MonitorsPublished on Mar 27, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XI; Issue 41

[Net Zero Emissions at Net Zero Cost?]

                             “If the civil society organisations want to be external to the problem and declare themselves to be fossil fuel free, they have to give up almost everything that sustains their life including most food products as they are produced using fossil fuel based fertilisers and transported using fossil fuels. They also have to give up the bicycles they pedal as they are made with materials extracted, transported and transformed using fossil fuels. They may even have to give up their web based campaign against fossil fuels because it is almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels…”

Energy News


Higher tariff for power from future nuclear plants on account of liability issues will reflect true cost of nuclear power!                                   


Arm twisting States to have solar policies does not constitute a sustainable solar policy!


If coal block auctions had produced optimum results, bid losers will not be bidding for bid winners! 




·          Net Zero Emissions at Net Zero Cost?    

·          Jharkhand Coal Washeries: Facts


·          Indian Coal: Production & Availability



·          Work on gas exploration from KG Basin in progress: Gujarat govt


·          Private fuel retailers take baby steps to compete with oil PSUs

·          India to take advantage of low prices to fill strategic oil reserves

Transportation / Trade………………

·          PNGRB seeks more time to respond on CNG retail licence

·          IOC in talks to sell 5 kg cylinders at supermarkets

Policy / Performance…………………

·          'India must become a price maker, not price taker of oil'

·          Hyd Gas a cheaper alternative to LPG

·          Petrol, diesel prices in India lower than developed nations: Sinha

·          Petroleum product sales grow at fastest pace in 2 yrs

·          Natural gas price to be cut by 10 percent to $5.02 per unit from April 1



·          India's fast breeder reactor to start generation in September

·          NTPC Simhadri plans new 2 GW power plant

·          Abhijeet Group seeks Jharkhand CM's help to revive power plant

·          JK govt to address the bottlenecks in hydel power generation

·          Tata Power to hike production via hydro-energy projects by 2020

·          700 MW power to be generated in Meghalaya in next 10 yrs

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Adani, JSW vie for Monnet Power

·          AP power regulator raises 5 percent tariff for industries

·          PGCIL serves notice on BSES discoms for outstanding dues of ` 2.2 bn

·          NTPC eyeing distribution in Rajasthan, Haryana and Odisha

·          JSPL puzzled over govt's review of its coal block bids

·          'Power tariff hike may sour 'Make in MP' dream'

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Govt gives vesting order to Essar Power for coal mine in Jharkhand

·          Power tariff may not be hiked: Maharashtra Energy Minister

·          Delhi HC restrains allocation of cancelled mines to CIL

·          Mumbai will save ` 800 mn per year with LED lights: Goyal

·          Modi govt explores gas-pooling to revive stranded power plants

·          Power Minister to inaugurate open cast project in Penganga

·          Uncertainty preventing investments in hydel projects: Goyal

·          Govt to push insurance pool for global nuke suppliers

·          Power sector total loan from banks at ` 5.83 lakh crore

·          CIL to give tentative timelines for auction of coal linkages

·          Coal ministry re-examining 9 winning coal block auction bids

·          Tariff of power from units 3, 4 of KKNPP to cost more: Govt



·          GSS Energy says Central Java's Trembul field holds 32.8 mn barrels of oil

·          Woodside restarts production at Pluto LNG plant in Western Australia

·          Statoil gets new Indonesia license, discovers more gas in Norway

·          Gulf Keystone ramps up oil production at Shaikan field in Kurdistan

Transportation / Trade…………

·          Plains, Delek to build oil pipeline between Longview and Shreveport

·          Lithuanian energy group calls for rule change on LNG imports

·          Total said to consider sale of UK’s Frigg gas pipeline

·          Dutch Gasunie in $216 mn project to boost foreign gas imports

·          Pakistan envoy hopeful about IPI pipeline project

·          Israel's Tamar group to sell gas to Egypt via pipeline

Policy / Performance………………

·          Shell oil drilling in Arctic set to get US govt permission

·          Indonesian Govt tells Pertamina to resubmit Mahakam block proposal

·          Kuwait says OPEC has no choice but to keep oil production target

·          EU leaders seek tighter oversight of Russian gas deals



·          Jordan to sign agreement with Russia for its first nuclear power plant

·          Therma South to commission first 150 MW unit of Davao coal-fired plant in Philippines

·          Egypt seeks to double its power generation capacity

·          JGC to build power plants in Papua

Policy / Performance………………

·          Indonesia flags April start for much-delayed power plant project

·          China issues rules to reform electricity system

·          Turkish firms to gain $16 bn from nuclear projects

·          New Mexico regulators hear from public about power plant



·          Tap geothermal energy from coast line, Governor tells state

·          Global solar energy installations to cross 54 GW this year

·          Sumeet Industries to invest ` 775 mn for wind power plant

·          Experts pitch for fossil fuels to drive growth in India

·          UP CM to gift slew of projects on April 11

·          MNRE requests all states to come out with a solar policy

·          Govt-run suppliers allowed to sell bio-diesel to all consumers

·          Himachal Pradesh to light up villages with solar energy

·          Govt discontinues subsidy scheme for green energy

·          Canal-top solar projects generate over 9 mn units of power in Gujarat

·          Chennai highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases: IISc


·          Beijing to close all major coal power plants to curb pollution

·          Evergrande scraps $15 bn solar push as property drops

·          CAB Cakaran to set up biomass power generation plant

·          JinkoSolar to build $100 mn solar cell and module facility in Malaysia

·          Solar eclipse to hit 35 GW generation in Europe

·          China boosts solar target for 2015 as it fights pollution

·          Texas city pulls plug on fossil fuels with shift to solar



Net Zero Emissions at Net Zero Cost?    

Lydia Powell & Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation


 large section of the ‘civil society’ in the West appears to be disappointed with the efforts of the United Nations in controlling carbon emissions. This is probably why this section of the civil society has decided to take matters into its own hands and spawn groups that are designed to treat emitting carbon or extracting fossil fuels that could potentially emit carbon when burnt as a socially unacceptable activity comparable to the practice of apartheid.       

The Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) that targets listed fossil fuel companies is the first off the block among such groups and it targets investors in fossil fuel companies. The group’s scathing reports argue that the fossil fuel resources under listed companies are likely to become sub-prime assets and that the sooner investors divest their interests in these companies the better off they would be financially. CTI’s most recent report ranks countries with the most inefficient coal based power generating plants and India is ranked third after China and the United States. Naming and shaming supposedly irresponsible countries is part of the strategy of CTI. (please refer to Death Warrant for Fossil Fuels?- Energy News Monitor, Volume XI Issue 33)., another such civil society movement claims that it is building a global climate movement against fossil fuels. The number 350 in its name stands for the reduction in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere required from the current level of 400 parts per million (ppm) to keep global average temperature increase within 2ºC. According to’s web page, its online campaigns, grass-roots movements and mass public action against fossil fuels is co-ordinated by a global net-work active in 188 countries.

Civil society organizations against fossil fuels draw their inspiration from successful divestment campaigns that targeted violence in Darfur, tobacco advertising and the South African apartheid. The campaign against apartheid is supposed to have convinced 155 campuses including the most famous in the United States to divest their interest in companies doing business in South Africa. 26 state governments, 22 counties and 90 cities withdrew their money from multi-national companies operating in South Africa. All this is believed to have played a role in breaking the back of the apartheid regime.  So far, the movement against fossil fuels is said to have convinced 26 universities, 42 cities, 2 counties, 71 churches and 17 other institutions including the Rockefeller Foundation to withdraw their money from fossil fuel companies.  

Track 0 which is the newest civil society movement against fossil fuels aims to convince businesses to work towards the goal of net zero emissions by mid-century. Track 0 has already found a place in the news room of UNFCCC’s web page and the foreword to the first report by Track 0 is written by Mary Robinson, UN Secretary General’s special envoy on climate change.

The endorsement of civil society action against fossil fuels by the UN is a matter of concern for developing nations that are committed to negotiating a fair distribution of responsibility in limiting carbon emissions through accepted principles enshrined in the UNFCCC. Civil society movements operate outside these accepted principles. As these civil society movements are focussed on the narrow instrumental goal of limiting carbon emissions, they are unconcerned about intrinsic values such as equity and fairness. Their single minded focus on limiting carbon emissions does not leave any room for concern over the disproportionate cost mitigation action will impose costs on the poor who are in no way responsible for carbon in the atmosphere.   

A cardinal error in assumptions that underpin civil society movements against fossil fuels is that they presume that they are external to the problem as in the case of movements against apartheid or tobacco use. All are implicated when it comes to fossil use and this is something anti fossil fuel movements fail to acknowledge. If the civil society organisations want to be external to the problem and declare themselves to be fossil fuel free, they have to give up almost everything that sustains their life including most food products as they are produced using fossil fuel based fertilisers and transported using fossil fuels. They also have to give up the bicycles they pedal as they are made with materials extracted, transported and transformed using fossil fuels. They may even have to give up their web based campaign against fossil fuels because it is almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels. Computers, phones, servers and other assorted information technology devices are all made from fossil fuel derived petrochemicals and are fuelled by energy derived from fossil fuels. 

Farhana Yamin, Founder & CEO of Track 0 makes the business case for reducing net emissions to zero by 2050 using the argument that the cost of reducing emissions to zero is low or negligible. The evidence is taken from the synthesis report of the fifth assessment report of the IPCC. The synthesis report observes that estimates of the aggregate economic costs of mitigation vary widely depending on the methodologies and assumptions and that the costs increase with the stringency of mitigation.

In order to estimate the cost of mitigation, the synthesis report assumes a world in which all countries begin mitigation immediately with a single carbon price and in addition assumes that there is no restriction on technology. This ideal world is treated as the cost effective bench mark for estimating macro-economic mitigation costs. In presenting the cost, the synthesis report uses figures for ‘loss in global consumption’ rather than ‘loss in economic growth’ which most other reports use.  This ‘loss in global consumption’ apparently does not include benefits of reduced climate change or co-benefits of mitigation or what the report calls ‘adverse side-effects’ of mitigation.

Under these assumptions the annualised reduction of consumption growth is estimated to be between 0.04 and 0.14 percent over the century relative to annualised consumption growth in the base line scenario which is estimated to be between 1.6 and 3 percent per year. Massaging the data with unrealistic assumptions may yield attractive numbers to make the case against fossil fuels but that does not make it undisputable scientific fact.   

Net zero emissions is not a matter of the right social choice as it was in the case of apartheid nor is it costless as the reports by the civil society organisations claim. Honest zero emission lifestyles can take us back to pre-historic lifestyles. Not even the most fundamentalist civil society organisation against fossil fuels is likely to opt for such a lifestyle. These organisations have no right to demand from others what they have not embraced.

Views are those of the authors                    

Authors can be contacted at [email protected], [email protected]



Jharkhand Coal Washeries: Facts

Ashish Gupta, Observer Research Foundation

Studies conducted

·         Before World War I, Prof. William Galloway conducted washing experiments on Assam coals.

·         Sometime later, Prof. Henry Louis of Newcastle conducted similar tests on Jharia coals.

