MonitorsPublished on Nov 14, 2016
Energy News Monitor | Volume XIII; Issue 22

Non-Fossil Fuels News Commentary: October- November 2016


What will happen to India’s renewable energy targets now that a tectonic shift in climate policy is anticipated? Will they be trumped? These are the questions that ended a month filled with upbeat news from the renewable sector such as commitments for more dollars, more incentives and more support for solar power with some morsels thrown in for wind. Though there was uncertainty in these commitments materialising even before the tectonic shift, the level of uncertainty has increased since the election of a new President in the USA. India’s renewable energy targets for 2022 that were being described as aspirational or ambitious may now have to be described as fantasy.

In a recent report on renewables, the IEA has said that the share of renewables in India’s power generation would touch 19 percent in 2021 taking into account the 175 GW target for renewable capacity by 2022. The report revised its earlier estimates upward due to much higher capacity additions of solar PV which IEA expects to account for 50 percent of all new renewable capacity growth over the medium term.  It expects onshore wind to expand by 25 GW over the medium term on account of ‘strong project pipeline, new supportive policies to encourage the repowering of old sites, and the announcement of wind auctions to develop 1 GW of capacity that should drive additional growth after 2018’.  However the scaling back of accelerated depreciation benefit for wind from 80 percent to 40 percent, which will come into effect at the end of FY16 is expected to increase uncertainty in capacities materialising.


Hydropower capacity is expected to expand by over 10 GW driven by the government’s 5 GW small hydropower target by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan in 2022. India’s agreement with Bhutan to co-develop over 2 GW of mostly large hydropower projects is also expected to contribute. The issue of targets for renewables depends on what is classified as renewables and in this context, the request from the MNRE to seek cabinet approval to reclassify large hydro power plants as renewable projects becomes important. This could potentially help India achieve clean power capacity of 230 GW by 2022 according to the Minister in charge of the MNRE. Until now only hydro projects that were less than 25 MW were classified as renewable.

According to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, $10.5 billion was invested in renewables in India in FY16, which was 60 percent more than the investment last year. The investment required for meeting the target set for 2022 is estimated to be about $100 billion equivalent to almost 5 percent of all the goods and services produced annually by India according to Bloomberg.

India’s riparian challenges were in the news this month.  The upper riparian narrative that India uses to appropriate the waters of the Indus for power generation under the Indus Water Treaty may be of little use to take on China as India is the lower riparian in the Brahmaputra basin. India was reported to be concerned by China blocking a tributary of Brahmaputra in Tibet to facilitate construction of what is descried as the ‘most expensive’ hydro-power project. India’s concern follows an announcement by China that it has completed the dam for a hydroelectricity project at Lalho on the Xiabuqu river, a tributary of the Brahmaputra in Tibet. Experts have commented that the Lalho project which is a run-of-the-river project, will not reduce water flow once it is complete as the dam only diverts water into a tunnel.  However experts feel that it will impact the flow of silt, essential to the build-up of soil in the South Asian plains.  Staying with China, it was also reported that the Chinese government was keen to sell the excess electricity to India. This is seen as one of the main reasons why China agreed to Indian requests for Brahmaputra flood season water flow data and expanded the agreement in October 2013.  India has a data sharing arrangement under which China provides data during flood season on Brahmaputra and Sutlej. In 2015, China started generating electricity from the $1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station, the largest in Tibet and built on the main stem of the Brahmaputra.

In the nuclear sector, the Russian Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant continued to dominate. Unit 3 & 4 of the plant for which the Indian and Russian leaders laid the foundation through video-conferencing was reported this month.  The units were expected to sell electricity at ₹3.90/kWh. The first two units were estimated to cost $3.3 billion while unit 3 & 4 are estimated to cost about $6 billion to build.  Despite the increase in cost they are expected to sell electricity at the same price.

Rest of the World

Tesla was reported to be working with Panasonic Corp on production of photovoltaic cells and modules at a facility under construction by SolarCity in Buffalo, New York. The deal requires shareholders’ approval of Tesla’s planned acquisition of SolarCity. It is too early to say if this will help both Tesla and Panasonic to alleviate some of the challenges that they are facing.

The U.K. government had supposedly miscalculated the costs of renewable-energy support and is expected to overshoot its $9.2 billion annual budget by about a fifth in 2020 and 2021, according to auditors. The support mechanism, known as the levy control framework, was established by the U.K.’s Department of Energy & Climate Change, subsequently renamed by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. It sets annual caps on costs for clean energy such as feed-in tariffs, renewable obligation certificates and contracts for difference. Apparently most of the allocated government funds have been spent and there is little left over to fund new projects between now and 2021.

On hydropower, the most interesting development on the global scene was the riparian conflict between Central Asian nations over hydro power projects. Tajikistan had reportedly diverted the flow of Vakhsh river to start building the world’s tallest dam and the main element of the Rogun hydroelectric power plant, a $3.9 billion project. Uzbekistan was reported to be concerned as a downstream nation and is said to be urging Tajikistan not to build Rogun.

Moving to the USA, an investment bank has said that nuclear power will come to an end in the country if the industry does not get more government support. Low power prices, fuelled by an abundance of natural gas from shale drilling and weakening demand, have reportedly squeezed profits of the nuclear industry just as its operating costs rose on account of an increase in regulatory costs. The cost of building a nuclear plant in the USA is estimated to be 5 times that of a gas-fired plant.  In August, regulators cleared subsidies worth about $500 million a year as part of a clean energy plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York. This is being fought by competing power producers who say the measures are unlawful.

According to the World Nuclear Association China is set to overtake the USA in nuclear capacity over the next 10 to 15 years. China is expected to overtake France with the second-highest number of nuclear reactors by 2020.  Out of 39 reactors of capacity 47.4 GW under construction in Asia 20 are in China. Four countries – China, Russia, India and South Korea are expected to account for 70 percent of reactors commissioned in the period to 2030. A research institute in China was reportedly developing the world’s smallest nuclear power plant, which could fit inside a shipping container and installed on an island in the disputed South China Sea within five years. The reactor is expected to generate 10 MW of heat which can potentially power 50,000 households.


Decide in 2 months on extension of PSC with Cairn: HC to govt

November 7, 2016. Delhi High Court (HC) directed the government to positively take a decision within two months regarding extension of a production sharing contract (PSC) it has with Cairn India, a subsidiary of UK-based Vedanta group, to produce oil from a Rajasthan block till 2020. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva directed the Centre to arrive at a decision by January 6, 2017, with regard to Cairn’s request for extending till 2030, the PSC that the company and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) have with the government, and listed the matter for hearing on January 9, 2017. The court, however, made it clear that the decision has to be taken without linking it with the policy being contemplated by the government regarding PSCs with other companies which too are up for extension. The order came on the government’s application seeking three more months, till January 31, 2017, to come up with an uniform policy regarding extension of PSCs. Cairn has in its plea said that when none of the state-run companies could find oil in the block, it had invested around Rs 10,000 crore in exploration back in 1995 when the PSC was entered into. It claimed that the government has earned around Rs 80,000 crore from commercial production out of the area. In its plea, Cairn has said that estimated recoverable assets in the block are approx 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, of which 466 million barrels are expected to be recovered beyond current PSC period until 2030. Currently, it is producing natural gas from the block and supplying it to government companies.

Source: Business Standard

OIL asks Assam govt to tackle frequent bandhs, disruptions

November 6, 2016. Oil India Ltd (OIL) has sought Assam government’s assistance to deal with frequent bandhs and local disruptions which are affecting its operations. In last two years the company has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 45 crore for frequent disruptions. Meanwhile, OIL has announced Rs 50 crore start-up fund to foster, nurture and incubate new ideas related to oil and gas sector. Utpal Bora, chairman and managing director of OIL, said disruption and bandhs in operational area causes long term damage to reservoir and disturbs the flow of oil and gas from the well. According to OIL, an organisation comes up with as many as 60 demands and these are mostly related to construction of roads, library and others. Bora said OIL is faced with falling production of the crude oil, oil production came down from 3.8 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) in 2010-11 to 3.24 mmt in the last financial year. OIL has sought additional security and patrolling by the state police force in the operational areas for miscreants causes damage to oil property.

