MonitorsPublished on Dec 04, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XII; Issue 25

[The ‘Hottest’ Year Ever]

                             “For those who firmly believe that mandates rather than markets are the best way to control choices of human beings, particularly energy choices, this is the ‘hottest’ year ever. Not only has the World Meteorological Organization announced that 2015 is the hottest year ever on record, influential leaders including the Pope and the Presidents of the World Bank and the United Nations have signalled their determination to make it the hottest year ever for striking a global climate deal…”

Energy News


The old idea of transporting coal by waterways must be revived to improve transportation efficiency of the sector!                                   


Given the quality of power supplied, power consumers must go on a strike not power sector employees!  


Delhi is trapped in smog because millions are trapped in poverty!




·          The ‘Hottest’ Year Ever 


·          India’s energy import dependence: Growing anxiety and concerns


·          Solar Power Projects in India



·          D&M submits final report on ONGC-RIL gas dispute

·          India’s crude oil output to continue to fall despite govt’s efforts: IEA

·          RIL faces cut in gas marketing margin

·          Hardy Oil & Gas talks to buy RIL's 90 percent stake in GS­01 block


·          Stage-1 of Assam Gas Cracker project commissioned

Transportation / Trade………………

·          GAIL starts satellite monitoring of its gas pipeline network

·          Hyundai looking for new partner to bid for building LNG ships for GAIL

·          India's oil import bill likely to dip 35 percent in FY'16

·          TAPI gas pipeline project to start from December 13

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Govt mulling policy to push O&G investments in Northeast

·          Non-subsidised LPG dearer by ` 61.50, jet fuel cheaper

·          Data bank for oil exploration biz by fiscal-end: Oil Ministry

·          Oil firms to benefit from low rates, price deregulation: Fitch

·          Petroleum sector got only ` 3 bn FDI during April-September 2015

·          Petrol price cut by 58 paise per litre, diesel by 25 paise per litre

·          Time good for India to firm up long-term LNG contracts: IEA

·          FAME-India scheme to save ` 600 bn on oil import bill: Govt

·          Free gas pricing policy won't help 15-17 Tcf gas discoveries but future finds



·          Coal India misses November production target by 4.42 percent

·          Dabhol power plant restarts generation

·          MCL targets 250 mt coal production by 2020

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Power sector employees to hold strike on December 8

·          Transporting coal via waterways can save ` 100 bn per year: Gadkari

·          Railways gets cheaper power from Dabhol plant

·          L&T Construction wins power T&D orders valued ` 10.3 bn

Policy / Performance…………………

·          India plans to construct 6 more Fast Breeder Reactors

·          Govt plans to douse century-old fire to extract coal worth ` 600 bn

·          New restructuring package for state discoms a positive: Fitch

·          Power deficit dips further, hits fresh record low of 2.4 percent

·          "Working on policy to provide electricity in hamlets"

·          Govt to give all households in West Bengal 4 energy efficient LED bulbs



·          Production begins from Edvard Grieg field offshore Norwegian North Sea

·          US lower 48 natural gas output up to record high in September: EIA

·          More Russian oil drilling shows its resolve to OPEC

·          Dana Gas Group awarded $1.9 bn in Iraq Kurds dispute

·          Mexico's Sierra O&G sees first exploratory drill in early 2017


·          Lukoil's Bulgarian refinery sees crude processing at 6 mt in 2015

·          Sinopec offers refineries bonus to export surplus diesel

·          Saudi Aramco to invest more in Indonesia's oil and gas sector

·          Petrobras says to buy 461k barrels of gasoline from Braskem

·          BG Group's Australian LNG plant fully operational

Transportation / Trade…………

·          US oil reserve sale reduced in transportation bill deal

·          Lithuania expects LNG cargo from Norway on December 15-16

·          Mozambique-South Africa gas pipeline to be expanded by 2017

·          UAE's Dragon Oil in talks with Turkmenistan on $10 bn TAPI pipeline

·          Gazprom says signs 8 year deal to buy all LNG from Cameroon export plant

·          Leviathan gas field developers sign LOI to export gas to Egypt

·          Gazprom halts gas supply to Ukraine

·          PetroChina to sell stake in Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline to China reform for $2.4 bn

·          Canadian crude-by-rail exports rebound 38 percent in third quarter

Policy / Performance………………

·          Iraqi Kurdistan minister says no link between oil sales and Islamic State

·          Scotiabank's soured O&G loans jump 72 percent in fourth quarter

·          Crude oil prices remain weak ahead of OPEC meeting

·          Mexico reveals bid minimums for December's onshore oil auction

·          Iran offers 50 oil projects to foreign investors

·          UK uses new powers to rule on Cuadrilla shale gas permits

·          Iran plans to start 40 mt per year of LNG projects within three years



·          FPL argues for new $1.2 billion power plant in Okeechobee County

·          Sinohydro starts construction of 750 MW hydroelectric project in Zambia

·          Dangote to build 500 MW power plant for Kano

·          IFC and OPIC will finance 53 MW power plant in Senegal

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          ADB lends $80 mn to upgrade Yangon power grid

Policy / Performance………………

·          Dutch parliament votes to phase out coal-fired power plants

·          China presents new measures to reform its power sector

·          World Nuclear Association urges world leaders to add 1000 GW nuclear energy by 2050

·          Australia approves Rio Tinto's Warkworth coal mine expansion

·          ADB to provide $800 mn loan to boost power efficiency in Pakistan

·          Brazil awards operation licenses for 29 hydropower plants

·          Iran's nuclear past may remain unclear even as atomic probe ends

·          America to decide whether a nuke can outlive a human



·          Delhi trapped in smog as world urged to act on climate change

·          Norway's Statkraft forms solar power partnership with India's BLP

·          India to give $30 mn to boost global solar energy generation

·          Rich nations behind global warming: PM Modi

·          India defends emissions targets as Modi heads to Paris for talks

·          Environment Ministry asks Haryana, UP & Delhi Governments to set up emergency response mechanism to curb burning of urban waste

·          'India will fulfil responsibilities on climate'

·          World must turn to Sun to power its future: PM Modi

·          India pavilion will show our commitment to control climate change: Javadekar

·          Govt bats for revising RPO target to 10 percent by 2022

·          Delhi needs Euro VI urgently to check ever increasing air pollution: IIT Kanpur

·          Govt planning $1 bn fund for renewable energy sector: Goyal

·          FICCI unveils CEOs pledge on climate responsibility ahead of Paris climate summit


·                    EU approves UK state aid for RWE biomass-fired power plant

·          African Union Introduces $20 bn Renewable Energy Plan

·          White House announces 73 new companies to join climate pledge

·          Vietnam approves Renewable Energy Development Strategy to 2030

·          Dubai plans $27 bn investment in Green Fund to boost renewables

·          Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland create $500 mn climate fund

·          World headed toward 'suicide' if no climate agreement: pope

·          China plans to launch carbon-tracking satellites into space

·          US ethanol use set to rise as EPA unveils biofuels targets

·          Shiroro to build 300 MW solar power plant

·          Finland drafts new energy and climate strategy

·          Honour pledge to give $100 bn to developing nations: Ban to West

·          Bill Gates to announce multibillion dollar clean-energy fund

·          US govt agencies plan 42 percent cut in GHG emissions over 2008-2025

·          Japan's CO2 emissions fall 3 percent to 3 year low in FY2014

·          Malaysia introduces NEM mechanism for solar PV

·          Kazakhstan plans to commission 3 GW of renewable projects by 2020



Briefing: International Energy November 2015

The ‘Hottest’ Year Ever 

Lydia Powell and Ashish Gupta, Observer Research Foundation

Carbon Constraints


or those who firmly believe that mandates rather than markets are the best way to control choices of human beings, particularly energy choices, this is the ‘hottest’ year ever. Not only has the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that 2015 is the hottest year ever on record, influential leaders including the Pope and the Presidents of the World Bank and the United Nations have signalled their determination to make it the hottest year ever for striking a global climate deal. 

Signing of a global deal is the story that the world has latched on to as it finds it appealing and is likely to stick to it even if evidence of its ability to change the course of the world is lacking. In the oversimplified media narrative China, India and the United States are in the cage reserved for the defendant and the most of the rest of the world on the benches reserved for the plaintiff in the court room in Paris. India and to a lesser extent China are in the cage primarily on account of their physical size or people numbers. The United States is there because of the size of energy the people of the United States consume. There is a big difference but media generalisations do not worry about such nuances. If there is no-deal, one or all of those in the cage will be assigned blame. India may be singled out for blame as it is too vocal in defending its position. Once an enemy (fossil fuels/coal/India/china or a combination of these) is found and punished in Paris the world is likely to move on with its life of production and consumption not realising that it is this life of production and consumption that causes emissions.  

Hydrocarbon Markets

The rejection of Keystone XL by the Obama government came as a shock to Canada in early November.  But there was comfort for TransCanada as it received a contract to build a natural gas pipeline to Mexico.  This is the year of a Paris Climate Deal and one could not have expected a different decision from Obama.  A report by US regulators found that aggressive acquisition and exploration strategies from 2010 to 2014 had led to an increase in leverage making many borrowers susceptible to protracted decline in commodity prices. The trouble for Petrobras of Brazil increased with strikes over pay which reduced oil production by over 200,000 barrels per day (bpd). Low oil prices are reported to be impacting Arab Gulf projects. Saudi Aramco is said to be considering delay of expansion plans for a key oil field and also planning postponement of development of an LNG terminal. The international energy agency (IEA) released its world energy outlook for 2015 (WEO 2015) in November. Some of the key trends that the report predicts are a phase out of fossil fuel subsidies in many parts of the world, decoupling between economic growth and carbon emissions, china’s shift to a less energy intensive growth path, India taking over from China as the driver of growth and the return of Iran to the energy markets. The IEA is cautious in its predictions for oil prices. It expects a rebalancing of the oil market at $ 80/bbl in 2020 but hedges its bet with a high probability for prices staying around $50/bbl in the next decade and moving towards $85/bbl only in 2040. IEA does not see a future for coal with its share in the energy basket falling to 10% by 2040 from about 45% now. 

Global oil production exceeded demand by roughly 1 million/bpd destroying hopes of a price rebound.  Meanwhile oil production from US shale basins was reported to be declining with the largest declines coming from Eagle Ford. There was speculation over OPEC decisions but most thought that status quo will prevail. A less noticed development was the slashing of natural gas prices by China which could assist in increasing the demand for natural gas.  

Coal Markets 

November was a bad month for coal as it was painted as the enemy to be killed in Paris but it was also portrayed as a cause of development. The UK announced its ambition to phase out the burning of coal by 2025. Coal fired electricity generation is expected to be replaced by natural gas and renewable as long as coal-burning plants cannot find an effective way to capture carbon emissions.

Coal may now emerge as the fuel for the poor in poor regions. Interestingly it is already reported to be happening in United States where wealthy states like California are moving most aggressively to stop using coal, while poor states like Kentucky and West Virginia cannot do away with coal.

Rich nations are working aggressively to reduce funding for coal projects. The Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) struck a deal to restrict subsidies used to export technology for coal-fired power plants.

On the other hand Japan stated that Japanese exports of advanced technology for coal-fired power plants will help fight global warming. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2013 pledged to triple the country's export of infrastructure that includes power stations to about 30 trillion yen ($244.88 billion) by 2020. 

The similar views proposed by World Coal Association in its report “India’s Energy Trilemma” released last month. The analysis shows that replacing sub-critical coal plants by super-critical or ultra-critical technology saves CO2 at a cost of around $10/ tonne in 2035. By comparison, abating a tonne of CO2 through deployment of large scale renewable can cost up to $40/ tonne even accounting for the cost declines expected through 2035.

Though the report is India specific it applies to all developing countries that cannot absorb high cost of cleaner sources. This is important for developing countries because coal is commodity which needs infrastructure to be erected before coal is mined and where it is used. Huge investment (often financed through debt) along with hard work goes into for developing such infrastructure. One cannot turn them into Non-performing Assets under pressure in a single stroke. The fortunes for coal may turn once a Paris deal is signed and the world finds something else to worry about. 

Views are those of the authors                    

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



India’s energy import dependence: Growing anxiety and concerns

Kapil Narula*


he recently released World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2015 hints that India is moving to the center stage of global energy system. Considering that the IEA has devoted an entire section of the WEO 2015 to India which carries a detailed assessment on India’s current energy scenario, the outlook for its future demand and supply and a discussion on the implications for India’s energy development, India’s growing importance on the world energy scene is apparent.

Energy demand forecast 

The New Policies Scenario[1], presented in WEO 2015 forecasts that the energy demand in the world will grow by nearly one-third between 2013 and 2040. While the growth in Chinese energy demand is slowing and the demand from OECD countries reduces by 3%, the net growth comes from developing countries, led by India.

