MonitorsPublished on Jun 12, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XI; Issue 52

[Carbon Emissions: Peaking Prematurely in China and India]

                             “To peak GHG emission by 2030 China must achieve a 4.5 percent reduction in its energy intensity. In the light of the fact that achieving a 4 percent per year or greater rate of decarbonisation is unprecedented in recent history this is a very brave target that China has set for itself…”

Energy News


It is high time Asian buyers ask OPEC to stop charging a premium for their oil!                                      

                                                                                                        Page 11


India gained from the upside risk of the term contract for Qatar LNG, now it is time for the downside risk!


Imported LNG scheme is ineffective for gas-based plants because we want to keep the power sector powerless!




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


·          Energy Use Per Capita Vs GDP per Capita (1971 to 2012) - India & Other Countries



·          ONGC gets nod for 35 exploratory wells in Cauvery basin

·          India's Cambay-73 O&G field production facilities ready for start-up

·          ONGC to invest ` 416.7 bn on new fields

·          Mercator Petroleum discovers oil at Jyoti-1 well in Cambay Basin in Gujarat


·          IOC to invest ` 150 bn to raise Panipat refinery capacity

·          India refiners in talks with Iraq on strategic reserves

Transportation / Trade………………

·          Shell looks to expand retail network in India

·          MRPL buys first cargo of Egypt's Ras Gharib crude

·          US lawmakers push for export of natural gas to India

·          India, Russia to explore feasibility of crude, gas pipelines

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Imported LNG scheme ineffective for gas-based plants: India Ratings

·          Finance Ministry returns Oil Ministry's gas price premium proposal

·          Oil Minister presses Qatar for LNG price cut

·          India asks OPEC to stop charging premium from Asian buyers

·          Oil Ministry says natural gas output to rise 50 percent by 2018-19



·          Bajaj Group commissions 660 MW power plant at Lalitpur, UP

·          NTPL Tuticorin to commission first power unit

·          Dabhol plant to reopen after 532 days

·          Adani, Reliance to build Bangladesh power plants to ease crisis

·          Lanco Infra targets 8 GW in 3 yrs

·          BHEL gets largest-ever order worth ` 180 bn from TSGENCO

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Sterlite Grid commissions first 765 kV transmission project in pvt sector

·          Punjab to supply interrupted power in kharif season

·          Average electricity price touch ` 2.62 per unit on IEX in May

·          BSES eases process for getting power connection

·          Power sector needs to 'revitalise distribution system': Railway Minister

Policy / Performance…………………

·          No coal shortage in UP thermal power plants: Goyal

·          No central help to debt-ridden state-run power discoms: Goyal

·          Coal Ministry invites bids for third round of auction

·          Power for all in Odisha by 2019

·          AP govt asks NPCIL to deposit ` 5 bn ore for proposed N-plant

·          Coal Ministry asks Reliance Power to cut production from Sasan’s coal mines

·          Hydro power to be stressed due to deficit monsoon this year: Goyal



·          Kazakhstan's Kashagan aiming for 370k bpd by end-2017

·          Victoria oil & gas expects to exceed 10.5 MMcf production target

·          Tanzania lifts gas resources estimate to 55 Tcf

·          Gabon's hydrocarbon commission starts audit on oil production volumes

·          Canadian oil weakens against WTI as production restarts


·          Eight western European companies eye investment in Iran refinery

Transportation / Trade…………

·          Hungary and Ukraine sign gas flow interconnection agreement

·          China's May crude oil imports drop

·          Sonatrach eyes LNG exports to Asia and Latin America

·          APA completes $4.6 bn acquisition of Australia's QCLNG Pipeline from BG

·          Russia's Gazprom presses on with Turkey pipeline despite questions

·          China starts building Power of Siberia gas pipeline to Russia

Policy / Performance………………

·          Saudi ministry says higher oil output driven by demand

·          Canada Petroleum producers cut 2030 output forecast

·          Indonesia joins line for Iran oil amid talks to rejoin OPEC

·          Saudi Arabia raises benchmark oil price to Asia

·          Croatia awards six oil and gas exploration licences in the Drava basin

·          Tanzania raises petrol, diesel prices pump prices



·          CPV plans to develop $900 mn natural gas power plant in Pennsylvania, US

·          J-Power commissions 800 MW unit of 1.6 GW U-Thai project

·          Iran expects Russia to start building Bushehr nuclear project in 2015

·          Kyushu Electric delays Sendai nuclear plant restart to August

·          Siemens signs $9 bn power-plant deal with Egypt

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          EIB lends €231 mn to ENEA to upgrade power grid in Poland

·          Glencore says looking at coal opportunities for future growth

Policy / Performance………………

·          South Korea plans to build 3 GW nuclear power plants

·          Argentina approves financing for 486 MW Los Blancos hydropower project

·          AFB lends US$75 mn to 341 MW CCGT project in Bangladesh

·          Nigerian energy regulator revises electricity prices

·          Czechs back nuclear development plan without decision on funding



·          Centre urges states, UTs to explore dollar based solar tariff bidding

·          Seven million electric vehicles by 2020: Siddeshwar

·          Researchers isolate micro-organisms that generate electricity

·          DJB starts generation of bio-gas power at Kondli STP

·          ‘Units that depend on fossil fuels must have a Plan B to manage their costs’

·          Essel, Rajasthan govt ink ` 40 bn pact for solar parks

·          LED lights to help India save $2 bn: Goyal

·          Country to witness solar power trains soon: Vardhan

·          Environmental scientists concerned over toxic air in Delhi-NCR


·          American Capital to support 151.8 MW wind project in Senegal

·          EU, China said to ready climate pact in June before global deal

·          Repsol signs up to European oil group’s stance on climate change

·          Jordan launches mega solar power plant

·          Large-scale renewable investments fell by 88 percent in Australia in 2014

·          G-7 calls for zero fossil-fuel emissions by end of 21st century

·          Statoil says biggest benefit to come from deepest CO2 cut

·          Morocco commits to 13 percent CO2 emission reduction by 2030

·          Japan targets 26 percent greenhouse gas emissions cut by 2030

·          China Everbright signs deal to build waste-to-energy conversion facility

·          URC to commission 46 MW biomass power plant in Philippines

·          Rich nations’ $100 bn climate aid hangs on new funding plan

·          New coal needs to be stopped with strong regulation, Stern says

·          US renewable fuels move forward





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

Lydia Powell and Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation            

Continued from Volume XI, Issue 51


n part I of this article we observed that the beginning of the end of coal demand growth in China probably began in 2015 as per some research reports. We also highlighted the fact that though growth in coal demand from India is likely to continue well past 2030, India’s growth (in demand for coal) will not be comparable in scale to the demand growth from China in the previous two decades In part II of this series we digressed into structural and demographic changes in China and to a lesser extent India to highlight the correlation between structural and demographic changes and the slow-down in the demand for coal. We continue with our arguments in part III. 

A 2014 paper published in nature climate change argues that developing countries can reduce their emissions and prosper materially only of economic growth is entangled from energy related emissions.[9] It cautions that though this is possible in theory, the required transformation would impose considerable costs on developing nations and that ‘drastically re-orienting development towards low carbon growth is not realistic’. Another 2014 paper published in the same journal argues that pushing China to peak emissions will actually end up increasing carbon emissions as it would merely drive industries to less efficient countries.[10] The paper argues that though China had committed itself to reducing carbon intensity of its economy (CO2 emissions per unit of GDP) but 40-45 percent during 2005-2020, China experienced a 3 percent increase in carbon intensity between 2002 and 2009 because gains in efficiency were offset by movement towards carbon intensive economic structure. The move towards a more carbon intensive economic structure can be rephrased as a move towards greater industrialisation for higher employment and consequently higher qualities of life for its people. While China is well into its process of industrialisation, India is just beginning to aim for greater industrialisation for generating higher employment. 

Will the push for greater industrialisation for higher employment succeed? If so will carbon emissions increase? According to new research by Dani Rodik, the former is unlikely, especially in India, which means that the latter is unlikely. In a 2015 paper on premature deindustrialisation Dani Rodik shows that many developing countries including India are becoming service led economies without having had the experience of industrialisation.[11] Rodik’s paper shows that India and many sub-Saharan nations had reached their peak manufacturing employment share at income levels of USD 700. In a related paper blog post Arvid Subramaniam, India’s chief economic advisor shows that at a given stage of development, countries are specialising less in the manufacturing sector and that the point of time in which industry peaks (or de-industrialisation begins) is happening earlier in the development process. He shows that in 1988 the peak share of manufacturing was 30.5 percent and attained at a per person income of USD 21,000. In 2010 the peak share of manufacturing was 21 percent (a drop of nearly a third) and attained at a level of USD 12,200 (a drop of 45 percent). In a related joint paper on the Indian dilemma on development Arvind Subramaniam says that ‘If globally, there is de-industrialization, India is de-industrializing big time’.[12] He then says that ‘to call the Indian phenomenon de-industrialization is to dignify the Indian experience, which is more aptly referred to as premature non-industrialization because India never industrialized sufficiently in the first place.’ 

Chart 7: CO2 emissions and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita

Source: Jakob, Michael, et al. 2014. Feasible Mitigation Actions in Developing Countries. Nature Climate Change 4, 961–968 (2014) 29 October 2014

Chart 7 shows that Carbon emissions of industrialised countries peaked at per person income levels of well over USD 10,000 – USD 15,000 (1990 dollars). Though the USA is an outlier with per person CO2 emissions peaking at well over 20 tonnes, countries in western Europe peaked at CO2 levels of about 10-15 tonnes at comparable incomes. China aims to reach a per person income of about USD 25,000 before peaking. India may not touch USD 10,000 at peak if we go by current trends. The question arises as to why India (and to a lesser extent China) should be forced into a path of de-carbonisation when it is already on a path to de-industrialise which will automatically limit carbon emission and perversely also limit its incomes (and quality of life). In 2010 India committed to a reduction of carbon intensity (carbon emission per unit of GDP) by 20-30 percent by 2020. This means that India needs to achieve an average reduction of carbon intensity of over 2 percent per year. To achieve the objective of reducing global carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050 while continuing with current lifestyles, countries have to decarbonise reducing the amount of carbon dioxide produced for each unit of economic activity at greater than 4 percent per year. This seems like an achievable target but in reality this rate is three times the 1.3 percent per year global average rate sustained since the 1860s. Most of the reduction in carbon emission was achieved without any radical policy interventions. Fuels with higher carbon to hydrogen ratio such as firewood were replaced with cheaper fuels with lower carbon to hydrogen ratio such as coal, oil and gas. Some countries in OECD have achieved the target India has set for itself which is a 2 percent reduction in carbon intensity but this was not necessarily because of a shift towards alternative fuels or greater efficiency in using energy. Structural changes in the economy such as a move towards a service oriented economy played a big part. The shift was natural as most OECD countries had already completed their industrialisation processes. Decarbonisation rates sustained from 1971-2006 range across the 26 OECD nations from a 3.6 percent per year. The un-weighted average rate for all 26 OECD nations is 1.5 percent per year, only 16.5 percent faster than long-term global decarbonisation rates (1.3 percent per year).