Source: The Economic Times

Petroleum dealers call off stir after talks with oil firms

November 5, 2016. Petroleum dealers, who were on a two-day nationwide no-purchase strike, said they were calling off their future agitation programmes as oil companies have promised to look into their demand for hiking commission before December 31. In the morning, the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD) said they would go on a full-fledged strike on November 15 to press for their demand to increase commission. Besides, the dealers had said petrol pumps will be selling fuel for limited hours from Saturday and will not operate on Sundays or Government holidays. However, they decided not to go ahead with these programmes after holding talks with representatives of oil companies in Mumbai. The CIPD has demanded implementation of the recommendations made by the Apoorva Chandra Committee in 2011. The committee recommended commissions of over Rs 4 for petrol and about Rs 3 for diesel per litre. The then UPA Government hiked the commission on petrol to Rs 2.15 and diesel to Rs 1.28 from  Rs1 and Rs 0.70, respectively. The dealers had stopped purchase of fresh stocks of petrol and diesel at 54,000 fuel outlets across the country from oil companies.

Source: NDTV

Petrol gets costlier by 89 paise, diesel by 86 paise per litre

November 5, 2016. Petrol price was raised by 89 paise per litre, the sixth increase in rates since September, and diesel by 86 paise a litre, the third increase in a month. The price hike announced by Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is excluding local sales tax or VAT and will be effective from midnight tonight. After including VAT, petrol in Delhi will cost Rs 67.62 a litre from midnight tonight, up Rs 1.17 from Rs 66.45 per litre currently. Similarly, diesel will cost Rs 56.41 a litre after including VAT in Delhi, up Rs 1.03 as compared to Rs 55.38 at present. IOC said the movement of prices in the international oil market and INR-USD exchange rate shall continue to be monitored closely and developing trends of the market will be reflected in future price changes.

Source: India Today

Fishermen oppose laying of oil pipeline

November 5, 2016. Fishermen residing in North Chennai opposed the laying of a 17 km pipeline for transport of crude oil from the Chennai port to Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd (CPCL), Manali. Fishermen are worried that the pipeline that will run through fishing hamlets could threaten their livelihood. Fishermen said they were already forced to fish on the Andhra coast as the resource has dwindled on the city coast. Old pipelines of CPCL, laid in 1966, were carrying about 25 lakh tonnes of crude oil shipped to Chennai from abroad. With crude oil demand rising to 105 lakh tonnes, CPCL has proposed the initiative.

Source: The Times of India

Abu Dhabi firm wins $141 mn project from ONGC

November 4, 2016. An Abu Dhabi-based company has won a $141 million contract from Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for two of its projects. National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) will be involved in the replacement of 10 wellhead platform topsides at ONGC’s Mumbai High North and South fields, MHN and MHS, respectively. Out of these 10, four are on the MHN field while six are located on MHS. The decommissioning and removal of the existing topsides are part of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. The project is scheduled to be completed on April 30, 2018.

Source: The Economic Times

ONGC, Cairn face Rs 7.3 bn service tax on royalty payments

November 3, 2016. In a setback to energy firms like Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Cairn India, the government will from this fiscal levy service tax of about Rs 730 crore on royalties they pay to the exchequer on oil and gas they produce. Companies currently pay 9.09 percent of the price they realise on oil and gas produced from onland or onshore fields and 16.67 percent on the same from offshore areas. As a rule, service tax is paid by the entity providing the service, but in certain cases it is the liability of the party that receives the service to remit the levy under a system called reverse charge. In the circular clarifying on service tax liability on use of wireless spectrum, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) stated that all periodic payments such as royalty on use of natural resources will attract 15 percent service tax. Following the clarification, the Service Tax department has sent letters to companies like ONGC, Cairn India Ltd and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) seeking information on royalty payments. CBEC in the circular stated that one-time payments for natural resources are exempt from service tax but not any periodic payments. Oil companies have to pay royalty on a monthly basis.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

PM checks out blueprint for 10 percent cut in oil imports

November 2, 2016. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi reviewed the government’s blueprint for reducing oil imports 10% by 2021 in a bid to ensuring the country’s energy security. The PM said India needed to reduce oil imports by 10% over the next seven years through efficient use and speedier exploration and production from domestic fields to become self-sufficient in energy. India imports 77% of its oil requirement. It is the fourth largest oil importer in the world after US, China and Japan. In terms of consumption, it is the fifth largest after the US, China, Japan and Russia. Modi had said if imports were cut by 10% by 2022, the country could look at halving it by 2030.

Source: The Times of India


Country’s first LNG-fuelled bus rolls out in Kerala

November 8, 2016. The country’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled bus was launched by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Pradhan said it is a pilot project and the LNG-driven bus will run on trial-basis before being certified for commercial operation. The LNG-fuelled bus is being launched as part of a plan of the oil ministry to use LNG directly for mass transportation to reduce carbon emissions in the country and, at the same time, generating savings. Kerala State Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran said that studies have shown that as compared to diesel, there will be a saving of 40 percent in fuel costs if buses run on LNG. The Government of India has already announced that it is planning to use LNG, which is cheaper than diesel, as a fuel for the railways and long-haul transportation.

Source: Business Standard

ONGC seeks complete autonomy on pricing of natural gas to boost output

November 8, 2016. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is seeking total pricing freedom for natural gas produced in the country, arguing it would help boost local output and develop India into a vibrant gas market. With this ONGC has given a new thrust to the demand from Reliance Industries, BP Plc, and other private sector gas producers in the country to free up pricing. The government has kept a lid on prices through a formula worked out two years ago that aligns local with international rates, and a gas allocation policy that prioritises sectors for receiving local supply. The government has allowed pricing freedom to gas blocks that will be auctioned under new exploration and production policies. Domestic gas prices have halved to $2.5 per unit in two years, tracking global decline, dropping lower than ONGC’s average gas production cost of $3.5 per unit. ONGC loses Rs 4200 crore in revenue and Rs 2400 crore in profit annually for each dollar’s drop in local gas price.

Source: The Economic Times

RIL partners consider joining arbitration in $1.5 bn gas row

November 6, 2016. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) partners are considering joining the arbitration that the RIL is planning to initiate against the government for slapping a $1.55 billion demand for “unfairly enriching” by producing natural gas belonging to ONGC. Calgary-based Niko Resources Ltd, which holds 10 percent interest in RIL-operated KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block, said the partners believe they are “not liable for the amount claimed by the Government of India.” The oil ministry had issued a notice to RIL, Niko and UK’s BP plc seeking $1.47 billion for producing in the seven years ended March 31, 2016 about 338.332 million British thermal unit of gas that had seeped or migrated from Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s (ONGC) blocks into adjoining KG-D6 in Bay of Bengal. After deducting $71.71 million royalty paid on the gas produced and adding an interest at the rate of Libor plus 2 percent, totalling $149.86 million, a total demand of $1.55 billion was made on RIL, BP and Niko. BP, which holds the remaining 30 percent interest, said it is evaluating its options. Originally, ONGC had sued RIL for producing gas that had migrated from its blocks KG-DWN-98/2 (KG-D5) and Godavari PML in the KG basin to adjoining KG-D6 block of RIL. Under direction of the Delhi High Court, the government had appointed a one-man committee under retired Justice A P Shah to go into the issue. The panel in its report felt that the government and not ONGC is entitled to compensation. Subsequently, the ministry asked its upstream technical arm DGH to calculate the amount of compensation and a demand notice was slapped on RIL-BP-Niko.

