MonitorsPublished on May 22, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XI; Issue 49

[Carbon Emissions: Peaking Prematurely in China and India]

                             “The energy sector was responsible for 35 percent of total anthropogenic green house gas (GHG) emissions and that despite the efforts of the united nations framework convention on climate change and the Kyoto protocol, emissions from the energy sector grew more rapidly between 2001 and 2010 than in the previous decade. Energy sector GHG emissions accelerated from 1.7 percent a year in the period 1991-2000 to 3.1 percent a year from 2001-2010. The main contribution to this growth is said to have come from rapid economic growth in developing countries…”

Energy News


If confidence in 24*7 power supply is turned into concrete action it will mean 24*7 happiness for the nation!                                      


Claims of power sector turnaround will be true only when circular debt flowing from discoms to power companies to CIL stops!


Pushing unconventional power in a country where demand for conventional power has not been satisfied despite 60 years of effort will come at a huge price for the poor!




·          Carbon Emissions: Peaking Prematurely in China and India (Part I)


·          UNFCCC Principles Non-Negotiable: India and China 


·          Solar Power Scenario in India



·          ONGC seeks green nod for ` 530 bn KG-Basin infra

·          ONGC, its partners developing LNG terminal in Mozambique

·          India’s gas output to grow by 50 percent in the next three years

Transportation / Trade………………

·          IOC, GAIL in gas deal with Adani

·          Completion of Bathinda-Srinagar gas pipeline to depend on clearances: Govt

·          RIL-BP among four in race for Mumbai LNG terminal

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Proposal likely to allow gas companies to freely price output

·          Cairn seeks revision in Rajasthan block crude oil pricing formula

·          Oil Minister to lead Indian delegation to Mexico, Columbia

·          Govt to allow market price for some natural gas

·          India to engage in active ‘oil diplomacy’

·          Assam govt prohibits strike by oil sector employees

·          ONGC finds major crude reservoir in Mumbai High: Govt

·          Petrol price in India more than Pakistan: Oil Minister



·          India Power Corp to commission Haldia Project in September

·          Second unit of KNPP to be commissioned this year

·          Arunachal restarts five defunct hydro projects

·          BHEL beats power capacity addition target by 19 percent

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Bescom urges consumers to declare electricity overuse with 'voluntary disclosure'

·          J&K suffers ` 92.6 bn deficit on power purchase: CAG

·          'NTPC, DVC owe ` 90 bn to CIL'

·          JICA loan to augment power transmission in Odisha

·          Transmission projects of ` 1 lakh cr to be bid out in 6 months: Goyal

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Fuel cost hike offsets recent power tariff reduction: Punjab

·          Goyal confident of 24x7 power supply to all

·          Govt may bar multiple bids by one company in coal auctions

·          CIL yet to sign FSAs for 4 GW

·          India-Bangladesh agree on private sector partnership to swap electricity

·          Nuclear project will be completed at Jaitapur: Vinod Tawde

·          Govt plans to auction 11 coal mines soon

·          Hope of power from Jharkhand plant

·          Govt takes back coal block from Reliance Power’s Sasan unit



·          Albania opens O&G exploration bid process for 7 blocks

·          Nigeria plans to split gas from oil leases to boost output

·          Tokyo Gas targets more US shale gas investments

·          Goldman Sachs sees Brent crude oil at $55 a barrel in 2020


·          US refiners dominate western hemisphere markets

·          Ecopetrol's Cartagena refinery to restart later in year

Transportation / Trade…………

·          Georgia denies key permit for Kinder's Palmetto pipeline

·          Poland-Lithuania Gas Interconnection gets EU financial aid

·          Saudi Arabia's March oil exports highest in over nine years

·          Russia urges EU to support gas pipeline crossing Turkey

·          Mexico's Pemex signs 5 mn barrel crude contract with Hyundai

·          Pipeline carrying Nigeria's Bonny Light crude for export shut down

·          Poland's PGNiG seeks arbitration in Gazprom dispute

·          Philippines' First Gen readies plans for $1 bn LNG import terminal

·          China reduces oil product export quotas in second quarter

Policy / Performance………………

·          Libya's NOC chief sees higher oil prices, not relying on OPEC

·          World Bank targets Chinese gas amid largest global demand growth

·          Australia offers 29 offshore blocks for bidding in 2015 Acreage Release

·          Oil groups ask court to temporarily block US fracking rules

·          BP agrees to cut spending on Iraq's Rumaila field after oil price drop

·          Oil price likely to hold up for rest of year: Kuwait OPEC governor

·          Qatar Petroleum sees rising OPEC demand as price drop hits shale

·          Venezuela eyes $100 oil price, deal with non-OPEC producers

·          Myanmar rules out launch of bidding round for exploration blocks this year



·          Enel and Abengoa will build Pemex's 517 MW CHP project in Mexico

·          2.8 GW of power capacity could be added in Southern Africa by 2018

·          Chinese investors to invest in power generation in Bangka-Belitung

·          Ethiopia seeks Turkish companies to invest in power generation

·          EIA forecasts lower power generation capacity additions in the US

·          Hydropower leads investments in power generation in the Americas

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          EBRD signs MoU with Tajikistan for CASA-1000 transmission project

·          ITC to invest $4.5 bn in US power transmission

·          Regulators accept the need for big northern Minnesota transmission line

Policy / Performance………………

·          Czech long-term energy plan continues to rely on nuclear power

·          Re-open tender for 1MDB’s Jimah power plant

·          Electrabel extends nuclear plants unavailability by 4 months

·          Pakistan receives ADB funding for power plant projects

·          Regulators approve plan to build power plant in Oxford



·          Environment Ministry denies green clearance to 6 hydel projects in Arunachal Pradesh

·          Infosys will spend ` 4 bn to become carbon neutral

·          India seeks climate change roadmap from developed nations

·          Telangana solar policy aims to offer swift solutions for developers

·          Suzlon bags 98.7 MW contract from Mytrah Energy

·          Essel Group, JA Solar JV to set up ` 9.5 bn facility in India

·          NMRCL may use solar power to run the service

·          India, China commit to work together on climate change

·          NTPC to buy 15 GW of solar power through reverse auction

·          Goyal calls for more efforts to meet renewable energy generation target

·          Enzen Global Solutions acquires wind turbine maker Luminous for $2 mn

·          Suzlon gets turnkey project job from ReNew Power


·          JinkoSolar to supply 1 GW of PV panel to CMNE

·          Get ready for solar boom from China plants as Asia demand swells

·          German ministry softens CO2 emission demands for power plants

·          Georgia Power begins construction on 90 MW solar power projects in US

·          NGPI plans 300 MW solar and wind project in Sindh

·          Obama seeks oil demand, climate balance with shell Arctic permit

·          Germany, France seek curb on fossil fuel pollution this century

·          Canada to regulate O&G emissions with new 30 percent target

·          Brazil completes 1.5 GW wind power transmission system

·          Duke Energy commissions 200 MW Los Vientos III wind project




Carbon Emissions: Peaking Prematurely in China and India (Part I)

Lydia Powell and Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation


he report by working group III of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) released last year contained a chapter on energy systems.[1] It noted that the energy sector was responsible for 35 percent of total anthropogenic green house gas (GHG) emissions and that despite the efforts of the united nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto protocol, emissions from the energy sector grew more rapidly between 2001 and 2010 than in the previous decade. Energy sector GHG emissions accelerated from 1.7 percent a year in the period 1991-2000 to 3.1 percent a year from 2001-2010. The main contribution to this growth is said to have come from rapid economic growth in developing countries (primarily China and India) and the increase in the share of coal in global fuel mix (on account of growth in coal consumption in India and China).

The report argues that in the absence of mitigation policies, energy related CO2 (the largest component of GHG) emissions are likely to increase to 50-70 GtCO2 by 2050. It then goes on to say that concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere can only be stabilised if global net emissions of CO2 emissions peak and decline towards zero in the long term.

The report also says that in majority of low stabilisation scenarios (limiting concentration of CO2 equivalent in the atmosphere to 450-530 ppm), the share of low carbon energy in electricity supply increase from 30 percent to 80 percent. This conclusion which according to the IPCC is based on ‘robust evidence’ and ‘high agreement’ among the contributors was probably used to extract the following statement from China in 2014 when the president of the United States visited China in 2014:

 ‘China intends to achieve the peaking of CO2 emission around 2030 and make best efforts to peak early and intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030.’   

According to the world energy outlook 2014 (WEO 2014) of the international energy agency (IEA) coal’s share in global primary energy fuel mix has increased by 5 percentage points over the past decade to reach 29 percent in 2013 making it the second most important fuel behind oil.[2] WEO 2014’s projections under the new policies scenario show coal use growing by one-third in non-OECD countries to 2040 but coal’s relative importance is expected to change markedly over the projection period in leading coal consuming countries. 

Though China is expected to remain the leading source of coal demand growth in the current decade as per WEO 2014 projections, growth is expected to slow sharply thereafter as China’s policies to limit coal consumption take effect. WEO 2014 expects China’s coal demand to peak around 2030 (the same text used in China’s joint statement with the United States on climate change) at which stage India is expected to become the largest source of incremental non-OECD coal demand till 2040.

India is also expected to become the second largest consumer of coal during the current decade overtaking the United States. BP’s projections for 2035 expect India and China to contribute 87 percent of global coal growth till 2035 (chart 1).[3]

Source: WEO 2014 projections under new policies scenario & used generalised conversions from (MTCE to Million Tons) IEA’s Medium Term Coal Market Report 2014.

China is expected to remain the single largest coal consumer accounting for 51 percent of global consumption while India is expected to take the second place with 13 percent of global consumption overtaking the United States in 2024.  BP’s projections which reflect its ‘most likely’ scenario expect China’s coal demand growth to decelerate rapidly from 1.3 billion tonnes (6.1 % a year) in 2005-15 to just 19.5 million tonnes (0.1 % a year) in 2025-35 (Chart 2). 

Source: BP Energy Outlook 2035

BP also expects China’s coal demand to peak around 2030 and for it to decline at -0.1 percent a year from then on. Both the IEA and BP give credit to structural changes and policy measures such as China’s move from a manufacturing and industry driven economy to a service and domestic demand driven economy along with efficiency improvements and stringent environmental policy for the rapid fall of coal demand in China.  India did not receive the importance that China did over the question of emission peaking year because India’s coal consumption is less than one fourth of that of China and consequently its carbon emissions peaking year is expected only by 2040. A report by Bernstein argues that China will stop importing coal by 2015 and that China’s coal demand will start declining by 2016 (Chart 3).[4] 

Source: Bernstein Research

This series will analyse some issues that arise around the narrative of carbon ‘peaking year’ such as (1) Is the ‘event’ of carbon emissions peaking in India and China part of natural course of economic development or policy induced (especially policies taken up under pressure from multilateral bodies committed to address global warming) (2) Does this reflect a positive development if so why and for whom?

to be continued.......

Views are those of the authors                    

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



UNFCCC Principles Non-Negotiable: India and China 


ndia and China issued a joint statement on climate change on 15 May on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to China. In the statement issued, the two governments recognized that “climate change and its adverse effects are the common concern of mankind and one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century, which needs to be addressed through international cooperation in the context of sustainable development”.

Recalling their bilateral agreement on cooperation on addressing climate change signed in 2009 and the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation on green technologies signed in 2010 the two countries have decided to “further promote bilateral partnership on climate change and enhance the role of this partnership in their overall strategic cooperation partnership through the implementation of this Joint Statement and the MoU as well as the Agreement”.

The two countries have emphasized that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) remains the “most appropriate framework for international cooperation” to address climate change. They reaffirmed the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and called for the leadership of developed countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing finance, technology and capacity building support to developing countries.

The statement also said that China and India would work together, along with other countries, and advance multilateral negotiations under the UNFCCC “to achieve a comprehensive, balanced, equitable and effective agreement under the UNFCCC in 2015, with a view to ensuring the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC”. They expressed their full support for the success of the Conference of Parties (COP) to be held in Paris this year.

The countries reaffirmed that the 2015 agreement “shall be in full accordance with the principles, provisions and structure of the UNFCCC, in particular the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, reflecting different historical responsibilities, development stages and national circumstances between developed and developing countries”. The 2015 agreement shall address all the pillars: “mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building and transparency of action and support in a comprehensive and balanced manner,” according to the joint statement.

To increase the pre-2020 ambition and build mutual trust among countries, the countries stressed the equal importance and urgency of implementing the outcomes of the Bali Road Map (enhanced implementation of the UNFCCC and the second commitment period of greenhouse gases emissions reduction by developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol). The countries urged the “developed countries to raise their pre-2020 emission reduction targets and honour their commitment to provide 100bn US dollars per year by 2020 to developing countries”.

