MonitorsPublished on Jan 08, 2016
Energy News Monitor | Volume XII; Issue 30

[Coal Washing: Global Perspective]

                             “Coal preparation facilities may have different size ranges for similar coals. Sizing is performed to separate coal according to the difference in sizes. Concentration is the heart of coal preparation where actual coal cleaning occurs whereas dewatering helps in removal of surface moisture. Depending upon its type and its utilisation, coal can be subjected to different levels of cleaning. The cost of coal preparation depends on the methods used and also on the degree of beneficiation required. The coal preparation technologies vary from country to country depending upon their requirement and economic viability…”

Energy News


Lower price for Qatar LNG is positive though it has nothing to do with Indian energy muscle!                                   


False assumption on rising commodity prices led to the $ 10 billion loss on coal equity!


Coal block auctions are faltering because India is not insulated from global headwinds as presumed!   




·          Coal Washing: Global Perspective


·          The Paris Agreement (Part I)


·          Subsidised (PDS) Kerosene Allocation, 2015-16: States & UTs



·          PM Modi meets global oil majors to boost investments


·          LPG bulk tankers to ply via Bangladesh

Transportation / Trade………………

·          India's energy muscle helps Petronet get better Qatar gas deal

·          India offers to import more crude from Iran

·          GAIL in talks with Golar LNG for shipping US gas

Policy / Performance…………………

·          DBT in kerosene to help better targeting of subsidy: Finance Ministry

·          Govt launches LPG emergency helpline number 1906

·          ATF cut by 10 percent, but non-subsidised cooking gas rises by ` 49.5

·          CNG in NCR to be sold at concessional rates: Oil Minister

·          Odisha to get 40 lakh new LPG connections by 2019: Oil Minister



·          BHEL commissions 600 MW thermal unit in Telangana

·          Record production of 3.9 GW by UP-owned power plants in 2016

·          CIL surpasses output target in December

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Delhi discoms seek to end contracts with state run companies

·          ` 90 bn Warangal power project may be awarded next month

·          Nepal to buy 90 MW more power from India

·          Power Grid completes Khammam-Nagarjunasagar transmission line

·          Discoms unhappy as govt extends amnesty scheme

·          Rajasthan discoms can't cure debt woes by tariff hikes

Policy / Performance…………………

·          'Make in India' for affordable nuclear power

·          Indian coal barons’ $10 bn global mine investments may flounder

·          Govt approves setting up a Nuclear Liability Fund with a corpus of ` 20 bn

·          15 states with 90 percent accumulated losses of power distributors on board UDAY: Goyal

·          Tamil Nadu must join discom revamp scheme: Goyal

·          Telangana CM orders 9-hour power supply to agriculture

·          Odisha based MCL launches unique mobile app

·          India on-track to become self-sufficient in coal production: Coal Secretary

·          AAP govt to take a call on Badarpur power plant closure date

·          Andhra Pradesh power utilities seek 12 percent hike in tariff

·          Govt to sign nuclear damages pact

·          Fourth round of coal block auctions cancelled



·          Green Dragon gas exceeds 2015 production target from China's CBM assets

·          Statoil receives consent to drill North Sea well

·          Quadrant makes condensate rich gas find at Roc-1 well off Western Australia

·          Woodside Petroleum discovers gas offshore Myanmar

·          UK oil, gas output rises for first time in 15 yrs

·          Syncrude's oil sands output down 26 percent in December

·          America's first shale gas export terminal starts production


·          Chicago gasoline, diesel slip after oil pipeline restart

·          Czech oil pipeline operator reaches transport deal with Unipetrol refinery

Transportation / Trade…………

·          West African January crude exports to Asia edge off five-month high

·          Enbridge temporarily shuts Line 7 oil pipeline after protest

·          Venezuela delays gas exports to Colombia

·          Russia's Rosneft extends contract with Poland's PKN Orlen

·          Norway's pipeline gas exports to Europe hit new record high

·          Iraq's southern oil exports hold near record in December

Policy / Performance………………

·          Argentina to cut price of locally produced oil by 12 percent

·          China insurance fund to invest in Russia's Yamal LNG

·          Global oil, gas prices to remain weak in 2016: Moody's

·          Iran says boosting oil exports depends on future demand

·          Big oil to cut investment again in 2016

·          Russian oil output hits post-Soviet record high in December 2015



·          EFT starts testing first 300 MW power plant in Bosnia

·          Sembcorp invests in 1.3 GW coal-fired power project in China

·          Fortrum plans to upgrade 1 GW Loviisa nuclear plant in Finland

·          Japan-led group wins Oman bid for $2.3 bn power-generating project

·          GE wins $1 bn Saudi power plant contract

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          CNNC and CGN create JV for nuclear technology export

·          Kakhovka-Titan power transmission line feeding Crimea fixed

Policy / Performance………………

·          PLN cuts electricity prices by up to 8.5 percent

·          Malaysia's biggest electricity firm plans $3 bn global sukuk for expansion abroad

·          China to suspend new coal mine approvals amid pollution fight



·          Rajghat power house may become waste-to-energy plant

·          Mahindra Group to use food waste for CNG production

·          Ministry looking at Euro VI compliant vehicles by 2021

·          Oasis Group to invest ` 5 bn for setting up ethanol plant

·          ` 730 mn climate fund to revive pokkali farms

·          Unique Indian geological feature may mitigate climate change

·          Railway Minister launches green energy initiatives

·          Centre to provide ` 50 bn subsidy for rooftop solar power


·          E.ON separates fossil fuel business to focus on renewable

·          China to increase wind, solar power capacity by 21 percent in 2016





Coal Washing: Global Perspective

Ashish Gupta, Observer Research Foundation


oal preparation technologies play an important role in the electrical power supply chain by providing high-quality fuel for coal-fired utilities and industrial boilers. There are four important stages in coal preparation ie crushing, sizing, concentration and dewatering. Depending on the sizes involved, the coal is crushed, broken or ground. Breaking is commonly used on the largest sizes, crushing on the mid range sizes and grinding is used on the very finest sizes. Grinding or pulverising is normally done just prior to utilisation[1]. There are no hard and fast rules as to what these ranges are. Coal preparation facilities may have different size ranges for similar coals. Sizing is performed to separate coal according to the difference in sizes. Concentration is the heart of coal preparation where actual coal cleaning occurs whereas dewatering helps in removal of surface moisture. Depending upon its type and its utilisation, coal can be subjected to different levels of cleaning. The cost of coal preparation depends on the methods used and also on the degree of beneficiation required. The coal preparation technologies vary from country to country depending upon their requirement and economic viability. The coal washeries global scenario is given below[2]:


Washeries Status

Technology Used


Ø  70 coal preparation plants are in place

Ø  Most of the run of mine coal is routed through coal preparation plants

Ø  Coal meant for exports are fully washed


Raw coal crushed to 50/ 60 mm

Coarse coal washing

  • Mainly by Dense Medium Cyclones
  • Drums or Baths in some plants
  • Jigs at few plants

Fine coal washing

  • Spiral + Jameson or Microcel technology
  • Limited use of froth flotation for metallurgical coal


  • Coarse & medium size- Vibrating or Scroll Type Basket Centrifuges
  • Flotation products – Vacuum filters & Screen Bowl Centrifuges
  • Tailings – High Rate Gravity Thickener & Belt Press Filter


Ø  2000 coal preparation plants are in place

Ø  60 % of the coal produced is routed through coal preparation plants

Raw coal crushed to 100/ 50 mm

Coarse coal washing (100/ 50 – 25/ 13 mm)

  • Mainly Jigs
  • Dense Medium Separator (Drewboy, Vertical lifting wheel separator)

Fine coal washing

  • Mainly flotation
  • Column flotation (for very fine coal)

Dry separation (limited application)

  • Compound Dry Separators
  • Limited use of Air Dense Medium  Dry Separator


  • Mainly High Frequency Screen
  • Centrifuge (vertical & horizontal)
  • Pressure Filters
  • Fast Diaphragm Filters

Plate and Frame Filters (for slime recovery)

United Sates

Ø  265 operating coal preparation plants

Ø  90 % of the coal produced is routed through coal preparation plants


Each coal preparation plants employs 3 or more independent processing circuits for different size fractions

Coarse coal washing (100 – 10 mm)

  • Dense Medium Vessel

Medium coal washing (10 – 1 mm)

  • Dense Medium Cyclones

Small coal washing (1 – 0.5 mm)

  • Water Only Cyclones
  • Spirals
  • Combination of both

Fine coal washing  (<0.15 mm)

  • Froth flotation (after desliming  - 35/ 40 micron)


Coarse size fraction – Basket Type Dryers

Fine size fraction

·         Screen Bowl Centrifuges

·         Combination of Vacuum Filter and Thermal Dryers

South Africa

Ø  Exact number of washeries not known

Ø  New coal preparation plants erected with large capacities to achieve economies of scale

Ø  Most of the steam coal meant for exports are beneficiated

Ø  By-product of the coal preparation plants is consumed domestically for electricity generation

Raw coal crushed to 80 mm

Coarse coal washing (80 – 8 mm)

  • Mainly large diameter pump fed Dense Media Cyclones
  • Dense Medium Separator (Wemco drum, Drewboy)
  • Jigs at few plants

Small coal washing (8 – 0.8 mm)

  • Smaller Diameter Cyclones

Fine coal washing

  • Mainly Spirals
  • Limited use of froth flotation


Ø  52 coal preparation plants are in place

Ø  Only 4 % of the total coal produced is beneficiated

Raw coal crushed to 100/ 75/ 50 mm

Coarse coal washing (100/ 75/ 50 – 25/ 13 mm)

  • Run of Mine Jigs (moving coal Jigs)
  • Coarse coal Jigs
  • Dense Medium Separator
  • Barrel Washer

Small coal washing (50/ 25/ 13 – 0.5 mm)

  • Small Coal Jigs
  • Dense Medium Cyclones

Fine coal washing (0.5 mm)

  • Flotation
  • Spirals
  • Water Only Cyclones 


  • Vacuum Filters
  • High Frequency Screen
  • Centrifuges
  • Belt Press Filter

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected] 


The Paris Agreement (Part I)


he adoption of the Paris Agreement, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been heralded by many countries as a historic moment and a critical point in the global effort against climate change. Several countries that spoke at the final plenary of the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC expressed this view. According to the decision adopted at COP 21, the Agreement will be open for signature by Parties in the UN in New York from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017. The Secretary-General of the UN is invited to convene a high-level signature ceremony for the Agreement on 22 April next year.