It is forecasted that India’s total primary energy demand will grow by more than 1000 million tones oil equivalent (mtoe) from 2014 to 2040 to reach 1900 mtoe, which will be larger than the growth in any of the regions including China, Africa, South East Asia, Middle East and Latin America.  Although renewable energy is forecasted to add to more than 25% of the electricity generation, a large part of the growth in energy demand is likely to be met by oil, coal, and gas.  India’s demand for oil will grow by 6 million barrels per day (mbpd) surpassing China’s growth in demand of oil (4.9 mbpd) to reach around 9.8 mb/d in 2040 during the period. India is also forecasted to become the second largest oil importer around 2035 overtaking U.S. which ceded the top spot to China early this year. A similar story unfolds for coal and India’s coal consumption is likely to reach 1,300 mtoe in 2040, with the largest growth in demand (around 750 mtoe) in the world. Although China will lead the demand in growth for natural gas, India’s demand is likely to increase by 100 mtoe during the period. Solar PV is estimated to add to 250 TWh of energy during the period which is marginally lower than the figures estimated for China.

The share of primary energy for India for 2013 and that projected for 2040 is shown in figure 1 (a) and (b). The share of fossil fuels in India’s energy mix is forecasted to increase from 73% in 2013 to approximately 80% by 2040. While the share of oil, gas, coal and nuclear increases marginally, the share of renewable energy actually reduces due to replacement of traditional forms of biomass with commercial energy.

Figure 1 (a) & (b). Share of primary energy for 2013 and estimated for 2040

This reverse transition from renewable (domestic) to fossil fuel based energy sources (imported) despite ambitious targets of electricity generation from solar energy and modern renewables is a regressive step and a cause of concern for India.  

Increasing demand-supply gap

The drastic increase in energy demand coupled with weak trends in the growth rate of domestic energy production will lead to an increase in India’s import dependency. India Energy Security Scenarios-2047(IESS-2047)[2], forecasts an increase in India’s import dependence for coal, oil and gas. The forecasted range of import dependency for fossil fuels using four[3] inbuilt scenarios (pre-calculated by the model) for 2027 and 2047 are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Import dependency for fossil fuels







26- 58%














The report by CPR which compares results from different modeling studies (albeit to a closer time horizon of 2032) also concludes that there will be a similar rise in fossil fuel import dependence for India. Therefore it is evident that energy imports will become increasingly important in the coming years and unless steps are taken now, it could jeopardize India’s energy supply security and consequently pose a risk to its economic growth and development. 

A window of opportunity

Ensuring physical availability of energy and unfettered energy flow is paramount for India’s economic growth. In the light of the recent push to the manufacturing sector and the focus on ‘Make in India’, India needs to ensure adequate availability of energy. Growing import dependency requires that there should be sufficient infrastructure in place for energy imports and domestic distribution of energy. This includes ramping up of port capacity and rail infrastructure for transportation of coal; domestic pipelines for delivery of natural gas, crude oil and oil products; cross country pipelines for sourcing natural gas from gas fields, LNG terminals for regassification of natural gas and storage capacity for crude and LNG.

The second aspect is the cost of energy imports. As commodity prices adjust downward to accommodate the slowdown in world economic growth, the World Economic Outlook released in October 2015 by the IMF predicts that this period of low commodity prices is likely to continue. Thus countries such as India which are net importers of energy and are in the midst of a growth cycle are uniquely placed to benefit from the relatively lower energy prices.  

The price of crude oil has dropped close to US $ 40 and based on the futures prices, the average petroleum spot price is expected to stay between US $ 50-55 a barrel till 2017.  Though the uncertainty is higher for the longer term, IMF predicts that the price is expected to be close to US $ 60 a barrel in 2019 (moves within the range of US $40-80 per barrel with 68% confidence interval in the period 2015-2019). This drop in prices is attributed to slowdown in energy demand from China, availability of shale gas in the U.S., overproduction from OPEC members and in anticipation of easing of sanctions on Iran. Similarly the price of high grade Australian coal fell by almost 40% between September 2012 and September 2015 and the price of natural gas has also plummeted to one of its lowest historical value to nearly US $ 2/mmBtu. 

This gives a window of opportunity for India to further cut down its subsidies on kerosene and LPG (fossil fuel subsidies on prices of diesel and petrol have been already eliminated) and to build up its strategic reserves. It is also important that large scale investments are made in building electricity distribution infrastructure to provide access to electricity and clean energy for cooking for achieving the goal of ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ by 2030.

The last aspect is to lower the demand of energy by giving a push to energy efficiency and energy conservation. As per final energy balances for India, approximately 40% of energy is lost in conversion from primary to final energy and in the energy distribution chain. Although India’s overall energy intensity is expected to reduce from 0.11 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) per $1,000 of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013 to 0.05 toe per $1,000 of GDP in 2040, it would be attributable to structural changes in the Indian economy. Hence it is important that efforts are focused to improve the physical energy intensity in various sectors by changes in processes and technology. Restructuring the state electricity boards for increasing the productivity and to increase conversion efficiency in electricity generation plants and distribution of electricity also needs to be undertaken. This would yield long term benefits in terms of resource efficiency and cost savings. 


Energy security is a component of national security. It was, is and will continue to remain a prime concern of countries. It is forecasted that based on current trends India will become a global energy player and will drive the world energy demand in the next couple of decades. The increase in the supply-demand gap is inevitable and will lead to an increase in import dependency for fossil fuels for India and strengthening of energy import infrastructure is essential to ensure availability of energy. The fall in commodity prices presents a unique window of opportunity to India to shore up its energy security. While some steps have already been taken in this direction, it is important that India increases the intensity of its efforts so as to meet time bound targets which would reap significant benefits in the long run.

*Commander Kapil Narula is serving officer in the Indian Navy and is currently a Research Fellow at National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi. He is an inter-disciplinary researcher and is awaiting the defence of his PhD titled ‘Sustainable Energy Security for India’ in the field of development economics.

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]



Solar Power Projects in India

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation






Ground Mounted Solar Power Projects


Total (in MW)


































Solar Capacity Achievement till 2014-15

Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India




D&M submits final report on ONGC-RIL gas dispute

December 1, 2015. US-based consultant DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) has submitted its final report on the gas dispute between Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), establishing that natural gas worth over ` 11,000 crore has migrated from idling KG fields of the state-owned firm to the adjoining KG-D6 block. D&M has submitted its final report to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH). The government will examine the report and decide on how and to what extend should ONGC be compensated for its gas being produced by RIL. D&M, in its report, established that reservoirs in ONGC's Krishna Godavari basin KG-DWN-98/2 (KG-D5) and the Godavari Producing Mining Lease (PML) are connected with Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1 & D3) field located in the KG-DWN-98/3 (KG-D6) Block of RIL. It states that as much as 11.122 billion cubic meters of ONGC gas has migrated from Godavari-PML and KG-DWN-98/2 to KG-D6. At gas price of $4.2 per million British thermal unit, the volume of gas belonging to ONGC which RIL has produced comes to $1.7 billion (` 11,055 crore). ONGC had in 2013 claimed that RIL had deliberately drilled wells close to the common boundary of the blocks and that some gas it pumped out was from its adjoining block. D&M was jointly appointed by ONGC and RIL to find if the neighbouring fields are connected. (

India’s crude oil output to continue to fall despite govt’s efforts: IEA

November 30, 2015. India's crude oil production will continue to fall in the next quarter century despite the government's ambitious targets, declining to less than half the current output as new reserves fail to compensate for the decay in existing fields, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said. The Narendra Modi government has set a target of cutting oil import dependence by 10% in the next seven years as it hopes to reverse the decline in domestic oil output through a slew of policy measures, fresh investments and technological interventions. But the Paris-based agency has poured cold water over the government's plan, underlining in its 'India Energy Outlook' report that low-quality reserves and insufficient policy responses will make the country more dependent on imports. By 2040, India's imports will rise to 90% of the overall oil demand, from 70% at present, according to the IEA. India's crude oil production fell marginally in 2014-15 and was about the same in the seven months of the current fiscal as that a year-ago period. Crude oil production will fall 3.5% annually to 0.3 million barrels a day (mbd) in 2040 from 0.7 mbd in 2013, as per the IEA, turning India into the second-largest oil importer, behind China. During this period, oil demand in India will grow 4.6% annually, as per the projection. The oil block in Rajasthan, operated by Cairn India, contributes about a quarter to the country's crude oil output. Most other contributions come mainly from the fields operated by ONGC, and Oil India. Proven reserves of 5.7 billion barrels against an annual crude demand of 1.4 billion barrels, and increasing every year, underline the "stark" mismatch between domestic resources and needs of the country, the agency said. India's record in attracting big investments to the upstream sector has been dismal. Of the 254 blocks awarded under the New Exploration and Licensing Policy in about 15 years, only 128 discoveries have been made and just 11 fields developed. BP is perhaps the only global oil company currently invested in the upstream sector. The government has just announced new financial terms to attract developers for 69 marginal fields set to be auctioned next year, and plans to replicate these terms in its policy being finalised for major blocks. But low oil prices can dampen investor interest. According to the IEA, natural gas output will increase to 89 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2040 from 35 bcm in 2013, with a 3.6% growth a year. About 80 bcm of natural gas will have to be imported to meet local demand in 2040. Most gas produced in the country is priced according to a formula set by the government last year, according to which the local prices have dropped a quarter since March, tracking global decline. The gas price will climb from about $4 per unit now to $7 in 2025 and $9 in 2040, according to the agency. India needs to develop some 2,000 bcm of new gas resources until 2040 but some of the gas needed as early as 2020s will require a higher price than that implied by the existing formula, or a premium attached to it, the IEA said. (

RIL faces cut in gas marketing margin

November 29, 2015. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is facing a 40 percent cut in the marketing margin that it charges on selling KG-D6 gas to fertiliser and LPG plants after the government notified a ceiling of ` 200 per thousand standard cubic metres (scm). RIL was charging $0.135 per million British thermal unit (mBtu) as margin to hedge marketing risks on the sale of its eastern offshore KG-D6 gas. This is over and above the gas price of $4.24 per mBtu. The marketing margin being fixed at net calorific value (NCV) basis on 10,000 kilocalorie (kcal) will at current foreign exchange rate translate into a levy of $0.79-0.8 per mBtu, the Oil Ministry said. Had the government fixed the margin at 8,300 kcal, the margin would have come to $0.85 per mBtu. The marketing margin charged on gas produced from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's fields is ` 200 per thousand scm and will not be changed following the notification. However, for RIL, there will be a 40 percent cut as all of its 11-1 million standard cubic meters per day of KG-D6 gas is sold to fertiliser plants. The oil ministry had in December 2013, gave freedom to gas retailers, including RIL and GAIL (India) Ltd, to fix the marketing margin they want to charge on the sale of natural gas to consumers other than urea manufacturing units and LPG plants. It had decided that the government needed to regulate the marketing margin for supply of domestic gas to urea and LPG producers, as the same had implications on the Centre's subsidy outgo. Both urea and LPG are subsidised. GAIL markets gas produced from ONGC fields. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) was asked to suggest the marketing margin for the same. The PNGRB recommended the range of ` 150-200 per thousand scm. (

Hardy Oil & Gas talks to buy RIL's 90 percent stake in GS­01 block

November 26, 2015. UK's Hardy Oil & Gas plc said it is in talks to acquire Reliance Industries' entire 90 percent stake in a gas discovery block off the Gujarat coast. RIL wants to exit Gujarat­Saurashtra offshore basin block (GS­01) as it feels that reserves discovered so far are not economically significant. It said the completion of this process was pending the resolution of a long­standing liability associated with unfinished minimum work programme that is under consideration with the Government of India since 2009. Hardy­Reliance have told the government the matter of possible liquidated damages associated with the two firms not completing their committed drilling programme, which is under consideration of the government since 2009, needs to be closed out prior to the conclusion of the acquisition process. Hardy currently owns 10 percent interest in the block where a gas discovery, named Dhirubhai­33, was made in 2007. The well that discovered the reserves flowed 18.6 million standard cubic feet per day of gas and 415 barrels of condensate during tests. The GS­01 licence is located in the Gujarat­Saurashtra offshore basin off the west coast, northwest of the prolific Bombay High oil field, with water depths varying between 80 meters and 150 meters. The retained discovery area covers 600 square kilometers. (