The statement further said that as the two biggest developing countries, China and India are undertaking ambitious actions domestically to combat climate change through “plans, policies and measures on mitigation and adaptation despite the enormous scale of their challenges in terms of social and economic development and poverty eradication”.

The countries also said that they are fully engaged in their “domestic preparations for their respective intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) in the context of the 2015 agreement and will communicate their INDCs as early as possible and well before the Paris Conference”.

Referring to their bilateral partnership as “mutually beneficial”, they also said that it contributes to the global efforts to address climate change. They have decided to “enhance high-level bilateral dialogue on domestic climate policies and multilateral negotiations and to further strengthen practical bilateral cooperation, including in areas of clean energy technologies, energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transportation including electronic vehicles, low-carbon urbanization and adaptation”.

Source: Third World Network,


Solar Power Scenario in India

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation


No. of Villages

(covered with solar street lights)

Andhra Pradesh


Arunachal Pradesh






Himachal Pradesh


Madhya Pradesh
















Uttar Pradesh


West Bengal





Source: Lok Sabha, Unstarred Question Nos. 6769 & 6779.




ONGC seeks green nod for ` 530 bn KG-Basin infra

May 19, 2015. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has approached the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) seeking clearance for drilling 45 development wells and other related infrastructure involving a cost of over ` 53,000 crore in Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin. An expert appraisal committee (EAC) under the MoEF, however, sought more information in this regard. The block KG-DWN-98/2 or KG-D5 is divided into two parts - northern development area (NDA), which is deep waters with a depth of up to 1,800 metres, and southern development area (SDA), which has ultra-deep waters with depth ranging up to 3,100 metres. The current proposal is submitted for development in the northern development area. The NELP-I offshore block KG-DWN-98/2 is located off Godavari delta on the east coast of India. ONGC is slated to begin production in 2019, with a peak output of 4.5 million tonnes a year, 20 percent more than previous estimates. The Krishna Godavari basin block KG-DWN-98/2, or KG-D5, will see first large oil production from the east coast, which has 10 gas discoveries, ONGC had said. KG-D5 sits next to Reliance Industries' producing KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 area. (

ONGC, its partners developing LNG terminal in Mozambique

May 18, 2015. In a step towards start of gas production from its giant Mozambique gas fields, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and its partners have awarded contract for development of an onshore LNG terminal. About 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves found in offshore Rovuma Area-1, where Indian firms led by ONGC Videsh Ltd hold a total of 30 percent stake, are to be converted into LNG for transportation by ships to consuming nations like India. US firm Anadarko Petroleum Corp, the operator of the block, announced the selection of a consortium consisting of CB&I, Chiyoda Corporation and Saipem for the initial development of the onshore LNG park in Mozambique. The onshore LNG park includes two LNG trains, each with capacity of 6 million tons per annum, which is an increase of 1 million tons per train over the original plan. The LNG park will include two storage tanks, each with capacity of 180,000 cubic meters, condensate storage, multi-berth marine jetty and associated utilities and infrastructure. An estimated USD 18.4 billion will be required to bring first set of discoveries in Rovuma Area-1 on to production and convert that gas into liquid (liquefied natural gas or LNG) for ease of shipping to consuming nations like India. (

India’s gas output to grow by 50 percent in the next three years

May 13, 2015. India’s natural gas production from hydrocarbon resources is expected to rise 52% in the next three years, outstripping the growth in demand from power and fertilizer firms during the same period, according to the oil ministry. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said India’s natural gas output is projected to increase to almost 230 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) by 2017-18 from the current 138.33 mmscmd as at the end of 2014-15, a growth of 52%. This is against a growth in demand of 27% from the core natural gas consuming sectors—power and fertilizer. At the end of March, India’s total natural gas consumption stood at 134 mmscmd against an availability of 90 mmscmd, with the remaining met through imports of R-LNG, according to petroleum planning and analysis cell (PPAC), a statistical body under the oil ministry. In fact, India had been a laggard in even meeting its natural gas production target with the production at 3.365 billion cubic metres (bcm), down 5% from 3.54 bcm produced in 2013-14 and down 8.1% from the target production of 3.66 bcm, according to the oil ministry. In the last 10 years, while India’s domestic production has grown by 10%, India’s imports of regassified liquefied natural gas (R-LNG) has grown by 335% due to a major growth in demand, which has risen by almost 46%, according to PPAC. (

Transportation / Trade…………

IOC, GAIL in gas deal with Adani

May 14, 2015. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and gas utility GAIL have inked a deal with an Adani Group firm for booking capacity at a liquid gas import terminal in Odisha, with the option of taking equity in the project at a later stage. GAIL said the two firms signed an MoU with Dhamra LNG Terminal which proposes to build a terminal at the Dhamra port in Bhadrak district of the state for importing gas in ships and regassify it for feeding customers in the eastern region. Dhamra LNG Terminal proposes to build the project with an initial capacity of handling imports of 5 million tonnes per year of imported gas. Both the state-run entities are separately pursuing projects for importing gas in ships in the coastal region. IOC is planning a project in Ennore district of Tamil Nadu. Similarly, GAIL is working on projects at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. GAIL's participation in the Dhamra project comes within a month of the company shelving its plan to set up a floating gas import terminal at Paradip in Odisha, where Indian Oil is close to starting a refinery. In March, GAIL said in a filing that it has withdrawn its notice of October 18, 2014 calling for expressions of interest for becoming a strategic partner in the Paradip project. The proposed facility was planned to start with a capacity of 4 million tonnes per annum and double it in the second phase to 8 million tonnes a year. GAIL had signed an MoU with the Paradip Port Trust in October 2013 for the project. (

Completion of Bathinda-Srinagar gas pipeline to depend on clearances: Govt

May 13, 2015. Completion of Bathinda-Srinagar gas pipeline project, scheduled to be executed by July last year, would depend on statutory clearances from the state governments and the completion of studies on potential customers, the government said. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan blamed the delay on absence of "anchor load customers" and non-availability of statutory clearance. The tendering process has also been delayed as a result, he said. Pradhan said studies are being carried out about the potential customers. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board had authorised GSPL India Gasnet Ltd, Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd for laying the pipeline from Bathinda to Sringar via Jammu. The original completion date for laying the 725 km long pipeline project was July 6, 2014. (

RIL-BP among four in race for Mumbai LNG terminal

May 13, 2015. RIL-BP joint venture, Excelerate Energy of US and Japan's Mitsui are among the four in race to set up a ` 2,740 crore floating LNG import terminal at Mumbai. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and BP's equal joint venture India Gas Solutions, Mitsui, Excelerate Energy and a consortium of IMC and Norway's Hoegh LNG are the four which bid for setting up of a floating LNG receipt terminal. Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) had invited bids for setting up of 5 million tonnes per year floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) on PPP (public-private partnership) mode. The selected bidder will set up the FSRU as well as operate it on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis, according to the tender document. MbPT, one of the oldest ports in the country, is looking at a FSRU to meet the growing market demand of natural gas in the western coast of India. Mumbai will be the fifth LNG terminal on the west coast and the second in Maharashtra. Gujarat has two operational terminals -- Petronet LNG Ltd's 10 million tonnes a year at Dahej terminal and Shell's 5 million tonnes at Hazira plant. A third one is being constructed by Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) at Mundra. In Maharashtra, GAIL operates a 5 million tonnes facility at Dabhol. Petronet also has a 5 million tonnes terminal at Kochi in Kerala. According to MbPT tender document, the winner will have to set up a FSRU vessel with storage capacity of 170,000 cubic meters and 5 million tons per annum gas production capacity. It will also set up Marine terminal including of berthing and mooring facilities for FSRU and LNG carriers, pipeline to transfer the gas to onshore and landfall receipt facility. MbPT has already applied to the Ministry of Environment and Forests for approval. MbPT wants state gas utility GAIL India Ltd to connect the port to the national gas grid at Uran. (

Policy / Performance………

Proposal likely to allow gas companies to freely price output

May 19, 2015. Producers of gas from marginal fields will be able to freely price their output and choose buyers under a proposed policy awaiting Cabinet approval aimed at making such areas attractive for exploration companies. Currently, gas producers have to use a formula linked to international prices. The local price of gas went up by a third after the formula was first applied in November and dropped about 8% in the first revision in April as international prices fell. Most agreements for field operators also provide for a 'market-determined' price with a rider that it must be approved by the government. The government also decides which customers will get the gas. X the sharp fall in output from the KG-D6 block operated by Reliance Industries Ltd. The oil ministry has completed an inter-ministerial consultation on the proposed policy to allow free pricing of gas from marginal fields and ability to choose customers and will likely send it to the Cabinet for consideration this month. The government gives priority in gas allocation to sectors such as fertilisers and city gas because of the scarcity of the fuel in the country. Local gas production fell 5.5% in 2014-15, when the country imported about a third of the natural gas it consumed. Lower availability of cheap local gas and expensive liquefied natural gas imports have kept many of India's power plants idle or underutilised.

The policy will help auction 69 smaller fields to public and private explorers, which will compete on the basis of the revenue-share they offer to the government to win the bid. It will be a debut for the revenue-sharing model in India's hydrocarbon sector, which has witnessed a debate for years on which fiscal regime to opt for to accelerate exploration and production. The policy to develop marginal fields is aimed at boosting oil and gas production in the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently laid out an aggressive road map for the industry to slash the country's import dependence in oil by 10% in seven years from 78% now. (

Cairn seeks revision in Rajasthan block crude oil pricing formula

May 18, 2015. Cairn India has demanded a change in the pricing formula for crude oil from its prolific Rajasthan block saying the current pricing mechanism does not capture the full value of oil. Rajasthan crude oil, mostly used by private refiners like Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Essar Oil, is currently sold at a discount to prevailing price of benchmark Brent crude oil. Government’s share of taxes and royalty is linked to the price of crude oil.

The company wrote to the oil ministry saying the price currently being realised was around 8-10% lower than the benchmark Dated Brent price. This current sub-optimal realization in pricing of Barmer crude is impacting the value for all stakeholders, it said. That is resulting in potential yearly revenue loss for the government due to lower realization. There is an immediate need to review the pricing formula, it wrote. Rajasthan crude oil is being priced using the indigenous crude oil pricing formula linked to Bonney light of west African origin and quality adjustment based. The current price formula doesn’t capture the value provided by high quality secondary conversion unit feed, Cairn said. (

Oil Minister to lead Indian delegation to Mexico, Columbia

May 17, 2015. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will be leading an Indian delegation to Mexico and Columbia to foster mutual cooperation in the area of hydrocarbons and to seek long-term linkages for the country's energy security. During his visit, Pradhan is scheduled to meet his counterparts as well as leaders of the hydrocarbon industry in both countries. Mexico and Columbia are very important economic and energy partners of India, with ONGC Videsh having seven oil and gas blocks in Colombia. India imports a reported 10 million metric ton crude oil from Mexico and Columbia. (

Govt to allow market price for some natural gas

May 17, 2015. The government may allow a part of the natural gas produced by firms like Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) from new discoveries to be sold at market price as it looks to boost domestic exploration and production. The government, while approving a new gas pricing formula based on international hub rates in October last year, had decided that new gas discoveries in deep-water, ultra-deep sea or high-temperature and high-pressure fields will be given a premium over and above the approved price. The premium will be in form of allowing a fixed percentage of natural gas produced from difficult fields to be sold at market price and the remaining as per the approved price, the oil ministry said. While the current domestic gas price is $4.66 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu), the market price as measured by the rate at which the fuel is imported, is $7-8. The formula suggested by DGH was a middle path of balancing the industry expectations of market price for all of the gas and government concerns of not allowing too high a price that could have a cascading impact on cost of fertilizer and power as well as CNG and cooking gas. All gas producers including ONGC have stated that it was uneconomical to produce gas from difficult fields at the current price of $4.66 per mmBtu. As per mechanism approved in October 2014, price of domestically produced natural gas is to be revised every six months using weighted average or rates prevalent in gas-surplus economies of US/Mexico, Canada and Russia. Gas price, according to the formula, was $5.05 per mmBtu till March 31 and has subsequently been cut to $4.66 in line with international movements. The current price is among the lowest in Asia Pacific. China pays explorers $11.9 per mmBtu rate for new projects while Indonesia and the Philippines price the fuel at $11 and $10.5 respectively. Gas from offshore fields in Myanmar, where Indian firms ONGC and GAIL have stake, are sold to China for $7.72. Thailand prices gas from new projects at $8.2 per mmBtu. Vietnam has a gas price of $5.2 and Malayasia $5. (

India to engage in active ‘oil diplomacy’

May 16, 2015. The government will focus more keenly on ‘oil diplomacy’ and leverage its position as a big-time oil importer while brokering new oil deals abroad, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. The government is considering buying oil and gas assets abroad, Pradhan said, particularly in Africa and South America. India currently imports 77 percent of its crude oil needs.

