MonitorsPublished on Aug 07, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XII; Issue 8

[Climate Change threats - Intended Nationally Determined Contributions for India - A Plea for Action]

                             “India’s obligations in containing the GHG emissions are not only to meet its international obligations, but also to take care of the true welfare of its own people on a sustainable basis. There has been increasing levels of concern amongst the civil society groups that the policies and practices of successive governments in India in recent decades (especially during last two decades) have not been conducive to a low carbon pathway…”

Energy News


India can and will mine its own coal; this is what any intelligent country will do with its resources!                                                                                                                [BAD]

Two thirds of Indian rural households using firewood are the main adjustment variable in India’s climate policy! 


The growing size of power sector NPAs shows that India’s power sector is only as strong as its weakest link!




·          Climate Change threats - Intended Nationally Determined Contributions for India - A Plea for Action


·          Electricity Consumption & Tariffs for Domestic and Industrial Consumers



·          Govt recovers ` 3.6 bn additional profit from RIL

·          Production from GSPC fields in KG basin faces delay


·          ` 11.5 bn plan to build Strategic Petroleum Reserves

·          Talks with Kuwait's PIC remain inconclusive: ONGC

Transportation / Trade………………

·          India's July Iran oil imports edge up from a year ago

·          Cairn submits proposal for gas pipeline from Barmer to GSPL’s Palanpur terminal

·          Jagdishpur-Haldia gas pipe project enters construction phase

·          KMML, KSRTC to run on natural gas

·          BPCL buys first shipment of Russian Far East crude grade

·          After rap, GAIL to install corrosion monitors in pipelines

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Govt moots single entity for oil sector safety, installations

·          Finance Ministry to give ` 13 bn kerosene subsidy

·          FDI in petroleum & gas jumps ten times in FY15

·          Two-thirds of rural households still use firewood for cooking: NSSO

·          Non-subsidised LPG rates cut by ` 23.50 per cylinder

·          Petrol price cut ` 2.43 a litre, diesel by ` 3.60



·          NTPC to appoint developer for Jharkhand coal mine soon

·          NHPC restores Uri-II power station

·          RINL, NTPC mull JV to set up greenfield power plant

·          NTPC, Jharkhand sign MoU to scale up Patratu power plant

·          VSP's 120 MW captive plant starts ops

·          Power sector loans worth $62.5 bn may be at risk: CRISIL

·          UP to get five new hydro-power projects

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Expect reliable power supply data to hold distribution utilities accountable

·          Power players want cut in AT&C losses as 250 bn unit power supplied is unbilled

Policy / Performance…………………

·          New power plants face strain on insufficient off-take agreements: India Ratings

·          Delhi HC notice on Reliance Power plea against coal block cancellation

·          Govt seeks comments on auction methodology for coal linkages

·          World Bank's no to coal-projects funding unlikely to affect CIL

·          Centre has identified 200 sites for new thermal power projects

·          Odisha not to buy costly power from NTPC

·          No power tariff or surcharge hike in Kerala

·          BHAVINI responsible for delay in commissioning of fast breeder reactor: CAG report

·          SAIL's exposure in ICVL increased disproportionately to 49 percent: CAG

·          Govt gets ` 10.2 bn from coal mines auction, allocation: Goyal



·          Peregrino Field offshore Brazil produces 100 mn barrels of oil

·          UKCS oil, gas production set to rise for first time in 15 yrs

·          BP to relinquish three offshore blocks in Uruguay

·          Pakistan's OGDCL makes oil discovery at Chak Naurang South-1 well in Punjab

·          China state firms to start pumping new oil in Iran

·          Western Australia's Ungani oil field officially commences production

·          SSE to acquire stake in Total's UK gas fields for £565 mn


·          ExxonMobil confirms plans to expand crude unit at Beaumont refinery

·          Oil price unlikely to recover as Saudi refining hits market

·          Kuwait selects contractors for $23 bn Al-Zour refinery

Transportation / Trade…………

·          IEnova buys 50 percent stake in Mexican gas pipeline from Pemex

·          TransCanada may recoup costs from US if Obama rejects Keystone

·          Cooper Energy signs gas supply deal with O-I Australia

·          China to grant 6.16 mn tonnes annual crude oil import quota to Ningxia refiner

·          BASF plans to participate in €2.5 bn Nord Stream pipeline expansion project

·          Cheniere signs 20 year LNG agreement with Chilean power project

·          Egypt expects to import 7.79 mn tonnes of LNG this fiscal year

·          Japan exchange says first LNG forward deal done

·          Pakistan to sign 15 year deal to import gas from Qatar

·          Russia says TurkStream gas pipeline construction could be delayed

Policy / Performance………………

·          Egypt selects companies for O&G exploration program

·          World Bank lends US$700 mn for Sankofa gas project in Ghana

·          Japan selects Inpex for exploratory offshore drilling project

·          OPEC says oil should not fall further, sees stability in 2016

·          US sets new final rule on oil, ethanol trains



·          PT PLN will develop 2 GW of small distributed power capacity

·          Germany's Kiel to build flexible gas power plant

·          Iran’s Mapna Group to build 3 GW power plant in Iraq

·          Hydro Ottawa acquires 30.9 MW hydroelectric plants from Fortis

·          Semirara plans to build 1.1 GW of coal-fired power plants in Philippines

·          China Datang plans two 700 MW USC coal-fired power projects

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          EBRD grants $100 mn for CASA-1000 transmission project in Tajikistan

·          Timken to buy power transmission belt business

·          Again, TCN records new power transmission peak of 4.6 GW

Policy / Performance………………

·          Coal prices near-decade lows as Chinese demand slumps

·          US allocates funds to develop advanced nuclear reactor technologies

·          Egypt raises electricity prices for high-consumption households

·          NERC moves against non-performing power generation plants

·          Sudan sees hydropower boost after protests over electricity cuts



·          Delhi Metro installs nine new solar plants

·          Taj Mahal vulnerable to pollution, no study on other monuments yet: Govt

·          Over 450 projects being considered of environmental clearance: Govt

·          Fuel retailers bet on solar power with easy loans

·          ACME Solar won at least 446 MW in Telangana tender

·          Welspun Renewables Commissions Solar Project in Punjab

·          Environment, climate change pose great challenges: President

·          NTPC to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to 56 percent by 2032

·          DJB looking at using solar power to run installations

·          Jharkhand gets ready for big leap in solar power


·          Obama climate plan squeezes Asian coal as china fights pollution

·          US to get 30 percent more renewables by 2030 under new power plan

·          Scientists develop new butterflies-inspired technique to make solar energy efficient

·          Japan’s coal hunger poses costly challenge to emissions

·          China builds massive solar power station to help Sharif in Pakistan




Climate Change threats - Intended Nationally Determined Contributions for India - A Plea for Action

Shankar Sharma, Power Policy Analyst


ndia’s obligations in containing the GHG emissions are not only to meet its international obligations, but also to take care of the true welfare of its own people on a sustainable basis. There has been increasing levels of concern amongst the civil society groups that the policies and practices of successive governments in India in recent decades (especially during last two decades) have not been conducive to a low carbon pathway, which is critical not only from the global warming perspective but also from the perspective of true welfare of our own people.

This plea for action on climate change is the gist of few of credible international reports released in recent months on the subject of Climate Change.

 1. Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of IPCC

IPCC (AR 5) has come to the unambiguous conclusion that in order to limit the global warming to less than 2 degree C, more than 80% of all the fossil fuel reserves should be left in the ground. Keeping this long time target in mind many international agencies such as UN, UNEP and WHO; many governments such as US and Norway; many international financial institutions such as World Bank and European Bank, and pension funds etc. have decided to move away from coal power.  Hundreds of coal power plants have been retired or halted in China and US during last 10 -12 years for these associated reasons of health and sustainability.

 2. The Global Burden of Disease assessments

According to the World Health Organization, ten of the most polluted cities in the world are from India. The Global Burden of Disease assessments for 2010 estimated that 6,27,000 premature deaths in India can be attributed to outdoor air pollution. With about 65% of the electricity generated in the country coming from coal power plants, it is easy to deduce that coal power plants contribute most to the outdoor pollution.

 3. “Diagnostic Assessment of Select Environmental Challenges, Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: What Are the Tradeoffs?”

This World Bank report on India says that although the past decade of rapid economic growth has brought many benefits to India, the environment has suffered, exposing the population to serious air and water pollution. This report finds that environmental degradation costs India $80 billion per year or 5.7% of its economy. Green growth strategies are needed to promote sustainable growth and to break the pattern of environmental degradation and natural resource depletion. Emission reductions can be achieved with minimal cost to GDP. Taken together the CO2 reduction and the health benefits are greater than the loss of GDP. In the medium to long term such emission reductions can even add to GDP through positive feedback impact. 

 4. Pope's Encyclical on Climate Change

 “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods,” the papal statement says. “It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”  “The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation. In fact, the deterioration of the environment and of society affects the most vulnerable people on the planet: both everyday experience and scientific research show that the gravest effects of all attacks on the environment are suffered by the poorest.”

 5. The 2015 report by Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change

“Climate change has the potential to reverse the health gains from economic development that has been made in recent decades – not just through the direct effects on health from a changing and more unstable climate, but through indirect means such as increased migration and reduced social stability. However, our analysis clearly shows that by tackling climate change, we can also benefit health, and tackling climate change in fact represents one of the greatest opportunities to benefit human health for generations to come.” 

 6. The Kolkata Call to Action: Healthy People – Healthy Environment

The 14th World Congress on Public Health on February 15, 2015 in Kolkata, with delegates gathered from 70 countries around the globe, call upon health care providers, government leaders, and all representatives of civil society to take urgent action to mitigate environmental conditions that are contributing to the deaths and diseases of millions of inhabitants of our small planet. The delegates declared that the time for study and debate is past for the vast majority of the social, environmental and economic killers that stalk human kind. The time for action has arrived. 

7. “Heat on Power” CSE’s Green Rating Project

This recent study, India’s first-ever environmental rating of coal-based power plants, finds the coal power sector’s performance to be way below global benchmarks leading to grossly inefficient resources use and high levels of pollution. It indicates massive concerns on social and environmental aspects, and scope for improvement.

 8. Taking the U.S. to 100 Percent Renewable Energy State by State

This study on US presents roadmaps for each of the 50 United States to convert their all-purpose energy systems (for electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) to ones powered entirely by wind, water, and sunlight. The plans contemplate 80–85% of existing energy replaced by 2030 and 100% replaced by 2050. Conversion would reduce each state’s end-use power demand by a mean of ~ 39.3% with ~ 82.4% of this due to the efficiency of electrification and the rest due to end-use energy efficiency improvements.

All these reports have few things in common. They all have expressed very serious concerns on the increasing levels of GHG emissions and consequent deterioration of the global environment with huge consequences for the humanity. They have unambiguously called for massive reduction in GHG emissions through drastic reduction in the usage of fossil fuels, which will need appreciable reduction in the demand for energy and material.  Additionally, they have made a strong case for adequate protection of natural resources such as the original forests, rivers, atmospheric air, fresh water supplies, soil fertility etc.

The gist of these reports when viewed in the backdrop of our own Constitution and the three Acts to protect our environment; UN’s Cocoyoc  declaration (Mexico, 1974) on human development; and UN’s precautionary principles, will leave no doubt about the huge mistakes being committed in our present day practices.

What is needed urgently is a paradigm shift in the way we have been harnessing our natural resources. The sustainability of the usage of our resources and life style changes has become critical for the true welfare of our communities. 

But, unfortunately, for the last two decades the high GDP growth rate target practiced by the successive governments in India have made any of these corrective measures impossible to achieve.  Massive diversion of forest and agricultural lands; unabated demand for minerals, industrial produces and the associated energy; clamor for private vehicles and luxurious life styles etc. have all resulted in unacceptable levels of pollution of land, water and air, as evidenced in various pollution and health related reports from WHO and other respected agencies such as Lancet Commission.  The consequent social and health impacts on our people, especially the poor and the vulnerable, cannot be ignored any longer, if we are to aim for a true welfare society.

