MonitorsPublished on Nov 05, 2016
A staggering $20 billion worth of debt split roughly equally between operational and under-construction power projects reportedly at risk and other roundups
Energy News Monitor | Volume XIII; Issue 21

Power News Commentary: October 2016


2011 paper for the Brookings Institute co-authored by the current governor of the RBI asked whether the exuberance of the Indian power sector had legs. The answer suggested by the paper was ‘no’. News emerging this week appeared to confirm the answer. A staggering $20 billion worth of debt split roughly equally between operational and under-construction power projects were reportedly at risk according to news items that cited a report by ratings agency Crisil. As per the Crisil report, around 17 GW of operational power projects with a debt of about $10 billion and another 24 GW of under-construction projects with roughly equal debt exposure were reported to be ‘high risk’. Cost-overruns, aggressive bidding at coal block auctions, issues over gas supply are among the reasons given but lack of demand for power was not mentioned. While the Crisil report expected credit growth to the power sector to moderate to 5 per cent over the next three years compared to an average of 18 per cent in the last five years on account of the UDAY scheme (that shifts bank debt to the government balance sheets), it expected NPAs of the sector to increase from 1.3 per cent to 4.4 per cent in FY16. The quick and easy take on this is that once UDAY wipes out debt from the long suffering discoms, the Indian power sector would sprint into a cheap, clean and profitable future with solar power.   To a pessimistic minority this may sound like irrational exuberance or exuberance that lacks legs as the RBI governor eloquently put it. The physics and economics of energy is on their side as both continue to favour centralised supply of uninterrupted energy generated by energy dense fossil fuels. A recent MIT report on solar power confirms this position as it observes that even if solar panels were given away free, coal based power will be cheaper for an industrial economy. qc_fact Among the more entertaining news on electricity was the item that claimed that nearly 500 Samajwadi Party workers in a village of poll bound UP joined the ruling Bharatiya Janta party citing lack of electricity in their villages. The question that comes to mind is, if people can convert from one party to another for electricity should they also not be given the freedom to convert from one religion to another or one caste to another for similar economic or social benefits? Staying with entertaining news, it was reported that the Power Minister continued his attack on the Planning Commission for its approach of setting targets for power generation that supposedly led power companies to invest ‘irrationally’.  Once again the question that comes to mind is, if targets lead companies to invest irrationally, why then is his government setting targets for almost every form of energy?  Will not the exuberant targets for coal, nuclear and solar energy set by his government lead to irrational investment?

Rest of the World

The proposed coal based power plant in Rampal in Bangladesh continued to remain in the news.  A joint Indo-Bangla forum has apparently written to Indian Prime Minister demanding that the 1320 MW Rampal power plant be scrapped as it has potential to cause ‘irreparable damage’ to Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest. The power plant is located 14 kilometres upstream of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest in Bangladesh, a world heritage site declared by UNESCO.  The selection of the site by the Bangladesh government was said to be based on the fact that it was not densely populated (which would mean relatively lower number of re-locations) and close to the port for importing coal.   As it is often the case with environmental protests, it is probably the articulate urban dweller enjoying the benefits of industrial development such as life in a well-connected city in Bangladesh with access to electricity, air-conditioning, motorised vehicles and other comforts of modern housing funded by well paid jobs (presumably in the non-government sector with the mandate to oppose the very fuels that underwrite his or her life style) who is marching against the plant.  The people living in abject poverty in the area surrounding the Sundarban forests may actually want the power plant for it may offer better job prospects and also possibly electricity.  One cannot imagine many in these areas wanting to continue their wretched life as fishermen or subsistence farmers in mud huts that are routinely destroyed by storms. Rarely are these people consulted when such projects are debated. Organisations who supposedly represent them often assume that the poor in the Sundarban want the same outcomes as themselves. The blackout across South Australia after a series of severe storms and lighting strikes was widely reported in the international press.  An independent review has been proposed to resolve the political divisions over the cause persisted. Australia's Prime Minister who supports traditional coal and natural gas based power generation has blamed South Australia's high dependence on renewables for the outage. Naturally his assessment is being criticised by other political leaders who accuse him of letting ideology drive his comments. The World Energy Council’s 2016 report declared that smarter people and machines would enable smart grids, smart buildings, smart homes and offices, and smart cities to become the norm by 2060. The report expected advanced manufacturing, automation, telecommuting, and other technologies are expected to disrupt traditional energy systems. The report predicted that demand for electricity would double by 2060 on account of the growth of the middle class, rising incomes, and more electricity-enabled appliances and machines. Overall the report takes the popular position of being exuberant on both, the extent of renewable penetration and the death of coal and oil.


Subsidised LPG rate hiked by Rs 2 a cylinder

November 1, 2016. The price of subsidised cooking gas (LPG) was hiked by over Rs 2 per cylinder, the sixth increase in rates in five months, while that of jet fuel was raised by a steep 7.3 percent in step with global trends. A subsidised 14.2-kg cylinder will now cost Rs 430.64 in Delhi as against Rs 428.59 previously, according to state-owned oil firms. Also, the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) price was hiked Rs 3,434.25 per kilolitre (kl), or 7.33 percent, to Rs 50,260.63 per kl in Delhi. This is the second straight increase in rates, coming on the back of 3.11 percent rise in October 1. In case of subsidised LPG, this is the sixth increase in price since July when the government decided to go in for a small hikes of up to Rs 2 per bottle every month to cut down its subsidy outgo. LPG rates were last hiked on October 28 by Rs 1.5 per cylinder on account of hike in commission paid to dealers. In the last monthly hike, rates went up by Rs 2.03 per cylinder on October 1 to Rs 427.09. Prior to that rates were hiked by Rs 1.97 per cylinder on September 1, Rs 1.93 on August 16 and by Rs 1.98 per 14.2-kg cylinder on July 1. The government had decided to take the diesel route for eliminating subsidies on LPG and kerosene. Diesel price was deregulated in November 2014 after the previous UPA government effected 50 paise hikes every month to eliminate subsidies. The near Rs 2 per cylinder hike in LPG every month is also aimed at doing the same thing. In case of kerosene, the government has allowed state-owned oil companies to raise the price by 25 paise a litre every fortnight for 10 months. The 8th hike in kerosene, since July, was effected. A litre of kerosene now costs Rs 17.17 in Mumbai. Delhi has been declared a kerosene free state and no subsidised PDS kerosene is sold in the national capital. The price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG), which consumers buy after exhausting their quota of 12 bottles of 14.2-kg each per household in a year, was hiked by Rs 37.5 to Rs 529.50. Oil firms revise rates of ATF and cooking gas on 1st of every month based on oil price and foreign exchange rate in the preceding month. Source: The Financial Express

India's $20 bn refinery expansion to cut fuel oil output

October 28, 2016. India may turn into a net importer of fuel oil as its state-owned refiners are making multi-billion dollar investments to upgrade their refineries and produce more profitable refined products such as gasoline or diesel. India has traditionally been a net exporter of fuel oil, the residue oil left after initial crude refining that is typically used in shipping and power generation. Three state-run energy firms -- Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) -- plan to spend $20 billion on refinery expansions to add units by 2022 that would process fuel oil into gasoline and diesel, boosting their output to meet growing local demand for transport fuels. Private refiners Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Essar Oil have already invested heavily to build advanced refineries which produce gasoline at the expense of fuel oil. India's net fuel oil exports averaged 109,000 tonnes from April to September, according to the country's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, and the traders estimate this could flip into a need to raise fuel oil imports as early as late 2017. As a result, the price difference between diesel and fuel oil could narrow further from its current $17.61 a barrel, as Indian shipping fuel demand rises with the government's thrust on the coastal movement of cargoes, considered more cost efficient than road transport. Indian refiners' expansion plans almost coincide with changing shipping fuel norms from 2020 requiring the use of low-sulfur fuels. IOC is the biggest expansion investor, planning to spend ` 500 billion ($7.48 billion) by 2022 to raise its refining capacity by about 30 percent to 2.08 million barrels per day (bpd) including expanding its Panipat refinery in northern India to about 400,000 to 500,000 bpd. HPCL and BPCL plan to spend $11.25 billion to expand refineries and install fuel oil upgrading units, halting fuel oil output in almost all plants. Source: Reuters


