MonitorsPublished on Dec 26, 2016
Energy News Monitor | Volume XIII: Issue 28

Oil News Commentary: November — December 2016


The demonetisation drive has reportedly increased fuel demand by 12.1 percent in November. Petroleum product consumption is reported to have increased to 16.64 MT from 14.85 MT the same month in FY16. Petrol consumption increased by 14.24 percent to 2.03 MT while diesel sales increased by 10.47 percent to 6.75 MT. But compared to October, the sales were up only marginally. 16.55 MT of petroleum products were sold in October 2016 with petrol sales at 2.11 MT and diesel at 6.67 MT. LPG sales in November surged 16.5 percent to 1.88 MT and Naphtha consumption was up 6.9 percent to 1.08 MT when compared with the same month in FY16.

One of interesting observations from Petrotech was the remark from the Secretary General of OPEC Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo said India’s oil demand would almost double to 10 mbpd by 2040 from the present 4.1 mbpd and being an important oil consumer, the country would play an important role in oil market stability. He also observed that for OPEC India represented an important source of rapidly growing oil demand now at its highest, at nearly 300,000 bpd, that surpasses China’s demand growth. According to OPEC global demand is forecast to increase by nearly 17 mbpd until 2040 when it could reach around 110 mbpd. Emerging and developing economies in Asia are expected to make up roughly 70 percent of this growth, which is being spurred on by the region’s population growth, a rapidly expanding middle class, urbanisation and industrialisation. OPEC says that $10 trillion of investment is required in the oil sector till 2040 to maintain production supplies to meet the needs of consumers. The Secretary General made a case for sustaining oil prices at a higher level to ensure stability in prices. Oil revenue has already declined 26 percent in 2015 and is projected to decline by 22 percent in 2016. Combined, this amounts to more than $300 billion and this trend is expected to extend into its third year according to the Secretary General of OPEC.


Reuters reported that Iran overtook Saudi Arabia as India’s top oil supplier in October. Iran used to be India’s second-biggest oil supplier until it was put under sanctions when Iraq took its place. In October Iran’s oil imports to India surged threefold compared with the same month last year, rising to 789,000 bpd. That compares to 697,000 bpd supplied last month by Saudi Arabia. Over the whole January to October period, though, Saudi Arabia still holds India’s top supply spot, at an average of 830,000 bpd versus Iraq’s 784,000 bpd and Iran’s 456,400 bpd. The surge from Iran is attributed to Iranian price discounts and increase in Saudi refining capacity.

Rest of the world

China, the world’s fifth-biggest producer last year, has reportedly reduced output by about 300,000 bpd this year, more than the combined cuts announced by non-OPEC countries, excluding Russia, as part of a deal coordinated with the producer group. The decline is expected to continue next year, with Chinese production shrinking as much as 200,000 bpd. Malaysia and Brunei were reported to be the only Asian nations in the group of producers outside the OPEC that agreed to cut output by a combined 558,000 bpd starting 1 January 2017. The region will use 32.88 mbpd accounting for more than a third of global consumption, according to data from the IEA.

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2016 says that global oil consumption will not peak before 2040, leaving its long-term forecasts for supply and demand unchanged despite the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement entering into force. While demand for oil to power passenger cars, may drop, other sectors may offset this fall. From 2020, the EU is expected to impose much tougher legislation to control vehicle emissions, which many expect to quickly erode use of traditional fuels such as gasoline and diesel, a major source of oil demand.


Will cut VAT on petrol to keep price under ₹60 per liter: Goa CM

December 20, 2016. The Goa government will reduce value added tax (VAT) on petrol to maintain the petrol price below ₹60 per litre, since its selling price is ₹62.73 per litre at present. The BJP government had assured the people of the state that it will not allow the petrol price to exceed ₹60 per litre. Petrol price in the state crossed ₹60 per litre after the oil marketing companies increased petrol price by ₹2.21. In June, the state government had reduced VAT on petrol by 2% to maintain the petrol price below ₹60 per litre. Goa Chief Minister (CM) Laxmikant Parsekar had hiked VAT on petrol despite the BJP promising to lower fuel prices in their 2012 manifesto. Petrol prices were hovering around ₹51.10 in the state when Parsekar announced the increase in VAT to 22%.

Source: The Times of India

Industry lobby pitches for state support to LPG for use as auto fuel

December 19, 2016. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), mostly used for cooking in India, can cheaply and quickly replace petrol in transport and help in reducing air pollution, an auto LPG industry body has said, hoping to make this fuel popular among drivers after a decade-long struggle when higher prices and subsidy held back its expansion. The rising pollution level in Delhi and other cities in the country has prompted the government to focus on natural gas as an alternative to petrol and diesel, leading to assured supply of cheaper domestic gas to cities and increased state support for natural gas pipelines and city gas projects. The Indian Auto LPG Coalition (IALC), an industry lobby, now wants some of that attention for LPG, a fossil fuel that is far less polluting than petrol and diesel. Sale of auto LPG has fallen 3.6% between April and October this year even though LPG prices have fallen globally and cooking gas subsidy has shrunk. This has prompted auto LPG sellers to project the fuel as friendly to pocket and environment. On average, the auto LPG is available at about 50% discount to petrol prices and will remain so in the foreseeable future given the global glut, IALC said. The running cost of an auto LPG-fuelled vehicle is ₹2.41 per km, compared to ₹4.53 for petrol vehicle, ₹2.84 for diesel and ₹2.04 for compressed natural gas (CNG), according to IALC. India has about 2.2 million vehicles that can run on LPG but each vehicle uses just about 0.3 million tonnes annually, about a third of the global average, according to IALC. While the diversion of subsidised cooking gas cylinders for transport account for the lower average, the overall expansion has been held back because LPG was always sold at market prices while petrol and diesel, the competing fuels, were regulated, IALC said.

Source: The Economic Times

LPG subsidy: Income Tax department to share data of taxpayer who earn over ₹10 lakh

December 19, 2016. The Income Tax department will soon begin sharing with the oil ministry details of all “individual” taxpayers whose annual income exceeds ₹10 lakh, in an attempt to check pilferage of subsidy on cooking gas by the higher income groups. The tax department will also share personal details of a taxpayer like his or her Permanent Account Number (PAN), date of birth, gender, all available addresses in the Income Tax database, email id and the residential phone and mobile numbers of such taxpayers. The Income Tax department and will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the ministry in order to confidentially and safely begin this transfer of personal data. The move has been approved by the policy-making body of the department, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in the backdrop of government’s decision which had said that tax payers with annual income of more than ₹10 lakh will not get subsidised cooking gas. At present, all households are entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2 kg each at subsidised rates. The government has already asked well-off people to voluntarily give up using subsidised LPG and instead buy cooking fuel at market price.

Source: Business Today

Mongolia pegs $1 billion from India for oil refinery, pipelines

December 19, 2016. Mongolia will seek approval from the Import-Export Bank of India to build an oil refinery and pipelines with $1 billion in infrastructure funding negotiated last year, a project that could boost the nation’s gross domestic product by 10 percent. The government intends to use $700 million of the loan for an oil refinery and $264 million for oil pipelines. Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed agreements last year to provide the $1 billion credit line to fund railroad and infrastructure projects in Mongolia.

