MonitorsPublished on Jun 19, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XII; Issue 1

[Energy Subsidies: Tailoring Definitions to Influence Outcomes]

                             “The attacks by industrialised nations, motivated by the great and the good, assume that the guilt from the large carbon foot print of their lives can and should be off-set by preventing an Indian village from getting its first light bulb. These well known attack lines used by apostles of de-carbonisation must be countered by poor nations in the long term interest of their own people…”

Energy News


India must use the size of its oil demand to drive bargains!                                      


Urging the regulator to roll back power tariff hike in Delhi is not a sustainable strategy for 24*7 power supply!


UP emerging as the top energy deficient state when the nation has surplus power is a tragedy!




·          Energy Subsidies: Tailoring Definitions to Influence Outcomes   

·          The Missing Links in Renewable Energy


·          Average Electricity Consumption per Month in Delhi and Neighbouring States



·          Niko extends time to sell stake in RIL's KG-D6 block to Sept 15

·          Venezuelan partner says ONGC can get pending $537 mn dividend within a year of arranging $1 bn credit

·          ONGC uses new technique to find more gas in Assam, Tripura

·          UK’s Hardy in talks to buy out entire RIL stake in GS-1 block

·          Sandesara Group plans to invest $3 bn in Nigeria

Transportation / Trade………………

·          'One size fits all' may not work for PM Modi's gas pipeline policy in small, big cities

·          Rosneft in talks to buy stake in Essar Oil

·          Cairn India seeks to export oil despite ban

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Modi govt plans selling 3 percent stake in BPCL to raise ` 18 bn

·          Petrol price hiked by 64 paise; diesel cut by ` 1.35 per litre

·          Oil E&P business delivering meagre returns for RIL: Mukesh Ambani

·          Oil Ministry says met Cairn India over Vedanta merger

·          India seeks to use its oil thirst to drive bargains

·          Govt to hike Cairn’s Ravva gas price by 20 percent

·          India presses Russia for tax concessions on ONGC assets operating in the area



·          NHPC restores 4th unit of Uri-II power station in J&K

·          BHEL starts NTPC's 800 MW Koldam hydro power plant

·          JSPL in talks with Mozambique for 150 MW power project

·          Tata Power talks to lenders to refinance 4 GW Mundra UMPP loans

·          Rajasthan may auction 10 lignite blocks in FY16 to generate power

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Power sector to spawn over 27k jobs in Odisha by 2019

·          MCL floats second tender for 10 mt coal washery

·          Delhi CM meets CAG on audit of private power distribution companies

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Delhi govt urges regulator to roll back power tariff hike

·          'Cheyyur UMPP financially not viable'

·          UP emerges as top energy deficient state

·          Gujarat outruns industrialised states on power front with zero deficit

·          New committee to assess hydro projects on Ganga in Uttarakhand

·          'Hall of nuclear power' to be set up in Delhi

·          India's PFC preparing to meet bond investors for dollar debut

·          India's coal consumption grew fastest in the world in 2014: BP

·          West Bengal govt to invest ` 40 bn to develop power infrastructure

·          ‘All 84 ghats in Varanasi to have LED lights’

·          Govt to contribute ` 6 bn to nuclear pool

·          AP, Telangana seek green nod for power projects



·          Libya may double oil output amid longest glut in 18 yrs

·          Imperial Oil's Kearl oil sands expansion project begins production

·          North Dakota's oil production has peaked

·          Argentina's oil output up yr/yr in April for first time in 2015

·          CNOOC’s Dongfang1-1 gas field starts production

·          Lundin finds more gas, oil in Barents Sea

·          Pemex announces O&G discoveries in Gulf of Mexico

·          Lukoil raises oil production at West Qurna-2 oil field

·          Gas output from Total's Mahakam block in Indonesia seen down 12.5 percent in 2016

·          Statoil announces new gas discovery at Gymir


·          Taiwan's Formosa sells diesel to Japan's Mitsubishi in rare move

·          ADNOC finalises July-June jet fuel term contract

Transportation / Trade…………

·          Greece, Bulgaria to seal IGB gas pipeline deal soon

·          Gazprom will stop exporting gas to Europe through Ukraine in 2019

·          Canada approves TransCanada pipeline to feed Pacific LNG plant

Policy / Performance………………

·          Venezuela Oil Minister sees price rise by end of year

·          Libya in talks to reopen El Feel, El Sharara oilfields

·          Egypt postpones smart card system for subsidised oil purchases

·          Norwegian govt forced to reassess Arctic oil drilling boundaries



·          China Gezhouba will build 2.2 GW hydropower project in Angola

·          Mitsui and ACWA sign agreement on Salalah-2 power project in Oman

·          GE to provide maintenance services for 410 MW power plant in Russia

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          IDB lends US$200 mn for power transmission project in Mozambique

·          Iran, Armenia to start building 3rd power transmission line

·          Tajikistan receives €70 mn loan for 500kV transmission project

·          American Electric Power and partners to launch emergency transmission equipment venture

Policy / Performance………………

·          US firm to set up 6 GW gas-based power plants

·          Chinese to launch 50 MW power plant in Garissa

·          South Korea needs new facility for spent nuclear fuel



·          Wind sector to add over 3.5 GW capacity in 2015-16

·          IOC's Lotus Xangpo petrol pump world's highest altitude outlet

·          India’s solar power target not impossible, but difficult: Birol

·          Adani to set up country's largest solar park of 10 GW MW in Rajasthan

·          Solar power policy for Jharkhand in July

·          Delhi Metro starts buying solar energy at 6 per unit

·          UK chips in to make Kolkata climate-resilient


·          Canada reaches 10 GW of installed wind power capacity

·          EU concerned UK, France won’t meet renewables target

·          White House says $4 bn in clean-energy commitments secured

·          UK may get negative power prices by 2020 on wind, solar jump

·          Veolia signs $505 mn wood-chip power plant deal in Ireland

·          Spain considers tax on solar batteries of autoconsumers

·          South Korea plans 14 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030

·          Japan environment minister says coal plant approval problematic

·          EPA seen siding with engine makers in truck efficiency rules

·          Nearly 40 GW of solar capacity were installed worldwide in 2014

·          Enel secures contracts for 280 MW of wind power projects in South Africa

·          Qatar-supported Jordan solar power plant to be operational in 2016

·          Emissions from energy have slowest gain since 2009 drop, BP says

·          Germany holds 2nd auction for 150 MW of solar PV projects

·          TransCanada CEO says world needs ‘broad-based’ carbon price

·          ENGIE commissions 94 MW West Coast One wind project

·          GE to build 8.5 MW biogas power plant in Brazil




Energy Subsidies: Tailoring Definitions to Influence Outcomes   

Lydia Powell and Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation


s the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) draws nearer, industrialised nations are stepping up the pressure on poor countries to confess their carbon sins and embrace the gospel of de-carbonisation. Industrialised countries treat their dependence on fossil fuels in the past and continued dependence in the present as irrelevant but see no contradiction in treating the dependence on fossil fuels by poor countries as cardinal sin (Chart 1). Ignoring intrinsic values such as fairness, they limit their focus exclusively to the instrumental goal of forcing poor countries to do what they would not have done had they been at the same stage of development through reports that supposedly estimate the cost that the poor countries are imposing on the world. Their development funds (including that of Australia, a country with the highest per capita carbon emissions among industrialised countries which is also heavily dependent on coal and gas exports to other countries) self righteously declare that they no longer support any work on coal by poor countries. Their civil society movements go about spreading the gospel of de-carbonisation with the same zeal as they spread Christianity centuries ago. Their media and the institutions that they set up and continue to control such as the World Bank, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bring out reports to condemn the use of fossil fuels and the use of subsidies for fossil fuels in poor countries using what they want us to see as objective academic language. 

Chart 1: Per Person Dependence on Oil, Gas and Coal in Select Countries

Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 & World Bank

One such report is the IEA’s forthcoming free report on Energy and Climate Change. The press release on the report observes that it sees four pillars as essential requirement to make COP 21 a success: (1) Setting conditions to achieve an early peak in global energy related emissions (2) Review of national actions every five years (3) translate the world’s climate goal into collective vision (4) establish a process for tracking achievements in the energy sector. It then goes on to say that a peak in energy emissions can be achieved in five years if governments implements ‘just five’ measures:

1.     Increase energy efficiency in the industry, buildings and transport segments

2.     Reduce use of least efficient coal fired power plants and ban their construction

3.     Increase investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector from USD 270 billion to USD 400 billion

4.     Gradually phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2030

5.     Reduce methane emission in oil & gas production

According to the IEA, these measures are all based on proven technologies and none of them will compromise on economic growth. The target of these messages is poor countries because rich countries have completed the process of using fossil fuels to industrialise and grow. Now they want to kick down the ladder that they used to climb on to their self-righteous perches. They have done this in the economic realm (as the South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang as eloquently explained in his book) and now they want to do the same for energy.  

One of the latest IMF reports on subsides seeks to estimate the magnitude of energy subsidies. The title of the report suggests that it is estimating ‘energy subsidies’ in general but its contents exclusively focus on subsidies for fossil fuels. The opening remarks of the report make that very clear as it observes that subsidies (1) damage the environment (2) cause premature deaths through local air pollution (3) cause congestion of vehicles that use fossil fuels (4) impose fiscal costs that consequently reduce investment in vital public services (5) discourage investment in energy efficiency and renewable (6) and that subsidies are invariably appropriated by rich households. 

One of the key tools industrialised nations use to attack energy subsidies is to define it in such a way that poor countries come out looking bad. The way they do this is by limiting the definition of subsidies to economic and environmental outcomes while leaving out social outcomes. The IMF report defines pre tax consumer subsides as the ‘price paid by consumers (firms, households etc) that is below the cost of supplying energy’. It defines post tax subsidies as the ‘price paid by consumers that is below the supply cost of energy plus an appropriate ‘Pigouvian’ or ‘corrective’ tax that reflects the environmental damage with associated with energy consumption and an additional consumption tax that should be applied to all consumption goods for raising revenue. 

As per the IMF definition irrespective of whether we use the pre-tax or the post tax definition of subsidies, the question of whether we subsidise or do not subsidise energy can be answered only when we know the cost of supply. According to the IMF consumer subsidies arise when the price paid by consumers is below benchmark prices which are taken as the supply cost. The IMF says that it used country specific data for OECD countries and closest prices adjusted for shipping and margins for other countries. On the basis of this definition, the IMF report concludes that pre-tax subsidies were 0.7 percent of global GDP in 2011 and 2013 and that these subsidies will decline by about a third to 0.4 percent of global GDP in 2015 on account of the decline in international energy prices. 63 percent of the reduction in pre-tax subsidies is attributed to the fall in the price of oil, 9 percent to the fall in the price of natural gas and 28 percent to the fall in the price of electricity. 

As the IMF report is obviously hoping to influence outcomes at COP 21 in December 2015, it highlights the magnitude of post tax subsidies that is eight times as large as pre-tax subsidies in 2011 and 16 times as large in 2015. The report observes that despite the sharp drop in international energy prices, post tax subsidies have remained high at 5.8 percent of global GDP (USD 4.2 trillion) in 2011 and 6.5 percent (USD 4.9 trillion) in 2013 and 6.5 percent (USD 5.3 trillion) in 2015. It assigns blame for the growth in post tax subsidies almost entirely to ‘high growth in energy consumption, particularly coal, in countries with relatively high environmental damage from coal’. This is probably a new and improved way of shaming by not naming because we all know that the countries IMF report is targeting are China and India. The report observes that coal is the biggest source of post-tax subsidies amounting to 3 percent of global GDP in 2011 and rising to 3.9 percent in 2015. Petroleum and gas follow with a subsidy of 1.8 percent and 0.6 percent of GDP respectively. The only observation in the IMF report that implicates rich countries is when it says that the rich countries account for about a fourth of post tax subsidies while developing Asia about half.  If one balances this observation for population (or present it in per person terms) rich countries may come out worse than poor countries.   

