talks over the final legal texts on these matters next year. The EU’s renewables targets are part of a set of proposals to implement the bloc’s climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, in the wake of the Paris Agreement to limit further global warming to no more than 2 degrees.

    Source: Reuters

    Eni strengthens renewable energy ties with Algeria's Sonatrach

    December 18, 2017. Italian oil and gas group Eni said it had agreed a deal with Algeria’s state-owned energy group Sonatrach to strengthen their renewable energy partnership in the country. Eni said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two companies aimed at pinpointing areas at Sonatrach production sites where solar power plants could be built.

    Source: Reuters

    New Jersey nuclear power subsidy bill could cost $320 mn per year

    December 16, 2017. Three state senators in New Jersey sponsored a bill that could cost electric ratepayers about $320 million a year to subsidize nuclear reactors that could otherwise be closed. Ralph Izzo, chief executive of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc, which operates three reactors in the state at the Salem and Hope Creek plants, said he may be forced to shut the units unless the state provides subsidies. Izzo said the reactors were profitable now but could start losing money over the next couple of years because cheap natural gas has depressed power prices. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he wants to see nuclear power plants continue to operate in the state and that he would consider a bill to subsidize the reactors. In 2016, New York and Illinois adopted rules to subsidize some reactors that were in danger of closing. Ohio, Pennsylvania and Connecticut have also considered proposals to protect their reactors.

    Source: Reuters

    US tax bill to preserve key renewable energy credits

    December 15, 2017. The final version of comprehensive tax legislation being negotiated by House and Senate lawmakers will preserve key renewable energy tax credits that were once at risk of being removed, congressional and business sources said. Congressional Republicans reached a deal on tax legislation, clearing the way for final votes next week on a package that would slash the United States (US) corporate tax rate to 21 percent and cut taxes for wealthy Americans. Congressional and business sources briefed on the status of these talks have confirmed that the production tax credit for wind energy and the $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit, which the House version of the bill had targeted, will remain in the final bill. Lawmakers have been working to produce a tax package after the Republican-controlled House and Senate passed different versions of legislation. The president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, Gregory Wetstone, sent a note to members saying that he knew “with certainty” that the legislation also did not include the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for corporations that would have reduced the value of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind projects. Meanwhile, the renewable energy industry is awaiting final details on how congressional negotiators will address problems created by a provision included in the Senate-passed bill called the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT). Wetstone said negotiators are working on a fix that would allow the PTC to offset at least 80 percent of the BEAT tax imposed on multinational companies.

    Source: Reuters

    South Korea plans shift to renewables, but coal, nuclear to remain strong

    December 14, 2017. South Korea aims to expand the share of renewables and also natural gas in its fuel mix to gradually cut back its high dependence on coal and nuclear power over the 15 years to 2031, the energy ministry said. The ministry’s new draft proposal - an adjustment to its power supply plan for 2017-2031 - reflects growing domestic calls for better air quality and more stringent nuclear safety. Despite efforts to boost renewables and natural gas, however, South Korea’s power generation mix will remain dominated by nuclear and thermal coal, which will still account for 60 percent of electricity in 2030, the plan showed.

    Source: Reuters

    Hungary plans big boost in solar power generation

    December 14, 2017. Hungary will relax rules on the construction of small solar power plants and subsidize loans to landowners as part of efforts to promote renewable energy. The country’s sole nuclear power plant currently provides over half of Hungary’s electricity and around 29 percent of its electricity is imported, a proportion the government wants to reduce. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff, Janos Lazar, said the new rules would relax regulations on the use of farmland. The government would also provide subsidized loans to farmers or companies to finance the construction of solar plants with a capacity of up to 0.5 MW, through state-owned development bank MFB. The state would purchase all electricity generated at the new solar plants, Lazar said. The program’s long-term goal would be to minimize Hungary’s need to import electricity in the next two decades, Lazar said. Renewable energy represented less than a tenth of Hungary’s energy use in 2013, according to a 2017 progress report by the European Commission, and the government aims to increase that proportion to 13 percent by the end of this decade. Lazar said the Hungarian energy regulator issued 2,600 solar power plant permits at the end of last year, about half of which are under construction.

    Source: Reuters

    Norway to open acreage for offshore floating wind power

    December 13, 2017. Norway plans to open one or two offshore regions for construction of floating wind turbines, the petroleum and energy ministry said. Norway is western Europe’s top producer of oil and natural gas, and has so far lagged Nordic neighbours Denmark and Sweden in wind power developments.

    Source: Reuters

    Japanese court rules against Shikoku Electric nuclear restart

    December 13, 2017. A Japanese court ordered Shikoku Electric Power Co not to restart one of its reactors, overturning a lower court decision and throwing into turmoil Japan’s protracted return to nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. The decision by the High Court in Hiroshima in western Japan has no immediate effect on Shikoku Electric’s operations because the reactor in question has been idled for maintenance, but it casts into doubt any restart. The ruling also marks a victory for Japan’s anti-nuclear movement, which has won a number of lawsuits seeking to halt or prevent nuclear operations in recent years, only to see them overturned by more conservative higher courts. Kansai Electric and Kyushu Electric are the only other two nuclear operators with reactors running. Just four reactors are currently operating out of 42 commercially viable units.

    Source: Reuters

    DATA INSIGHT

    Scenario of Petroleum Prices in Indian & International Market

    Average Petroleum Prices in Indian Market

    YearPetrolDieselLPG
    Rs/Litre

    Subsidized

    (Net after DBTL Subsidy)

    Non-Subsidized
    Rs/14.2 Kg Cylinder
    2014-1566.3753.38415.5NA
    2015-1661.5947.01418.95587.65
    2016-1764.6153.24426.94549.65
    2017-18 (first Half)66.8756.19462.45598.71

    Average Petroleum Prices in International Market

    YearPetrolDieselLPG
    $/Barrel$/Tonnes
    2014-1595.4596.64683.87
    2015-1661.7255.02394.71
    2016-1758.156.59393.31
    2017-18  (till 30th
    November, 2017)
    64.4963.95461.73

    Average of Indian Basket of Crude Oil

    Source: Compiled from Various Questions from Lok Sabha (for Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas)


    Publisher: Baljit Kapoor

    Editorial Adviser: Lydia Powell

    Editor: Akhilesh Sati

    Content Development: Vinod Kumar Tomar

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