KG-D6 gas dispute may cost RIL over $1.2 bn

October 31, 2016. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and one of its partners in the KG-D6 block — Niko Resources — may end up paying the government about $1.25 billion as compensation for benefits they derived from the natural gas that allegedly migrated from ONGC’s adjacent fields in the Krishna-Godavari Basin off the Andhra Pradesh coast. The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) had, in its first draft, given the indicative number of $1.25 billion to the Ministry for Petroleum and Natural Gas. The DGH has been working on the monetary compensation based on the recommendations and model suggested by the single-member Justice AP Shah Committee. Indications are that the figures have been derived based on calculations in respect of gas price and volume done on a monthly basis, and after deducting the royalty, cess and profit petroleum that the contractors have paid the government on the produce so far. The government will not find it easy to determine the precise amount of compensation, which in any case will be open to challenge by the contractors. For instance, between April 2009 and March 2015, the royalty calculations rose from 5 percent to 10 percent; the variance could influence the determination of the compensation. Second, it’s not clear what the gas price will be taken as. Source: The Hindu Business Line

Free gas connections for 40k families in tiger reserves

October 30, 2016. The state government has decided to provide cooking gas connections for free to 40,000 families in villages situated in the core and the buffer zones of Ranthambore, Sariska and Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserves. The decision is aimed at dissuading villagers from foraying into forests for firewood and preserving natural habitats for the wildlife. The beneficiaries would be identified by the forest department and priority would be accorded to families from villages that are being relocated from the tiger reserves. The scheme would benefit villagers in Sawai Madhopur, Karauli, Kota, Tonk, Kota, Jhalawar and Chittorgarh districts. The state government has prepared a 'firewood free village' scheme in keeping with chief minister Vasundhara Raje's budget 2016-17 announcements about providing 100% subsidy to families in villages in and around the tiger reserves. The scheme would reduce villagers' dependence on forests for fuel and also rid the womenfolk of smoke related health issues generated from cooking with traditional firewood consuming 'chulha' (stove). Under the scheme, the gram panchayats or 'vikas samitis' would ask the beneficiaries to fill oath forms stating that no member of their families would cut trees in forests. It would be called the "kulhari bandh" (stop axe) oath. The beneficiaries would also pledge to protect and preserve the forest and its wildlife. The free cooking gas connections would be issued in the name of woman in the family. In case a family does not have any woman member, the connection can be issued to a male member. Every connection's actual cost would be fully subsided, up to maximum Rs 5000. Source: The Times of India qc_Good

India scours globe for bargain LNG as domestic plants idle

October 28, 2016. India is scouting for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts globally as part of a push to secure cheap supplies for its under-utilized gas-fired power plants. Australia, Qatar and Iran could all act as potential suppliers of long-term LNG contracts, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said. The global search for LNG comes as India’s gas-fired plants, which can generate nearly 25 GW of power, run at less than a quarter of their capacity because of a shortage of the fuel at affordable prices. Energy consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd said India may struggle to attract the interest of LNG producers at those prices. Spot LNG in Singapore rose to $6.542 per million British thermal units, the highest since December, according to the Singapore Exchange Ltd. Prices are up more than 65 percent from a low in April. India is also targeting investments in Australian LNG projects and coking coal mines to secure fresh sources of supply, Goyal said. Petronet LNG Ltd, India’s biggest LNG importer, signed a pact with Exxon Mobil Corp in 2009 for supply of 1.5 million tons of the super-chilled fuel for 20 years from the Gorgon LNG project in Australia. Supplies are expected to begin next month. Source: Bloomberg

Cairn India targets to double gas production from Barmer by FY19

October 28, 2016. Cairn India, the operator of Barmer oil and gas block in Rajasthan, is planning to invest $100 million, a chunk of it to monetise its natural gas resources. The Vedanta group company is targeting to increase gas production to 40-45 million standard cubic feet per day (mscfd) by 2017 and to 100 mscfd by 2018-19. Cairn India is developing the project in a phased manner to realise capital efficiency while maintaining production growth and is progressing on track. In the first phase, 8 out of the 15 wells have been brought online and will start adding to the production as per plan. Rest of the wells are also planned to be brought online by December 2016. Contract for low cost augmentation of the existing facility will be awarded in October 2016. Tendering for enhancement of existing pipeline capacity is in advance stage and contract is expected to be awarded during the third quarter of FY17. Natural gas production from Raageshwari Deep Gas (RDG) increased from 28 mscfd in first quarter of FY17 to 33 mscfd in the second quarter of FY17, amounting to 3 billion cubic feet (bcf). Source: The Financial Express

ONGC's aggressive plan to explore more gas in Tripura

October 26, 2016. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), by deploying a record number of rigs, including one from China, has embarked on an aggressive road-map to explore more natural gas in the north-eastern state of Tripura, bordering Bangladesh. ONGC Executive Director S.C. Soni, who had headed operations in Mumbai High, said ONGC is currently drilling 14 to 15 wells per year. With the deployment of the additional rigs, the number would go up to 20 to 22 a year. ONGC has so far drilled about 210 wells in Tripura, more than half of which are gas-bearing, Soni said. He said that a 110 million-tonne high-capacity rig valued at more than Rs 23 crore was deployed last week in the Kunjaban field, near Agartala. Its 109-foot mast height is suitable for operations up to 5,000 metres depth and is equipped with the latest technology and all safety features. The company earlier this month hired the Chinese rig for Rs 9.5 lakh per day. The truck-mounted rig can drill up to 3,500 metres. ONGC has so far discovered 11 gas fields in the state, seven of which are in production, Soni said. Under the investment plan to produce and supply 6.25 million standard cubic metres per day (mscmd) to various consumers, including production of electricity, for another 15 to 20 years, at least 153 wells are to be drilled, he said. Source: The Economic Times


CIL's production falls marginally in October

November 1, 2016. Coal India Ltd (CIL) reported a marginal fall in its production in October to 43.51 million tonnes (mt) compared to 44.37 mt produced in the corresponding month last year. According to provisional data, its off-take for the last month stood at 43.04 mt, down marginally from 44.41 mt from in the year-ago month. During first seven months of the current fiscal, Coal India's production was at 273.57 mt against a target of 307 mt. During this period, the miner's production also fell by a meagre 0.1 percent compared to 273.91 mt produced in the corresponding period last year. CIL said that Indian Oil Corp, Fertiliser Corp of India Ltd and Hindustan Fertiliser Corp of India joined in the joint venture which was formed by the coal miner and National Thermal Power Corp to revive Sindhri and Gorakpur urea units of Fertiliser Corp of India. Source: Business Standard

Adani plans to start construction of Australia mine project in 2017

October 27, 2016. Indian mining giant Adani said it plans to start construction of a $21.7 billion Carmichael coal mine project in Australia in 2017 after years of legal delays over environmental approvals. Adani’s efforts to build one of the world’s largest coal mine project in Australia’s Queensland state has been hampered time and again since its launch six years ago. A federal court in August last year had revoked the original approval due to environmental concerns. In October last year, the project got a new lease of life after the Australian government gave its re-approval. Source: The Financial Express

India's coking coal imports to rise in FY'17

October 27, 2016. Coking coal import in India is slated to rise in the ongoing fiscal on the back of higher demand, ICRA report said. The rise in country's coking coal would be as a result of commissioning of additional capacities of 3.7 million tonnes (mt) and 3 mt in JSW Steel Ltd and Tata Steel Ltd respectively for first quarter of financial year, 2017 and the substitution of steel imports by increased production, following various protection measures imposed by the government, the report said. While domestic steel prices have also witnessed an improvement owing to protection measures introduced since February 2016, the recent rally in coking coal prices is likely to almost entirely offset the price gains in the fourth quarter of financial year 2017, assuming no change in prices for hot rolled coil (HRC), iron ore and coking coal from the current levels. Source: The Economic Times qc_BAD