·         In 1920, E.C Evans, a London based chemist conducted another similar tests on Jharia coals.

·         All of them were of the view that washing of Indian coal was not feasible.

Breakthrough Study

·         Mr. A. Farquhar, scientist from TATA conducted washability study during 1918 to 1924 on Jharia coals and come to the conclusion in 1938 that Bhowra, Jamadoba, Malkera coal can be washed economically.

·         Subsequently, TATA decided to construct two washeries: a) West Bokaro coal washery, 1951 b) Jamadoba washery, 1952

Setting up of the Board

·         After many washability studies were conducted, it was decided to set up a Coal Board in 1952.

·         Subsequently, the Coal Washing Committee suggested to construct four central coal washeries at the Raillway Marshalling yards at Patherdih, Dudga, Kargali and Bhojudih by the Second Five Year Plan.

Central  Washeries

·         The first central washery Dudga (I) was constructed in 1962 for washing Jharia coals. Subsequently another washery Dudga (II) was also constructed in 1968. When Dudga (I) completed its life span, it was converted to non-coking coal washery in 1998. It has the capacity to produce 2.5 Million Tonnes/ Per Annum (MT/PA).

·         Bhojudih central washery was constructed on south eastern fringe of Jhari Coal Fields and was one of the most successful in the country. This is due to the fact that coal quality was good. After then the good quality coal reserves depleted in Jharia southern mines and so the performance was also deteriorated. It has a washing capacity of 1.7 MT/PA.

·         The Patherdih central washery was constructed in 1964, again for washing Jharia coals. The washery faced several operational problems due to oversize lumps. The washing capacity of this washery is 1.6 MT/PA.

Key Facts

·         The Kargali washery, 1959 was constructed with Japanese collaboration with Hydraulic Medium Drum (2 stage) process. The washery was installed to reduced the overall washing coal cost. It has a washing capacity of 2.7 MT/PA.

·         Durgapur and Chasnalla washeries were installed in 1968 and 1969 respectively and were meant for captive coking coal sectors.  Durgapur was to supply washed coal to Durgapur Steel Plant whereas Chasnalla was linked to IISCO. Both washeries have washing capacity of 1.5 MT/PA.

·         In 1970 the Kathara washery was installed with Russian collaboration but due to excess capacity the washery worked at dauntingly low capacity since commissioning.  The washing capacity is 3 MT/PA.  

·         Gidi washery was constructed in 1973 with Polish collaboration for delivering non coking wash coal for the Railways. But as the consumption of coal reduced for the railways, the washery was converted to coking coal washery. It can wash 2 MT/PA.

·         After the formation of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) in 1972, two washeries - Sumadih in 1981 and Moonidih in 1983 were constructed for the government pit head plants. They were also erected with Polish collaboration and were expected to produce 2 MT/PA. Unfortunately these two washeries never achieved their production target. Both washeries have the washing capacity of 1.6 MT/PA.

·         Under the leadership of an eminent mining engineer, K. S. R. Chari, few more washeries units were proposed and consequently a washery in Barora was constructed in 1985 and another in Mahuda was constructed in 1986 as pit head units for Jahria coal fields. But due to substantial locking of coal at Barora washery area, it was dismantled in 1990s even though Mahuda was quite successful on account of easily washable coal availability from Raniganj coal areas. Mahuda washery had 0.6 MT/PA capacity.

·         Rajarappa washery was constructed in 1987 by the side of Rajarappa River but effluent pollution has been an issue for this washery. It can produce 3 MT/PA washed coal.

·         Piparwar washery which was constructed in 1997 was by and large had the most modern design and had the capacity to produce 6.5 MT/PA.

·         Nandan project washery was installed in 1984 at the Western Coalfield Limited. The uniqueness of this washery was that it was fully automatic and could produce 1.2 MT/ PA of washed coal.

·         BCCL installed Madhuban washery in 1998 but since the coal quality was poor it limited the operational capacity of the washery. It was therefore temporarily transformed to wash non-coking coal but recently it has reverted back to washing coking coal. The washery has a capacity of 2.5 MT/ PA.

·         Bina washery was constructed in 1999 as the first non-coking coal washery in the country at the Singrauli coal field. But since the National Thermal Power Corporation could not decide on the price of washed coal and so the washery had to remain idle for many years. Currently the washery is supplying washed coal to Dadri power plant. It can produce 4.5 MT/ PA washed coal.

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]

















Indian Coal: Production & Availability

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation



Million Tons (MT)

% change 2012-13












Madhya Pradesh




West Bengal




Total Coking





Andhra Pradesh




Arunachal Pradesh












Jammu & Kashmir








Madhya Pradesh
















Uttar Pradesh




West Bengal




Total Non-Coking





Source: Press Information Bureau & Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 1200. 




Work on gas exploration from KG Basin in progress: Gujarat govt

March 20, 2015. Gujarat government said various works related to exploration of gas from Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin have been completed in the last two years at a cost of ` 2847.25 crore though oil or gas production is yet to commence at the block. Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) is involved in exploration of gas in KG Basin. Various works related to geo-scientific survey, drilling, engineering and construction have been done within last two years at the block in KG Basin, the State Energy and Petroleum Minister Saurabh Patel said. On the engineering and construction front, GSPC has completed the design, fabrication and installation of off-shore Well Hand Platform (WHP) as well as off-shore Process cum Living Quarter Platform. The Minister said that production of oil or gas is yet to commence in KG Basin block. (


Private fuel retailers take baby steps to compete with oil PSUs

March 23, 2015. More than five months after India deregulated diesel prices, private players have done little to challenge the hegemony of state-run fuel retailers as the main rival, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), which burnt its fingers in fuel retail last time, is cautiously expanding only now. Diesel prices were deregulated in October 2014, the first major reform by the Narendra Modi government which came in the wake of falling global crude prices and a desire to slash the Centre's subsidy burden. Petrol prices were decontrolled in 2010 but private retailers are only now getting back in the game, albeit gingerly, as diesel consumption is thrice that of petrol in the country. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd said the competition from private players is still mild and therefore the state retailer hasn't been forced to think of any special measure to deal with it. The fuel retailing business has mostly been a state monopoly in India, with state-run firms purchasing and selling fuel at rates fixed by the government. The recent deregulation is a second chance for private oil companies to sell petrol and diesel directly to retail consumers after trying out and succeeding for a short while in the previous decade. Private players have the ability to pose a sudden challenge to the established firms owing to their quicker decision-making, immense project execution ability and access to product at their refineries. At the moment, though, private players control barely 3,000 of the 53,000 retail outlets in India. The biggest reason why it's business-as-usual for public sector firms is that RIL, which created waves last time - it captured 14.3% market share in high-speed diesel in 2006 - is going slow this time. Between April 2014 and January this year, Reliance sold 71 thousand metric tonnes (TMT) of petrol and 36 TMT of diesel, compared to Essar's 179.5 TMT of petrol and 209 TMT of diesel. Shell sold about 143 TMT of petrol and 29.2 TMT of diesel. These figures are dramatically lower than that of state-run firms due to lower reach and smaller time window for the private firms. IOC sold 6,816 TMT of petrol and 23,170 TMT of diesel in the same period. This time, RIL has chosen prudence over haste to avoid getting caught in the same trap. RIL and Shell did not officially comment for this story. RIL had said it wants to replicate the 2006 success leveraging technology and consumer schemes. Of the 1,400 filling stations it owns, 230 outlets have been reopened and the company aims to revive the entire network within a year, as per the presentation. Essar now operates a little more than 1,400 filling stations. Shell has 76 filling stations although it has a licence to operate 2,000. (

India to take advantage of low prices to fill strategic oil reserves

March 19, 2015. Taking advantage of lower oil prices, India will next month begin filling up its maiden strategic oil reserves to insulate itself from supply disruptions. India, which is 79 percent dependent on imports to meet its crude oil needs, is building emergency stockpiles with millions of barrels of crude that mirror the reserves that the US and its western allies amassed after the first oil crisis of 1973 to 1974. Underground storages are being built at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Mangalore and Padur in Karnataka to store about 5.33 million tonnes (28 million barrels) of crude oil. This is enough to meet nation's oil requirement for 11-12 days. The first of the storages at Visakhapatnam (Vizag) is ready and will begin receiving crude as early as next month, the Oil Ministry said. Visakhapatnam facility would have the capacity to store 1.33 million tonnes of crude oil in underground rock caverns. Huge underground cavities almost ten storey tall and approximately 3.3 km long are being built. With the commissioning of Visakhapatnam storage, India will join nations like the US, Japan and China that have strategic reserves. These nations use the stockpiles not only as insurance against supply disruptions but also to buy and store oil when prices are low and release them to refiners when there is a spike in global rates. Western countries have used their strategic reserves only three times over the past 35 years, during the first Gulf War in Iraq in 1991, after hurricane Katrina in 2005 and in 2011, after the start of the war in Libya. (

Transportation / Trade…………

PNGRB seeks more time to respond on CNG retail licence

March 24, 2015. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has sought more time to respond to Petroleum Ministry's move to snatch away its powers to issue compressed natural gas (CNG) retailing licences. The Ministry had sought comments by March 20 on its draft guidelines seeking to wrest powers to give CNG retailing licences from sectoral regulator PNGRB. The Ministry issued 'Draft Guidelines for Granting Marketing Rights for CNG as Transportation Fuel, including setting up CNG Stations' wherein any entity that has invested ` 500 crore in oil and gas infrastructure can get rights or licence to retail the fuel to automobiles by setting up CNG stations. While, the union government had authorised entities like Indraprastha Gas Ltd and Mahanagar Gas Ltd for retailing CNG to automobiles in Delhi and Mumbai, respectively, in early 2000, PNGRB has been doing so through bidding rounds since its establishment in 2006.  The issue is also subjudice as some entities have challenged the provisions of the PNGRB Act for grant of CNG licenses. In the draft guidelines, the ministry stated the companies which invested a minimum of ` 2,000 crore in oil and gas infrastructure were granted marketing rights for petrol, diesel and ATF through the March 2002 notification, entities investing a minimum of ` 500 crore will be eligible for marketing rights for CNG. Also, entities authorised by PNGRB or Central Government would be eligible. Since 2006, entities apply to PNGRB and not the government for rights to retail CNG alongside selling natural gas as fuel within city limits. While PNGRB has been issuing the licence to retail CNG as well as piped natural gas (PNG), the ministry guidelines pertain only to rights to sell CNG. In 2002, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) besides Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Essar Oil, Royal Dutch Shell and Numaligarh Refineries had won authorisation to set up petrol pumps to sell petrol and diesel. Besides these firms, fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) as well as gas utility GAIL India Ltd will be eligible for CNG marketing rights. (

