MonitorsPublished on Jul 24, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XII; Issue 6

[People’s Action Plan on Climate Change for Karnataka]

                             “These recommendations can go a long way in strengthening the National Action Plan and the State Action Plan on Climate Change, whose recommendations have not been known to the public. Since about 1,000 people from various walks of life have contributed to these recommendations, the state government should not hesitate to consider every one of them for early implementation…”

Energy News


More power transmission lines through more states will balance power surplus and deficit across the country!                                   


‘Me-too’ LNG projects have led to the warning of challenges that await these terminals!


It is not the government’s business to get into the business of coal block acquisition! 




·          India’s Energy Sector: About to Take-off? (Part II)


·          People’s Action Plan on Climate Change for Karnataka


·          State-wise Wind Power Generation Capacity & Cost



·          India's crude oil output down marginally

·          RIL to relinquish two gas discoveries off east coast


·          IOC to invest ` 10 bn to raise stake in CPCL

·          Royal Dutch/Shell reopens 77th petrol pump in India

·          Essar to shut 400k bpd refinery for a month from mid-September

·          IOC to restart crude unit at 300k bpd Paradip plant in August

Transportation / Trade………………

·          Petrol pumps closed in Haryana after dealers indefinite strike

·          Stiff challenges await LNG terminals: ICRA

·          GAIL sells 2 mn tonnes US LNG abroad

·          RIL sells diesel to Indian Railways

·          Post N-deal, RIL may look at exporting petrol, diesel to Iran

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Diesel price to go up by ` 2.80 a litre in Chandigarh

·          Petrol, diesel to cost more as govt hikes VAT

·          India to benefit from oil price fall post-Iran deal: Oil Minister

·          Oil Minister stresses upon the need of new approach for energy security



·          Tata Power's Mundra power plant generates 6,296 MUs in Q1

·          Damaracherla power plant works to begin soon

·          Nabinagar unit likely to generate power by November

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          ABB bags ` 1.2 bn order to upgrade three substations

·          About 1.2 mn power men to strike over Electricity Amendment Bill

·          Tata Power commissions one of the largest radio frequency metering projects in India

·          India will lay 7,800 km of power transmission lines through 7 states

·          Power exchanges to begin extended market session

·          Delhi power discoms seek yet another tariff hike

·          Siemens wins ` 1.2 bn order from Bangladesh's Power Grid Company

·          Private players queue up to bid for intra-state transmission projects

·          Adani Power wins projects in Chhattisgarh

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Odisha opposes changes in SBDs for UMPPs

·          Maharashtra govt plans to retire high cost debt of ` 540 bn of three power companies

·          West Bengal govt transfers hydro projects to NHPC

·          Gujarat plans to relocate existing electricity infra

·          CENVAT duty cannot be levied on sale of fly ash: Madras HC

·          Centre yet to decide on Reliance’s Sasan coal blocks

·          Delhi govt hopeful to get coal block by October

·          Kudankulam-II to be commissioned in 6-8 months

·          'Arunachal received ` 14.9 bn as upfront money for hydel projects'

·          Govt to offer 26 percent in DVC power plant to railways



·          Total starts production from Dalia Phase 1A offshore Angola

·          Eni found gas in Egypt

·          Exxon’s Guyana oil discovery may be 12 times larger than economy

·          Production begins at Ungani oil field in Australia

·          Premier oil sees high potential in most-sought Mexico block

·          Ithaca confirms 12k barrel per day target for 2015

·          OVL fails to make cut in Mexico's historic oil block auction

·          Iran no Qatar even with the world’s second-biggest gas reserves


·          Pemex agrees to pay $295 mn to settle Mexican refinery upgrade disputes

·          Idemitsu JV may double Vietnam refinery capacity

Transportation / Trade…………

·          China's Iran oil imports hit two-month high in June

·          Changfeng partners with Tangshan Caofeidian for natural gas business in China

·          Tullow expects gas exports from Jubilee field to resume by mid-August

·          Statoil to leave TAP gas pipeline project: SOCAR

·          DUET to expand in gas with $1 bn Energy Developments buy

·          Saudi Arabia crude exports fall to five-month low on China

·          Caspian pipeline to halt oil exports Aug 17-20

·          Contract signed for the sixth Iran-Iraq gas pipeline project

·          Woodside sales slide 47 percent as gas trades near five-year low

·          Nigeria's Seven Energy secures $495 mn to boost gas supply

Policy / Performance………………

·          US banks prepare for oil and gas company loans to worsen

·          Myanmar sees increased offshore exploration work in late 2015/early 2016

·          Croatia will build 4-6 bcm LNG terminal by 2020

·          Iranian crude oil output likely to increase in 2016: Fitch Ratings

·          Kenya to sign $350 mn loan for refined products pipeline

·          UK should monitor water, air, land if gas fracking to succeed

·          Bangladesh considers building two new LNG terminal

·          Argentina ended some incentives to develop shale O&G



·          Vietnam starts building 1.2 GW coal-fired power plant

·          China to be world’s third largest nuclear-generating country

·          Talen Energy to buy Mach Gen power plants for $1.1 bn

·          France's Engie quits plans to build power plant

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          SGCC proposes to fund up to US$12 bn power grid project in Nigeria

·          Japan confirms nuclear energy to supply a fifth of power by 2030

Policy / Performance………………

·          UK says ‘very good prospect’ of EDF Hinkley deal this year

·          Brasil energy efficiency program saved 2 percent of final power consumption

·          Chile authorises O&G company Enap to enter the power market

·          UK will close its last underground coal mine by end-2015

·          Spanish residential electricity price will drop by 2.2 percent for 5 months



·          Canals to harness 1 GW green energy in Punjab

·          India's clean energy targets way ahead of others

·          'TN needs to improve infra for wind energy generation'

·          TN BJP seeks detailed report on Adani deal on solar power

·          MP to get cheapest solar power in country

·          First power storage technology launched by ACME Cleantech

·          Mahagenco invites bids to appoint consultants for solar projects

·          Hero Future Energies bags solar power project from MP govt


·          German wind capacity addition increased threefold on first semester 2015

·          Deal on climate change by year-end: French Minister

·          UK signals more pain for renewables as Rudd protects consumers

·          Climate scientists say 2015 on track to be warmest year on record

·          EEX's to offer renewable power futures from Sep 14

·          UK ends zero carbon homes policy

·          Dubai Electricity & Water closes solar-park phase two financing

·          Israel inks deal for $1 bn solar power plant

·          Renewables outpace nuclear in economies making up 45 percent of world population

·          EU bets on cap and trade in plan for deeper emission cuts

·          AWS to build 208 MW wind farm in US

·          Bio-bean to produce biofuel from coffee waste at UK stations




India’s Energy Sector: About to Take-off? (Part II)

Lydia Powell and Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation

Continued from Volume XII, Issue 4


ast week’s column observed that India’s energy take-off may be an ‘optical illusion’ caused by China’s slow-down. This casual remark must be tested against hard data on changes in India’s energy consumption patterns. We shall begin with the electricity sector. 

Source: Central Electricity Authority 2015

Chart 5 shows sector-wise changes in consumption of electricity since 1947.  In the last six decades, residential and commercial sectors have doubled their share of electricity consumption (from 10 to 24 percent and from 4 to 9 percent respectively) but the share of industrial consumption has declined from 70 percent to about 42 percent in 2014-15 after peaking at 74 percent in 1960. The share of electricity in traction has declined from about 7 percent in 1947 to about 2 percent in 2014-15 while the share of agriculture in electricity consumption has grown from about 3 percent to about 18 percent after peaking at 26 percent in 1997 (end of the 8th plan period). 

Data on sector-wise ten year average compounded annual growth rate (CAGR)[1] is more informative (Chart 6).    

Source: Central Electricity Authority 2015

Overall electricity consumption has grown by 7.24 percent in the period 2007-2015 compared to 5.65 percent in the period 1997-2007. The sector that has shown significant spurts in electricity consumption growth is agriculture. The ten year period between 1956 and 1966 recorded the highest ever growth rate of 19.6 percent.  The reason is well known. When Pakistan was separated from India, it removed access to water for irrigation from the Indus canal system almost overnight.  India with 82 percent of the population of undivided British India got only half the canal system carrying 400,000 cusecs of water and less than half of 24 million acres of land irrigated by state owned canals.  Consequently the 3rd and 4th plans allocated almost a quarter of the budget for the power sector for electrification of pump sets for irrigation of agricultural land. The result was an unprecedented increase in agricultural consumption of electricity.  Agricultural consumption continued to show double digit growth rates in the subsequent decades. The significant decline in growth rates of agricultural consumption was recorded during the 9th and 10th plan periods (1997-2007) when the average CAGR of agricultural consumption was only 1.6 percent. The period 2007-2015 has recorded a growth of 7.24 percent but this cannot be labelled a growth spurt. It is lower than the average growth of 11.34 percent and less than half the peak growth rate. Across all consuming sectors, growth-rates are below or close to historic average growth rates. This does not necessarily constitute a growth spurt. 

The 18th power survey projects a demand of 3710 billion units corresponding to a peak load of 514 GW at bus bar in 2032. The survey assumes the following: 8-9 percent growth up to the end of the 12th plan and around 7-9 percent beyond that period; full electrification by 2017; high growth rate for electricity consumption in states with low per person electricity consumption but with policies in place for T&D loss reduction; restructuring and reduction in overall T&D loss levels to 15 percent barring the North East region and J & K.  For a three-fold increase in power consumption (from 938 billion units in 2015 to 3710 in 2032) in the next 17 years, a CAGR of 8.4 percent in power consumption is required. This is roughly the average CAGR of power consumption since 1947. 

Source: Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell

In petroleum products particularly that of petrol (MS), LPG, Kerosene (SKO) and diesel (HSD) that account for 69 percent of petroleum product consumption in India, there is no appreciable sign of a growth spurt, except in kerosene whose consumption is showing a consistent negative growth since 2002 (Chart 7). This may be attributed partly to increase in electrification rates because kerosene is a major source of lighting in un-electrified rural India. The absence of a corresponding increase in LPG consumption growth rates is surprising because kerosene is also a major source of cooking fuel in rural areas. The absence of a significant growth of LPG consumption may be attributed to the limits imposed on subsidised LPG consumption. 

Among transportation fuels, the growth of petrol consumption (almost entirely consumed by the transportation segment) has exceeded the growth of diesel consumption (70 percent consumed by the transportation segment) during the 11th and 12th plan periods. About 61 percent of petrol is consumed by two-wheelers and about 34 percent by personal vehicles such as cars. The growth in petrol consumption may be interpreted as a sign of growth in personal vehicles which could in turn mean growth in consumption by middle class households. 

Source: Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturers

The trend in sales of vehicles shows a significant growth for personal vehicles as opposed to commercial vehicles (Chart 8). Between 2009 and 2015 personal vehicle sales grew at 4.9 percent compared to a growth of 2.4 percent for commercial vehicles. While three wheeler sales grew at 3.2 percent, two wheeler sales grew at 9.3 percent. Long-term projections by the IEA do not show a significant departure from this trend where personal vehicle sales is dominated by sales of two wheelers. 

On the whole data from the recent past does not indicate clear signs of a growth spurt in energy consumption.  India’s growth rates in energy consumption may be higher than that of China in the next two decades but India’s growth is likely to be in line with past trends with no significant spurts. This is not necessarily good news.  Even at economic growth rates of 8 percent or more a year in the next two decades India is unlikely to achieve per person energy consumption levels that represent decent quality of life. If we go by projections by the International Energy Agency, even by 2030, 20 percent of the Indian population will have no access to electricity and 46 percent of the population will remain dependent on traditional fuels for cooking. Perversely, this will limit the perceived threat posed by the scale of India’s energy transitions on global boundary conditions such as the global carbon budget.     


Views are those of the authors                    

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



People’s Action Plan on Climate Change for Karnataka

Shankar Sharma, Power Policy Analyst


 people’s action plan on Climate Change for the state was released on recent World Environment Day in Bangalore by the Chief Minister of Karnataka. This report, “Recommendations to State Action Plan on Climate Change” prepared for Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), and based on twenty one public consultation meetings held in different districts of the state, has been termed as a people’s action plan on Climate Change because it contains the views of the public on the developmental pathway for the state keeping the threats of Climate Change in proposer perspective. 