Centre rules out Odisha's demand for coal royalty revision

October 26, 2016. The Centre ruled out the state government's demand for revision of royalty on coal which is 14% at present. For every Rs 100 worth coal transported, the producer has to give Rs 14 to the government as royalty. The Centre had last revised it in April 2012 though there is a provision to revise the royalty in every three years. Union Coal Secretary Anil Swarup after a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the secretariat told that there is no proposal before the Centre to revise the royalty on coal. The state earned Rs 1,627 crore as coal royalty in 2015-16 and aims to scale up the amount to Rs 1,700 crore in the current fiscal year. The earning from coal royalty in previous years was Rs 1,439 crore (2014-15), Rs 1,378 crore (2013-14), Rs 1,245 crore (2012-13) and Rs 1,073 crore (2011-12). The Union secretary's statement came as a blow to the state government as it has raised the issue before the Centre on a number of platforms. During his recent meeting with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi, Chief Minister Naveen demanded that the Centre consider revision of coal royalty. When asked about the state's demand to get share from the National Clean Energy Fund, the Union Coal Secretary said the coal ministry is not dealing with the fund. On coal block auction, Swarup said there were a very few takers for the coal blocks after the fourth round of auction. Unless there is no demand, there is no point in putting blocks on auction, he said. Regarding availability of coal to power plants, the Union Coal Secretary said for the first time in the history of this country, adequate coal (at least for 15 to 20 days) are available for all power plants. Source: The Times of India

National: Power

UPPCL in overdrive to supply 24 hour power across state

October 31, 2016. A day after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav promised 24 hours of power supply across the state, the top brass of UP Power Corp Ltd (UPPCL) went into an overdrive to make arrangement of power in excess of demand. According to UPPCL, while demand was expected to touch 16,500 MW, the corporation has made arrangements of around 18,000 MW. This is almost 1,500 MW more than the expected demand. UPPCL said the idea was to provide 24 hours of power supply not only in urban but also rural areas. The excess arrangement was made in view of any exigency. UPPCL going into an overdrive to make adequate power arrangement comes at a time when UP heads towards the crucial assembly elections. Source: The Times of India

Electricity shortage threat looms large over Karnataka

October 31, 2016. A power shortage threat looms large over Karnataka, even as a chilly winter sets in. The dry spell is worrying the state government, which fears it may lead to a power crisis much before summer arrives. Normally, by now, all thermal units should start shutting down in a phased manner for overhauling. But this season, with no inflows into the reservoirs, and water levels in hydroelectric reservoirs reaching dead storage levels, thermal units have been working overtime. A contingency plan on the power situation was finalized by a high-level meeting held by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and attended by energy minister DK Shiva Kumar. It envisaged meeting the exigency by purchasing power from power traders and other states. This situation has resulted from a prolonged drought, especially in South Karnataka where hydroelectric reservoirs are located. The state government has already declared drought in 110 taluks and is contemplating declaring another 25-30 taluks droughthit. Last year, an equal number of taluks was declared drought-hit. The total demand for power in Karnataka is estimated to be more than 12,000 MW, and 25% of this is consumed by Bengaluru. The crisis will be compounded by frequent repairs and maintenance activity at thermal plants in Udupi, Raichur and Ballari. The government has issued instructions to the authorities to make arrangements to provide electricity for the maximum time, till the 2018 assembly elections. The government also restricted independent power producers from selling power to other states The additional burden will eventually be passed on to the consumer through a tariff hike. Source: The Times of India

Electricity connection to all by 2017 end: Bihar CM

October 28, 2016. Bihar Chief Minister (CM) Nitish Kumar claimed that all the 1,06,218 rural settlements in Bihar would be provided electricity by the end of 2017. He said the survey for providing electricity to all the above-poverty-line (APL) families in the state was in the final stages and electrification works would commence before November 20, the day Nitish-led Grand Alliance government would present its first report card on its performance. The CM asked the energy department to renovate a closed power plant near Karbigahiya for tourism and museum purposes. Around 48 lakh APL families in Bihar do not have electricity connections. According to Census 2011, only 30.9 lakh households, comprising only 6.1% of the total population of the state, had access to electricity. The state had 10.40 crore population, as per the Census. The CM said over 70,000 households have already been electrified. Funds to the tune of Rs 1,896 crore have been allocated for providing electricity to all APL families under the state government's seven resolves. Energy department said around 5,000 prepaid electricity meters equipped with chips have been installed in Patna and such meters are also being installed for agriculture purposes in rural areas. Energy department principal secretary Pratyaya Amrit claimed full electrification in Kishanganj and said Nalanda would become so soon. Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said the state government was already working on the Moin-ul-Haque Stadium at Rajendra Nagar to develop it as a first- class stadium where international matches, including IPL tournaments, would be organized. Source: The Times of India

Govt plans to rationalise power tariffs

October 27, 2016. The government plans to make electricity billing more efficient and transparent by reducing the number of categories of consumers, which should improve tariff collection and improve the health of distribution companies. The Central government and states have begun talks to rationalise various categories of consumers. Currently, states have different and complex tariff structure with various categories and sub-categories of power consumers. The power ministry said a committee constituting officials from Union power ministry, state power departments, central and state electricity regulators and Central Electricity Authority will look into simplifying categories of electricity consumers across states. Most states had agreed to the idea of having uniform tariff categories of electricity consumers at a two-day conference of Union and state power ministers held earlier this month in Vadodara. Source: The Economic Times

Reliance Energy offers customer services on WhatsApp

October 26, 2016. Reliance Energy, the power distribution arm of Reliance Infrastructure in Mumbai, will offer customer services on WhatsApp to its over 3 million subscribers. By adding the Reliance Energy number 9022813030 to their WhatsApp contact list, customers can now avail a host of services, including status of e-payments, metering and billing queries, duplicate bill requests, and host of other services, Reliance Energy said. Source: Business Standard


India seen needing $100 bn more to meet Modi’s energy goal

November 1, 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs at least $100 billion more to finance India’s goals for clean energy even after his government’s policies brought in record investment in wind and solar power stations. That’s the conclusion of a report, sponsored by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a U.S. non-profit working to mitigate climate change with renewable energy, which found $10.5 billion flew into renewables in India for the fiscal year ended March 31, almost 60 percent more than the $6.6 billion invested two years ago. It also said 7.3 GW of clean-energy projects were built for the latest fiscal year, which is 71 percent higher than the previous period. The findings represent the broadest assessment yet of the money going into India’s clean-energy industry. Growth in the renewables business has helped India become the third-biggest power market in the world after China and the U.S., according to the report. Modi has set a goal of building 175 GW of clean-energy capacity by 2022 to supply more of the 62 million households that lack access to reliable grids and feed demand for electricity that’s projected to rise fourfold by 2040. Source: Bloomberg

‘India should scale up, speed up nuke electricity programme’

November 1, 2016. India should scale up and pace up construction of nuclear plants to meet its insatiable power demand, renewable programme and climate change targets, Agneta Rising, director general of the World Nuclear Association, said. Currently, India has five reactors under construction with 3,300 MWe capacity. India’s first nuclear electricity plant became operational in 1969. Comparatively, China has 20 reactors under construction with 22,596 MWe capacity, having had the first nuclear electricity in 1994. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has planned 16 reactors with 17,000 MWe, with first nuclear electricity expected in 2022, according to the association’s Asia Special Update report. India has the technology, expertise and skill to build its own nuclear plants, Rising said. But despite the knowledge, India takes about seven years or 84 months to complete a reactor, Rising said. India’s goal is to have 14.5 GWe of nuclear generating capacity online by 2024, up from 6,219 MWe at present, the report said. The government has given in principle approval for new nuclear plants at 10 sites in nine states. Source: The Indian Express