Source: The Financial Express

Mohali to have CGD network

November 4, 2016. Mohali is set to become the first city in Punjab to join the premier league of cities having the city gas distribution (CGD) network in the country. A decision to this effect was taken during a meeting of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal with a joint delegation of Adani Gas and Indian Oil Corp (IOC) that called on him. During the meeting, the delegation headed by Bashit Dholakia and CEO of Adani Gas Rajeev Sharma apprised the Chief Minister that Mohali has been selected for CGD network. They apprised Badal that the residents of Mohali, Zirakpur and Banaur towns would get the gas pipe line connections at their premises within coming three months. The Chief Minister assured support and cooperation to the delegation for ensuring timely implementation of this consumer friendly initiative. Acceding to the request of delegation, Badal also gave his concurrence to inaugurate the first CNG station in sector 56 of Mohali on November 11 at Indian Oil Petrol Pump. The function would also be attended by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Welcoming the decision to introduce gas pipeline, the Chief Minister said that that it was a safe, pollution free and economically viable fuel for the people. He said that the introduction of this mode of fuel would benefit the people by providing them an alternate source of energy to make their lives far more convenient and comfortable. He said that it would also reduce the pressure on LPG distribution in urban sector thereby improving the quality of life of people residing in rural sector.

Source: Business Standard

GAIL scraps multi-billion dollar ships tender

November 3, 2016. GAIL (India) has cancelled tender to hire newly built ships to ferry liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US as there have been few takers for the multi-billion dollar contracts. Sources told FE that even though two Japanese consortia participated in the bidding process that lasted two years, they could not be finally selected due to the stringent indigenisation norms. GAIL would now look to charter LNG ships for short terms of three to four years, till a new proposal is made. No Indian shipyard has ever built a vessel to transport LNG and foreign giants based in Korea and Japan are not keen to accept India’s request to form a joint venture and transfer technology. The delay in finalising the tender could land GAIL in a crisis for not having LNG vessels on time to import gas from the US, which is expected to start from 2017. According to the initial plan, the vessels build overseas are to be delivered between January-May 2019 and one out of three made locally are to be ready between July 2022 and June 2023. In April 2013, GAIL booked another 2.3 million tonnes per annum capacity to export LNG from the Dominion Cover Point terminal in Maryland, delivery of which is expected from end-2017. After a government directive, GAIL was forced to take out a tender with a clause that out of three LNG vessels one has to be built in India. Generally, it takes 30 months for Japanese and Korean companies to deliver an LNG ship.

Source: The Financial Express


Coal imports decline 13.7 percent in October

November 6, 2016. Coal imports fell 13.7% to 15.59 million tonnes (mt) in October due to higher prices of the fossil fuel in the international market. The country had imported 18.08 mt of coal in October last year, mjunction services, an online procurement and sales platform floated jointly by SAIL and Tata Steel said. It further said that total imports of 15.59 mt in October also include 10.34 mt of non-coking fuel and 3.54 mt of coking coal. Coal imports in October remained almost flat compared to September as Indian buyers continued to delay their purchases, expecting prices in international markets to soften, mjunction said. Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said that Coal India Ltd (CIL) has set a target to replace about 15 mt of imported coal with indigenous fuel in the next six months. Helped by a record coal production by the world’s largest coal miner CIL, India reduced its import bill of the dry fuel by more than Rs 28,000 crore in the last fiscal.

Source: Business Standard

Odisha opposes clean environment tax on coal

November 5, 2016. The Odisha government opposed the GST Council’s decision to continue with the clean environment cess on coal and demanded enhancement of the rate of royalty on coal. The State government would continue to pursue the Central government for enhancing royalty on coal-bearing States instead of the same being shared for compensating all the States for introduction of GST. The Odisha government, however, welcomed the GST Council’s decision to impose no tax or the lowest possible tax on daily consumer goods. The government also welcomes the decision of the GST Council to recommend compensation by the central government to the State on the implementation of the GST with 14 percent growth on collection of tax for the base year 2015-16.

Source: The Hindu


Govt may give coal blocks to private players for commercial mining: Coal Secretary

November 4, 2016. Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said the government was considering giving mines to private players for commercial mining but the demand situation was holding it back from taking a final call. The state governments have already been allocated blocks for commercial mining. He said there has been a paradigm shift in the problem— from a phase of supply shortage to a phase of demand shortage — and this demand shortage was due to low generation of the generation companies at PLF not more than 59-60%. The generation companies were generating low because of low demand from distribution companies. However, the UDAY scheme, which has been floated to restructure the distribution companies, could be the only saviour to this situation, Swarup said. He made it clear that Coal India Ltd (CIL) has started cutting down on production, though it was still sticking to its target of producing 1 billion tonne by 2022. In fact, with 56 million tonnes (mt) of record inventory last financial year, the situation of oversupply arose and in the present production situation, India might again fall short of coal if PLF of power producing plants increased by 6-7%, Swarup said. CIL has adopted the strategy of ready to mine on shelf, which means the seams would be prepared for extraction but the coal, instead of getting extracted, would remain in the seam shelves. In a demand shortage situation, the inventory benchmark for the power plants have come down to 15 days from 22 days. To improve upon the demand situation, PSU power plants would reduce imports to the extend 15 mt by the end of 2016-17 and by FY18-end, there would be zero imports by the state and central power PSUs, Swarup said. The state and the central power PSUs together imports between 35-40 mt per annum.

Source: The Financial Express


India to be global coal production bright spot

November 4, 2016. India will be a global coal production bright spot with the country increasing global market share of output from 10.1 percent in 2016 to 13.1 percent by 2020. In 2016, the country will surpass the United States to become the second largest coal producing country in the world, second only to China, despite remaining a net importer of the mineral, BMI Research said. The government’s desire to attain self-sufficiency in coal in order to improve domestic electricity provision will see Coal India Ltd (CIL) to remain the country’s largest producer. The miner produced 536.5 million tonnes (mt) of coal in the fiscal ending March 31 2016, representing a growth of 8.6 percent y-o-y, which is their highest annual tonnage increase since inception. In March 2015, the Indian government passed the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, under which private as well as foreign mining companies are allowed to enter the domestic coal market, a previously state-monopolised sector, to sell and produce coal. However, the government announced in June that auctions will be delayed for a few months due to a lack of takers.

Source: Business Standard

Zero coal imports by PSUs from next fiscal

November 3, 2016. In order to bring down coal imports at a faster rate, public sector units (PSUs) in the power sector will follow “zero imports” from the next fiscal onwards, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said. Swarup said that with the firming up of international prices, chances go up that coal prices would be picked up. The government has set a target to produce 1.5 billion tonnes of coal domestically by 2020.

Source: New Kerala

National: Power

India Power to launch drive against power thieves in Gaya

November 8, 2016. India Power, the private company holding franchise for power distribution in Gaya town, Bodh Gaya and Manpur is all set to launch a drive against power thieves. As per an estimate, nearly 60% of the available power was being stolen/consumed free. According to India Power sources, as against the supply of 60 million units a month, the company was getting a revenue for only 22 million units. The failure of the power company to lodge cases against power thieves also resulted in revenue loss to the state, as a part of the penalty imposed by courts goes to the state coffer via South Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd.

Source: The Times of India

Power tariff likely to go up in Andhra Pradesh

November 8, 2016. The government is gearing up to give shock treatment to power consumers what with the power utilities giving final touches to revise the existing power tariff upwards by at least 10 percent. The state government has assured the Centre to revise the tariff at least by 5 percent annually while joining the UDAY scheme as part of the reforms being brought in the energy sector. The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission has directed the discoms to submit their tariff proposals for the next financial year (2017-18) by the end of November.

Source: The Economic Times

ADB $48 mn loan to help Assam improve power distribution

November 8, 2016. Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide the second tranche loan of $48 million to Assam to help the state expand and upgrade its power distribution system. This is the second tranche loan of the $300 million multi-tranche financing facility for the Assam Power Sector Investment Programme that was approved by the ADB Board in July 2014, the finance ministry said. The project will help Assam to enhance capacity and efficiency of its power distribution system to improve electricity service to end users, it said.

