MonitorsPublished on Nov 02, 2020
Energy News Monitor | Volume XVII; Issue 18


Monthly Power News Commentary: September 2020 


Demand Revival

Power consumption rose 0.9 percent on a yearly basis in the first fortnight of September, indicating spurt in commercial and industrial demand for electricity, Parliament was informed. Power consumption had declined following the Covid-19 outbreak as economic activity came to a standstill due to the lockdown. The government had imposed the lockdown on 25 March 2020 to contain the spread of coronavirus infections. Power consumption has increased by 0.9 percent at 53.17 bn kWh during 1 September to 14 September, compared to 52.68 bn kWh in same period last year. Power consumption had declined by 8.7 percent in March, 23.2 percent April, 14.9 percent in May, 10.9 percent in June, 3.7 percent in July and 1.7 percent in August compared to the same months last year. According to the power ministry data, electricity consumption had grown by 11.73 percent in February. Thus, the Covid-19 situation affected power consumption for six months in a row since March this year.

India’s power demand in August stood close to last year’s levels on a low base as electricity consumption was stagnant in the same period a year ago. Power demand during the month remained muted in industrial states like Maharashtra and Gujarat but improved over last year in northern agrarian states like Punjab and Rajasthan. The demand for power in August 2020 was 2 percent less than that reported during the same month last year, data available with grid operator Power System Operation Corp showed. India had registered a slump in power consumption for five months beginning August last year till January this year. Electricity demand fell 4 percent against July this year but it is a normal phenomenon every year. Maharashtra and Gujarat electricity demand was low by about 9 percent each than in August 2019. In July this year, Maharashtra had reported a 12 percent slump in its power demand year-on-year while demand in Gujarat was down by 17 percent. Demand in Goa and Daman & Diu was low by 22 percent each while in Dadra Nagar Haveli by 18.3 percent over August last year. The other states to have reported more than 10 percent reduction in electricity demand year-on-year in August were Odisha and Delhi. ICRA continues to maintain its outlook for 5-6 percent decline in the all India electricity demand in FY21 over FY20.

Peak power demand is back to normal as it has touched 174.33 GW, surpassing the highest level of 173.15 GW in September last year, showing spurt in commercial and industrial activities in the country. Incidentally, the peak power demand met had reached its previous highest level of 173.15 GW on 9 September last year, as per the power ministry data. Peak power demand met is the highest energy supply during the day across the country. The government had imposed the lockdown from 25 March to fight the deadly coronavirus in the country. It also resulted in lower commercial and industrial demand in April onwards. The government started easing lockdown restrictions from 20 April 2020. The relaxation in lockdown resulted in perking up electricity demand in the country due to the increase in economic activities. The experts had earlier exuded confidence that the power demand will not only be back to normal levels but will also achieve marginal growth from September onwards. However, bucking the trend, the slump in peak power demand met rose marginally to 5.65 percent in August from 2.61 percent in July.

The easing of lockdown restrictions and gradual opening of offices, shops and other facilities have resulted in increased power demand. Since the lockdown restrictions are being removed since 18 May, Delhi’s peak power demand has gone up by 50 percent and, compared to the peak power demand since April 2020, has already increased by over 87 percent. From March till mid-May, the only power demand in Delhi was from domestic users as institutional and commercial establishments remained shut to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. However, after the end of the Lockdown 3.0 on 17 May, Delhi’s peak power started increasing and the gap narrowed. According to estimates, around 50 percent of Delhi’s power demand in the summer is because of the cooling load of air-conditioners, coolers and fans. However, with the capital slowly approaching the winter season, it is unlikely that the peak power demand will go further up. Though appliances like heaters and geysers consume a lot of power during winter, the consumption is not as high as in summer. Delhi’s all-time high peak power demand was recorded on 2 July 2019, when it clocked 7,409 MW, an increase of over 250 percent from the peak of 2,879 MW recorded in 2002. If Delhi’s peak power demand since 2009 is analysed, it has peaked eight times in July, four times in June, including this year, and once in August.

The Covid-19-induced lockdown had brought economic activities to a near halt, but overall electricity demand in Delhi was not affected significantly beyond the first lockdown period, says an analysis of the CSE on power consumption in the capital during lockdown and unlock phases. It found that the lowest demand (1,748 MW) during lockdown phases was recorded on 29 March – just before the onset of high summer. The city’s average daily mean electricity demand rose from 1,946 MW during lockdown 1.0 to nearly 3,812 MW during lockdown 4.0 by the end of May -- nearly doubled within the lockdown phases. The CSE’s analysis report - Power and The Pandemic – factored in electricity demand and its correlation with weather data during the successive stages of lockdown and unlock phases in the city and also analysed daytime and night peak demands till 31 July. The CSE in its report suggests multiple ways to reduce electricity consumption in the residential sector.

The demand for electricity is expected to increase by another 3000 MW by the summers of 2021. The projection came forth during a review meeting. According to UPPCL, the utility managed to meet the peak power demand of 23,419 MW this year which is expected to touch 26,500 MW-mark by next year. To meet the escalation in demand, UPPCL has decided to increase its import capacity from existing 12300 MW to 14,000 MW by next year. Likewise, the transmission capacity is proposed to be increased from existing 24,500 MW to 28,000 MW by next year. The process of construction of 50 new transmission sub-stations was on which would get operational by June next year. The new sub-stations would address the problems of unregulated tripping and low voltage in at least 50 districts. The state government was working to set up transmission infrastructure to meet the demand of 31500 MW which is expected by 2025.

Draft Electricity Amendments Act 2020

Despite protests by electricity powermen union, the Chandigarh administration, on the directions of the Union government, has put privatisation of the UT electricity department on fast track. The administration has now fixed a new deadline to complete the privatisation plan by December 2020. Moving further, the UT administration has also appointed a nodal officer to take action for all activities relating to privatization, including tendering, coordination with various departments, ministry and transaction advisor. Recently, the PFC had appointed Deloitte as the consultant to help with the privatisation of the department. Meanwhile, the UT power department employees continued with their protest against the privatisation move. They have even sought help from city residents and various political parties. The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission, in the past too, had issued directions to the UT administration for restructuring and reformation of the department, which is mandatory as per the Electricity Act, 2003. As Chandigarh does not have its own power generation, the state transmission utility will be responsible for ensuring smooth transmission of power in the city. State load dispatch centre will be the apex body to ensure integrated operation of the power system.

The Telangana legislative assembly unanimously passed a resolution against the new Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and asked the Centre to withdraw it. Terming the proposed new Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 by the Centre as 'draconian law' and aimed at taking away the powers of the states, the Telegana government launched a scathing attack on the NDA government. The state government of Telangana accused the central government of working towards complete centralisation of power instead of decentralisation. Earlier the UPA government also centralised the powers in some sectors. If the Bill is passed, the distribution system goes into the hands of the private persons and Telangana distribution companies, Transco and Genco’s existence would become a big question and thousands of people, working in the power utilities, may have to lose their jobs.