IOC in talks to sell 5 kg cylinders at supermarkets

March 19, 2015. The Indian Oil Corp (IOC) plans to market it’s the five-kg cylinders through retail outlets. The Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry had permitted the sale of the 5 kg FTL (Free Trade LPG) cylinder since October 2013 through outlets like petrol pumps, normal distributors and kirana stores. The main objective was to make available this environment-friendly fuel to a wider cross section of society, who struggle to get the normal domestic cylinders. Lack of visibility of the product was the main reason behind the lukewarm response. The target groups include the rural households, the street-corner tea shops and the IT and BPO sector employees in the urban areas whose irregular hours, inability to give address proofs and do paperwork, become a barrier to accessing the usual LPG cylinders. Presently, prices of these cylinders are around ` 335. IOC has signed on another private sector company – Sahaj e-Village Ltd through the Common Service centres of Sahaj for reaching these cylinders to rural areas in Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The consumers can get a gas cylinder at their convenience. There is no need to get a regular connection or go through paper work or any residency proof. They can also make a one-time purchase of the domestic pressure regulator with only a proof of identity. (

Policy / Performance………

'India must become a price maker, not price taker of oil'

March 24, 2015. India must recognise its strength as a buyer of oil and become a price maker and not a price taker, said P Elango, Managing Director, Hindustan Oil Exploration Company Ltd. The country needs to transform into a gas-based economy, he said. Elango was speaking at the 16th Energy Summit of Indian oil and gas sector on the theme ‘Towards favourable investment regime’. Mrinal Vohra, Managing Director, Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure, stressed on the need of a friendly policy regime for people to invest in exploration and production (E&P) activity in the domestic market. (

Hyd Gas a cheaper alternative to LPG

March 23, 2015. What if you could replace LPG with a cooking fuel as clean and cheap as water. That’s just what the techies at Reinwo Labs Pvt Ltd have set their sights on: Fire from water. Hyd Gas is the brainchild of Reinwo Labs Pvt Ltd, a start-up company incubated at Startup Village, Kalamassery. According to its co-founder VimalGopal, Hyd Gas is a gas cooktop that produces gas from water. When current is passed through the water stored inside the device, it gets converted into hydrogen and oxygen by the process of electrolysis. The hydrogen and oxygen thus released are passed to the burner through pipes. As there is no storage of gas, the product will be 100 pc hazard-free unlike LPG gas cylinders. A prototype of the product has been installed at the canteen of the Cusat School of Engineering. The development of a compact household variant having the same size as any other gas stove and with the option of integrating LPG when there is a power outage or non-availability of water, is under consideration. The product is slated to be launched by 2016. As electrolysis uses DC power, the product can be connected directly to solar panels without the need of inverters and batteries, reducing the installation costs by 50 percent. The current product at Cusat is 20 percent solar-powered too. As all the gas that is required for cooking is produced on demand in Hyd Gas and directly used for cooking without storing, it is a much safer proposition than pressurised LPG cylinders. If the R&D of the company goes to the plan, Hyd Gas could be the next big thing. (

Petrol, diesel prices in India lower than developed nations: Sinha

March 21, 2015. The government said that petrol and diesel prices in India are much lower than rates in most of the developed countries, except the United states. Data presented by Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha in the Lok Sabha showed prices of petrol and diesel in India at ` 60.49 per litre and ` 49.71 per litre, respectively. However, the prices of both products are higher in India when compared with other South Asian countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The comparisons were available for countries -- France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, Japan, Canada, the US, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. He said there was no impact on the retail price of petrol and diesel on account of increase in excise duty since November 2014. (

Petroleum product sales grow at fastest pace in 2 yrs

March 20, 2015. Consumption of petroleum products grew more than 9% in February, the highest in two years, indicating an uptick in economic activity and rising car sales on the back of low oil prices. According to provisional data gathered by Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, the oil ministry's market monitor, consumption of motor fuel and other petroleum products stood a tad over 14 million tonnes in February, compared to 12.8 million tonnes a year ago. In January, consumption was estimated at 13.9 million tonnes. Consumption in China is estimated to be growing by around 7%, which is being attributed to moderation in economic growth. At the same time, some experts reckon that the Chinese economy has become more energy efficient. Consumption of diesel, main fuel for the transport and farm sectors, which accounts for 40% of fuel sales, rose 7.4% to 5.8 million tonnes. Petrol sales stood at 1.6 million tonnes, marking an increase of over 18%. Increase in diesel demand is usually attributed to higher movement of goods on the back of increased industrial production, which grew 2.6% in February, and revival of construction activity. Similarly, petrol sales normally rise in tandem with lower pump prices that prop up car sales, which grew 6.8% in February. As indicators of economic and consumer sentiment revival, the rise in diesel and petrol consumption is encouraging when compared to China. Information and analysis available in public domain estimate a growth of 7% in China's diesel demand in December, which is in line with the annual demand growth. China's petrol consumption, however, grew in excess of 13% in the same month from the year-ago period on the back of a 7% rise in annual car sales in 2014 as compared to approximately 5% in India. (

Natural gas price to be cut by 10 percent to $5.02 per unit from April 1

March 18, 2015. Domestic natural gas prices are likely to be slashed by over 10 percent to $5.02 per unit from April 1, hitting the revenues of companies such as Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). The prices of natural gas are due to be revised from April 1, based on the average rates at key international hubs. The new rate will be around $5.02 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) as compared to the current price of $5.61. On a gross-calorific value basis, the price will be around $4.67 per mmBtu as compared to $5.05 currently. The BJP-led NDA government had in October 2014 used a new formula to fix the price of almost all domestically produced natural gas at $5.61 per mmBtu for the period up to March 31. Rates for the next six months are to be decided based on the one-year average price at the Henry Hub of the US, the National Balancing Point of the UK, rates in Alberta (Canada), and Russia with a lag of one quarter. So, the rate for April 1 to September 30 would be based on the average price at the international hubs during January to December 2014. (



India's fast breeder reactor to start generation in September

March 24, 2015. India's first indigenously designed 500 MW fast breeder reactor is expected to generate power from September and the focus is on not missing the deadline, the Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI) said. BHAVINI is setting up the country's first indigenously designed 500 MW prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, around 80 km from Chennai. The initial power generation would be gradually increased based on various test results. All the construction related works will be over in a month's time. Various stages of the project are being tested and officials from Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) are regularly visiting the project. The successful commissioning of the reactor will be a big feather in the cap of Indian nuclear scientists. The PFBR is designed by Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). If PFBR gets commissioned this calendar year then it will be the second mega atomic power plant that would go on stream in Tamil Nadu giving the much needed relief to the power starved state. The second 1,000 MW atomic power plant being set up at Kudankulam by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is also slated to attain criticality in June. (

NTPC Simhadri plans new 2 GW power plant

March 23, 2015. NTPC Simhadri Super Thermal Station is planning expansion of its 2,000 MW coal-fired power plant at Parawada. Simhadri Group General Manager A.K. Samanta said that they were conducting internal assessment on viability of a super critical unit to generate below 1,000 MW so as to make it a cost-effective green power project. A Brownfield project will have a production cost of less than ` 5 crore per megawatt whereas for a Greenfield unit it will be more than ` 5 crore per MW. The terms of reference and revised layout plan for Pudimadaka project proposed with an investment of ` 20,000crore is awaiting clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests. He said that they were meeting the shortfall by sourcing it from other coalfields and imported coal. He said that the Simhadri station revived back to normal generating mode in a very short period of four days from the severe damage caused by Hudhud Cyclone on October 12 last year. He said that this financial year they would be generating 15,050 million units surpassing the last year’s 14,684 million units. The plant load factor, which was 87 percent this year mainly due to havoc wrought by Hudhud, would go up to 92 percent next year, He said. (

Abhijeet Group seeks Jharkhand CM's help to revive power plant

March 23, 2015. Abhijeet Group of Industries has sought intervention of Jharkhand Chief Minister (CM) Raghuvar Das to ensure completion of its stalled 1,080 MW power plant project at Chandwa in Jharkhand. Corporate Power Ltd (CPL), a unit of Abhijeet Group of Industries, is implementing the power project. Corporate Power Ltd (CPL) CEO Ravindra Kumar Singh said that the group's chairman Manoj Jayaswal met Das last week and requested him to revive the project. Jayaswal had claimed that the promoter of the project (CPL) had agreed to sell its entire stake of ` 1507 crore at a nominal value of ` one only with clear understanding with the lending banks including SBI that they would select suitable promoter for commissioning of the project. Hailing the CM's recent initiative to commission the stalled project jointly with NTPC and the lender bank SBI, Jayaswal stated that the project would add 1080 MW to power-starved Jharkhand. (

JK govt to address the bottlenecks in hydel power generation

March 22, 2015. The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government would address the bottlenecks in hydel power generation projects, for which identified potential in the state is to the tune of 20,000 MW, state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said. He termed the separate power sector budget for the state from 2015-16 a landmark initiative of the new government. He said that solar power projects in Ladakh within the scope of 7500 MW earmarked by the central government would be developed by the power development department within the framework articulated by the central government. He also highlighted the "considerable work" done in the power sector in the past five decades and said that the machines of the old power houses have outlived their lives in most of the stations and require renovation and modernization. Introducing the roadmaps for the Jammu and Kashmir state power development corporation he said that as per the load projection by the 18th electric power survey of India Jammu and Kashmir shall have a peak load of 4217 MW in 2021-22 with an energy requirement of 21884 million units. He said that the Power Development Department has maintainable assets valued at about ` 7000 crore including about 48000 transformers across the state. He said that as per the census of 2010-11, the total number of households in the state were 20, 15,088 out of which 17, 53,201 households avail electricity. (

Tata Power to hike production via hydro-energy projects by 2020

March 21, 2015. While contribution of hydropower projects to India’s power basket has halved over 30 years, the country’s largest integrated power company Tata Power is looking to increase power generation through the clean energy source. The Mumbai-based utility company, which recently commissioned the first unit of the 126 MW Dagachhu Hydro Power Corp in Bhutan, has a total hydro-generation capacity of 513 mw. It plans to further acquire hydro projects to build its portfolio. The company’s overall power generation capacity is now at 8,684 MW, and targets hiking this to 26,000 MW by 2020. Hydropower projects are currently in focus as their promoters, saddled with huge loans, have been eager to sell them. (

700 MW power to be generated in Meghalaya in next 10 yrs

March 19, 2015. Meghalaya Power Minister Clement Marak said the state government has projected to generate over 700 MW of power in the next ten years to meet the energy requirements of the state. The state's own generation will be at 462 MW from the Leshka stage II power project and 260.93 MW will be availed as the Central share, he said. According to Power Minister, in 2014-15, the availability of power in the state is only 253 MW of which 159 MW is Central share while state's own generation is only 94 MW in term of capacity from additional projects. The state is expecting to get 306 MW of power from four power projects during the current year 2015-16, out of which 95 MW is the state's own generation and 210.93 MW as central share, he said. The four power projects include Pallatana GPP Unit II, Bongaigaon TPP, AGTPP combine cycle and Lakroh SHP. Projecting an increase of power supply to the state, the Minister said 356 MW is projected to be available in 2016-17 and this would increase considerably every year. By 2020-2021, power availability is projected at 489 MW and 611 MW from 2021 to 2023, he said. The Lakroh Mini HEP in Jaintia Hills District which generating capacity is 1.5 MW is expected to be completed by December this year. From this, we expect to generate 11.0 million units, he said. He further informed that Ganol Hydro Electric Project is expected to be completed in February 2018. The installed capacity of the project is 22.5 MW with an annual energy generation of 67.0 million units. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Adani, JSW vie for Monnet Power