Turning to the benefits of removing subsidies the IMF report provides a long list of favourable economic and environmental outcomes such as revenue gains, reduction in CO2 emissions, and reduction in premature deaths. If all countries are in the same stage of development there would be little reason to quarrel with the conclusions of the IMF report. Unfortunately all countries are not in the same stage of development. Developing Asia dominated by India and China has the largest number of people without access to modern energy sources. Subsidies, especially energy subsidies, were designed to increase access to modern energy sources. While it is an established fact that there are economic and material leakages of energy subsidies, it has contributed to increasing energy access in a big way. This is an outcome all the reports on energy subsidies choose to ignore. A study that compared energy access in neighbouring regions in India and Nepal that share the same ecological, economic and social characteristics has shown that the Indian part shows high penetration of modern cooking fuels such as LPG and modern lighting sources such as electricity compared to Nepal which showed zero penetration of these fuels.  The difference in terms of energy access is attributed primarily to Indian policies that subsidise access to LPG and electricity. Does this positive social externality of subsidies not matter?

The IMF report shows that most of the subsidies are appropriated by not so poor and sometimes even rich households. This may be true as they consume more energy and consequently more subsidised energy.  However this cannot be treated as an important argument for killing energy subsidies. There is evidence to show that a temporary withdrawal of subsidies for LPG in India pushed many households back in time as they were forced to use firewood and dried animal dung for cooking. 

There are other definitions of subsides such as that of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which defines subsidies as ‘financial contribution from the government which confers a benefit’. Under this definition, if subsidies confer a benefit to the poor it must be treated as violation of WTO norms. This makes meeting WTO norms more important for governments than keeping the social contract of providing basic necessities to people. 

Chart 2: Share of Daily Wages Spent to by One Liter of Petrol in Select Countries

Source: Bloomberg

The definition of subsidies today is tailored to meet instrumental goals of industrialised nations. The definition assumes a uniform and equitable world where everyone is more or less in the same economic and social state.  Under this definition, an average American is the same as an average Indian even though the American consumes twenty times more energy and so the American and Indian must be subjected to the same policies.  This fallacy of equality pervades all global policy making endeavours but this cannot continue if we are serious about a socially and ecologically sustainable world. 

Poor nations must call for a per person income floor below which global definitions such as those for subsidies cannot be applied.  In the case of energy, when a person has to spend more than 20 percent of his income on energy he should be declared as energy poor and be freed from the constraints of global subsidy definitions.   Bloomberg’s ‘pain at the pump’ index that tracks petrol prices in over 60 countries ranks Pakistan and India as the most energy poor because an average person must spend more than a day’s wages to buy a gallon of petrol (Chart 2). This is in spite of the fact that India and Pakistan ‘subsidise’ petrol prices. If they withdraw subsidies to keep the IMF happy they can do so only by making petrol inaccessible to the poor. As per the proposed floor, both India and Pakistan will not qualify as subsidisers of petrol.

The attacks by industrialised nations, motivated by the great and the good, assume that the guilt from the large carbon foot print of their lives can and should be off-set by preventing an Indian village from getting its first light bulb. These well known attack lines used by apostles of de-carbonisation must be countered by poor nations in the long term interest of their own people. 

Views are those of the authors                    

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


The Missing Links in Renewable Energy

Ashish Gupta, Observer Research Foundation


ossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) fulfill over 93% of India’s demand for commercial energy currently and their role is expected to shrink only marginally to 90% by 2022 as per the 12th Five Year Plan of the Planning Commission. Dependence on fossil fuels is thus inevitable for India in the short to medium term. However the installed capacity generation basket has undergone significant change in the last few years with renewable capacity proliferation steadily increasing. India is well endowed with non conventional sources but so far, coal remains the leading source of electricity generation in the country.

Given the climate change issue and some negative impacts of the coal-fired power plants, India is embarking on renewable energy in a big way. The country has made significant progress in renewable capacity addition in the last five years by adding about 31,692 MW with highest cumulative annual growth rate of 14 percent. Though renewable energy technology has increased significantly there is still huge potential waiting to be tapped. The technology-wise potential of renewable sources is given below:


Potential (GW)

Estimating Agency




Bagasse based cogeneration



Wind Energy



Small Hydro



Wind Energy (at 80 m hub height)



Solar Energy  (Grid connected)

5000 trillion Kwh/ per annum


MNRE – Ministry of New & Renewable Energy; CWET - Centre for Wind Energy Technology

The Modi government has also announced a very ambitious target of adding 100,000 MW by 2022 up from 20,000 MW goal announced by the previous UPA government. Despite these genuine efforts, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) initiated in January 2011 has flourished but not at the envisaged pace. The crucial question remains: why was JNNSM unable to achieve the desired results? Some underlying issues and challenges are proving to be major barriers for the renewable sector.

On the market mechanism front, the government has taken many initiatives but these measures are not proving sufficient to boost the renewable energy market in the country:

·      Private sector participation: It is undeniable that most of projects that came up in recent years were developed by private players. However, limited capacity and the financial crunch has forced them to quit the market. The high cost and risk associated with renewable energy projects makes lending institutions reluctant to provide low cost finance, rendering these projects unviable. Interestingly, renewable energy projects constitute part of infrastructure financing but these measures are not enough to change the perception of the financial institutions.

·      Renewable Energy Certificates (REC): REC is a market-based instrument to facilitate renewable trading at the national level. Non-compliance of the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) by most states led to a declining trend in REC demand. Moreover, the Central Electricity Authority Commission (CERC) has determined the REC prices up to 2017 only and therefore the projects which are set up on REC trading are finding it difficult to achieve financial closure.

·      No coordination among Centre and the States: The mismatch between centre and state-level renewable targets is a clear example of non-coordination among them. JNNSM has failed due to such lack of cohesion as most of the projects which came online are awarded under the state flagship program (for e.g. Gujarat).

·      No uniformity in fiscal incentives: The packages announced for one source is not applicable for another renewable source. Accelerated depreciation allowed for solar plants is not allowed for wind plants. This approach undermines clarity and fails to provide a clear roadmap for development of the renewable sector.

·         Local content requirement: With regard to overseas participation, the domestic content requirement is proving to be a major hurdle. Though the JNNSM objective is to empower the indigenous renewable industry, overseas companies do not favour of the same. The government still faces the dilemma of how to strike a balance since the domestic industry is vulnerable to cheap Chinese silicon and American thin film manufacturers.

·      Classification of renewable energy: No serious thought has been given to classification, though it is not a very complex problem. The categorisation of renewable energy is more related to individual perception. Any source which is “new and renewable” comes under renewable, but any source which is “old and renewable” is not covered. Hence, hydro and nuclear are not included in the renewable sources although they are effectively renewable sources.

·      Infrastructure Issue: India has come a long way in renewable energy but infrastructure issues still pose a hurdle in terms of evacuating renewable-based electricity. Grid integration of renewable energy plants poses challenges due to infirmity, remote location of the plants and inability to generate reactive power.

·         Distributed Generation (DG) approach to renewable energy: The DG approach for renewable energy is projected as the most promising solution for hinterland areas where grid connectivity is not viable. However, establishing decentralised projects is associated with high financial and organisational risks.

Another key issue is whether the State Electricity Boards (SEB’s) are empowered enough to make the difference in reshaping the framework. They are well empowered in terms of the policy framework but not empowered enough financially to absorb the high cost of renewable power and also suffer from lack of implementation capacity. The financial crunch is a major reason why most distribution companies were unable to fulfil their RPO obligation as reflected in their balance sheets. RPO is no longer a matter of obligation but the question is of financial viability. Making SEBs financially strong is the only way forward so that they will undertake the obligation willingly and not forcefully. In addition, various other measures need to be adopted to give the desired push to the renewable sector.

·      Low cost financing: Increasing availability of low-cost financing options infuses confidence among the project developers. Moreover, increasing the viability of renewable energy projects through subsidised new innovative technology increases the confidence of financial institutions from the long-term perspective. Micro-level financing for DG projects will be a significant step in this direction.

·         Collaborating Centre and State efforts: It would be encouraging to define clearly the specific responsibilities and role of the centrally instituted organisation along with key requirements to empower the state-level institution under the ambit of one central administrative body.

·      Uniformity in fiscal incentives: Bringing about uniformity in fiscal incentives for all the renewable sources would boost the industry.

·      Infusing confidence among domestic industry players: A favourable policy push coupled with government financial and infrastructure support will create a more conducive environment for the domestic manufacturing industry. Investing in indigenous manufacturing R&D would help create a progressive ecosystem for renewable technologies, which in the long run would help reduce their cost.

·         Erecting transmission network: Investing in the creation of a reliable grid with enough spinning reserves to manage intermittency is very crucial for states having huge renewable energy potential.

·      Integrating nuclear and renewable ministries: Integrating the nuclear and renewable ministries under one administrative set-up will ease the turf war between them. 

·         Push the DG approach: The adoption of a multidimensional push for addressing technical, commercial and regulatory aspects is essential for successful implementation of DG projects.

Lastly, renewable sources are often compared with coal in terms of carbon emissions. This is an unfair comparison in the Indian context because the country’s sustainability is very much linked with affordability. Given the prevailing situation, renewable energy must complement coal until energy access for all in India becomes a reality. Therefore, an inclusive approach is required where all energy sources play their crucial role in achieving India’s broad vision of energy security. In this regard, there have been some encouraging steps and some missing links, which will hopefully be corrected in future.

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]

Read more at:

Courtesy: Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR)



Average Electricity Consumption per Month in Delhi and Neighbouring States

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation

MPCE Class

Average Electricity Units Consumed by Households per Month




Uttar Pradesh

mpce >=0 & mpce< 1000





mpce >=1000 & mpce<2000





mpce >=2000 & mpce<3000





mpce >=3000 & mpce<4000





mpce >=4000 & mpce<5000





mpce >=5000 & mpce<6000





mpce >=6000 & mpce<7000





mpce >=7000 & mpce<8000





mpce >=8000 & mpce<9000





mpce >=9000






Estimated Number of Households (in Million)          

MPCE: Monthly Per Capita Consumer Expenditure.

Source: NSSO 68 Round on Consumer Expenditure.                            




Niko extends time to sell stake in RIL's KG-D6 block to Sept 15

June 15, 2015. Canada's Niko Resources has extended by over three months the search for a buyer of its stake in Reliance Industries' KG-D6 gas block to pay off debt. Niko had in February announced plans to sell its 10 percent stake in the KG-D6 block to pay off USD 340 million debt. It had planned to sell off the interest by April 30 but later extended it till May 31. Niko said it has reached an agreement with the lenders to the search for a buyer of KG-D6 stake to September 15, 2015. In February, Niko had blamed lower-than-expected gas price for its decision to sell its stake in the KG-D6 block where a total of 20 oil and gas discoveries had been made and three out of them are in production. The government had in October announced raising natural gas price to USD 5.61 per million British thermal unit from USD 4.2. The increase was lower than USD 8.4 that the industry was expecting and prevailing USD 5.71 rate applicable to gas from western offshore fields. The company had engaged Jefferies as its financial advisor to look for a buyer for KG-D6 stake. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is the operator of the block with 60 percent interest while 30 percent is with BP plc of UK. The partners have first right of refusal over the stake. It remains to be seen if RIL will buy the stake. Even if it doesn't buy the stake, it will have to play a role in case debt-ridden Niko defaults in paying up its share of development cost of satellite and other discoveries in KG-D6 block. RIL, in that case, have to either pay for Niko's share or declare the Canadian firm a defaulter, a scenario where the government can cancel the production sharing contract (PSC). While the higher gas price is applicable uniformly across fields, Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1&D3) gas fields in KG-D6 block will continue to get the old rate of USD 4.2 till it is settled through arbitration if the output falling by over 80 percent to about 8 million standard cubic meters per day was due to natural reasons or was a deliberate ploy. RIL and partners will get the incremental difference only if they can prove that fall in output was not deliberate. (

Venezuelan partner says ONGC can get pending $537 mn dividend within a year of arranging $1 bn credit

June 15, 2015. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) can receive the pending $537 million dividend within a year of it arranging $1 billion in credit to develop San Cristobal oil field that it jointly owns with Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), the head of the Venezuelan state oil firm has said. PDVSA chief Eulogio Del Pino met oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan in a bid to resolve the long-drawn tussle between the two firms. ONGC and PDVSA have been quarrelling over what comes first - dividend or financing. ONGC has delayed financing due to lack of clarity on dividend payment for its 40% share of the oil field. The issue of dividend will be resolved once the financing to develop the oil field is obtained, he said. The new funds will be placed in an escrow account in an international bank and accessed by the two partners, the PDVSA chief said. ONGC has been concerned about the cash flow in the joint venture that manages the San Cristobal oil field. (

