MonitorsPublished on Sep 25, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XII; Issue 15

[India’s Role in COP 21, Paris]

                             “It is also true that the true cost to our people of changing our developmental paradigm to one based on sustainable principles is negligible, as the World Bank say. A recent World Bank report on India says that although the past decade of rapid economic growth has brought many benefits to India, the environment has suffered, exposing the population to serious air and water pollution…”

Energy News


If T&D losses are reduced to 15 percent we may not need 850 GW by 2030!                                   


Companies not wanting to build nuclear plants in India is a small loss for India but a big loss for the companies!    


Markets rather than mandates should dictate the setting up of solar plants! 




·          India’s Role in COP 21, Paris


·          All India Region-wise Renewable Capacity



·          Auction of 69 marginal fields to start from December

·          Natural gas output climbs first time in five years, oil production up 5.6 percent


·          Oil marketing firms pursuing expansion of retail outlets

·          HPCL unit said to plan spending $300 mn on overseas assets

Transportation / Trade………………

·          IGL provided 1 lakh new piped gas connections in FY15

·          India's GSPC closes two-cargo spot LNG tender

·          GAIL re-floats $7 bn tender to hire LNG ships

·          BPCL may import Ethane from US for its petchem unit

·          Turkmenistan to start work on TAPI project in December

Policy / Performance…………………

·          RIL may have to sell CBM gas at $3.8

·          ONGC, OIL, Cairn ask govt to cut cess on crude

·          LPG subsidy scheme in Guinness World Records

·          Hike in petrol, diesel prices put off

·          SC dismisses ONGC plea to reconsider arbitration venue



·          Tamil Nadu's two n-plants to restart operations soon

·          GE won't build India nuclear plants on liability Risk: Immelt

·          KSEB pact with Finnish firm for LNG-fired power plant may be delayed

·          LPGCL commissions first 660 MW unit of thermal power plant

·          NTPC may exceed capacity addition target of 11.9 GW

·          GMR Energy gets gas for two power plants in AP

·          L&T to build power plant for ` 17 bn

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Delhi gencos supply power to discom at ` 7.1 per unit

·          Govt targets bringing down T&D losses to 15 percent by 2019

·          Krishnapatnam Port to install coal conveyor system

·          Sterlite Grid commissions ` 15 bn Jabalpur Transmission Project

Policy / Performance…………………

·          India, US identify areas for coal mining collaboration

·          Former coal minister backs plea on summoning Manmohan Singh in Jindal coal case

·          Policy on coal linkages auction may take some time: Govt to CIL

·          Govt begins work on National Electricity Plan

·          IEX prices hit record high as power demand zooms past 150 GW

·          Jindal not successful bidder for mines taken off auction: Govt

·          Govt to pump in ` 700 bn in replacing old thermal power plants



·          ConocoPhillips said to be near deal to sell Canadian assets

·          Azerbaijan 2016 oil, gas production to be steady around 2015 levels

·          Pertamina finalizing plans to acquire Blocks B, NSO in Indonesia

·          NNPC receives $1.2 bn funding to develop 36 oil wells

·          Kuwait plans to start offshore oil exploration by 2017

·          MOL, Mari Petroleum hit oil, gas in Pakistan


·          South Africa considers building refinery to process Iranian crude

·          Oil refiners aim for trader mentality to survive

·          Lotos refinery likely to adjust 2020 output target

·          World's first subsea gas compression plant now online

·          Chile state oil firm ENAP's Aconcagua refinery operating normally

Transportation / Trade…………

·          Petrobras selling stake in natural gas distributor to Mitsui

·          Saudi Arabia crude exports dip to 7.2 mn bpd in July

·          Saudi Arabia and Bahrain go ahead with oil pipeline project

·          Russia's Sakhalin II LNG export plant aims to sell 18 cargoes

·          China's CNOOC sells one LNG cargo each to BG Group and BP

·          Atlantic seeks FERC permission to build interstate gas pipeline

·          Nigeria to sell LNG tender cargo to Brazil's Petrobras

·          Pakistan launches tender to buy 5 LNG cargoes

·          Japan plans to cut LNG imports by 30 percent by 2030

·          Cameroon will start building oil product pipeline in January 2016

Policy / Performance………………

·          EU regulators clear $26.1 mn aid for Finland's first LNG terminal

·          Iraqi Kurds reassert right to export oil to US despite court ruling

·          Russian govt readies for prospect of $30 oil

·          Hedge funds no longer sure oil prices will fall further

·          Russia for first time acknowledges low oil prices may hit output

·          Iran to unveil new oil contracts in coming weeks

·          OPEC sees oil prices returning to $80 per barrel by 2020

·          US president opposes draft bill to lift ban on crude oil exports

·          Venezuelan leader says to travel to push for OPEC, non-OPEC meeting

·          South Africa plans 12 liquid fuel terminals in next 25 yrs



·          Zimbabwe mining indaba to focus on power generation

·          Panda Power said to seek $700 mn for gas-fired power plant

·          EWC secures funding for 650 MW CCGT in the Philippines

·          PT PLN signs EPC contract for 315 MW Lontar power project

·          Areva to provide outage services for three nuclear power plants in Germany

·          Pakistan to generate 40 GW nuclear power

·          EDF Energy secures UK approval to build 1.8 GW power station

·          Bidders line up to build Saudi's Fadhili power plant

·          Statkraft commissions 172 MW Cheves hydropower plant in Peru

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Inter RAO plans to sell its distribution assets in Armenia

·          Canada’s AltaGas to buy three California power plants

·          CFE selects bidder for power transmission project in northern Mexico

·          Ameren secures approval to build $150 mn Spoon River transmission line in Illinois

Policy / Performance………………

·          European coal prices slump to a record low

·          ADB lends $300 mn for advanced power metering programme in Uzbekistan

·          Electrabel will have to pay 2013 nuclear tax

·          World Bank lends $400 mn for Myanmar's NEP

·          Canada signs arrangements for nuclear safety cooperation



·          India's energy mix to have 40 percent renewable sources by 2030

·          MERC issues notification for solar PV net metering system

·                    Javadekar touts "Indian lifestyle" as remedy for climate change

·          158 renewable energy projects being set up by MP govt

·          NZ to boost India's growing renewable energy sector

·          Goyal urges US to invest in clean energy market in India

·          AP power regulator to chart out hybrid renewable energy norms

·          PowerGrid to set up lines to link solar parks with ISTS

·          PFS sanctions ` 10 bn loan for clean energy projects

·          Solar plant mandatory for all new highrises in Tamil Nadu


·          Solar seen competitive in UK without subsidy in 18 months

·          China's Sky Solar soars after signing $100 mn funding pact

·          NextEra Energy buys 1.1 GW wind project in Texas

·          EnBW’s 288 MW Baltic 2 offshore wind project opened in Germany

·          Progress on cutting fossil fuel subsidies 'alarmingly slow': OECD

·          Carbon pricing poised for more rapid adoption: World Bank

·          EU to push for carbon neutrality by 2100 in global climate deal

·          AREF closes funding target

·          US to spend over $110 mn for clean energy

·          UN creates organisation to lead sustainable energy initiative

·          P&G targets 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020

·          Makers of fuel from plants feel forsaken in Obama’s climate push

·          Sweden boosts renewables to become first fossil-fuel-free nation

·          Wind energy growth in Europe seen slower after policy changes

·          Zambia to triple power generation in 2 yrs with solar

                                [WEEK IN REVIEW]                       


India’s Role in COP 21, Paris

Shankar Sharma, Power Policy Analyst


he next international event of huge importance will be the COP 21 under the aegis of UNFCCC in Nov-Dec 2015. In what is described as a critical event in the calendar of Climate Change, different countries are expected to strive hard to come to a legally binding agreement to contain GHG emissions. In the run up to this event countries have also been asked to submit their INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution). Whereas most of the major economies of the world have submitted their INDC, India is yet to do so, and the various statements coming from the Union ministers seem to send confusing signals on India’s possible approach to this meet.

“You made the mess—you clean it up” may well be India’s attitude at the forthcoming event. “It’s the West which has polluted the world for the last 150 years with cheap energy,” Union power minister was reported to have said in a recent interview. He also said: “I can’t tell the people of India that we’ll burden you with high costs because the West has polluted the world, now India will pay for it. Not acceptable to us.”

While it is true that the India has been associated with similar statements in the past also, what is important now will be its stated commitment to the international community to reduce its overall GHG emissions. Since the top three polluters and most other economies have already submitted their INDC, the focus is now on India. Some observers are even of the view that India’s INDC has the potential to make or break the much anticipated global agreement. In such a global context it would be useful to briefly consider India’s role in the forthcoming COP 21.

India, being a hugely populous country and with most of its people not being able to realise their energy demands yet, is projected to become the third largest GHG emitter within few years in a business as usual scenario. It is recognized by the scientific community that unless a major polluter like India takes the necessary measures to keep its total GHG within manageable limits, the goal of keeping the global warming below 2OC will be almost impossible, even if all other countries commit to very ambitious goals. It is hence useful to consider what India’s INDC can be and should be not only as its international obligation, but most importantly in the true interest of its own people.

The first question to be raised w.r.t what the minister has said in the recent interview about West’s past record is: how long are we going to harp on the past history, and shall we not be concerned about protecting the true interests of our communities in the future? The minister seems to have ignored the fact that it is the total GHG emissions at the national/global scale which is important from Climate Change perspective, and not the per capita emission of one country. If we try to compete with the West in consumerism and stake claim to pollute even more for next 50-60 years, then we have to be prepared for the perils of the Climate Change, which, as per IPCC, will impact most the tropical countries like India. Looking at our growing population, aspirations and resource constraints, the Climate Change phenomenon will have unimaginable consequences on our people, if GHG emissions go unchecked. There can be no doubt that Indians (and so also others) will suffer massively if we continue to ape the West in increased energy and material consumption. It is also true that the true cost to our people of changing our developmental paradigm to one based on sustainable principles is negligible, as the World Bank say. A recent World Bank report on India says that although the past decade of rapid economic growth has brought many benefits to India, the environment has suffered, exposing the population to serious air and water pollution. This report finds that environmental degradation costs India $80 billion per year or 5.7% of its economy. 

It is truly unfortunate that our leaders have not yet recognised few fundamental issues of true relevance to our own communities. Some of these issues are: (i) a healthy environment is critically important for the true welfare of our communities and hence its accelerated degradation should not be acceptable under any circumstance; (ii) the deleterious impacts of climate change, as has been projected by IPCC, will have huge implications on our own people, much more than that of people in the developed countries; (iii) any set of actions leading to higher GHG emissions is also invariably associated with the accelerated degradation of the natural resources and the general environment; (iv) adopting suitable action plan to minimise GHG emissions is in the best interest of our own people first and then of the global brotherhood; (v) hence, our policies/actions to minimise GHG emissions should not be seen as any favor we may end up doing to other countries, but as an essential part of our fundamental obligations to our own people first and the foremost; (vi) it has been known for many years that it is techno-economically viable and eminently practicable and desirable to undertake those policies /practices in different sectors of our economy which will minimise the overall GHG emissions of the country without compromising on the welfare measures for our people; (vii) such policies /practices are also known to be truly sustainable in the long run and are associated with realistic economic growth. 

Various statements from the ministers in the recent years indicate that the govt. seem to be determined to pursue the business as usual scenario and seem to believe that the country has a right to pollute even more.  Shall we not objectively consider the huge impact such a policy will have on the health of the overall population and on the socio-economic scenario of the vulnerable sections of our society? 

Gross inefficiency prevailing in our energy/electricity sectors, poor management of our water and forestry resources, unacceptable levels of pollution of land, water and air, unabated corruption in big ticket projects, forced dispossession of land for the tribals and poor villagers etc. which have all come to be seen as essential parts of high GDP growth rate paradigm, cannot be accepted as contributing to the overall welfare of our society; even in the long term.  We have to accept the fact that such a focus on high GDP growth rate has failed to lift all our people from the clutches of poverty even after nearly 70 years of independence; while it certainly has lead to accelerated degradation of our environment, as evidenced in less than 20% of forest & tree cover against national forest policy target of 33%; unacceptable level of pollution of almost all rivers; 13 of 20 most polluted cities in India as per WHO; increasing contamination levels of agricultural products etc .