Andhra Pradesh CPM condemned the state government’s decision of Direct Benefit Transfer of permanent free power to farmers. The party has opposed the idea of fixing metres to pump sets and demanded the State government to take back its decision in this regard, alleging that the government accepted the Centre's decision only to obtain ₹15 bn debt.

The Central government’s plan to privatise power distribution sector across the country starting with UT has evinced interest from state-owned companies such as NTPC Ltd and REC, which through their subsidiaries are expected to bid for privatisation projects on offer in the first phase. It is expected that NTPC may participate through its subsidiary NTPC Electric Supply Company Ltd and power sector financier REC through its entity REC Power Distribution Co Ltd. NTPC is already in distribution operations through a joint venture in Kerala.

Consumer Rights

The government has proposed to notify rules to ensure minimum service standards to electricity consumers. The draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 seek to specify time limits for distribution companies for giving new electricity connections, and addressing grievances including the common ones like delayed and accumulated bills, faulty meters etc. The objective is to provide consumers better services and facilities. Electricity consumers are the most important stakeholders in the power sector and the sector exists because of them. Having provided access to electricity to all citizens, it is now important to focus on consumer satisfaction and for this, it is imperative to identify the key services, prescribe minimum service levels and standards with respect to these services and recognize them as rights of consumers, it noted. The draft rules propose a Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum with 2-3 representatives of consumers at various levels starting from sub-division. The draft pertains to timely and simplified procedure for connection. A person would require only two documents for connection up to a load of 10 kW (kilowatt), and no estimation of demand charges for load up to 150 kW to expedite giving connection. It also fixes the time period for providing connection. The time period will not exceed 7 days in metro cities, 15 days in other municipal areas and 30 days in rural areas, to provide new connections and modify existing connections. As per the draft, State Electricity Regulatory Commission will fix the average number and duration of outages per consumer per year for discoms. For making payments, there is an option to pay bills in cash, cheque, debit cards, net banking etc but bills of ₹1000 or more would be paid online.

They entitle consumers to get rebates on power bills which are not served in time and other compensation from discoms which fail to timely address grievances. The draft rules, which specify standards of performance, aim to introduce corporate culture in the distribution utilities, according to the government. Presently, the Consumer Charter under the Electricity Act 2003 provides a synopsis of rights of consumers of electricity but most states have not implemented them.


The Power Ministry has begun the process to set up a ₹200 bn JV for providing a CBIF to discoms for faster roll-out of smart electricity metres in the country. The joint venture would have four promoters, NTPC, REC Ltd, PGCIL and PFC. The CBIF will enable the fast-track implementation of smart meters across the country. It will simplify smart meter rollout for discoms by offering a plug and play architecture with standardized, pre-configured, pre-integrated, scalable back-end infra for rollout of smart meters. Discoms would be required to pay only for use of the asset without incurring additional capex, along with features of built in upgrades, which would lead to cost reductions and savings to discoms. The CBIF will also enable centralized MIS or reporting of metering data. The facility will be offered to discoms on a software or solution as a service approach and charge only usage fees.

PGCIL announced the commissioning of the first leg of the 6,000 MW Raigarh-Pugalur HVDC transmission project. PGCIL has commissioned Pole-1 of the Raigarh (Chhattisgarh) to Pugalur (Tamil Nadu) 1,765 km HVDC transmission system comprising 1,500 MW capacity. The total capacity of Raigarh-Pugalur HVDC transmission system is 6,000 MW. The Pole-1, the first leg of the Raigarh-Pugalur HVDC Project, between Western and Southern Region, is envisaged for evacuation of bulk power generated by Independent Power Producers in Chhattisgarh using HVDC technology. PGCIL has been maintaining average transmission system availability above 99 percent.

Electricity Access

The number of un-electrified households stood at 3,20,422 till August-end this year under the Saubhagya Scheme, which is meant for achieving 100 percent universal electrification of homes in the country, Parliament was informed. These un-electrified households are in Chhattisgarh, Assam, UP and Jharkhand. The number of un-electrified households identified under the Saubhagya scheme was 3,20,422 as on 31 August 2020. Among the four states with un-electrified households, UP tops the chart with 2,53,785 households followed by Jharkhand at 60,925, Chhattisgarh at 3,519 and Assam at 2,193 as on 31 August 2020. As many as 2,62,84,350 families were provided electricity connection under the Saubhagya scheme. All the states had declared on Saubhagya portal that all the willing un-electrified households had been electrified as on 31 March 2019, except 18,734 households in LWE (left wing extremist) affected areas of Chhattisgarh. The government had launched Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana -- Saubhagya in October 2017 with an outlay of ₹163.20 bn with the aim to achieve universal household electrification by providing last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all households in rural and all poor households in urban areas across the country.

More than 28,000 government schools in UP do not still have power connections and the main reason for which is the “distance of electricity poles from these schools”. This was brought to fore by a review of the details submitted by state-run schools to the government authorities. The authorities have, meanwhile, directed the schools to make use of the unused funds provided by the Election Commission for the electrification during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The schools that did not have the 2019 funds left with them should provide the details of the money required by 30 September.

The government will not be content with India moving around in electric cars and buses by 2030. After providing power connections to all willing households in the country, the Centre is turning its focus on making them switch to electric cooking "in a big way". Electricity is the future of India and most of its infrastructure will be powered by electricity including cooking completely on electricity, giving poor strata of society a cheaper medium of cooking. A ‘Power Foundation’ is being set up under the ministry for the purpose and large-scale use of electric cooking will make the economy self-reliant and "give us independence" from imports. India is the world’s second-largest importer of LPG, which is main cooking fuel for nearly 280 mn households with a connection, followed by piped natural gas in several cities. Niti’s objective was to free up LPG connections for poor households by getting urban families switch to electric cooking. Niti’s plan did not get many takers at that point as the power supply was still patchy in rural parts and many rural households still did not have a connection. The situation is different with 100 percent household electrification and surplus generation capacity.

Power Bills

The UPCL has informed the Uttarakhand HC – through a compliance affidavit that it has installed and ledgerised meters at the residences of most of its employees. The counsel appearing for the UPCL informed the court that the corporation has started charging money from the employees and placed several bills on the record as well. The PIL had alleged that around 12,000 employees of the UPCL and their relatives have been using an unlimited amount of electricity virtually free of cost. The electricity bills of several high-ranking officials of the UPCL ran into millions.