An urgent consideration required in our policy regime is the unacceptably high (unnecessary too) reliance on coal based electricity supply and the ever growing number of private vehicles demanding continuous increase in consumption of petroleum products, which already have a humongous burden on our foreign exchange.

Whereas the breathtaking industrial developments in China during the last few decades seem to have become a model for our policy makers, the consequential damages to the environment and to the true welfare of the people there have been conveniently ignored.  The fact that China has realized the folly of such a principle (“economic development first and environmental care later”), and that it has also declared its intent to drastically reduce the reliance on fossil fuels seem to have been lost on our policy makers in their enthusiasm to grow our economy at any cost. Our policy makers have not even acknowledged the need to reduce our overall GHG emissions.

If we take into consideration our power sector alone, which is a major GHG contributor, the referenced report under item 8 above indicates that it is techno-economically feasible to meet all our electricity needs through renewable energy sources alone, if the necessary policy regime changes are carried out.  These changes include the emphasis on highest possible efficiencies, demand side management, realistic price for energy supplied, removal of unscientific subsidies, and accountability at all levels.

While the ambitious announcement to add 160,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 is welcome, full realization of the same will be impossible unless all the enabling policies/ mechanisms are put in place early. Whereas adequate encouragement for roof top solar PV systems at household levels and for all govt. buildings with attractive feed-in-tariffs is essential in this regard, the same is not visible in almost all states of the Union. There is also a lack of enthusiasm among the electricity distributing companies to buy electricity from such installations. This has to be effectively addressed urgently.

Even the realization of 160,000 MW of renewable energy capacity addition by 2022 will not be able to bring down the country’s total GHG emissions in power sector unless definitive measures are also taken to considerably reduce the total coal power capacity.  This requirement can be achieved by taking all measures to retire the old and inefficient coal power plants; by ensuring realistic price for the coal power by taking into account all external costs; and install, only if demonstrably needed, new and highly efficient coal power plants on the sites of decommissioned power plants.  

In view of the considerable carbon footprint associated with dam based hydel power plants (in the form of Methane which is a highly potent GHG) and nuclear power plants (in the form of net GHG emissions in their entire life-cycle), these types of power plants also should be considered as against the long interest of the society.  

All these large size conventional electricity generation technologies, any way, are also associated with many other social and economic problems such as needing displacement of people, ever increasing costs, needing large transmission schemes, inequitable access to grid electricity for rural population etc.

Whereas it can be said that historically India has not been a major contributor to GHG emissions and that its per capita GHG emission is one of the lowest, we cannot forget the fact that the country is projected to be one of the top five global economies and one of the tree top GHG emitters very soon in a business as usual scenario.  Hence there can be no doubt that as an aspiring global leader we also have an obligation to take all possible measures to minimise our GHG emissions while ensuring adequate welfare measures.

Even if we feel constrained not to act on global warming front, there are very many serious issues to contend with otherwise in a business as usual scenario. Many credible reports such as the one from World Bank (item 3 above) have projected huge problems for the growing population of the country in a business as usual scenario.

As per ICRIER Working Paper No. 305 (Low carbon pathways by Himanshu Gupta) the social and environmental consequences of GDP growth at CAGR of 7.4% between 2012 and 2047 are projected as follows: Per capita transport demand (pkm) increasing from 5.970 to 18,132; Per capita steel use (kg) increasing from 66 to 372; Per capita building space - residential (m2 ) increasing from 10.8 to 39; Per capita building space-commercial (m2)  increasing from 0.6 to 5.9; total energy demand (MToE) increasing from 400 to 1800.  These projections indicate that more than 90% of steel needed by 2047 is yet to be produced and more than 80% of our residential building stock is yet to be constructed giving us a window of opportunity to  make informed choices now. For a growing population, if we do not take necessary measures, these projections will put unmanageable pressure on our natural resources including the pollution loading on land, water and air.  A simple deduction should be that we cannot continue in a business as usual scenario, and that we have to take studied steps to make our economy much more resilient by sustainable practices.

There are many credible international reports, such as Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ to indicate that it is eminently feasible to move to a low carbon path without having to compromise on the welfare measures.  

Low carbon reliant power sector for the country is techno-economically feasible and essential by as early as 2025, if necessary policy measures are taken urgently. The related issues are detailed in a book published in 2012. 

( )

The World Institute of Sustainable Energy, Pune has done credible studies to indicate that it is techno-economically feasible for many states in the country to move on to a low carbon path way with necessary policy interventions.


In this context it is worthy of notice what Mr. Jairam Ramesh, a former MoEF, has said w.r.t our developmental pathway. Even though coming from the opposition camp, what he is convinced about during his five year term as minister for environment and rural development should be relevant in the present discussion.  In a recent interview with Yale Environment 360, he is reported to have said: “India definitely needs faster economic growth, but certainly not at the cost of ecological security.  A growth-at-all-costs obsession is not in our national interest.  In the mad rush to economic growth — where 7, 8, 9% annual growth is not enough — we now want double-digit growth, and we are destroying the foundations of ecological security. Air and water pollution, chemical contamination, and land degradation are becoming so severe in India that we are talking about existential risks now. The grow-now, pay-later model that Europe, the US, and China have adopted — which means that you have a few decades of rapid economic growth and you worry about the consequences later — that model does not work for India. India must show to the world a new approach that protects the environment at the same time as you grow economically. “

People's action plan on Climate Change for the state of Karnataka compiled for Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has provided a large number of credible recommendations to mitigate and adapt to the threats of Climate Change. 


In this broader context Union Cabinet declares the following as some of the fundamental planks of our developmental paradigm?

·         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;

·         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;

·         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;

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

·         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;

·         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;

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

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

Such paradigm shift will be possible through honest and transparent consultations with all political parties, civil society groups and domain experts.  If there is determination to succeed such effective public consultations are feasible.  All the stake holders will be happy to contribute to these public consultations.

Whereas the global warming/climate change is considered as a looming threat by many countries, India should see it as a golden opportunity to take us on to a sustainable pathway?  What is needed is the steely political will, which I am sure the present political dispensation under your leadership can bring to the national polity.

It is said that culturally there is no civilization that is more nature-oriented than India.  In most religions of the country we worship rivers, mountains, and forests. Nature plays a central role in the life of millions.  It is be paradoxical, even a folly, what is happening to the natural resources/ environment in the country. 

There have been unambiguous recommendations from the scientific bodies during the last 10-15 years; now there are clear recommendations from a large religious body (Vatican); there has always been advocacy from the civil society groups to act decisively on the issue of sustainable life style for the humanity.  Nothing else is required for the governments to act immediately and decisively.

Can people of this country hope that India takes the lead and play a critical role in the forthcoming COP21 at Pairs in December, and persuade the member nations to commit to much more than expected of them by UNFCCC in order to charter a better future for everyone? Can we hope that India’s forthcoming declaration on its INDC to UNFCCC will be consistent with these requirements?

Future generations will not pardon us if we allow this golden opportunity to pass without taking the necessary measures!

Note: This is an edited version of the author’s open letter to the PM. 

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]



Electricity Consumption & Tariffs for Domestic and Industrial Consumers

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation


Category of Consumers




Electricity Consumption (MUs)



202297 (P)

220894 (E)



380605 (P)

395221 (E)

% Growth w.r.t previous year










Retail Electricity Prices in Different Countries for 2014

E: Estimated; P: Provisional

Source: Lok Sabha, Starred Question No. 59 and 248 for Ministry of Power.




Govt recovers ` 3.6 bn additional profit from RIL

August 3, 2015. Government has recovered nearly a third of the US $195.34 million additional profit it is claiming from Reliance Industries' KG-D6 field as a result of penalty imposed for gas output lagging targets, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. With gas output from RIL's main D1&D3 fields in eastern offshore KG-D6 block dipping to one-tenth of the 80 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) target, the government imposed penalty by disallowing US $2.376 billion of the cost. GAIL collected the amount from Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and deposited it with the government. Gas output from the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas field in the eastern offshore KG-D6 block was supposed to be 80 mmscmd but actual production was only 35.33 mmscmd in 2011-12, 20.88 mmscmd in 2012-13 and 9.77 mmscmd in 2013-14. The output has been around 8 mmscmd in 2014-15 and current fiscal. Blaming the shortfall in production to non-drilling of committed number of wells, the government first disallowed US $1.797 billion in costs for falling short of production during 2010-11 (US $457 million), 2011-12 (US $548 million) and 2012-13 (US $792 million). In July last year, it further disallowed US $579 million in cost for output lagging targets in 2013-14. RIL has initiated arbitration against the government disputing the grounds of fall in output. Pradhan said the government has earned a royalty of ` 2,911.64 crore on KG-D6 block since it started production in April 2009. (

Production from GSPC fields in KG basin faces delay

August 2, 2015. Nearly a year after beginning trial gas production and investing $3.4 billion, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) is yet to start commercial production from its Deen Dayal discoveries in KG basin. The company is producing 0.6 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas from the field as trial production. As per the approved field development plan (FDP), natural gas production was to reach 3.83 mmscmd in second year and achieve peak output of 5.24 mmscmd in the third, the oil ministry said. Peak output of 5.24 mmscmd was to be sustained for 11 years before natural decline sets in and output slowly dropping to 1.68 mmscmd by the 20th year. In June 2005, Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had announced that GSPC had discovered gas in well KG#8, six km away from the Yanam-Kakinada coast of Andhra Pradesh. At that time, he said it was the biggest discovery, with 20 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas reserves, 50 percent more than the known reserves of Reliance Industries' KG block D6. Modi named the block in which the discovery was made as Deen Dayal. Deen Dayal West, the name given to the KG#8 find, was however certified to hold 1.8 Tcf of reserves by the government's Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH). Gas production from the field was to begin in 2013 but technical difficulties delayed it. Also, GSPC finds the current government mandated gas price of $4.66 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) not enough to make production economically viable. The company had told the ministry that it had received bids for buying Deen Dayal West gas for at least USD 8.5 per mmBtu in a price discovery it ran as per the provisions of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC). At a recent review meeting at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), GSPC reiterated its stand of current gas prices not being viable for the field and had sought applicability of premium announced for future gas discoveries, to even existing difficult ones. The government had while approving a new formula for gas pricing in October last year stated that a premium would be paid to new difficult discoveries. (


` 11.5 bn plan to build Strategic Petroleum Reserves

August 2, 2015. To secure India's energy economy against supply and price fluctuations globally, an additional funding of over ` 1,150 crore is being provided for the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL). Through supplementary demands for grant presented to parliament, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sought an allocation of ` 1,153 crore for buying crude oil to fill the first strategic crude oil reserve being built at Visakhapatnam by ISPRL. India plans for a strategic reserve that could hold up to 1.3 million tonnes of crude oil. Under this plan, the government would set up a Strategic Crude Oil Storage of about 5.33 million tonnes at two other locations in the country -- Mangalore (1.5 million tonnes) and Padur (2.5 million tonnes) in the first phase. The Mangalore and Padur projects, both on the western coast of Karnataka, are nearly complete, awaiting pipeline connections from the nearest ports. A second phase is also under planning, which seeks to create 12.5 million tonnes storage capacity at Padur, Chandikhol (Odisha), Bikaner (Rajasthan) and Rajkot (Gujarat). While India currently imports about 80 percent of its oil requirements, the International Energy Agency predicts that by 2020, India could become the world's largest oil importer. The current slump in oil prices that have been in steady fall since the later half of last year, is considered an opportune time to build up strategic oil reserves. The India basket of crude oil fell this week to levels around $52 for a barrel of nearly 160 litres. (

Talks with Kuwait's PIC remain inconclusive: ONGC

July 30, 2015. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) said the talks to sell stake in long-delayed mega petrochemical plant at Dahej in Gujarat to Kuwait's Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) remain inconclusive. PIC, a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC), was in talks to buy at least 26 percent stake in ONGC Petro-additions Ltd (OPaL), the firm that is building the ` 27,122 crore project. ONGC had in 2006 set up OPaL for building a mega petrochemical complex at Dahej in Gujarat. The plant was originally planned to come on stream by end 2012 but delays have led to two revisions in completion dates. The plant was mechanically completed by April 2015 and one of the units commissioned in June. Other units will be sequentially commissioned and the entire plant would start operations by fourth quarter of 2015 calendar year. ONGC was originally envisaged to hold 26 percent in OPaL with state gas utility GAIL India Ltd picking up 19 percent and Gujarat State Petroleum Corp Ltd (GSPC) taking 5 percent. The remaining 50 percent was to either be given to a strategic investor or offered in an initial public offering. But after the cost and time overrun, both GAIL and GSPC have decided to restrict their equity participation to the sum already paid. (

Transportation / Trade…………

India's July Iran oil imports edge up from a year ago

August 4, 2015. India's oil imports from Iran rose 2.4 percent in July from a year ago, with some of the shipments among the first after a landmark deal that will allow Tehran to boost its exports in return for curbing its disputed nuclear programme. Following the deal with six world powers, Iran is keen to regain market share. U.S. and European Union sanctions that were toughened in 2011 and again in 2012 halved its exports to around 1 million barrels per day (bpd), slashing the OPEC member's oil revenues and crippling its economy.