Source: The Indian Express

Provide power on demand for unelectrified colonies in Delhi to curb use of generators: Kejriwal

November 7, 2016. In an attempt to discourage use of diesel generator sets, the government asked the discoms to provide power connection to every willing Delhiite. After a cabinet meeting, Delhi Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal said several people, particularly those from unauthorised colonies, used diesel sets as an alternative. The discoms said providing electricity to the unelectrified colonies would have to be assessed on a case-to-case basis. Out of over 600 unauthorised colonies, many have been electrified, they said. The companies said if new areas were to be electrified, the government would have to provide infrastructure to set up transformers and lay service lines. Unauthorised colonies that remain without electricity include Aya Nagar Extension, Rangpur Pahari, a forest area near Vasant Kunj, Rajokri, Khatta Colony, some parts of Seelampur and Shahdara, and forest land near Narela.

Source: The Economic Times

APTEL upholds appeal of Reliance Power subsidiary

November 6, 2016. The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) has upheld the principle of fuel cost pass-through in its judgment pronounced in an appeal filed by Vidarbha Industries Power Ltd (VIPL), a subsidiary of Reliance Power Ltd. VIPL operates 600 MW thermal power plant at Butibori in Maharashtra. VIPL had challenged order issued by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), which partially disallowed fuel costs for FY14-15 and FY15-16. MERC had earlier approved the Power Purchase Agreement for Butibori Project of VIPL under Section 62 of Electricity Act.

Source: The Statesman

Kerala state power regulator not to renew Reliance-owned BSES’ power deal

November 6, 2016. The efforts of the Reliance-owned BSES Kochi Pvt Ltd to extend the power purchase agreement with the Kerala State Electricity Board have failed. Since the board did not show interest in renewing the agreement with BSES, a subsidiary of Reliance Energy Limited, the state Electricity Regulatory Commission was forced to dismiss the petition filed by BSES. The former UDF government had given an in-principal clearance for the renewal of the 15-year-old power purchase agreement, which had elapsed on October 2015. The move to renew the agreement attracted wide-spread criticism as the board would be forced to purchase power at an exorbitant rate of over Rs 11 per unit from the BSES, whereas the board can buy power at a much lower rate from outside the state. The commission, while dismissing the petition, said it was willing to consider the petition again if the board submits relevant documents and makes a plea for the power purchase agreement renewal, after both parties reach a mutual agreement on the tariff.

Source: The Economic Times

UERC wants UPCL to get long-term supply deals

November 3, 2016. The Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) has been pushing Uttarakhand Power Corp Ltd (UPCL) to enter into long-term commitments with electricity generators. At present the installed capacity of the generating stations under the control of Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam (UJVN) is about 1,250 MW, while actual generation is almost 900 MW in summer. Power available from central generating stations is about 700 MW and peak demand during summer months in the state is around 2,000 MW, thereby resulting in shortage of about 500 MW. For the first time, UERC has approved UPCL to enter into long-term (25-35 years) power purchasing agreements (PPAs) with thermal (gas) and hydro generators.

Source: The Times of India

Power regulator expected to decide on Tata Power’s compensatory tariff case

November 2, 2016. Power regulator Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is expected to deliver its verdict this month on permitting Tata Power tariff compensation to recover losses suffered by the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) due to high prices of imported coal. The plant has been under the spotlight after the ouster of Cyrus Mistry from Tata Sons. Mistry had raised the issue of the project’s losses in a note to board members. Following a directive of the Supreme Court, the CERC has completed hearing on the compensatory tariff case of two imported coal-based power plants, including a 1980 MW project of Adani in Mundra, Gujarat. Experts said the Mundra project became loss making after Indonesia issued new regulations that raised the price of coal, while rupee depreciation added to the woes of the project. Mistry had alleged in his note that the Mundra project was a drain on Tata Power’s finances and carries the risk of considerable future impairment. Tata Power has not stopped operations at the plant but has sought a rise in tariff for electricity it generates. The Mundra plant, being operated by Tata Power subsidiary Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd, is presently operating at 70-80% capacity. The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (Aptel) in April allowed Tata Power and Adani Power’s imported coal-based power plants at Mundra in Gujarat to recover higher fuel costs from consumers under force majeure clause. It directed the CERC to look afresh in the compensatory tariff. Consumers of the project moved Supreme Court against the Aptel order. The Supreme Court has asked CERC to present its verdict by November mid-week. The apex court is set to hear the matter by the end of next month.

Source: The Economic Times

Kerala trans-grid project to be implemented: Govt

November 2, 2016. The Kerala government said it plans to implement a trans-grid project that will strengthen the transmission and distribution system of electricity and bring down transmission losses in the State. Power Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that the State incurs transmission losses to the tune of 14.32 percent. He said that work has begun on laying Aerial Bundled Cables (ABC) and Under Ground (UG) cables in urban areas to improve the Transmission and Distribution system. Kerala State Electricity Board has a total liability of Rs 6,400 crore which makes it difficult to implement the ABC and UG cable projects immediately. But, it would be implemented in due course, he said.

Source: Business Standard

Discoms crack down on e-rickshaws charging on stolen power

November 2, 2016. Discoms have launched a major crackdown on e-rickshaws that have been stealing power. It is estimated that more than 1 lakh e-rickshaws ply in the capital. On average, these vehicles consume 7-10 units daily and most run on stolen electricity. So each such e-rickshaw consumes around 2,500-3,600 units yearly. Discoms have claimed that electricity worth Rs 200 crore is stolen every year. In the past few weeks, over 50 cases of power theft have been registered and another 20 are in the process of being filed. The areas where the violations have been found include Keshavpuram, Civil Lines, Raghubir Nagar, Tagore Garden, Madipur, Sangam Vihar, Batla House, Kalkaji, Sarai Kale Khan, Dakshinpuri East, Sagarpur, and Seelampur. It usually takes 6-7 hours to charge an e-rickshaw and the theft is usually done at night. However, the power utilities said that charging vehicles using live wires poses a huge safety risk as it can cause electrocution. Discoms have demanded that e-rickshaws be charged as per commercial tariffs and DERC is working towards developing a policy.

Source: The Economic Times



Solar tariff dips to all-time low of Rs 4 a unit

November 8, 2016. The solar power tariff dropped to an all-time low of Rs 4 per unit in bidding for 750 MW solar power project at Bhadla solar park in Rajasthan. Earlier in January, the solar power tariff had touched to a record low with Finland-based energy firm Fortum Finnsurya Energy quoting Rs 4.34 a unit to bag the mandate to set up a 70 MW solar plant under NTPC’s Bhadla solar park tender. Previously, in November last year the solar power tariff had dipped to a low of Rs 4.63 per unit following an aggressive bidding by the US-based SunEdison, the world’s biggest developer of renewable energy power plants.

Source: Business Standard

Delhi calls for global action to curb emissions before 2020

November 8, 2016. As poor air quality chokes Delhi, India has called for global action to reduce carbon pollution immediately rather than waiting for 2020 in Marrakech where countries have gathered to prepare rules and regulations for implementing the Paris climate change agreement. India called on countries to step up carbon emission curbing actions, particularly by industrialised countries, for the four-year period up to 2020, and said the Marrakech talks must also focus on increased efforts by industrialised countries to provide finance, technology to developing countries and to assist capacity building in the these countries. Asking countries to look beyond efforts to reduce carbon pollution, New Delhi pushed for a review of the means of implementation or the financial, technological, and capacity building assistance that industrialised countries are committed to provide developing countries to enable them to tackle climate change. While recognising that all countries need to contribute to efforts to address climate change, India said the rules and regulations that are to be devised must respect the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. India’s assertion comes in the wake of efforts to provide some sort of a common framework for climate action plans. This common guidance is geared towards enabling a better assessment of the impact of the efforts by the 195 countries.