A good reading of the report brings to the fore very many issues needing serious attention of the government and the public on problems confronting the state at present and in the future. The report indicates that the intent of the state govt. to have such public’s feedback on the issue of Climate Change, and the vast efforts of KSPCB in organizing such consultations were well appreciated by the public. It is perhaps for the first time that such public consultations were held in right kind of spirit in any state of the Union on this subject.  For the same reason the recommendations, which have been made by people from various walks of life (such as teachers, college Professors, Doctors, engineers, NGOs, state govt. employees, college students, women, activists, industrialists, farmers and others), should be given due consideration they deserve.

The report has highlighted the geographic and climatic strengths and weakness of the state along with its traditional strengths in agriculture, forestry and horticulture. Looking from the perspective of Climate Change the state has many basic issues to be concerned about. Some of them are: about 77% of the land area is arid or semi-arid; about 54% of the land area prone for droughts; it is considered the second driest state in the Union; it has no reserve of fossil fuels; 5th most urbanized state; less than 20% forest and tree cover etc.  The state also enjoys some good features: rich and diverse agricultural practices which contributes about 28.61% of Gross State Domestic Product; 64.6% of the total geographical area of the state under cultivation; farmers and agricultural laborers account to 56.5% of the total workforce; it is a leader in services sector such as IT and ITES, education; salubrious climate in most parts of the state; a beautiful coast line; one among the top industrial states etc.

The report puts up a forceful advocacy for a people centered and environmentally friendly developmental pathway for the state, which takes into account these constraints and which looks to harness its strengths on a sustainable basis, keeping in view the need to contain the demand for materials and energy within the manageable limits of the nature.

A large number of concerns /recommendations have been expressed in these meetings, and they have been grouped under 19 headings. Some of these headings are: pollution of land, water and air; forests and biodiversity; Western Ghats; coastal ecology; agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry; food and human health; waste management; transportation; industries; energy; urbanisation and infrastructure; general awareness campaign; rural Karnataka and north Karnataka; women’s perspective; traditional Knowledge and life style issues.

Under each of these headings the recommendations have been grouped as tactical ones for early implementation and strategic ones for long term consideration. More than 600 recommendations, on the basis of public’s view points, have been compiled which are aimed to ‘mitigate’ and ‘adapt’ to the fast evolving Climate Change.

While some recommendations may appear to need further discussions for clarifications, there are a large number of credible, uncontestable and implementable recommendations which deserve urgent attention by our society and the govt. These recommendations include: the criticality of optimal use of our natural scarce resources such as water, minerals, energy and forests; minimise the pollution of land, water and air; move towards sustainable agriculture, horticulture and life style practices; massive educational and awareness campaigns targeting all sections of our state; much higher focus on rural development; minimise the impacts of the urbanisation; effectively involve women and all other sections of the society in planning and implementation; provide adequate focus to our traditional knowledge base.

The detailed report can be accessed from KSPCB website.

The report has recommended the state govt. should consider adopting the following policy statements:

Ø  reduce the reliance on coal energy by certain percentage by 2025, 2040, 2050 etc. w.r.t the base year of, say, 2000; declare a peak coal year for the country, say 2022;

Ø  reduce the consumption of petroleum products by certain percentage by 2025, 2040, 2050 etc. w.r.t the base year of, say, 2000; encourage the usage of bio-fuels so as to make it atleast 50% of our total vehicle fuel consumption by 2050;

Ø  a minimum 75% of our total energy/electricity needs shall be met by new and renewable energy (RE) sources by 2050; of this about 70 to 80% should come from distributed type of RE sources such as roof top SPVs and community based bio-energy systems;

Ø  make efficiency, conservation and demand side management as the fundamental doctrine of our energy policy;

Ø  stop diverting the natural forests until the forest policy target of 33% of the land cover is reached again; take effective measures to increase the forest cover area by at least by 0.5% every year for the next 30 years;

Ø  gradually reduce  the inorganic chemicals used in agriculture so as to  make our agriculture completely sustainable /organic by 2030;  make sustainable agriculture, horticulture, dairying and other related sectors contribute a much higher share in national income and national employment;

Ø  take all possible measures to reduce the urbanisation, and keep the overall urban population to less than, say, 30% by 2040;

Ø  enact pollution control measures of highest standards across the country before 2025.  

A coordinating agency, preferably a standing committee of responsible officers, credible NGOs and committed individuals, directly reporting to the Chief Minister should oversee the development and implementation of an effective state action plan on a continuous basis.

These recommendations can go a long way in strengthening the National Action Plan (NAPCC) and the State Action Plan on Climate Change (KSAPCC), whose recommendations have not been known to the public. Since about 1,000 people from various walks of life have contributed to these recommendations, the state government should not hesitate to consider every one of them for early implementation.

In the context that Pope Francis of Vatican City has issued a very powerful Encyclical on the issue of Climate Change on 18th June 2015, there is now even a moral obligation for our society to address the ‘ecological crises’. The pope’s 180-page Encyclical on the environment is at its core a highly convincing call for urgent action on phasing out the use of fossil fuels and usher in a just & equitable world based on sustainable harnessing of our natural resources.

The recent report produced by the Lancet/UCL commission on health and climate change, a collaboration of dozens of medical experts from around the world, and backed by Margaret Chan, head of the UN World Health Organisation needs a special emphasis in this context. It says that the Climate Change threatens to undermine half a century of progress in global health. The analysis also concludes that the benefits to health resulting from slashing fossil fuel use are so large that tackling global warming also presents the greatest global opportunity to improve people’s health in the 21st century.

Such people’s action plan developed for each state of the Union has become critical for the overall success of the nation’s efforts in addressing the threats of global warming.                                                          Concluded

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]


State-wise Wind Power Generation Capacity & Cost

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation

(As on Feb, 2015)


Installed Capacity (MW)

Andhra Pradesh








Madhya Pradesh






Tamil Nadu






Cost (INR/KWh) of selling wind power to Utilities

* Cost range for Maharashtra is INR3.92 to 5.70 while for Rajasthan is INR5.64 to 5.93

Source: Rajya Sabha, Question No. 2000, Answered on 16.03.2015.




India's crude oil output down marginally

July 21, 2015. India's crude oil production slipped marginally, less than 1 percent, to 3.1 million tonnes in June as good showing by ONGC's offshore fields offset fall in output from onland fields. India produced 3.101 million tonnes of crude oil in June as compared to 3.121 million tonnes a year ago. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) produced at almost flat rate of 1.85 million tonnes after an over 3 percent rise in offshore production at 1.38 million tonnes was offset by 7.5 percent drop in production from onland fields. During the April-June quarter of the current fiscal, India's crude oil production was 0.86 percent down at 9.3 million tonnes. Natural gas output was down nearly 6 percent at 2.72 billion cubic meters (bcm). ONGC reported a 5.5 percent drop in production at 18 bcm and so did private firms like Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) with output dropping 11 percent to 377.6 million cubic meters. This was offset by rise in coal-bed methane (CBM) output. (

RIL to relinquish two gas discoveries off east coast

July 19, 2015. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has decided to relinquish two gas discoveries off the east coast and opted to carry out government prescribed confirmation tests to retain three other finds. Accepting a government offer to conduct Drill Stem Test (DST) under limited cost to retain gas discoveries that otherwise would have been taken away for not meeting timelines, RIL has opted to do confirmatory test on two of the three contentious gas finds in the KG-D6 block and one of the two discoveries in question in NEC-25 block. RIL and its partners -- BP plc of UK and Canada's Niko Resources -- will relinquish discoveries D-40 in NEC-25 block off the Odisha coast and D-31 in KG D6 block. The company will conduct DST on discoveries D-32 in NEC-25 block and D-29 and D-30 in KG D6 block. The budget for doing the DST within the government prescribed cost of $15 million each was approved at block oversight panel, called Management Committee, meeting. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had in April approved a policy to allow operators to develop a dozen contentious natural gas discoveries worth about ` 1 lakh crore at current prices. The new policy gives companies options to either develop the finds at their own risk or perform upstream regulator DGH-prescribed conformity tests before developing them and recoup the entire cost. The policy approved by CCEA settled long pending issue with regards to 12 discoveries in five blocks pertaining to Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) (six discoveries) and RIL (six discoveries). The 12 finds hold reserves of around 90 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas. The CCEA allowed companies to either relinquish the blocks or develop the discoveries after conducting DST with 50 percent cost of DST being disallowed as penalty for not conducting the test on time. The cost recovery for carrying out DST capped at $ 15 million. (


IOC to invest ` 10 bn to raise stake in CPCL

July 20, 2015. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) will invest ` 1,000 crore for raising stake in Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) by subscribing to preferential issue. IOC currently holds 51.89 percent in CPCL, while the other promoter, Iran's Naftiran Inter Trade Company Ltd, owns 15.40 percent. The preference allotment is being done only to IOC and not to the Iranian firm. CPCL did not say how much will IOC's shareholding in the company increase, upon it subscribing to the preference issue. They also approved raising borrowing limit to ` 8,000 crore for both domestic and foreign borrowings and to borrow ` 3,000 crore through a debenture issue on private placement basis to fund expansion plans. (

Royal Dutch/Shell reopens 77th petrol pump in India

July 20, 2015. Royal Dutch/Shell has reopened its 77th petrol pump across the country and is looking to expand the network in near future. Shell said it has reopened a petrol pump in the Rakhial area of Ahmedabad city, taking its total operational fuel stations in India to 77. Of these, 20 pumps are in Gujarat. The government had in October last year deregulated diesel pricing by stopping subsidies to state-owned fuel retailers. This puts PSU retailers, who operate over 94 percent of the 53,419 petrol pumps in the country, at par with private companies. Private retailers like Shell and Reliance Industries had few years back shut down their petrol pumps as they could not match the subsidised price offered by PSUs. Of the 53,419 petrol pumps in the country, 50,447 are with Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (BPCL). RIL has reopened 1,400 outlets while Essar Oil has 1,491 petrol pumps on ground. Shell V-Power, the premium performance petrol recently launched in the Indian market will also be available at the Rakhial outlet along with the main-grade petrol and diesel variants at market price. The outlet will also offer free engine oil service for bikers. Besides retail outlets, Shell operates a 5 million tonnes a year LNG import terminal at Hazira in Gujarat with Total. It had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state gas utility GAIL and other firms for setting up a floating LNG terminal off the east coast. Shell also has a downstream business marketing fuels, lubricants and speciality products. It recently announced creation of an in-house global IT centre in Bengaluru. (

Essar to shut 400k bpd refinery for a month from mid-September

July 15, 2015. Essar Oil Ltd will shut its 400,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Vadinar refinery from mid-September for a month, while Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd (CPCL) will put a 1.85 million tonnes-per-year hydrocracker plant on maintenance. Essar Oil will shut the Vadinar refinery in Gujarat for planned maintenance. Trade sources had earlier said the shutdown could happen in July-August. CPCL will shut its hydrocracker plant for a month for routine maintenance at its Manali refinery that has a capacity of 10.5 million tonnes per year. (

IOC to restart crude unit at 300k bpd Paradip plant in August

July 15, 2015. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) shut the crude unit of its 300,000 barrels-per-day Paradip plant in May and will restart the same in August, its refineries head Sanjiv Singh said. There are 15 units (in total) that need to be commissioned in phases, Sanjiv Singh said. There is only one crude unit in Paradip, in the country's east. (

