MonitorsPublished on Jul 03, 2013
Energy News Monitor I Volume X, Issue 4
Adapting to Shifts in the Energy Markets is Energy Security Lydia Powell, Observer Research Foundation


ne of the key messages of the annual presentation by Christof Ruehl, Chief Economist of British Petroleum, was that holistic thinking matters more and more as international energy markets integrate. He described 2012 as the year of adaptation to this integrating landscape and illustrated his point using extensive data gathered by BP. First, the world adapted well to unprecedented increase in energy prices. In inflation adjusted terms, average annual oil (Brent) prices for the last five years increased by 230% compared to the same period ten years ago; for coal the increase was 140% and for natural gas, the increase was 90%. Ruehl pointed out that 2012 differed from this trend, with the price of oil, gas and coal either remaining stable or falling across regions.

In 2012, oil prices were stable, gas prices remained either stable or fell on average most notably in the United States by over 32% while coal prices declined by 20% worldwide. But it is very unlikely that we can expect this declining price trend to continue. A recent paper on commodity cycles points out that the inflation adjusted price of petroleum increased by over 350% and the price of natural gas increased by over 290% since 1950 which were the largest and third largest price increases respectively out of 30 commodities studied over a period of 160 years. There is no reason why this long term trend might reverse in the future. 

Second, the developing world adjusted well to its role as the dominant consumer of energy. The much feared risk of growth in energy demand from emerging economies leading to energy scarcity for the ‘emerged’ economies did not materialise, as pointed out by Ruehl. Over the last decade developing economies not only accounted for most of the growth in energy consumption but also over 98% of global growth in energy production. 2012 was no exception to this despite the increase in shale oil and gas output in the USA.

With 70 percent of all energy resources endowed with developed countries this observation is not necessarily a surprise.  What is indeed a surprise is that investments were made on time to convert resources into production capacities in energy rich developing countries which were seen as closed and unresponsive to demands of the energy markets.  

Third, the world adapted well to the unprecedented increase in gas supply. The key was the flexibility offered by the power sector which was able to shift between coal and gas. The power sector absorbed an additional volume of 44 bcm of gas, mainly because the price of gas fell far enough to be able to compete with coal for base load power generation. The key insight here is that gas and coal closed each others’ inadequacies as they competed for attention from the same consumption end.

When gas was expensive coal stepped in and when gas could not flow (on account of absence of infrastructure or policy) coal moved across the oceans. BP data finds that since 2007 gas fired generation increased by 6.5% while coal fired generation declined by 5.6%. Ruehl compared this to the shift from oil to gas almost 30 years ago but reserved his judgement on whether this will remain an irreversible trend like the previous one.

Data on China and its coal consumption revealed by Ruehl indicate a tight relationship between coal and China that is unlikely to be matched by any country at any time in the future. China’s coal production increased by 135% over the last 10 years and consumption of coal by China alone accounted for over one third of global energy consumption growth in this period. In 2012 China alone consumed more than half of global coal production for the first time.

India’s consumption growth was less than a fourth of China’s. China and to a lesser extent India are probably the only two countries with the power to decide if the shift from coal to gas in power generation is likely to be permanent. But going by current trends that BP data reveals, coal is likely to offer tough competition to gas in the foreseeable future and India and China are likely to be driven by price differentials rather than carbon mitigation responsibilities in their fuel choices. 

In 2012, steam coal trade exceeded supply for the tenth consecutive year. If this trend continues coal is likely to remain more competitive than gas for power generation especially in the absence of carbon penalties. A carbon price in the range of €40-45/tonne would be required to make gas competitive for base-load power which appears unlikely in the near future especially in the light of the fact that EU ETS carbon prices for the first six months of 2013 averaged less than €5/tonne.

It is true that a switch from coal to gas is the cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions but this is not happening because the world continues to be driven by economic rather than ecological considerations. Unsurprisingly, China and India accounted for the largest and second largest increases in carbon emissions in 2012. Surprisingly however, the 122 MT increase in carbon emissions by India in 2012 was more than offset by the 164 MT reduction in carbon emissions by the United States on account of its switch from coal to gas. But once again it was price that decided the switch in the United States and not climate ethics.

The case of the EU is even more striking in highlighting the importance of price in fuel choices. The EU which has been at the forefront of carbon mitigation policies effortlessly switched from cleaner gas to dirty coal as coal fired power was 45% cheaper. If this is the case of EU, then it is very unlikely that China and India will put climate ethics before economics to choose gas over coal. 

The message that we need to take note of is that energy security is not about obtaining equity stake in Kazakhstan outcompeting Chinese firms but rather about integrating into the global energy market and developing the resilience to adapt to shifts in this global market.


Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]




STI Policy, 2013: A Half Hearted Approach!

Ashish Gupta, Observer Research Foundation


ery recently, the Ministry of Science & Technology came out with the ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2013 (STI)’ providing guidelines for shaping the future of an aspiring India. Since then there is an upsurge of conferences on theme “Innovation”. From presentations and speeches made at these conferences/seminars one can easily figure out how eager many organizers are in cashing upon the new opportunity without addressing the core issues in innovation. This also shows that the organizers are embarking upon a short term commercialization approach and confusing the common minds with terms such as innovation and invention. Indeed many young talented folk have come forth in the recent times with their innovative ideas like Jabong, Greyhound knowledge group etc and their ideas must be embraced. But one thing that cannot be overlooked is that these companies are engaged in ‘innovating’ services for the consumer and therefore cannot be considered as new inventions. Having said this, I must also say that I do not want to dishearten the young talented minds.  Their efforts/approach must be appreciated because sometimes small innovations can act as a catalyst for big inventions. But then again, the question remains the same: why is no new invention is coming forth from India? We are embarking on ideas towards strengthening the service based economy rather than product based economy which is not a healthy sign in my view.

In the STI policy, most of the emphasis is put on strengthening the structural mechanisms to address the pressing challenges of energy and environment, food and nutrition, water and sanitation, habitat, affordable health care, skill building and unemployment. The policy is well crafted and filled with good intentions and aspirational goals. But needless to say, the STI policy is a half hearted approach with no concrete pathways to achieve the intended goal. In addition, there is absence of measurable attributes/ milestones in the policy document. Indeed in every policy document there is a mention of energy and the STI Policy 2013 is no exception. It is envisaged that the policy will bring reforms in the energy sector by bringing more investments through developing symbiotic relationship with economic and other policies.

Again the best possible solution suggested in the policy document for bridging the deficits in the energy sector is through adopting the PPP model. We have seen in the last decade that private investment is declining and the PPP model is literally failing in the infrastructure projects. Apart from that there seem to be no takers of these projects from private players. This does not mean that private players are not interested. They are interested but the finance ministry has failed in boosting investor sentiment. With the sliding of the rupee to a record low the morale of the investors has got a double beating. Interestingly our indigenous industry is investing heavily in United States (US) and Europe and creating plenty of jobs there but is very reluctant to invest in the country. On the other hand, our Finance Minister is going the US to woo Foreign Direct Investors (FDI) rather than pushing confidence in the Indian industry. Indeed the Minister must assure FDIs & FIIs of the opportunity in India but without the participation of the Indian industry, problems are not going to be solved. Therefore, returning to the question whether the new STI policy will prove to be beneficial, I must say that I have my doubts!

There is stress on the green energy in the policy document. The solar power industry is not mature and is vulnerable to Chinese crystalline silicon manufacturers and American thin film manufacturers. The government has announced policy on domestic content requirement (DCR) but that is only applicable to projects awarded under National Solar Mission. Therefore Indian solar manufacturers are looking for the protection against cheap products from abroad which often bring cheap funding for their buyers. Also the DCR condition is not applicable to American thin films as there are no manufactures in India. Apart from that DCR will not be applicable on the state programmes. Interestingly most of the capacity that has come is under the state programme (Gujarat). One can conclude from the hypocritical DCR policy which was implemented to create level playing field for Indian manufactures that it leaves no space for consumers to source solar equipment from the indigenous green industry as it is very costly. This also shows that Indian solar manufacturing industry has not gained any competency or achieved any competitiveness even after importing technology. This also indicates that we are not very capable in reverse engineering. The same holds true for the civil nuclear industry which is based on ambition rather than reality. Forget about the invention, there is not even a viable innovative idea that has come from the sector as of now. Therefore, the question how the new STI policy is going to bridge the gap between hypocritical policies such as DCR and robust national innovation system is not clear. The policy document simply fails to address the question.

As far as the coal industry is concerned, there is lack of an innovative approach as they plan to continue with conventional methods of mining. But the sector is different from the above two sectors as the coal industry has already reached a high level of maturity. In this sector innovation is superseded by corruption. Once these issues are resolved, there will be no doubt that the coal industry will become the most cost efficient industry. Unfortunately, black diamond did not find any place in the STI policy document.