The Modi government has a set a target of reducing the total import requirement by 10 percent by 2022. At current lower levels of crude oil prices, the environment has changed into a buyer’s market. While the government would keep away from the deal-making process, Pradhan said he would encourage public sector explorers, particularly ONGC’s foreign arm ONGC Videsh, in striking new deals. Regarding ONGC’s investment in the Farzad-B gas block in Iran, which Iran had threatened to re-auction, he said. India will increase its “active engagement” with the block, the minister said. On exploration within India, Pradhan declined to set a timeline for the tenth new exploration and licensing policy (NELP – X) to be announced. The experience with the previous rounds of NELP has been mixed, he said, and the new policy has received approvals from the Union Cabinet on removing bottlenecks. (

Assam govt prohibits strike by oil sector employees

May 16, 2015. Assam Government has prohibited strike by employees of oil sector in the state through a notification under the Essential Services Maintenance (Assam) Act. The government said the notification would remain in force for a period of six months or until further orders, in exercise of powers conferred by section 3 of the Essential Services Maintenance (Assam) Act, 1980. The notification prohibits strike of work by officers, workmen, contract labour, tanker drivers and also khalasis involved in the services in any oil field or refinery of any establishment or undertaking dealing with the production, supply or distribution of petroleum and petroleum products, including natural gas. (

ONGC finds major crude reservoir in Mumbai High: Govt

May 15, 2015. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has discovered a substantial reserve of crude oil between its Mumbai High north and south fields in the Arabian Sea, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. The new find, which comes almost 50 years after ONGC began production in Mumbai High, will help the company maintain production levels from the basin for a longer time than currently estimated, the minister said.

The Mumbai High basin is ONGC’s flagship oil producing asset. Along with the other smaller fields along the western offshore, the asset currently produces 16 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of crude oil, which is nearly 40% of India’s total crude oil production of 37 mtpa. (

Petrol price in India more than Pakistan: Oil Minister

May 13, 2015. Petrol in India costs more than neighbouring Pakistan and Sri Lanka but is cheaper than Bangladesh and Nepal, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. Petrol price of ` 63.16 per litre in Delhi is more than ` 44.05 per litre rate of the fuel in Pakistan and ` 54.75 in Sri Lanka. However, it is cheaper than ` 76.97 per litre price in Bangladesh and ` 68.13 a litre in Nepal.

Diesel at ` 49.57 per litre in Delhi is however cheaper than all neighbouring nations except Sri Lanka, where it costs ` 44.29 for a litre, he said. A litre of diesel in Pakistan costs ` 51.15, ` 54.27 in Bangladesh and ` 54.27 in Nepal. Nepal sources all its auto fuel needs from India. India had on four occasions between November 2014 and January 2015 raised excise duty on petrol and diesel to take away gains coming by way of global oil prices dipping to six-year low. Cumulatively, excise duty on petrol was hiked by ` 7.75 per litre and that on diesel by ` 6.50 a litre. Post these duty hikes, retail price of petrol in Delhi should have been ` 55.41 a litre and diesel ` 43.07 per litre.

Pradhan said a year ago, petrol in Delhi was second cheapest in South Asia. Petrol price of ` 71.41 a litre at Delhi was cheaper than Bangladesh (` 74.43), Sri Lanka (` 74.92) and Nepal (` 83.61) but costlier than ` 66.17 a litre price in Pakistan. Similarly, diesel price of ` 55.49 on May 1, 2014 was cheaper than Rs 71.27 in Pakistan, ` 56.17 in Sri Lanka and ` 65.84 in Nepal. It was however costlier than ` 52.55 per litre rate prevalent at that time in Bangladesh. (



India Power Corp to commission Haldia Project in September

May 18, 2015. India Power Corporation plans to start commercial generation at its 450 Mw thermal power plant in Haldia in September. The company is setting up three units of 150 MW each and the first one is expected to start commercial generation by September 30, the company said. The second and third units are slated to be commissioned three months and six months hence, respectively. Construction activities are in full swing. Boiler drum lifting, one of the major milestones, was achieved on December 4, 2014 for Unit I and February 23, 2015 for Unit II. Companies working on the project include Bharat Heavy Electricals, Simplex, ABB, Scorpio, Energo, Paharpur, Ramky, WPIL, Raunaq and Honeywell. Power generated from the plant shall be evacuated through West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company's 220 KV substation in Haldia. (

Second unit of KNPP to be commissioned this year

May 18, 2015. Russia's nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, builders of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), plans to commission the second unit within this year, it said. The operator Nuclear Power Corp of India (NPCIL) has postponed putting the power unit into commercial operation until July 2015, Rosatom said. NPCIL is hoping to load the real fuel in the second unit around June, for which it needs to get two more permissions from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, the operators have said. The first unit was connected to the southern power grid in October 2013, while commercial power generation began on December 31, 2014. Meanwhile, on issues arising out of India's nuclear liability law, with the proposed nuclear insurance pool falling short by ` 600 crore towards becoming operational, some foreign companies have shown an interest in being part of the initiative, the state-run General Insurance Corp. (GIC) said. The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010, prescribes that the nuclear insurance pool be made operational with funds of ` 1,500 crore. With India's nuclear liability issue holding up deals with various countries, GIC recently conducted an international workshop of stake-holders here on creation of a nuclear insurance pool. GIC had said that of the ` 1,500 crore of insurance cover required for the proposed Nuclear Insurance Pool, it would be in a position to provide only ` 750 crore equivalent of insurance. Under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages (CLND) Act, besides the operator Nuclear Power Corp, equipment and material suppliers are also liable to pay damages if an accident occurs. Compensation of up to $244 million will have to be paid in case of an accident at any of the nuclear plant covered by the law. Currently, nuclear plants in India only have insurance cover for zones that are outside the area of radiation and reactors. The new pool will provide insurance cover for both hot zones -- radiation and nuclear reactors -- and cold zones -- outside the reactor areas. (

Arunachal restarts five defunct hydro projects

May 14, 2015. Despite funds crunch, the Arunachal Pradesh Hydro Power Department has restored five mini hydro projects in various parts of the state. While Rina small hydro project (2x1000 KW) in East Siang district was revived, Tinning micro hydel scheme (MHS) (2X25 KW) in Changlang district has been put into operation. The Tinning MHS built under the Prime Minister's package had been lying idle since its installation. Rina had been shut due to damage by floods in September 2014. In West Kameng district, the Saskorong MHS (3X100 KW) has been restarted this week, which is meeting the load demand of 60 KW of nearby villages. In Upper Subansiri district, only one unit of Sippi project (2X200 KW) was operational, with another which was shut for almost 2 years, also restored. Mechuka MHS (6X25 KW) in West Siang district and Siri Korong MHS (2X250 KW) at Lhallung have also been put on track. However, due to shortage of staff, both the hydel stations could not be operated at the same time. (

BHEL beats power capacity addition target by 19 percent

May 13, 2015. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) said that it surpassed its power generation capacity addition target for utilities by 19 percent in 2014-15. BHEL has commissioned 8,230 MW of utility sets against the target of 6,914 MW for 2014-15. BHEL has commissioned two boilers of 800 MW each during the year. In addition, sets with a cumulative of 2,000 MW have been synchronised and are ready for capacity addition. During 2014-15, BHEL commissioned 1,392 MW industrial sets and 319 MW of overseas projects, taking the overall capacity addition/synchronisation to 11,941 MW. The power plant equipment manufacturer has crossed a major milestone, with installed capacity exceeding 155 GW, including 132 GW of domestic utility sets. With this, BHEL has joined the elite club of international manufacturers that have supplied power-generating equipment with a capacity more than 150 GW. In the first three years of the 12th Plan (2012-17), BHEL has commissioned a capacity of 26,091 MW, exceeding the cumulative target of 24,737 MW set by the government. The company has surpassed its total commissioning of 25,385 MW in the entire 11th Plan (2007-12). In the 12th Plan, two supercritical sets of 660 MW rating have been commissioned for the first time by BHEL. Besides, BHEL successfully started in quick succession, three units of 270 MW each within a span of just 42 days at Amravati in Maharashtra. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Bescom urges consumers to declare electricity overuse with 'voluntary disclosure'

May 18, 2015. To improve supply and plug revenue leaks, Bengaluru's electricity distribution utility Bescom will ask consumers to "reset" peak power load through "self declaration" or " voluntary disclosure". Consumers have been overusing electricity above the permitted load either willfully or due to ignorance causing supply bottlenecks. With Bescom moving to electronic meters from electro-mechanical meters, it can now know the exact peak load used by individual consumers. The utility will start the drive in a month's time, Bescom said. The distribution utility levies a two-part tariff on consumers comprising fixed and energy charges. Fixed charges depend on the consumer's contract demand or the peak load the consumer prefers to have, while the energy charge depends on electricity consumed. (

J&K suffers ` 92.6 bn deficit on power purchase: CAG

May 18, 2015. Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government incurred ` 14,915 crore on power purchase during 2009-10 to 2013-14, and recovered only ` 5,663 crore during this five-year period, resulting in a deficit of massive ` 9,262 crore, according to Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. As per the figures of CAG on state finances for the year ended March 31, 2014, Jammu and Kashmir has incurred an expenditure of ` 14,915 crore on account of power purchase from 2009-10 to 2013-14. The state was able to recover only ` 5,653 crore during this period, thereby suffering power deficit to the tune of ` 9,262 crore, the CAG said. The state government had set a revenue target of ` 8,988 crore during the last five years period from 2009-10 to 2013-14, it said. The CAG said the targets for collection of power department tariff were not achieved. The government did not present a time bound action plan to recover minimum 50 percent of the charges after accounting for operation and maintenance expenses from the users as recommended by the 13th Finance Commission. (

'NTPC, DVC owe ` 90 bn to CIL'

May 17, 2015. Power generation firms like NTPC and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) have outstanding dues of around ` 9,000 crore to Coal India Ltd (CIL). Companies which owe money to the coal PSU include West Bengal Power Development Corp and Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Co. According to industry analysts, the power generation firms owe huge dues to CIL as state electricity distribution companies which buys electricity from power PSUs are facing tough financial conditions and in the last one year the situation of these Discoms have not improved. In the wake of many state discoms facing tough financial conditions, the previous government had come out with a financial restructuring scheme for them. The scheme had a total outlay of ` 1,000 crore for the entire 12th Five-Year Plan period, which ends in March 2017. Later, it was increased and a provision of ` 1,500 crore was made only for 2013-14. A Parliamentary panel had earlier suggested that the government should review the financial restructuring package for state electricity power distribution firms as not many states have shown interest in the scheme. (

JICA loan to augment power transmission in Odisha

May 15, 2015. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide 21,787 million Japanese Yen (` 1,150 crore) Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan to augment power transmission infrastructure in Odisha. The assistance will provide for substations and transmission lines across Odisha to enhance the stability of power system and reliability of power supply and reduce transmission loss in the state with increasing electricity demand due to rapid economic growth. As a consequence of remarkable economic growth of Odisha, one of the fastest among the states, which is expected to mark around 9% in 2014-15, the installed power generation capacity in Odisha is expected to increase from 5,511 MW in 2014-15 to 10,932 MW by 2021-22. Availability of uninterrupted and stable electricity is a precursor to sustained economic growth across urban and rural areas. The assistance will further development of an efficient, coordinated and economical system of intra-state power transmission, in tandem with regional requirement for uninterrupted power supply from surplus regions to deficit regions. The civil works for the construction of substations and transmission lines would be carried out by Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited, Government of Odisha, and will be completed in phases by 2020. From the view point of disaster prevention, it is planned to install substations in this project that are resistant to natural disasters. (

Transmission projects of ` 1 lakh cr to be bid out in 6 months: Goyal

May 13, 2015. In order to strengthen the power transmission in the country, the government would award projects totaling ` 1 lakh crore in the coming six months, minister of state for coal, power and renewable energy Piyush Goyal said. As per FICCI report in 2013, in order to meet the upcoming generation capacity, investment in the transmission sector needs to be to the tune of $35 billion. Of this, $16 billion – 46 percent of the total investments, needs to be secured from private players, the report said. Power transmission sector was opened up to the private sector in 2010 with the award of Western Regional System Strengthening to Reliance Infra and East-North Interconnection line to Sterlite. However, Power Grid Corporation of India has a monopoly in the market with more than 45 percent project allotted to it and having 99 percent market share. Currently Power Grid has more than ` 1.3 lakh crore order book of central as well as state funded projects. Currently, it has 15 major transmission projects pending owing to issues on land and delay in power generation installation. (

Policy / Performance………….