Given that the Agreement is a new legal instrument, it will have to be ratified by Parties for it to come into effect. It will enter into force after at least 55 Parties to the Convention, accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification or acceptance. The Agreement is expected to come into effect post-2020.

Parties also agreed to establish a new body called the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement that is responsible to prepare for the entry into force of the Agreement and this will meet starting in 2016 in conjunction with the Convention’s subsidiary bodies on 16 to 26 May.

The Paris Agreement was adopted in a decision of COP21, with the Agreement contained in an annex to the decision. The Agreement itself is 12 pages, while the decision is 19 pages. The decision includes the following parts – the adoption of the Agreement, intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), decisions to give effect to the Agreement, enhanced action prior to 2020, non-Party stakeholders, and administrative and budgetary matters.


Article 2 of the Agreement (known generally as ‘purpose’ during the negotiations) states in sub-paragraph 1 that: “This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by:

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;

(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;

(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.”

Sub-paragraph 2 states that “This Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC), in the light of different national circumstances.”

The purpose of the Agreement was a major area of contention between developed and developing countries.

It was clear from the four years of work to leading to the Paris Agreement under the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), that the common refrain of developing countries under the G77 and China was for the Agreement not to “rewrite, replace or reinterpret the Convention.” The G77 and China, including its sub-groupings especially the Like-minded Developing Countries (LMDC) and the African Group constantly stressed that the purpose of the Agreement is to enhance the implementation of the Convention on the elements of mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer, capacity-building, and transparency of action and support.

Developed countries, on the other hand, appeared to focus more of their attention on the ‘objective’ of the Agreement, which was perceived by developing countries as a mitigation-centric approach linked only to the temperature goal, with an attempt to weaken the link to the Convention provisions and the obligations of developed countries under the Convention, especially on the means of implementation (finance, technology transfer and capacity-building).

Hence, the reference to “enhancing the implementation of the Convention” is seen as a positive win for developing countries.

While global attention seemed to be on the temperature goal of limiting temperature rise to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees C, developing countries wanted the focus to also be on adaptation and finance and to ensure that the global response is in “the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty”.

Several senior developing country delegates did express their unhappiness over the reference to “finance flows” in the Article 2(1)(c) of the Agreement rather than a reference to the provision of financial resources from developed to developing countries, the commitment language of the Convention.

A major win for developing countries is Article 2.2 that states that the Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of CBDR-RC, in the light of different national circumstances.

A key issue throughout the ADP process and at COP21 was whether and how the principle of CBDR-RC will be operationalised in all the elements of the Agreement.

Developed countries had been insisting that the agreement must reflect the “evolving economic and emission trends” of countries in the post-2020 timeframe, while developing countries continued to argue that given the historical emissions of developed countries, developed countries continue to bear the responsibility in taking the lead in emission reductions and in helping developing countries with the provision of finance, technology transfer and capacity-building as provided for under the UNFCCC.

At the last COP in Lima in 2014, where the issue of differentiation was also hotly contested, Parties underscored their commitment to reaching an ambitious agreement in Paris that reflects the principle of CBDR-RC, in light of different national circumstances. This was the ‘landing-zone’ arrived at in reflecting the CBDR principle, following the China-United States joint statement issued last year prior to Lima and that has accordingly found its way to the Paris Agreement.


Article 3 (previously known as Article 2b) states that, “As nationally determined contributions to the global response to climate change, all Parties are to undertake and communicate ambitious efforts as defined in Articles 4, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 13 with the view to achieving the purpose of this Agreement as set out in Article 2. The efforts of all Parties will represent a progression over time, while recognizing the need to support developing country Parties for the effective implementation of this Agreement.”

Article 3 symbolizes the ‘battle’ over the nature of the agreement to ensure that the NDCs are not viewed only as being ‘mitigation-centric’ (Article 4 refers to the element of ‘mitigation’, Article 7 to ‘adaptation’, Article 9 to ‘finance’, Article 10 to ‘technology development and transfer’, Article 11 to ‘capacity-building’ and Article 13 to a ‘transparency framework for action and support’).

The LMDC was the major proponent of what was then Article 2b is for all Parties to regularly prepare, communicate and implement their intended NDCs (INDCs) towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement. It also proposed that INDCs will represent a progression in light of Parties’ differentiated responsibilities and commitments under the Convention.

It was an uphill task during the negotiations to get developed countries to see the viewpoint of the LMDC in this regard. The proposal was to ensure that the contributions of Parties are viewed in a comprehensive manner, reflecting the respective obligations they have under the provisions of the Convention, and not to confine the contributions only to mitigation as desired by the developed countries.


The following sub-paragraphs of Article 4 are among the main highlights of what Parties agreed to in relation to mitigation:

  1. “In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of GHGs as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
  2. Each Party shall prepare, communicate and maintain successive NDCs that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.”

The US was against any reference that each Party shall implement the NDCs that it has communicated, as this would make it an obligation for the US and others to implement the emissions reduction target communicated. To accommodate the US ‘problem’, all Parties have to do is to “pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.” What this means is that there is an obligation to take the measures necessary, with the aim of achieving the emissions reduction target, but not to achieve the target itself (emphasis added).

  1. “Each Party’s successive NDC will represent a progression beyond the Party’s then current NDC and reflect its highest possible ambition, reflecting its common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.”
  2. “Developed country Parties should continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets. Developing country Parties should continue enhancing their mitigation efforts, and are encouraged to move over time towards economy-wide emission reduction or limitation targets in the light of different national circumstances.”

Article 4.4 was another major paragraph of contention between developed and developing countries. Many developing countries wanted the nature of the mitigation efforts to be differentiated between developed and developing countries, reflecting the existing provisions of the Convention that are based on historical responsibility and CBDR.

The US and its allies in the Umbrella Group were opposed to any form of differentiated efforts, preferring that Parties “self-differentiate” among themselves, while recognising that those who have undertaken absolute emission reduction targets before should continue to do so in the post-2020 timeframe.

While this sub-paragraph continues to provide the policy space for developing countries in undertaking any type of enhanced mitigation efforts (including relative emission reduction targets which are economy-wide and non-economy wide actions), over time, developing countries will have to move to economy-wide targets, in light of their different national circumstances.

The term “over time” is not precisely defined and there is also no reference that developing countries have to undertake “absolute” emission reduction targets, which was what developed countries and some developing countries were pushing for during the negotiations.

Also noteworthy is that in the original version of the text for adoption on Article 4.4, the reference was that developed countries “shall” and developing countries “should”…

According to sources, the US wanted the word “shall” in the first sentence to be replaced with the word “should”, so that developed and developing countries will be treated in a like manner legally. Instead of raising the issue from the floor of the plenary, the US request was accommodated by the COP Presidency by what was termed a “technical correction” and the word “shall” was then replaced with “should” in the Article which was hastily read out by the Secretariat together with several minor corrections.

  1. Each Party shall communicate a NDC every five years…”

Some developed and developing countries have communicated an INDC which is for a timeframe of 10 years. This sub-paragraph requires all Parties to communicate an NDC every 5 years.

  1. “The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall consider common time frames for NDCs.”

What this suggests is that in the preparation of the next NDC (following from the first NDC), there could be common time frames set for NDCs as to whether it should be a 5 year or 10 year or other period.

  1. “A Party may at any time adjust its existing NDC with a view to enhancing its level of ambition…”
  2. “NDCs communicated by Parties shall be recorded in a public registry maintained by the secretariat.”

The US had maintained throughout the negotiations that it could not have its NDC ‘housed’ in the Agreement as this could mean that the emissions reductions target is legally binding. Hence the NDC will be recorded in a public registry outside of the Paris Agreement.

  1. “All Parties should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, mindful of Article 2 taking into account their CBDR-RC, in the light of different national circumstances.”

to be continued.......

Courtesy: Third World Network



Subsidised (PDS) Kerosene Allocation, 2015-16: States & UTs

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation


Allocation (in Kilo Litres)

% Allocation of Total

A&N Islands



Andhra Pradesh



Arunachal Pradesh















D & Nagar Haveli



Daman & Diu















Himachal Pradesh



J & K















Madhya Pradesh

































Tamil Nadu









Uttar Pradesh






West Bengal






Source: Press Information Bureau.




PM Modi meets global oil majors to boost investments

January 5, 2016. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi met with global oil and gas experts to discuss ways of boosting investments in exploration and skill development at a time of low oil prices. Among the foreign invitees to the meeting were British oil major BP's chief executive Bob Dudley, International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol and Royal Dutch Shell's director Harry Brekelmans. The discussions focused, among others, on subjects such as increasing the share of gas in India's energy mix, fresh investments in oil and gas exploration in India, regulatory frameworks and international acquisition of oil and gas assets. Meanwhile, urging the government to allow natural gas pricing freedom to existing fields like KG-D6 in the eastern offshore, the Petroleum Federation of India (PetroFed) has said a capped price equivalent to the imported cost should also be allowed to existing fields. In November, the government circulated a consultation paper inviting comments, about easing doing business in exploration that proposed to free domestic natural gas pricing and replace the existing production sharing contract by the revenue-sharing model for all future hydrocarbon acreage auctions. (


LPG bulk tankers to ply via Bangladesh

December 30, 2015. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will carry LPG bulk tankers through Bangladesh for its proposed new bottling plant in Tripura, Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bhanulal Saha said. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has earlier ferried 35,000 tonnes of rice from Andhra Pradesh and Kolkata to Tripura via Bangladesh. Several ships carried rice to Ashuganj river port in Bangladesh. From Ashuganj port, Bangladeshi trucks ferried the rice to FCI warehouses in Nandannagar in Agartala. Transportation via Bangladesh is much easier as road connectivity is a major issue for the mountainous north-eastern states which share boundaries with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and China. Earlier in 2012, Bangladesh had allowed Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to ferry heavy machinery, turbines and over-dimensional cargoes through Ashuganj port for the 726 MW Palatana mega power project in southern Tripura. He said the proposed bottling plant would produce 18,000 LPG cylinders per day. (