Iran expects to raise oil output by 500,000 bpd as soon as sanctions are lifted and by a million bpd within months, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said. But many analysts have said any significant increase in Iran's oil output and exports won't come until mid-2016. India shipped in about 215,400 bpd of Iranian crude in July, down about 24 percent from the previous month, according to ship tracking data and a report. July volumes were the lowest since India took no oil from Iran in March under pressure from the United States to hold its shipments within sanction limits. Tehran was India's second-biggest oil supplier in the fiscal year to March 31, 2007, but as sanctions bit, it slipped to seventh by 2014/15, government data showed. Under the accord reached in Vienna on July 14, Iran will be subject to longer-term restrictions on its nuclear programme in return for the removal of U.S., U.N. and European sanctions.

The measures curtailing exports will be lifted next year, if the deal is approved by the U.S. Congress and inspectors confirm Iran is in compliance with the limits to its nuclear activities. Indian government officials have said the country will raise imports of Iranian oil if sanctions are lifted. India, the world's fourth-biggest oil consumer and Tehran's top client after China, took 20 percent less Iranian oil at 216,400 bpd in the first seven months of this year, the shipping data showed. For April-July, the first four months of the current fiscal year, India imported 283,000 bpd crude from Tehran, a growth of about 37.3 percent over the same period last year. (

Cairn submits proposal for gas pipeline from Barmer to GSPL’s Palanpur terminal

August 3, 2015. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that Cairn has submitted a proposal to the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) for establishing tie-in connectivity from RDG Terminal at Gudamalani, Barmer, in the State of Rajasthan to the GSPL's Palanpur Terminal in Gujarat under the provisions for tie-in connectivity as per the PNGRB Regulations. (

Jagdishpur-Haldia gas pipe project enters construction phase

July 30, 2015. Construction has started on the first phase of the Jagdishpur – Haldia gas pipeline project in eastern India. The 2,050 km long pipeline project, being built by GAIL at an approximate investment of ` 11,000 crore (US$1.7 bn), will serve as the “Energy Highway” (“Urja Ganga”) of Eastern India, connecting Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh to the national gas grid. The gas pipeline will deliver 7.4 mcm/d (2.7 bcm/year) in a first phase and will be later raised to 16 mcm/d (5.8 bcm/year). (

KMML, KSRTC to run on natural gas

July 30, 2015. The Kerala State Road Transport Corp (KSRTC) and Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML) will initiate measures to turn to liquefied natural gas (LNG) for fuel needs soon. The two entities in the public sector are set to float an expression of interest (EoI) and tenders for the purpose. Induction of gas based processes for transport and industrial needs will mark a new phase in the energy sector in the State. The KSRTC is taking measures to invite EoI for setting up compressed natural gas (CNG) storage tanks as a primary step towards inducting natural gas-powered buses. As the cash-starved public transport corporation will have to take care of the funding needs, the induction of the gas-powered buses will take place only after the construction of the storage tanks. The corporation will have the option to convert a part of its fleet of buses to run on natural gas or to buy new vehicles fitted with gas-powered engine. The machinery at KMML will require conversion to receive natural gas. Petronet LNG has already agreed to supply LNG to the plant in Kollam once the machinery conversion takes place. Tenders are to be floated soon to make preparations for receiving LNG at the Kollam unit. LNG is already being supplied to HLL Lifecare Limited, a central public sector enterprise, unit in Thiruvananthapuram by Petronet LNG Limited from its terminal at Puthuvype in Kochi. Natural gas is being transported to the capital city in cryogenic tankers. The unit is consuming about 8 tonnes of LNG daily. The shift from furnace oil to natural gas has been beneficial to HLL Lifecare, Petronet said. (

BPCL buys first shipment of Russian Far East crude grade

July 29, 2015. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) is set to import a rare cargo of Sokol crude from Russia's Far East as it takes advantage of a regional glut to secure cheaper oil. BPCL bought 1 million barrels of Sokol from Statoil ASA, traders said. It was BPCL's first purchase of the Russian crude grade. The oil is due to load in September in South Korea, where Statoil has kept the crude in storage for several months, the traders said. The price of the cargo is unknown, although traders said it was low enough to justify paying the shipping costs to India. It looks like there is plenty of crude in the market and that's the reason Statoil offered the Sokol grade at such a competitive price. The high-quality sweet Sokol grade usually goes to refiners in nearby South Korea and Japan. Trading companies seeking to sell million of speculative barrels stored for months have added supply into a saturated market, putting pressure on physical crude oil markets. It was unclear how long Statoil has held the oil in storage in South Korea. Data shows the company took delivery of at least two cargoes of Sokol so far this year. Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) has previously processed Sokol, procured from its parent company Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), which holds a stake in Russia's Sakhalin-1 development. More Russian crude could be shipped to India after state-run Rosneft finalised a deal to supply 200,000 barrels per day of oil to Essar Oil Ltd. (

After rap, GAIL to install corrosion monitors in pipelines

July 29, 2015. After a rap by oil regulator, state-run gas utility GAIL India will install electronic systems to monitor corrosion in pipelines to avoid repeat of the June, 2014 leak and explosion in a KG-basin line that killed 29 persons. A GAIL pipeline near Nagaram village in Tatipaka district of Andhra Pradesh had on June 27, 2014 exploded and caught fire after a gas leak caused by corrosion. To avoid repeat of such incidents, GAIL plans to install corrosion monitoring systems in the entire Krishna Godavari basin pipeline network in Andhra Pradesh. The tender is due on August 14, according to the bid document. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) had found GAIL guilty of severe lapses in the Andhra pipeline accident and imposed a civil penalty of ` 20 lakh on the company and an additional penalty of ` 1 lakh per day for continuation of default. The GAIL pipeline was designed to transport dry gas but was used for transporting wet gas having condensate/water. This caused corrosion and subsequent leak from the pipeline lying four meters below the ground. An ignition led to explosion and the subsequent fire, killing at last 29 persons and injuring 10 others. PNGRB said GAIL "admitted various lapses", including not providing gas dehydration unit at the mouth of pipeline as well as transporting wet gas through a line designed for dry gas. (

Policy / Performance………

Govt moots single entity for oil sector safety, installations

August 4, 2015. With four agencies under different ministries being responsible for safety of oil installations, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan mooted bringing them under one umbrella organisation by enacting a new law. Speaking at the Oil Industry Safety Awards, he said currently there four agencies responsible for different formulating safety standards in the oil and gas industry. Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD), which is an oil ministry arm, carries out safety audits of oil and gas installations, besides formulating and standardising procedures and guidelines for design, operation and maintenance. But the body lacks statutory authority. In August 2012, the then Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy had suggested giving statutory powers to OISD but the proposal has not materialised so far. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had in 1986 constituted the OISD to enhance safety in the industry. There are hazards on account of inherent risks associated with the oil and gas industry such as extreme physical conditions in addition to potential fire and explosion from accidental release of flammable hydrocarbons. (

Finance Ministry to give ` 13 bn kerosene subsidy

August 3, 2015. The Finance Ministry will pay state-owned fuel retailers ` 1,300 crore cash subsidy for kerosene for the first quarter ended June 30, but the same on LPG will be decided later. The Ministry has sanctioned a total of ` 1,300.42 crore kerosene subsidy for April-June. Of this, ` 878.84 crore will be paid to Indian Oil Corp (IOC), ` 203.33 crore to Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and ` 218.25 crore to Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL). The subsidy payout is as per a new formula approved by the government wherein the dole on kerosene has been capped at ` 12 per litre. Kerosene through public distribution system (PDS) is sold at ` 14.96 per litre against the actual cost of ` 33.47. The difference between the two, ` 14.95 per litre, is termed as under-recovery or revenue loss. At current prices, the upstream companies will have to bear ` 5,000-6,000 crore for the full year. For domestic cooking gas LPG, the government has decided to fully bear the under-recovery. The subsidy on this fuel will be announced later. (

FDI in petroleum & gas jumps ten times in FY15

August 3, 2015. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the petroleum and natural gas sector witnessed an almost ten-fold jump in financial year 2014-15 as compared to the preceding fiscal year, touching ` 6,473.22 crore, the government said. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the government is encouraging foreign investment to supplement domestic investment and technological capabilities. Over the last three financial years, the sector attracted FDI worth more than ` 8,375 crore, he said. Giving year-wise break-up, Pradhan said FDI in petroleum and natural gas sector touched ` 6,473.22 crore in 2014-15, whereas the same was ` 678.39 crore in 2013-14. Earlier, the sector saw ` 1,192.57 crore worth FDI in 2012-13, he said. In the first three months of current fiscal year (2015-16), the sector received FDI worth ` 31.35 crore, he said. In the petroleum and natural gas sector, 100 percent FDI is allowed in exploration and production, refining by the private companies and marketing of petroleum products, among other areas. The Plan capital investment in the sector has reached ` 2,59,278.83 crore during the period from 2012-13 financial year till the end of June 2015. He said the government has an ambitious plan for setting up 15,000 kilometres of new gas pipeline. The Centre and Andhra Pradesh government are working together for new pipelines, including those for villages, he said. (

Two-thirds of rural households still use firewood for cooking: NSSO

August 1, 2015. Over two-thirds of households in rural India still rely on firewood for cooking, new data from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) show. In contrast, a similar proportion of households use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking in urban areas, but 14 percent of urban households — including nearly half of the poorest 20 percent — still rely on firewood. Data from the 68th round of the NSS on fuel used for cooking and lighting were released. The data relate to a survey conducted by the NSSO on a nationally representative sample during 2011-12. The use of firewood for cooking has declined only very slowly over the years in rural India, the numbers show, going from 78.2 percent of all rural households in 1993-94 to 67.3 percent in 2011-12. LPG use in rural households has grown relatively fast, from fewer than two percent of rural households two decades ago to 15 percent in 2011-12. In North Indian States, cow-dung cake remained one of the major fuels for cooking for a third of rural households in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, a quarter in Haryana and a fifth in Bihar. The use of cooking fuel is sharply dictated by class — the use of firewood drops steadily with rising incomes in rural and urban areas, and LPG use is highest among the richest classes. The data show 87 percent of Scheduled Tribe households and 70 percent of Scheduled Caste households in rural India use firewood, compared with 57 percent of others. Tamil Nadu had the highest use of LPG among rural households, with over a third using it for cooking, followed by Kerala and Punjab. The use of LPG was least in Chhattisgarh (1.5 percent of households) followed by Jharkhand (2.9 percent) and Odisha (3.9 percent). (