March 24, 2015. Gautam Adani-led Adani Group and Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW Group are vying to buy a majority stake and take management control in Delhi-based Monnet Power from Sandeep Jajodia's Monnet Ispat and Energy for $500 million (over ` 3,100 crore), edging out Tata Power and an international player from the race. The deal, likely to be sealed in April, will help the promoters reduce debt of Monnet Ispat, which stood at ` 10,000 crore as on March 31, 2014. The acquisition, if it materializes, will mark further consolidation in the power sector that has seen deals worth $4 billion since the Narendra Modi-led NDA government came to power in May last year. Monnet Power bagged Utkal C coal block in Odisha for ` 770 a tonne, or an estimated ` 9,537 crore, for extractable reserve of 124 million tonnes, a development that likely to increase the company's valuation, an analyst said. Both Adani and Jindal were in the race to buy this mine along with a dozen other players. The Adani Group, which was earlier looking to set up 2500 MW power plant in Odisha from coal reject, or residues after washing the fuel, from its two mines in the state is now looking to buy out existing power units in the state, with Monnet Power being one of them. Both Jindal and Adani are looking to consolidate their power play. The Adani Group, already India's largest private sector power firm with capacity of 11,000 MW, plans to become a 20,000 MW player by 2020 while the JSW Group plans to buy 4000 MW of stranded power assets to reach a capacity of 12,000 MW in coming years. (

AP power regulator raises 5 percent tariff for industries

March 23, 2015. The industrial tariff across most of the sub-categories in Andhra Pradesh (AP) will be hiked by 25-30 paise per unit from April 1, 2015, under the tariff order issued for the year 2015-16 by the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC). The commission said it had allowed only 5 percent increase in the tariff as against the 6 percent hike proposed by the AP discoms. Further, it said only 8 percent of the 15.5 million electricity consumers in the state will be affected by the tariff revision, realising an additional revenue of around ` 950 crore versus ` 1,265 crore proposed by the power utilities. All the households that consume up to 200 units of power per month in addition to the agriculture services among few such categories were completely excluded from the tariff hike, according to the commission. The electricity regulator has determined the aggregate revenue requirement (ARR) of ` 25,515 crore for supply of ` 47,386 million units of power during the year. Of this, the commission has allowed the companies to raise ` 22,329 crore from the retail sales as per the revised tariff structure, while asking them to collect ` 3,186 crore from the state government by way of subsidy, which incidentally remained at the same level as last year. The regulator has allowed a demand growth of 16 percent over that of the current financial year, which appears to be on the lower side considering the 24/7 power announced to all the consumers in the state from October 2014. The commission said that they would be studying all the other suggestions received on the tariff pattern during the public hearing, separately. (

PGCIL serves notice on BSES discoms for outstanding dues of ` 2.2 bn

March 23, 2015. Areas across the city may face long outages as Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) has threatened to snap power supply to two BSES discoms if they fail to pay dues of around ` 220 crore. In separate notices, PGCIL has asked BSES Yamuna Power Ltd and BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd to pay the dues or face cut in power supply from March 28. The PGCIL had served the notices to the two discoms three days ago. When asked, the BSES said, both the discoms were in "active talks" with banks and PGCIL to resolve the issue at the "earliest". All major power transmission lines in Delhi are maintained by the PGCIL and the discoms have to pay to it.

BSES Rajdhani distributes power to more than 1.85 million customers in areas of south and west Delhi, including Alaknanda, Vasant Kunj, Saket, Nehru Place, Nizamuddin, Sarita Vihar, Hauz Khas, RK Puram, Janakpuri, Punjabi Bagh, Tagore Garden, Vikas Puri, Palam and Dwarka. BSES Yamuna has 1.35 million customers in central and east Delhi, including Chandni Chowk, Daryaganj, Paharganj, Shankar Road, Patel Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Mayur Vihar and Yamuna Vihar. (

NTPC eyeing distribution in Rajasthan, Haryana and Odisha

March 20, 2015. State-owned power generator NTPC is eyeing distribution business in Rajasthan, Haryana and Odisha through its subsidiary, NTPC Electric Supply Company Ltd (NESCL), the company said. NESCL provides turnkey execution, project monitoring, third-party quality inspection and consultancy services in the areas of sub-transmission and distribution. The wholly owned arm of NTPC is currently executing rural electrification projects in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal. In 2013-14, the company reported an income of ` 38.89 crore and net profit of ` 19.76 crore. Besides distribution, NTPC has also set its sights on the transmission segment of the value chain, but the idea is a "wild thought" at the moment, the company said.

The company could also go for bidding for transmission projects, but the idea is in a "preliminary" stage at the moment. NTPC has written to the governments of Rajasthan and Odisha for providing land for its upcoming solar projects. It has already received a no-objection certificate from the Andhra government for 5,000 acres for 1,000 MW of solar projects. Madhya Pradesh has given a similar approval, the company said. (

JSPL puzzled over govt's review of its coal block bids

March 18, 2015. Jindal Steel and Power ltd (JSPL) said it is "puzzled" that the government is re-examining some of the bids submitted in the coal auction despite the entire process being open and transparent. The company faces the prospects of its bids for two blocks - Gare Palma IV/ 2 & 3 and Tara - being rejected for what is being described as "very low bids". JSPL had bid ` 108 a tonne for Gare Palma IV/2&3 and ` 126 a tonne for Tara. In contrast, a less developed mine such as Jitpur went for ` 302 a tonne, while ready-to-use blocks such as Talabira and SirsaToli received bids of ` 478 a tonne and ` 470 a tonne, respectively. JSPL said comparing the bid price with other mines may not be the best way to compare. JSPL recounted Coal secretary Anil Swarup's earlier statement on the coal block auction, which said it will lead to lower cost of power. (

'Power tariff hike may sour 'Make in MP' dream'

March 18, 2015. The ambitious campaign of 'Make in Madhya Pradesh (MP)' will fail to take off and will reduced to be just a slogan if discoms have their way to increase tariff of power supply for industry, said industrialist and industry associations before Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) in Indore, while opposing proposed hike of up to 40 percent on industrial power supply. Industrialist said industries in state is already struggling due to high cost of power and lack of transparency in power supply and functioning of discoms, further revision of tariff will create more trouble for industry and discourage investment. Association of steel industries said it will be very difficult for the power intensive units to operate in state after proposed revision of tariff. Highlighting the irregularities in functioning of power sector, president of Prithampur Industrial Area Gautam Kothari said everyday around 12 truck load of coal goes missing from coal stores, Power Company pay extra charge to railway for delay in unloading coal from railway container and cost of washing coal is more than the actual cost of coal. (

Policy / Performance………….

Govt gives vesting order to Essar Power for coal mine in Jharkhand

March 24, 2015. Essar Power MP Ltd, a subsidiary of Essar Power, signed the Coal Mine Development and Production Agreement with the government for the Tokisud North coal block in Jharkhand. Essar Power MP, won the coal block in the e-auction of coal mines for ` 1110 per tonne. The block, which has all necessary clearances to begin mining, has extractable coal reserves of 52 million tonne. The company said that vital infrastructure like connectivity to the nearest railway sliding, merely 6 kms away, already exists, thereby reducing the block development time.

Ministry of coal issued the 'vesting order' to Essar Power MP. The company owns and operates 1,200 Mw coal based power plant at Mahan in Madhya Pradesh which has been set up with an investment of ` 8,000 crores. With this coal mine acquisition, the company will commence mining operations to power the Mahan Power Plant within a few months. The coal block would provide a big boost to re-energise the Mahan Power Plant, which was idle due to lack of coal for the last 18 months. With Tokisud North coming on stream, 1,200 MW of power from the plant would soon be available to the country. The company is also in the process to sign long term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), the company said. (

Power tariff may not be hiked: Maharashtra Energy Minister

March 23, 2015. The state's energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said even as a petition to increase the power tariff has been moved by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL), actually there may be no need to increase the rates at all. MSEDCL has filed a tariff hike petition before Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) seeking an 8% increase in the power rates. As a part of the procedure, each proposal to increase power tariff has to be approved by the MERC. Bawankule said by the time MERC decides on the petition there may be no need to increase the rates. The 8% sought by the MSEDCL is much moderate compared to that in Congress-NCP times when hikes as much as 20% were proposed, he said.

The new regime has ensured better coordination between, Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) and Mahagenco, its largest consumer of coal, said Bawankule. He said all the power plants in Maharashtra were coal surplus with supply being lined up for even units that were shut down. It was hoped that the plant load factor of plants in state may reach up to 90% which could make a major difference in generation, he said. (

Delhi HC restrains allocation of cancelled mines to CIL

March 23, 2015. The Delhi High Court (HC) granted interim relief to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. (JSPL) and restrained the central government from allocating two coal blocks to Coal India Ltd (CIL), for which JSPL had emerged as the successful bidder during a recent auction. JSPL approached the court against the government's March 20 decision to cancel the company's winning bids for the two coal blocks in Chhattisgarh.

The government allotted Gare Palma IV/2, IV/3 and Tara block to Coal India despite JSPL and Balco emerging as the top bidders. JSPL said the coal ministry allotted Gare Palma to Coal India by annulling the tender process for the blocks. With regard to the plea on annulment of the tender process for Tara coal block, the bench sought the government's response by April 16. It asked the coal ministry to bring relevant records regarding the tender annulment and to place it before the court. (

Mumbai will save ` 800 mn per year with LED lights: Goyal

March 22, 2015. Union minister of state for coal and power, Piyush Goyal said that Mumbai will be able to save up to ` 80 crore per year with installation of LED bulbs as street lights. He said Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), which regulates street lights in the metropolis will not have to spend anything for installations of the LED lights. Mumbai is among various cities for Centre's LED light project.

The Government is following a transparent procedure of e-tendering to acquire the required quantity of LED lights, Goyal said. In next three years, entire country will have only LED lights in public as well as domestic sphere. The minister said with energy-efficient LED lights, demand of electricity will be down by 10,000 MW and lead to savings to the tune of ` 12,500 crore. He said the Centre was procuring LED bulbs in bulk purchase. (

Modi govt explores gas-pooling to revive stranded power plants

March 22, 2015. The government is exploring the option of providing support to Discoms through the power system development fund as it plots its next move on pooling of domestic gas with imported LNG (liquefied natural gas) to help revive stranded power plants, raise availability of energy and prevent ` 60,000 crore investment from turning into bad loans.