Transportation / Trade…………

India's energy muscle helps Petronet get better Qatar gas deal

December 31, 2015. India's biggest gas importer Petronet LNG will buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar's Rasgas at almost half the original price, in a renegotiated deal that will save it about $605 million a year. The deal marks Prime Minister Narendra Modi's biggest diplomatic win in the energy sector since coming to power last year. He has been trying to leverage India's position as one of the world's biggest energy consumers to strike better bargains for its companies. It also shows how tumbling oil prices and a global gas glut are compelling exporters to offer better deals to retain their share in global energy trade. Under the new contract, Rasgas will supply LNG to Petronet at $6-7 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) from Jan. 1, sharply lower than $12-13 per mmBtu agreed earlier, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. The Qatari supplier has also waived off a $1.5 billion penalty against Petronet for lifting less gas than agreed, Pradhan said. The two companies were close to changing the terms of the deal to reduce the cost of gas shipments and avoid the penalty fee. New Delhi estimates cheaper gas supplies will halve the input cost for local refineries, power and fertilizer companies from 2016, helping improve their profitability. Petronet has a 25-year contract with Rasgas to annually buy 7.5 million tonnes of LNG. But it has reduced purchases by about a third this year due to high prices, substituting costly supplies from Qatar with cheaper spot shipments. (

India offers to import more crude from Iran

December 30, 2015. India offered to step up crude oil imports from Iran as soon as sanctions imposed by the West are lifted early next year. The offer was made at a high-level meeting in the capital between external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and visiting Iranian minister of economic affairs and finance Ali Tayyebnia. Payment channels for oil shipments, which are partly blocked now, will be opened next year, allowing for higher imports from Iran, which supplied 6.5 million tonnes of crude in the first half of the fiscal. Currently, India pays 45% of the import bill in rupees through UCO Bank. The remaining, which is to be paid in euros, is blocked on account of the restrictions on financial institutions dealing with Iran. This amount will be paid once channels open. The mix of crude Indian refiners import (Indian basket) has now fallen to a decade low of $33-34 a barrel and a further decline in price appears likely. Refiners source about 10-20% of their requirement from global spot markets to take advantage of falling prices. Indian refiners importing Iranian crude—Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) and Essar Oil—are likely to bargain hard considering the downward pressure on crude prices. The economic slowdown in China and the sluggish growth in Europe too are expected to add to the bearish sentiment in crude prices in the short term. Refiners like MRPL and Indian Oil Corp (IOC) have been a beneficiary of the decline in crude oil price, though it has dealt a blow to upstream producers like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL). Iran is currently the fifth largest oil supplier to India. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Venezuela are the other leading suppliers. It was India’s second largest supplier, after Saudi Arabia, till 2010-11, and lost its share on account of the sanctions. India, which has 22 refineries with a capacity of 215 million tonnes a year, hopes to become a refining hub catering to regional demand and will import about 188.23 million tonnes of crude oil this financial year. (

GAIL in talks with Golar LNG for shipping US gas

December 30, 2015. GAIL (India) Ltd is believed to be in talks with Golar LNG, one of the world’s leading owners and operators of LNG carriers, to ferry gas from the US starting 2017. The state-run gas marketing and trading firm has also called bids for hiring of nearly 11 ships to ferry LNG. The discussions with Golar is seen as an interim arrangement till the chartered ships are ready, which is expected only by 2019. Golar’s fleet consists of 13 vessels till April 2013, while there were plans to add 11 LNG carrier new-builds, the company said. These new-build carriers will be available to meet a range of charter terms, it said. The volumes to be shipped by Golar and timelines are not immediately known. GAIL has kept the options of selling the overseas gas in India or overseas. In December 2011, GAIL signed a deal with Cheniere Energy Partners to buy 3.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG from the Sabine Pass Terminal in Louisiana on FoB basis. Deliveries would start between March and August 2018. In April 2013, GAIL booked another 2.3 mtpa capacity to export LNG from the Dominion Cover Point terminal in Maryland, delivery of which is expected from end-2017. According to the tender for chartered ships, the vessels build overseas are to be delivered between January and May 2019 and those made locally are to be ready between July 2022 and June 2023. There would be a gap between starting of supplies from the US and when these vessels would be ready. France-based Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) has decided to offer its LNG ship building technology to India. Last week, GTT and   Cochin Shipyard Limited signed an agreement, which would facilitate building vessels under Make in India initiative. Meanwhile, Kochi Shipyard has joined hands with Samsung Shipyard, while Pipavav Shipyard has tied up with Daewoo Shipbuilding to qualify themselves for participating in the GAIL tender. (

Policy / Performance………

DBT in kerosene to help better targeting of subsidy: Finance Ministry

January 2, 2016. Direct transfer of kerosene subsidy to the bank accounts of users will help in better targeting of the benefits to those who actually deserve it, Finance Ministry said. The government said it will roll out Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for kerosene from April 1 where the users will buy the cooking fuel at market rate but will get financial support directly in their bank accounts. DBT in kerosene will help curtail subsidy outgo for the cooking fuel which in 2014-15 was about ` 24,799 crore. The cash subsidy to be paid to users will be equivalent to the difference between current PDS price of about ` 12 and market rate of ` 43 per litre.

The scheme will be rolled out from April 1 in Raipur, Durg and Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh; Panipat and Panchkula in Haryana; Shimla, Solan and Una in Himachal Pradesh, and Chhatra, Giridih, East Singbhum, Hazaribagh, Jamtara and Khunti in Jharkhand. Besides, the scheme will be implemented in Hoshangabad, Harda, Khandwa and Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh; Amaravati and Latur in Maharashtra; Taran Taran, Pathankot and Mohali in Punjab and Pali, Jhunjhunu and Kota in Rajasthan. Currently, the government transfers subsidy to LPG users as well as to beneficiaries of scholarship and pension schemes directly to their bank accounts. (

Govt launches LPG emergency helpline number 1906

January 2, 2016. Government declared 2016 as the 'Year of LPG Consumers' while unveiling plans to make the clean cooking fuel available to all households by end of 2018 and roll out online bill payment facility and transparent gas cylinders. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was speaking at a function to launch LPG emergency helpline number 1906 for the cooking gas consumers across the country. The consumers can call on this helpline to seek assistance to deal with gas leakage. Pradhan asked the ministry and the top brass of oil marketing companies' to make the number toll free. About the availability of LPG in the country, the minister said that there are 27 crore subscribers in the country, of which 16.5 crore are active subscribers and oil marketing companies cover about 60 percent of the population. On the launch of composite transparent cylinder, the minister assured that it will be a reality in the financial year 2016-17. (

ATF cut by 10 percent, but non-subsidised cooking gas rises by ` 49.5

January 1, 2016. ATF or jet fuel price was slashed by 10 percent but rates of non-subsidised cooking gas LPG were hiked by ` 49.5 per cylinder on global trends. Also, rates of non-subsidised kerosene were cut by ` 1.05 per litre to ` 43.19 a litre. Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) price in Delhi was reduced by ` 4,428 per kilolitre (kl) or 9.99 percent to ` 39,892.32 per kl, oil companies announced. This is the second reduction in a row. Prices were cut by 1.17 percent on December 1. Rates vary at different airports because of differential local sales tax or value-added tax (VAT). Jet fuel constitutes over 40 percent of an airline's operating costs and the price cut will reduce the financial burden on cash-strapped carriers. Simultaneously, the oil firms raised prices of non-subsidised LPG, which consumers buy after exhausting their quota of subsidised cooking fuel, by ` 49.5 per 14.2-kg bottle. Non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) now costs ` 657.50 in Delhi. This is the third hike in rates in as many months. Non-subsidised LPG price was last hiked by ` 61.50 on December 1. Prior to that rates were increased by ` 27.5 per cylinder on November 1. Non-subsidised or market-priced LPG is one that consumers buy after exhausting their quota of 12 bottles of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rates in a year. Subsidised LPG costs ` 419.33 per 14.2 kg cylinder in Delhi. Also, the price of non-subsidised kerosene, available outside the ration shop, has been cut (rpt) cut to ` 43,194.82 per kl (` 43.19 a litre) from ` 44,246.47 per kl. This is the third reduction in rate in one month. Prior to this, price of non-subsidised or non-PDS kerosene were cut by about 25 paise on December 1 and 50 paise on December 16. Subsidised kerosene currently costs ` 14.96 a litre in Delhi. The three fuel retailers - Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum - revise jet fuel prices, non- subsidised LPG and non-subsidised kerosene rates on the first day of every month, based on the average international price in the preceding month. (

CNG in NCR to be sold at concessional rates: Oil Minister

December 31, 2015. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be sold at concessional rates during odd hours of the day to reduce the rush at CNG pumps. The announcement that Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) will give discounts on CNG during odd­hours to consumers has come at a time when Qatar has agreed to lower gas price for India and waive off $1.5 billion penalty for lower offtake. With the new arrangement, India will be able to buy additional 1 million tonne per annum of LNG from Qatar at new pricing formula. After an earlier decision of the government to not give LPG subsidy to consumers with taxable income above ` 10 lakh per year from January 2016, the new step on CNG has come as a welcome initiative. Meanwhile, the recent move by the petroleum ministry to upgrade to more environmentally compliant fuel will revise the road transport ministry's draft notification seeking rollout of BS­V compliant vehicles from 2019­20 and BS­VI from 2021­2022. However, underlining that the Centre would not resort to a "knee­jerk" reaction vis­a­vis low oil prices, the minister expressed the view they could go up again and indicated that things cannot be taken for granted. (

Odisha to get 40 lakh new LPG connections by 2019: Oil Minister

December 30, 2015. The Union government has directed oil marketing companies to add 40 lakh new LPG consumers in Odisha by 2019. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan gave this direction while reviewing LPG availability and coverage in the state. He also reviewed the status of LPG infrastructure in Odisha. The oil marketing companies (OMCs) have provided about 7.5 lakh new LPG connections in the state in the current financial year. Pradhan directed officials to set up two new bottling plants in western part of Odisha to meet LPG requirement of consumers. He also reviewed the current status of various infrastructure projects related to other petroleum products being undertaken by the OMCs in the state. The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry and all the three OMCs – Indian Oil Corp (IOC), HPCL and BPCL. (