Many OECD nations also decarbonised by exporting their polluting industries to other countries. Japan had an explicit policy of locating heavily polluting industries in foreign countries. European Union (EU) reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 6 percent from 1990 to 2008 by exporting production to developing countries. In the same period EU import of embodied carbon from developing countries increased 36 percent. 18 percent of embodied carbon was through exports from China. India and China have few options for exporting their polluting industries. 

To peak GHG emission by 2030 China must achieve a 4.5 percent reduction in its energy intensity. In the light of the fact that achieving a 4 percent per year or greater rate of decarbonisation is unprecedented in recent history this is a very brave target that China has set for itself. 

China’s income per person increased from 151 (2005 constant US$) in 1971 to 3122 in 2011 and its energy use per person increased by more than 300% during the same period. For the same period, India’s income per person increased from 272 (2005 constant US$) to 1086 while its energy use per person increased by more than 100%. This shows that income increases are closely co-related to energy consumption (and consequently carbon emissions) until structural shifts in the economy move the country towards low carbon paths. The artificial shift that is being engineered in China and India is necessarily pre-mature as they have not attained income levels of industrialised countries (please refer to Data Insights at page 7).







Energy use (kgoe) per Capita




GDP Per Capita (2005 US$)





Energy use (kgoe) per Capita




GDP Per Capita (2005 US$)





Energy use (kgoe) per Capita




GDP Per Capita (2005 US$)





Energy use (kgoe) per Capita




GDP Per Capita (2005 US$)





Energy use (kgoe) per Capita




GDP Per Capita (2005 US$)




Source: The World Bank

Another question over decarbonisation is over equity and fairness. Is it fair to ask countries in different stages of industrialisation to peak their emissions? A working paper from Tohoku University in Japan points out that the methodologies of GHG emission reduction efforts sharing referenced by climate action tracker (2014) and the EU Commission are un-equitable as they are based on equal marginal abatement costs (to minimise global GHG emission costs) it is disadvantageous for emerging economies such as India and China with lower historical emission.[13] On the basis of its unfair distribution of responsibilities, the EU has even suggested that the on the basis of a ‘fair and ambitious GHG emission reduction target’ China should peak its emissions by 2023. 

As Kipling put it 1899, the white man’s burden, when he was actively colonising the world, was to correct the ‘captive’, the ‘fluttered and wild folk’, the ‘half-devil, half child’, the ‘serf’, the ‘sweeper’, the ‘silent and sullen’ people through conversion to Christianity because he was scared of other religions. Post colonisation, the white man’s burden was to hypnotise the ‘silent and sullen people’ in poor countries to grow economically and ‘develop’ because he was scared of communism. Now the white man’s burden is to de-carbonise the ‘fluttered and wild folk’ because he is scared of global warming. We may bend over backwards to ease the white man’s burden but we must keep in mind that in engineering each of the shifts, the white man was thinking only of his burden not that of the brown, yellow or black man.   


Views are those of the authors                    

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


Energy Use Per Capita Vs GDP per Capita (1971 to 2012) - India & Other Countries

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation

Source: The World Bank




ONGC gets nod for 35 exploratory wells in Cauvery basin

June 9, 2015. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has given the Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) the go-ahead to drill 35 exploratory wells in the Cauvery basin by amending the existing environmental clearance. Holding the view that conducting public hearings has consumed significant amount of time and as the matter was still pending with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, the MoEF’s expert appraisal committee recommended the ONGC’s proposal for 35 wells. The ONGC requested the MoEF for exemption of four public hearings already conducted in the districts of Ariyalur, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur. In Cuddalore, the public hearing is scheduled for July 8. All the projects are related to offshore and onshore oil and gas exploration, development and production. The ONGC proposes drilling of the wells with target depths of around 3,000–5,000 m/basement. The cost of the project is ` 700 crore. As the public hearings were conducted in the second half of last year and as all of them were pending before the TNPCB, the ONGC approached the MoEF. Of the 35 proposed wells, 14 fall in Cuddalore district, nine in Nagapattinam, six in Ariyalur, five in Thanjavur and one in Tiruvarur. (

India's Cambay-73 O&G field production facilities ready for start-up

June 9, 2015. Australia-based Oilex Ltd. revealed that the laying of the pipeline at Cambay-73 in Gujarat, India has been completed, with tie in to the production facilities expected to be completed shortly. The Cambay-73 oil and gas production facilities have finished pre-commissioning and are now ready for commissioning and start-up. Cambay-73 will supply gas to the low pressure gas market in the vicinity of the Cambay Field and is expected to produce approximately 50 to 60 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) of gas and condensate. The condensate will be separated at the field and trucked to a nearby refinery together with other Cambay crude oil produced. The scheduled commencement of gas sales into the Indian domestic market reinforces Oilex’s strategic advantage as an early mover in India and highlights the Company’s ability to access infrastructure and successfully execute its work program. (

ONGC to invest ` 416.7 bn on new fields

June 7, 2015. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) will invest ` 41,678 crore for bringing to production newer oil and gas fields and redeveloping ageing fields as it looks to boost output. The company, which produced 25.94 million tonnes of crude oil and 23.52 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in 2014-15, is boosting investment to reverse the declining trend in output at bulk of its old and ageing fields. ONGC will invest ` 24,188 crore in development of six projects both on the east and west coast. Another ` 17,490 crore will be spent on redeveloping its prime Mumbai High fields as well as Heera-South Heera fields in western offshore, the company said. The biggest project is the western offshore Daman field development where ` 6,086 crore is being invested to produce 27.67 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas by 2034-35. In the neighbouring South Bassein field, ` 4,620 crore is being invested in additional development by April 2017 for an incremental gas production of 18.83 bcm by 2030-31. Also, ` 2,477 crore additional development of Vasai East will give 1.83 million tonnes and 1.97 bcm of gas by 2029-30. The project will be completed by December 2018. ONGC is investing ` 1,881 crore in developing the Gamij oilfield near Ahmedabad. (

Mercator Petroleum discovers oil at Jyoti-1 well in Cambay Basin in Gujarat

June 4, 2015. Mercator Ltd announced that its subsidiary Mercator Petroleum Ltd. has made its first oil discovery at the Jyoti-1 well in its 100 percent-operated Block CN-ONN-2005/9 in the Cambay Basin, Gujarat, India. The Jyoti-1 exploration well -- the very first well drilled by Mercator Petroleum -- was drilled to a depth of 9,632 feet (2,936 meters) and penetrated multiple oil and gas shows. The company said the zone in the interval 8,448 to 8,464 feet (2,575 to 2,580 meters) was perforated and flowed oil at the rate of 830 barrels of oil per day (bopd) through 32/64 inch choke size. The oil is light with 41 degree API and India's Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has been informed about the discovery. Mercator Petroleum signed the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) with the Indian government for the two exploration blocks under the Seventh New Exploration Licensing Policy round (NELP-VII) in December 2008. The company has interests in overseas exploration blocks, holding a 25 percent stake each in shallow water Blocks M4 and YEB in the Moattama Basin and Thanintharyi Basin, respecitvely, offshore Myanmar. Mercator Petroleum is part of an India-led consortium headed by operator Oil India Ltd and Oilmax Energy Pvt Ltd and joined by local partner Myanmar's Oil Star Management Services. (


IOC to invest ` 150 bn to raise Panipat refinery capacity

June 8, 2015. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) plans to invest about ` 15,000 crore in raising capacity at its Panipat refinery in Haryana by 34 percent to 20.2 million tonnes (MT) by 2020. IOC owns and operates eight refineries and has only a few weeks back added ninth refinery at Paradip in Odisha. Its eight refineries have a cumulative refining capacity of 54.2 MT of crude oil and addition of 15 MT at Paradip refinery has helped it regain the top refiner slot in the country. It overtook Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), which has twin refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat with a capacity of 62 MT. Essar Oil is the only other private refiner having a 20 MT a year unit at Vadinar in Gujarat.

IOC is looking at raising capacity of its 13.7 MT a year Koyali refinery in Gujarat by 4.3 MT as well as hiking capacity of Mathura refinery in Uttar Pradesh by three MT to 11 MT. A small capacity addition of 0.5 MT is also planned at 7.5 MT Haldia refinery in West Bengal. Panipat Refinery was commissioned in 1998 with a capacity of six MT per annum. The refining capacity was doubled to 12 MT in 2006 and then raised by a further three MT to 15 MT in 2010. The new expansion planned will cater to fuel needs of north and western India. Panipat refinery processes a wide range of both indigenous and imported grades of crude oil. It receives crude from Vadinar through the 1370-km long Salaya-Mathura Pipeline which also supplies crude to Koyali and Mathura refineries of IOC. Petroleum products are transported through various modes like rail, road as well as pipelines. The refinery caters to the high-consumption demand centres in North-Western India including the States of Haryana, Punjab, J&K, Himachal, Chandigarh, Uttaranchal, as well as parts of Rajasthan and Delhi. (

India refiners in talks with Iraq on strategic reserves

June 3, 2015. State refiners Indian Oil Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp are holding talks with Iraq's national oil company to buy 4 million barrels of Basra light crude oil for India's strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs). India in March asked the state refiners to each seek two very large crude carriers (VLCCs) of Iraq's Basra crude oil for arrival in May-June totalling 8 million barrels for the reserves in the coastal city of Vizag in southern Andhra Pradesh state. So far the indications were that Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) would supply the refiners with Basra Light crude at the official selling price. The refiners were looking for the oil supplies to arrive in the next two to three months. IOC, the country's biggest refiner, agreed to pay a premium of 50-60 cents a barrel to Chinese trader Unipec for a VLCC arriving in mid-June. India's finance ministry has set aside ` 24 billion ($375 million) from revised budget estimates for the current fiscal year to pay for filling its first SPR allocation. The Vizag facility has two compartments of 7.55 million barrels and 2.20 million barrels. The smaller compartment will be used by HPCL for its 166,000 barrel-per-day Vizag refinery. HPCL is using Nigerian Qua Iboe oil supplied by Unipec for the smaller compartment. A total of three SPRs in the south of India will hold more than 36 million barrels of oil, enough to meet about 13 days demand in India in case of a supply disruption or extreme price volatility. The two other SPRs, at Padur and Mangalore in Karnataka, will have a capacity of 29.3 million barrels and are expected to be ready by October. (

Transportation / Trade…………

Shell looks to expand retail network in India

June 8, 2015. Global oil & gas giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc, a $421-billion company, is eyeing investment opportunities in the Indian downstream segment, especially with the recent deregulation of diesel prices and opening of the market. The company is planning to expand its retail outlet network utilising its existing licence to set up 2,000 fuel stations.