Source: Bloomberg

Petrol price hiked by ₹2.21 per litre, diesel by ₹1.79 per litre

December 17, 2016. The price of petrol was hiked by Rs 2.21 a litre, and the price of diesel by Rs 1.79 per litre, excluding local levies. This increase excludes local levies. The actual hike after considering value added tax (VAT) would be Rs 2.84 per litre in Delhi for petrol and Rs 2.11 for diesel. After the hike, petrol in Delhi will cost Rs 68.94 per litre from midnight tonight as against Rs 66.10 currently, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said. Similarly, a litre of diesel will cost Rs 56.68 as compared to Rs 54.57 now.

Source: The Times of India

You may soon get to purchase petrol, diesel through Aadhaar number

December 16, 2016. Soon, there may be no need for cash, cards or mobile phones while buying petrol or diesel. All that customers would have to do is remember their Aadhaar number. The government plans to roll out a payment system that will allow customers to pay for fuel by simply pressing their fingers on an Aadhaar-verifying device that would trigger the transfer of money from their bank accounts to the filling station. The government has asked Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the country’s biggest software services company, to introduce this facility at about 1,000 filling stations, to begin with, the oil ministry said.

Source: The Economic Times

India’s diesel demand boosts rare imports of the fuel

December 14, 2016. A rise in diesel demand is boosting India’s rare imports of the industrial and transport fuel, helping to mop up some of the excess supply of the fuel in Asia, traders said. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) sought up to 80,000 tonnes of 40ppm sulphur diesel for delivery in late December, according to a tender document. The company seldom enters the spot market unless there is a spike in domestic demand or refinery maintenance that is curbing supply, traders said. India’s fuel demand rose 12.1 percent in November, compared with the same month last year, the latest data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed. Diesel sales jumped 10.5 percent from a year ago. India is taking over from China as the driver of global oil demand growth as its economy expands, boosting the use of diesel in vehicles. India overall last imported 503,000 tonnes of diesel in April and 222,000 tonnes of the fuel in May, according to data from PPAC that shows figures up to October.

Source: The Financial Express


NGT asks West Bengal to decide on GAIL gas pipeline

December 20, 2016. The National Green Tribunal (NGT), eastern zone bench, has given the chief secretary (CS) 15 days to decide whether GAIL (India) Ltd should be entrusted with natural gas distribution in the city through a pipeline by itself or a joint venture company should be set up for this. The gas major plans to complete its 2,539 km long pipeline from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia by 2020. It proposes to distribute gas in seven cities, including Kolkata, enroute. Environment activist Subhas Datta had moved the NGT in September last year, to introduce natural gas in Kolkata. The green bench had passed several directions, after which the state government and GAIL have been at loggerheads with technical issues regarding the CNG distribution.

Source: Khabar India


First time in India, coal mine tourism opens for visitors

December 20, 2016. To raise awareness about the importance of coal mining, which forms backbone for most industries, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corp (MTDC) and Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) have entered into a unique agreement. Tourists will now be allowed to visit the depth of a WCL coal mine in Saoner, tour an eco-park and visit the open cast mine in Gondegaon. Children below 18 years are not allowed inside the underground mine. Entry to the mine will also be subject to health and fitness parameters set by WCL. According to the initial itinerary planned by MTDC, the day tour will start at 9.30 a.m. from MTDC office, Civil Lines. For now, MTDC has decided to charge ₹650 for the day tour. It will include transportation charges, safety gears given at the start of mine tour and lunch at WCL guesthouse.

Source: The Economic Times


Govt to review status of 72 coal mines

December 19, 2016. The government over the next few days will examine the status of 72 coal blocks allocated either through allotment or auction route to companies like NTPC, JSW Steel, Hindalco and Steel Authority of India Ltd. The meeting is scheduled to be held on December 21 and December 26. The government had informed Parliament that it has so far generated a revenue of approximately ₹2,779 crore from the auction and allotment of 83 coal blocks.

Source: The Economic Times

Coal Secretary bats for clean mining in production strategy

December 15, 2016. Coal Secretary Sushil Kumar said the government is all set to focus its coal production strategy on low ash clean for environment conservation as coal continues to remain the prime source of energy in India. Kumar said that the government wanted to increase clean coal production through cleaning units (coal washeries) in different coal-producing states.

Source: The Economic Times

NTPC to invest ₹26.4 billion in developing three coal blocks in Odisha

December 14, 2016. NTPC has lined up investments worth Rs 2648 crore for developing three coal blocks in Odisha. The Maharatna public sector undertaking (PSU) plans to invest ₹684 crore in the Dulanga coal block, which is linked to its Dariplalli super thermal power project that has the capacity to generate 1,600 MW of power. The power project, which is supposed to come up in Sundargarh district, will attract an investment of Rs 12,532 crore from NTPC. Apart from the Dulanga coal block, NTPC was also allocated the Mandakini-B coal block last year to help fuel its first 4,000 MW power plant in Telangana. The Mandakini block will receive an investment worth ₹1,500 crore.

Source: Business Standard

National: Power

Provide power connection on EMI to APLs: Goyal to states

December 20, 2016. In order to meet the target of providing uninterrupted power to all by 2019, Power Minister Piyush Goyal has asked states to give “on demand” electricity connections to above poverty line (APL) consumers on equated monthly instalments (EMI) and has offered funding for that. At present, the below poverty line (BPL) families are being provide free of cost electricity connections by the state governments through their power distribution utilities. Exuding confidence that GARV-II mobile phone application and portal will ensure effective and transparent implementation of rural electrification programme, Goyal referred to Nagla Fatela village electrification controversy. He said it will not only speed up the process of providing electricity connections to over five crore families in rural India who don’t have access to the service but also improve transparency. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken the name of Nagla Fatela as electrified village in his Independence Day speech but later authorities reportedly came to know that it had not been electrified. According to the GARV-II data, rural electrification programme needs to be stepped up in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand where 47 percent, 45 percent and 30 percent rural households are electrified. At present 70.51 percent or 12.38 crore rural households are electrified in the country out of 17.57 crore families living in villages in the country. Some of the states where all rural families have access to electricity include Gujarat, Goa, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.

Source: The Economic Times

Bajaj Hindusthan to sell power biz to group firm for ₹18 billion

December 20, 2016. Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar Ltd plans to sell its co-generation power business to its group company Lalitpur Power Generation Company Ltd (LPGCL) for about ₹1,800 crore. Bajaj Hindusthan has 14 sugar mills with cane crushing capacity of 1.36 lakh tonnes per day and alcohol distillation capacity of 800 kilo litres per day. The group’s power ventures include Bajaj Energy Pvt Ltd, with a 450 MW thermal power generation commissioned in 2012, and the LPGCL with a thermal power generation capacity of 1980 MW.

Source: The Hindu

DERC seeks opinion on revising charges for migrating customers

December 20, 2016. In the draft order issued for consumers opting for open access, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has modified various charges. These include subsidy charge, wheeling and transmission charges, and additional surcharge. This revision will benefit those who wish to source power from another distribution utility than those operating in their jurisdiction. Consumers, distribution companies (discoms) and expert bodies have been asked to submit their suggestions on the draft by January 20. The draft aims to ensure that low-end consumers do not get burdened with higher tariff on account of high-end consumers opting out of their network. Hence, all those opting out would be paying some charges to the home discom for cross subsidising domestic consumers. The charges payable to Delhi discoms differ as per category and the discom. For Tata Power Delhi, industrial consumers will pay approximately 165 paise/unit, DMRC 136 paise/unit and domestic consumers 5-11 paise/unit as cross subsidy charges. For BRPL, the charges are about 166 paise/unit for industrial consumers, while DIAL and DJB would pay about 166-183 paise/unit. Industrial consumers under BYPL have to pay up to 175 paise /unit, non-domestic 199 paise /unit and DMRC and DJB up to 187 paise/ unit.