Nearly 14,000 MW of gas based plants have no supply of domestic gas and remained stranded. They are lying idle or under-utilized due to sharp reduction in production of domestic natural gas. Apart from these, about 10,000 MW gas based plants are getting limited supply of domestic gas and a majority of them are operating at very low plant load factor (PLF). The two categories of gas starved power plans cover the public and the private sector and therefore the government has mounted a large scale plan to revive these projects. Estimates show the revival of these plants would lead to an addition 75 billion units of power worth about ` 40,000 crore. (

Power Minister to inaugurate open cast project in Penganga

March 22, 2015. Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal will inaugurate the largest open cast project in the Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) at Penganga. The project will have a production capacity of four-million tonnes per year. The minister will dedicate the Makardhokra open cast and Bhanegaon open cast — having a capacity of 2 million tonne and one million tonne respectively — to the nation. With these three projects the state's coal production will increase by 70 lakh tonnes per year. Additional royalty and taxes to the tune of ` 378 crore per year will be paid by WCL. Maharashtra government will get ` 171 crore per year while ` 207 crore per year will be given to the central government. About 60 lakh tonnes of Coal from these projects will be supplied to power plants for generation of electricity and about 10 lakh tonnes of coal will be supplied to other consumers in Maharashtra. (

Uncertainty preventing investments in hydel projects: Goyal

March 19, 2015. Uncertainties in the hydro power sector are keeping investors away from hydel projects although the country has huge potential, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said. Many hydel power projects are facing hurdles, resulting in long delays and stoppage of works. Even though existing hydel projects are generating electricity at cheaper rates, he said many new ones are stuck and cited the examples of Subansiri (Assam) and Teesta (Sikkim) plants, among others. He assured that government would make efforts to start hydel projects once the "uncertainty" is over. At the end of January, installed hydro power generation capacity in the country stood at nearly 41,000 MW.

Goyal said many regions including North East and Uttarakhand have significant hydro potential. Goyal said synchronisation of renewable power under this programme is yet to start as implementation is at different stages. The project, being done with soft loan assistance from German lender KfW, would cover Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir. The minister appreciated the Tamil Nadu government and former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, whom he addressed as 'Amma', for giving thrust to renewable energy in the state. (

Govt to push insurance pool for global nuke suppliers

March 19, 2015. The government plans to use a high-level civil nuclear conference in the Capital to push the proposal for an insurance pool to indemnify global nuclear suppliers against liability in case of an accident, in a bid to free up billions of dollars in trade. The aim of bringing together all the stakeholders, especially foreign and domestic equipment suppliers, is to address their concerns over the issue of legal responsibility and explain the way an insurance pool works, including in countries like the US and France. Companies have raised objections to India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act that says nuclear equipment suppliers are liable for damages from an accident, as firms say this is a sharp deviation from international norms that put the onus on the operator to maintain safety.

The government has made it clear that the law will not be amended, but has suggested the Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool as a risk-transfer mechanism. Five public sector firms, led by General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC), will provide ` 750 crore for the project, while the Centre will contribute a similar sum. India and the United States signed a landmark agreement to cooperate on nuclear power back in 2008, but the liability law has proved to be a stumbling block. (

Power sector total loan from banks at ` 5.83 lakh crore

March 19, 2015. The total outstanding credit to the power sector from various banks amounted to ` 5.83 lakh crore at the end of 2014 but the government has no plans to reschedule the loans to electricity generating firms. Power Minister Piyush Goyal said while the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) does not maintain details of loans received by the approved power projects, however, bank-wise information on loans outstanding to power sector was available.

As per the data, the total outstanding loan to the power sector from various banks were at ` 5,82,269 crore as on end of December 2014. State Bank of India (SBI) had the highest exposure to the power sector with a total loan amount of ` 1,00,085 crore, followed by Canara Bank with ` 45,620 crore. The other major banks which had significant outstanding loans to the energy/power sector include Punjab National Bank (Rs 33,779 crore), Central Bank of India (` 33,263 crore), Bank of India (` 30,791 crore) and IDBI Bank Ltd (` 26,502 crore). Among the private banks, ICICI had an exposure of ` 13,646 crore, HDFC Bank ` 8,962 crore.

Goyal said the government has no plans to reschedule loans to power companies. Goyal said some of the old power plants in India have been proposed for renovation and modernisation with the help of Industrial Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and KfW Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). (

CIL to give tentative timelines for auction of coal linkages

March 19, 2015. Coal India Ltd (CIL) has been asked to auction annual coal quantities it sells to users like power plants, through a transparent process. CIL will provide quantities to be offered in the so-called linkages, which are provided to bulk users, along with timelines of the auction, according to the minutes of a meeting held in coal ministry on the issue.  

The decision comes on the heels of the government's auctioning 33 coal blocks in two phases. It was also decided during the meeting held recently that SBI Capital Markets Ltd would hold meetings with different ministries, including power, and relevant industry bodies to discuss the approach on proposed auction of coal linkages. During the meeting it was discussed that reserve price for auction may be set on the basis of notified price of CIL. The bidder would be informed of the grade, quantity and location of the coal being auctioned, the minutes of the meeting said. The auction calendar for two-three years would be required to be given by CIL on a rolling basis, it said.

It was discussed during the meeting that reasonable quantity of coal should be put up for auction as very small quantity may lead to aggressive bidding by larger players and may be unviable for the industry. It was discussed that first priority may be given to plants in operation or near operation which have capacity tied through Case I bids and are without linkage or captive coal block. However, on further deliberation, it was suggested that suitable framework may be considered for capacity already tied through Case I bids. Till date, a total of 33 coal blocks have been auctioned in two tranches. While in the first lot, 19 coal mines were auctioned, in the second as many as 14 coal blocks went under the hammer. (

Coal ministry re-examining 9 winning coal block auction bids

March 18, 2015. Even as the government races against time to secure have legislative sanction for the auction of cancelled coal blocks before parliament goes into its scheduled month-long recess, it is "re-examining" nine winning bids out of the 33 coal blocks auctioned so far. The coal ministry will take a decision this week on whether there are any price discrepancies in case of the nine winning bids, including those made by companies like Jindal Steel and Balco. The final decision on whether mine winning companies like Hindalco, Jindal Steel and Power, Jaypee Cements and Usha Martin would depend on the re-examination of these bids by the auction nominated authority. Five of these blocks belong to Schedule III (near operational) category, while four are under Schedule II (operational), the coal ministry said. The ministry is considering whether these bids were too low when compared with the winning bids for other similar blocks through an analytical tool called "outlier", which looks for unusual observations that are far removed from the mass of data. (

Tariff of power from units 3, 4 of KKNPP to cost more: Govt

March 18, 2015. Tariff of electricity generated from units 3 and 4 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is likely to be double from those generated from unit 1 and 2, due to liability issues, the government said. The unit 3 and 4 of KKNPP is expected to take off in 2020-21. The present tariff of power generated from KKNPP unit 1 and 2 is ` 3.94 per kWH. The anticipated first year tariff of KKNPP units 3 and 4, is to be ` 6.30 kWH, Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for the Department of Atomic Energy said. Due to liability issues, the cost of units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project has shot up to ` 39,747 crore, more than twice the cost of units 1 and 2, which will lead to an increase in per unit cost of power, the minister said. (



GSS Energy says Central Java's Trembul field holds 32.8 mn barrels of oil

March 23, 2015. Singapore-listed GSS Energy Limited reported that it has received the Qualified Person’s Report (QPR) on the reserves and contingent resources of the old oil wells located in the District of Trembul, Central Java, Indonesia. PT Cepu Sakti Energy (CSE), a subsidiary of GSS Energy, had been granted the rights to manage and operate on the Trembul field, together with four other oil fields in Indonesia. The QPR issued by Senergy Oil & Gas (Singapore) Pte Ltd concludes that the best estimate for stock tank oil initially-in-place is 32.8 million barrels. The net Proved, Probable and Possible (3P) Reserves attributable to the Group are 3.0 million stock tank barrels, and the net high estimate Contingent Resources attributable to the Group are 5.9 million stock tank barrels. CSE currently has the rights to operate on five oil fields under the old wells program in Indonesia. The two fields already under production have an estimated net 3P Reserves of 10.4 million stock tank barrels and net high estimate Contingent Resources of 9.9 million stock tank barrels attributable to the Group. (

Woodside restarts production at Pluto LNG plant in Western Australia

March 20, 2015. Woodside Petroleum Ltd reported that the company has successfully restarted production at its Pluto LNG (liquefied natural gas) Plant in Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia. This follows the precautionary action to shut-in production after a submersible drilling rig under contract to another party drifted near Pluto flow lines. The 2015 production target range of 84 to 91 million barrels of oil equivalent remains unchanged. (

Statoil gets new Indonesia license, discovers more gas in Norway

March 20, 2015. Statoil is expanding its presence offshore Indonesia with a newly awarded exploration license. The new license, the Aru Trough I, covers an area of about 8,300km² and is located near the company's existing exploration acreage in the Aru and West Papua IV licenses.

The company will collect seismic data during the first three years of the exploration period. A decision on the next steps in the license will depend on the data collected. Separately, Statoil has discovered more gas near the Aasta Hansteen field in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea. The company is drilling two exploration wells in the vicinity of Aasta Hansteen in 2015, with the goal of proving upside potential in the area. (

Gulf Keystone ramps up oil production at Shaikan field in Kurdistan

March 19, 2015. Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd., the operator of the world class Shaikan field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, reported that it has resumed production and truck loading operations at both its production facilities (PF-1 and -2), in line with the pre-payment of $26 million gross ($20.8 million net to Gulf Keystone) received for future Shaikan crude oil sales on Feb. 25.

Gulf Keystone will now ramp up production to levels consistent with the installed capacity of 40,000 barrels of oil per day. The Company anticipates that a further payment of a similar nature will be received, which is expected to stabilize a payment cycle for current and future Shaikan production. (

Transportation / Trade……….

Plains, Delek to build oil pipeline between Longview and Shreveport

March 23, 2015. Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (PAA) announced the formation of Caddo Pipeline LLC, a 50/50 joint venture with Delek Logistics Partners, LP to develop the Caddo Pipeline, an 80-mile, 12-inch pipeline between Longview, Texas, and Shreveport, La. The Caddo Pipeline will originate at the Plains Atlas Terminal in Longview and will have the capacity to move up to 80,000 barrels of domestic crude oil per day to supply refineries in the Shreveport area and Delek Logistics’ pipeline system supplying Delek US Holdings’ El Dorado, Ark. refinery.

Under the agreement, PAA will construct and operate the Caddo Pipeline. The total project investment is expected to be approximately $100 million; the pipeline is supported by long-term shipper commitments and is expected to be completed in mid-2016. (

Lithuanian energy group calls for rule change on LNG imports

March 23, 2015. Lithuania's state-owned energy group Lietuvos Energija said national rules had to be changed to allow it to sell some liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes it had contracted from Norway's Statoil in the global market as domestic demand falls. Lithuania opened an LNG import terminal last year seeking to reduce its dependence on former Soviet master Russia and to diversify supplies, including buying LNG from the United States in the future.

To prevent Russia's Gazprom from dumping prices and keeping the terminal idle, the government has imposed a minimum level of LNG the country's regulated heat and power producers have to buy. But even this minimum volume -- 540 million cubic metres (mcm) per year or the equivalent of six or seven cargoes -- appears too big as consumption falls. Natural gas consumption fell to 2.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) last year in Lithuania from 2.7 bcm in 2013, partly due to warmer weather and increased use of biomass for heating.