Fuel cost hike offsets recent power tariff reduction: Punjab

May 18, 2015. The Punjab State Power Corp Ltd (PSPCL) has imposed 4 paise per unit as fuel cost adjustment (FCA) on consumers, offsetting the tariff reduction that had come after eight years. While the FCA has done away with the reduction in the first 100 units of household consumption announced by the power regulator, it has increased tariff for all other categories by 4 paise per unit, which was kept unchanged by the regulator in its tariff order. The PSPCL issued commercial orders to impose 4 paise per unit for the metered supply and ` 2 per break horse power (BHP) per month on unmetered supply (agriculture sector). The power regulator had allowed the PSPCL to impose the levy of fuel surcharge. FCA surcharge is applicable to all categories of consumers -- domestic, industry and commercial. It will be charged with retrospective effect from October 2014 and will also be levied on the current fiscal on all consumers. The power regulator has allowed the PSPCL to recover ` 36.83 crore in the FCA on account of increase in coal and power purchase cost, PSPCL said. The FCA surcharge pertains to the third quarter of 2014-15 (October to December 2014) and will be recovered from consumers from April 1 to June 2015, PSPCL said. (

Goyal confident of 24x7 power supply to all

May 18, 2015. India is on the cusp of a big leap towards achieving 24x7 power supply for all its citizens and there is enough scope in the system to reduce power tariff along the way, coal and power minister Piyush Goyal has said. He accepted that transmission bottleneck was proving a handicap since for the first time, the country had surplus power and surplus coal. Goyal said the government had brought fuel supply under "some sort of control", which had brought energy deficit down to the lowest level in history at 3.6%, while generation was up 8.5%. (

Govt may bar multiple bids by one company in coal auctions

May 18, 2015. The coal ministry is looking at barring multiple bids by any corporate group in the next round of bidding for mines, according to coal and power minister Piyush Goyal. The move is aimed at curtailing the probability of price rigging or cartelization that the ministry believes led to wide variation in the winning bids, described as "outliers" by ministry officials, for blocks in the first round of mine auction for power projects. These outliers had prompted the ministry to put under scanner bids for several blocks and finally reject the winning bid of Naveen Jindal group firm for Gare Palma IV/2&3 blocks, first reported by TOI. Blocks for powering generation units are auctioned through reverse bidding, wherein companies have to bid below the reserve price. The lowest bidder in a block is considered winner. But, once the bidding price hits zero, companies go into forward bidding and the highest quote is chosen as the winner. Companies can take advantage of multiple bids to rig price and also create barriers for others in a block. In the last round of auctions, the Vedanta Group put in 25 bids for 14 out of 23 producing blocks that were being auctioned. The group used its various arms, some of them even competing for the same block, to put in multiple bids. The Aditya Birla Group put in 15 bids for eight blocks. Jindal Steel and Power, which was hit the most when the Supreme Court cancelled allocation of 204 blocks in September last year, put in 13 bids for six blocks. The minister did not see the proposed condition as a dampener and said it would be applied in the next round of auction. (

CIL yet to sign FSAs for 4 GW

May 15, 2015. Coal India Ltd (CIL) is yet to sign fuel supply pacts with power plants for around 4,000 MW. The government, in 2012, had issued a presidential directive to CIL asking the PSU to seal supply agreements with power producers for a capacity of 78,000 MW. There are delays in signing even as the government has time and again made promises of providing round-the-clock electricity to all by 2019. Out of 78,000 MW of capacity, CIL has inked fuel supply agreements (FSAs) for a capacity of 74,000 MW so far. FSAs for the remaining 4,000 MW could not be signed due to various issues, including non-achievement of goals by power producers. Many earlier deadlines for the signing of FSAs have lapsed, too. CIL, which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production, missed the output target for 2014-15 by 3 percent, recording 494.23 million tonnes. The output target was 507 million tonnes for the fiscal. In 2013-14, the company had clocked production of 462.53 million tonnes of coal. (

India-Bangladesh agree on private sector partnership to swap electricity

May 15, 2015. India and Bangladesh have agreed to open ways for private sector partnership to swap electricity alongside existing government-level cooperation, officials said as power secretaries of the two countries concluded a two-day meeting. Officials familiar with the meeting said that the proposal of the private sector partnership was floated by the Indian side as several Indian companies including Reliance previously expressed interest for investment in power in Bangladesh. An official statement issued after the meeting said the meeting reviewed the progress on Bangladesh's move for import of additional 600 MW power from India, of which 100 MW would come from Tripura's Palatana power project starting next December while the remaining 500 MW was expected to reach from December, 2017. It said the meeting reviewed and discussed the progress of installation of a high capacity multi-terminal HVDC bi-pole transmission line for inter-connection between India's north and north-eastern region and the proposed 1,320 MW coal-fired Rampal power plant near Sundarbans in Bangladesh. (

Nuclear project will be completed at Jaitapur: Vinod Tawde

May 14, 2015. Despite strong opposition from Shiv Sena over the Jaitapur nuclear power project, the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government said that the project would be completed at its original place. However, the concerns raised by the local people would also be addressed, human resources development minister Vinod Tawde said. He was reacting to the agitation of Sena MPs in relation to the nuclear power project on the Parliament premises. They wanted to meet the Prime Minister to express their opposition against the project and were allegedly not getting an appointment from the PMO. Later, they met the Prime Minister and requested him to move the project at another place. (

Govt plans to auction 11 coal mines soon

May 14, 2015. The government plans to soon auction about 11 coal mines which could not be sold in the first two phases of the recent coal block auctions. The mines which the government is proposing to put on sale includes Parbatpur Central mine (producing block) in Jharkhand and MarkiMangli I mine (producing block) in Maharashtra. Besides, it includes Dongrital II mine in Madhya Pradesh, Jamkhani mine in Odisha and MarkiMangli IV in Maharashtra, among others. The government recently auctioned coal blocks in two phases, which had garnered over ` 2 lakh crore from just 29 blocks, surpassing the presumptive loss figure of ` 1.86 lakh crore estimated earlier by government auditor CAG for allotment of mines without auction. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had recently asked the Coal Ministry to expedite the process of next round of mines auction. (

Hope of power from Jharkhand plant

May 13, 2015. The re-bidding process for a 3,960 MW ultra mega power project at Tilaiya has revived the hope of Bihar getting 500 MW from the Jharkhand plant. The Jharkhand government has initiated the process of re-bidding of the project after Reliance Power pulled out of it because of "delay in land acquisition" for the project. Bihar was allotted 500 MW from the project when Reliance had won the contract in August 2009 to set up an ultra mega power project at Tilaiya in Hazaribagh. Energy Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav said that the NTPC is likely to take up the job of constructing the project from which Bihar would benefit too. (

Govt takes back coal block from Reliance Power’s Sasan unit

May 13, 2015. The government has issued a formal notification scrapping allocation of one of the three coal mines for the Sasanutra-mega power project built in Madhya Pradesh by Reliance Power as a fallout of the Supreme Court judgement cancelling allotment of 204 blocks. The Chhatrasal coal block is one of the three captive mines that were allotted to Sasan Power Ltd in 2006. The other two mines allotted for fuelling the Sasan project are Moher and Moher-Amlohri Extension. The Supreme Court judgement left alone allocation of blocks for ultra-mega power but said surplus coal from such mines cannot be used commercially in other plants of the promoter company. Reliance Power had formally announced completion of the 4,000 MW Sasan project in March. The project is an integrated power plant-cum-coal mining project at a single location, involving an investment of over ` 27,000 crore. Coal production has already commenced from the 20 million tonnes Moher and Moher-Amlohri mines associated with the project. This is the second setback for the group. Recently it pulled out of the contract ` 36,000-crore Tilaiya ultra-mega power project in Jharkhand over, what it called "inordinate" delays in land acquisition. (



Albania opens O&G exploration bid process for 7 blocks

May 19, 2015. Albania will offer companies interested in oil and gas (O&G) exploration seven offshore and onshore blocks in June 2015 in a bidding process. Energy ministry wants bids for onshore blocks 4 and 5 in southern and southeastern Albania, and Dumre in central Albania to be handed in by 15 June 2015, while bids for the offshore blocks Ionian 5 and Rodoni, and the onshore blocks Panaja and C, would be accepted until 25 June 2015. Once the bids come in, the Natural Resources Agency will evaluate the offers and recommend the best one to the ministry so that it may negotiate a production-sharing agreement. The companies would be able explore for an initial period of up to 5 years which can be extended to 7 if needed, and they can develop and produce in the block for 25 years. Offshore oil exploration caused friction between Albania and neighbouring Greece as part of the Ionian 5 block overlaps with the Ionian Sea area in which Greece seeks to search for oil. (

Nigeria plans to split gas from oil leases to boost output

May 19, 2015. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, plans to issue separate leases for gas assets in order to attract more investors to boost output of the fuel, the state-owned oil company said. Almost all of the West African nation’s reserves of 184 trillion cubic feet of gas, the world’s eighth-largest, were found in the course of searching for crude. The new plan seeks to provide opportunities for companies specifically exploring for gas, according to Nigeria National Petroleum Corp (NNPC). More than 80 percent of Nigeria’s hydrocarbon reserves are in leases held by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Total SA and Eni SpA, whose priority continues to be oil, NNPC said. These companies run joint ventures with the state-owned NNPC that pump most of the country’s crude. Nigeria currently produces about 9 billion cubic feet a day of gas, half of which is exported as liquefied natural gas. While 1 billion cubic feet a day is flared in the course of oil production, another 1 billion cubic feet is reinjected into oil wells daily for pressure stability. Some 2 billion cubic feet a day is supplied to industries and power plants, where demand is estimated to more than double to 5 billion cubic feet a day in two years. (

Tokyo Gas targets more US shale gas investments

May 18, 2015. Tokyo Gas Co Ltd, Japan's biggest gas utility, is looking to invest in more United States (US) shale gas production as a hedge to liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports from the US to start next year, the company said. The company has inked contracts to buy 1.9 million tonnes per year (tpy) of LNG from U.S. producers and aims to invest in an equal volume in the upstream sector, Tokyo Gas said. The company has contracted to buy 1.4 million tpy of U.S. LNG from the Cove Point project, which will start shipments in the second or third quarter next year, and 0.5 million tpy from Mitsui & Co's Cameron project, Tokyo Gas said. In 2013, Tokyo Gas bought a stake in a shale gas field in Texas' Barnett Basin from Quicksilver Resources that would give it 0.35 million to 0.5 million tpy of gas output. Companies seeking to attract investments in U.S. shale projects are offering terms that could work even after oil prices fell, he said, citing a project proposed last month in Houston that would yield fixed revenue of $11 per million British thermal units for deliveries by ship to Asia. Tokyo Gas said US gas delivered to Asian destinations is competitive to oil-indexed supplies when oil is at $70 a barrel, but loses its cost competitiveness at $50 a barrel. (

Goldman Sachs sees Brent crude oil at $55 a barrel in 2020

May 18, 2015. Brent crude oil will trade at $55 a barrel in five years according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., more than $10 lower than current prices and a discount of $20 to 2020 futures. The bank assumes that long-term oil prices could drop as companies make “efficiency and productivity” improvements, according to a report. Shale oil producers could break even with West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, as low as $50 a barrel by 2020, it said. Oil’s rally from a six-year low in March is stalling as U.S. output remains near a record even as the number of rigs drilling for oil in the nation shrinks. Producers battered by the steepest market collapse in a generation are signaling for the first time that they believe the worst is behind them. U.S. shale drillers Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc., Devon Energy Corp. and Chesapeake Energy Corp. all lifted their full-year production outlooks this month. EOG Resources Inc. said it plans to increase drilling as soon as crude stabilizes around $65 a barrel, while Pioneer Natural Resources Co. has said it is preparing to deploy more rigs as soon as July. (


US refiners dominate western hemisphere markets

May 18, 2015. The United States (US) is fast becoming the major refining hub for the entire western hemisphere as plentiful crude at home and superior efficiency enable U.S. refiners to grab market share across the region. U.S. refiners supply almost a quarter of the rest of the hemisphere’s daily fuel demand, up from less than 10 percent a decade ago. U.S. refiners are exporting more than 4 million barrels of gasoline, diesel and other fuels every day around the world, up from 1 million barrels per day in 2005. Two-thirds of the exports, almost 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd), go to markets in the western hemisphere, according to U.S. Customs. Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela all received record or near-record shipments last year. Other countries as far away as France, Nigeria, China, South Korea, Australia and Lebanon have also seen increased imports from the United States. But the western hemisphere has been the biggest and fastest growing market for U.S. refineries, accounting for an extra 2 million barrels per day since 2005. U.S. refiners have turned to exporting as demand for gasoline and other refined fuels has stagnated at home. Domestic consumption of petroleum products peaked in 2005, though recently there have been signs of renewed growth as oil prices have fallen. At the same time, the mostly small, old and inefficient refineries across the rest of the hemisphere have struggled to meet growing demand, creating a gap into which U.S. refiners have stepped hungrily. U.S. refineries have benefited from soaring shale production and the ban on crude exports which enables them to buy crude at home at a steeply discounted price to process it for export. (

Ecopetrol's Cartagena refinery to restart later in year

May 13, 2015. Ecopetrol's Cartagena refinery on Colombia's north coast will return to operation around October or November but could take up to five months to reach its normal production speed, the state-run company said. The refinery, which produces fuels and other oil derivatives mainly for the export market, has been undergoing a $6.4 billion renovation that is expected to double its capacity to around 165,000 barrels per day. Ecopetrol said the plant would start up in stages until all 31 of its refining units were brought online. Ecopetrol said it had returned to profit again in the first quarter of the year after reporting a rare loss in the fourth quarter of 2014, due to the plunge in crude oil prices. Profits were down 96 percent from a year ago. (

Transportation / Trade……….

