MonitorsPublished on Aug 16, 2017
Energy News Monitor | Volume XIV; Issue 9


Power News Commentary: July 2017


Financial losses of discoms of states which have joined the UDAY have fallen by 21.5% in the year to ₹ 402.95 billion in FY17. Discoms of Rajasthan, which saved about ₹ 47 billion through lower interest costs, saw losses falling by 54% to ₹ 52.08 billion. Decrease in losses corresponds with significant savings made by the discoms through lower interest costs, as per the design of the UDAY scheme. Governments of 16 states have taken over around ₹ 2.3 trillion debt of their discoms as per the terms of UDAY. This helped in lowering interest rates to 7-8.5% from around 11-12%, resulting in discoms saving ₹ 119.89 billion till December 2016. Some discoms of other big states, traditionally burdened with huge losses, also saw significant improvements in their financial performances. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra witnessed drop in losses by 14%, 16%, 35% and 8% to ₹ 6,619 billion, ₹ 48.13 billion, ₹ 37.83 billion and ₹ 25.68 billion, respectively. However, financial losses of discoms of Punjab, Jharkhand and Bihar have increased by 20%, 72% and 53% to ₹ 2,386 billion, ₹ 2,001 billion and ₹16.41 billion, respectively. The performances of several state discoms have seen an improvement since they signed up for UDAY. The gap between the discoms’ average cost of supply and average revenue realised narrowed by ₹ 0.07/kWh in FY17 to ₹ 0.47/kWh. The average aggregate technical and commercial losses for all UDAY states has come down by about four percentage points to 20.2% as well. Research firm ICRA recently said UDAY has improved the liquidity profile of the discoms to some extent and expects discoms book losses on a national level to decline from ₹ 600 billion in FY16 to ₹ 350 billion in FY18. However, the firm also estimated that the overall subsidy dependence of the state-owned power discoms for FY18 would increase annually by about 7-8% to around ₹810 billion.

The UDAY scheme for power distribution reforms is reported to be bearing fruits with major improvement witnessed in both financial and operational performance of debt-laden discoms, Credit rating agency Ind-Ra has said. It said a reduction in interest cost has also benefitted discoms’ finances which is estimated to have freed up ₹ 220 billion capital of the banking sector. At the end of March 2017, 26 states and one union territory have joined UDAY. Nagaland, Odisha and West Bengal have not joined the scheme. As the UDAY scheme merely transfers debt from the balance sheet of discoms to that of the State budgets it is natural that debt of discoms has fallen.

The power ministry has asked states to slash electricity losses due to theft and technical reasons to below 10% within six months, an ambitious target given that some towns in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar lose up to 90% of power. The target was put before the states in a review, planning and monitoring meeting with power secretaries of states. About 4,041 towns are being targeted under the proposal. Cities such as Ahmedabad and Visakhapatnam would find it easier to meet the target since they lose close to 10% power due to theft and technical reasons, but the move is being resisted by states such as Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where pilferage and technical problems are a huge challenge. The power ministry said that the national aggregate technical and commercial losses in states reduced to 20% in 2016-17 from 21% in FY16, 25% in FY15, and 23% in FY14.  It is not clear if the Centre can order the States to reduce power theft because constitutionally the power sector is with the States.

The government is looking to take the assistance of SBI Capital Markets Ltd in its effort to tackle the issue of stressed assets in the power sector. The investment-banking arm of State Bank of India, which will likely get the mandate from PFC, will help devise a strategy for the resolution of stalled power projects. Stressed assets in the power sector account for around ₹ 4 trillion of banks’ ₹ 10 trillion of bad loans. Some of the issues faced by these projects include paucity of funds, lack of a power purchase agreement, and absence of fuel security. JM Financial Research wrote that its 2016 study of stressed power assets had concluded that of the total 28 GW generating capacity in question, assets accounting for 14 GW were at high risk. Stressed assets in the power generation sector, where developers have not wilfully defaulted on loans, are likely to be taken over by lenders under a resolution plan being worked out. The strategy being explored involves banks taking over the stressed projects and bringing in state-owned or private entities to manage plant operations efficiently till a buyer is found. REC and PFC are among the largest power sector lenders in India.

To meet the twin goals of curbing wasteful electricity consumption and limiting power subsidies to the really needy, the government is looking at replicating the DBT scheme in the sector. DBT-Power, if implemented efficiently, could practically solve sticky issues in the power sector as it will help slash the losses of the power distribution companies. The draft national energy policy, published by NITI Aayog, had noted that adoption of DBT would protect the vulnerable electricity customer from rise in electricity prices when fuel costs go up. Once DBT-Power is introduced, state governments can directly subsidise customers. This will also engender salutary behavioural changes in consumption. Even the subsidised power users will be paying tariffs calculated on the basis of actual cost of electricity generation and transmission and distribution while receiving the subsidy amounts in their bank accounts. DBT is also expected to gradually reduce cross-subsidisation, helping to moderate industrial power rates — another issue the government is trying to address. Industrial customers, to compensate for low agricultural power prices, pay hefty tariffs of more than ₹ 7.40/kWh.