Delhi government has assured traders and industrialists that steps to provide them relief from fixed power charges in view of the Covid-19 pandemic will be taken soon. The traders and industrialists in the city have been demanding relief from fixed charges, saying their shops and factories were closed due to the lockdown and also because they suffered losses due to shutdown of all commercial and industrial activities. The monthly electricity bill comprises fixed charges component and a variable energy charges which is actual electricity consumed. The revenue situation of the Delhi government has taken a hit owing to the complete shutdown of businesses and the economy due to coronavirus. The Delhi government decided to lift the lockdown and it will take time to cover the economic shortfall, now that businesses and industries have resumed. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission recently announced new power tariff for 2020-21, with no hike in the rates in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regulation and Governance

Niti Aayog has been working on a State Energy Index that is set to foster healthy competition in the states' power distribution space. The tool will be designed to assess and further improve the performance of states to efficiently manage their energy resources.

The power ministry has begun deliberations on bringing electricity under GST as a recent study it conducted showed that this would reduce per unit cost of power to generation, distribution and transmission companies by ₹0.17/kWh leading to big savings for consumers. The report suggests that the cumulative per unit input costs will be reduced by ₹0.17/kWh for generation, transmission and distribution companies, as input tax credit will be available to them. Electricity prices for Indian industries are one of the highest in the world as states charge high tariffs to subsidise agricultural and residential consumers. States also impose large levies on spot market power purchases by their industrial consumers to deter them from purchasing electricity from anywhere other than distribution companies. All power companies have been supporting GST on electricity, citing lower tariffs to end consumers including industrial units, which in turn may boost the demand for power in the country. The study shows that there will be a decline in the revenue of state and central governments due to levying of GST on electricity, but it would lead to increase in economic activity. At present, electricity is not subject to GST and power companies pay multiple taxes on capital goods and other inputs like excise duty, customs duty, countervailing duty, special additional duty, education cess, water cess, local area development tax, entry tax and stamp duty, besides state electricity duty. This effect increases the price of power to domestic and industrial consumers. The 13th Finance Commission had recommended that electricity duty levied by states should be subsumed in GST.

The Uttarakhand HC directed the UPCL to produce the electricity bills after its compliance report informed the court that it has installed meters at the residences of most of its employees. The counsel representing the UPCL informed the bench that the corporation has already installed meters at the residence of most of its former and serving officials and that the meters are functioning. The court has given the UPCL two weeks’ time to produce the electricity bills before the court. These officials had not paid these dues for years. The court had directed the UPCL in March to file an affidavit furnishing details of the number of residences where they have installed the electricity meters and to specify the time frame by when the rest of the homes will have functional meters. The corporation, however, has not filed the affidavit even after five months of the order.

In a relief for APRL, the Supreme Court upheld the orders passed by the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission and the APTEL, stating that APRL was entitled to compensatory tariff in connection with the PPAs with the Rajasthan discoms. In March 2008, the Rajasthan government and Adani Enterprises Ltd entered into an MoU to set up a coal-based thermal power generation project of 1,200 MW near Kawai in the state’s Baran district. In 2018, APRL’s claim was allowed and state discoms filed an appeal before APTEL, which held the bid was based on domestic coal and accordingly, covered under the change in law event in terms of the PPA. The state discoms had then appealed these orders in the apex court.


India’s electricity generation fell for the sixth straight month in August, provisional government data showed, driven by a slump in power use in industrial western states such as Maharashtra and Gujarat in the second half of the month. August power generation fell 0.9 percent, an analysis of daily load despatch data from federal grid operator POSOCO showed, slower than the 1.8 percent decline seen in July. In the second half of August, electricity generation declined 4.5 percent, compared with a 2.6 percent increase during the first fifteen days of the month. Power use during the second half of August in states such as Maharashtra and Gujarat, among the country’s largest electricity consumers, declined by about 15 percent each, compared to near parity compared to August 2019 during the first 15 days of the month. Industries and offices account for half the country’s annual electricity consumption. The government has cited electricity consumption data to suggest emergence of "greenshoots" in the Indian economy. Still, economists expect India to remain in a recessionary phase this year, with analysts expecting annual electricity demand to fall for the first time in almost four decades.

NTPC has successfully synchronised a 660 MW unit of its supercritical thermal power plant in Bihar with the grid, which would help the commercial generation of electricity from it. The power producer has been setting up five units with 660 MW capacity each, spread across 3,200 acres of land at Barh in Patna district. The construction of the Barh stage-I was initially awarded to the Russian firm but the contract was later terminated due to delay of the work schedule given by the NTPC. The remaining two units of stage-I of NTPC-Barh would be made operational by the end of March 2022. Under the synchronisation process, the 660 MW unit was connected to the grid to see the load factor and to ensure that all other aspects of it were working correctly. Presently, Bihar is getting 1,198 MW of power from the two units of stage-II and will get additional 1,025 MW from three plants of stage-I. NTPC is supplying 4,248 MW of power to Bihar from its various plants.

The UP-energy department set the target of increasing its power generation capacity by four times — from the existing 3,200 MW to 12,734 MW — by 2022. UP would add 1,320 MW by the end of this year. A 660 MW unit in Meja was fired up in April last year. The two units of 660 MW each in Obra-C are expected to start wheeling out power by March 2022. Two units of 660 MW capacity in Jawaharpur will also become functional. A 660 MW unit in Panki, being constructed at an estimated cost of ₹58.16 bn, would also start generating power by December 2021 while the Ghatampur power project is expected to become functional by May 2022.

West Bengal will invest ₹200 bn in the power sector over the next five years. The state has been upgrading its power infrastructure, especially in the aftermath of cyclone Amphan, and adopting renewable energy.

In a first-of-its-kind project in the country, over 70 hot springs — around 40 in Uttarakhand and 30 in Himachal — have been identified which have the potential to produce electricity. The springs were identified by scientists at Dehradun-based WIHG. As part of the initiative to tap these springs for power generation, WIHG inked an MoU with Jaydevm Energies Pvt Ltd, a private firm, to generate 5 MW electricity from Tapovan hot springs in Chamoli’s Joshimath area.

Rest of the World

Europe & UK

A plan to further extend Europe’s integrated power trading market to four eastern European Union states has been delayed by bottlenecks in other projects. The Interim Coupling project seeks to connect day-ahead markets in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania to those in most other parts of Europe to form the European Single Day-Ahead Market and increase liquidity. With the design and implementation phases complete, coupling of the markets was previously scheduled to start this month according to Norway’s Nord Pool exchange and 15 other partners involved in the plan.

Norway will have access to just a fraction of the 1.4 GW export capacity of a subsea power cable connecting it with Germany once it starts operating in early 2021, with limitations to last until 2026 according to Norwegian grid operator Statnett. The minimum guaranteed capacity for the Nord Link interconnector, which is costing €1.5 bn and €2 bn ($1.8 bn-$2.4 bn) to build, will stand at just 11.7 percent for 2021, the first year of commercial operation. Germany faces delays in expanding its congested domestic power grid, with new lines to transport wind power produced in the north to consumers in the south running around five years behind schedule. Statnett and Tennet, the transmission system operator on the German side, confirmed they will start testing IT and trading systems for Nord Link, with all systems to be ready for trial runs from December.