BHEL commissions 600 MW thermal unit in Telangana

January 5, 2016. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has announced it has commissioned the first 600 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Telangana, a state where it has an order book of 6,000 MW. Significantly, the unit commissioned at Kakatiya Thermal Power Project in Warangal, is the highest rating unit in the State. One coal-based unit of 500 MW rating, commissioned by BHEL in 2010, is already operational at Kakatiya thermal plant. BHEL built 600 MW rating sets comprise a 4-cylinder turbine designed in-house. So far, the company has contracted 21 sets of 600 MW each, of which 14 have been commissioned. BHEL has a major contribution in the Telangana power sector with 84 percent of the coal-based power stations amounting to 4,580 MW having been commissioned by BHEL. Reposing confidence in BHEL’s ability to set up power plants, TS Genco has placed orders with it for executing around 6,000 MW of thermal power projects in the State on equipment procurement construction (EPC) basis. These orders include four units of 270 MW at Bhadradari, one unit of 800 MW at Kothagudem and five units of 800 MW each at Yadadri. In addition, two units of 600 MW each of the Singareni Collieries Company Ltd are also being executed by BHEL in Telangana. All these plants have been put on fast track mode. (

Record production of 3.9 GW by UP-owned power plants in 2016

January 4, 2016. The state-owned power plants wheeled out an all time high power generation touching a mark of 3900 MW. The previous highest was around 3800 MW which was recorded in 2010. Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam (UPRVUN) said that the state owned power plants generated over 92 million units on a single day at 79 percent Plant Load Factor (PLF). The record power generation came a day after the Jhansi based Pariccha power plant recorded a generation of over 1130 MW. The decision to up the power generation from state owned power plants could help the state government in curtailing purchase of power at a high price. While power from the state owned power plants come at a cost of around ` 3.5 per unit, cost of power from energy exchange and bilateral trading is at a higher side. The increase generation of power from state owned power plants also signals a positive trend in the wake of UP government promising increased power supply by the end of this year. (

CIL surpasses output target in December

January 2, 2016. Coal India Ltd (CIL) has produced 52.07 million tonnes (mt) of coal in December last year, surpassing its target of 51.08 mt. However, it fell short of its offtake target with an achievement rate of 97 percent in December. Its total offtake was placed at 48.16 mt against a target of 49.46 mt. During the April-December period, CIL produced 373.45 mt showing a growth of 9.1 percent over the same period in the previous year. In the nine months, the total offtake, however, improved by 9.8 percent to 389.29 mt. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Delhi discoms seek to end contracts with state run companies

January 5, 2016. Delhi's power distribution companies have approached Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) seeking termination of power procurement contracts with state run companies NTPC, NHPC and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation. The two BSES firms are looking at cheaper sources including power banking arrangements by supplying surplus electricity to other states and getting the supply back later when in need. The companies are also expected to try to procure cheaper electricity from power exchanges. The power from the exchanges cost ` 3.5­4 per unit between April and November. Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd will not sign any fresh power procurement contracts in the next five years as it plans to cater to its peak hour demand through rooftop solar plants installations, energy storage devices and smart grid initiatives. The company had earlier sought permission from the Delhi government and Union power ministry to surrender costly contracts for about 400 mw signed by the erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board with public sector units such as NTPC and NHPC, and some Delhi government run projects that resulted in higher costs. Delhi gets almost its entire power supply from central and state power generating stations, with power contracts with NTPC and NHPC catering to about 70% of the state's need. The matter is scheduled for hearing on January 14. Distribution companies are bound by long term purchase agreements of 20­25 years that were signed before privatisation. (

` 90 bn Warangal power project may be awarded next month

January 3, 2016. The Warangal transmission project with an estimated cost of around ` 9,000 crore, the largest so far on the block, is likely to be auctioned next month. Power Finance Corporation arm PFC Consulting has invited request for proposals (financial bids) for the project, which can be submitted by January 29, according to the bid document. In its bid to develop the country's power transmission capacity, the government is in the process of auctioning projects worth ` 1 lakh crore in the current fiscal year. The financial bids for the project will be opened on February 5. Based on the lowest annual tariff, the name of the successful bidder will be announced after a week on February 12, and the letter of intent will be issued. Apart from central transmission utility Power Grid Corp, Sterlite Grid, Essel Infraprojects, Adani Transmission and Reliance Power Transmission are in the fray. The project involves setting up of 765/400 kv sub-stations at Warangal in Andhra Pradesh and includes a series of 765 kv double-circuit lines including Warora (Pool) to Warangal (New), Warangal (New) to Hyderabad, Hyderabad-Kurnool, and Warangal (New) to Chilakaluripeta. There are two 400-kv double-circuit lines which will also be part of this transmission project. The main aim is to augment power supply to the southern grid. (

Nepal to buy 90 MW more power from India

January 2, 2016. Nepal is set to import an additional 90 MW of electricity from India by January-end after the completion of a key inter-country transmission line. The country is currently facing daily 12-hour load-shedding in its major cities. Nepal is facing acute shortage of energy in the wake of the blockade of the Indo-Nepal border by Madhesis, largely of Indian-origin. Many people in the urban areas are relying on electricity due to the shortage of cooking gas. The country is currently importing 235 MW of electricity from India. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has made necessary preparations to acquire 90 MW of electricity. The installation of Dhalkebar-Mujjafarpur inter-country transmission line is about to complete in a month and a technical test required for the same is in progress to import power to the country towards the end of this month, Kanahiya Lal Manandhar, head of NEA transmission line, said. Nepal has signed a power trade agreement with India last year which facilitate the country to import additional power from the southern neighbour. The import of additional power is expected to ease the current power outage facing the country. Nepal currently produces around 780 MW electricity though the domestic demand stands at 1,300 MW during peak period. Nepal has high demand for electricity during winter and the country's power projects are producing less electricity during the period due to low water level in the river. (

Power Grid completes Khammam-Nagarjunasagar transmission line

January 1, 2016. Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd has said that Powergrid Vizag Transmission Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company secured through Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) process, has successfully charged the 1st element of the Khammam-Nagarjunasagar 400kV D/C Transmission line on December 31, 2015, within the completion schedule specified. (

Discoms unhappy as govt extends amnesty scheme

December 31, 2015. The AAP government has extended the amnesty scheme for power defaulters for the second time, drawing a strong reaction from discoms. The scheme, which was launched in October for a month, was first extended till December 31. It will now run for another three months till March 31. Power companies say the move is not only unfair to those who make regular payments, but also encourages consumers to default. The government is dishing out up to ` 50 crore from its own kitty to finance the scheme. Around 5,300 consumers have already availed of the scheme in the city across areas served by BYPL, BRPL and Tata Power Delhi. Approximately ` 55 crore has been settled so far. The government initially wanted discoms to bear the cost of the scheme, but the idea was rejected by DERC. The government then drafted a new proposal and agreed to provide subsidy. It insisted that the second extension was in consumers' interest. Discoms, however, maintain that repeatedly extending the scheme would hurt the power industry. (

Rajasthan discoms can't cure debt woes by tariff hikes

December 30, 2015. Tariff hikes are not a panacea for the financially stretched power distribution companies in the state. While Rajasthan has agreed to participate in the central government's new restructuring scheme for discoms (UDAY), the decision may not bring in any turnaround unless the state reins in its high technical and commercial losses. A research report released by HDFC Bank recently revealed as much as 40% of discoms losses can actually be attributed to technical and commercial losses. Rajasthan discoms have the second highest average technical and commercial losses (AT&T) at 27% with Haryana topping the list. As per rating agency ICRA, every 1% reduction in AT&C loss has the potential to bring down the cost of supply by an aggregate of 32 paise a unit by 2019. Similarly, the level of cross subsidization from industrial to agriculture consumers remains unduly high exacerbating the losses. In Rajasthan, out of the total units of energy sold to all segments of consumers, agriculture accounts for 41%, the highest in the country. But revenues generated from this segment contribute only 32%. The report says it would be difficult to cover up such high shortfalls by raising ta riffs only. Rajasthan has raised electricity rates by 16% in 2014-15, the highest in the country. Between 2012-16, the average tariff has shored up by 10% but the loss has only gone up to about ` 85,000 crore. UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana), the Centre's scheme designed to engineer a financial turnaround of discoms has sparked a lot of debate as to whether this has a better chance of succeeding than the Financial Restructuring Plan, or FRP of 2012. The bailout plan of 2012, like others before it, fell short of meeting its intended objectives. The outstanding debt of the seven discoms (including Rajasthan), which had their debt restructured, actually grew 23.3% to ` 2, 75,400 crore in FY15 from FY13. Under UDAY, states are to take over 75% of discom debt within two years as against a prolonged period of up to 5 years. (

Policy / Performance………….

'Make in India' for affordable nuclear power

January 5, 2016. More nuclear power could be generated if foreign suppliers make technology and products affordable for setting up reactors, former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee said. In spite of hype over the India-US nuclear deal and opening up of the civilian nuclear industry to foreign suppliers, barring two recent agreements on setting up two more units at the Russian-backed Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu and the French-backed Jatipur project in Maharahstra, not much headway has been made over the years. As setting up nuclear power plants involves not only technology transfer and making components in the country, but also operating them by the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), consensus has been eluding stakeholders owing to high cost and liability clause. Asserting that nuclear plants could be set up by resolving contentious issues, the nuclear scientist said it was important to assess commercial viability of nuclear reactors to be set up with help of international suppliers of technology and products. Observing that the Indian nuclear industry had come of age and was capable of growing fast, he said production had to be on convoy mode to meet the growing demand for cleaner, safer and cost-effective energy. The government has set a target of 60 GW from nuclear plants by 2032 as against the present 5.7 GW by various types of reactors though it (target) will meet about 10 percent of the energy need, which will be about 600 giga watt as against the present 250 GW, Banerjee said. (