NHPC commissions 50 MW wind power project in Rajasthan

November 1, 2016. NHPC announced commissioning of a 50 MW wind power project in Rajasthan. The project consist of 25 nos wind turbine generators each of 2 MW capacity, which has been successfully synchronised with grid in October 2016. Source: The Hindu Business Line

Puducherry govt to implement waste management rules

November 1, 2016. Puducherry government will implement the Municipal solid waste management rules, 2016, notified by the Union environment, forest and climate change ministry within a month following a direction from the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Puducherry municipality and Oulgaret municipality commissioners - R Chandrasekar and M S Ramesh respectively, said organisers cannot hold any event that attracts more than 100 people without prior approval of the local bodies. Similarly all resident welfare and market associations, gated communities and institutions with more than 5,000sqm and hotels and restaurants should within one year ensure segregation of waste at source, they said. They appealed to the general public to segregate and store waste generated in three separate streams - bio-degradable, non-biodegradable and domestic hazardous waste materials and hand them over to the authorised waste collectors. Every street vendor must keep suitable containers for storage of waste generated as notified by the local bodies. The government proposes to process, treat and dispose biodegradable waste through composting or bio-methanation while handing over the residual waste to the waste collectors or agencies as directed by the local bodies. Source: The Times of India

Environment ministry reviews ambient air quality status of Delhi

October 31, 2016. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change reviewed the ambient air quality status of Delhi, in the light of the rising levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10, especially during Diwali this year. It has been observed that open burning of solid waste in and around Delhi, vehicular emissions in Delhi, dust by the roadside and around construction sites in Delhi and stubble burning of crop residue in neighbouring States of Delhi are major contributors to pollution in Delhi. The problem has been accentuated due to relatively low wind speeds and lower temperatures, resulting in reduced dispersion of pollutants in Delhi. Therefore, it has been decided that Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will, under relevant statutory provisions available, direct – a) Municipal local bodies in and around Delhi to forthwith take all possible measures to check open burning of solid waste. b) Municipal local bodies in and around Delhi to strictly enforce rules related to prevention of fugitive emissions from construction activities. c) Punjab, Haryana and other NCR States to effectively enforce ban on stubble burning in agriculture fields. For this purpose, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has summoned the concerned Secretaries of NCR States on 4th November to review the situation and to further deliberate on the strategy to minimise occurrences of open burning in agriculture fields. d) All public road owning agencies in Delhi to ensure that roadsides are watered periodically to arrest re-suspension of dust in ambient air. e) Delhi Police to effectively ensure that movement of traffic at busy intersections in Delhi is streamlined to minimise pollution due to vehicular emissions. Source: PIB qc_Ugly

Rays Power Infra commissions 5.75 MW solar project in Telangana

October 27, 2016. Rays Power Infra has commissioned a 5.75 MW solar photo-voltaic project in Telangana. The project was undertaken for the company’s client Earth Solar and completed within seven months. It was executed by Rays Power Infra on turnkey basis, right from land acquisition till commissioning and executed at a remote location under tough site conditions. With this project, the total portfolio of commissioned projects under Rays Power Infra has gone up to 320 MW in India, and 76 MW in Telangana. Power generated by the solar plant is utilized to electrify nearby villages. Source: The Hindu Business Line

Amplus to build rooftop solar plant in Greater Noida

October 26, 2016. Amplus Energy Solutions has inked a deal to install a 2 MW rooftop solar plant for India Exposition Mart Ltd (IEML) that hosts international business exhibitions and promotional events in Greater Noida in the National Capital Region (NCR). Gurgaon-based Amplus said that it will install, operate and maintain for a period of 25 years the project, which will be funded through the $150 million it has raised from a global infrastructure investment fund, I Squared Capital. The company said that it commissioned India's largest single-location rooftop solar installation for captive use of 4,130 kW for Yamaha Motors in Noida. The government aims to increase energy sourced from solar rooftop systems to 40 GW by 2022. Source: The Economic Times

Delhi's Rajghat Power Plant may become waste-to-energy

October 26, 2016. Delhi government is planning to convert the Rajghat Power Plant into a waste-to-energy plant, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said. The proposal was discussed in a meeting of the inter-ministerial task force appointed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to tackle the issue of pollution and garbage disposal in the city. He said that the proposal to convert Rajghat Power Plant into a waste-to-energy plant was discussed with the three municipal corporations. Jain said the committee also discussed plans to start small waste processing plants in vegetable markets, residential societies, hotels and the like. Source: Business Standard

Gamesa to set up two solar projects in India

October 26, 2016. Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa, announced it has signed an agreement with Indian developer Atria Power for the construction of 130 MW of solar power at two locations in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The contact is the largest solar order received by the Gamesa since it entered the Indian Solar sector last year, according to the company. The € 2.7 billion pound wind turbine manufacturer will develop two solar power plants, with the capacity of 90 MW and 40 MW and will be responsible for the design and engineering of the facilities as per the agreement. Gamesa will also handle operations and maintenance at the facilities slated for commissioning in March 2017. Gamesa Electric will also install 96, 1.37 MW photovoltaic inverters, the most powerful inverters installed in India to date, the company said. Gamesa sizes India's solar potential at 750 GW and the Indian government's goal is to lift installed solar capacity to 100 GW by 2022, has created a large demand of solar projects in the country. Source: The Economic Times

International: Oil 

Statoil says sizeable oil finds in North Sea still possible

November 1, 2016. Norway's Statoil believes sizeable oil finds can still be made in the North Sea even though the area has been explored for decades, the company said. The search for oil and gas has been hit by energy firms' reduced spending, triggered by a slump in crude prices since mid-2014, yet the oil major still sees a large potential. Annual global discovered volumes are down 75 percent over the past four years and third-quarter results indicate that 2016 is heading towards a replacement ratio of only 6-7 percent for liquids, according to data from Rystad Energy. In Norway, no commercial discoveries have been made so far in 2016. The reserve replacement ratio measures an oil company's ability to find new resources to replace existing production. Source: Reuters

Tullow oil says to restart Kenyan exploration and appraisal next month

November 1, 2016. Tullow Oil will restart exploration and appraisal drilling at Kenya's prolific South Lokichar field next month where it saw an upside potential of over 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Tullow Oil, which has its main production assets in Ghana, also has exploration acreage in Mauritania, Namibia and Zambia. Tim O'Hanlon, vice president for Tullow Oil's Africa business, said in Uganda, where it had 1.7 billion barrels of oil to develop, Tullow Oil was targeting an export pipeline capable of taking 200-230,000 bpd to Tanga port in Tanzania. He said front-end engineering and design of the pipeline will start next year and a final investment decision was expected in 2018. Source: Reuters

Russia says hopes for global pact to cap oil output

November 1, 2016. The Kremlin hopes that a consensus between Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC oil producing nations on capping oil output can be reached. Non-OPEC members such as Russia made no specific commitment about joining OPEC in capping output at a meeting with the oil cartel last week. A day earlier, OPEC itself was unable to agree on how to implement a global deal. Source: Reuters

Shell takes top earnings spot from Exxon as oil majors adapt to low prices

November 1, 2016. Royal Dutch Shell and BP joined peers in reporting higher than expected earnings by making further deep cuts in spending to cope with an oil price downturn now in its third year. The companies said they were well on the way to adapting to the more than halving in prices. But any new sharper downturn would test their ability to invest for growth and retain the relatively large dividends their shareholders expect. Source: Reuters

Putin launches commercial production at Vladimir Filanovsky field

November 1, 2016. Commercial production at the Vladimir Filanovsky field in the Caspian Sea has been launched by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. The V. Filanovsky field, discovered by Lukoil in 2005, is Russia’s largest oil discovery for the past twenty-five years and the second field commissioned by the company in the Russian offshore sector of the Caspian Sea. The field’s С1+С2 recoverable reserves under the Russian classification are estimated at 129 million tons of crude oil and 30 billion cubic meters of gas. The annual oil production at the plateau is estimated at 6 million tons. Two horizontal production wells have been drilled to date, yielding a total daily flow rate of over 45,000 barrels of oil. Construction of a third well is currently underway. Source: Rigzone