Non-subsidised LPG rates cut by ` 23.50 per cylinder

August 1, 2015. Price of non-subsidised LPG, which consumers buy after exhausting their quota of subsidised cooking fuel, was cut by ` 23.50 per 14.2-kg bottle, in sync with international rates. Non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) price in Delhi has been cut to ` 585 per cylinder as compared to ` 608.50 at present, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said. This is the second reduction in rates. Price of non-subsidised LPG was last cut by ` 18 per cylinder to ` 608.50 from July 1. Non-subsidised or market-priced LPG is one that consumers buy after exhausting their quota of 12 bottles of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rates in a year. Subsidised LPG costs ` 417.82 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi. (

Petrol price cut ` 2.43 a litre, diesel by ` 3.60

August 1, 2015. Petrol price was cut by ` 2.43 per litre and diesel by ` 3.60 a litre, the third reduction in rates this month. Petrol in Delhi will cost ` 64.47 per litre instead of ` 66.90 at present, while a litre of diesel will cost ` 46.12 as against ` 49.72 currently, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said. Petrol and diesel prices were last cut by ` 2 a litre each, excluding local sales tax, from July 16 but consumers in Delhi were robbed of the benefit as Arvind Kejriwal-government raised VAT on the two fuels. As a result, petrol price in Delhi went up by 28 paise a litre after considering a local government’s decision to hike VAT or sales tax on the fuel from 20 to 25 percent. Rates of diesel, on which VAT was raised from 12.5 percent to 16.6 percent, saw a smaller reduction of 50 paise per litre. Prior to this, the price of petrol was cut on July 1 by 31 paise per litre and diesel by 71 paise a litre. State-owned fuel retailers -- Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp -- revise petrol and diesel prices on 1st and 16th of every month based on average imported cost and rupee-dollar exchange rate in the previous fortnight. (



NTPC to appoint developer for Jharkhand coal mine soon

August 3, 2015. State-owned power producer NTPC will soon appoint a mine developer and operator (MDO) for its Pakri-Barwadih coal block in Jharkhand. NTPC has earlier cancelled Rs 23,000-crore contract with Thiess Minecs India to develop this block due to delays. The company further said that it is also in the process of appointing MDO for developing Kerandari coal block in Jharkhand. Earlier, NTPC had informed the Coal Ministry that it was pursuing the case with the Jharkhand government and the block was expected to start production from December, last year. (

NHPC restores Uri-II power station

August 3, 2015. State-owned NHPC said that Uri-II power station in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir has been completely restored. Unit-3 of the power station was restored on July 12, while Unit-4 and Unit-1 of the plant were restored on June 15 and June 17, respectively. Uri-II power station (4X 60MW) is a run-of-the-river project located in Uri Tehsil of Baramulla district. The powerhouse cavern of the plant is 133m long, 15m wide and 40m high. It accommodates four Francis vertical turbines of 60 MW capacity each. The power station is close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and is designed to generate 1,124 million units in a 90 percent dependable year. (

RINL, NTPC mull JV to set up greenfield power plant

August 2, 2015. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) is keen on establishing below 1,000 MW plant with supercritical technology on its premises at Ukkunagaram by allotting around 400 acres to meet its future power requirement RINL and NTPC have decided in-principle to form a joint venture (JV) to set up a Greenfield coal-fired power plant. RINL is keen on establishing below 1,000 MW plant with supercritical technology on its premises at Ukkunagaram by allotting around 400 acres to meet its future power requirement. RINL, a Navratna company, owns 25,000 acres. NTPC, which has 2,000 MW Simhadri Super Thermal Power Plant at Parawada, near VSP and is establishing 4,000 MW plant with an investment of ` 24,000 crore at Pudimadaka, about 60 km from here is scouting for suitable land to expand the capacity of Simhadri. RINL presently has the capacity to generate 354 MW and with the expansion and upgradation of existing units, the captive power generation will reach to 523 MW. RINL requires 486 MVA of power for expansion of 6.3 million tonne capacity. RINL adopted state-of-the-art technologies since inception in tapping the waste energy thereby becoming a trend-setter in captive power generation in the steel industry. The company currently has three turbo generators each with 60 MW capacity and two turbo generators of 67.5 MW each taking the total captive power generation capacity of 315 MW. Out of this, the by-product gases at coke ovens and blast furnaces are also utilised in captive power plant to generate electricity of 115-120 MW. (

NTPC, Jharkhand sign MoU to scale up Patratu power plant

July 30, 2015. NTPC and the Jharkhand government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for expansion of the Patratu thermal power station and increase in power production. This came nearly three months after the two sides signed a pact to form a joint venture (JV). As per the earlier agreement signed on May 3, the capacity expansion would be completed in two phases -- 3x800 MW and 2x800MW -- tentatively by 2024/25. (

VSP's 120 MW captive plant starts ops

July 30, 2015. Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) has announced power generation from its 120 MW new power plant. The captive plant has been designed to utilise 100 percent non-coal fuels like blast furnace gas. The power plant, consisting of two boilers supplied by Thermax and the turbo generator supplied by Siemens, involved an expenditure of ` 677 crore. The plant would help step up the captive power generation at the steel plant, VSP said. (

Power sector loans worth $62.5 bn may be at risk: CRISIL

July 29, 2015. Power sector loans worth ` 4 lakh crore ($62.5 billion), almost half of which were advanced to weak discoms, may become toxic, warns rating agency CRISIL in its latest research note. While the government is upbeat about adding 2,00,000 MW of power projects in the next five years, about a fourth of the existing power projects with 46,000 MW capacity and loans of ` 2,10,000 crore riding on them are facing viability issues due to lack of long-term buyers for electricity, inadequate fuel supply, and aggressive bidding to win projects and coal blocks. According to the CRISIL research note, of the 36,000 MW coal-based projects, tariff under-recovery has impacted 20,000 MW of capacity, while the rest are reeling because of inadequate feedstock and poor electricity off-take by discoms. Another 10,000 MW gas-based projects have become unviable because of dwindling fuel supplies from Reliance Industries-operated block in the Krishna-Godavari basin. (

UP to get five new hydro-power projects

July 29, 2015. Uttar Pradesh (UP) will get five new hydro-power projects over the next few years. The decision was taken at the meeting of board of directors of the Hydro-Power Corporation. It was also decided that work on five inter-state and international hydro-power projects -- Pancheshwar multi-purpose Dam project on Mahakali-Shardarivers, Karnali (Ghaghra), Naimure (Bhalubhang) on Rapti river, Panchnand, and first and second units of the Dhukwa power projects -- would begin soon. The corporation informed that after exhaustive maintenance, two units of 50 MW each had become operational at Rihand and a unit of 10.2 MW at the Matatila Power Station had also been operationalised. It was also informed that in the first quarter of the current financial year, hydro-electricity generation was more than in the corresponding time frame in 2014-15. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Expect reliable power supply data to hold distribution utilities accountable

August 3, 2015. Consumers can now expect reliable data about quality of power supply as the Electricity Regulatory Commissions (ERCs) have volunteered to use Electricity Supply Monitoring System (ESMS) for monitoring distribution utilities. The installation of ESMS will help consumers to hold distribution companies accountable as it records voltage every minute at its location and sends the data to a central server using a standard mobile data network. ESMS introduced by the Pune based NGO Prayas Energy Group has been so far launched at 60 locations across 9 States including 20 mega cities and 16 districts. Further, ESMS can be utilized to assess hours of power supply as well as perform comparative analysis of supply quality across different locations. Forum of Regulators (FOR), a representative body of ERCs recently discussed the functioning of the ESMS and reviewed its functioning as initiated by some of ERCs. FOR official informed that ESMS will be installed in few hundred more locations to be covered in the coming months. According to Prayas Group, reliable service quality data can help ensure accountability of investments in distribution infrastructure, estimation of demand supply gap, planning and accountability for short term power purchase and tariff-Service quality linkages. (

Power players want cut in AT&C losses as 250 bn unit power supplied is unbilled

July 30, 2015. Around 900 billion units (BUs) of power are purchased annually across the country. However, only 650 BUs are billed, while the balance remains unbilled. Industry players say they are essentially aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses, which are 14 percent in better-managed states, while 30 percent plus in other states. They have made a strong case to further step up efforts to reduce these losses and tariff and cost rationalisation. Further, the government will have to promote privatisation through distribution franchisees and evolving the open access mechanism for competition-induced efficiencies. Association of Power Producers said the difference between average cost of service and average net collection per unit is increasing progressively - increasing the "cash deficit" in the sector. BSES said Delhi has witnessed the most substantial reduction in AT&C loss figures in last 12 years in India. At the time of privatisation (2002), losses in Delhi were in excess of 55%. In Mumbai, the Reliance Infrastructure distribution has loss levels of 9% which in non slum areas is 6%. (

Policy / Performance………….

New power plants face strain on insufficient off-take agreements: India Ratings

August 4, 2015. The power plants commissioned since April 2014 with a capacity of 13,900 MW face financial uncertainties due to lack of sufficient off-take agreements and transmission constraints. India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) in its report estimates that the annual capacity charge losses could be as high as ` 5,100 crore for these plants. Capacity charges could be partially recovered, if power is produced by these plants and sold in the power exchanges or through merchant power sale. Low prices of imported coal might allow these plants to be reasonably competitive at the generation cost (excluding return on equity) of about ` 3.6 per unit and if they are located near the coastal region. However, stranded generation from these plants for a year might be as high as 37 billion units (BU) compared with the total traded short-term volume of about 99 BU in FY15. India’s coal-based power plant capacity was 167,207 MW at end-June 2015 and 8.3 percent (13,900 MW) of the total capacity was added from April 2014-June. Of the newly-commissioned plants, the capacity of 40 percent of the plants is under strain and 37 BU of generation might be foregone annually, unless sold through short-term markets. While 70 percent of the power is tied up through long-term/medium-term off-take agreements, about 1,300 MW of the tied-up power encounters transmission constraints. With over 5,500 MW of capacity lined up for commissioning in FY16, there is increased uncertainty of timely debt service for these projects in the absence of a strong off-take agreements/evacuation capacity, Ind-Ra said. (

Delhi HC notice on Reliance Power plea against coal block cancellation

August 4, 2015. The Delhi High Court (HC) issued notice to the central government on a plea of Reliance Power challenging withdrawal of the Chhatrasal coal block for the company's Sasan ultra mega power project in Madhya Pradesh. A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath sought response from the central government by October 6. The company in the plea has said the relevant gazette notification of May 7 by which the letter allotting the coal black was cancelled has been challenged. It has contended that prior to bid submission for the projects, three coal blocks - Moher, Moher-Amlohri Extension and Chhatrasal - having a reserve of around 800 million tonnes were set aside for Sasan Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary then of the state-run Power Finance Corp. The company has also held that the cancellation of the notification, based on a judgment of the Supreme Court, was not not legally tenable. It has contended that the Sep 14 order did not make the coal blocks allotted to Sasan project its subject matter. The company further contended that the court had specifically exempted the blocks in the order. (

Govt seeks comments on auction methodology for coal linkages

August 3, 2015. Government is considering a policy for coal linkage auction and has sought comments from stakeholders on the draft auction methodology it has prepared. Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) was set up in January to consider various models, including auctioning of coal linkages/LoAs (Letter of Assuarances) through competitive bidding as the selection process and to recommend the optimal structure that would meet the requirements of all the stakeholders. (

World Bank's no to coal-projects funding unlikely to affect CIL

August 3, 2015. Coal India Ltd (CIL) is unlikely to be affected by the World Bank’s decision to limit investment. The miner has been funding projects from internal accruals and is confident of doing so in the future. In the late 1990s, the World Bank had announced it would lend $1.03 billion to CIL along with a Japanese lending agency. CIL, which accounts for 80 percent of India's coal production, sees nothing to worry citing healthy finances. It took a total $484.4 million loan from the World Bank and Japan Bank for International Cooperation over a span of five years starting 1998, which has already been repaid. Due to the lack of major capex in the past, CIL has been able to accumulate cash. After accounting for this outflow and annual cash generation, it still has cash reserve of ` 50,000 crore. While it had been investing ` 1,200-1,500 crore annually towards capex even a couple of years ago, CIL this year has set the capex target of ` 5,000 crore. Besides, it would be investing another ` 6,000 crore on augmenting other infrastructure, including rail connectivity. (