LNG importer Litgas, a subsidiary of Lietuvos Energija, could end with a surplus of 150-200 mcm of gas this year, and it could rise to 240 mcm next year. Litgas signed a five-year contract with Statoil last year to import 540 mcm of natural gas annually. It received the first cargo in December. Another three cargoes are scheduled to arrive by October. It plans to store up to 100 mcm of gas at the Incukalns underground gas storage site in neighbouring Latvia, but injections there are only possible during the summer season. (

Total said to consider sale of UK’s Frigg gas pipeline

March 20, 2015. Total SA, Europe’s second-biggest oil company, is considering a sale of its gas pipeline in the U.K. North Sea as it seeks to offload assets amid a drop in oil prices. The French company has reached out to several potential buyers for the Frigg network, which could fetch about $1 billion, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. A sale may draw interest from pension funds seeking stable returns and energy-focused private-equity firms.

Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne has said he will curb spending and quicken the pace of asset sales after the price of crude oil crashed to six-year lows. The company wants to raise $5 billion through disposals this year, and is targeting a total of $10 billion through 2017.

The French company may decide to sell all of the Frigg pipeline or a majority stake in the asset, depending on buyer interest. It is already exploring the sale of part of the Laggan-Tormore natural gas field, which lies west of the Shetland Islands. Total operates and has an 80 percent stake in the project, which is about a year behind its original production schedule. The company may also sell a 20 percent stake in Nigeria’s Usan field. The Frigg U.K. System, which covers about 362 kilometers, transports natural gas from fields across the North Sea to St. Fergus in Scotland. (

Dutch Gasunie in $216 mn project to boost foreign gas imports

March 20, 2015. Dutch gas grid operator Gasunie said it is preparing a € 200 million ($216 million) project to treat foreign gas to make it compatible with the Dutch grid, as safety concerns force officials to cap domestic output. The move follows a decision last month by the Dutch government to cut output from the Groningen gas field, Europe's largest, and aims to prevent supply shortages should deeper production cuts be imposed in future. (

Pakistan envoy hopeful about IPI pipeline project

March 18, 2015. Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said he is hopeful that the gas pipeline project involving Iran, Pakistan and India would resume once the issue of sanctions against Iran gets resolved. India withdrew from the gas pipeline project in 2009, citing security and pricing issues. As far as IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline) is concerned, India withdrew from the project a few years ago. So, that project, unfortunately, is facing some problems because of economic sanctions on Iran, he said. Aaqai Ali OsatHashemi, the governor of Sistan and Balochistan province in Pakistan, said talks between Pakistan and Iran to resume the IPI pipeline project is "heading in the right direction". (

Israel's Tamar group to sell gas to Egypt via pipeline

March 18, 2015. A group of private customers in Egypt has agreed to buy at least $1.2 billion of natural gas from Israel's offshore Tamar field via an old pipeline built to send gas to Israel. The Tamar partners said they signed a seven-year deal with Dolphinus Holdings, a firm that represents non-governmental, industrial and commercial consumers in Egypt, that calls for a minimum 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to be sold in the first three years. The supplies will pass through an underwater pipeline constructed nearly a decade ago by East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), the company that oversaw a now-defunct Egyptian-Israeli natural gas deal.

Egypt had been selling gas to Israel in a 20-year agreement, but the deal collapsed in 2012 after months of attacks on the pipeline by militants in Egypt's remote Sinai Peninsula. It has since been out of commission and EMG is suing the Egyptian government for damages. The Dolphinus deal is linked to the price of Brent and is subject to various approvals in Israel, Egypt and from EMG. (

Policy / Performance…………

Shell oil drilling in Arctic set to get US govt permission

March 22, 2015. The US government is expected to give the go-ahead to a controversial plan by Shell to restart drilling for oil in the Arctic. The green light from Sally Jewell, the interior secretary, will spark protests from environmentalists who have campaigned against proposed exploration by the Anglo-Dutch group in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska. Jewell will make a formal statement backing the decision as soon as, the earliest point at which her department can rubber-stamp an approval given by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The US Interior Department had been forced to replay the decision-making process after a US federal court ruled last year, in a case brought by environmental groups, that the government had made mistakes in assessing the environmental risks in the drilling programme. However, the BOEM, an arm of Jewell’s department, has backed the drilling after going through the process again, despite revealing in its Environmental Impact Statement “there is a 75% chance of one or more large spills” occurring. (

Indonesian Govt tells Pertamina to resubmit Mahakam block proposal

March 20, 2015. Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources told state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina to resubmit its proposal to take over operations at the expiring Mahakam block offshore East Kalimantan. Pertamina has repeatedly expressed its interest in taking over the gas-rich Mahakam block -- currently operated by France's Total S.A. in a 50-50 partnership with Japan's Inpex Corp. -- when the production sharing contract expires at the end of 2017. Pertamina's proposal on the Mahakam block needs to contain more in-depth and broader analysis given current fluctuations in global oil prices, which can impact on investment costs and potential revenue to the state. Pertamina had earlier proposed to invest $25.2 billion in the Mahakam block over 20 years based on an oil price of $100 per barrel. The ministry is preparing a regulation on participating interests or the proportion of production and exploration ownership in oil and gas working areas, with around 10 percent of oil and gas production and exploration ownerships going to regional administrations. (

Kuwait says OPEC has no choice but to keep oil production target

March 19, 2015. OPEC has no plans for an extraordinary meeting to discuss ways to shore up oil prices and doesn’t have a choice but to keep its crude production unchanged to maintain market share, Kuwait Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair said. OPEC producer Algeria is seeking to coordinate a global response from outside the group to tumbling prices. Crude has lost half its value since June as U.S. producers pumped oil at the fastest pace since 1983 and OPEC decided on Nov. 27 to maintain output. Prices stand to rebound by the end of 2015 on signs of economic growth, al-Omair said. Non-OPEC supply has grown by 6 million barrels a day since 2008 while production by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has remained at about 30 million barrels, OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said. Algeria’s oil minister met with his Angolan counterpart and Nigeria’s ambassador to Algiers to discuss an initiative by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to increase dialogue between oil exporters, members and non-members of OPEC, and to restore balance to the oil market. The oil-price decline won’t affect Kuwaiti investment plans to boost crude output capacity to 4 million barrels a day from 3.2 million barrels a day, Kuwait Oil Co., said. Al-Omair met with Russia’s Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka in Kuwait City, and signed a protocol to boost cooperation in oil investment and technology. (

EU leaders seek tighter oversight of Russian gas deals

March 19, 2015. European Union (EU) leaders called for more transparency in natural gas contracts with Russia and other external suppliers under the proposed energy union plan. EU heads of government held their first talks about developing closer energy ties among the bloc’s 28 nations in a push to increase security of supply, help the shift to low-carbon economy and reduce energy prices. They endorsed the European Commission’s proposal on energy union and focused on elements including oversight of gas deals and energy market design, according to EU President Donald Tusk. The crisis in Ukraine has highlighted the need for Europe to tighten energy links among member states and cut its dependence on Russia, which supplies 27 percent of the bloc’s natural gas. To increase transparency in gas negotiations the commission wants to be involved in talks and oversee planned agreements to ensure they are in line with EU law. (



Jordan to sign agreement with Russia for its first nuclear power plant

March 23, 2015. The Government of Jordan will sign a nuclear agreement with Russia to build its first nuclear power plant. The agreement will be signed as part of the contract awarded to Russian state-owned Rosatom in October 2013 to build two nuclear reactors. The two reactors will require an investment of around $10 bn, and have a total capacity of 2,000 MW. Rosatom will supply nuclear fuel for the reactors for the first 10 years, after which Jordan will have an option to buy from other suppliers.

The Russian company will also own 49% of the plant's construction and operation costs while the remaining 51% will be held by Jordanian Government. Jordan will have an option to return nuclear fuel waste to Russia, as part of the agreed terms. Jordan Atomic Energy Commission said that Jordan is currently in talks with several interested regional and international investors for financing of the project. Rosatom has signed an agreement with Hungary to expand the Paks nuclear power plant. Similar deals have also been signed with Finland, Egypt, and India. (

Therma South to commission first 150 MW unit of Davao coal-fired plant in Philippines

March 23, 2015. Therma South, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, will connect its first 150 MW unit at a 645 MW coal-fired thermal power plant to Mindanao Grid in the Philippines in April. The production follows the completion of steam blowing operations for the first of the two 150-MW turbines at the plant. The second 150 MW unit is scheduled to become operational by the end of July this year, Therma South said.

The power generated at the plant will be supplied to over 20 distribution utilities and electric cooperatives including the Davao Light and Power, Cagayan de Oro Electric Power and Cotabato Light franchise areas. The plant will also cater to electric cooperatives in the cities of General Santos, Butuan, Tagum, Kidapawan, Mati, Koronadal, Surigao and Digos, among others. During phase II, another 150MW from the remaining 345 MW of the project will become operational by the first quarter of 2016. (

Egypt seeks to double its power generation capacity

March 21, 2015. Egypt wants to double its current power generation capacity of about 30,000 MW by 2020 – a target that is seen as key to support ambitious economic growth plans. The country’s power generation sector relies on natural gas for 68.7 percent of its electricity production, according to the Egyptian state-owned Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC). According to consultancy Frost & Sullivan, the majority of new power projects will use natural gas as a feedstock. (

JGC to build power plants in Papua

March 19, 2015. Japanese LNG firm, Japan Gasoline Co (JGC) is planning to increase its presence in Indonesia by building several units of coal-fired power plants in several places in the West Papua and Papua provinces, with combined capacity of 1,000 MW. The initial power plant will be built in Sorong, West Papua, with capacity of 50 MW. It will cost US$200 million-300 million, according to JGC. 

The project ground breaking will take place this year, JGC said. The power plants to be built by JGC in the Papua provinces will use low quality coal that can be mined in the province. The country’s Eastern provinces are left far behind the rest of Indonesia in electricity penetration. (

Policy / Performance…………

Indonesia flags April start for much-delayed power plant project

March 24, 2015. Indonesia's president Joko Widodo said the long-delayed construction of a $4 billion coal-fired power plant would finally start next month, but an activist group said land disputes had not been settled despite his personal intervention. The mega-project, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, is seen by investors as a test case for whether President Joko Widodo's ambitious reforms can translate into real development in the vast archipelago.

The 2,000 MW power plant in Central Java has been repeatedly held up by difficulties in buying land for the site. PT Bhimasena Power Indonesia, a joint venture set up by PT Adaro Energy Tbk, Itochu Corp and Electric Power Development Co Ltd (J-Power), will build and operate the power plant. It could be operational by the end of 2018 if construction starts soon, the government has said. President Widodo, who took office in October, has promised to make it easier for investors to acquire land, particularly for power, infrastructure and industrial projects. (

China issues rules to reform electricity system

March 23, 2015. China issued rules to overhaul its electricity market in a move aimed at gradually loosening the state’s monopoly and spurring competitive energy pricing, a website covering clean energy reported. The world’s second-biggest economy will make its power-distribution system and retail sales channels accessible to private companies in an orderly way, according to a State Council document posted on the website of The reforms promise to shake up the overarching government control of China’s electric-power sector.