Source: The Economic Times

Adani inaugurates 100 MW solar plant in Bhatinda

November 8, 2016. Adani Enterprises inaugurated a 100 MW solar power plant, set up with an investment of Rs 640 crore by Adani’s arm, Adani Green Energy Ltd, at Sardargarh & Chughe Kalan, Bhatinda in Punjab. The plant, India’s biggest Horizontal Single Axis Tracker (HSAT) plant at a single location, was inaugurated by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. The technology used for setting up this plant includes Poly Crystalline Silicon PV Modules and HSAT. Apart from the 100 MW solar power plant in Bhatinda, the company also has a 40 MW solar plant in Bitta, Gujarat. It recently unveiled a 648 MW solar power project at Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu, which is the world’s largest solar power plant in a single location. The company has signed a joint venture with the Rajasthan government to develop the country’s largest solar park of 10,000 MW capacity.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

NTPC aims to be the lowest emitter of greenhouse gases

November 7, 2016. NTPC, globally the third largest power company in terms of coal based power generation capacity, intends to ensure minimum impact on environment from its power stations. It intends to become a low cost and low emission coal burner to maintain its position as a leader in the sector. NTPC is creating additional carbon sinks by planting one crore saplings during this financial year and the upcoming Telengana Thermal Power Project shall be most modern complying with the latest environment norms.

Source: The Economic Times

Poor implementation of net-metering policies poses major challenge for rooftop solar: Bridge to India

November 7, 2016. Grid interconnection regulations and processes remain challenging in most parts of the country despite almost all states announcing net- and/or gross-metering policies for rooftop solar, solar sector research firm Bridge to India said. India’s rooftop solar market is growing rapidly with the country adding more capacity in the past 12 months than all previous years put together. Bridge to India said according to a survey of industry participants, overall implementation of net metering policy remains patch across the country.

Source: The Economic Times

Hydroelectric power projects fail to fuel local growth in Himachal Pradesh

November 7, 2016. A large number of hydel projects in Kullu district are defaulting in payment of crores of rupees under Local Area Development Authority (Lada) by breaching the agreement with the state government. According to the government policy, projects are required to spend 1% of the amount out of total generated power through district administration for development of the area where project is set up. Kullu deputy commissioner Yunus Khan said all the hydel projects of district are directed to deposit the pending funds within two months. Dozens of affected families in Parbati and other projects are looking at government for justice. They want fair compensation and employment for one of the family members. Yunus said frequent review of the development of affected areas and expenditure from Lada funds will be ensured. Yunus had a meeting with project managements where about 43 officials from different projects were present.

Source: The Economic Times

West Bengal may unveil renewable energy regulations in a fortnight

November 7, 2016. West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) may unveil renewable energy regulations in a fortnight, paving the way for households and housing complexes to install solar rooftop panels and connect them to the grid. The regulation will help build an ecosystem for rooftop solar panels, WBERC Chairman R N Sen said. Sen said they have moved away from the net-metering concept. Feed-in tariff is the tariff for power injected into the grid and will be announced by WBERC every year for a 25-year life span. Net-metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. It is expected that this policy will encourage rooftop solar power generation in a big way in the state.

Source: The Economic Times

CSE welcomes Delhi govt action on air pollution

November 6, 2016. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has welcomed the initiative by the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi to announce emergency measures for bringing down the super severe pollution peaks that have persisted for about a week, posing serious health risk for children, the ailing and the general public. The emergency measures announced by Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal include shutting of schools for three days, closing the Badarpur power plant for five days, all construction activities to be halted for 10 days, sprinkling on PWD roads and weekly vacuum cleaning ban on leaf burning and area-wise fines for responsible officials, ban on use of diesel generator sets for 10 days, etc. However, restraints on vehicle numbers with the odd and even scheme and parking restraints must also be implemented simultaneously. Specifically, point out CSE researchers, diesel vehicles including diesel trucks and cars should be controlled. Vehicles contribute hugely toxic emissions very close to where people are, thus exposing them to very high toxic risk when pollution remains trapped close to the ground level. Along with vehicle restraint measures, the government needs to scale up and intensify the public transport system. Globally, emergency action kicks in the moment pollution hits the worst air quality level according to the National Air Quality Index and persists at least for three consecutive days. This is done to immediately reduce peak levels to protect children, those suffering from heart and respiratory problems, and also the general public. In Delhi, there has been no respite from the choking haze of pollution since Diwali. Analysis of air pollution data from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee shows that on Diwali day (October 30) the air was already saturated – the 24-hour average level of PM2.5 was 347 microgramme per cubic metre (cu m) and was at ‘severe’ level which is the worst category according to the air quality index.

Source: Merinews

India’s nuclear programme making rapid strides in Modi rule: Singh

November 6, 2016. Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh said India’s nuclear programme has made rapid strides since Prime Minister Narendra Modi formed his government in May 2014. He said the government was considering setting up more nuclear installations in other northern states like Punjab and Uttarakhand. He said India’s claim to membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is increasingly being accepted by the world nations. The concept of setting up the ‘Hall of Nuclear Power’ in Delhi, the minister said, was inspired by the realisation that the Department of Atomic Energy did not have its headquarters and most of its activities were confined to the western and southern parts of India. As a result, the minister said, not much was known about the department in this part of the country.

Source: New Kerala

Life expectancy in India cut by 2 yrs due to air pollution: IEA

November 4, 2016. With Air pollution in India has reaching a new high the average life expectancy in India has been cut by 23 months, according to International Energy Agency (IEA). Air pollution in India is closely linked to the energy sector. In Delhi pollution levels reached 30 times the World Health Organization’s recommend levels on October 30, the IEA said.

Source: The Economic Times

India keen to work with Sweden on electric mobility to bring down pollution: Goyal

November 4, 2016. Aiming to address vehicular pollution, India and Sweden will work together on electric mobility to bring it down, Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said. In a bilateral meeting between the two countries, both sides referred to the existing memorandum of understanding on Renewable Energy Cooperation and reviewed the current cooperation in the energy sector and the next steps to enhance collaboration especially in waste-to-energy, energy efficiency, transmission and distribution, hydropower, electro-mobility, smart grids, smart metering, solar energy, water treatment, and mining.

Source: Business Standard

Centre issues guidelines to state for wind power

November 4, 2016. The Union ministry of new and renewable energy has issued guidelines for setting up an inter-state transmission system to evacuate wind power to the extent of 1,000 MW from windy states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. As per the guidelines, wind power projects will be selected through an open and transparent competitive bidding and power will be sold to states, which need to purchase wind energy ranging from 50 MW to 250 MW to fulfil their renewable energy purchase obligations. Tamil Nadu had recently asked the Union ministry for an inter-state green corridor to evacuate excess wind energy that the state generates between May and September. As per the guidelines, the competitive bidding will be followed by e-reverse auction and the capacity may go beyond 1,000 MW if there is demand from buying entities. The implementing agency, Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI), has already floated documents for selection of bidders under the scheme.

Source: The Times of India

UJAAS bags order to install Solar system at Andaman Airport

November 2, 2016. UJAAS Energy Ltd, announced it has won an order to commission Rooftop Grid connected Solar PV system at Veer Savarkar International (VSI) Airport, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar for a capacity of 158 kilowatt. UJAAS will be responsible for the design, manufacture, supply, erection and testing of the Solar PV system at the airport, the company said. The project also requires UJASS to operate and maintain the Solar system for a period of five years, the company said.

Source: The Economic Times

Govt, 3 PSUs to set up $2 bn equity fund for renewables

November 2, 2016. The Centre, along with state-run power entities NTPC Ltd, Rural Electrification Corp (REC) and Power Finance Corp (PFC), will soon launch a $2 billion clean energy equity fund to support the governments ambitious target of adding 175 GW renewable energy generation capacity by 2022. Ahead of the Paris climate talks in November last year, Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal had said that the central government is planning a $1 billion private equity fund for the renewable energy sector.