Source: The Economic Times

Strenuous efforts needed to boost NTPC’s performance: Parliament panel

December 16, 2016. A Parliamentary panel asked the government to make strenuous efforts to improve the performance of state-run power giant NTPC in the backdrop of lower capital expenditure of ₹2.19 lakh crore projected in the 12th Plan period (2012-17). The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy said that a projection of ₹2,19,613 crore was made as Plan outlay for NTPC for the 12th Plan. However, the committee found that the actual expenditure (cumulative for four years of 12th Plan) is expected to be around ₹89,000 crore. The panel also said that it is expected that at the end of the 12th Plan, ₹1,20,700 crore will be utilised as one more year is still to go in the Plan period. The power ministry, besides other reasons, has attributed scrapping of projects worth ₹26,646 crore by NTPC to the less planned expenditure during the 12th Plan period. It also observed that NTPC has been assigned a target (of adding) 11,920 MW of generation capacity during 12th Plan and against this, 9,550 MW has already been achieved. It is expected that the target will be surpassed by the end of 12th Plan. The committee asked the power ministry to explain as to how capacity addition targets have been fully achieved despite incurring only half of the expenditure.

Source: The Economic Times

WBSEDCL installing smart meters to curb theft

December 16, 2016. In a bid to cut down power theft, the state power department has started installing smart metres for West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL). Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said rampant hooking and pilferage has been a matter of concern in recent times. The technology will be smart so that any hooking or pilferage can be monitored directly from a centralised server. According to Chattopadhyay these smart metres will also contribute in bringing down pollution.

Source: Business Standard

No power for 70 percent govt schools in Bhubaneswar

December 16, 2016. They are our future but their present is one of darkness. More than 70% government-run schools in the Bhubaneswar don’t have electricity connections, School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said. The Minister said that out of the total 61,858 schools under his department, 43,939 don’t even have power connections. The situation is worst in primary schools with around 89% of them running without electricity. Of the 34,238 primary schools, 30,427 don’t have power connections. Similarly, 64% upper primary schools (11,421 out of 17,726) don’t have electricity. Among the 4710 high schools having primary and upper primary sections, 1023 don’t have access to power (22%). Among the 5184 secondary schools, 20% don’t have power. While 57 schools had never got electricity connections, in case of 1011 others, the connection was cut off for various reasons. The schools pay the bills from the development grants given to them under the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan. Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das had told the assembly that 40% houses in Odisha don’t have access to electricity. Of the 96.53 lakh households in the state, only around 58.29 lakh have power connections.

Source: The Times of India

Part privatisation of power discoms likely

December 15, 2016. After facing opposition for over a year against privatising power distribution across Haryana, distribution companies (discoms) may finally be bracing for the move, which aims to augment maintenance and operations while cutting down aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses. Post privatisation, which began in 2002, loss reduction in Delhi was brought down from 45% to 5%, while cumulative savings peaked at ₹30,000 crore in the first 10 years. Haryana government sought to take a cue from this, officials claimed. But opposition from union workers threw a spanner in the works. But now, power discoms seem eager to expedite the process. The privatisation is likely to benefit consumers, Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) said. The move will also curtail line losses across the state.

Source: The Times of India

Andhra Pradesh to distribute EETLs to households

December 15, 2016. Riding on the success of conservation of massive volume of power through distribution of LED bulbs to the domestic users, the Andhra Pradesh government is now contemplating to distribute Energy Efficiency Tube Lights (EETLs) to all the households. The EETLs are expected to save around 50 to 60 percent electricity consumption from the normal tube lights. The state government is likely to fix the price of each tube light at ₹250 against actual cost of around ₹600 in the retail market.

Source: The Economic Times

NTPC to phase out 11 GW old power plants in five years: Goyal

December 14, 2016. NTPC will replace its old power plants having a total capacity of 11,000 MW, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said. He said the company would phase out power plants older than 25 years and added that the whole process would require around ₹50,000 crore and would take around five years.

Source: The Economic Times


Solar-powered boat service to begin in Kerala on 12 January 12

December 20, 2016. Kerala will script a new chapter in its transport sector when a solar-powered boat will start its first service from Vaikom in Kottayam district, about 180 kms from Thiruvananthapuram, on January 12. The service will be offered as part of the state government’s initiative to shift from diesel and petrol to other sources of energy, inorder to curb growing environment pollution, State Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran said. Similarly, the government also plans to switch to CNG and LNG run vehicles in the state, he said.

Source: The Indian Express

Thermal power plants’ capacity utilisation to drop to 48 percent by 2022

December 20, 2016. All coal-based thermal power plants need to brace for a drastic fall in capacity utilisation to as low as 48% by 2022, as additional non-thermal electricity generation capacities come on stream, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has warned. At that level of utilisation, they may lose the ability to run at a technically viable level and might find it extremely difficult to service debts turning into non-preforming assets for lenders. The CEA, in its Draft National Electricity Plan, has predicted that by 2022 many plants may get partial or no schedule of generation at all meaning that many of these thermal power plants may have to be kept idle for lack of demand.

Source: The Economic Times


Procuring wind energy through bids a positive for sector: ICRA

December 19, 2016. The scheme for procurement of wind energy through auction is a positive for the sector but receivables remain an area of concern, ICRA said. On the positive side, however, ICRA believes that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) scheme for procurement of 1 GW through the auction route would facilitate the offtake for wind energy players, it said. Further, implementation of forecasting and scheduling framework, as approved by State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) in Karnataka and in other states where draft regulations are in place, poses regulatory challenges for the sector, given the variable and intermittent nature of wind power generation and limited experience available with IPPs in forecasting and scheduling as of now, it said. Also, the sector continues to face challenges due to the limited compliance of renewable purchase obligation (RPO) norms by the obligated entities as well as the variance in RPO norms across the states, it said. ICRA notes that the incremental wind-based energy capacity requirement by FY2022 is estimated at about 46 GW as against the current installed capacity of 28.1 GW.

Source: The Economic Times

Dayalbagh University receives recognition for efforts in harnessing solar energy

December 19, 2016. The Dayalbagh Educational Institute (DEI) has received recognition from the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission for its exemplary work in harnessing solar power and spreading awareness among students about saving energy. The university has been successful in meeting a major portion of its own electricity demand and distributes its surplus energy to local colonies in Dayalbagh. Around six years ago, a solar power plant was set up on the campus, according to a senior university official. With constant upgradation of the system, the university now has the capacity to produce 700 kilowatts of energy. By 2018, the university aims to increase its capacity to 2 MW. On a daily basis, DEI produces up to 2,500 to 2,800 units of electricity

Source: The Times of India

Gujarat slips to third position in solar power generation after losing top rank to Rajasthan

December 18, 2016. After losing its top rank to Rajasthan last year, Gujarat has now slipped further to end at third position in commissioned solar power capacity. Rapid capacity addition by Tamil Nadu helped the state to topple both Rajasthan and Gujarat from their respective top ranks. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Tamil Nadu has topped the list with solar power capacity of 1,555.41 MW as on October 31, 2016, while Rajasthan stands at second position, with 1,301.16 MW and Gujarat third with 1,138.19 MW. Gujarat had been the leader in solar power generation for years. It lost the first spot to Rajasthan in 2015. With states such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Rajasthan having solar plants with huge capacity under pipeline, Gujarat is unlikely to retain at the top much longer. Experts feel Gujarat can do a lot more in solar space.