Shell has already invested close to $1 billion in India and is the only global major to have a fuel retail licence in the country. Against its licence from the Centre to set up a network of up to 2,000 outlets, it has around 75 outlets currently operational. Shell also operates the ` 3,000 crore Hazira LNG storage and regasification terminal. (

MRPL buys first cargo of Egypt's Ras Gharib crude

June 5, 2015. Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) has made its first purchase of Egypt's Ras Gharib crude. The purchase is for loading in first half of July. Trader Vitol will supply the 600,000 barrel cargo at a discount of about $5.5 a barrel to Dubai on a delivered basis. MRPL operates a 300,000 barrel per day coastal refinery in Karnataka. (

US lawmakers push for export of natural gas to India

June 5, 2015. Influential American lawmakers have pushed for removing of restrictions on export of natural gas to India and sought to implement the civil nuclear deal to meet the country's ever growing energy needs. The lawmakers pushed for export of natural gas to India. Excited about the prospects of increase in energy trade with India, Congressman Pete Olson hoped that before this year end the first ship with American natural gas would be shipped to India. Olson said the US has energy and technology to ensure that every Indian has the electricity they need. (

India, Russia to explore feasibility of crude, gas pipelines

June 4, 2015. India and Russia will jointly study the feasibility of crude and gas pipelines between the two countries shortly, the oil ministry said following a meeting of the oil ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the OPEC International Seminar in Vienna. India, the fourth largest energy consumer in the world, presents a huge business opportunity for Russia, which is facing economic constraints due to a sharp fall in energy prices and western sanctions. A pipeline from Russia can potentially replace some of the West Asian suppliers and its natural gas can infuse life into many of India's gas-based power plants that are shut or underutlised due to paucity of cheap local gas. India has explored the idea of several energy pipelines from across the borders in the past but not one has gone beyond the drawing board.

During the meeting, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Russian energy minister Alexander Novak "agreed to expand bilateral energy cooperation". India showed interest in importing crude and liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia, the oil ministry said. Pradhan met his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, the UAE, Angola and Venezuela and discussed cooperation in the energy sector. The minister discussed with the Iranian energy minister the possibility of a gas pipeline from Iran. India is seeking a reduction in the pricing of LNG it imports from Qatar under a long-term agreement. (

Policy / Performance………

Imported LNG scheme ineffective for gas-based plants: India Ratings

June 9, 2015. Stranded gas-based power plants (SGPs) are unlikely to be out of woods, despite the government's plan to revive some by using imported LNG and subsidy out of the power system development fund (PSDF), according to India Ratings and Research. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) earned by SGPs and domestic gas plants (DGPs) from the imported spot re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) scheme might be lower than the subsidy payout by the government and far lower than the aggregate concession and costs incurred by other stakeholders, it said. India Ratings estimates that SGPs could generate EBITDA of ` 1,370 crore and DGPs could generate additional EBITDA of Rs 53.8 crore under this scheme over 2016-17. Moreover, gas plants benefiting from the government subsidy are unlikely to fully meet debt servicing, and bank loans towards these assets would remain stressed in the short to medium term, the agency said. India Ratings, which is part of the Fitch Group, estimated that SGPs can generate an EBITDA of ` 1,420 crore for the full year under this scheme as against their annual debt servicing requirement of ` 7,000 crore, thus leading to a debt service coverage ratio of 0.2 times. (

Finance Ministry returns Oil Ministry's gas price premium proposal

June 9, 2015. Finance Ministry has returned an Oil Ministry proposal to allow market price for part of the natural gas produced by firms like Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) from difficult fields. 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 Oil Ministry was asked to determine the premium to be paid to discoveries made post October 2014. Based on a recommendation from its upstream technical arm, the ministry proposed to allow a fixed percentage of natural gas produced from difficult fields to be sold at market price and the remaining as per the approved price. 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 finance ministry has said that the premium should be consistent with the October 2014 Cabinet decision.

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 Malaysia $ 5. (

Oil Minister presses Qatar for LNG price cut

June 7, 2015. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has pushed for a reduction in liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices by Qatar, India's largest supplier, to be in sync with the decline in global rates over the past one year. He made the plea when he called on Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed Saleh Abdullah Al Sada on the sidelines of the 6th OPEC International Summit in Vienna on June 4. The Qatari Minister, they said, was sympathetic to the Indian cause, but wanted the issue to be negotiated between the companies concerned. Qatar sells LNG at a price linked to the previous 12-month Japan Crude Cocktail (JCC), including caps and floors based on average JCC prices of the past 60 months. While this formula cuts down volatility, it does not reflect price falls as much as spot pricing. India buys 7.5 million tonnes a year of LNG on a long-term 25-year contract, indexed to the moving average of crude price. The price of LNG from Qatar comes close to US $13 per million British thermal unit compared with the US $6-7 in the spot or current market. Petronet LNG, a JV of state-owned firms GAIL, ONGC, IOC and BPCL, buys 7.5 million tonnes a year of gas in its liquid form (LNG) from RasGas of Qatar. The high price of LNG under the long-term contract has pushed users in the fertiliser and power industry in India to cheaper alternatives like naphtha and fuel oil. Petronet LNG, which has been buying LNG from Qatar on a long-term contract since 2004, has asked for a 10% cut in import volumes this year, they said. (

India asks OPEC to stop charging premium from Asian buyers

June 3, 2015. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) should sell oil at a discount to major Asian countries such as India that have emerged as major purchasers instead of charging the so-called Asian premium, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan told a key OPEC meet. For decades, India and other Asian countries have paid a price of up to $6 a barrel more than the US or European refiners to the West Asian producers. But in the past few years, the premium has greatly eroded with Asian demand, led by China and India, expanding and refiners asserting themselves. Some bit of it, however, still remains, which is what the oil minister tried to address in a speech at the OPEC Seminar on oil market stability. India imports about 78% of the crude oil it consumes. About 85% of its crude import and 94% of the natural gas import come from OPEC countries. Pradhan also urged foreign investors to look at Indian oil and gas sector as an investment destination and help mainly in developing the strategic petroleum reserve, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, refining and petro-chemical complexes. According to an International Energy Agency estimate, India will need $600 billion of investment between 2011 and 2030 in the hydrocarbon sector. (

Oil Ministry says natural gas output to rise 50 percent by 2018-19

June 3, 2015. India's natural gas output is likely to rise by 50 percent to 146.87 million standard cubic meters per day by 2018-19 on account of higher production from ONGC fields, the oil ministry said. The ministry said domestic gas production will rise from 98.15 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) in 2014-15 to 99.87 mmscmd in the current fiscal.

In 2016-17, the output will climb to 112.95 mmscmd and finally to 146.87 mmscmd in 2018-19. Bulk of the incremental output will come from Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) which will see production rise to 65.75 mmsmd in 2014-15 to 96.38 mmscmd. ONGC production will include 4.66 mmscmd from New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) block KG-DWN-98/2 or KG-D5 in 2017-18 and 12.05 mmsmcd in 2018-19. Oil India Ltd will see gas production rise from 7.78 mmscmd last fiscal to 10.96 mmscmd in four years. The ministry said output from fields operated by private firms like Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is projected to rise from 24.62 mmscmd in 2014-15 to 39.53 mmscmd in 2018-19. (



Bajaj Group commissions 660 MW power plant at Lalitpur, UP

June 9, 2015. Shishir Bajaj led-Bajaj Group commissioned its 660 MW thermal power plant at Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh (UP). Lalitpur Power Generation Co Ltd (LPGCL), had signed an agreement with the UP government in 2010 to set up 1980 MW (3 units of 660 MW each) super critical thermal power plant at Lalitpur in the Bundelkhand district. The other two units are in an advanced stage of completion and are scheduled for commissioning soon, it said. The group's power venture includes Bajaj Energy Private Ltd, which has 450 MW thermal power generation commissioned in 2012, and the LPGCL. LPGCL said that the commissioning of the first unit of 660 MW at Lalitpur is expected to reduce the State's dependence on the energy exchange. Consequently, this will also lower congestion on the transmission network. The project has been supported by about 21 Scheduled Commercial banks through a consortium with SBI as a Lead and IIFCL as a major Infrastructure Financier. (

NTPL Tuticorin to commission first power unit

June 8, 2015. The first 500 MW unit of coal-based thermal power plant of NLC Tamil Nadu Power (NTPL) in Tuticorin has qualified for commercial operations. NTPL, a joint venture company of NLC (89 percent) and Tangedco (11 percent), is establishing a 1,000 MW (2 units of 500 MW) coal-based thermal power plant at Tuticorin, Neyveli Lignite Corporation said. The pre-commissioning activities in Unit II of this plant are nearing completion and this unit will also be ready this month. (

Dabhol plant to reopen after 532 days

June 8, 2015. The mega power plant in Ratnagiri district would start generating, after being closed for almost 530 days. Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL), which took over the plant formerly known as the Dabhol project, had recently secured 1.98 million standard cubic feet per day (mscmd) of gas. The per-unit tariff was projected at ` 4.70 in the bidding. The plant was shut since December 28, 2013, for want of gas and due to financial constraints.  Government-owned RGPPL plans to generate 500 MW, against a capacity of 1,967 MW. RGPPL board would meet to decide. Power minister Piyush Goyal said the Centre was exploring setting up a facility at the plant to convert natural gas into its liquefied form, making it easier to transport. Regasification would help ensure gas supply to power plants, he said. RGPPL would have to scout for new buyers as Maharashtra had terminated its power purchase agreement (PPA) from January. RGPPL had disputed Maharashtra’s move. According to PPA, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) would buy 95 percent of the power and the balance was given to Goa. MahaVitaran had indicated it was not keen to draw power from the Dabhol project as it had enough to meet demand. RGPPL said Karnataka and some other states have evinced interest to procure power. (

Adani, Reliance to build Bangladesh power plants to ease crisis

June 6, 2015. Two leading Indian power firms will build several plants in Bangladesh to produce up to 4,600 MW of electricity to ease the country's prolonged power crisis. Adani Power Ltd of India and Reliance Power Ltd of India signed separate memorandums of understanding with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), as Prime Minister Narendra Modi began a two-day state visit. Adani Power will set up two, coal-fired plants with a total capacity of 1,600 MW that will cost more than $1.5 billion. The firms said it would take 13 months to complete construction of the plants after final agreements had been reached. Bangladesh produces 7,000 MW of electricity but demand far exceeds supply, with a daily deficit of up to 1,500 MW. The government unveiled a 2.95 trillion taka ($38 billion) budget for fiscal 2014/15, stepping up spending on key sectors to tackle power shortages that are crimping economic growth and deterring investment. Bangladesh planned to more than double its electricity imports from India to 11,000 MW by 2017 from 5,000 MW. (

Lanco Infra targets 8 GW in 3 yrs

June 5, 2015. Lanco Infratech expects a better year this time with gas supply concerns partially sorted out in the recent gas pooling bids and the company securing approval from lenders for cost overrun of some of the power projects. The company plans to take up the installed capacity to 8,000 MW within three years. Lanco’s Kondapalli gas–fired project, with an installed capacity of 1,108 MW, has been one of the successful bidders in the gas pooling bids called by the Government for financial years 2016 and 2017. The project will receive power system development fund support of 1.42 per unit. The 1,320 MW projects each at Amarkantak, Babandh and Vidarbha are expected to be completed by Q4 2016-17, Q2 2017-18 and Q3 2017-18, respectively. With the improving macroeconomic situation and power project sector in specific, the consolidated operating capacity of more than 8,000 MW by 2018 is expected to strengthen its position in the power sector. (