Georgia denies key permit for Kinder's Palmetto pipeline

May 19, 2015. The state of Georgia's top transportation official has denied Kinder Morgan Inc's request for a key permit to build a $1.12 billion gasoline and distillate pipeline through the southeast part of the state. In a letter, Georgia's Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurray said he had determined that Kinder's proposed 360-mile (579 km) Palmetto Pipeline is not critical enough to allow the company to condemn property and obtain easements along its route to allow its construction. The 167,000 barrels per day (bpd) Palmetto Pipeline would run from Belton, South Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida. The project would also involve more storage tanks and pump stations to add 125,000 bpd of capacity on part of Kinder's 3,100-mile-long, 700,000 bpd Louisiana-to-Virginia Plantation Pipeline system. That new capacity would stretch from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the Palmetto connection in South Carolina. (

Poland-Lithuania Gas Interconnection gets EU financial aid

May 19, 2015. Poland's gas transmission system operator, Gaz-System S.A. and Lithuania's natural gas transmission system operator, AB Amber Grid signed a tripartite agreement with the European Union's (EU) Innovation Network Executive Agency (INEA) on the financial assistance of the EU to the Project Preparatory Works for the Poland-Lithuania Gas Interconnection (GIPL). Under this Agreement, the Project was granted financial assistance of the EU of €10.6mn under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The GIPL project aims at the integration of the Baltic States gas markets into a single gas market of the EU, at the diversification of gas supply sources and at the enhancement of the security of gas supplies. Preparatory works for the implementation of the GIPL Project were started back in 2009. The year 2011 saw the preparation of the GIPL Business Environment Analysis and the year 2013 marked the preparation of the Feasibility Study of the GIPL Project. The GIPL Project's Environmental Impact Assessment Procedures on the Polish territory began back in 2013 and are scheduled for completion in 2016. The prospective gas transmission pipeline will connect gas compressor stations of the two countries: the Lithuanian Gas Compressor Station of Jauniūnai and the Polish one of Rembelszczyzna. Total length of the prospective gas pipeline is 534 km, of which about 357 km fall within the territory of Poland. The GIPL Project is estimated to require an investment of €558mn, of which €422mn in the territory of Poland and €136mn in the territory of Lithuania. Launch into operation of the GIPL is scheduled for 2020. (            

Saudi Arabia's March oil exports highest in over nine years

May 18, 2015. Saudi Arabia's crude exports rose in March to their highest in almost a decade, official data showed, a sign of unexpectedly strong global demand as the top oil exporter revved up its output to the loftiest rate on record. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) heavyweight shipped 7.898 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in March, up from 7.350 million bpd in February and 7.474 million bpd in January, figures supplied by Riyadh to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) showed. That was the highest level since November 2005, when the kingdom shipped 7.962 million bpd, according to JODI. Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has said Saudi Arabia produced some 10.3 million bpd of crude in March, highlighting the strength of global demand, which has helped lift refinery profit margins to their highest in years. The increase underlined Saudi Arabia's determination not to cede market share to higher-cost producers, such as U.S. shale drillers. The kingdom and others in the OPEC have resisted cutting production to shore up oil prices. (

Russia urges EU to support gas pipeline crossing Turkey

May 15, 2015. Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has urged the European Union (EU) to support the idea of a Moscow-backed pipeline that would bring natural gas across the Black Sea to Turkey and the rest of Europe. Sergei Lavrov said the pipeline — which could include Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary — would bring "energy stability" to Europe. Greece's left-wing government has expressed interest in the project, dubbed Turkish Stream. The United States, however, has been encouraging the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will take Azeri gas from the Caspian Sea to Italy. Russia scrapped plans for another pipeline for Southern Europe amid a deepening crisis with the West over Ukraine. (

Mexico's Pemex signs 5 mn barrel crude contract with Hyundai

May 14, 2015. Mexican state oil company Pemex said it has signed a contract with South Korea's Hyundai to sell the company crude in the second half of this year. Pemex said the contract calls for 5 million barrels to be sold to Hyundai Oilbank Co Ltd, mostly heavy Maya crude as well as some of Pemex's Isthmus light crude. Hyundai Oilbank Co Ltd is a major producer and distributor of oil and refined products in South Korea, and is part of conglomerate Hyundai Group. In March, the head of Pemex's trading arm PMI said that by the end of this year the company expected to double crude exports to South Korea, one of the firm's top markets as it seeks to diversify its sales away from the United States. Pemex announced a 1 million barrel crude shipment to South Korea's second-biggest refiner, GS Caltex Corp, the first installment of a separate 5 million barrels in shipments to the country that was expected to be finalized in April. (

Pipeline carrying Nigeria's Bonny Light crude for export shut down

May 14, 2015. The Trans Nigeria Pipeline that carries Nigeria's Bonny Light crude oil to an export terminal has been shut down since May 12, Shell said. The company closed the pipeline, which has the capacity to carry around 180,000 barrels per day of crude oil to the Bonny Export Terminal, following a leak in the Ogoni area of Nigeria. Shell said the closure has not led to a force majeure declaration, but would not otherwise comment on exports. The expected duration of the closure was not immediately clear, but traders have said Bonny Light loadings were delayed by four to six days, and that some of the June-loading cargoes could be deferred to July as a result. (

Poland's PGNiG seeks arbitration in Gazprom dispute

May 13, 2015. Poland's largest gas distributor PGNiG said it had filed for arbitration with the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal in a dispute with its biggest gas supplier Gazprom, looking to change the pricing of their long-term contract. The steps taken by PGNiG aim to bring the contract in line with the current conditions on the European natural gas market, the company said. The Polish firm lodged the arbitration suit after it failed to renegotiate the contract with Gazprom in talks that began in November last year. (

Philippines' First Gen readies plans for $1 bn LNG import terminal

May 13, 2015. The Philippines' First Gen Corp said construction of its $1 billion LNG terminal should begin by next year to ensure unhampered operation of its power plants when the country's Malampaya natural gas fields run dry in the next decade. The company intends to keep a 50 percent stake in the project and give partners the other half, including a foreign investor, First Gen President Francis Giles Puno said. First Gen's regasification terminal is one of at least four such projects that would open the Southeast Asian country's doors to natural gas imports. Australian-listed Energy World Corp Ltd is looking to switch on its Quezon LNG import hub and power plant this year, while Manila Electric Co recently said it was in talks with Osaka Gas Co Ltd to build natural gas facilities, including a regasification terminal. Shell, operator of Malampaya, is also looking to set up a floating regasification facility near its Tabangao refinery in the Philippines. Construction of First Gen's terminal should begin in the second half of 2016 or early 2017 so that it will be ready by 2020 or 2021, before Malampaya is depleted by 2024, Puno said. (

China reduces oil product export quotas in second quarter

May 13, 2015. Beijing has cut the pace at which it is allowing Chinese refiners to ship out oil products this year by more than 40 percent in its second quarter review of annual export volumes, traders familiar with China's oil markets said. China controls oil product exports through quotas to state-run refiners after assessing domestic needs. Sinopec Corp, CNOOC Ltd and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) were given an additional oil product export quota of 5.6 million tonnes for the year, down from the 9.75 million tonnes initially awarded for the year in the first quarter. The state refiners could not be reached for official comment on the matter. The refiners can usually apply for more allowances once initial quotas are used up. The quotas are typically given every quarter after a review of domestic supply and demand balances. The drop in the volumes issued this quarter are likely due to expectations of lower operating rates, high domestic prices and high inventory, traders said. Through April, Chinese refineries have been running at near-record levels of around 10.5 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), but traders are expecting a heavy refinery maintenance season this month. The largest drop in the quarterly quota issue was in gasoline, with the allowance cut by nearly half to 1.4 million tonnes from an initial 2.7 million tonnes, traders said. The additional jet fuel export volume quota was cut to nearly 3 million tonnes, from a first-quarter quota issue of 5.6 million tonnes, they said. Gasoil posted the least reduction of about 7 percent to 1.26 million tonnes added in the second round. Chinese refiners are expected to boost diesel exports in May, with shipments climbing to over 500,000 tonnes, as the refiners try to utilize unused portions of the quota from the first round. (

Policy / Performance…………

Libya's NOC chief sees higher oil prices, not relying on OPEC

May 19, 2015. The head of Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC) sees higher oil prices and said the company is working to boost output and regain market share taken by other producers. NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanallah said he saw signs of oil demand increasing across the globe and a fall in the supply of shale oil in the United States. Brent crude was trading at around $65 a barrel, up from a low near $45 seen in January but still nearly half the level set in June 2014 before a collapse due to a global glut. OPEC member Libya produced almost 1.6 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) before the 2011 revolution which ousted Muammar Gaddafi, but output is now far lower due to unrest. Sanallah said Libya is pumping around 436,000 bpd, a total he hoped would increase by 200,000 bpd in the next two months through the repair of damaged fields and keeping dialogue with elements who have blocked pipelines and oilfields. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets on June 5 to review its 2014 decision not to cut production and focus on market share. Sanallah said his priority was boosting Libyan output rather than the OPEC meeting. He said he shared the view of Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, seen as the driver of OPEC's 2014 decision not to cut output. (

World Bank targets Chinese gas amid largest global demand growth

May 18, 2015. The World Bank’s private lending arm is targeting investments in natural gas companies in China, the largest growing market for the fuel. The International Finance Corp (IFC) is investing $150 million in gas distribution company China Tian Lun Gas Holdings Ltd after announcing a $300 million debt-financing deal for China Gas Holdings Ltd. The IFC will probably invest in two to three other gas distributors in the nation in the “medium term,” according to Lance Crist, the IFC’s global head of oil and gas in Washington. Chinese gas demand will more than triple from 2012 to 2040 as the nation seeks to diversify away from coal to reduce air pollution, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). Gas will account for 11 percent of the country’s primary energy demand in 2040 from 4 percent now, the agency said. Half of the funds for Tian Lun will come from the IFC’s Global Infrastructure Fund, the first Asian deal by the $1.2 billion facility aimed at infrastructure projects in developing countries. The lender, which in 2013 invested in ENN Energy Holdings Ltd., expects to provide a $60 million loan package for Hong Kong-listed Tian Lun in the third quarter, Crist said. China will need more energy as people move from rural areas to cities, presenting an opportunity for gas distribution companies, according to Crist. The nation’s demand for the fuel will rise to exceed 600 billion cubic meters by 2014, more than Europe consumes now, the IEA estimates. Usage will reach 390 billion by 2025 from 148 billion in 2012. The IFC will also seek to invest in China’s liquefied natural gas terminals over the next year or two as private projects develop, he said. China will become the world’s biggest LNG importer after Japan by 2035, BP Plc said. The nation may be one of the first to develop LNG use for river transport in a bid to reduce emissions from diesel, according to the IEA. (

