MonitorsPublished on Sep 22, 2009
Energy News Monitor I Volume VI, Issue 15
Energy in India’s Future: Insights

Jacques Lesourne and William C. Ramsay*



n the decades following India’s independence from British rule in 1947, the West’s image of India was summarized in three simple clichés: the world’s largest democracy, an impoverished continent, and economic growth hampered by a fussy bureaucracy and the caste system, all in the context of a particular religion.

These clichés are perhaps one of the reasons that the success of India’s green revolution was recognized so late, a revolution that allowed the country to develop its agricultural sector and feed its population.

Since the 1990s, the easing of planning constraints have liberated the Indian economy and allowed it to embark on a more significant path of growth. New clichés have begun to replace the old: India will become a second China and, lagging by 10 to 20 years, will follow the same trajectory, with its development marked more by services and the use of renewable energy.

However, these trends will not prevent primary energy demand from exploding. In its reference scenario, the International Energy Agency estimated this demand would reach 566 Mtoe in 2006 and 1280 Mtoe in 2030. Indian officials estimate demand in 2030 will reach 1700 Mtoe.

In this context, the IFRI European Governance and Geopolitics of Energy Project decided to devote a monograph to the energy dimension of the future India. Before presenting the chapters, it is necessary to summarize the main questions.

1. What will the average growth rate of the Indian economy be over the long term? Nobody disagrees that in certain years it has reached 8%, but one must not confuse an average over several years and a peak rate. Fluctuations in the economy, the vagaries and vicissitudes of agricultural production, and social resistance can reduce average performance. The differences in prognosis are large between those who assume an average growth rate of 5–6%, a considerable performance, and those who think that it is possible to maintain continuous growth of 6%.

2. Going from economic growth to primary energy demand growth raises two questions. How is non-commercial energy (essentially traditional biomass), whose volume is significant, dealt with? What is an appropriate estimation, which, depending on the source, is or is not included in the estimates? What figure should be used to calculate the elasticity of energy consumption compared to GDP, as the number wavers between .8 and .5 and may fall in the next 30 years?

3. These projections are linked to the image one might hold of the future of India’s economy and society: Some think India will be able to maintain its rural population, as the spread of industrial and services activities will diminish the attractiveness of great urban centers. Others believe that in India, as has happened in every other country, economic growth will be coupled with migrations from the countryside to cities.

4. In terms of energy sources, two uncertainties remain:

First, India has a strong desire to vastly develop civil nuclear energy. It already has solid technological experience in this field and recently signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States, which gives India access to necessary technologies and resources from the United States and paves the way for exchanges with Russia and France as well. However, it is not certain that India will be able to finance projects and carry them out as soon as it would like.

Second, India is home to numerous renewable energy initiatives. Some see the country as a laboratory on this issue. But what role will this type of energy play in India’s future energy landscape?

5. Lastly, it is important to remember that India is one of the countries that have the furthest to go in improving its energy efficiency. Its losses in electricity distribution are major and could no doubt be reduced at a moderate cost.

Various aspects of the serious energy problems are studied throughout this monograph. The authors have written freely on these matters without attempting to reconcile their different viewpoints.

India has every chance of becoming the most populous country in the world in several decades, but while it forecasts tremendous growth, India is still a poor country whose economy is not yet as developed as China’s.

A first look at India and energy

Jacques Lesourne and Maïté Jaureguy-Naudin


This first article in this monograph on India and energy aims to identify the main factors that should be kept in mind when analyzing India’s evolution and its energy dimension.

India, the biggest and most complex democracy in the world, has begun its transformation toward economic development, yet the social and economic setting is not homogeneous. Social inequalities are striking, and many question India’s ability to keep growing at the level for which some Indians hope.

The journal Futuribles presented the different evolutions that India could go through over the course of the 21st century in three of its issues.1 A previous issue examined a combination of three scenarios, with one “virtuous” one dominating, which assumed positive synergy and compromises that are beneficial to the whole country.2 Based on a critical analysis of projections for India in 2025, Jean-Joseph Boillot believes that the country is at the start of a major transformation which began around 10 years ago. Yet given the inertia that could accompany it, India in 2025 will of course be a major player in the world economy but will not yet be an economic superpower.

This article will address elements of India’s growth, GDP projections, and outlooks for primary energy consumption, and will conclude with several remarks on characteristics unique to India. These themes will be revisited in subsequent chapters.

Elements of India’s growth

Remarkable results, but lingering questions

Since the beginning of the 1990s, India has demonstrated remarkable economic results. Its performance has largely been supported by the service sector. Information technology, communications, and banks have been the most important parts of it. India thus has become one of the largest exporters of business services.

Economic liberalization allowed this to occur. For a country that was at first very protectionist and highly regulated in terms of centralized administration, this liberalization went hand in hand with a decrease in customs tariffs. The country is now open to foreign capital and foreign direct investment and is growing even if it still plays a limited role in the Indian economy.

In addition, new Indian regulations released assets belonging to Indian companies. The Tata takeover of the steel firm Corus, a stake in the steel company Arcelor by the Mittal family, and the recent takeover of SIFCOR (Society of Industrial and Financial Courcelles) by Bharat Forge are only part of Indian foreign investments. These investments worry Western heavy industries, as much over the amount of money involved as by the targets chosen.

This dynamic gives credence to an image of India on a path of miraculous growth. India attracts the attention of the whole world, which hopes to see from this surge the emergence of a rising market and a possibility for India to wrest economic power from China in the medium term.

However, the challenges India faces are commensurate with its size.


1. Futuribles, No. 338, No. 339, and No. 323.

2. Jean-Joseph Boillot, “Les futurs possibles de l’économie indienne,” Futuribles No. 323, October 2006.

* Editors

to be continued…


Gas in India – Issues, Opportunities and Challenges (part – VII)

Continued from Volume VI, Issue No. 13…


n determining service quality requirements for city gas distributors, there is a debate as to what to hold the investors responsible for. Should the investor be responsible for outages of the gas supply despite the fact that he does not control the supply of gas? Gas outages are beyond the control of those either distributors or transporters. Gas quality is going to be contentious subject because the method of analysis could be subjective. The private sector is likely to cherry pick consumers leaving rural areas un-serviced. The investors would be required to prove that they are meeting their service obligations which would require extensive data collection by the investors. The extent of data provisioning by the investors to the Regulators must be clarified.  Even if the data is obtained from investors, it has to be consistent with benchmarks from other performing territories in India. If additional costs involved in data collection for reporting, the question arises as to whether the Regulator would allow the cost to be passed on to the consumer?

The PNGRB Act contains detailed notifications on obligations from the investors. Obtaining statutory permits is considered an obligation. Complete disclosure of information on delivered price and tariffs is also obligatory. The Regulatory obligations required from investors require categorization. Typically when a system is older than 10-12 years the quality of service goes down, the attention paid to consumers goes down and the level of penetration also goes down. Regulatory notifications concerning low income consumers appear to be inadequate in the Act. Territorial issues concerning the right to be connected are also missing in the Act. The Electricity Act was passed in 2003 but it is yet to address issues in privatized distribution sectors in terms of billing transparencies. Security of supply related obligations can be categorized into service quality and technical quality. What happens when the consumer or customers’ investment is at stake is an issue that must be addressed by the Regulators. Universal service obligations were the first ones to be regulated in the world in the industry. Globally, the federation of Regulators is concerned about universal service obligations. In the gas sector, the household and transport segments which consume small quantities are the least empowered. Strong provisions exist for universal service obligations for petroleum products. For liquid petroleum products, there are many provisions in terms of subsidies and concessions for retailing petroleum products in remote areas but there is no provision for investments.  Freight subsidies are given for far flung areas. Fuel price control is undesirable from a commercial perspective but it is unavoidable from a universal service obligation perspective as no strata of the society can be ignored on economic grounds. For the gas sector universal service obligations are yet to be defined. The Regulatory board will play a major role in developing and monitoring these obligations. Reporting by operators needs to be made effective and the experience world wide is that when the matter is entirely left to the operators, the outcome is suboptimal. 

Criteria for Site Selection for LNG Re-gasification Terminals

In the last five years, demand for LNG has grown substantially in India.  In 2008-09, demand for natural gas was about 193 mmscmd. This is expected to increase to 281 mmscmd by the year 2011-12. In 2007-08, demand was 179 mmscmd but supply from domestic sources was only 71 mmscmd.  An additional contribution of 18 mmscmd was derived front the Dahej LNG terminal. In 2011-12, when the demand is expected to be about 281 mmscmd domestic gas availability will be about 170 mmscmd. Once the expansion of the Dahej plant is complete a total of 36 mmscmd of gas will be available. The Hazira terminal is also being expanded to about 3.5 million tonnes per annum which means a supply of 14 mmscmd will be available.  The Kochi terminal is designed for 10 mmscmd but in its first year of operation about 50 percent of planned capacity may be available.  Dabhol is designed for 5 million tones per annum which is equivalent to 18 mmscmd. Overall LNG import could potentially touch 73 mmscmd. In effect the total availability with LNG is expected to be about 243 mmscmd against a demand of 281 mmscmd in 2012. 

to be continued…

Summary of proceedings at the 7th Petro India Conference on ‘Gas in India – Issues, Opportunities and Challenges’ organized by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and the India Energy Forum (IEF) on 25th & 26th September 2008, New Delhi.


Global Concern over Climate Change: Key Milestones (part – IV)

Continued from Volume VI, Issue No. 14…

December 2005

Conference of Parties 11 (COP 11) / Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP 1), Montreal

The meeting was a historic first – it served both as the 11th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 11), and, following Kyoto’s entry into force in February, as the 1st Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP 11/MOP 1). Key outcomes of the Montreal conference included decisions by the COP/MOP finalizing the Kyoto “rulebook” and strengthening the Clean Development Mechanism, and a pair of decisions to consider next steps – one under the Protocol, launching negotiations toward new binding commitments for Kyoto’s developed country parties; and another under the Framework Convention, opening a nonbinding “dialogue on long-term cooperative action.” While the two decisions on next steps were not formally linked, the negotiations around them were closely intertwined.  The European Union, Japan and Canada, obligated under Kyoto to begin considering new commitments, strongly favored a parallel process under the Convention as a way to engage both the United States and developing countries in future efforts.  Some developing countries also actively supported a new Convention process and others agreed on the condition it would not “open any negotiations leading to new commitments.”  The United States, not a party to the Protocol, insisted throughout the negotiations that it opposed any new process under the Convention.  But in the final hours, as the major developing countries lined up behind the decision, leaving the United States isolated with Saudi Arabia, U.S. negotiators relented. One notable shift in Montreal was a greater willingness among developing countries to discuss stronger developing country efforts, subject to the provision of financial resources and technology. 