Centre has identified 200 sites for new thermal power projects

August 3, 2015. The government has identified 200 large pithead and coastal sites for setting up of thermal power projects with likely gross generation capacity of over four lakh megawatt. After the enactment of the Electricity Act 2003 generation of electricity has been de-licensed. As such Techno-Economic clearance by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) is not required for setting up of thermal power projects in India, he added. In a separate reply to the House, the Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that government has planned power generation capacity addition of 1,18,537 MW (including 88,537 MW conventional and 30,000 MW renewable) during the 12th Plan (2012-17). The minister said that state-run transmission utility Power Grid Corporation has planned to invest around Rs 62,000 crore in next three financial years. In the current fiscal, Power Grid will invest ` 20,000 crore. It has also drawn plans to invest ` 20,000 crore in 2016-17 and ` 22,000 crore in 2017-18. (

Odisha not to buy costly power from NTPC

August 2, 2015. The Odisha government has urged the Union ministry of power (MoP) to notify de-allocation of costly power allocated to the state from NTPC’s plants outside Odisha. The state has to fork out ` 7.22 per unit for power procured from NTPC stations located outside the state against ` 3.15 per unit charged for power bought from an NTPC plant within the state. The MoP, in July 2012, had allocated 418 MW to Odisha from Barh Stage-I (3x660 MW) and 166 MW from Barh Stage-II (2x660) of NTPC plants located in Bihar. As per NTPC bill, the total power procurement from these stations comes to ` 7.22 per unit including capacity charge of ` 2.80 per unit and energy charge of ` 4.42 per unit. Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) is planning to establish 600 MW pump storage hydro power plant at Upper Indravati hydro electric project at a cost of ` 1600 crore to address the peak power requirement in the state. It has sought financial support from the Centre through National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) to fund this project. (

No power tariff or surcharge hike in Kerala

July 30, 2015. The Congress-led UDF government said it would not hike power tariff and surcharge during its remaining tenure. Power Minister Aryadan Muhammed said government would not hike tariff and surcharge rates. He said state used to purchase 700 to 800 MW of power from outside annually to meet the shortage. As part of its programme to conserve power, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) would distribute two LED bulbs free of cost to all Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe families, he said. KSEB had also earmarked about ` 350 crore to provide subsidy to consumers who use power below 125 units per month. (

BHAVINI responsible for delay in commissioning of fast breeder reactor: CAG report

July 30, 2015. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has blamed Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI), a PSU under the aegis of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), for cost overruns in building India's ambitious Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR). In a report, the CAG held BHAVINI's inability to develop in-house expertise for undertaking procurement activities independently and deficiencies in the existing procurement system and procedures responsible for delay in completion of project and cost overruns. BHAVINI was created in October 2003 to build India's first PFBR of 500 MW at Kalpakkam. The project was to be completed by September 2010 at the cost of ` 3,492 crore. However, the project is yet to see the day of light while the cost has escalated to ` 5,677 crore. Subsequently, in April 2012 the government gave an extension for four years to the project with the date of commercial operations as March 2015. BHAVINI had attributed the slow progress in the commissioning the project to the delay in obtaining sanctions from the government, change of design due to tsunami, significant increase of price of raw material, labour rates and impact of taxes and duties, the report said. (

SAIL's exposure in ICVL increased disproportionately to 49 percent: CAG

July 30, 2015. State-run SAIL's exposure in International Coal Venture (ICVL) rose "disproportionately" to 49.43 percent by September 2014 against the agreed 28.6 percent, increasing financial risk of the domestic steel giant, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said. CAG said ICVL did not acquire any foreign coal assets in the first 5 years of its operations. Formed in May 2009, ICVL was venture between SAIL and RINL, coal miner Coal India Ltd (CIL), iron ore miner NMDC and power producers NTPC for securing metallurgical coal and thermal coal assets overseas. Audit noted that out of the five JVC (joint venture companies) partners, CIL and NTPC did not show interest in overseas acquisitions as their priority was thermal coal and not metallurgical coal, it said. SAIL had said as a matter of commercial prudence it did not buy any foreign coal assets prior to 2014 as prices of metallurgical coal were very high during 2009 to 2015. Expulsion of two partners would enhance the financial risk of the company in the JV, CAG report said. (

Govt gets ` 10.2 bn from coal mines auction, allocation: Goyal

July 30, 2015. Government received ` 1,029.7 crore in upfront payment from auction and allotment of coal blocks that held earlier this year. Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that the upfront payment from auction of coal blocks is ` 341.78 crore. An estimated revenue of ` 3.35 lakh crore would accrue to coal-bearing states from 29 auctioned and 38 alloted mines, Goyal has said. The minister had earlier said that seven out of 67 coal mines auctioned and alloted recently have begun operations while the remaining blocks are at various stages of development. The minister had also said that the government has taken proactive measures to ensure that statutory clearances, including environment and forest, are transferred to the successful bidders and allottees expeditiously. (



Peregrino Field offshore Brazil produces 100 mn barrels of oil

August 4, 2015. Statoil ASA announced that the Peregrino field in the Campos basin offshore Brazil has produced 100 million barrels of oil, since April 2011. The milestone was achieved August 2, according to Statoil, who jointly owns the field with Sinochem. Peregrino is the largest field operated by Statoil outside Norway and accounts for around 12 percent of the company’s international production, which equates to approximately 720,000 barrels per day. The recoverable reserves of the field are estimated to be between 300 and 600 million barrels. In January 2015, the development plan of Peregrino Phase II was submitted to the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels. The plan proposes estimated investments of $3.5 billion and involves a new drilling platform, according to Statoil. (

UKCS oil, gas production set to rise for first time in 15 yrs

August 3, 2015. Oil & Gas UK announced that oil and gas production from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) is set to rise for the first time in 15 years, according to provisional figures from the Department for Energy (DECC). The improved performance is believed by Oil & Gas UK to be partly due to production from the large Golden Eagle field, which only started producing in November 2014, as well as stronger delivery from existing assets. The latest news on the UKCS comes one month ahead of the publication of Oil & Gas UK’s Economic Report 2015, which is an annual guide to the current health and future prospects of the UK offshore oil and gas industry. (

BP to relinquish three offshore blocks in Uruguay

August 3, 2015. British oil major BP has halted its deepwater exploration activities off Uruguay as it prioritises lower-risk projects at a time of low international prices, Uruguay's state-owned oil company Ancap said. BP confirmed its exit from the South American country, three years after it won rights to explore blocks 11 and 12 in Uruguay's Pelotas basin and block 6 in the Punta del Este basin. The acreage covers an area of almost 26,000 square kilometres in waters ranging from 50 to 2,000 meters deep. Ancap said BP would give control of the three blocks to Ancap in October. BP holds a 100 percent interest in the blocks and Ancap has the right to take up to a 30 percent share in any discoveries. BP's second-quarter profit slumped by nearly two-thirds as it grappled with lower oil prices. It cut its capital spending plans for the year for a second time this year to below $22 billion (£14.11 billion) from $22.9 billion last year. (

Pakistan's OGDCL makes oil discovery at Chak Naurang South-1 well in Punjab

July 31, 2015. Oil and Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL), the Pakistani national oil and gas company, reported that it has made an oil discovery at Chak Naurang South-1 well in Lower Sakessar in District Chakwal, Punjab, Pakistan. The Chak Naurang South-1 well, drilled to a depth of 10,564 feet (3,220 meters) targeting the Eocene reservoir of the sub thrust sheet to test potential of "lower Sakessar" formation, struck significant hydrocarbon reserves. The well initially produced 180 barrels per day of crude oil with jet pump, OGDCL said. (

China state firms to start pumping new oil in Iran

July 31, 2015. China's state oil giants are set to start pumping a combined 160,000 barrels a day at two projects in south-western Iran from around October, the company said, contributing to Tehran's plan to boost output ahead of sanctions being lifted. Sinopec Group, parent of Sinopec Corp and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said companies have stepped up work at existing main contracts, after prodding from Iranian counterparts as negotiations were continuing over the eventual easing of sanctions. Sinopec Group is expected to start producing at the Yadavaran oilfield at 85,000 barrels per day (bpd) under phase-one development, part of a $2 billion deal signed in 2007 to build a 200,000 bpd producer. Top energy group CNPC is also slated to kick off phase one at North Azadegan around early October, CNPC said. Iran's current output is about 3 million bpd, while its exports to Asia in June were running at about 1.2 million bpd. (

Western Australia's Ungani oil field officially commences production

July 30, 2015. Buru Energy reported that the Ungani onshore oilfield will be officially opened, marking another key milestone in the Company's strategy to become a major oil and gas producer in Western Australia's Kimberly region. The facility, located 62 miles (100 kilometers) east of Broome in the Canning Basin, will be opened by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Marmion. The event will be attended by joint venture partners, Traditional Owners, and local stakeholders. Ungani is an equal joint venture between Buru Energy and Mitsubishi Corp. The project has commenced production at a rate of 1,250 barrels of oil a day (bopd), rising to a targeted level of 3,000 bopd. Minister Marmion said the opening of Ungani was great news for Western Australia and the Kimberly in particular. Buru Energy said the development of Ungani reflected the co-operative spirit of all the parties involved. (

SSE to acquire stake in Total's UK gas fields for £565 mn

July 30, 2015. British energy company SSE has signed an agreement with Total to acquire 20% of its interest in the West of Shetland fields, UK, for £565 mn. The fields forming a part of the deal are Laggan, Tormore, Edradour and Glenlivet. SSE will also acquire Total E&P UK's stakes in the Shetland gas plant, and other exploration licenses in the region, including the Tobermory discovery. Located around 140 km west of the Shetland Islands on Blocks 206/1a, 205/4b and 205/5a, the Laggan and Tormore gas fields are scheduled to commence production. The produced gas will be transferred to the onshore Shetland gas plant, which is planned to be commissioned soon. Located 75 km northwest of Shetland on Block 206/4a, Edradour and Glenlivet fields are planned to commence production in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The sale is part of Total's portfolio management strategy to divest assets worth $5 bn this year. (


ExxonMobil confirms plans to expand crude unit at Beaumont refinery

August 4, 2015. ExxonMobil Corp announced that it will add flexibility to process light crudes at its 345,000-barrel per day (bpd) refinery in Beaumont, Texas, by expanding the facility's crude distillation unit. The project, which the company says is justified largely as a result of abundant, affordable supplies of U.S. light crude from shale, will increase the refinery's production capacity by approximately 20,000 bpd. Originally built in 1903 along the Neches River in response to the Spindle top oil discovery two years earlier, the company's Beaumont refinery employs approximately 2,000 people and more than 1,000 contractors, according to the ExxonMobil. (

Oil price unlikely to recover as Saudi refining hits market

August 4, 2015. Oil prices are unlikely to recover soon as Saudi Arabia's drive to boost its refining activities is expected to force refineries elsewhere to slow down their operations, thus creating an even bigger glut of unwanted crude oil. Two big new refineries in Saudi Arabia are adding to growing supplies of diesel and jet fuel, which could mean other refiners will use less crude as they respond to the oversupply of oil products. Oil prices currently near $50 a barrel are already under pressure, in part from an oversupply of fuels produced by refiners enjoying healthy margins from cheap crude as a result of the U.S. shale boom and record OPEC output. OPEC's biggest oil producer has long wanted to process more of its own crude. Its 400,000 barrel per day Yasref refinery reached full production. It joined the 400,000 bpd Jubail refinery, which hit full capacity late last year. Storage tanks in Asia and Europe are filling up with diesel and jet fuel as growing consumption has failed to keep pace with increased production. Soaring production of fuels in the United States and Europe has added to the overhang. Refineries there are still running hard to supply drivers, particularly in India and the United States, with the gasoline they are consuming at breakneck pace due in part to the halving of oil prices over the past year. (

Kuwait selects contractors for $23 bn Al-Zour refinery

July 29, 2015. Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has awarded contracts worth $11.5 bn to develop a proposed refinery in the Al-Zour area, 90 km south of Kuwait City. A consortium, including Tecnicas Reunidas, Sinopec and Hanwha Engineering and Construction will supply main process units, as part of a KWD1.28bn ($4.2 bn) contract. All the project contracts are planned to be signed in October. The refinery is expected to cost KWD6.7bn ($23 bn). Upon completion, the refinery is expected to represent 43% of the refining capacity in the country. (

Transportation / Trade……….