Total expects 100k bpd from Congo's Moho Nord in early 2017

November 1, 2016. French oil major Total expects first production from Congo Republic's offshore Moho Nord field to add an extra 100,000 barrels a day when it starts early next year. Guy Maurice, Africa president for exploration and production, also said the company expected to make a final investment decision on its onshore Ugandan field "by the end of 2017". Source: Reuters

Early Los Angeles-area quakes linked with oil production

November 1, 2016. Several damaging Los Angeles-area earthquakes of the 1920s and 1930s, including the deadliest ever in Southern California, may have been induced by oil production during the region's drilling boom of that era, U.S. government scientists reported. The findings of a possible link between oil extraction and seismic events in the L.A. basin some 80 or 90 years ago do not apply to modern industry practices but suggest the natural rate of quake occurrences in the region may be lower than previously calculated, the scientists said. The report suggested four major Los Angeles-area quakes in 1920, 1929, 1930 and 1933 were triggered by early drilling methods in which oil was extracted without water being pumped into the ground to replace it, causing the ground to subside. This could have artificially placed more pressure on seismic faults near oil fields. The early Los Angeles oil boom began in 1892 with discovery of petroleum near the site of the present-day Dodger Stadium. By 1923 drilling in the L.A. basin accounted for nearly 20 percent of the world's total production of crude. Source: Reuters

Iraq asks oil majors to downsize costly Dubai offices

November 1, 2016. Iraq has asked international oil companies (IOCs) to shut down prestige offices among the glittering towers of Dubai, through‎ which they used to run their oil operations in Iraq, as a way to rein in their budgets. The move, which has been taken by some oil majors developing Iraq's vast southern oilfields, would mean that the companies will have to move hundreds of contractors in and out of the country every few weeks and leading to downsizing of companies' regional hubs based nearby in the United Arab Emirates. Oil companies helping Iraq develop its massive fields have to clear their spending with Baghdad each year, including staffing costs. They are then repaid with income from Iraq's exports of crude produced from existing fields. The arrangement worked smoothly when oil prices were above$100 a barrel but the collapse in global crude prices meant Baghdad was paying the same fees in pricey Dubai while its revenue from oil sales is significantly lower. Oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Total, and Lukoil, who all operate Iraqi oilfields, have their regional offices in Dubai. Source: Reuters

Russia's Lukoil to start production at Rakushechnoye field in 2022

October 31, 2016. Russia's Lukoil said it planned to start production at its Rakushechnoye field in the Caspian Sea in 2022. Lukoil's regional manager Alexey Kazakov told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the firm would produce around 1.0-1.1 million tonnes of crude oil per year at Rakushechnoye. Lukoil also plans to launch its gas and condensate field named after Yury Kuvykin in 2026, he said. Source: Reuters

OPEC oil output hits new record on Nigeria, Libya

October 31, 2016. OPEC's oil output is likely to set another record high in October, a survey found, as Nigerian and Libyan output partially recovered from disruptions and Iraq boosted exports. The rise in output could add to scepticism about OPEC's ability to finalize a plan agreed in September to limit supplies. Oil, which rallied to a 2016 high near $54 a barrel following the decision, has since slipped toward $48. Supply from the OPEC has risen to 33.82 million barrels per day (bpd) in October from a revised 33.69 million bpd in September, according to the survey. That would be 820,000 bpd above the top end of a target output range OPEC agreed to adopt at a September 28 meeting. According to analysts, production near 34 million bpd would prolong the supply surplus weighing on the market. October's supply from OPEC excluding Gabon and Indonesia, at 32.88 million bpd, is the highest in survey records starting in 1997. Source: Reuters

African oil explorers poised for comeback after drilling low

October 31, 2016. Chariot Oil & Gas Ltd plans to drill its first well in at least three years in 2017 off Morocco as African oil and gas explorers meeting in Cape Town ponder the potential for an industry renaissance. Offshore drilling on the continent matched an all-time low in September, with just nine active rigs, according to Baker Hughes Inc. data. From that trough, the deal hatched by OPEC in Algiers at the end of the month to cut the group’s output for the first time in eight years is adding to optimism that Africa is ripe for a comeback. Source: Bloomberg

Russia sees oil output slightly up in 2017-18

October 29, 2016. Russia expects to increase its oil output by 0.7 percent next year and a further 0.9 percent in 2018, the draft federal budget showed. Crude production is seen at a record-high 548 million tonnes in 2017 and 553 million tonnes in both 2018 and 2019, up from an estimated 544 million tonnes this year, the document showed. Russia, one of the world's top oil producers, has said it was willing to freeze output as part of a global deal between OPEC and non-OPEC nations aimed to support oil prices. Source: Reuters

Woodside takes $350 mn stake in Senegal offshore oil deal

October 29, 2016. Woodside Energy has secured a 35 percent stake in three oil and gas tenements off West Africa after buying ConocoPhillips Senegal BV for $350 million. Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said Woodside would be working with partners to commercialize the promising SNE and FAN deep-water oil discoveries off the coast of Senegal. The deal comes after ConocoPhillips's partner in the SNE field, FAR Ltd in August attempted to thwart the arrangement between ConocoPhillips and Woodside, claiming ConocoPhillips had breached their joint operating agreement. Source: Reuters

UK's North Sea Buzzard oil field restarts after maintenance

October 28, 2016. The UK's North Sea Buzzard oil field resumed production following a month-long maintenance and is currently producing around 140,000 barrels per day (bpd). The field was expected to return this week and usually produces around 180,000 bpd. The field is the main contributor to the Forties crude stream, one of the four grades used to set the Brent benchmark that serves as a basis to price two thirds of the world's oil. Source: Reuters

Exxon Mobil finds potential 1 bn barrel oil field offshore Nigeria

October 27, 2016. ExxonMobil has a 27% interest holding in the Owowo field with Chevron, Total, Nexen and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company. Off the coast of Nigeria, Exxon Mobil Corp and its partners have found a reservoir that is estimated to hold between 500 million and 1 billion barrels of oil beneath 2 miles of ocean floor. Source: Rigzone

Petrobras sets 2020 for start of Libra oil production system

October 27, 2016. Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) and partners will install the first of four commercial production systems in the giant Libra offshore oil area in 2020, adding one a year through 2023. Each of the floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels will have the capacity to produce 180,000 barrels of oil a day (bpd), Petrobras said. Production is expected to be between 120,000 to 180,000 bpd with all the natural gas not used to power the production system likely to be re-injected. The Libra area holds an estimated 8 billion to 12 billion barrels of oil and equivalent natural gas reserves, according to Brazil's oil industry watchdog ANP. Petrobras and partners estimate that 25 percent of Libra's total resources of 10 billion to 44 billion barrels of "oil in place", or total oil in the reservoir, can be recovered. That amount led to the ANP's estimate of reserves, or total recoverable oil. The first Libra pilot production system will produce oil from 17 wells, eight production wells and nine to re-inject water, natural gas and carbon dioxide into the reservoir, Petrobras said. Some of the later production vessels could be built to produce more than the 180,000 barrels a day expected of the first ship. Petrobras and its partners are working to cut costs to $35 a barrel. Total said that capital and operating costs in the area will be about $20 a barrel. Source: Reuters

Iran crude oil exports to hit four-month low in November

October 27, 2016. Iran's crude oil exports are set to decline 5 percent in November to a four-month low, as low seasonal demand in Europe takes the edge off its post-sanctions export bonanza. Iran's oil exports typically hit a low around October or November each year, reflecting peak refinery maintenance seasons in Europe and in Asia. Next month, however, shipments to Asia look to be steady to higher as China's purchases rebound from an October dip to its lowest Iran imports for the year so far. Source: Reuters