According to the Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees, the CBN’s directive authorising banks to ring-fence collection accounts of electricity discoms in Nigeria is counterproductive. The directive would result in operational and overhead cost challenges. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CBN had issued a circular authorising banks to ring-fence collection accounts of electricity discoms in Nigeria. It will throw thousands of electricity workers into the labour market, thus increasing hardship and hunger on family members of those affected. The Federal Government was urged to concentrate on metering every electricity consumer in the country, instead of asking them to keep paying for electricity not consumed.


US electricity consumption will decline 2.4 percent in 2020 as coronavirus lockdowns cause businesses to close according to the US EIA. EIA projected power demand will drop to 3,802 bn kWh in 2020 from 3,896 bn kWh in 2019 before easing to 3,801 bn kWh in 2021. EIA projected power sales to commercial and industrial consumers will drop by 6.4 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively, in 2020 from 2019 as offices close and factories run at reduced capacity for the coronavirus. Electricity sales to residential homes, however, will rise 3.5 percent in 2020 from 2019 as lockdowns cause people to stay home. While both the residential and commercial sectors consumed record amounts of electricity in 2018 at 1,469 bn kWh and 1,382 bn kWh, respectively, the industrial sector set its all-time high of 1,064 bn kWh in 2000.


Vietnam will need to invest up to $133.3 bn in new power plants and transmission networks over the next decade to meet the country’s rising demand. Of the total, $96 bn is needed to build new power plants and $37.3 bn to expand its power grid. The Southeast Asian country’s demand for electricity is forecast to annually rise 8.6 percent during the 2021-2025 period, and 7.2 percent in the 2026-2030 period. The investment will boost the country’s total installed power generation capacity to 138 GW by 2030. Its current capacity is around 56 GW. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is drafting a new master power development plan that it will submit to the government for approval next month. Facing an imminent electricity shortage, Vietnam is becoming more and more reliant on imported energy to support its economic growth, one of the fastest in Asia, as hydropower has been almost fully tapped while oil and gas production has peaked.

FY: Financial Year, kWh: kilowatt hour, mn: million, bn: billion, MW: megawatt, GW: gigawatt, UP: Uttar Pradesh, UPPCL: UP Power Corp Ltd, UT: Union Territory, PFC: Power Finance Corp, CBIF: common backend infrastructure facility, discoms: distribution companies, JV: joint venture, HVDC: high voltage direct current, km: kilometre, PGCIL: Power Grid Corp of India Ltd, LPG: liquefied petroleum gas, UPCL: Uttarakhand Power Corp Ltd, PIL: public interest litigation, GST: Goods and Services Tax, HC: High Court, APRL: Adani Power Rajasthan Ltd, APTEL: Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, PPA: power purchase agreement, MoU: Memorandum of Understanding,  WIHG: Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, UK: United Kingdom, the CBN: Central Bank of Nigeria, US: United States, EIA: Energy Information Administration


India to overtake China as world’s largest LPG residential market by 2030

6 October. India is expected to overtake China as the world’s largest cooking gas or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) residential sector market by 2030, Wood Mackenzie said. Driven by environmental and health concerns, the government has also been implementing schemes to help lower-income families cope with the cost of switching from dirtier biomass to LPG. The Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL) gives out subsidies to the vulnerable population, while the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) provides families living below the poverty line access to free LPG stoves. Even with subsidy and the initial cost of set-up covered by the government, LPG is more expensive than biomass. Still, the Indian government is committed to roll out plans to further address affordability and infrastructure challenges in the LPG sector. These include smaller-size LPG cylinders which reduce upfront cash payment required for each refill, more LPG distributors as well as the 'Give it Up' campaign where households can voluntarily give up their LPG subsidies from the DBTL scheme to benefit lower-income families. By the end of 2030, India’s LPG demand in the residential sector will account for 82 percent of the country’s total LPG demand while natural gas demand in the same sector will only account for 3 percent of total natural gas demand in India, Wood Mackenzie said.

Source: The Economic Times

IOC reduced retail selling price of diesel by 2.93, petrol by 0.97 per litre during September in Delhi

3 October. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has reduced the Retail Selling Price (RSP) of diesel by ₹2.93 per litre and petrol by ₹0.97 per litre in Delhi during the month of September 2020. IOC said that the cumulative reduction in RSP at Mumbai since 16 February 2020, has been ₹12.73 per litre.

Source: The Economic Times

RIL buys Canadian heavy crude to offset Venezuelan decline

1 October. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has agreed to purchase 2 mn barrels of Canadian heavy crude per month, as a substitute for dwindling Venezuelan supply. The deal, large for Canada, shows how global buyers are scrambling for new sources of heavy oil. Venezuela’s production has collapsed over the last several years, and US (United States) sanctions have squeezed its ability to sell oil to international buyers, including RIL. The Indian refiner, which operates the largest refining facility in the world, is among several companies winding down purchases from Venezuela as a result of US sanctions.

Source: Reuters

India’s petrol demand returns to pre-Covid-19 levels, diesel sales inching up

< style="color: #ffffff">QuIck Comment

< style="color: #ffffff">Slow revival of diesel demand is a sign of slow economic revival! < style="color: #ffffff">Ugly!

1 October. India’s petrol sales rose 2 percent in September - the first increase since the country’s lockdown in late March - signalling demand returning to pre-Covid-19 levels. Diesel sales continue to be below normal but have shown a month-on-month increase, according to provisional data from state-owned fuel retailers who control 90 percent of the market. Petrol sales in September rose 2 percent year-on-year and were up 10.5 percent over the previous month. Diesel sales continue to be in the negative territory, with demand falling 7 percent year-on-year. But the demand was 22 percent higher over August 2020. This is the first time that petrol sales in the world’s third-largest oil importer have risen since the 25 March nationwide lockdown crippled economic activity and sent demand plummeting. Petrol sales rose to 2.2 million tonnes (mt) in September as compared to 2.16 mt in the same month last year and 1.9 mt during August 2020. Demand for diesel, the most consumed fuel in the country, fell to 4.84 mt from 5.2 mt in September 2019. Sales were 3.97 mt during August this year. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd had stated that petrol sales were almost at pre-Covid-19 levels but diesel is lagging.

Source: The Economic Times 


India’s gas imports set to rise, demand reaches pre-pandemic level

< style="color: #ffffff">QuIck Comment

< style="color: #ffffff">Increase in demand is positive for gas industry! < style="color: #ffffff">Good!