It is good to reiterate our achievements but it is rather better to bring forth the question why no new invention is coming from within? This is because our basic ideology is to stick to the short term.  There is absence of a deep culture in funding research which does not have immediate commercial potential especially from private companies. Most alarming is that we are making our roots very weak. The primary and secondary education is in dismal state and the entry of private players has turned the basic education into commercial hubs rather than intellectual ventures. The culture of knowing is replaced by culture of gaining. Twenty five years back when Maruti was established they had 80% engineers in their manufacturing unit from IITs. Now they are finding it very difficult to find suitable engineers even from the regional engineering institutes. This is an indication of deterioration in the quality of higher education in India. Here we can learn from South Korea which has invested in basic education and is now reaping benefits by becoming the leader in many fields. Unless these critical issues are addressed there will be no reforms and we will again be reading STI Policy 2014, 2015....2031 so on!!

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]


Natural Gas Production: Public Sector Vs Private/Joint Ventures

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation


Production- ONGC +OIL

Production- Pvt/ JVCs

Production- Total

Billion Cubic Metres (BCM)

% Growth



% Growth



% Growth




















































































Trends in Natural Gas Production

Source: Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell; Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.







Gas output from GEECL's Raniganj block rises 18 pc

July 8, 2013. Great Eastern Energy Corp Ltd (GEECL) said gas production at Raniganj coal-bed methane block has increased 18 per cent to 0.58 million standard cubic meters per day. Production of gas from below coal seams, called CBM, increased to 20.40 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) or 0.5776 mmscmd, from 17.3 mmscfd (0.4898 mmscmd), the company said.

GEECL is the first company in the country to produce gas from coal seams (CBM). Its main asset is a 210 square kilometer Raniganj (South) block in the Damodar Valley, 185 km from Kolkata. The block, according to the company, holds in-place reserves of 2.4 Trillion cubic feet.

GEECL also has Mannargudi block, near Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. The Mannargudi block covers 667 sq km. This block has 0.98 Tcf of in-place gas reserves. Its exploration, production, and development programme will entail drilling 300 production wells in its Raniganj (South) block and 50 core wells and 30 pilot production wells in its Mannargudi block. (

ONGC drills deepest oil well in KG basin

July 4, 2013. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) said it has drilled the deepest well in search for oil and gas in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin. ONGC spud well 1-D-1 in block KG-DWN-2005/1 in water depth of 10,411 feet (3,174 meters). Since 2004, ONGC has drilled over 100 deepwater wells.

A large number of these wells are in water depth beyond 5,000 feet in environmentally and logistically difficult areas of east and west coast, ranging from Gujarat offshore to Mahanadi offshore, including 6 wells in Andaman offshore. (


Essar Oil offers term diesel, supply may increase

July 8, 2013. Essar Oil has offered a rare term contract to sell up to 210,000 tonnes of diesel over August to October, and traders expect supply from the refiner to increase over the next few months as domestic demand falls during the monsoon season. That could put a lid on Asia's gasoil margins, which have recently been supported by fewer exports from North Asia due to refinery maintenance and cuts in shipments from China due to limits on export quotas. When monsoon rains hit India in late June, they typically trim demand for power use and irrigation, leaving Indian refiners with plenty to export. Diesel, a heavily subsidised fuel in India that accounts for a third of the country's fuel use, powers small to medium-sized generators to run air-conditioners and make up for low hydro power output in the summers. It also is used to pump water from wells to irrigate fields in the dry season. Essar Oil took a three-month break from the spot market, due to the usual spike in domestic demand for diesel during summer, before resuming spot exports in July. In the rare term tender issued, Essar Oil offered a maximum of 70,000 tonnes a month of 500 ppm sulphur diesel for loading from Vadinar over August to October. (

BPCL-Kochi Refinery expansion site declared strike free zone

July 6, 2013. The ` 20,000 crore BPCL-Kochi Refinery expansion project site at Ambalamugal has been declared a 'strike-free zone' with a view to completing the project within the scheduled 42 months. A decision to this effect was taken at a conciliatory meeting of stakeholders of the project, including prominent trade unions, company management, contractors association convened by the Centre and state government. A three-tier system had been established to resolve labour disputes without disrupting the works. Trade union leaders had offered full cooperation and support to complete the project on time. (

Transportation / Trade

GAIL wants Australian LNG deal to be renegotiated

July 9, 2013. GAIL India Ltd has demanded renegotiation of price of gas from Australia's Gorgon project. Petronet LNG Ltd, a private firm whose chairman is Oil Secretary, had in August 2009 signed a 20-year deal to buy 1.44 million tons per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a price equivalent to 14.5 per cent of the ruling oil rates. The formula agreed when Prosad Dasgupta was the Managing Director and CEO of Petronet, translates into $14.5 per million British thermal unit price at $100 per barrel oil price. After adding shipping cost, 5 per cent import duty and the cost of converting liquid gas back into its gaseous state, the Australian gas will cost close to $17 at Kochi port. This compares to US Henry Hub rate of about $4 using which GAIL has recently signed deals to import gas from the US. Qatar, the world's largest LNG producer, sells gas to India at much lower rates. GAIL Director (Marketing) Prabhat Singh this month wrote to Petronet Managing Director A K Balyan seeking reduction in price of Gorgon LNG in view of changed scenario worldwide. Several long-term LNG deals including Russian giant Gazprom's agreement to sell gas into Europe have been renegotiated in recent past in view of slump in benchmark gas prices. Besides difficulties in marketing of such high priced gas, rupee depreciation against US dollar will make the fuel even more costlier. Singh said over the last few years, regional gas prices in North America, Europe and Asia have seen a record divergence, driven by both supply and demand factors such as the US shale gas boom, the European Financial crisis and the Fukushima nuclear crisis. Petronet Director (Finance) R K Garg confirmed receiving GAIL letter and said the company was examining it internally if renegotiation was feasible. Exxon Mobil, the seller of Gorgon LNG, will be approached if renegotiation was possible. GAIL, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Oil and ONGC hold 12.5 per cent each in Petronet. Petronet is a private listed company but Oil Secretary is the Chairman of the company. The Gorgon deal was signed when R S Pandey was the Petroleum Secretary and Chairman of Petronet. Petronet is to get Gorgon LNG in second half of 2015, with initial supplies of being about 0.48 million tons, ramping up to contracted 1.44 million tons in two years. (

Essar Projects bags IOC contract for safety improvements

July 8, 2013. Dubai-based engineering firm Essar Projects said it has bagged a contract from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to implement process safety related improvements at its terminals and depots across the country. The assignment involves basic and detailed design and project management relating to implementation of various HSE requirements in 109 POL terminals/depots of IOC across the country. The project is expected to be completed within 24 months. (

Mauritius may soon decide on MRPL contract renewal issue

July 5, 2013. Mauritius has conveyed to India that issues regarding renewal of contract with Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) have been sorted out and a final decision in this regard was expected soon. The matter was discussed during the meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Mauritius Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection Sayyad Abd-Al-Cader Sayed Hossen. India's exports to Mauritius comprises largely of petroleum products following a three year agreement signed between MRPL and the State Trading Corporation of Mauritius in July 2007 for the supply of all petroleum requirement of Mauritius. The agreement is expected to be renewed later this month. India would be happy to extend any assistance with regard to the issue. (

India, China gas reforms open door to more imports

July 4, 2013. Moves by China and India to raise local gas prices will pave the way for increased imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), as the two nations try to ensure they can meet rapidly increasing demand for the fuel. Gas prices in both countries have been kept artificially low at levels well below globally traded LNG costs, meaning either LNG importers suffer a loss or local LNG users have to pay a big premium to domestic prices. India nearly doubled the price from around $4.20 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) to a pricing formula that will bring prices to around $8.40 per mmBtu from April 1, 2014. China made a more modest reform, increasing non-residential natural gas prices by 15 percent, but prices will be higher at up to $10-$12 per mmBtu in many coastal provinces. Chinese and Indian gas demand is expected to soar in the coming decade, driven by growing energy demand and efforts by China in particular to increase the amount of cleaner burning natural gas in its energy mix. Higher gas prices will make LNG imports more attractive and provide incentives for domestic gas developments.

LNG spot prices into China are around $14.50 per mmBtu, while India's gas imports are at $13 to $14 per mmBtu. India imported 15.17 million tonnes of LNG in 2012, which is expected to rise to 50 million tonnes by 2020, while demand in China, which bought 14.7 of LNG last year, is expected to hit 60 million tonnes by 2020. The price hikes will also provide an incentive for investment in LNG importing infrastructure. Within days of the gas price hike, Indian firm H-Energy called for bids from EPC contractors for building an 8 million tonnes-per-year LNG terminal in Maharashtra state. India has plans for an additional 83 million tonnes of LNG import capacity on the books for 2020, much of which may hinge on whether developers feel they can get market prices for LNG.