November 2006

Conference of Parties 12 (COP 12) / Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP 2), Nairobi

In two weeks of talks, parties agreed on modest steps on adaptation, debated approaches to reducing deforestation and accelerating technology transfer, and heard proposals from South Africa and Brazil on ways to promote stronger action by developing countries. Its high-level segment featured an opening statement by outgoing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who lamented a “frightening” lack of leadership from governments and announced the “Nairobi Framework,” an initiative to help spread the benefits of Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) among more developing countries. Business and economic issues took on a more prominent role in Nairobi. Sir Nicholas Stern of the U.K. government presented a comprehensive new economic review showing that the projected impacts of climate change will be far more costly to the global economy than the steps that would be required to avert them. Business leaders, meanwhile, expressed growing concern that without strong new signals from governments on the future of the climate effort, the rapidly expanding carbon market spawned by the Kyoto Protocol could collapse. But with the United States and developing countries still strongly opposing any discussion of taking on binding commitments, the conference made little measurable progress toward new agreements on international action beyond 2012, when the current Kyoto commitments expire. The most contentious issues were the terms of the new Kyoto Protocol review, a proposal by Russia to establish a pathway for developing countries to take on “voluntary” emission targets, and Belarus’ proposal to set an emissions target for itself. As those were issues for Kyoto parties only, the United States did not engage on them and maintained a relatively low-key posture throughout the conference.

to be continued…

ORF Energy Team


Note: Part IV of the article on Climate and the Clash between the Diversely Developed and will be published in Volume VI, Issue 16






ONGC protests FinMin's directive of keeping funds with PSBs

September 27, 2009. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has protested the Finance Ministry directive of parking surplus funds with only the PSU banks saying the state-run banks on getting assured business act in cartel offering interest rates lower then even retail deposits. ONGC, which has a cash surplus of about Rs 180 bn, is losing Rs 2-3 bn in interest revenues annually after it was forced to discontinue the practice of calling competitive rates for parking its cash.  Sister PSUs BSNL, BHEL, NTPC and SAIL, too, have opposed the bailout of state-run banks at their expense.

ONGC to invest Rs 500 bn in E&P

September 24, 2009. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), India’s largest energy explorer, will begin oil production from a cluster of fields in the east coast by the middle of 2010. The company has integrated several discoveries in the eastern coast in a hub having about 300 million tonne of in-place oil reserves. The company also plans to ramp up its oil production to 29 million tonne by March 2013, compared with 25.4 million tonne in the year ended March 2009. ONGC plans to invest over Rs 500 bn in developing new oil and gas fields and increase output from existing fields, he said. The company will spend about Rs 160 bn to increase oil production from new fields alone. In order to offset the natural decline in output, the company plans to intensify domestic exploration and aggressively pursue overseas acquisitions. ONGC has already invested over Rs 140 bn in 14 projects for improving oil recovery from existing fields.  This has raised (oil) recovery factor to 33% from 28% earlie. ONGC Videsh (OVL), the foreign investment arm of ONGC, expects crude oil output from its offshore block in Brazil to reach 40,000 barrels per day by December. ONGC has raised oil output from Imperial Energy's fields in western Siberia to 11,500 barrels per day.  For the first time in several years, ONGC has projected a 15 per cent increase in its oil production to 29 million tonnes by 2012-13 and said it will invest over Rs 500 bn in developing new oil and gas fields.  Natural gas production is slated to rise more rapidly, first to 72 million standard cubic meters per day in 2012-13 and then to 100 mmscmd by 2015-16. ONGC's current gas output is at about 62 mmscmd.


GSPC builds on LNG trading biz

September 29, 2009. Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (GSPC) is planning to import one liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo every month as part of its strategy to enter into the LNG trading business. GSPC imported its second LNG cargo from Qatargas on a spot basis, making it the first Indian non-terminal owner to have independently purchased such cargoes. Earlier in June, GSPC had purchased its first LNG cargo delivered by Australia’s North West Shelf (NWS) through a bidding process at a very competitive price. Gas from the cargo was received at Petronet LNG’s R-LNG receiving & re-gassification terminal at Dahej and will be sold to meet the burgeoning demand of gas from various industrial & power sector customers across Gujarat. GSPC will utilise its 1,420-km pipeline to supply gas to various parts of the state. Reliance, GSPC and NTPC are the main consumers of spot LNG in the country. India imports about four-five spot cargoes every month at the two operating terminals in Gujarat.  While the Hazira LNG terminal is a joint venture project of Shell and Total, Dahej is operated by Petronet LNG.  GSPC has tied up with the Adani group for setting up an LNG terminal at Mundra with an initial capacity of 6.5 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) and it plans to scale up the capacity to 20 mmtpa in a phased manner.  The first phase will involve an investment of about Rs 35 bn, which includes setting up of two tanks and a jetty. GSPC holds a 51 per cent stake in the LNG terminal project, while the Adani Group will hold close to 25 per cent. The terminal will be commissioned by 2012-2013. Meanwhile, GSPC is also aiming to tap the capital markets by coming up with an initial public offer in the range of $1-1.5 billion before the end of the financial year.

IOC seeks freedom to fix fuel rates

September 25, 2009. Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest oil firm, has asked the government for freedom to fix retail fuel prices and more autonomy in carrying out day to day affairs of the company. IOC, in the annual performance memorandum it signs with the Petroleum Ministry, stated that the Navratna oil companies should be granted freedom to fix retail selling price of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene.  The government does not allow oil firms to raise fuel prices in line with cost to keep inflation under check. IOC may see a revenue loss of Rs 235.1 bn on selling petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below cost in 2009-10. IOC said pricing freedom was essential to "prevent erosion in resource base and generate a reasonable amount of surplus to assist in capital formation and to enable redeployment in futuristic projects for maintaining competitive advantage in the trade at a minimum cost of capital." 

Transportation / Trade

MIDC keen on gas grids in industrial estates

September 28, 2009. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) will soon have guidelines for energy companies in developing a natural gas grid in its industrial estates. This is expected to happen after the Assembly elections in October. Investments to the tune of Rs 30 bn will be required in ten major industrial estates in the State. Sources say Reliance Industries and Gail (India) are keen on throwing their hats into the ring.  MIDC has already set up a special purpose vehicle called the Maharashtra Industrial Gas Transmission Company — which, in turn, will form a joint venture with private or public sector companies for gas supplies. It has also called for expressions of interest from these companies; the deadline for which is September 30. The MIDC management will make a call by mid-October on the quantum of its stake in the venture. Ideally, it would prefer to have the gas grid managed by the joint venture partner. The corporation will facilitate the setting up of the grid as it has the right of way in most industrial areas.

RCF demands price parity with NTPC, RNRL for gas from RIL

September 26, 2009. State-owned Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) has demanded price parity with NTPC and Anil Ambani Group firm RNRL for the gas supplied by Mukesh Ambani's RIL, saying it would improve the profitability of the company by 20 per cent. RNRL and NTPC are fighting legal cases separately for obtaining gas at USD 2.34 per mmBtu, lower than the government approved rate of USD 4.34 per mmBtu from Reliance Industries' K-G D6 fields. If RCF gets gas at a price of USD 2.34 per mmBtu, then the company's profitability can rise by 20 per cent over the previous fiscal.  RCF has received a total of 2.7 million standard cubic metres (mmscmd) of gas from Reliance for its two plants at Trombay and Thal, since May this year.

GAIL invites bids for consultant to study uniform gas price

September 26, 2009. GAIL (India) Ltd, the public sector gas marketing and Transmission Company, has invited bids for the engagement of a consultant to study the feasibility of uniform gas price regime. A consultant is likely to be appointed by mid-October. GAIL was asked by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to undertake a study on the feasibility of such a proposal, including the legal and technical issues, which will require to be addressed in case of a uniform price. Currently, there are different types of gas pricing regimes – gas sold at administered price, under production sharing contract such as those from joint venture fields, under New Exploration Licensing Policy, as well as R-LNG – in the country. Thus, the delivered gas price ranges from $2 per million British thermal unit (mBtu) to above $7/mBtu. It is felt that there is some confusion on the gas pricing, with certain quarters of the industry seeking more transparency, sources said, adding that “to have a uniform pricing will not be easy. Issues such as the regime should not violate the contract, whose network should be utilised for the transportation of gas, and who will be nominated to buy the gas, will need to be addressed.” Destination challenge refers to different levels of affordability of various consuming segments. Gas price is driven by the substitute fuels which are different for each of the consuming segments – like for power, coal is the largest substitute while for fertilisers and industries, it is liquid fuels.  Origin challenge, on the other hand, refers to differences of capex, opex and various economic parameters for various sizes and geologies (onshore, shallow offshore, deep offshore etc) of the producing assets.

Rel Infra reacts strongly to RIL threat to stop gas supply to its Andhra power plant

September 25, 2009. Reliance Industries (RIL) issued a notice to Anil Ambani firm Reliance Infrastructure (R-Infra) threatening to stop gas supplies to its power plant in Andhra Pradesh on the ground that R-Infra had allegedly defaulted in payment of dues to RIL. The notice predictably sparked off the now-familiar exchange of letters.  Reacting sharply to the gas supply suspension notice, R-Infra stated that “You (RIL) will be entirely responsible for any loss or damage that will be caused to us (R-Infra) as a result of any ill-advised action taken by you for non payment of the illegal charge of marketing margin. We are continuing to make payment of the lawful sales consideration at $4.2 per mBtu (million British thermal unit) and are entitled to receive uninterrupted supply of gas under the GSPA.” The issue relates to payment of 13.5 cents (Rs 6.6) per mBtu as marketing margin to RIL on the sale of gas from its Krishna Godavari (KG) basin D-6 fields.