5 October. India’s gas imports are set to rise as GAIL (India) Ltd has reopened its western India imports facility after months of shutdown during the monsoon and as local demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels, its head of marketing ES Ranganathan said. GAIL had stopped importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes at its 5 million tonnes per year Ratnagiri terminal in western India in May, as the start of the monsoon season makes operations difficult without a breakwater to protect the harbour from large waves. GAIL on an average receive 5 LNG cargoes a month at the terminal but its imports have been hit since end-March due to a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of Covid-19. Since the shutdown, it unloaded a cargo on 27 September. India meets about half of its daily 160-170 million metric standard cubic meter (mmscm) of gas demand through imports. LNG imports, however, slipped over three years low to 1,947 mmscm in April, when coronavirus-linked lockdowns hit mobility and industrial activity. India’s overall gas demand during the month shrunk to the lowest since March 2015 to 4,013 mmscm, according to the government data. Gas demand has started increasing as restrictions were eased from May. India’s city gas distribution companies supply gas to domestic households, transport and small industries. Ranganathan said most fertiliser and power plants, key consumers of gas, were operating at a normal rate. India is also adding more stations to sell gas to automobiles, and building pipelines and import facilities as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to boost the share of cleaner fuel in the energy mix to 15 percent by 2030 from 6.2 percent.

Source: The Economic Times

Gas price reduction will lower earnings for ONGC, Oil India: Moody's

< style="color: #ffffff">QuIck Comment

< style="color: #ffffff">Low gas prices will add to misery of domestic producers! < style="color: #ffffff">Bad!

5 October. The recently-announced 25 percent reduction in domestic natural gas prices to 1.79 dollars per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu) from $2.39 per mmBtu on a gross calorific value basis is credit negative for upstream companies like Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd as it will lower their revenue from gas sales, according to Moody’s Investors Service. These companies are already grappling with low oil prices and a further reduction in natural gas prices will exacerbate their earnings decline. However, Moody’s said, gas sales account for 18 to 19 percent of the companies' upstream revenues. After three consecutive price reductions in 12 months, India’s gas prices are at their lowest level since November 2014. However, ONGC’s credit metrics have sufficient capacity to withstand the decline in gas prices and remain supportive of its baa3 baseline credit assessment and Baa3 ratings.

Source: The Economic Times


CIL’s coal allocation to power sector under e-auction rises 8 percent in April-August

5 October. CIL’s coal allocation under special forward e-auction for the power sector registered a rise of 8.4 percent to 7.94 million tonnes (mt) in April-August period of the ongoing fiscal. The state-owned company had allocated 7.32 mt of dry fuel in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year, according to the monthly summary by the coal ministry for the Cabinet. However, in August there was no coal allocation under the scheme, Coal India Ltd (CIL) said. In August 2019-20, 0.62 mt coal was allocated to the power sector by the company, it said. Coal distribution through forward e-auction is aimed at providing access to coal for such consumers who wish to have an assured supply over a long period, say one year, through e-auction mode so as to plan their operation. CIL is one of the major suppliers of coal to the power sector. The company, which accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal output, is eyeing 710 mt output in 2020-21.

Source: The Economic Times

SAIL exploring new markets to source coking coal: Chairman

4 October. Steel maker SAIL is exploring new markets for the sourcing of coking coal with a view to reducing dependence on select countries for the raw material, its chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary said. The country imports about 56 million tonnes (mt) of coking coal worth around ₹720 bn. Out of this, about 45 mt is imported from Australia alone, and the remaining from South Africa, Canada and the US (United States). Raw material security holds significance for the steelmaker which plans to more than double its capacity to 50 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2030. He said that SAIL is part of a joint venture (JV) International Coal Ventures Ltd (ICVL) with the aim to acquire mining assets abroad. ICVL has acquired coal mines and assets in Mozambique with coal reserves of more than 500 mt.

Source: Telangana Today

SC criticises Jharkhand’s doublespeak on coal mine auction

1 October. The Supreme Court (SC) caught the Jharkhand government's doublespeak in challenging the Centre’s decision to auction 41 coal blocks, nine of which are in the state, for commercial exploitation but sought an affidavit from the Centre whether the coal mines were located in eco-sensitive zones. Jharkhand first filed a writ petition challenging the Centre's decision to auction coal mines and followed it up with a suit under Article 131 of the Constitution making it a Centre-state dispute. In the writ petition it had questioned the timing of the auction saying the scarce natural resources would not fetch proper price because of 'negative global investment climate' during the pandemic. However, in the suit, it additionally said that coal mining would ravage the eco-sensitive zones and displace thousands of tribals from their land protected under the Constitution. The Centre’s decision to start the process for auctioning 41 coal blocks for commercial mining is open for domestic as well as global firms under the 100 percent FDI (foreign direct investment) route and is aimed at making India self-reliant in the energy sector.

Source: The Economic Times

India occupies 8th spot of total Russian coal exports globally

30 September. Russia, rich in key natural resources, has exported 7.5 million tonnes (mt) to India ($642.1 mn), which is 3.7 percent of total Russian coal exports in 2019. According to UN Comtrade Database, at the end of 2019, Russia exported 205.3 mt of coal — 180.9 mt of energy coal (88 percent of total exports) and anthracite 24.4 mt (12 percent). As much as 7.5 mt were exported to India ($642.1 mn), which is 3.7 percent of total Russian coal exports and 8th place among the recipient countries of Russian coal (after China, South Korea, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Turkey).

Source: The Economic Times

India’s coal demand to recover in 2021, Outlook stable: Moody's

30 September. The outlook for the global coal industry is stable and the demand for the fuel in key Asian consuming nations including China and India is set to recover next year, according to Moody’s Investors Service. It said that an improving global economy has set the stage for some recovery in demand in the most important coal-consuming sectors, including power generation and steelmaking. Also, an improving supply and demand balance will also modestly lift coal pricing in most regions in 2021. In 2020, coal demand is set to fall by 5 percent in China and even more in India, the third-largest consumer, according to the International Energy Agency. Any resurgence of Covid-19 cases in key Asian import markets of Japan, Korea and Taiwan could undercut the modest demand recovery that is expected in 2021.

Source: The Economic Times 


UP withdraws discom privatisation plan

6 October The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government decided to withdraw a privatisation plan for electricity distribution companies (discoms), after nearly five hour meeting with protesting employee unions which began an indefinite strike a day ago. As per the agreement signed after the meeting held by State Power Minister Shrikant Sharma and its Finance Minister Suresh Khanna, UP agreed to take back the privatisation proposal of Purvanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd, which supplies electricity to 80 lakh consumers including in important constituencies of Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Prayagraj. The agreement said the state power distribution companies will strive to improve power supply and operational efficiencies within the existing framework and any privatisation proposal in future will be made after taking the employees and authorities in confidence. Sharma will hold monthly review meetings till 15 January, to take stock of progress in the distribution utilities, the agreement said. The government and the employee unions also agreed to take measures to make the power distribution areas corruption-free, and bring billing and collection efficiencies. The government also agreed that no action will be taken against protesting power department employees and withdraw all FIRs registered in the past two days. The employees in the power department of the Uttar Pradesh government began an indefinite work boycott in response to a call given by the UP Vidyut Karmachari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti to protest against the proposed privatisation of the discom, which resulted in long power cuts in many parts of the state. The Allahabad University in Prayagraj deferred online graduation and post-graduation exams till 20 October due to intermittent power supply. The Uttar Pradesh Power Corp had initiated data collection exercise from all six electricity zones of Purvanchal distribution company – Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Prayagraj, Basti, Mirzapur and Azamgarh – to work out its assets and liabilities. The discom had also begun an exercise to appoint consultants to carry on the privatisation process. The Union power ministry has recently floated a draft standard bidding document for privatisation of state-owned power discoms.