Stage-1 of Assam Gas Cracker project commissioned

November 29, 2015. The first phase of long-delayed ` 9,285 crore Assam Gas Cracker project, the first petrochemical project in the North East, has been commissioned. The plant has started producing ethylene, which will form feedstock for manufacturing polymers that are basic building blocks of plastics, GAIL (India) Ltd said. LLDPE/HDPE unit will be made operational after receipt of ethylene from the cracker plant. GAIL holds 70 percent interest in Brahmaputra Crackers and Polymers Ltd (BCPL) while the remaining 10 percent is equally split between Oil India Ltd (OIL), Numaligarh Refineries Ltd (NRL) and the Assam government. The Centre has approved a capital subsidy of ` 2,136 crore and a feedstock subsidy of ` 908.91 crore for a 15 year period for the project with an exemption of excise and income tax for 10 years. GAIL and BCPL have already signed a deal for marketing petrochemical products sold at the plant. The feedstock for the project will be natural gas and naphtha. OIL and ONGC will supply natural gas and naphtha shall be supplied by NRL. (

Transportation / Trade…………

GAIL starts satellite monitoring of its gas pipeline network

November 26, 2015. GAIL (India) Ltd said it has launched satellite surveillance portal to monitor its 13,000 km of gas pipeline network with a view to address security concerns. The move follows an unnoticed corrosion in its pipeline in Andhra Pradesh causing gas leakage and a massive fire in East Godavari district in June 2014, killing at least 18 persons. The company believes space technology can be efficiently used for monitoring the pipeline Right of Use (RoU). It has over 13,000 km of pipeline network wherein monthly monitoring of pipeline ROU at present is being carried out through helicopter surveys. The portal is operated with manual as well as auto-change analysis options to monitor the changes along natural gas pipeline Right of Use (RoU). The change analysis can be made with the help of this technology within the ROU and also outside the ROU up to 1 km risk zone. GAIL developed an application from which the pictures taken locally from any mobile describing the actual scenario can be uploaded instantly to the portal. To establish the technical feasibility of utilising space technology for its pipeline applications, GAIL started the study with Imageries from Indian Satellites and later shifted to very high resolution foreign satellites. Pipeline securities is a major issue across the world and with recent progress in satellite sensing technology, availability of new high resolution satellites and object oriented image analysis, there is a possibility to introduce space technology for pipeline monitoring applications. (

Hyundai looking for new partner to bid for building LNG ships for GAIL

November 26, 2015. Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries is scouting for a new local partner to replace L&T so that it can bid for building liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships for domestic GAIL India, a key Make­in­India push in the oil sector. Hyundai has reached out to both private and state­run shipyards, without confirming whether any tie­up has been firmed up. If Hyundai is unable to form a consortium with a local shipyard soon, the orders for all nine or more ships might be just split between the two likely contenders, Samsung and Daewoo. This can potentially raise the delivery risk for GAIL, which is already running late in acquiring ships. L&T's shipbuilding arm has broken ties with Hyundai for building LNG ships primarily due to a strategic shift towards the defence sector where prospects have brightened with the government's increased resolve to raise local production. About six months ago, L&T, which operates two shipyards at Kattupalli in Tamil Nadu and Hazira in Gujarat, had signed an initial agreement with Hyundai for technology transfer and joint building of LNG carriers in India. This was a result of the diplomatic push by India, which convinced the Korean government and the companies to agree to transfer complex technology for building LNG ships in India, advancing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make­in­India initiative for increased manufacturing in the local economy. Kochi Shipyard also tied up with Samsung Shipyard and Reliance's Pipavav Shipyard with Daewoo Shipbuilding hoping to bid for GAIL's LNG ships. GAIL needs to charter at least nine LNG vessels, of which at least a third need to be built in India, to carry home up to 5.8 million tonne annually from the US from December 2017. The ship liners have to bid for GAIL's order and also simultaneously tie­up with shipbuilders such as Hyundai or Samsung that will build at least a third of the vessels in India in partnership with local yards such as Kochi or Pipavav. GAIL's previous bid to charter LNG ships earlier this year failed to attract foreign bidders reluctant to transfer technology and build ships in India, triggering Indian diplomatic efforts. Another assurance GAIL has recently given to possible bidders is not to impose penalty on ships for delays in loading and unloading due to congestions at the US or Indian terminals. According to the GAIL tender document, the vessels from foreign shipyards have to be delivered between January­May 2019 and from Indian shipyards between July 2022 and June 2023. An LNG vessel costs about $200 million on average. The LNG ships proposed to be built at home will have up to 49 percent Indian shareholding and a longer construction time compared to overseas carriers, aimed at boosting the confidence of foreign shipyards hoping to manufacture in India. (

India's oil import bill likely to dip 35 percent in FY'16

November 25, 2015. India's crude oil import bill is likely to dip by 35 percent to $73 billion this fiscal as global energy prices slumped on weak demand. India had imported 189.43 million tons of crude oil in 2014-15 for $1,12,744 billion or ` 6.87 lakh crore. This fiscal the imports are projected at 188.23 million tons, almost the same level as last year. According to data available from Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, the country imported 114.9 million tons of crude during April- October for $43.6 billion. Going by the trend, PPAC projected an import of 188.23 million tons for $73.28 billion or ` 4.73 lakh crore. While the April-October 2015 imports are based on actuals and for November 2015 to March 2016, the imports are estimated at $55 per barrel of oil and an exchange rate of ` 65 to a US dollar. An $1 per barrel change in crude price impacts the net import bill by ` 3,513 crore (` 35.13 billion) or $0.54 billion. Similarly, ` 1 variation in exchange rate impacts the import bill by ` 2,972 crores ($0.46 billion). The basket of crude oil that India buys averaged $55.79 per barrel during the first half of current fiscal as against $84.16 a barrel average in full 2014-15 fiscal. The Indian basket had averaged $105.52 per barrel in 2013-14. Besides crude oil, India also imported 16.5 million tons of petroleum products for $6.5 billion in April-October, according to the PPAC data. This compared to 12 million tons of import for $8 billion in the same period last fiscal. Petroleum product exports too declined to 33.6 million tons in April-October from 37.1 million tons a year ago. India earned $17.3 billion this fiscal from exports as compared to $32.2 billion last year. The growth in consumption was led by 7 percent to 42.6 million tons. LPG demand rose to 10.9 million tons from 10 million tons in 2014 while petrol demand was up 14.5 percent to 12.6 million tons. Fuel consumption registered a robust growth of 17.5 percent in October to 15.2 million tons. Except for kerosene, all other products recorded a positive growth. (

TAPI gas pipeline project to start from December 13

November 25, 2015. The ground-breaking ceremony of the proposed multibillion dollar 1,735 kilometre gas pipeline connecting Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India will start from December 13, Turkmenistan Ambassador to Pakistan Atadjan Movlamov has said. The trans-national gas pipeline project known as TAPI, is intended to carry 33 billion cubic meters of gas annually through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar and terminate in Fazilka, a border town in India's Punjab state. Turkmenistan is said to have the world's fourth-largest gas reserves, but currently exports almost all of it to China. TAPI is vital for economic growth of regional countries, Pakistan's Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada said. He said TAPI project is vital for Pakistan's energy needs and would strengthen relations between Islamabad and Ashgabat. (

Policy / Performance………

Govt mulling policy to push O&G investments in Northeast

December 1, 2015. Government is considering a special policy dispensation to promote oil and gas (O&G) investments in the Northeast region, the Oil Ministry said. The oil and gas sector in Northeast region is confronted with several challenges ranging from demand-side issues to infrastructure to availability of advance technology to arrest the natural decline in oil production, the Oil Ministry said. At present, North East region supply 10 percent of the gas and 12 percent of the oil requirements of the country. Oil production has come down from 4.84 million tonnes to 4.54 million tonnes between 2011 to 2015 and refineries in the region are now being fed from imported crude oil. (

Non-subsidised LPG dearer by ` 61.50, jet fuel cheaper

December 1, 2015. The price of non-subsidised cooking gas cylinder a consumer buys on exhausting the subsidy quota, was hiked by ` 61.50 per cylinder while aviation turbine fuel (ATF) rates were marginally reduced by 1.2 percent. Allowing for local levies, the market price of non-subsidised LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cylinder of 14.4 kg is now ` 606.50 in Delhi, ` 636.50 in Kolkata, ` 618.50 in Mumbai and ` 621 in Chennai. This is the second straight increase in non-subsidised cooking gas rates. Prices were hiked by ` 27.5 on November 1. The three state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) have reduced petrol and diesel prices in the national capital by 58 paise per litre and 25 paise per litre respectively. OMCs said that the hike in LPG cylinder rates was owing to a hardening of global rates that has also led to the subsidy being paid on cooking gas going up from ` 127.18 to ` 188.68 per cylinder. The government subsidy on cooking gas is paid directly into consumers' bank accounts. The aviation turbine fuel (ATF) price in Delhi, however, was cut by ` 526.2 per kilolitre (kl), or 1.2 percent, to ` 44,320.32 from ` 44,846.82 per kl. This is the third straight monthly reduction for jet fuel since October. OMCs revise jet fuel and non-subsidised LPG rates once a month. (

Data bank for oil exploration biz by fiscal-end: Oil Ministry

December 1, 2015. A National Data Repository with information related to oil and gas exploration in India will be ready by the end of this fiscal. The National Data Repository is being set up and it should be ready by March 2016, the Oil Ministry said. Work on the project has been going for a long time. According to information on the National Data Repository on the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) website, the data bank will provide reliable exploration and production data for India with provisions for seamless access and on-line data management. The data bank will have geo-scientific data, facilitate data reporting and exchange as well as support an open acreage system for an improved exploration and production business environment in India. (

Oil firms to benefit from low rates, price deregulation: Fitch

December 1, 2015. Fitch Ratings said low oil rates and price deregulation in India's oil and gas sector will have a positive impact on the rated companies in the sector, especially the oil refining and marketing firms. Upstream companies like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will benefit from having to offer lower discount on crude oil they sell to refiners following greater clarity on the fuel subsidy-sharing formula. Fitch expects refining margins to narrow from January-June levels this year, although margins will remain "relatively robust in 2016". The sector outlook for Indian oil and gas entities is negative in 2016. Fitch said low crude-oil prices and diesel price deregulation would be positive for marketing firms Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) as that would trim their under-recoveries on subsidised fuels, working capital and related debt requirements. It said benchmark Brent oil price may stay at $55 per barrel for one more year. The government has, however, proposed in October 2015 to relax natural gas price controls for new fields to incentivise exploration and production activities. (

Petroleum sector got only ` 3 bn FDI during April-September 2015

November 30, 2015. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Government is encouraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in order to supplement domestic investment and technological capabilities in the petroleum sector. According to the FDI data provided by the government, the FDI inflow in the petroleum sector is a meagre ` 302.62 crore in the April-September 2015, compared to ` 6495.67 crore in 2014-15. The figures for 2013-14 were ` 678.39 crore and ` 1192.57 crore for 2012-13. (

Petrol price cut by 58 paise per litre, diesel by 25 paise per litre

November 30, 2015. The price of petrol was cut by 58 paise per litre and that of diesel by 25 paise, reversing the trend of increasing rates, on global cues. Petrol will cost ` 60.48 per litre from mid-night tonight in Delhi as against ` 60.70 a litre currently. A litre of diesel will cost ` 46.55 compared with the ` 46.80 now, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) said. The price cut more than reverses the hike of 36 paise a litre in petrol rates effected on November 16, the first increase in five months. Similarly, in the case of diesel, it reverses the three rounds of hikes since October — the last being 87 paise a litre on November 16. Prior to the November 16 hike, petrol price had been slashed on four occasions — by ` 2.43 on August 1, ` 1.27 on August 16, ` 2 on September 1 and 50 paise on November 1. Diesel rates were not changed on November 1, but hiked by 95 paise on October 16 and 50 paise on October 1. Rates of diesel were last cut by 50 paise on September 1. State-owned fuel retailers — IOC, BPCL and HPCL — revise petrol and diesel prices on 1st and 16th of every month based on average imported cost and rupee-dollar exchange rate in the previous fortnight. (

Time good for India to firm up long-term LNG contracts: IEA

November 28, 2015. India must tie up long-term LPG contracts now as global prices are low and there could be an additional downward pressure on prices in the future as new players enter the market, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol said. Birol commented on the future of oil prices, a move unusual for the normally reticent IEA. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that India’s rising energy stature globally was well-deserved. The India Energy Outlook report predicts that India will contribute more than any other country to the rise in global energy demand by 2040. However, it adds that on a per capita basis, India’s energy demand will still be 40 percent below the world average at that time. Natural gas consumption is expected to triple by that time, to 175 billion cubic metres. However, at eight percent, it is still expected to contribute a very small proportion of the energy mix in the country. (