Transportation / Trade…………

Petrol pumps closed in Haryana after dealers indefinite strike

July 20, 2015. Over 2,300 fuel pumps in Haryana have stopped selling petrol and diesel to consumers as petroleum dealers went on their indefinite strike to press for various demands, including lower VAT on diesel. As many as 2,310 fuel pumps across the state went on strike, All Haryana Petroleum Dealers Association Senior Vice President Palwinder Singh Oberoi said. Petroleum dealers will not buy and sell fuel as per their protest, he said. However, some the fuel pumps, which are directly owned by oil companies like Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL, are open. There is a complete shutdown of fuel outlets across the state, including Gurgaon, he claimed. Dealers have also refused to engage meeting with Haryana BJP Chief Subhash Barala for resolving the matter, saying they will talk only with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The monthly sale of diesel in Haryana stands at 53 lakh kilo litres, dealers said. Petroleum dealers were agitated over the alleged failure of Haryana government in keeping the tax on diesel lower than that in neighbouring states for the "survival" of fuel pump owners. They were demanding tax on diesel should be lower by 1-2 percent than the rates prevailing in neighbouring states. They claimed that uniformity in tax rate on diesel in northern states will hit the sale of diesel in Haryana, saying that 70 percent of total sale of diesel is consumed by vehicles, including truck operators coming from other states. Dealers have been demanding removal of 5 percent surcharge on VAT and landing cost of crude oil at Panipat refinery from the state government. Punjab and Haryana had raised Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel. While the SAD-BJP led government hiked VAT on diesel to 13.4 percent, the neighbouring BJP government in Haryana jacked up the tax to 16.4 percent on the commodity. After adding local levies like cess and surcharge, the effective rate of tax on diesel in Punjab and Haryana became 17.29 percent and 17.22 percent, respectively. UT Chandigarh had also increased VAT on diesel from 9.68 percent to 16.4 percent. (

Stiff challenges await LNG terminals: ICRA

July 18, 2015. The new LNG import terminals will face major challenges due to price sensitive demand, the ratings agency ICRA said. The ratings agency believes that new entrants will face significant pressure on volumes and margins if the planned re-gasification terminals come on stream over the next 4-5 years, as they will have to compete with the existing players. Gas demand is expected to increase to 330 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) by 2024-25, while domestic natural gas production will rise 60 percent to about 150 mmscmd. (

GAIL sells 2 mn tonnes US LNG abroad

July 15, 2015. GAIL India Ltd has sold overseas two million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) it had contracted from the US, its Chairman BC Tripathi said. Out of the two million tonnes of LNG, one million tonne has been sold to Royal Dutch Shell. Tripathi refused to give details of other buyers. GAIL has signed a contract to buy 3.5 million tonnes of LNG per year for 20 years from the US—based Cheniere Energy and has also booked capacity for another 2.3 million tonnes per annum at Dominion Energy’s Cove Point liquefaction plant. The landed price of US LNG in India is not likely to be less than USD 10 per million British thermal unit, a rate that domestic industry may consider high after adding taxes, transportation charges and margins. (

RIL sells diesel to Indian Railways

July 15, 2015. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has started selling diesel to the state railways for the first time since 2005/06 after pricing of the fuel was freed, the company said. Indian Railways, the country's biggest diesel guzzler, consumes up to 2.5 million tonnes of the fuel each year. Until last year, it received supplies from state refiners who used to be compensated for selling fuel at below-market rates. The government freed diesel pricing last October, providing a level playing field to private companies like RIL and Essar Oil. RIL said the company has been selling a "small quantity" of diesel to the railways. It was not immediately clear how much it sold in 2005/06. (

Post N-deal, RIL may look at exporting petrol, diesel to Iran

July 15, 2015. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), which had abandoned fuel export to Iran six years back, is again looking at starting petrol and diesel export to the Persian Gulf nation following the landmark nuclear deal. The company said oil product from RIL's giant refining complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat are currently flowing more to eastern markets. Iran reaching deal with western powers to curb its nuclear programme in return of easing import and export restrictions, presents an "opportunity" to RIL. RIL expects fuel exports to the Middle East to diminish as local refineries start. Under mounting global pressure, especially from the US, RIL had in January 2009 stopped export of gasoline to Iran. (

Policy / Performance………

Diesel price to go up by ` 2.80 a litre in Chandigarh

July 17, 2015. A day after Punjab and Haryana hiked VAT on diesel, UT Chandigarh Administration also followed their footsteps and notified the increase in tax on the same, which will cause a hike of ` 2.80 per litre in diesel price. Chandigarh Administration raised the Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel from 9.68 percent to 16.40 percent. The new tax rate will be effective from midnight tonight. With this hike, the retail rate of diesel will be ` 50.40 per litre as against current rate of ` 47.60 a litre, an increase of ` 2.80 per litre. Diesel in Punjab (Mohali) and Haryana (Panchkula) now stands at ` 50.41 a litre and ` 50.10 per litre respectively. Punjab and Haryana raised taxes on diesel to 17.29 percent and 17.22 percent respectively. The whole exercise of raising VAT is in the wake of decision taken by northern states -- New Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and UT Chandigarh -- to rationalise present tax regime by implementing a uniform tax structure (UTS) in these states view to eliminate evasion of taxes and curb smuggling of goods through state borders. The monthly sale of diesel in UT Chandigarh is pegged at 13,000 kilo litres per month. Meanwhile, Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers Association expressed disappointment with the hike in tax rates, saying it will have hit the common man. (

Petrol, diesel to cost more as govt hikes VAT

July 16, 2015. The Delhi government increased the Value Added Tax (VAT) rates on petrol and diesel. The raise, effective from midnight, is the first hike in VAT introduced by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government since it came to power. After the increase, petrol will cost ` 69.43 per litre (approx.), while diesel will be priced at ` 52.07 per litre (approx.). According to the government, the VAT rate was increased on the basis of a decision taken in the meeting of Finance Ministers of northern states for bringing uniformity in tax rates. However, the increase will have a cascading effect with basic commodities such as vegetables expected to cost more. The Delhi Petrol Dealers Association said this announcement was not welcome. However, AAP leaders said the move was taken to bring uniformity in process of petrol and diesel in the northern states. The move, meanwhile, has drawn criticism from the Opposition. BJP leader Vijender Gupta said the AAP government had not lived up to its promise of not increasing VAT and burdening the public. Even the Congress attacked the AAP and said that the government had increased VAT to meet its ` 526 crore budget for advertisements. (

India to benefit from oil price fall post-Iran deal: Oil Minister

July 15, 2015. International oil prices will come down with the imminent lifting of sanctions against Iran and benefit India, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. India is the world’s fourth largest oil consumer and also the second biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China, importing about 11 million tonnes of crude oil in 2014-15. However, Pradhan remained non-commital on whether India will increase imports from Iran after restricting it at 11 million tonnes in the past two fiscal. (

Oil Minister stresses upon the need of new approach for energy security

July 15, 2015. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has stressed upon the need of new approach for energy security. Addressing the India Oil and Gas Summit 2015 in New Delhi, he said that lifting the sanctions on Iran is good news for India and both the countries will benefit from that. Pradhan mentioned, green and clean energy is the need of the hour. Therefore, energy basket should move towards clean energy. The Minister said that the sector has been steadily redefining production possibilities. Technological innovation has made it possible to extract fossil fuels that weren’t accessible just a decade or two ago. Pradhan said there’s no disputing the fundamental role innovation has played in the oil and gas industry. However more needs to be done in terms of Research and Development to bring in more innovation. (



Tata Power's Mundra power plant generates 6,296 MUs in Q1

July 21, 2015. Tata Power said its 4,000 MW Mundra power plant generated 6,296 Million Units (MUs) in the June quarter. The Ultra Mega Power Plant (UMPP) located at Mundra in Kutch district has recently completed three years of operation and generated 62,945.77 MUs from 2012 to 2015. This power plant supplies electricity to eight discoms in five states, namely Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana and Punjab. Gujarat is the largest procurer of power from Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL) at 47.5 percent, followed by Maharashtra at 20 percent, Punjab at 12.5 percent, and Haryana and Rajasthan at 10 percent each. (

Damaracherla power plant works to begin soon

July 19, 2015. Works on the 4,400 MW super critical thermal power station being set up by the Telangana State Generation Corporation (TSGenco) at Damaracherla in Nalgonda district are likely to be grounded soon with the agency getting environmental clearance for the project recently. A major hurdle has been cleared for the project with the environmental clearance. However, the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests (MoEF) has given the clearance with a rider that the project management should develop green cover in the same extent that would be cleared of forest for the purpose of setting up the thermal power station. The MoEF has given its nod for utilisation of 1,892 hectares (4,730 acres) land against 4,000 ha sought by the State Government. However, such a large extent of land was not required because NTPC-CMD Arup Roy Chowdary had indicated during his recent visit to the city that they would set up the 2,400 MW plant at the complex where they were setting up a 1,600 MW plant at Ramagundam as part of the provision made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act that the national power utility set up a 4,000 MW dedicated power plant for Telangana. (

Nabinagar unit likely to generate power by November

July 15, 2015. The first unit (250x4 MW) of Bihar's coal-based thermal plant at Nabinagar is likely to start power by November this year. The joint venture project has been developed by Bharatiya Rail Bijlee Company Limited (BRBCL) with NTPC having 74% equity and the ministry of railways the remaining 26%. The joint venture company was proposed in 2002 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU). However, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the company in February, 2007. Bihar chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh said the issues related to land acquisition in execution activities of 4x250 MW of BRBCL and 3x660 MW of Nabinagar Power Generating Company Limited (NPGCL) had almost been resolved. The BRBCL has almost been given possession of the 1,521.24 acre of land. As per the agreement, 75% of the power generated by the NPGCL would be supplied to Bihar and 7.5% will be kept unallocated at the disposal of the Centre. The remaining power will be allocated to other states of the eastern region. The power purchase agreement for total allocation has been signed by all the beneficiaries. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

ABB bags ` 1.2 bn order to upgrade three substations

July 21, 2015. ABB India has bagged ` 125 crore order from the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) for extension of three substations in Vadodara, Manesar and Malerkotla. This is part of a larger order, valued at ` 175 crore, which has been awarded to ABB Group. The order was booked in the second quarter of 2015. Gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) will be used to accommodate the expansion of all three existing substations. While in Vadodara and Manesar this involves the extension of the current 765/400 kilovolt (kV) GIS substations, in Malerkotla the substation will be upgraded from air-insulated switchgear (AIS) to GIS. Commissioning of these three substations is scheduled for end of 2016. ABB's solution will help the state utility augment their substations to meet growing demand in the states of Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab, which form the major part of the country's agricultural belt. ABB India will carry out the installation, testing and commissioning of the substations on site. (

About 1.2 mn power men to strike over Electricity Amendment Bill

July 21, 2015. To protest against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2014, about 1.2 million employees of public sector power companies and engineers across India have threatened to go on strike for a day. Announcing its decision, the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers has written to the Prime Minister, Union power and labour ministers and chief ministers. AIPEF said the proposed amendments were not based on ground realities but were meant only to service the interests of private players, who would ultimately make state power utilities go bankrupt. AIPEF said while 18 states had already opposed the Bill before the Parliament’s standing committee on energy, the Centre was hellbent on passing it for the benefit of corporate houses. (

Tata Power commissions one of the largest radio frequency metering projects in India

July 20, 2015. Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company has been committed to provide value added services to its consumers. Keeping this philosophy, Tata Power commissioned one of the largest radio frequency (RF) metering projects in India taking a step towards providing error free bills and eliminating the entry process of a utility person in premises for meter reading. The company has benefitted by lowering the carbon footprint involved in a typical meter reading exercise along with saving man-hours and cost of manual meter reading and data punching. The project includes installation of meters with RF communication, data concentrator units (DCU), head end software and meter data acquisition system (MDAS). Meter data is collected every hour through RF mesh network communication and transmitted to a central server using GPRS network. Data received is used for automated generation of bills ruling out any human intervention. The company has been able to achieve a success rate of more than 98 percent for monthly billing using these meters. The company has successfully implemented this low power RF based remote meter reading solution for more than 5,000 retail consumers in residential and commercial complexes in Mumbai. The commissioning of the project from Tata Power is supported by Larsen & Toubro, Cyan Technology (UK) and Neosilica Technologies (Hyderabad). This is the largest end to end project based on RF communication in the country and will surely help in building a strong and sustainable relationship with the consumers. (

