MonitorsPublished on May 08, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XI; Issue 47

[Why switch sides? India needs coal...]

                             “India as a country needs to be clear that industrial development is impossible without fossil fuels. No country in the world could have industrialised without fossil fuels. As long as coal is used efficiently it can contribute to much larger volumes of carbon emission reduction while also providing cheap electricity. Efficient use of coal is the area where India must look for assistance from the developed nations in bilateral forums…”

Energy News


No legally binding climate agreement is the only possible outcome not the worst outcome!                                   


It is not a good sign for gas when oil is beating gas on price!


Self destructive ultra mega low bids are not good for ultra mega power projects!




·          Why switch sides? India needs coal...


·          GREEN – The Colour of Growth (Highlights of the CII – US Embassy New Delhi Interactions on Climate Change)


·          Natural Gas Demand Supply Scenario & RLNG Capacity Utilisation



·          ONGC strikes 'significant' oil, gas in KG basin

·          CCEA nod to policy on development of 12 RIL, ONGC gas finds

·          India's Cambay-73 oil, gas field production facilities operationally ready


·          IOC rushes large volume of petro products to quake-hit Nepal

Transportation / Trade………………

·          Govt probe says GAIL India’s negligence caused Telangana pipeline accident

·          GAIL to stop LNG imports at Dabhol till October

·          India's oil imports from Iran jump in April

·          Crude sales push up trade between Nigeria, India

Policy / Performance…………………

·          AP to seek share in oil, gas revenue from KG basin

·          Factories using cheaper liquid fuels hit gas offtake

·          Oil industry wants contract administration separated from policy

·          Vedanta's $3.1 bn impairment charge in Cairn India credit negative: Moody's

·          Top govt officials meet to resolve complex issues of O&G firms

·          Oil Ministry wants BP to furnish bank guarantee for ATF licence

·          Gujarat units get relief over gas bidding from isolated fields

·          Non-subsidised LPG rate cut by ` 5

·          Petrol prices hiked by ` 3.96 a litre, diesel ` 2.37

·          LPG consumers face delay in getting subsidy payments though direct cash transfer scheme



·          BHEL commissions 500 MW unit at Chandrapur coal-fired project

·          Power generation disrupted at Sabarigiri

·          Private sector beats govt to add record power capacity

·          ‘Hot run’ at Kudankulam second reactor completed successfully

·          NTPC says ready to take up Tilaiya ultra mega power project

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Alstom to lead Kala Amb smart grid pilot project

·          CCL CMD pitches for transporting coal by rail

·          Zakura inhabitants demand upgradation of power transmission network

·          Is Australian coal-lobby blocking uranium deal with India?

·          NTPC to import 22 mn tonnes coal in FY’16 to meet shortfall

·          Haryana CM dedicates NTAMC of POWERGRID to nation

·          L&T wins ` 8 bn contracts in power transmission

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Coal Ministry plans to auction isolated coal blocks

·          Power rates set to be revised in Punjab financial year 2015-16

·          Maharashtra govt proposes to split MahaVitaran into five entities

·          Modi govt has developed additional 22.5 GW of power: Goyal

·          Govt extends bid submission deadline for gas-based power companies

·          India setting up four indigenous n-power reactors in Gujarat, Rajasthan

·          Mekedatu hydro-electric project: Karnataka CM seeks Modi’s help

·          Further stake sale in CIL to meet SEBI guidelines: Goyal

·          Coal to remain main fuel: Goyal



·          Wintershall to spend $2 bn to develop Norwegian oil field

·          Repsol makes gas discovery in Margarita-Huacaya block in Bolivia

·          Statoil completes sale of 15.5 percent stake in Shah Deniz

·          Chevron makes natural gas discovery offshore Australia

·          Eni commences production at Cinguvu oil field in Block 15/06 off Angola

·          BP begins seven-year drilling program in west of Shetland Islands

·          Indonesia's Medco gets additional 25 yrs to operate Oman oil fields


·          Morocco refiner Samir gets $319 mn loans from BCP bank

·          Petrobras says falling Brazil fuel demand reduced crude refining

·          Enterprise and Occidental to build natural gas processing facility in US

·          Biggest Europe oil refiner joins those predicting boom’s end

Transportation / Trade…………

·          Egypt issues tender for second LNG import terminal

·          Nigeria's Bonny LNG export plant sells cargo to Petrobras

·          Vietnam diesel imports from Singapore surge after trade deal

·          TAPI gas pipeline construction to take 5 years: Afghan President

Policy / Performance………………

·          State agency upholds Clatsop decision against gas pipeline

·          Energy Ministry terminates Block VIb PSC in Georgia

·          Qatar commissions $1 bn JBOG project

·          Italy approves TAP gas pipeline



·          Kuo-Repsol venture agrees power plant deal with Iberdrola

·          Brookstone plans $750 mn investment in Ivory Coast hydropower projects

·          Jordan to build world’s largest internal combustion power plant

·          Chinese group AVIC will build a 1.6 GW power project in Iran

·          Nigeria’s power generation drops to 2.8 GW

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Bangladesh's Summit Group and GE start joint power plant

·          194 Chinese workers stranded at hydropower project in Nepal

Policy / Performance………………

·          DTE secures regulatory approval to build 1.5 GW nuclear unit in Michigan

·          Oxford power plant likely near approval

·          Turkey starts building first nuclear power plant



·          India's first satellite controlled solar power project inaugurated in Punjab

·          No legally binding climate change agreement under UNFCCC: India

·          Delhi gets a solar power boost

·          AP to make state renewable energy hub

·          Daily bulletin on air quality index for 8 cities launched

·          Karnataka gets its cheapest solar power plant

·          Bharat Ratna awardee CNR Rao pitches for solar power generation

·          Tata Power commissions 24 MW wind farm in Gujarat


·          Norway asking miners to shed coal shows climate fear rising

·          Poland seeks to limit EU carbon fix’s impact on producers

·          California aims 40 percent GHG emissions cut from 1990 levels by 2030

·          Enel starts construction of 176 MW solar power plants in Chile

·          Japan plans 26 percent cut in GHG emissions by 2030 from 2013 levels

·          Solar energy in Scotland could meet household power requirements

·          Global warming a threat to one in six species

·          Church of England to sell dirty fuel over climate change

·          Million-dollar plantation scheme to plant a billion trees in Pakistan

·          Infratech completes first floating solar system in Australia

·          Vestas gets 78 MW order in the US

·          E.ON creates new conventional power generation company




Why switch sides? India needs coal...

Ashish Gupta, Observer Research Foundation


ecently we have seen key officials from the government visiting many countries and officials from other countries visiting India. Many bilateral meetings also (India - Australia & India - Japan etc.) took place in Delhi.  Much of the discussions were regarding clean energy indicating how the concerned country will be of great importance to India in making the Indian energy sector greener. Interestingly, the combined ministry for coal, power & renewable is in a dilemma on which path to follow: green or brown? In some forums clean energy is projected as the only solution and in another coal is projected as the future for India. The officials appear to be unclear on what will be the appropriate solution for India. Notwithstanding the official confusion, the reality is that coal will remain the mainstay for power generation in India. The logic behind coal dominance is quite simple and needs no explanation: it is economics.

Coal is the most important and abundant fossil fuel in India. It accounts for 55 percent of the country's energy needs. The country's industrial heritage was built upon indigenous coal. As for electricity generation, coal dominates both in terms of installed capacity and actual generation. Coal currently accounts for 59 percent of installed generation capacity followed by hydro at 17 percent, renewable (primarily wind) at 13 percent, natural gas at about 9 percent, nuclear at about 2 percent and diesel at less than 1 percent. In terms of actual power generation coal leads with 74 percent, followed by hydro at 13 percent, natural gas at 5 percent, nuclear at 3 percent and renewables at about 4 percent.

Having said that, much of Prime Minister’s plans for industrial revival depend on his ambitious “make in India” programme. But those plans will trip unless the coal supply increases. The “make in India” plan will fructify only when companies are able to manufacture more products cheaply. The manufacturing base will not be able to flourish if they are not provided with cheap electricity. Cheap power is possible only through coal fired plants. Therefore the ministry does not have to think twice before choosing coal as the primary fuel for power generation.   

Coal is not only important for economic reasons but equally crucial for sustainable and inclusive development of the country. There is a binding commitment on coal companies (CIL and subsidiaries) that the entire infrastructure related investments will be made by them which has improved the socio economic development of the mining areas. The companies have invested in schools, housing, hospitals and recreational centres for the community living in that area. The coal companies have also contributed to increasing technical knowledge to the local people through their skill development programs. Job creation – be it in mining or other semi-skilled jobs - the local population are provided with vital employment opportunities at the coal mines.

During 2013-14, CIL alone has spent ` 142.70 crore (` 1,427 million) towards corporate social responsibility (CSR). Its subsidiaries spent ` 409.37 crore (` 4,093.7 million) on CSR.  They have also created a green wealth through 81 million plantations including 1.3 million saplings planted during 2013-14.  

Some of the projects undertaken by CIL as part of their CSR activity during the year

Organisation to whom Financial Assistance imparted

Nature of the Project

KGITC, Uttammarayanpur, WB

Setting up of Industrial Training Centre for conducting suitable training of the under privileged and BPL sections of the people in different trades in order to create a pool of talents to cater to the need of technical manpower in different industries with special emphasis to mining industries.

Medical Department, CIL

Organised 10 health camps by CIL for economically backward sections of the society like unorganised workers of the Kolkata and out skirts.

Child in Need Institute, Daulatpur, Post Pailan

For counselling the expected mothers as well as the child about the health care and nutrition.

Ram Krishna Mission Viveknanda Centenary College, Kolkata

For setting up 2 labs for Botany & Chemistry at the college for the benefit of the students.

National Charitable Welfare Society, Pratapgarh, UP

Setting up infrastructure facilities i.e. solar powered street lights etc. for people residing in the area.

Children Education Foundation, New Delhi

Providing free education to children of Jhuggi Jhopdi on the basis of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. The objective of the project is to provide free education to the children of rural and slum areas of the country along with other aims and objectives related to education.

South Sundarban Jana Kalyan Sangha, Raghunathpur

For safe drinking water supply to backward community of the Sundarban area by way of installation of 10 tube wells in the village.

Coal auctions have also increased the size of the pie for social investments. States with coal mines will get a large share of the revenue through the coal mines auction apart from their share of royalty. This money is likely to be utilised for the development purposes and it could also be used for increasing economic activity in the State. This could arrest outmigration and contribute to higher incomes.   

With regard to renewable sources the social benefits are unlikely to match that of coal in terms of scale.  Far flung villages in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh could benefit from decentralised renewable solutions but so far there is no project that has proved to be economically viable without external aid in the long term.  Many have switched to grid based electricity (even if power is available only for few hours). Ironically coal based generation is likely to be the saviour for renewables because the more coal based power is produced the more money will be available for underwriting the renewable sector. The Minister for Power has acknowledged this when he stated at a forum that dirty energy will fund clean energy.

India as a country needs to be clear that industrial development is impossible without fossil fuels. No country in the world could have industrialised without fossil fuels. As long as coal is used efficiently it can contribute to much larger volumes of carbon emission reduction while also providing cheap electricity. Efficient use of coal is the area where India must look for assistance from the developed nations in bilateral forums. 

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]




GREEN – The Colour of Growth

(Highlights of the CII – US Embassy New Delhi Interactions on Climate Change)

A Talk by Ambassador Richard Verma, United States Ambassador to India

20th April 2015, New Delhi

K K Roy Chowdhury, Energy & Environment Expert, Delhi

1.     Excerpts from Video Message from US Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry-

·         Climate Change without Border, no one Country acting alone can meet the Challenge, that is why US wants to work with India.

·         Climate Change is compelling us to Act. If we don’t act now, World will now change for the Worst.

·         We created the problem, we have to solve it, for which he singled out Energy Transformation as the only Solution.

·         Asserting President Obama’s understanding of the fact that Big Nations responsible for creating the problems have to take the Load, he at the same time stressed upon the fact that all Nations have their Unique Strengths.

·         In this context, he mentioned about US Actions, towards Clean Energy Solutions as the only Alternative, such as, to triple Wind Energy, to increase Solar with a factor of 10, going for Energy Storage, etc.

·         That US amongst the First to submit their INDC/ GHG emission reduction targets to UNFCCC this March, other Nations to announce their targets, as a way forward towards the Climate Agreement in Paris.