FAME-India scheme to save ` 600 bn on oil import bill: Govt

November 26, 2015. The FAME-India scheme offering incentives on hybrid and electric vehicles will help save ` 60,000 crore annually on the country's oil import bill by 2020, the government said. India's crude oil import bill is likely to drop by 35 percent to $73 billion this fiscal on lower global energy prices and weak demand. India had imported 189.43 million tonnes of crude oil in 2014-15 for ` 6.87 lakh crore. This fiscal, the imports are projected at 188.23 million tonnes, almost the same level as last year. FAME-India is short for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India and part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. The scheme, which was launched in April, envisages ` 795 crore support in the first two fiscals starting with the current year. The Heavy Industries Ministry has estimated a total requirement of about ` 14,000 crore for the scheme. The ministry said the government intends to gradually convert two-, three-, four-wheelers as well as commercial vehicles and buses to hybrid and electric vehicles. The ministry said he has called a meeting on December 9 to ask for cooperation from all state governments for the scheme. The government had issued a notice to German car major Volkswagen after testing agency ARAI found "significant variations" in on-road emission levels in the auto maker's diesel models of Jetta, Octavia, Audi A4 and Audi A6 in India. (

Free gas pricing policy won't help 15-17 Tcf gas discoveries but future finds

November 25, 2015. Government move to free natural gas pricing will not resolve the issue of economically developing already discovered 15-17 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas reserves as the policy will only apply to future finds. The oil ministry's proposal to make natural gas prices market driven for blocks or areas awarded in future exploration licensing rounds/auctions is a forward looking policy framework. Pricing and marketing freedom will help develop and manage a vibrant oil and gas market. However, it does not resolve the issue of economically developing the already discovered 15-17 Tcf of natural gas, which can yield an additional 100 million standard cubic meters per day by 2022 to help reduce import dependency. The existing capped natural gas price of $4.24 per million British thermal unit is not enough to support multi-billion dollar investment for developing the gas finds, most of which are in deep sea and difficult areas. (



Coal India misses November production target by 4.42 percent

December 1, 2015. Coal India's production stood at 47.47 million tonnes in November, down by 4.42 percent from the targeted output level for the month. Coal India Ltd (CIL) said the actual coal production was 47.47 million tonnes in November this year, while the offtake was 45.33 million tonnes in the same month. During the April-November period of this fiscal, total coal production was 321.38 million tonnes, it said. The government has set one billion tonne production goal for the company by 2020. The corresponding figure for the current fiscal is 550 million tonnes. Coal India missed the production target for 2014-15 by 3 percent, recording an output of 494.23 million tonne. The company accounts for more than 80 percent of the domestic coal production. (

Dabhol power plant restarts generation

November 26, 2015. The Dabhol power plant in Maharashtra recommenced electricity generation after remaining shut for nearly two years. The Dabhol power plant, owned by Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Ltd (RGPPL), restarted electricity generation after having been shut for nearly two years due to shortage of domestic gas, the power ministry said. The plant is initially producing 290 MW power which will be sold to the Indian Railways, it said. RGPPL, promoted by NTPC and GAIL, was set up to takeover and revive the assets of Dabhol Power Company project. The company has 1,967 MW capacity power plant located at village Anjanwel, in Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra, nearly 330 km away from Mumbai. (

MCL targets 250 mt coal production by 2020

November 26, 2015. Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, has set 250 million tonne (mt) of coal production target by 2020 along with diversification into power generation and transmission sectors. The company is setting-up a 2 x 800 MW super critical thermal power plant at its Basundhara area in Sundergarh district besides a joint venture with transmission utility Neelachal Power Transmission Company Pvt Ltd. The company has entered into joint venture with Odisha government and the railways to form a company-Mahanadi Coal Railway Ltd- to boost the rail development project and strengthen transport communication network in the state. Coal production from MCL is likely to get a fillip as Indian Railways is expected to complete the 52-kms Barpali-Jharsuguda line by June 2016, solving the major evacuation problem in the coal-rich Basundhara fields in Sundergarh district of Odisha. The completion of single-line at the estimated cost of ` 1,007 crore, is projected to increase off-take from MCL by 35 million tonne. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Power sector employees to hold strike on December 8

December 1, 2015. A power sector employees’ and engineers’ union said a day-long strike on December 8 to protest against Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014, is unavoidable as negotiations remained deadlocked. About 1.2 million employees and engineers from the sector are likely to participate in the strike. According to the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF), National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) has already served the strike/work boycott notice to Power Minister Piyush Goyal. AIPEF said that besides opposition of power employees and engineers, central government has placed Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2014 on agenda of Lok Sabha for Winter Session. (

Transporting coal via waterways can save ` 100 bn per year: Gadkari

November 28, 2015. Inland waterways can not only boost the movement of goods and passengers across the country, but will also help in saving about ` 10,000 crore annually in transporting coal, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said. The minister said that he is hopeful of Parliament's nod on the bill to convert 111 rivers across India into National Waterways in the current Winter Session. The waterways is a cheaper and environment friendly medium for transporting of goods, he said. The minister said that port sector in India has turned around under the present government and those managing ports have been directed to improve the performance. Necessary permissions and approvals for undertaking such assignments have been completed, he said. (

Railways gets cheaper power from Dabhol plant

November 26, 2015. The Railways has started receiving cheaper, reliable power from Dabhol power plant in Ratnagiri since morning. It will result in saving approximately ` 1,000 crore every year. The Railways had decided to buy electricity from the Dabhol plant, offering a lifeline to the 1,967 MW power project now owned by Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd. The national transporter will, in turn, benefit from lower tariffs. The proposal to source 500 MW from the Maharashtra-based project at ` 4.70 per unit is part of the railways' plan to slash its electricity purchase cost to less than ` 5 per unit from the present average of around Rs 7-8 per unit. (

L&T Construction wins power T&D orders valued ` 10.3 bn

November 26, 2015. The Power Transmission & Distribution (T&D) Business of L&T Construction has won orders worth ` 1038 crores in the international and domestic markets in November 2015. Larsen Toubro Saudi Arabia LLC, a fully owned subsidiary of LT, has bagged an order valued at SAR 405.75 Million (USD 108.2 Million) for the construction of five 132 kV Substations at Hail area from the National Grid, Saudi Arabia, a subsidiary of Saudi Electricity Company. The scope involves detailed designing, engineering, testing and commissioning of the 132 kV gas insulated switchgear, 132/13.8 kV, 50/67 MVA power transformers, 132/33 kV, 80/100 MVA power transformers, 13.8 kV switchgears, 33 kV switchgear, control protection system, substation automation system, HVAC, Novec firefighting system with associated auxiliary systems and civil works. These projects are in the central province of Saudi Arabia and are scheduled to be completed in 24 months. In the domestic market, the business has bagged an order from the Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL). Forming a part of the power system improvement project in the state capital, the order is for engineering, supply, erection and commissioning of several KMs of underground EHV HV cable networks, compact substations and other distribution elements in the city of Bhubaneswar, Odisha. (

Policy / Performance………….

India plans to construct 6 more Fast Breeder Reactors

December 1, 2015. India is planning to construct six new Fast Breeder Reactors over the next 15 years, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI), P Chellapandi. BHAVINI, the implementing arm of the Department of Atomic Energy, has plans to construct the reactors in next decade and a half. Country's first 500-MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, around 70 km from Chennai, being set up by BHAVINI, is expected to become critical in March or April 2016, P Chellapandi, said. On the first 500-MWe PFBR being set up, he said the PFBR construction is over and they are seeking clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) in phases for sodium charging, fuel loading, reactor criticality and power rising (generation). (

Govt plans to douse century-old fire to extract coal worth ` 600 bn

December 1, 2015. The government is looking to douse a century-old fire that has blocked the extraction of high-quality coal worth an estimated ` 60,000 crore from the underground mine, with plans to relocate people settled in the area. The plan is to convert the mine at Dhanbad in Jharkand into an opencast one to extract reserves of 195 billion tonnes by extinguishing the fire that has been burning at least since 1916, when it was detected. Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal has sought land from DVC and Jharkhand to relocate more than 1 lakh families living in an area of about 500 sq km. The field is owned by Coal India Ltd (CIL) subsidiary Bharat Coking Coal Ltd, which is primarily engaged in the mining of coking coal. It meets more than half the coking coal requirement of India's steel sector. India imports most of its coking coal requirement of around $4 billion. Putting out the fire would mean saving on some of this amount. The government has an ambitious production target of 1 billion tonnes of coal by 2019-20. According to coal secretary Anil Swarup, the government has already identified mines with assets of more than 908 million tonnes. In 1975, a Russian team had tried and failed to put out the fire. Later, the World Bank suggested turning it into an opencast mine. However, previous governments haven't been able to do this following disputes with residents, small businessmen and the local mafia who have been mining small quantities of coking coal. (

New restructuring package for state discoms a positive: Fitch

November 30, 2015. Terming the new restructuring package offered to state discoms as a positive, Fitch said states opting for the package and delivering on loss reductions over the medium-term is essential for the success of the programme. The agency sees the new restructuring package offered to the state discoms in November 2015 as a positive, the rating agency said. Successfully addressing the weak financial positions of state distribution companies (discoms) is key to improving the health of India's power sector, it said. The weak fiscal position of these entities has led to sustained delays in payment to market participants and weak offtake from power generators, in addition to increasing the risks associated with much-needed investment in the sector, it said. Fitch said it forecasts substantial capex to continue in 2016 for the rated utilities in India, weighing on their financial profiles. However, it maintains a stable outlook on the utilities sector and ratings of Indian discoms in 2016, it said. In a bid to rescue almost bankrupt state electricity retailers, the Cabinet had approved a scheme for rejig of ` 4.3 lakh crore debt of the utilities besides measures to cut power thefts and align consumer tariff with cost of generating electricity. (

Power deficit dips further, hits fresh record low of 2.4 percent

November 30, 2015. Government has said the power deficit in the country has fallen further and has hit a fresh lowest-ever level of 2.4 percent due to additional 29,168 MW power generation capacity in the last one and a half year. The government said the country witnessed the highest-ever generation capacity addition of 29,168 MW during this period. More than three crore energy-efficient LED bulbs have been also been distributed till now, it said. Earlier in May, the government had said that 22,566 MW of power generation capacity was added since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government came into power. Moreover, Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal had then said the deficit dipped to an all-time low of 3.6 percent. (

"Working on policy to provide electricity in hamlets"

November 28, 2015. The Central government is focusing on electrifying every household and is preparing a policy for issuing connection to hamlets in the country, Power & Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said. He said the government would include Jhunjhunu in a pilot project related to electricity. He said the government has asked the states to hold monthly meetings chaired by MPs to review power related issues so that the problems can be addressed. Goyal was in the city to attend a programme organised by a private foundation in which Noble Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi was also present. (

Govt to give all households in West Bengal 4 energy efficient LED bulbs

November 27, 2015. All households in West Bengal will soon receive four energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) bulbs from power utilities as part of state government's initiate to cut down on energy consumption, state commerce and industry minister Amit Mitra said. Mitra said consumers would be able to get these bulbs on easy instalment and government will provide assistance to the poor so that they can replace incandescent bulbs and tube lights at home. The proposal has already been cleared by the board of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. Mitra was talking at the inaugural session of an international lighting industry event organized by the Indian Society of Lighting Engineers. He said the state government has also started LED street lighting initiative in several areas such as Rajpur­Sonarpur municipality, Behala, Falta, Kasba, Calcutta Leather Complex, New Haldia and North Bengal. The state has also finalized the energy conservation building code and the draft is with the department of power for issuing the gazette notification, Mitra said. The minister also used the platform to pitch to the lighting industry for investment in West Bengal. He said the government has ready plugand­play infrastructure available and invited all the big companies to invest in the lighting equipment or LED bulb and luminaire manufacturing. The market for LED bulbs and light in India has been growing at over 50% for the last six years and projected to continue this pace of growth for next few years. (



Production begins from Edvard Grieg field offshore Norwegian North Sea

December 1, 2015. Lundin Petroleum and partners have commenced production from the Edvard Grieg field located in production license (PL) 338, in the Utsira High area of the Norwegian North Sea. Discovered in 2007, the Edvard Grieg field is estimated to hold gross 2P reserves of 187 million barrels of oil equivalents and has been developed with a steel jacket platform resting on the seabed. The oil produced from the field will be transported to the Sture terminal on the west coast of Norway through the Grane pipeline while the produced gas will be transported to St. Fergus in Scotland via a separate pipeline system. The partners plan to use the Rowan Viking jack-up rig for development drilling at the field which is scheduled to commence soon and expected to continue through 2018. A total of ten production wells and four water injection wells will be drilled by the partners at the field. Plateau production is expected during the second half of 2016. Additionally, the Edvard Grieg will receive oil and gas from the neighbouring Ivar Aasen field for further processing. (

US lower 48 natural gas output up to record high in September: EIA

November 30, 2015. U.S. natural gas output in the lower 48 states climbed to an all-time high of 83.9 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in September from a revised 83.5 bcfd in August, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its monthly 914 production report. That would be a fourth monthly increase in a row for the lower 48 states. Before the revision, EIA said output in the lower 48 in August was 84.3 bcfd. Gas production in September was up 7 percent from year-earlier levels of 78.7 bcfd, the EIA said. Output in the biggest producing states was mixed, with Texas up 0.2 percent to 25.0 bcfd in September from August, Pennsylvania up 0.4 percent to 13.2 bcfd and Oklahoma down 0.2 percent to 7.0 bcfd. That was the most gas production per month for both Texas and Pennsylvania, at least according to federal data going back to 2005. In the federal Gulf of Mexico, meanwhile, output increased by 1.4 percent to 4.0 bcfd in September from August. (

More Russian oil drilling shows its resolve to OPEC

November 30, 2015. Russian oil firms are drilling more, showing the world's top crude producer is ready for a longer fight for market share with Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as its industry can carry on even if oil prices reach $35 per barrel. As OPEC prepares to meet in Vienna, Russia is sending a low key delegation for talks which are very unlikely to result in any output deal. OPEC oil ministers have repeatedly said they would only cut production in tandem with non-OPEC. According to Eurasia Drilling Company (EDC), the largest provider of land drilling services in Russia and offshore in the Caspian Sea, Russian drilling measured in meters rose 10 percent in the first six months of this year from a year ago, despite a decline in oil prices to less than $50 per barrel from their peaks of $115 in June 2014. Moscow has surprised the OPEC by ramping up output to new record highs this year despite low oil prices, which OPEC had hoped would depress production from higher cost producers. Moscow responded by steeply devaluing the rouble, giving an edge to its exporters. In many OPEC Gulf producers currencies are firmly pegged to the dollar. According to EDC, the Russian drilling market is based on long-term contracting, which results in lower pricing and less margins volatility, as compared to other countries more subject to the spot market. Total drilling has more than doubled over the past decade to more than 22 million meters per year.