India will lay 7,800 km of power transmission lines through 7 states

July 20, 2015. The government of India approved a 7,800 km-long intra-state power transmission project to connect renewable power projects in seven northern states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The US$1.35 bn (` 8,550 crore) power corridor will be funded by the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) (40%), the German bank KfW (40%) and by the States (20%). (

Power exchanges to begin extended market session

July 20, 2015. In a major order, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has allowed Indian Energy Exchange Ltd (IEXL) and Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL) to operationalise the extended market session. Currently, at IEXL, the intra-day market session is open from 1,000 hours to 1,700 hours, which will be changed to 0030-2000 hours. In case of PXIL, the intra-day market session at present is open from 0800 hours to 2000 hours, which will now be revised to 0000-2400 hours. Both exchanges currently trade day ahead, term ahead products and renewable energy certificates (RECs). They believe that due to the extension of time, the market players will be able to mitigate their contingency requirements. Both the exchanges have submitted amendments to their respective bylaws and business rules to operationalise the extended market session. IEXL clocks a daily turnover of about 85 million units (MUs) compared to PXIL’s 10 MUs. CERC in its order said the existing products for day ahead contingency and intraday markets would continue to be operated by the exchanges. However, as a principle, the timeline for these products is being extended so that trading window is open for same day delivery (up to 2400 hours) and next day deliver (0000-2400 hours). In case of same day delivery, the trading window will now be opened round the clock for delivery of power on the same day (minimum delivery period - 3 hours after contract execution subject to corridor availability). For next day delivery, the trading window will be opened after declaration of day ahead results and will remain open till end of day. PXIL in its submission to CERC said it has proposed  to  increase  the pre-bid margin  from 100% to 105% to cover the statutory charges including transmission charges, operating charges in view of banking hour restrictions. (

Delhi power discoms seek yet another tariff hike

July 19, 2015. Delhi's three private power distribution companies have pitched for early announcement of annual tariff revision. The companies, which have sought up to 20 percent hike in tariff, have communicated to Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) about the resource crunch being faced by them owing to steep rise in power purchase cost. BSES discoms has petitioned the DERC for upto 19 percent hike, while Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) has demanded an increase of 20 percent. The DERC is in the process of finalising the tariff for 2015-16 and is likely to announce the new rates by the end of August after taking views of various stakeholders including the consumers. Making a case for hiking tariff, the discoms have argued that their combined revenue gap due to absence of a cost-reflective tariff has gone upto ` 28,000 crore and the financial position would worsen further if there was no increase in rates. The total under recoveries of BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd have risen to ` 20,000 crore while for TPDDL, it has been estimated at ` 8,000 crore, as per the discoms. The DERC had hiked tariff by upto six percent to compensate the discoms for rise in power purchase cost. The AAP government had strongly criticised the DERC for the hike. DERC said the discoms have been buying 95-98 percent of power as per provisions of the long-term power purchase pacts signed between erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) and state-run power utilities like NTPC. Power experts said Delhi discoms have to incur 60 percent more cost on buying power compared to other states because of the long-term power purchase. (

Siemens wins ` 1.2 bn order from Bangladesh's Power Grid Company

July 16, 2015. Siemens said it has bagged a ` 123 crore order from Power Grid Company of Bangladesh at two sites located in Dhaka. The scope of work for the project involves design, procurement, supply, installation, testing, commissioning of 230/132kV GIS Substation at Shyampur and 132/33kV GIS Substation at Dhamrai- both sites located in Dhaka, it said. (

Private players queue up to bid for intra-state transmission projects

July 15, 2015. Private players, including Alstom T&D, KEC, Kalpataru and Sterlite, are aggressively participating in intra-state transmission projects. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal have firmed up plans to invest ` 20,000 crore a year to augment their transmission networks. Kalpataru, KEC and Alstom recently bagged contracts in these states. Sterlite has secured the ` 400 crore Maheshwaram transmission project. L&T secured a transmission and distribution work order on engineering, procurement, construction basis from Odisha Power Transmission Corporation. Besides, private players will participate in the ` 1 lakh crore transmission projects to be auctioned by the Centre, as announced by Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal. (

Adani Power wins projects in Chhattisgarh

July 15, 2015. Adani Power has won all three transmission projects in Chhattisgarh worth over 3,500 crore that were up for auction by the Power Finance Corporation. The company beat Vedanta Group’s Sterlite Grid to win the 825 crore Chhattisgarh A transmission project. The project only saw two bidders in the financial bid stage because it was a challenging project crossing 70 existing transmission lines in the region. The qualified bidders for the project were Power Grid Corporation, L&T, Essel Infrastructure, Sterlite Grid, Jindal Power, Adani Power, Isolux and Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd. However, only Sterlite Grid and Adani Power participated in the financial bid stage. While there was more competition for the 2,000 crore Chhattisgarh B project, Adani Power saw competition from PowerGrid, Sterlite Grid, Essel Infrastructure and Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd (KPTL). For the 863 crore Sipat project, Adani Power was the lowest bidder amongst Jindal Power, Sterlite Grid, KPTL and PowerGrid. Sterlite Grid was the ‘L2’ bidder in all the three projects. The company won the Maheshwaram Transmission project worth 400 crore floated by the Rural Electrification Corporation. All the projects are part of the Government’s plan to auction 1 lakh crore worth of transmission projects to strengthen the power evacuation infrastructure in the country. (

Policy / Performance………….

Odisha opposes changes in SBDs for UMPPs

July 21, 2015. Odisha has voiced its opposition to some changes proposed in the standard bidding documents (SBDs) for ultra mega power plants (UMPPs). In the revised SBDs, the Centre was mulling to fix responsibility on the host state for timely completion of critical milestones like land acquisition and rehabilitation & resettlement (R&R). In case of delay in achieving these milestones, the host state would be held accountable and also be liable for penalty provisions. State energy minister Pranab Prakash Das recently wrote to the Union power ministry, flagging off Odisha's concerns and reservations over the changes proposed to SBDs for UMPPs. Non-finalisation of bidding terms by the central power ministry has pushed the Odisha UMPP to the brink of delay. The 4000 MW UMPP is being set up near Bhedabahal village in Sundargarh district. In December last year, the Union power ministry decided to cancel the bidding process for Odisha and Tamil Nadu UMPPs. The bidding process had initiated in 2012. The ministry instead, decided to have a re-look at the SBDs and constituted a committee for the purpose. The power ministry's decision to revise the SBDs stemmed from the pull out of the private players from the bidding process. (

Maharashtra govt plans to retire high cost debt of ` 540 bn of three power companies

July 21, 2015. The Maharashtra government is exploring the option of retiring the high-cost debt of ` 54,000 crore of its three unbundled power firms by raising loans at lower interest rate. The government has held talks with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and SBI Caps to raise loans at 9-10 percent. The three companies - the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran), Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MahaGenco), and the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company (MahaTransco) —had taken loans at 11-13 percent following the unbundling of the erstwhile Maharashtra State Electricity Board in 2005. The government is also planning to raise ` 5,000 crore at lower interest rate for the working capital of MahaVitaran with a consumer base of 22.5 million. Further, the government has roped in rating agency CARE to fix the ratings of the three power companies. Simultaneously, the government will complete the financial restructuring plan of MahaVitaran, MahaGenco and MahaTransco, which will further establish their strengths and weaknesses. (

West Bengal govt transfers hydro projects to NHPC

July 20, 2015. West Bengal government has given a fillip to Centre's mega merger plan of all state-owned hydro electric units with National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), by handing over state's four hydro power projects with a combined capacity of about 293 MW to the central PSU. These four projects -- Teesta Low Dam-V, Teesta low dam I & II combined, Teesta Intermediate Stage and Rammam Stage-I, all located in District Darjeeling of West Bengal – were so far under West Bengal government-run power agency West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL). Following a state cabinet decision in this effect, West Bengal government has signed an MoU with NHPC, to execute the transfer. According to the agreement all these projects shall be developed on build, own, operate and maintain (BOOM) basis by NHPC. The development comes at a time, when Narendra-Modi government has taken up a plan to merge all central hydro power companies with NHPC and create a mega entity. For this a an initiative has already been taken up for merger of central hydro power utilities — the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Tehri Hydro Development Corporation, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation — into a single entity, which will see NHPC taking the lead role. According to a report prepared by SBI Caps at the behest of NHPC, the plan is to turn NHPC into a mega hydro power entity with a market value of over ` 51,000 crore and a government stake of up to 81 percent. Beside, NTPC, India’s single-largest thermal power company generation capacity of over 43,000 MW, is also asked to focus on its core area, and NTPC too may consider transferring its hydro projects to NHPC if the government takes such an initiative. NTPC is currently constructing 1,500 MW hydro capacity, which are in the various stages of implementation. (

Gujarat plans to relocate existing electricity infra

July 20, 2015. The Gujarat government has decided to undertake a project to relocate existing electricity infrastructure, such as poles and transformers, at a cost of ` 100 crore. The decision has been taken by State Energy and Petrochemicals department recently, state Energy Minister Saurabh Patel said. Apart from relocating existing infrastructure to expedite construction of roads and streets in cities and towns, one of the main objectives of the project is to remove electricity lines hanging dangerously in residential areas. Patel said that it is multi-purpose scheme where up-gradation of electricity infrastructure would also takes place. (

CENVAT duty cannot be levied on sale of fly ash: Madras HC

July 18, 2015. The Central Board of Excise and Customs cannot levy Central Value Added Tax (CENVAT) duty on sale of fly ash generated during burning of pulverised coal in thermal power plants, the Madras High Court (HC) has held. In a judgement reserved in the Principal Seat of the High Court in Chennai and delivered in its Bench, Justice S. Vaidyanathan ruled that fly ash would not fall under the purview of excisable goods since it was not a manufactured product. Partly allowing a writ petition filed by Mettur Thermal Power Station (MTPS), a unit of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), the judge said that excise duty was an incidence of manufacture and therefore it could be levied only on manufactured goods. Taking a cue from a 2003-Supreme Court judgement which had exempted cinders, small pieces of partly-burnt coal, from the purview of excise duty for similar reasons, the judge said that the ratio laid down in that decision would squarely apply in the case of fly ash too. The power station had approached the court challenging a notice issued by the Central Board on March 21, 2014, demanding ` 1.4 crore, along with interest, towards excise duty for sale of fly ash and ` 1.85 lakh for the sale of fly ash bricks. (

Centre yet to decide on Reliance’s Sasan coal blocks

July 17, 2015. The Coal Ministry is yet to take a decision on Reliance Power’s request to allow it to keep mining 20 million tonne per annum from Sasan ultra mega power project’s (UMPP) two coal mines — Moher and Moher Amlohri Extn. In June, the Ministry of Coal had asked the company to restrict mining to 16 million tonne per annum and submit a new mining plan for the same. This was after the Ministry had de-allocated the Chhatrasal block which was given to the Sasan UMPP, as coal from the block was being diverted to its Chitrangi power plant according to a directive from the previous UPA government. The tussle over the coal blocks began after Reliance Power announced its decision to seek termination of the Tilaiya UMPP in Jharkhand. The directive from the previous UPA Government allowed Reliance Power to sell the excess coal to its Chitrangi power plant in Madhya Pradesh. (

Delhi govt hopeful to get coal block by October

July 17, 2015. The Delhi government is hopeful that the Centre will allocate it a coal block by October this year. Power minister Satyendar Jain said he had a series of meetings with the Centre over the issue and has been assured that the coal block will be allocated at the earliest, following which the government would set up a pithead plant and transmit the power to Delhi. The power minister further said that a number of gas plants have been set up, but with no gas available, they were pointless. The government said that the power they would produce from their thermal plant would be around ` 2-3/unit and will enhance the city's internal power generation. The government had informed the Centre that they wanted to surrender power purchase agreements (PPAs) of about 2,255 MW electricity rationed from eleven central government power plants for Delhi to reduce costs. (