·         He Congratulated India for doing what is being done, for which US will be right alongside, he assured.

2.     Excerpts from Opening Remarks by Session Moderator: DG, CII Mr Chandrajit Banerjee-

·         Finding solution to Climate Change is all about talking together and not finding about whose problem is this.

·         India ideally to take position in Climate Change, India to Grow and put its Position.

·         The Indo-US meeting during President Obama’s Visit to India this January concluded with Enhancement of our Solar Target, now the tariff consolidation is being in track.

·         CII through various Initiatives has addressed the Issue, for example, Green Building Management started with a very very close collaboration with the US Government.

3.     “Green-The Colour of Growth” by US Ambassador to India, Mr Richard Verma-

·         Having already made 11 trips around India, Mr Verma stated that Clean Energy is the most important pathway for US and India.

·         Towards concluding a New Global Climate Agreement, he called for the Business Community to come together for the Climate Agreement to Lead to Better Public Health, Energy Security, Resilience, Climate Security, Food Security, ecosystem health, and sustainable economic growth, so much for benefits to the Business as well.

·         While we will be talking about climate change a lot this year, we have kicked off our year-long “Climate Partners” program by reaching out on the subject to business leaders, because we have seen many instances in the short time that we have been working on addressing climate change that it is business and innovation that will lead the way to the changes we need to see. 

·         Admitting that there are still a variety of opinions about climate change, its causes, and how best to address it, he outlined three undeniable facts in this regard to ponder over:

·         [Managing the Finite Resources ] The first and second facts are that we live in a world of limited resources and growing populations. Indeed, India is expected to grow by an additional 500 million people over the next 35 years. These people will need heat, refrigeration, communications, transportation, just like we all do. As our numbers on this small planet grow, we need to find better ways to manage our finite resources.

·         [Rising Temperature ] The third fact is that temperatures are rising.  14 of the last 15 years have been the warmest on record. These rising temperatures have a variety of impacts, including affecting available water resources and playing a role in major weather events, some of which have tremendous human and economic costs.

·         He also cited the 2013- the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued 5th assessment report highlighting on the undisputable facts as above, with the global scientific consensus confirming that we need to act now to address climate change. 

·         Responsible US: Reiterating US’s understanding of the fact that they share responsibility for the current climate change situation, it being a major industrialized country that has been emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases for many decades and there is absolutely no denial of that reality, he outlined where they hope to go from here and said, they are working hard to address it, both domestically and in the international community.

·         US Domestic Efforts: The US experience demonstrates that we can tackle pollution and emissions without damaging our economy.  The US economy is 60 percent bigger than it was 20 years ago while our carbon emissions have returned to roughly where they were 20 years ago. We have even bigger goals to reduce our emissions in the years ahead. 

·         There are a number of factors that contributed to our successful curbs on carbon emissions. Perhaps the biggest factor is our sustained efforts to combat pollution. For example, the Clean Air Act passed in 1970reduced toxic air pollution in many urban areas like Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. Civic and business leaders worked together to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act and other regulations, improving the pollution situation in both the cities immensely. The economic benefits these changes brought to both these cities were tremendous. Cleaner air made the cities more livable and attractive, bringing in more investment and workers. It also paid extreme benefits in terms of public health. Indeed, the Clean Air Act’s public health benefits outnumber the costs of its implementation by an astounding 30 to 1ratio. 

·         Continuing in the same spirit, the Obama Administration is targeting reducing emissions from transportation and power plants, which together account for more than 60 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted in the United States. 

·         Multilateral Efforts: Today, we are using these models to be a leader in the international effort to address climate change. This is why, on 31stMarch 2015, we were one of the first countries to submit our “intended nationally determined contribution”(INDC)– the technical term for our new emission reduction goal– to the UN in advance of the December meeting in Paris. Our plan formalised a commitment we made last November to reduce US Carbon pollution by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, making our best efforts to reduce emissions by 28 percent. This target roughly doubles the pace of carbon pollution reduction during the five years from 2020 to 2025 as compared to what we are currently on track to achieve from 2005 to 2020.

·         The US – India Partnership: In addition to our traditional areas of cooperation, we are working closely with India to find ways to promote the transition to a low carbon, clean energy futureFor instance: 

·         US- India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (2009) has mobilized $ 2.4 billion in public and private investment from the United States for clean energy projects in India.

·         In February, the Embassy and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy launched the India Clean Energy Finance Forum and the US-India Task Force on Clean Energy Finance. The India Clean Energy Finance Forum is a high level policy discussion between the finance community and the government of India. The Forum’s goal is simple, to identify innovative ways to raise the $200 billion needed to meet India’s ambitious clean energy goals, etc.

·         To extend Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center initiative to support cutting-edge research in solar energy, advanced biofuels, and energy efficient buildings, and launch a new track on smart grid and grid storage technology. 

·         Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) program to greatly accelerate the deployment of off-grid clean energy.  

·         Breakthrough understandings in the civil nuclear sector to build low-carbon base-load nuclear power plants together.

·         To launch an important new initiative on air quality, with experts from the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) having visited India just last month to discuss opportunities for joint collaboration with their Indian counterparts.

·         Business Case for Change

Mr Verma appealed to the Indian Business Leaders to lead the way in tackling Climate Change, and said, “As PM Modi seeks to implement Smart Cities, Make in India, the Clean India/ Swachh Bharat Campaign, and works to deploy his goal of 175 GW of clean, renewable energy by 2022, there will be countless opportunities to utilise cleaner technologies that are more energy and cost-efficient”. Designing and producing these technologies will take vision and innovation. But they can have a profound impact on the overall goals of upgrading India’s infrastructure and improving the quality of life for hundreds of millions of Indians all around the country.

·         And beyond meeting India’s own needs, the world market is increasingly searching for cleaner, more efficient, and more advanced technologies to address climate change. The innovations that India can use to become smarter, cleaner, more productive, and more profitable, should be attractive to a global community concerned about this issue. Just as in any sector, the most successful companies will be those that constantly innovate rather than those that fight for diminishing market shares for older, less-desirable technologies. 

·         Mr Verma also mentioned that he recently met Delhi Chief Minister and discussed issues of Waste Management and Air Pollution.

·         Referring to the potential of growth in the Clean Energy sector, the US Ambassador said, “Over the next 20 years, global investment in the energy sector is expected to reach nearly $ 17 trillion. That’s more than the entire GDP of China and India combined”.

·         In closing, the Ambassador asked to imagine the opportunities for clean energy innovation, and imagine the opportunities presented by Smart Cities, Swachh Bharat, here in India, and the opportunities in the US market that will be created because of our ambitious goals.  

The Session ended following floor interactions with the US Ambassador.

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]




Natural Gas Demand Supply Scenario & RLNG Capacity Utilisation

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation



Actual Supply

(Apr-Sept 2014)


Top of Form

PowerBottom of Form






City Gas  



Petrochemicals/Refineries/Internal consumption       






Others Bottom of Form











ONGC strikes 'significant' oil, gas in KG basin

April 29, 2015. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) said it has made another significant oil and gas discovery in its Krishna Godavari (KG) basin deepwater block KG-D5, which sits next to Reliance Industries' flaging KG-D6 area. During testing, the well flowed oil at a rate of about 3,160 barrels per day and gas at a rate of about 3.19 lakh cubic meters a day. ONGC had previously made 11 oil and gas discoveries in KG-D5 block which it is targeting to start producing from in 2018-19. The discovery in KG-D5 block is besides the four new finds it has notified in the fourth quarter of 2014-15 ended March 31. The firm said in all it made 22 discoveries in 2014-15 and another two, including the one in KG-D5, in current fiscal. Giving details of the discoveries made in the last quarter of 2014-15, ONGC said it struck oil in Gujarat onland block CB-ONN-2004/2 near the town of Nadiad and an oil and gas discovery near Amlapuram in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Besides, two gas find was made in Golaghat district of Assam. ONGC said this fiscal it has also made a gas discovery in KG offshore block KG-OSN-2004/1. The well NASG-1 located about 19 km south of nearest coastal temple town of Antarvedi in Andhra Pradesh, was drilled down to a depth of 2555 meters and encountered net pay of 25 meters.

ONGC said the estimated accretion to in-place hydrocarbons from its operated areas in India in 2014-15 stands at 215.65 million tonne of oil and oil equivalent gas. Out of this, oil is 91.87 million tonne and the rest is natural gas. During 2014-15, ONGC produced 22.264 million tons of crude oil as against 22.247 million tons in the year before. The growth in production has come from ONGC's western offshore fields which saw a 7.5 percent rise to 14.74 million tons. (

CCEA nod to policy on development of 12 RIL, ONGC gas finds

April 29, 2015. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a policy to allow development of a dozen contentious natural gas discoveries of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) worth ` one lakh crore at current prices. The policy, which gives companies options to either develop the finds at their own risk or perform DGH-prescribed conformity tests before developing them and recoup entire cost, will help monetise around 90 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas finds. The policy will help in bringing out transparency and uniformity in decision making as against case by case approach in the past. The CCEA, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, allowed companies to either relinquish the blocks or develop the discoveries after conducting Drill Stem Test (DST) with 50 percent cost of DST being disallowed as penalty for not conducting the test on time. The cost recovery for carrying out DST would be capped at $15 million. (

India's Cambay-73 oil, gas field production facilities operationally ready

April 29, 2015. Asia-focused Oilex Ltd. reported the completion of the Cambay-73 oil and gas production facilities in Cambay Field in Gujarat, India on budget and ahead of schedule. The facilities are now ready for start-up and awaiting arrival of the low pressure gas pipeline to site. Construction of the pipeline has commenced and it is expected to be at site ready for connection to the production facilities during May 2015. This will enable final commissioning to be completed. Cambay-73 will supply gas to a low pressure gas market in the vicinity of the Cambay Field and is expected to produce approximately 50-60 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) of gas and condensate.

The condensate will be separated at the field and trucked to a nearby refinery together with other Cambay crude oil produced. Oilex has started an assessment of nearby legacy wells which may be capable of being tied into the Cambay-73 facilities should they have surplus capacity. In conjunction with this, the Cambay Joint Venture will evaluate expanding supply to the local low pressure gas market as a method to increase production and cash flow with minimal investment. The scheduled commencement of gas sales into the Indian domestic market reinforces Oilex’s strategic advantage gained from nearly a decade of experience in India and highlights the Company’s ability to access infrastructure and successfully execute transactions. (


IOC rushes large volume of petro products to quake-hit Nepal

May 1, 2015. Coming to the aid of earthquake- hit Nepal, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has moved large volumes of petrol, diesel, ATF and LPG into the Himalayan nation to meet its fuel demand. Petrol, diesel, LPG and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) are being supplied to Nepal using truck tankers from Raxaul in Bihar. Transport fuels have been moved to 100 petrol pumps in Kathmanduvalley. IOC said road routes for movement of petroleum products from its bulk storage depot at Raxaul to Amlekhganj and Kathmandu in Nepal are operational. IOC said it has also stocked adequate quantities of all petroleum products at its Raxaul bulk depot and other locations that normally cater to Nepal. Also, sufficient stocks of ATF are available at IOC's aviation fuel stations (AFS) at Gorakhpur and Hindon to meet the enhanced requirements of the Indian Air Force for rescue and relief operations. Nepal gets all its petroleum products from India as part of a Government-to-Government understanding. IOC supplies over a million tonnes of bulk fuels to Nepal annually that mainly comprise ATF, petrol, diesel and LPG, which are retailed within the country by Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC). (

Transportation / Trade…………

Govt probe says GAIL India’s negligence caused Telangana pipeline accident

May 4, 2015. A government investigation has blamed pipeline operator GAIL India Ltd and US contractor TD Williamson (TDW) for the April 4 pipeline accident in Telangana. This is the second time in a year that GAIL India has been blamed by government investigators for negligence and not following standard operating procedures leading to accidents that have claimed several lives. In June last year, a natural gas pipeline leak led to an explosion and the blaze killed more than 20 people. Last month, an accident occurred on the Vizag-Secunderabad LPG pipeline at Suryapet when the contractor, the India unit of TDW, was engaged in pigging during a routine maintenance. During pigging, devices called 'pigs' are pushed into the pipeline which then move along the flow of the product to clean the pipeline for certain length and are then ejected into a pig receiving barrel. The probe panel has recommended GAIL India, country's largest pipeline operator, detect similar design defects across its entire pipeline network and correct those at the earliest GAIL India has been battling squeezing profits lately as most of its pipelines stay underutilised. (