Chinese importers may be more willing to sign up short-term supplies with export facilities planned in East Africa, Canada and the United States, as well as the more traditional suppliers such as Australia and Qatar. The lift in domestic prices will also trim losses at PetroChina's Rudong and Dalian import terminals, which have contracted pricey term LNG from Qatar, and at CNOOC Ltd's Zhanjiang and Fujian terminals which will import LNG from Australia and Indonesia. GAIL India Ltd has already contracted around 8 million tonnes of U.S. LNG imports, raising concerns about who would pay for the expensive imported gas. (

Policy / Performance

India expresses interest in building refineries in Iraq

July 8, 2013. India has evinced interest in building refineries and petrochemical plants in Iraq and is keen to source liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its second largest oil supplier. Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily, who is leading a 28-member delegation to participate in the 17th India-Iraq Joint Commission meeting in Baghdad, expressed interest in setting up gas-based projects including, fertiliser plants in the post-war Iraq. Moily on his arrival in Baghdad on July 6 called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and reiterated to him the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit New Delhi. The Iraqi Prime Minister said Iraq will have great interest in sectors connected with oil and gas especially petrochemicals, refineries and fertilisers and both countries should start working immediately on cooperation in these sectors. India also offered to train Iraqi personnel in oil and gas sector and offered to exchange ideas and expertise to help make the Gulf nation's state-owned firms more efficient and profitable. (

India's new gas price formula

July 8, 2013. India has agreed on a pricing formula for gas supply contracts with producers from April 1, 2014, when the current benchmark deal with Reliance Industries expires. The new formula will be valid for five years and applies only to new contracts or renewals when existing ones expire. It does not apply to contracts which contain a specific formula for natural gas price indexation or fixing. The government broadly agreed with terms suggested by a committee set up to look at production-sharing contracts for the oil and gas industry, known as the Rangarajan proposals after the name of the committee chairman. The main departure from the Rangarajan proposals was to review prices quarterly, rather than monthly, in an attempt to smooth volatility and allow better planning of investments. (

Govt to alter diesel, LPG pricing mechanism to cut subsidy burden

July 7, 2013. The government is likely to alter the way diesel and cooking fuels are priced to reduce its subsidy burden, which appears to be spiralling out of hand due to the falling rupee. Since the last fiscal, the Finance Ministry has pushed for refiners to be paid the equivalent of rates they would have realised if diesel, kerosene and LPG were exported. A departure from the import parity price mechanism would have shaved ` 17,618 crore from last fiscal's ` 161,029 crore subsidy bill. But Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily thwarted the move by seeking the Prime Minister's intervention and promising to get the pricing issue looked at by an expert committee. A panel under former Planning Commission member Kirit S Parikh was constituted to suggest a suitable pricing mechanism. But Finance Minister P Chidambaram has got the panel's terms of reference altered by mandating it to suggest a model based only on export parity pricing.

The change essentially means the Parikh Committee can only suggest how to price diesel, kerosene and LPG on export parity rates and unless the report is rejected, it will become the benchmark for subsidy calculations. Currently, diesel is priced at trade parity, of which 80 per cent is import price and 20 per cent export rate. Kerosene and LPG are priced at import parity. The Finance Ministry wanted export parity pricing for diesel and kerosene in 2012-13 and wanted LPG to be priced through a 60-40 mix of export and import parity rates. A shift to export parity pricing would have cut the subsidy on diesel by ` 14,372 crore to ` 77,689 crore in 2012-13. Another ` 2,245 crore would have been saved on LPG and ` 1,001 crore on kerosene. The saving would come from the removal of import duty and notional transportation cost in the import parity price. For the current fiscal, the total subsidy for selling diesel, kerosene at LPG at rates below cost was put at ` 80,000 crore in April but has now climbed to ` 125,000 crore because the falling rupee has made imports costlier. (

RIL to get benefit of gas price hike from Sept 2017

July 7, 2013. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will get real benefit of doubling of natural gas prices only from September 2017 when it’s newer and satellite fields off the east coast come to production. RIL, whose fields currently make up for just 12-13 percent of total domestic production of about 85 million standard cubic meters per day, does not yet have all approvals in place to bring 16 discoveries in the KG-D6 block and another 6 in NEC-25 block of Orissa to production. The finds in KG-D6 can add a minimum 30 mmscmd of output to about 14 mmsmcd production from currently producing D1&D3 fields in the KG basin block. But this incremental production is unlikely before September 2017 as the company has not yet been permitted by DGH to submit an integrated development plan. The field development plan for discoveries in NEC-25 that can produce 15-20 mmscmd, has not yet been approved.

The gains for RIL from doubling of natural gas price to $8.4 per million British thermal unit from April 2014 will be restricted to flagging output from D1&D3 fields in KG-D6 and the real gains will come towards fag end of the 5-year tenure of the higher gas price approved by the government. The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a new pricing formula based on the average of the prices of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) into India and the weighted average of gas prices in North America, Europe and Japan. The pricing formula will be effective on April 1, 2014 for a period of five years, with the price to be revised quarterly using the approved formula. (

Govt to gain $2.2 bn from gas price hike: Merrill Lynch

July 4, 2013. The government will gain about $2.2 billion (` 13,000 crore) in higher taxes and profit share from its decision to nearly double natural gas prices to $8, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a report. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved raising natural gas prices from April 2014 to an average of prevailing rates at international benchmarks and cost of imported LNG into the country. The indicative price in April is likely to be $8 per million British thermal unit as against $4.2 currently.

ONGC and Oil India Ltd (OIL), which account for bulk of natural gas produced in the country, will gain an additional ` 18,100 crore ($3.1 billion) annually, the report said. About 65% of ONGC-OIL's rise in revenue from gas price hike would go to the government as higher royalty, income tax, dividend and dividend tax. The report said finance minister P Chidambaram had while announcing the CCEA decision stated that no decision has been taken on the input price of gas to user industries of power and fertiliser. (



SJVN gets coal block for 1.3 GW power plant in Bihar

July 5, 2013. Public sector enterprise SJVN said it has been allocated coal block for its upcoming 1,320 MW power plant, estimated to cost about ` 6,900 crore, in Bihar. The allocated coal block -- Deocha-Pachami in West Bengal -- to be shared by the six state power companies along with SJVN Ltd. It has a reserve of 2,102 million tonnes. SJVN said the coal block has been allocated for its 1,320 MW (2 x 660 MW) Buxar thermal power project in Bihar. The Buxar project will generate 9,090 million units of electricity at 85 per cent Plant Load Factor. Annual coal requirement for the proposed plant is projected to be 6.25 million tonnes. For the project, the company had inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bihar government. SJVN is a joint venture between the central government and the Himachal Pradesh government. According to the company, its 412 MW Rampur hydro project in Himachal Pradesh and 47.6 MW Khirvire wind power plant in Maharashtra are scheduled to be commissioned in the current fiscal. At present, the company is running the 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri hydro project in Himachal Pradesh. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade

Essar Project applies for power distribution licence for Gurgaon

July 9, 2013. Essar group company Essar Projects has sought licence to distribute power in municipal area of Gurgaon in Haryana as the second energy supplier in the district. If the licence is granted to Essar Projects, then it will be the second distribution licence holder after Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) for supplying power to energy consumers within municipal limits of Gurgaon. Already DHBVN is supplying power in its Gurgaon circle. In Haryana, only two Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and DHBVN are supplying power to consumers.

Pegging the capital outlay on this project at ` 1,519 crore, the company in its application has said that it would set up its own distribution network for supplying power to the consumers. The company has kept the cost of power from own generation and purchase at ` 5.19 per unit with hike of 3-4 per cent per annum.