RIL entered into a gas sales purchase agreement (GSPA) with R-Infra on April 27 to supply gas to its power plant in east Godavari, Andhra Pradesh. The power unit has been receiving gas for the past five months by paying the government-set price of $4.20 plus the now-disputed marketing margin. But on September 15, R-Infra had written to RIL stating it would no longer pay what it described as the “illegal and unauthorised” marketing margin.

Get LPG cylinder even at 10 pm

September 25, 2009. Soon, working couples who do not have other family members or a domestic help will not have to worry about who will take delivery of that cooking gas refill. If a proposal being examined by the oil ministry is cleared, the dealers may deliver cylinders at a time designated by you till 10 pm. As part of his initiative to improve cooking gas service, junior oil minister

Jitin Prasada has asked a committee under additional secretary in the ministry to prepare within a month a report and guidelines for launching ‘flexitime’ delivery of cooking gas cylinders in at least metros.  A flexitime delivery service for cooking gas could also prompt others such as courier services and banks to follow suit as the problems faced by consumers are similar. At present, none of these services take account of the changing realities of an increase in the number of unit families or working couples, at least in metros and major cities.

Essar Steel seeks refund of Rs 3.6 bn from PSUs

September 25, 2009. Essar Steel has filed a fresh application in the Supreme Court seeking refund of around Rs 3.6674 bn paid to state-run oil companies in excess of the contracted price for regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) supplied to it. Asking for the refund, Essar Steel has alleged that GAIL India, Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd had arbitrarily and illegally increased the prices of RLNG charged from it under the existing long-term contracts having a fixed price.  A bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari has tagged the application with the main petitions filed by Essar Steel, Essar Power and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd challenging a Gujarat High Court judgement which upheld the Union Government's notification facilitating pool pricing of RLNG. The directive of March 6, 2007 under the purported policy decision would disturb the concluded contract by rewriting the terms between the parties, the application stated.

HPCL offers 3 Sept-Oct VGO lots

September 24, 2009. State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp is offering up to three cargoes of vacuum gas oil (VGO) for September-October loading in a rare move, a tender document issued by the company showed. The cargoes of 25,000-30,000 tonnes each will load from Visakhapatnam on the east coast of India between Sept. 28 to Oct. 5.

RIL, NTPC sign gas supply deal

September 24, 2009. Reliance Industries said it has signed gas supply agreements with state-run utility NTPC to supply gas for some of its power plants for five years.  Reliance will supply 0.61 million standard cubic metres a day (mscmd) to NTPC, and expects to start supplies within a week. NTPC will buy 0.61 million metric standard cubic meters of gas a day for its plant in Anta in Rajasthan, an industry official said. The gas will start flowing in the next 7-10 days.  The volumes are less than one-fourth of the 2.67 mmscmd gas the Government had allocated to NTPC.

The state-run power utility signed a Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with RIL and a separate Gas Transportation Agreement with Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd.  The government had last year allocated 2.67 million cubic metres per day of K-G D6 gas to NTPC's Kawas and Gandhar in Gujarat and Anta power plants in Rajasthan.  NTPC, which unlike the 40-odd other customers of K-G D6 gas was initially opposed to paying USD 0.135 per mmBtu marketing margin to RIL, has agreed to pay the levy.

Policy / Performance

Panel to seek extension of clean fuel deadline

September 28, 2009. The panel set up to study implementation of clean fuels in India from April 1, 2010 will recommend to the Petroleum Ministry that the deadline for Bharat Stage III fuels be extended to October 1, 2010. On the other hand, there are no issues about BS IV supplies in 14 cities from April 1.  If this were to happen, a small part of the country will come under the BS IV umbrella while the rest will continue using BS II petrol and diesel.

There is no reason why BS III, now available in 11 cities till March 31, 2010, will not continue to be sold either since refiners cannot stop its production overnight. The news may rattle manufacturers of cars, trucks and utility-vehicles because this will lead to a situation where all three fuels — BS II, BS III and BS IV — are retailed in the country.  

The panel entrusted with the task of the clean fuels timetable is scheduled to update officials of the Petroleum Ministry. Any request for pushing the date beyond April 1 next year will need the approval of the Supreme Court at least three to six months in advance.

India sceptical on G 20 commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidy

September 26, 2009. The G20 commitment to phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels is laudable, say energy experts, though it is easier said than done in the Indian context.  From the Indian perspective, petrol, diesel, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas are still subsidised which is a bother for refiners, both in the private and public sector. In the case of the former, players such as Reliance, Essar and Shell have been constrained to go slow on their retail plans simply because they cannot afford to sell either petrol or diesel at a loss. Their public sector counterparts (IndianOil, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation) that do, end up waiting forever to get a compensation package in the form of oil bonds from the Centre. It will be difficult for India to phase out subsidies at one go because there could be chaos in the market if crude prices touch the levels they did last year at closer to $150 a barrel. The solution, of course, lies in shaving off excise duties further on these fuels but this will affect Government revenue. The fact that the Centre has now put yet another panel headed by Dr Kirit Parikh on this job of freeing prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG has only led the oil sector to believing that the whole exercise a farce.  The group will examine the taxation structure on these products with particular reference to petrol and diesel and make recommendations to rationalise taxes levied by the Central and State governments. In addition, it will examine the financial health of PSU refiners and recommend compensation for losses incurred.

Oil products sales in August up 6.2 pc

September 24, 2009. Oil products consumption in August saw a 6.2 per cent growth against the same month last year. The growth was triggered by an increase in demand of mass consumed products such as LPG, petrol, and diesel, as well as bitumen and jet fuel.  The Government data showed that domestic sales of oil products rose to 10.73 million tonnes (mt) from 10.106 mt in the same month last year. Diesel sales registered a growth of 15.1 per cent during the month. According to the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), diesel sales rose to 4.176 mt (3.628 mt) due to inadequate rains in the northern region, and high use of diesel-operated pumping sets for irrigation.  Rise in sale of passenger vehicles drove the petrol consumption sales in August as against the same month last year. Petrol consumption was up 17.4 per cent at 1.047 mt.   LPG showed a robust growth in the month under review. LPG sales were up by 7.5 per cent at 1.043 mt. Auto LPG continued to record good growth this year as public sector oil marketing companies are maintaining an attractive difference in petrol and auto LPG prices, PPAC said.   High growth in air traffic led to increased aviation turbine fuel (ATF) sales by 5.8 per cent against the same month last year. According to PPAC, the trend is likely to continue in the next few months. Bitumen consumption continued to see high growth. In August, bitumen sales went up by 22.9 per cent against same month last year.

India's crude oil production down 2.6 pc in August

September 23, 2009. India's crude oil production fell 2.6 per cent in August as state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) produced less oil. Crude oil production in August at 2.77 million tonnes was lower than 2.84 million tonnes, according to data released by Petroleum Ministry. ONGC produced 2.9 per cent less crude at 2.1 million tonnes with its prime Mumbai High fields seeing a 3.6 per cent dip in production to 1.46 million tonnes. The nation's 19 refineries produced 3 per cent more fuel at 13.82 million tonnes even though Reliance Industries' old Jamnagar refinery (J-1) reported a 2.4 per cent fall in production at 2.98 million tonnes.



Tata Power scouting for coal assets overseas

September 29, 2009. Private power producer Tata Power is scouting for coal mines abroad, including Australia and Mozambique, to meet demand for its upcoming projects that could give it 2-3 million tonne of coal,” a company official said. Tata Power already has 30% ownership in a block in Indonesia and the company is able to meet 50% of its coal requirement from this property. When it comes to domestic power projects, the company has said it would bid only for the projects, which have coal linkages, as it does not have the appetite to import the dry fuel in the near future.  The company is executing the 4,000 mw Mundra ultra-mega power project in Gujarat and will be importing 12 million tonne of coal initially from the Indonesian blocks. Nearly half of the dry fuel requirement of the project will be procured from these mines.  Tata power has an installed capacity of 2,768 mw and has set a target of becoming a 12,000 mw company by 2014. This 12,000 mw capacity includes the company's projects which are at various stages of implementation and also Mundra UMPP. 

Centre seeks additional data on six hydel projects in Sikkim

September 26, 2009. In a glimmer of hope for six hydel projects in North Sikkim with a projected generation capacity of 1047 MW, the union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) has sought complete technical data for consideration of its earlier decision to put them on hold.  Complete technical data from a competent resource should be furnished for further consideration of its decision to stall six proposed hydel projects in the Chungthang Valley in North Sikkim, MOEF additional secretary has demanded in a letter to the state government, official sources said. The state government had written to the MOEF last month urging it to review its decision to withhold the six hydel projects. It had stated that the developers would take utmost care of the concerns raised by the Centre for the Inter-disciplinary Studies of Mountain and Hill Environment (CISME) report on the carrying capacity of the Teesta river.  The state government urged the MOEF to grant permission to the developers to go ahead with investigation into the detailed project-specific information for critical examination by the state and the Centre to assess environmental impact of the hydel projects.  The state government had said that the authorities had the option to take a decision on the hydel projects at any stage after investigation.  Only those projects found to be viable from geo-technical and hydrological angles and were environmentally sustainable should be allowed to be developed, the state government had said in its plea to the MOEF.

WBPDCL generates record 3,128 Mw power

September 25, 2009. West Bengal Power Development Corporation (WBPDCL) announced it has generated an all-time record of 3,128 mw during evening peak hours, more than 90% of its total installed capacity. WBPDCL's capacity is about 3,400 mw. However, the achievement is despite 19 out of its 21 generating units being operational. The company's 2x300 mw Sagardighi thermal power project, which has been reeling under various problems, generated a highest 642 mw around 107% of its installed capacity.  The company's generation capacity had touched some 3,400 mw several months back, but it could never attain more than 80% of generating capacity due to various problems. At times, availability of coal has forced WBPDCL to generate at half its capacity, while during the monsoons it has been wet coal that added to the woes.