Source: The Economic Times

Spot power trading volumes jump 45 percent in September

5 October. The spot electricity market at the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) traded a volume of 5,675 mn units in September 2020, an increase of 45 percent over the same month last year. This comes at a time the national peak demand in the same period saw a 2 percent increase, the company said. With robust sell side liquidity, the average market clearing price at ₹2.69 per unit saw a decline of 3 percent on a year-on-year basis over ₹2.77 per unit in September 2019, helping both the distribution utilities and industries to accrue significant financial savings. IEX said that attractive prices and ample availability supported the southern, western and northern state distribution utilities, to leverage the exchange market for meeting their short term electricity requirements as well as for replacement of costlier power in order to optimize their overall cost of power procurement. Power trade in the term-ahead market stood at 107 mn units for the month

Source: The Economic Times

Delhi’s peak power demand reaching pre-Covid levels with economic activity

4 October. The peak power demand of Delhi is fast catching up with pre-Covid levels as an increasing number of economic activities are being allowed under the Centre's 'Unlock' process, discom (distribution company) said. In September this year, the peak power demand was just 5.9 percent lower as compared to the corresponding month last year. Delhi's peak power demand has increased by over 50 percent. Compare the peak power demand since April 2020, it has increased by over 87 percent. This year, due to the lockdown and weather conditions, the peak power demand recorded has been muted (6,314 MW on 29 June 2020). Delhi's all-time high peak power demand was recorded on 2 July 2019, when it clocked 7,409 MW. During the height of lockdown, there was a sharp reduction in the power demand during the day due to closure of commercial and industrial establishments. However, there was no impact on Delhi's domestic load, which is around 75 percent of the total power load of the city.

Source: The Economic Times

Tribal people rejoice as village in Dindigul gets electrified

3 October. For the inhabitants of Siruvattukadu, a tribal village of Oddanchathiram in Dindigul district, it was a dream come true to see their streets being lit by electricity for the first time. However, it also flies in the face of the government’s claims of the state having achieved 100 percent electrification of houses some years ago. Forests and Environment Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan inaugurated the scheme to provide electricity to the tribal hamlets situated in the reserve forest area of the district. As it was a reserve forest area, taking electricity cables through was difficult, not to mention that it was also very expensive. The people did not even have water supply through an overhead tank due to lack of electricity. Villagers said around 50 school children would benefit from the electricity.

Source: The Economic Times

Odisha government comes under flak for hike in power tariff during Covid-19

2 October. The BJP and the Congress criticised the state government over the recent hike in power tariff for domestic consumers by 20 paise per unit. Moving an adjournment motion in the session, the opposition said hiking power tariff during Covid-19 is like rubbing salt on the wounds of people. State Energy Minister Dibyashanker Mishra said there has been no increase in electricity tariff in the last seven years while consumers belonging to BPL category and agriculture sector have been kept outside the purview of the latest tariff hike. While around ₹60 bn is due from distribution companies, it is unfortunate the state government is hiking power tariff, Majhi said. Saluja said what is the need to purchase power from central agencies at high cost when Odisha is a power surplus state.

Source: The Economic Times

NTPC Group clocks 13.3 percent growth in power generation in July-September quarter

1 October. NTPC Ltd said its power generation including joint ventures and subsidiaries rose 13.3 percent to 77.92 bn units during July-September quarter this year. During the first half of the current financial year, from April to September 2020, the power generation of NTPC Group companies stood at 145.87 bn units, higher by 0.4 percent than the same period last year. NTPC coal stations have maintained high plant availability of 94.21 per during April to September 2020, as against 90.26 percent during the same period last year, demonstrating high levels of operational excellence.

Source: The Economic Times

JBVNL looks to draw power from Dumka grid for supply in Dhanbad

30 September. Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd has decided to depend less on the Damodar Valley Corp (DVC) for supply to the coal town of Dhanbad and other districts by drawing more from the Dumka grid. Work for connecting one more electrical circuit to the Dumka grid is on and once complete, it will ensure power supply to PMCH-based sub-station of Dhanbad apart from Bhuda and Manaitand areas. The coal town requires around 270 MW, most of which is drawn from the DVC. Six other districts like Giridih, Bokaro, Koderma, Hazaribagh, Ranchi and East Singhbhum are also drawing power from DVC but after the setting up of a new substation at Kandra by the Jharkhand Urja Sancharan Nigam Ltd last year, JBVNL had already decreased its dependence on DVC.

Source: The Economic Times 


Rays Experts commissions 600 MW solar projects in Rajasthan

5 October. Rays Experts said it has successfully commissioned six solar parks in Rajasthan with a combined power capacity of 600 MW. Rays Experts has invested ₹30 bn on the six parks which are spread across 2,500 acres of land, mainly in the districts of Bikaner and Jodhpur, and provide more than 4 lakh houses with renewable energy, the company said. The company aims to reach the 1,000 MW installation milestone by the end of 2021.

Source: The Economic Times

EDEN Renewables India increases its portfolio, wins three 1.3 GW capacity solar projects in Rajasthan

5 October. EDEN Renewables India, a joint venture (JV) of EDF Renewables and Total Eren, has been awarded three solar photovoltaic (PV) projects for a total capacity of 1,350 MW in Rajasthan. The JV has won two 450 MW solar projects by SECI (Solar Energy Corp of India) and one 450 MW solar project by NHPC Ltd, between April and July 2020.

Source: The Economic Times

20 PMPML buses to run on bio-CNG from mid-October

5 October. Twenty buses of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) will run on fuel made from food waste collected from different hotels from 20 October. Called bio-CNG or CBG (compressed bio-gas), Indian Oil will supply it to the transport body, PMPML said. In 2014, the Pune Municipal Corp and the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corp got into an agreement with Noble Exchange Environment Solutions Private Ltd to collect hotel food waste and convert it into bio-fuel.

Source: The Economic Times

Dollar Industries sets up solar power plant for captive power consumption

2 October. City based innerwear company Dollar Industries Ltd commissioned a 4 MW solar power plant at their manufacturing facility in Tirupur. The move is part of the company's ‘green mission’ initiative and has a capacity of generating 75 lakh power units annually.