GAIL to stop LNG imports at Dabhol till October

May 3, 2015. GAIL India Ltd will stop liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports at the Dabhol terminal from this month as the onset of monsoon will make operations difficult without a breakwater. Dabhol terminal in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra cannot operate during monsoon in absence of a breakwater which is a massive wall built out into the sea to protect a ship from the force of waves. GAIL received the last LNG shipment from Spain's Gas Natural at Dabhol, the company said. The LNG cargo was bought at a price of around $7.50 per million British thermal unit. After this, GAIL will stop taking deliveries as monsoon season sets in, the company said. Dabhol will resume imports in October. The company said the 5 million tonnes a year Dabhol LNG terminal on the northwest coast of India was only operating at about half its capacity. The terminal cannot receive shipments in the choppy monsoon seas in the absence of a breakwater, so it can currently import a maximum of only 2.25 million tons a year. The company said the breakwater will be built by 2016 to achieve full capacity operations. (

India's oil imports from Iran jump in April

April 30, 2015. India shipped in more than 17 percent more Iranian oil in April than a year before, buoyed by prospects of a diplomatic deal on Iran's disputed nuclear programme by end-June, preliminary data from trade sources showed. Six Iranian vessels with about 264,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil were received in April, the first month of the contract year, the data showed, and two more ships will reach Indian ports by the weekend. The eight cargoes were loaded with an average 316,000 bpd of Iranian oil, the data showed. The shipments from Iran in April are the highest since January. Last year in April, India received about 225,000 bpd. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country's biggest refiner, received Iranian oil in April after a gap of three months. IOC is not a regular buyer of Iranian oil as it has a small import deal with Tehran compared to Essar Oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. Imports of Iranian oil in January-April 2015 more than halved to about 220,000 bpd, the data showed, as New Delhi curbed purchases in the first quarter under pressure from Washington. India, Iran's second biggest oil client after China, skipped purchases of oil from the Gulf country in March for the first time in at least a decade. Total Asian imports of Iranian crude fell 9.2 percent in March from a year before. However, oil exports by Iran could have risen by half a million barrels in April to 1.18 million bpd now that a nuclear deal is in sight. (

Crude sales push up trade between Nigeria, India

April 30, 2015. Bilateral trade between India and Nigeria in 2013-14 increased by 2.5 percent to $16.98 billion, mainly due to large crude oil import by India, the Indian high commission said. According to the high commission, India's exports to Nigeria have grown gradually during the last few years from $1.08 billion in 2007-08 to $2.66 billion in 2013-14. During 2013-14, our imports, mainly consisting of petroleum and crude products, stood at $14.31 billion as against $13.82 billion registered in 2012-13, the high Commission said. Nigeria has become one of the main sources of crude for India importing around 8 percent to 12 percent of its crude requirements. (

Policy / Performance………

AP to seek share in oil, gas revenue from KG basin

May 5, 2015. The Andhra Pradesh (AP) government decided to seek a share in the revenue from the oil and natural gas produced in the KG basin. The Cabinet appreciated the Centre's decision to give a share in revenue to states in coal blocks. The state has decided to request the Centre to give appropriate share in the oil and natural gas in the Krishna Godavari basin, Information Minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy said. (

Factories using cheaper liquid fuels hit gas offtake

May 5, 2015. Factories are dumping cleaner but expensive gas in favour of cheaper liquid fuels following a crash in crude oil prices and the fact that Indian imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are estimated to be the most costly in the world. This is hurting volume offtake at gas suppliers and pushing up environmental costs for India. A crash in crude oil prices since June has prompted factories to stop using gas for their energy needs and switch to fuel oil, a low-quality refined product that is usually cheaper than crude oil. The switch has been smooth as factories increasingly use equipment that runs on both gas and liquid fuel, suppliers said. Crude oil prices have almost halved in a year, and are currently trading at around $65 a barrel.

The price of gas it offers is about 20% higher than fuel oil. The difference was wider at about 35% in March, Gujarat Gas Ltd said. Except fertiliser and transport sectors that get cheaper local gas, industries mostly depend on imported LNG. The significant difference is mainly because suppliers are locked into long-term LNG purchase contracts with producers overseas. Under these contracts, LNG prices are usually linked to the average crude price of the trailing one to five years. Since crude prices have fallen sharply only since June but traded substantially higher in the preceding four years, the impact on long-term LNG prices has been minimal.

Meanwhile, spot prices have fallen by about half. In some cases, Gujarat Gas is helping clients deterred by expensive long-term LNG prices, purchase the commodity cheaper in the spot market. Meanwhile, Indraprastha Gas Ltd, which supplies about 10% of its production to factories, said the firm is "under pressure" and is offering discounts to deal with it. The trend is likely to continue for at least a quarter, after which executives expect gas prices to fall further and crude prices to rise a little leading to a market situation where the two become competitive. Companies have switched faster to dirty liquid fuel in industries and regions where environmental laws are not strictly implemented, said the executive at Gujarat Gas. (

Oil industry wants contract administration separated from policy

May 4, 2015. An association of top energy firms like Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Cairn and BP has demanded separation of oil field contract administration from regulation and policy making to bridge the trust deficit between companies and the government. Asked by Petroleum Ministry to give views on ease of doing business in the sector, the Association of Oil and Gas Operators (AOGO) said, "A trust deficit between the principals to the contract has of late been the hallmark of Indian upstream sector." The trust issues, it said, arose "primarily from poor communications, misinformation of other parties winning strategies or assumption of a zero sum game." This situation has led to micro management, delayed decisions and increased disputes. To resolve this, AOGO recommended separation of oil and gas field "contract administration and facilitation from regulation and policy making." The Ministry, it said, should outsource financial issues to non-contract administration authority to avoid cost recovery and investment disputes. Stating that the Ministry needs to establish an overarching objective for the Indian upstream oil and gas exploration and production sector, AOGO said the same should be enshrined in contracts and ensure that any disputes or issues is resolved in consonance with those objectives. AOGO also pitched for gas-to-gas competition for pricing of domestic gas and said "government needs to take immediate steps to propose a time bound roadmap to achieve the same." (

Vedanta's $3.1 bn impairment charge in Cairn India credit negative: Moody's

May 4, 2015. Global rating agency Moody's said the impairment charge taken on by Vedanta on its investment in Cairn India is credit negative for the parent company. With oil prices expected to remain weak, it will take Vedanta longer to recoup its investment of $8.7 billion. It also increases the challenge of repaying $4.4 billion of acquisition debt financing from its operating cash flow, Moody's said. Vedanta announced an ` 19,180 crore (around $3.1 billion) impairment charge for loss of value of Cairn India. Vedanta owns 59.9% of Cairn India, which it purchased in 2011. The massive impairment – 35% of the original acquisition price – highlights the eroded value of its oil and gas assets since 2011. Vedanta had paid the price at the peak of the oil and gas cycle, when Brent crude prices exceeded $100 per barrel. The closing price of Brent crude was $66 per barrel. Although the non-cash write-down will not immediately affect key credit ratios, it reflects the lasting effect of the lower oil prices on Vedanta’s business profile, the rating agency said. Vedanta has received some $250 million in upstreamed dividends from Cairn India, which have been used to service the acquisition debt. As reflected by the impairment, Vedanta’s investment in Cairn India will reduce cash flow, making it more difficult to pay down debt. Vedanta’s leverage is expected to remain above the 3.5x-4.0x range for at least the next two years, Moody's said. (

Top govt officials meet to resolve complex issues of O&G firms

May 4, 2015. The government and the oil and gas (O&G) industry have come together in a major initiative led by the Prime Minister's Office to create an investment friendly climate and a level playing field in the exploration sector that is mired in disputes and stagnating output. Officials from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and several ministries discussed various issues with company executives. Executives said something big may be in the offing, and that the broad message from the government was that it wanted to resolve all issues for oil and gas firms in a transparent manner and address broad industry issues, rather than changing policies to suit a particular company.

BP, which has invested $7 billion in India, and its partner Reliance had several disputes with the government over the sharp decline in gas output from their fields fell. Cairn India is worried about the terms on which it may get an extension for the Rajasthan block, which has India's biggest onshore oilfield. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is expected to prepare a note on India's geological situation and its impact on the exploration and production activity, while BP has been asked to examine the financial aspects of the sector. Cairn India is to prepare a paper on the regulatory hurdles holding back exploration and production, while GAIL India and GSPC will ready an analysis on the gas and pipeline segment. The brief is to do an industry analysis and not to prepare a company specific paper. (

Oil Ministry wants BP to furnish bank guarantee for ATF licence

May 3, 2015. The Oil Ministry wants UK’s BP plc to furnish a bank guarantee and an undertaking that it will meet the minimum investment requirement for getting a licence to retail jet fuel to airlines in India. The ministry, which had in March rejected BP’s application to sell aviation turbine fuel (ATF) on the ground that its investment does not qualify for a retailing licence, says the Europe’s second—largest oil company can still get the licence provided it meets the eligibility criteria, the ministry said. BP Exploration (Alpha) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BP plc, had on June 11, 2014 submitted an application for authorisation to market ATF claiming to have invested $477 million in the country. The Ministry rejecting the application said only $171 million of the claimed investment was capital expenditure and the rest operating expenditure. For a licence to retail auto fuels petrol, diesel and ATF, a company should have invested a minimum of ` 2,000 crore in exploration or production, refining, pipeline or terminals leading to additionality to the existing assets or creation of new assets in the eligible activities. BP’s $171 million investment was just over half of the investment threshold. The bank guarantee will be encashed in case BP defaults on its promise, the ministry said. BP had in its application stated that out of the $477 million, $259 million was capital investment. Besides, another $2.3 billion is planned to be invested most in exploring and production oil and gas from eastern offshore. The ministry sought an opinion of the technical arm, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH). DGH reported that BP’s share of expenditure was $508 million between 2011-12 and 2013-14, of which the capital expenditure (capex) component and operational expenditure (opex) component was $171 million and $337 million respectively. BP’s $7.2 billion spending in buying 30 percent stake in 21 exploration blocks of Reliance Industries is not being considered as capital investment. It is keen to enter the booming aviation market in Asia’s third—largest economy where ATF demand is expected to rise by 3-4 percent annually over the next few years. (

Gujarat units get relief over gas bidding from isolated fields

May 1, 2015. Small industrial units that draw natural gas from isolated oil fields across Gujarat have got relief as the Union government has reversed its decision to sell gas produced in isolated fields through bidding process. Isolated gas fields are those fields that are not connected to the main gas grid and produce small amount of gas. Now the units mainly engaged in manufacture of raw material for ceramic industry and sodium silicate (binder) will continue to get gas from the isolated fields as per their earlier contracts.

However, any additional gas from that particular field will be sold through bidding process. Hence, for any kind of expansion or capacity addition the units will have to go through bidding process to get additional gas. There are 75 units which get gas from the isolated fields of ONGC's Mehsana, Ahmedabad and Ankleshwar assets. These units consume 6 lakh cubic meter of gas. The turnover of these units is estimated around ` 1,000 crore. According to Gujarat Isolated Fields Natural Gas Consumer Industries Association (GIFNGCIA), the decision of the union government has brought relief to the small units located mainly in south and north Gujarat regions. GIFNGCIA said that the central government had issued notification for bidding of gas from these isolated fields in November last year. The Association made representation to the Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and following their request the central government reversed its decision to go for bidding of gas. (

Non-subsidised LPG rate cut by ` 5

May 1, 2015. Price of non-subsidised LPG was cut by ` 5 per cylinder even as jet fuel (ATF) rates were marginally raised in step with global trend. The price of non-subsidised or market-priced domestic cooking gas (LPG) was cut by ` 5 to ` 616 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi, state-owned fuel retailers said. The reduction comes on the back of two successive hikes – ` 5 on March 1 and ` 11 on April 1. Households are entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rate of ` 417 in Delhi. Any requirement beyond this has to be bought at the market price, which is now ` 616 in Delhi.

In Mumbai, non-subsidised cooking gas has been cut by ` 4.50 to ` 627.50, while it will cost ` 649 in Kolkata as against ` 654.50, previously. Chennai will see a price cut of ` 5.50 to ` 608.50 per cylinder. Rates vary from state-to-state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or VAT. Oil companies raised price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, in Delhi by ` 272 per kilolitre or 0.5 percent to ` 49,609.84 per kl.