BHEL bags Rs 3.6 bn order for 700 Mw nuke power project

September 25, 2009. Engineering major Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited has bagged a Rs 3.65 bn order from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited for supply of four steam generators for India's second 700 MWe nuclear power station, being set up at Rajasthan Atomic Power Project, Kota.  A press release from BHEL, Tiruchirapalli said BHEL had bagged a similar order from NPCIL for the country's first 700 MWe nuclear power station, being set up at Kakrapar Atomic Power Project in Gujarat.   BHEL will design, manufacture and supply these steam generators. The product will be manufactured and tested according to American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME Sec.III) Standards and is expected to meet various operation requirements as per customers specifications, it said.  BHEL has so far supplied 32 nuclear steam generators for eight 220 MWe nuclear power stations at Narora (UP), Kaiga (Karnataka) and RAPP (Rajasthan).  It has also supplied four nuclear steam generators for India's first 500 MWe nuclear power station at Tarapur Atomic Power Project (Maharashtra), for which the design was developed indigenously by BHEL, the release said.

Jaigarh power plant not stayed by Delhi HC: JSW Energy

September 25, 2009. Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Energy said the Delhi High Court has not directed it to stop work on a 1,200 MW coal-based power plant in Maharashtra and that the project was being executed as per schedule. The company termed as "misleading and baseless" certain media reports, which said that the Delhi High Court had stayed implementation of its Jaigarh power plant due to environmental concerns.  JSW Energy said it has sought clarifications to comply with the order and that construction of the plant began only after it obtained the requisite approvals from relevant authorities.  Implementation of the project was "progressing as per schedule", it added. "The Delhi High Court in its order directed the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) to re-examine the approval already granted after considering the reports of Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli (KKVD) on the basis of data collected and analysed by them," the company said. "It also directed to complete this re-examination expeditiously and preferably within a period of 3 months," the statement added. 

Transmission / Distribution / Trade

Coking coal prices may touch $200/tn in 2010-11

September 29, 2009. Driven by surge in imports of coking coal by China, growth in Japanese steel output and signs of recovery in the Indian economy, spot prices of the raw material are expected to firm up in the international market. Global prices of coking coal, which are currently hovering around $160-170 a tonne, are expected to harden further and reach $200 a tonne in 2010-11, says a report by Citi Investment Research and Analysis, a division of Citigroup Global Markets Inc. The report has projected the price of the semi-soft variety of coking coal at $120 a tonne, up from the existing price of around $100 a tonne. The sea-borne coking coal prices have sharply moved from $130 a tonne to $160-170 a tonne in the past three-four months as Chinese imports of the raw material have increased exponentially this year.  Coking coal imports by China are projected at 25.5 million tonnes this year, a 269.56 per cent jump over 2008. The surge is attributed to a dip in the country’s domestic production as it plans to close more than 4,000 small coal mines by 2010 to improve safety and drive consolidation in the coal sector.

MPSEB not to seek package for power purchase

September 28, 2009. The Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB) would not seek financial assistance from the state government to buy power during the Rabi season commencing next month. The generation capacity of the hydel power projects had improved following the recent rainfall. The State would get adequate electricity from Indira Sagar, Omkareshwar and Sardar Sarovar hydel projects on river Narmada during the coming crop season.  Apart from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra gets electricity from the Sardar Sarovar Power Project. The MPSEB had received Rs 8 bn financial assistance last year from the state government for purchase of power.

NTPC sees power min role in solving margin tussle

September 26, 2009. Marketing margins in the oil and gas sector have become the latest bone of contention between power consumers and gas producers like Reliance Industries. Close on the heels of Reliance Infrastructure, an Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group company, challenging RIL’s right to charge a marketing margin for the sale of gas, NTPC has now sought the intervention of the power ministry to settle the row over marketing margins, a government official said.  Both NTPC and Reliance Infra have argued that RIL, which is the gas producer, does not have the right to charge marketing margins. While Reliance Infra has stopped payment of the marketing margins NTPC has included its reserves in the gas sales purchase agreement. RIL has sent a notice to Reliance Infra for having defaulted in its payments and has threatened to stop gas supplies. The state-owned power producer has shot off a letter to the power ministry to take up the matter with ministry of petroleum and natural gas afresh and obtain specific confirmation on applicability of marketing margin over and above the gas price as per price formula approved by an empowered-group of ministers (E-GoM). Legal opinion has also suggested that the issue of marketing margin should be taken up separately with the petroleum ministry.  RIL is charging $ 0.135 per million British thermal unit marketing margin on sale of gas from its eastern offshore KG-D6 fields. This levy was earlier opposed by NTPC. The company has now agreed to pay the marketing margin for supply of 0.61 mmscmd of KG gas subject to its review and confirmation by the government.

Power demand peaks in Andhra Pradesh

September 26, 2009. The dry spell in the State has pushed up the power demand to peak of 237 million units (mu), making the supply a tough task once again for AP Transco.  As against this high demand, the supply is being made to the tune of 217 mu. Nearly 20 mu is saved daily by continuing cut in supply imposed on rural areas all over the State for four to six hours. The State would have faced a severe power shortage by now but for the copious inflows that reached Srisailam dam. The situation has been saved to a large extent by a continuous and full-scale operation of the right and left bank hydel stations of Srisailam dam. The two stations are together contributing over 50 mu a day. On the other hand, relief has been provided to thermal plants as gas-based stations are generating 48 mu per day. Otherwise, the Transco would have been forced to purchase power from power traders or other States at high cost. A major part of the increased demand has come from the farm sector following continuous operation of the agriculture pumpsets .

R-Infra, Sterlite, Lanco bid for mega PFC deal

September 25, 2009. Reliance Infrastructure, Vedanta’s Sterlite Energy and Lanco Infratech have submitted financial bids for Power Finance Corporation’s mega transmission project that aims to evacuate power from the North-East and eastern states to the northern region. The bids for the project, which is estimated to cost Rs 18 bn, are likely to be opened on September 29, according to people familiar with the development.  The price bids were called for tariff-based competitive bidding by PFC for setting up a transmission system to evacuate surplus power around 1,700 mw. The project envisages 400 kilo volt D/C transmission circuits spread over nearly 500 Km, connecting Bongaigaon-Siliguri and Purnea-Biharsharif.  The non-financial bids of three qualified firms were already opened and the financial bid is scheduled to open soon. PFC, which has been assigned for co-ordinating the bidding process by the ministry of power, declared eight bidders qualified for the project at a request for qualification stage in May this year. The other qualified firms, including Larsen and Toubro, Essar Power, JSW Energy, RPG group-owned CESC and Jindal Steel & Power, did not participate in the next stage.

BHEL expects to bag Rs 100 bn order next month

September 25, 2009. State-run BHEL said it is hoping to bag orders worth Rs 100 bn next month for supplying power equipment. The order would be placed mainly by private players and also NTPC Ltd. Monnet Ispat, Jindal Power & Steel Ltd and Adhunik Power are likely to place orders. The current order book stands at Rs 1320 bn. The power equipment maker plans to commission over 4,000 MW capacity by September 2010 for the Commonwealth Games. Out of the 4,000-MW, it would commission two units of 500 MW each at Dadri Power plant and two units of 500 MW at Mejia plant in West Bengal. BHEL recently secured a Rs 9.9 bn order from the Indian Railways for supply of electric locomotives. The company will supply 150 electric locomotives to the Indian Railways. 

‘MJ Composite’ index from mjunction

September 25, 2009. E-commerce company mjunction services limited launched the country’s first coal spot price index service, branded as “MJ Composite”. According to a company release, MJ composite will offer a value weighted spot price index for 60 different varieties of coal from various coal producing companies in India. The company has also launched similar indices in power, cement and steel.

Policy / Performance

Karnataka aims to become power surplus in five years

September 29, 2009. Energy-starved Karnataka, a hub for software, biotechnology and other sunrise industries, has set an ambitious target of becoming a power-surplus state in the next five years with the addition of about 6,000 MW generation capacity.  To overcome the shortage and export surplus power to other states through the national grid, state-run KPCL is expanding the installed capacity to 13,000 MW by 2013 from 5,700 MW at present through various sources of energy.  KPCL is scouting for partners to set up a 2,100-MW gas-based thermal power plant at Tadadi in the coastal district of Uttara Kannada, about 550 km from here. About 60 percent of the state's current energy generation is from hydel sources, 30 percent from thermal (coal) and the other 10 percent from wind, solar and atomic power plants at Kaiga in Uttara Kannada district. Captive units and independent private producers chip in to meet the shortage.  The mega project is estimated to cost about Rs.70 billion / $1.4 bn. KPCL is in the process of acquiring 1,600 acres of land and seeking clearance from the central environment ministry for the project, as locals earlier opposed a coal-based power plant in the coastal area, which forms a vital part of the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats.

Punjab to get 100 Mw from West Bengal

September 29, 2009. Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has tied up with the West Bengal government for procuring 100 mw of power on the basis of banking arrangement, a step which could ease the problem of power shortage to some extent in the state. In addition to it, the board would also get further 100 mw of energy after getting a corridor from West Bengal. PSEB would relax the duration of power cuts from 8-9 hours to 4 hours in the domestic sector in the state.  The thermal stations of PSEB were generating power to its capacity and the repair of Lehra Mohabat Plant had also been completed.  The power availability in the state during the current year was 7.3 per cent more than that in the last year despite odd weather conditions, whereas the demand for power increased by 31 per cent that of the last year’s. However, PSEB has received 225 mw and 75 mw lesser power from the Bhakhra Dem and Dehar Hydral Project respectively, due to the scanty rainfall.

India needs nuclear energy to overcome power shortage: Pranab

September 29, 2009. India needs to give a major thrust to nuclear energy to overcome power shortage and fuel economic growth, given the limitations of the conventional sources of energy, said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Making a strong case for a major nuclear power programme with a long-term vision, Mukherjee said, "quality power is essential requirement (for growth)...Our conventional sources are not at all adequate to achieve the desired energy (output) in terms of electricity generation". Noting that coal resources are depleting and hydel power potential is limited, the Finance Minister said overexploitation of conventional resources are also raising environmental concerns. Recalling the contribution of Bhabha, Mukherjee said, he started his work at a time when nuclear science was in the stage of infancy and people were not sure what role it could play in economic development. 

Power ministry to ask BHEL to expedite supply of equipment

September 27, 2009. The power ministry is going to ask BHEL to expedite the supply of equipment to power companies so that adequate electricity could be generated to meet increased demand during the Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in Delhi in October next year.  The ministry has often complained that there have been delays in supply of power equipment from BHEL which has impacted the capacity addition target adversely. The committee, which met for the first time on Friday, has also experts, retired Secretaries to the government of India, one nominee each from FICCI, CII as members. It would primarily look into matters relating to delays in capacity addition.  However, there is no nominee from public sector power companies such as NTPC, PowerGrid and NHPC to which BHEL is supplying equipment.   BHEL is a turnkey operator for a large number of power generation projects as envisaged under the XIth five year.