Source: India Today

HPGCL commissions first solar power project in Panipat

November 2, 2016. The Haryana Power Generation Corp Ltd (HPGCL) has commissioned the first 10 MW solar power plant at Panipat Thermal Power Station, Panipat. On the first day, the solar plant generated and supplied about 10,000 units of electricity to the grid. HPGCL said that the use of renewable energy had become imperative considering the long-term and short-term effects of conventional power project on environment and human beings. Sun radiation is available in abundance in India and with the use of photovoltaic technology the impact on environment is minimal. Thus the energy generated from Solar Power Plant reduces the carbon footprints, HPGCL said. HGPCL had identified a total potential of setting up solar panels on mounted ground, rooftop, canal top and floating type solar power plants of 133 MW capacity, on the sites available at its power stations at Panipat, Yamunanagar, Hisar and Faridabad. The pre-project activities for setting up solar power projects have already been started, HPGCL said.

Source: The Times of India

GIPCL commissions 34 MW of wind energy in Kutch and Rajkot

November 2, 2016. Gujarat Industries Power Company Ltd (GIPCL) announced it has commissioned a total of 34.8 MW renewable energy projects in the districts of Kutch and Rajkot in Gujarat. The 34.8 MW capacity installed is divided between two projects; a 16.8 MW ptoject at Nakhatrana Wind Farm Site and a 18 MW project at Rojmal Wind Farm Site, Gujarat. The Kutch project comprises of 8 turbines of 2.1 MW each while the Rajkot project has 9 wind turbines of 2 MW each, the company said. GIPCL has also issued Letters of Intent (LoI) to Vikram Solar for two Solar PV Power Projects of 40 MW each at Plot No. 1 and 3 at Gujarat Solar Park in Patan. The LoI are for an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis. Vikram Solar will also be responsible for operation and maintanence the two projects for ten years, the projects are scheduled to be commissioned by June, 2017, the company said. The company has a total present capacity of Vadodara and Mangrol Plants of 815 MW.

Source: The Economic Times

International: Oil 

Oklahoma agency plans to shut disposal wells after earthquake

November 8, 2016. Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator plans to shut some disposal wells and reduce the volume of others as its initial response to earthquake near the oil hub of Cushing. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission said the plan covered 700 square miles. It didn’t say how many wells were affected. When a quake of similar magnitude hit the state in September, the agency ordered 37 wells shut in a 500-square-mile area. The commission in 2015 established a “volume reduction area” covering 11,000 square miles, or about one-sixth of the state. The region began having a significant number of earthquakes in 2009, the same year area oil companies began using fracking to shatter deep rock layers to extract oil and gas. Fracked wells produce large quantities of wastewater, which drilling companies inject into ultra-deep disposal wells.

Source: Bloomberg

US crude oil exports reached a record high in September 2016

November 8, 2016. According to the United States US) Census Bureau, crude oil exports from the US hit a record high in September 2016, reaching an average 692,000 barrels per day (bpd) during the month. Between 2000 and 2013, US crude exports rarely exceeded 100,000 bpd, but exports rose in 2014 and 2015. In the first five months of 2016, US crude oil exports soared by 9% compared to the full-year 2015 daily average of 501,000 bpd, and in May 2016, crude oil exports rose to 662,000 bpd on average.

Source: Enerdata

Saudi oil shipments to Egypt halted indefinitely

November 7, 2016. Saudi Arabia has informed Egypt that shipments of oil products expected under a $23 billion aid deal have been halted indefinitely, suggesting a deepening rift between the Arab world’s richest country and its most populous. During a visit by Saudi King Salman in April, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Egypt with 700,000 tonnes of refined oil products per month for five years but the cargoes stopped arriving in early October as festering political tensions burst into the open. Egyptian officials have said since that the contract with Saudi Arabia’s state oil firm Aramco remains valid and had appeared to expect that oil would start flowing again soon. Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El Molla confirmed it had stopped shipments indefinitely. Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said Molla was not visiting Iran and Egypt was not negotiating with Tehran over importing oil products. A deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, made at the same time as the oil aid agreement, has faced legal challenges and is now bogged down in an Egyptian court.

Source: Reuters

Oman says oil market remains oversupplied

November 7, 2016. Small non-OPEC oil producer Oman said the petroleum market remained oversupplied. Minister of Oil and Gas Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy was looking forward to talks between OPEC and non-OPEC about how to shore up the market. Oman is one of the countries that attended an expert meeting with OPEC on October 29 in Vienna.

Source: Rigzone

Eni to BP CEOs limit spending for 2017 to cope with crude glut

November 7, 2016. From Eni SpA to BP Plc, the biggest international oil companies are reining in capital spending for 2017 and possibly longer as they try to squeeze profits from a crude market battered by a global glut. BP is holding outlays to about $16 billion this year compared with a previous estimate of less than $17 billion, its chief executive officer (CEO) Bob Dudley said.

Source: Bloomberg

Prospect of offshore oil offers mixed blessing for Somalia

November 7, 2016. Somalia looks more likely to strike oil than gas in its long pursuit of offshore riches, making it easier for the African state to exploit any windfall but also potentially upsetting the fragile recovery led by its Western-backed government. The waters off Somalia, best known for years of piracy, may harbor hydrocarbons at a depth where crude is usually found, seismic services company Spectrum said its research showed. This is unlike the seas further south along the African coastline where gas is abundant. That would be good news for Somalia, which would likely find pumping out oil onto tankers easier than securing the multi-billion dollar investment needed to liquefy gas for export. Somalia is pressing on with its exploration plans.

Source: Reuters

Mexico’s Pemex plans crude processing ramp-up by year-end

November 7, 2016. Mexico’s state oil company Pemex plans to ramp up crude processing to 920,000 to 960,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the year, after refining hit the lowest levels in at least five years in September following a series of plant stoppages.

Source: Reuters

Congo plans new shallow water oil round in 2017-2018

November 7, 2016. The Ministry of Oil of Congo plans to launch a new shallow water licensing round in 2017-2018, focusing on pre-salt and post-salt plays near the shore of the country. The round should be launched after the announcement of winning bidders of the last round in late March 2017.

Source: Enerdata

Canada to implement northern British Columbia oil tanker ban this year

November 4, 2016. Canada’s Liberal government will this year deliver on its pledge for a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the northern coast of British Columbia. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed Transport Minister Marc Garneau to formalize the ban on oil tanker traffic, effectively slamming the door on a pipeline project that was already facing massive development hurdles. The ban is one of several obstacles to the building of Enbridge Inc’s Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from near Edmonton, Alberta, to a deepwater port at Kitimat, British Columbia, for export to Asian markets.

Source: Reuters

Big oil to invest $1 bn in carbon-capture technology

November 4, 2016. Some of the world’s biggest oil companies will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to develop technologies to capture and store emissions of greenhouse gases and improve energy efficiency. The investment, announced in a joint statement from 10 companies including Saudi Arabian Oil Co., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA, BP Plc, Eni SpA, Statoil ASA and Repsol SA, aims to deploy low-carbon technologies on a large scale.

Source: Bloomberg

Venezuela’s PDVSA reaches $1.4 bn in finance deals with oil firms

November 4, 2016. Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA announced financing deals totaling nearly $1.45 billion with local firm Delta Petroleum and India’s ONGC that will be used to raise production at joint venture operations. Venezuelan company Delta Petroleum, which holds a 40 percent stake in the Petrodelta joint venture with PDVSA, will provide $1.13 billion in financing to boost the joint venture’s output, PDVSA said. ONGC will provide $318 million to finance increased crude production at the San Cristobal field, where it holds a 40 percent stake in a joint venture with PDVSA.

Source: Reuters

Taiwan’s Formosa offers diesel, jet fuel for 2017 term contracts

November 4, 2016. Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp has offered diesel and jet fuel for 2017 term contracts, tender documents showed. Formosa has offered 300,000 barrels of 10 parts per million (ppm) sulfur diesel for loading every quarter in 2017 from Mailiao, Taiwan, the documents showed. It has also offered 300,000 barrels of jet fuel for every quarter of next year and 240,000 barrels a month of 500 ppm sulfur gasoil. The tenders close on November 8, with offers to remain valid until November 25.