Russian oil production, which together with sales of natural gas account for half of state budget revenues, has been steadily rising since 1998, apart from a marginal decline in 2008. According to data, the number of producing wells in Russia has increased in 2014 to 146,279 from 143,875 in 2013. The number of horizontal wells - a more efficient method of extracting oil - has increased by more than six times since 2005. The number of wells in the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia, has also risen over the past year, according to data from OPEC - in steep contrast to fast declines in many other producing areas as a result of low oil prices. In the United States, the number of oil rigs has fallen by 1,173 over the past year to 744 as the shale oil boom cools due to lower oil prices, according to oil services company Baker Hughes. Merrill Lynch said that most Russian oil companies break even at an oil price as low as $35 per barrel comparing to $40-$50 for Latin America's producers. (

Dana Gas Group awarded $1.9 bn in Iraq Kurds dispute

November 29, 2015. Dana Gas PJSC said a court has ordered the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to pay it and two other energy companies $1.98 billion in a dispute over development rights for two oil and natural gas fields in Iraq’s self-governing Kurdish region. The London Court of International Arbitration ordered the KRG to pay Dana, Crescent Petroleum and Pearl Petroleum Co. within 28 days for condensate and liquefied petroleum gas produced up until June 30, the United Arab Emirates-based energy producer said. Dana Gas said the tribunal in July confirmed the group’s exclusive rights to develop and produce gas and petroleum from the Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields in northern Iraq for not less than 25 years, an arrangement the KRG had disputed since May 2009. The group’s further claims for substantial damage from “wrongfully delayed” development of the fields will be heard in 2016, as will the KRG’s remaining counterclaims, Dana Gas said. Dana Gas, which operates mostly in Egypt and Iraq, and its partners have invested over $1.2 billion and produced the equivalent of more than 150 million barrels of gas and petroleum liquids in the Kurdish region. (

Mexico's Sierra O&G sees first exploratory drill in early 2017

November 25, 2015. A consortium that includes Mexico's Sierra Oil & Gas plans in early 2017 to make its first exploratory drill in one of the fields it was awarded as part of a landmark energy reform, Sierra's chief executive officer said. In a July tender, a consortium comprised of Sierra, U.S company Talos Energy and British company Premier Oil won two blocks that were among 14 production-sharing contracts offered at the outset of Mexico's sweeping energy sector opening. A second exploratory drill would depend on the results of the first one, he said, which would last for between 40 and 70 days. The two blocks are located in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and each one will require an average investment of $1.3 billion over the course of five years, according to Mexico's energy regulator. Mexico's government hopes the landmark energy opening, which was finalized in 2014 and ends decades of state-run control over the country's hydrocarbons, will fuel more robust growth in Latin America's second biggest economy. As part of the overhaul, from 2017 private companies will be able to import and distribute gasoline in Mexico. From 2018, they will be able to refine crude oil and sell gasoline at market prices, putting them in direct competition with state-run Pemex. (


Lukoil's Bulgarian refinery sees crude processing at 6 mt in 2015

November 27, 2015. The Bulgarian refinery of Russian oil producer Lukoil expects to process about 6 million tonnes (mt) of crude oil this year due to improved consumption, Valentin Zlatev, member of the supervisory board of the refinery said. The refinery at the Black Sea port of Burgas still works below its capacity of 7.5 million tonnes a year as the Bulgarian economy slowly recovers following the global financial and economic crisis in 2008-09, Zlatev said. Lukoil Burgas Neftochim, Bulgaria's only oil refinery, processed 5.9 million tonnes of crude in 2014. It exports 60 percent of its output, mainly to the neighbouring Balkan countries and Turkey. (

Sinopec offers refineries bonus to export surplus diesel

November 27, 2015. China's Sinopec Corp is offering its subsidiary refineries big incentives to export their diesel fuel, in a rare move that reflects the top Asian refiner's deepening concerns about a growing domestic glut. The internal bonus scheme marks the latest step by the state-owned refiner to battle local oversupply of the industrial fuel as slowing economic growth curbs diesel use in mining, construction and transportation. The company has maintained relatively high production in order to feed growing domestic demand for kerosene and gasoline, thus exacerbating the diesel surplus. Sinopec's crude runs were up 1.4 percent in the first three quarters of 2015 compared with a year ago. About a half-dozen of Sinopec's refineries are being offered around 240 yuan ($37.60) for each tonne of diesel exported, under a scheme that started in September and has been extended to December. The payments are a tiny portion of the company's $4.25-billion net profit in the first three quarters of the year, and with refining profits up 34.3 percent, the company has plenty of room for the export incentive, analysts said. (

Saudi Aramco to invest more in Indonesia's oil and gas sector

November 26, 2015. Saudi Aramco is looking for further investment opportunities in Indonesia's downstream refining and petrochemicals industry, the company's CEO Amin H Al-Nasser said, after initiating a $5.5 billion project to upgrade the country's largest refinery. The Saudi Aramco CEO's comments are positive for Indonesian President Joko Widodo's efforts to attract investment after a clean-up of the country's oil and gas sector that followed a series of scandals. Indonesia will rejoin OPEC as its 13th member nation next month. The project is expected to increase the refinery's crude processing capacity to 370,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 348,000 bpd at present, and is also likely to include an agreement to import crude from Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter. (

Petrobras says to buy 461k barrels of gasoline from Braskem

November 25, 2015. Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) said that it agreed to buy 73,300 cubic meters (461,000 barrels) of gasoline in December from Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA. The fuel will be purchased from Braskem plants in São Paulo and the far-southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Petrobras, as the oil company is known, said. Petrobras, which owns 36 percent of Braskem and supplies it with naphtha, agreed to buy 82,000 cubic meters (515,764 barrels) of gasoline from the petrochemical company in November. (

BG Group's Australian LNG plant fully operational

November 25, 2015. BG Group has started commercial operations at the second train at its Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) plant and has taken full control of both trains and associated facilities at the Australian site, the company said. BG Group said that its Australian subsidiary has assumed control of Train 2 from Bechtel Australia, which built the plant. The project is expected to produce enough LNG to load about 10 vessels a month by mid-2016, equivalent to exporting around eight million tonnes of LNG a year, the company said. BG Group is one of Australia's leading natural gas explorers and producers, supplying gas to the domestic market and LNG internationally. The company is also building an LNG plant on Curtis Island, off Gladstone in central Queensland. (

Transportation / Trade……….

US oil reserve sale reduced in transportation bill deal

December 1, 2015. The U.S. transportation bill will be partially funded by selling off some of the U.S. emergency oil reserve, but less will be sold than originally planned after negotiators in the Senate and House of Representatives reached a deal. About 66 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be sold from 2023 to 2025 under the deal, instead of about 100 million barrels, the amount in the original bill passed by the Senate in July. The legislation, which has bipartisan support, is expected to reach the floor of each chamber, when a short-term funding measure runs out. Once passed, it would then go to President Barack Obama's desk to be signed. The world's largest supply of government-owned emergency oil, held in a series of salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana, currently holds 695 million barrels, well over the minimum required by international agreements. The deal could also allow the secretary of energy to direct the sale of some oil during fiscal years 2016 to 2017. (

Lithuania expects LNG cargo from Norway on December 15-16

November 30, 2015. Lithuania expects to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker Arctic Aurora with a cargo from Norway on December 15-16, later than previously planned, the country's LNG importer Litgas said. It had previously planned to receive about 140,000 cubic metres of gas from Norway under a contract with Statoil on Nov. 29, data showed. Litgas signed a five-year deal with Statoil in 2014 to buy around 540 million cubic metres of gas annually via the Klaipeda LNG import terminal, operated by Klaipedos Nafta. The government has asked the Lithuanian importer, part of state-owned power group Lietuvos Energija, to renegotiate its contract with Statoil to get more flexibility. Lithuania has received five commercial LNG cargoes from Norway since December 2014, meeting about 18 percent of gas demand, with the rest supplied by Russia's Gazprom via pipelines. (

Mozambique-South Africa gas pipeline to be expanded by 2017

November 30, 2015. Petrochemicals company Sasol, the Mozambican and South African governments will invest a total of $210 million to build a new gas pipeline by 2017 that will increase the amount of gas shipped from Mozambique to its bigger neighbour. With the addition of the new line, 212 million gigajoules of gas will be piped from Mozambique to South Africa per year, up from 188 million gigajoules a year now, the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investment Company said. The new 127 km (79 mile) line will run parallel to the existing 865 km gas pipeline for only part of the way. The existing line runs from the Temane gas fields to Sasol's Secunda plant in South Africa. (

UAE's Dragon Oil in talks with Turkmenistan on $10 bn TAPI pipeline

November 27, 2015. United Arab Emirates' Dragon Oil is in talks with Turkmenistan on its potential involvement in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline project, the company said. Ashgabat plans to begin construction of the $10 billion, 1,735-kilometre (1,084-mile) pipeline next month in order to diversify exports away from China and Russia. It remains unclear how the project will be financed. Dragon Oil, which produces about 100,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent from two fields in the Caspian Sea just off the Turkmen coast, provided no details of the potential deal. (

Gazprom says signs 8 year deal to buy all LNG from Cameroon export plant

November 27, 2015. Russian natural gas exporter Gazprom has signed an eight-year off-take agreement for all the liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Perenco Cameroon export plant, the company said. The floating LNG terminal will be owned and operated by Norwegian shipping company Golar LNG, which is converting one of its LNG tankers into a floating production platform. Gazprom Marketing and Trading Singapore will take 1.2 million tonnes of LNG annually from the project, which is due to start production in 2017. The deal enabled Cameroon's state oil firm SNH and Perenco Cameroon to announce the final investment decision for the project. (

Leviathan gas field developers sign LOI to export gas to Egypt

November 26, 2015. The developers of the Leviathan gas field off Israel have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the export of natural gas from the Leviathan Project to Egyptian consumers. The LOI includes several commercial conditions for the proposed potential transaction, which will serve as a basis for negotiating the Binding Agreement. The estimated scope of the Binding Agreement is the supply of 4 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year for a period of 10-15 years. Gas would be transported through the transmission system of Israel Natural Gas Lines (Natgaz) to Ashkelon and from there to the local market in Egypt using the existing pipeline operated by EMG. (

Gazprom halts gas supply to Ukraine

November 26, 2015. Tensions have escalated again between Russia and Ukraine over gas pricing, with Russian gas exporter Gazprom announcing that it would suspend deliveries to Ukraine until it receives a new pre-payment for deliveries and Ukraine declaring that it would find cheaper supply from Europe. The Ukrainian government has ordered national gas company Naftogaz to stop purchasing Russian gas. In November 2015, Ukraine imported 400 mcm of gas from Russia and is confident on its gas stocks (around 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) in early December, i.e. 2 bcm over the December 2014 level). (  

PetroChina to sell stake in Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline to China reform for $2.4 bn

November 26, 2015. Chinese state-controlled oil company PetroChina has approved a plan to divest 50% stake in its subsidiary Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline to a unit of state-owned China Reform for $2.4 bn. The sale includes part of a critical network of pipelines which link China's far west Xinjiang region to major natural-gas supplies in Central Asia. Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline operates a 1,830 km gas pipeline system which runs through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to China's far western province Xinjiang. In an effort to improve state-owned industries, the China Government is considering spinning off oil and gas pipelines into independent businesses from its energy companies. (