Kudankulam-II to be commissioned in 6-8 months

July 16, 2015. The second unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu will be commissioned in the next 6-8 months amid efforts to expedite the setting up of 12 atomic plants proposed to be built by Russia in India in two decades. Indian Ambassador to Russia P S Raghavan said discussions are underway on the units III, IV, V and VI to be built at Kudankulam. Process is also underway to identify a site in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for a plant which was proposed to be set up in Haripur in West Bengal but could not materialise due to various factors, including protests by locals. Asked about the progress on unit-II of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) which is behind schedule, he said work is underway on the unit which will have the capacity to generate 1,000 MW of electricity. (

'Arunachal received ` 14.9 bn as upfront money for hydel projects'

July 16, 2015. Arunachal Pradesh received ` 1,495.62 crore as upfront money and processing fees in last ten years from various power developers for hydropower projects in the state, Chief Minister NabamTuki informed the Assembly. Taki wanted to know details of the projects and their progress so far. Tuki further informed that MoUs and MoAs were signed with 159 companies, including central PSUs and private companies, to execute power projects in the state with installed capacities of 46,938.02 MW. The Chief Minister said 11 projects have been withdrawn for non-compliance of the MoU and MoA of which four projects have been re-issued after clearing all issues. Tuki informed that an amount of ` 51 crore was spent for restoration of mini and micro hydel projects in the state and works were in progress. Stating that restoration works in 10 hydel projects have been completed, the Chief Minister informed that a few projects which were commissioned several decades back need regular maintenance. Replying to another supplementary raised by BJP Opposition Leader TamiyoTaga on restoration of 2 MW Midpunghydel project which remained defunct, the Chief Minister said work would be completed soon. (

Govt to offer 26 percent in DVC power plant to railways

July 15, 2015. The government plans to offer a 26% stake in generation-to-irrigation utility Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC)'s coal-fired power plant at Raghunathpur in West Bengal, which is expected to be acquired by central generation utility NTPC, to the Indian Railways. Power minister Piyush Goyal is likely to make the offer to railway minister Suresh Prabhu soon. He is of the view that buying into the project in Purulia district of the state would provide a captive source to the railways and reduce its daily power consumption costs. Goyal said NTPC's takeover of the project will benefit all stakeholders, including the two states — West Bengal and Jharkhand. He has already spoken to the chief ministers Mamata Banerjee and Raghuvar Das, who are believed to have agreed to the plan. DVC has not been able to complete the project because of lack of funds. It has a debt of ` 30,000 crore and ` 8,000 crore arrears — much of it from Jharkhand. The company may not be keen on selling the project to NTPC but the proceeds could reduce its financial burden. Goyal said the government is also working to ensure that DVC gets its outstanding from the Jharkhand government soon. (



Total starts production from Dalia Phase 1A offshore Angola

July 21, 2015. Total announced that it has started production from Dalia Phase 1A, a new development on the offshore operated Block 17, located 83 miles off the coast of Angola. The Dalia Phase 1A project involves the drilling of seven infill wells tied back to the Dalia Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit. The project will develop additional reserves of 51 million barrels and will contribute 30,000 barrels per day to Block 17’s production, according to Total. Total operates Block 17 with a 40 percent interest alongside Statoil, which holds a 23.33 percent interest, Esso Exploration Angola Block 17 Ltd, which holds a 20 percent interest, and BP Exploration Angola Ltd, which holds a 16.67 percent interest. Through Blocks 17, 0 and 14, Total’s equity production reached 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2014. The company’s operated production exceeded 700,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2015, making it Angola’s leading oil operator. (

Eni found gas in Egypt

July 21, 2015. Eni has made an important gas discovery in the Nooros exploration prospect, located in the Abu Madi West license in the Nile Delta, 120 km north-east of Alexandria, Egypt. Preliminary estimates of the discovery account for a potential of 15 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in place with upside, plus associated condensates. The new discovery will be put into production in two months’ time through a tie-in to the existing Abu Madi gas treatment plant. At end-2014, Egypt had proved natural gas reserves of 2,167 bcm. (

Exxon’s Guyana oil discovery may be 12 times larger than economy

July 21, 2015. An Exxon Mobil Corp. discovery in the Atlantic Ocean off Guyana may hold oil and natural gas riches 12 times more valuable than the nation’s entire economic output. The Liza-1 well, which probably holds the equivalent of more than 700 million barrels of oil, may begin producing crude by the end of the decade, Raphael Trotman, the South American country’s minister of governance, said. The prospect would be on par with a recent Exxon find at the Hadrian formation in the Gulf of Mexico, and would be worth about $40 billion at international crude price. Guyana produces no oil and its gross domestic product of $3.23 billion in 2014 ranked between Burundi and Swaziland, according to the World Bank. Exxon said it found a 295-foot (90-meter) column of oil- and gas-soaked rock in a subsea region known as Stabroek Block. The well is 120 miles (193 kilometers) offshore and 5,710 feet beneath the sea surface. The discovery may foretell a revival for the Irving, Texas-based company, which has been stung by three consecutive years of declining production and slowing reserves growth. Exxon’s exploration failure rate worsened to 39 percent last year from 33 percent in 2013, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Guyana discovery would be on par with the combined size of a cluster of three reservoirs Exxon found in the Gulf of Mexico between 2009 and 2011. (

Production begins at Ungani oil field in Australia

July 20, 2015. Mitsubishi and Buru Energy joint venture (JV) has commenced production at the Ungani oil field in the Canning Basin, located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Equally owned by Buru Energy and Mitsubishi, the Ungani field is estimated to have an initial production capacity of 1,250 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and would be increased up to 3,000 bopd later this year. The produced oil will be transported to the port of Wyndham with logistical support from trucking firm Fuel Trans. In an effort to further expand hydrocarbon reserves to more than 100 million bbl, the joint venture is also considering exploring prospects near the Ungani field. The JV partners have recently spudded Praslin 1, as part of the 2015 conventional oil exploration program. Lying 15km from the Ungani, the field is the second being developed under the program. (

Premier oil sees high potential in most-sought Mexico block

July 20, 2015. Premier Oil Plc, the London-based producer that won rights to explore for Mexico crude, sees a “very good indication of oil and gas” in the most coveted of the blocks auctioned. Premier, which jointly bid with Talos Energy LLC and Sierra Oil & Gas, observed a spot in its seismic studies of block 7 that is “likely to be oil,” Robin Allan, the company’s Director of North Sea and Exploration, said. Of the 14 blocks auctioned by Mexico for exploration, block 7 received the most interest from producers, including bids from Statoil ASA, Hunt Oil Co. and a group led by Eni SpA. Premier’s group was the only winner, claiming rights to explore for crude in shallow waters off the coasts of the Veracruz and Tabasco states. The group also won rights to explore block 2, which could contain as much as 1 million barrels of oil, Allan said. (

Ithaca confirms 12k barrel per day target for 2015

July 16, 2015. North Sea-focused independent producer Ithaca Energy has reiterated its target of 12,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) for 2015 after producing 12,667 boepd during the second quarter. The firm said that the target figure takes into account planned maintenance shutdown activities during the second half of the year. Ithaca said that progress continues on execution of the "FPF-1" floating production facility modifications programme and sail-away of the vessel to the field remains scheduled for late in the first quarter of 2016, resulting in first hydrocarbons in the second quarter of that year. (

OVL fails to make cut in Mexico's historic oil block auction

July 16, 2015. ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas acquisition arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), failed to make the cut in Mexico's first sale of exploration blocks in 88 years, even as global majors stayed away. OVL had on its own bid for two blocks but the offers fell short of the Mexican government's floor for share of profit that ranged from 25% to 40%. The cut-off marks for the blocks for which OVL had bid was not known. Mexico's hydrocarbons commission had pre-qualified OVL, along with global giants such as Chevron and ExxonMobil, to bid for 14 shallow water blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. (

Iran no Qatar even with the world’s second-biggest gas reserves

July 15, 2015. Natural gas made Qatar’s citizens the richest in the world within a generation. Even with bigger fuel reserves, Iran will struggle to follow its neighbour’s path. Iran’s own production is consumed by a population of 78 million and an oil industry that injects gas into fields to boost productivity. Qatar, with a population of 2.3 million, now ranks second only to Russia in gas exports, generating about $86 billion last year. While Iran and world powers reached a nuclear deal after almost two years of talks that would ease sanctions and allow more investment, the government in Tehran is contending with domestic gas demand that is doubling every decade. Iran holds 18 percent of the world’s gas and yet accounts for less than 1 percent of trade. Iran has consistently been a net importer of gas for a decade and the development of South Pars, part of the world’s biggest gas field, will probably take longer than expected, according to Moses Rahnama, an analyst at Energy Aspects in London. A “noticeable” increase in output will take at least three years, he said. Gas accounted for less than 4 percent of Iranian export earnings in 2010, compared with 78 percent for crude and condensates, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Wood Mackenzie Ltd. says domestic gas consumption will reach 190 billion cubic meters (6.7 trillion cubic feet) in 2025, from 150 billion in 2015. Iran doesn’t produce liquefied natural gas and the terminal it is building is only 50 percent complete. The nation had planned to produce its first LNG in 2010. While the project is likely to resume after sanctions are lifted, it probably won’t start before 2018, Rahnama said. While Iran may boost spending in petrochemical and LNG projects, an impact to markets is probably a few years away, Barclays Plc analysts said. Iran needs $100 billion to rebuild its gas industry, and seeks to boost daily production to 1.2 billion cubic meters in five years, from 800 million now, National Iranian Gas Co said. (


Pemex agrees to pay $295 mn to settle Mexican refinery upgrade disputes

July 21, 2015. Mexican state oil and gas company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has reached a settlement with Conproca, a joint venture between Siemens and South Korea's SK Engineering & Construction, to pay $295 mn to resolve a long-standing legal issue. The deal was signed originally in March, closing the 14-year-long dispute, but did not disclose final settlement details. Siemens sued Pemex for $690 mn for additional expenses incurred earlier. The issue began with Pemex filing a lawsuit against Conproca in 2012 in the US alleging corruption and cost overruns related to the Cadereyta refinery reconfiguration project (CRRP). It has contended that the joint venture has paid bribes to Pemex officials. Conproca was launched by the two partners to bid for the CRRP located on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico's northern state of Nuevo Leon. The refinery reconfiguration project involved construction of ten new plants, expansion of four plants and building a 1,317 km crude oil pipeline. The US courts have dismissed the suit observing that the claims made by Pemex are insufficient to run a case in the US courts. (

Idemitsu JV may double Vietnam refinery capacity

July 16, 2015. A joint venture (JV) including Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co is considering doubling the capacity of a 200,000 barrels-per-day refinery in Vietnam, which is scheduled to start operations in July 2017, to meet rising domestic demand. Idemitsu, Kuwait Petroleum International, Petrovietnam and Mitsui Chemicals Inc are working together to build the Nghi Son refinery in the summer of 2017. The company was not considering such expansion for now, though Vietnam's oil demand is projected to rise strongly in the future. (

Transportation / Trade……….