Indian coal barons’ $10 bn global mine investments may flounder

January 5, 2016. About $10 billion worth of investments made by Indian coal barons, including billionaire Anil Ambani, Gautam Adani, L. Madhusudhan Rao, GVK Reddy and G. M. Rao, in buying mines overseas may go down the drain due to declining global prices of the commodity and a surge in domestic output. Most of these billion-dollar coal mine acquisitions were made between 2008 and 2012 to fuel their power plants in India at a time when the price of coal was at its peak. Since the international prices of coal have declined by almost half to $45 a tonne many of these coal mines have become economically unviable, forcing the coal barons to monetise their coal assets. India's coal imports may be negligible by 2023 as Coal India, the world’s largest coal producer, is set to double its coal production to one billion tonnes by 2020. The coal barons are now forced to focus on coal mining business in India to support the government’s initiative of “Make in India.” The government wants to obliterate thermal coal imports by 2017 by doubling production of Coal India, which already has an 80 percent market share, by FY2020,” analysts said. Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani has already decided to sell three of his coal mines in Indonesia spread across 40,000 hectares with reserves of two billion metric tonnes. His company, Reliance Power, bought the mines in 2008 and the company had plans to invest another $500 million in developing the coal reserves. Gautam Adani-led Adani Group acquired Linc Energy's Queensland coal tenements in a deal valued at $2.72 billion and agreed to pay another $2 billion in cash for the Abbot Point terminal near Bowen to secure coal delivery. The company plans to invest another $10 billion in developing port, rail, mine and allied infrastructure in the controversial project, being opposed by environmentalists. The viability of the projects are now being questioned with Australian thermal coal prices dipping to an eight-year low and India pushing for solar, wind power and domestic coal. The company is looking at selling a stake in the ambitious project to raise funds to finance the integrated development of the project as most of global banks opted out from funding the project on environmental concerns. Debt-laden GVK Group, GMR Group and Lanco Group are also in talks to sell stakes in their overseas coal mines to raise funds. (

Govt approves setting up a Nuclear Liability Fund with a corpus of ` 20 bn

January 4, 2016. India has cleared the decks for setting up a Nuclear Liability Fund with a corpus of ` 2,000 crore that will allow the government to pitch in if damages resulting from a nuclear accident in the country exceed the limit specified for nuclear plant operators under the law. The operators will have to pay a levy of 5-10 paise per unit of electricity sold to the fund, which will be the biggest addition to the pool of compensation available for nuclear damages. The operator's liability is capped at ` 1,500 crore under the 2010 Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act. The Prime Minister's Office cleared the move, following which the Department of Atomic Energy notified the Nuclear Liability Fund Rules, 2015. A date for the levy to commence will soon be notified. According to the rules, the fund will comprise the levy collected from operators of nuclear installations. The operators will have to pay to the fund a levy at the rate of 5 paise or a levy at such rate between 5 and 10 paise for every unit of electricity sold to the customers, the notification said. The payments made by an operator towards the fund will be credited to the Consolidated Fund of India and then transferred to the Public Account under the 'MH 8235 General and Other Reserve Fund'. The Centre will be required to take Parliament's approval before making payments out of the fund after due assessment and operators delaying quarterly payments to the fund will pay interest to the tune of 18% on daily basis, as per the rules. In January 2015, India and the United States reached an understanding on the issues related to civil nuclear liability and finalised the text of the administrative arrangement to implement the September 2008 bilateral 123 Agreement, thereby allowing both the countries to move towards commercial negotiations on setting up reactors with international collaboration in India. (

15 states with 90 percent accumulated losses of power distributors on board UDAY: Goyal

January 4, 2016. Fifteen states have joined the debt recast scheme for power distribution companies covering 90% of the losses accumulated with the utilities, power ministry Piyush Goyal said. Four states ­ Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Bihar ­ joined the centre's Ujjawal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) on the day, while the rest had communicated their inprinciple approvals to be part of the scheme earlier. (

Tamil Nadu must join discom revamp scheme: Goyal

January 3, 2016. The Centre is hopeful of getting the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (Tangedco) on board a relief package to wipe off its accumulated losses and make the power utility viable. At present there are 12 power distribution companies which have joined the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (Uday). But, Tangedco, one of the discom which has highest accumulated losses, refused to join the scheme due to stringent conditions which includes revision of tariff every quarter. In an election year, the state government will find it difficult to implement. Uday has been launched to improve financial and operational efficiencies of discoms. It aims to reduce interest burden, cost of power and AT&C losses. The scheme provides for states to take over 75% debt of discoms in two years. (

Telangana CM orders 9-hour power supply to agriculture

January 2, 2016. Telangana Chief Minister (CM) K. Chandrasekhar Rao asked power utilities to take steps to supply nine-hour supply to agriculture sector during day time from June and uninterrupted supply to other sectors without setting timeframe. The decision of the government has raised an issue how it will manage both peak and non-peak hour power demand. The peak hour supply is a challenge because the demand for agriculture overlaps with other sectors, including industrial, commercial and domestic, from 6 AM to 9 PM when there was maximum demand. Presently, the government resorted to dispersed supply to agriculture for 20 hours in a day by categorising the consumers into groups and supplying them power in different spells. Nine-hour day time supply was possible with base-load thermal plants alone because generation by hydel and gas stations was not dependable when the contracted load as in Telangana was huge. (

Odisha based MCL launches unique mobile app

January 1, 2016. Odisha headquartered Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) launched a first-of-its-kind in industry mobile application to monitor its field operations live. MCL launched the mobile application at a special function as part of the vigilance initiative in MCL. The new application is capable of distant monitoring of coal mining and dispatch operations through smartphones. MCL targets a mammoth 150 million tonne coal production and dispatch during the current financial year. The company has already dispatched over 100 million tonnes of dry fuel to its consumers, which includes the power generation plants in various states of the country. It is only a few days away from crossing the mark of 100 million tonne in coal production, said a press release issued by the company on the occasion. The company has been asked to produce 25 percent of Coal India’s 2020 target of one billion tonnes of coal to meet the country’s growing energy needs. MCL, a diversifying energy giant of Coal India, under its sustainable development program is going to setup a 2×800 MW Super Critical thermal Plant in Sundergarh district Odisha and has entered into the field of Power Transmission with a JV with OPTCL. To reduce its carbon imprints, the company has also set up a 2 MW Solar Power Plant as a pilot project in its headquarters. It is likely to get a shot in its arm after its key railway line between Barpali and Jharsuguda becomes functional in June 2016. (

India on-track to become self-sufficient in coal production: Coal Secretary

January 1, 2016. The country is on track to become "self-sufficient" in production of thermal coal, Union Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said. India's coal import fell 10 percent this year and local output rose fast under the government's push. It is on track to become self-sufficient in thermal coal and power production, Swarup said. Swarup visited Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), and was accompanied by NLC Chairman and Managing Director S K Acharya. After taking a firsthand account of the projects taken up by NLC, Swarup advised authorities to "speed up" the 1,000 MW Neyveli New Thermal Power Project. Acharaya said the company would give much importance to renewable energy. (

AAP govt to take a call on Badarpur power plant closure date

December 31, 2015. According to the Delhi environment department, the decades-old thermal power plant may not shut in the next 15 days, when the odd even car rule will be in force in Delhi. The capital is gearing up for its first-ever, ambitious pollution-controlling odd even car formula from January 1, but the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government is yet to decide on a closure date for the NTPC's Badarpur thermal power plant –pegged as one of the most polluting thermal power plants of the country by several institutions. According to the Delhi environment department, the decades-old thermal power plant may not shut in the next 15 days, when the odd even car rule will be in force in Delhi. Environment experts said it is important for the Badarpur thermal power plant to be shut during the odd even car formula trial period, if the government wants to see a visible improvement in the air quality on January 15. The Delhi government had recently declared that the Badarpur and the Rajghat power plants will be shut down as part of a slew of air pollution-controlling measures to be undertaken in Delhi. Following the announcement, the Delhi government sent a show cause notice was sent to NTPC, asking why the Badarpur plant should not be shut. In its reply, NTPC had urged the government not to shut down its coal-based plant, saying that it meets pollution control norms and that it was essential to meet the capital's power needs. However, NTPC said that that the Badarpur power plant commissioned to NTPC in 1961 has outlived itself. (

Andhra Pradesh power utilities seek 12 percent hike in tariff

December 31, 2015. The APTransco, APGenco and distribution companies will present their annual revenue requirement (ARR) before the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) with a request for 12 percent hike in power tariff. The Discoms said they need an additional ` 1,200 crore revenue to continue uninterrupted power supply in 13 districts across the state. They want to raise the revenue through tariff hike during 2016-17. Power distribution companies have already reported a loss of ` 2,340 crore due to implementation of round-the-clock power supply for all categories of consumers. Last year, Discoms supplied at an average of 30 million units per day to meet the increasing power demand. The Discoms argue that increase in salaries of staff and price of coal and other inputs have pushed up the cost of power generation. (

Govt to sign nuclear damages pact

December 30, 2015. The government is getting ready to ratify the international Convention for Supplementary Compensation (CSC) capping a year of surprising successes in nuclear energy in India, which ended with Parliament passing the joint venture bill for nuclear projects. India is confident it will keep its promise to US President Barack Obama and ratify the CSC by mid-January. Once ratified, it will add to the pool of compensation for nuclear damage. The government informed Parliament that the Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) with a capacity of ` 1500 crore was launched on June 12, 2015 to provide insurance to cover liability as laid down in the controversial Liability Act (2010). In December, Canada sent the first uranium consignment of 250 tonnes to India for its nuclear power reactors. Given the history between the two countries, this was a signal achievement. This year, when the world focused on cleaner energy, India also completed nuclear agreements with Australia and Japan. Although Japan still has to clear the deal through its Parliament, it has major implications not only for India's nuclear power, but for a strategic relationship with Japan. For starters, it will make it easier for Toshiba-Westinghouse to advance negotiations with the Indian government for 6 nuclear reactors. The early works agreement has already been implemented and the two sides are working on a commercial contract scheduled for the first half of 2016. These would be the AP-1000 reactors that Westinghouse has sold to China. Meanwhile, following an agreement signed between L&T and Areva, the Indian company is reportedly in the process of a major upgrade of its Hazira facility for nuclear equipment manufacture. (

Fourth round of coal block auctions cancelled

December 30, 2015. The government cancelled the fourth round of coal block auction scheduled in January 2016 owing to a lukewarm response. Adverse market conditions, depressed commodity prices and poor response from sectors like steel contributed to the axing of the coal auction which was scheduled from January 18 - 22, 2016. Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said the mines proposed to be auctioned were set aside for non-regulated sectors like captive power plants, cement and iron and steel which were hit by adverse market conditions, and the government wants to wait and watch for the right time to auction the mines. More than ` 3 lakh crore were raised through the previous three coal auctions. (