While preparing INDC, India should keep in proper perspective major international reports such as: (I) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of IPCC; (II) The Global Burden of Disease assessments by WHO, (III) The 2015 report by Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change; (IV) “Diagnostic Assessment of Select Environmental Challenges, Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: What Are the Tradeoffs?” by World Bank; (V) Pope's Encyclical on Climate Change.

Keeping all these in proper perspective, the issue of Climate Change should be seen as a golden opportunity to review our developmental paradigm, and apply necessary course corrections, not only for addressing the Climate Change threats, but also for ensuring long term welfare of our own people.

The ambitious target of 175,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, even if it were to become a reality, will not be good enough unless we also bring down the consumption of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum products by considerable margin.  

Keeping the critical role of India in the forthcoming COP 21 meet at Paris, civil society groups should have been effectively consulted in developing a credible and effective INDC. In view of the fact that not much time is left before COP 21 meet, at least few larger issues should be agreed on. In addition to an ambitious but realistic target on energy intensity, the following issues should be objectively considered in determining India’s realistic INDC.

Ø  The country should unambiguously recognize the criticality of a healthy environment, including the careful harnessing of our natural resources such as forests, rivers, mountains, hills, coastal zones, flora and fauna etc.

Ø  The criticality of least polluted air, water and land for a sustainable life style should be accepted;

Ø  The nature’s limit in meeting the ever growing demand for material and energy, as against the developmental paradigm in the West, should be appreciated;

Ø  An ambitious but reasonable target year to reach the peak consumption of fossil fuels should be identified, and a credible action plan to achieve this target should be announced;

Ø  A realistic target year before 2050 to meet at least 50% of all our energy needs and 90 % of our electricity needs through renewable energy sources should be identified.  

A decent understanding of the inefficiencies associated with our country’s economy, the constraints of our natural resources, and the social & environmental impacts of our developmental pathway since independence will reveal that it is eminently feasible and critically essential for our society to transform to a low carbon lifestyle while protecting the legitimate rights of all sections of our society. 

Even if the hardliners of India’s policy making institutions were to have their way in not heeding to the expectations of the global community, we cannot afford to embark on carbon intensive developmental pathway, if we are to be a truly welfare and egalitarian society. 

Whereas India has a legitimate right to demand much more stringent GHG emission reduction measures from the developed countries than their INDCs may reveal, it has a much better chance of realizing such a demand by providing a leadership role to the whole world in adopting much simpler life style than we see in those countries.   

In summary, it can be said that we should put all possible efforts to make use of this golden opportunity to address Climate Change to embark on a sustainable developmental path for the sake of our own people.  As a society with glorious traditions, we shall not allow the wisdom behind the principle of ‘simple living and high thinking’ to remain in scriptures only.

Through such high principled stand in COP 21, India can pressurize other countries to do even better than their own INDC declared so far. Such a stand by India, is likely to positively influence the emergence of an acceptable global agreement.

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]




All India Region-wise Renewable Capacity

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation

As on March 2015




Installed Capacity (MW)



Share (%) of Renewables



Total Capacity

(including Renewables)

Northern Region




Western Region




Southern Region




Eastern Region




North Eastern Region













Source-wise Renewables break-up

Source: Central Electricity Authority (Executive Summary-Power Sector, March 2015)




Auction of 69 marginal fields to start from December

September 22, 2015. The auction of 69 marginal fields—discovered but undeveloped oil and gas resources—is expected to start from the first week of December and can potentially unlock almost ` 70,000 crore worth reserves, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. Pradhan said the auction of marginal fields will be a test case to see whether the new policy initiatives can be replicated in the auction of new oil and gas blocks expected next year. Industry experts have already raised doubts on the policy’s success. For the auction of marginal fields, the oil ministry has taken three major initiatives. First, a revenue-sharing model where the company shares revenue from day one, unlike the earlier model which allowed cost recovery by the company first. Second, the licence granted to a successful bidder will cover all commodities found in the field, unlike earlier where it was limited to one hydrocarbon, and a separate licence was required if any other hydrocarbon, such as gas, was discovered. Third, the new policy allows the successful bidder to sell at the prevailing market price of gas, rather than at an administered price. India Ratings and Research Pvt. Ltd, part of global rating agency Fitch Group, called it a welcome move but pointed out that the new policy shifts the risk to developers of the oil and gas fields. Pradhan said the oil ministry has begun talks with the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship to prepare skilled labour for the next phase of growth in petroleum product marketing by state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs). The oil ministry is in talks with the finance ministry to allow state-owned oil marketing companies to convert these into payment bank kiosks, Pradhan said. (

Natural gas output climbs first time in five years, oil production up 5.6 percent

September 21, 2015. Natural gas production in August rose 3.7 percent, the first increase in almost five years, according to Oil Ministry data. Crude oil production grew 5.6 percent last month, the highest monthly growth since June 2011. Natural gas production was 2,836.5 million cubic metres (mcm) in August compared with 2,736.4 mcm in the year-earlier period, and 2,619 mcm in July 2015 — the first time output has grown year-on-year since November 2010. Most of the increase in natural gas production can be attributed to ONGC’s onshore production, which grew 17 percent. The increase in ONGC’s onshore gas production is due to its fields in Andhra Pradesh — where production jumped almost sevenfold — and Tripura, where output increased by 1.5 times. ONGC’s eastern offshore fields also saw a tremendous surge in production, from 1.3 mcm in August 2014 to 21.3 mcm last month. Oil India increased its natural gas production in August by 3.7 percent, also contributing to the surplus in total production compared to last year. Private sector producers saw a marginal dip in production levels, with output falling to 737.9 mcm in August 2015 compared to 739.4 mcm the previous year. (


Oil marketing firms pursuing expansion of retail outlets

September 21, 2015. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said oil market companies (OMCs) are pursuing network expansion to ensure coverage of all significant points of consumption, including the remote areas. At present, there are 53,800 petrol pumps or retail outlets in the country and estimated 32,000 new retail outlets are required over the next 10 years to cater to the growing customer needs. The minister said the government deregulated pricing of diesel in October 2014 and linked it to market prices. He said this initiative encouraged private players like Essar, Reliance and Shell re-enter the market and set up more than 3,000 petrol pumps across the country. (

HPCL unit said to plan spending $300 mn on overseas assets

September 18, 2015. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), India’s third-largest state-owned refiner, plans to spend as much as $300 million for a stake in an active oil and gas field through a unit, the company said. The unit, Prize Petroleum Co., which focuses on the upstream oil business, is considering a minority stake in Russian or Nigerian assets, the company said. A 50 percent slump in crude the past year has eroded the value of production assets, making them attractive acquisition targets, according to the company. The acquisition would be Prize Petroleum’s largest investment since its inception in 1998, the company said. The unit owns 11.25 percent and 9.75 percent participating interests in two exploration and production blocks in Australia. (

Transportation / Trade…………

IGL provided 1 lakh new piped gas connections in FY15

September 22, 2015. Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), the sole supplier of CNG and piped cooking gas in the National Capital Region (NCR), has provided a record one lakh piped natural gas (PNG) connections in 2014-15 to its new domestic customers. IGL has set higher targets for providing PNG connections in the future years too. IGL will consolidate its presence in existing areas of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Greater Noida as well as enter new geographies through bidding and strategic acquisitions. Referring to various initiatives taken by the government in the last one year like revised guidelines for domestic gas allocation and revision of domestic gas prices every six months, IGL said that the city gas distribution (CGD) business is all set to expand across the country and IGL is fully geared to further improve its performance to maintain its position as the premier CGD company of the country. IGL currently sells CNG to over 8 lakh vehicles in NCR through a network of over 300 CNG stations. It also supplies piped natural gas to over 6,00,000 households in Delhi and NCR towns. (

India's GSPC closes two-cargo spot LNG tender

September 17, 2015. India’s state-operated oil and gas company Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) is in the process of selecting the winner for its tender for two spot cargoes, traders active in India said. GSPC was seeking one cargo for October and one for November through the tender, which closed on 16 September. The validity period for the bids is until 21 September. Both cargoes are expected to be delivered to the 10 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) Dahej LNG terminal, which is operated by Petronet, although GSPC also has a slot at the 5 mtpa Hazira LNG terminal. As a result, GSPC could secure a cargo at the $6.90-6.95 per mmBtu (million British thermal unit) range, according to one portfolio seller active in India. GSPC has indicated in its tender that it requires both cargoes to be offered on a fixed-price basis and that potential sellers have a master sales agreement (MSA) in place with the company. Sellers are, however, required to demonstrate an equity worth of at least $25 mn for the MSA. No history of previous cargo discharge is required. GSPC has direct supply contracts for gas with the downstream buyers as part of its gas transmission and distribution business. As such, the falling pricing of crude oil and associated opportunities in the competitive fuel market are seen as largely irrelevant in this case, as the company is working on a back-to-back basis with downstream gas buyers that do not have fuel-switching capacity. Besides GSPC, the list of India’s LNG buyers active in the short-term market now includes gas-network operator GAIL and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), traders said. (

GAIL re-floats $7 bn tender to hire LNG ships

September 17, 2015. State gas utility GAIL India has re-invited bids to hire nine newly-built LNG ships on modified terms that allow Indian shipyards to pick up to 13 percent stake in three of these carriers that shipbuilders have to make in the country. After postponing the deadline thrice, GAIL had in February scrapped the $7 billion tender to hire nine LNG carriers to ferry gas from the US, with a caveat that three of them be made in India. At that time no foreign shipyard was willing to share LNG shipbuilding technology. The tender document provides for Indian shipyard taking 5 percent to 13 percent in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier that it will build. This condition was not there in the original tender floated last year. GAIL and Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) had signed an agreement wherein the state-owned shipping company has the step-in right to take at least a 26 percent stake in each of the nine LNG carriers hired by GAIL. GAIL plans to time charter, or hire, the carriers for 18 years from fleet owners. Overseas shipyards have been given time till May 31, 2019 to deliver their ships while those built at Indian shipyards are to be delivered between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, the tender document said. GAIL had floated a global tender to charter nine newly-built ships for transportation of up to 5.8 million tons per annum of LNG from the US. The tender, however, required bidders to build one-third of the ships in India, a condition that found no takers. It first postponed the last date of bidding from October 30 to December 4, then to January 6 and February 17. It than cancelled the tender. The tender was refloated after Korean shipyards entered into pacts with Indian shipbuilders. The technical collaborations were necessary because none of the Indian yards have built LNG carriers before. GAIL said it has a 20-year gas sales and purchase agreement (GSPA) with Sabine Pass Liquefaction Llc, a unit of Cheniere Energy Partners LP in the US, for 3.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG. Also it has a terminal service agreement for 2.3 million tons a year LNG liquefaction capacity with Dominion Cove Point LNG in the US. It has a 20-year LNG supply contract for 2.5 million tons with Gazprom Marketing and Trading Ltd. (

BPCL may import Ethane from US for its petchem unit

September 17, 2015. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) could look at importing ethane from the United States (US) to power its refineries. If BPCL goes ahead with its plan, it will be the second company to do so after the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). BPCL has an integrated refinery expansion project at Kochi at the cost of ` 14,225 crore augmenting its refining capacity to 36.5 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) from the present 30.5 mmtpa which is about an increase of 20% in refining capacity. An additional 5.3 mmtpa of petroleum products will be available in the market after the expansion. Due to the US shale gas revolution, there is a surge in production of natural gas liquids (NGL) supply, impacting US LPG exports. Ethane is the cheapest and most abundant NGL available from the shale gas revolution. RIL said August 2014 that it is sourcing 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of ethane from the US to feed its crackers in India. RIL at present is primarily a Naphtha-based petrochemical player. The ethane imports could save RIL ` 2,000 crore annually, analysts estimate. RIL said it had executed storage and capacity agreements for liquefaction and export of ethane with a North American Terminal, which is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2016. (

Turkmenistan to start work on TAPI project in December

September 16, 2015. The building of the long-delayed USD 10 billion TAPI gas pipeline will likely start in December. The work on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline is expected to start early in December. Supported by the US and the Asian Development Bank, the gas pipeline will help Turkmenistan to find new consumers in Asia via Afghanistan. International energy companies will join TAPI project at a later stage. Having a length of 1,735 km (1,084 mile) the construction work of the pipeline is expected to be completed in three years. It is also expected that the pipeline will last for 30 years with a proposed annual capacity of 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas. TAPI pipeline will run more than 700 km across Afghanistan on its way to Pakistan and India. The pipeline would contain gas from Turkmenistan's mammoth Galkynysh field, the world's second-largest reservoir of natural gas. (