New nuclear reactor model unveiled for exports

September 26, 2009. India has marked its entry into the nuclear export market, with a new reactor model christened AHWR300-LEU. The prototype, which was designed and developed recently, uses low enriched uranium along with thorium as fuel and is a new version of the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AWHR). According to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the reactor has a significantly lower requirement of mined uranium per unit energy produced compared to most of the current generation thermal reactors and is being marketed for countries with small grids. India formally unveiled the prototype at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 53rd General Conference in Vienna earlier this month. This version of the design can meet the requirement of medium sized reactors, in countries with small grids while meeting the needs of next generation systems. ‘AHWR300-LEU’ possesses several features, which are likely to reduce its capital and operating costs and make it ideally suited for leveraging the industrial capabilities available in several developing countries.  One of the selling points being buttressed by the Indian side is the inherent “proliferation-resistant” features of the reactor’s fuel cycle. “The reactor provides a better utilisation of natural uranium.  With the opening up of international civil nuclear co-operation, which has technically cleared the decks for India to enter the global nuclear trade, the potential for export of indigenous reactors and services is being viewed as a viable commercial proposition, an official said.

Tata to complete Mundra power project by 2012

September 24, 2009. Tata Power, which is implementing the 4000 MW Mundra ultra mega power project (UMPP), has said it will exceed the 2012 target by 800 MW.   The company is all set to commission three units (800 MW each) of UMPP in Gujarat by the end of the Eleventh Plan (March 31, 2012). Earlier, it had planned to set up only two units by 2012.  The original schedule of commissioning the first unit is September 2011, the company has internally advanced the targets with the idea of fully commissioning the 4000 MW project by the end of 2012. It has also shrunk the commissioning time between two units from the targeted five months to four months. Mundra is the first UMPP where the bidding process was successfully completed by the government.  While Sasan UMPP in Madhya Pradesh was first such project under the government scheme, its bidding got delayed due to a controversy surrounding one of the earlier bidders. Reliance Power, which is constructing the Sasan project is also targeting to commission at least one unit of 660 MW by March 2011.  Apart from the power project, work on the Adani Port to be used for importing coal is nearing completion and Powergrid has placed orders for construction of evacuation system for power generated by Mundra. The fuel linkage is also assured from Tata Power’s coal venture in Indonesia where it has picked up 30% equity in PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) and PT Arutmin Indonesia (Arutmin) owned by PT Bumi Resources. Korean equipment maker Doosan is supplying boilers for the Mundra project while turbines are coming from Japanese firm Toshiba. Switches are being supplied by L&T. 

Karnataka co-gen units seek hike in power tariff

September 23, 2009. Co-generation units in Karnataka have sought a raise in the power tariffs to cover the escalation in investment and operational costs. Currently, co-generation units supplying electricity to the State grid are paid Rs 2.80 a unit, while those having a third party access that supply to companies such as Tata Power and Reliance are paid more.  Of the 53 sugar mills in Karnataka, 23 have set up co-generation units. About half of these co-generation units have third party access, while the rest supply power generated to the State grid.  The sugar mills running the co-generation units have put forth a proposal to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) to consider an increase in power tariff.

Sterlite to complete financial closure of TSPL in 3 mths

September 23, 2009. Vedanta Group company Sterlite Energy Limited hopes to complete the financial closure of the 1,980-MW Talwandi Sabo Power Project, to be set up in Punjab, within the next three months and is confident of completing the project within the stipulated period.  Sterlite Energy, which bagged the Rs 100 bn Talwandi Sabo thermal power project on September 1, 2008, was supposed to complete the project's financial closure within 12 months of the date of allotment of the project but it could not do so and ascribed it to the impact of the global downturn which set in last year. The company had concluded the Engineering, Plant and Construction (EPC) contract at the site and is in the process of ordering the necessary equipments for setting up the plant. The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) awarded the 1,980-MW Talwandi Sabo Thermal Power Project to Sterlite Energy Ltd after receiving the lowest price bid of Rs 2.86 per unit as levelised tariff.  Following the acceptance of the bid, PSEB signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in September 2008 for 25 years. As per the PPA, the first 660-MW unit would be commissioned in August 2012 and the second and third such units would be commissioned within an interval of four months each. 

Srikakulam thermal power projects raise eco concerns

September 23, 2009. Several major power projects are coming up in Srikakulam district, with a total capacity of 10,000 MW and a projected investment of Rs 500 bn in the next few years, and the activity is bound to give a major boost to the development of the district.  But there are also concerns expressed by environmentalists that these projects may result in damage to the fragile coastal environs and large-scale pollution. East Coast Energy Private Ltd is setting up a thermal plant with a capacity of 2,640 MW at Kakarapalle village in Santabommali mandal of the district. NCC Power Projects Private Ltd, with a capacity of 2,500 MW, is being set up in the Sompeta mandal.  AP Genco is establishing a 2,500-MW thermal plant in the Icchapurma region and Sri Surya Chakra Power Corporation and other companies are also setting up power projects.

Power-hungry country close to 1L Mw demand

September 23, 2009. Power demand in the country touched an all-time high of 99,027 mw and is poised to top 100,000 mw shortly. The new peak demand marks a year-on-year growth of over 16% in electricity demand. Last year, the peak demand that was met in the country around this time stood at approximately 84,885 mw. The rise in electricity demand in India stands in sharp contrast to the situation in the US where overall power consumption is expected to decline by over 1.4% this year, while consumption by industrial units is expected to slump over 6%. US power consumption has been rising almost uninterrupted for 25 years until the 2008 recession.  China's power demand too had shrunk by over 4% year-on-year in the first four months of the current fiscal under the impact of the global economic downturn. But latest data from the country's National Energy Administration has shown a turnaround, with demand moving a tad into positive territory. In India, which normally faces a peak shortage in the region of about 12%, the new peak has been possible due to increased supply. Improvement in monsoon rains over the last fortnight or so and glacial melt have helped increase generation from hydel projects. These generation stations had seen a sharp decline during the summer due to failed monsoon and poor snow in the preceding winter. Besides, several thermal plants that had been shut down for routine maintenance too have come on stream, improving the feed to the inter-region transmission grid. Data on industrial production for the last couple of months too have been showing a rising trend for power generation. This has been accompanied by a growth in the output of key manufacturing sectors such as cement and coal, both major consumers of electricity. Establishment of a national grid by state-run transmission utility PowerGrid also helped wheel power across regions to manage the demand peak.  The existing inter-regional power transfer capacity of 20,800 mw is planned to be enhanced further, depending upon generation capacity addition through strengthening of regional grids and building more inter-regional links.




Eni enters offshore Ghana with majority stakes

September 28, 2009. Eni has entered Ghana through the acquisition of majority stakes in the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) and Offshore Cape Three Points South (OCTPS) exploration licenses.  Eni's entry into these licenses follows agreement reached with Vitol Upstream Ghana Limited ("VUGL"), part of the Vitol Group, to assign a majority interest in both licenses, as well as both operatorships, to Eni. The new license participating interests, which will be the same for both blocks, will be Eni Ghana Exploration and Production Limited 47.22% (and operator); VUGL 37.78%; and state company Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) 15.00%. GNPC will have a back in option for an additional 5% in OCTP and 10% in OCTPS.

Maple Energy cites potential shale gas opportunity in Peru

September 28, 2009. Maple Energy has provided an update on its ongoing drilling operations on its first well in the Santa Rosa prospect in Block 31-E in Peru.  Maple has completed the drilling and testing of the Santa Rosa 1X Well and has found unconventional gas in the Devonian Shale in Block 31-E. Maple tested the Tarma Green Sands from 12,594 feet to 12,705 feet and from 12,725 to 12,780 feet of depth and the Devonian Shale from 12,825 to 13,044 feet and from 13,051 to 13,077 feet of depth for potential gas production. While the Tarma Green Sands did not flow any gas, the underlying Devonian Shale had gas shows while testing the well. The Devonian Shale formation in Block 31-E is significant in terms of both potential thickness and geographic size, but significant additional work is required to determine if this shale gas opportunity can be developed to produce gas in commercial quantities.

Gas exploration begins in Indonesia's Meratus range

September 28, 2009. Two Indonesian mining companies have begun exploring for coalbed methane (CBM) in the Meratus range, South Kalimantan.  The two companies are PT Barito Basin Gas and PT Indobarambai Gas Methan. They already have the permits from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. These companies are also cooperating with an Australian university research team which have the equipment and skills in dealing with methane.

PTTEP picks up additional Australian oil assets

September 25, 2009. PTTEP, in its endeavor to stabilize its investment portfolio, has entered into an agreement to acquire more oil assets in Australia, receiving petroleum exploration rights for five blocks and two offshore oil fields.  OMV Timor Sea Pty Ltd is a company based in Australia who invests in exploration and production offshore assets in northwestern Australia. It currently operates Audacious and Tenacious offshore fields which have oil potential and could start oil production within 2 years, together with their five exploration assets: AC/RL4&5, AC/RL6, AC/P4, AC/P17, and AC/P24 blocks. In addition, it holds 18.75% interest in Jabiru and Challis offshore oil fields which PTTEP is now the operator with 70.9375% interest.

Initial production at Timan-Pechora well averages 1,230 bpd

September 24, 2009. PrimeGen has announced the initial production for the Kochmesskoye # 5 well at Timan-Pechora, Russia. The well commenced commercial oil production on September 12, 2009, and the Company has received production results for the first 12 days. Total oil produced and sold was 15,300 barrels with an average daily production rate of 1,230 barrels per day.  The 2009-10 development program calls for the drilling of a minimum of 30 wells to develop the field. When fully developed, the 30 wells could yield a daily production rate at Timan-Pechora of 35,000 barrels per day.