OPEC production cut would have biggest impact from February 2017

October 26, 2016. As OPEC ministers prepare to meet in Vienna next month to thrash out a keenly anticipated but still uncertain cut to crude output, oil traders are jostling for position in futures and options markets in a bid to capitalize on any deal. While any cut agreed by OPEC at its November 30 meeting could take effect as soon as December 1, traders say the biggest price impact will be in contracts for delivery in early 2017, especially the February contract, rather than in the spot market. Source: Reuters

BP sells US crude oil to Thailand, Australia for first time

October 26, 2016. BP plans to ship 1 million barrels of United States (US) crude to Thailand and Australia for the first time. The cargo will add to at least four shipments of US crude by BP to Asia after the United States government lifted a decades-old ban on crude exports in late 2015. Traders are keen to ship more U.S. oil to Asia, but falling shale oil output and a narrow price spread between West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent have kept the arbitrage window closed for most of this year. BP is expected to load 1 million barrels of crude from the US Gulf Coast onboard a Suezmax tanker which will arrive in Asia in December. The company has sold 300,000 barrels of crude to Thailand's PTT PCL and the remaining 700,000 barrels will head to Australia to be processed at BP's refinery. Thailand and Australia have not imported US crude before, data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed. China, Japan and South Korea imported US crude this year, according to EIA. Source: Reuters

Tecpetrol, ENAP offer Argentina's Escalante crude cargo for December

October 26, 2016. Argentina's oil firm Tecpetrol and a unit of Chile's state-run ENAP have launched a tender to sell 740,000 barrels of Escalante crude for delivery December 8-14 at Caleta Cordova terminal. The companies sell most of the oil they produce in Argentina on the open market. Bids for this tender will be received until November 1, indexed to Brent crude front month prices. Source: Reuters

Iraq lures investors to boost its oil output as OPEC debates cuts

October 26, 2016. As OPEC gathers in Vienna next month to consider cutting its oil output, a lower profile event in Baghdad on the same day will signal Iraq's longer term ambition to do precisely the opposite. November 30 is both the date when OPEC ministers meet in the Austrian capital and the deadline set by Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi for international firms to submit bids to help it develop 12 "small and medium-sized" oil fields. Developing the 12 Iraqi oil fields, which lie in southern and central areas away from Islamic State strongholds, will take longer than that. Nevertheless, fellow OPEC members and rivals need read no further than the terms of the new tender to understand Baghdad's intentions. Source: Reuters

International: GAS

US gas production shows tentative signs of upturn

November 1, 2016. United States (US) natural gas production may be stabilising or even starting to rise as the boost to oil and gas prices in recent months stimulates an increase in new drilling. Marketed dry gas production amounted to 2,239 billion cubic feet (bcf) in August, down from 2,302 bcf in August 2015, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gas production has been down year on year by an increasingly large percentage since March as the effect of low prices and a reduction in drilling filters through. Output in July was down by more than 4 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, according to EIA survey data. Source: Reuters

Mozambique to launch next O&G licensing round in 2017 or 2018

November 1, 2016. Mozambique, which has vast offshore gas reserves, will hold its sixth round of oil and gas (O&G) licensing round late in 2017 or in 2018.  Mozambique's National Petroleum Institute provided few details about the rounds in the presentation at the Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town. Source: Reuters

Ophir says does not need partners for upstream floating LNG project in Equatorial Guinea

November 1, 2016. Ophir Energy can go ahead with its Fortuna floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project off Equatorial Guinea with or without new partners because the cost estimates have halved to around $450 million. Oliver Quinn, Ophir's director of new business, said Ophir's equity limit was $150 million because the company did not want to overexpose its balance sheet to the project and the government of Equatorial Guinea would put up to $90 million into the venture. Oilfield services company Schlumberger walked away from the deal in June. Ophir said it had short-listed four potential partners for the project, which involves placing a ship with production facilities over an offshore field. But Quinn said the project - which still awaits a final investment decision - could go ahead without partners because depressed oil and gas prices had forced service providers to cut their costs. Lower costs have also prompted the company to pursue deep water exportation well drilling projects again, with one scheduled offshore of Ivory Coast in 2017 - the company's first in over two years. Source: Reuters

Canada approves C$1.3 bn western gas pipeline expansion

October 31, 2016. The Canadian government approved the C$1.3 billion ($968.78 million) expansion of a natural gas gathering pipeline in western Canada belonging to a wholly owned subsidiary of Trans Canada Corp, with 36 conditions attached. The NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd (NGTL) expansion project will create up to 3,000 jobs during construction and involve building and operating new gas pipelines facilities, the Natural Resources Canada ministry said. TransCanada said the entire project is expected to be finished by the second quarter of 2018. The NGTL System is one of the largest in North America and gathers natural gas from the fast-growing Montney and Duvernay shale plays in northern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. The system gathers 75 percent of the natural gas produced in western Canada, transporting approximately 11.3 billion cubic feet a day, according to TransCanada. Source: Reuters

Engie signs gas transmission and storage agreement in Ukraine

October 31, 2016. French energy group Engie has signed an agreement on gas transmission and storage with the Ukrainian transmission system operator, UkrTransGaz, which will allow Engie to reserve transport and gas storage capacities in Ukraine, starting this winter. Engie will consolidate its activities in Ukraine, where the group provided 3.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in 2015, mainly to state-owned gas company Naftogaz, which is nearly 10% of the gas consumed in the country (34 bcm in 2015). Source: Enerdata

Bangladesh considers buying Chevron's local natural gas assets

October 31, 2016. Bangladesh is considering buying Chevron Corp's interest in three natural gas fields in the country, worth an estimated $2 billion. Chevron, the second-largest United States (US)-based oil producer, said that it plans to sell about $10 billion of assets by 2017 amid a prolonged slump in energy prices. Chevron recently said it is in discussions about the potential sale of three fields it operates in the northeast of Bangladesh. Dhaka sees the gas fields, which account for more than half of the country's production, as a matter of "national interest" and a purchase is on the table, Istiaque Ahmad, chairman of Petrobangla, said. He said that their efforts were at a preliminary stage. Ahmad said Petrobangla was waiting for Chevron to approach it about a bid. Petrobangla is also likely to appoint a consultancy firm to assess the assets, including proven and recoverable gas reserves, to arrive at a valuation, he said. Source: Reuters

Israel sees higher chance of gas export to Europe via Greece

October 26, 2016. Senior officials from Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Israel agreed to advance talks on a pipeline from Israel to Europe after an EU-sponsored study showed the project would be “very feasible,” Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said. The study showed the pipeline, which would traverse Cyprus and Greece before reaching Italy, would cost about € 5 billion ($5.5 billion), much less than previously estimated, he said. The officials met in Athens, together with a representative from the EU energy commission, to review the study and discuss ways to move the project forward. Israel is ready to sign long-term export contracts after the last of the regulatory, legal and political challenges that held up gas development for years was swept away in May. Two major discoveries in the past decade have put Israel on course to become a gas exporter, but the country still must decide how it will move the gas overseas. A pipeline to Greece would have to go deep underwater and would be the world’s longest undersea connection, but the study showed that it’s feasible from an engineering perspective, Steinitz said. He stressed that the idea of exporting gas to Turkey, with whom Israel has held talks about a pipeline, was also still on the table. Source: Bloomberg

China is more than LNG's best hope, it's a microcosm

October 26, 2016. China stands out as a bright spot for oversupplied liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets, but it's much more than just a beacon of demand hope, it's the microcosm of how the global market is likely to develop. China's imports of the super-chilled fuel almost doubled to 2.53 million tonnes in September from the same month in 2015, according to customs data. While a small part of the surge is likely because of an earlier outage of the Sichuan-East China gas pipeline, the overall story is that China is finally starting to fulfil its promise as the next great hope for LNG. Part of the price recovery is linked to stronger Chinese demand, but given the wave of new supply expected to hit the market in the next few years, it's extremely unlikely that LNG will get anywhere near the heady days of early 2014 when it traded above $20 per million British thermal units (mmBtu). Nonetheless, China's rising imports do show how the dynamics of the market are changing. China's biggest LNG supplier is Australia, with imports jumping a massive 101.3 percent in the first nine months of the year to 8.13 million tonnes. Source: Reuters