Policy / Performance………

RIL may have to sell CBM gas at $3.8

September 22, 2015. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has received a setback with the government clarifying that the prevailing natural gas prices will apply to coal bed methane (CBM) producers as well. This means RIL will have to settle for one-third of the $12 per mmBtu (million British thermal unit) it had sought for gas set to be generated from next month at its Madhya Pradesh CBM blocks. The current natural gas price in India is $5.1 per mmBtu — approved by the NDA government — and is expected to come down to $3.8 per mmBtu when it is revised in September-end. This will be much below the $4.2 per mmBtu that the companies were getting until last year under the UPA regime. The company, which is currently producing 11 mmscmd of gas against a target of 80 mmscmd, has maintained that the company will not be able to invest in augmenting production in the future unless it gets market linked prices. Currently, GEECL's Raniganj (South) and Raniganj (East) held by Essar Oil are the only two blocks under production. ONGC's Jharia block started test production but is yet to achieve commercial stage. The petroleum ministry has already received inputs from the industry about non-viability of CBM operations at a lower gas price. GEECL sells gas from its CBM block at $1011 mmBtu as the government has approved a minimum floor price for these fields. (

ONGC, OIL, Cairn ask govt to cut cess on crude

September 21 2015. State-owned oil producers Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) as well as private sector player Cairn India have asked the government to cut cess on crude oil they have to pay in view of slump in prices. The producers want the government to levy ad-valorem rate of cess which will result in higher payouts when prices are high and lower payout when rates fall. Currently, ONGC and OIL pay a cess of ` 4,500 per ton on crude oil they produce from fields given to them on nomination basis. Cairn has to pay the same cess for oil from Rajasthan block. The Oil Industry (Development) Act, 1974 provides for collection of cess as a duty of excise on indigenous crude oil. The producers said the current cess rate constitutes about 20 percent of the oil price, which has severely impacted several small discoveries and marginal fields making many of the projects unviable. In the low oil price environment several countries including UK, US, Colombia, Russia and China have changed fiscal systems to increase production and promote investments. Most of crude oil produced in India comes from pre-NELP and nomination blocks and is liable for payment of cess. While New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) blocks like Reliance Industries' KG-D6 area are exempt from payment of cess, pre-NELP discovered blocks like Panna/Mukta and Tapti and Ravva pay a fixed rate of cess of ` 900 per ton. (

LPG subsidy scheme in Guinness World Records

September 20, 2015. PAHAL, the direct benefit transfer of LPG subsidy (DBTL) scheme of the Union government, has made it to Guinness World Records. It has become the title holder for the 'Largest cash benefit programme (households)' in the world, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) said. BPCL had applied for the title on behalf of the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas. The application was approved after Guinness World Records examined the claim for compliance under stringent parameters with respect to such cash transfer programmes in countries like USA and China. The oil ministry had launched the DBTL scheme, christened PAHAL (Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh), in 54 districts on November 15, 2014 and in the rest of the country on January 1, 2015. Each LPG consumer has to link Aadhaar number in the LPG and the bank account database under the scheme. The consumers without Aadhaar numbers get the subsidy by linking their bank account with their LPG database. The scheme was designed to help the consumers and, in turn, the Government of India in better subsidy management. In a short span of four months, three oil companies — BPCL, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) — brought 80% of their consumers under the scheme. As on June 30, 2015, a total of 125.7 million consumers had joined the PAHAL scheme across India. Over 141 million consumers are covered under the scheme and over ` 253 billion has been transferred to their bank accounts. (

Hike in petrol, diesel prices put off

September 16, 2015. A Re one per litre hike in petrol and ` 2.28 a litre increase in diesel prices necessitated due to firming global oil rates has been put off by state-owned oil companies apparently because of assembly elections in Bihar. State-owned IOC, BPCL and HPCL were to revise petrol and diesel prices as per the practice of adjusting retail pump rates every fortnight after taking into account the average international oil prices and foreign exchange rate in the previous 15 day period. But the oil companies choose to skip the revision this time. Average cost of gasoline, against which petrol is benchmarked in India, had risen to $61.42 per barrel this month from $60.15 in second half of August. The combined effect of the two had led to cost of petrol at refinery gate going up by 79 paisa per litre and after adding taxes the net increase at retail station would have been 98 paisa a litre in Delhi. Similarly, international diesel rates had risen from $56.55 per barrel to $60.78 and after taking into account the foreign exchange variations, the refinery gate price had gone up by ` 2 per litre. After accounting for taxes, pump rates in Delhi should have gone up by ` 2.28 per litre. (

SC dismisses ONGC plea to reconsider arbitration venue

September 16, 2015. In an arbitration row between Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and the government over reimbursement of royalties and taxes on the Panna, Mukta and Tapti (PMT) gas fields, the Supreme Court (SC) dismissed ONGC’s plea asking it to relook at the arbitration venue, which was earlier decided to be held in London. According to ONGC, it had not consented to the juridical seat of the arbitration being at London. The apex court in May last year while allowing a plea by RIL and its partner BG Exploration and Productionon had held that only British courts had the jurisdiction over the ongoing arbitration between the companies and the oil ministry over the former’s demand for reimbursement of royalties and taxes paid by them for the PMT gas fields, jointly operated by the three firms including ONGC. Besides, the top court ruled that any final arbitral award can be challenged only in the British courts, but substantive Indian arbitration laws will have to be applied by the foreign courts. (



Tamil Nadu's two n-plants to restart operations soon

September 21, 2015. Two nuclear power units of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) in Tamil Nadu are expected to restart operations. The two units are part of the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) at Kalpakkam and the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tirunelvelli. The unit was shut down following the tripping of its primary circulating pump. The MAPS has two atomic power units of 220 MW each. On the other hand, the first 1,000 MW unit at KNPP is expected to restart on Sep 23 as per the Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. The NPCIL is setting up two units at KNPP with Russian equipment. The second unit on which work has been completed to the extent of 98.44 percent is expected to start the fission process in November 2015. (

GE won't build India nuclear plants on liability Risk: Immelt

September 21, 2015. General Electric Co. (GE) won’t risk building a nuclear power plant in India, Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said, signaling a continuing resistance to a law that potentially makes suppliers liable for nuclear accidents in the South Asian nation. The Indian law needs to be consistent with the global approach, Immelt said. He said his company will continue to advocate a solution along those lines. India’s nuclear liability law stands in the way of India’s plans to expand its nuclear generation capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide electricity to every household, a pledge Modi made after winning a record election mandate last year. India plans to raise its nuclear generation capability 74 percent to 10,080 MW by 2019, according to the government. GE sees opportunities in addressing the nation’s power shortage, he said. (

KSEB pact with Finnish firm for LNG-fired power plant may be delayed

September 20, 2015. The agreement between Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Indian arm of Finnish company Wartsila for a 40 MW, LNG-fired power plant at Brahmapuram may be delayed with the High Court of Kerala staying the re-tendering of sale of scrap from two diesel generation units at the site which were to be dismantled. The five diesel generation units at Brahmapuram have a combined capacity of 105 MW. But it is not frequently used considering the availability of power from other sources, including from other States. Once established, the 40 MW plant will be KSEB’s first natural gas-based power plant. Costing approximately ` 100 crore, the project involves replacing two of the generation units at the site. Once the agreement is signed, the project is expected to be on stream within 14 months. (

LPGCL commissions first 660 MW unit of thermal power plant

September 20, 2015. Lalitpur Power Generation Company Ltd. (LPGCL), a part of Shishir Bajaj led-Bajaj Group, commissioned the first 660 MW unit of 1980 MW supercritical thermal power plant. LPGCL had signed an agreement with the UP government in 2010 to set up 1980 MW (3 units of 660 MW each) super critical thermal power plant at Lalitpur in the Bundelkhand district. The other two units are in advanced stage of completion and are scheduled for commissioning soon. The total power produced from this project would be supplied to the UP state discoms as per regulated tariff. The project comes at a time when the state government is targeting to increase power availability from current 10,000 MW to 20,000 MW by 2016-2017. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has set the target of providing atleast 16 hours power in rural areas and 24 hours in urban areas. (

NTPC may exceed capacity addition target of 11.9 GW

September 18, 2015. State-run NTPC is likely to exceed the thermal capacity addition target of 11,920 MW set by the government for the 12th five year plan. The present installed capacity of the company is 45,548 MW. NTPC has over 23,000 MW capacity under construction and nearly 9,500 MW is under bidding, The feasibility reports for about 16,600 MW have been approved. The company has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Jharkhand government to form a joint venture (JV) company for performance improvement and expansion of Patratu Thermal Power Station. NTPC is marching towards its long-term capacity addition target of 128 GW by 2032. (

GMR Energy gets gas for two power plants in AP

September 17, 2015. GMR Energy said that two of its power plants in Andhra Pradesh (AP), have been allocated gas, in a government-led auction, aimed at reviving operations of stranded power plants that did not have enough gas to produce electricity. With allocation of gas, GMR Energy said the two power plants with total combined electricity generation capacity of 1138 MW, could start operating “over the next six months starting October, 2015 at equivalent to 50% Plant Load Factor (PLF) – up from 25% PLF in the previous round.” The operations at these plants would continue until March 2016, it said. It has a portfolio of 3000 MW of coal based assets and 1350 MW of Gas based assets. It also operates 25 MW solar plant and is in the process of developing hydro portfolio of about 2000 MW. (

L&T to build power plant for ` 17 bn

September 16, 2015. Larsen & Toubro (L&T) announced it has won from Japan's Marubeni Corporation a ` 1,700 crore contract to set up a 400 MW gas-based power plant in Bangladesh. Located at Nabiganj Upzilla in Habibganj district of the country, the project will be undertaken by L&T Power's gas-based power projects unit based at Vadodara, in Gujarat, the company said. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Delhi gencos supply power to discom at ` 7.1 per unit

September 21, 2015. Even as the Delhi government has proposed to surrender over 2,000 MW of costly power it buys from NTPC and other central PSUs, the state’s own generation companies (gencos) supply power to the discoms in the capital at even higher rates. For instance, the cost of power procured by one of the privately-run discoms — Tata Power Delhi Distribution (TPDDL) — from the Delhi government’s  gencos is ` 7.12 per unit at present, 50% higher than the price charged by NTPC. TPDDL procures a little over 10% of its power requirement from the state government’s gencos but pays nearly 20% of its total bill to these plants. Also, due to inefficient operation and unavailability of gas, the cost of power from the Delhi gencos’ plants has increased by 46% over the last two years. After privatisation of power distribution companies in Delhi in 2002, the discoms have been procuring power as per the agreement entered into by their predecessor Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB). TPDDL said that it should be allowed to relinquish all the power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed by DVB and sign new and less expensive contracts. The company said that it discovered nearly 20% cheaper power compared to its existing agreements in the recently concluded bid for power procurement of 400 MW. The company says if it is allowed to procure its entire required capacity from these bidders by relinquishing existing contracts, it can not only liquidate its regulatory assets within three years but also lower tariff by 50 paise per unit with immediate effect. The current average cost of power for TPDDL from various sources, including NTPC and Delhi government-owned gencos, stand at ` 4.70 per unit at the periphery of the distribution region. In the recent bids, the discom has been offered a tariff of ` 3.70 per unit. (

Govt targets bringing down T&D losses to 15 percent by 2019

September 20, 2015. Government is targeting to bring down transmission and distribution (T&D) losses in the power sector to 15 percent by 2019 from 22 percent at present. T&D losses happen in transmission between sources of supply and points of distribution as well as during power supply to consumers. The losses also include pilferage. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July, focuses on feeder separation (rural households and agricultural) and strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure, including metering at all levels in rural areas. The ` 45,000 crore Integrated Power Development Scheme was launched by the Prime Minister. It will cover works relating to strengthening sub-transmission and distribution systems, including provisioning of solar panels, metering of distribution transformers/feeders /consumers in urban areas and IT enablement of the distribution sector. Central Electricity Authority has said that T&D losses in India are still very high when compared to international standards. The government had earlier said that power sector is set for USD 250 billion investments across different segments, including transmission and distribution. Giving a break-up of investments, Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal had said renewables is set to get USD 100 billion, while the T&D segment is likely to attract USD 50 billion. (