China’s electricity prices are currently fixed, power plants run at the discretion and direction of the government and investments in state-run enterprises are guided by central planners. Under the reforms, China will open up competition among power generation and sales businesses to allow the market to determine energy prices and diversify suppliers, the document shows. The nation will also provide entry and exit rules for companies interested the power-retailing business. Currently, State Grid Corp., China Southern Power Grid Co. and the Inner Mongolia Power Group manage China’s system operations, transmission, distribution and sales of power. China will encourage mid- and long-term electricity trading from regions with excess power to those experiencing shortages. The nation will also study electric-power futures and derivatives when the time is right. (

Turkish firms to gain $16 bn from nuclear projects

March 19, 2015. Turkey's first and second nuclear power plant projects will provide Turkish firms with $16 billion worth of gains, Necati Yamac, the deputy undersecretary of the country's Energy and Natural Resources Ministry said. The agreement for Turkey's first nuclear power plant project, Akkuyu, was signed with Russia in 2010 and the second, Sinop nuclear power plant, was signed in 2013 with Japan, Yamac reminded. Yamac expressed his belief in the importance of increasing the capability of Turkish firms in the nuclear sector.

The nuclear power plants are not just viewed as ways to generate electricity but are also projects to strengthen the country's industrial power, human resources and improve search and development activities, he said. The country's first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, will generate 35 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. The plant will also provide nearly 14 percent of Turkey's demand in electricity. (

New Mexico regulators hear from public about power plant

March 19, 2015. New Mexico regulators listened to dozens of supporters and critics of a plan to shutter half of an aging coal-fired power plant that supplies electricity to more than 2 million people in the Southwest. Some called for more renewable energy to replace the lost power, saying this could mark a tipping point for the state's energy policies. Others argued the plan strikes a balance between keeping electricity affordable for ratepayers and meeting federal emissions standards. The plan to shut down two units at the San Juan Generating Station has been the subject of numerous hearings and hours of expert testimony. More than 11,000 letters and emails have been submitted to the state Public Regulation Commission, and more public meetings are possible. Commissioner Sandy Jones said this marks one of the biggest decisions to face the regulatory panel in decades. The commission has scheduled another public meeting in Silver City, but it could be months before a final decision is made. (



Tap geothermal energy from coast line, Governor tells state

March 24, 2015. Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao called on the state government to explore unconventional energy from a stretch of 720 kms of coastline in the state. He was speaking at the inaugural function of a 324 KW solar power plant set up by Lokmat Media Pvt Ltd at industrial estate at Butibori, about 25 kms from the city. The media house has switched its printing press functioning to solar power through the 324 MW plant. Rao said the geothermal energy from the sources of both solar and tidal waves will be a great help to state's coast for the purpose of tourism. He said about 60 percent of the total electricity in the country was produced by coal fired plants, while only six percent is generated through solar power. All the three Raj Bhawans in state - Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune have switched to solar energy and were producing 15 lakh units, he said. State energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said the state government has taken up a programme to install solar pumps in the drought affected areas. About 8,000 agriculture pumps are being installed as a pilot project in the five most affected (farmer) suicide prone districts in Vidarbha region. Maharashtra will have 10 percent share of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to generate one lakh MW solar energy, he said. The state has an average 310 days of Sun radiation, he said. The media group simultaneously also inaugurated solar energy at its Aurangabad printing unit. Lokmat group managing director Devendra Darda said both plants are releasing nearly 500 to 600 units of clean green electricity in the transmission per day and on an average generate 2,800 units of clean green electricity, thus preventing release of 1,680 kg of carbon dioxide. (

Global solar energy installations to cross 54 GW this year

March 24, 2015. Installations of solar power generation capacities worldwide are projected to touch 54,500 MW this year while India is expected to add 1,800 MW during the same period, a report said. Another solid year is in store for the global solar industry and new streams of funding are coming into the sector, Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, said. Indian solar installations in calendar year 2014 totalled 883 MW, down slightly compared to 1,004 MW installed in 2013. The government has set an ambitious target of having 1,00,000 MW solar power generation capacity by 2022. Mercom Capital said new funding mechanisms are helping in reducing the cost of financing and are bringing in new streams of funding into the sector. According to the report, while actual installation numbers for 2014 are trickling in, China recently reported installation figures of 10.60 GW which implies that it missed its installation goal of 13 GW by more than 2 GW. (

Sumeet Industries to invest ` 775 mn for wind power plant

March 23, 2015. Surat-based synthetic yarn manufacturer Sumeet Industries is planning to set up 10.5 MW (5 Nos. of turbine of 2.1 MW each) wind power plant at a capital expenditure of ` 77.51 crore. IDBI Bank has already sanctioned a term loan of ` 57.75 crore for this project. The balance, however, will be met through internal accruals.

This power plant is set to become operational within six months. With the proposed wind power project, however, the company's cost of production will decline and profitability improve further on low cost energy supply to the yarn manufacturing plant. As per terms, after completion of six years from this project, the company will receive 2.70 crore units of electricity only at a cost of ` 1.30 per unit. (

Experts pitch for fossil fuels to drive growth in India

March 23, 2015. Energy experts advocated growth powered by fossil fuels for ending poverty in India as they said the country accounts for very low per-capita carbon emissions as compared to the developed nations. In view of the increasing international pressure to reduce carbon emissions, experts at a seminar organised by the French Embassy here said that the world has very little to fear from India in terms of climate change as it has a vastly lower per- capita GDP and per-capita carbon emissions. Too much noise is made about the fact that India is so much coal-based. The per-capita emission of India is around 1.7 metric tonnes, which is far less than the developed countries. Even on emission intensity, India stands at 2.8, which is closer to US (2.5), than China (3.3), Sunjoy Joshi, Director of Observer Research Foundation (ORF), said at the seminar, 'Energy for All: How India pursues its goal of providing energy to all sustainably'.

The experts from various backgrounds called for the adoption by India of a multi-dimensional framework for balancing local and global environmental concerns as part of measures to continue on the path of sustainable energy. The seminar saw them focusing on the three major issues of accessibility, availability and affordability of sustainable energy. They advocated growth powered by fossil fuels in order to remove poverty and the need to increase consumption of such fuels in households and rural areas while citing the widespread energy inaccessibility in the country.

Two-thirds of India's population still use solid fuel for cooking. Providing for increased access (to such fuels) is seen as potentially threatening to sustainability whereas the truth is that it has a negligible impact on it, said Ashok Sreenivas, Senior Research Fellow at Prayas Energy Group. The seminar was held as part of a monthly series being organised in the run up to the '21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change', that will be hosted by France in December. The meet in Paris is likely to see an international agreement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature rise and for supporting adaptation to climate impacts. The discussion also highlighted India's initiative, challenges and polices with regard to energy production, especially in the field of renewable energy with the aim of ensuring sustainable development and poverty alleviation through energy access. (

UP CM to gift slew of projects on April 11

March 23, 2015. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Akhilesh Yadav will inaugurate several multi-crore development projects for the twin cities from Lucknow on April 11. Rama Raman, chairperson of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway Authorities — along with senior state government officials — is likely to be present at the event. The projects include Ganga water supply, solar plants, etc. Of these, a 137 MLD-capacity sewage treatment plant is being touted as the second biggest project. The construction will cost roughly ` 175 crore. Gautam Buddha University (GBU) will get an auditorium, with a seating capacity of 5,000, an indoor stadium and a 500-kW rooftop solar power plant. The state government has been stressing on solar energy, and therefore, two solar power plants will be inaugurated by the CM. Apart from the one at GBU, a 1 MW capacity plant in Greater Noida is also on the inauguration list. (

MNRE requests all states to come out with a solar policy

March 19, 2015. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has asked all states to come out with a solar policy, a move that will help the Centre meet its clean energy target. Minister for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said the ministry has sanctioned 348 MW grid connected rooftop projects to various states in the country. While replying to another question, the minister said that to make India a hub for renewable energy manufacturing, the ministry has been promoting private investment in the sector through an attractive mix of fiscal and financial incentives. He said that the MNRE has proposed grid power of 175 GW from various renewable energy sources by 2022 and this includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro power. Goyal informed that World Bank had shown interest to finance solar park in Andhra Pradesh. (

Govt-run suppliers allowed to sell bio-diesel to all consumers

March 19, 2015. Government has decided to allow sale of bio-diesel by its manufacturers, suppliers or authorised dealers to all consumers. The initiative is aimed at increasing the production and usage of bio-diesel in the country. Besides, the government continues to support intensive research and development on improved varieties of non-edible oilseeds including Jatropha and Pongamia for production of bio-diesel. The price announced for procurement of bio-diesel by the oil marketing companies (OMCs) with effect from November 7, 2014 is ` 41 per litre. In 2006, the government had rolled out the bio-diesel purchase policy. As per this policy, OMCs would purchase bio-diesel, meeting the standards prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards, at a uniform price, as may be decoded by the OMCs from time to time. (

Himachal Pradesh to light up villages with solar energy

March 19, 2015. Himachal Pradesh will try to light up three non-electrified villages located in the deep forests of the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area, India's richest biodiversity spot in the western Himalayas, through solar energy, Power Minister Sujan Singh Pathania said. Himachal Lokhit Party said the work to bring electricity to the villages, which have 39 households, in Kullu district was stopped as permission to lay the cables from the wildlife sanctuary area was not granted. The minister said permission for laying 19-km-long power transmission lines has not been received. (

Govt discontinues subsidy scheme for green energy

March 18, 2015. The Narendra Modi government may be quite vocal when it comes to its commitment towards clean energy, but when reality bites, it is seen as taking a back seat. The tight finances have forced the government to silently discontinue one of its key subsidy schemes promoting renewable energy. The share of solar power within the renewable energy space was 8% in FY14 and experts feel that the withdrawal of the subsidy may hamper the desired growth in capacity addition in FY16. The scheme was discontinued with effect from March 1.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) wanted commercial banks to stop giving loans for installing solar home lighting system under the subsidy scheme since it is burdened with pending subsidy claims. This bank loan cum capital subsidy scheme was part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). The size of pending claims is ` 130 crore, which is just about 5% of the annual plan of ` 2,500 crore to promote renewable energy. (

Canal-top solar projects generate over 9 mn units of power in Gujarat

March 18, 2015. At a time when the first-ever solar-propelled plane, Solar Impulse-2 has shown the world the impossible becoming possible, the Gujarat government informed canal-top solar power projects in two places in the state successfully generated over 9 million units of electricity thereby avoided water evaporation. State's first attempt of setting up a canal-top solar project on Narmada Canal near Sanand has generate 4.7 million units of power since its commissioning in 2012 and saved about 9 million litres of water from getting evaporated, the State Assembly was informed. The Canal-top project at Sanand is spread on about 750 meters of Narmada Canal.