Green Dragon gas exceeds 2015 production target from China's CBM assets

January 5, 2016. Green Dragon Gas Ltd, one of the largest independent companies involved in the production and sale of coal bed methane (CBM) gas in China, announced that it has exceeded its 2015 year end exit rate gross production target of 12.0 billion cubic feet per year by delivering an actual 2015 exit rate of 12.12 billion cubic feet per year. The Company intends to make a full Operations Update in early February. The Operations Update will provide operational guidance for 2016 and will include a comprehensive status report on progress made on the Company's infrastructure for continued increases in production and gas sales. (

Statoil receives consent to drill North Sea well

January 5, 2016. Petroleum Safety Authority Norway has granted Statoil consent to drill exploration well 30/11-11, located in the North Sea. Statoil has allocated 36 days for the activity, which will start in mid-January 2016. The well, which is situated around 17 miles south of the Oseberg field at a water depth of approximately 350 feet, will be drilled by the Songa Delta. Statoil is the operator of production licenses 272 and 035. (

Quadrant makes condensate rich gas find at Roc-1 well off Western Australia

January 5, 2016. Carnarvon Petroleum Ltd provided the following update on drilling operations as advised by the operator of the Roc-1 well in permit WA-437-P offshore Western Australia, Quadrant Energy. Condensate rich gas has been recovered from the well using wireline logging tools. Wireline logging over the interval from 14,370 feet to 14,501 feet has confirmed reservoir quality sands with net hydrocarbon interval of 33 feet from the gross 131 foot sand column. Pressure testing has confirmed at least three discrete hydrocarbon columns in the section from 14,370 feet to 14,501 feet. Formation fluid sampling has confirmed a liquids rich gas with a condensate ratio of 20 to 40 barrels per million cubic feet being evaluated at the rig site using downhole instruments. (

Woodside Petroleum discovers gas offshore Myanmar

January 4, 2016. Woodside Petroleum Ltd has discovered gas at the Shwe Yee Htun-1 exploration well in Block A-6 in the Rakhine Basin, located in the western offshore area of Myanmar. The well intersected a gross gas column of approximately 423 feet and approximately 49 feet of net gas pay is interpreted within the primary target interval, according to the company. Woodside has interests in Blocks A-6, AD-7, A-7, AD-5, A-4 and AD-2 in Myanmar. These six permits represent 20 percent of Woodside’s global exploration acreage. (

UK oil, gas output rises for first time in 15 yrs

January 4, 2016. Britain's oil and gas output rose in 2015 for the first time since the turn of the millennium, industry body Oil & Gas UK said, reversing a declining trend but coming as oil prices are trading at a seven-year low. The industry group, which represents oil producers active in the North Sea such as BP, Shell or ExxonMobil, expects British oil and gas production to have risen 7-8 percent, much higher than a 3-4 percent increase it predicted in September. Britain's oil and gas output has more than halved in the past 15 years due to easy-to-reach resources running low and a lack of investment in new areas. But a renewed push to explore new areas of the North Sea over the past four years has meant new fields started up in 2015, including Taqa's Cladhan oil field in resource-rich waters near the Shetland Islands, and boosted output year on year. Final production figures, released by the government, were not yet available but Oil and Gas UK said it had based its estimate on data for the first 10 months of 2015 and average production assumptions for November and December. Britain is estimated to have another 200 billion pounds ($295.38 billion) worth of oil and gas trapped in the North Sea and to tap these resources the government has issued a series of tax incentives and tasked a new regulator with helping companies squeeze as much as possible out of the ground. The rise in oil and gas production comes as a global supply glut has lead to a crash in oil prices to the lowest level in seven years. Major oil producers active across the world ramped up crude output in 2015 as investments in new technologies brought new fields on stream. While many new fields in the North Sea were approved at a time when oil was trading globally at more than $100 a barrel, operators are currently facing prices of around $38 a barrel. (

Syncrude's oil sands output down 26 percent in December

January 4, 2016. Crude oil production at Syncrude Canada's oil sands operation averaged 238,800 barrels per day (bpd) in December, down 26 percent from November, the joint venture's largest-interest owner, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd said. Syncrude Canada is a joint-venture of seven partners - Canadian Oil Sands, Imperial Oil, Mocal Energy, Murphy Oil, Nexen, Sinopec and Suncor Energy. (

America's first shale gas export terminal starts production

December 31, 2015. Cheniere Energy Inc. began production at what will become the first terminal to export natural gas from America’s shale formations, according to ING Capital LLC, which helped finance the project. The company is receiving about 50 million cubic feet of the fuel a day, chilling it into liquefied natural gas at the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, and storing it in tanks before the first export, Richard Ennis, head of natural resources at ING, said. Ennis said he receives regular updates from the company and that he hadn’t been informed of a delay in the startup. (


Chicago gasoline, diesel slip after oil pipeline restart

January 4, 2016. Chicago gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel differentials slid after a crude oil pipeline that helps supply a major regional refinery restarted and another was expected to do the same, traders said. Spectra Energy restarted its Wyoming-to-Illinois Platte pipeline after shutting it as a precaution because of Mississippi River flooding, according to a shipper notice. Enbridge Inc also shut its Oklahoma-to-Illinois Ozark pipeline for the same reason, as it crosses the Mississippi River between Missouri and Illinois, but aimed to restart it. Both pipelines help supply Phillips 66's 336,000 barrels-per-day refinery in Wood River, Illinois. On the U.S. Gulf Coast, gasoline differentials fell slightly despite the start of a three-month, multi-unit overhaul at Marathon Petroleum Corp's 451,000 bpd Galveston Bay refinery in Texas City, Texas. (

Czech oil pipeline operator reaches transport deal with Unipetrol refinery

January 4, 2016. Czech oil pipeline operator Mero and Ceska Rafinerska, owned by Unipetrol, have signed a new deal on crude transportation to the refinery group, Mero said. Mero said that it expects a final agreement on transport fees, which have been a sticking point in talks going back to 2010, by the end of March. Mero runs the Druzhba and IKL pipelines in the Czech Republic. (

Transportation / Trade……….

West African January crude exports to Asia edge off five-month high

January 5, 2016. West African crude oil exports to Asia in January are set to slide from a five-month high reached the previous month, but strong buying in India has kept them elevated, traders and shipping fixtures showed. The total bookings of 1.81 million barrels per day (bpd) stand nearly 8 percent below the December levels, but are above both January 2015 and three of the past five months. Indian refiners, led by state run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) booked a total of 20 cargoes to load in January - fewer than in December, but well above the usual level of African crudes they ship east. IOC's new 300,000 bpd refinery was expected to start full commercial operations in March, though it shipped the first consignment of products from the new unit in November 2015. Strong fuel demand within India has also encouraged refiners to run at full steam. Private Indian refiner Reliance also booked West African grades including Nigeria's Bonga and Cameroonian Lokele. (

Enbridge temporarily shuts Line 7 oil pipeline after protest

January 4, 2016. Enbridge Inc shut down a crude oil pipeline for approximately three hours morning, a the company said, after protesters opposed to oil sands development partially restricted flow on the pipeline by tampering with a valve station. The Line 7 crude oil pipeline, which carries around 150,000 barrels per day of crude from Sarnia, Ontario, to Westover, Ontario, was shut down as a precaution so maintenance workers could inspect the valve station. Line 7 was restarted and White said there was no impact on deliveries. It is the second time in a month that Enbridge has been forced to shut down a pipeline as a result of protests by environmental groups. (

Venezuela delays gas exports to Colombia

January 1, 2016. Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA, has delayed the export of natural gas to Colombia because of climate factors, the Colombian Mines and Energy Ministry said. The exports are part of a deal between the two countries, which includes provisions for the neighbours to supply their own markets if necessary before exporting. The contract specifies the delivery of 39 million cubic feet a day from Venezuela, which corresponds to just over 3 percent of daily supply in Colombia. Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol has asked PDVSA to give a new date by which the exports could begin. (

Russia's Rosneft extends contract with Poland's PKN Orlen

December 31, 2015. Russia's top oil producer Rosneft said it had agreed to extend its contract with PKN Orlen on supplying oil to Poland by three years. The contract, initially signed on Feb. 1, 2013, will be extended until Jan. 31, 2019 and supply volumes will be increased to 25.2 million tonnes of oil, Rosneft said. (

Norway's pipeline gas exports to Europe hit new record high

December 30, 2015. Norway's pipeline gas exports to Europe hit a fresh annual record high of 107.9 billion cubic metres (bcm) as of Dec. 29, preliminary data from gas system operator Gassco showed. This surpassed the previous record high of 107.6 bcm reached in 2012. Norway's gas exports rose in 2015 due to higher output at its key gas field Troll, operated by Statoil. (

Iraq's southern oil exports hold near record in December

December 30, 2015. Oil exports from southern Iraq have held near a record high in December, cementing its role as the world's fastest source of supply growth in 2015 despite battles against Islamic State and concern that plunging oil prices would undermine output growth. The strong supply from Iraq is an indication of continued high output from leading members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which kept its year-old policy of no output restraints in place at a meeting. Iraq's southern exports in the first 29 days of December averaged 3.27 million barrels per day (bpd), according to loading data tracked. Iraq surprised many in the oil market this year by boosting supplies by around 500,000 bpd, despite unrest and concern that spending cuts by companies developing the southern fields would limit production growth. (

Policy / Performance…………

Argentina to cut price of locally produced oil by 12 percent

January 5, 2016. Argentina's new government has agreed to cut the price of locally produced oil by 12 percent to $67.5 per barrel, which is still higher than global crude prices. Argentina sets the price that refineries pay for crude as a way of bolstering the local oil production industry. Global benchmark Brent crude prices were down 22 cents at $37 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 4 cents to $36.72 a barrel. (

China insurance fund to invest in Russia's Yamal LNG

January 5, 2016. More than 40 Chinese insurance companies and asset managers have jointly started an investment firm, raising 40 billion yuan ($6 billion) for a first fund to finance energy and infrastructure projects overseas, China's insurance regulator said. The new firm, China Insurance Investment Ltd, will boost China's energy security by directing part of its first fund to finance Russia's $27 billion Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) said. Yamal LNG, due to start production of liquefied natural gas in 2017, should consist of three lines with a capacity of 5.5 million tonnes a year each. The project has been struggling to raise funds because of international sanctions on Russia over its involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. China's Silk Road Fund has already provided 700 million euro to Yamal LNG and obtained a 9.9 percent stake in the project. Chinese lenders are also set to provide $12 billion in credit. (