Krishnapatnam Port to install coal conveyor system

September 17, 2015. Krishnapatnam Port, 180 km north of Chennai, is investing ` 780 crore for installing a direct coal conveyor system to speed up movement of the fuel and cut environmental pollution. About seven thermal power plants with a capacity of 8,760 MW are proposed to be set up north and south of the port. Last year, the port handled 41 million tonnes of cargo, of which coal accounted for the major share. This year, the target for total cargo handling is pegged at 56 million tonnes. The first coal conveyor system of 10 km for 2X660 MW Thermal Powertech Corporation India Limited (TPCIL) was installed recently. TPCIL commenced its second power unit recently. APGENCO and NCC Power Projects are expected to be commissioned by October and December respectively. The port is investing a combined ` 330 crore on the conveyor for the three plants on the northern side. The system will span a length of 30 km. On completion, it would have the capacity to discharge 20 million tonnes of coal. Separately, the port is spending about ` 450 crore on the southern side. Two plants are operational and another two plants are expected to be ready soon. Currently, coal is moved to these plants through trucks, pending finalisation of right of way for installing the system. (

Sterlite Grid commissions ` 15 bn Jabalpur Transmission Project

September 16, 2015. Sterlite Power Grid Ventures Limited (Sterlite Grid), a subsidiary of Pune based Sterlite Technologies Limited commenced its Jabalpur Transmission Project which will facilitate evacuation of 5,000 MW of power. The estimated cost of the project is ` 1500 crore. This also marks the largest big ticket investment by a private company in the transmission sector. Sterlite Grid charged 379 Km long 765 kilovots (kV) Double Circuit Dharamjaygarh - Jabalpur Transmission Line, which is the longest 765 kV line in the country, the company informed the exchanges. Earlier in June 2015, Sterlite Grid successfully commissioned the other element of 236 Km Jabalpur - Bina Transmission Line. By commissioning both the elements of Jabalpur Transmission Company Limited (JTCL), Sterlite Grid has become the first private developer to complete 765 kV Double Circuit Transmission System, the company said. Dharamjaygarh - Jabalpur line will strengthen transmission capacity from power generating plants in Chhattisgarh and Odisha to key load centers in Western and Northern region. These regions suffer from congestion due to lack of transmission capacity. With commissioning of JTCL, Sterlite Grid operates over 2,800 circuit KM of EHV transmission lines and 6,000 MVA of transformation capacity across 7 states integrated with national grid. Sterlite Grid has already commissioned ENICL (East North Interconnection Co Ltd) and BDTCL (Bhopal Dhule Transmission Co Ltd). (

Policy / Performance………….

India, US identify areas for coal mining collaboration

September 22, 2015. India and the United States (US) have identified areas for collaboration in the coal mining sector. Power and Energy Ministers of India and United States, who were taking part in a ministerial-level energy dialogue, said that the Working Group on Coal has identified some areas of coal mining where both countries could collaborate, including on dry coal beneficiation; planning of large capacity opencast mines; rehabilitation and reclamation of mined out areas; pre-combustion moisture removal of raw lignite and mining of deep seated lignite deposits. Discussions were also held in the working groups on financing of clean energy technology as well as on innovative financing for renewable energy microfinance and micro enterprises. Discussions were held on various aspects, including advantages and challenges of greening the grid, i.e., to integrate large scale renewable energy sources into the electricity grid. Joint work under the 21st Century Power Partnership laid the foundation for the "Greening the Grid" programme. In the power and energy efficiency working group, in addition to scaling up of the existing collaboration, it was decided to work in the future on energy efficiency in the following areas, namely a) Low Waste Heat Utilisation; b) Data Centre energy efficiency and c) Space cooling. While recognising that coal-based power plants would continue to be the mainstay of India's electricity generation source in the coming decades, The Indian delegation urged the US to share technology related to supercritical coal plants as well as share best practices and tools to improve efficiency and carbon footprint of existing power plants. It was agreed to expeditiously conclude the following MoUs a) between National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of the US and NTPC of India to improve power plant efficiency; b) to enhance cooperation on energy security, clean energy and climate change; as well as c) on gas hydrates. (

Former coal minister backs plea on summoning Manmohan Singh in Jindal coal case

September 21, 2015. Former minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao sought summoning of Manmohan Singh, claiming in a Special Court that the office of the then Prime Minister had allocated a coal block to Jindal group after examining and re-examining the matter. Supporting ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda's plea seeking summoning of Singh as additional accused in a coal block allocation scam case, Rao's counsel told Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar that Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand was allotted to Naveen Jindal Group firms and the decision was taken by the then Prime Minister who was also the Coal Minister at that time. He said it was the Prime Minister's Office which had examined and re-examined the issue of allocation of coal block and then decided to allocate it to the Jindal Group firms. Senior advocate S V Raju, who appeared for former MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal, told the court that he neither supported nor opposed Koda's plea to summon Manmohan Singh and two others as additional accused in the case. He, however, said that any order passed by the court on Koda's application should not prejudice the rights of the accused to seek discharge from the case. Similarly, most of the co-accused in the case adopted the arguments advanced by Jindal's counsel. Special Public Prosecutor R S Cheema told the court that he would advance arguments on Koda's plea. The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to Jindal group firms -- Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL). (

Policy on coal linkages auction may take some time: Govt to CIL

September 20, 2015. The policy with regard to auction of coal linkages may take some more time to be finalised, government has informed state-owned coal miner Coal India Limited (CIL). The coal ministry said that it has been decided that CIL may open a separate e-auction window exclusively for non-power sector for which a quantity of 4 million tonnes. Coal and power minister Piyush Goyal had said that the government is considering a policy for coal linkage auction and has sought comments from stakeholders on the draft auction methodology which it has prepared. The minister had said the stakeholders concerned have been requested to submit their comments/views on the draft auction methodology. Till now, Standing Linkage Committee has been deciding on allocation of long-term and short-term linkages for the sectors, including power and steel. (

Govt begins work on National Electricity Plan

September 20, 2015. Gearing up for its ambitious plan to provide 24x7 power to all, the government has started the process of drafting National Electricity Plan for next five years which will outline sectors projections, including generation. The committee which has been entrusted to chalk out National Electricity Plan, has decided to constitute 11 subcommittees to deal with different aspects of the sector, the government said in an order. Another sub-committee will make demand assessment in terms of peak and energy requirements for the period from 2017-22 and 2022-2027, it said. There is also a sub-panel which will assess the generation capacity addition during 2017-22 from grid-connected renewable energy sources, it said.  As on July 31, the country’s power generation capacity is 2.75 lakh MW. The total power generation in the country was 1,048.67 billion units during 2014-15, up from 967.15 billion units in 2013-14. (

IEX prices hit record high as power demand zooms past 150 GW

September 18, 2015. Power demand has crossed the 1.50 lakh MW level for the first time because of increased farm demand and reduced generation from hydel power stations as the monsoon recedes, pushing electricity prices on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) to a record. According to data provided by the National Load Despatch Centre, which oversees electricity transmission, the total demand for power touched 1.52 lakh MW. About 1.47 lakh MW of this was met while there was a shortfall of 4,500 MW. The average market clearing price rose to a new high of ` 3.64 per unit on the exchange, up 32 percent from ` 2.74 in August. With the kharif season at its peak, farmers need power to irrigate land as the June-September monsoon tapers off. To be sure, there has been a late monsoon revival in some parts of the country. Coal India Ltd (CIL) said plants have the fuel they need to meet demand. (

Jindal not successful bidder for mines taken off auction: Govt

September 17, 2015. The Centre defended its decision in Delhi High Court to cancel the tender process for three Chhattisgarh mines, for which Jindal Power Ltd had bid the highest, saying no right had accrued to the company as it had not been declared a successful bidder. Under the auction rules, once a company reaches 150 percent of its coal requirement, it cannot bid for any other mines, JPL said. JPL has also challenged the government's subsequent decision to allocate the mines to Coal India Ltd. The government had cancelled bids of JPL and Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco) for four coal blocks amid speculation of cartelisation and had said it will take a final decision on these mines after deliberations. The government was re-examining the bids for nine coal blocks, including those where JPL and Balco emerged as top bidders, in the recently held auction. Jindal Power had emerged as successful bidder for Gare Palma IV/2, Gare Palma IV/3 and Tara coal blocks, while Balco had successfully bid for Gare Palma IV/1 coal block. (

Govt to pump in ` 700 bn in replacing old thermal power plants

September 16, 2015. The Union government has firmed up plans to shut down some 11,000 MW of thermal power generation capacities that are at least 25 years old and build bigger plants with total capacity of at least 20,000 MW on the same tract of land for estimated investments of ` 70,000 crore. The roadmap for shuttering at least 100 old units with capacities ranging from 60 MW to 220 MW was given a preliminary shape at a recent meeting between the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and state utilities. In their place, some 30-odd super critical units ranging between 660 MW and 800 MW will come up, CEA said. (



ConocoPhillips said to be near deal to sell Canadian assets

September 22, 2015. ConocoPhillips, the third-largest North American oil and gas producer, is nearing a deal to sell several Western Canadian assets to various buyers including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Production from the properties, located in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, represents about 20 percent of the Houston-based company’s Canadian volumes outside of oil sands. The properties produce the equivalent of almost 35,000 barrels of oil and gas a day and include a net working interest in 2.4 million acres for future drilling. (

Azerbaijan 2016 oil, gas production to be steady around 2015 levels

September 21, 2015. Azerbaijan expects to produce 40 million tonnes of oil and 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in 2016, state energy company SOCAR said, roughly steady compared with this year. Azerbaijan plans to produce 40.7 million tonnes of oil and 30.2 bcm of gas in 2015. The company said 32 million tonnes out of 40 million tonnes of oil next year were expected to be produced at the main Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli (ACG) oilfields operated by Britain's BP. Falling output at the ACG oilfields has been a cause of concern in Baku. BP and SOCAR, its partner, tried to calm worries in 2013, saying production had stabilized. Total oil output rose in 2013 for the first time since 2011, but the decline resumed in 2014. Crude oil and condensate production in Azerbaijan fell to 27.9 million tonnes in the first eight months of 2015 from 28.6 million tonnes a year earlier due to declining output at the ACG fields. Natural gas production fell to 19.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) in January-August from 20.1 bcm a year earlier due to lower output from SOCAR. Crude oil and condensate production in Azerbaijan fell to 41.9 million tonnes last year from 43.1 million in 2013. Natural gas output was 29.2 bcm in 2014. Oil production rose to 14.2 million tonnes in the first four months of 2015 from 13.6 million a year earlier. (

Pertamina finalizing plans to acquire Blocks B, NSO in Indonesia

September 21, 2015. State-owned oil and gas firm PT Pertamina is finalizing plans to acquire Exxon Mobil Corp.'s upstream and downstream assets in Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia as it expand operations to ensure gas supply to a local fertilizer company, the company said. The U.S. major is understood to be interested to sell its 100 percent stakes in both the aging B Block and North Sumatra Offshore (NSO) Block as production has declined steadily to around 2,000 barrels of oil and 50 million standard cubic feet per day currently. ExxonMobil's rights over these two blocks are scheduled to expire in 2018. Despite falling production from these blocks, Pertamina is confident that the company could triple production from the proposed acquisitions. (

NNPC receives $1.2 bn funding to develop 36 oil wells

September 21, 2015. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has secured $1.2 bn financing to fund the drilling operations of 36 offshore and onshore oil wells located on OML 49, 90 and 95 in Nigeria. The 23 onshore and 13 offshore oil wells will be operated and developed by NNPC along with its joint venture partner Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL). Being financed by a consortium led by Standard Chartered Bank and United Bank for Africa, the multi-year drilling financing package will also be used by NNPC to help maintain its current production levels. The NNPC/CNL joint venture (JV), which is said to be the country's third largest oil producer, is scheduled to complete drilling program for the wells over the next three years in two phases. The first phase involves drilling of 19 wells which are expected to produce 21,000 barrels of crude oil and condensate per day as well as 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day in 2015 and 2016. During the second stage, 17 wells will be drilled, which are estimated to have oil production capacity of 20,000 barrels of crude oil, as well as condensate per day and gas production capacity of 7 million standard cubic feet of gas per day between 2016 and 2018. NNPC expects the two stages to generate incremental revenue of up to $5 bn. The funding package is the NNPC's integral part of the accelerated upstream financing program, which aims to help Nigeria to meet obligations to its counter-part JV upstream activities. Nigeria, which is estimated to hold crude reserves of 37.4 billion barrels, is said to be largest oil producer in Africa with crude oil export capacity of about two million barrels per day. (