IEnova buys 50 percent stake in Mexican gas pipeline from Pemex

August 4, 2015. Mexican state-owned oil and gas company Pemex has reached an agreement with IEnova, a subsidiary of US group Sempra Energy, for the sale of its 50% stake in the pipeline company Gasoductos de Chihuahua; upon completion of the US$1,325 mn transaction, IEnova will be the sole owner of the company. Gasoductos de Chihuahua owns three gas pipelines in the northern state of Chihuahua, including part of the Los Ramones gas interconnection with the United States, an ethane pipeline, an LPG pipeline and an LPG storage terminal. (

TransCanada may recoup costs from US if Obama rejects Keystone

August 4, 2015. A two-decade old trade accord could let TransCanada Corp recoup some of the $2.4 billion spent on its Keystone XL project, even if President Barack Obama rejects the pipeline. A provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement would let the Canadian company file a claim against the U.S., accusing the government of discrimination. While trade specialists say a successful challenge would be a long shot, a Nafta tribunal could award damages for costs as well as lost profit. It’s a twist that could ensure Keystone remains an aggravation for the administration even if Obama pulls the plug. TransCanada has waited more than six years for permission to build the link from Alberta’s oil fields to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast. While Obama hasn’t said how he’ll decide, his criticism of the project’s purported benefits have encouraged environmentalists. (

Cooper Energy signs gas supply deal with O-I Australia

August 4, 2015. Cooper Energy has signed heads of agreement (HoA) to supply gas from Sole field located in Otway Basin in Victoria, Australia, to O-I Australia. Under the terms of the agreement, Cooper will supply gas of one petajoule (PJ) per annum for the lesser of eight years from its share of Sole production to O-I Australia, from January 2019. The contracted gas volume represents 8% of the company's share in the expected production from the field. The agreement is subject to an affirmative final investment decision (FID) scheduled by September 2016 for the field development. The field development comprises single vertical subsea well and pipeline to the Orbost gas plant which is also connected to the Eastern Gas Pipeline. (

China to grant 6.16 mn tonnes annual crude oil import quota to Ningxia refiner

August 3, 2015. China has given a preliminary go-ahead for the independent Ningxia-based refiner Baota Petrochemical Group to get an annual crude import quota of 6.16 million tonnes, or 123,200 barrels per day, the country's oil industry association said. The government has promised to open up the crude import business, which has long been dominated by state oil giants Sinopec and PetroChina.

According to new rules issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in February, smaller independent refiners can gain permission to import crude oil if they meet certain environmental conditions, including the closure of old and polluting refining capacity. The China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF) said Baota had passed a series of inspections and had promised to upgrade its gasoline and diesel production by the end of the year, qualifying it for import quotas. (

BASF plans to participate in €2.5 bn Nord Stream pipeline expansion project

August 3, 2015. BASF subsidiary Wintershall has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gazprom to take part in the €2.5 bn Nord Stream pipeline expansion project. The Nord Stream II pipeline will connect the Russian and the German coasts under the Baltic Sea. It is designed to meet the increasing gas demand across Europe. The 1,220 km long Nord Stream pipeline already operates two pipelines with combined annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters (bcm). With the MoU, Wintershall will join the Gazprom-led consortium, which plans to build two additional pipelines to transport up to 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to European customers through the Baltic Sea. (

Cheniere signs 20 year LNG agreement with Chilean power project

August 3, 2015. US energy group Cheniere Energy has signed a 20-year LNG sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Central El Campesino for the delivery of approximately 0.6 Mt/year of LNG from its Corpus Christi liquefaction project as of 2019. Cheniere is currently constructing three 4.5 Mt/year liquefaction trains at its existing regasification facility near Corpus Christi, Texas (United States) and the 13.5 Mt/year LNG plant will be fully operational in 2019. The LNG would be delivered ex-ships to a proposed 3 Mt/year floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), Penco Lirquén LNG terminal, in Chile, developed by Octopus LNG, a 50-50 joint venture of Cheniere Energy and the Chilean company Biobiogenera. (

Egypt expects to import 7.79 mn tonnes of LNG this fiscal year

August 2, 2015. Egypt expects to import 28.6 million tonnes of crude oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other oil products worth a total of almost $16 billion in 2015-16, the planning ministry said. The government expects to buy 7.79 million tonnes of LNG for $3.55 billion and 6.37 million tonnes of crude oil for $3.51 billion, the ministry said.

The Arab world's most populous country, which recently turned from a net energy exporter into an importer, aims to produce about 695,000 bpd of crude oil and condensates in addition to 4.7 billion cubic feet of gases sold daily. Egypt has tried to address energy shortages by signing a raft of LNG import deals this year and giving the private sector a green light to import LNG, a step that could encourage private investment in the energy sector while easing supply shortages. (

Japan exchange says first LNG forward deal done

July 31, 2015. The first liquefied natural gas (LNG) non-deliverable forward deal has been struck on Japan's over-the-counter market, the Japan OTC Exchange said, nearly a year after the trade was launched. Japan, the world's biggest buyer of LNG, has been testing out a number of trading options to gain more control over prices and limit the cost of the gas delivered to the country, which has ballooned since the Fukushima disaster led to the shutdown of the country's nuclear reactors.

But the moves have struggled because the fuel is usually bought on long-term contracts with restricted shipping terms, while the spot market is illiquid and lacks transparency. The first trade was an LNG non-deliverable forward for 250,000 mmBtu (million British thermal units), or roughly 5,000 tonnes, for September delivery, the exchange said. The contract is cash-settled in U.S. dollars, though physical delivery is possible if agreed between the parties. (

Pakistan to sign 15 year deal to import gas from Qatar

July 29, 2015. Pakistan will sign a deal next month to import gas shipments from Qatar for the next 15 years, a top Pakistani energy official said, an agreement that should help tackle Pakistan's chronic gas shortages. The flexible contract will allow Pakistan to import between 200 and 400 million standard cubic feet per day (mmcfd), said Mobin Saulat, head of state-run Inter State Gas systems, which oversees the pipelines. Pakistan currently faces a gas shortage of around 2,000 mmcfd per day. Pakistan has imported seven spot cargos of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar since the completion of an LNG terminal in the southern port city of Karachi in April, said Saulat. Pakistan's gas companies are also upgrading their distribution system, he said, and Pakistan is expected to sign a government-to-government agreement with Russia to build a new pipeline from Karachi to the provincial capital of Lahore next month, he said. Russian company Rostec is interested in building the pipeline, he said. (

Russia says TurkStream gas pipeline construction could be delayed

July 29, 2015. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said there was a risk construction of an underwater pipeline to Turkey could be delayed if a related intergovernmental agreement was not signed soon. Russia's Gazprom is yet to start laying pipes beneath the Black Sea for the first line of the TurkStream pipeline, which was expected to start operations by 2017 and bring 15.75 billion cubic metres (bcm) to Turkey annually. TurkStream is supposed to bring a total of 63 bcm of gas per year to Turkey and to southern Europe via Greece by 2020 -- a project aimed at bypassing Ukraine as a key transit country for Russian gas flowing to Europe. Russian Energy Ministry said Moscow had offered to sign an intergovernmental agreement on the first line only and Ankara was yet to reply. Turkey wanted a bigger gas discount before agreeing to sign an intergovernmental deal. Separately, Novak said Moscow had no plans to discuss oil production cuts with OPEC during Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri's visit to Moscow. (

Policy / Performance…………

Egypt selects companies for O&G exploration program

August 4, 2015. The Egyptian Government has awarded five oil and gas (O&G) concessions in an effort to promote foreign investments in the energy sector while intensifying oil and gas exploration. In 2014, Ganoub El Wadi Petroleum, one of five main entities of Egyptian Petroleum Ministry, had initiated international bid to explore ten areas in the Gulf of Suez, the Eastern Desert, and east and west of the Nile for potential oil and gas reserves. The move forms part of the country's plan to improve its local production to address its energy crises. A joint venture between Emirati firm Pacific Petroleum and Malaysia's Hibiscus Petroleum have been selected for explore program in Southeast Ras el-Ush concession in the Gulf of Suez and will invest at least $68 mn. Egyptian Trident Petroleum will explore the site located north-west of the Suez Gulf with an investment of at least $4.5 mn while Magawish Petroleum will invest at least $23.5 mn to explore the site located in the north zone of the Suez Gulf. Egypt also selected a consortium of IPR and Mediterra Energy for two sites located in Kom Ombo. The selected companies are expected to invest at least $100.3 mn for the oil and gas exploration program. (

World Bank lends US$700 mn for Sankofa gas project in Ghana

August 4, 2015. The World Bank has approved US$700 mn in guarantees for the Sankofa gas project in Ghana, expected to boost domestic energy supply in the African country. The World Bank has approved two guarantees for the Project, namely an International Development Association (IDA) payment guarantee of US$500 mn to support timely payments for gas purchases by Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Enclave Loan guarantee of US$200 mn to enable the project to secure financing from its private sponsors. (

Japan selects Inpex for exploratory offshore drilling project

July 30, 2015. The Japanese Government has selected oil and gas exploration and production company, Inpex, to undertake exploratory offshore drilling project in the country. The company will drill one exploratory well for the Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry Natural Resources and Energy Agency's Heisei 26~28 domestic offshore drilling program. The drilling project is aimed at assessing the presence of potential hydrocarbon reserves and carry out geological studies. Inpex plans to stat drilling at the exploratory well located approximately 140 km north of Yamaguchi Prefecture and approximately 130 km northwest of Shimane Prefecture, in May 2016 and complete in August of the same year. The well is located water depth of 210m. A site survey will be initially carried out by the company in August to map the subsea surface and observe currents at the location. The drilling project is expected to contribute to the improvement of Japan's energy self-sufficiency and forms a part of the company's plan to continuously enhance its exploration and production activities. In 2011, the Japanese Government undertook a geophysical survey at the Yamaguchi and Shimane prefectures as part of its domestic oil and natural gas exploration project. Based on the results of this survey, a 3D geophysical survey was conducted in the area by Inpex in 2013. At present, Inpex is undertaking development and production activities, as operator, at the Minami-Nagaoka gas field located in Niigata Prefecture in Japan. The company is also conducting oil and natural gas production activities in Akita and Chiba prefectures. (

OPEC says oil should not fall further, sees stability in 2016

July 30, 2015. OPEC expects increasing oil demand to prevent a further fall in prices and sees a more balanced market in 2016, OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said. Oil LCOc1 has dropped about 15 percent this month and halved in value in the past year but neither OPEC nor Russia, the world's top producer, have cut output to support prices, hoping cheaper oil will hit U.S. shale and other rival sources. OPEC pumps around 40 percent of global oil production. He did not indicate what price he expected. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who met with Badri, said they did not discuss coordination to help the market rebound. Badri said that even if OPEC had cut output by as much as 2 million barrels per day (bpd) - equal to around half of Russian exports - it would not have helped prices. (