International: Coal

Glencore to restart Australia coal mine as prices surge

November 1, 2016. Glencore said it would restart a coking coal mine in south-eastern Australia that was shuttered more than two years ago, with a resurgence in prices for the commodity breathing new life into the sector. Less than a year after the coal industry was declared to be in terminal decline, markets for coal used to generate power and make steel have surged - boosted by moves in China to mine less of its own coal and import more. Glencore acquired the underground Integra mine, formally called Glennies Creek, in 2015 after it was mothballed by then owner Vale of Brazil. It plans to restart it early next year. The mine is expected to yield 1.3 million tonnes of coal in 2017, according to Glencore. The unprecedented surge in coal prices in the past few months to more than double their June levels is a big fillip for Glencore and other coal miners. Peabody Energy Corp and Nippon Steel set the fourth quarter metallurgical coal contract benchmark at $200 a tonne, more than twice the price of the previous quarter. Glencore said in October it would rehire about 200 workers at its Collinsville coal mine, also in Australia, after cutting 180 jobs to combat weak pricing. China has cut working days on coal mines to 276 days from 330 days to remove excess capacity, leading to higher demand for imports. Source: Reuters                   

China's coal imports surge again

November 1, 2016. China's imports of coal from the seaborne market surged again in October, thereby justifying the jump in prices but also raising questions as to how much more of the fuel the world's top buyer can suck in. Seaborne coal imports were 20.03 million tonnes for October, according to vessel-tracking and port data. The seaborne data doesn't exactly match Chinese customs data as it excludes shipments from North Korea and overland from Mongolia, as well as coal that arrives on small vessels or barges. It may also be revised slightly in coming days as more data becomes available on when ships discharged cargoes. However, seaborne imports are what matters from a market pricing perspective, as cargoes from North Korea and Mongolia tend not to affect the regional price benchmarks. Source: The Financial Express

US asked China to cut coal imports propping up North Korea

October 30, 2016. A senior United States (US) official urged China to work with the US to close a loophole on North Korean coal imports that Washington believes has been critical to propping up the isolated country's finances. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Beijing ahead of talks with Chinese officials that Chinese coal imports from North Korea contributed to $1 billion in revenue for Pyongyang last year. Beijing agreed in April to halt coal and mineral imports as part of new UN sanctions against the North, but carved out a humanitarian exemption, saying it would still buy coal if the sales are proven to support the livelihood of the North Korean people. Source: Business Standard

Indonesia to resume some coal shipments to Philippines amid piracy concerns

October 30, 2016. Indonesia will resume some shipments of coal to the Philippines, after a months-long halt due to concerns about piracy in seas between the two archipelagos. Indonesia slapped a moratorium on coal shipments to its neighbour after a string of hijackings by militants based in the southern Philippines, in which several Indonesian sailors were taken hostage. Only ships with a capacity of over 500 tonnes will be allowed to resume sailing while smaller vessels and tugboats are still banned. Transportation ministry said that the decision to resume some shipments had been taken because the moratorium had been deemed to be “damaging Indonesian interests”. Indonesia supplies 70 percent of the Philippines’ coal imports but stopped shipments over concerns that piracy in the Sulu Sea area could reach levels previously seen in Somalia. Source: Reuters

China asks coal miners at latest meeting to cap 2017 prices

October 30, 2016. China's government has asked the nation's top coal miners to cap their 2017 supply contracts at or below current spot market levels. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) at an emergency meeting asked miners to agree to set the prices for their 2017 long-term supply contracts at or below 12 cents per kilocalorie (kcal) for 5,000 kcal thermal coal and for 5,500 kcal thermal coal. Those prices are equivalent to 600 yuan ($88.63) per tonne and 660 yuan per tonne respectively. Source: Reuters

Turkish coal import demand will grow to 2026

October 27, 2016. Government support of domestic lignite-power projects will be the key factor in limiting growth in Turkey’s coal imports, according to Sirri Uyanik, CEO of Isken coal-fired power plant. Isken was the first power plant in Turkey to be built and operated by the private sector and relies on imported coal – primarily from Colombia. According to Uyanik, installed import-coal fired capacity would rise from 7455 MW in 2016 to around 11 900 MW in 2026. Source: World Coal

International: Power

Panda Power commissions 829 MW CCGT project in Pennsylvania

October 31, 2016. Panda Power Funds has broken commissioned its 829 MW Liberty CCGT power plant located in Bradford County, Pennsylvania (United States). The Liberty project is the first power plant deliberately sited in the heart of the Marcellus Shale to take advantage of low natural gas prices and transportation costs. Construction started in May 2014. Panda has five combined-cycle power plants in operation in Texas and Pennsylvania, and two CCGT power plants currently under construction in Pennsylvania and Virginia with a combined capacity of more than 5,800 MW. The 1,124 MW Hummel CCGT power project, currently under construction in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, will be one of the largest coal-to-gas replacement projects in the country. Source: Enerdata

Sudan to build power transmission line from Ethiopia’s GERD

October 28, 2016. Sudan’s Minister of Electricity and Water Resources, Mutaz Musa, said that Sudan intends to build a 3000 MW power transmission line from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to link Ethiopia and Sudan electricity networks. Mutaz said that Sudan would increase imported electricity from Ethiopia to 300 MW instead of the current 200 MW in the coming summer season. Sudan suffers power shortage especially in summer season as of late April to the end of July. During this period every year there is power cut for nearly eight hour on daily basis. Sudanese government acknowledges the gap in electricity production and attributes that to the impossibility to import new power generation units due the economic sanctions on the country. Source: Sudan Tribune

Brazil attracts investors to power transmission lines auction

October 28, 2016. The Brazilian government awarded licenses for companies to build and operate 6,126 km (3,829 miles) of power transmission lines, finding investors for 21 of 24 lots offered in an auction. It was the best outcome for a licensing round of that type since 2012. Brazil's electricity regulator Aneel, which organized the auction, estimates the new licenses will require investment of 11.6 billion reais ($3.61 billion). Local group Equatorial Energia SA was a featured player, snapping seven lots. The company controls two power distribution firms and two large oil-fired thermal power plants in northern Brazil. It has no prior presence in the power transmission sector. Source: Reuters


Geoengineering to alter climate moves closer to reality

November 1, 2016. A United Nations body is investigating controversial methods to avert runaway climate change by giving humans the go-ahead to re-engineer the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere. So-called geoengineering is seen as necessary to achieve the COP21 Paris agreement clinched in December, when 197 countries pledged to keep global temperatures rises below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), according to researchers who produced a report for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Large-scale geoengineering may include pouring nutrients into oceans to save coral habitats or spraying tiny particles into the Earth’s atmosphere to reflect sun rays back into space. Geoengineering proposals have been shunned because of their unpredictable consequences on global ecosystems. The University of East Anglia released a study in February that concluded geoengineering ideas were hazardous, costly or unrealistic. The Convention on Biodiversity has approached geoengineering with caution, seeking to constrain the development unless there is effective global governance, Phil Williamson, a scientist at the U.K.’s University of East Anglia said. Carbon capture and storage is one of the more viable options going forward, Williamson said. Costs for machines that suck carbon dioxide out of the air, known as the direct air capture method, are falling as the technology becomes more efficient. The government of Norway recently committed $160 million to fund projects that will collect pollution from three industrial sites and extend its research program. Source: Bloomberg

Drought-hit Mozambique signs first major solar power deal

November 1, 2016. Drought-stricken Mozambique will start building its first large scale solar plant in early 2017, after Scatec Solar, which owns several such plants in Africa, signed an $80 million deal to sell electricity to the state-owned energy company for 25 years. The 40 MW plant will deliver power to the national grid and produce energy for some 175,000 households, Oslo-based Scatec Solar said. Mozambique has been hit by the worst drought in 35 years, which has reduced water levels in its huge Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam. Source: VOA News