The increase comes on the back of a 2 percent reduction in rates last year. Jet fuel constitutes over 40 percent of an airline’s operating costs and the price cut will reduce the financial burden on cash-strapped carriers. State-owned fuel retailers, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) revise jet fuel and non-subsidised LPG prices on the first of every month based on average imported cost and rupee-dollar exchange rate. The same on petrol and diesel is done on a fortnightly basis. (

Petrol prices hiked by ` 3.96 a litre, diesel ` 2.37

April 30, 2015. Fuel retailers have raised prices of petrol by ` 3.96 a litre and diesel by ` 2.37 a litre following a rise in the international markets. In Delhi, petrol will cost ` 63.16 a litre from May 1, 2015, while the price of diesel will rise to ` 49.57 a litre. Other places in country will see small variations due to local levies. Since last price change, there has been a sharp increase in the international prices of petrol and diesel. Rupee-dollar exchange rate has also depreciated during this period. Therefore, combined impact of both these factors warrant an upward revision in prices, the impact of which is being passed on to the consumers with this price increase. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation's largest fuel retailer, said. Indian fuel retailers review local petrol and diesel prices every fortnight and make adjustments based on global rates.

The retailers had lowered prices of petrol and diesel by ` 0.80 a litre and ` 1.30 a litre respectively in their mid-month review in April. Crude prices have starting moving up again in the international market after falling by about 60% between June and January. Oil Prices have risen to about $66 a barrel now. The exchange rate is also an important factor in determining the landed oil price in the country that imports about 80% of the oil it consumes. (

LPG consumers face delay in getting subsidy payments though direct cash transfer scheme

April 29, 2015. Cooking gas consumers have faced delays of up to several weeks in getting subsidy payments and have been venting their frustration online amid applause for the rollout of the direct cash transfer scheme, which officials say is a world record. By March-end, about 12.3 crore LPG consumers, or 83% of the active base, had joined the Direct Benefits Transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme, which allows purchase of gas cylinders at market price with the subsidy deposited in the consumer's bank account subsequently. From April, consumers not part of the scheme can't avail of the subsidy. Since mid-November, 0.79%, or about 25 lakh of 32 crore transactions for paying subsidy to consumers have failed, mainly due to data errors and problems in coordination between banks and LPG distributors. The scheme, aimed at halting diversion of subsidised domestic cylinders for commercial use has, along with lower crude prices and the deregulation of diesel, helped the government slash petroleum subsidy by 30% in 2014-15. The petroleum subsidy budgeted for the current fiscal is half the actual burden last fiscal year. Efforts by fuel retailers such as Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) to get crores of consumers on board in a short span has been a massive exercise, experts said. However, consumers complain that in the government publicity drive what has got ignored is the need to strengthen the process of enrollment and coordination between LPG retailers and banks. Banks failing to update consumers' Aadhaar details in the system also delays subsidy transfer, the IOC said. In cases where a subscriber receives subsidy once but faces hurdles the next time, the reasons range from network failure to delinking of the consumer's Aadhar from the bank account recorded in the system, the IOC said. To get their grievances redressed, consumers have the option to call the toll free number 1800 2333 555, register themselves on or contact their distributors. (



BHEL commissions 500 MW unit at Chandrapur coal-fired project

May 5, 2015. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned the first 500 MW unit of the 1,000 MW Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) Stage-III, developed by Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO), in Maharashtra. The project was initially expected to be commissioned in 2012 but was delayed. The second 500 MW unit is expected to be commissioned in financial year 2015-2016. MAHAGENCO already operates six power units with a combined capacity of 2,340 MW on the Chandrapur site. (

Power generation disrupted at Sabarigiri

May 5, 2015. Power generation was disrupted at the Moozhiyar power house of the 340 MW Sabarigiri hydroelectric project following the detection of leakage in Penstock-II. Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) said that the leak was detected in the upper portion of the butterfly valve of Penstock-II, which was replaced in July 2013. Though the leakage was a minor one, it would take at least three days to complete the repair work as it involved draining out the water in the penstock and filling it, KSEB said. The power house was shut down to facilitate repair work. Power generation at the Moozhiyar power house was 6.232 million units (mu). The State’s total power consumption was 61.13 mu. Of this, 32.6 mu was received from the Central pool, besides a power purchase of 4.2 mu, KSEB said. (

Private sector beats govt to add record power capacity

May 4, 2015. In the first three years of the 12th Plan period (2012-17), the country’s private sector contributed 63 percent to the record total thermal power capacity addition of 57,719 MW. This addition of 36,257 MW by the private sector is the highest it has delivered till date in a comparable period. The contribution of central sector is 16 percent of the achievement; states did the other 21 percent of the total. This is a major leap over the 11th Plan capacity addition, wherein the private sector contributed 21,719 MW. The target for the private sector to meet in the coming two financial years is 43,540 MW. The thermal capacity addition of 20,830 MW in 2014-15 was the highest ever in the history of the Indian power sector. It was in 2011-12 that the addition achieved first outran the target for the year. A record 52 projects, most of these allocated during 2007-09, were commissioned by the private sector. The trend was repeated in FY13, when of the targeted 15,154 MW, the total capacity set up was 20,121 MW. The same year saw emergence of ultra mega power projects (UMPP) of 4,000 MW by Tata Power and Reliance Power. Other major names such as Adani Power, Lanco and Jaypee also set up large projects. The coal mine auctions and new gas supply mechanism are estimated to rescue stranded capacity of 25,000 MW. There are still concerns over evacuation of the power, given the dearth of power purchase agreements (PPAs) as state utilities are short of cash. (

‘Hot run’ at Kudankulam second reactor completed successfully

April 30, 2015. Having successfully conducted ‘hot run’ in the second reactor, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) is waiting for Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s nod for removing dummy fuel assemblies from the second unit and to load actual enriched uranium fuel assemblies. After preparing the second 1,000-MWE VVER reactor, being built with Russian assistance, for the ‘hot run’, the KKNPP started the exercise on February 28 last. During this test, the second reactor, its associated closed primary coolant pipelines, secondary coolant circuits and the concrete reactor containment building demonstrated the strength and integrity prior to reactor start-up, KKNPP said. The reactor’s inner containment building was tested at a pressure of 4.60 kg/sq. cm, though the actual pressure which would establish inside during power generation would be only 50 percent of it. The reactor containment of KKNPP was hermetically sealed with steel liner inside the concrete wall and the dome. To ascertain the inadvertent presence of any microscopic holes in the containment, specially made soap solution was poured abundantly from the top, even as pressure was phenomenally mounting inside and a large number of personnel were posted at various points to closely look for bubble emission. The reactor pressure vessel, the main coolant pipelines and every part of the reactor were tested by highly sophisticated robotic systems to ascertain whether these could withstand extreme factors as per the design specifications. After an analysis by the Russian and KKNPP experts and the representatives of AERB at KKNPP complex, the data obtained during the ‘hot run’ and the subsequent inspections was forwarded to AERB’s headquarters in Mumbai for its final nod for removing the dummy fuel assemblies and loading 163 uranium fuel assemblies. (

NTPC says ready to take up Tilaiya ultra mega power project

April 29, 2015. Even as Jharkhand Chief Secretary Rajiv Gauba said there were many suitors for the Tilaiya ultra mega power project, the NTPC has staked claim to the 3,960 MW thermal electricity generation venture. The development comes a day after Reliance Power said it has ended the power purchase pact for the project at Tilaiya. But Reliance Power said it had pursued in vain with the state government for some five-and-half years and held more than 25 review meetings. But there was no movement forward. It said that, based on the present estimates, the project cannot be completed before 2023-24. The chief secretary said all the deputy commissioners of all the districts and other officials had already been asked to be clear in mindset so as to facilitate land acquisition and the other needs of investors. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Alstom to lead Kala Amb smart grid pilot project

May 5, 2015. Alstom T&D India has been selected to lead the smart grid project by Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd, the company said. The project is located at the Kala Amb industrial area in the State and serves over 1,500 consumers. As part of the project, the company will design, develop and implement an integrated set of smart grid applications targeting power quality issues, managing peak demand, power outages and limiting the violations at distribution network nodes. Alstom’s solution will be based on its e-terra distribution 3.0, a fully Integrated Distribution Management System (IDMS). The smart grid solution will collect data from a new installed smart metering infrastructure and grid sensors, including power transformer condition monitoring. (

CCL CMD pitches for transporting coal by rail

May 4, 2015. The nation could save ` 12,000 crore annually, besides cutting down green house gas emission, if coal is transported by rail instead of trucks in command areas of Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) Gopal Singh said. It takes ` 5-5.50 per km per tonne coal to transport by trucks while it's ` 1.30-1.50 by rail transport -- a difference of ` 4, CCL Chairman-cum-Managing Director Gopal Singh said. Singh said the maximum expenditure was made by power plants and savings of a huge sum would translate into cheaper tariffs. Currently, 80 million tonne coal are being transported by trucks, and completion of the rail tracks would help raise it up to 150 million tonne, which would also increase in coal royalty, the CMD reasoned. Apart from these benefits, he said that health hazards to villagers would also come down after switching over to the railway transport from diesel trucks. (

Zakura inhabitants demand upgradation of power transmission network

May 3, 2015. The residents of Rangpora-Devi Pora in Zakura locality here are up in arms against the Power Development Department (PDD) authorities for failing to upgrade power transmission network in the area. A delegation from the area said the LT transmission line connecting colony transfer half- burnt. When contacted the Executive Engineer PDD Division 4th, Ajaz Ahmad, said he will look into the matter and replace the transmission lines wherever needed. The transmission lines will be replaced under the Restructured-Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program (R-APDRP) scheme at the earliest, he said. Meanwhile locals appealed Minister of State for Power Muhammad Ashraf Mir to look into the matter. Meanwhile, the inhabitants expressed concern over dilapidated roads there and sought immediate repairs. (

Is Australian coal-lobby blocking uranium deal with India?

May 1, 2015. After India signed a deal with Canada on uranium imports during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Ottawa, questions are being raised as to why it has taken Canberra so long to clinch a similar pact. The powerful coal lobby in Australia has also come under a scanner for the role it may have played in blocking uranium sale to an energy-starved India. Even though Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said that the finishing line is in sight for supply of uranium to India, many experts are expressing doubts. Some of these sceptics blame the so-called Big Coal for pushing the finishing line further away. The logic behind their analysis is understandable as the importance of coal to the Australian economy is immense. Around 200,000 people are employed in businesses dealing with coal. The value of this fossil fuel industry is estimated to be Aus $60 billion. This figure is huge for a country of 23 million people. But the coal mining industry in Australia is facing a bleak future as international prices for fossil fuels continue to fall. A clearly discernible downturn in the Chinese demand for Australian coal has not helped. Add to this is the increasing global preference for renewable energy to the mix and not too bright a future emerges for the coal industry.

While there are 1,300 mining firms in Australia, production is dominated by very large firms such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Xtrata, Shell Chevron and Woodside Petrolium. Australia hails the mining sector as a saviour of the economy. The country exported Aus $39.96 Billion worth of coal and Aus $79.67 Billion of iron ore. Coal industry has 220,000 people on its payroll or two percent of the total employed in the country. Development of mining has also relied heavily on foreign investments and has dominated the export earnings. In the past decade the rapid growth of China and India has made significant demand for the raw material. India, with a chronic deficit of energy, has emerged as the possible saviour of the Australian coal mining industry. (

NTPC to import 22 mn tonnes coal in FY’16 to meet shortfall

April 30, 2015. State-owned power producer NTPC will import 22 million tonnes (MT) of coal in the current fiscal to meet the shortfall in domestic availability. Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that coal imports by power utilities stood at 91.2 MT during 2014-15 against 80 MT in 2013-14. In order to minimise the import dependency, he said the focus of the government is to increase the domestic production of coal which includes efforts to expedite green clearances, and pursuing with state governments for assistance in land acquisition. He said that state-owned Coal India is also planning to increase its output from current level of 494 MT to 1,000 MT by 2019-20 for which a detailed action plan has been drawn. (

Haryana CM dedicates NTAMC of POWERGRID to nation

April 29, 2015. Haryana Chief Minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar dedicated the National Transmission Asset Management Centre (NTAMC) of POWERGRID to the nation in Manesar, Haryana. Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that the NTAMC project of POWERGRID will strengthen the monitoring the entire grid system of the country. Khattar applauded POWERGRID in bringing to Manesar, a world class project which will help in improving power availability not only in Haryana but the entire country. He hoped that Haryana will get quality power and improve the living standard of the people. (

L&T wins ` 8 bn contracts in power transmission

April 29, 2015. Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) said it has won power sector contracts worth ` 802 crore in the domestic and international markets this month. In the domestic market, the company bagged rural electrification projects under the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana schemes in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal from Dakshinachal Vidyut Nigam Ltd and West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company, respectively, it said. Additional order has been received from the solar business, it said. On the international front, an order has been bagged from a private developer for engineering, procurement and construction of a 132/11kV substation in the Middle East, it said. The Power Transmission & Distribution (PT&D) business of L&T Construction is a major player in the field of transmission and distribution. It offers integrated solutions and end-to-end services in design, manufacturing, supply and commissioning of transmission line. (

Policy / Performance………….