Gurgaon circle is a very potential area in terms of revenue generation and consumer load. DHBVN generates almost 50 per cent of its revenue from Gurgaon circle only out of its total five circles. It fetched a revenue of ` 336 crore last month from Gurgaon circle out of total revenue of ` 722 crore. Gurgoan has power consumer base of 3.60 lakh with average power load of 700-800 MW. (

Alstom T&D bags ` 2 bn order from Bajaj Infra power project

July 8, 2013. Alstom T&D India said it has bagged an order worth ` 200 crore from Bajaj Infrastructure Development Company for supply of equipment to its 1,980 MW power plant in Uttar Pradesh. The contract is for supply of electrical balance of plant package for Bajaj Infrastructure's upcoming 3x660 MW thermal power project in Lalitpur. The Lalitpur plant is expected to be commissioned in 2015. The company is a leading player in the domestic power transmission segment. (

CIL open to changing FSA terms for companies

July 8, 2013. Coal India, after having tweaked the fuel-supply agreement, or FSA, in favour of NTPC, is now open to changing the terms for companies that come forward to make similar changes in their coal-supply agreements with the state-run monopoly. The Coal India had agreed to make changes in FSA with respect to coal quality and incentives for NTPC. This opened the door for other consumers that might want to make similar changes in their coal-supply agreement if they are not satisfied with the present format. (

IDC set to distribute power to industrial units in its estates

July 6, 2013. Goa government-run Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has been entrusted with the task of providing power supply to industrial units set up in its estates by sourcing electricity from the feeder. Goa government intends to start this new mode of transmission to the industrial estate six months from now. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the Verna industrial estate would be the first one to take up such a project. He clarified that the entire idea of roping in IDC for distribution of electricity is in conceptual stage, and no decision is taken by the government. Parrikar said that the industries would be taken into confidence before switching over to this new mode of power distribution. (

Tariff, electricity volume traded on exchange slumps in June

July 4, 2013. Indicating sluggish demand, price as well as volume of electricity traded on the country's largest power exchange slumped in June with average rates declining to as low as ` 1.93 per unit. Indian Energy Exchange's (IEX) trading figures for June reveal that prices fell "due to excessive supply and suppressed demand". Average prices of electricity declined to as low as ` 1.93/kWh in the Eastern region while in the South, the average rates dropped to as much as ` 4.42 per unit. kWh is a unit used to measure electricity. (

Punjab stops buying power from exchanges

July 3, 2013. Punjab has stopped buying power from exchanges in the past few days even though Khraiff sowing season going on. State utilities in the state are resorting to power cuts but are unable to buy even a single unit because its grid has touched full capacity. The situation is expected to continue for some time. Since the state is not in a position to draw anymore power due to grid constrain, there is no price discovery for power in Punjab. Demand for power in Punjab has been hovering around 8,700 MW during peak period and the state is faced with a supply shortfall ranging between 15-20% every day. Last year it crossed 9,000 MW during this time. (

No fresh approval for coal supplies to power plants

July 3, 2013. The government may stop accepting fresh applications from power plants seeking coal supply for the next two years in view of acute coal shortage. An inter-ministerial group that reviews coal supply to the power sector has made the recommendations to the coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal. The group called Standing Linkage Committee for Granting Long-term Linkages to Power Sector last met on May 31, 2013. As on December 31, 2012, a total 1,614 applications of power, sponge iron and cement plants seeking about 3,200 million tonnes per annum coal supply were pending with the ministry though coal available from Coal India Ltd (CIL) is limited. (

Policy / Performance

Coal regulator will help overhaul coal sector: India Ratings

July 9, 2013. The recent decision of the government to constitute an independent coal regulator is a vital step for the much-needed overhaul of the coal sector, India Ratings said in a survey. Notwithstanding the reportedly large coal reserves in India, the sector is characterised by acute shortages, poor quality, inefficient mining practices and distorted pricing mechanisms, it said. It, however, pointed out that though decision is a positive step towards the sector's development and is expected to determine the principles on the basis of which producers can price coal, it is yet unclear if price setting would also be included within the ambit of the proposed regulator. India Ratings expects the regulator to establish yardsticks to determine quality or grades of coal supplies, ensure adherence to supply contracts, adjudicate on disputes between suppliers and consumers and oversee the progress of mining rights and licenses granted to private companies. Allocation of fresh coal mines will, however, continue to be the prerogative of the government, it said. The ratings agency further said the mandate given to the regulator and the resources provided to it for effective discharge of its duties in an independent and transparent manner, free from political interference, would be vital to realise the government's objectives. Concurrently, other reform measures such as restructuring Coal India and significantly expanding private sector's participation in coal mining would also need immediate attention, it said. (

Gujarat clears Mithivirdi Nuclear-power project

July 9, 2013. Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority has quietly given the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance to the controversial proposal for a nuclear power plant at Mithivirdi village in Bhavnagar district. The plant is to be built by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). The NPCIL had sent the proposal for CRZ clearance in January this year. After scrutiny, the state government gave clearance for the 6,000 MW nuclear power plant and also recommended the project to the Union ministry of forests and environment for final CRZ clearance. Both the BJP government in Gujarat and the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre are pushing hard for the ` 60,000 crore nuclear power plant. (

Coal stocks at thermal power plants improve in June: CEA

July 8, 2013. Coal stocks at thermal power stations in the country have shown an increase, mainly due to improved supplies of the fuel and lower demand for electricity. Only five plants had less than four days of coal stocks at their disposal as of June 27, according to Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data. Comparatively, as many as 13 power stations had on average less than four days of fuel inventory in May. Three of the plants with less than four days of coal belong to NTPC, the country's largest power producer -- the 2,980 MW Sipat project in Chhattisgarh, and the 2,600 MW Ramagundem and 2,000 MW Simhadri units in Andhra Pradesh. The three plants also had supercritical stocks in May. However, as many as five power stations had fuel stocks for more than 40 days, according to the data. The normal requirement of plants ranges from 15 to 30 days of coal inventory. The reason for lower demand from the states is because they are unable to buy expensive electricity. (

Power supply in Haryana to get a boost after coal block offer

July 5, 2013. Power generation in Haryana is expected to get a boost after Ministry of Coal allocated the Kalyanpur-Badalpara coal block jointly to the state, ensuring fuel security for Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited. The state Power Minister Ajay Singh Yadav said the coal block in Jharkhand, which has been allocated jointly to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, has estimated reserves of about 102 million tonnes and is spread over an area of about 6 Sq kms. He said this is the second coal block to be allotted to Haryana and will be used for partially meeting the fuel requirement of the 1x660 MW thermal generating Unit at Yamunanagar, whose progress is held up for want of coal linkage. With the allocation of the new coal block, the project can take off and its commissioning can be expected in the 13th plan period, he said. Another coal block at Mara-II-Mahan in Madhya Pradesh, having reserves of about 950 Million Tonnes is already being developed by Haryana, jointly with the Government of Delhi. The Minister said that the new coal block would support the ambitious generation capacity addition programme of Haryana. He said that in addition to the 1X660 MW thermal generating Unit at Yamunanagar, the State has planned to set up two generating Units of 250/300 MW capacity Unit-9 and 10 at Panipat and also a 1500 MW gas based project in District Faridabad. Haryana is also facilitating the setting up of a 4X700 MW Nuclear Power Project in Fatehabad by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd from which more than 50 per cent power would be available for Haryana. The Minister said that the Haryana government is also planning to set-up 1500-2000 MW Hydro Electric Power Project in Bhutan in joint venture with the Royal Government of Bhutan. (

J&K to build 1 GW thermal power project

July 5, 2013. Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has been allotted 130 million tonne of coal block in Odisha which would be used to build a 1,000 MW thermal power project to end electricity woes of the state, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said. He said that it has not yet been decided whether the thermal power project would be in Odisha or within Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir has been spending more than ` 3,000 crore annually on buying electricity from outside the state, while its annual revenue collection on account of electricity supplied to consumers has been just over ` 1,000 crore. (

India seeks US investments in power sector

July 4, 2013. India's Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia sees great potential for US investments and co-operation in the Indian power sector. Potential areas of such co-operation include transmission technologies, development of large scale hydro power, supercritical technology development for efficient energy production, smart grids and energy efficiency improvement programmes, he said. Scindia, who was on a short visit at the invitation of the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, said a $25 billion financial re-structuring plan (FRP) aimed at improving the viability of the state power utilities. Delivering a talk on "Indian Energy Security in the context of the Power Sector," he said thanks to various energy efficiency measures there had been a savings equivalent of 11,000 MW of avoided capacity in the past 5 years. This achievement was set to be surpassed with the target of 12GW for the next 5 years, he said. (




IFC to allocate $150 mn for construction of oil refinery in Turkey

July 5, 2013. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to approve funding to the sum of $150 million for the construction of STAR Rafineri A.S. oil refinery in Izmir (Turkey). Currently an 81.5 per cent stake of the oil refinery STAR Rafineri A.S. is owned by SOCAR Turkey Energy A.S. and 18.5 per cent owned by Turcas Rafineri Yatirimlari A.S. Construction of the oil refinery will be financed in part by shareholder funds (30 per cent) which will amount to nearly $1.8 billion and the rest will be financed through bank credits. (

Transportation / Trade

Petronas in talks to sell stake in Canada shale to Indian Oil

July 9, 2013. Malaysia's Petronas is in talks to sell 10 percent of its Canadian shale gas assets to Indian Oil Corp (IOC). Petronas bought Canada's Progress Energy Resources Corp in a C$5.2 billion ($4.92 billion) deal that gave it shale gas properties in northeastern British Columbia. It sold a 10 percent stake in the integrated shale gas development and liquefied natural gas project to Japan Petroleum Exploration. Terms of a potential deal between Petronas and IOC have not yet been worked out. (