Source: The Economic Times

Adani Green Energy completes acquisition of 205 MW operating solar assets

1 October. Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) announced that it has completed the acquisition of 205 MW operating solar assets from Essel Green Energy Pvt Ltd (EGEPL) and Essel Infraprojects Ltd (EIL). The assets are located in Punjab, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

Source: The Economic Times

Gujarat floats new tender for 500 MW of solar power

30 September. To create more capacity for solar power generation in the state, Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd  has floated a tender for the purchase of 500 MW of solar power through competitive bidding. The solar power will be procured from grid-connected solar photovoltaic power projects to be set up in the state. The last date for submission of bids is 28 October. Financial bids will be opened on 10 November, which will be followed by the reverse e-auction.

Source: The Economic Times

India’s focus on renewable sector to ensure energy security, combat climate change: Prabhu

30 September. India’s focus on renewable segments like solar, wind and hydro power will not only ensure energy security but also address environmental concerns, former union minister Suresh Prabhu said. India has set an ambitious target of having 100 GW of solar energy capacity by 2022. He also spoke about another important global initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- the International Solar Alliance (ISA). Prabhu said ISA can help boost solar capacity globally.

Source: The Economic Times


BHP to acquire Hess Corp’s stake in Shenzi oil field for $505 mn

6 October. BHP Group Ltd said it had signed an agreement to acquire Hess Corp’s entire stake in Shenzi oil and gas field in the Gulf of Mexico for $505 mn. BHP said the deal would take its ownership in the oil platform to 72 percent, with Spain’s Repsol SA owning the rest. With the acquisition, BHP said it would be able to add about 11,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of production to its portfolio and also grow high-margin barrels. The Anglo-Australian company in August put up 50 percent of its stake in the Bass Strait oil and gas venture owned with Exxon Mobil Corp for sale as revenue contribution from the operation dwindled in fiscal 2020 compared to a year ago. Despite a plunge in crude prices this year, BHP remains bullish on oil as it has profitable prospects for at least the next decade.

Source: Reuters

Saudi Arabia oil exports at 6.1 mn bpd

5 October. Saudi Arabia shipped 6.1 mn barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in September, slightly above August levels, and kept output steady at 8.974 mn bpd. The world’s top oil exporter pumped 8.988 mn bpd and exported 6 mn bpd in August. Saudi oil exports usually rise after the hot summer months, when increased use of crude for power generation restricts oil shipments. The kingdom’s production is in line with market expectations and its OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting) Countries output quota. According to a OPEC survey, Saudi Arabia’s September oil output was steady at 9 mn bpd.

Source: Reuters

Libyan oil production rises to 290k bpd

5 October. Libyan oil production has risen by about 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) to reach 290,000 bpd as exports ramp up. The easing of a blockade by eastern forces, which began in January, has allowed the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting) member to ramp up exports with the reopening of the Marsa El Hariga, Brega and Zueitina terminals, though damage sustained during the shutdown may slow a full resumption of exports. The blockade reduced Libya’s output from more than 1.2 mn bpd to around 100,000 bpd. Exports have yet to resume from the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil terminals. The National Oil Corp (NOC) said it would only resume operations at oilfields and terminals where militants had vacated their positions. The Episkopi oil tanker loaded a 600,000 barrel crude cargo for Austria’s OMV at Zueitina over the weekend and departed for Italy, a local shipping agent said. The port is expected to export 3.8 mn barrels. NOC subsidiary AGOCO said it had resumed operations at the Hamada oilfield, with crude from the field expected to be pumped to the 120,000 bpd Zawia oil refinery, west of Tripoli.

Source: Reuters

Argentina inks union deal to improve Vaca Muerta shale oil production

3 October. Argentine state energy company YPF has signed an agreement with the key union representing workers at the Patagonian Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas formation, aimed at improving production, the company said. With the agreement, YPF will be able to jack up activity in the resource-rich southern province of Neuquen, where the shale play is located, it said.

Source: The Economic Times


Singapore says LNG bunkering capacity likely to hit 1 mt by 2021

6 October. Singapore’s annual liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering capacity is expected to hit 1 million tonnes (mt) by 2021, as the world’s largest marine refuelling hub transitions toward cleaner shipping fuels. The push is part of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s aim to halve the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from 2008 levels. Singapore, the world’s largest marine refuelling hub with annual sales volumes of about 50 mt of bunkers, is the only port globally that implements a licensing regime for bunkering suppliers and craft operators. Singapore, which has provided more than 270 truck-to-ship LNG bunkering services this year so far, is likely to offer its first ship-to-ship LNG fuel transfer by the first quarter of 2021 and a total of about 300 STS LNG bunkering operations.

Source: Reuters

Norway gas exports to Europe rise amid strike as other fields ramp up

6 October. Norwegian gas supplies to Europe edged up as other fields ramped up output amid a workers’ strike that has cut the country’s petroleum output capacity by about 8 percent. Six Norwegian offshore oil and gas fields were shut as more workers joined a strike over pay, curbing gas flow volumes by about 35 million cubic meters (mcm). The main European importers of Norwegian gas are Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium. European gas markets are currently well-supplied, with plenty of gas in storage. Prices are at seasonal lows due to the impact of mild winters, plentiful LNG (liquefied petroleum gas) supply and reduced energy demand during the coronavirus pandemic. The market in Britain, which imports around 60 percent of its gas from Norway, saw prompt prices rise up to 10 percent due to the production loss but they slumped as smaller fields compensated and higher wind output meant gas-to-power plants did not need as much gas.

Source: Reuters

Partners in Tamar split on new natural gas sale to Israel Electric

5 October. October. Some of the partners in Israel’s Tamar natural gas site have agreed to sell an additional 2 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to state utility Israel Electric Corp (IEC) for about $290 mn. Isramco Negev said the purchase price would be lower than in the initial agreement and that it would be joined by partners Tamar Petroleum and Alon Natural Gas Exploration. It said other partners in Tamar, Noble Energy and Delek Drilling, were offered to participate. Delek Drilling said the deal went against another supply agreement IEC had signed with partners in the larger Leviathan gas field, which include Delek and Noble. Delek said it would was reviewing its options. IEC in 2011 signed a deal to buy $8 bn of gas from Tamar for 15 years starting in mid-2013 when production began. It also agreed in 2019 to buy 4 bcm, or $700 mn, of gas from Leviathan in an interim deal until mid-2021 or when the Karish field comes online.

Source: The Economic Times

Pakistan invites bids for record six LNG spot cargoes for December as gas crisis looms

5 October. Pakistan will ramp up spot buying of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the international market, seeking up to six cargoes for December, its procurement subsidiary said, as the country prepares for a potentially crippling gas shortage. December and January see the largest spike in demand for gas in Pakistan, but this year the demand-supply shortfall will be greater on the back of higher consumption and diminishing indigenous supply, authorities believe. Pakistan LNG Ltd (PLL), which handles LNG imports, said that six spot cargo purchases for delivery in December would be the most in a single month by the country. Pakistan has long term LNG agreements in place, including one with Qatar, but has also been active on the spot market since August. Pakistan’s Minister for Petroleum Nadeem Babar said the country was headed towards a major gas shortfall in December and January, and blamed dwindling indigenous gas supply and rising demand. According to a report put out in August by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority increased demand had resulted in natural gas availability constraint.