Coal Ministry plans to auction isolated coal blocks

May 5, 2015. The Coal Ministry plans to auction isolated coal and lignite blocks to companies for producing gas under a proposed policy for underground coal gasification. The Ministry will soon seek the Cabinet's approval to offer relinquished coal blocks for coal gasification, a method of converting coal to gas for various uses, including as fuel in power plants and as feedstock in fertiliser and chemical industries. The Ministry plans to offer coal and linkage acreages where conventional mining is not feasible, isolated coal and lignite blocks, and relinquished coal bed methane blocks. The government has identified Yellendu Dip Side in Telangana and Bandha-Singrauli Main Basin in Madhya Pradesh, along with five lignite blocks, for developing them for underground coal gasification. As per the proposal, there will be a two-part bidding process. Bidders who qualify in the first technical round and offer the largest share of revenue to the government will win 30-year contracts to develop the mines.

The contract period will be divided into three phases. The first two will comprise evaluating the blocks and preparing feasibility reports while the actual exploration will begin in the third phase. Companies will be allowed to exit the projects before the third phase. Under the plan under consideration, developers will pay a lump sum amount and royalty to authorities but will be offered incentives such as duty exemption on equipment imports and a minimum seven-year tax break. The government sees vast potential for underground coal gasification projects since just 41% of India's 301 billion tonnes of coal reserves is recoverable. Underground coal gasification is a costly affair. But it requires less surface area and is cleaner than traditional coal mining. Companies including Oil & gas Corp, GAIL India, Reliance Industries and Essar Oil have shown interest in underground coal gasification after the government allowed private investment in the segment in July 2007. Australia's Linc Energy, California-based Lemar, Malaysia's Essem Group, Reliance Power and Jindal Steel & Power had responded to a tender floated earlier by Coal India to undertake underground coal gasification in two blocks. (

Power rates set to be revised in Punjab financial year 2015-16

May 4, 2015. Power tariff is likely to go up in Punjab with Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) deciding to announce power tariff order for financial year 2015-16. The new tariff rates will be effective from April 2015. During the Budget session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha in March, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had said that he was expecting new tariff order to be a "balanced" one which would take into account the interests of consumers. Opposition party Congress had accused SAD-BJP led state government of failing to provide cheap power to people despite new power plants coming up in the state. Last year, power regulator had announced a minimal hike of 2.74 percent in power tariff across all consumer categories in Punjab, which was the second lowest increase since 2007-08, by "heavily" slashing power utility's losses. In its Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) petition submitted with PSERC for 2015-16 fiscal, the power utility had projected total revenue gap of ` 11,317.78 crore up, seeking "appropriate increase" in power tariff from the power regulator to cover the proposed gap. PSPCL had projected net revenue requirement and revenue generation of ` 27,683.96 crore and ` 24,414.81 crore, leading to annual revenue gap of ` 3,269.26 crore for 2015-16. Notably, power utility had proposed consolidated revenue gap of ` 15,550.64 crore which was brought down by PSERC to a mere ` 593.63 crore up to the financial year 2014-15. The power utility has also sought recovery of ` 391 crore from customers, which was paid for the coal extraction from Pachhwara Coal block Jharkhand after Supreme Court (SC) ordered cancellation of coal blocks last year. The power subsidy bill on account of free power to farmers and SC and non-SC BPL domestic consumers has been projected at ` 6,130 crore for 2015-16, up by 5 percent from subsidy of financial year 2014-15. Notably, Punjab government bears the entire financial burden on account of free power supply to farmers, a major vote bank for the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal. In addition to that, free power supply of up to 200 units per month with connected load of 1,000 watt is also given to non-SC BPL and SC families in the state. The state's industry has been opposing any hike in power tariff, saying that power rates in Punjab are already quite high as compared to other states. (

Maharashtra govt proposes to split MahaVitaran into five entities

May 4, 2015. The government plans to split the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) into four or five entities. A MahaVitaran team would soon visit states where multiple companies operate in the power distribution sector. Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand have implemented this. Power minister Chandrashekhar Bavankule’s advisor, Vishwas V Pathak, said a final decision in this regard would be taken only after taking all stakeholders on board. The state-run company, which distributes electricity to consumers across Maharashtra except Mumbai, was established after the erstwhile Maharashtra Electricity Board was restructured into four companies in June 2005. MahaVitaran has a consumer base of 22 mn, expected to cross 23 mn by the end of the financial year. Its monthly collection is about ` 3,000 crore. Distribution losses were reduced to 14 percent by the end of March 2014 from 22 percent in 2007-08. The transformer failure rate also dropped to 9.18 percent by the end of March 2014 from 14.03 percent in 2008-09. MahaVitaran gets power from Maharashtra State Power Generation Company as well as central and private projects. The company had signed 25-year agreements with power producers. MahaVitaran will get 4,685 MW in 2014-15; 1,294 MW in 2015-16; 1,550 MW in 2016-17; 4,154 MW in 2017-18; 5,323 MW in 2018-19 and 2,885 MW in 2019-2020. The proposal to split MahaVitaran has evoked some scepticism, too. Ashok Pendse, consumer representative at MERC, said he was doubtful if the work culture at MahaVitaran will change with the proposed split. (

Modi govt has developed additional 22.5 GW of power: Goyal

May 3, 2015. Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has developed additional 22,500 MW power within its first year of governance. Goyal said that in its first year, Modi government has developed 22,500 MW additional power in its endeavour to provide 24x7 electricity to all sectors by 2019. The Minister was here in connection with signing of memorandum of agreement between Jharkhand and NTPC for performance improvement and expansion of Patratu Thermal Power Station in Ramgarh. Electricity situation in Jharkhand, which has 34 percent of coal deposits, would be changed soon, Goyal said. (

Govt extends bid submission deadline for gas-based power companies

May 2, 2015. The government has extended the deadline for stranded gas-based power plants for submitting technical bids to participate in online auction for access to imported fuel to operate at about a third of their capacity to service debt. The deadline for submitting the technical bids has been extended by five days to May 7 while the auction has been delayed by seven days to May 11, the power ministry said. The extension has been granted following a request from power producers in view of bank holidays on May 1 and May 4. Earlier, the technical bids were scheduled to be opened on May 2 while the online auction was set to start from May 5. The power ministry said the stranded gas-based power plants are expected to begin production by the middle of June. The Cabinet approved a mechanism for importing gas for stranded and underutilised power plants and supply of electricity from these plants through a subsidy grant. The companies that need fuel will compete in a reverse auction by bidding the lowest amount of subsidy they need to supply the generated electricity at ` 5.50 per unit. Plants that received no supply of gas between April 2014 and January 2015 will be eligible for bidding. There are 31 stranded power plants of companies including Reliance Power, Essar Power, GMR Energy, GVK Power and LancoInfratech with a total 14,305 MW generation capacity. (

India setting up four indigenous n-power reactors in Gujarat, Rajasthan

April 30, 2015. India is constructing four indigenous nuclear power reactors in Gujarat and Rajasthan, which will be completed by 2019, the government said. The Department of Atomic Energy has set for itself an ambitious target of reaching an installed generation capacity of 63,000 MW by the year 2031-32, Minister for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said. The four nuclear power reactors are the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project, units 3 and 4 (2X700 MW) at Kakrapar, near Surat in Gujarat, and the Rawatbhata Atomic Power Project, units 7 and 8 (2X700 MW) at Rawatbhata, near Kota in Rajasthan. The plants are under construction and expected to be completed by 2019, the minister said. Financial sanction has been accorded for two indigenous reactors - Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Gorakhpur, units 1 and 2 (2X700 MW) at Gorakhpur, Haryana. These are being readied for launch in 2015-16, and are scheduled for completion in 2021. Two more indigenous 700 MW reactors are also expected to be completed by 2024, the minister said. The minister said the Centre has accorded 'in principle' approval to five coastal sites for locating nuclear power projects in future, based on both indigenous technologies and with foreign cooperation. For indigenous reactors, it has chosen Gorakhpur, Haryana, for 4X700 MW reactors, Chutka in Madhya Pradesh for 2X700 MW reactors, Bhimpur, Madhya Pradesh, for 4X700 MW reactors, Kaiga, in Karnataka for 2X700 MW and Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan for 4X700 MW reactors. With foreign cooperation, it is setting up in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu, 4X1,000 MW reactors alongwith Russia, in Jaitapur, Maharashtra, 6X1,650 MW reactors in cooperation with France, in Chhaya MithiVirdi, Gujarat, 6X1,000 MW reactors with the US and Kovvada, Andhra Pradesh, 6X1,000 reactors with the US, and Haripur, West Bengal, 6X1,000 MW reactors with Russia. Pre-project activities are in progress at various stages at these sites, where the projects will be taken up progressively, in phases of twin units at a site. The installed nuclear generation capacity by 2031-32 would depend on actual start of projects and their completion, which in turn would be contingent to completion of pre-project activities like land acquisition and obtaining statutory clearances and conclusion of techno-commercial discussion in respect of reactors to be set up with foreign co-operation, the minister said. (

Mekedatu hydro-electric project: Karnataka CM seeks Modi’s help

April 30, 2015. A Karnataka delegation led by Chief Minister (CM) Siddaramaiah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought the Centre’s co-operation to take up the Mekedatu Hydro-Electric Project across the river Cauvery. Siddaramaiah explained the project to Modi and said the Centre should fulfil the long-standing expectations of the people of Karnataka on the technical study of the proposed dam across the river Cauvery (within the territory of Karnataka). The project is expected to generate electric power and store drinking water needed for Bengaluru city. The Chief Minister also urged him to co-operate in conducting technical studies of the project and giving appropriate sanctions whenever the State Government approached the Centre with all the details, after the preparation of a final project report. (

Further stake sale in CIL to meet SEBI guidelines: Goyal

April 29, 2015. The government will go for further stake sale in Coal India Ltd (CIL) in due course to meet market regulator SEBI's guidelines on public shareholding, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said. While the government currently holds around 80 percent stake in Coal India, as per SEBI guidelines, there should be a minimum 25 percent public shareholding in all listed companies. The government divested 10 percent stake in Coal India in January 2015, which fetched the exchequer ` 22,557.3 crore. Coal India employee unions have been protesting against further disinvestment in the state miner. (

Coal to remain main fuel: Goyal

April 29, 2015. Coal will remain the mainstay for India’s fuel mix even as the country tries to address climate concerns, Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said. Goyal also emphasised on increasing the cooperation between India and Japan for clean coal technology. India can wash the coal and bring down the fly ash percentage and support the efforts of Japan to bring down the dependence on nuclear power, he said. (



Wintershall to spend $2 bn to develop Norwegian oil field

May 5, 2015. BASF subsidiary Wintershall and its partners will spend 15.3 billion crowns ($2 billion) to develop the Maria oil and gas field in the Norwegian Sea, the oil ministry said. The cost estimate, part of the field's development plan submitted to the government, is at the bottom end of the firm's previous 15 billion to 20 billion crown estimate range. The discovery has around 180 million barrels of oil equivalents, mostly oil, in line with a previous estimate. Startup is expected in the fourth quarter of 2018. Operator Wintershall holds a 50 percent stake while Norway's state holding firm Petoro has 30 percent and Centrica owns 20 percent. The field is set to produce for 23 years. (

Repsol makes gas discovery in Margarita-Huacaya block in Bolivia

May 4, 2015. Spanish oil and gas group Repsol has made new gas discovery in the Margarita-Huacaya block, in Bolivia. The discovery will increase reserves in the Caipipendi area as well as strengthen Repsol's gas production capabilities in the South American country. Margarita-Huacaya is earmarked as one of Repsol's key projects. By 2018, the company expects to invest up to $293 mn in phase three of the Margarita-Huacaya project. Repsol owns mining rights to 26 blocks in Bolivia, including four exploratory licenses. The company currently produces 18 million cubic meters of gas. In 2014, Repsol produced 14.6 million barrels of oil equivalent with majority from the Margarita-Huacaya block. (