Quebec disaster spurs rail-versus-pipelines debate on oil

July 8, 2013. A train disaster that killed five people in Quebec promises to touch off debate over the safety of shipping crude oil by rail or pipelines such as TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL. As authorities began investigating the explosion of refinery-bound tank cars hauled by Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd., Quebec’s Green Party demanded stricter regulations and an energy industry association predicted tough scrutiny ahead for rail carriers. The July 6 accident forced the evacuation of 2,000 near the town of Lac-Megantic as Montreal, Maine & Atlantic moved oil to Irving Oil Corp.’s Saint John refinery in New Brunswick. The cargo was part of Canadian producers’ growing use of rail amid tight pipeline capacity. Canada shipped about C$73 billion ($69.3 billion) of oil exports, mainly to the U.S. With the industry waiting for a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline by President Barack Obama and from Canadian regulators on approval of Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway route through British Columbia, more shipments by rail are being planned. Without the Keystone XL, designed to carry 830,000 barrels a day, rail shipments of Canadian crude would rise an additional 42 percent by 2017. Cenvous Energy Inc. plans to boost rail shipments fivefold to 30,000 barrels a day by the end of 2014 to help reach coastal markets. (

Shell reopens Nigeria oil pipeline

July 8, 2013. Shell Nigeria has reopened a 150,000 barrels of oil capacity per day Trans Niger oil pipeline. The Trans Niger pipeline (TNP) was shut down following an explosion and fire at a point that had been targeted by oil thieves. The TNP, which carries oil through the Niger Delta to the Bonny terminal, was shut after the incident at Bodo West in the Niger Delta's Ogoniland. The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), a Joint venture operator in the country, assured that it will continue to operate safely and in an environmentally friendly manner, and decried the sabotage and crude oil theft activities that led to the recent fire and explosion on the 28" TNP. SPDC has also dismissed suggestions that the TNP is not safe to operate. The line is operated in line with the company's Pipeline Integrity Management System (PIMS), ensuring regular inspection and maintenance. (

Statoil gives go-ahead to Edvard Grieg pipeline

July 4, 2013. Statoil reported that it has given the go-ahead for a joint oil export solution for the Edvard Grieg and Ivar Aasen fields. Oil from the fields will now be transported via a 27-mile pipeline from Edvard Grieg to the Grane oil pipeline and then on to the Sture terminal, which is located near Bergen in western Norway. The pipeline will be called the "Edvard Grieg" oil pipeline. Edvard Grieg is scheduled to start producing in 2015 and Ivar Aasen in 2016. The investment decision was made by Statoil along with its partners Lundin and Det norske oljeselskap, who operate the Edvard Grief and Ivar Aasen fields respectively. A plan for installation and operation has been submitted to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. (

Policy / Performance

Pakistan to resume stalled LNG import talks with Qatar

July 3, 2013. The new government has decided to accord top priority to liquefied natural gas (LNG) import from Qatar in a government-to-government arrangement and has given the go-ahead to resuming stalled negotiations with Doha. The decision was taken in a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, where the participants agreed that preference should be given to import of 500 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of LNG from Qatar. According to the LNG import plan proposed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, two or more import projects of 500 mmcfd each may be undertaken jointly by Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) keeping in view all LNG rules including PPRA rules. Under the proposed project structure, the ECC said in line with the cabinet approval, preference should be given to Qatar Gas for negotiations between the two governments for purchase of up to 500 mmcfd of LNG. Some other options could also be explored to encourage LNG suppliers to construct a storage and re-gasification terminal for taking delivery of LNG. In this regard, a public-private partnership model may be worked out, the ECC said. The ECC asked the petroleum ministry to prepare a separate summary on whether government-to-government negotiations could be started with other countries for LNG import and also whether bids for import through private parties could be invited simultaneously. The ECC had cancelled bids invited in two tenders for import of 400 mmcfd of LNG each by the previous government and asked the petroleum ministry to pursue the plan for import of 500 mmcfd from Qatar in a government-to-government deal keeping in view the energy crisis in the country. (



Shenzhen Energy to build 700 MW plant in Ghana

July 9, 2013. Shenzhen Energy Group (SEG), the mother company of Sunon Asogli — an Independent Power Producer in Ghana’s power sub-sector, has announced it is to build a 700 MW power plant in the country. The coal-fired power plant will take 24-30 months to complete and also include the construction of a coal-port with approximately 50,000 tonnes berth. The project is projected to cost about $700 million and will need 2 million tonnes of coal per year to run when completed. The coal for the project will be imported from South Africa. The company has already built a 200 MW diesel-powered plant in Ghana. SEG, which already operates different thermal plants of a total installed generation capacity of 8,106 MW — with coal-fired plants constituting about 3700 MW, has decided to embark on this project because coal as a fuel is cheap, abundant, widely-used, efficient, and safe; and there are modern technologies to minimise environmental pollution. Ghana has a target of increasing its current installed generation capacity of about 2,500 MW to 5,000 MW by 2016, and the proposal of SEG with its vast experience in building and operating power plants could not have come at a better time. (

San Diego, California mulls over 500 MW hydropower project

July 9, 2013. The San Diego County in the US state of California is mulling building a 500 MW hydroelectric power plant to compensate for the power deficit caused by the shutdown of a nuclear plant. The San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego are seeking permissions to conduct an economic and financial study to determine its cost and ownership structure. The process would cost less than $150,000. Expected to take five years for completion, the proposed project is expected to increase the amount of water in the San Vicente Reservoir. The San Diego County Water Authority said that the project would be the authorities' second power plant to pump up the water into the reservoir from a smaller one. The process is planned primarily at nights due to low power rates. The authorities are open to all types of considerations including public-private partnerships with energy companies. First power plant of the water authority is a 40 MW pumped-storage project that connects Hodges Reservoir with Olivenhain Reservoir. (

Azerbaijan’s power generation fell by 6.2 pc in June

July 9, 2013. Azerbaijani national energy producer Azerenerji OJSC reduced generating power by 6.2% in June against May 2013. The last year’s power generation index exceeded the 2011 figure by 6.5%. It was generated 1.5 bn kWh of electricity in June versus 1.6 bn kWh in May and 2.1 bn kWh in January (this year’s still best index). By 2.2 kWh were generated in March and January and the indices were the best for 2012. The best indicator for 2011 (also 2.1 bn) was registered in December 2011. In 2010 highest generation was registered in January (1.9 bn kWh). In 2012 it was generated 21.3 bn of kWh of power, and generation of electricity in 2013 still makes up 36.6% of this volume. (

EnBW says considering shutting 4 power generation units

July 5, 2013. German utility EnBW said it is considering closing four power-generating units citing rising competition from renewable energy sources. The company said it had applied to close the units at Marbach and Walheim, representing capacity of 668 MW, to the transmission grid company and the federal network agency. German wholesale power prices have fallen to 8-year lows, due to weak demand in the euro zone crisis and supply pressure from fast expanding renewables which are subsidised. Green power supply takes precedence on transmission grids. This cuts minimum running hours needed to justify returns for some conventional power stations conceived to run 24-hours. EnBW operates some 4,290 MW of conventional power capacity in Baden-Wuerttemberg state, which houses big industrial companies such as Daimler and Bosch. It is constructing one new 900-MW coal-fired block, RDK8 in Karlsruhe and another 900 MW one in Mannheim called GKM 9 together with other operators. (

Saudi Arabia to invest $100 mn in Pakistan's 969 MW hydro project

July 4, 2013. Saudi Arabia has committed an investment of $100 mn for the development 969 MW Neelum Jhelum hydropower project in Pakistan. Pakistani delegation is scheduled to meet Saudi Officials to carry out negotiations for the credit facility with the Saudi Fund for Development. Saudi Arabia, China and Abu Dhabi had retained the credit facility during the tenure of the previous government. However, the election of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has moved Saudi Arabia to release the funds. The government is engaged in discussions with the Abu Dhabi Fund seeking $100 mn loan that was withheld until the settlement of a payment row between UAE's Etisalat and the Pakistan government over privatization of Pakistan Telecommunication Company. China, meanwhile, has cleared financial aid of $448 mn for the Neelum Jhelum project as the PML-N has come to power. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade

Djibouti govt selects Sagemcom to modernize smart grid

July 8, 2013. The Republic of Djibouti has selected France-based Sagemcom to deploy a PLC prime solution for the modernization of its electrical grid. Under the contract, Sagemcom will commission 3,500 smart meters in the city of Djibouti before extending the roll-out to over 41,000 delivery points. Djibouti's project, which was started in 2005, intends to increase population's access to energy and improve distribution service through new communicating meters installation and the electric lines restoration. Sagemcom said through the new collaboration it will expand its position in smart metering by demonstrating its capacity to adapt once again its solutions to the specific needs of its customers' grids. (