PGCIL is working on what would be the largest project for monitoring and controlling of electricity supply across the country. Called ‘Unified Real Time Dynamic State Measurement (URTDSM)’, the central transmission utility would install ‘Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs)’ at all substations and generating stations. This would also form the backbone for efforts underway to integrate the large amount of renewable energy envisaged. The plan is to install PMUs at close to 1,300 locations on the national grid in phase-I; 1,000 have been installed. In the second phase, another 500 PMUs would be installed along with a network of Optical Ground Wire, for facilitating communication services in the power network, PGCIL said. The PMU network will facilitate monitoring of grid events in real time, such as power flow, voltage, backing down, demand & supply synchronisation, etc. This would improve grid reliability, reduce the probability of blackouts and minimise the impact of grid curtailment. It would also pave the way for remote communication and management of power supply. PGCIL is already monitoring the grid at a regional level through a National Transmission Asset Management Centre, which is monitoring 192 locations through nine control centres. Headquartered in Manesar, Haryana, it keeps an eye on all substations of PGCIL through remote-controlled cameras and alarm systems for any snag.

Power generation in June 2017 remained flat at 97 billion units on account of lower demand from distribution companies according to a credit rating agency. Power generation in June 2017 remained flat at 97 billion units on account of lower demand from distribution companies. Continuous spell of pre-monsoon showers across northern India in June 2017 led to reduction in temperature leading to lower power demand, Credit rating agency Ind-Ra said. In June 2017, power generation from Punjab and Haryana reduced y-o-y by 39 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Lower generation led to reduction in all-India PLF for coal and lignite-based power plants by 326 basis points to 57.4 percent. PLF of NTPC Ltd owned plants registered a y-o-y decline of 462 basis points to 77.2 percent in June 2017.

13,872 un-electrified villages have been reported to be electrified up to June 30, 2017. The total number of un-electrified villages in the country stood at 18,452 as on April 1, 2015 and the government’s time-frame to electrify all the villages is May 1, 2018. The Decentralized Distributed Generation scheme, under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, has been initiated by the government to provide access to electricity to un-electrified villages/habitations where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective including the villages located in backward, remote, inaccessible and forest areas.

UP launched free power connection scheme for the BPL card holders in the state.  The scheme would also benefit the poor people who do not have BPL cards at present. UP is giving free power connection to the same class of people.

The Delhi BJP is said to be opposing power tariff hike in Delhi. The three discoms, BYPL, BRPL and TPDDL, have been seeking hike in tarrif pointing that the last such increase of 5 percent was effected way back in July 2014. The DERC had held a public hearing on the petitions of the discoms to balance tariff, expenses and aggregate revenue requirement, but it was boycotted by the representatives of resident welfare associations. This is probably the newest copy and paste schemes of the BJP in the national capital. It is probably motivated by the fact that the AAP party was voted to power partly for the same position it took.

The CEA has started the process of identifying the actual power generation capacity of the country. This move follows the government’s own assessments that only 60 percent of the captive power plants (in terms of MW Capacity) submit data to CEA right now. The CEA said that despite being mandatory, all generating units in the country do not submit generation data to the CEA. Captive power plants of 1 MW and above capacity are also mandated to submit data regarding installed generating capacity and electricity generation to the CEA. Further, even in the case of some conventional power generating plants of Independent Power Producers, the information was only made available to CEA during the time of commissioning of the plant. In order to plug these diversions, the CEA has proposed a unique registration number for each generating unit.

The government is considering an Aadhaar-like unique identification for all the power projects in the country to know the right amount of electricity generation and consumption, electricity requirement, demand-supply patterns, and transmission system requirements. An online registry is proposed for the power producers, which include operators of all thermal, hydro, renewable and captive plants. The government is weighing taking stringent actions against non-compliance by power plant developers to ensure complete registration of power projects. The registry will also help new power plants secure regulatory clearances. About 40% of captive power plants are estimated to be unaccounted in the electricity produced in India. The power ministry said electricity generation in India is growing at a robust rate.

A new ‘Long Term Distribution Perspective Plan’ is being drafted by the ministry of power to collate details of all the power discoms across the country. Being prepared by the CEA, this the first ever draft proposal aimed at envisaging the infrastructure and investments required by the various discoms across the country on an annual basis, till 2021-22. CEA has been deliberating upon a long-term perspective plan for the generation and transmission of power supply in the country and its plan on the issue is already out. The report on the distribution sector would be finalised within 3-4 months, the power ministry said. Also, this would complement the efforts made by the states in favour of a restructuring program for discoms under the UDAY. Earlier reports on generation and transmission created a stir in the power sector after the CEA estimated an ‘end of road’ for the thermal power industry in India in the coming decade. The CEA said that the last mile infrastructure needs to grow in the states for robust power supply.