Source: Reuters

German January-July gas import bill shrinks 37.4 percent as imports fall 6.4 percent

5 October. Germany imported 6.4 percent less natural gas in the first seven months of 2020 after imports in July alone dropped by 32.8 percent year-on-year while lower prices reduced the January-July import bill by well over a third, data showed. Gas, power and carbon traders monitor gas imports because the supply and demand balance can change prices and traded volumes in all three markets. Gas statistics also correlate with coal, which competes with gas in the production of electricity, and with carbon emissions permits. Germany mainly imports gas from Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark via pipelines.

Source: The Economic Times

US energy major Chevron resumes arbitration in Thai gas dispute

2 October. US (United States) energy major Chevron Corp has resumed arbitration proceedings with Thailand to try to resolve a dispute over who should pay for removing offshore assets in the country’s Erawan gas field, the company said. The move comes a year after the company suspended the legal process to allow more time for talks with Thailand’s energy ministry, ahead of the end of its concession in April 2022. Thai law in 2016 requiring gas field operators to pay the costs of decommissioning assets they have installed, including those they will transfer free of charge to a next operator. Thailand asked Chevron to pay the full decommissioning costs of around $2 bn for assets in the Erawan gas field, including those it will hand over to PTT Exploration and Production Pcl, a unit of the PTT Pcl.

Source: Reuters

Australia’s Santos wins state green light for $2.6 bn gas project

30 September. An Australian state approved a A$3.6 bn ($2.6 bn) gas project planned by Santos Ltd, clearing the biggest hurdle for a long-opposed development that the government says could help fill a supply gap expected from 2024. The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission said it has imposed strict conditions on a “phased” approval of the Narrabri coal seam gas project, after thousands of critics raised fears it would drain and contaminate groundwater, damage the Pilliga State Forest and worsen climate change. The Narrabri project, 520 km northwest of Sydney, could meet up to half of New South Wales’ gas needs, helping to replace gas from the rapidly depleting Bass Strait fields that have supplied Australia’s southeast for 50 years. The Australian government has the final say on the project. It is expected to approve it as part of a strategy unveiled this month to boost gas supplies, drive down energy prices and fuel a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Reuters

UK’s Centrica signs first China long-term LNG supply deal

30 September. Centrica Plc said it had signed its first long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contract in China, the world’s second-largest importer. It signed a 15-year binding deal to supply 0.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of the super-chilled fuel to state-owned company Shenergy Group Company, Centrica said. Deliveries are expected to commence in 2024. Shenergy signed a heads of agreement with Malaysia’s Petronas LNG to import about 1.5 mtpa of LNG to its Wuhaogou terminal for a 12-year term proposed to start from 2022.

Source: The Economic Times


Nigeria suspends controversial electricity tariff hike

30 September. Nigeria has suspended a controversial electricity tariff hike that has stoked tensions in the country as part of a deal to ward off a general strike by unions. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission said it was putting off the price increases for two weeks after forging a truce with labour. The rise in the electricity tariff came at a time the pump price of petrol has shot up after the authorities ditched a costly fuel subsidy. The double price whammy pushed unions led by the Nigeria Labour Congress to order a nationwide strike in a bid to force the government into reversing the increases. Oil-rich Nigeria generates around 7,000 MW of electricity, far below the needs of its 200 mn inhabitants. Blackouts are frequent and businesses and homes often have to rely on expensive generators to provide power.

Source: The Economic Times 


British PM to sink millions into wind power

6 October. British Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson is set to pledge that every home in the country will be powered by offshore wind in a decade. Johnson is expected to make the pledge in an address to the annual Conservative Party conference, which is being held online this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: The Economic Times

NextEra briefly topping Exxon’s market value shifts focus to renewables: UBS

6 October. Power utility NextEra Energy briefly surpassing oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp as the most valuable US (United States)-listed energy company last week underscores the multi-year shift from traditional toward renewable energy, brokerage UBS said. ExxonMobil has lost more than half of it market value in 2020 as the US oil major struggles to cope with the effects of a pandemic-driven downturn in the energy industry.

Source: The Economic Times

Spain approves hydrogen strategy to spur low-carbon economy

6 October. Spain approved a plan to boost clean hydrogen production, aiming to build enough infrastructure to give it a major role in Europe’s market for a fuel seen as key to meeting international carbon emissions targets. The European Union (EU) is pushing to develop its capacity to produce hydrogen, widely used in heavy industry, from renewable power sources, currently a prohibitively expensive process. Spain hopes its well-developed gas storage and transport system, combined with the plentiful sunshine and windy hillsides that make it a prime location for renewable energy plants, will eventually help it make enough of the fuel to export. By 2030, Spain aims to install 4 GW worth of the electrolysers needed to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, one tenth of the EU’s target for 40 GW across the bloc, the energy and environment ministry said. It intends to hit the ground running with 300-600 MW by 2024. The EU wants 6 GW by then. The plan is to replace a quarter of the almost 500,000 tonnes of fossil-based hydrogen consumed by industry every year with the renewably-sourced version, and put thousands of hydrogen-powered vehicles on Spain’s roads and railways.

Source: Reuters

US oil refiners look to leapfrog Canadians in making renewable diesel

4 October. US (United States) oil refineries are moving aggressively to produce renewable diesel, partly to cash in on Canada’s greener fuel standard before Canadian refiners modify their own plants. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government intends to present its Clean Fuel Standard this year, aiming to cut 30 million tonnes (mt) of emissions by 2030.

Source: Reuters

Bosnian region grants concession deal for 73 MW solar power plant

2 October. The government of Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republic said it would sign a concession deal with majority state-run power utility ERS to build and operate a 72.92 MW capacity solar plant in the southern town of Trebinje. With an estimated annual production of 108.7 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity per year, the "Trebinje 1" plant would be the country’s largest so far.

Source: The Economic Times

Westinghouse signs expanded Ukraine nuclear fuel deal

30 September. Westinghouse Electric Co has signed an expanded nuclear fuel deal to supply Ukraine’s reactors, the company said. It currently supplies six of 15 Ukraine’s VVER-1000 reactors with a seventh due to switch to it next year. The new contract, signed with the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom, adds two VVER-440 reactors at the Rivne nuclear power plant.

Source: Reuters


Source: World Energy Outlook (IEA): 1994, 2002, 2020 Source: World Energy Outlook (IEA): 1994, 2002, 2020

This is a weekly publication of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). It covers current national and international information on energy categorised systematically to add value. The year 2020 is the seventeenth continuous year of publication of the newsletter. The newsletter is registered with the Registrar of News Paper for India under No. DELENG / 2004 / 13485.

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