Canadian crude-by-rail exports rebound 38 percent in third quarter

November 25, 2015. Canadian exports of crude by rail surged 38 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to data, as wider price differentials improved the economics of shipping oil on tank cars to markets and refineries in the United States. Canada's National Energy Board said the country exported 116,000 barrels of crude per day in the three months ending Sept. 30, up from 84,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the second quarter. The discount on Canadian cash crude blew out to its widest level this year in August as a result of a major U.S. Midwest refinery outage and pipeline upsets that led to a glut of barrels building up in Alberta. That pushed differentials in the Alberta trading and marketing hub in Hardisty to more than $15 a barrel below U.S. benchmark crude for several weeks, a level at which the cost of shipping crude by rail is offset by the higher price received in U.S. markets. Rail companies also dropped freight rates for crude shippers during the quarter in a bid to lure shipments. Rail shipments, which are more expensive than pipelines for moving crude, were down 30 percent from the third quarter of 2014, when Canada exported a record 165,998 bpd. (

Policy / Performance…………

Iraqi Kurdistan minister says no link between oil sales and Islamic State

December 1, 2015. The Iraqi Kurdish minister Ashti Hawrami for natural resources said that the regional government was helping smuggle oil from fields controlled by Islamic State militants were "wild imagination and unsubstantiated". Kurdistan began bypassing Baghdad and exporting oil directly in 2014 following a dispute with the federal government about its share of the budget. It is currently exporting more than 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil. The region plans to increase exports to as much as 1 million barrels by the end of next year, Hawrami said. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said all crude oil that moved through its pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, as well as all cargoes loaded at that point, had been verified and there was no question as to their origin, in response to reports that it was enabling oil produced in Islamic State-held areas to be sold along with its own output. (

Scotiabank's soured O&G loans jump 72 percent in fourth quarter

December 1, 2015. Bank of Nova Scotia’s impaired oil and gas (O&G) loans jumped 72 percent over a three-month period as the Toronto-based firm increased lending to the energy industry amid slumping oil prices. Soured loans for oil and gas climbed to C$165 million ($123 million) as of Oct. 31, up from C$96 million at the end of July and C$44 million a year ago, according to financial disclosures released. Two Canadian companies previously on Scotiabank’s “watch list” were classified as impaired in the fiscal fourth quarter, adding C$24 million to loan losses for the oil-and-gas category, Chief Financial Officer Sean McGuckin said. Scotiabank said its oil-and-gas exposure was C$16.5 billion in the quarter, representing 3.5 percent of its total loan book. That’s up from C$12.8 billion a year ago, when it represented 2.9 percent of loans. Oil prices have fallen almost 40 percent in the past year as a record surplus persists. (

Crude oil prices remain weak ahead of OPEC meeting

November 30, 2015. Crude oil prices were barely changed as traders bet on continued high production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) ahead of its meeting. China's economy showed renewed signs of weakness, with its manufacturing falling to a three-year low, survey showed. Although Japan's manufacturing accelerated, it was at low levels. In physical markets, Dubai crude fell to the lowest since December 2008, averaging $41.691 per barrel for November, according to price-reporting agency Platts. OPEC's policy meeting is not expected to change the organization's strategy, adopted last year, of pumping oil vigorously to protect its market share against U.S. shale drillers and other producers. (

Mexico reveals bid minimums for December's onshore oil auction

November 30, 2015. Mexico's government will require winning oil companies to bid at least 1 percent of pre-tax profits in next month's onshore oil auction, the country's Finance Ministry said. The minimum pre-tax profits companies must offer to the government will range from 1 to 10 percent over the 25 oil and gas fields up for grabs at the Dec. 15 auction, according to the ministry. The auction makes the third phase of the so-called Round One tender, the series of auctions which stem from the sweeping energy overhaul finalized last year by Mexico's Congress and which aim to reverse a decade-long slide in Mexican crude output. The December auction will offer license contracts to winning bidders and is mostly aimed at upstart Mexican oil companies seeking to gain experience as oil and gas field operators after the energy overhaul ended national oil company Pemex's decades-long exploration and production monopoly. (

Iran offers 50 oil projects to foreign investors

November 28, 2015. Iran offered about 50 oil and gas projects to be developed by foreign investors with local partners under a new scheme it hopes will initially generate $25 billion in investments. It has outlined plans to rebuild its main industries and trade relationships following the agreement, targeting oil and gas projects worth $185 billion by 2020. Some 135 energy companies attended a conference in Tehran to hear the terms of a new energy contract - which it calls its integrated petroleum contract. Iran needs Western oil companies to help revive its aging oilfields and develop new oil and gas projects and the new oil contracts are part of its drive to attract Western investors. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh repeated that U.S. companies would also be allowed to participate in IPCs, under which foreign investors should have local partners and commit to technology transfer. (

UK uses new powers to rule on Cuadrilla shale gas permits

November 27, 2015. Britain will use new powers to determine whether to allow shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources to carry out fracking at two sites in northwest England, overruling local planning decisions. Britain is estimated to have substantial amounts of shale gas trapped in underground rocks and Prime Minister Cameron has pledged to go all out to extract these reserves, to help offset declining North Sea oil and gas output. Local government minister Greg Clark has informed Lancashire County Council of the minister's intention to himself determine Cuadrilla's appeal on two rejected permits in the area in northwest England. Britain changed its planning rules in August to allow government intervention to approve or reject shale gas drilling permits and give priority to appeals involving shale gas projects. Lancashire Council rejected two Cuadrilla applications for fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, underscoring some local community concerns about the technique. Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the creation of a shale wealth fund that would receive up to 10 percent of tax revenue from shale gas developments for investments in communities affected by the projects. (

Iran plans to start 40 mt per year of LNG projects within three years

November 26, 2015. The National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) plans to commission five LNG projects within the next three years, once the international sanctions will be lifted. Construction works on the 10.8 million tonnes (mt) per year Iran LNG project are already 60% complete and the project could be commissioned within 18 months, i.e. by mid-2017. NIGC expects the upcoming removal of sanctions to revive the 10 mt per year Pars LNG project developed in partnership with Total and Petronas and the 16.2 mt per year Persian LNG project developed in partnership with Repsol and Shell. A 3 mt per year floating LNG plant could also be developed, raising the total liquefaction capacity to 40 mt per year that Iran will seek to export. (



FPL argues for new $1.2 billion power plant in Okeechobee County

December 1, 2015. Florida Power & Light (FPL) told state regulators that it should be allowed to build a $1.2 billion gas-fired power plant on land it owns in Okeechobee County to meet what it projects will be a growing demand for energy by 2019. FPL said it will need an additional 1,052 MW of power generation by 2019 and another 1,409 MW in 2020, with demand continuing to grow in the future. By next year FPL will generate 72 percent of its electricity from natural gas. (

Sinohydro starts construction of 750 MW hydroelectric project in Zambia

November 30, 2015. The Zambia Government has started construction of a 750 MW Kafue Gorge Lower hydro power project to address power crises in the country. The start represents the handover of the Kafue Gorge Lower project site to the contractor Sinohydro Corporation of China by the government. The launch follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between China and Zambia for the development of the China-aided $2 bn Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-power project. The hydro power plant will help in addressing power shortage in the country. The Zambian Government is implementing the hydro power project through the energy and water development ministry and state-owned power company Zesco under a special purpose vehicle, Kafue Gorge Lower Power Development. The country plans to commission the 100 MW power station at Itezhi Tezhi. (

Dangote to build 500 MW power plant for Kano

November 30, 2015. Dangote Group has concluded preliminary arrangements to build a multi-million naira 500 MW electricity plant for the benefit of the people of Kano and its environs, the Group Executive Director, Stakeholders Management and Corporate Communications, Engineer Mansur Ahmed, said. Ahmed said that electricity was part of the philanthropic gesture of the company aimed to support government’s effort in the provision of electricity for the people in Kano, Jigawa, Katsina and some parts of Kaduna. He said the Dangote Foundation was scaling up its charity works across several African countries and has started deepening its philanthropic gestures in the areas of health and education. (

IFC and OPIC will finance 53 MW power plant in Senegal

November 30, 2015. IFC (World Bank Group) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) have signed financing agreements for the 53 MW Cap des Biches thermal power plant developed by ContourGlobal in Senegal. IFC will provide a cross currency swap while OPIC will lend up to US$91mn to the heavy-fuel, oil-fired power project. Construction of the project has already started and is expected to be completed in May 2016. Once operational, the new unit of the Cap des Biches power plant is expected to help Senegal meet its 5% to 8% annual growth in electricity demand. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

ADB lends $80 mn to upgrade Yangon power grid

November 26, 2015. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an US$80 mn loan to upgrade the electricity transmission ring line system around Yangon (Myanmar) to 230 kV, improving power supply to more than one million customers. The Power Transmission Improvement Project will upgrade the Thida-Thaketa-Kyaikasan transmission ring lines from 66 kV to 230 kV and construct two new substations at South Okkalapa and West University. This will complete the critical 230 kV ring for Yangon straddling the substations of Ahlone, Thida, Thaketa, South Okkalapa, Hlawga, Myang Tagar, West University, Hlaing Thayar and back to Ahlone. The work will complement associated upgrades being done by the Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise. (

Policy / Performance…………

Dutch parliament votes to phase out coal-fired power plants

December 1, 2015. The lower house of the parliament of the Netherlands has adopted a gradual phase out of coal-fired power plants and called on the government to draw up by 2016 a plan to the progressive shut-down. There are currently 11 operational coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands with a combined capacity of 4.4 GW and five of them, that were commissioned in the 1980s, should be closed down soon even without a phase out policy. (

China presents new measures to reform its power sector

December 1, 2015. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China plans to introduce measures to promote renewable power generation and to reduce electricity costs for industrial and commercial consumers as part of China's power market reforms. A new pricing system will be extended from Shenzhen and Inner Mongolia to the Anhui, Hubei, Yunnan, and Guizhou provinces and to the Ningxia Hui autonomous region. Under the new pricing system, renewable power producers will be given priority in selling their generation to distributors and large consumers ahead of coal-fired power producers and will benefit from higher, state-regulated power selling prices. Hydro will rank second in terms of priority, followed by nuclear, waste-to-energy and high efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired power plants; they will all benefit from regulated power selling prices. Lower efficiency coal-fired power plants will be subject to market competition. (

World Nuclear Association urges world leaders to add 1000 GW nuclear energy by 2050

December 1, 2015. World Nuclear Association and Nuclear Matters have urged the world leaders at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP21) to consider nuclear energy for its plan to transition to a low-carbon society. The nuclear energy supporters expect an agreement to be signed by the COP21 negotiations which would use nuclear energy alongside other mitigation options in order to support their transition goal.