BHEL gets largest-ever order worth ` 180 bn from TSGENCO

June 3, 2015. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) secured the largest order in its history for setting up a 4,000 MW (5x800 MW) super-critical thermal power project from Telangana State Power Generation Corporation (TSGENCO). The order is valued at ` 17,950 crore. The company said this is also one of the highest value orders ever placed in the capital goods sector in India. In December 2014, TSGENCO placed an order for setting up Telangana’s first super-critical thermal power plant of 800 MW to BHEL, followed by an order for the 4x270 MW Bhadradari thermal power station at Manuguru in Khammam district in March 2015. To overcome the uncertainty of coal supply, BHEL said it shall be supplying its in-house developed fuel flexible boiler, which is capable of firing the entire range, from 100 percent Indian to 100 percent imported mix of coal. This will provide security against variation in design coal and the coal actually available during operation, thereby offering operational flexibility to ensure uninterrupted generation of electricity. BHEL is the largest manufacturer of power generation equipment in the country with expertise in power plant equipment of 20,000 MW per annum to fully meet India's demand for power equipment with technology suitable for Indian conditions developed through in-house research and development. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Sterlite Grid commissions first 765 kV transmission project in pvt sector

June 8, 2015. Sterlite Power Grid Ventures Ltd (Sterlite Grid), a subsidiary of Pune based Sterlite Technologies Ltd, completed commissioning of all eight elements of Bhopal-Dhule power transmission project. Sterlite Grid is the first private developer to commission 765 KiloVolt (kV) project in India under the ‘Build, Own, Operate and Maintain (BOOT)’ model. The project would cater to the power needs of million households across states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The total entailed investment, as per industry estimates is around ` 1,900 crores for the project. It is implemented under special purpose vehicle - Bhopal Dhule Transmission Company Ltd (BDTCL). The projects involved six transmission lines of about 1,000 circuit-kilometres and the two 2x1500 MVA substations at Dhule and Bhopal. The project will attract annual tariff of close to ` 250 crore .The company said the fully commissioned project will contribute significantly to its cash flow. It will operate and maintain this project for 35 years. BDTCL project is part of the system strengthening scheme of the western region to facilitate the transfer of up to 5,000 MW of electricity from the coal belt in the East, to the energy deficient regions of western and northern India. (

Punjab to supply interrupted power in kharif season

June 8, 2015. Punjab will buy electricity worth ` 4,000 crore for interrupted supply to farmers for eight hours a day during the ensuing kharif season where more than 28 lakh hectares would be cultivated, the authorities said. The Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd has made multi-dimensional arrangements to meet the enhanced power demand. The corporation has installed a centralised online consumer complaint and grievance management system with helpline number 1912 and state-of-the-art customer care centres in urban areas. The consumer base of the power corporation has grown to around 80 lakh and it has achieved highest per capita consumption of 1,799 KWH against all India average of 884 KWH. (

Average electricity price touch ` 2.62 per unit on IEX in May

June 4, 2015. Notwithstanding higher demand for power seen in many parts of the country, the average cost of electricity sold on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) stood at just ` 2.62 per unit last month. In May, the volume of electricity traded on the bourse rose to 2,891 million units, compared to 2,463 million units recorded in the previous month. IEX, a leading exchange for trading of electricity, said price of power continued to remain low in May. In April, the Market Clearing Price stood at ` 2.68 per unit. Reflecting less demand, the sell bids touched 4.7 billion units whereas the purchase bids were only 3.5 billion units in May. (

BSES eases process for getting power connection

June 4, 2015. In a novel initiative, power major BSES has launched two services which make it possible for people to get a connection from the comforts of home as the company has moved the entire process, ranging from application to document verification, online. For those not adept with the Internet, the company has made separate arrangements through which officials would reach the applicant's doorstep with mobile tabs to complete all the formalities. The discom said the latest offering to its potential consumers residing in its licenced areas of South, West, East and Central Delhi was part of its efforts towards 'Ease of Doing Business', "in which India ranks 137 (2014) in the World Bank index presently". (

Power sector needs to 'revitalise distribution system': Railway Minister

June 3, 2015. To make the power sector "commercially viable", there is a need to overhaul the whole sub-transmission and distribution system, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said. The book "The bloom in the desert: The making of NTPC" is authored by the Founding Chairman and MD of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) D V Kapur. He said that in order to make power sector commercially viable sub transmission and distribution is going to play crucial role. He said that NTPC is a great organisation which could not have been created had there not been a leader like Kapur. (

Policy / Performance………….

No coal shortage in UP thermal power plants: Goyal

June 9, 2015. Amid oft-repeated charge of the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government about coal shortage in the state thermal power plants, union minister of state for power and coal Piyush Goyal asserted there was absolutely no shortage of coal in any plant. Goyal, who met UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, claimed that none of the state thermal power plants had to be shut down due to paucity of coal. UP government, which is targeting to ramp up power generation to provide 16 hr and 22-24 hr power supply in the rural and urban areas respectively by 2016-17, has over the last year written several letters to the Centre seeking adequate coal supply to the existing plants and coal linkages to the proposed plants. In the two months of the current fiscal 2015-16, Coal India has registered 12 percent growth in coal production, Goyal said. He informed UP had requested to procure power from Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Goyal observed issues of power should be treated above politics and that the central government was committed towards providing 24 hr power supply in the country. Under the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, which is aimed at improving power supply in the rural areas, the union minister said UP should install separate feeders like Gujarat. He said UP would also gain under the Integrated Power Development Scheme, which is dedicated towards upgrading power infrastructure in urban pockets. (

No central help to debt-ridden state-run power discoms: Goyal

June 8, 2015. The government has ruled out the possibility of a central package for debt-ridden state-run power distribution companies, and has insisted that it's time that they get their act together. The combined debt of all distribution companies was around ` 2 lakh crore as on March last year, and despite most discoms raising tariff, they haven't really managed to cut losses significantly. They are, in fact, depending on loans for even taking care of operational expenses. In the past, the central government had introduced 'restructuring packages' for discoms — the most recent being 2013 — but it hadn't been able to eliminate the problem. Minister of power, coal and renewable energy Piyush Goyal said that the 'onesize-fits-all' principle doesn't work. The central government, state governments and outside experts are working together for a 24x7 electricity plan by 2019 for each state, he said. The ministry plans to bid out contracts worth ` 1 lakh crore over the next 6-8 months to scale up transmission infrastructure. The minister said that bankers, both local and international, are keen to invest in equity in power projects and debt too will be available to power projects, but selectively to "good projects." The ministry is working on issuing 'masala bond' for state-run generator NTPC and is enthused by the initial response. (

Coal Ministry invites bids for third round of auction

June 8, 2015. The government kick-started the process for auction of 10 coal blocks in the third tranche, inviting bids from companies engaged in sectors like steel, cement and captive power generation. Government said that it will auction 10 coal mines with reserves of 858.19 million tonnes for steel, cement as well as captive power plants and the process will be completed by August end. The government has so far auctioned 29 coal blocks in two tranches to private companies and garnered over ` 2 lakh crore, surpassing CAG's loss estimates of ` 1.86 lakh crore in allotment of mines earlier without auction. Of the total estimated geological reserves, these mines have extractable coal of about 356.245 million tonnes and are located in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Coal secretary Anil Swarup had said that the government will execute agreements with successful bidders by August 31. The Supreme Court in September last year had cancelled allocation of 204 coal mines to companies without auction. (

Power for all in Odisha by 2019

June 8, 2015. The state energy department has drawn up an ambitious plan to provide power to all by 2019 while trimming the aggregate technical & commercial (AT&C) loss to 26 percent by then, down from the current level of 38.18 percent. Presently, there are 5.8 million power consumers in the state but by 2019, the consumer base is poised to go up to 9.7 million by then. The peak power demand is also projected to rise to 5,550 Mw by 2019 from 3,900 MW, the energy minister Pranab Prakash Das after a review meeting of the department by chief minister Naveen Patnaik said. Odisha added 3.7 million electricity consumers in the past five years under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), Biju Gram Jyoti Yojana (BGVY) and Biju Saharanchal Vidyutikaran Yojana (BSVY). The average annual growth rate of electricity consumers in the state stood at 8.34 percent during 2000-2010 and 19.52 percent in 2010-15. In the 2015-20 period, the growth rate is tipped to be 16.27 percent. Similarly, energy demand is projected to increase at the rate of 9.86 percent during 2015-20, the highest in the past two decades. As on March 31, 2015, 43,753 villages have been electrified, representing 92 percent of the total number of villages at 47,677 (as per 2011 census). Of the 82,014 hamlets in the state, 66 percent or 54,061 have been electrified by the end of March this year. Out of the total of 9.6 million domestic households mentioned in the 2011 census, 5.36 are electrified by this period, meaning a success rate of 57 percent. (

AP govt asks NPCIL to deposit ` 5 bn ore for proposed N-plant

June 4, 2015. The Andhra Pradesh (AP) government asked the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), which is proposing to set up a nuclear power plant in Srikakulam district, to deposit ` 500 crore for initiating the land acquisition process in a bid to speed up the process. NPCIL has proposed construction of 9,600 MWe (6X1600) power project in Kovvada of Ranasthalammandal in Srikakulam district. The corporation sought around 2,126 acres of land for the project, which is being taken up with an estimated cost of ` 1 lakh crore. The Centre has approved the proposal of NPCIL for the nuclear project after duly obtaining necessary clearances from Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The AP government has already issued orders for land acquisition in Srikakulam district for the project. (

Coal Ministry asks Reliance Power to cut production from Sasan’s coal mines

June 3, 2015. The Ministry of Coal has asked Reliance Power Ltd to revise the production plan from two mines allocated to the Sasan ultra mega power project (UMPP) to 16 million tonne per annum and present a new mining plan for the same. The mining plan for the two mines – Moher and MoherAmlohriExtn – is currently 20 million tonne per annum. Production has already started from these mines. The Ministry had de-allocated the Chhatrasal block which was given to the Sasan UMPP, as coal from the block was being diverted to its Chitrangi power plant as per a directive from the previous UPA government. The NDA Government revisited the provision soon after Reliance Power announced its decision to terminate the power purchase agreement for the Tilaiya UMPP in Jharkhand. (

Hydro power to be stressed due to deficit monsoon this year: Goyal

June 3, 2015. With India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasting 66 percent chance of deficit monsoon this year, worst fear of the power sector might also come true. Due to deficit rainfall, hydro power plants might run below their peak capacity hence putting pressure on thermal capacity. Minister of power, coal and renewable energy Piyush Goyal said the coal and power ministries are ready with a contingency plan to ensure that there are no power shortages in the country in case of a below normal monsoon. The minister said the thermal power plants would need to make up for the deficiency and called upon both public and private sector coal and gas fired power plants. The current hydro capacity in the country is 41650 MW. As on May 17, around 15,843 million units of power from hydro stations were fed in the grid. It is slightly more than the expected generation of 15007 million units. Around 14,000 MW of gas fired stranded capacity would also operate this year with gas made available to them under the new supply mechanism. Coal based 28,000 MW of power plants have also been allotted coal mines through e-auction. (