Statoil completes sale of 15.5 percent stake in Shah Deniz

May 4, 2015. Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil has completed the sale of its 15.5% participating interest in the Shah Deniz production sharing agreement in Azerbaijan to Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas. The transaction had been announced in October 2014 and also includes a 15.5% interest in the South Caucasus Pipeline Company (SCPC), a 15.5% share in the SCPC holding company, and a 12.4% stake in the Azerbaijan Gas Supply Company (AGSC). The Shah Deniz field is operated by BP (28.8%) and the other partners are TPAO (19%), SOCAR (16.7%), Lukoil (10%), Nico (10%). The field, located in the Caspian Sea, began operations in 2006. It is currently producing about 26 mcm/d of gas (9.5 bcm/year) and 53,000 bbl/d of condensates. (         

Chevron makes natural gas discovery offshore Australia

April 30, 2015. Oil and gas giant Chevron has made natural gas discovery in the Carnarvon Basin off Western Australia's north-west coast. The company identified approximately 134m of net gas pay in the Isosceles-1 exploration discovery well in the Triassic Mungaroo Sands in 968m of water. The well is located in the WA-392-P permit area approximately 95km northwest of Barrow Island, off the coast of Western Australia. Chevron Australia operates WA-392-P with 50% stake while other partners include Shell Australia and Mobil Australia Resources, each holding a 25% interest. Currently, Chevron Australia leads the development of the Gorgon and Wheatstone natural gas projects as well as manages its interest in the North West Shelf Venture. It operates Australia's largest onshore oilfield on Barrow Island. (

Eni commences production at Cinguvu oil field in Block 15/06 off Angola

April 30, 2015. Italy's Eni S.p.A. announced that it started production two weeks ahead of schedule at the Cinguvu oil field, from the West Hub Development Project in Block 15/06 in the Angolan Deep Offshore, approximately 217 miles northwest of Luanda and 81 miles west of Soyo. The start-up follows the achievement of West Hub’s first oil through Sangos field start-up, during last November 2014. The West Hub Development Project encompasses the development of Sangos, Cinguvu, Mpungi, Mpungi North and Vandumbu fields in a water depth ranging from 3,281 to 4,921 feet. The wells are arranged in clusters and connected to the FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading Unit) N’Goma, which has a treatment capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The two fields on stream, Sangos and Cinguvu, are currently producing about 60,000 barrels of oil per day through the N’Goma FPSO. Production is envisaged to ramp up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day in the last quarter of 2015 with the start-up of the third field, Mpungi, which will also be connected to N’Goma FPSO. The development project started with a very successful exploration campaign. Eni discovered over 3 billion barrels of oil in place in the Block 15/06. The discoveries were then developed quickly and efficiently, achieving an industry-leading time to market of only 44 months from the Declaration of Commercial Discovery thanks to the application of a new modular development model. Angola is a key country in the strategy of organic growth of Eni, where the company has been present since 1980. Eni’s daily production in Angola currently amounts to 105,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. (

BP begins seven-year drilling program in west of Shetland Islands

April 30, 2015. BP has begun drilling at the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, marking the start of a seven-year drilling program in the west of Shetland Islands, in the UK North Sea. Undertaken as part of the Quad204 development, the wells will be drilled by Odfjell Drilling's Deepsea Aberdeen semi-submersible rig. BP is the operator of both the fields with a 50% stake in Loyal and 33.35% in Schiehallion. Shell holds the remaining interest in Loyal, and is also the majority stakeholder in Schiehallion with 54.89%. OMV is the third stakeholder in Schiehallion. The Deepsea Aberdeen will drill two producer wells and one injector well on Loyal, and then shift to Schiehallion. The current program involves drilling of five wells. First oil from the new Glen Lyon floating, production, storage and offload (FPSO) vessel is expected by the end of 2016. Glen Lyon will arrive in the North Sea in 2016, and its installation is part of Quad204. BP and its partners launched the £3bn Quad 204 project in 2011, to re-develop the Schiehallion and Loyal fields. The Quad204 development intends to access the remaining 450 million barrels of oil and extend production at the fields to 2035. The two fields have so far produced 400 million barrels of oil since 1998. (

Indonesia's Medco gets additional 25 yrs to operate Oman oil fields

April 29, 2015. Indonesia's PT Medco Energi Internasional Tbk said its unit has signed an amended agreement which allows it to operate the Karim oil fields in Oman for an additional 25 years. The agreement was originally signed by Medco and its partners with Petroleum Development of Oman in 2006 for a period of 10 years, Medco said. Medco holds a 51 percent effective participating interest in the fields, with the remainder held by Kuwait Energy Company, two local partners and Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production. (


Morocco refiner Samir gets $319 mn loans from BCP bank

May 4, 2015. Morocco's sole oil refiner Samir said it had obtained 3.1 billion dirham ($319 million) of loans via an agreement with Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), one of the country's three biggest lenders. The agreement with BCP includes a 1.2 billion dirham medium-term loan facility, 1 billion of opening credit lines and 800 million dirhams of banking facilities, Samir said. It has already been granted $600 million by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), an Islamic Development Bank Group unit, and Canada-based energy company Vermillion Energy. The $600 million will be used to finance crude oil and its derivatives purchases from February 2015. (

Petrobras says falling Brazil fuel demand reduced crude refining

May 4, 2015. Falling demand for fuel in Brazil led state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) to cut crude oil processing at Brazilian refineries in the January to April period compared with a year earlier, the company said. Petrobras, as the company is known, declined to say how much demand for fuel had declined or how much processing was reduced in the period. Data from fuels distributors, though, suggested a first-quarter fuel-price increase made ethanol more attractive to owners of flex-fuel cars. (

Enterprise and Occidental to build natural gas processing facility in US

April 30, 2015. Enterprise Products Partners and an affiliate of Occidental Petroleum have signed an agreement to jointly develop a 150 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) cryogenic natural gas processing plant in the Delaware Basin. Delaware Basin Gas Processing, a company equally owned by Enterprise and Occidental, will own the plant, while Enterprise will construct and operate it. Slated for commissioning in mid-2016, the facility is underpinned by long-term, firm contracts. Enterprise will also build and operate a 12-inch diameter pipeline to transport natural gas liquids (NGL) from the new facility to one of its NGL pipelines. The NGL pipelines will provide customers access to Enterprise's NGL fractionation and storage complex in Mont Belvieu, Texas. (

Biggest Europe oil refiner joins those predicting boom’s end

April 29, 2015. Add Europe’s biggest fuels producer to the list of companies saying the region’s refining boom will be short lived. The surge in European refining margins, which jumped by the most in four years last quarter, cannot be sustained because the region still has surplus processing capacity, Total SA said. The French oil producer joins refiners including Gunvor Group and Eni SpA who predicted this month that the favorable market won’t last. Strong gasoline demand and a high level of maintenance at refineries in the U.S. increased margins, Total said. Eni, whose first-quarter refining margins jumped sixfold, said that lower demand, overcapacity, and increasing competitive pressure from imports will be “headwinds” for companies in the region. Margins for refineries in northwest Europe rose more than sevenfold to $47.10 a metric ton in the first quarter from $6.60 a year earlier, according to data compiled by Total. That’s the biggest increase since at least 2011. Total’s European Refining Margin Indicator represents the difference between the wholesale value of the oil products a sophisticated refinery in northwest Europe is able to produce and the cost of crude it processes, not the company’s actual margins. (

Transportation / Trade……….

Egypt issues tender for second LNG import terminal

May 4, 2015. Egypt has issued a five-year tender to lease a second liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, the head of the state gas board, Khaled Abdel Badie said. Egypt was once an energy exporter but declining oil and gas production and increasing consumption has forced the government to divert energy supplies to the domestic market, turning the country into a net energy importer. The floating regasification and import terminal, which converts super-cooled LNG into gas, would be Egypt's second. An import terminal from Norway's Hoegh LNG arrived in Egypt. Egypt has struck a number of LNG supply deals, including a March agreement with Russia's Gazprom to import 35 cargoes of LNG. Egypt also agreed in January to import 33 LNG cargoes from Trafigura, 9 from Vitol, 7 from Noble, and 6 from Algeria's Sonatrach, to be delivered in this year and next. (

Nigeria's Bonny LNG export plant sells cargo to Petrobras

May 1, 2015. Nigeria's liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant at Bonny has sold a single cargo loading at the end of May to Brazil's state-run energy company Petrobras as part of a recent tender, traders said. The cargo is loading May 23-26, traders said. (

Vietnam diesel imports from Singapore surge after trade deal

April 29, 2015. Vietnamese diesel imports from Singapore jumped almost four-fold in the January to April period, compared with the corresponding period of 2014, as a new trade deal with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) redraws oil flows. Singapore shipped more than 715,000 tonnes of diesel between January and April to Vietnam, up from 190,000 tonnes over the same period 2014 and a third higher than the 530,000 tonnes shipped in all of last year, according to data from International Enterprise, Singapore's overseas trade agency. Under the trade pact, Vietnam lowered diesel import taxes from ASEAN members to 5 percent. This compared to a 20 percent tariff on diesel imports from non-ASEAN members, traders said. The higher sales to Vietnam have pushed up premiums for diesel cargoes from refineries in Singapore and Malaysia, traders said. A cargo of 500 parts per million (ppm) sulphur diesel shipped to Vietnam in January was sold at a discount of 80 cents a barrel from Singapore compared with a premium of $2.10 a barrel for an April-loading cargo. Vietnam previously imported most its diesel from China and Taiwan. Now, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and Vitol in Singapore are among its suppliers. (

TAPI gas pipeline construction to take 5 years: Afghan President

April 29, 2015. The construction of the $10-billion TAPI gas pipeline project will be completed in the next five years, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said. Ghani also invited the Indian industry to invest in production of fertilisers and chemicals by tapping the natural gas from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The ambitious Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline was expected to be operational in 2018. TAPI project has remained on drawing board since the four nations have not been able to get an international firm to head a consortium, which will lay and operate the pipeline. The TAPI pipeline will have a capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) gas for a 30-year period and was expected be operational in 2018. India and Pakistan would get 38 mmscmd each, while the remaining 14 mmscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan. TAPI will carry gas from Turkmenistan's Galkynysh field, from the field the pipeline will run to Herat and Kandahar province of Afghanistan, before entering Pakistan. In Pakistan, it will reach Multan via Quetta before ending at Fazilka (Punjab) in India. Exhorting the Indian industry to invest in Afghanistan, Ghani said immense potential exists particularly in areas related to infrastructure like railways, apart from fibre optics, power generation, mining and skill development. (

Policy / Performance…………

State agency upholds Clatsop decision against gas pipeline

April 30, 2015. State regulators have upheld a county commission decision to deny a permit for a pipeline to a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in northwest Oregon. The decision came from the state Land Use Board of Appeals. The Clatsop County commissioners ruled against the pipeline in 2011. The state agency upheld several of the commissioner's findings, including that the high-pressure pipeline could pose a risk to homes nearby and that there's a risk that an accident could release drilling lubricant as pipeline contractors bored holes beneath waterways. The Oregon LNG plant proposed at Warrenton is one of two proposed along the Oregon Coast to receive natural gas in pipelines and then chill and condense it for shipment on vessels to Asia. The other plant would be at Coos Bay. (

Energy Ministry terminates Block VIb PSC in Georgia

April 30, 2015. Australia's Red Emperor Resources NL referred to its announcement April 14 and provided the following update with respect to its Georgian Project. The Georgian Ministry of Energy has formally notified Strait Oil & Gas Ltd that the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) over Block VIb has been terminated. The Ministry cites the non-performance of obligations, specifically the requirement to drill a well in accordance with the stipulated procedure. Red Emperor notes that this obligation has been acknowledged by its Joint Venture (JV) partner, Range Resources Limited, both internally within JV correspondence as well as publicly. The penalty to be imposed on the Contractor, Strait, is $1 million and payable immediately. Red Emperor believes it has fulfilled its obligations with respect to Block VIb, specifically cash contributions towards the second well of a two well program, as per its Shareholder and Subscription Agreements (the Agreements). The Company continues to reserve any and all legal rights under these agreements. (