ONGC uses new technique to find more gas in Assam, Tripura

June 14, 2015. The state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has undertaken the latest multi-stage hydro-fracturing method to find more gas in Assam and Tripura. To operate the hydro-fracturing system, experts, machines and chemicals were gathered from Ahmedabad, Karaikal, Rajamundry, Bokaro and Assam. The ONGC, which has found huge gas reserves in various gas-bearing fields in Tripura over the years, established its first gas reserve in the mountainous Baramura areas in 1974. To conduct more hydro-fracturing operations in other gas bearing fields of Tripura, a permanent Well Stimulation Service (WLL) unit would be set up in Tripura. ONGC has so far drilled 190 wells in Tripura and more than 50 percent wells are gas-bearing. The ONGC would soon deploy a Chinese-made rig as well to intensify its gas exploration activities in Tripura. (

UK’s Hardy in talks to buy out entire RIL stake in GS-1 block

June 11, 2015. UK’s Hardy Oil & Gas plc is in talks to acquire Reliance Industries’ entire 90 percent stake in a gas discovery block off the Gujarat coast. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) wants to exit Gujarat-Saurashtra offshore basin block (GS-01) as it feels that reserves discovered so far are not economically significant. It said the agreement for transfer of interest and operatorship will be subject to approval of the Government. Hardy currently owns 10 percent interest in the block where a gas discovery, named Dhirubhai-33, was made in 2007. The well that discovered the reserves flowed 18.6 million standard cubic feet per day of gas and 415 barrels of condensate during tests. The GS-01 licence is located in the Gujarat-Saurashtra offshore basin off the west coast of India, northwest of the prolific Bombay High oil field, with water depths varying between 80 meters and 150 meters. The retained discovery area covers 600 square kilometers. Hardy said a field development plan (FDP) for Dhirubhai 33 natural gas discovery was submitted to the government for review and approval in 2012. A discovery was declared commercially viable in 2011. The development plan provides for several dry tree wells, an unmanned platform, multiphase pipeline to shore and onshore processing and export facilities, it said. It said timely resolution of liquidated damages for unfinished minimum work programme could accelerate conclusion of the acquisition process. It along with Reliance have relinquished block KG-DWN-2003/1 (KG-D3) due to access restrictions imposed by the government. RIL was of the opinion that the previously announced access restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Defence rule out any further exploration/development activities in the impact zone area and inhibited it from undertaking any further work and investment in the unrestricted area of the Block due to the anticipated increase in cost and risk. D3 has similar participating interests as GS-01. Four gas discoveries — Dhirubhai 39, 41, 44 and 52 (KGV-D3-A1, B1, R1 and W1), have so far been make in the block. (

Sandesara Group plans to invest $3 bn in Nigeria

June 10, 2015. Gujarat-based Sandesara Group, which is the only Indian company that produces crude oil in any OPEC country, will invest $3 billion in Nigeria. The group through its Lagos-headquartered Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) will make these investments for expansion of crude oil production and setting up three new plants including a petrochemical plant, an LPG plant and a fertilizer plant. Besides oil majors like Shell, Exxon, Chevron, Sandesara Group is the largest oil acreage owner in Nigeria on independent side having total 2,000 square km area under its license. Nigeria is the fifth-largest crude oil exporter in the world and a member of the 12-nation OPEC block. SEEPCO has four oil blocks in Nigeria in which Sandesara Group headed by chartered accountant turned entrepreneur NitinSandesara has 100% ownership and operatorship. At present, the group has confirmed oil reserves of 350 million barrels and one trillion cubic feet of natural gas. After expansion of crude oil production, the company expects to produce 1 lakh barrels of crude oil per day in the next two years. (

Transportation / Trade…………

'One size fits all' may not work for PM Modi's gas pipeline policy in small, big cities

June 16, 2015. Delhi is one of the world's biggest cities, Muzaffarnagar is a district with a largely agrarian economy. But when it comes to laying gas pipelines, government policy doesn't seem to make allowances for these differences—bidders are expected to install networks even in areas where it doesn't make any commercial sense. That could spell doom for Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi's ambitious plan to ensure that piped cooking gas reaches one crore households across the country by 2019, a fourfold increase from the current level. Piped natural gas (PNG) is a more efficient supply system than cylinders that have to be reordered when they get empty. Government doesn't offer any subsidy on PNG, which is cheaper than subsidised liquefied petroleum gas. Its expansion would therefore help the government shrink its subsidy bill. Companies are however reluctant to get into the business because of the rules. About 27 lakh families use piped gas for cooking in 47 cities while 950 filling stations supply compressed natural gas (CNG) to 22 lakh vehicles in India. About 28,000 industrial and commercial users are also fed through pipes. The increased use of cleaner-burning gas has helped curb vehicular and industrial pollution to some degree. But with distributors not keen on laying and operating pipelines, expanding the network outside of the big cities looks difficult. For instance, Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh is one of the four districts that got just one bid each. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), the downstream regulator that oversees policies and award of distribution contracts to gas companies, said it received no bids for at least eight of the 20 districts it had sought applications for. Another four districts received just one bid each. Companies say it's economically unviable to bid, given the way geographical areas are selected and the minimum work programme prescribed. Densely populated cities such as Delhi or Mumbai are naturally attractive for gas distributors because of scale. Bid winners have to meet minimum targets on pipelines and households in a fixed period, failing which they run the risk of losing bank guarantees. A "one-size-fits-all approach may not work," PK Pal, CEO of GAIL Gas said, illustrating how Delhi can't be compared with Muzaffarnagar. The regulator should design rules that fit the area, he said. Bids should focus on viability gap funding, said Pal. The bidder seeking the lowest amount of funding to make the project viable should win. The government tweaked the rules last year to assure gas supplies to households and city vehicles, which has allayed fears about availability, Pal said. Local gas output, which comes cheap at regulated prices, hasn't risen as expected in the past few years, making the government juggle sectors for prioritizing allocation. Imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), a substitute for local gas, is still expensive despite a global price crash and may not lure many consumers. Gas company executives say taking piped gas to smaller cities has other challenges as well. Consumers may not be keen on making the one-time deposit of about ` 5,000 for a household connection or spend ` 35,000-40,000 for a CNG conversion for their vehicles. Even industrial users running their plants on fuels cheaper than natural gas are less likely to switch, they said. The government should foot the homeowners' bill for switching to piped gas, executives said. The regulator should also allow CNG filling stations on highways, they said. Another suggestion was to group cities or districts into bid clusters so that drivers are assured of supplies throughout between frequently travelled destinations. That will encourage more people to switch to the fuel, they said. (

Rosneft in talks to buy stake in Essar Oil

June 15, 2015. Russia's top oil producer Rosneft is in talks to buy about 50 percent stake in Essar Oil Ltd for an undisclosed amount. Last year, Rosneft had signed an initial deal to supply 10 million tonnes a year or 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil to Essar Group over 10-years. At the time of signing crude deal, Russian bank VTB had inked a deal to open a $1 billion credit line to Essar. Essar has offered a strategic stake of 50 percent minus 1 share in Essar Oil. Essar may be expecting a valuation of up to $8 billion of the company. Essar Oil operates a 20 million tons a year refinery at Vadinar and also has 1,600 petrol pumps in the country. It also has five coal-bed methane (CBM), holding up to 10 Trillion cubic feet of gas resource. Essar may cut imports from Iran to accommodate Russian barrels. Essar depends heavily on Iran to feed its Vadinar refinery, importing about one-fourth of its oil needs from the Persian Gulf nation. (

Cairn India seeks to export oil despite ban

June 10, 2015. Cairn India Ltd has invited initial bids for exports of its oil from the desert state of Rajasthan, according to a copy of the tender notice, despite a government ban on overseas sales of locally-produced crude. The government said there had been no change in the ban and that Cairn India might simply be trying to establish a price for its oil via the tender process ahead of negotiations to sell it to local buyers. India is the world's fourth-biggest oil consumer and imports about 80 percent of its oil needs, leading it to place restrictions on the export of locally-produced oil. Despite this, Cairn India has sought expressions of interest from "reputed prospective international buyers" for the export of about three to five cargoes of 600,000 barrels each in the quarter starting October, according to the copy of the notice. Cairn India has been selling oil to Reliance Industries, Essar Oil and Indian Oil Corp for the past five years on the basis of a negotiated formula that allows a discount of about 10-15 percent to Brent rates. Demand for Cairn India's oil in the current fiscal year is likely to be higher than a year ago. (

Policy / Performance………

Modi govt plans selling 3 percent stake in BPCL to raise ` 18 bn

June 16, 2015. The government plans to sell 3 percent stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), the nation's second largest state oil firm, this fiscal to raise around ` 1,800 crore. Finance Ministry has moved a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultations for selling 2.16 crore shares in BPCL through a public offer. At current trading price of ` 820, the stake sale will fetch the government over ` 1,778 crore. The government holds 54.93 percent stake in BPCL. Divesting 3 percent interest will help government keep its shareholding well above 51 percent -- the minimum strategic holding it has decided to keep in key public sector unit. BPCL operates refineries at Mumbai and Kochi with a combined capacity of 21.5 million tonnes. It also has a 6 million tonnes a year unit at Bina in Madhya Pradesh in joint venture with Oman Oil. It has 12,809 petrol pumps, about one-fourth of the total petrol pumps in the country. The Cabinet has approved sale of 5 percent stakes in Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), BHEL and NTPC as well as 10 percent each in Indian Oil Corp (IOC), NALCO and NMDC. (

Petrol price hiked by 64 paise; diesel cut by ` 1.35 per litre

June 16, 2015. Fuel retailers increased petrol prices by ` 0.64 a litre and cut diesel by ` 1.35 a litre after aligning them with international prices and adjusting for foreign exchange rates. In Delhi, petrol will cost ` 66.93 a litre, while diesel will be sold at ` 50.93 a litre. In other places, there will be marginal variations due to local levies. Prices of petrol and diesel were last raised by ` 3.13 a litre and ` 2.71 a litre, respectively, a month ago. Indian fuel retailers review local petrol and diesel prices every fortnight and make adjustments based on global rates of the products. The movement of prices in international oil market and rupee-dollar exchange rate shall continue to be monitored closely and developing trends of the market will be reflected in future price changes, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said. The exchange rate is important in determining the landed oil price in the country, which imports about 80% of the oil it consumes. (

Oil E&P business delivering meagre returns for RIL: Mukesh Ambani

June 13, 2015. The oil exploration and production (E&P) business of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has become a small blip in the conglomerate's balance sheet, delivering meagre returns, but the company is in "constructive talks" with the government to resolve "legacy issues", chairman Mukesh Ambani said. The company is locked in numerous legal disputes with the government over the affairs of the KG-D6 block, which once promised to double India's gas output, though output has fallen drastically in recent years. RIL's E&P business, under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), contributed. ` 194 crore which is about 0.6% of the company's earnings before interest and depreciation. The E&P business has become a very small part of the company's operations and unless it shows significant recovery, it may not be a relevant business for RIL. RIL has been dealing with low output from its Krishna-Godaveri D6 blocks and to add to its problems, the company is embroiled in a dispute with the government over the pricing for the gas. In October last year, the government modified the Rangarajan formula approved by previous UPA government, bringing down the increase in the price of gas from $8.4 per mmbtu to $5.61. He said RIL's growth will be based on two massive engines — hydrocarbons and consumer businesses. He said RIL has over ` 100,000 crore committed to strengthening of its refineries and petrochemical businesses. (

Oil Ministry says met Cairn India over Vedanta merger

June 12, 2015. The oil minister met executives from oil company Cairn India to discuss its potential merger with parent Vedanta Ltd, the operating unit of London-listed mining and energy group Vedanta Resources Plc. Vedanta signalled it was considering merging those two listed subsidiaries, as it tries to resolve a mismatch between its debt -- held at the top of the group -- and its cash, largely generated by subsidiaries including Cairn. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the government's main concern was that any deal should not affect Cairn's investments. Debt-burdened Vedanta began simplifying its byzantine structure with a 2012 overhaul, but further moves to streamline the group and buy out minorities in cash-rich subsidiaries have long been awaited by the market. The deal -- a test for new Indian rules protecting minority shareholders -- could be announced. The move is reported to have been triggered by a drop in Cairn's shares as oil prices weakened, making for a more favourable merger ratio for Vedanta. (