Kazakhstan's Kashagan aiming for 370k bpd by end-2017

June 9, 2015. The Kashagan oilfield aims to achieve first-phase output of up to 370,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) by the end of 2017. The world's biggest oil find in decades and most expensive oil project, Kashagan began production in September 2013 but output was halted a few weeks later after leaks were detected in its pipes. The North Caspian Operating Company developing the oilfield started replacing the pipelines in this year. Output is expected to resume in the second half of 2016. In the first few months, output of 90,000 bpd is expected, before rising to 90,000 bpd and then 180,000 bpd, a level at which it will be kept for six months. Kazakhstan is the second-largest post-Soviet oil producer after Russia. But its crude oil production, which drives the economy, fell to 80.8 million tonnes last year from a peak output of 81.7 million tonnes in 2013. (

Victoria oil & gas expects to exceed 10.5 MMcf production target

June 8, 2015. Victoria Oil & Gas announced Monday that its wholly owned subsidiary Gaz du Cameroun (GDC) expects to exceed its gas production target of 10.5 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day, following the addition of three new industrial customers. Production figures at GDC’s Logbaba gas processing plant stood at an average of 12.4 MMcf per day in May, with the first five days of June recording an average daily gas production rate of 16 MMcf. The total estimated additional daily consumption from the three additional customers is 0.7 MMcf. (

Tanzania lifts gas resources estimate to 55 Tcf

June 8, 2015. Tanzania's current natural gas reserves are at about 55 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) following new deep sea discoveries off its southern coast, George Simbachawene, Tanzania's energy and minerals minister said. East Africa is a new hotspot in hydrocarbon exploration after substantial deposits of crude oil were found in Uganda and major gas reserves discovered in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Tanzania in October raised its estimate of recoverable natural gas resources to up to 53.2 Tcf. He said the government had lifted the natural gas resources estimate following new discoveries by Statoil, Exxon Mobil, BG Group and Ophir Energy. (

Gabon's hydrocarbon commission starts audit on oil production volumes

June 8, 2015. The Direction Générale des Hydrocarbures (DGH) of Gabon is leading an audit and control procedure on oil producing companies to assess real oil production levels. The audit was launched in February 2015 by the Ministry of Oil and Hydrocarbons, through the DGH, and will focus on Total Gabon, Perenco, Addax Petroleum, Vaalco, CNR, Maurel & Prom and Shell. The government aims to explain the gap between the first results announced by the DGH and company announcements. It aims to implement a new, clearer, management policy for natural resources and to avoid tax frauds. (              

Canadian oil weakens against WTI as production restarts

June 4, 2015. Canadian heavy crude weakened against West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for a second day as oil sands producers returned to work after a forest fire. Western Canadian Select (WCS) crude’s discount to the North American benchmark widened 85 cents to $8.15 a barrel, data show. The discount shrank to $7 on June 2, the narrowest since 2009, after a blaze in Northeastern Alberta prompted the shutdown of about 230,000 barrels a day of oil sands production. The price of WCS fell $2.49 to $49.85 a barrel. Cenovus Energy Inc. said its 135,000-barrel-a-day Foster Creek oil sands site, the company’s largest, will be fully operational after it was shut more than a week ago because of the blaze.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL) said it was ramping up production at its Kirby South oil sands site after a pipeline resumed operation. CNRL raised output at Kirby South after production was reduced by 18,000 barrels a day because of the blaze. The company’s 80,000-barrel-a-day Primrose site remained down, the company said. (


Eight western European companies eye investment in Iran refinery

June 8, 2015. Eight western European companies are keen to invest in Iran's $2.8 billion (2 billion pound) Siraf oil refinery project. Iran has huge oil and gas reserves but lacks refining capacity, leaving it heavily reliant on imports. The Siraf refinery project will have a processing capacity of 480,000 barrels per day and will be completed in 38 months, or just over three years. Eight processing plants would be built by private companies, using their own funds, Siraf Refineries Infrastructure Co. said. Iran's oil sales have dropped to around 1 million bpd as a result of sanctions. But exports of condensates - a light oil used to make gasoline and petrochemicals - pumped out of the South Pars Gas field have surged because they can go to buyers permitted under U.S. sanctions to buy Iranian crude. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Iran's sales of condensate doubled in 2014 to about 200,000 bpd and contributed to total Iranian oil shipments in April of about 1.3 million bpd. But Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Iran would no longer export gas condensates - which are refined into higher-value products - once the refineries start operating. The Siraf refinery will have the capacity to produce more than 270,000 bpd of naphtha, 140,000 bpd of gasoil, 30,000 bpd of liquefied petroleum gas and 40,000 bpd of kerosene, Siraf Refineries Infrastructure Co. said. The Middle East is being transformed into a major refining hub with other Gulf countries such as Kuwait boosting capacity partly to reduce reliance on imports. Saudi Arabia targets 8-10 million bpd of refined products in coming years from more than 5 million bpd now at home and abroad. (

Transportation / Trade……….

Hungary and Ukraine sign gas flow interconnection agreement

June 8, 2015. Hungarian gas transmission network operator FGSZ and its Ukrainian counterpart Ukrtransgaz have signed an interconnection agreement covering flows of natural gas both ways across the border. The agreement is in line with the recently approved Interoperability Network Code, aimed at improving cross-border cooperation between gas network operators. The interconnection agreement will enable Ukraine to import more gas from Hungary as Ukrainian imports from the European Union are on the rise. The capacity of the interconnector from Ukraine towards Hungary is 26 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year, and that of the reverse flow is 6.1 bcm per year. (

China's May crude oil imports drop

June 8, 2015. China's oil imports fell about 11 percent in May from a year ago in the steepest drop since November 2013, likely knocking the country off its perch as the world's top crude buyer - a spot it claimed for the first time in April. Lower imports by China, at a time when markets are expected to be oversupplied following OPEC's decision to keep its output targets unchanged, dragged down global crude prices. China imported 23.24 million tonnes of crude in May, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. This puts China behind the United States, which imported just under 30 million tonnes last month, according to calculations based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. On a daily basis, China's imports hit 5.47 million barrels in May, down nearly 26 percent from April's record 7.37 million barrels per day (bpd). In May, China's refineries likely used crude from commercial storage, leading to lower arrivals, SIA Energy said. China's appetite for crude is, however, expected to pick up in the second half of the year as new commercial and strategic storage tanks are finished. A higher number of refineries offline for maintenance could also have dragged on crude demand in May. Energy Aspects estimates maintenance to have peaked last month with about 1.2 million bpd of capacity offline, double that of April. China imported 2.32 million tonnes of refined oil products in May and exported 2.44 million tonnes, indicating net fuel exports of 12,000 tonnes. China flipped to become a net oil product exporter in April, after being a net importer in the first three months. (

Sonatrach eyes LNG exports to Asia and Latin America

June 5, 2015. Algerian oil and gas company Sonatrach is seeking to conclude long-term LNG agreements with Latin American countries and expects to continue diverting gas supplies from Europe to Asia. Algeria is a major gas supplier to Europe, covering about 20% of European gas consumption (primarily gas exports through pipelines to Italy, Spain and France). Over the last few years, weak demand in Europe translated into a reduction of gas pipeline supply to Europe and to increased LNG exports. Sonatrach is seeking to secure long-term LNG contracts, rather than selling LNG on spot markets. Negotiations are under way with Brazil, Argentina and Egypt. (

APA completes $4.6 bn acquisition of Australia's QCLNG Pipeline from BG

June 4, 2015. APA Group, Australia’s largest natural gas infrastructure business, disclosed that it completed the acquisition from BG Group of the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Pipeline. The final acquisition price is $4.6 billion and the first full year EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) contribution is expected to be around $355 million. As part of the completion process, APA has renamed the pipeline to the Wallumbilla Gladstone Pipeline (WGP). (

Russia's Gazprom presses on with Turkey pipeline despite questions

June 3, 2015. Russia's Gazprom plans to start building a pipeline to Turkey this month to get gas to Europe without going through Ukraine, the company said, although it has no firm agreement with Ankara and faces opposition from the European Union (EU). With the EU determined to reduce its energy dependence on Russia and Turkey seeking big discounts for its gas for participating in the new pipeline, Russia may pay dearly for its ambition or even see it thwarted. Moscow has stepped up efforts to find alternative gas supply routes to Europe, its biggest market, that avoid Ukraine, since Ukrainian protesters ousted a pro-Russian president last year. In December, Russia scrapped its South Stream pipeline project which would have supplied gas to southern Europe without crossing Ukraine because of objections from the European Union on competition grounds. It instead announced the planned construction of an alternative pipeline, dubbed the Turkish stream, with the aim of delivering 63 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year, 47 bcm of it to Europe, by 2020. Gazprom had already begun to upgrade its domestic pipeline system so it could link up to the more modern South Stream project and spent 271 billion roubles ($5 billion) in 2013-2014. It says it will build on this work and spend another 278 billion roubles this year, part of a total 715 billion on modernising Russia's gas system to fit now with the Turkish Stream, Gazprom documents show. Gazprom said the state-controlled company planned to start laying pipes beneath the Black Sea by the end of June. The pipeline will consist of four lines, which each have an annual capacity of 15.75 bcm, with the first line reaching Turkey. Gazprom hopes to create a gas hub at the Turkish-Greek border for transit to Europe, but depends on Turkey agreeing to build on its territory and needs EU countries - many of which want energy independence from Russia - to develop required infrastructure. Turkey, Gazprom's second biggest export market after Germany, is driving a hard bargain for its participation in the pipeline project. Gazprom supplied Turkey with a total of 27.4 bcm of gas last year split between two routes: the offshore Blue Stream pipeline and the Transbalkan pipeline, known as the Western line in Turkey. Ankara secured a 10.25 percent gas discount in late February for the Russian gas but is pressing for more now. Gazprom is forecasting an average gas price for Europe, including Turkey, of $242 per 1,000 cubic metres this year. Turkey wants a new price for the gas it will get via its portion of the Turkish Stream, sources in Turkey say. (

China starts building Power of Siberia gas pipeline to Russia

June 3, 2015. Russian gas giant Gazprom has announced the start of the construction of its Power of Siberia gas pipeline project in China. The 4,000 km-long gas pipeline will connect the Chayandinskoye field in Yakutia to Blagoveshchensk on the Russian-Chinese border and will enable to deliver up to 38 bcm per year gas to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) under a 30-year gas supply contract signed by Gazprom in May 2014. Construction started in September 2014 on the first 2,200 km section in Russia and Gazprom plans to invest US$55 bn to develop new gas fields to supply China. Commissioning is expected in 2022. (               

Policy / Performance…………

Saudi ministry says higher oil output driven by demand

June 9, 2015. Saudi Arabia's oil ministry said the rise in its oil production over the past three months was a result of increased global demand and the needs of its customers and was not designed to compensate for lower oil prices. The ministry said its petroleum policy did not reflect personal views and were formulated by an integrated team of experts and specialists in oil market economics, based at the ministry’s offices in Riyadh. (

Canada Petroleum producers cut 2030 output forecast

June 9, 2015. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) cut its 2030 oil production forecast by 17 percent as capital expenditures slipped after crude prices tumbled. The world’s third-biggest holder of crude reserves will produce 5.3 million barrels a day, down from 6.4 million forecast a year ago, CAPP said. The organization cut its forecast after oil dropped to $42 a barrel this year from near $108 in June as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) maintained quotas amid a surge of U.S. shale oil. The drop has curtailed capital expenditure by oil and gas producers to C$45 billion ($36.5 billion) in 2015 from C$73 billion last year, CAPP said. Expenditure in the oil sands fell to C$23 billion this year from C$33 billion. Rigs drilling for oil in the country fell to a seasonal six-year low, Baker Hughes Inc. data show. Companies including Suncor Energy Inc. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc have canceled or delayed oil-sands expansion projects. CAPP’s forecast is based on a survey of its members. It also predicted production will rise to 4.64 million barrels a day by 2020 and 4.96 million by 2025 and oil sands output will grow to 4 million barrels a day by 2030 from 2.3 million this year. Western Canada’s conventional oil output is forecast to drop to 1.3 million barrels a day by 2020 from 1.4 million, Eastern Canada’s production will fall to 90,000 barrels a day from 220,000 this year. (

Indonesia joins line for Iran oil amid talks to rejoin OPEC

June 5, 2015. Indonesia is seeking a long-term oil supply deal with Iran in anticipation of a possible end to sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation over its nuclear program. Resources Minister Sudirman Said will discuss potential crude supply and investments with Iran on the sidelines of an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna, according to the ministry. The Asian nation, which left OPEC in 2008 amid declining production, will also discuss its request to rejoin the group. Indonesia joins European oil majors including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc in declaring interest in Iran’s energy resources.