US sets new final rule on oil, ethanol trains

July 29, 2015. The Obama administration released a new regulation intended to prevent explosive rail disasters such as the 2013 oil train derailment that killed 47 people and destroyed part of Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The new rule by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requires two qualified railroad employees to ensure that handbrakes and other safety equipment have been properly set on trains left unattended while carrying dangerous materials such as crude oil or ethanol. A series of oil train accidents in recent years led the United States and Canada in May to announce sweeping new safety regulations that require more secure tank cars and advanced braking technology to prevent moving trains from derailing and spilling their contents. The new rule is directed specifically at trains left parked on main lines, side tracks and in rail yards. (



PT PLN will develop 2 GW of small distributed power capacity

August 4, 2015. Indonesian national power utility PT PLN has selected Black & Veatch to implement a new 2 GW programme aimed at installing 50 new small-sized power plants totalling 2 GW in remote areas of Indonesia, such as Kalimantan, Mluku, Nusa Tenggara, Papua and Sulawesi. The plants would range from about 5 MW to 100 MW and would burn a mix of diesel and LNG. The plants will have dual fuel combustion turbines and dual fuel fired gas engines and should be installed from mid-2016. The largest plants should be commissioned by 2018. The precise site locations will be announced once conceptual designs are resolved. This programme is part of Indonesian government plan to fast-track 35 GW of power projects by 2019. (

Germany's Kiel to build flexible gas power plant

August 3, 2015. The municipal utility of the northern German city of Kiel is to build a flexible gas-fired power and heat plant that suppliers say demonstrates an effective way of teaming up thermal and renewable power. The 20-gas-engine plant supplied by General Electric's Jenbach plant in Austria will supply 190 MW of electrical and 192 MW of thermal capacity within minutes, GE and general contractor Kraftanlagen Muenchen said. The plant has to be able to feed full power into the local transmission grid in short bursts in order to offset the volatility of wind driving turbines. The requirement was for a plant to replace Kiel's existing 354 MW coal-fired power plant which will be closed in 2018 in a city that relies on district heat piped to households and that is located far away from reliable thermal supply. (

Iran’s Mapna Group to build 3 GW power plant in Iraq

July 31, 2015. Iran’s Mapna Group has signed a US$2.5 bn deal with the Iraqi-Jordanian Shamara Group to construct a 3,000 MW power plant in the Iraqi city of Rumaila. Mapna will build a natural gas combined cycle power plant in southern Iraq, which will add to the current 8,500 MW capacity national power grid. The project is set to boost overall power generation capacity by 20 percent in Iraq, which plans to generate 20,000 MW by 2016. Mapna said that his company had begun the execution of work at the Rumaila power plant near Basra after one-and-a-half years of negotiations with Iraq. The facility will be completed in four years, with the first unit expected to come onboard the national grid in early 2017.

The deal includes the Iraqi government’s guaranteed purchase of the electricity produced at the power plant for about 15 to 17 years, Shamara Group said. According to Shamara, security issues have been taken into account in deciding to build the facility in Rumaila in the relatively stable southern Basra. The deal follows the implementation of Najaf and Baghdad power plants, which will receive Iranian gas through a pipeline to begin operation. (

Hydro Ottawa acquires 30.9 MW hydroelectric plants from Fortis

July 30, 2015. Canadian electrical utility Hydro Ottawa has acquired 30.9 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric facilities in Ontario, Canada and New York from Fortis for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is part of the company's 2012-2016 strategy to strengthen its clean energy supply to customers and pursue opportunities with potential for long-term returns. The acquired assets in Ontario are connected to the provincial electricity grid whereas the assets in New York provide synergies with existing generation operations of Hydro Ottawa. The company signed a 40-year contract with the Ontario Power Authority to expand its Chaudière Falls hydro complex with a 29 MW plant. Hydro Ottawa currently operates six run-of-the-river hydroelectric generation plants at Chaudière Falls, and has majority stake in the Trail Road and the Laflèche landfill sites in Ottawa and Moose Creek, Ontario, respectively. (

Semirara plans to build 1.1 GW of coal-fired power plants in Philippines

July 30, 2015. Philippines-based coal miner, Semirara Mining & Power is reportedly planning to construct 1,100 MW of coal-fired power plants in the next three to four years. The company intends to build a 700 MW power generation facility initially and would commission a 300 MW power plant in the main island of Luzon, later this year. The company is also looking to expand its power generation portfolio and would supply the coal required to fuel these assets. In order to meet the surging demand for power, the country is believed to be considering advancing the construction of dozens of coal-fired power plants that are under development phase. Semirara produces about 8 million tons annually of coal and also exports it to China. The exports, however, have been suspended as part of its plan to help contribute to local power generation. (

China Datang plans two 700 MW USC coal-fired power projects

July 30, 2015. The board of Chinese power group China Datang has approved the development of the Huludao Cogeneration Project, consisting of two 350 MW ultra-super critical (USC) coal-fired power units, and located in the Beigang Industrial Park, in Huludao City. The project received approval from the Development and Reform Commission of Liaoning in early July 2015. Total investment is estimated at RMB 3,514mn (US$565 mn), of which 80% financed through bank loans. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

EBRD grants $100 mn for CASA-1000 transmission project in Tajikistan

August 4, 2015. Tajikistan national power utility Barki Tojik has secured a $110 mn loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to fund the construction of the Central Asia-South Asia (CASA)-1000 cross-border electricity transmission project. The funding will be used by the company to build the power converter station and related infrastructure in Tajikistan. The $1 bn CASA-1000 project involves the construction of a transmission line for the supply of hydro-electricity from the Central Asian countries of Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Barki Tojik will be eligible for the financing subject to the implementation of certain reforms. The reforms include the launch an independent energy regulator, and set out rules for third-party access to the transmission line. The project is also being funded by the World Bank, and the European Investment Bank. (

Timken to buy power transmission belt business

August 3, 2015. Timken Co. has expanded its presence in the power transmission business with the purchase of the Carlstar Belts business. Carlstar Belts supplies power transmission belts for industrial, commercial and consumer uses, doing most of its business in North America. For the year ended June 30, the operation reported sale of approximately $140 million. Timken announced an agreement to acquire the business from American Industrial Partners. Terms of the deal weren’t released. Timken hopes to have the deal completed before the end of September. (

Again, TCN records new power transmission peak of 4.6 GW

July 29, 2015. The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) disclosed that the national electricity grid transmission has attained a new peak capacity of 4,662 MW, some 6 MW different from its last record of 4656 MW. It said that the country’s power generation and transmission capacities have in the last couple of days enjoyed new peaks above 4500MW following improvements in gas supply to the generating stations as well as equipment and infrastructure upgrade in the transmission network. TCN which assured that it would continue to work at enhancing the capacity to transmit more quality power to the electricity distribution companies in the country, also attributed the new records to enhanced human capacity of its system operator. (

Policy / Performance…………

Coal prices near-decade lows as Chinese demand slumps

August 4, 2015. Coal prices' downward trajectory shows no sign of reversing as a supply glut, combined with expectations that demand from top consumer China will shrink more, paint a bleak outlook for the fossil fuel which generates nearly half the world's electricity. Global coal prices have fallen by around 10 percent this year bringing pain to top producers including Indonesia, Australia and South Africa. The falling prices could particularly benefit emerging economies relying on coal as a cheap form of power. The biggest problem coal has faced this year has been China, where coal imports between January and June were down 37.5 percent from a year earlier. Coal miners have been slow to cut production in response to lower prices, with weakening domestic currencies versus the dollar shielding producers to some extent in export markets including Australia. Top thermal coal exporter Indonesia has curbed its production but analysts said that is not enough to change the market's fortunes. (

US allocates funds to develop advanced nuclear reactor technologies

August 3, 2015. The US Energy Department (DOE) has allocated funds to support development of advanced nuclear reactor concepts. The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is part of an effort to strengthen the nuclear reactor segment. The new technologies will be designed to provide clean and secure energy, while improving the operational performance, safety, security, economics, and proliferation resistance of the reactors. In partnership with the industry, the DOE will fund up to two awards of around $6 mn each this year. Each project will receive $3.6 mn grant from the department, and $2.4m funding from the federally funded research and development center (FFRDC). The government will also support up to two projects with multiple-year funding of around $40 mn to each. The DOE is inviting proposals for cost-shared advanced reactor concepts, which are planned to be demonstrated by 2035. (

Egypt raises electricity prices for high-consumption households

August 3, 2015. The government of Egypt has raised electricity tariffs for households with middle to high consumption, i.e. consuming more than 210 kWh/month (2,520 kWh/year), by an average 19% for the 2015-2016 fiscal year starting in July 2015. For households consuming between 210 and 350 kWh/month (2,520 to 4,200 kWh/year), tariffs increased by 27%; the rise was lower for the next three highest bands, though significant (+19%, +18% and +13.5%, respectively). Households consuming less than 210 kWh/month are not concerned by the tariff increase. (

NERC moves against non-performing power generation plants

July 29, 2015. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has commenced the process of withdrawing operational licences of electricity generation firms which have failed to perform. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Ltd (NELMCO) has concluded verification of liabilities of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), preparatory to offsetting them. NERC released a list of 27 firms whose licences may be withdrawn. This followed completion of an audit of the licences it has issued so far. The audit report, according to NERC, indicates that the affected firms could not meet the terms and conditions for their licences. Most of the affected firms may be sanctioned for failure to meet their milestones or commission their power plants within three years of being licensed. But the firms have 30 days to provide reasons their operational licences should not be revoked. A notice of intent to this effect, which was released by NERC, indicates that the affected firms will be required to make representation to the commission against the proposed withdrawal of licence, and the representations shall be taken into cognizance by NERC in reaching a final decision on their respective matters. (

Sudan sees hydropower boost after protests over electricity cuts

July 29, 2015. Sudan plans to boost electricity output by about 15 percent with new hydropower equipment in the coming year as power cuts in the capital spur sporadic protests. A generating plant connected to Atbara and Steit dams in eastern Sudan will start operating in June, adding 320 MW to the national grid as it seeks to meet demand of 2,500 MW, the Water Resources and Electricity Ministry said. The facility is part of a project begun in May 2010 that was scheduled for completion in about 5 1/2 years. The new power project, including dams and generating stations, costs about $1.3 billion and has financing from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, China and Algeria, as well as Sudan, according to the Sudanese Dams Implementation Unit. (



Delhi Metro installs nine new solar plants

August 4, 2015. Delhi Metro said that it has installed nine new solar power generation facilities on the Badarpur-Faridabad section for partial fulfilment of energy requirements. The power generated by these solar plants, with a generation capacity of 1,660.4 kWp, will be used for lighting and other auxiliary requirements of the station and depot buildings. The plants have been set up at NHPC Chowk, Mewala Maharajpur, Sector 28, Badkal Mor, Old Faridabad, Neelam Chowk Ajronda, Bata Chowk, Escorts Mujesar stations and Ajronda Depot. (

Taj Mahal vulnerable to pollution, no study on other monuments yet: Govt

August 4, 2015. The government has not carried out any specific study to identify monuments across the country with regards to their vulnerability to climate change and air pollution. It has, however, identified world heritage icon Taj Mahal in Agra as a monument which needs to be protected from air pollution, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said. He said that to protect Taj, a Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) has been notified and restrictions have been imposed. The existing industries have to strictly comply with the 1996 directions of the Supreme Court, and no new or expansion in the existing units is allowed within TTZ. Amidst reports pointing at the discolouration of Taj Mahal, a parliamentary panel had recently recommended that a "multi-pronged" strategy must be adopted to preserve the "pristine beauty" of the monument. Noting that diesel generators in the area around Taj Mahal are a major source of pollution "adversely" affecting the monument, the parliamentary panel has urged Uttar Pradesh Government to implement the Supreme Court's directive for 24-hour power supply in the area, besides giving a host of other recommendations. (