Global oil, gas prices to remain weak in 2016: Moody's

January 5, 2016. Global oil and gas prices will remain weak in 2016 on continued oversupply that will result in at least 20-25 percent reduction in capital spending in upstream oil and gas exploration and production, Moody's Investors Service said. The potential lifting of sanctions on Iran could add significant supply to the market in 2016, offsetting or even exceeding expected declines in US production. Moody's forecast widely traded Brent crude oil to average USD 43 per barrel in 2016 before rising to USD 48 in next year and USD 53 in 2018. Low oil and natural gas prices have already directly affected cash flows of exploration and production (E&P) companies, while also significantly weakening other energy companies such as drillers and oilfield service providers due to reduced drilling and completion activity. Lower capital spending will lead to further capital budget cuts for integrated and national oil companies (NOCs), but OFS companies in particular will emphasize cost reduction in response to reduced demand. (

Iran says boosting oil exports depends on future demand

January 4, 2016. A rise in Iran's crude oil exports once sanctions against it are lifted depends on future global oil demand and should not further weaken oil prices. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Iran did not plan to exacerbate an already bearish oil market. Oil prices are likely to come under further pressure this year, when international sanctions on Iran are due to be removed under a nuclear deal reached in July. Brent crude settled at $37.28 a barrel. Iran has repeatedly said it plans to raise oil output by 500,000 barrels per day post sanctions, and another 500,000 bpd shortly after that, to reclaim its position as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' second-largest producer. Oil prices fell as much as 35 percent for 2015 after a race to pump by Middle East crude producers and U.S. shale oil drillers created an unprecedented global glut that may take through 2016 to clear. The sanctions have halved Iran's oil exports to around 1.1 million bpd from a pre-2012 level of 2.5 million bpd, and the loss of oil income has hampered investments. National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said Iran would be looking to export its crude to Asia and Europe giving examples of China and India as potential buyers post sanctions. Another possibility would be buying stakes in refineries abroad, NIOC said. (

Big oil to cut investment again in 2016

January 3, 2016. With crude prices at 11-year lows, the world's biggest oil and gas producers are facing their longest period of investment cuts in decades, but are expected to borrow more to preserve the dividends demanded by investors. At around $37 a barrel, crude prices are well below the $60 firms such as Total, Statoil and BP need to balance their books, a level that has already been sharply reduced over the past 18 months. International oil companies are once again being forced to cut spending, sell assets, shed jobs and delay projects as the oil slump shows no sign of recovery. U.S. producers Chevron ConocoPhillips have published plans to slash their 2016 budgets by a quarter. Royal Dutch Shell has also announced a further $5 billion in spending cuts if its planned takeover of BG Group goes ahead. Global oil and gas investments are expected to fall to their lowest in six years in 2016 to $522 billion, following a 22 percent fall to $595 billion in 2015, according to the Oslo-based consultancy Rystad Energy. (

Russian oil output hits post-Soviet record high in December 2015

January 2, 2016. Oil output in Russia, one of the world's largest producers, hit a post-Soviet high last month and in 2015 as small- and medium-sized energy companies cranked up the pumps despite falling crude prices, Energy Ministry data showed. For the whole of 2015, Russian oil and gas condensate output rose to more than 534 million tonnes or 10.73 million barrels per day (bpd) from 10.58 million bpd in 2014. In December, Russian oil output rose to 10.83 million bpd from 10.78 million bpd in November. In tonnes, oil output was 45.782 million last month versus 44.115 million in November. The increase in production defied many expectations of a fall in Russian oil output which has been on a steady rise since 1998 apart from a small decline in 2008. The Energy Ministry had expected output to fall to 525 million tonnes in 2015 due to the exhaustion of mature oilfields in Western Siberia, which account for over a half of the country's total oil production. But medium-sized producers, such as Bashneft, cranked up production. And Gazprom, the world's top natural gas producer, increased production of oil, mainly gas condensate, by 5.3 percent for the year. Production at Rosneft edged down by 0.9 percent, while output at Lukoil's Russian assets fell by 1.1 percent last year. According to a poll, Russian oil production in 2016 is expected to rise to a new post-Soviet yearly average high of 10.78 million bpd despite price falls as new fields come online and producers enjoy lower costs due to rouble devaluation. Natural gas production in Russia was 63.31 billion cubic metres (bcm) last month, or 2.04 bcm a day, versus 60.8 bcm in November. For the year, it declined by 0.8 percent to 635.3 bcm. (



EFT starts testing first 300 MW power plant in Bosnia

January 5, 2016. UK-based trading and investment group Energy Financing Team (EFT) said it had started testing its maiden power generation facility, the 300 MW Stanari coal-fired power plant in northern Bosnia. The plant was connected to the Bosnian grid for several hours during which it delivered 420 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity. Construction began in 2013 and it will start operating commercially in the course of 2016, the company said, adding that the complex will employ around 900 people. In 2013, EFT won a 350 million euro loan from the China Development Bank for the project and pledged to finance the remainder of the cost from its own equity. So far, it has invested € 311 million into the project, it said. The company picked Dongfang Electric Corp, one of China's top power equipment makers, to provide equipment and carry out the construction. The Stanari plant will have an annual output of 2,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh). (

Sembcorp invests in 1.3 GW coal-fired power project in China

January 5, 2016. Singapore energy group Sembcorp has formed a joint venture with Chongqing Energy Investment Group, named ChongQing SongZao Sembcorp Electric Power to strengthens Sembcorp's activities in China. The joint venture operates an existing 300 MW mine-mouth coal-fired power plant in Qijiang District, Chongqing and is building an adjacent 1,320 MW supercritical coal-fired power project. Construction is already 50% completed and the project is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2017. Total investment is estimated at Cyu6 bn (US$920 mn). (

Fortrum plans to upgrade 1 GW Loviisa nuclear plant in Finland

January 5, 2016. Finnish utility Fortum is planning to undertake extensive upgrade program at its 1,020 MW Loviisa nuclear power plant and operate it until 2030. In 2015, the Loviisa nuclear power plant generated a total of 8.47 terawatt hours (TWh) of power, accounting to about 13% of total power generation in the country. The power plants features two nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of 510 MW, and were commissioned in 1977. The firm said that it invested approximately €80 mn and expects to continue significant investment in the coming years. In order to improve plant safety, the firm invested in backup cooling system which is independent of seawater and the diesel fuel storage and distribution system. (

Japan-led group wins Oman bid for $2.3 bn power-generating project

January 4, 2016. Oman wants to increase its power-generation sector over the next three years, adding two new gas-fired plants that could help meet 30 percent of Muscat’s power needs. A Japanese-led consortium will develop two power plants fuelled by natural gas at a total cost of US$ 2.3 billion in northern Oman. Mitsui & Company will take the lead to operate the Ibri and Sohar 3 power plants with its partners, Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and Dhofar International Development and Investment Holding. The power produced from the completed plants will be about 3.15 GW. The electricity will be sold to the country’s utility, Oman Power and Water Procurement Company, for 15 years. (

GE wins $1 bn Saudi power plant contract

January 3, 2016. GE has been awarded a contract worth almost US$1 bn (Dh3.7 bn) to design and build gas turbines for a new power plant at Waad Al Shamal in northern Saudi Arabia. GE said its 48-month contract involves the delivery of the power plant, including four heavy duty gas turbines and one steam turbine. It will produce 1,390 MW, which is enough to power more than 500,000 Saudi homes. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

CNNC and CGN create JV for nuclear technology export

January 5, 2016. Chinese nuclear groups China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) have reached an agreement to set up a joint venture (JV) aimed at promoting Chinese "third-generation" nuclear reactor design, Hualong One, in overseas markets. The 50-50 Hualong One joint venture, namely Hualong International Nuclear Power Technology, will have a registered capital of Cyu500 mn (US$77 mn). In October 2015, CGN and EDF Energy decided to create a joint venture to seek regulatory approval for a British version of the Hualong One design, while this Chinese design should be used for the fifth nuclear power plant in Argentina. (  

Kakhovka-Titan power transmission line feeding Crimea fixed

January 2, 2016. The repair operations on the Kakhovka-Titan power transmission line in Ukraine have been completed, but the line will be hooked up to the grid only after the Ukrainian authorities give a permission, the Kherson regional administration said. The Kalanchak and the Chaplynka districts in the Kherson region, which are normally fed via the Kakhovka-Titan power transmission line, are currently connected to the grid using reserve 35 kV Oblenergo lines. (

Policy / Performance…………

PLN cuts electricity prices by up to 8.5 percent

January 5, 2016. Indonesian national power utility PT PLN has announced price cuts for electricity end-consumers, citing low oil prices and improved operational efficiency. Electricity prices for households and SMEs will be reduced by 6.6% from Rp 1,509.38/kWh (US$10.95c/kWh) to Rp 1,409.16/kWh (US$10.22c/kWh), while electricity prices for industry will drop by 8.5%, to Rp 970.35/kWh (US$7.04c/kWh). (  

Malaysia's biggest electricity firm plans $3 bn global sukuk for expansion abroad

January 4, 2016. Malaysia’s biggest electricity company plans to tap the dollar debt market for the first time in two decades with its debut offering of global Islamic bonds. Tenaga Nasional Bhd. is asking bankers to submit pitches for a $3 billion sukuk program and proceeds will be used to fund overseas investments including the purchase of a 30 percent stake in Turkish power firm Gama Enerji A.S. for $243 million. Tenaga’s planned sale comes after Prime Minister Najib Razak said that 1MDB will have trimmed its debt by 40.4 billion ringgit ($9.3 billion), from 42 billion ringgit in March 2014, once ongoing disposals of its power and property assets are completed. Tenaga plans to add 5,000 MW of regional capacity as part of a five-year expansion. That’s sufficient to power 1.25 million Malaysian homes. The electricity company has a market capitalization of 74.8 billion ringgit and a total installed capacity of 10,818 MW. It sold the country’s third-biggest sukuk in November -- an 8.93 billion ringgit offering -- to part-finance the construction of a 2,000 MW coal-fired power plant. The company has debt totaling 26.1 billion ringgit, data show. (