China's Iran oil imports hit two-month high in June

July 21, 2015. China's crude oil imports from Iran rose in June to a two-month high, customs data showed, just as the Islamic nation begins to look ahead to ramping up its exports in the wake of nuclear deal. Iran's largest oil client imported 2.76 million tonnes last month, or 671,800 barrels per day (bpd), up 29.6 percent from May and 26.5 percent from a year ago. Iran's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, has said the country is aiming to add 500,000 bpd to output within two months of sanctions being eased, and as much as 1 million bpd in six to seven months. Most analysts do not expect Iran to make a major return to the market until next year because of time needed to implement the nuclear agreement and to revamp the OPEC producer's oil infrastructure. Over the last 2-1/2 years, sanctions put in place by the United States and the European Union cut Iran's crude exports roughly in half to around 1 million bpd. China's shipments from Iran rose in June at about the same rate as its overall crude imports, which were up 27 percent from a year ago. At the same time, China's crude imports from Saudi Arabia jumped 35.8 percent in June to 1.29 million bpd, the highest level since January 2013. That gave the top OPEC producer the No.1 supplier spot again after it dropped to third behind Russia and Angola in May. Still, Russian imports were also up on year, surging 57.2 percent to 920,000 bpd. Imports from Iran in the first half of 2015 were at 589,400 bpd, down 6.1 percent compared to the same period last year. Over all of 2014, China imported roughly 555,000 bpd of Iranian crude. This year, Chinese companies have contracted to lift slightly more than 600,000 bpd of Iranian oil, including a deal with an independent petrochemical maker to supply condensate, a very light oil normally used as a petrochemical feedstock. (

Changfeng partners with Tangshan Caofeidian for natural gas business in China

July 21, 2015. Changfeng Energy subsidiary Sanya Changfeng Offshore Natural Gas Distribution and Tangshan Caofeidian Development Investment Group (CFD Group) have signed a joint venture agreement to pursue natural gas trading, distribution, transportation, and related infrastructure construction in China. The 50-50 joint venture, Caofeidian Evergrowth Energy, will have a registered capital of the CNY200mn ($32.6 mn), which will be funded equally by Changfeng and CFD Group. Under the joint venture agreement, both parties will work with a third party in order to establish and operate an energy resource exchange in northern China. Changfeng expects to fund its CNY20mn ($3.2 mn) portion for the registered capital from its internal cash flows. Changfeng Energy is a natural gas service provider for industrial, commercial and residential customers. Till date, the company has developed a natural gas pipeline network as well as urban gas delivery networks, stations, substations and gas pressure regulating stations in Sanya City and Haitang Bay. (

Tullow expects gas exports from Jubilee field to resume by mid-August

July 20, 2015. Africa-focused independent energy firm Tullow Oil reported that gas exports from the Jubilee field, offshore Ghana, to the gas plant at Atuabo is expected to resume by mid-August. Gas exports have been suspended since July 3 due to technical issues with gas compression systems on the field's floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO). Oil production is currently constrained to approximately 65,000 barrels of oil per day and is under constant review. Tullow said it has mobilized a team of experts to rectify the fault within the gas compression systems on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah and estimated that it will take approximately a further three weeks to reinstate gas export and full oil production. Tullow said that it will review its 2015 production forecast for Jubilee and provide an update on progress at its half yearly results on July 29. (

Statoil to leave TAP gas pipeline project: SOCAR

July 20, 2015. Norway's Statoil is to sell its 20-percent stake in the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) project that will carry gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, Azeri state energy firm SOCAR said. The TAP pipeline is a part of project that is designed to transport 16 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea, one of the world's largest gas fields, by the end of the decade. The 870 kilometre pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before reaching southern Italy. Statoil has already sold its shares in Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas field as well as the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) to SOCAR, BP and Malaysia's Petronas. Italian gas infrastructure company Snam said that it could take a stake of up to 20 percent in the TAP project that is designed to reduce Europe's reliance on Russian gas. (

DUET to expand in gas with $1 bn Energy Developments buy

July 20, 2015. DUET Group agreed to buy power supplier Energy Developments Ltd. for about A$1.4 billion ($1 billion) to gain natural gas plants in Australia, the U.S. and Europe, in one of the utility’s biggest acquisitions. The deal will give DUET power plants with about 900 megawatts of capacity. The Sydney-based company plans to raise A$1.67 billion selling shares for the deal, saying it has the support of more than 85 percent of the target’s shareholders. DUET’s assets include an 80 percent stake in the Dampier-Bunbury pipeline, which connects gas reserves in Western Australia with customers in the Perth area. (

Saudi Arabia crude exports fall to five-month low on China

July 19, 2015. Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports slumped to a five-month low in May as local refineries used more supplies and some plants in China closed for maintenance. The world’s biggest oil exporter shipped 6.94 million barrels a day in May, down from 7.74 million in April and the lowest since December, according to JODI (Joint Organizations Data Initiative) data. The drop in exports is more than Qatar produces in one month. New refineries in Saudi Arabia are leaving less crude available for overseas at a time when the market is in surplus. Saudi refineries used 2.4 million barrels a day for their own operations in May, up from 2.2 million in April and the most since at least January 2002, according to JODI data. The amount of crude burned for power rose 89 percent. The nation is building refineries to diversify its economy and add more jobs. Refineries usually boost output in hotter summer months in the Middle East when air conditioning demand peaks. Exports fell for a second month even with output at 10.33 million barrels a day, the most since at least 2002, according to JODI, which compiles data provided by oil-exporting countries. (

Caspian pipeline to halt oil exports Aug 17-20

July 17, 2015. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), which brings oil from Kazakhstan to the Black Sea, will stop oil exports from August 17-20 due to works related to the trunk's expansion. CPC will cut oil supplies in August to 3.111 million tonnes to 3.174 million tonnes in July, a preliminary loading schedule showed. Last year, the pipeline shipped 40 million tonnes, up from 32.7 million tonnes in 2013. CPC plans to export 45 million tonnes this year. (

Contract signed for the sixth Iran-Iraq gas pipeline project

July 17, 2015. Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company (IGEDC) and Pasargad Energy Development Company have signed a BOT (build-operate-transfer) contract to build 590 km of pipeline called Iran Gas Trunkline-6 (IGAT-6). The US$2.3 bn project will be the 6th cross-country gas pipeline flowing gas from the South Pars field to Iraq border. Under the BOT contract, IGEDC and Pasargad Energy Development will provide 25% of project funding and National Development Fund of Iran will provide with the remaining 75%. Both countries concluded a deal in which Iran will export 4 mcm/d of gas to Iraq (1.5 bcm/y), which could increase to 35 mcm/d (12.8 bcm/y). A second gas deal is expected to be signed next year between the two nations. (     

Woodside sales slide 47 percent as gas trades near five-year low

July 16, 2015. Woodside Petroleum Ltd’s sales fell by almost half in the second quarter amid falling energy prices and lower output of liquefied natural gas. Revenue at Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer dropped 47 percent to $898 million, the Perth-based company said. That compares with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s estimate of $924 million. Woodside is among liquefied natural gas producers grappling with prices in Asia that are trading near the lowest in five years. Prices for the fuel have tumbled in the past year as new supply combined with weakened demand in key markets such as Japan, Korea and China. Production last quarter was lower mainly because of maintenance at the Pluto liquefied natural gas project, the company said. There are LNG projects on the drawing board in countries ranging from the U.S. to Australia. Woodside, operator of the Pluto and North West Shelf developments in Western Australia, is planning further projects, including the Browse venture with Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Woodside expects to make a decision on whether to proceed with Browse in the second half of 2016, it reiterated. (

Nigeria's Seven Energy secures $495 mn to boost gas supply

July 15, 2015. Oil and gas firm Seven Energy has secured a $495 million loan from a consortium of Nigerian and international lenders to help fund its spending to supply gas to the domestic market, an adviser on the deal said. Seven Energy, an indigenous Nigerian company, plans to buy gas fields along with the related infrastructure and pipelines so it can sell gas into the domestic market for use in power generation and industrial consumption. Demand for gas in Africa's biggest economy is expected to rise to 3 million standard cubic feet (scuf) per day by 2017 as gas-fired power plants ramp up generation. Gas demand has risen to 1.2 billion standard cubic feet per day four times the 300 million of six years ago. (

Policy / Performance…………

US banks prepare for oil and gas company loans to worsen

July 21, 2015. U.S. banks are setting aside more money to cover bad loans to energy companies after oil prices plunged over the last year, raising the possibility that deteriorating loans could start to weigh on their earnings, some analysts said. Loan credit quality for U.S. banks has been improving since the financial crisis. In the first quarter, 2.49 percent of loans on banks' books were delinquent, the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the Federal Reserve, which hasn't released second quarter data. The rate peaked at 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2010. Weakness among energy company loans could be a sign that overall credit quality among U.S. banks has little room to improve, analysts said. Executives from both JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. told investors, when posting earnings, that they were increasingly concerned about loans to oil and gas companies. Texas bank Comerica Inc set aside about three times as much money to cover bad loans as analysts had expected, sending the regional bank's shares lower by more than 6 percent after the bank reported earnings. Setting aside more money, known as "provisioning," hurts earnings. JPMorgan said it provisioned another $252 million to cover potentially bad wholesale business loans in the quarter, with $140 million of that related to oil and gas lending. Oil prices rallied in March and April, but in recent weeks have fallen again on expectations that loosened sanctions against Iran create the potential for greater supplies. U.S. crude oil prices fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since April. To be sure, credit quality is still good. Wells Fargo said that for its overall loan book, the balance of loans on which borrowers had stopped making interest payments declined $67 million in the second quarter, even though delinquencies rose among energy sector companies. Residential mortgage loans are performing better. (

Myanmar sees increased offshore exploration work in late 2015/early 2016

July 21, 2015. Myanmar, one of the few frontier areas for petroleum exploration in Southeast Asia, expected to see a rise in exploratory activities by local and international oil and gas companies -- who have been granted onshore and offsore blocks earlier -- in late 2015 and early 2016. The prospect of an increase in exploration activities in Myanmar over the next few years has been well received by local firms. According to Myanmar's Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, the country collected nearly $20 billion in total foreign investment in the oil and gas sector by the end of first half 2015. Under the Ministry of Energy’s bidding rules, international oil and gas companies have to form joint ventures with Myanmar firms in the development of onshore and offshore blocks and the inclusion of domestic firms amounts to an estimated 5 percent. According to the Ministry of Energy, Myanmar has 104 oil and gas blocks, comprising 53 onshore and 51 offshore blocks. (

Croatia will build 4-6 bcm LNG terminal by 2020

July 20, 2015. The Croatian government plans to build an LNG terminal on the island of Krk. The investment required for the LNG terminal has been estimated at €600 mn, while the total cost of the project, including the cost of gas pipelines and compressor stations, would exceed €1 bn. The terminal has been included in the list of the European Energy Security Strategy. The LNG Croatia, the company in charge of building and operating the project, expects work on the terminal to start in mid-2016 and the commissioning is scheduled by 2020. Croatia annually consumes around 2.7 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas while the planned LNG terminal would have a capacity between 4 and 6 bcm. (

Iranian crude oil output likely to increase in 2016: Fitch Ratings

July 16, 2015. Iranian crude oil production is likely to increase in 2016 but will take many years to reach its previous peak of 2.5 million barrels per day, Fitch Ratings has said, days after a controversial nuclear deal was announced between Iran and the world powers. Iran's oil exports at the moment are around 1.1 million barrels per day versus levels of around 2.5 million barrels per day before 2012. The deal announced could, if passed by the relevant legislatures involved and abided by, allow Iran to significantly increase oil output. The parties have outlined a staged approach which will only begin when Iran has met initial commitments. (

Kenya to sign $350 mn loan for refined products pipeline

July 15, 2015. Kenya will sign a $350 million loan with six commercial banks to help finance a refined products pipeline between Mombasa and Nairobi, the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has said. The company awarded construction of the 450-km pipeline to Lebanon's Zakhem International which started work in July 2014. The pipeline is separate from an oil pipeline that will take crude from newly discovered Kenyan and Ugandan oilfields to the coast. The route for the oil pipeline is under review. KPC has said the existing pipeline linking the two cities, built by Zakhem International in 1973, has outlived its 30-year lifespan and was prone to ruptures. The company said that the project would be financed through internally generated company funds and external borrowing would be limited to $400 million to $500 million. The 10-year loan is to have an interest rate of 5.38 percent above the London interbank offered rate, KPC said. Zakhem International will also build a fibre optic cable along the route, install four pumping stations for the pipeline and upgrade existing KPC fire fighting equipment in Nairobi. KPC said last year construction was expected to take 18 months. (

UK should monitor water, air, land if gas fracking to succeed

July 15, 2015. The U.K. should monitor air, land and water around shale gas fracking operations to overcome some of the concerns associated with the business, an industry group said. The public should also have the right to know what chemicals are being used, according to the second report released by the Task Force on Shale Gas. Reduced flaring through green completions mandated in the U.S. should also be required in the U.K. for production wells, it said. Cuadrilla Resources Ltd’s plans to drill for shale gas in northwest England were rejected by local officials. Local communities have feared that injecting chemically treated water into the ground to produce energy will pollute the environment and cause earthquakes. The report comes a day after academics from the universities of Durham, Newcastle and Sussex, England, and Wageningen in the Netherlands published research into the perceptions of fracking in the U.K. They concluded that policy makers often don’t properly consider the public’s concerns when they do not relate to science. These include a lack of trust in the companies involved and whether alternatives have been properly considered. (