India seeks to use its oil thirst to drive bargains

June 12, 2015. India is trying to use its position as one of the world's biggest energy consumers to strike better bargains for its companies with oil exporting nations, in a marked change of approach under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The oil ministry is moving beyond seeking additional barrels for import in talks with exporters. The energy-deficient country wants to use its thirst for oil as a weapon to broker deals to help strengthen its economy and create jobs, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. India, the world's fourth biggest oil consumer and third biggest importer, ships in about 80 percent of the crude oil it consumes and fuel demand is rising with rapid economic growth. Consumption of petroleum products is estimated to be 166.9 million tonnes this fiscal year, and local oil output has remained almost stagnant for years. Pradhan said India's new oil diplomacy aims to further its interests on four fronts: to buy oil and gas acreage; source imports on better terms; increase investment in sectors such as pipelines and refining; and get business for engineering and construction companies with jobs for skilled Indian labour. The Middle East is India's biggest oil supplier, although the emergence of new trade routes following a decline in global crude prices and supply glut has led to an increase in supplies from central Asia to Latin America. India's push comes at a time when it has become a rare bright spot for demand in the global oil market. Pradhan sees India's fuel demand rising due to a push by the government to create a manufacturing hub and jobs. He recently visited Colombia and Mexico, and met OPEC members in Vienna to help Indian companies grow their footprint. Pradhan said easing global oil prices have provided an opportunity to India to raise spot purchases and diversify its crude basket. But he added that New Delhi is also mindful of its long-term relationship with oil-rich nations. (

Govt to hike Cairn’s Ravva gas price by 20 percent

June 11, 2015. The government is likely to raise the price of natural gas produced from Cairn India’s eastern offshore Ravva field by 20 percent to $4.2 with effect from June 2010. The Ravva field is divided into two – Contract Area-1 which produces about 8 million standard cubic feet per day of gas (mmscfd) and Ravva Satellite that generates around 20 mmscfd. Cairn gets $4.3 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) for gas from Ravva Satellite field while it gets $3.5 for Contract Area-1. Once approved by competent authorities, Cairn will get the $4.2 price from June 2010, the date from which GAIL has been selling Ravva Contract Area-1 gas at rates similar to the one fixed for Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). Cairn has been demanding revision in price of gas from the Bay of Bengal fields effective December 1, 2008. According to the production sharing contract (PSC) for the Ravva fields, gas prices were to be revised from the aforesaid date. The company had sought $6.75 per mmBtu, a price it had discovered by inviting bids from consumers in the region. But the oil ministry is inclined to fix the rates at $4.2 per mmBtu for the period from June 2010 to November 2014, when a new international hub-based rate came into effect. This price will be before addition of transportation charges, marketing margin and local taxes. Cairn says it is entitled to a higher price of gas from December 1, 2008, till when the $3.5 per mmBtu rate was valid. GAIL India, which buys all of the gas produced from Ravva and the adjoining Ravva Satellite fields, was opposed to paying $6.75 per mmBtu rate. GAIL has been asked to negotiate with Cairn on $4.2 price from June 2010. The Ravva PSC was signed on October 28, 1994, with Cairn as the operator with a 22.5 percent stake. ONGC holds 40 percent interest while Videocon Industries has 25 percent and Ravva Oil 12.5 percent. (

India presses Russia for tax concessions on ONGC assets operating in the area

June 10, 2015. India has again pressed Russia for tax concessions for some energy assets Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) operates. In a meeting with his Russian counterpart, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan argued for lower taxes for Imperial Energy that ONGC has been struggling with since its purchase six years ago. Pradhan led the Indian delegation that met with Russian energy minister on the sidelines of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna and proposed a tax cut for Imperial reserves, a request that has been rejected in the past. During the delegation meeting, India also showed interest in picking up interests in a few more oil and gas assets, while inviting the Russian delegates to evaluate opportunities in the Indian hydrocarbon sector, ONGC said. At the OPEC meet, Pradhan said oil producers should sell oil at a discount to India and other major Asian countries, instead of charging the socalled Asian premium, in a sign of the country's newfound heft as a key buyer of oil in a global market where supply glut is crushing prices. (



NHPC restores 4th unit of Uri-II power station in J&K

June 16, 2015. NHPC has restored a unit of the Uri-II power station in Baramulla district, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), which had been shut down following a fire incident in November last year. The Unit-4 is the first turbine that has been made operational after a fire broke out at the plant in November last year. All four units of the plant were shut after the incident and the company is working on to restore remaining 3 units of the plant. Uri-II power station (4X 60 MW) is a run-of-the-river project which is located in Uri Tehsil of Baramulla District. The Power station is close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The power station is designed to generate 1,124 million units in a 90 percent dependable year. (

BHEL starts NTPC's 800 MW Koldam hydro power plant

June 15, 2015. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) said it has commissioned NTPC's 800 MW Koldam hydro power project in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. BHEL has successfully commissioned all the four units of NTPC's 4x200 MW Koldam Hydro Electric Project (HEP) in Himachal Pradesh, BHEL said. The Koldam project is capable of generating approximately 3,054 GWH annually. All the four units have been commissioned within a short span of just 75 days, starting with the commissioning of the first unit on March 30, 2015. With this project, NTPC has made its entry into the hydro power space. Located on the embankment on the Sutlej, the surface power house is the first hydro project of NTPC. Other than Koldam, the other three hydro projects of NTPC being executed by BHEL are Tapovan Vishnugad HEP (4x130 MW), Lata Tapovan HEP (3x57 MW) and Rammam Stage-III HEP (3x40 MW). (

JSPL in talks with Mozambique for 150 MW power project

June 11, 2015. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) said its African arm is in talks with Mozambique government for building a 150 MW power plant. The company claims to be at the "forefront" of the Southeast African country's "energy revolution". It did not give any investment figures for the project though reports suggest that company's African arm plans to invest USD 400 million in the project. The company's African operations span through South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia. On domestic front, the company plans to invest ` 20,000 crore to augment its power business to take the generation capacity to 8,600 MW in the next five years. The company's capacity is 5,300 MW including 3,400 MW of its arm Jindal Power. (

Tata Power talks to lenders to refinance 4 GW Mundra UMPP loans

June 11, 2015. Tata Power said it's in discussion with a lenders' consortium to refinance loans extended to 4,000 MW Mundra ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Gujarat. The Mundra project is being implemented by Coastal Gujarat Power (CGPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power. The company said the final approvals from lenders are yet to come by. Tata Power is close to tying up a refinancing facility under the 5/25 scheme for Rs 10,000 crore that it borrowed to set up the Mundra UMPP. Under the 5/25 scheme, banks can extend loan repayment for a period up to 25 years, with an option of refinancing the loan every five years. (

Rajasthan may auction 10 lignite blocks in FY16 to generate power

June 10, 2015. Rajasthan is likely to auction 10 lignite blocks this fiscal as it plans to enhance power generation capacity in the state as well as utilise its rich mineral resources to increase revenue. Besides, the state – considered a major player in mineral production — will also auction seven limestone blocks, most likely by September, for setting up of cement plants. In the current year, 10 blocks of lignite have been identified by NLC (Neyveli Lignite Corporation) and has been sent to the Ministry of Coal (MoC) for further action regarding allocation. These blocks are likely to be allocated in the current financial year by MoC, Rajasthan Principal Secretary Mines, Ashok Singhvi said. At present, nine lignite blocks are under mining lease in the state, out of which eight are being used for power generation and one for mercantile use, he said. Under a policy released, the state aims to increase land under mining from 0.54 percent to 1.5 percent, increase revenue from such activities as well as raise the number of minerals to be mined from 57 to 79. The state accounts for 9 percent of the country’s total mineral production and has 79 varieties of minerals of which 57 are being commercially exploited. According to Rajasthan Mineral policy 2015, the state has over 5,720 million tonnes of lignite reserves and holds 13 percent of India’s resources and stands second after Tamil Nadu. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Power sector to spawn over 27k jobs in Odisha by 2019

June 16, 2015. Power sector is set to generate 27,776 jobs both on direct and indirect route in Odisha by 2019 as the state has lined up a host of projects across sectors like generation, distribution and transmission. Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) is poised to create 705 direct and indirect jobs during 2015-19. Another state PSU Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) would recruit 209 people during the same period. Indirect job opportunities are set to be created for 520 persons. In total, 1,434 jobs would be generated in the generation sector. In the transmission space, Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (OPTCL) is tipped to generate 6,117 jobs. OPTCL has lined up projects worth ` 11,471 crore by 2017-18. OPTCL's ongoing projects on grids and lines include four 400 KV lines, 18 220 KV lines and 37 132 KV lines at a total cost of ` 1,713.68 crore. The distribution sector would be the biggest job multiplier, with 20,225 jobs projected to be created by 2019. The jobs are expected to flow from the operations and activities being taken up by the four distribution companies (discoms) - Central Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha Ltd, North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd, Western Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd and Southern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd. (

MCL floats second tender for 10 mt coal washery

June 15, 2015. Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India, has floated an online tender seeking participation of interested parties to set up a 10 million tonne (mt) per annum coal washery at Talcher. This is the second online tender by the coal company for establishment of coal washery. MCL, which plans to set up five coal washeries in the state, had floated the previous tender for another washery on May 29 this year. The washeries are to be set up under build operate and maintain (BOM) concept, where a bidder has the liberty to choose the technology keeping in mind the project cost and return on investments. As per the tender rules, the operator will have to establish and operate the plant at least for 10 years. Coal washeries are beneficiation plant that separate mined coal from impurities such as sand and stones and in the process minimises ash content in it. Coal produced by MCL, with more than 40 percent ash content, are mostly used for power generation. MCL intends to bring down ash content to less than 34 percent, the mandatory percentage prescribed by the Union government for thermal power plants located less than 500 km from coal mines. Though MCL has been asked by CIL to set up four coal washeries, it has targeted to set up five washeries. Apart from floating tenders for two washeries at Ib Valley and Jagannath mines having 10 mtpa capacity, it proposes to issue tender for three more washeries - at Lakhanpur (20 mt capacity), Siarmal (40 mt) and GopaljeeKaniha (20 mt) to achieve a total coal washing capacity of 120 mt per year. MCL had produced over 121 mt coal in 2014-15 and has plans to produce 250 mt by 2019-20. Talcher is its key coal producing region, which is home to the biggest coalfield of India with nearly 35 billion tonne deposits. Spread over 500 square kilometers area, the region sends nearly 100,000 tonne coal to Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and other parts of India daily including state-based thermal power plants. MCL expects the online tendering would reduce contract awarding process by at least a year as against 16 months' time taken in a manual tendering process. The washery is to be made functional within 18 months from signing of the contract. Its other two manual tenders for coal washeriesfinalised in December 2013 and in May 2014 are awaiting environmental clearance. (

Delhi CM meets CAG on audit of private power distribution companies

June 10, 2015. Delhi Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal met Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India Shashi Kant Sharma for fast tracking the scrutiny of finances of the private power distribution companies by the auditor. He was accompanied by Power minister Satyendra Jain. This is the second time that Kejriwal met CAG over the issue as he had discussed the issue soon after taking oath. According to Delhi government, Sharma was explained Delhi government's view on the CAG audit of the finances of the discoms and its plans to review the electricity tariff after the findings of the audit. The first AAP government in January last year had ordered CAG audit of the finances of the three power companies - BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. It had even warned the discoms that their licenses may be cancelled if they do not cooperate with the audit. The AAP government had ordered CAG audit of the discoms since 2002 after power distribution was privatised. Delhi discoms are a 51:49 percent joint venture between the private companies and the Delhi government. (

Policy / Performance………….