Source: The Economic Times

School student from Odisha has used old note of ₹500 to generate electricity

December 18, 2016. If you haven’t yet deposited old ₹500 note and wondering what to do with it, just relax. You can soon use it to generate electricity and lighten up you home on Christmas. An intermediate science student at Khariar College in Nuapada district of Odisha, has just done so. Lachman has used the silicon of the notes to create energy. He has exposed the notes to direct sunlight and that’s how silicon produces electricity. The exposure of silicon circuit to sunlight produces 5 volts of electricity. He has created a transformer with electric wire that can save the charge from silicon. If stored in battery, this can generate power for 24 hours, claims Lachman. Son of labourers manages expenses of studies by selling bulbs at local market. An inquisitive learner of science, Lachman thanks his teacher Pravat Kumar Parija, who taught him about this theory. After demonetization he thought of making use of ₹500 note that was scrapped of circulation.

Source: Business Insider

BHEL aims to cut dependence on thermal power business to 50 percent

December 17, 2016. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) is internally aiming to cut down its dependence on thermal power business from 80 percent to 50 percent in the next 10 years, the company said. The company was laying thrust on transportation, defence and solar energy in a big way and invested ₹300 crore to enhance the solar PV cell making capability to 225 MW. Based on demand projections, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) estimated that the requirement for new coal-based power plant capacity would be 44,085 MW in 2022-27. But with 50,025 MW of coal power projects already in different stages of construction and likely to yield benefits in 2017-22, the authority did not foresee any immediate requirement for new coal-fired power plants.

Source: NDTV

Two convicted, three acquitted in Kerala solar scam

December 17, 2016. A Kerala court awarded three years imprisonment to solar scam accused Biju Radhakrishnan and Saritha S. Nair, while acquitting television and film actress Shalu Menon, her mother and another accused. Moreover, the judicial magistrate court in Perumbavoor slapped a fine of ₹10,000 on each of the convicted persons. The conviction comes as one of the first cases to be registered in the multi-crore solar scam in which several political leaders, including former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, were allegedly involved.

Source: The Economic Times

Indian scientists generate electricity from water sans using energy

December 17, 2016. Soon, a device that runs on a few drops of water could revolutionise the way electricity is generated, thanks to a team of scientists at Delhi’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL). Researchers have developed a novel way of producing electricity from water at room temperature without using any power or chemicals. The device named, Hydroelectric Cell, generates electricity using nothing except a few drops of water. This device is much economical than solar panel, may revolutionise the energy generation scenario. The device has already been patented and published in an international journal. The efforts are on to shape it in a convenient form like dry cell and to improve in terms of longevity and electrical contacts, the scientists said.

Source: The Economic Times

US-India initiative to back clean energy projects launched

December 17, 2016. The United States-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative has been launched to pave the way to mobilise finance and support Indian-distributed clean energy projects. This comes in the backdrop of a commitment made by the US and Indian governments to finance clean energy projects. USICEF will deploy up to $20 million in project preparation support, sourced equally from leading foundations and the Indian Government, to distributed solar power projects under consideration for long-term financing from OPIC. This support will lay the foundation for project developers to access capital to scale up their businesses. It is proposed to target India’s distributed solar markets.

Source: The Hindu

Online training program for solar PV design launched

December 16, 2016. The New and Renewable Energy Ministry has developed an online training programe under public-private partnership for design, installation and maintenance of solar photovoltaics (PV) to meet the manpower requirements of the booming solar industry. The skilling online programme has been developed by the National Institute of Wind Energy under in association with Iacharya Silicon Ltd, Chennai. The course is currently being offered in Hindi and English and is priced at ₹599. The programme is designed as a two-week course and covers various aspects of solar PV feasibility studies, basics of design, installation, operation and maintenance of solar power plants. The course will be delivered online in a combination of lecture, Powerpoint, multimedia and video formats, including design exercises, case studies and virtual onsite installation videos. India has launched an ambitious programme of installing 100 GW of solar power by 2022.

Source: Business Standard

Centre sanctions ₹30 crore for solar cities programme

December 15, 2016. Funds worth over ₹30 crore have been sanctioned to 21 states and union territories under the solar cities development programme, the government said. These funds were sanctioned during the last three years till November 30 this year. Out of the total sanctioned amount of Rs 30.36 crore under the Development of Solar Cities Programme for 21 states and union territories, around Rs 12.98 crore have been released, Power and Renewable Energy Minister, Piyush Goyal, said. Goyal said that 60 places have been included in the solar cities programme. It includes Gaya (Bihar), Mysore (Karnataka), Kochi (Kerala), Pune (Maharashtra), Panaji City (Goa), Howrah (West Bengal), Imphal (Manipur), Aizawl (Mizoram), Kohima (Nagaland), Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) and Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh). He said at least one city in each state would be included in the solar cities programme. Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of up to ₹50 lakh is extended for each solar city. The money would be given, provided that an equal amount is made available by the concerned municipal corporation, city administration, state or from any other resources.

Source: The Times of India

Tamil Nadu leads India’s solar installation with 1.5 GW capacity in operation

December 15, 2016. Ten Indian states, led by Tamil Nadu are top states which account for around 90 percent of all solar installations and pipeline in the country, Mercom Capital Group said in a report. The other states are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh that hold the key to India’s solar future. Tamil Nadu leads all other Indian states with 1,577 MW in-operations. In order to fulfil the state Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) the Tami Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (TANGEDCO) recently auctioned 500 MW solar. The state has close to 485 MW of solar under various stages of development. As per the report Rajasthan’s position was recently usurped by Tamil Nadu as installation activity in the state has slowed. The state has 1,324 MW of solar in-operation with a project pipeline of ~1,206 MW and could reclaim the top spot.

Source: The Economic Times

Oil India rolls out solar power plant for ecotourism project

December 15, 2016. Oil India Ltd inaugurated a 40 KW solar power plant, which will supply electricity to an eco-tourism project in Dibrugarh district. Oil India had sanctioned a financial package of Rs 1 crore, which included assistance to the solar power plant, 13 pedal boats, a four-wheeler, two eco-friendly green vehicles, construction of jetty and a bio digester plant for sewage disposal.

Source: The Economic Times

Govt gives nod to raise Kovvada reactors capacity by 20 percent

December 15, 2016. The government has decided to increase the nuclear power generation capacity of atomic reactors at Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh by nearly 20 percent, and a fresh Environment Impact Assessment is being carried out in this regard. Minister of State Jitendra Singh said the government has revised the ‘in-principle approval’ of the site at Kovvada for setting up nuclear power stations of 6×1000 MW to 6×1280 MW. If the plan materialises, Kovvada will be the second site in the country to generate nuclear power at this capacity. The reactors at Jaitapur, being built by French company EDF, have a capacity of 1,650 MW, while the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, being built with Russian assistance, has the generation capacity of 1,000 MW. Earlier, US company Westinghouse, which is to build six AP-1000 reactors at the site had come up with a proposal of reactors with a capacity of 1000 MW each. The Nuclear Power Corp of India (NPCIL), a PSU of DAE (Department of Atomic Energy), will be the plant operator for the Kovvada site.