Over 450 projects being considered of environmental clearance: Govt

August 4, 2015. More than 450 projects in various sectors are presently being considered by the government for environmental clearance while more than 200 are awaiting forest clearance. As per the details, 168 projects in the non-coal mining sector are under consideration for environmental clearance while there are 102 projects in the infrastructure and CRZ sectors which are awaiting a decision. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that more than 140 projects are under consideration for environmental clearance in various industrial categories while eight thermal projects are under such consideration. Similarly, 21 coal mining projects are awaiting environmental nod while 22 river valley projects (HEP) are under consideration. Six projects under nuclear defence strategic sector are also under consideration for environmental clearance. Altogether 37 projects seeking approval of the central government under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land are pending, which include 12 in the mining sector, eight in hydel, two in defence and five in irrigation sectors amongst others. 203 proposals under the Act are pending in regional offices of various states which include 131 in the road sector, 14 in hydel and eight for transmission lines. He said that a total of 1567 proposals were given environmental clearance in the last three years and the current year. This year till June, 81 projects in infrastructure and construction sectors have been given environmental nod while 68 proposals in the industry sector have been cleared. (

Fuel retailers bet on solar power with easy loans

August 4, 2015. Oil companies betting big on solar doesn't sound ironic any more. Setting up solar plants -either for generating electricity or steam - is no more a token of commitment to environment. Instead, it is making business sense. No wonder India's state-run fuel retailers are offering petrol pump owners easy loans to help them go green by setting up solar power units. Indian Oil Corporation is offering loan of up to ` 5 lakh. Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum too have joined the bandwagon on the back of government directives. But it is the economics of solar power that is making the scheme tick. There are nearly 52,000 petrol pumps in the country. Power supply from the grid in rural areas and the hinterland is patchy and only fills up the gap between long blackouts. Petrol pump owners in these places depend on generators, which pushes up costs of operation and eats into their income. Indian Oil's initial experiments have shown it would be economical to run its 24,400 petrol pumps and Kisan Seva Kendras -low-cost filling stations catering to farmers and rural communities - on solar power than burn diesel in generators. In this backdrop, investing in a rooftop solar system is increasingly beginning to make sense as it provides a reliable source of power, reduces electricity bill and pollution from diesel generators. Indian Oil said over 150 dealers have already availed of the loan scheme to set up solar plants at their pumps. Depending upon the size of the petrol pump, a 24 kilowatt photovoltaic system on the rooftop can bring down costs by more than ` 7 lakh a year. This is almost 50 percent less than the average annual electricity bill currently. Petrol pumps have to pay commercial rates, which is much higher than domestic tariffs, for electricity from grid. (

ACME Solar won at least 446 MW in Telangana tender

August 4, 2015. ACME Solar Energy Pvt Ltd has won projects of at least 446 MW in total as part of the 2-GW solar tender in the Indian state of Telangana, the New Delhi-based company said. Depending on the bidding criteria, the company may end up winning 455 MW in total. ACME Solar’s average bid price was nearing INR 5.80 (USD 0.091/EUR 0.083) per kWh. According to local consultancy Bridge to India, ACME Solar has made bids for 510 MW of solar. The company, with a current installed capacity of nearly 200 MW, aims to hit 2 GW by December 2016. The tender was floated by Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Co Ltd (TSSPDCL). Local wind turbine supplier Suzlon Energy, US renewables major SunEdison Inc and Canada's Skypower Ltd were among the winners as well. (

Welspun Renewables Commissions Solar Project in Punjab

August 3, 2015. Welspun Renewables said it has commissioned a 34 MW solar power project in Punjab. The project, completed in five months, will annually be feeding 48 million units of clean and emission-free energy to the Punjab state grid for the next 25 years, it said. Spread across 140 acres, the project will have mitigated 1,331,525 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The company is among the first few to set up a project in Punjab. The company is committed to establishing 11,001 MW of renewable capacities across the country. The Punjab government has set a cumulative target of 4200 MW solar power generation capacity. (

Environment, climate change pose great challenges: President

August 3, 2015. Environment and climate change are the most important issues and pose great challenges that need to be collectively responded to by people else their existence might be in danger, President Pranab Mukherjee said. Addressing a group of probationers of Indian Forest Service (2014 Batch), he said practical and innovative solutions are to be found for forming policies and solving problems which they will be confronting. He said that in on today's world, environment and climate change are most important issues and pose great challenges. Addressing the probationers, the President said that they will not only be the implementer of policies but will also provide inputs for policies. (

NTPC to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to 56 percent by 2032

August 3, 2015. State-run power producer NTPC is planning to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels to 56 percent by 2032 from 85 percent at present. At present the company has 38,154 MW coal-based thermal power generation capacity which is about 85 percent of its total capacity of 45,048 MW. Meanwhile, the coal-based thermal power generation capacity of the firm will increase to 68,829 MW by 2022, which would constitute 79 percent of its total installed electricity generation capacity. In 2022, NTPC's hydro and solar power generation capacity would be 11,729, which will be 14 percent of the total generation capacity, much higher than that of two percent at present. The company has committed to have 10,000 MW of solar power generation capacity in next five year. It has planned no growth in the gas base generation capacity of 5,924 MW which constitutes 14 percent of total capacity at present. It will be reduced to seven percent by 2022. According to the document, the company has already operationalised 110 MW solar PV projects. It is setting up 250 MW solar power project, while 510 MW solar projects are under bidding stage. NTPC is planning to bundle and sell 15,000 MW solar capacity under National Solar Mission. (

DJB looking at using solar power to run installations

August 2, 2015. In a bid to reduce expenditure on electricity bill, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is looking at solar energy as an alternate source of power for running its installations. The Board has proposed to install Grid Connected Roof-top Solar PV system at its different installations and use the generated electricity for running them. The project comprises of three stages. The phase-I includes the installation of grid connecting rooftop Solar PV at the Haiderpur Water Treatment Plant (WTP), Sonia Vihar WTP, Bhagirathi WTP, Bawana WTP, Iradat Nagar Raw Water Pump House (RWPH), Bawana RWPH and RWPH at Yamuna for Bhagirathi, Sonia Vihar WTP and various Booster Pumping Stations. The phase-II of the implementation of Grid Connected Roof top Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) system includes 25 years of comprehensive operation and maintenance at various Sewage Treatment Plants and Booster Pumping Stations. In phase-III, the project will be extended to include the installation of the grid connected rooftop solar PV system at various unused open land of Sonia Vihar WTP, Iradat Nagar Raw Water Pump House and Dwarka WTP and other vacant lands of DJB. Comprehensive operation and maintenance for 25 years will also be part of the project. (

Jharkhand gets ready for big leap in solar power

July 31, 2015. Jharkhand is set to harness more than 2,600 MW of solar power in the next four-five years and roll out red carpet for large as well as small entrepreneurs in the field of solar photovoltaic power generation. A notification of the first Jharkhand State Solar Power Policy 2015, which got the state cabinet nod, is likely in the next couple of days. At present, the aggregate solar power in Jharkhand is around 24-26 MW. The Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission has announced the solar tariff for the next 25 years and pegged it at ` 7.97 per unit of kilowatt hour (kWh). The Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) has been appointed as the nodal agency to implement the policy that aims at taping solar power potential in the state. Sops will be provided to entrepreneurs, who are interested in setting up solar power plants in the state, JREDA said. The sops include duty free investment for 10 years, he said. No environment clearance will be required for the projects. The focus is on grid connected solar photo voltaic (SPV) plants, grid connected rooftop solar power plants (RTSPP), remote village electrification, SPV streetlights and distribution of solar lanterns. There are two grid connected SPVs in Jharkhand - one at Saraikela with a capacity of 2 MW and the other in Deoghar with 14 MW capacity. Several companies have shown their interest to set up SVPs in the state. Chotanagpur Green Energy Development Private Limited is the front runner and the company intends to set up a 1.2 MW grid connected SPV at Sikidiri in Ranchi. The state has installed one 180kW rooftop solar power plants in Khunti civil court in the recent past. Plans are afoot for providing solar pump sets of 1to 5hp (horse power) capacity to the farmers for irrigation. More than 1,400 solar pumping stations will come up in the state under the scheme. (


Obama climate plan squeezes Asian coal as china fights pollution

August 4, 2015. The Obama administration’s plan to curb U.S. coal use will ripple across the globe to Asia, where the world’s biggest consumer and miners are balancing demands for cleaner air against cheaper energy. The hard line in President Barack Obama’s Clean Energy Plan released compounds pressure from a similar stance by China, the world’s biggest coal burner and carbon emitter, to significantly reduce reliance on the fuel. It’s also giving ammunition to opponents of the hydrocarbon in top exporting nations including Australia in the run up to international climate talks in Paris this December. The rules, partly designed to put the U.S. on track to meet the goal Obama laid out in negotiations for a global climate accord, come as prices struggle to recover from the lowest in almost eight years amid slowing growth in China, the top consumer of energy, metals and grains. As countries from China to Brazil make commitments to curb carbon emissions, Australia’s coal miners say technology exists to limit pollution from their fuel, which releases twice as much carbon when burned as gas. Meanwhile, the country’s gas industry is promoting itself as a cleaner-burning alternative. (

US to get 30 percent more renewables by 2030 under new power plan

August 4, 2015. The US will be producing 30% more renewable energy in 2030 under the country’s Clean Power Plan, presented by President Obama. This new federal regulation sets carbon dioxide (CO2) emission limits for existing power plants in the separate states. The main goal is to cut CO2 emissions by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. The Clean Power Plan will bring billions in climate and public health benefits and prevent as many as 3,600 premature deaths in 2030. Apart from boosting renewable energy generation, the plan is to also support the further reduction of the cost of renewables. Already, 35 US states have renewable energy targets and over 25 have energy efficiency targets. Under the new regulation, each state will formulate its own plan to address greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. Apart from their separate emission reduction targets for 2030, states will have to meet interim goals from 2022 to 2029. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed the final Clean Power Plan. (

Scientists develop new butterflies-inspired technique to make solar energy efficient

August 3, 2015. Researchers from the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and the University of Exeter’s Centre for Ecology and Conservation are developing a new type of solar panel design, inspired by the v-shaped pose of cabbage white butterflies. Prior to flight, the Cabbage White butterflies harness the sun energy in a short time to warm up their wing muscles, but on cloudy days they take to the air more quickly than other type of butterflies. According to the scientists, insects could quickly warmup its wings due to unique v-shaped pose which maximizes solar energy concentration onto its thorax, which allows for flight. The butterfly is believed to maintain around 17º wings angle to increase body temperature by 7.3ºC compared to when held flat. Replicating the wing-like structure of the butterfly, researchers developed new photovoltaic cells inside solar panels which resulted in enhanced power production by up to 50%. The new cells are also claimed to have increased the overall solar energy structure' power-to-weight ratio by 17-fold, making it more efficient. (

Japan’s coal hunger poses costly challenge to emissions

July 30, 2015. Japan will depend on new coal technology that’s more than twice the cost of traditional plants to meet its targets on reducing global warming pollution. In a plan formally adopted, Japan said it expects coal to generate about a quarter of the nation’s electricity by 2030. One approach backed by the government is integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology which turns coal into gas. Impurities are removed from the synthesized gas before it’s burned, lowering emissions compared with plants where coal is used directly. Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd., a venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Hitachi Ltd, is developing a plant capable of operating at net efficiency of as much as 50 percent, compared with 40 percent for standard coal-fired power plants, according to data compiled by the Japanese government. Besides improved efficiency, plants using IGCC also emit 20 percent less carbon dioxide, the data shows. (

China builds massive solar power station to help Sharif in Pakistan

July 29, 2015. China has built the world's largest single solar photovoltaic power plant in Bahawalpur, which is in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Called the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, it is a 229-hectare facility in the Cholistan desert named after Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who led the division from India to create Pakistan. The 100 MW plant has been established at a cost of $215 million in a short period of three months. For Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the plant represents political support from China because he was elected on the promise of solving the country's electricity problem. Sharif inaugurated the project on May 5. The plant, built by Chinese company TBEA Xinjiang SunOasis Co, has already generated 39 million kilowatt-hours of energy for the local province. (





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