Indonesia is seeking to rejoin OPEC seven years after its increasing reliance on imports prompted the nation to withdraw from the group supplying about 40 percent of the world’s oil. Iran reached an agreement with Indonesia last month to increase oil exports to Indonesia and plans to build a refinery. Kreasindo Resources Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding with Iranian company Nakhle Barani Paradis for long-term crude supply in February last year. Iran sees the return of foreign firms as the key to reviving its oil industry. The government has circulated drafts of oil-contract terms, suggesting it’s expecting to seal an atomic deal.

Iran needs $200 billion of investment in its oil industry, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. OPEC agreed to suspend Indonesia’s membership in September 2008 at the country’s own request, almost half a century after the nation joined. The country pumped 882,000 barrels a day of oil in 2013 and consumed almost twice as much, according to BP Plc. Zanganeh said he would welcome Indonesia’s return to OPEC, whose members are gathered in Vienna to discuss the 12-nation group’s production policy. The minister urged OPEC to make room for more output from Iran when global sanctions recede. The group will keep its target of 30 million barrels a day unchanged at meeting, according to all but one of the 34 analysts and traders in a survey. (

Saudi Arabia raises benchmark oil price to Asia

June 4, 2015. Saudi Arabia has raised its official selling price (OSP) for benchmark Arab Light to Asia next month as expected, responding to robust demand for its crude there and to higher consumption at home during the hot summer months. OPEC's top exporter, which has been pumping near record levels for the last two months, pushed up its July Asian Arab Light price by 60 cents a barrel versus June to set it at parity with the Oman/Dubai average. State oil company Saudi Aramco said that it had cut its selling price to Northwest Europe but kept its sales price to the United States unchanged. While a glut is building in the Atlantic basin with sellers of West African and North Sea crude struggling to find buyers, Middle East producers have seen brisk demand over the past month with strong demand from refiners across Asia. Saudi Arabia and its partners in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are expected to leave their group production target unchanged when they meet in Vienna. The Saudi OSP formula is loosely based on the average monthly changes in the spread between the first and third month Dubai cash prices and refining margins for oil products. Saudi Aramco also bases crude prices on customer recommendations. (

Croatia awards six oil and gas exploration licences in the Drava basin

June 4, 2015. The government of Croatia has decided to award six oil and gas exploration licences in the northern Drava River basin to three companies: Vermilion (Canada) will receive four licences, while national oil and gas company INA (co-owned by Hungarian energy group MOL) and Oando (Nigeria) will each receive one licence. In January 2015, Croatia had already awarded ten licenses for oil and gas exploration in the Adriatic Sea: a consortium of Marathon Oil and OMV won seven licenses, while the national oil company INA won two licenses. The last license was awarded to a consortium of Eni and Medoilgas. Exploration agreements will be signed in April 2015. (

Tanzania raises petrol, diesel prices pump prices

June 4, 2015. Tanzania's energy regulatory body raised the retail prices of petrol and diesel after global oil prices rose and the local currency weakened, but left kerosene prices unchanged in its latest monthly review. Fuel prices in the east African nation have a big impact on the annual inflation rate, which rose for the third straight month to 4.5 percent in April from 4.3 percent in March. The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority said it had raised the petrol price by 5.34 percent and the price of diesel by 5.16 percent. Kerosene prices remained unchanged from the previous review in May. The regulator increased the price of petrol in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam by 100 shillings per litre to 1,966 shillings ($0.91), while that of diesel rose by 88 shillings to 1,782 shillings. Kerosene prices in Dar es Salaam remained flat at 1,624 shillings per litre. The new price caps take immediate effect. (



CPV plans to develop $900 mn natural gas power plant in Pennsylvania, US

June 8, 2015. Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) is planning to develop a natural gas-fired power plant in western Pennsylvania, US, with an investment of $900 mn. The company plans to begin construction of the 980 MW natural gas-fired electrical generation plant in 2017. Planned to be developed in the Yurasek Salvage Heaven property in Jackson Township, the facility will utilize the existing natural gas lines, transmission lines and cooling water from the Quemahoning dam. The facility will provide electricity required to power 900,000 homes in the region, and is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2019. The project, which would create 500 jobs during construction phase, will generate electricity with 60% efficiency. (

J-Power commissions 800 MW unit of 1.6 GW U-Thai project

June 4, 2015. Electric Power Development (J-POWER, Japan) has commissioned the first 800 MW of its 1,600 MW U-Thai gas-fired CCGT power project in the Ayutthaya province of Thailand. The second 800 MW unit is expected to be commissioned in December 2015. The project was awarded to Gulf JP, a 90%-owned subsidiary of J-Power, during the 2007 IPP Bid of Thailand. Power generation will be sold to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Gulf Power commissioned 7 CCGT power projects in Thailand in 2013 and the Nong Saeng 1,600 MW CCGT power project in Saraburi in 2014. With the first unit of U-Thai commissioned, J-Power reaches an overseas capacity of more than 6.7 GW. (   

Iran expects Russia to start building Bushehr nuclear project in 2015

June 3, 2015. Iran expects Russian nuclear agency Rosatom to start large scale works on the second and third units of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran in the autumn 2015. The Nuclear Power Production & Developement Co. of Iran operates the sole nuclear reactor of the country, 915 MW Bushehr-1 (1,000 MW gross), which was connected to the grid in September 2011 and commissioned in September 2013. Two additional VVER units of 1,000 MW are planned and Iran anticipates a gradual removal of sanctions after a final agreement on its controversial nuclear programme to start construction works. (           

Kyushu Electric delays Sendai nuclear plant restart to August

June 3, 2015. Japanese power utility Kyushu Electric has delayed the restart of the Sendai nuclear power plant in south-western Japan from late July to mid-August 2015. Operational checks on the two 846 MW reactors, that have been shut down since the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, will last two weeks later than previously announced, delaying the plant's restart. This will not affect the second reactor, which will be restarted in late September 2015. In late May 2015, the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved the operational and accident-response manuals submitted by Kyushu Electric Power for its Sendai nuclear power plant, clearing the final screening hurdle to the plant's restart. (   

Siemens signs $9 bn power-plant deal with Egypt

June 3, 2015. Siemens AG received an order to build gas and wind power plants in Egypt valued at €8 billion ($9 billion), which the German company described as the largest single order in its history. Siemens signed contracts for the order, which will boost Egypt’s power production, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Siemens will deliver three ready-to-use gas-steam power plants with a capacity of 4.8 GW each. The plants, which will go into operation in stages starting in the summer of 2017, will have a total capacity of 14.4 GW, Siemens said. The contracts, based on declarations of intent signed last March at the Egypt Economic Development Conference, are aimed at increasing Egypt’s power production capacity by 16.4 GW, a plus of 50% compared with current capacity. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

EIB lends €231 mn to ENEA to upgrade power grid in Poland

June 3, 2015. The European Investment Bank (EIB) will lend up to PLN 946 mn (€231 mn) to the Polish electricity distribution company ENEA to upgrade and extend its electricity grids in north-western Poland. Over the 2015-2017 period, ENEA will refurbish or construct 460 km of high-voltage and 3,800 km of medium-voltage and low-voltage lines and cables and install or upgrade up to 3,300 transformers. ENEA aims to connect around 45,000 new supply points and to improve the reliability of electricity supply while cutting losses. (   

Glencore says looking at coal opportunities for future growth

June 3, 2015. Glencore Plc said it is looking at Australian coal assets and other coal opportunities as it seeks to take advantage of a downturn in the market to position itself for future growth. Glencore said earlier this year it would reduce its 2015 coal exports by 15 million tonnes given a significant fall in prices. Glencore's coal business head Peter Freyberg said he expected Glencore's exports this year to be "closer to 90 million tonnes than 100 million tonnes". (

Policy / Performance…………

South Korea plans to build 3 GW nuclear power plants

June 9, 2015. The South Korea Government is planning to build two nuclear power plants with combined capacity of 3,000 MW, in line with plans to reduce its reliance on coal for power generation and lower greenhouse gas emissions. South Korea Trade, Industry and Energy Ministry said that the government has abandoned proposal to construct four coal-fired power plants. Part of state-run utility Korea Electric Power, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power currently operates 23 nuclear reactors, and plans to construct another 11 units. The ministry said that the two nuclear plants will be commissioned in 2028 and 2029, respectively. With the latest plan, South Korea will have 36 nuclear reactors by 2029, which will represent 28.5% of its power generation capacity. The plan comes as the domestic electricity usage is estimated to increase by an average of 2.2% annually reaching 656,883 GWh in 2029. The country develops a basic plan every two years to prioritize and set the ratio of energy sources mixture. Seoul will take a decision to continue operations of Kori No.1 power plant beyond its current expiry date of 2017. The country has already extended the lifespan of Busan reactor by 10 years. (

Argentina approves financing for 486 MW Los Blancos hydropower project

June 8, 2015. The federal government of Argentina has approved a US$964 mn financing for the construction of the 486 MW Los Blancos hydropower project in the Mendoza province of Argentina. The project will include two power plants, the 324 MW Los Blancos-1 and the 162 MW Los Blancos-2, which are expected to generate 900 GWh/year and 438 GWh/year respectively. The US$1.57 bn project is expected to be carried out within five years and to be operational in 2020. (           

AFB lends US$75 mn to 341 MW CCGT project in Bangladesh

June 4, 2015. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$75 mn loan to Summit Bibiyana II Power Company, for its Bibiyana-2 gas-fired CCGT power project in Bangladesh. The project includes the design, engineering, construction, and operation of a 341 MW CCGT to be located on the south bank of Khushiyara River. Construction is expected to be completed by October 2015, and the plant will produce around 2.5 TWh/year of electricity. The project will sell power to the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), Bangladesh’s state-owned electricity company, under a 22-year power purchase agreement. The project will contribute to the government's master plan to develop 12 GW of additional power capacity over the next five years to diversify its power mix with renewables, increase the electrification rate and, above all, meet rising demand. Bangladesh is regularly hit by severe power shortages and periodic load shedding affecting industrial and commercial businesses. (