Source: Business Standard

India welcomes World Bank move to halt parallel processes on Indo-Pak hydro projects

December 15, 2016. World Bank has written to India and Pakistan announcing its decision to stall the two parallel processes – appointment of a neutral expert and setting up of a court of arbitration – to resolve the disputes over Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The bank asked India and Pakistan to resolve the issues in an amicable manner and in line with the spirit of Indus Waters Treaty. World Bank announced its decision in a letter sent to finance ministers of both India and Pakistan.

Source: The Economic Times


Kochi civic body to set up solar cell and tap renewables

December 14, 2016. Kochi corporation has decided to set up a solar cell to coordinate the Solar City projects. The ministry of new and renewable energy has allocated ₹19 lakh for setting up the team and infrastructure for solar cell. The solar cell which will function under the CHED will be responsible for planning and implementing projects for developing Kochi as RsSolar City’. Corporation said that the cell will also be responsible for conducting awareness programmes and training in solar energy technology. It will also be a point of contact for public for information concerning solar renewable energy technology. Once the cell is established, the strategies mentioned for different sectors will be looked into and minor pilot projects that could be implemented in the city would be developed.

Source: The Economic Times

International: Oil 

Rumaila oilfield in Iraq produces three billion oil barrels

December 20, 2016. The Rumaila Operating Organisation (ROO), composed of BP, PetroChina and the South Oil Company of Iraq, announced that the Rumaila oilfield has produced three billion barrels of oil since the joint venture began operating in January 2010. Oil production at Rumaila is now at its highest rate in twenty seven years, producing over 1.45 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 1 million in 2009, according to BP. During the past six years the oil produced from Rumaila has provided the Iraqi state with an estimated $200 billion dollars in revenue.

Source: Rigzone

Troll B has up to ten yers of oil producing life left

December 20, 2016. The Troll B platform in the North Sea still has another 8 to 10 years of oil producing life, according to Statoil. Troll B has produced one billion barrels of oil equivalent since it came on-stream on September 19, 1995. The platform, along with Troll C, have had the largest combined oil producing record on the Norwegian Continental Shelf for the last three years.

Source: Rigzone

North Dakota spill sixth largest pipeline leak in 2016

December 20, 2016. Crews have recovered about 1,805 barrels of oil from a creek in North Dakota following a December 5 spill that leaked 4,200 barrels, making it the sixth-largest pipeline leak this year, according to government data. Of the total spill, about 3,100 barrels leaked into the nearby Ash Coulee Creek, a small waterway that feeds the Little Missouri River, a tributary of the Missouri River. The spill has been contained. Pipeline equipment did not detect the spill, possibly because the 2,400 barrel-per-day line runs intermittently. The leak occurred just 150 miles from the site of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a crude line whose planned route was under the Missouri River. The Little Missouri feeds the main river upstream of the Dakota Pipeline crossing. The spill happened as pipeline companies such as Energy Transfer Partners, which saw the Dakota Access halted in December by the United States government, are trying to convince critics that their systems are the safest way to move crude and other products.

Source: Reuters

Libya reopens oil fields as biggest terminal is set to load

December 20, 2016. Libya reopened two of its biggest oil fields and is set to load its first crude cargo in two years from its largest export terminal as the war-torn country pursues plans to almost double output in 2017. Pipelines connecting the Sharara oil field to Zawiya refinery, and the El-Feel deposit to the Mellitah energy complex reopened at the town of Rayayina, according to the National Oil Corp (NOC). The fields’ reopening will help boost the country’s oil production by 175,000 barrels a day within one month and 270,000 barrels a day within three months, it said. Also, a tanker is set to load the first export from Es Sider oil port since it was closed in 2014. Libya’s comeback will put more pressure on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers that agreed over the past two weeks to cut their output to rein in an oversupply and shore up prices. The North African nation, which was exempted from OPEC’s planned cuts because of its internal strife, is currently producing 600,000 barrels a day, less than half of the 1.6 million it pumped before a 2011 uprising.

Source: Bloomberg

Vietnam raises retail fuel prices by up to 6.7 percent

December 20, 2016. Vietnam has raised the retail prices of gasoline and other oil products by up to 6.7 percent, the largest increase this year, due to recent increases in crude oil, state-owned fuel importer and distributor Petrolimex said. Diesel prices were increased by 6 percent to 12,670 dong ($0.56) per liter while kerosene advanced 6.6 percent to 11,940 dong, Petrolimex said. Gasoline prices were lifted by 5.5 percent to 17,590 dong per liter, while the prices of other oil products were increased by up to 6.7 percent, Petrolimex said. Oil prices inched up in anticipation of tighter crude supply going into 2017 following the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to cut output to prop up prices.

Source: Reuters

Iran starts selling oil to Italy’s Eni

December 19, 2016. National Iranian Oil Company has signed a short-term contract with Eni to sell crude, as it seeks to revive the agreement it had with the Italian oil major prior to sanctions on Tehran. The negotiations were underway to sign a long term deal. A contract has also been signed with Italy’s Saras to sell crude oil. Eni was one of the main buyers of Iranian oil prior to the sanctions, which were lifted in January.

Source: Reuters

Asia set for biggest refining capacity jump in three years

December 19, 2016. Asia will post its biggest net refining capacity addition in three years in 2017, further boosting demand for crude in the world’s biggest and fastest growing oil consuming region. New and expanded refineries from China to India will offset closures in Japan, adding a net 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude processing capacity in 2017, the highest since 2014, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said. The rise in capacity will tighten Asia’s crude market as it coincides with planned output cuts by oil producers like the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia in a bid to end oversupply and prop up prices. China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) plans to start a new 200,000 bpd refinery in southern China, while PetroChina aims to start a 260,000 bpd refinery in Yunnan, pending talks with the Myanmar government. Vietnam is due to complete a new 200,000 bpd refinery, while India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) is trialling an expansion in Kochi that will include a new 210,000 bpd crude oil distillation unit.

Source: Reuters

Indonesia plans shake-up of upstream O&G contracts

December 19, 2016. Indonesia plans to change future production sharing contracts in its upstream oil and gas (O&G) sector so that contractors shoulder the cost of exploration and production, rather than be reimbursed by the government. Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan said that the government plans to issue a new regulation in January so that such costs would be reflected by a more flexible split in revenue from production. Such a system, instead of the existing cost-recovery system, would be fairer and more efficient, and likely to increase proven reserves, he said. Indonesia’s chamber of commerce said it was waiting for more clarity on the plans and the Indonesian Petroleum Association said it was still in discussions with the government.

Source: Reuters

Venezuelan President to tour oil-producing nations

December 19, 2016. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he would soon embark on a tour of oil-producing nations to support the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ recent agreement to shore up prices with an output cut. Maduro, whose nation is a price hawk and has been one of the worst affected by the fall in crude revenue since mid-2014, gave no further details of his agenda or plans.