Sinopec, KPC to Locate Jonit Project in Zhanjiang

September 29, 2009. The joint-venture oil refining and chemical project of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) will be located in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, disclosed Dai Houliang, senior vice president of Sinopec.  The project was once expected to lie in Nansha of the province. For the sake of environmental protection, Sinopec, one of China's three largest oil and gas producers, preliminarily planned to locate the project in Zhanjiang. The new site has gained the preliminary approval of the Kuwait partner.  The project will be capable of refining 15 million tons of oil and turning out 1 million tons of ethylene a year. Both sides are initially predicted to invest about CNY 53 billion, marking the biggest investment in a Sino-foreign project across the country.

Qatargas starts production from Laffan Refinery

September 28, 2009. Qatargas announced that it has started production from the Laffan Refinery, the first condensate refinery in Qatar. The refinery's production reached commercial quantities and specifications on September 23 for all products.  The new refinery has a total processing capacity of 146,000 barrels per stream day (BPSD). It consists of process units including utility systems, distillation units, naphtha and kerosene hydrotreaters, a hydrogen unit and a saturated gas plant producing naphtha, kerojet, gasoil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The Laffan Refinery is a key part of the strategic vision for Qatar as it will process and add value to the field condensate produced from the Qatargas and RasGas facilities. The condensate will be refined and turned into products such as naphtha, kerojet (otherwise known as jet fuel) and gasoil.  The refinery's production capacity will be 61,000 bpsd of naphtha, 52,000 bpsd of kerojet, 24,000 bpsd of gasoil, and 9,000 bpsd of LPG. From inception, the refinery has been planned as an environmentally friendly facility and it has been built in line with stringent environmental standards to reflect this concept in every detail.

BP in 'preliminary talks' for China-Kuwait refinery role - KPI exec

September 28, 2009. BP is considering taking part in a China-Kuwait joint refinery project in southern China's Guangdong province.  The KPI has started "preliminary talks" with the British oil giant, Esmaiel was quoted as saying by the official KUNA news agency. But he did not elaborate on details of the talks. China and Kuwait in May sealed an agreement on the building of a joint refinery of 9 billion U.S. dollars. The two countries later picked Guangdong's Donghai Island as the site for the facility. A feasibility study for the location is underway. The project, expected to be completed in 2013, would have a crude oil refining capacity of 300,000 barrels per day and produce one million tons of ethylene per year. Kuwait will hold 30 percent of the venture while China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, or Sinopec, will retain 50 percent, with the remaining 20 percent going to the U.S. Dow Chemical Co. and Royal Dutch Shell.  Kuwait, sitting atop ten percent of the world's proven oil reserves, will supply all the crude to the refinery, which is among China's largest joint ventures in this sector when put into operation.  The mega project would serve as a driving force for the emirate to achieve the target of exporting crude oil of 500,000 barrels per day to China by 2015.

Transportation / Trade

CNPC teams up with Shandong for gas pipeline project

September 29, 2009. China National Petroleum Corporati on (CNPC) announced that it has signed a cooperation deal with Shandong provincial government to set up a joint venture to construct a natural gas pipeline network within the coastal province. The JV, Shandong Natural Gas Pipeline Network Company, will conduct the province's gas pipeline planning, design and construction.  A natural gas pipeline connecting the province's Tai'an city with the coastal Weihai city is already under construction.  Shandong's natural gas pipeline system will include one truck line and six branch lines with total length of 1,067 kilometers.

FPL gas pipeline gets early nod

September 29, 2009. Florida Power & Light Co. should be allowed to build a 300-mile natural gas pipeline in the state, a majority of Florida Public Service Commission staffers have recommended. In July the PSC held hearings on FPL's petition to build the $1.53 billion underground pipeline from Bradford County to Martin County. The 30-inch pipeline will run through 14 counties and be buried at least 3 to 4 feet deep.

Vopak eyes Europe, Asia for LNG ops

September 29, 2009. Netherlands-based Royal Vopak NV one of the world's biggest independent oil and chemicals storage companies, is eyeing Asia and Europe as growth markets for its planned liquefied natural gas business.   The U.S. has become a less appealing area for investment, however, as recent discoveries of unconventional gas reserves there have resulted in a collapse in demand for LNG imports.  Three years ago several companies planned to build around sixty terminals there, of which only two or three have been realized. So in the short term it won't be interesting for us to enter that market. The Rotterdam-based company, originally an oil and chemical storage company, wants to break into the LNG market by developing and operating LNG regasification terminals, in which LNG is heated and turned into gas again and transported to customers through pipelines. The terminals will provide a "buffer" between supply and demand, while long-term contracts with either suppliers or buyers should secure a stable income.  The global LNG market is facing oversupply, with an enormous chunk of liquefaction capacity coming onstream at the same time as global gas demand plummets because of the recession.

 Alaska Gasline open season unlikely to be success

September 28, 2009. State officials and companies planning a $30-billion plus North Slope gas pipeline say they expect "conditional" proposals to ship gas through the pipeline during a solicitation for customers next year.  The open season and the work that will continue will help the different parties negotiate commercial terms and come together, Myers said.   The state will pick up 90 percent of TransCanada's costs as the work continues under terms of the state's agreement with the pipeline company. State officials said previously they will obtain important information from the bids by companies, for example, whether there is any serious interest in a pipeline to Valdez to a liquefied natural gas project. TransCanada is obligated under an agreement with the state to include a Valdez option.

Gas pipeline branch will form link to northern Xinjiang

September 28, 2009. The second phase West-East natural gas pipeline has started construction of a branch line to link to the truck route with the northern part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said.  The second phase West-East natural gas pipeline, which started construction in February 2008, will transport gas from central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The branch line, a supple mentary to the truck route, will be constructed at the same time. The branch line is to comprise of three parts including a 14-kilometer-long pipeline to link with Junggar Basin network to supply natural gas to Urumqi towngas grid; a 58-kilometer-long line directly hooked up with Urumqi Petrochemical Company; and an 8.5-kilometer line connecting Dushanzi Petrochemical Company.

Enterra participates in 2nd operated oil play in Oklahoma

September 25, 2009. Enterra Energy Trust will participate in and operate an oil play in Oklahoma outside of the seven counties where it currently has land holdings. Enterra Energy Trust has accumulated a 40% interest in approximately 9,000 acres and has an initial four well commitment with drilling expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009. Participation in this prospect provides the Trust with a second area of interest in its Oklahoma operational area. The Trust will also be working with two new partners to develop this play. Enterra has signed a commitment agreement with its primary partner regarding this drilling opportunity, with fully binding definitive agreements to be executed in the near future.

Fugro provides mapping for pipeline corridor in Peru

September 24, 2009. Fugro was recently contracted by oil and gas exploration and development company Perenco to provide detailed topographic mapping of a proposed oil pipeline route in northern Peru. Airborne data acquisition for this critical project was completed using Fugro's airborne GeoSAR radar mapping system. Delivered products will support geological interpretation, slope analysis, wetlands delineation, and pipeline routing.  In selecting Fugro for the project, Perenco cited the company's ability to meet an aggressive delivery schedule using GeoSAR. The GeoSAR system is unique in its ability to collect dual-band interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) data through clouds and foliage for detailed terrain mapping in equatorial regions.

Policy / Performance

Zambian govt seeks to recapitalize Tazama oil pipeline

September 29, 2009. The Zambian government is in talks with the management of Tazama Pipelines Ltd., or Tazama, as it seeks to recapitalize the ailing company, Zambia's deputy minister of energy and water development said.  The Zambian government holds a 66.7% stake in the company, the rest is owned by the Tanzanian government.  Tazama is indebted to the tune of $53 million to various creditors, including the Zambian government.  The pipeline has the capacity to pump up to 600,000 metric tons of crude oil every year from Dar Es Salaam to Zambia's Copper Belt-based Ndola Petroleum Refinery. In recent years, Tazama has not been operating effectively, causing erratic fuel supply to Zambia.

African oil producers meet in Brazzaville on sustainable devt

September 29, 2009. The 16-member Association of Petroleum Producers in Africa (APPA) is holding an expert meeting in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, to discuss a common strategy for sustainable development.  The meeting coincides with the 38th meeting of the APPA secretariat.  The experts are expected to examine a number of documents including a memorandum on the Eighth Action Plan of APPA 2011/2014.   A grouping of oil producing countries in Africa, the APPA sees much to be done to make it the best tool for socio-economic development for the people and the government of member countries.

Venezuela, Vietnam to start producing Orinoco oil by 2011

September 29, 2009. Venezuela and Vietnam's state-run oil companies have begun talks aimed at agreeing on a plan to start producing oil together in Venezuela's Orinoco region by early 2011.  The joint venture company, called Petromacareo, would be 60% controlled by PdVSA and 40% by Vietnam's state firm, Petrovietnam, the Venezuelan government said. The drilling would occur in the Junin II block of the Orinoco oil belt, with expectations of producing 200,000 barrels a day.

Indonesia releases oil stock to make up for shortfall in production

September 29, 2009. Indonesia's Oil and Gas regulator BP Migas said it will release 1 million barrels of the national oil stock on shortfall in domestic production and supply.  The stock will be released next month to meet the crude oil production target of 960,000 barrels per day, head of BP Migas Raden Priyono said.  The country has a stock of 12 million barrels of oil.  Currently the country's crude production averaged only 949,000 barrels per day.  A decline has also been recorded in gas output from a number of major gas fields.

Nigerian Govt Nixes unpopular deposit for new refineries

September 28, 2009. Nigeria's Federal Government has cancelled the payment of the statutory refinery commitment deposit of $1 million for every10,000 barrels refinery capacity as contained in section 11, sub-section2.1(iv) and section111, sub-section 3.42 (iv) of the guidelines for the establishment of Hydrocarbon Processing Plant (Refinery and Petrochemicals) in Nigeria.  The removal of this much-criticized provision is said to be part of government's strategy to encourage private sector participation in crude oil refining and also its desire to locally refine 50 percent or more of Nigeria's crude oil especially as full-blown deregulation of the downstream petroleum sub-sector nears.

China to build third phase strategic oil reserves

September 25, 2009. China will "certainly" build a third phase of strategic oil reserves to meet international standards of reserve capacity, Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration said.  China's oil reserves at present is far from meeting that standard, he said.   China started building a 5.4-million-cubic-meter strategic oil reserve in Dushanzi, Karamay City in the far western Xinjiang region in its latest effort to ensure energy security. It is part of the second phase and has a planned total storage capacity of 26.8 million cubic meters.  China had filled the first phase of four strategic oil reserves in Zhenhai, Huangdao, Dalian and Zhoushan earlier the year, said the National Energy Administration.