Nigerian energy regulator revises electricity prices

June 4, 2015. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has issued new electricity tariffs for commercial and industrial customers (effective as of 1 April 2015) and for residential customers (as of 1 July 2015). The new tariffs, that are in the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) for the period 1 April 2015 to December 2018, replace the tariffs in MYTO 2 for the period 1 June 2012 to 31 May 2017. On 1 July 2015, electricity prices will increase by 47% for households supplied by Benin DISCO, by 26% for those supplied by Ibadan DISCO, by 45% for those supplied by Eko DISCO but by "only" 9.9% for Ikeja DISCO. Fixed monthly charges will also increase (levels set until 2018). (           

Czechs back nuclear development plan without decision on funding

June 3, 2015. The Czech government approved its long-awaited nuclear energy strategy that foresees the construction of new atomic reactors without committing to a clear plan on how the projects will be funded. The central European nation of 10.5 million, which currently exports about 20 percent of its power output, is debating how to replace its aging coal-fired power plants and Soviet-era nuclear reactors that will be progressively ending their lifespan in the next 20 years. The government identified nuclear and renewable power as the main source of energy in the Czech Republic’s future. Still, the current prices of electricity in Europe, hovering near an all-time low, make costly nuclear projects unattractive for investors, who demand some form of government subsidies. The Czech government has been staunchly opposed to providing any guarantees on the power price, leading the state-controlled utility CEZ AS to scrap a $15 billion nuclear tender last year. The nuclear plan envisions that the entire project will be financed by CEZ, consortium of private investors or by the state. A decision on the funding must be made by 2025, the government said. (



Centre urges states, UTs to explore dollar based solar tariff bidding

June 9, 2015. The Centre has started talks with states and Union territories (UTs) to introduce dollar-based solar tariff bidding, to make rates more competitive. Such a move would bring down solar power rates to ` 4.37 a unit from the current ` 6.70 a unit, as developers would not have to bear the risk of foreign exchange. It would also help India achieve additional capacity of 175,000 MW of renewable power by 2022. States have also been told to formulate a solar power policy to make cost of renewable energy affordable and also provide for promotion of grid-connected solar rooftops. The Centre has sought the cooperation of states and UTs for speedy execution of the Green Energy Corridor Phase-I and timely development of Phase-II. The first phase involves laying a transmission network to carry 25,000-30,000 MW of clean energy from renewable sources. The second envisages transmission of 22,000 MW from solar parks. States are expected to provide land according to their policies with all clearances, including for ultra mega solar projects, and establish a single window clearance system for renewable projects.  The Karnataka government had proposed to allow landowners to use their farmland for installation of one to three MW of solar generation. About 10,000 landowners were interested. However, the state government has appealed to the Centre to amend the Telegraph Act so that compensation could be provided and issues with regard to right of ways could be settled early. The Tamil Nadu government had suggested the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy enhance capital subsidy for off-grid and grid solar PV system from 100 KW to 500 KW. The Centre had asked the states to establish metering and communication infrastructure for renewable energy pooling stations and capacity building of state load dispatch centres, so that renewable energy scheduling and forecasting could begin immediately. (

Seven million electric vehicles by 2020: Siddeshwar

June 9, 2015. Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Siddeshwar said that the government has set a target to produce around seven million electric vehicles by 2020. Siddeshwar said that under the National Electrical Mobility Mission (NLMM), the Centre has earmarked a sum of ` 100 crore for various activities including research and development for introducing more of electricity run vehicles to bring down the pollution levels as well dependency on the fossil fuels. Siddeshwar said that after the re-auction of coal blocks, the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has received fresh orders worth ` 30,794 crore. The Advanced Super Critical Technology developed by the BHEL has enabled thermal plants to achieve optimum power production even while using low quality coal, he said. (

Researchers isolate micro-organisms that generate electricity

June 8, 2015. Researchers from the department of biotechnology of Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce in Shivajinagar have isolated micro-organisms from the Konkan coast and used the live culture to produce electricity by exposing it to sunlight. This research could lead to new avenues for generation of electricity in the country. The micro-organisms were identified with the help of scientists from the Microbial Culture Collection, National Centre for Cell Science. Researchers studied the production of 'bacteriorhodopsin', a unique protein of these micro-organisms that converts light energy into electrical energy. All 11 strains of the micro-organism showed conversion of light energy into electrical energy, when exposed to sunlight, the researchers said. (

DJB starts generation of bio-gas power at Kondli STP

June 7, 2015. Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has started generation of bio-gas power at its sewage treatment plant (STP) in Kondli, making it the third STP to have such facility. According to DJB, its total gas-based power generation at the three STPs has now gone up to 40,000 KWH per day. It said that apart from Kondli STP, the bio-gas based plants have also been commissioned at Okhla and Rithala. Presently 30 to 35 percent of the power demand of these three STPs is met from the electricity generated from its bio-gas based plants. It said they have plans to install bio-gas based power generation in all its STPs wherever technically feasible. The DJB said that bio-gas based power generation is environment friendly. (

‘Units that depend on fossil fuels must have a Plan B to manage their costs’

June 7, 2015. It is better for companies dependent on coal, oil and gas, to have an alternative plan since the cost of doing business will increase in the next two decades, Tara Parthasarathy, Joint Managing Director, Ultramarine and Pigments Ltd, said. The cost of credit and capital available to invest on the fossil fuels will increase not only because of decreased availability, but also because of stringent regulations that would be imposed on them by the government, she said at a Climate Change convention organised by the Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI). The climate change might result in “nationalisation of businesses” that run on fossil fuels and also influx of immigration from countries such as Sri Lanka and Maldives, said Parthasarathy. K Palanivelu, Director of Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research and Professor — Environmental Studies, at Anna University, said the maximum increase in temperature is estimated to be between 2.4 and 3.5 degree Celsius by the end of the century. Tamil Nadu will face 4 percent deficit in rainfall and the impact will culminate in reduction in food production. Vidya Soundarrajan, Senior Regional Advisor, Climate Change & Energy, British Deputy High Commission, said though it is impossible to reverse the climate change, steps have been taken to stop the rise at 2 degree Celsius. (

Essel, Rajasthan govt ink ` 40 bn pact for solar parks

June 5, 2015. Essel Group said it has formed a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with the Rajasthan government to set up solar parks in the state. The solar parks will be set up in Bikaner and Jaisalmer regions with an investment of ` 4,000 crore. Recently, the group has signed an MoU (memorandums of understanding) with a Chinese firm, JA Solar, for setting up a solar cell and module manufacturing company in India. It is also developing one of India's largest solar plants in Tamil Nadu, the firm said. Essel Group Chairman Subhash Chandra had participated in the world's largest trade fair, Hannover Messe 2015, and had forged alliances with five German firms to develop green energy projects and smart cities in India, Essel Group said. (

LED lights to help India save $2 bn: Goyal

June 4, 2015. The government is planning to save $2 billion in four years by cutting down on energy usage by 10,000 MW during peak hours by promoting LED lights, power, coal and renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal said. Apart from this, the government is focusing on star rated appliances and improving industrial energy efficiency for an overall saving of about 100 billion units a year, that is 10% of country’s current consumption, he said. Apart from lowering LED lights prices, Goyal said the government is taking steps to boost rooftop solar power production. Goyal said government is taking comprehensive steps to check coal mafia operating in mines including installation of CCTVs to boost output especially in eastern region mines. He said at the states level, several discoms have huge losses due to inefficient management over the years, which also need to be sorted out. The central government is working closely with the states to both reduce these losses and encourage energy conversation and efficiency which will make India energy secure and environmentally safe. (

Country to witness solar power trains soon: Vardhan

June 4, 2015. Union Minsiter Harsh Vardhan said that the Centre was working on solar train project in association with Integral Coach Factory (ICF) and IIT Madras and it would roll out soon. Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, said solar powered carriages will be developed to curb dependence on fossil fuels and power grid. The minister was addressing the inaugural function of automatic solar energy module production plant at Central Electronics Limited (CEL) in Sahibabad. He said the product will give a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' drive. The minister said, solar energy will mitigate global warming by reducing the emission of green house gases. It will also diminish dependency on fossil fuels. The solar unit will also help the citizens to overcome the electricity crisis. (

Environmental scientists concerned over toxic air in Delhi-NCR

June 3, 2015. With World Environment Day on June 5, a group of scientists have expressed concern over the toxic air in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR). Speaking during an event for World Environment Day at Amity University, the scientists suggested measures like fitting Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) in diesel vehicles, ensuring that new Commercial Diesel Generator (DG) sets be based on CNG and existing DG sets are retrofitted with requisite pollution control systems to reduce toxic air in Delhi /NCR. On this occasion, B. Sengupta, an environmental scientist, suggested that instead of phasing out diesel vehicles in Delhi/NCR, Diesel Particulate Filter, a device designed to remove diesel particulate matter or soot from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine, could be fitted into older vehicles including heavy duty commercial vehicles to reduce emissions. Sengupta, a former member secretary, Central Pollution Control Board, said it was possible only if 50 ppm (parts per million) sulfur fuel was available. Sengupta said the most critical and harmful pollutant in the air was PM2.5 and the major contributors of PM2.5 in the environment were combustion sources like vehicles, coal, biomass and garbage combustion. Anjali Shrivastava, chief scientist and Head, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), said human beings' greed and need for power had led to accelerated changes in the climate leading to air, noise and water pollution and depletion of resources. (


American Capital to support 151.8 MW wind project in Senegal

June 9, 2015. American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (ACEI) is planning to invest €76 mn in the 151.8 MW wind power project in Senegal. Considered to be the largest wind farm planned in West Africa, the €305 mn project is being developed in three phases of 50.8 MW over three years, and is expected to reduce the country's dependency on oil-fired power generation. ACEI will work with the project developer Sarreole for funding development costs and project equity, which will also include financing from senior and mezzanine lenders. The project is in line with the Senegal Government's efforts to diversify its energy mix as well as increase the use of renewable energy to meet the energy demand. (

EU, China said to ready climate pact in June before global deal

June 9, 2015. The European Union (EU) and China are planning an agreement this month on fighting climate change before nations worldwide gather to iron out a global emissions-cutting deal. The pact to be signed June 29 will promote closer ties in using low-emission technologies and developing carbon markets and sustainable cities. The EU-China summit on the 29th will touch upon the issue of climate change, Elina Bardram, the bloc’s chief negotiator, said. China, the world’s largest emitter, and the EU, which wants to lead the global fight against climate change, will highlight the need for a successful emissions-reduction deal to be sealed at December’s United Nations conference in Paris. The EU operates the biggest global cap-and-trade program. Envoys from more than 190 countries aim to reach an agreement that would for the first time wrest commitments from both developed and developing nations. It’s intended to build on the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which required pollution reductions only in industrialized nations and set no limits for developing ones like China and India, where emissions have skyrocketed. The 28-nation EU, accounting for about 10 percent of global emissions, agreed together with several other mostly European nations to adopt binding greenhouse-gas reduction goals under Kyoto’s second commitment period until 2020. European leaders endorsed in October a goal of a 40 percent domestic pollution cut for 2030 from 1990 levels, accelerating the pace from a 20 percent target for 2020. Chinese President Xi Jinping last year pledged that his country’s emissions would peak by 2030. A study by U.K. academics showed that Chinese greenhouse-gas discharges are set to start falling five years earlier, suggesting the nation is acting faster than promised to shift to clean energy from fossil fuels. The goal for the new global agreement will be to contain the rise in temperatures since the Industrial Revolution to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). That’s a target that even Christiana Figueres, the UN diplomat spearheading talks, has said may be beyond the capability of the Paris conference. (