Delhi govt urges regulator to roll back power tariff hike

June 16, 2015. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi has urged the regulatory body to penalise power distribution companies for indeterminate power cuts and roll back the recently announced tariff increase. AAP was voted to power on promises of cheaper power and water. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) increased the power tariff, on the surcharge component. Within days of coming to power, the AAP government had slashed power tariff rates by half. The government has also asked DERC to roll back the power tariff increase. Since coming to power with a massive mandate, the government has tried to keep the electricity distribution companies disciplined and has, therefore, asked the regulatory commission to impose daily penalties instead of monthly ones. DERC said the regulator was considering it. The government had ordered a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India probe into the distribution companies, and Power Minister Satyendra Jain said there could be no increase in power price till the CAG report was submitted. In November last year, ahead of Assembly elections, the DERC rolled back its tariff hike in less than 24 hours, after which Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) had filed a case against the regulator. The hike was warranted because of increase in Power Purchase Adjustment Cost (PPAC) — a surcharge given to compensate the distribution companies for variations in the market-driven fuel costs. The three discoms — TPDDL, BRPL and BYPL — had requested a hike of 7.42 percent, 7.26 percent and 17.01 percent, respectively, last year. The current average rate of electricity in Delhi is ` 2.8 per unit while the power purchase cost has gone up to ` 5 perunit. The combined financial loss of Delhi’s three power distribution companies was ` 22,000 crore in 2012-13 while the government provided a subsidy of ` 118 crore. (

'Cheyyur UMPP financially not viable'

June 16, 2015. A report of the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has found the Cheyyur ultra mega power project (UMPP) to be financially unviable under the existing tariff policy, and may result higher power tariffs. The report noted the Tamil Nadu government, being the lead promoter of the project, may have to bear the risk of additional fiscal costs arising from the project implementation. Power tariff from the 4,000 MW Cheyyur UMPP, to operate on imported coal, would be ` 4.90 each unit in the first year of operation (ie in 2021), with a levelised price of ` 5.95 over the plant's lifetime. According to it, the important public policy goal to provide electricity at affordable rates would be undermined by approving the Cheyyur project. In January this year, the Union ministry of power had terminated the bid process for the proposed after seven out of eight applicants have pulled out of the fray citing unfavorable bidding rules and their inability to secure bank financing. The Union power ministry had decided to rework the bid specifications and place the project for rebidding towards the end of 2015, according to reports. While NTPC had been the sole bidder, private players Adani Power, CLP India, Jindal Steel & power, JSW Energy, Sterlite Energy and Tata Power opted out of the project. The estimated ` 24,200 crore project is being sponsored by a consortium of 17 distribution companies, who would underwrite the asset. Of the 17 sponsoring discoms, seven would get power allocation by the Ministry of Power. As its share, Tamil Nadu would receive 1,600 MW or 40 percent of the total electricity generated by the plant. The lead utility for the project is Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited. (

UP emerges as top energy deficient state

June 15, 2015. In the backdrop of Uttar Pradesh (UP) government promising to provide 22-24 hr power supply before 2017, UP has registered maximum power shortage amongst the 12 major Indian states. In the latest figures released by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for the month of May 2015 regarding maximum and minimum energy demand and availability, UP clocked power shortage of 11.6% against all India average of power shortage at 2.3%. During May 2015, the maximum demand and availability of energy in UP stood at 14,696 MW and 12,991 MW respectively, which means shortage of 1,705 MW. CEA functions under the union power ministry. Interestingly, most big states reported nil or negligible power shortage vis-à-vis UP. While, UP reported power shortage of 11.6%, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan have recorded balanced maximum energy demand and availability status. Bihar stood a distance second in this parameter with 3% power shortage during May 2015, followed by Uttarakhand (2%), Gujarat (0.9%), Maharashtra (0.8%) and Andhra Pradesh (0.1%). Even as the availability of power remains a challenge for the state energy department, the state power utility UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) has sought upward revision of power tariffs soon. UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad president Avadhesh Kumar Verma suggested the state government should instead pay attention towards improving power availability rather than turning a blind eye towards imminent tariff hike, as UPPCL's application is being considered by the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission. Currently, the state is reeling under severe power shortage with only select urban centres getting uninterrupted power supply. Besides, the overburdened and rickety power infrastructure of sub-stations and transformers in UP are resulting in breakdown and unscheduled outages and power cuts. To make the matters worse, the rampant power theft and unmetered power consumers are another burden on the already power strapped UPPCL. The power department and utilities are also bereft with corruption, wherein unscrupulous employees connive with top power dues defaulters and take a cut of arrears after decreasing their bill amounts. Police is already investing a case after such a racket was busted in the state. The state has accorded top priority to energy sector along with infrastructure for faster economic development. With UP elections due in early 2017, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has been personally keeping track of the major projects. The CM has directed officials to ensure that the rural and urban areas get 16 hr and 22-24 hr power supply by 2016 respectively. The state government has planned to incur ` 22,500 crore and ` 15,000 crore on sprucing up the transmission and distribution networks respectively, which includes setting up new power sub-stations to feed maximum power to consumers. Besides, ` 22,000 crore would be invested on rural electrification. UP projects to double power availability to 21,000 MW by 2016-17, when the peak hour demand is also pegged at a whopping 23,000 MW. (

Gujarat outruns industrialised states on power front with zero deficit

June 15, 2015. Among India's major 20 states, performance of Gujarat on power front seems to be the best as it has been able to achieve 0% normal power deficit and nil peak power deficits in 2013-14, according to a recent Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) study. A study stated that with power deficit of 0.1% and 0.3%, Maharashtra and West Bengal respectively round up the list of top three best performing states that have been able to achieve the least normal power deficit, while power deficit forall-over India stood at 4.2% in 2013-14. Clocking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 18%, total outstanding investments in power sector attracted by Gujarat had increased from ` 2.1 lakh crore as of 2007-08 to ` 5.5 lakh crore as of 2013-14. Both Gujarat and Maharashtra have been able to improve their power deficit positions by 16.2% points during the period 2007-08 and 2013-14 which shows their respective improvement in power scenario, noted the Assocham study. Environmental approvals, land acquisition issues, difficulties faced in sourcing the coal supplies, inadequate connecting infrastructure to the grid, inability to raise tariffs in proportion to that of input costs and bureaucratic delays are certain key factors restricting growth of power sector in India, highlighted the study. (

New committee to assess hydro projects on Ganga in Uttarakhand

June 15, 2015. The ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has formed an 11 member committee to assess the cumulative impact of hydroelectric projects (HEPs) in upper reaches of River Ganga in Uttarakhand which had come under scrutiny after the June 2013 Uttarakhand floods. MoEF has tasked the committee to assess cumulative impact assessment of hydro power projects and carry out a carrying capacity study of upper reaches of river Ganga. It has also been asked to focus on likely impacts caused by HEP structures in the region. The committee was a result of an ongoing case at Supreme Court (SC) regarding hydroelectric power projects in Uttarakhand. After June 2013 Uttarakhand floods, SC had taken suo motu cognizance of the issue and ordered formation of a committee which in its April 2014 report  recommended dropping of at least 23 hydropower to save the ecologically fragile region. Environment ministry in December 2014 had admitted before SC that hydropower projects in Uttarakhand had aggravated the impact of the 2013 floods. It had admitted that irreversible damage was caused to environment by the hydro power projects. (

'Hall of nuclear power' to be set up in Delhi

June 13, 2015. Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) Jitendra Singh said the 'hall of nuclear power' will come up at the National Science Centre in Pragati Maidan, Delhi. On apprehensions from certain quarters over Kudankulam and Jaitapur nuclear projects, Singh said that there were ample studies to prove that there were "no visible adverse outcome" of atomic energy. Singh said DAE would rather promote its programmes "for peaceful social and economic applications." (

India's PFC preparing to meet bond investors for dollar debut

June 12, 2015. Power Finance Corp (PFC) is likely to kick off meetings with fixed income investors for a potential debut offering of US dollar bonds. The meetings will be arranged by Barclays, SBI Caps and Standard Chartered, who were hired a year ago for the potential offering. The bonds would be issued out of a US$1 billion GMTN programme already registered with the Singapore Exchange. PFC has been an active borrower in the offshore loan markets but has never borrowed in the bond markets. (

India's coal consumption grew fastest in the world in 2014: BP

June 10, 2015. India’s coal consumption was the highest in the world in 2014 at 11.1 percent according to the 2015 edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. According to the report, global consumption of coal grew by only 0.4 percent. Consumption growth was low even outside the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries at 1.1 percent. In comparison, coal consumption growth in China was only 0.1 percent. Overall, energy consumption in India grew 7.1 percent, which outperformed the global growth. Global energy consumption grew at 0.9 percent in 2014. According to the review, India’s share of global energy consumption stood at 4.9 percent in 2014. (

West Bengal govt to invest ` 40 bn to develop power infrastructure

June 10, 2015. The West Bengal Government has taken up a plan to revamp the state's power infrastructure at an investment of ` 4,000 crore over the next two years, state Power Minister Manish Gupta said. The department of Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources is drawing up a draft document on Grid-connencted Rooftop Solar Policy, which would be extended throughout the state in a phased manner, the minister said. The West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) already took up a project for installation of 10 kWp rooftop grid connected PV power plant with net metering arrangement at 100 government and government-aided schools statewide with 100 percent funding from the state budget, he said. The project would be extended to 500 schools altogether in phases, the minister said replying to a supplementary. Gupta said that the WBREDA was also implementing an off-grid school electrification programme for another 100 schools in the Sundarbans. Steps have also been taken to upgrade various low voltage area into high votage ones, the minister said. The distribution infrastructure of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited had much improved in the last four years with the installation of 82 new 33/11KV sub-stations, besides HT line and Distribution Transformers (DTRs) etc, he said. (

‘All 84 ghats in Varanasi to have LED lights’

June 10, 2015. Union minister of state for power and coal Piyush Goyal dedicated high-mast lamps to people at Assi Ghat, Varanasi. It has paved way for illumination of ghats with LED street lighting system within three months. Goyal said that installation of LEDs at ghats is a part of Prime Minister NarendraModi's venture to revamp the fabled banks of the holy river. He said that all the 84 ghats would have LEDs soon, making it easier for people to stroll on ghats and enjoy serene beauty. LED street lighting system would also be introduced in other parts of the city within three months. More than 35,000 LED streetlights would be installed. This would reduce load of around 10,000 MW, he said. (

Govt to contribute ` 6 bn to nuclear pool

June 10, 2015. The government would contribute ` 600 crore to the proposed ` 1,500 crore nuclear insurance pool that will be launched by Atomic Energy Commission chairman R K Sinha on June 12, GIC Re said. The pool is likely to cover the hot zones of all the 10 nuclear power plants in the country which are run by Nuclear Power Corporation. Some of the major private sector general insurers which have committed to contribute for the pool include ICICI Lombard, Tata AIG and Reliance General. However, the scenario changed after the visit of US President Barrack Obama in January. The cold zones of all the nuclear power plants in the country are already covered. However, it is for the first time that the hot zone of these plants will also be insured through the proposed pool. The largest life insurer LIC is also likely to participate in the catastrophe bond which is likely to be issued by GIC Re for the pool. (

AP, Telangana seek green nod for power projects

June 10, 2015. State-owned power producers of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana have separately approached the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) seeking clearance for the expansion of power projects in their respective states. According to the minutes of the meetings of Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of MoEF, the Andhra Pradesh Power Development Company (APPDCL) sought green approval to expand capacity of Sri Damodaram Sanjeevaiah Thermal Power Station (SDSTPS) in the Nellore district by adding 1X800 MW. Similarly, Singareni Collieries Company (SCCL) wants to add another 1X600 MW to its existing 2X600 MW thermal power plant in the Adilabad district. As for the first unit of the 2X800-MW SDSTPS, consent for operation (CFO) issued by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) is valid up to March 2017. The unit II was synchronised in December 2014 and trial operations are in progress. Both the units are based on super critical technology, the minutes said. In the case of Telangana one, EAC said the environmental clearance (EC) for the existing 2x600 MW came from the Ministry in 2010. The construction is under way and power generation is likely to commence in November 2015. (



Libya may double oil output amid longest glut in 18 yrs

June 16, 2015. Libya may double crude output to 800,000 barrels a day by next month after talks to reopen oil and gas pipelines feeding export terminals, amid the most enduring global glut in almost two decades. The North African nation is producing between 400,000 barrels a day and 460,000 barrels a day, the National Oil Corp (NOC) said. The country hopes to lift output to 600,000 barrels a day in next few weeks, the NOC said. Libya, holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves, produced about 1.6 million barrels a day before the 2011 rebellion that ended Muammar Qaddafi’s 42-year rule. The country has failed to restore output capacity as militias fought for the control of export terminals while tribes and workers blocked operations at fields and pipelines to seek jobs and better pay. The nation’s ambitions to increase crude production come as oil supply has exceeded demand globally for the past five quarters, the most enduring glut since the 1997 Asian economic crisis, according to the International Energy Agency. The price of benchmark Brent crude dropped almost 50 percent in 2014, before gaining 11 percent this year. (