Source: Reuters

Russia’s Rosneft says production not started at east Siberian oilfield

November 4, 2016. Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft said it had not yet started production at the Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye oilfield in eastern Siberia and had not begun shipments to a pipeline, reversing comments made earlier in the day. The field is connected to the main East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipe, mainly used for supplies to China. The company has said it plans to launch new facilities at Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye for industrial-scale production in 2017.

Source: Reuters

Saudi Arabia raises oil prices to Asia for December loading

November 3, 2016. Saudi Aramco has raised the prices for all grades of crude it sells to Asia for December loading. The December price for Saudi Arab Light crude for Asian customers rose by 90 cents a barrel from the previous month to a premium of 45 cents a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average.

Source: Reuters

Chesapeake Energy expects to exit 2017, 2018 with higher output

November 3, 2016. U.S. natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp reported a surprise adjusted profit, helped by lower expenses, and said it expects to exit the next two years at higher production rates. Chesapeake said it would exit the fourth quarter of 2017 with a 7 percent rise in total production from the end of the current quarter. Chesapeake said oil production would grow by about 10 percent over the same period. Between the end of 2017 and 2018, the company expects output to climb 15 percent, with a 20 percent jump in oil production.

Source: Reuters

International: GAS

Chevron begins production at Alder gas condensate field in North Sea

November 8, 2016. Chevron North Sea and ConocoPhillips have commenced production at the Alder gas condensate field in the Central North Sea. The field is a single subsea well tied back to the existing ConocoPhillips-operated Britannia Platform, in which Chevron owns a 32.38% non-operated working interest. Discovered in 1975, the field is estimated to produce 110 million cubic feet of natural gas and 14,000 barrels of condensate per day. According to estimates, the Alder field contains approximately 4,820 million standard cubic metres of gas.

Source: Energy Business Review

PetroChina expands receiving capacity of LNG terminals

November 8, 2016. Top Chinese oil and gas firm PetroChina started up new storage tanks for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at two receiving terminals, getting ready to meet winter demand for the heating fuel. PetroChina started operating a 200,000 cubic metre tank in Rudong, eastern Jiangsu province, as well as regasification facilities and pipelines. The new Rudong facilities are part of a second-phase expansion that brought its handling capacity to 6.5 million tonnes a year, up from a 3.5 million tonnes a year. After the expansion, Rudong has 680,000 cubic metres of storage space.

Source: Rigzone

NNPC seeks $51 bn investment in Nigerian gas sector

November 8, 2016. Nigeria’s national oil and gas company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC), estimates required investments in the country’s midstream and downstream gas sector at around US$51 bn. Around US$35.4 bn will be required in gas exploration and production, power plant projects, virtual pipelines, flare gas commercialisation and fertiliser plants. A further US$16 bn will be needed in the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) infrastructure development and concessioning, port infrastructure, central gas processing facilities, gas transmission, LPG plants, real estate development, pipe milling and local fabrication yards among others.

Source: Enerdata

Bulgaria and Slovakia will cooperate on Balkan gas hub project

November 8, 2016. The Bulgarian gas transmission network operator Bulgartransgaz and its Slovak counterpart Eustream have agreed to jointly work on the implementation of the infrastructure projects for the Balkan gas hub and the Eastring gas pipeline, aimed at improving gas supply security in Central and Southeastern Europe. The companies will prepare a concept for the development of the Balkan gas hub in view of the Eastring project and will jointly promote the competitiveness and the liberalization of the single gas market.

Source: Enerdata

Petrobras, YPFB Chaco to invest $1.2 bn in Bolivia gas exploration

November 7, 2016. Petrobras Bolivia SA, a subsidiary of Brazil’s state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, and Bolivia’s YPFB Chaco have signed a $1.2 billion agreement to explore two natural gas fields with potential reserves of 4 trillion cubic feet, the Bolivian government said. The fields are Astillero and San Telmo, in southern Bolivia. YPFB has a 40 percent stake in San Telmo while Petrobras has 60 percent. Petrobras has 40 percent in Astillero and YPFB has 60 percent. The contract is for 40 years and both fields are expected to be producing gas in 2022.

Source: Reuters

Total, CNPC to sign new gas contracts with Tehran

November 7, 2016. France’s Total and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) will sign new contracts with National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) concerning the second phase of the South Pars gas field, the Iranian oil ministry said. Using the new Iran Petroleum Contract which Tehran announced this year, the contract will be signed between NIOC and a consortium of Total and CNPC and Iranian Petropars as a local contractor, the ministry said.

Source: Reuters

Pakistan LNG issues tender for 240 cargoes of LNG

November 4, 2016. Pakistan state-owned gas group Pakistan LNG has issued two separate tenders for the supply of 240 cargoes of LNG until 2032, which would represent a total volume of 33.6 mcm (based on a nominal cargo capacity of 140,000 m3). Pakistan LNG is seeking to import 60 cargoes over a five-year period and 180 cargoes over a 15-year period. Under both tenders, liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries would start in July 2017 and would be made on a DES (delivered ex-ship) basis to the future LNG import terminal operated by Pakistan GasPort Consortium at Port Qasim. The deadline for bids submissions in 20 December 2016. Winners will be announced in late January 2017.

Source: Enerdata

OGDCL makes Pakistan gas find

November 3, 2016. Oil & Gas Development Company Ltd (OGDCL) announced that it has discovered gas through its 95 percent-owned exploration well Mithri #1, located in Pakistan’s Sindh Province. The structure of Mithri # 01 has been delineated, drilled and tested, flowing 6.44 million cubic feet of gas per day through a 32/64 inch choke from its Lower Goru (Massive Sand) formation.

Source: Rigzone

Mozambique expects Eni decision on LNG investment this year

November 2, 2016. Italy’s Eni should make a final investment decision on its first offshore deep-water (LNG) project in Mozambique by the end of this year, Energy Minister Lleticia da Silva Klemens said. United States company Anadarko is expected to make its own investment decision on a separate LNG project next year, da Silva Klemens said.

Source: Reuters

International: Coal

Engie will close 1.6 GW Hazelwood coal power plant in 2017

November 4, 2016. Engie will close its 1,600 MW Hazelwood coal-fired power plant and the adjoining mine in the State of Victoria (Australia) by the end of March 2017. The group owns a 72% stake in the power plant that was commissioned in stages between 1964 and 1971.

Source: Enerdata

STEAG plans to close five coal-fired power plants in Germany

November 4, 2016. German power utility STEAG has submitted plans to close five coal-fired power plants to the Federal Network Agency, citing challenging market environment due to the energy policy and the persistently low electricity price level that makes the operation of large-scale conventional power plants in Germany no longer cost-effective.

Source: Enerdata

Finland considers ban on coal-fired power stations by 2030: Rehn

November 3, 2016. Finnish government is considering banning all coal-fired power stations by 2030 to help meet emission reduction goals, Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn said. Coal-fired power generation accounted for 7 percent of all electricity production last year, with 45 percent coming from renewable sources and 34 percent from nuclear, according to Statistics Finland.

Source: Reuters

International: Power

Brazil attracts $3.6 bn in power transmission auction

November 8, 2016. Brazil has attracted some BRL 11.6 billion ($3.6 billion) in investments to its power sector in an electric transmission auction, selling 27 transmission lines and 16 substations in nine states, Kallanish Energy learns from the country’s energy ministry. The auction reached 92% of its BRL 12 billion target, granting construction contracts for 21 out of 24 transmission batches offered. The government expects the projects to become operational in November 2021.

Source: Kallanish Energy

Botswana to sell struggling Chinese-built power plant

November 5, 2016. Botswana will sell a 600 MW Chinese-built power plant after persistent technical problems since it was commissioned in 2012. Botswana’s Morupule B coal-fired power station, built by the China National Electric Equipment Corporation at a cost of $970 million, has often broken down, leading to a reliance on diesel generators and imports from South Africa.