World Nuclear Association said that the countries are required to develop policies which would spur investment in low carbon generation, especially nuclear energy in order to implement the goals of COP21 agreement.  The association said by 2050, 1000 GW of new nuclear capacity is required to combat climate change globally. (

Australia approves Rio Tinto's Warkworth coal mine expansion

November 30, 2015. The government of New South Wales (Australia) has given its final approval to the expansion of the Rio Tinto-operated Warkworth coal mine, with strict conditions (limits on dust, noise from blasting, water supply, etc.). The mine, which is currently producing 12 million tonnes (mt) per year of coal, will be allowed to operate beyond December 2015, until 2036. (

ADB to provide $800 mn loan to boost power efficiency in Pakistan

November 27, 2015. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide nearly $800 mn financing to Pakistan to fund two programs in a bid to help address energy crises. ADB Pakistan country director Werner Liepach has signed an agreement with Pakistan Secretary Economic Affairs Division Tariq Bajwa for $400 mn for tranche 1 of the Multitranche Second Power Distribution Enhancement Investment Program. The program allows power distribution companies across the country to use advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to enhance load management and reduce electricity losses, thus increasing the power sector's financial viability. Planned to be launched in phases, the distribution enhancement program includes installation of advanced smart meters at major cities, and industrial and commercial hubs. (

Brazil awards operation licenses for 29 hydropower plants

November 26, 2015. The Brazilian electricity regulator ANEEL has announced that it had raised R$3,128 mn (US$827 mn) from the auction of operation licenses of 29 operational hydropower plants with a total capacity of 6,061 MW. China Three Gorges won the Lot E, consisting of the 1,551 MW Jupia power plant and of the 3,444 MW Ilha Solteira power plant, for a total consideration of R$2,381 mn (US$631 mn). The 260 MW Parigot de Souza plant (Lot B1) will be operated by Copel Generation and Transmission (R$131 mn, or US$35 mn), while Cemig GT won the lot D (700 MW over 18 power plants for R$504 mn or US$134 mn); Celesc Geração won the Lot C (five power plants with a cumulated capacity of 63 MW) for R$73 mn (US$19 mn). Finally, Enel Green Power won the Lot B2 (8 MW I Mourao and 31 MW Paranapanema) for R$43 mn (US$11 mn). The concessions are granted for 30 years. (

Iran's nuclear past may remain unclear even as atomic probe ends

November 26, 2015. Questions will probably be left unanswered when International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors conclude their assessment of Iran’s past nuclear activities. Investigators’ conclusion on whether Iran’s nuclear work has contained possible military dimensions “won’t be black or white,” IAEA said. With time winding down to when sanctions against Iran will be lifted in exchange for caps on its nuclear work, the long-awaited IAEA report is one of the final steps that needs to be taken. Under the accord agreed with world powers, the IAEA’s 12-year probe into Iran’s past should be concluded by Dec. 15. The IAEA’s report may end one of the most contentious standoffs in the Vienna-based agency’s 58-year history. Inspectors have said they’re in possession of “credible” information showing Iran may have experimented with nuclear-weapons technologies. For its part, Iran accused the IAEA of being a dupe of foreign intelligence agencies bent on framing the country for violations it didn’t commit. Once the agency’s assessment is ready, it will be circulated among its member states. The IAEA’s 35-member board of governors will then vote on whether to formally close the weapons probe. (

America to decide whether a nuke can outlive a human

November 25, 2015. The U.S. is set to become the first nation to decide whether it’s safe to operate nuclear power plants for 80 years, twice as long as initially allowed. The majority of the nation’s 99 reactors have already received 20-year extensions to their original 40-year operating licenses. Dominion Resources Inc. said it will request an extension from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which oversees the industry. The plan has already raised the ire of anti-nuclear campaigners who cite decades of wear and tear on the nation’s reactors, as well as the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. The NRC will release a draft report next month outlining safety measures needed to extend the time line. Global nuclear retirements of as much as 144 GW are expected by 2030, about 38 percent of current capacity, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The U.S. is the first country to set out a path for reactors to run to 80 years, the Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute said. (



Delhi trapped in smog as world urged to act on climate change

December 1, 2015. Delhi's air quality has dipped to dangerous levels, but no advisories have as yet been issued by the government. The Air Quality Index (AQI) in the capital was at a "very poor" level, touching the 356 mark. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) defines an AQI between levels 0-50 as "good" quality of air, 51-100 as "satisfactory", 301-400 means "very poor" and 401-500 is "severe". The CPCB says PM 2.5 and PM 10 (particulate matter suspended in air with diameters 2.5 and 10 micrometers) are the "prominent" pollutants for Delhi's air. As the world leaders gathered in Paris for a crucial climate change summit, urging nations to act against climate change, the woes of Delhiites fighting smog are likely to continue for the coming week. Even prior to Diwali, environmentalists expected the air quality to dip to "alarming" levels, and attributed it to crop burning which took place in the northern belt of the country, and carbon emissions from outdated trucks and vehicles. According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), PM 2.5, which can cause harm to humans, has been found at 189 units, as against the prescribed normal of 60 units -- three times more than normal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this was 18 times the prescribed normal, as the WHO suggests PM 2.5 levels to be normal at 10 units. The PM 10 levels were found at a whopping 709 units, as against the normal level of 100 units -- over seven times the normal level. This data was recorded at the Anand Vihar air quality monitoring station. The national capital's AQI touched the 408 mark, with smog taking over the city's air, causing low visibility. Delhi, which recently took over Beijing's spot for being the place with the world's filthiest air, has had no instructions from the government despite these high levels of air pollutants. Whereas, if the AQI touches a level of 300 in Beijing, the Chinese government issues an advisory to citizens to stay indoors. (

Norway's Statkraft forms solar power partnership with India's BLP

December 1, 2015. Two leading renewable energy companies, one from Norway and the other from India, have agreed to combine forces to provide improved solar power solutions in India. Norwegian company Statkraft, which is Europe's biggest producer of sustainable energy, is already well established in India's hydropower sector. The company recently entered into a partnership with Bharat Light and Power (BLP) to offer distributed solar energy solutions. The partnership is a 50-50 joint venture called Statkraft BLP Solar Solutions Private Limited. They will provide rooftop and ground mounted solutions based on prime technology and execution. The two companies intend to make it more cost-effective and more sustainable to be a user of solar power for industrial and commercial consumers. By 2019, the Indian Government plans that every household will have power 24/7. (

India to give $30 mn to boost global solar energy generation

December 1, 2015. India has launched an ambitious alliance of 121 developed and developing sun- drenched countries and announced an assistance of USD 30 million to dramatically boost the use of clean solar energy and reduce global carbon emissions. The International Solar Alliance was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the 195-nation United Nations climate summit here to tackle climate change. The alliance from both developed and developing countries aims to mobilise USD 1 trillion by 2030 to be invested in the generation of clean solar energy. Modi announced that India will host the initiative in the premises of the National Institute of Solar Energy in Gurgaon, Haryana. He said that India will provide land and contribute about USD 30 million to build the Secretariat infrastructure of the initiative and support its operation for the next five years until 2021. Modi said that as the developing world lifts billions of people into prosperity, the hope for a sustainable planet rests on a bold global initiative and it shows India's determination to harness the Sun's unlimited energy. Modi said that in Indian tradition, Sun is the source of all forms of energy. Modi highlighted that India has a capacity of 4GW and has set a target of adding 100 GW of solar power by 2022. The idea of solar alliance was mooted by Modi during the India-Africa Forum Summit last month. (

Rich nations behind global warming: PM Modi

December 1, 2015. Speaking ahead of his formal address to the climate change summit, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi reminded leaders of developed nations of their responsibility, flagging rich, industrialized nations as the main culprits for the rising threat of global warming. His remark is significant as it not only reflects India's commitment towards having an effective deal but also reminds rich nations of their responsibility in making this summit a success for the poor across the world who have been the biggest victims of climate change. World leaders urged nations to come out with a comprehensive, credible and durable climate agreement as the crucial climate summit kicked off amid zeal, enthusiasm and expectation of thousands of delegates, scientists, business leaders and members of civil society. The PM invoked India's ancient texts, Rig Veda and Atharva Veda, which emphasized on protecting the earth so that life can be sustained. He also released 'Parampara', a book on India's climate friendly and sustainable practices, at the India Pavilion which showcases the country's commitment to climate action. During his meeting with French President Francois Hollande, Modi said India had come to Paris with "a constructive approach, ambitious goals and positive mindset". He, however, made it clear that the credibility of commitments by nations would be key to successful outcome of the climate summit. (

India defends emissions targets as Modi heads to Paris for talks

November 30, 2015. India’s government rejected criticism that its climate targets could be met without any new policy commitments, saying its goals are sufficiently ambitious considering the country’s stage of development. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joins some 130 leaders in Paris starting to try and seal a climate treaty binding all nations to limit emissions and halt global warming. In the lead up, most nations have submitted pledges outlining the steps they’re ready to take as part of the new pact, so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Modi boosted India’s renewable energy target by nearly fivefold after taking office in May 2014 -- a push that lies at the heart of its emissions pledge. India’s submission also set a target for getting 40 percent of its electricity capacity from non-fossil fuels -- including "clean coal" -- by 2030. (

Environment Ministry asks Haryana, UP & Delhi Governments to set up emergency response mechanism to curb burning of urban waste

November 30, 2015. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has urged Chief Secretaries of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (UP) and National Capital Territory of Delhi to take effective steps to enforce the ban on burning of all types of waste in urban areas. The Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ashok Lavasa, in a letter written recently, has directed that an emergency response mechanism be set up to respond to calls received from citizens in this regard. The Secretary has also brought to the notice of the Chief Secretaries that burning of urban waste is one of the factors that seems to be contributing to poor air quality in and around Delhi. The Secretary has also requested the three Chief Secretaries to make urban local bodies and other regulatory agencies specifically responsible to ensure that burning of waste is not resorted to, so that the deterioration of air quality caused by burning can be checked effectively. (

'India will fulfil responsibilities on climate'

November 30, 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will fulfil all its responsibilities with regard to climate change as he met US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the climate summit. Modi, in his meeting with Obama, also appreciated the openness with which the US President addresses issues with him and said it will help in developing a better understanding. The Prime Minister also mentioned India's ambitious target of producing 175 GW of renewable energy. Prime Minister's comments came in the backdrop of India's strong resentment to US Secretary of State John Kerry's statement that India would be a "challenge" at the climate conference. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar described the comments as "unwarranted". Javadekar and Kerry accompanied Modi and Obama respectively along with other senior ministers and officials. Modi also talked about solar alliance initiative saying it will help in fulfiling the dreams which have brought the countries together here. Ahead of his talks with Obama, Modi had said that there was an urgent need to craft a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement to limit global warming. (

World must turn to Sun to power its future: PM Modi

November 30, 2015. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has said that given the excesses of the industrial age, the world must turn to the sun to power its future. The alliance of 122 countries lying between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn has been formed to collectively harness the power of the sun. India has pledged $30 million for the initiative and has decided to host the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in the premises of its National Institute of Solar Energy, based in Gurgaon. Making an ambitious pitch for solar energy at the climate change summit, Modi said the convergence between economy, ecology and energy must define our future. In another event on Mission Innovation hosted by US President Barack Obama, Modi called for a global partnership to being clean energy to the reach of all people. "Mission Innovation", launched by Obama and French President Francois Hollande, is an initiative to dramatically accelerate public and private global energy innovation to address global climate change, provide affordable clean energy to consumers, including in the developing world and create commercial opportunities in clean energy. He said that access to energy and a better life was a universal aspiration just as clean environment and healthy habitats were. (

India pavilion will show our commitment to control climate change: Javadekar

November 30, 2015. Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar reiterated India's commitment to control climate change and said India pavilion (India@COP21) will show the country's diversity and give a correct impression of India to the world. Javadekar also talked about initiatives taken by the India to protect the environment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi later on also urged the world to act with urgency to tackle climate change and said India is facing the consequences of climate change, which is a result of global warming that came from prosperity and progress in an industrial age powered by fossil fuel. (

Govt bats for revising RPO target to 10 percent by 2022

November 29, 2015. The government is looking at increasing renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets from 3 percent to 10 percent so as to meet the one lakh MW solar capacity by 2022. Under the RPO, distribution companies (discoms) are mandated to purchase a certain amount of their power from renewable sources. The current tariff policy mentions separate percentages of RPO for solar and non-solar sources. The revision in the current RPO targets has to take place in the new tariff policy, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Joint Secretary Tarun Kapoor said. The power ministry was requested to look into it after which it prepared a proposal that is pending Cabinet approval. He said in the national plan for climate change, India has talked about 15 percent target of renewable energy by 2020. The recently announced UDAY package that aims to alleviate the discoms’ debts also includes a rule that they will now have to comply with the RPO, outstanding since April 2012, within a period to be decided in consultation with the power ministry. (

Delhi needs Euro VI urgently to check ever increasing air pollution: IIT Kanpur

November 28, 2015. IIT Kanpur has recommended that Euro VI fuel standards be introduced in Delhi at the earliest in order to check the rising air pollution. It has also recommended that LPG be considered as an alternative and coal burning in power plants or otherwise be stopped completely. The IIT Kanpur team recently submitted a draft report which said that vehicles are responsible for 60% of the air pollution in winter. The report, which is based on modelling exercises and on real-time data collected over two-and-a-half years between 2012 and 2015, will be finalised in December once Delhi government officials meet Professor Mukesh Sharma, the lead investigator of the study. Euro VI norms call for 10 ppm sulphur in diesel compared to 50 ppm sulphur stipulated by the Euro IV standard, which is being used now. However, the Auto Fuel Policy Committee for 2025 has recommended Euro V be implemented by April 2020 and Euro VI by April 2024. But International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in a letter to the ministry highlighted that implementing Euro V may not address high emission of nitrogen oxides from heavy duty vehicles that can cause emphysema, bronchitis and heart disease. The environment department has decided to make the draft report public soon. (

Govt planning $1 bn fund for renewable energy sector: Goyal

November 28, 2015. Ahead of the Paris climate talks beginning, Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said the government is planning a $1 billion private equity fund for the renewable energy sector. He said the government is also seeking to collect $4 billion per year in the next three-four years for a clean energy fund. Goyal said that on the back of falling prices and technological innovations, the government is confident of meeting its 1,75,000 MW renewable energy target by 2022. India has been a responsible user of fossil fuels, Goyal said. (

FICCI unveils CEOs pledge on climate responsibility ahead of Paris climate summit