Alberta introduces bill to make oil sands emissions cap law

November 1, 2016. The government of Alberta, Canada's main crude-producing province, introduced a bill in the legislature to enshrine in law its 100 megatonne limit for oil sands emissions. The legislated cap builds on the left-leaning NDP government's climate plan, announced last year, in which it committed to the oil sands emissions limit in a bid to address the province's reputation as a major polluter. Alberta's oil sands are the world's third-largest crude reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and Canada's fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2014, oil sands emissions were 66 megatonnes, or 24 percent of Alberta's total emissions and 9 percent of Canada's total emissions. Under the National Energy Board's mid-level oil price and production growth forecasts, oil sands emissions will not hit the 100 megatonne limit until 2030. Shannon Phillips, the minister responsible for the Climate Change Office, said the Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act showed the government believed in oil sands producers' ability to innovate in order to keep growing production, and would help Alberta secure market access for its landlocked crude. Source: Reuters

ADB approves $75 mn loan to fund Pakistan's largest wind project

October 31, 2016. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $75 mn loan with Triconboston Consulting to support the development of the largest wind farm in Pakistan. The deal is ADB’s third wind energy investment in Pakistan’s burgeoning independent power producer segment. Power from the project will be sold under a 20 year take-or-pay energy purchase agreement under a feed-in-tariff to Pakistan’s Central Power Purchasing Agency. The three 50 MW wind farms, situated 100 kilometers northeast of Karachi at Jhimpir, will generate a total of 520 GWh annually and are expected to be completed by March 2018. The project sponsors include Sapphire Textile Mills, a leading local energy developer, and Bank Alfalah, Pakistan’s sixth largest bank by market share. Pakistan has launched several initiatives to promote private sector participation in the country’s energy sector, with a concerted push to build up its renewable energy resources and to cut its heavy dependence on fossil fuels. Source: Energy Business Review

Solar could have role in new Australia copper mine

October 31, 2016. Australia's Oz Minerals Ltd could turn to solar power to help run a giant copper mine it is building after a major blackout disrupted industry across South Australia state and raised concerns over energy security. Mining companies have largely steered clear of deploying on-site renewable energy, preferring to rely on coal and gas-fired power and diesel fuel, which are seen as more reliable. However, Oz Minerals Managing Director Andrew Cole said solar panels could potentially supplement the energy needs of the company's A$975 million ($741 million) Carrapateena mine project, where early development work, known as a prefeasibility study, is due to be completed in November. Source: Reuters

Tajikistan starts building world's tallest dam for hydro plant

October 29, 2016. Tajikistan diverted the flow of a major river to start building the world's tallest dam and the main element of the Rogun hydroelectric power plant, a $3.9 billion project which Dushanbe hopes will secure its energy independence. The Central Asian nation which borders Afghanistan lacks hydrocarbon resources and relies heavily on hydroelectric power, although its neighbours downstream complain that this disrupts their traditional agricultural works. Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon said upgrades at the Nurek power plant would require $700 million. The new power plant, Rogun, will start providing electric power in late 2018, Rahmon said. Source: Reuters

NRC to discuss potential PG&E violation at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

October 28, 2016. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will discuss PG&E Corp's failure to adequately maintain the emergency core cooling system at the 2,240 MW Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California on November 15. During a scheduled test in May, workers discovered a maintenance problem had rendered one of the emergency core cooling systems inoperable for an extended period of time, beginning as early as October 2014, the NRC said. A second emergency core cooling system was available had it been needed, the NRC said. PG&E Corp has corrected the condition and changes have been made to maintenance procedures to prevent recurrence, the NRC said. Source: Reuters

US to auction leasing rights offshore NY for wind energy development

October 27, 2016. The United States (US) government announced a December 15 auction for the leasing rights to develop wind energy off the coast of New York (NY) as part of the Obama administration's push to create jobs through renewable energy. The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will auction the rights to 79,350 acres or about 125 square miles (325 square kilometers) in federal waters. Fourteen companies are eligible to participate in the lease sale, the agencies said. The New York Wind Energy Area starts about 11.5 nautical miles from Jones Beach, a state park on a barrier island linked to Long Island. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has awarded 11 commercial wind leases through nine auctions that have generated $16 million. Source: Reuters

Japan should consider nuclear reactor business merger in future: Hitachi CEO

October 27, 2016. Hitachi Ltd chief executive officer (CEO) Toshiaki Higashihara said that Japan should eventually consider a merger of domestic nuclear reactor businesses as the prospects of restarts of reactors remain dim in the country. Hitachi, Toshiba Corp and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd are in talks to combine their loss-making domestic nuclear fuel operations. A merger of the Japanese nuclear reactor businesses could affect their overseas partners, as Hitachi has a global nuclear power alliance with General Electric Co and Mitsubishi Heavy has one with France's Areva SA. Source: Reuters

CNNC commissions Fuqing-3 nuclear reactor in China

October 27, 2016. The third unit of the Fuqing nuclear project in the Fujian province of China has completed commissioning tests and has entered into commercial operation. Its developer, China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC), connected the unit to the Chinese grid in early September 2016. The Fuqing site will accommodate six 1,000 MW reactors. The first unit was commissioned in November 2014 and the second unit in October 2015. Construction of two additional units started in 2009. Fuqing-4 is expected in 2017. Source: Enerdata

Bulgaria to pay Russia $655 mn for dropped nuclear plant

October 27, 2016. Bulgaria said it had agreed to pay Russia over € 600 million ($655 million) in compensation after cancelling plans to build a nuclear plant on the Danube. Bulgaria's national electricity company, NEK, will make "full payment" to the Russian nuclear giant Atomstroyexport by December 25, the energy ministry said. The Geneva-based International Court of Arbitration ruled in June that NEK should pay Atomstroyexport € 601 million plus interest for equipment ordered for a planned 2,000 MW twin-reactor plant at Belene on the Danube. Bulgaria and Russia also agreed that Atomstroyexport will waive part of the interest of € 130,000 per day if NEK repays it ahead of the December 25 deadline, the ministry said. The energy ministry announced that a consortium of the Russian Rosenergoatom and French EDF will study options for extending the operational life of one of the Kozloduy reactors by as much as 30 years - until 2047. The plant's other reactor has a lifetime that is scheduled to expire in 2021. Source: The Nation

End of nuclear in US seen by Carlyle group without subsidies

October 26, 2016. Nuclear power will come to an end in the United States (US) if the industry doesn’t get more government support, according to Carlyle Group LP. The nation’s nuclear reactors need more subsidies to keep running, such as a federal carbon tax that’ll reward them for their zero-emissions power, Bob Mancini, co-head of Carlyle Group’s power unit, said. Carlyle, which has $176 billion in assets under management across funds, invests in natural gas- and coal-fired power plants and renewable energy projects. China, India and Russia are among the few places where new nuclear plants are being built, Mancini said. The U.S. is building four new nuclear units in Georgia and South Carolina. Source: Bloomberg

Peru imposes anti-dumping tariffs on biodiesel imports from Argentina

October 26, 2016. Peru will place anti-dumping tariffs on imports of biodiesel from Argentina for a period of five years, after complaints of unfair competition, the Andean country's market regulator said. Under the rule, different companies will be charged different rates, with the Argentine subsidiaries of Cargill, Bunge and Noble being charged $134.70 per tonne, $141.40 per tonne, and $152.70 per tonne, respectively. Louis Dreyfus, along with others, will be charged the highest rate of $191.60. Source: Reuters


Scenario of Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in India

Million Tonnes
2015-16 Crude Oil Production Crude Oil Imports
April 3.03 15.53
May 3.18 17.45
June 3.10 15.62
July 3.13 17.73
August 3.19 17.23
September 3.04 15.79
October 3.15 15.57
November 3.04 16.64
December 3.08 17.73
January 3.04 18.13
February 2.90 16.88
March 3.06 18.55
gp1gbSource: Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt. of India fact_file Publisher: Baljit Kapoor Editorial adviser: Lydia Powell Editor: Akhilesh Sati Content development: Vinod Kumar Tomar
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