Source: Reuters

Austrian power users say might seek compensation if cut off from German market

November 4, 2016. Austrian electricity utility Verbund and customer industries said they might seek compensation from European energy watchdog ACER if it allows the Austrian and German power markets to be separated. Germany’s BnetzA regulator expects the split between the two markets to be effective from July 3, 2018.

Source: Reuters

Privatisation of Saudi’s power generation companies set to begin next year

November 2, 2016. The first of four companies to be created from Saudi Electricity Company’s generating business could be privatised by next year, Abdullah Al Shehri, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Electricity & Co-Generation Regulatory Authority, said. He said that the power generating arm is currently in the process of being hived off to the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). At the same time, Saudi Electricity Company is dividing this business into four separate companies – each of which will be privatised and compete for customers across the kingdom.

Source: The National


China scales back solar, wind ambitions as renewables cool

November 8, 2016. China, the world’s biggest clean-energy investor, lowered its solar and wind power targets for 2020, a reflection of how record installations of renewables have overwhelmed the ability of the nation’s grid to absorb the new electricity. China is now aiming for 110 GW of solar power by 2020, a 27 percent reduction from an earlier target, according to the National Energy Administration. The nation reduced its goal for wind power by 16 percent to 210 GW. While China has poured billions of dollars into clean energy in recent years, the ability to deliver the newly-generated electricity from where it’s produced to where it’s needed has lagged. The mismatch has left solar and wind capacity sitting idle in some parts of the country, hurting companies such as China Longyuan Power Group Corp and China Datang Corp Renewable Power Co. The Global Large Solar Energy Valuation Peers index, which counts many Chinese manufacturers among its 20 members, has slumped 42 percent this year. The government earlier expected to have 150 GW of solar power and 250 GW of wind by 2020, NEA said. China idled 33.9 billion kilowatt-hours of wind power last year, up 69 percent from a year earlier, the NEA said.

Source: Bloomberg

Europe at risk of missing 2030 climate target

November 8, 2016. The European Union (EU) risks missing its climate goals for the coming decades unless it strengthens pollution-reduction policies, according to the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI). Despite significant progress in cutting carbon dioxide and improvement in energy efficiency, the EU may miss its target of cutting emissions by at least 40 percent by the end of the next decade and by at least 80 percent by 2050 compared with 1990 levels, IDDRI said. EU policy makers are currently debating draft measures on sharing the burden of emissions cuts among member states and on reforming the bloc’s Emissions Trading System to translate climate objectives for the next decade into specific rules. In order to put the region on track to meet the goals, those laws should be adopted “in the strongest possible form,” IDDRI said. Europe should also adopt ambitious rules to cut transport emissions and help roll out clean-fuel cars, according to the institute. Targets and financing of energy-efficiency retrofitting and fuel switching in buildings should be strengthened, the researchers said.

Source: Bloomberg

Voith to upgrade control systems of 2 hydropower plants in Norway

November 8, 2016. Voith Hydro has secured a contract from Norwegian energy supplier Sira-Kvina kraftselskap to upgrade the control systems for two of its hydroelectric power stations. The contract scope includes upgrading and modernizing of the control systems and the electrical auxiliary systems for its two hydropower plants Tonstad and Solhom, which cover the energy demand of roughly 230,000 households. The contract has an estimated total project volume of NOK320 mn ($38.8 mn). With the contract, Sira-Kvina kraftselskap aims to secure the production of clean, renewable energy for another 40 years.

Source: Energy Business Review

Turkey opens 158 power plants worth $5 bn

November 7, 2016. A total of 158 power plants with an investment value of $5 billion were opened in Ankara in an official ceremony, attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The country took big steps in developing its hydro power capacity and nuclear power capacity in recent years. Erdoğan said that the planned Akkuyu nuclear power plant in southern Turkey is due to become online by 2023. Turkey’s installed power capacity exceeded 73,146 MW by the end of 2015 and reached 78,000 MW with the latest investments.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

China starts to build its first floating nuclear power reactor for deployment off coast

November 7, 2016. China has started to build its first floating nuclear power reactor, which it plans to deploy off its coast by the end of the decade. China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) has begun construction of the ACPR50S reactor, and will acquire the reactor pressure vessel that encloses the reactor core from Dongfang Electric. The 200 MW reactor will help power offshore facilities in China’s open sea and island reefs, CGN said.

Source: The Times of India

Australian coal champion AGL cautiously expands in renewables

November 7, 2016. Australian utility AGL, the country’s largest carbon emitter, will invest in renewable energy via a minority stake in a fund but has no plans to speed up its planned exit from coal, its chief executive officer (CEO) Andrew Vesey said. Vesey said the Australian electricity market already has overcapacity of about 7,000 MW while power demand is forecast to be flat for the next 20 years. In order to help the Australian government meet its 2020 renewable energy target, AGL – Australia’s second-largest energy retailer – announced in July that it had set up a fund to develop 1,000 MW of renewables capacity, about 20 percent of the country’s target. Vesey said Australia’s challenge in moving to a low-carbon energy system is how to make room for new investments when any additional capacity will further depress wholesale prices.

Source: Reuters

Phanes Group to develop 300 MW of solar projects in Nigeria

November 4, 2016. Solar energy developer Phanes Group has acquired the development rights of three grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) plants with a combined capacity of 300 MW in Nigeria. Each of the ground-mounted solar plants will have 100 MW capacity and are planned to be built at three different sites at the Mando area of Kaduna, Birnin-Kebbi in Kebbi and Sokoto in the North-West of Nigeria. The projects are expected to contribute to Nigeria’s aim to generate 2000 MW of power from renewable sources by the end of the decade.

Source: Energy Business Review

OGCI to invest $1 bn to speed up development of low emissions technologies

November 4, 2016. The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) has announced an investment of $1 bn to develop and speed up the commercial deployment of innovative low emissions technologies. OGCI, which is led by the heads of ten oil and gas companies, will make the investment over the next ten years. OGCI member companies include BP, CNPC, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total.

Source: Energy Business Review

First Solar says panel price slide harming bookings

November 3, 2016. First Solar Inc said a 30 percent slide in panel prices has forced it to walk away from some money-losing supply contracts and it is working to accelerate the introduction of a cheaper, more competitive module. The largest United States solar equipment maker said the price slide, driven by a fall-off in demand in China and resulting global oversupply of panels, presents significant challenges to the upcoming year.

Source: Reuters

China seeks to improve energy structure to cut carbon emissions

November 3, 2016. China plans to upgrade its energy structure to cut carbon emissions and reduce costs in transmission of power. China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is developing a rig that is able to work in over 3,000-meter-deep water as deep-sea oil is expected to account for 60 percent of energies China will get from the ocean crude in the coming five years. CNOOC is trying to use nuclear power to exploit oil sources, which would lower carbon emissions in the procedure.

Source: Shanghai Daily


Fly Ash Scenario in Coal Fired Power Plants in India


Installed Capacity


Coal Consumed

(million tonnes)

Fly Ash Generation

(million tonnes)

Andhra Pradesh 8160 42.14 15.03
Bihar 4100 14.88 6.21
Chhattisgarh 12740 55.49 21.91
Delhi 840 3.09 0.94
Gujarat 15212 50.30 7.83
Haryana 5987.8 18.88 6.62
Jharkhand 5307.5 15.32 6.87
Karnataka 4780 16.97 8.46
Madhya Pradesh 10280 36.44 13.85
Maharastra 18336 57.78 18.63
Odisha 5188 27.08 10.02
Punjab 2640 7.75 2.66
Rajasthan 6640 29.03 8.08
Tamil Nadu 9150 47.40 7.67
Telangana 2282.5 12.55 5.90
Uttar Pradesh 14804 68.22 24.38
West Bengal 12468 46.39 19.09
Total 138915.8 549.72 184.14


Note: The above statistics compiled from the CEA data available for 2014-15.

Source: Central Electricity Authority


Publisher: Baljit Kapoor
Editorial adviser: Lydia Powell
Editor: Akhilesh Sati
Content development: Vinod Kumar Tomar

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