Kuwait plans to start offshore oil exploration by 2017

September 18, 2015. Kuwait's national oil company Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) plans to start offshore oil exploration within two years, as part of a plan to boost crude oil production by 700,000 bbl/d from onshore and offshore areas. By the end of 2015, the country aims to raise production capacity from the current 3.15 mb/d to 3.5 mb/d. Production could be raised to 4 mb/d by 2020. The bulk of Kuwait's crude oil production comes from the Burgan onshore field in the southeast of the country. Kuwait also produces oil from the Neutral Zone. (     

MOL, Mari Petroleum hit oil, gas in Pakistan

September 18, 2015. MOL Group announced that a new crude oil, condensate and natural gas discovery has been made in the Karak Block, located in Pakistan. This discovery is the joint venture’s second success in the Karak block after its first crude oil discovery made at the Halini-1 Exploratory Well-1 in 2011. The Karak Block is operated by Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL), which holds a 60 percent working interest. MOL Pakistan Oil & Gas Co. B.V has 40 percent interest in the block. (


South Africa considers building refinery to process Iranian crude

September 22, 2015. South Africa is considering building an oil refinery that will process Iranian crude to bolster its petrol supply and reduce its dependence on foreign companies. Plans for the new refinery were being "conceptualised" the energy ministry said. South African refineries were designed to refine Iranian crude but were refitted to process other types of oil after the sanctions. The energy ministry said South Africa was considering using Iranian oil for its new refinery which will add to the existing gas-to-liquid plant run by state-owned PetroSA. The energy ministry was considering using a refinery planned, but not yet built, by PetroSA in the industrial port of Coega but that the eventual refinery may take another form and name or be located in a different region. South Africa's blueprint for growth and development, launched in 2012, gives the government until 2017 to develop new refinery plans to cope with growing fuel demands. (

Oil refiners aim for trader mentality to survive

September 21, 2015. Europe's oil refiners are adopting the wily and flexible ways of traders to ensure survival as the sector faces further shrinkage, delegates at an industry conference said. Hard times have pushed them to pick and choose from a wider range of crudes, ferry feedstock between their own refineries to get the optimal mix of products and seek out deeper discounts from suppliers. Dario Scaffardi, general manager of Italian refiner Saras said his refinery processed 30-35 different types of crude oil in 2015 – double the previous year. Refiners at the conference said that while their industry faces a punishing decade, with more closures to come, the new palette of crudes available can keep agile European plants alive while their less adaptable competitors face the axe. Europe's refineries are aging, and poorly configured, producing mostly gasoline, while its buyers want diesel. A five-year high in gasoline demand in the United States, which helped support Europe's refinery margins, is now ebbing, the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Tim Hess told the conference, and will remain largely flat over the coming year. (

Lotos refinery likely to adjust 2020 output target

September 18, 2015. Poland's second-biggest oil refiner Lotos is likely to change a production target of 100,000 barrels a day by 2020 due to a slump in crude prices, the company said. It will produce 24,000 barrels a day this year. Brent crude futures fell from $116 last summer to around $45 in January, mostly due to an oversupply and producer group OPEC's decision not to cut output. (

World's first subsea gas compression plant now online

September 17, 2015. Statoil ASA announced that the world's first subsea gas compression plant is online at the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea. The move is a step closer to Statoil's goal of achieving a complete subsea processing plant. Statoil said that the recovery from the Midgard reservoir on Åsgard will increase from 67 percent to 87 percent, while recovery from the Mikkel reservoir will improve from 59 percent to 84 percent, as a result of the new facility. The overall effect will be to add some 306 million barrels of oil equivalent to the total output of Åsgard during the field's life. Statoil began the $2.3-billion project in 2005 and an estimated 11 million man-hours have been spent on it from start to completion. The firm said that more than 40 new technologies have been developed and employed as part of the installation. With nearly 50 percent of Statoil's current production recovered through around 500 subsea wells, the firm plans to expand its use subsea gas compression and other subsea processing systems. (

Chile state oil firm ENAP's Aconcagua refinery operating normally

September 17, 2015. Chile's state oil company ENAP said its Aconcagua oil refinery, located in the coastal town of Concon, was operating normally and its installation had suffered no damages after a strong earthquake and tsunami the prior night. ENAP said fuel stocks were located in a safe location and were at normal levels, underscoring there was no risk of a fuel shortage. (

Transportation / Trade……….

Petrobras selling stake in natural gas distributor to Mitsui

September 22, 2015. Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, is in the final stages of selling a stake in a natural gas distribution holding company to Japan’s Mitsui & Co. as it seeks to raise cash by divesting assets. The sale of a 49 percent stake still needs final approval from the board of directors and regulators, Rio de Janeiro-based Petrobras said. Petrobras has more than 7,000 kilometers of gas pipelines in Brazil that supply residential and industrial users. The company is cutting spending at peripheral businesses to focus on its most promising oil fields in deep waters in the South Atlantic. (

Saudi Arabia crude exports dip to 7.2 mn bpd in July

September 21, 2015. Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports dipped by 89,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July, while volumes used by local refineries and the country's refined products shipments rose from a month earlier, the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI)  data showed. The world's biggest crude exporter trimmed its production by around 200,000 bpd in July pumping 10.361 million bpd, but Riyadh shows no signs of wavering on its strategy of defending market share and feeding a growth in global as well as domestic demand. The OPEC heavyweight shipped 7.276 million bpd in July down from 7.365 million bpd in June, figures published by the JODI data showed. Domestic refineries processed higher volumes in July at 2.214 million, up from 2.099 million bpd a month earlier, the JODI data showed. Crude oil directly burnt to generate power was almost steady in July at 848,000 bpd compared with 894,000 bpd in June. Exports of refined oil products in July rose to 1.075 million bpd from 1.008 million bpd in June, the JODI data showed. The kingdom's rapid transition into one of the largest oil refiners adds an extra dimension to global oil markets. State oil giant Saudi Aramco has stakes in more than 5 million bpd of refining capacity, at home and abroad, landing it a place among the global leaders in making oil products. (

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain go ahead with oil pipeline project

September 21, 2015. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have signed contracts worth approximately US$300 mn with Al Robaya Holding Company (Saudi Arabia) and National Petroleum Construction Company (United Arab Emirates) for the construction of a new 350,000 bbl/d crude oil pipeline between the two countries. The 115-km-long pipeline would export oil from Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq plant to Bahrain. The new facility, initially scheduled for late 2016, will be completed by the end of 2017 or early 2018; after a 6-month trial period, it will be fully operational in mid 2018 and will then replace an ageing 230,000 bbl/d pipeline to be removed from service in the second half of 2018. The new pipeline will also enable Bahrain Petroleum Company to expand the capacity of its 267,000 bbl/d Sitra refinery. (

Russia's Sakhalin II LNG export plant aims to sell 18 cargoes

September 21, 2015. Russia's Sakhalin II liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant is holding a tender to sell six cargoes per year from 2016 through 2018. The closing date of the tender, one of Sakhalin II's largest in recent times, could not be immediately confirmed. Sakhalin Energy is a joint venture comprising Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom, which owns a 50 percent share in the LNG plant, Shell with 27.5 percent, Japan Mitsui with 12.5 percent and Mitsubishi Corp subsidiary Diamond Gas with 10 percent. (

China's CNOOC sells one LNG cargo each to BG Group and BP

September 18, 2015. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has sold one liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo each to BG Group and BP, marking the completion of its first ever sell tender. CNOOC is selling both cargoes from Australia's newly launched Queensland Curtis export plant. The first cargo loads in late October and the second in November. (

Atlantic seeks FERC permission to build interstate gas pipeline

September 18, 2015. Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, formally applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to build a 564-mile interstate natural gas transmission pipeline designed to meet the need for cleaner electricity generation, satisfy the growing demand for natural gas to heat homes and businesses, and promote consumer savings and economic growth. Four major U.S. energy companies – Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources – formed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, to build and own the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The pipeline would transport abundant natural gas supplies from Harrison County, W.Va., southeast through Virginia with an extension to Chesapeake, Va., and south through central North Carolina to Robeson County. Pending regulatory approval, construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2016 and the pipeline is expected to be in service in the fourth quarter of 2018. (

Nigeria to sell LNG tender cargo to Brazil's Petrobras

September 18, 2015. Nigeria's liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant at Bonny Island is to sell a cargo loading to Brazil's Petrobras. The cargo was sold at a price estimated by some traders to be around $6.60 per million British thermal units. Other traders said the price may have been lower. (

Pakistan launches tender to buy 5 LNG cargoes

September 17, 2015. Pakistan State Oil Co launched tenders to secure five liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes for delivery in October through December, it said. The first tender seeks two cargoes for delivery in November and a further two cargoes in December. (

Japan plans to cut LNG imports by 30 percent by 2030

September 17, 2015. According to the national Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan plans to reduce its LNG imports by 30% by 2030, from the current 90 Mt (2014) to 63 Mt in 2030. Over this period, the share of fossil fuels in Japan's energy mix should fall from 90% to 75% and the share of LNG in the energy mix should drop from the current 25% (2013-2014 fiscal year) to 18% in 2030-2031. Despite this dramatic cut in imports, Japan should remain the largest LNG importer worldwide. (              

Cameroon will start building oil product pipeline in January 2016

September 17, 2015. Cameroon's oil refining company Société nationale de raffinage plans to start building a 355-km long oil product pipeline in January 2016. The pipeline project will connect the 2.1 Mt/year Limbe refinery (south-west of Cameroon) to capital city Yaounde through economic capital city Edea. The pipeline will be built in stages, connecting Lime to Douala (110 km), then Douala to Edea (70 km) and finally Edea to Yaounde (175 km). Total investment is estimated at FCFA 218bn (US$375 mn). (               

Policy / Performance…………

EU regulators clear $26.1 mn aid for Finland's first LNG terminal

September 22, 2015. European Union (EU) regulators have given the go-ahead to Finland's proposal to build the country's first LNG terminal with € 23.4 million ($26.1 million) of state funds, part of a Finnish strategy to diversify its energy supplies away from Russian gas. The European Commission said that the state support for the plant complied with EU state aid rules and would also help protect the environment. The state contribution amounts to less than 30 percent of the total cost while the terminal developer will cover the remainder. (

Iraqi Kurds reassert right to export oil to US despite court ruling

September 22, 2015. Kurdistan reasserted its right to export oil independently to the United States (US) and other countries despite a court ruling in favor of the Iraqi federal government, which has sought to block crude sales from the autonomous region. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans dismissed the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)'s bid to overturn an earlier ruling against a planned sale of oil to an unidentified buyer in the U.S. Iraq's federal government filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court last year to thwart the sale of the one million barrel cargo from the Kurdistan region in an ongoing dispute over the right to export oil. The tanker was stuck off U.S. shores in legal limbo for six months before sailing to Israel where it was sold, rendering the Kurds' appeal moot, the court said. Kurdistan's Ministry of Natural Resources however said that the ruling would force the Iraqi oil ministry to drop its "baseless" lawsuit. A deal reached in December between Baghdad and the Kurds to resolve their dispute over oil export rights and revenue sharing has come apart in recent months. The Kurds have ramped up independent oil sales. (

Russian govt readies for prospect of $30 oil

September 21, 2015. Russia's government has been discussing ways to tackle the tough economic environment if oil falls to as low as $30 per barrel next year. That scenario was discussed at a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The price of oil is crucial for the Russian budget, which normally generates half of its revenues from oil and gas sales. The Russian Economy Ministry forecasts that oil prices will average $52 per barrel in 2015 and $55 in 2016. Oil prices rose by around one percent as U.S. drilling slowed and analysts estimated that $1.5 trillion worth of planned American production investment was uneconomical at prices of $50 per barrel or lower. (

Hedge funds no longer sure oil prices will fall further

September 21, 2015. Hedge funds continued to pare short positions in U.S. crude oil even as the previous short-covering rally ran out of steam. The unusual concentration of hedge fund short positions built up between June and August has been partially unwound, reducing some of the persistent selling pressure evident in the market during the third quarter. Hedge funds have reduced their gross short position for five consecutive weeks by a total of more than 52 million barrels, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The gross short position has been cut by almost a third to 111 million barrels, down from a peak of 163 million in mid-August, though still almost double the 56 million barrels in the middle of June. The number of hedge funds with large short positions above the reporting threshold was unchanged at 59 but their average position was trimmed by almost 250,000 barrels, or 12 percent. (