Policy / Performance

Russia plans to make floating nuclear power plants operational by 2016

July 9, 2013. One of the biggest shipbuilders of Russia has undertaken the responsibility of building the world’s first floating nuclear power plant and making it operational by the year 2016. The main purpose of building this floating power plant is to provide energy to large industrial enterprises, port cities and offshore gas and oil-extracting platforms. These power plants when modified will also be able to serve as a desalination plant capable of producing 240,000 cubic meters of fresh water daily. The floating power plant will be a vessel having displacement of 21,500 tons and will be taken care of by a crew of about 70 people. The ship will be equipped with two modified KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors that shall provide 70 MW of electricity or 300 MW of heat. The ship shall not have an engine and will require a tow from another ship to help it travel to its destination. (

Bhutan wants India to accept tariff revision for hydropower from 336 MW Chukha Project

July 8, 2013. Himalayan country Bhutan urges its next door neighbour India to accept an upward revision of tariff for Hydropower that comes from Chukha Hydroelectricity project in Bhutan to India. According to Druk Green Power Corporation, Bhutan, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, Bhutan is in touch with the GoI for an upward revision of the Chukha power tariff from the present rate of ` 2 per unit. The development has taken place following India's decision to cut down the subsidy that it has been providing behind the power procured from Chukha. According to the Bhutan Ministry of Finance, Power Trading Corporation of India purchases power from Bhutan at a base price of ` 1.55 per unit. But GoI gives a subsidy of ` 0.45 per unit making the total price received by Bhutan as ` 2 per unit. With its average production of around 180 crore units a year, Chukha will have to face a Revenue reduction of around INR 90 crore per year following this subsidy cut down. As a matter of fact, Bhutanese authority wants India to agree on a base price of higher than ` 2 per unit that can not only maintain but increase Bhutan's revenue earning from Chukha. As a part of the initiative of Indo-Bhutan cooperation, the 336 MW Chukha hydropower project was the first mega hydropower unit built with financial and technical assistance from India. The project was fully funded by GoI, with 60 percent as grant and 40 percent as loan at an interest rate of 5 percent. (

A Brown's unit inks hydropower agreement with Philippines govt

July 8, 2013. Hydrolink Projects, a unit of Philippines-based conglomerate A Brown Company, has collaborated with the federal government to develop a 25 MW hydropower project in Surigao del Sur province. The company has inked a hydropower service contract with Department of Energy (DOE) securing exclusive the right to explore, develop and use Carac-an river's hydropower resources. The company has undertaken the project looking at the surging power deficit in the country. (

Iran involved in $3.5 bn of hydro water works

July 8, 2013. Iran is implementing hydropower project water works abroad valued at $3.5 billion. Iran is also in talks on $2.7 billion of related deals. Iranian companies have helped work on water and power projects in about 40 countries, mostly in Central Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. Sattar Mahmoudi, an advisor on water affairs to the energy minister, said Iran is taking part in water installations in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Venezuela, Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran “plays an important role among regional nations in the water sector, like the role Germany plays in Europe,” Mahmoudi said. (

Japan utilities apply to regulator for atomic plant restarts

July 8, 2013. Kansai Electric Power Co. and three other regional utilities applied to Japan’s nuclear regulator for safety checks, a step toward restarting reactors idled after the Fukushima atomic disaster in March 2011. The applications filed by Kansai Electric, Shikoku Electric Power Co., Hokkaido Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. seek the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA)’s clearance to operate 10 reactors with a total installed capacity of 8.84 GW. The applications cover 19 percent of the total capacity of Japan’s fleet of 50 functioning nuclear plants and represent enough power to supply 2.9 million Japanese households. All but two of Japan’s reactors are idled for safety assessments after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns and radiation leaks at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. The NRA was set up after the disaster to independently review Japan’s nuclear power.

Tokyo Electric, Japan’s biggest utility, hasn’t made a decision on when to turn in an application to restart reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata prefecture, 220 kilometers northwest of Tokyo, Hiroshi Itagaki. Tepco said that the company would seek permission to start two reactors at the plant as soon as possible. The utility said that it would return to profit this year if reactors at the plant are restarted.

Kansai Electric, the nation’s second-biggest regional utility, filed to restart the No. 3 and No. 4 units at its Takahama facility. The company will also seek the regulators’ endorsement for the No. 3 and No. 4 units at its Ohi plant, which had been given government approval to operate before the NRA was formed. Hokkaido Electric filed for unit Nos. 1-3 at its Tomari plant. Shikoku Electric filed for the No. 3 unit at its Ikata plant. Kyushu Electric filed for unit Nos. 1 and 2 at its Sendai plant and will file for unit Nos. 3 and 4 at its Genkai plant. (

Nepal allows Coastal Projects India to invest in hydropower project

July 4, 2013. Nepal has cleared the decks for Indian investment in the 44 MW Super Madi Hydropower Project in Kaski district in the country's western region. The Industrial Promotion Board (IPB), at a meeting chaired by Industry and Finance Minister Shanker Prasad Koirala, decided to allow Coastal Projects Limited India to invest in the project. The project, being developed by Himal Hydro and General Construction Limited, had sought the government's permission to bring foreign investment for the project. Coastal Projects India has a majority share holding (82.21 percent) in Nepal Jalabidyut Prabardhan Tatha Bikas Ltd, which in turn has 78 percent stake in Himal Hydro. It will take four years to complete the project.

The industry ministry said the total capital of the project is IRs.4 billion (NRs.6.40 billion). More foreign direct investment will pour into Nepal once elections are held, pointing out that it is difficult to harness such investment without political stability. Various Indian investors and companies are in the fray and are in talks with the government of Nepal to boost its hydro-potential. To this end, at present, two Indian companies, GMR and Sutlej, are in talks with the government of Nepal to sign Power Development Agreements (PDAs) to develop the 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydro Electric project and Arun-III -- the most promising projects in Nepal which were awarded to Indian companies through the first ever International Competitive Bidding process. Besides these two, 30 other Indian companies have obtained survey licence issued by the government to Indian companies/joint ventures. Nepal has the hydropower potential to transform it from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the most developed, but it has not been able to tap its resources due to lack of funds, the insurgency and political instability. While India is the most practical partner for developing and selling power, Nepal has so far been unable to develop any relationship due to unnecessary politicisation of the energy sector in Nepal. (

Pakistan to build three new nuclear power plants with Chinese assistance

July 4, 2013. Pakistan's Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) is reportedly set to approve ` 1.4 trillion worth of projects which include three nuclear power plants to be built in Karachi with Chinese assistance. The Ecnec, headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, will approve the nuke plants of 2,400 MW capacity and will also consider approving the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS) project. China had stopped processing a 448 million dollars loan for this project due to reservations about two other projects namely 'Safe City Islamabad' and a communications project. However, post the change in government in Pakistan, chances of finalisation of the loan have brightened as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to take up the matter with the Chinese authorities during his ongoing trip. The Planning Commission said that Ecnec may also consider approving Karachi Nuclear Power Plant-I (Kanupp-I) and Kanupp-II along with approving the 969 MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project with revised cost estimates from ` 84 billion to ` 274.9 billion. Ecnec will approve Karachi Coastal Power project, sponsored by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) at an estimated cost of 1,100 MW nuclear power plant being ` 958.8 billion including ` 692 billion foreign loan. Enec will also consider approving the Nandipur Power Plant of 425 MW, with a revised cost from ` 22 billion to ` 57.4 billion. (

Obama revamps $8 bn coal program amid objections

July 3, 2013. Under fire from coal producers and lawmakers from coal-producing states, the Obama administration is revamping an $8 billion federal loan-guarantee program to help companies reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. The plan announced is part of a broader strategy for dealing with the risks of climate change that President Barack Obama unveiled. His policy relies on cuts to carbon emissions at new and existing power plants that will probably reduce coal use in the U.S. Republicans and coal-industry executives say the effort will cost jobs in states such as Kentucky and Ohio where coal is produced and provides relatively cheap power to manufacturers. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said the new effort on loan guarantees shows the administration isn’t anti-coal. (

Japan nears switching on reactors after Tepco’s meltdown

July 3, 2013. A countdown is starting in Japan for restarting some of the 48 nuclear reactors that were idled after the 2011 Fukushima meltdowns caused the worst atomic accident since Chernobyl. The nation’s Nuclear Regulation Authority will receive applications for switching on plants starting July 8, and more than five utilities plan to seek permits. Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the wrecked Dai-Ichi plant that spread radiation in the Fukushima area, said it will seek permission to start its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant as soon as possible. (

Hollande fires Energy Minister Batho amid nuclear-power debate

July 3, 2013. President Francois Hollande’s ouster of Environment Minister Delphine Batho after she criticized the government’s budget plans for next year comes at a critical time for the country’s energy policy. Batho was summoned to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s office after calling Hollande’s 2014 spending plans “bad” in a morning radio interview because they cut her department’s available funds about 7 percent. She leaves in the midst of debate about France’s future energy mix, now heavily dependent on nuclear. The departure is the second by a key cabinet member in Hollande’s government since Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac resigned in March after admitting to holding an undeclared Swiss bank account. By dismissing Batho, who held both the energy and environment portfolios, Hollande is signaling his determination to shrink government spending that last year accounted for almost 57 percent of gross domestic product. Hollande pledged to lower the country’s dependence on nuclear energy to 50 percent of total output from the current 75 percent, the highest proportion of any country in the world. An energy law was to be formulated in the coming months and sent to parliament at the start of 2014, Batho had said. (