Imperial Oil's Kearl oil sands expansion project begins production

June 16, 2015. Imperial Oil Ltd said it has begun production at its Kearl oil sands expansion project in Alberta, Canada ahead of schedule. Production is expected to reach 110,000 barrels per day, bringing total production to 220,000 barrels per day, the company, which is majority-owned by Exxon Mobil Corp, said. Imperial Oil had said in February that it expected the project to start up in the third quarter of 2015, roughly three months ahead of its previous forecast. (

North Dakota's oil production has peaked

June 16, 2015. North Dakota's crude oil output has peaked, according to the latest production data published by the state government, as the slump in prices takes its toll. The state produced 1.17 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, down from a peak of 1.23 million in December, the Department of Mineral Resources reported. In the seven months between February and September 2014, output increased by 233,000 bpd, while in the seven months from September 2014 to April 2015, output actually edged down 18,000 bpd. (

Argentina's oil output up yr/yr in April for first time in 2015

June 15, 2015. Argentina's oil output rose in April thanks to increased production by state-controlled energy company YPF, the government said, marking the first year-on-year monthly increase in 2015. YPF, taken over by the government in 2012, is Argentina's biggest energy company. The state seized control of YPF after accusing its previous parent company, Spain's Repsol, of under investing in production. Argentina's overall crude output rose 3.6 percent in April versus April 2014 to 2.54 million cubic meters, according to data published on the website of Argentina's energy secretariat. The overall production increase was driven by a 9.1 percent jump in YPF output to 1.07 million cubic meters. (

CNOOC’s Dongfang1-1 gas field starts production

June 12, 2015. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has started production at the Dongfang1-1 gas field Phase I adjustment project in South China Sea. CNOOC is currently producing from five of the seven wells. These five wells have a combined production capacity of 53 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The adjustment project involved construction of one wellhead platform. It will be ramped up to reach peak production capacity of approximately 54 million cubic feet per day this year, the company said. CNNOC operates the Dongfang1-1 independent gas field with 100% stake. (

Lundin finds more gas, oil in Barents Sea

June 12, 2015. Lundin Petroleum announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Lundin Norway AS has completed the drilling of appraisal well 7220/11-2, located in the Barents Sea. The well, which is in the western part of the Alta discovery in license PL609, encountered a 164 foot thick gas column in rocks of varying reservoir quality, according to the company. A sidetrack, drilled 1,082 feet west of the 7220/11-2 well, encountered movable oil and a production test carried out in this well indicated an output rate of 860 barrels of oil per day and 0.65 million cubic feet of gas per day. (

Pemex announces O&G discoveries in Gulf of Mexico

June 12, 2015. Mexico's state-owned oil and gas (O&G) company Pemex has announced new hydrocarbon discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico. The company has discovered four new fields in shallow waters off the Tabasco and Campeche coasts (southern Gulf of Mexico), which could produce up to 200,000 bbl/d and 170 mcf/d (4.8 mcm/d or 1.7 bcm/year) by mid-2018: discoveries in Tabasco could produce about 100,000 bbl/d and 2.5 mcm/d of gas while discoveries in Campeche could produce about 100,000 bbl/d and 2.3 mcm/d of gas. Total reserves are estimated at 350 mboe. (        

Lukoil raises oil production at West Qurna-2 oil field

June 11, 2015. Lukoil has raised crude oil production at the West Qurna 2 oil field to 402,000 bbl/d and plans to raise it to 420,000 bbl/d by the end of the year. West Qurna 2 is estimated to hold about 13 Gbl of recoverable oil reserves. The field has a production capacity of more than 400,000 bbl/d but has long been producing less than 350,000 bbl/d. The field development project aims to reach 1.8 mb/d in two phases: 700,000 bbl/d from the Mishrif phase, by 2016, and 1.1 mb/d from the Yamama phase by 2017. (

Gas output from Total's Mahakam block in Indonesia seen down 12.5 percent in 2016

June 11, 2015. French oil firm Total estimates gas output from the Mahakam block in Indonesia may decline by around 12.5 percent in 2016, amid a spending cut of at least 35 percent, the company said. The decline was not related to the expiry of the Mahakam contract in 2017. The firm could cut a natural output decline rate of around 50 percent a year to as low as 10 percent per year by drilling new wells and "intervention". (

Statoil announces new gas discovery at Gymir

June 10, 2015. Norwegian oil and gas group Statoil has announced a third gas discovery in Gymir, in the Aasta Hansteen area (Norwegian Sea) in three months. The estimated total recoverable volumes in the three discoveries, namely Snefrid Nord, Roald Rygg and Gymir, amount to 75-120 mboe, corresponding to about 1/3 of the Aasta Hansteen recoverable volumes. The plan for development and operations (PDO) was approved by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in 2013. Production start-up is expected in 2017. (     


Taiwan's Formosa sells diesel to Japan's Mitsubishi in rare move

June 10, 2015. Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp sold a diesel cargo for second-half July to Japan's Mitsubishi Corp in a rare move, traders said. The refiner sold 300,000 barrels of 10ppm sulphur diesel for loading from Mailiao over July 21 to 25 to Mitsubishi at a premium of 65 cents a barrel to Singapore quotes, they said. Mitsubishi has been shipping about 1 to 2 cargoes of the oil product every quarter. The cargoes are being shipped from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Japanese refiners have been exploring Australia as a destination for diesel cargoes as they expect diesel exports to surge this year with domestic fuel demand decreasing, traders said. Idemitsu Kosan and JX Nippon Oil and Energy Corp are some of the others who have shipped diesel cargoes to Australia, they said. Chinese and Indian refiners have also shipped oil products to Australia despite higher freight charges as mammoth new refineries in the Middle East force them to find alternative outlets for excess cargoes. (

ADNOC finalises July-June jet fuel term contract

June 10, 2015. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has finalised its July 2015 to June 2016 jet fuel term contracts at slightly lower levels than the current year. The refiner finalised the contract with at least one buyer at a premium of $1.75 a barrel to Middle East quotes. That is lower than the $1.90 premium it set for its January to December 2015 term cargoes. (

Transportation / Trade……….

Greece, Bulgaria to seal IGB gas pipeline deal soon

June 12, 2015. Greece and Bulgaria will seal a deal in the coming weeks to build a gas pipeline connecting the two countries, part of the Southern Corridor infrastructure scheme to bring Caspian gas to Europe, Greek energy ministry said. The Interconnector Greece Bulgaria (IGB) project is estimated to cost about € 100 million ($112 million) and the European Union has approved about 45 million euros in funding to build the pipeline, the ministry said. The 180 km (110 mile) pipeline will have a capacity of 3 billion cubic metres (bcm). It will be built by a Greek-Bulgarian joint venture set up in 2011 which includes Italian energy group Edison SpA. (

Gazprom will stop exporting gas to Europe through Ukraine in 2019

June 11, 2015. Russian gas group Gazprom has reaffirmed that it would stop exporting gas to Europe through Ukraine as of 2019, urging the European Union (EU) to accelerate the decision process on new gas routes to import Russian gas by this date. A succession of pricing rows and political tensions following the annexation of Crimea are prompting Russia to bypass Ukraine. Gazprom was planning to export gas to Bulgaria and to other EU countries through its 63 bcm/year South Stream gas pipeline project, but the project was cancelled in December 2014 and replaced with the Turk Stream, a same-size gas pipeline project crossing the Black Sea to deliver gas to Turkey. Gas would then be exported to the EU via a new gas hub at the Turkey-Greece border. (             

Canada approves TransCanada pipeline to feed Pacific LNG plant

June 11, 2015. The Canadian government has approved TransCanada Corp's proposed C$1.7 billion ($1.38 billion) North Montney Mainline natural gas pipeline that would connect natural gas fields in northern British Columbia with a Pacific Coast export terminal. The North Montney line would feed into a second new pipeline, the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission line, that would serve an $11 billion liquefied natural gas export terminal, called the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, proposed by state-owned Malaysian energy company Petronas. The North Montney and the Prince Rupert lines are vital to Petronas's plans to export natural gas from Canada to energy hungry clients in Asia. British Columbia's provincial government approved the Prince Rupert line last year. It does not require federal approval. (

Policy / Performance…………

Venezuela Oil Minister sees price rise by end of year

June 16, 2015. Venezuela's Oil Minister Asdrubal Chavez predicted that crude prices will rise by the end of the year, and called for continued cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC producers. The socialist-governed South American nation relies on crude oil for 96 percent of its foreign currency revenue and has been one of the worst-hit producers by the price slide. (

Libya in talks to reopen El Feel, El Sharara oilfields

June 16, 2015. Libyan authorities will try during the month of Ramadan to reopen pipelines for El Feel and El Sharara oilfields and Zueitina port that have been blocked for weeks by protests and disputes, the state oil company said. The two major oilfields and oil terminal have been shuttered by protesters demanding jobs, disputes among security guards and the country's conflict between two rival governments battling for control of the north African OPEC state. Negotiations to reopen oilfields and ports in Libya often drag on as the oil industry is constantly under siege from protesters seeking jobs or armed factions trying to pressure their rivals. (

Egypt postpones smart card system for subsidised oil purchases

June 16, 2015. Egypt has not applied the smart card system for subsidised fuel purchases that was expected to start on 15 June 2015, after the Egyptian president directed the government to consider postponing its application "to give the government more time to study sectors that are not covered by the new system". The new system was aimed at reducing the subsidy burden on the public budget (estimated at 13% of government's spending in 2014-2015 fiscal year) and at reducing misuses of oil products.

Under the new systems, consumers would have be able to buy only a limited amount of subsidised fuel per day and would have to pay market prices for their extra consumption. The smart card system was estimated to save EGP 36 bn (US$4.7 bn). In July 2014, Egypt had cut subsidies by EGP 40bn (US$5.6 bn) to EGP100 bn over the 2014-2015 period, aiming to curb the expected budget deficit from 12% in the 2013-14 fiscal year to 10%. The subsidy reduction led to an increase in oil prices by up to 78%. (

Norwegian govt forced to reassess Arctic oil drilling boundaries

June 11, 2015. Norway's government will have to reassess oil drilling boundaries in the Arctic after failing to get parliamentary backing for its original proposal to move them further north. The government launched a new licensing round in January when it invited firms to drill for oil and gas further inside the Arctic circle. It is still unclear what this means for the new licensing round in the previously unexplored eastern part of the Barents Sea, which had been free of ice since 2004. Oil and energy minister Tord Lien said he did not think the development would have any impact on the round where the Arctic blocks are included. But the leader of parliament's energy and environment committee Ola Elvestuen of the Liberal Party Elvestuen said three blocks in the new round would be affected according to a deal from 2012 which stipulated that oil and gas exploration could not take place near ice. The two small opposition parties - the Liberals and Christian Democrats - which support the right-wing minority government have earlier said they did not support the northward extension of the ice edge in its current form. They fear the risk of oil spills, which are harder to clear up when mixed with ice. The sector lies 60-70 km to the north of areas currently accessible to the oil industry. It is being opened up on the basis of a new 1984-2013 benchmark for the spread of sea ice, which supersedes measurements collated from 1967 to 1989. (



China Gezhouba will build 2.2 GW hydropower project in Angola

June 16, 2015. A consortium led by Chinese engineering group China Gezhouba (60%) and including Boreal Investment and CGGC&NIARA Holding has signed a US$4.5 bn contract for the construction of the Lua Sim hydropower project in Angola. In 2013, China Gezhouba won a contract to expand the plant. The Lua Sim expansion project is expected to take more than six years to complete (commissioning in 2021-2022). It will have a total generation capacity of 2,171 MW. (                            

Mitsui and ACWA sign agreement on Salalah-2 power project in Oman

June 16, 2015. Japanese industrial group and Saudi Arabian power company ACWA Power International have signed the project agreements for the Salalah-2 power generation project in the Dhofar region of Oman. The project includes the acquisition of an existing 273 MW power plant along with the construction of a new 445 MW (400 MW net) gas-fired CCGT power plant on the site of the existing one. Total investment is estimated at US$630 mn. Construction will start in 2015 and the project is expected to be commissioned in January 2018. (