Russia for first time acknowledges low oil prices may hit output

September 18, 2015. Russia's oil production may drop if crude falls below $40 a barrel, Deputy Energy Minister Alexei Teksler said, the first time Russia, one of the world's biggest producers, has acknowledged low prices could hit output. Russia has so far insisted it would not deliberately cut production of oil, its chief export, even if prices fall below $30 per barrel. That has frustrated some oil exporters who want coordinated cuts to arrest the slide in world prices. Teksler said that the energy ministry sees a risk the European Union (EU) will introduce sanctions on Russian oil purchases, but that would be costly for the EU. (

Iran to unveil new oil contracts in coming weeks

September 18, 2015. Iran will unveil new oil development contracts in the coming weeks aiming to attract foreign investors and oil buyers once sanctions on its energy sector are lifted, the Oil Ministry said. The sanctions imposed on Iran in 2012 have choked Tehran's oil production. Output is down a million barrels per day (bpd) since the start of 2012 at 2.7 million bpd, depriving it of billions of dollars in oil revenue. Now they are widely expected to be lifted in 2016, Iran needs Western oil companies to help to revive its giant, aging oilfields and develop new oil and gas projects and the new oil contracts are part of its drive to attract Western investors. The Oil ministry had earlier said that the new contracts would be presented to investors at a conference in London in December. Iranian Oil Minister Bijal Nada Zanganeh said that a new model for oil contacts that allows access to regional and international markets and paves the way for long-term strategic cooperation with major companies have been prepared. The new contract model will have similar terms to a production sharing agreement, according to Iranian authorities. (

OPEC sees oil prices returning to $80 per barrel by 2020

September 17, 2015. OPEC forecasters expect oil prices will rise by no more than $5 a barrel a year to reach $80 by 2020, with a slowing in rival non-OPEC production growth not enough to absorb the current oil glut, according to OPEC. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said the figures came from an updated mid-term strategy report discussed by representatives from the OPEC in Vienna, which has yet to be fully endorsed by OPEC ministers. The report forecasts that non-OPEC supply would amount to 58.2 million barrels per day by 2017, some 1 million barrels per day lower than in the previous forecast. That effectively means OPEC will have to supply the world with 1 million extra barrels per day - good news for the group which last year decided against cutting output to support prices and instead started pumping more to win market share from rival producers. In its latest monthly report OPEC forecasters see rival non-OPEC output growth already slowing this year because of low oil prices, rising by just 880,000 bpd to some 57.43 million bpd after expanding by a record 1.7 million bpd in 2014. The new mid-term forecast means OPEC sees non-OPEC supply growth halving over the next two years from the already slower growth levels of 2015. (

US president opposes draft bill to lift ban on crude oil exports

September 17, 2015. The White House has announced that it would not support a bill presented in the US House of Representatives to lift the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. The full House is expected to pass the bill to repeal the ban in coming weeks after a vote by the energy commission. A similar bill was presented in July 2015 to the Senate but failed to be adopted. The US oil industry is seeking to export crude oil to avoid a likely glut of crude due to the domestic drilling boom. (                             

Venezuelan leader says to travel to push for OPEC, non-OPEC meeting

September 16, 2015. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he would travel shortly to seek support for his push for a summit between OPEC and non-OPEC producers on lower oil prices. Maduro has lobbied for months for an emergency meeting and coordination with non-OPEC nations, but OPEC's Middle East producers have pledged to maintain high output in a fight to defend market share against rising competition. Maduro reiterated calls for action within OPEC and beyond OPEC, mentioning controls on output and price bands. His calls for action come as Venezuelan oil prices, which averaged $41.08, exacerbate a dire economic crisis that has goods ranging from cancer medication to car batteries in short supply, while raging inflation slams purchasing power ahead of a key parliamentary election in December. (

South Africa plans 12 liquid fuel terminals in next 25 yrs

September 16, 2015. The South African government plans to build 12 liquid fuel bulk terminals in the next 25 years to cope with the country’s soaring energy needs. The proposed construction at four of the nation’s eight harbors would give South Africa additional options should plans to build an oil refinery fail to materialize, state-owned Transnet SOC Ltd.’s National Ports Authority said. The port of Ngqura, in the Eastern Cape province, was favored to house the refinery, he said. Mthombo, which would be the sub-Saharan region’s biggest such facility,would have capacity to process 300,000 barrels daily and would raise the country’s fuel-handling ability by 43 percent from 703,000 barrels a day now. The country had said that PetroSA Ltd., the state-owned oil company, would work on Mthombo with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. as diesel and gasoline imports rose on the back of economic expansion, with demand exceeding local refinery output for the first time in 2007. The plan needs restructuring because PetroSA’s finances are weak. The first of the new liquid bulk berths would be built at Ngqura next year, followed by one in Cape Town in 2019, four in Durban by 2031, and single facilities in Richards Bay in 2035 and Cape Town in 2038. A further four are planned for Richards Bay. These would complement the existing 16 liquid-bulk terminals -– nine in Durban, two each in Richards Bay and Cape Town, and one in East London, Port Elizabeth and Saldanha. (



Zimbabwe mining indaba to focus on power generation

September 22, 2015. Zimbabwe’s annual Mining and Infrastructure Indaba will this year focus on the development of power generation projects which are key to attracting investment in the country. The country is in the throes of biting electricity shortages causing rolling power cuts which are often blamed for keeping away potential investors. It produces 900 MW of electricity daily, less than half its peak demand, forcing local industries to use costly diesel generators to keep operations running. But the southern African nation has various projects ongoing that could generate an additional 3,500 MW by 2018. Power utility ZESA is currently undertaking projects to increase capacity by 600 MW at Hwange  — from 920 MW  — and Kariba South by an additional 300 MW from the current installed capacity of 750 MW. One of the key projects is the 600 MW coal-fired plant by Pan-African Energy Producers (PER) Lusulu, which will be the first phase of a project that will eventually produce 2,000 MW. (

Panda Power said to seek $700 mn for gas-fired power plant

September 22, 2015. Panda Power Funds, a Dallas-based private equity investor, is seeking to borrow about $700 million to build a 1,000 MW natural gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania. Panda expects some of the funding to come from commercial banks and another portion from the term loan B market, which typically offers financing at higher rates. The debt will complement as much as $200 million in letters of credit. It may be offered as early as and will be rated. Panda Power and Sunbury Generation LP formed a joint venture in February to develop the Hummel Station, a combined-cycle project in Snyder County adjacent to the retired Sunbury coal plant. It’s expected to begin operations in the second half of 2017. (

EWC secures funding for 650 MW CCGT in the Philippines

September 21, 2015. Australian energy group Energy World Corporation (EWC) has secured financing for the first 400 MW phase of its 650 MW LNG-fired CCGT power project in Pagbilao (Philippines). The company has executed the financing documentation for the amount of Php 6.75bn (US$150 mn). The 650 MW CCGT project is expected to be commissioned by 2017. (

PT PLN signs EPC contract for 315 MW Lontar power project

September 21, 2015. Indonesia's national power utility PT PLN has signed an engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) contract with a consortium of Sumitomo, Black and Veatch and PT Satyamitra Surya Perkasa for the construction of a new 315 MW unit at the Lontar coal-fired power plant in Banten (Indonesia). The Lontar power plant consists of three 315 MW coal-fired power units, commissioned in 2011-2012. The new unit is expected to be put into operation within 42 months after the contract is effective. It is part of the Indonesian government's 35,000 MW programme, that plans PT PLN to add 35 power projects totalling 10,000 MW and private utilities to add 74 projects (25,000 MW) over the next few years. (

Areva to provide outage services for three nuclear power plants in Germany

September 21, 2015. Areva has received a contract to provide outage services for E.ON’s nuclear power plants in Germany. Under the contract, Areva will provide the outage services for the 1,410 MW Isar 2, 1,410 MW Brokdorf and the 1,360 MW Grohnde nuclear power plants in Germany, for several years. Located in Essenbach, Bavaria, the Isar 2 nuclear power plant is designed to have annual power generation capacity of approximately 12 billion kWh, which represents about 15% of the total electricity production in Bavaria. The GKKG Grohnde-operated Grohnde nuclear station, which is located in Lower Saxony, accounts to about 15% of the power generated in Lower Saxony. (

Pakistan to generate 40 GW nuclear power

September 17, 2015. Pakistan will produce 40,000 MW of electricity through nuclear power plants by 2050, helping the energy-starved country overcome frequent outages. The announcement was made by Chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Muhammad Naeem while addressing the 59th IAEA General Conference at Vienna in Austria. The PAEC will help overcome the energy crises in the country as it is making important contributions to the socio-economic sector by bringing home the fruits of peaceful applications of nuclear technology for the masses, he said. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the start of construction work on power plants which will use Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and coals as fuel after chairing a high level meeting to review the progress on LNG Power Plants and Sahiwal Coal Power Plant. (  

EDF Energy secures UK approval to build 1.8 GW power station

September 17, 2015. EDF Energy has secured approval from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for the construction of 1800 MW gas-fired power plant in Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire in the east of England. The power plant, which is expected to create around 1,500 construction jobs, will have 35 years of operational life. EDF will make a final investment decision for the combined cycle gas turbine project, which is planned to be completed between 28-36 months. EDF Energy secured a £1bn annual electricity supply contract from the UK Government. EDF secured planning approval from the UK Government to develop 3.2 GW nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, UK. The GBP14bn nuclear power plant will include two EPR reactors, each of 1.6 GW capacity, capable of generating 7% of UK's total electricity. (

Bidders line up to build Saudi's Fadhili power plant

September 16, 2015. Several international and Gulf engineering firms are lining up for the contract to build a power station at Fadhili which will feed Saudi Aramco's new gas plant. The independent power producer (IPP) being built for Saudi Electricity (SEC) and Saudi Aramco will have a capacity of 1,300 to 1,600 MW. The project will be based on a build, own, operate and transfer basis and the power agreement will be for 20 years, SEC said. SEC will hold 50 percent of the project, Saudi Aramco 10 percent with the bid winner taking 40 percent. Commercial operation of the project is expected in February 2020, SEC said. (

Statkraft commissions 172 MW Cheves hydropower plant in Peru

September 16, 2015. Statkraft, through its subsidiary SN Power, has commissioned the Cheves hydropower plant in Peru. The 172 MW hydropower plant is located 130 km north of Lima, on the Huaura river. It consists of two 86 MW units and will have an average generation of 840 GWh/year. Power will be sold to eight local distribution companies under a long-term power purchase agreement. SN Power owns and operates 9 hydropower plants in the country, with a cumulated capacity of 443 MW and an average generation of 2.5 TWh/year. (                      

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Inter RAO plans to sell its distribution assets in Armenia

September 22, 2015. Russian energy group Inter RAO is considering divesting its electricity distribution assets in Armenia, and has submitted a request to the Armenian government to sell its subsidiary, Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA), to Liormand Holdings (Cyprus). In June 2015, ENA asked for an increase in residential electricity prices that was approved by the state regulatory commission and took effect on 1 August 2015, triggering mass protests. Demonstrations are continuing despite the government's announcement that it would cover part of the price increase. (

Canada’s AltaGas to buy three California power plants

September 21, 2015. Canadian natural-gas processor and utility operator AltaGas Ltd. said it will buy three gas-fired electric power plants in California for US$642 million from a fund run by Oaktree Capital Group. Calgary-based AltaGas said it agreed to buy GWF Energy Holdings LLC, which owns the three utilities, from Oaktree Capital’s infrastructure investment-focused Highstar Fund IV. They generate a combined 523 MW of power and are based in the San Joaquin Valley towns of Hanford, Lemoore and Tracy. All three plants supply power under contract to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., AltaGas said. The deal expands AltaGas’s presence in California, where it operates a natural gas-fired plant in the town of Blythe that supplies electricity to Southern California Edison. The Canadian company bought that asset in 2013 as part of its purchase of Blythe Energy LLC. (