Gujarat cabinet minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama stated that the canal-top solar projects were the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure as chief minister of Gujarat, and that the projects, besides generating clean energy with zero emissions, also saved water. Similarly, in January this year The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had inaugurated the 10-megawatt canal-top solar power project on Narmada canal in Vadodara. The project has so far generated about 4.735 million units of electricity in a short span of time. (

Chennai highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases: IISc

March 18, 2015. At nearly 39 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, Delhi has the highest greenhouse gases footprint in the country. Greater Mumbai and Chennai follow Delhi with 23 million tonnes and 22 million tonnes respectively. Ahmedabad accounts for the least (9 million tonnes) GHS footprint among the seven Indian cities studied by a team of researchers at Indian Institute for Science (IISc). Despite the total GHS footprint being 17 million tonnes lesser than Delhi, Chennai has the highest per capita emission of carbon dioxide equivalent — 4.79 tonnes. Kolkata follows Chennai with 3.29 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Chennai also emits the highest carbon dioxide equivalent per GDP — 2.55 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent per lakh rupees. The results, based on the 2009-2010 data, were published recently in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews by a team led by Prof. T.V. Ramachandra of the Energy &Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, Bengaluru. The paper has looked into all sources of greenhouse gas emissions — transportation, domestic sector, electricity consumption, industry, agriculture and livestock, and solid and liquid waste. A sector-wise analysis revealed that transportation turned out to be biggest source of emission in cities where rail transportation was either absent or was just being put in place. Of the seven cities studied, Delhi turned out to be the highest emitter of greenhouse gases from the transportation sector. Vehicles in Delhi emitted over 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gases during the study period. But as percentage contribution from all sources in a city, transportation in Delhi accounted for 32 percent of greenhouse gases emission. It was 57 percent in Hyderabad, 43 percent in Greater Bengaluru, and 25 percent in Ahmedabad. Contrast this with the three cities — Kolkata, Greater Mumbai and Chennai — where rail forms the backbone of transportation. Based on percentage contribution from all sources, transportation accounted for just 13 percent in Kolkata, 17.4 percent in Greater Mumbai and 19.5 percent in Chennai. The domestic sector was the next biggest contributor of greenhouse gases emissions. Electricity consumption for lighting and other household appliances, consumption of fuel for cooking were the major sources of domestic emissions. Again, Delhi topped the list with 11.6 million tonnes of gases emitted, which is 30 percent of the total emissions from all sources in the city. Chennai comes second with 8.6 million tonnes, which is 39 percent of the total emissions by the city. Greater Mumbai is less than half with 8.4 million tonnes but 19 percent of its total emissions. Greater Bengaluru and the other two cities — Hyderabad and Ahmedabad — account for half and one-fourth of Chennai’s respectively. When seen as percentage contribution from all sources in a city, the domestic sector emerged as the biggest contributor of emissions in all the three cities where rail formed the backbone of transportation — Kolkata (43 percent), Chennai (39 percent) and Greater Mumbai (37 percent). Electricity for commercial and other services such as street lighting and railways, accounts for 15-24 percent of total emissions by cities except in the case of Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. Chennai figured as the top emitter (4.4 million tonnes) in the industrial sector. The emissions come from ammonia production for fertilizer industries, and petro products. There is “insufficient data” in the case of medium- and small-scale industries located within Chennai and other six cities. (


Beijing to close all major coal power plants to curb pollution

March 24, 2015. Beijing, where pollution averaged more than twice China’s national standard last year, will close the last of its four major coal-fired power plants next year. China’s capital city will close China Huaneng Group Corp.’ 845 MW power plant next year, after closing plants owned by Guohua Electric Power Corp. and Beijing Energy Investment Holding Co., according to the city’s economic planning agency. A fourth major power plant, owned by China Datang Corp., was shut last year.

The plants will be replaced by four gas-fired stations with capacity to supply 2.6 times more electricity than the coal plants. Once complete, the city’s power and its central heating will be entirely generated by clean energy, according to the Municipal Commission of Development and Reform. Air pollution has attracted more public attention in the past few years as heavy smog envelops swathes of the nation including Beijing and Shanghai. About 90 percent of the 161 cities whose air quality was monitored in 2014 failed to meet official standards, according to a report by China’s National Bureau of Statistics. The level of PM2.5, the small particles that pose the greatest risk to human health, averaged 85.9 micrograms per cubic meter last year in the capital, compared with the national standard of 35. Beijing plans to cut annual coal consumption by 13 million metric tons by 2017 from the 2012 level in a bid to slash the concentration of pollutants. The city also aims to take other measures such as closing polluted companies and cutting cement production capacity to clear the air this year, according to the Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. (

Evergrande scraps $15 bn solar push as property drops

March 23, 2015. Evergrande Group, the parent of China’s most-indebted publicly traded homebuilder, scrapped its 90 billion-yuan ($14.5 billion) plan to branch out into solar power, stymieing its ambitions to become a clean-energy developer. After surveying the market, Evergrande, owned by billionaire Hui Ka Yan, concluded “the current timing is immature” to enter into solar power, the Guangzhou-based company said. No funds have so far been spent on the solar business, the company said. The decision to steer clear of solar comes as Chinese developers that used debt to fund their rapid expansion are coming under greater strain as the nation’s real estate market slows. Even by Chinese standards, Hui’s vision for solar energy, which was outlined in a National Business Daily newspaper story last year, was grand. The company, which specializes in real estate, dairy and sports, had planned to build 9.2 GW of photovoltaic projects in the northern city of Zhangjiakou. Projects of that scale would equal about 29 percent of China’s total installed solar capacity at the end of 2014. China has been boosting the use of solar power to help cut emissions, spurring interests among companies such as GCL New Energy Holdings Ltd. and Evergrande. The nation raised its solar installation target for 2015 to as much as 17.8 GW, almost 2 1/2 times as much capacity as the U.S. added last year. (

CAB Cakaran to set up biomass power generation plant

March 23, 2015. Poultry producer CAB Cakaran Corp Bhd signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan's New Chemical Trading Co. Ltd and Seri Kedah Corp Sdn Bhd, to establish a biomass power generation business. Under the MoU, two joint venture (JV) companies will be formed, the first being a JV company between New Chemical Trading and Seri Kedah (JV1) for the licensing of specific technology and know-how related to biomass power generation.

JV1 will be responsible for the maintenance servicing for the processing facilities and equipment, as well as the marketing of the fertilizer. The plant will be designed by Japan based Nangoku Kousan Co. Ltd. A second joint venture company (JV2) will be incorporated by all three parties where the business will be focused on biomass power generation and the selling of the power produced. Under JV2, CAB Cakaran will hold 51%, while the remainder 49% will be held by Seri Kedah and JV1. CAB Cakaran's role will be to provide the JV companies with information on the poultry industry in Malaysia and relevant variables for the feasibility study. Seri Kedah's role will be to provide JV2 with support for the necessary grants, subsidies, business licenses and approvals in Malaysia. It will also provide support for the approval or contracts from Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia and Tenaga Nasional Bhd or other relevant authorities to run the biomass and solar photovoltaic power plant business. (

JinkoSolar to build $100 mn solar cell and module facility in Malaysia

March 20, 2015. JinkoSolar will build a solar cell and module manufacturing facility in Penang, Malaysia, to provide the company with additional production capacity of 950 MW. The proposed development, which is Jinkosolar's first overseas cell production facility, will see an investment of around $100 mn. Expected to become operational in May this year, the facility will use high-efficiency multi-crystalline technology for the production of solar photovoltaic cells and modules. JinkoSolar will then have an additional production capacity of 500 MW for solar PV cells and 450 MW for modules. JinkoSolar will work with Malaysian Industrial Development Authority and the local government to create local jobs and help further promote the development of solar industry in Malaysia, the company said. (

Solar eclipse to hit 35 GW generation in Europe

March 20, 2015. Power generation in Europe is expected to take a major hit as the region witnesses a solar eclipse. According to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), 35,000 MW of solar energy, equivalent to around 80 medium size conventional generation units, will 'fade' away from the grids before getting restored after the eclipse. In the UK, the impact is expected to be lower with a loss of 850 MW. However, the loss will be offset by 1,100 MW drop in demand for electricity as people come outdoors to watch the phenomenon, the National Grid observed. The region has witnessed the last solar eclipse in 1999, when there was no impact on power generation as solar technology was at a nescient stage. According to ENTSO-E, solar power generation formed only 0.1% of all the electricity produced in Europe from renewable energy sources in 2002. Now it has increased to 10.5%. Europe will witness the next solar eclipse in 2026. (

China boosts solar target for 2015 as it fights pollution

March 18, 2015. China raised its solar target for 2015, promising to add almost 2 1/2 times as much capacity as the U.S. added last year, as it races to clear its increasingly polluted air. The world’s biggest emitter of carbon aims to install as much as 17.8 GW of solar projects in 2015, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said. The NEA previously estimated 15 GW would be added this year. The more ambitious goal may attract as much as 21 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) of additional investment to solar projects compared with the earlier plan. China is using more power from the sun as part of its plans to cap emissions in the next decade and a half. President Xi Jinping has pledged an “iron hand” to protect the environment after a November pact with U.S. President Barack Obama to increase China’s share of non-fossil fuel in its total energy use to 20 percent by 2030.

The nation of almost 1.4 billion people is targeting a more than tripling of its solar power capacity to 100 GW by 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission said. China’s emissions of carbon dioxide fell last year for the first time in more than a decade, helping stall global production of climate-warming gases. Total carbon emissions in the world’s second-biggest economy dropped 2 percent in 2014 from the previous year, the first decline since 2001, according to a estimate based on preliminary energy demand data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. The NEA has asked local departments in 26 regions of the country to submit plans by the end of April detailing new solar projects for this year, it said. (

Texas city pulls plug on fossil fuels with shift to solar

March 18, 2015. A city in the heart of the oil state of Texas is set to become one of the first communities in the U.S. to wean its residents off fossil fuels. The municipal utility in Georgetown, with about 50,000 residents, will get all of its power from renewable resources when SunEdison Inc. completes 150 MW of solar farms in West Texas next year. It will be the first city to completely embrace clean power in the state, which is the biggest U.S. producer and user of natural gas. More will follow as municipalities seek to insulate themselves from unpredictable prices for fossil fuels, SunEdison said. Burlington, Vermont, made a similar move with its purchase of a hydroelectric plant last year. SunEdison will begin construction on the solar farms in the third quarter and complete them in about six months. Georgetown, about 28 miles (45 kilometers) from Austin, agreed to buy all the output over 25 years. That’s enough to supply about half the city’s residents, and the rest of their renewable energy will come mainly from wind. SunEdison, based in Maryland Heights, Missouri, expects to more than double solar and wind installations this year to 2,100 to 2,300 MW, up from 1,048 MW last year. When complete, SunEdison plans to offer the Georgetown project for sale to its separately traded power-plant holding company TerraForm Power Inc., a so-called yieldco. Texas, which rivals California for most sun resources, comes in 11th in installed residential panels, according to GTM Research in Boston. Most of the rooftop solar in Texas is in San Antonio and Austin, where the local utilities provide customers with statement credits for energy they produce. Other companies are also offering services that will let cities rely on renewable power. SolarCity Corp., the largest U.S. developer of rooftop solar systems, said that it plans to develop small power grids that will run corporate campuses, military bases and small towns, with a mix of solar power, battery storage and existing generators. (



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