Australia offers 29 offshore blocks for bidding in 2015 Acreage Release

May 18, 2015. The Australian Government offered 29 offshore oil and gas blocks for bidding by investors in the country's annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, the Department of Industry and Science's entity Geoscience Australia revealed in an announcement. The 2015 Acreage Release, comprising blocks located in eight basins offshore the Northern Territory, the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, includes 23 areas for work program bidding and six areas for cash bidding. Bidders can submit their interests for the 11 offshore blocks available in Work Program Round 2 by April 21, 2016. Six blocks have been offered under the Cash Bid Round, with pre-qualification closing Oct. 15 and the shortlisted companies to submit cash bid by Feb. 4, 2016. The Australian Government is also re-offering areas that did not attract investors in the 2014 bidding rounds and the closing date for submission is Oct. 29. The blocks available in the 2015 Acreage Release have been selected to provide the petroleum exploration industry a variety of investment opportunities, covering areas that are located in a range of water depths and vary in size and level of existing geological knowledge. Meanwhile, the nomination period for areas for potential inclusion in the 2016 Acreage Release opens May 18 and closes July 31. (

Oil groups ask court to temporarily block US fracking rules

May 18, 2015. Two oil and gas groups have asked a federal court to block the implementation new U.S. rules for hydraulic fracturing on public lands until their lawsuit challenging the regulations is resolved. The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Western Energy Alliance filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management from enforcing the regulations, arguing the standards will cause their members irreparable harm. The regulations, finalized in March, would require companies to provide data on the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and to take steps to prevent leakage from oil and gas wells on federally owned land. They do not cover wells on private land. Fracking, involves the injection of large amounts of water, sand and chemicals underground at high pressure to extract fuel. The groups said the Bureau also failed to properly account for the economic consequences of the rules. Environmentalists have charged that fracking, which helped unleash the shale oil and gas boom, pollutes the air and fouls drinking water supplies. Oil and gas industry supporters counter the practice has been done safely under state oversight for decades. The IPAA and the Western Energy Alliance argued the Bureau has not shown any deficiencies in existing state regulations for oil and gas drilling that would justify the federal standards. (

BP agrees to cut spending on Iraq's Rumaila field after oil price drop

May 18, 2015. BP has cut its development budget for Iraq's giant Rumaila oilfield by $1 billion this year after the government warned a slump in crude prices and its battle against Islamic State was making it difficult to pay oil companies. The British oil major has agreed with Baghdad to reduce its 2015 spending on the country's largest oilfield to $2.5 billion, from the initially planned $3.5 billion. International firms operate in Iraq's southern oilfields under service contracts, whereby they are paid a fixed dollar fee for volumes produced. But the arrangement has put Baghdad's coffers under immense strain, as a dramatic drop in crude prices since last summer has hammered the revenue it receives from selling oil. Oil companies have proposed millions of dollars of budget cuts, a senior Iraqi oil ministry official told Reuters in March. It came after the government - wary of a boost in production costs that would further stretch state finances - asked them to revise development plans by considering postponing new projects and delaying already committed undertakings. Production from Rumaila is expected to remain steady at around current levels of about 1.4 million barrels per day in 2015. (

Oil price likely to hold up for rest of year: Kuwait OPEC governor

May 18, 2015. Global crude oil prices are not expected to fall in the second half of 2015, Kuwait's OPEC governor Nawal al-Fuzaia said, and any surplus supply was due rather to shale producers rather than OPEC. OPEC production had not increased by more than 200,000 to 400,000 barrels per day above its 30 million bpd cap since 2011, Fuzaia said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said its oil output rose further in April by 18,000 bpd, due to record output in top exporter Saudi Arabia and increases in Iraq and Iran. Fuzaia said it was still too early to talk about OPEC's policy decision when the group meets next on June 5. (

Qatar Petroleum sees rising OPEC demand as price drop hits shale

May 17, 2015. Demand for OPEC’s crude will rise as the drop in oil prices below $100 a barrel continues to hinder shale production, Qatar Petroleum International said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided in November not to cut its output target amid a price slump, which resulted from a global supply glut driven by sluggish demand and rising U.S. shale production.

The decision roiled markets, contributing to a decline in prices of almost 50 percent last year. Brent crude closed at $66.81, up 43 percent from its lowest settlement for the year on Jan. 13. Oil prices have stabilized since December because of higher demand from Europe and emerging markets, and lower U.S. output, Qatar Petroleum International said. OPEC will “stick with” its earlier decision to maintain the output ceiling when it meets next month because of the recovery in prices this year, Kuwait’s Supreme Petroleum Council said. (

Venezuela eyes $100 oil price, deal with non-OPEC producers

May 15, 2015. Venezuela is pushing for a new agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC nations to stabilize oil prices, President Nicolas Maduro said, in the most serious indication yet of a renewed drive to boost prices back to $100 per barrel. Cash-strapped Venezuela has been a historic price hawk, and a severe recession and product shortages have heightened Maduro's need for a market recovery. Maduro himself said in January prices would not return to $100, and told citizens, "God will provide." The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets on June 5 in Vienna. The group in November shot down calls by price hawks including Venezuela for an output cut.

Ali al-Naimi, the oil minister of OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, has said in recent months that he is open to cooperating with non-OPEC producers to stabilize the market, but that OPEC will no longer cut output without other nations joining in. While OPEC and non-OPEC nations agreed to joint output cuts 15 years ago to revive prices that had tumbled to $10 a barrel, many analysts doubt they have the political will to do so again – and wonder if Gulf members would trust any pledges to pump less. (

Myanmar rules out launch of bidding round for exploration blocks this year

May 13, 2015. Myanmar ruled out the launch of any bidding round for onshore or offshore petroleum exploration blocks this year as the government is focused on the development of recently signed production sharing contracts (PSC), according to Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) said.

MOGE said that the earliest launch of another offshore bidding round is likely to take place in early 2017 as upstream work in Myanmar will focus on the 20 exploration blocks awarded by the Ministry of Energy in March 2014. Meanwhile, PSCs for all but one of the 20 offshore blocks awarded in the last bidding round in 2013 have been signed by the end of April, with the latest involving deepwater Block AD-10. The PSC, located off Myanmar's Rakhine coast, was signed by operator Statoil ASA and partner ConocoPhillips Co., April 30. According to the Ministry of Energy, Myanmar has 104 oil and gas blocks, comprising 53 onshore and 51 offshore blocks. At present, only 16 onshore and 19 offshore blocks have been developed. (



Enel and Abengoa will build Pemex's 517 MW CHP project in Mexico

May 18, 2015. Mexican oil company Pemex has selected Abengoa and Enel to build a 517 MW gas-fired cogeneration plant near Salina Cruz, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The CHP plant worth US$950mn will be constructed on the site of Pemex's Antonio Dovalí Jaime refinery. Pemex expects the new unit to supply power and heat for its operations, while reducing its CO2 emissions. The excess power will be sold in the market. (

2.8 GW of power capacity could be added in Southern Africa by 2018

May 18, 2015. According to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), more than 2,760 MW of new capacities should be commissioned by 2018 in Southern African countries. The bulk of the projects are located in South Africa, where five projects with a total capacity of 1,828 MW are expected to be commissioned this year, including the first 794 MW unit at the Medupi coal-fired power plant. In addition, more than 400 MW of power capacity should be commissioned in the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of the year. Among projects expected in 2015, 45% will come from renewables and projects developed by Independent Power Producers will contribute by about 32% to the new generation capacity. (   

Chinese investors to invest in power generation in Bangka-Belitung

May 18, 2015. Bangka-Belitung Governor Rustam Effendi is inviting investors from China to invest in power generation in his province in a bid to avert an electricity crisis. Rustam made the remarks after meeting with seven representatives of China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd. to work out the locations and certainty of the construction of the power plants in the province. The governor explained that a plant to generate 500 MW of the total electricity capacity would be built on Bangka Island and the on Belitung Island to generate 200 MW. (

Ethiopia seeks Turkish companies to invest in power generation

May 15, 2015. Ethiopia wants Turkish companies to invest in the business of power generation and transmission line projects, Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) unveiled. Ethiopian delegation has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with four Turkish companies during its business and investment visit in Turkey to join the energy generation and transmission. Turkish investors are advised to commence on power generation projects beyond the capacity of 500 MW electricity. Ethiopia’s current power generation capacity is 2268 MW. (

EIA forecasts lower power generation capacity additions in the US

May 15, 2015. According to the United States (US) Energy Information Administration (EIA), new power generation capacity additions should slow down by 2040, from 26 GW of new power capacity added each year over the 2000-2013 period on average to less than 20 GW per year by 2040. By 2017, about 17 GW should be installed per year, with nearly half of these new capacities coming from wind and solar power, thanks to federal tax incentives and renewable portfolio standards. Between 2018 and 2024, new additions should fall to less than 4 GW per year, as earlier planned additions will be sufficient to meet rising electricity demand. From 2025 to 2040, additions should resume and average 12 GW per year. Consequently, the installed capacity in the US should increase from 1,068 GW in 2013 to 1,261 GW in 2040. Capacity additions will be more than three times higher than capacity retirements, with 287 GW added and 90 GW retired by 2040. (   

Hydropower leads investments in power generation in the Americas

May 14, 2015. The major power generation sector in which major economies in the Americas will invest is hydropower, according to a report released by Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center. The report said more than US$792 billion will be invested in the coming years to increase generating capacity by 380 GW, with hydroelectric power being valued at $200 billion and headed by Brazil.

Hydropower is estimated to account for 65% of all power generation in Latin America, with some countries (such as Brazil) having more than 85% dependence on the sector. In terms of value, the largest projects in the Americas being tracked by the center are the $22 billion Mariah Wind Farm in Texas in the USA and the $16 billion Tapajos Hydropower Complex in Brazil. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

EBRD signs MoU with Tajikistan for CASA-1000 transmission project

May 18, 2015. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tajikistan Government to work on the country’s energy reform project. The MoU details the modernization agenda in support of the Central Asia-South Asia (CASA)-1000 cross-border electricity transmission project. The reform agenda is the precondition required for funding the CASA 1000 project. Of the other components, the project's domestic transmission infrastructure modernization segment will be financed by EBRD in Tajikistan. The funding will be subject to modernization of Tajikistan's state-owned energy company, Barki Tojik. As part of upgrade program, Barki Tojik will launch an independent energy regulator as well as set out rules for third-party access to the transmission line. The CASA 1000 project aims to facilitate electricity trade between the Central Asian countries of Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic and the South Asian countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan. In particular, the project involves development of a transmission line to bring hydro-generated electricity from the two Central Asian countries, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, to electricity-hungry Afghanistan and Pakistan. The EBRD has already provided $75 mn loan to upgrade the Qairokkum hydropower plant in Tajikistan. (

ITC to invest $4.5 bn in US power transmission

May 15, 2015. ITC Holdings Corp expects to spend about $4.5 billion from 2014 to 2018 to upgrade and expand its power transmission system in the U.S. Midwest, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Rejji Hayes said. He said ITC, based in Michigan, categorizes investments into three "buckets": base capital, regional and development projects. ITC will spend the most on base capital, about $2.2 billion, to fix and upgrade systems it acquired in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri between 2003 and 2007, Hayes said. The company plans to spend about $1.2 billion on regional transmission upgrade projects, like the Michigan Thumb Loop that entered service, and $1.1 billion on greenfield development projects. (

Regulators accept the need for big northern Minnesota transmission line

May 14, 2015. Minnesota Power, a Duluth-based utility serving the Iron Range, cleared a key regulatory hurdle for a proposed northern Minnesota transmission line whose price tag could be as high as $710 million. The Great Northern Transmission Line would run about 220 miles on a route yet to be chosen from the Canadian border north of Roseau, Minn., to a substation east of Grand Rapids. It is part of Minnesota Power’s plan, known as Energy Forward, to replace some of its coal-generated electricity with carbon-free hydropower imported from Canada. Manitoba Hydro, a Winnipeg-based utility that operates 15 hydropower stations and already sells electricity to other Minnesota utilities, will pay 72 percent of the transmission project’s capital costs and own 49 percent of the line — a stake it says it intends to sell to another utility. Minnesota Power is responsible for 28 percent of the cost, and will own 51 percent of the line. Several route variations are under review, and the exact pathway is expected to be chosen next year by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Construction is expected to take four years, putting the line in service in June 2020. The 500,000-volt line — one of the largest capacity lines in the state — will carry more power than Minnesota Power needs, opening the door for Manitoba Hydro to sell hydro to other utilities. Manitoba Hydro, a Provence-owned corporation, has a history of electricity deals with Midwest utilities, including Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, which imports electricity from Canada in the summer and exports it there in the winter via another cross-border transmission line. (

Policy / Performance…………

Czech long-term energy plan continues to rely on nuclear power

May 18, 2015. The Czech government said it remained opposed to state subsidies for nuclear plants as it approved a long-term strategy that stresses the importance of atomic power and renewable energy for decades to come. Nuclear energy will allow the country to comply with a European Union target for cutting carbon emissions, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said.