NTPC lays foundation stone for 5 MW solar plant at Faridabad

July 9, 2013. NTPC said it has laid the foundation stone for a 5 MW solar power plant at Faridabad in Haryana. While the main solar plant work has been awarded to Eversun Energy, the power evacuation package has been given to Enmas GB Power System Projects. The plant will generate 7.44 million units of electricity annually, equivalent to the power requirement of approximately 6,000 households. The project will help reduce generation of carbon dioxide by about 6,800 tons annually. NTPC has commissioned one 5 MW solar PV project each at Dadri and Port Blair. In addition, 85 MW of solar PV projects are under implementation. The company's installed power generation capacity stands at more than 41,000 MW. (

Reliance Power's 100 MW solar project gets nod for carbon credits

July 9, 2013. Reliance Power said its 100 MW solar power project in Rajasthan has received approval for carbon credits under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This is the world's largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project ever registered with the Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board (CDM - EB), the company said. CDM registration will allow the project to generate and sell Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) internationally. These CERs translates into direct revenues for Reliance Power. Reliance Power has already got CDM registration for its super-critical technology based power projects. The company's CSP Project, under implementation by its wholly owned subsidiary, Rajasthan Sun Technique Energy Pvt Ltd, is Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector technology based project located in Dhursar in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. It has a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd. The Reliance's CSP project in Rajasthan is the largest investment undertaken, by any private sector entity, in CSP technology, in India. (

UPNEDA & NHPC to sign MoU for solar power plant in UP

July 9, 2013. The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has given its approval to set up a Joint Venture company of the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA), and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), to develop the solar project in the state. For the purpose, both the agencies will sign an MoU. The proposed 100 MW solar plant will come up in Kalpi of Jalaun district. The UPNEDA will avail 267.47 ha of non-agricultural land for this purpose and the power plant will be installed by NHPC. The project, estimated to cost ` 400 crore, is expected to be operational within 14-15 months, after signing of the MoU. The project will be developed in phases. In Phase-I, 111.32 ha of land will be utilised to establish a 50 MW capacity power project. The State of Uttar Pradesh is endowed with vast potential of solar power and the government is keen to tap this resource to improve the availability of power in the state by promoting the establishment of solar energy based power projects, both grid connected and off-grid type. For the attainment of this goal, a comprehensive policy framework is an imperative requirement. The government of Uttar Pradesh had rcently adopted and announced the Solar Power Policy 2013. (

ABB bags contract from Fastned to supply EV chargers

July 8, 2013. Power equipment manufacturing company ABB said it has bagged a contract from a Dutch firm Fastened, which builds electric-vehicle charging stations, to supply over 200 electric chargers. Fastened is building a network of 200 electric-vehicle charging stations along highways in Netherlands and will be equipped with several multi-standard fast chargers, the company said. The first ABB terra fast chargers are expected to be delivered in September and the construction of the stations, which will have solar canopies, is scheduled to be completed by 2015. ABB's open standards-based cloud connectivity solution will allow Fastened to create a user-friendly payment and access service for all drivers. Each web-connected ABB fast charger has a wide range of connectivity features, including remote assistance, management and servicing and smart software upgrades. (

DLF sells wind mill in Gujarat for ` 3.2 bn

July 7, 2013. Realty major DLF has completed the ` 325 crore deal to sell 150 MW wind turbine project in Gujarat to Bharat Light and Power. The company transferred the wind mills at Kutch in Gujarat to Bharat Light and Power's subsidiary BLP Vayu (Project 1), DLF said. DLF had wind turbine projects in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with a total capacity of 227 MW. Apart from Gujarat wind mills, the company had announced sale of wind turbine projects in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu in April for about ` 241 crore. While the company has sold the 34.5 MW wind mill project in Tamil Nadu to Tulip Renewable Powertech for ` 188.7 crore, the 33 MW wind mill project in Rajasthan has been divested to Violet Green Power for ` 52.2 crore. Wind Mills in Karnataka with a capacity of 11 MW are yet to be sold, but DLF is engaged in talks with potential buyers. (

JNPT to spend about ` 500 mn to set up 7 MW wind mill

July 7, 2013. Largest container port, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) is investing around ` 50 crore to install 7 MW wind capacity, which will help it save around 30 per cent on energy costs. The capacity, to be built at an investment of ` 48 crore, will take care of up to a fourth of the port's annual power requirement. The project is expected to be awarded by November and should be operational by April next. As per the plan, the port will outsource generation through a bidding process and the company that offers the lowest cost per unit will be awarded the project, feasibility studies for which have already been done. The winning company can set up the plant anywhere in the country. Preferably, the port would like to have the wind mill in Maharashtra itself as the proximity reduces the landing cost of the power at the port but it could be set up anywhere. (

Solar scam: TV actress Salu Menon taken into custody

July 5, 2013. Television actress and danseuse Salu Menon was taken into custody in connection with the solar panel scam that has rocked Kerala and brought the office of Chief Minister Oomen Chandy under a cloud. The development is of significance since Salu has been in the news ever since the scam broke out last month for her alleged links with Biju Radhakrishnan, the prime accused in the case. (

Tata Power Solar bags NTPC's largest solar power project

July 4, 2013. Tata Power Solar said it has won a contract from NTPC for a 50 MW solar photovoltaic- based project at Rajgarh in Madhya Pradesh (MP). The facility is expected to start in March 2014 and generate 78.66 million units (kWh) each year for the MP Power Trading Company Ltd in a state that has a peak power deficit of 9.6 per cent, Tata Power Solar said. NTPC is adding non-conventional sources of energy to its generation mix to ensure long-term competitiveness and mitigate fuel risk. NTPC has an installed capacity exceeding 41 GW, using mostly coal and gas. Its solar projects include 10 MW under operation and 35 MW under construction. Tata Power Solar, India's oldest solar company, operates a 125 MW solar module manufacturing unit in Bangalore and it has also designed and built more than 70 MW of grid-connected projects. (

Welspun bags 32 MW solar projects in Punjab

July 4, 2013. Welspun Energy, India's biggest developer of solar projects, said it has been awarded 32 MW of solar projects by Punjab. The projects, awarded by Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) through a single stage competitive bidding, are to be commissioned during the second quarter of 2014, the company said. At present, Punjab has an installed solar capacity of 9 MW. With this project, Welspun Energy will be annually feeding 56 million units of clean emission free energy into the Punjab state grid, for subsequent 25 years. About 53,261 tonnes of CO2 emissions will be mitigated by this project on a yearly basis. The state government will be facilitating Welspun Solar Punjab Pvt Ltd (WSPPL) with the necessary approvals, permission, land acquisition, registration & clearances for the project. Welspun Energy expects to soon be signing the agreement with Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL). The company has so far built up more than 300 MW clean energy capacity on-ground, of this 111 MW clean energy projects are operational. With the recent spate of projects, the clean energy generator is well on its way of reaching 1.75 GW capacity target. (


China to assist in wind power generation

July 9, 2013. China will assist Sri Lanka to launch a wind power generation project and make the Colombo harbour Asia's commercial hub, said Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao said when he met Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the ministry. Ambassador Jiangho said a top level team of investors from China will visit Sri Lanka to explore the possibilities of investing in the development of infrastructure facilities and the provision of agricultural implements among other areas. Plans will be drawn up to establish wind power generation systems in rural areas in the vicinity of paddy fields. Multipurpose wind power generation towers will be built to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply during peak hours. This system will help reduce maintenance costs of transmitters. Minister Rajapaksa said many opportunities are available in Sri Lanka for investment. He said an increasing number of women are employed in different fields, including garment, fashion and gem and jewellery industries. (

Obama picks renewables advocate for US Navy energy post

July 9, 2013. President Barack Obama plans to nominate retired Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn as assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy for energy, installations and environment. McGinn is president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, a Washington-based non-profit that promotes the use of solar and wind power as well as biofuels. He served in the Navy for 35 years where he was a test pilot and commanded an aircraft carrier. (

TransAlta renewables spinoff gives growth edge

July 9, 2013. TransAlta Corp., the worst-performing power generation stock in North America the past year, is betting a spinoff of its wind and hydroelectric power plants will increase the company’s value and help reverse two years of losses. Canada’s largest publicly traded electricity generator gained 9.7 percent since the company said it plans an initial public offering of some renewable energy assets. TransAlta has expanded its wind and hydro power capacity to about 25 percent from 15 percent in 2008 with developments in eastern Canada and parts of the U.S., even as power prices in its main markets of Alberta and Washington State declined. (