November 26, 2015. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) unveiled the CEOs Pledge on Climate Responsibility ahead of the upcoming UNFCCC COP21 climate meet in Paris, which is scheduled to be held from November 30 to December 11. The pledges, by 18 corporate leaders, are a major case in point to demonstrate India Inc.'s commitment to the climate cause. The pledges via video messages feature Indian corporate leaders voicing their contributions and future plans towards low carbon actions. What is interesting is that business leaders have made their own pledges, showcasing their own way to approach towards tackling climate change. (


EU approves UK state aid for RWE biomass-fired power plant

December 1, 2015. The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), has approved British plans to subsidise the conversion of RWE's Lynemouth coal-fired power plant in northern England to burning biomass, sending the German utility company's shares higher. The European Commission said a nine-month investigation showed that the project accords with European environmental and energy goals, giving the green light to an agreement struck under Britain's contracts-for-difference electricity pricing mechanism to support the project until 2027. RWE, which bought the coal-fired power plant in 2012, said it would now take 18 months to adapt the station to run 100 percent on biomass with a generation capacity of 420 MW. (

African Union Introduces $20 bn Renewable Energy Plan

December 1, 2015. The African Union, an alliance of 54 countries, announced a plan to mobilize $20 billion to develop at least 10 GW of renewable energy on the continent by the end of the decade. The African Renewable Energy Initiative was announced at the United Nations climate summit in Paris. It will be hosted by the Abidjan, Ivory Coast-based African Development Bank (AfDB), which will also act as a trustee, according to Alex Rugamba, director of energy, environment and climate change at the AfDB. France said it will pledge $2.2 billion. The funds would be used to attract and leverage private capital with a ratio of one to three or four, he said. The AfDB turned its focus to energy this year, seeking to bring electricity within a decade to the 620 million citizens on the continent who lack it. The institution funds both conventional and renewable power plants, and said it will triple its financing of climate action projects to $5 billion annually by 2020. The initiative is likely to develop geothermal projects in East Africa’s Rift Valley, wind in North Africa such as in Egypt and hydropower across the continent, Rugamba said. (

White House announces 73 new companies to join climate pledge

December 1, 2015. Another 73 companies joined a White House pledge to reduce emissions and water usage, buy renewable energy or take other climate-friendly steps as part of President Barack Obama’s effort to enlist corporate backing for his efforts to combat climate change. The companies, which include retail giant Inc., chemical conglomerate DuPont Co., and JetBlue Airways Corp., bring the total that have joined the administration’s initiative to 154 companies. The pledge, launched in July, asks companies to cut waste and reduce their carbon footprints. Participants employ 11 million people and account for some $4.2 trillion in annual revenue. Companies participating in the program have agreed to take steps such as transitioning to renewable energy, reducing landfill waste, and pursuing zero net deforestation in their supply chains, according to the White House. The pledge also includes backing an international climate change agreement being brokered in Paris. Obama has repeatedly highlighted corporate action on climate during his time at the climate summit, where world leaders have gathered in hopes of brokering an international agreement to limit the warming of the planet. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., announced that he and 26 other private investors will help finance emerging energy technologies that would reduce emissions. At least 20 countries, including the world’s three largest polluters -- the U.S., India, and China -- have agreed to double their research budgets in the clean energy sector over the next five years. (

Vietnam approves Renewable Energy Development Strategy to 2030

December 1, 2015. The government of Vietnam has approved the Vietnam Renewable Energy Development Strategy to 2030 with outlook up to 2050, which aims to give priority to renewable energy, especially biomass, biogas, wind and solar, for energy and electricity uses. The country will promote onshore wind power until 2030 and study potential offshore developments as of 2030. Solar power development will be focused on islands, borders and remote areas where no electricity supply is possible. Vietnam will also bet on biomass and biogas, aiming to raise their consumption in industrial and agricultural plants from about 45% in 2015 to 50% in 2020, 60% in 2030 and 70% in 2050. The rate of breeding wastes used for power generation should also increase from 5% in 2015 to about 10% in 2020, 50% in 2030 and and nearly 100% in 2050. (            

Dubai plans $27 bn investment in Green Fund to boost renewables

December 1, 2015. Dubai has launched the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims at attracting R&D centers and make the emirate a global center for renewables. A Dh100 bn (above US$27 bn) Dubai Green Fund will be established to provide soft loans for investments in the clean energy sector, such as rooftop solar installations, while Dh500 mn (US$136 mn) will be invested in R&D on smart grids and energy efficiency. Dubai aims to cover 75% of the emirate's energy consumption with clean energy sources by 2050 (progressively ramped up from 7% by 2020 and 25% by 2030). By 2030, all Dubai buildings would have solar cells and a 5 GW solar park should be operational by this date (first 800 MW in April 2017). (       

Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland create $500 mn climate fund

December 1, 2015. Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have decided to devote US$500 mn in a new large scale climate initiative that will find new ways to create incentives aimed at large scale cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries to combat climate change. The facility, which will start operations in 2016 with an initial expected commitment of more than US$250 mn from contributing countries, will measure and pay for emission cuts in large scale programs in areas like renewable energy, transport, energy efficiency, solid waste management, and low carbon cities. (           

World headed toward 'suicide' if no climate agreement: pope

November 30, 2015. The U.N. climate conference in Paris is most likely humanity's last chance to thwart global environmental disaster, Pope Francis said, warning the world was "at the limits of suicide". The pope, who wrote a major document on the environment last June, made the comment in an hour-long news conference aboard the plane returning him to Rome at the end of a six-day trip to Africa. The freewheeling conversations have become a trademark of his papacy and the few times he takes direct questions from journalists. The pope was asked if the U.N. climate summit in Paris would mark a turnaround in the fight against global warming. He spoke of retreating glaciers in Greenland and low-lying countries at risk from rising sea levels. World leaders launched an ambitious attempt to hold back the earth's rising temperatures, with the United States and China -- the world's biggest carbon emitters -- urging the U.N. climate summit in Paris to mark a decisive turn in the fight against global warming. (

China plans to launch carbon-tracking satellites into space

November 30, 2015. China plans to launch satellites to monitor its greenhouse gas emissions as the country, estimated to be the world's top carbon emitter, steps up its efforts to cut such emissions. News of the plan comes as more than 150 world leaders arrived in Paris for climate change talks and Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama said they would work together towards striking a deal that moves towards a low-carbon global economy. The country's first two carbon-monitoring satellites will be ready by next May after four years of development led by Changchun Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics and Physics, part of China's Academy of Sciences. No launch date was given and no other details of the plan were announced. The government and research institute were not available to comment. If successful, it would be the world's third country to send satellites into orbit to monitor greenhouse gases, coming after Japan which was the first country to do so in 2009, followed by the United States last year. The satellites will be key for expanding research into emissions - currently, China is only able to collect data from the ground, whereas the probes will also monitor oceans, which make up 71 percent of the world's surface. While these probes will have worldwide scope it would improve China's emissions data collection, which many experts say is inaccurate. The country's emissions are estimates based on how much raw energy is consumed, and calculations are derived from proxy data consisting mostly of energy consumption as well as industry, agriculture, land use changes and waste. (

US ethanol use set to rise as EPA unveils biofuels targets

November 30, 2015. U.S. oil companies will likely push past 10 percent ethanol and other biofuel content in motor fuels in 2016 after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set levels that sparked criticism from both sides of the debate over alternative fuel use. The EPA had hoped to reach a compromise and get renewable fuels use on track after years of delays, meeting a deadline for its announcement that fell as President Barack Obama and other world leaders met in Paris for climate change talks. It said that fuel companies need to use 18.1 billion gallons of renewables in 2016, up from the 17.4 billion the agency proposed in May but still well short of a target of 22.25 billion gallons set by Congress in 2007. (

Shiroro to build 300 MW solar power plant

November 30, 2015. Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station plans to construct a 300 MW photovoltaic solar power plant on its existing plant’s premises. The company said the new facility is an initiative of the new concessionaire, North-South Power Company Limited, since taking over the plant on November 1, 2013. The new facility, which would be the first of its kind in Africa, would raise the electricity generation capacity to the 900 MW. The plant is currently generating 50 percent of its installed 600 MW capacity. (

Finland drafts new energy and climate strategy

November 30, 2015. The government of Finland has started the preparation of a new energy and climate strategy, aimed at creating a basis for fulfilling EU’s climate and energy goals for 2030. Finland aims to increase the share of renewable energy in the 2020s to over 50%, to halve the use of imported oil for domestic purposes and to increase energy self-sufficiency to over 55%. This change is especially based on increasing the supply of bioenergy and other emission-free renewable options. The Finnish Government aims to start pilot, demonstration and reference institutions and projects for new energy technology as cost-effectively as possible. The Ministry of the Environment is in charge of planning the medium-term climate policy whose preparation is coordinated with the energy and climate strategy. The strategy will be submitted as a Government Report to the Parliament by the end of 2016. (          

Honour pledge to give $100 bn to developing nations: Ban to West

November 29, 2015. On the eve of climate summit in Paris, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has asked developed nations to keep their pledge to provide USD 100 billion a year by 2020 to support concrete mitigation actions by the developing countries as he underlined the need for a durable universal deal to address rising green house gas emissions. The industrialised nations had earlier committed to long term financing support in form of a green climate fund worth USD 100 billion a year to support concrete mitigation actions by the developing countries. In its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), India has offered to slash its emissions per-unit of gross domestic product figures to 35 percent by 2030. It has, however, warned that international efforts to arrive at a climate deal will not succeed if they are "laced" with "persistent attempts" to dislodge the balance of responsibilities between developed and developing countries. Ban noted that India has embarked on major projects to scale up investments in solar energy, giving the opportunity to more people to benefit from access to clean energy than ever before. (

Bill Gates to announce multibillion dollar clean-energy fund

November 29, 2015. Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, and fellow philanthropists have revealed details of a fund for clean energy technology to be used in countries that have committed public money to double research and development. In making investments, the coalition will “take the risks that allow the early stage energy companies” to bring their ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace, according to the White House. The investors will collaborate with 19 countries, from the U.S. to India, Saudi Arabia, China and Chile, which together make up 80 percent of global clean-energy research and development. In the public component of the plan, known as “Mission Innovation,” each nation has vowed to double their budget for the sector over the next five years. (

US govt agencies plan 42 percent cut in GHG emissions over 2008-2025

November 26, 2015. The White House has announced that US federal agencies would reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 41.8% by 2025, compared to 2008 levels. The reduction plan will affect 360,000 governmental buildings and 650,000 vehicles as well as the supply chain. The federal government is the largest energy consumer in the United States. Renewable facilities will be installed on some buildings. This decision is part of the US strategy to cut GHG emissions by 40% by 2025. (

Japan's CO2 emissions fall 3 percent to 3 year low in FY2014

November 26, 2015. Japan's greenhouse gas emissions fell 3 percent to a three-year low in the fiscal year ended March due to reduced power demand and growing renewable energy, preliminary government figures showed. Emissions fell for the first time in five years to 1.365 billion metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent, according to Ministry of Environment data. That was down 2.2 percent from 2005 and up 7.5 percent from 1990. Japan's emissions had been rising after the 2011 Fukushima disaster that led to the closure of nuclear power plants and an increased reliance on coal. The world's fifth-biggest carbon emitter, Japan set a goal in July to cut its emissions by 26 percent by 2030 from 2013 levels. The reduction in the latest year followed power saving and billions of dollars of clean-energy investments in the wake of Fukushima, the ministry said. France will host talks among almost 200 nations from Nov. 30-Dec. 11 to agree a plan to limit climate change beyond 2030. (

Malaysia introduces NEM mechanism for solar PV

November 26, 2015. The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water of Malaysia has announced that a Net Energy Metering (NEM) mechanism would be introduced to encourage the use of renewable energies. Industries and households will be allowed to generate their own electricity from various sources and will be charged the difference on energy supplied from the main electricity grid and from their own power source. Owners of PV installations will receive a credit for the surplus electricity they deliver to the national grid. Malaysia already supports the development of solar plants through a feed-in tariff scheme. (

Kazakhstan plans to commission 3 GW of renewable projects by 2020

November 25, 2015. Kazakhstan plans to commission 106 renewable power plants with a combined capacity of 3,055 MW by the end of 2020, when renewable power generation should reach 3% of total power generation (target of 10% by 2030). Of this amount, 28 solar power plants would be developed in the Almaty, Zhambyl, Atyrau, Karaganda, Kyzylorda, South Kazakhstan and Mangistau provinces and would add 713 MW of capacity. (



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[1] New Policies Scenario   serves as the IEA baseline scenario and takes account current and forthcoming policies announced by countries.

[2] IESS 2047 is an energy scenario building tool, which explores a range of potential future energy scenarios for India leading upto 2047

[3] These are the ‘Least Effort’, the ‘Determined Effort’, the ‘Aggressive Effort’ and the 'Heroic Effort' scenarios having different assumptions.


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