China to suspend new coal mine approvals amid pollution fight

December 30, 2015. China will stop approving new coal mines for the next three years and will continue to trim production capacity as the world’s biggest energy consumer struggles to shift away from the fuel as it grapples with pollution. China will suspend the approval of new mines starting in 2016 and will cut coal’s share of its energy consumption to 62.6 percent next year, from 64.4 percent. This is the first time the government has suspended the approval of new coal mines, according to Deng Shun, an analyst with ICIS China. The country will also close more than 1,000 coal mines next year, taking out 60 million metric tons of unneeded capacity, according to the Xinhua report. China shuttered a similar number of mines this year, wiping out 70 million tons of production, according to the National Energy Administration (NEA). The country is on track to produce 3.58 billion tons of coal this year, down 0.5 percent from 2014, according to the NEA. Coal demand in China has slid as its economy slows amid a shift toward consumption-led growth and while it intensifies efforts to rein in pollution. China plans to ask companies to replace electricity generated from their own coal-fired plants with renewable energy, the National Development and Reform Commission said. (



Rajghat power house may become waste-to-energy plant

January 5, 2016. The Delhi government is mulling to convert the coal-based Rajghat Power House into a waste-to-energy plant. The proposal comes at a time when the Union Ministry of Power has prepared a cabinet note for amending the Electricity Act, 2003, for inclusion of buying power generated from municipal solid wastes. The thermal power plant at Rajghat, which is operated by Delhi government’s Indraprastha Power Generation Company Limited (IPGCL), has been shut for over eight months now, not only because it is a major source of pollution in the city but also because discoms have stopped buying electricity from it. Delhi produces a mammoth 8,360 tons per day of municipal solid waste and surprisingly, the city has only one operational plant till date. According to the cabinet note finalised by the ministry, it will be mandatory for power distribution companies to buy 100 percent of electricity generated from municipal solid waste. The Act as of now provides for purchase of electricity from only two renewable energy sources — wind and solar. (

Mahindra Group to use food waste for CNG production

January 4, 2016. Mahindra Group, one of India’s leading auto manufacturers, on January 2, 2015 inaugurated a bio-CNG plant at Mahindra World City (MWC) in Chennai that will use food waste to make renewable fuel. The bio-CNG plant is a joint CSR initiative between Mahindra Research Valley (MRV) and Mahindra World City Developers Limited (MWCDL). Spread over an area of 1,000 sq m, the bio-CNG plant will convert 8 tonnes of food and kitchen waste generated daily at MWC, into 1000 m3 of raw biogas. Further, the raw bio gas can be enriched to yield 400 kg/day of purified CNG grade fuel which is equivalent to a 200 kW power plant. As a byproduct four tonnes of organic fertiliser will be produced per day. The green energy (bio CNG) can be used to replace CNG as automotive fuel and LPG for cooking purposes as well as to power street lights at MWC. (

Ministry looking at Euro VI compliant vehicles by 2021

January 4, 2016. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Centre has set a target of year 2021 for Euro VI compliance of all vehicles in India to check the menace of vehicular pollution in our cities, especially metros like Delhi and Mumbai. Javadekar said that Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari will release details of the 2021 Euro VI compliance plan. Javadekar said that complying with the Euro VI norms is a permanent solution. (

Oasis Group to invest ` 5 bn for setting up ethanol plant

January 3, 2016. Oasis Group is planning to invest ` 500 crore for establishing a wheat­based ethanol plant with capacity of 5 lakh litres per day at Ferozepur in Punjab. At present, mostly sugar mills are producing ethanol in the country, which is being sold to the petroleum companies. The Centre has fixed the target of mixing up to 10 percent ethanol in petrol, but so far it has achieved only 2.5 percent blending. In the first phase of manufacturing, the production capacity would be 2.5 lakh liters per day and in the final phase, it would be taken to five lakh liters per day. The ethanol will be produced using wheat, which is unfit for human consumption, Oasis Group said. (

` 730 mn climate fund to revive pokkali farms

January 2, 2016. Pokkali farms are expected to get a new lease of life with the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) allocating ` 73 crore for its revival and protection. Of the seven states that submitted project proposals, five received central clearance. The proposal by state fisheries department insisted on the need to revive the lowlying pokkali farmlands that could be used to cultivate two crops (paddy and fish shrimp) As per the implementation guidelines issued by ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), state-level steering committees (SLSC) should be constituted under the chairmanship of chief secretary and representatives of relevant stakeholder departments including fisheries, agriculture, animal husbandry, power, science and technology, forest, water resources, irrigation, urban affairs, rural development, local self-government, health and family welfare, finance, revenue and disaster management, environment and climate change and institute of climate change studies. The funding is through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). (

Unique Indian geological feature may mitigate climate change

January 1, 2016. India is blessed with an extraordinary geological feature that may provide a natural solution to the problem of climate change, according to some geologists. Scientists have known for years that carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels has been warming the planet. The just-concluded meeting in Paris urged nations to cut their CO2 emissions to ensure that the global temperature does not rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level, while aiming for a 1.5 degree limit. But some experts, like law professor Dan Farber of the University of California-Berkeley, doubt whether even the 2 degree goal can be achieved purely through emission cuts, suggesting other avenues must be explored. India has indeed an additional option, some geologists believe. This consists of capturing the CO2 coming out of coal-fired power plants and injecting it below the Deccan Traps for permanent storage. The Indian study, proposed by NTPC, was to be carried out in partnership with Hyderabad's National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) and PNNL. It was one of the 17 initiatives endorsed by the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), a 23-member voluntary climate initiative of which India was a founding member. But, according to CSLF, the Indian study has remained "inactive". (

Railway Minister launches green energy initiatives

December 30, 2015. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched two environment-friendly measures - a 26 MW wind mill plant at Jaisalmer and "head on generation system" in Mumbai Rajdhani. Dedicating the 26 MW wind mill plant at Jaisalmer to the nation, Prabhu said there is a need to protect our environment, promoting sustainable development and reducing dependence on fossil fuel while rationalising the cost of fuel bills. The wind mill plant has been set up by Railway Energy Management Company Ltd (REMCL), a Joint Venture of Indian Railways and RITES Ltd at an estimated cost of ` 160 crore. The plant is expected to generate over 50 million units of electricity per annum. Prabhu said Railways have taken several initiatives to harness wind and solar energy in a big way so as to provide environmental-friendly and pollution free mode of transport. While flagging off the HoG system in Mumbai-Rajdhani, Prabhu said the system will reduce power cost by more than ` 1 crore annually. In HoG system, power supply for train lighting and air-conditioning in coaches is taken from over head power lines, instead of power taken from two power cars attached at both end of the AC train. The HoG system prevents use of diesel generators in power cars and also noise pollution. On an average 3000 litres of fuel is consumed in round trip from New Delhi to Mumbai and back. Railways plan to switch over to the HoG system gradually in other Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains. Highlighting the need for energy conservation, he said Railways is planning to source 1000 MW solar power in next 3-4 years. As per the plan the roof top and vacant land based solar power plants, wind power plants, solar based water heating systems, solar coolers and solar street lights at various locations will be installed. (

Centre to provide ` 50 bn subsidy for rooftop solar power

December 30, 2015. In a bid to increase the use of clean energy, the Centre decided to scale up by nearly 10-fold the financial assistance for grid connected rooftop and small solar power plants programme to ` 5,000 crore. The capital subsidy of 30 percent will be provided for general category States/UTs and 70 percent for special category States including i.e., North-Eastern States including Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The industrial and commercial sector will be encouraged for installations without subsidy. The Government has revised the target of National Solar Mission (NSM) from 20,000 MW to 1,00,000 MW by 2022. Of that, 40,000 MW is to come through grid connected solar rooftop systems. The approval will boost the installations in a big way and will act as a catalyst for achieving the goal of 40,000 MW. Solar power generated by each individual household, industrial, institutional, commercial or any other type of buildings can be used to partly fulfil the requirement of the building occupants and surplus, if any, can be fed into the grid. So far, 26 States have notified their regulations to provide Net Metering/Gross metering facilities to support solar rooftops installations. Today it is possible to generate solar power from the solar rooftop systems at about ` 6.50/kWh. This is cheaper than the diesel gen-sets based power. This 40 GW will result in abatement of about 60 million tonnes of CO2 per year and will help to fulfil the commitment of India towards its contribution in mitigating the effect of climate change. (


E.ON separates fossil fuel business to focus on renewable

January 5, 2016. German energy utility E.ON has separated its fossil fuel business in order to focus on its renewable energy assets. A new entity Uniper has also been created by E.ON to operate its conventional power generation assets including hydropower, natural gas and coal. Following spin off, E.ON will focus on renewables, distribution networks and customer solutions. The firm plans to take new approaches to develop each of its three core business areas with an investment of about €0.5 bn. About 40,000 employees would remain with E.ON and the remaining 20,000 would join the new company. The strategic reorganization plan was proposed in November 2014. (

China to increase wind, solar power capacity by 21 percent in 2016

December 30, 2015. China, the world’s biggest clean energy investor, plans to increase wind and solar power capacity by more than 21 percent next year as it works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting its reliance on coal. The nation is targeting at least 20 GW of new wind power installations and 15 GW of additional photovoltaic capacity next year, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said. China has pledged to peak carbon emissions around 2030, by which time it aims to derive 20 percent of the energy it uses from clean sources. China will also stop approving new coal mines in the next three years. The world’s biggest producer of carbon emissions is expected at the end of this year to have a total of 120 GW of wind power, 43 GW of solar, and 320 GW of hydro power, the NEA said. China will also accelerate hydro power construction in the southwest, the NEA said. To subsidize renewable-energy projects, the nation plans to raise a surcharge slapped onto electricity bills by about 27 percent to 0.019 yuan a kilowatt-hour, China’s top-economy agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, said. (









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[1] M. C. Albrecht, Kaiser Engineers Inc paper on “Coal Preparation Process”, Oakland, California

[2] S. R. Ghosh, Director (Engineering Services) presentation on “Global coal beneficiation scenario and economics of using washed coal” CMPDIL, India

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