Papua New Guinea unable to handle two LNG projects - Govt

September 24, 2009. The Papua New Guinea government says it doesn't have the capacity to run two liquefied natural gas projects at the same time. PNG's first multibillion-dollar LNG project is being managed by ExxonMobil, who plan to pipe gas from the country's highlands to a processing facility northwest of the capital Port Moresby.  The second project is being proposed by Canada's InterOil Corporation, following the discovery of gas reserves in Gulf Province. But PNG's petroleum and energy minister, William Duma, says the government is yet to make a decision on the InterOil project but it can't run in parallel with the Exxon-Mobil development.  ExxonMobil is expected to make a final investment decision by December, with construction due to start in early 2010.  Meanwhile, an anti-mining group in Papua New Guinea has raised concerns about the possible environmental impact of an undersea extraction project. Nautilus Minerals expects to extract copper, zinc, gold, and other metals from massive sulfide deposits on the seabed off New Ireland Province by 2010. But critics say the undersea mining has the potential to be socially, economically, and environmentally destructive.

Kazakhstan holds talks on Caspian oil blocks sales

September 24, 2009. Kazakhstan is currently holdings talks with unnamed potential strategic investors over development of 4 to 5 offshore oil blocks in the Caspian Sea, a senior official at Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth fund said. Samruk-Kazyna manages Kazakhstan's state-owned companies, including oil and gas company KazMunaiGas.  Future agreements over offshore oil blocks will be for exploration contracts and that reserves of such blocks will only be known after the exploration works are complete. 

Chevron makes Bangladesh gas discovery - Govt official

September 23, 2009. Energy group Chevron has made the biggest gas discovery in at least a decade in energy-starved Bangladesh, almost doubling the size of a field it is drilling there, a government official said. The U.S. firm has told authorities its Bibiyana gas field in Sylhet, northeastern Bangladesh, contains 6.6 trillion cubic feet (186 billion cubic meters) of gas, up from its original size of 3.4 trillion cubic feet, Muktadir Ali, chairman of state-owned Petrobangla said.  A Chevron spokesman in Bangladesh said the company had submitted its latest reserve figure to Petrobangla recently but wouldn't comment on exact figures.  Bangladesh has been facing an acute shortage of gas since 2008, resulting in production cuts in hundreds of factories.



ABB gets $30 mn power contract in Canada

September 29, 2009. Swiss technology company ABB Ltd. said it got a $30 million contract from Hydro One Network Inc., a Canadian power utility, to provide a turnkey static Var compensator, or SVC, solution for a substation serving the Toronto area.  ABB will design, supply, install and commission the system, which is scheduled for completion by 2011. SVC is part of ABB's group of FACTS, or flexible alternating current transmission systems, technologies, which includes solutions to enhance the capacity, reliability and efficiency of existing power transmission systems and contributing to the evolution of smarter grids.

Partnership takes over SHPL, Pakistan

September 25, 2009. Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water), in partnership with Daewoo and Sambu, has acquired 100% equity in Pakistan-based independent power producer Star Hydro Power Limited (SHPL).  SHPL is currently developing the 150MW Patrind hydro power project on build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis, with a concession period of 30 years. This run of river project is located on the boundary of District Abbottabad and District Muzaffarabad and is thought to be the first hydro power project to go into construction and operation under the Pakistan Government’s Power Policy 2002.  The new owners plan to complete all regulatory processes, including financial closure, and start construction by the middle of 2010.

Transmission / Distribution / Trade

TransCanada weighs in on Bill 50

September 29 2009. The fight to win public support for a controversial power line is heating up again.  If passed, the legislation will allow the province to build new transmission lines from Edmonton to Calgary. It also proposes to limit the input Albertans can have on new power projects.  TransCanada is a massive power consumer and says, not only does its future success depend on expanding capacity, action must be taken now to meet the future needs of all Albertans. Alberta Energy says if Bill 50 passes the public will still have a say in electricity projects. Albertans will be able to give their feedback on where specific lines go and whether those lines are above, or below, ground. What the public will not have a say in is whether, or not, there is a need for new lines.

World power giants eye Bangladesh Govt projects

September 28, 2009. The government's initiative of a large number of power projects has stirred both local and international investors as well as the world's leading power generation equipment manufacturers, industry insiders say. The insiders say power generator manufacturers in the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other countries are keenly observing the developments in local power sector that is now seriously aiming at installation of over 6,000 mw power using different types of technology in next few years.  Their interest has mounted as leading donors like the World Bank believe in the government's political will for these power projects as well as the seriousness being demonstrated by the PDB and power ministry in this regard.

TGK-9 sells 100 pc of Artyomovsk

September 28, 2009. TGK-9 OAO (OJSC Territorial Generating Company #9), a power generation and transmission company, has sold its 100% share in Artyomovsk, a thermal power station. Both the parties are based in Russia.

Nepal seeks construction supervision for 60 Mw Upper Trushuli 3A

September 25, 2009. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) invites expressions of interest from consultants to provide construction supervision of the 60-MW Upper Trishuli 3A hydroelectric project in Nepal’s Central Development Region. Responses are due October 5, 2009. Upper Trishuli 3A is among the Nepal government's plans to develop 10,000 MW of hydropower in the next ten years. The government is negotiating a concession loan from the China Export-Import Bank to finance the project. As a result, the invitation for expressions of interest is made to Chinese firms or joint ventures of Chinese and Nepalese firms.  NEA already is evaluating bids for engineering, procurement, and construction of Upper Trishuli 3A. It now seeks consultants to provide design review, construction supervision, and contract management over four years.  

Alberta electricity operator insists new power lines needed to keep lights on

September 25, 2009. The chief executive of the agency that operates power transmission lines in Alberta is defending a proposal to spend billions of dollars constructing new lines between Calgary and Edmonton. Enmax, a power subsidiary owned by the City of Calgary, says consumers could see electricity costs triple if the province goes ahead with a proposal to spend at least $15 billion on new transmission lines.

Ethiopia inks China deals to improve power network

September 23, 2009. Ethiopia said its national electricity company has signed contracts with three Chinese firms to develop hydro-electric projects and made preliminary accords for wind power projects. The state Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) said at least six new dams would built as be part of a 12 billion-dollar plan over 25 years to improve the power network. The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) signed one accord with China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) for the Genale Dawa 3 hydropower project in the south of the country. EEPCo chief executive Mihret Debebe said this would cost 408 million dollars and would generate 254 megawatts of power, ENA reported.

Policy / Performance

Pak to approach World Bank over water dispute with India

September 29, 2009. Pakistan has decided to approach the World Bank to request the appointment of a neutral expert to resolve a dispute with India over the Kishanganga hydro electric project if bilateral efforts fail to settle the matter, according to a media report.  After failing to resolve the dispute through the Indus Waters Commission, the federal government has directed the Foreign Office to initiate the process of requesting the appointment of a neutral expert as stipulated in the Indus Waters Treaty.  Under the treaty, the western tributaries of the Indus river were allocated to Pakistan though an article of the pact allows India to use these waters for hydropower generation. Official sources told the newspaper that the Pakistan government will try to solve the dispute bilaterally during secretary-level talks.

Renewable Energy / Climate Change Trends


NEPC to invest Rs 20 bn

September 29, 2009. Natural Energy Processing Company (NEPC) India Ltd is planning to set up a special economic zone (SEZ) at Palladam near Coimbatore with an investment of around Rs 20 bn. The company is also talking to private equity investors to fund the project.  Ravi Prakash Khemka, chairman NEPC India Ltd said that the company is planning to set up solar and Photo Voltaic plant in the SEZ, to which the construction is expected commence from January 2009. Total investment would be around Rs 20 bn. All the approvals from the state and central governments are being obtained. While NEPC’s land requirement would be only 25 acre for setting up the facility, the remaining would be given to other non-conventional energy players, added Khemka. Once the project takes shape, the company is expecting Rs 40-50 bn from investors and would provide employment to 5,000-6,000 people both directly and indirectly. Almost 360 days solar energy is available in the country, he added, considering which the company has embarked into manufacturing Solar Dual Power System, UPS.

Nuclear power may rise 100-fold by 2050: PM

September 29, 2009. India’s nuclear power generation capacity may increase more than 100-fold over the next 40 years as the nation reduces dependence on fossil fuels blamed for global warming. “If we can manage our programme well, our strategy could yield 470,000MW of power by 2050,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said. “This will sharply reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and will be a major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change.”

India makes big push to study Himalayan ecology

September 29, 2009. Urbanisation, irresponsible tourism, overuse of water, badly planned power and infrastructure projects and deforestation are all affecting the Himalayas, acknowledged a report released by the government. Prepared by the Almora-based G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development for the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the report lists guidelines and 'best practices' in each of these areas.  The report will form a key input into the formulation of India's National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, under India's National Action Plan for Climate Change, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh told reporters while releasing the report. To study the Himalayan ecosystem - one of the worst victims of climate change - the government is also setting up 15 weather monitoring stations as well as asking the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to use its satellites to track changes to the environment.  With widespread fears that Himalayan glaciers - that supply water to major river systems of South Asia including the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Indus - are receding due to global warming, Ramesh said: 'India must have its own capacity to monitor the health of the glaciers.'

PepsiCo installs biogas plant at Pune unit

September 28, 2009. PepsiCo India has installed a biogas plant at its Frito-Lay manufacturing unit at Pune. The company is now directly using this gas for the production of its snack product Kurkure. The company commissioned the plant in June this year and is now running at full daily capacity.  It also reduces our carbon emissions by 600 tons annually. The Pune plant is the first one across Frito-Lay’s global operations to use biogas. The Pune manufacturing unit produces the entire range of Frito-Lay’s snacking products Lays, Kurkure, Cheetos, Uncle Chips and the recently launched biscuit brand Aliva. The unit also generates 10-12 tons of bio-degradable waste daily, comprising potato peels, extra burnt chips, green potatoes, etc, which was earlier disposed off as waste and will now be used in the biogas plant. Installed at an investment of Rs 35 mn, the plant will save the company its annual expenditure of Rs 15 mn on waste disposal. 