Qatar commissions $1 bn JBOG project

April 29, 2015. Qatar has commissioned the $1 bn Jetty Boil-Off Gas Recovery (JBOG) project at Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC) in Qatar. JBOG will help Qatar in reducing carbon emissions from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry. The project will recover the gas flared during LNG loading at the six LNG berths in Ras Laffan Port. Flaring at the six berths is expected to reduce by 90%, which is equivalent to annual Green House Gas (GHG) savings of 1.6 million tonnes of CO2. JBOG will collect 29 billion standard cubic feet (bscf) of gas annually, which is enough to produce 750 MW of power. Operated by Qatargas on behalf of Qatar Petroleum and RasGas Company, the project has been developed as part of the Common Facilities Projects at RLIC. JBOG houses the largest low pressure compressors in the world, supplied by General Electric (GE). Recovery of LNG began in October 2014, when jetty boil-off gas was recovered from over 500 ships. (

Italy approves TAP gas pipeline

April 29, 2015. The Italian government has approved the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), intended to bring gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, after the project was held up by administrative delays, the governor of the southern region of Puglia, Nichi Vendola said. Vendola said that the government had overruled objections from his regional government, which had opposed allowing a landing point near the town of Melendugno for environmental reasons. The € 40 billion ($44.62 billion) pipeline is expected to become operational in 2020. (



Kuo-Repsol venture agrees power plant deal with Iberdrola

May 4, 2015. Mexican conglomerate Grupo Kuo said that Dynasol, its joint venture with Spain's Repsol, has signed a deal with Spanish firm Iberdrola to build a power plant in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The plant will have the capacity to generate 56 MW of electricity and 38 tons of water vapor needed for synthetic rubber production, Kuo said. The company gave no details of the value of the project. Repsol said it had agreed to expand its joint venture with Kuo. (

Brookstone plans $750 mn investment in Ivory Coast hydropower projects

April 30, 2015. US private equity firm Brookstone Partners is planning to invest up to $750 mn in three hydroelectric dams in Ivory Coast, through its Moroccan subsidiary Platinum Powers. The company plans to build a 100 MW dam on the Bafing River and a 110 MW dam on the Sassandra River. Location of the third project is yet to be decided. The investment firm will finance the projects through equity and loans raised loans. Ivory Coast exports electricity to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo and Mali and is also planning to add Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to its grid. (

Jordan to build world’s largest internal combustion power plant

April 30, 2015. Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour laid the foundation stone for an electricity generation mega-project. Implemented by the Amman-Asia Electric Power Company, the multi-fuel run electricity plant, coded IPP3, will have the production capacity of 573 MW, making it the largest internal combustion power plant in the world, which has an entry in Guinness Book of Records. The project, located in the Manakher area in east of Amman, will provide around 15 percent of additional electric power to the Kingdom's electricity grid. The station is implemented as a joint venture between a consortium of the Korea Electric Power Corp. Mitsui and Co. Ltd. and the Finnish power company, Wärtsilä, in cooperation with local task groups from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the National Electric Power Company and the Jordan Water Authority. In addition to operational flexibility, IPP3 provides fuel flexibility, the company said. The tri-fuel plant can run on heavy fuel oil (HFO), light fuel oil and natural gas. Currently HFO is used due to shortage of natural gas, the Wärtsilä said. (

Chinese group AVIC will build a 1.6 GW power project in Iran

April 30, 2015. The Chinese company AVIC has signed an agreement with the Maku Free Trade and Industrial Zone in the north of the West Azarbaijan Province in Iran, to develop a 1,600 MW power plant in the industrial zone. The US$1.6 bn thermal power project will be developed in four phases. About US$500 mn will be invested in the first two phases of 120 MW and 500 MW. (               

Nigeria’s power generation drops to 2.8 GW

April 29, 2015. The country’s power generation has dropped from 3,500 MW it recorded to 2,896.91 MW, which is still below the anticipated 6,000 MW by the Federal Government. According to generation report by the Federal Ministry of power, as at 26 April, 2015, the country’s energy sent out stands at 2,834.30 MW; peak generation, 3,267.10 MW; peak demand forecast, 12;800.00 MW while the highest peak generated was 4,517.6 MW. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said that embedded power generation was one of the most vital ways of solving the nation’s electricity problem. According to the Minister, the production of 20 MW each of power, spread across 50 sites across the country, will contribute immensely in alleviating the power challenges of the nation, as it would be easier, cheaper and quicker to harness as against the setting up of a 400 – 500 MW capacity plant in terms of time, space and cost. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Bangladesh's Summit Group and GE start joint power plant

May 3, 2015. A joint venture of Summit Group, Bangladesh’s leading power producer, and a unit of General Electric Co (GE) has started a plant initially supplying up to 240 MW of electricity to the country's national grid as it seeks to plug a shortfall in electricity supply. Bangladesh's current production capacity of 7,000 MW falls far short of its demand of 10,000 MW, with only 65 percent of its 160 million population having access to the national grid. The new combined cycle plant is located in the north western district of Sylhet, 278 kilometers from Dhaka. It will eventually produce another 130 MW and will be completed by September 2015. The $310 million project will raise electricity output by the power unit of Summit, a conglomerate whose activities range from shipping to communications, to nearly 1,200 MW, almost 12 percent of Bangladesh’s total, and will take the group's total investment in the power sector to $1.2 billion. Summit Group said the project was financed in part via 15 year loans of $70 million each from International Finance Corp, a commercial arm of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank. (

194 Chinese workers stranded at hydropower project in Nepal

May 3, 2015. Eight days after a massive earthquake jolted the Himalayan nation, at least 194 Chinese workers remained stranded at a hydropower project construction site in Nepal's Dolakha district. The workers were stranded but safe at the Upper Tamakoshi hydropower project construction site in Dolakha district's Lamabagar area. The workers are from the Sinohydro Corporation Limited, a Chinese company which is the contractor for civil construction works for the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Company Ltd. (

Policy / Performance…………

DTE secures regulatory approval to build 1.5 GW nuclear unit in Michigan

May 1, 2015. DTE Energy has secured permission from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to construct and operate a new nuclear energy facility in Michigan. The company has an option to build a new power station on the site of the existing 1,140 MW Fermi 2 nuclear power plant in Newport. Fermi 2 has been in service since 1988. The new 1,500 MW unit will run on GE Hitachi economic simplified boiling water reactor. However, DTE will not utilize the option to build the plant immediately, but will retain it for future. The approval follows completion of a six-year evaluation of the technical, safety and environmental aspects of the plant. (

Oxford power plant likely near approval

May 1, 2015. A straw poll of Connecticut Siting Council members has put a proposed power plant in Oxford close to approval. The council, which has jurisdiction over the placement and approval of public utility facilities, has until May 29 to issue a final ruling. The council is scheduled to meet May 14 and 28, and a decision could come on either date. The nonbinding poll taken, which was 5-2 in favor of approval, gives direction to Siting Council staff on drafting documents related to the decision. Members could still change their minds before the decision is issued, the Council said. A majority vote is needed for approval. Maryland-based Competitive Power Ventures has proposed an 805 MW combined-cycle power plant on a 26-acre site on Woodruff Hill Road, less than a mile from Waterbury-Oxford Airport and the Oxford Greens senior housing development. Many residents have spoken out in opposition, though political leaders have generally favored the plan. (

Turkey starts building first nuclear power plant

April 30, 2015. Turkey has launched the construction of its first nuclear power plant. The Russian-designed Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Mersin on the Mediterranean coast is the first of three nuclear plants the country plans to build. Turkey hopes the $22 billion (£14.3bn) project will boost its economy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuel imports. Construction on the first 1,200 MW reactor has begun. The project is expected to create around 10,000 jobs and be completed by the end of the decade. (



India's first satellite controlled solar power project inaugurated in Punjab

May 5, 2015. India's first satellite controlled Single Axis Tracking East West Tilt Technology based solar power plant has come up at village Lalpur of District Hoshiarpur. This solar power plant has been constructed by a Mumbai based company Aditya Medisales with an investment of ` 35 crore and it would produce 4.2 MW of electricity. After inaugurating the plant, Revenue and Renewable Energy minister Bikram Singh Majithia informed that Single Axis Tracking East West Tilt Technology follows the path of the sun during the day to generate 8 percent more units of electricity as compared to solar power plants having traditional fixed type structures. He also revealed that India's largest rooftop solar power plant of 7.50 MW at Radha Soami Satsang at Beas (Amritsar) would be expanded to 31.5 MW which would make it the world's largest rooftop PV plant. Thanking the Radha Soami Satsang, Beas for this he requested other religious heads of Deras to install rooftop solar power plants on their premises. Congratulating Aditya Medisales, which is part of the Sun Pharma group, for investing ` 35 crore on this project, he asked the company Aditya Medisales to invest more in the field of renewable energy production in Punjab as the state provided the best environment for investment in Renewable energy sector. Punjab had fixed target of generating more than 4200 MW solar power by the 2022. He said that different companies had already invested more than ` 1,300 crore in solar power projects while an investment of around ` 1,700 crore is in the pipeline. He said that more than 1,500 Applications have been received under net metering Solar Roof top and the Government was going to further promote the concept 'Generate your own Clean and Green Energy and protect the environment for future generations'. (

No legally binding climate change agreement under UNFCCC: India

May 5, 2015. India not "legally" bound under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and it has been "coordinating" with like minded countries for protecting its own interest in the climate change negotiating fora, the government said. The national action plan on climate change (NAPCC) was released in June 2008 to outline India's strategy to meet the challenge of climate, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said. He said that it has eight missions in specific areas of solar energy, enhanced energy efficiency, sustainable habitat, water, sustaining Himalayan eco-system, green India, sustainable agriculture and strategic knowledge for climate change which addresses both mitigation and adaptation components of climate change. He said that the new climate change agreement has to be under the UNFCCC and developed countries should take lead in combating climate change as per their mandate under the convention. He said that in the context of pre-2020 ambitions, under the ad hoc working on Durban platform for enhanced actions, the developed countries have been urged to ratify the 2nd commitment period of Kyoto Protocol and revisit their targets in 2014. India is a signatory to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. The latter was adopted in Kyoto in December 1997 and entered into force from February 2005. (

Delhi gets a solar power boost

May 5, 2015. Giving a boost to the use of renewable energy in the national capital, discoms operating in South and Southwest Delhi have energised six net metering projects, totalling 86 KW of solar power. The move comes after the state power regulator had introduced net metering-based rooftop solar projects that facilitates the self-consumption of electricity generated and allows for feeding the surplus into the network of the distribution licencee. Reliance-owned BRPL has energised five roof-top solar ‘net metering’ arrangements in South and Southwest Delhi. Out of these, four are domestic — in Kailash Colony, Pushpanjali, Greater Kailash III and Pushp Vihar — and one is commercial. Between them, they have an existing sanctioned load of 287 KW and a total of 66 KW of solar power. With the energisation of these net metering connections, these premises will be able to supply surplus electricity to BSES during lean periods, at DERC approved rates. According to the capital’s net metering policy, the amount of power a person supplies and draws back from the grid is metered. If they draw more than their supply, the difference will be billed to them. The net metering project gives consumers a chance to become renewable energy suppliers and reduce their electricity bills by the amount of power they supply to the grid. Meanwhile, Reliance owned-BYPL has energised another net metering project of 20 KW at East Point School in Vasundhara Enclave. (

AP to make state renewable energy hub

May 3, 2015. The Andhra Pradesh (AP) government has decided to implement a comprehensive action plan to make the state a renewable energy hub in the next four years. As part of this plan, the government has contemplated to achieve 5,000 MW solar power and 4,000 MW wind power by 2019 to meet the twin objectives of energy security and clean energy considerations. Impressed with the new solar and wind policy, KFW, a German Bank, has agreed to sanction ` 515 crores at concessional rate of interest towards green energy corridor. The state is now contemplating to constitute a taskforce for expediting renewable energy projects. AP Transco and discoms would soon initiate steps to mobilise the balance investments from Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC). The discoms would procure around 2,000 MW of solar power capacity in a phased manner within the next 4 to 5 years and they would enter a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) of 25 years with developers who are selected, based on a competitive procurement process. (