Repsol signs up to European oil group’s stance on climate change

June 9, 2015. Repsol SA joined its European peers in calling for governments to agree on carbon pricing at a United Nations climate summit, expanding the group of energy companies seeking a voice at the meeting. Repsol signed the letter that BP Plc, Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Statoil ASA, Total SA and BG Group Plc released earlier this month asking for a global price for carbon. The addition of Spain’s largest oil company to the group further highlights the division within the global oil industry as the top American companies, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., decided to stay out of the European initiative. The push by Europe’s oil companies comes as the Group of Seven richest nations is pushing to “decarbonize” the global economy, meaning that any polluting gases from burning oil, gas or coal must be canceled out by carbon-capture or other technologies by 2100, the G-7 said. The letter from the European oil companies comes after efforts to reduce fossil-fuel investments and spur renewables such as solar and wind gathered pace in the past two years. The European firms are more sensitive to environmental issues because governments in the region are leading the way on climate negotiations and voters are demanding action. The letter to Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN climate body, and Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, promotes natural gas as the least-polluting of fossil fuels, in opposition to coal. (

Jordan launches mega solar power plant

June 8, 2015. Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour launched the construction work of a 170 million solar-run power plant located in southern part of the country. The power plant will be finished in mid 2016 and is to start producing electricity in September of next year, he said. The plant is owned by a group of Jordanian, Japanese and Qatari companies, he said. The prime minister said the 52.5 MW power plant will create around 500 jobs, stressing that the plant will produce about 160 GW annually. Jordan imports about 97 percent of its energy needs annually at a total cost of 20 percent of the gross domestic product. By 2018, there will be operational renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 1,800 MW in Jordan, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. (

Large-scale renewable investments fell by 88 percent in Australia in 2014

June 8, 2015. According to the Clean Energy Australia Report 2014 released by the Clean Energy Council, investments in the large-scale renewable energy sector in Australia fell by 88% in 2014 (to A$240 mn, i.e. US$220 mn) compared to 2013, the lowest level since 2002. Meanwhile, investments in small-scale renewable installations fell by more than 20% to A$2.3 bn (US$2.1 bn). In 2014, installed solar capacity exceeded 4 GW (from more than 3.2 GW in 2013) and solar power plants accounted for nearly 16% of total renewable generation; renewables still covered 13.5% of the Australian power mix. Hydro was the main renewable source, with 46% of renewable power generation in 2014, followed by wind with 31%. Wind capacity rose by 61 MW in 2014 to 3,806 MW. (  

G-7 calls for zero fossil-fuel emissions by end of 21st century

June 8, 2015. Some of the world’s richest nations threw their weight behind a plan to stamp out fossil-fuel emissions by the end of the century in an unprecedented show of unity on climate change. The Group of Seven is pushing to “decarbonize,” meaning any polluting gases from burning oil, gas or coal must be canceled out by carbon-capture or other technologies by 2100. Nations should aim for emission cuts near 70 percent of 2010 levels by mid-century, the G-7 said. Deep cuts in global greenhouse-gas emissions are required with a decarbonization of the global economy over the course of this century, the group said following a summit in Germany hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel. The G-7 has been under pressure to act on climate change after the world’s biggest polluter, China, took steps to curb its carbon output. The group’s solidarity on the issue is significant ahead of a United Nations meeting in Paris in December, where more than 190 nations will aim to broker the first global emissions-reduction deal that’s binding for all countries. Those commitments include expanding renewable energies in Africa and getting 400 million people access to insurance against the negative effects of climate change, the G-7 said. The group also called for greater efforts to provide climate aid. Wealthy nations and private investors agreed in 2009 to hand $100 billion a year to developing nations by 2020 to nudge them toward greener development. Few rich countries have set out exactly how they will reach that goal. The G-7 leaders reiterated their commitment to eliminate “inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies” and said they aim to make the UN’s Green Climate fund, which will channel aid to projects in developing countries, fully operational by the end of the year. Envoys at the December summit in Paris will work on an agreement to limit global warming since the Industrial Revolution to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit). Previous UN gatherings have been hobbled by a lack of consensus among large polluters such as the U.S. and China. World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern said that China’s output of greenhouse gases is set to peak in 2025 -- five years earlier than the country forecast -- and then start falling. The nation’s progress in reducing emissions is crucial to the success of global climate-protection efforts because it spews about a quarter of all heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. (

Statoil says biggest benefit to come from deepest CO2 cut

June 4, 2015. Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer says the most aggressive steps to cut carbon-dioxide emissions will lead to the best results for the global economy over the next 25 years. Statoil ASA estimates that the world can achieve global growth of 2.9 percent a year, on average, through a “renewal” scenario in which emissions are cut by 39 percent by 2040, according to a report. In other scenarios, in which emissions rise and the world fails to meet a target of limiting the rise in temperature to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), economic growth would be as low as 2 percent on average, Statoil estimates. Statoil was among oil companies that this week called for a global carbon-emission pricing plan to curb climate change as governments prepare for talks in Paris later in 2015. The “renewal” scenario implies a reduction in energy intensity of 2.7 percent a year until 2040. Coal and oil consumption would need to fall by 2.4 percent and 0.6 percent a year, respectively, while natural gas would rise by 0.6 percent and “new renewables” by 11.1 percent. (

Morocco commits to 13 percent CO2 emission reduction by 2030

June 4, 2015. The Environment Ministry of Morocco has announced the CO2 emission reduction target by 2030 ahead of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in late 2015. Morocco targets to reduce its CO2 emissions by 13% by 2030, compared to a business-as-usual level. The country will have to invest US$10 bn to reach this goal; Morocco could commit to an additional 19% reduction by 2030, which would correspond to a 32% reduction by 2030, with international financial support (total investment estimated at US$35bn). (

Japan targets 26 percent greenhouse gas emissions cut by 2030

June 3, 2015. The Japanese government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% from their 2013 levels by 2030, to 1.04 GtCO2eq. This represents a 25% reduction compared with 2005 levels and an 18% reduction compared with 1990, the Kyoto Protocol base year. Japan's CO2 emissions from fuel combustion rose regularly between 1990 and 2007, from 1,035 MtCO2 in 1990 to 1,189 MtCO2 in 2007. After a 11% drop between 2007 and 2009, emissions rose again (+11% from 2009 to 2013) to 1,167 MtCO2. The shut-down of the entire nuclear fleet contributed to increase CO2 emissions between 2011 and 2013. This new target, using 2013 as a reference year, is considered insufficient among researchers, as some other G7 members have agreed to reduce their combined emissions by 80% by 2050. (

China Everbright signs deal to build waste-to-energy conversion facility

June 3, 2015. China Everbright International has received contracts from the Municipal Government of Laiwu City to develop waste-to-energy and food waste treatment projects in Shangdong province, China. The company will develop the two projects on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis with a 30-year concession period. Planned to be built in two phases, the waste-to-energy project will process 1,000 tons a day of household waste. (

URC to commission 46 MW biomass power plant in Philippines

June 3, 2015. JG Summit’s food and beverage unit Universal Robina (URC) is commissioning a 46 MW biomass power facility in Negros Occidental, Philippines. The PHP2.52 bn ($56.3 mn) plant will mark the entry of the firm into the power generation market. Power generated at the facility will be partly used for URC's sugar milling operations in the region, and the remaining will be sold to the grid under the feed-in tariff scheme. The facility will use bagasse, a by-product of the company's Kabankalan sugar mill, as fuel to produce power. Separately, the company is developing a $35 mn ethanol distillery plant, which will use blackstrap molasses, another by-product of sugar. This facility will have an annual production capacity of approximately 30 million liters of ethanol fuel. (

Rich nations’ $100 bn climate aid hangs on new funding plan

June 3, 2015. Rich nations must come up with new fundraising plans if they’re to hand poorer countries $100 billion a year in climate aid as promised, a study showed. Strategies could include redirecting fossil-fuel subsidies, carbon-market revenues and transaction taxes, the World Resources Institute said. Developed countries stumped up just $17 billion in 2012, according to the Washington-based researcher. Wealthy nations and private investors agreed in 2009 to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to nudge developing countries toward greener development. They’ll face mounting pressure to show how they’ll deliver that pledge in the run-up to United Nations talks in Paris at the end of the year, where leaders will work on a deal to curb emissions in rich and poor nations alike. Such a deal may only be reached when developed economies cough up more aid, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said. (

New coal needs to be stopped with strong regulation, Stern says

June 3, 2015. The world needs to enforce regulations to stem new coal supplies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that threaten global warming, said Nicholas Stern, former World Bank chief economist and adviser to Tony Blair’s government. Stern joined with a group including John Browne, former head of oil giant BP Plc, to spur governments to fund efforts to make clean energy cheaper than coal. The 10-year program, seeking $150 billion to meet its goals, would fund research into renewables, power storage and smart grids. Solar power costs have fallen more than 50 percent in five years to about $136 a megawatt-hour on average, compared with about $91 for coal, according to estimates. Onshore wind is already cheaper at about $85. The flood of humanity that’s set to almost double city populations by the middle of the century offers opportunities for investment in low-carbon infrastructure, according to Stern. (

US renewable fuels move forward

June 3, 2015. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its long-delayed rules for the amount of renewable fuels to be required in the on-road fuel supply in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The press focus so far has been on whether the petroleum industry or the renewable fuels industry wins or loses. But the real news is that this is an opportunity to achieve the original program goals of promoting the development of advanced, low greenhouse-gas domestic biofuels that improve energy security and reduce our carbon footprint while keeping costs under control. After being heavily criticized for backing away from the intent of the law authorizing the Renewable Fuel Standard, EPA has taken a clear stand toward expanding the amount of biofuels used in transportation fuels. (



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[9] Jakob, Michael,    et al. 2014. Feasible Mitigation Actions In Developing Countries. Nature Climate Change 4, 961–968 (2014) 29 October 2014

[10] Guan, Dabo et al. 2014. Determinants of Stagnating Carbon Intensity in China. Nature Climate Change 4, 1017–1023 (2014) 05 October 2014

[11] Rodik, Dani, 2015. Premature De-industrialization. School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, draft paper

[12] Subramanian, Arvind and Amrit Amirapu. 2015. Manufacturing or Services? An Indian Illustration of a Development Dilemma. CGD Working Paper 409. Washington, DC: Center for Global Development.

[13] Asuka, Jusan. 2015. Assessment of China’s GHG Emission Reduction Target for 2030: To peak CO2 Emission in 2013 instead of 2013? Tohoku University Research Unit for Building a Management Scheme for Atmospheric Environment of North East Asia, Working Paper 2015-2

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