GE to provide maintenance services for 410 MW power plant in Russia

June 11, 2015. GE Power Generation Services has received a contract from Russian energy company OJSC Generating to provide services for the new 410 MW Kazanskaya combined heat and power (CHP)-2 combined-cycle gas power plant in Tatarstan, Russia. Under the 16-year contractual service agreement (CSA), GE will ensure the long-term availability of gas turbines for the power plant to help OJSC Generating meet energy production and capacity supply targets. The Kazan CHP-2 power plant comprises a 220 MW combined-cycle gas turbine block featuring two GE-built 6FA gas turbines, two KTZ steam turbine generators and two Ema Alliance heat recovery steam generators. OJSC Generating expects the upgrades to increase the power plant's output by 1.6% during the colder seasons. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

IDB lends US$200 mn for power transmission project in Mozambique

June 16, 2015. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$200 mn loan to Mozambique for the construction of an electricity transmission line from the Chimuara substation on the northern bank of the Zambezi River to the port of Nacala. The new transmission line will improve the security and quality of supply of electricity to the centre and north of the country; the existing line is operating at the limit of its capacity. The IDB loan will cover 1/3 of the investment, estimated at US$600 mn. (

Iran, Armenia to start building 3rd power transmission line

June 13, 2015. Iran and Armenia will start building the third electricity transmission line between the two countries by the next one and a half month. The two sides agreed that the work on building the third electricity transmission line to be completed by 2018. The project is expected to cost € 107.9 million, which the Iranian side will allocate as a loan. Once the project comes on stream, it will almost triple electricity exchange between the two neighboring countries. At present, Iran and Armenia exchange over one billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Iran plans to triple its annual electricity exports from the currently 8 billion kilowatt hours to 25 Bkwh by the next three years, according to Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Houshang Falahatian. Falahatian said the country puts priority on the neighboring and regional countries as the main destinations for electricity exports. Iran currently exports electricity to Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan (including the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic), Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. By having the generation capacity of 68.38 GW, Iran is the country with the highest amount of electricity generation in the Middle East and North Africa. (

Tajikistan receives €70 mn loan for 500kV transmission project

June 12, 2015. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted €70 mn loan to Tajikistan to fund the construction of 500kV power transmission project, which will interconnect electricity networks of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Part of the funding will be used to install a 120km transmission line in Tajikistan. The funding is expected to facilitate the development of regional renewable electricity trade in Central Asia, EIB said. The project is part of the Central Asia - South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade (CASA-1000) regional electricity scheme. (

American Electric Power and partners to launch emergency transmission equipment venture

June 11, 2015. American Electric Power and seven other energy companies are planning to launch a limited liability company, to provide critical equipment to transmission-owning entities to improve responses to major events affecting the electric transmission grid. Named Grid Assurance, the new company intends to provide cost-effective solutions to subscribers to speed restoration and enhance electric grid resiliency. The joint venture partners include affiliates of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Duke Energy, Edison International, Eversource Energy, Exelon, Great Plains Energy, and Southern Company in addition to American Electric Power. The firms have filed an application with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval to launch the new company to facilitate transmission-owning entity address grid resiliency mandates. American Electric Power said that the proposed company will be more cost-effective for high-impact, low-frequency events, compared to companies which independently secure emergency spare equipment. The spare equipment will be owned and maintained at strategically located warehouses to facilitate faster service. Grid Assurance will complement existing programs of transmission owners as well as industry initiatives such as the spare transformer equipment program (STEP). The partners expect Grid Assurance to commence operations in 2016. (

Policy / Performance…………

US firm to set up 6 GW gas-based power plants

June 16, 2015. Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif has welcomed the US Company, American Ethane for showing its deep interest in setting up three gas-based power plants, producing 2,000 MW each, in Pakistan. Asif said that the new power policy and power generation policies have been improved to facilitate the investment in the energy sector. Asif said that a large number of private sector energy projects are already at different stages in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said that keeping in view the number of projects that are planned in the energy sector overall, economic activities were also gearing up and the country’s economic indicators were improving fast. (

Chinese to launch 50 MW power plant in Garissa

June 13, 2015. The Chinese Government is going to launch a 50 MW solar powered project in Garissa County at an undisclosed amount. Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa says the project will contribute towards provision of opportunities such as jobs for the youth who are vulnerable to terror extremism in the largely marginalized county. The project is in spite of the expected decline on the economy of China. The world’s second biggest economy which grew by 7.4 percent in 2014 is expected to slow down this year to around 7 percent and around 7.2 percent by the end of the year. Kenya’s strategic Vision 2030, its regional influence and its strong industrial base are some of the key reasons for China’s decision to continue investing in the country. (

South Korea needs new facility for spent nuclear fuel

June 11, 2015. South Korea should build a new temporary facility to store spent nuclear fuel from 2030 and consider permanent underground storage from the middle of the century, a government advisory body said. South Korea is the world's fifth-biggest user of nuclear power, but has yet to find a permanent solution for its spent nuclear fuel, with temporary sites at individual nuclear plants likely to start to fill up from 2019. The Public Engagement Commission, an independent body that advises the government on nuclear issues, said Seoul should select a domestic site by 2020 for an underground laboratory that could conduct safety checks and provide temporary storage. The facility could become the site for a long-term storage facility, which would bury the country's nuclear waste 500 meters underground and start operations from 2051. The commission's recommendations, which are subject to parliamentary hearings, will be given to the country's energy minister. Public trust in nuclear energy in South Korea has been undermined by a 2012 scandal over the supply of reactor parts with fake security certificates and the 2011 Fukushima crisis in Japan. Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co Ltd, owned by state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp, operates 23 nuclear reactors supplying a third of the country's electricity. It plans to build another 13 reactors by 2029. The reactors currently produce around 750 tonnes of spent fuel a year. (



Wind sector to add over 3.5 GW capacity in 2015-16

June 16, 2015. Wind energy turbine manufacturers expect additional installation of over 3,500 MW in 2015-16. Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA) said that in 2014-15, the wind energy sector saw addition of 2,310 MW. IWTMA said that the figure could have been higher if some of the state-related issues had been resolved in time. IWTMA said the market response to the delayed announcement of Accelerated Depreciation (AD) was good, adding that the AD market will cross 1 GW in 2015-16. In 2011-12, the industry installed 3,200 MW with both incentives and in the absence of AD and GBI, it came down as low as 1,700 MW in 2012-13. (

IOC's Lotus Xangpo petrol pump world's highest altitude outlet

June 16, 2015. Indian Oil Corp's (IOC) petrol pump, Lotus Xangpo Memorial filling station, in Leh has become the world's highest altitude retail outlet to be powered by solar power. A solar power generation system has been installed at the petrol pump situated at 11,500 feet above the sea level to replace polluting diesel generator, the company said. The investment in putting up the solar system is recoverable in about 18 months. IOC already has two other solar powered retail outlets operating at Chuglamsar and Leh-Manali Road in Ladakh region. IOC is increasingly using solar power to light up its petrol pumps across the country. In the year ended March 31, 2015, 1,398 new outlets were solarised, taking the total tally to 2,663. The company plans to add another 1,500 petrol pumps and Kisan Seva Kendras in the current financial year and envisions touching 5,000 solar-powered outlets by 2017-18 and 10,000 by 2022. IOC has 24,405 petrol pumps and 6,230 rural outlets called Kisan Seva Kendras. (

India’s solar power target not impossible, but difficult: Birol

June 15, 2015. As India gears up to reset the country’s solar mission target to 100,000 MW and 60,000 MW of wind power by 2022, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Chief Economist and Executive Director-elect, Fatih Birol, feels that the infrastructure and regulatory framework of the country will need to be in sync to make the target achievable. With the momentum building for the 21st UN Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December, India has proposed separate brainstorming sessions to sort out contentious issues such as pre-2020 action, finance, technology, legal nature of the agreement and differentiation. Financing of green energy will be a key component in helping countries, such as India, meet their green targets. While acknowledging that India’s carbon emission is much lower than the Western countries, Birol said the country has to be prepared to face future climate change challenges. Birol said that India will need to further improve its energy efficiency labelling mechanism. For example, labelling for television sets, washing machines, and LPG stoves should be made mandatory, he said. Nuclear energy is another category that will help India meet the green challenges. (

Adani to set up country's largest solar park of 10 GW MW in Rajasthan

June 15, 2015. Adani Group, a global infrastructure player, has set a target of 10,000 MW of solar power by 2022 and signed a joint venture agreement with the Rajasthan Government to set up a 10,000 MW solar park, which will emerge as the largest such integrated facility in India. The joint venture, which will be known as Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan Ltd., will have a 50-50 equity partnership between the state government and Adani Renewable Energy Park Ltd, a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Ltd. The proposed park, which is expected to attract investments over ` 60,000 crore, will include generation projects and a massive manufacturing unit for solar module, parts and equipment. Adani itself plans to generate 5,000 MW in this solar park. The proposed park will create both direct and indirect employment opportunities. (

Solar power policy for Jharkhand in July

June 15, 2015. Jharkhand is all set to get an ambitious solar power policy in July. The policy that ultimately sets target to harness at least 2,000 MW of power in the next four-five years would roll out red carpet for large as well as small entrepreneurs in the field of solar photovoltaic power generation. The policy, knowing the fact well that Jharkhand does not have excellent solar radiation in comparison to the league of western States of the country like Gujarat, Rajasthan and like the coldest desert of the world Laddakh, offers host of incentives for the investors as well. Solar Park, one of such has been ideated currently in Dumka region, would come up at concentrated plot, measuring 300 to 500 acres of land. (

Delhi Metro starts buying solar energy at 6 per unit

June 15, 2015. To establish its green credentials, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has started procuring solar energy at about 6 a unit, claiming that the tariff will remain at the same level for the next 25 years. The move comes at a time when DMRC is saddled with high electricity costs at about 7 per unit. The concept of the same tariff level for 25 years, though common for solar energy, has led to a situation where DMRC is paying lower tariff, albeit after including government subsidy. Interestingly, DMRC has started selling solar power from its residential colony at a commercial rate of 9 per unit to the grid during day time, which is higher than 6 per unit at which it is being procured. In the last one year, DMRC generated 6 lakh units of electricity from solar panels. Its annual consumption is 685 million units in 2014-15. While solar power tariffs average between 5.5 per unit to 7 per unit in the country, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has notified the generic “levellised” generation tariff for solar power at 7.04 a unit for 2015-16. ACME Solar commissioned five projects with a combined capacity of around 100 MW. The tariffs in the 25-year PPAs for these plants were around 5.77 a unit without any viability gap funding. Azure Power commissioned a 100 MW plant in Jodhpur, Rajasthan from which power would be sold to the Solar Energy Corporation of India at 5.45 a unit, but this was with a viability gap funding. Incidentally, the Indian Railways is also trying to procure solar power at 5.5 per unit and is even experimenting with solar panels on train roofs to supply power for lights and fans. (

UK chips in to make Kolkata climate-resilient

June 11, 2015. The UK government is assisting Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to develop a roadmap that will make the city climate resilient and set it on a sustainable, low-carbon growth path. While the blueprint will be ready by December, mayor-in-council members and councillors are being sensitized so that they can drive the initiative forward and implement the roadmap. Another key component of the UK-KMC programme is institutional capacity building at the civic body. A multi-hazard assessment map of the entire KMC area is being prepared to identify the vulnerability of each ward. Precipitation, cyclone and flooding data will help create the map. Once the most vulnerable are identified, strategies will be readied on what to do to mitigate the risk and respond better to climate-induced disasters. Apart from KMC, other disaster management agencies have also been involved to prepare a comprehensive plan. A climate-smart municipal solid waste management strategy is underway to identify a technologically feasible and financially viable model for recycling plastic wastes, route optimization for transportation of waste, scientific management of waste by way of segregation at source and identification of potential public-private partnership options waste management. Stakeholders' consultations are underway to develop a grid-connected solar rooftop scheme for Kolkata. The state power department is leading the initiative. (


Canada reaches 10 GW of installed wind power capacity

June 16, 2015. According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CWEA), installed wind capacity in Canada has passed the 10,000 MW threshold with the commissioning of the 270 MW K2 wind power project in southwestern Ontario in early June 2015. Canada is now the 7th country in the world to exceed 10 GW of installed wind capacity, after China (96 GW installed at year-end 2014), the United States (65 GW), Germany (40 GW), Spain and India (nearly 23 GW each) and the United Kingdom (12.5 GW). Over the last five years, more wind energy capacity has been installed in Canada than any other form of electricity generation. (           