Biodiesel demand, ban come together

September 28, 2009. Bio-diesel producers across the country are in a fix. While the circular issued by the petroleum ministry virtually bans sale of bio-diesel, the railways and The Brihan-Mumbai Electric Supply & Transport Undertaking have floated tenders for purchase of bio-diesel. In fact, the circular issued by the ministry requesting state governments to ‘ensure that unauthorised sale and possession of bio-diesel in the market is checked and eliminated’ irked bio-diesel producers compelling some of them to contemplate downing shutters.  The ministry may have issued the circular to prevent adulteration.  Notwithstanding the ministry circular or their unsupportive attitude, at least four companies, including the likes of Mumbai-based Royal Energy, Kolkata-based Emami group, and Hyderabad-based biodiesel producers, Naturol Bioenergy and Universal Biofuels have participated in the two tenders floated by the government.

Leitner Shriram's Rs 2 bn WTG facility commissioned

September 25 2009. Leitner Shriram Manufacturing, a joint venture of Shriram EPC and Leitner Technologies, Italy has commissioned its wind turbine generator (WTG) manufacturing facility at Gummidipoondi near Chennai.  Located on 20 acres, it entailed an investment of Rs.2 bn. It will have an initial capacity to produce 120 units of MW class turbines per annum. The plant employs around 300 people and would provide indirect employment for about 1000 people more. In a release, the company said Leitwind is a unique 1.5 MW class turbine offering tremendous advantages and log-term benefits. Its simple, compact, modular design ensures easy installation and serviceability, low maintenance and optimum performance. It is also said to be the only wind turbine with fewer rotating parts. This will lead to better efficiency in generation, economy in operation and longer life.  With its capability to manufacture various other parts associated with wind turbines including the rotors in the facility, Leitwind’s turnaround time to deliver is faster.  In addition to the MW class machines, the JV Leitner Shriram manufactures Shriram 250T, the 250 kilo watt wind turbines. With a proven track record of more than a decade, over 400 Shriram 250T wind turbines have been installed for various clients across the country, the release said. 

Plan afoot to power state with green energy

September 25, 2009. The World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE) with funding from the British High Commission has created a draft renewable energy plan for Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The plan aims to develop capacity building to implement renewable technologies for climate mitigation. The Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited has already produced a draft renewable energy policy. It will be finalized and sent to the cabinet next month.

Micro hydel units set to power village homesteads in Karnataka

September 25, 2009.  Even as the State grapples with demand-supply mismatch, handy micro hydel power generating units to produce 1 to 5 Kwh are set to meet the requirement of village homesteads via eco-friendly units. Already, 47 individuals in Karnataka are generating electricity by using the model. The project has been conceived for villagers in the Western Ghat region, where small streams would be sources for generating power.  The scheme is promoted under a programme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, which will provide a subsidy of 90 per cent of the cost of the system, estimated between Rs 60,000 and Rs 2 lakh for a 1 to 1.5 Kwh system.

Solar home lighting for 27 villages in J&K

September 25, 2009. The Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Mr Farooq Abdullah, has dedicated the solar home lighting systems installed in 3,900 households in 27 villages of Gurez Tehsil, Jammu & Kashmir, to the people of the area. The solar lights will enable 30,000 people living in these villages to enjoy the benefits of modern lighting. Illumination provided by the lights will be sufficient not only for household chores but also for reading and writing, the statement said. The Gurez valley in North Kashmir has been deprived of conventional electrification due to its remoteness. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy contributed Rs 45 mn of the project cost of Rs 50 mn. The balance has been contributed by the State Government, the statement said.

Two new Reva models will ‘electrify’ indian roads next year

September 24, 2009. Reva Electric Car Company (RECC) announced that the two models showcased recently at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the NXR and the NXG, would be launched in the country starting the first quarter of 2010.  According to Mr Chetan Maini, Deputy Chairman and CTO, RECC, the NXR is slated to be launched around the Auto Expo in January, while the NXG would be rolled out in January 2011. In Europe, prices for the NXR range between €9,995 and €14,995, while the NXG is priced at €23,000. However, according to company officials, the pricing strategy for India is yet to be finalised. Mr Maini, who is one of the co-founders of RECC, also said the company is building a new plant in Bangalore to manufacture electric vehicles.

Climate change must enlarge, not constrict possibilities for development and empowerment: Ansari

September 24, 2009. Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari said any action on climate change must enlarge, not constrict, the possibilities for development and empowerment of the world’s poor.  Addressing the inaugural session of the Observer Research Foundation’s “Global Summit on Sustainable Development and Climate Change” in New Delhi, Ansari said that the human aspiration for leading a life of dignity must not be the outcome of the dice of geography. Lauding the appropriate timing of the conference, as it comes in the run up to the 15th Conference of Parties in Copenhagen, Ansari said: “Climate Change remains one of the most complex problems facing humankind today. It is expected to impact on the distribution and quality of natural resources, and consequently the developmental path of nations and the quality of lives of peoples across the globe.”

Policy on non-conventional energy soon

September 23, 2009. The Karnataka Government is planning to come out with a policy on non-conventional energy, according to the Karnataka Power Minister, Mr K.S. Eswarappa.  The State has the capacity to produce around 18,000 MW of power from the non-conventional energy sources. Of this, only 900 MW is being produced now.  Though the Government had given permission for producing 9,000 MW through non-conventional sources, many of them could not take off because of various factors.


Climate change measures crucial for Asia-Pacific: UN

September 29, 2009. UN experts warned that Asia-Pacific nations and other developing countries need support to combat climate change as they face an intensification of extreme weather such as the Philippine floods. The comments came as a divide between rich and poor nations continued to dominate crucial negotiations in Bangkok to develop a new climate treaty before world leaders meet in Copenhagen in December. UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said one of the "key elements" of a deal was increased support for developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere to step up efforts to deal with the effects of climate change. De Boer said the devastation in the Philippines was "the most recent tragic example" of climate change affecting the region, as the death toll reached 240, with the same storm, Ketsana, also killing 22 people in Vietnam.  Indonesia became the latest country to announce plans for a cut in greenhouse gas emissions, saying it would cut them by more than a quarter.

Drought threatens 23 million in East Africa: Oxfam

September 29, 2009. Oxfam Great Britain warned that 23 million people were facing severe hunger due to climate change-exacerbated drought in East Africa. 'Failed and unpredictable rains are ever more regular across East Africa ..due to the growing influence of climate change.'  Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda are the worst hit, while Sudan, Djibouti and Tanzania are also suffering ill effects. Some 3.8 million people in Kenya are in need of emergency aid and deadly conflicts between pastoralists are increasing as communities fight for diminishing water supplies, Oxfam said. In Somalia, which has also been hit by a bloody insurgency, another 3.8 million people - around half the population - are dependent on food aid.  Over 13 million Ethiopians are facing food shortages, Oxfam said.

Climate change mitigation strategies ignore carbon cycling processes of inland waters

September 28, 2009. In a new research, scientists have said that current international strategies to mitigate manmade carbon emissions and address climate change have overlooked the carbon cycling processes of inland waters. The research was carried out by scientists from the University of Vienna, Uppsala University in Sweden, University of Antwerp, and the US based Stroud Water Research Center. According to the researchers, streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and wetlands play an important role in the carbon cycle that is unaccounted for in conventional carbon cycling models. The team of scientists points out that all current global carbon models consider inland waters static conduits that transfer carbon from the continents to the oceans. In reality, inland waters are dynamic ecosystems with the potential to alter the fates of terrestrial carbon delivered to them including: burial in sediments leading to long-term storage or sequestration; and metabolism in rivers and subsequent outgassing of respired carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

China changing climate of global negotiations

September 28, 2009. Beijing will scramble 18 jets in a biggest-ever exercise to disperse rain and clouds while soldiers and missiles are paraded through roads flanking ancient palaces and five-star hotels. China is also steadily changing the political climate of global warming negotiations in its favour. Beijing’s climate change negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, announced that China had cut its energy use per unit of gross domestic product by 10 per cent between 2006 and 2008. By 2010, if China manages to make an additional 20-per cent cut, it will prevent 1.5 billion tonne of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from being released in the atmosphere.  Before world leaders meet in Copenhagen in December to finalise a climate change pact to limit emissions, India is still unsure whether the Chinese will strike a separate deal with the US despite a recent assurance that they won’t.  Beijing has wrested centre-stage in global warming talks, as it gets rave reviews on action against climate change than flak for being a polluter.  Both India and China agree on the strategy to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol in December. But China’s forest cover is growing four to five times faster than India. The government-run media has unleashed publicity about China’s renewable energy goals, building up sentiment in favour of China ahead of the summit.

Global temp to rise 4 degree celsius by 2050s

September 28, 2009. Global temperatures may be 4°C hotter by the mid-2050s if current greenhouse gas emissions trends continue, said a study. The study, by Britain’s Met Office Hadley Centre, echoed a UN report last week which found that climate changes were outpacing worst-case scenarios forecast in 2007 by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A global average increase of 4 degrees masked higher regional increases, including more than 15 degrees warmer temperatures in parts of the Arctic, and up to 10 degrees higher in western and southern Africa.  The study indicated rainfall may fall this century by a fifth or more in part of Africa, Central America, the Mediterranean, and coastal Australia, “potentially more extreme” than the IPCC’s findings in 2007.

China’s carbon emissions pledge leaves UN negotiators guessing

September 23, 2009.  China pledged for the first time to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions in proportion to economic growth in an effort to fight global warming.  President Hu Jintao, without giving any numbers, offered to reduce the so-called carbon intensity of factories and power plants in the world’s third-biggest economy yesterday at a United Nations summit on climate change in New York.  Hu unveiled the initiative three months before about 190 nations are to gather in Copenhagen for a final round of negotiations on a climate accord. The offer, a step forward in talks over how to rein in industrial emissions, drew criticism for its lack of detail.

Australia sets opposition deadline for carbon changes

September 23, 2009. Australia’s government said the opposition must submit its suggested changes to the proposed carbon pollution reduction program by next month for them to be considered for inclusion in draft legislation. Power producers and energy companies are holding back on investment because of uncertainty over the law, Julie Toth, a senior economist at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said. Turnbull’s Liberal Party will reportedly discuss amendments to the draft carbon legislation on Oct. 19, said Wong, in New York for a United Nations meeting on climate change.

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