Bangladesh considers building two new LNG terminal

July 15, 2015. The government of Bangladesh plans to build two new land-based LNG terminals at Moheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar and Paira Seaport area. According to the plans by the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, Petrobangla, the State-owned oil company, will be in charge of implementing the projects. The new plans come on top of the government's project to set up the country’s first ever floating storage and re-gasification unit, Chittagong LNG, with a capacity of 5.15 bcm/y. By setting up the new LNG terminals, the country wants to prevent from energy supply shortfall. (

Argentina ended some incentives to develop shale O&G

July 15, 2015. The Government of Argentina announced it has ended some financial incentives aimed at boosting investments to develop its huge Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas (O&G) deposits. Oil and gas producers in Argentina currently receive US$77/bbl, while Brent crude wasn't traded above US$62/bbl since the beginning of July 2015. The cut of the incentive program happens while the Government faces a US$6 bn trade deficit in oil, gas and electrical energy supply. (



Vietnam starts building 1.2 GW coal-fired power plant

July 21, 2015. Works of the Vinh Tan 1 coal-fired power plant projects have officially started in Tuy Phong District, province of Binh Thuan, Vietnam, where it is expected to play an essential role in supplying electricity in southern Vietnam. The 1,240 MW project is built under the form of build-operate-transfer (BOT) by two Chinese companies, namely China Southern Power Grid and Chinese Power International Development, and the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin). Chinese companies will own 95% of the US$1.75 bn project and Vinacomin the remaining 5%. The power plant is expected to produce 9.5 TWh/year and should be completed in 2019. The Government of Vietnam announced the power plants in the country's central and southern regions will have to use imported coal as coal production will not meet the rising demand for power production. (

China to be world’s third largest nuclear-generating country

July 21, 2015. China is expected to become the world’s third largest nuclear generating nation around 2017, pushed by its national target against climate change, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. China is expected to surpass South Korea and Russia in nuclear generating capacity by the end of 2015, overtake Japan around 2017 and to be behind only after the U.S. and France, the EIA said. Since the beginning of 2013, China has added 10 reactors totalling more than 10 GW, pushing China’s net installed nuclear capacity to 23 GW at present, the EIA said. (

Talen Energy to buy Mach Gen power plants for $1.1 bn

July 20, 2015. Talen Energy Corp., the power producer spun off by PPL Corp., agreed to buy Mach Gen LLC for $1.18 billion, adding natural gas generation in New York and expanding in New England. Closely held Mach Gen owns three gas-fueled plants that can generate more than 2,500 MW in New York, Arizona and Massachusetts, Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Talen said. The purchase price includes the assumption of debt at Mach Gen, which completed a bankruptcy in April 2014. Talen’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Farr has promised to expand the company through acquisitions in states with competitive power markets, and reported a $1 billion war chest for deals. The Mach Gen transaction brings a 1,080 MW plant in New York and a 360 MW plant in Massachusetts to increase capacity by 17 percent. (

France's Engie quits plans to build power plant

July 15, 2015. The French energy company Engie (formerly GDF Suez) has given up on plans to build the Łęczna coal-fired power plant in Lublin voivodship. Engie CEO Gérard Mestrallet said the company will “definitely pull out of plans to build a power plant in the Lublin region”.  The Association of Polish Green Networks, which groups various environmental organisations in Polish cities, confirmed the plans. Łęczna was to have been a 500 MW capacity plant. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

SGCC proposes to fund up to US$12 bn power grid project in Nigeria

July 21, 2015. China State Grid Corporation (SGCC) has offered to invest US$8 bn and to provide US $4 bn of equity and loan participation in electricity transmission projects that will be built by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) through the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Limited in the phase 2 of the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP). As part of the NIPP Phase 2 program, NDPHC is expected to finance grid projects with funds earned from the sale of its 10 thermal power plants. NDPHC should transfer about US$2 bn of gas supplies and electricity distribution assets to the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) and electricity distribution companies. (     

Japan confirms nuclear energy to supply a fifth of power by 2030

July 16, 2015. Japan confirmed a program setting out its ambitions for its long-term mix of power supply, anticipating nuclear will feed as much as 22 percent of the nation’s needs by 2030. Clean energy sources such as solar and hydro will generate up to 24 percent of Japan’s electricity in 15 years, according to the report by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Nuclear generated slightly more than a quarter of Japan’s electricity before the Fukushima disaster in March 2011. Japan is now without nuclear while maintenance and safety checks are conducted on the country’s existing fleet of reactors. As part of the mix, gas is expected to supply about 27 percent of Japan’s electricity generation by the target date. Coal and oil will provide 26 percent and 3 percent, respectively, according to the report. (

Policy / Performance…………

UK says ‘very good prospect’ of EDF Hinkley deal this year

July 21, 2015. U.K. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said it’s likely Electricite de France SA (EDF) will finish a deal this year with Chinese companies to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in southwest England. Britain reached a deal with the French utility in October 2013 to build the nation’s first reactor since 1995, agreeing on loan guarantees to cover construction costs and a fixed power price for 35 years. Since then, EDF has been working out the details of the project with partners Areva SA, which will provide the reactors, and China General Nuclear Power Corp and China National Nuclear Corp. The 24.5 billion-pound ($38.1 billion) project is key to U.K. plans to cut carbon emissions and maintain security for its power supply, so electricity generation isn’t dependent on intermittent renewables such as wind farms and solar plants. EDF said the company is making “good progress” in talks with the government and “continuing positive progress with future investment partners.” The guaranteed payments to EDF for the power from the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear plant have been approved by the European Commission. Austria is challenging that decision, arguing that state aid should only be directed at new technologies, rather than established ones such as nuclear. (

Brasil energy efficiency program saved 2 percent of final power consumption

July 20, 2015. The Brasilian power utility Eletrobras released the result for 2014 of its National Program for Energy Conservation called Procel (Programa Nacional de Conservação da Energia Elétrica). According to the company, the actions implemented under the Procel program saved 10.5 TWh, or around 2.2% of the Brasilian final electricity consumption, equivalent to the annual power consumption of approximately 5.25 million Brazilian homes. The Procel federal program is ran by Eletrobras since 1985 under the coordination of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. (

Chile authorises O&G company Enap to enter the power market

July 17, 2015. Chile's lower house approved a long debated bill allowing Enap, the oil and gas (O&G) company, to hold up to 66% stake in power generation projects with private companies. The draft law proposed by the Ministry of energy only allowed Enap to hold a minority stake in power plant projects in order to not limit competition on the electricity market. Enap already announced it would partner with other companies to the 500 MW Nueva ERA and 760 MW Luz Minera CCGT power plant projects. The bill still needs to be passed by the senate. (

UK will close its last underground coal mine by end-2015

July 16, 2015. UK Coal Holding announced it will shut down its last two underground coal mines by end of 2015. The company announced it closed its Thoresby mine on 10 July 2015 and will shut down its Kellingley coal mine in North Yorkshire in December 2015, marking an end to British coal mining as a whole. The British coal mining industry suffered high production costs that couldn't compete with low international prices. (

Spanish residential electricity price will drop by 2.2 percent for 5 months

July 15, 2015. The Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain has announced that the electricity price for households will be reduced by 2.2% as from August 2015 until December 2015. The drop will be implemented thanks to the reduction by 4% of the network fees that are regulated. The Government move is controversial as the Minister of Industry recently announced any surplus power system would go to reduce the accumulated tariff deficit. (        



Canals to harness 1 GW green energy in Punjab

July 21, 2015. Punjab plans to harness the extensive canal network in the state for the generation of an estimated 1,000 MW of solar power. Bikramjit Singh Majithia, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Punjab said that the state has been allocated 20 MW of solar power generation by the government of India under the pilot project under which a grant of ` 3 crore per MW would be provided. The cost of canal top solar power generation is ` 10 crore per mega watt. Projects worth 5 MW are under the tendering process those would be allocated under BOO (Built-operate-own basis). Punjab has a robust 5,000 kilometres of extensive canal network and the PEDA (Punjab Energy Development Agency) is aggressively mobilising the investors to harness solar power. Punjab was also awarded as the best performing state by the Government of India for renewable capacity building for solar mission. The state leapfrogged from 9 MW in March 2012 to 210 MW in March 2014 and has a target to generate 541 MW of solar power by March 2016. The construction of various projects is underway. The non-resident Indians from USA and Slovakia, having their roots in Punjab have also invested ` 655 crore in 91 MW projects, out of which 42 MW has already been commissioned. (

India's clean energy targets way ahead of others

July 20, 2015. India can lead the world in the area of sustainable energy from renewable sources, as its clean energy target is way ahead of the UN global goal, United Nations Under Secretary General and CEO for 'SE4ALL' initiative, Kandeh K Yumkella said. He was speaking with reporters after a round-table discussion on sustainable energy with Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal. India targets 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, which includes 100 GW of solar, 60 GW of wind power, 10 GW of biomass-fired power and 5 GW of small hydro power. UN's initiative SE4ALL aims that by 2030, entire world and every citizen of the world should have affordable energy access. All countries in the world should feel energy secure (by 2030) while at the same time ensuring that our consciousness to cleaner energy to climate change is also taken care of, the minister said. (

'TN needs to improve infra for wind energy generation'

July 20, 2015. Tamil Nadu (TN) requires sufficient grid facilities to improve its wind energy generation capacity, Madhusudan Khemka, chairman, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association (IWTMA). According to Khemka, more efficient evacuation of power and upgradation of infrastructure with new technology and better turbines is essential for people and companies to continue investing in wind power in the state. Presently, the state has a cumulative wind energy generation capacity of about 1,000MW. However, a majority of the machines used are over 15 years old, Khemka said. Khemka threw light on the urgent need for better alignment of policies among states and the center. The old power purchase agreement rates is another pivotal factor preventing turbine owners from investing in new technology like wind solar hybrids, Khemka said. According to Khemka, investors are now looking at Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for setting up wind mills. Tamil Nadu has a total installed capacity of around 7,446 MW of wind power. (

TN BJP seeks detailed report on Adani deal on solar power

July 19, 2015. The Tamil Nadu (TN) BJP demanded the state government bring out a detailed report on the deal with Adani Group on a solar power project. Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) and Adani Group had signed an agreement on July 4 to set up a solar park in the state, tipped to be world’s largest one. Under the agreement, the Adani group plans to set up five solar power generation centres with a total capacity of 648 MW at Kamudhi in Ramanathapuram district at an investment of ` 4,536 crore. (

MP to get cheapest solar power in country

July 18, 2015. Madhya Pradesh (MP) will get cheapest solar power in the country at the rate of ` 5.05 per unit on fixed rate for 25 years. For supply of 300 MW solar power on long term basis, 100 investors had submitted tenders for generation of 3744 MW solar power. MP Power Management Company said better atmosphere and transparent process will be made available to investors of solar power generation. Madhya Pradesh is considered as the best for solar power generation. The bid of Sky Power South East Asia Holding Ltd, Mauritius was found to be the lowest. Reliance Power, Adani Power, MK, Welspun, Sun Edison and two public sector companies Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company and NHDC also participated in the bidding. On the basis of the tender, the state will get 300 MW solar power on fixed rate for 25 years. The supply will begin in next 12 to 18 months. (

First power storage technology launched by ACME Cleantech

July 18, 2015. Taking the lead position in the country for backup solutions powered by solar power, Gurgaon-based ACME Cleantech Solutions launched Lithium-ion based power storage technology for high energy storage. Named as EcoGrid Energy Storage System, the product is priced at ` 3.5 lakh per unit of 5kVA. The first target consumer base for this product would be residences, small commercial units and any industry where diesel consumption is high. It is looking to sell close to 5 MW worth of units in the current fiscal. This roughly calculates into around 600-700 units. The company has already launched the product in the European market through a MoU with a major European utility, the name of which the company didn’t disclose. The company will manufacture EcoGrid at its facility based in Rudrapur, Uttrakhand. It has already installed 700 kWh at defence establishments in Siachin and some residential and commercial locations in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. ACME is one of the leading solar power project development company in the country. It currently has over 880 MW of projects at various stages of execution across several states in India. ACME committed developing 7500 MW of renewable energy through solar power projects by year 2019 in the RE-Invest-2015. (