Source: Reuters

Indonesia’s Pertamina to buy 1 mn barrels of Iranian crude in the first quarter of 2017

December 19, 2016. Indonesia’s Pertamina will buy 1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil, expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2017, its chief executive officer Dwi Soetjipto said. He said Pertamina will submit proposals for its plan to purchase stakes in two oil and gas blocks in Iran by the end of February. Indonesia announced it will import around 500,000 metric tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from Iran in 2017.

Source: Reuters

Petrobras signs $5 billion Chinese financing and oil supply deal

December 16, 2016. Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has signed definitive terms for a $5 billion, 10-year financing agreement with China Development Bank Corp and an oil supply accord with Chinese companies, as the Brazilian state-controlled oil company seeks to secure a stable stream of revenue and funding for the coming years. It also agreed to sell 100,000 barrels of oil per day for the next decade to China National United Oil Corp, China Zhenhua Oil Co Ltd, and Chemchina Petrochemical Co Ltd subject to “market conditions”.

Source: Reuters

All oil firms to cut output under OPEC deal: Russian Energy Minister

December 16, 2016. All Russian oil companies, including champion producer Rosneft, have agreed to cut crude output under Moscow’s agreements with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

Source: Reuters

Iraq boosts oil sales to China, US, India before OPEC supply cuts bite

December 16, 2016. Iraq is selling more crude oil to its biggest customer, China’s Unipec, digging a deeper foothold in the global supply market just before production cuts agreed with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers are scheduled to kick in. With new deals with Indian and US refiners also coming on stream, the expanded contract with the trading arm of Asia’s largest refiner Sinopec means Baghdad will have to reduce supply to other clients to honor its commitment to cut output by 210,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 2017. The Unipec contract was signed just before the OPEC, of which Iraq is a member, agreed with other producers led by Russia to cut output by as much as 1.8 million bpd in an effort to reduce a global fuel supply overhang and prop up prices. Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) has boosted Basra crude forward export sales to Unipec by 3 percent to a total of 40 million-60 million barrels each quarter – 435,000-652,000 bpd – for 2017. Iraq is OPEC’s second-biggest producer behind Saudi Arabia and now ranks third among crude suppliers to China – after Russia and Saudi Arabia – having recorded a 15 percent year-on-year jump to about 723,000 bpd between January and October. As part of the expanded Chinese deal, Unipec is expected to load 2 million barrels of Basra Heavy crude every quarter. SOMO will also supply Basra Heavy crude under new term contracts to Exxon Mobil, Chevron Corp and Indian refiner Essar Oil for 2017, according to a preliminary January loading schedule for the oil. The contracts contribute to an expected jump in Basra exports to 3.53 million bpd in January 2017, the highest volume since June, the loading schedule showed. In India, crude imports from Iraq rose 24 percent in the first 10 months this year to 784,000 bpd, making Iraq the second-largest crude supplier after Saudi Arabia. Iraqi crude exports to the United States have more than doubled in the first nine months of 2016 from the same period a year ago to nearly 350,000 bpd as Venezuelan supplies declined, data from the Energy Information Administration showed.

Source: Reuters

Japan’s JX will not seek alternative oil to offset producer cuts

December 15, 2016. JX Holdings, Japan’s top oil refiner, is not seeking alternative crude oil to offset supply cuts by global producers. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed on November 30 to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to 32.5 million bpd for the first six months of 2017, together with another 558,000 bpd in cuts from non-OPEC producers including Russia, Oman and Mexico. JX has 1.43 million bpd of crude refining capacity, or 37.6 percent of Japan’s total. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company said it will cut crude supplies to long-term buyers between 3 percent and 5 percent across its three export grades. Kuwait Petroleum Corp and non-OPEC member Oman would implement its share of the reduction.

Source: Reuters

Russia’s Transneft says resumes oil loadings from Kozmino after storm

December 15, 2016. Russian pipeline firm Transneft said it had resumed oil loadings from the Pacific port of Kozmino after a storm. Transneft said that oil loadings had been halted due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Source: Reuters

Petrobras average Brazil oil output rises 2 percent in November

December 15, 2016. Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) said that average domestic oil output rose 2 percent in November from the prior month, underscoring steps by Brazil’s state-controlled oil company to improve exploration and production performance in some offshore fields. Petrobras said average oil production in Brazil stood at 2.23 million barrels of oil a day equivalent (boed) last month. The company’s total production, which encompasses Brazil-based and overseas operations, totaled 2.86 million boed last month.

Source: Reuters

Nigeria flags oil output rise ahead of debt deal with majors

December 15, 2016. Nigeria’s oil production has risen to close to 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said ahead of the expected signing of a deal over repayments of $5.1 billion in debt from joint venture projects. Kachikwu is due to sign the deal later with oil majors ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and Chevron. Kachikwu said Nigeria’s primary goals for 2017 would be to secure “lasting peace” in the Niger Delta, gain external funding for oil investments and improve its oil refining system. Nigeria’s oil refineries hit peak production for 2016 in October, but it was just 23.53 percent of their capacity, and with output of 210 million litres, only a fraction of the oil products the country needs. NNPC has been importing as much as 90 percent of gasoline requirements due to a persistent shortage of foreign exchange also brought on in large part by falling oil prices.

Source: Reuters

Shell begins oil production from Malikai field offshore Malaysia

December 15, 2016. Shell has commenced oil production from the Malikai field located approximately 100 km off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia. The field, which is part of the Deepwater Block G where oil was discovered in 2004, is the Shell’s second deep-water project in the country. Featuring the company’s first tension leg platform (TLP) in Malaysia, Malikai field is estimated to have a peak production capacity of 60,000 barrels per day. The TLP production platform is designed handle up to 60,000 barrels of liquid per day. The development of the oil field involves the drilling of 17 wells, employing TLP production facility.

Source: Energy Business Review

Saudi Arabia engineers big shift in oil market sentiment

December 14, 2016. Saudi Arabia has transformed sentiment in the oil market by assembling an unprecedented coalition of oil producing countries to agree output cuts in 2017. Saudi officials have obtained pledges from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members to cut production by almost 1.2 million barrels per day and from non-OPEC members by an extra 560,000 bpd during the first half of 2017. In the process, Saudi negotiators wrong-footed many hedge fund managers, who had established large short positions in futures and options last month expecting there would be no deal or only a very weak one.

Source: Reuters

International: GAS

British shale gas gets boost from court ruling on permit

December 20, 2016. Britain’s High Court ruled that a fracking permit awarded by a local council to developer Third Energy was legal, after it was challenged by environmental campaigners, opening the way to shale gas extraction in the United Kingdom. Substantial amounts of shale gas are estimated to be trapped in underground rocks and the British government wants to exploit it to help offset declining North Sea oil and gas output, create some 64,000 jobs and help economic growth. The contested permit in Yorkshire, in the north of England, was the first approval for shale gas fracking since a moratorium was lifted in 2012.