The government envisages two new reactors at the Soviet-designed Temelin and Dukovany nuclear plants that generate about 40 percent of the nation’s electricity output. The Czech Republic hasn’t decided how the new facilities will be financed after state-controlled utility CEZ AS last year scrapped a $15 billion tender for two reactors as the government refused to guarantee prices for power purchases. Finance Minister Andrej Babis and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka reiterated the government’s reluctance to subsidize nuclear projects. (

Re-open tender for 1MDB’s Jimah power plant

May 18, 2015. The Energy Commission (EC) must call for a new open tender exercise for Project 3B, the 2,000 MW coal-fired power plant, following the failure of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to fulfil the obligations in the concession contract, a DAP lawmaker said. Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said Malaysians might be forced to pay higher electricity rates should Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) take over the project from the cash-strapped state investment vehicle. The project, with an estimated value of RM11 billion, is scheduled for commissioning in stages from October 1, 2018. Project 3B is adjacent to the existing Jimah power station in which TNB has a 25% stake and 1MDB the rest. TNB chief executive officer Datuk Seri Azman Mohd said that it would not be forced into the project by the government, seen as an effort to bail out 1MDB. Azman had said there would likely to be a revision in electricity tariff as well for the project to be commercially viable. However, Malaysians are also concerned that Azman would be seeking a revision in electricity tariff in the event TNB takes over the project, which would not be viable otherwise. (

Electrabel extends nuclear plants unavailability by 4 months

May 15, 2015. Electrabel, the Belgian subsidiary of ENGIE, has extended by four months the unavailability period for its 1,006 MW Doel-3 and 1,008 MW Tihange-2 nuclear reactors: the Belgian reactors, which were expected to be taken back online on 1 July, will be unavailable until 1 November 2015. The reactors have been idled since March 2014 due to cracks in the steel reactor casings. The Belgian nuclear control agency is currently collecting experts opinions and will take them into account to decide whether Electrabel is allowed to restart the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 units. (

Pakistan receives ADB funding for power plant projects

May 15, 2015. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$6bn loan package to finance infrastructures in Pakistan, including energy infrastructure projects: the loan will contribute to finance the construction of the 660 MW Jamshoro supercritical coal-fired power project developed by PEPCO and of several hydropower projects ranging between 100 and 300 MW each. The funds are expected to help Pakistan to limit electricity shortage, as Pakistan is facing a severe and long-running energy crisis. (                               

Regulators approve plan to build power plant in Oxford

May 14, 2015. The Connecticut Siting Council voted 5-2 afternoon to approve plans to build a 785 MW duel-fuel power plant in Oxford, according to the Council. The Towantic Energy Plant, to be developed by Competitive Power Ventures, will be situated several miles from Interstate 84 in Oxford and expected to cost more than $400 million to complete. Competitve Power Ventures has said the location is ideal and will be safe for neighbours. The initial plan called for a 500 MW power plant, while a modified proposal called for 800 MW. Regulators settled on 785 MW. The company said this winter that construction could start as soon as the end of 2015 and the power plant could be operating in 2018. (



Environment Ministry denies green clearance to 6 hydel projects in Arunachal Pradesh

May 19, 2015. A slew of hydro electric projects planned in Arunachal Pradesh have been denied forest clearance by the Environment ministry after a recent meeting. It is learnt that the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) denied the green nod to six hydro electric projects in the state at its meeting held on April 30, 2015. The move comes even as the ministry is caught in a legal tangle over the green clearances to six dams in Uttarakhand. The six hydro power projects were all proposed in the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh and were expected to generate about 3,200 MW of power. The projects involved diversion of over 2,600 hectares of forest land. The Union ministry of environment & forests has decided to go extra cautious with hydro power projects proposed across the Himalayan range keeping in mind recent natural disasters in the area like the devastating flash floods in Uttarakhand and the earthquake in Nepal. (

Infosys will spend ` 4 bn to become carbon neutral

May 19, 2015. Infosys will spend about ` 400 crore over the next four years to achieve carbon-neutrality on commuting and travel by its nearly 1.8 lakh employees and in doing so deepen its commitment to sustainability, India's second-largest software services company said. The Bengaluru-based company will have to offset 3.74 lakh tonne of carbon dioxide attributed to employees' travel, and it will spend ` 70 crore this year on initiatives such as installing solar projects for rural electrification, biogas plants and distribution of smokeless cook-stoves in villages, besides afforestation. Infosys announced that it is joining RE100, an elite club of global corporations such as GE, SAP, Nestle and BT with a commitment to go fully green. While Infosys says it has fully offset greenhouse gas emissions that can be directly attributed to it (such as buying power from the grid and diesel used by its captive generating sets), the software firm is now aiming to offset socalled Scope 3 emissions that are indirectly attributable to it and these arise from employee commute and travel. To fully offset Scope 3 emissions, Infosys says it will have to offset 3.74 lakh tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2). As part its journey toward sustainability, Infosys will commission 55 MW of solar capacity, including 40 MW in Karnataka, in the next year. It will add another 110 MW of solar capacity in the coming years. It is already generating energy from 2.7 MW capacity solar panels on rooftops across its campuses in India. Infosys consumed 257 million units of electricity globally during 2014-15, and 30 percent of this came from renewable energy sources. Three years ago, Infosys had made an announcement at the United Nations committing to meet all its energy needs from renewable energy sources, to become carbon neutral, and to cut per capita power and water consumption by half (on 2007-08 baseline) by 2018. The company said its per-capita power and water consumption declined by 45 percent and 35 percent, respectively, during 2014-15. According to Infosys, achieving 100 percent renewable energy in India is difficult because of the multiplicity of regulations in each state that put hurdles in the way of building clean energy projects. (

India seeks climate change roadmap from developed nations

May 18, 2015. India said developed countries should present a pre-2020 roadmap for combating climate change before the 2015 UN Climate Change conference in Paris. Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said India would like to see a Paris agreement based on trust and which was balanced and realistic. The minister said India has increased cess on coal to ` 200 per tonne, and the fund generated is being used for clean technologies. He said afforestation has been incentivised, India has created architecture for 100 smart cities which will be essentially clean and green cities, and around 3,200 severely polluting industries have been asked to install 24x7 pollution monitoring devices for eflluents as well as emissions. (

Telangana solar policy aims to offer swift solutions for developers

May 18, 2015. The Telangana Government has come up with a new solar policy for 2015, which will be valid for five years with incentives. It provides for a 100 percent refund of VAT/GST for all inputs required for solar power projects, which is to be provided by the Commercial Taxes Department. There is also a provision for 100 percent stamp duty refund for land purchased for the solar power project. Grid-connected solar power projects based on both photo-voltaic as well as solar thermal technologies set up for sale of power to TS discoms or for sale of power to third parties within the State and for captive generation are entitled for facilities. These would be offered to those funded and owned by developers, as also solar roof-top projects, off grid applications, and projects under MNRE and Government of India schemes and solar parks. However, to avail the benefits, the power generated would have to be consumed within the State. The State proposed to encourage development of solar parks to host an array of players. A solar policy cell to facilitate single window clearance has been proposed. A transaction charge of 10,000 per MW shall be applicable with a maximum of 2 lakh per project. The modalities for single window will be announced within 30 days. (

Suzlon bags 98.7 MW contract from Mytrah Energy

May 18, 2015. Wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon said it will supply 47 turbines, each of 2.1 MW capacity, for Mytrah Energy's 98.7 MW wind project in Telangana. The order is part of the Business Partnership Agreement (BPA) signed between the two companies in May 2010 to purchase 1,000 MW of turbines from Suzlon. Suzlon has already commissioned 310 MW wind energy project for Mytrah so far and 205 MW is under execution in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. (

Essel Group, JA Solar JV to set up ` 9.5 bn facility in India

May 18, 2015. Essel Group said it has entered into an agreement with China's energy firm JA Solar to launch a joint venture (JV) for manufacturing solar cell and modules in India. Essel Group was in Shanghai as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's delegation to China to forge strategic partnerships for building integrated, inclusive, innovative and sustainable smart cities in India. The JV company will set up a manufacturing facility in India with an estimated capital expenditure of US 150 million (` 950 crore) out of which USD 30-45 million (` 190 to ` 285 crore) will be by means of equity funding. It will focus on using the latest cutting edge Photo Voltaic (PV) technology to manufacture solar cells, panels and modules in India. The facility is expected to turn out 500 MW of power per annum. This JV is expected to boost Essel's on-going projects for renewable energy. Through this venture Essel will bring a range of global renewable energy solutions to India for use in a wide array of residential, commercial and mass utility based applications. The Essel Group has taken big strides in realising the Modi government dream of setting up 100 smart cities in India. It plans to invest over USD 2 billion over next three years in transforming major cities. (

NMRCL may use solar power to run the service

May 17, 2015. The Nagpur Metro Rail Corp Ltd (NMRCL) may use solar power in a big way to run the service and wants to tie-up with German government for technological and financial support. The NMRCL plans to install a 30 MW capacity solar plant which can be used for the Metro railway stations. The solar system, once installed, will meet 40 percent of the energy requirement, including traction power. NMRCL will not spend any money for generating this power. The project will be executed by an operator, NMRCL said. The German government is positive about the project and federal government agency GIZ has shown interest in giving the know-how for solar project of Nagpur Metro, NMRCL said. (

India, China commit to work together on climate change

May 15, 2015. China and India, the world's No. 1 and No. 3 greenhouse gas emitters, projected a united front on climate change with a rare joint statement that asked rich countries to step up efforts to reduce global carbon emissions. The statement, issued by the two largest developing nations during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China, asked wealthy countries to provide finance, technology and other necessary support to emerging countries to help reduce their own emissions. While both countries stopped short of making any commitments, they said they would submit their respective plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions well before crucial global climate talks are held in Paris later this year. India, which is the world's No. 3 emitter of greenhouse gases, has been under pressure to make commitments after the top two emitters - China and the United States - agreed to new limits on carbon emissions starting in 2025. Modi has signalled he will not bow to foreign pressure and will instead focus on increased use of clean energy to fight the adverse effects of climate change. He wants to quintuple India's renewable energy capacity by 2022. India cannot commit to emissions cuts as it still needs to industrialise and lift millions of people out of poverty, the government said. Both the countries will continue to work together in areas such as clean energy technologies, energy conservation and renewable energy, the joint statement said. (

NTPC to buy 15 GW of solar power through reverse auction

May 15, 2015. As part of the National Democratic Alliance government’s green energy push, NTPC Ltd will call for bids from solar project developers for buying 15,000 MW on behalf of the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE). This is in addition to NTPC’s plans to set up 10,000 MW of solar power capacity on its own. NTPC will run a reverse bidding process for procuring solar-powered electricity in dollar-denominated tariff to reduce risk. It will provide a purchase guarantee, making such projects bankable and help solar power eventually cost the same as that purchased from the grid. Renewable energy accounts for only 31,692.14 MW of India’s power generation capacity of 267,637 MW. NTPC has an installed capacity of 44,598 MW. The government is looking to provide green power at less than ` 4.50 a unit, and NTPC will sell the power it buys to the states. A pre-bid conference has been called to discuss the matter. The idea of dollar-denominated tariff has come from Piyush Goyal, minister for new and renewable energy, power and coal, who has said that the government is exploring various financing models for the renewable energy sector. Inviting dollar-based tariff bids along with sharing of hedging risks is expected to reduce the solar power tariff from around ` 6.7 per unit currently to around ` 4.37 per unit, with the firms freed from any foreign exchange risk. To start with, 3,000 MW of this procured solar power will be bundled with 1,500 MW of unallocated power to bring tariffs further down. While the present installation cost of a solar project is around ` 6 crore per MW, economies of scale are expected to drive down the cost to ` 4.5 crore per MW. India needs as much as $200 billion to meet its target to install 100 GW of solar power and 60,000 MW of wind power by 2022. But securing affordable, long-term and adequate funds has been a challenge for developers of clean-energy projects in India, where interest rates are high. The government has pushed renewable energy to the top of its energy security agenda. NTPC has ambitious green power plans to raise the contribution of renewable energy to 28% to its planned capacity of 128,000 MW by 2032. (