CFE selects bidder for power transmission project in northern Mexico

September 18, 2015. The Mexican national power utility, Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), has selected the winner of the tender process for the construction of five transmission lines of 400 kV and 115 kV (76 km), two substations 400/115/34.5 kV (500 MVA) and eight feeders of 400 and 115 kV in the northern state of Sinaloa. The project is expected to be commissioned in March 2017. (

Ameren secures approval to build $150 mn Spoon River transmission line in Illinois

September 18, 2015. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois has secured Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and final line route approval for construction of the $150 mn Spoon River transmission project in Illinois, US. Designed to improve reliability and provide access to renewable energy, the 345kV transmission project is a part of the company's effort to provide reliable, efficient and environmental friendly energy. Scheduled to be completed in 2018, the project comprises single-shaft steel poles in Illinois between Galesburg and Peoria. The project work is scheduled to commence in late 2016. In 2011, Ameren Transmission announced its plan to invest $1.3 bn over the next ten years to improve its transmission system network across the US. (

Policy / Performance…………

European coal prices slump to a record low

September 22, 2015. European coal for 2016 dropped below $50 a metric ton for the first time amid slumping demand from China, the biggest consumer. Prices have declined 26 percent so far in 2015, heading for a fifth straight year of drops in the benchmark year-ahead contract, according to broker data. The slump came as lackluster global demand with diminished prospects for growth, including a 35 percent drop in Chinese coal imports from January to July, combined with plenty of available low-cost supply, according to Societe Generale SA. Coal for delivery next year to Rotterdam, Amsterdam or Antwerp, fell as much as 0.7 percent to $49.90 a metric ton before trading at $50.10, according to broker data. The contract for 2016 has slumped 57 percent from $116.75 when it first traded in October 2012. The drop has hurt exporters including the U.S., where producers are facing mounting environmental and mining regulations as well as a strong dollar that has marooned the fuel to the domestic market. Miners producing 80 percent of the best-quality U.S. coal are either for sale or in bankruptcy, Corsa Coal Corp. said. (

ADB lends $300 mn for advanced power metering programme in Uzbekistan

September 21, 2015. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$300 mn loan to the government of Uzbekistan for a nation-wide advanced electricity meter rollout, aimed at reducing power losses, improve electricity billing and strengthen the financial sustainability of the power sector. The ADB has already supported the first phase of the programme (installation of advanced meters benefiting 1 million customers). The new loan will finance the installation of 3.1 million advanced meters and related equipments, which will allow national power utility Uzbekenergo to complete the rollout covering 6.3 million customers. The loan will also fund a public information campaign to raise awareness about energy efficiency. These programmes are expected to be completed in 2020. (

Electrabel will have to pay 2013 nuclear tax

September 21, 2015. For the second time, the Constitutional Court of Belgium has rejected an appeal lodged by Electrabel (part of the ENGIE (ex-GDF SUEZ) group) against the legality of the nuclear tax contribution imposed by the Belgian government for the year 2013. In July 2015, the company reached an agreement with the Belgian government on the conditions for a 10-year extension of the operation of the Doel-1 and 2 nuclear power plants in Belgium. The agreement includes the amount of the new nuclear contribution system, which will affect the Doel 3, Doel 4, Tihange 2 and Tihange 3 reactors: Electrabel will have to pay a fixed amount of €200mn in 2015 and a fixed amount of €130mn in 2016 (the €20mn due for the Doel 1-and Doel 2 extension will be added and will be payable from 2016 to 2025). From 2017, the Belgian state will revise the contribution according to an objective formula taking account of changing costs, production volumes and electricity prices. The margin applied will be 40% (

World Bank lends $400 mn for Myanmar's NEP

September 18, 2015. The International Development Association (IDA), part of the World Bank group, has approved a US$400 mn interest-free credit to provide financing and technical assistance for Myanmar’s National Electrification Plan (NEP). The electrification rate in Myanmar lies below 30% and the project is aimed at connecting more than 1.2 million households (over 6.2 million people) to the electricity grid through 2021. Myanmar aims to add medium and low voltage distribution networks, build off-grid electrification systems and mini-grids for rural communities to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030. (

Canada signs arrangements for nuclear safety cooperation

September 18, 2015. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has signed international arrangements with India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) and the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) to cooperate and exchange nuclear regulatory information. The arrangement with the AERB was announced during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Modi to Canada in April 2015. The CNSC agreed with France's Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety to extend, for another five years, the bilateral memorandum of understanding for cooperation and exchange of information on nuclear regulatory matters. The CNSC establishes and maintains regulatory cooperation arrangements with its international counterparts to share information and best practices, with a view of further enhancing nuclear safety and security in Canada and abroad. (



India's energy mix to have 40 percent renewable sources by 2030

September 22, 2015. At least 40 percent of India's total power capacity will come from renewable sources by 2030. The decision to substantially alter the energy mix that powers India in future is likely to be taken at the Union Cabinet meeting when the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government decides the country's targets for the Paris climate change agreement. The aggressive target for renewable energy capacity was worked out by the power and environment ministries under close supervision of the Prime Minister's Office and is expected to be cleared by the Cabinet. If the Cabinet approves this proposal, India would be looking at a commitment of building a total of 350 GW of solar and wind power by 2030. Out of this, the government expects 250 GW of the renewable portfolio to come from solar power and 100 GW from wind power. The NDA government has already committed to 100 GW of solar power and 60 GW of wind power by 2022. In the case of solar power, even the 100 GW target for 2022 was a five-time jump over the target committed by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The projections done by the government suggest that by 2030, India would have a total built up power capacity of 850 GW. This ambitious target will help India offer the global community a 35 percent reduction in the greenhouse gas emission intensity of its economy below 2005 levels by 2030 as part of its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) under the Paris agreement. At present, India has committed to 20-25 percent reduction below 2005 levels by 2020. The government's preliminary assessments suggest India is on way to achieve the lower end of the existing target comfortably and could attain more with some extra effort in the remaining years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the UN General Assembly as well as special summit by UN Secretary General on climate change as part of his tour to the US which starts on September 23. The decision on India's INDC is timed to make the announcement accordingly. The government is expected to formally submit the INDC document to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in the coming week as well. (

MERC issues notification for solar PV net metering system

September 22, 2015. In a bid to promote green power in the state, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has issued gazette notification on installation of net metering system of rooftop photo voltaic (PV) solar power units. With the issuance of the notification, solar power can be harnessed by domestic as well as commercial power consumers. A net meter can record import as well as export of power. City-based activist Sudhir Budhay, who has been pushing the case, had filed a public interest litigation in this connection in 2012, and later, the matter was taken up by MERC. Though promoting solar power is a state policy, lack of regulation for grid connectivity made its actual implementation by common users difficult, he said. (

Javadekar touts "Indian lifestyle" as remedy for climate change

September 22, 2015. Only an "Indian lifestyle" free of the extravagant habits of the West can save the world from the worst of climate change, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, as the world's third largest emitter prepared for U.N. talks on global warming. Javadekar said his country would emit more greenhouse gases as it grows to beat poverty but that India would keep its peak per capita emissions below that of the U.S. and China thanks to a more sustainable way of life. He did not elaborate on what an Indian lifestyle constituted but Javadekar has previously talked about Indians' abhorrence of wasteful consumption and said even those who have disposable incomes tend to live simpler lives than those in the developed world. India, which is expected to release its pledges for Paris, is one of the few large economies not to commit to a "peak year" for its carbon emissions. Javadekar said India's peak would be a "distant" one because the country needed to fight poverty and give the more than 300 million Indians still living without power access to energy. Instead, at Paris, India will commit to reducing emissions produced per unit of economic growth if the developed world can provide more technology and finance to combat global warming, Javadekar said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has previously said the world should look to traditional methods, like switching off street lights on full-moon nights. Environmentalists fear India will follow the same path in emissions growth as other countries when they industrialised quickly. India, an influential voice in climate talks that often speaks on behalf of the developing world, is sticking to its long-held position that developed countries must do the most to tackle man-made climate change because they caused it. India currently emits two tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita, less than the world average of five. China, committed to cut its emissions before 2030, will be producing 14 tonnes per capita within 20 years, Javadekar said. (

158 renewable energy projects being set up by MP govt

September 21, 2015. Madhya Pradesh (MP) is working at a faster pace to set up 158 projects to generate 6,700 MW power through windmills. At present, the state is generating 878 MW power through renewable energy sources. Besides that, 82 MW is being generated through biomass, another renewable energy source. In biomass, agriculture waste and non-useful grass is used to generate power. At present, 16 projects based on biomass are generating 165 MW power. The Energy Development Corporation has implemented a new policy for attracting investment from private sector in this field. (

NZ to boost India's growing renewable energy sector

September 21, 2015. New Zealand (NZ) can provide innovative assistance and advanced technologies to India in promoting the growth of renewable energy sector, country's trade body NZTE said. A delegation of clean-tech and renewable energy companies from New Zealand is coming to participate in the ninth Renewable Energy India Expo in Greater Noida. The delegation will be led by New Zealand Minister of Justice, Courts, Broadcasting and Communications Amy Adams. He will be accompanied by Mike Allen, Special Envoy for Renewable Energy and Executive Director of Geothermal, New Zealand. (

Goyal urges US to invest in clean energy market in India

September 21, 2015. India has appealed to American companies to come up with innovative solutions to address the massive energy needs of the world's third largest economy, which is set to become the largest clean energy market in the next 10 years. Union Energy Minister Piyush Goyal was addressing a meeting of high level gathering of US companies in the renewable energy development and financing sector, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the American Council on a Renewable Energy (ACORE). Addressing the concerns and challenges faced by investors in India, Goyal in his remarks laid out the government's vision for achieving the ambitious target of 175 GW of clean energy by 2022, it said. Goyal said that the government was looking for a long term and sustainable solution to the problem which will be implemented soon. Praising the government's efforts in scaling up the clean energy sector, CII said Indian industry stands ready to partner and work with the government to achieve the ambitious target set by the Prime Minister. The US companies which attended the meeting included SunEdison, Bank of America, First Solar, Credit Suisse, Apex clean energy, Sun Power and Deutsche Bank. CII and ACORE signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help solidify and bolster cooperation in the clean energy sector through facilitation of dialogues between industry experts, the development of platforms to deepen cooperation as well as platforms to exchange policy recommendations and best practices. (

AP power regulator to chart out hybrid renewable energy norms

September 21, 2015. The Andhra Pradesh (AP) Electricity Regulatory Commission will come out with norms for hybrid renewable energy project development whereby wind and solar energy projects could be co-developed. The existing regulations of the commission are proposed to be amended to give effect to the policies of the State government where existing open access and settlement codes are being amended to suit the changed requirements. Referring to the recent proposal made by two Discoms in the State, the Commission said that a proposal for True-up charges of 7,200 crore has been made for the period 2009-2014. On the energy efficiency measures, the Commission said for the first time a regulator has stepped in to ensure efficient way of implementation of energy conservation measures including implementation of LED light scheme. The Commission intervention has helped bring down the cost significantly. (

PowerGrid to set up lines to link solar parks with ISTS

September 20, 2015. Government has nominated state-run Power Grid Corp for developing power transmission lines connecting solar parks and Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS), which has led to some private companies crying foul that competitive bidding route should have been followed. The power transmission lines for connecting solar parks and ISTS in the country will be set up by the Power Grid Corporation. Government has decided to include all transmission lines connecting solar parks to ISTS as part of the green corridor which will be set up by Power Grid. The government had nominated the Power Grid to set up the green corridor or ISTS for evacuating power from solar parks worth over ` 15,000 crore. (

PFS sanctions ` 10 bn loan for clean energy projects

September 17, 2015. PTC India Financial Services Ltd (PFS) said that it has sanctioned loans of about ` 1,000 crore (` 10 billion) for clean energy projects in the country. It said with the focus to increase loan portfolio for clean energy projects in the country, its board sanctioned loans totalling to about ` 10 billion to 9 projects in its meeting. The fresh round of loan approvals will help the company further expand into renewable energy projects. The company offers an array of financial products to infrastructure companies in the entire energy value chain. It also provides fee based services such as loan syndication and underwriting. (