Source: Reuters

BP splashes out on deals to beef up oil, gas reserves

December 19, 2016. BP agreed to buy stakes in gas-heavy exploration areas off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal from Kosmos, days after announcing the long-awaited renewal of an onshore oil concession in Abu Dhabi. The combined deals are worth around $3.4 billion and will add valuable oil and gas reserves to BP’s books that have seen resources shrink on the back of divestments it needed to make to pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. They follow BP’s purchase of a stake in Eni’s giant Zohr gas field offshore Egypt for $375 million last month and come at a time of rising oil prices. BP said it had agreed to buy a 62 percent stake and operational control of Kosmos’ Mauritania exploration blocks, which include the Tortue discovery, estimated by Kosmos to contain more than 15 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Source: Reuters

Russian and Japanese companies join force on LNG projects

December 19, 2016. Russian independent gas producer Novatek has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Marubeni on strategic cooperation in the upstream and midstream Arctic LNG 2 project in Russia as well as the supply of LNG, shipping arrangements, gas related infrastructure projects and transactions of other liquid hydrocarbons. The Arctic LNG project would be a follow up of the 16.5 million tonnes (mt) per year Yamal LNG project, whose first 5.5 mt per year train is expected to be commissioned in late 2017. The Arctic LNG project would also have a liquefaction capacity of 16.5 mt per year and would be commissioned by 2025. Novatek has signed a credit line facility with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for US$209 mn for the development of its Yamal LNG project, along with two MoUs with Mitsui and Mitsubishi, to pursue strategic cooperation for implementing LNG projects in Russia and supplying LNG and liquid hydrocarbons.

Source: Enerdata

Norway’s Kollsnes gas plant to be partially shut in May and September

December 16, 2016. Norway’s largest gas processing plant Kollsnes will be partially shut from May 6-20, and from September 2-20 next year, gas system operator Gassco said, announcing its 2017 maintenance plans. The plant in western Norway processes gas from the country’s biggest offshore field, Troll, a key gas supply source for Western Europe. The partial shutdown will reduce the plant’s total daily production capacity of 144.5 million cubic metres (mcm) by 38.5 mcm. Both the plant and the Troll field will be shut completely for one day on May 15, Gassco said.

Source: Reuters

World Bank Group to provide $517 million for Ghana O&G project

December 15, 2016. The World Bank Group said it would provide $517 million to Ghana in debt and guarantees to support the $7.7 billion Sankofa oil and gas (O&G) project being developed by Italy’s ENI and upstream trader Vitol Ghana. The finance adds to a $700 million guarantee package and brings its total financing to around $1.217 billion for the offshore project, whose gas component is set to open in 2018.

Source: Reuters

International: Coal

Marubeni fired up about coal power in the Philippines

December 20, 2016. Marubeni will take a 20% stake in a 270,000 kilowatt coal-fired power plant in the Philippines province of Batangas, and is looking to make other investments in power plants there. The Japanese trading company will spend roughly 10 billion yen ($85.7 million) to acquire 20% of the shares in the plant from local company Phinma Energy and another concern sometime in December. The Philippines Department of Energy estimates that domestic demand for electric power will increase 90% by 2030.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

Shandong plans to halve coal production by 2030

December 20, 2016. The eastern province of Shandong (China) plans to halve its coal production, from 144 million tonnes (mt) in 2015 to 60 mt by 2030. The province, a major coal producing region in China and also the largest consuming region in China, also plans to reduce its coal consumption by 50 mt by 2030. Currently, coal accounts for 80% of its energy consumption.

Source: Enerdata

Obama sets rule to protect streams near coal mines

December 20, 2016. The Obama administration set final rules designed to reduce the environmental impact of coal mining on the nation’s streams, a long-anticipated move that met quick resistance from Republicans who vowed to overturn it under President-elect Donald Trump. The Interior Department said the new rule will protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests, preventing debris from coal mining from being dumped into nearby waters. The rule would maintain a buffer zone that blocks coal mining within 100 feet of streams, but would impose stricter guidelines for exceptions to the 100-foot rule. United States coal production has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 30 years, and several coal companies have filed for bankruptcy protection in recent months, including three of the country’s biggest coal producers, Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy.

Source: The Economic Times

Nippon Steel President sees coking coal price holding near $285 per ton

December 16, 2016. Coking coal prices are expected to stay at high levels of around $285 per ton for a while, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp President Kosei Shindo said. Japan’s biggest steelmaker said it has agreed with Glencore Plc and Teck Resources Ltd on a coking coal price for the January-March quarter of 2017 at $285 a ton, up 43 percent from the previous quarter.

Source: Reuters

International: Power

China’s State Grid acquires Greek power grid ADMIE

December 20, 2016. Greece’s national power utility PPC and China’s State Grid International Development have signed the sale and purchase agreement under the terms of which State Grid will buy a 24% stake in PPC’s fully-owned power transmission network subsidiary ADMIE for €320 mn. Under the terms of the bailout agreement approved in August 2015, PPC (51% state-owned) had to divest a minority interest in ADMIE or fully privatise the transmission network by 2017. In October 2016, China’s State Grid emerged as the winner of the tender for ADMIE, outbidding Italian power transmission network operator Terna.

Source: Enerdata

MHPS to offer preventive detection services for 950 MW power plant in China

December 16, 2016. Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has secured an order to supply gas turbine preventive detection services for a 950 MW gas turbine combined cycle power plant in China. The contract has been awarded by China Shenhua Guohua Power for the plant which began commercial operations in 2015.

Source: Energy Business Review


Trump climate deniers prompt scared scientists to set up hotline

December 20, 2016. The leading Unites States (US) weather agency finds itself in the eye of a storm: climate change in the age of Trump. With global-warming deniers in Washington, outside scientists are setting up an anonymous hotline for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s employees to report political meddling. Fearing deletion, academic researchers are backing up US data. Insiders are considering jobs outside government. The President-elect himself called climate change a hoax and is backed by a Republican-controlled Congress that has also denied the science. Trump picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Department of Energy.

Source: Bloomberg

Japan urges bold reform for TEPCO as Fukushima costs soar

December 20, 2016. Japan’s government urged Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power Company, (TEPCO) to integrate its transmission and nuclear operations with peers to cut costs and generate higher income to pay the costs from the 2011 nuclear disaster. A government panel that has held intensive meetings since October said the next six months will be “make or break” for TEPCO’s reform efforts, after it earlier nearly doubled the estimated costs of the Fukushima disaster to more than $180 billion. TEPCO’s two previous business plans written to map out a recovery from the three meltdowns at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami were based on assumptions of other nuclear reactors returning to service that now look unlikely anytime soon. The panel said that now is the time for TEPCO to act boldly. TEPCO said it will come up with a new plan next year. The panel doubled its estimate for the Fukushima-related costs to 21.5 trillion yen ($182 billion). TEPCO’s portion of the burden has risen to 15.9 trillion yen from 7.2 trillion yen.

Source: Reuters

Renewables accounted for 64 percent of US power capacity additions in 2016

December 20, 2016. According to the United States (US) Energy Information Administration, more than 26 GW of new capacities were installed in the United States in 2016, with three energy sources accounting for 93% of these additions. In 2016, 9.5 GW of solar, 8 GW of gas and 6.8 GW of wind were installed, accounting for 36%, 31% and 26%, respectively, of new capacities. With around 8 GW installed in 2016, gas capacity additions should be slightly above the 7.8 GW average annual additions over the previous five years.

Source: Enerdata

Cambodia opposition promises to slash power prices, encourage solar energy

December 20, 2016. Cambodia’s opposition has pledged to overhaul the country’s power sector as part of a sweeping bid to clean up and reduce the cost of electricity in the country, should it win power in the 2018 national elections. Part of that would include prioritising the development of solar power in the country, with the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) planning to invigorate the near non-existent solar industry to produce 20 percent of the country’s current power needs within two years. Electricity prices in Cambodia are among the highest in the region and the world. Some provinces pay up to USD 0.75 per kilowatt hour, according to national power provider Electricite du Cambodge (EDC).