Daily bulletin on air quality index for 8 cities launched

May 1, 2015. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) launched a daily bulletin service to highlight air quality index in eight cities namely Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Faridabad, Kanpur, Agra and Varanasi. The bulletin was launched on CPCB's website and will provide a comparative data of air quality index on a daily basis in the categories of moderate, satisfactory and poor, apart from giving the major pollutant in that particular area. The index will be calculated as an average of past 24 hours. The bulletin covers eight cities in the country, which will be eventually increased, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said. As per bulletin, Delhi has the poorest air quality while Chennai was marked as satisfactory. Delhi has ten air quality monitoring stations, Tamil Nadu three and there is one each in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Faridabad, Kanpur, Agra and Varanasi. Two of Delhi's stations, Mandir Marg and R K Puram showed very-poor air quality, while it was poor at two other places, Shadipur and IGI. Amid alarming reports about pollution level in Indian cities, government has prepared an action plan to be reviewed after three months and launched an air quality index on April 6 to monitor the air quality in ten cities. (

Karnataka gets its cheapest solar power plant

May 1, 2015. The historic site of Shivanasamudra, which has Asia’s first hydroelectric station, is set to become a hub of solar power as Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) is in the process of commissioning a 10 MW grid-connected solar power plant there. The new plant, which is in the final stages of completion, is expected to be commissioned by mid-May. The highlight is that this solar plant is said to be the cheapest in the State as it is being set up at a cost of just about ` 7 crore a MW, as against the previous solar project’s cost that varied from ` 12.3 crore to ` 19 crore a MW. As of now, the 10 MW plant is the State’s biggest grid-connected solar power plant. The work on setting up the plant had begun in December 2014. It is coming up on a 50-acre land, which was already in possession of the KPCL. This is the fifth grid-connected solar plant of the KPCL. While three solar plants with a capacity of 3 MW each have been set up at Yelesandra of Kolar district, Belgaum, and Raichur, another one with a capacity of 5 MW has already been working at Shivanasamudra. The 3 MW plant of Yelesandra had caught everyone’s attention as it was the highest in terms of capacity in the entire country at the time of setting up. The then Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah had dedicated the Yelesandra Plant to the country, signifying the importance of tapping solar energy. But, it is ironical that Karnataka lost the zeal in between as it is now not even among the first three States in terms of total capacity of solar power generation. (

Bharat Ratna awardee CNR Rao pitches for solar power generation

April 30, 2015. Bharat Ratna awardee C.N.R. Rao said that only solar power generation can contribute to power stability in the country in coming years as hydro power generation has its limitations. Addressing a gathering of students at Almora, Rao said that farmers, domestic consumers and small industries could be beneficiaries of solar power if it draws attention of the policy makers. He said that the country needs over 40 lakh megawatts of electricity while total generation from all means stands at mere 40 thousand megawatts in the country, a big portion of which is lost in line losses. He said that he wants scientific approach to come into the lives of people residing in backward regions in the country. The lecture was organised as part of the "Science Outreach" program run by CNR Rao foundation. The programme is run in 12 states of the country and is funded from the prize money which Rao has received in awards from several organizations. (

Tata Power commissions 24 MW wind farm in Gujarat

April 29, 2015. Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company, announced the successful commissioning of a 24 MW wind farm at Rojmal in Gujarat, through its subsidiary Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL), increasing its total operational capacity in this segment 511 MW. The total capacity of this wind power project is 54 MW. Tata Power’s total installed capacity stands at 8750 MW and the clean and renewable energy capacity at 1383 MW. The 24 MW wind capacity is expected to generate nearly 52 million units per year. Tata Power’s wind farms are located across leading wind resource states including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. TPREL’s Rojmal wind farm utilizes wind turbines from Inox Wind Ltd., and sells the power to Gujarat UrjaVikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) under the Gujarat Wind Policy, 2013. The company has projects under development in Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Tata Power has six of its renewable energy projects registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) programme of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These include the 50.4 MW wind project at Gadag (Karnataka), 50.4 MW wind project at Khandke (Maharashtra), 50.4 MW wind project at Samana, 39.2 MW wind project at Bhogat, 25 MW solar project at Mithapur (all in Gujarat) and 187 MW Shuakhevi hydro project in Georgia. Tata Power, together with its subsidiaries and jointly controlled entities has an installed gross generation capacity of 8,750 MW in India and a presence in all the segments of the power sector viz. fuel security and logistics, generation (thermal, hydro, solar and wind), transmission, distribution and trading. It has developed the country’s first 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) at Mundra (Gujarat) based on super-critical technology. (


Norway asking miners to shed coal shows climate fear rising

May 5, 2015. The biggest sovereign wealth fund’s decision to ask top mining companies about the possibility of spinning off coal assets underscores increasing pressure on producers of the fossil fuel to prepare for a low-carbon future. Norges Bank Investment Management, managing Norway’s $900 billion fund, wrote to the biggest miners and “raised the question of spinning off coal mining,” Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad told Norway’s parliament. The fund is a top-ten shareholder of some of the biggest mining companies including BHP Billiton Ltd., Glencore Plc and Anglo American Plc. In the letter the wealth fund asked miners, which it didn’t name, to identify costs involved in separating coal from other operations and the “timeline for any such separation,” according to parliament. (

Poland seeks to limit EU carbon fix’s impact on producers

March 5, 2015. The European Union (EU) draft carbon-market fix should be amended to prevent planned supply controls from curbing the number of free emission permits for power producers, according to the Polish government. EU policy makers are considering introducing a market stability reserve, or MSR, to alleviate a glut of permits that has pushed emission prices about 75 percent down since 2008 to levels that fail to deter industry from burning coal, the most-polluting fossil fuel. The planned MSR mechanism can be introduced only in the next trading period after 2020, Poland’s climate negotiator, Marcin Korolec, told EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete. The European Commission confirmed it received the letter and will discuss it with Korolec. The issues cited in the letter are already being discussed by other member states, according to a commission spokeswoman. Under the EU law, a member state eligible for the exemption has the right to set aside a portion of allowances for the energy sector that would otherwise belong to the auction volume. Poland wants to exempt from the MSR the amount of allowances that could be allocated for free to utilities. (

California aims 40 percent GHG emissions cut from 1990 levels by 2030

May 5, 2015. California aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, which is the most ambitious target in North America. This would make it possible to reach the goal of reducing emissions 80% under 1990 levels by 2050. The state aims to increase from 1/3 to 50% the share of renewables in the power mix, to reduce the oil consumption in road transport by up to 50%, to double the efficiency savings from existing buildings and to make heating fuels cleaner. California will also seek to reduce emissions from methane, black carbon and other potent pollutants in the industrial sector and to develop carbon sinks. The governor's administration aims to align California's greenhouse gas reduction targets with those of leading international governments ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in late 2015. (       

Enel starts construction of 176 MW solar power plants in Chile

May 5, 2015. Enel Green Power (EGP) has started construction of the 79 MW Carrera Pinto (US$180mn) and the 97 MW Pampa Norte solar PV power parks in Chile. The facilities are expected to produce respectively 200 GWh/year and 260 GWh/year. Both project will be supported by a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Empresa Nacional de Electricidad SA (Endesa Chile). The Pampa Norte solar PV power park, located in the Atacama region, will enter service in the second half of 2016. (     

Japan plans 26 percent cut in GHG emissions by 2030 from 2013 levels

May 4, 2015. Japan has unveiled its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target as its contribution to a global summit on climate change in late 2015: by 2030, the country aims to cut its GHG emissions by 26% from 2013 levels, up from a previous target of about 20%. Its latest proposal included a target to reduce emissions by 25.4% between 2005 and 2030; in 2013, emissions reached 1.2 MtCO2eq, a level similar to 2005. Japan's target would be higher, if 2013 becomes the baseline, than the US 18-21% cut by 2025 and the the European 2030 target (-24%): the United States has proposed a 26-28% cut in GHG emissions from 2005 to 2025, while the European Union targets a 40% reduction from 1990 to 2030. (                    

Solar energy in Scotland could meet household power requirements

May 4, 2015. Environmental campaigners want solar energy to power more households and businesses in Scotland after reports revealed that the country generated enough power to meet its requirements in the last month. Data from UK based WeatherEnergy indicated that solar power generation in Edinburgh was 113% for April, which is more than what is used in an average home. More than 100% of a home's power requirement was met by the solar installations in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Inverness as well, with the figures being 111%, 106% and 104% respectively. Solar hot water panel installations also enabled the households in the cities to cover average hot water usage. (

Global warming a threat to one in six species

May 2, 2015. Climate change could drive to extinction as many as one in six animal and plant species, according to a new analysis. In a study published in the journal Science, Mark Urban, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut, also found that as the planet warms in the future, species will disappear at an accelerating rate. In 2003, Camille Parmesan of the University of Texas and Gary Yohe of Wesleyan University analysed studies of more than 1,700 plant and animal species. They found that, on average, their ranges shifted 3.8 miles per decade toward the planet's poles. If emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases continue to grow, climate researchers project the world could warm by as much as 8 degrees Fahrenheit. As the change continues, scientists fear some species won't be able to find suitable habitats. (

Church of England to sell dirty fuel over climate change

May 1, 2015. One of the world`s wealthiest religious institutions, the Church of England is to sell off investments in coal and tar sands to try and help curb climate change, it announced. The divestment from coal burnt for energy and oil from tar sands, among the most polluting fossil fuels, is a victory for campaigners urging institutions to pull out of such investments. Climate change is the most pressing moral issue in our world, said Bishop Nick Holtam, the lead bishop on the environment at the Church of England, the mother church of the world`s 80 million Anglicans. The move follows divestment by various church dioceses worldwide, the University of Glasgow and Stanford University, in a grassroots movement modelled on 1980s opposition to apartheid in South Africa. The Church is to sell £12 million ($18.5 million, € 16.5 million) in holdings in thermal coal and tar sands, the Church Commissioners and The Church of England Pensions Board announced. It said no direct investments would be made in any company where over 10 percent of revenues derived from thermal coal extraction or oil production from tar sands. The Church`s three National Investing Bodies are to increase their low-carbon investments, and it will engage with companies and policy makers ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. The owner of roughly £9 billion in investments that fund its work and clergy pensions, the Church previously led a shareholder push to urge oil and gas giant BP to be more open about how climate change could affect its business. The announcement comes ahead of Pope Francis` release of an encyclical setting out Roman Catholic doctrine on environmental issues, which is expected to make waves on the global warming debate. (

Million-dollar plantation scheme to plant a billion trees in Pakistan

April 30, 2015. With forests in Pakistan depleting rapidly -- mostly because of illegal logging -- and posing a serious threat of climate change, a province in the country has launched a $150-million tree-planting drive, a media report said. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial government, in the hope that the plantation drive will mitigate climate change, has given its farmers free tree-saplings to plant across the province -- the 150-million-dollar scheme would plant billion trees in the hilly province over the next four years, reports Al Jazeera. (

Infratech completes first floating solar system in Australia

April 29, 2015. Infratech Industries has completed the construction of the first floating solar system in Jamestown, South Australia. An array of 112 solar panels has been installed on one of the three basins of a waste water treatment plant operated by the Northern Areas Council (NAC). Estimated to generate three times more power than fixed land-based systems, the new system will produce power required to operate the treatment plant. The company will install a total of 6,000 panels at the plant, with bigger arrays to be equipped on the remaining two basins later this year. Upon completion, the system is expected to generated electricity to meet the power needs of the local council and potentially to sell to other customers. Infratech has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement to with NAC to draw power from the facility. The solar panels float on a raft membrane that tracks the sun and cools using the water beneath. The cooling feature of the membrane avoids overheating of the panels and saves wastage of energy. (

Vestas gets 78 MW order in the US

April 29, 2015. Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems said it had received a 78 MW turbine order for a wind project in the United States (US). The order was for 39 units of the V110-2.0 MW turbine for the Black Oak project in Minnesota, Vestas said. The contract includes delivery, installation and commissioning of the wind turbines, as well as a five year service agreement, Vestas said. Delivery of the wind turbines is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2016, with commissioning expected in the fourth quarter of 2016. In general, wind turbine orders give Vestas revenue of around € 0.86 million ($0.94) per megawatt on average. (

E.ON creates new conventional power generation company

April 29, 2015. German energy utility E.ON has announced the creation of Uniper, a new company focusing on conventional power generation, energy trading, and exploration and production (E&P) as of early 2016. The activity spin off was announced in December 2014, when E.ON decided to focus on renewables, distribution networks, and customer solutions and to combine other activities into a new company, to be spun off and listed in late 2015. (  


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