Mahagenco invites bids to appoint consultants for solar projects

July 16, 2015. To meet the target of setting up 2,500 MW solar photovoltaic capacity under public-private-partnership (PPP) model in the state, Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (Mahagenco) has invited bids for appointment of consultants for assisting it to prepare a road map for the implementation. The state aims to have an installed capacity of 7,500 MW of solar energy, 5,000 MW of wind energy and 1,000 MW of bagasse based co-generation. The state is seeking consultancy services for implementation roadmap, planning and strategy installation of 2,500 MW solar PV capacity under the new solar policy. Maharashtra has come up with a composite policy on renewable energy, in which it has set a target of achieving 14,400 MW of installed capacity in a period of five years and attracting an investment of ` 1 lakh crore. At present, the share of renewable energy in the state is around 9 percent and the government is expecting it to increase to 15 percent. Mahagenco has an installed capacity of up to 150 MW in districts like Osmanabad and Parbhani. (

Hero Future Energies bags solar power project from MP govt

July 15, 2015. Hero Future Energies (HFE) said it has bagged a 38 MW solar PV project from the Madhya Pradesh (MP) government. Madhya Pradesh floated a 300 MW solar power bid this year. HFE was selected as the highest successful bidder in results announced and has been allotted 38 MW, the company said. The difference in the tariff quoted by HFE in this bid and the lowest tariff is about ` 0.59, it said. The company already has rooftop solar projects across multiple states namely Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The company has presence in nearly 10 states with a total installed capacity of 260 MW as on date across wind, solar PV (grid connected) and rooftop solutions. (


German wind capacity addition increased threefold on first semester 2015

July 21, 2015. According to the German association VDMA, 1,765 MW of offshore wind generating capacity got connected to the grid during the first semester 2015, which is three times more than during the first semester 2014 (492 MW). In total, the German industry expects for 2015 a total of about 2,250 MW of new offshore wind power capacity to be connected to the grid. This will bring the total installed capacity to 3,300 MW, i.e. half of the German target of 6,500 MW target by 2020. Nine projects are currently under construction worth 704 MW and five other projects totalling 1,483 have received the final investment decisions. (  

Deal on climate change by year-end: French Minister

July 21, 2015. French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius expressed optimism about striking an "ambitious" agreement by the end of this year to curb global warming. Fabius said that the first informal ministerial consultations on climate "have made a progress towards the adoption of an ambitious climate agreement in Paris" in December by strengthening "the political momentum on key issues of the future agreement". Hailing it as a "constructive meeting", Fabius said the 40 delegations taking part in the preparatory talks discussed "several sensitive issues", such as ways to forge a global plan to reduce greenhouse emissions and limiting differences between countries in the battle against climate change. (

UK signals more pain for renewables as Rudd protects consumers

July 21, 2015. The U.K. signaled more cuts to renewable power incentives as Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd put minimizing consumer energy bills and cutting carbon at the top of her list of priorities. Rudd has scrapped assistance for onshore wind projects under one program and indicated to the panel that she’ll exclude it from another. She also cast doubt on whether there would be another auction for renewable energy contracts, the government’s main program for spurring low-carbon power. Prime Minister David Cameron’s new Conservative administration is curbing spending as part of a drive to balance the budget and also has its eye on reducing assistance programs for renewables, which are funded largely through consumer energy bills. Rudd said that the government predicts spending on aid to renewables to rise to 9.1 billion pounds ($14 billion) in the 2020-21 tax year, exceeding a 7.6 billion-pound cap set by the Treasury’s Levy Control Framework. The excess still falls within the 20 percent “headroom” given by the plan to allow for unforeseen changes in energy prices and technology costs. After awarding 27 renewable power contracts in February following a competitive auction, Rudd was asked whether there would be another round of auctions for the so-called contracts for difference. The U.K. has a binding European Union target to get 15 percent of energy for power, transportation and heating from renewables by 2020, up from 7 percent last year. The country has also enshrined in domestic law a commitment to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent in the six decades through 2050. (

Climate scientists say 2015 on track to be warmest year on record

July 21, 2015. The Earth experienced its hottest June and the hottest first half of the year since records began, according to Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). June was the fourth month of 2015 to break a record, she said. NOAA calculated that the world’s average temperature in June hit 61.48F (16.33C), breaking the old record set last year by 0.22F (0.12C). Usually temperature records are broken by one or two hundredths of a degree, not nearly a quarter of a degree, Blunden said. The picture is even more dramatic when the half-year statistics are considered. The average temperature in the first six months of 2015 was 57.83F (14.35C), beating the old record set in 2010 by one-sixth of a degree. June was warm nearly all over the world, with exceptional heat in Spain, Austria, parts of Asia, Australia and South America. Southern Pakistan had a June heatwave that killed more than 1,200 people — which, according to an international database, makes it the eighth deadliest in the world since 1900. In May, a heatwave in India claimed more than 2,000 lives and ranked as the fifth deadliest on record. May and March also broke monthly heat records that go back 136 years. Initially NOAA figured February 2015 was only the second hottest February on record, but new data came in that promoted it to the hottest, Blunden said. Earth has broken monthly heat records 25 times since the year 2000 but hasn’t broken a monthly cold record since 1916. (

EEX's to offer renewable power futures from Sep 14

July 20, 2015. The European Energy Exchange (EEX) will offer wind and solar energy futures contracts from September 14, it said, allowing clients to speculate in an increasingly important area of the electricity market. The contracts, or cap futures, would be purely financial and would not involve the delivery of power, continental Europe's biggest power exchange said. The share of total renewable power in the system is already more than a quarter of total supply in a year, and growing, which makes prices increasingly weather driven. European commodity exchanges have developed contracts based on temperatures for farming but contracts for wind and solar energy are new. The futures will be based on the ID3-index, calculated daily and published by Epex Spot, EEX's Paris-based partner bourse. (

UK ends zero carbon homes policy

July 20, 2015. The new British Government scrapped building regulations that aimed to make all new UK homes carbon neutral. The zero carbon homes policy was first announced in 2006 and would aim to ensure that all new dwellings from 2016 would generate as much energy on-site – through renewable sources, such as wind or solar power – as they would use in heating, hot water, lighting and ventilation. This was to be supported by tighter energy efficiency standards that would come into force in 2016, and a scheme which would allow house builders to deliver equivalent carbon savings off site. Government's announcement was designed to “reduce net regulations on house builders”. (        

Dubai Electricity & Water closes solar-park phase two financing

July 20, 2015. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) arranged financing for a 200 MW solar plant that will form part of a planned $3.3 billion solar park, the government-owned utility said. The photovoltaic plant is the second phase of a project to produce more than 3,000 MW of electricity when completed in 2030, DEWA said. Dubai, the largest sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates after Abu Dhabi, plans to boost solar production to 7 percent of the national total by 2020 and then to 15 percent by 2030, it said. Dubai is developing solar power as it seeks to reduce reliance on natural gas as its main source of energy for local use. Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi are also developing renewable energy as oil producers in the Persian Gulf try to curb the burning of costlier fossil fuels to produce power for their growing populations. DEWA tripled its target for solar energy by 2030 to 15 percent from 5 percent of total power capacity. (

Israel inks deal for $1 bn solar power plant

July 20, 2015. Israel has signed a deal to build a multi-megawatt, thermo-solar power plant in the country’s southern Negev desert as part of a national goal to increase the use of renewable energy sources. The NIS 4 billion ($1.05 billion) deal for the 121 MW plant was announced by the Finance Ministry. A consortium of Israel’s Shikun & Binui and Spain’s Abengoa are to build the plant at Ashalim in the Negev, close to an existing solar plant. They hope to complete the project by 2018. The European Investment Bank and the US Overseas Private Investment Corp. are to finance the project. Another scheme will see the construction of a photovoltaic power plant nearby, with the three facilities eventually set to provide up to two percent of Israel’s total electricity needs. The government has set a target to see 10% of the country’s electricity produced from renewable sources by 2020, and the Finance Ministry plans to publish a tender for another plant in an effort to reach that goal. (

Renewables outpace nuclear in economies making up 45 percent of world population

July 15, 2015. Solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy besides hydro-electric dams now supply more electricity than nuclear in Japan, China, India and five other major economies accounting for about half the world's population, an atomic industry report shows. While nuclear stations on average produce about twice as much electricity as renewables annually for every kilowatt installed, the high growth of solar, wind and other renewables means atomic power is fast being eclipsed as nations turn away from the energy source after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Almost half of all added electricity generating capacity in 2014 was from renewables, excluding large hydro-dams, the report said. In output terms, China, Japan and India, which are three of the world's four largest economies, along with Brazil, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands and Spain now generate more electricity from non-hydro renewables than nuclear, it said. In Britain, output from renewables, including hydro, surpassed atomic generation "for the first time in decades", while in the United States the share of renewables was 13 percent, up from 8.5 percent in 2007. (

EU bets on cap and trade in plan for deeper emission cuts

July 15, 2015. The European Union (EU) sought to boost prices in the world’s biggest greenhouse-gas market with draft legislation to underpin the bloc’s 2030 emissions-reduction goal. The measures would accelerate cuts in carbon dioxide from electricity, steel, paper and other industries in the EU emissions-trading system. Their supply of CO2 allowances would shrink by 2.2 percent a year between 2021 and 2030 compared with a 1.74 percent annual decline in the 2013-2020 period. The proposals give teeth to a political accord last year among EU national leaders to reduce pollution blamed for global warming by 40 percent in 2030 compared with 1990 levels. The 28-nation bloc’s current goal is to slash such discharges by 20 percent in 2020. With United Nations members preparing for a meeting on climate change in Paris in late November, the European Commission aims to bolster Europe’s flagship tool for curbing greenhouse gases after an over-allocation of EU CO2 allowances and the economic crisis caused permit prices to collapse. Europe’s emissions-trading system imposes CO2 quotas on about 12,000 power plants and factories owned by companies ranging from utility EON SE and oil refiner Royal Dutch Shell Plc to steelmaker ArcelorMittal and paper producer Stora Enso Oyj, forcing those that exceed the caps to buy permits from businesses that emit less. Each permit covers 1 metric ton of emissions. The package needs the approval of EU national governments and the European Parliament. Their deliberations on it could take two years or longer. Annual EU allowances would be reduced by about 21 percent on average in 2021-2030 from 2013-2020 under the proposal by the commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm. The total supply of European permits in 2021-2030 would be 15.5 billion, or 1.55 billion a year on average, compared with 15.6 billion -- or 1.95 billion a year on average -- in 2013-2020. The accelerated reduction of 2.2 percent a year would start from a cap of 1.82 billion in 2020. Around 400 million allowances in 2021-2030 would be reserved for an “Innovation Fund” meant to boost investments in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage. This fund would also receive 50 million unallocated permits in 2013-2020. (

AWS to build 208 MW wind farm in US

July 15, 2015. Amazon Web Services (AWS) will build and operate a 208 MW wind farm in the US state of North Carolina, under a partnership with Iberdrola Renewables. The proposed wind farm is in line with AWS' commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for its infrastructure across the globe. To be located in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties, the project is said to be the first utility-scale wind farm in the state. Expected to become operational in December next year, the wind farm will have a annual power generation capacity of around 670,000 MW. (

Bio-bean to produce biofuel from coffee waste at UK stations

July 15, 2015. Network Rail has extended its partnership with Bio-bean to implement a new recycling project which can turn coffee waste into fuel at railway stations in London. The decision to extend the new technology to six major railway stations in the UK follows successful completion of trials at London's Victoria and Waterloo stations. The technology will now feature at Euston, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Victoria and Waterloo, all in London. (

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