Source: Channel NewsAsia

EBRD to fund €200 million for Kazakhstan renewable energy projects

December 19, 2016. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide €200 million financing to Kazakhstan to support renewable energy projects in the country. The financing framework will support private renewable energy projects in next five years, which will have a total power generating capacity of 300 MW. Co-financing of the Kazakhstani renewable energy projects is likely to come from the Green Climate Fund, the Clean Technology Fund among other global financial organizations and commercial financiers. Once commissioned, the projects are likely to cut down CO2 emissions by nearly 600,000 tonnes each year. The EBRD had previously funded the Yereymentau wind farm, Burnoye Solar and other renewable energy projects in the country. It had also supported in the rehabilitation of the Shardara hydropower plant.

Source: Energy Business Review

EU approves Drax’s coal power plant switch to biomass

December 19, 2016. Britain’s largest coal power producer Drax gained European Commission approval to convert a third power plant unit to biomass from coal, sending shares in the London-listed company to a five-month high. The Commission opened an investigation into government support for the project in January and concluded that it was in line with the European Union (EU)’s environmental and energy targets. Drax is in the process of converting its coal-fired power generating plant in Yorkshire to biomass. The company announced a shift away from coal with the acquisition of business energy supplier Opus Energy and four gas stations. The deal had been contingent on the Commission’s state aid approval. The British government has guaranteed a minimum electricity price for Drax’s biomass project of 100 pounds per MWh until 2027, which Drax said had not changed following the Commission’s approval. The company said it could convert its remaining three coal-burning units to biomass in the next two to three years if the government sets the right conditions. Drax said the unit would be able to run 100 percent on biomass instead of co-firing coal in the coming days.

Source: Reuters

IAEA asks Iran to inform about details of nuclear ship-building plans

December 19, 2016. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it had sought from Iran details of its plans to build nuclear-powered ships. The agency reminded Iran that such a project must be in accordance with the landmark agreement reached in 2015 between Tehran and the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany).

Source: The Economic Times

EU pivots away from distorted energy markets toward gas

December 19, 2016. The European Union (EU) seeks to tackle energy market distortions with policies that will eliminate coal and favor natural gas-fired and renewable power while reducing the cost of lowering emissions. The European Commission plan to limit the use of high-emissions generation to secure supply will hurt coal plants starting in 2020, but not modern gas units, according to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Gas may displace biomass, which will lose its priority dispatch status for new projects. That mechanism, which also applies to solar and wind, is the biggest distortion to day-ahead power markets, according to the EU.

Source: Bloomberg

Ethiopia inaugurates 1,870 MW Gilgel Gibe III hydropower plant

December 19, 2016. Ethiopian power generation company EEPCO has inaugurated its 1,870 MW Gilgel Gibe III hydropower project on the Omo River in Ethiopia, whose construction was completed after nine years of works. The €1.5 bn project consists of ten 187 MW turbines and already has 900 MW operational. It will be progressively ramped up, with full operations expected in early 2017. Once fully operational, the project will raise the country’s installed generating capacity to 4,200 MW.

Source: Enerdata

US wind power enjoys a rebirth as solar’s obstacles mount

December 15, 2016. A year after Congress extended generous tax credits for renewable energy projects, the United States (US) wind industry is thriving. Solar power companies, meanwhile, are hunkering down for a rough 2017. In the last few weeks, power companies with large renewable holdings, including Southern Co, NextEra Energy Inc and Xcel Energy Inc, have announced plans to invest billions of dollars in wind. The wind industry tax credit is largest for projects that break ground in 2016 and will decrease each year after that before expiring at the end of 2019. Solar’s tax credit, by contrast, doesn’t start to decline until 2020, giving developers an incentive to focus on wind projects first. The most popular wind power tax credit, which lasts for ten years, is worth 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. After this year, however, the credit’s value will drop by 20 percent each year for projects that start construction from 2017 through 2019. The tax credit used most by solar developers is worth 30 percent of the value of the project and must be claimed entirely in the first year.

Source: Reuters

Germany could miss its GHG emission cut target for 2020

December 15, 2016. According to the German environment ministry, Germany may struggle to meet its target to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by 2020, compared to 1990 levels, as in 2015 GHG emissions were just 27% lower than in 1990. So far, CO2 emissions have been cut by 58 Mt CO2, compared to a target of 62-78 MtCO2. Germany has implemented an ambitious energy policy, the Energiewende, seeking to improve energy efficiency, promote electric vehicles and reduce emissions from the power sector by supporting renewable power generation and mothballing some lignite-fired power plants. However, the coal mining sector has succeeded in keeping its mines open to avoid power supply congestions. Coal mines are due to stop operations in 2018 but no agreement has been reached to phase out lignite mines.

Source: Enerdata

Carbon cycle begins construction of $100 million biogas facility in US

December 15, 2016. Carbon Cycle Energy has started construction of a $100 mn biogas facility in North Carolina, United States (US) to produce biomethane for Duke Energy. The biogas facility, which is touted to become the largest in the US and located near Warsaw, will convert animal and food waste into pipeline-quality biomethane. Construction of the facility on an 82-acre land in southeastern North Carolina will be completed in late 2017. Named as C2e Renewables NC, the biogas plant will generate clean energy for 32,000 homes per year from the annually processed 750,000 tons of organic waste. C2e Renewables NC facility will daily generate 6,500 dekatherms of biomethane at its full capacity, which equals to around 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

Source: Energy Business Review

Scatec Solar, ItraMAS consortium to build 200 MW solar projects in Malaysia

December 14, 2016. Scatec Solar has partnered with ItraMAS-led consortium to build three solar projects with a combined capacity of 200 MW in Malaysia. The partnership marks the Norwegian global solar power producer’s entry in the Malaysian solar energy market. The two entities will invest nearly $300 mn in the solar projects. The three photovoltaic solar parks will come up at Merchang, Jasin and Gurun in Peninsular Malaysia, with each of them spanning over 200 acres of land. Scatec Solar is likely to invest around $60 million in the projects for a 49% ownership stake. The Norwegian solar power firm will take up an integrated role in the projects, including undertaking turnkey engineering, procurement and construction works.

Source: Energy Business Review


Natural Gas and Petroleum Products Consumption Growth in India


Natural Gas Consumption

(including LNG imports) – MMSCM

Growth (%) in Natural Gas Consumption

(FY 17 w.r.t. FY16)

Growth (%) in LNG Imports

(FY 17 w.r.t. FY16)

2015-16 2016-17
April 3571.28 4542.42 27.19 45.45
May 3699.53 4717.14 27.51 47.50
June 4032.32 4471.14 10.88 3.78
July 4064.25 4581.54 12.73 -3.70
August 3815.86 4722.65 23.76 34.61
September 3955.51 4807.62 21.54 28.62
October 4111.23 4851.74 18.01 14.34
November 3898.21 4602.95 18.08 15.50
Total 35314.29 37297.19 5.62 6.02

Petroleum Products Consumption Growth (Nov 16 w.r.t. Nov 15)


Source: Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell

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

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