China won’t introduce duties on EU polysilicon imports

July 9, 2013. China won’t introduce import duties on polysilicon imported from the European Union, according to the German Economy Ministry. China, the world’s biggest maker of solar panels, was preparing to impose anti-dumping duties on polysilicon imports from the EU after completing an investigation that started in October. The material is the main raw ingredient in solar cells. The move was seen as retaliation after the EU introduced preliminary tariffs June 5 of 11.8 percent on solar panels from China. EU and Chinese officials are negotiating a trade deal, and if no agreement is reached the duties will increase to as much as 67.9 percent next month. (

Pakistan plans 2.5 GW from wind energy by end of 2015

July 8, 2013. According to Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), wind energy is cost effective and can become a substitute to thermal power generation with investments from private sector. According to data available with Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) and Pakistan Meteorological Department, preliminary site surveys carried out in late nineties and early years of this century indicated that coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces and some northern areas possess adequate wind resources. The government plans to achieve up to 2,500 MW from wind energy by the end of 2015. Wind energy is sustainable, clean, safe, economically competitive and creates jobs. The first energy wind power project in Pakistan started working with a 50MW generation capacity in Jhimpir, Sindh in December 2012. Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) recently approved a New Park Energy Phase-I, 400MW wind farm project near Port Qasim. Pakistan has the potential of producing approximately 150,000 MW of wind energy, says a recent United States Agency for International Development (USAID) report. The wind projects can fetch an investment of around two billion dollars. According to another study, Pakistan has identified cumulative potential to generate 3.2 million MW from renewable energy resources including 340,000 MW from wind, 2.9 million MW from solar, 50,000 MW from hydro (large), 3,100 MW from hydro (small), 1,800 MW from bagasses cogeneration and 500 MW from waste. A mean annual wind speed (at 10 m and 30 m above ground) of 18 kmph and 22 kmph respectively is considered as the minimum required for feasible generation of electricity.  Knowing the growing energy requirement of the country, and depleting energy resource within the country, the Government of Pakistan deems to diversify its energy mix so that dependency over imported fuel may be reduced and some per centages of power requirement may be met through indigenously available renewable energy technologies. (

Biofuel investments at seven-year low as BP blames cost

July 8, 2013. Europe’s biggest oil companies are scaling back work on the next generation of biofuels, a setback for the effort to create a gasoline substitute that doesn’t drain the food supply. BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Group Plc have halted funds for four separate ventures because the technology to produce fuel from woody plants and waste won’t be economical until 2020 or beyond. The decisions helped cut global investment in biofuel production to $57 million in the first quarter, the lowest since 2006, from its peak of $7.6 billion in the last quarter of 2007. That makes it less likely the industry will meet the ambitions of U.S. and European leaders to help reduce fossil fuel pollution and wean motorists off crude oil-based fuel.

Biofuels are one of the measures both the U.S. and Europe are counting on to reduce the emissions blamed for global warming. The IEA, a policy adviser for industrial nations, estimates biofuels must supply about 27 percent of road fuels worldwide by 2050 to meet climate targets, up from 3 percent last year. (

REC furnishes 2 MW of solar panels for Argentina project

July 5, 2013. Renewable Energy Corp. (REC), the Norwegian solar-power manufacturer, has delivered 2 megawatts of panels to a 360 Energy SA project in western Argentina. REC, as the polysilicon company is known, installed 8,400 panels at the local developer’s existing 5 MW Chimbera solar farm, Sandvika, Norway-based REC said. The plant, in the municipality of San Juan, is the first in Argentina to use REC panels and is feeding electricity into the grid. (

Carbon market glut-fix plan wins backing in EU parliament

July 3, 2013. The European Parliament approved a plan intended to reduce a record glut of permits and increase prices in the world’s biggest carbon market after they slumped to an all-time low. European Union carbon allowances rose the most in two months after lawmakers in Strasbourg, France, endorsed a revised version of a plan known as backloading advanced by the European Commission, the region’s regulatory arm. That was the Parliament’s second verdict on the measure, which would delay the sale of some permits to support prices after it blocked the plan in April, triggering a 45 percent slump.

Emissions prices in the $72 billion cap-and-trade program have lost more than 70 percent in the past four years. The euro area’s record-long recession reduced demand for pollution rights and worsened a glut that swelled to about 2 billion metric tons in 2012, according to the EU. That’s almost equal to the region’s annual limit imposed on 12,000 power plants and factories. The caps were set before the financial crisis. (

UN charts ‘unprecedented’ global warming since 2000

July 3, 2013. The planet has warmed faster since the turn of the century than ever recorded, almost doubling the pace of sea-level increase and causing a 20-fold jump in heat-related deaths, the United Nations said. The decade through 2010 was the warmest for both hemispheres and for land and sea, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in the report examining climate trends for the beginning of the millennium. Almost 94 percent of countries logged their warmest 10 years on record, it said. The report underlines the challenge the globe faces in containing temperature gains since industrialization to the 2-degree Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) ceiling set by UN climate-treaty negotiators. The planet is on course to warm by 4 degrees by 2100 because emissions are still rising, the World Bank says. Deaths from heatwaves surged to 136,000 in the 10-year period from fewer than 6,000 the previous decade, mainly a result of extreme temperatures in Europe in 2003 and in Russia in 2010, according to the WMO. A total of 511 disasters related to tropical cyclones killed 170,000 people and caused $380 billion of economic damage. Deaths from storms and floods fell. The average global temperature for 2001-2010 was 14.47 degrees Celsius, according to the report. That’s 0.21 degree warmer than 1991-2000 and 0.79 degree warmer than 1881-1890. The increase was recorded even without any “major El Nino” event during the decade, the WMO said. El Nino is a periodic warming of waters in the Pacific that pushes up global temperatures. Sea levels rose at 3 millimeters (0.12 inch) a year, almost double the 20th-century rate of 1.6 millimeters a year. Seas rise as warmer temperatures cause the water to expand and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and alpine glaciers around the world melt. Record sea-ice melt in the Arctic Ocean doesn’t raise seas because the ice already rests on the ocean. (

Energy Chief tries to spark clean coal under Obama plan

July 3, 2013. The U.S. Energy Department said it is restructuring a loan guarantee program designed to reduce carbon emissions from coal, oil and natural gas after an effort focused solely on coal failed to back any projects. The reshaped plan, announced by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, is part of President Barack Obama’s strategy to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. Power plants are responsible for about 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with coal accounting for the bulk of the CO2 released from electric utilities. Most scientists say carbon emissions are contributing to the planet’s warming.

The Energy Department hasn’t touched its $8 billion in loan guarantee authority that Congress provided in a 2005 energy law for advanced fossil-energy projects. A 2008 solicitation for companies’ bids focused solely on carbon capture projects at coal plants. The Energy Department may now back projects that capture waste heat from industrial plants and limit methane emissions during oil production, as well capture and store carbon from coal-fired plants. The solicitation will be completed probably sometime in September after a public comment period ends, Moniz said. (

GM, Honda set fuel cell alliance in renewed hydrogen push

July 3, 2013. General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co. are teaming up in a renewed push to market clean vehicles, with the two automotive giants seeking to have cheaper power-making fuel cells and hydrogen tanks ready by 2020. The partnership between the largest U.S. automaker and Tokyo-based Honda is to include exchanging engineers, joint use of research facilities and shared sourcing of parts and materials, they said. The goal is a common hydrogen powertrain to make the low-polluting vehicles more affordable, they said. The allure of hydrogen as a clean automotive fuel led carmakers including the former General Motors Corp. to predict a decade ago that millions of fuel-cell autos would be on the road by now. While a mass market for hydrogen cars may be another decade or more away, automakers continue to pursue the technology.

Toyota Motor Corp., which had a hydrogen-technology alliance with GM in the early 2000s, plans to release a fuel-cell sedan in 2015 that will be unveiled in November. Honda, Hyundai Motor Co. and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz also plan retail sales of hydrogen cars in 2015, and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG has said it plans to use Toyota’s fuel-cell system. Ford Motor Co., Daimler and Nissan Motor Co. also announced plans in January to collaborate on hydrogen-vehicle research to introduce fuel-cell autos by 2017.

Environmental rules in the U.S., Europe and Japan encourage automakers to sell vehicles that don’t emit climate-warming gases. That has aided hybrid sales, led to lighter cars and smaller engines, and convinced Tesla Motors Inc. and Nissan to push high-volume sales of battery cars. GM and Honda also said they’ll jointly lobby for an expanded network of hydrogen fuel stations, now clustered in the U.S. in California. Battery-electric cars such as Tesla’s Model S and Nissan’s Leaf hatchback share technologies with fuel-cell cars, including similar electric motors to power the wheels, brakes that capture power when stopping, software and related electronics. (

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