Solar plant mandatory for all new highrises in Tamil Nadu

September 16, 2015. In yet another green initiative, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to make it mandatory for all new multistorey (more than four floors) buildings in the state to have solar power generation facility. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said the rule would be applicable to all group developments (with more than eight dwelling units) also. In effect, it will cover almost 90% of residential and commercial developments in cities like Chennai and Coimbatore, say experts. Last time the state government came out with such a major environment-friendly initiative in the housing sector was in 2001 when rainwater harvesting structures were made mandatory for all buildings. The state is also a pioneer in the renewable energy sector with an installed wind energy capacity of more than 8,000MW, and has come out with a policy pushing solar power generation. (


Solar seen competitive in UK without subsidy in 18 months

September 22, 2015. Solar power in the United Kingdom (UK) may cost about the same as energy from conventional sources within 18 months, according to the nation’s grid operator. The comments support Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to pare back support for renewables, which even after cuts will cost 4.9 billion pounds ($7.6 billion) more than the Treasury has budgeted over the next six tax years. While solar developers say the cuts will devastate their industry, the costs of making and installing the units is falling rapidly. Prices for solar photovoltaic systems have fallen 57 percent in the past five years, according to data. Solar energy in the U.K. is currently about 75 pounds per megawatt-hour, compared to 50 pounds per megawatt-hour from fossil fuels, National Grid Plc said. The UK cut subsidies for the solar industry in April and July. Support programs for large and smaller-scale projects were canceled and ended early. Small-scale renewables developers will no longer be locked in to guaranteed power prices under the feed-in tariff program. (

China's Sky Solar soars after signing $100 mn funding pact

September 22, 2015. Sky Solar Holdings Ltd. rose to a one-month high in New York after it signed an agreement for new projects worth as much as $100 million with Hudson Clean Energy Partners. The American depositary receipts rose 15 percent to $7.05, extending their advance from a record low last month to 41 percent. The Hong Kong-based developer of solar projects will work with Hudson Clean Energy, a private equity firm focused on renewables, to fund ventures in Latin America and Japan, while collaborating on expansion in the U.S., the two companies said. Investors have been whipsawed by price swings in Chinese solar stocks as they look for signs that an industry-wide slump brought on by a global glut may be easing. China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, said that the country will probably bring 10 GW of solar into operation annually, without specifying time frame. Solar installations surged 10-fold to about 33 GW in the three years through 2014, according to data. (

NextEra Energy buys 1.1 GW wind project in Texas

September 22, 2015. US wind project developer Tri Global Energy has sold its 1,130 MW Hale Community Energy wind project in Texas  to NextEra Energy Resources. The project will be built in several phases and the first 250-300 MW phase is expected to be commissioned in the summer 2016. The entire project could be operational in 2018 at the earliest. The Hale project has interconnections with the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas and the Southwest Power Pool transmission systems. (

EnBW’s 288 MW Baltic 2 offshore wind project opened in Germany

September 22, 2015. EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg has opened the 288 MW Baltic 2 offshore wind power plant in the Baltic Sea, Germany. The facility, which is the company's second offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, is designed to generate 1.2 billion kWh of electricity to meet power needs of around 340,000 households every year. EnbW commissions its first offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, the 48.3 MW Baltic 1 offshore wind farm, in 2010. The commissioning marks a step ahead for EnBW in achieving its aim to double the share of power generated from renewable energy to over 40% in 2020. EnBW currently has 1,600 MW of projects in pipeline which also include three other offshore wind farms in the North Sea. (

Progress on cutting fossil fuel subsidies 'alarmingly slow': OECD

September 21, 2015. Major nations are "alarmingly slow" in keeping pledges to cut fossil fuel subsidies despite signs of a decline in support worth up to $200 billion (£129 billion) a year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said. Reductions in damaging subsidies for oil, coal and natural gas would reduce air pollution, save cash and help a shift to greener energies before a Nov. 30-Dec. 11 U.N. summit in Paris on limiting climate change, it said. The OECD estimated the annual value of subsidies for 2010-14 at between $160 billion and $200 billion, mostly for petroleum products, in the 34 OECD nations and China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia and South Africa. The Group of 20 leading economies agreed as long ago as 2009 to phase out inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels. The OECD said its findings are not directly comparable with those of the International Energy Agency, which reckons fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $548 billion in 2013. The OECD has been trying for more than a year to reach agreement on phasing out a form of coal subsidy that helps rich nations export technology for coal generation. Talks in Paris again failed to get a deal. The negotiations will resume on Nov. 16, EU diplomats said. Separately, environmental group Greenpeace said the world could shift to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. (

Carbon pricing poised for more rapid adoption: World Bank

September 21, 2015. Carbon-pricing mechanisms such as markets and taxes are set for “widespread and rapid” use in the years after the Paris climate talks as more nations are seen adopting them as incentives for cleaner energy, according to the World Bank. Carbon taxes introduced in Portugal, South Africa and Chile through 2017 will see 38 systems govern about 12 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions, up from 5 percent in 2011, the bank said. More than 190 nations are meeting in Paris in December with the aim of agreeing to limits on heat-trapping pollution and keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The European Union, which manages the world’s biggest carbon market by traded volume, urged United Nations envoys to agree international carbon-market rules and emissions-accounting systems by 2017. (

EU to push for carbon neutrality by 2100 in global climate deal

September 18, 2015. European Union (EU) member states agreed to push for a goal of making the world carbon-neutral by the end of the century as a part of a new United Nations (UN) global climate deal. The UN accord, which almost 200 nations across the globe aim to conclude in December in Paris, would wrest commitments for the first time from both developed and developing countries. Environment ministers from the EU’s 28 nations want the agreement to include a 2050 target of reducing global emissions by 50 percent from 1990 levels, in line with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN-organized body of thousands of scientists. The global accord should be legally binding and should include a mechanism to revise national pledges every five years, according to the EU position. The ministers agreed to include in the mandate a provision to prevent a situation where new or updated commitments fall behind previous levels. The global agreement must also address climate aid, actions to adapt to climate change and a loss-and-damage mechanism that would help developing countries cope with the effects of climate change, EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said. (

AREF closes funding target

September 18, 2015. The European Investment Bank (EIB), along with other investors, has contributed $200 mn to African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF), a renewable energy fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa, to support small- to medium-scale independent power producers (IPPs) in the region. The funding will be used for the development of renewable energy projects including small hydro, wind, geothermal, solar, biomass and waste gas. The Kenya-based AREF is managed by Berkeley Energy Africa Limited (Berkeley Energy), a fund manager focused on developing and investing in renewable energy projects in emerging markets. AREF, which closed $100 mn financing in March 2014, has already developed four renewable energy projects and has additional pipeline of projects under development. (

US to spend over $110 mn for clean energy

September 17, 2015. The US government will spend more than $110 million to boost clean energy in the country. The Department of Energy (DOE) will provide the major funding, more than $102 million for solar energy. More than $52 million will support 22 new projects in partnership with companies, non-profit organisations, universities and national laboratories that aim to make solar energy more affordable and accessible across the nation. (

UN creates organisation to lead sustainable energy initiative

September 17, 2015. A new international non-profit organisation, the Sustainable Energy for All Partnership, is set to take a leading role in the UN's initiative in the sector. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon emphasised the importance of sustainable energy to the UN's new Post-2015 development agenda. He welcomed the inclusion of sustainable energy as one of the Sustainable Development Goals -- a set of 17 economic, environmental and social goals expected to be adopted by all 193 UN member states. Ban launched the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative in 2011, 106 countries have worked with the initiative to increase access to modern energy, increase energy efficiency and increase the share of renewable energy globally. Over one billion people, still do not have access to electricity and according to the International Energy Agency, renewable power generation made up only 22 percent of the global mix in 2013, up from 18 percent in 2007. (

P&G targets 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020

September 17, 2015. Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G), the world’s largest consumer-products maker, plans to cut the greenhouse gas emissions produced from its facilities by 30 percent by 2020 to minimize their impact on climate change. The Cincinnati-based company will focus on energy conservation and renewable-energy use, according to a statement. The move will also help the maker of Bounty paper towels and Pampers diapers reduce costs and strengthen branding, it said. P&G is joining the Climate Savers Program sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, which enables companies to cooperate on addressing climate change. Sony Corp., Coca-Cola Co., and Johnson & Johnson are among members of the program. Executives from 13 major U.S. corporations, including Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., in July pledged at least $140 billion in new investments to decrease their carbon footprints as part of a White House initiative to recruit private commitments ahead of a United Nations climate-change summit in Paris. Coca-Cola said that it will drive down the carbon footprint of its beverage production by 25 percent over the next five years, while Google Inc. plans to triple its purchases of renewable energy over the next decade. (

Makers of fuel from plants feel forsaken in Obama’s climate push

September 16, 2015. Producers of motor fuels from plant waste say they have been left behind in President Barack Obama’s push to fight climate change. Executives from about two dozen companies that produce advanced biofuels say a proposal to reduce the amount of the cleaner-burning fuel refiners must use in gasoline is crimping investment and shifting assets overseas, according to a letter to Obama. Refiners should use 106 million gallons (402 million liters) of cellulosic ethanol this year, compared to the 3 billion that was targeted in a 2007 law, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed in May. The agency cited “limits on the availability” of the fuel in its proposal to amend the 2007 Renewable Fuels Standard and allow oil companies to receive waivers instead of blending cellulosic ethanol into gasoline. (

Sweden boosts renewables to become first fossil-fuel-free nation

September 16, 2015. Sweden said it’s targeting to become one of the first nations in the world to be free of fossil fuels and that it will invest 4.5 billion kronor ($546 million) in climate-protection measures next year as a step toward that goal. The government will increase support for solar, wind, energy storage, smart grids and clean transport. Investment in photovoltaics will rise nearly eightfold to 390 million kronor per year between 2017 and 2019, with a plan to spend a total of 1.4 billion kronor, the government said. Sweden got about two-thirds of its electricity generation capacity from clean and low-carbon sources last year, according to data. It plans to significantly reduce its emissions by 2020. It didn’t set a target date for the nation becoming fossil free, though Stockholm may reach that goal by 2050. More investment in renewable energy is needed to meet the target of lowering emissions by 40 percent by 2020, Environment Minister Aasa Romson said. Sweden will also spend 50 million kronor annually on electricity storage research, 10 million kronor on smart grids and 1 billion kronor to renovate residential buildings and make them more energy efficient. The government is also planning to invest in clean transportation such as electric buses. The Scandinavian country will also increase its funding of climate-related projects in developing countries, raising its budget to 500 million kronor. The government hopes it will send an “important signal” before the United Nations conference in Paris in December. It has said in the past that sustainable development assistance is fundamental to Sweden and the EU’s credibility in the climate negotiations. (

Wind energy growth in Europe seen slower after policy changes

September 16, 2015. Europe’s wind power industry will grow substantially slower than anticipated over the next 15 years because changes to the region’s climate and energy policies have unsettled investors, an industry group said. The European Wind Energy Association slashed by 20 percent its forecast for the industry’s capacity to generate electricity in 2030. It estimated Europe will have 320 GW of wind power installed by then, down from its former estimate of 400 GW. Turbines will meet 25 percent of the continent’s electricity demand instead of the 30 percent expected before. The findings in a report issued follow a European Union decision to reform its emissions-trading system, overhauls the electricity market and establish a new target for renewables. Policymakers also are placing a greater emphasis on energy security, which may undercut some of their zeal to reach targets on reducing greenhouse gases. The impact of the policy changes won’t be known for years in some cases, reducing the visibility investors have over the scale of support the technology will enjoy. The European Wind Energy Association projects that the EU’s wind energy industry’s installations will be worth € 474 billion ($534 billion) by 2030 and that it will provide 334,000 direct and indirect jobs. (

Zambia to triple power generation in 2 yrs with solar

September 16, 2015. Zambia expects to triple power output to 6,000 MW in 2 years through expansion of solar energy by foreign investors, the head of its investment agency said. Erratic electricity supplies have hit mining in the continent's second biggest copper producer, where the bulk of its generation capacity of 2,200 MW of power is water-powered. The power problems and copper price slide have driven the kwacha currency to record lows amid a selloff in commodity-linked currencies as top copper consumer China's economy has slowed. Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Director General Patrick Chisanga said he had held "very positive" talks with an unnamed German company aiming to invest $500 million in a solar power plant but did not disclose its planned location. Another group of investors from Italy were looking to set up a solar plant in the Lusaka South multi-facility economic zone and two others in the Western and Northwestern provinces. The ZDA had also issued an investment licence to Sunbird Investments Ltd which was looking to put up a $150 million biofuel plant using cassava, Chisanga said. (


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