Goyal calls for more efforts to meet renewable energy generation target

May 14, 2015. Efforts should be increased to meet the 175 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2019-20, the Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Minister, Piyush Goyal said. Inaugurating the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), the centre for research and development of solar energy, Goyal said that while the target is for 2022 – seven years from now, all efforts should be made to achieve the target by 2019-20. The institute is under the administrative control of the Ministry for New & Renewable Energy. It will coordinate technology related work under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. Research is conducted under five divisions, solar photovoltaic division, solar thermal, resource assessment & information technology, hydrogen and training & human resource development division. Goyal announced the establishment of the International Solar Policy and Applications Agency, which is aimed at being a coalition of solar resource rich countries. The secretariat of the agency is proposed to be housed in NISE. (

Enzen Global Solutions acquires wind turbine maker Luminous for $2 mn

May 13, 2015. Enzen Global Solutions, an energy-utility systems integrator and advisory, has acquired Pune-based wind turbine manufacturer Luminous Renewable Energy Solutions for about ` 12.6 crore ($2 million), eyeing a huge potential market in India's many villages that still do not have regular access to electricity. Luminous makes small wind and solar hybrid electricity systems, adopted from a US patented technology that can be installed on roof tops as well as in irregular terrain such as coastal areas. This is the first acquisition for Bengaluru based Enzen, which has set aside ` 120 crore for three to five acquisitions this year. Enzen has raised around $50 million so far from US-based private equity firm KKR. Luminous, the eight-year-old subsidiary of Delhi-based Luminous Power Technologies, makes miniature windmill-like systems that produce electricity for close to 17 hours a day because of its hybrid solar and wind energy model. That's almost triple the supply time from solar energy alone, and double from wind. Luminous Renewable declined to comment on the acquisition. (

Suzlon gets turnkey project job from ReNew Power

May 13, 2015. Wind turbine maker Suzlon Group said that it has got a new order for 90 MW turnkey project from its existing customer, ReNew Power. ReNew Power is one of India's independent power producers, with clean energy assets of more than 1,000 MW of commissioned and under-construction projects. Suzlon will install its S97 120m hybrid tower WTGs (wind turbine generator) with rated capacity of 2.1 MW in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh. Suzlon will install 29 WTGs at Kode and 14 WTGs at Limbwas in Ratlam district. The project is scheduled for commissioning by March 2016. According to the company, the S97 120m is world's tallest hybrid tower designed to harness the wind energy across low wind sites. The tower is a combination of lattice and tubular structure which ensures higher yield and potential increase in power output by 12-14 percent. The project has been jointly developed by ReNew Power and Suzlon. (


JinkoSolar to supply 1 GW of PV panel to CMNE

May 19, 2015. The PV panel manufacturer JinkoSolar has signed a strategy cooperation agreement for the supply of 1 GW of solar PV modules with China Minsheng New Energy (CMNE) over 2015 and 2016, of which 600 MW will be delivered in 2015. CMNE is the wholly owned new energy-focused subsidiary of China Minsheng Investment Corp. (CMIC) that plans to invest CYu200bn (US$32bn) in approximately 20 GW of projects through CMNE over the next five years to turning CMNE into a leading investor and operator of renewable energy in China. (

Get ready for solar boom from China plants as Asia demand swells

May 19, 2015. Solar panel makers globally are preparing for their best year since 2011, when U.S.-backed Solyndra LLC went bust, as China and Japan take advantage of falling prices to shift more of their energy production to clean power. Panel production is forecast to grow by almost a third this year, according to data. That’s a significant reversal for an industry that’s been crippled by its own excess as companies in China including JA Solar Holdings Co. and LDK Solar Co. raised almost $3 billion in 2007 and 2008 to expand production. By 2010, the market was so oversupplied that the cost of solar cells began tumbling. With the cost of panels down by 66 percent since then, demand is surging as solar technology, for the first time, is able to compete head-to-head on price with fossil fuels in many places. All that demand from Asia will benefit companies in China, which produce more than 75 percent of the world’s panels. Shipments are also increasing for U.S. companies including SunPower Corp., which said in April that China is becoming its fastest growing market. China, in a pact with U.S. President Barack Obama, agreed in November to get 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, with its total carbon emissions peaking the same year. To reach that goal, the Chinese government earlier this year boosted its target for 2015 solar installations to 17.8 GW from about 12 GW. Japan may install as much as 12.7 GW of solar power this year, the most after China. The country has promoted wider use of renewable energies, especially rooftop panels, after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown. Cheaper solar has also made the technology more economically viable for emerging economies such as India and South Africa. In India, for instance, developers are installing panels to replace diesel generators that cost more to fuel. The promise of solar panels stumbled in 2011 when Solyndra became a symbol in the U.S. of wasteful expansion in the industry. After receiving $528 million in U.S. backing, the company found it couldn’t compete as capacity in China swelled and panel prices plunged. (

German ministry softens CO2 emission demands for power plants

May 18, 2015. Germany plans to force coal-fired power plant operators to reduce their CO2 emissions by 2020 by less than previously planned, according to an economy ministry document. Thousands of coal workers marched in Berlin last month to protest against plans to slap a levy on the oldest and most polluting power plants, which unions say could put 100,000 jobs at risk. The levy is aimed at forcing coal operators to slash their emissions and stop Germany from falling short of its target to cut greenhouse gases by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. But RWE, the country's largest power producer, warned the measure would lead to the immediate closure of its lignite-fired power plants. In an attempt to defuse the situation, the economy ministry now plans to require coal plant operators to cut their emissions by 16 million tonnes by 2020, compared with a previous target of at least 22 million tonnes, according to the document. Under the original proposal power plants older than 20 years were required to pay a penalty on CO2 emitted above a limit of seven million tonnes per gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity, with the oldest power plants receiving even lower exemptions. The new proposal has raised the amount of CO2 older power stations are able to emit before the penalties kick in. The government plans to achieve the remaining six million tonnes of CO2 emission cuts for the energy sector by promoting the use of more environmentally-friendly combined heat and power plants, government said. However the proposal is yet to be approved by the Chancellor's office and other ministries, government said. (

Georgia Power begins construction on 90 MW solar power projects in US

May 18, 2015. Georgia Power has commenced construction on three 30 MW solar projects at Georgia Army bases Fort Gordon near Augusta and Fort Stewart near Savannah, US. Covering more than 200 acres, the solar generation facilities are planned to be commissioned by the end of 2016. The three renewable projects, are being developed as part of the company's 2007 Integrated Resource Plan.

Georgia Power has started work on the solar plant expansion in Dalton, Georgia, US. Power generated from this facility will be sold to Dalton Utilities under a 25-year wholesale power purchase agreement. Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, maintains nuclear facilities, coal and natural gas plants, as well as renewable power projects including solar, hydroelectric and wind. (

NGPI plans 300 MW solar and wind project in Sindh

May 18, 2015. The government of Sindh (Pakistan) has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with US project developer New Generation Power International (NGPI) to develop a 200 MW solar project and a 100 MW wind project in the Jamshoro-Thatta region of Sindh. The projects will be developed on a Build, Own and Operate basis. Total investment is estimated at US$550mn. (  

Obama seeks oil demand, climate balance with shell Arctic permit

May 18, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama is balancing the need to meet oil demand and concerns about climate change as his government considers final approvals for Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Arctic drilling plans. The Interior Department endorsed Shell’s plan to have two rigs drill as many as six exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. Shell, which has already committed $6 billion to the Arctic project, wants to resume work halted in 2012 when its main drilling rig ran aground and was lost. It also was fined for air pollution violations. (

Germany, France seek curb on fossil fuel pollution this century

May 18, 2015. Germany and France said the world should strive to zero out emissions from fossil fuels by the end of this century to control the risks of climate change. Opening a week of environmental events across the U.S. and Europe, German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said the world should shoot for being “carbon-neutral” after 2050. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said at the same event in Berlin that he “fully shares” those goals. The ministers are working to ratchet up ambitions by some 190 nations that are working to conclude by the end of this year the first global deal limiting greenhouse gases everywhere. The wording of the goal from two of Europe’s largest economies would require any emissions from oil, natural gas and coal to be balanced with technologies that absorb or capture carbon dioxide. Fabius will preside over United Nations-led talks on the issue that are due to culminate in December in Paris. Before then, the UN is urging all nations rich and poor alike to make pledges on how they will pare back emissions blamed for damaging the atmosphere. The overall goal is to limit global warming since the industrial revolution to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), a level that still would mark the quickest shift in the climate since the last ice age ended some 10,000 years ago. About 35 ministers gathered in Berlin will discuss financial aid to poor countries grappling with climate change, national emissions reductions and how a Paris deal could look, Hendricks said. (

Canada to regulate O&G emissions with new 30 percent target

May 15, 2015. Canada pledged to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by about a third by 2030 in a move quickly dismissed by environmentalists and energy analysts as lacking detail and unrealistic without major policy changes. Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced the new target in Winnipeg, ahead of a UN climate summit in December. In effect, Canada pledged to reduce its emissions to an estimated 515 metric megatons by 2030, partly by introducing new regulations on its oil and gas (O&G) sector. The country isn’t on pace to meet its previous goal, and predicts emissions will grow -- not shrink -- over the next five years. Emissions were 726 megatons in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, and government figures show emissions are set to grow leading up to 2020. Canada plans to cut emissions by 29 percent between 2013 and 2030, based on calculations using public data. To meet the new target, Canada “intends to develop” regulations to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, in tandem with U.S. regulations, Aglukkaq said.

Canada will introduce regulations on emissions from natural gas electrical plants, her department said in a news release without specifying what the rules would include. The government offered no projections of what reduction in emissions the new measures would produce, or how soon the new initiatives would be introduced. Under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, Canada pledged to cut emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, or to 611 megatons, but is on pace to fall well short of its goal. Environment Canada figures show Canada’s emissions are projected to increase between 2015 and 2020, when they are projected to reach 727 megatons. That means Canada’s Copenhagen pledge was to reduce emissions by 125 megatons between 2005 and 2020, whereas Canada is only on pace to cut them by nine megatons. Formally, Aglukkaq announced that Canada would cut its emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels, when the country emitted an estimated 736 megatons, by 2030. That’s an estimated 515 megatons, whereas previously released government figures project emissions will total 815 megatons in 2030, 58 percent higher than target. Ontario set its own 2030 target of 112 megatons, which would represent a 46 percent cut from 2005 levels. That puts the government of Canada’s most populous province -- which has eliminated the use of coal power -- on a more ambitious track than its federal counterpart. Nearly all the growth in Canadian emissions, between 2005 and 2020, is forecast to come from Alberta’s oil and gas sector. Alberta, the fourth-most populous province, is the country’s biggest polluter. The federal government first promised emissions regulations for the oil and gas sector in 2006. The U.S. has pledged to cut emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 -- a lower target with a more aggressive timeframe. Mexico has pledged to cut emissions by 25 percent by 2030, though its per-capita emissions are already 74 percent lower than Canada’s, according to World Bank emissions data. (

Brazil completes 1.5 GW wind power transmission system

May 15, 2015. Brazilian grid operator Extremoz Transmissora do Nordeste said it has completed a transmission system that enables over 1.5 GW of wind parks in Rio Grande do Norte to feed power into the national grid. The company, partner of federal utility Chesf, has switched on a 500-kV transmission line and the Campina Grande III substation, to allow wind power to flow to the grid. Extremoz has invested about BRL 295 million (USD98.5mn) to complete this interconnection. Chesf is currently one of the largest investors in power transmission in Brazil. In 2014, the federal utility invested approximately BRL 1 billion in corporate transmission plans and an additional BRL 1 billion in projects co-developed with partners. This year, it is expected to maintain the BRL-2-billion investment level and focus spending on Brazil's Northeast region. (

Duke Energy commissions 200 MW Los Vientos III wind project

May 15, 2015. US energy group Duke Energy has commissioned its 200 MW Los Vientos III wind project in Starr County, Texas (United States), raising the Los Vientos complex capacity to more than 600 MW and the company's renewable power capacity in operation to more than 2 GW. The wind park will sell its power generation to Austin Energy under a 25-year power purchase agreement. The utility will also acquire the power generation from another Duke Energy's wind project, the 200 MW Los Vientos IV wind park, currently under construction in the same county and expected to be commissioned in 2016. A fifth phase is also under construction in the same proximity. (

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[1] Bruckner, Thomas, Bashmakov, Igor Alexeyevich, Yacob Mulugetta (2014) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group III, Chapter 7, Energy Systems

[2] International Energy Agency (2014). World Energy Outlook 2014

[3] BP Energy Outlook 2035, January 2914

[4] Bernstein Research (2013). Asian Coal & Power: less, Less, Less…The Beginning of the End of Coal



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