EU concerned UK, France won’t meet renewables target

June 16, 2015. The European Commission raised concern that the U.K. and France may not meet their 2020 renewable energy targets, saying the two countries should examine whether they’re doing enough to reach the goals. The European Union (EU) as a whole is ahead of its planned trajectory to get 20 percent of its energy from renewables by the end of the decade across the 28 nations in the group, according to a progress report issued by the commission in Brussels. Nineteen member states may exceed their 2020 targets, while others risk falling short. The EU’s effort is part of a broader push spearheaded by the United Nations to rein in climate change and prepare for a historic deal on emissions due in Paris in December. Pope Francis is preparing to issue an encyclical urging leaders to act immediately to protect the environment. The EU’s renewables target is a key component of its strategy to reduce carbon emissions. In 2013, the bloc got 15 percent of all energy from renewables, according to the report. (

White House says $4 bn in clean-energy commitments secured

June 16, 2015. The White House has secured at least $4 billion in commitments from private companies and foundations to invest in clean energy technology, double the goal it set in February. Encouraging private investment in clean energy is part of President Barack Obama’s attempt to promote “a low-carbon energy future,” Brian Deese, a senior adviser to Obama, said. In addition to the private funding commitments, the Energy Department is creating a central location to distribute information about energy and climate change programs, including research done by national laboratories, to help investors, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. The financial commitments were made by the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the University of California, and other foundations and investors, according to the White House. (

UK may get negative power prices by 2020 on wind, solar jump

June 15, 2015. Power prices in the U.K. may fall below zero during some hours before the end of the decade as intermittent renewable energy output is poised to soar, according to National Grid Plc. Negative power prices, already prevalent in markets from Germany to the Nordic region, occur when supply exceeds demand. Having to curb cheap supply from green power is a waste, Duncan Burt, the company’s head of commercial operations, said. To reduce bills and help balance the system, the U.K.’s biggest users should reduce consumption at times of peak demand and take advantage of periods with plenty of green power, he said. The U.K. government plans to boost the share of energy demand met by renewables to 15 percent in 2020 from 5.3 percent in 2013, potentially boosting price swings. That may give users from factories to supermarkets a greater incentive to adjust consumption more actively, according to Burt. National Grid estimates that industrial and commercial users can create a buffer of 3 GW worth of consumption by the end of the decade, or 5 percent of peak demand, that can be adjusted amid quick changes in renewables output. (

Veolia signs $505 mn wood-chip power plant deal in Ireland

June 15, 2015. Veolia Environnement SA’s Irish unit won a $505 million deal to operate a wood-fueled biomass power plant in the country’s west. Veolia won a 15-year contract from Mayo Renewable Power to operate the 42.5 MW heat and power plant producing enough electricity to supply 68,000 homes, it said. The site is due to start operating in mid-2017, it said. Ireland plans to get 40 percent of its power needs from renewables by 2020. (

Spain considers tax on solar batteries of autoconsumers

June 12, 2015. The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism is considering introducing a new tax on storage systems and batteries for solar PV installations connected to the grid. Only off-grid installations using storage systems would be exempted. The tax would range between €8.9 and €15.3/kW for a battery of less than 15 kW connected to the low voltage network. In addition, residential PV installations would be excluded from the future net-metering systems, which mean that power injections to the grid would bring no remuneration to producers. Only industrial and commercial PV installations connected to high voltage, which will not be allowed to install a storage system, will be allowed to sell their extra generation. (      

South Korea plans 14 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030

June 12, 2015. South Korea plans to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 14.7% to 31.3% compared to its business-as-usual (BAU) level by 2030. The country is finalising its long-term commitments to climate change and will submit a report including the national commitment to the United Nations by the end of June 2015, before the COP21. South Korea estimates that overall emissions in the BAU scenario should grow by 1.3%/year over the next 15 years, until reaching 850.6 MtCO2 eq by 2030. Reducing emissions by 14.7% from the BAU level would limit them to 726 MtCO2eq in 2030, i.e. 5.5% above their 2012 level; the 31.3% emission cut target would limit emissions to 585 MtCO2eq by 2030, i.e. 12% below their 2012 level. South Korea is also considering two intermediate targets, 19.2% and 25.7% below the BAU scenario, which would limit emissions to 688 MtCO2eq and 632 MtCO2eq, respectively. (

Japan environment minister says coal plant approval problematic

June 12, 2015. Approval of a coal-fired power plant planned by a venture between Osaka Gas Co. and Electric Power Development Co. is problematic in the context of the need to cut greenhouse gases, Japan’s environment minister, Yoshio Mochizuki said. The minister opposes the plant because it jeopardizes Japan’s greenhouse gas reduction target. Japan, the world’s fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is proposing a 26 percent cut to emissions from 2013 levels by 2030. The environment ministry has urged the power industry to propose voluntary climate change measures. The 1,200 MW plant planned by Osaka Gas and Electric Power is to be located in the western prefecture of Yamaguchi, according to the venture’s website. Operations are expected to start in the first half of the next decade. Japan has plans for more than 23,000 MW worth of coal power units, according to data compiled by environmental group Kiko Network based in Kyoto. (

EPA seen siding with engine makers in truck efficiency rules

June 11, 2015. The Obama administration is poised to deliver a victory to engine makers at the expense of truck manufacturers in the next stage of the U.S. government’s plan to tackle climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is about to propose fuel economy standards that would mandate efficiency gains in engines and transmissions made by companies like Cummins Inc. and Eaton Corp. That will encourage the development of new technology, and the replacement of engines. Truckmakers had pushed for eliminating the engine target and just testing the whole vehicle the way automobiles are assessed. That way, fuel consumption targets could be met with less expensive changes, such as improved aerodynamics.

Environmental groups are pushing President Barack Obama to deliver fuel-economy improvements of 40 percent from 2010 levels, something they say is both technologically feasible and long overdue because tractor-trailers average 6 miles per gallon of diesel. That change alone could cut U.S. oil use by 1.4 million barrels a day and eliminate more than twice the greenhouse gases as New Jersey emits each year, according to the Sierra Club. One of the key decisions for the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is how to measure gains from the engine and the overall vehicle. Under the proposal nearing release, engines will be tested the same way emissions are measured. Vehicles will be measured by using a computer model instead of the dynamometers used to test cars. The EPA will also be proposing a third set of standards for trailers, whose boxy design has been largely unchanged for decades. Trucks account for 4 percent of vehicles on the road and 20 percent of the transport sector’s carbon emissions. Setting tougher rules is necessary if the U.S. will achieve the cuts in carbon emissions Obama pledged in United Nations climate negotiations, the World Resources Institute said in a report. (

Nearly 40 GW of solar capacity were installed worldwide in 2014

June 11, 2015. According to statistics released by SolarPower Europe (new name of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association - EPIA), nearly 40 GW of solar PV capacities were installed worldwide in 2014, up from 37 GW in 2013. The top three markets were China (10.6 GW added), Japan (9.7 GW) and the United States (6.5 GW).

In Europe, more than 7 GW were installed during the year, with 2.4 GW installed in the United Kingdom, 1.9 GW in Germany and 927 MW in France. SolarPower Europe expects global capacity additions to range between 47 GW and 86 GW in 2019; by this date, total installed capacity could reach between 396 and 540 GW. (

Enel secures contracts for 280 MW of wind power projects in South Africa

June 11, 2015. Italian renewables company Enel Green Power (EGP) has received contracts for the 280 MW of wind power projects, in South Africa’s latest bidding round. In line with this effort, the company has acquired 49% interest in a local unit of Medco Power Indonesia, which owns 37.25% stake in the geothermal project. The acquisition is a part of Inpex's medium-to long term vision to explore business opportunities in renewable sources in order to become an integrated energy company.

The project will tap the geothermal reserves, which is estimated be 40% of the world's reserves in the country. With an operational life of 30 years, the Sarulla project is planned to be fully commissioned by 2018 to generate electricity required to power about 700,000 households. (

Qatar-supported Jordan solar power plant to be operational in 2016

June 11, 2015. Qatar’s Nebras-supported solar power plant project in Jordan will be fully operational in 2016. Nebras Power with its partners Diamond Generating Europe and Kawar Group held a ground breaking ceremony in Amman Jordan for its Shams Ma’an Solar power plant project with capacity of 52.5 MW. Nebras Power, the Qatari shareholding company, owns 35 percent of the project, while DGE owns 35 percent and Kawar Group owns 30 percent. Nebras Power along with its partners will construct the project in 16 months as the project is planned to complete construction activities and start commercial operation in September 2016. The project’s importance comes from being one of the first renewable energy projects and the largest of its kind in Jordan. Shams Ma’an Power Generation company has already signed a 20 years power purchase agreement with National Electric & Power Company of Jordan and also signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract and operation & maintenance contract with First Solar of USA. (

Emissions from energy have slowest gain since 2009 drop, BP says

June 10, 2015. Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use had the slowest growth last year since a drop in 2009 as Chinese consumption of coal flattened, according to BP Plc. Output of the greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels rose 0.5 percent from the previous year, London-based BP said in its annual Statistical Review of World Energy. That was the smallest increase for any year since 1998, with the exception of 2009, when emissions fell 1.5 percent, it said. Chinese energy consumption rose 2.6 percent, the least since 1998, while nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development had a larger-than-average decline.

United Nations climate envoys meeting in Bonn are seeking to hone down a negotiation text for the world’s first global climate accord to limit emissions. Repsol SA joined six other European oil companies in calling for governments to reach agreement on carbon pricing at a summit planned for December. The slower growth of heat-trapping gases last year relative to the 10-year average stemmed largely from the changing pace and pattern of economic expansion in China, BP said. Renewable energy sources, in power generation as well as transportation, continued to increase in 2014 and reached a record 3 percent of global energy consumption, up from 0.9 percent a decade ago. (

Germany holds 2nd auction for 150 MW of solar PV projects

June 10, 2015. German energy regulator Bundesnetzagentur has launched the second tender for large ground-mounted solar PV projects. The tender volume is 150 MW and the cap price has been set at €11.18c/kWh. Bids are due by 1 August 2015. The first tender for 150 MW of ground mounted PV capacity was held in April 2015: a total capacity of 157 MW (25 bids) was awarded at an average rate of €9.17c/kWh. In total, BNetzA received 170 bids, of which 37 were rejected. The tender was four times oversubscribed. BNetzA will launch two additional tenders by the end of 2015 (including the August one) for a total of 350 MW, followed by 400 MW in 2016 and a further 300 MW in 2017. (

TransCanada CEO says world needs ‘broad-based’ carbon price

June 10, 2015. TransCanada Corp. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Russ Girling joined a growing list of energy executives calling for a price on carbon to be applied to consumers of fossil fuels. Girling’s comments follow similar statements of support for carbon pricing by Europe’s largest oil producers, as well as Canadian oil-sands producer Suncor Energy Inc. CEO Steve Williams.

Leaders from G7 nations called for ridding their economies of net carbon emissions by the end of the century, and countries from around the world are preparing for United Nations Climate talks at the end of the year in Paris. In Alberta, home to Canada’s oil sands, the newly elected left-of-center government under Premier Rachel Notley has promised to update the province’s levy of C$15 ($12) a ton for large industrial emitters by the end of the month. TransCanada’s Girling said putting a value on carbon allows consumers to reduce consumption of fossil fuel in vehicles. (

ENGIE commissions 94 MW West Coast One wind project

June 10, 2015. A consortium led by ENGIE (Ex GDF SUEZ) has commissioned the 94 MW West Coast One wind park in South Africa. The consortium (43% ENGIE, 34.5% Investec, 20% Kagiso Tiso Holdings and 2.5% Community Trust) was selected as preferred bidder for this project in May 2012 and signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with national power utility Eskom in May 2013. Construction started in mid-2013. The project, which consists of 47 wind turbines rated 2 MW each, required an investment of €160 mn and is expected to avoid emissions of 5.6 MtCO2 over 20 years. (

GE to build 8.5 MW biogas power plant in Brazil

June 10, 2015. The Distributed Power division of General Electric (GE) and Brazilian power company Solvi Valorizacao Energetica, or SVE, have formed a joint venture to build a 8.5 MW biogas power plant in Rio Grande do Sul state. The project at the landfill of Minas de Leao city requires an investment of over BRL 30 million (USD 9.7 mn). The biogas collected there will be fed into four units of 1.4 MW GE Jenbacher gas engines. Once operational, the plant's output will be enough to offset 170,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year. (

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