India’s power grid needs to be upgraded if the plan to sharply step up power from renewable energy is to be successful, Tim Buckley, the Energy Finance Studies Director with the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said. Buckley, who is studying the transformation of the Indian and Chinese electricity markets, said the development and strengthening of the national electricity grid would be a critical factor in facilitating the government’s ambitious plan on renewable energy. He said the capital investment required for a transition to a smart grid was “enormous”. India’s electricity system has historically been 70 to 75 percent reliant on coal-fired power generation. Buckley said solar power generation was a near-zero marginal cost source of supply and hydro-costs varied dramatically, but were very competitive in India — particularly as a system balancing the supply for peak electricity demands.

Rest of the World

Investments in electricity surpassed those in oil and gas for the first time ever in 2016 on a spending splurge on renewable energy and power grids as the fall in crude prices led to deep cuts, the IEA said. Total energy investment fell for the second straight year by 12 percent to $1.7 trillion compared with 2015, the IEA said. Oil and gas investments plunged 26 percent to $650 billion, down by over a quarter in 2016, and electricity generation slipped 5 percent. Oil and gas investment is expected to rebound modestly by 3 percent in 2017, driven by a 53 percent upswing in US shale, and spending in Russia and the Middle East, the IEA said. The global electricity sector, however, was the largest recipient of energy investment in 2016 for the first time ever, overtaking oil, gas and coal combined, the IEA said. Electricity investment worldwide was $718 billion, lifted by higher spending in power grids which offset the fall in power generation investments.

China will extend its push to cut power distribution pricing to include transmission lines used to send electricity between regions, the NDRC said. The country has since 2014 reformed the cost of using its 32 provincial grids, which the government says has saved a total of $7.11 billion. It is now turning its attention to the power lines that connect those networks, Zhang Manying, an inspector in the pricing department of the NDRC, said. He said that pricing would also be reviewed on the myriad local power networks that operate below the provincial level. China has published two regulatory guides for provincial power pricing in the past two years.

China’s power consumption is expected to hit a fresh peak this summer, surpassing a record hit, NDRC said. China will boost its inventory of thermal coal at major ports to ensure power supply, NDRC said. Power consumption rose 6.3 percent in the first half of this year, NDRC said.


Govt receives 45 proposals in a month for mega O&G auctions

August 8, 2017. India’s upstream petroleum regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has received as many as 45 Expressions of Interest (EoI) in a little over a month for various fields to be bid out under the mega oil and gas (O&G) auctions in what analysts called an “encouraging response”. The oil ministry had made the auction live on 1 July, offering over 85 percent of the country’s 3.14 million square kilometres of hydrocarbon sedimentary area under a new bidding mechanism – Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) — and a revamped Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP). Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had in June said the problems faced by investors under the previous oil and gas exploration policy had prompted the government to completely revamp the policy and announce a new bidding mechanism. The government aims at awarding fields under the new regime by December this year. Oil sector expert, Deepak Mahurkar, Partner at accounting and consultancy firm PwC, said 45 EOIs received in around a month of opening demonstrate that India’s OALP has met investor expectations. The new OALP bidding mechanism under HELP allows investors to bid for oil and gas fields throughout the year. The current auction under HELP follows the just-concluded Discovered Small Fields (DSF) bidding rounds under which 31 blocks were awarded to around two dozen mostly small-sized firms.

Source: The Economic Times

Bottling LPG for domestic purpose liable for tax benefits: SC

August 7, 2017. The Supreme Court (SC) held that the process of bottling of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cylinders meant for domestic use is an activity which amounts to ‘production’ and ‘manufacturing’ and is liable for income tax deductions. The apex court also accepted the views expressed by various high courts from time to time that bottling of gas into cylinder amounts to production and liable for claim of deduction under Sections 80HH, 80-I and 80-IA of Income Tax Act. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) order, which was also affirmed by the high courts, has held that LPG produced in the refineries cannot be directly supplied to households without bottling of the LPG into the cylinders and insofar as LPG bottling is concerned, it is a complex activity, which can only be carried out by experts. The apex court noted that after the bottling activities at the plants, LPG is stored in cylinders in liquefied form under pressure and when the cylinder valve is opened and the gas is withdrawn from the cylinder, the pressure falls and the liquid boils to return to gaseous state. The court said that it is apparent that the LPG obtained from the refinery undergoes a “complex technical process” in the assessees’ plants and is clearly distinguishable from the LPG bottled in cylinders and cleared from these plants for domestic use by customers.

Source: The Economic Times

Oil ministry to ensure needy not denied fuel subsidy

August 7, 2017. A mechanism is in the works to ensure that the poor are not deprived of cooking gas or kerosene subsidy, which is slowly being phased out, the oil ministry said. For decades, the policy has been to club subsidy with fuel, which made subsidy available to every user. Now, it will be clubbed with just the needy, the oil ministry said. State oil companies, on directions of the government, have been periodically raising prices of cooking gas and kerosene to eventually align them with market rates. Making sure only poor households receive fuel subsidy will require some hard work on consumer data, much of which is now available with the government.

Source: The Economic Times

BJP feels the heat as local politicians dragged into Barmer crude oil theft

August 7, 2017. The ruling party has taken a cognizance on reports linking the names of local leaders to the recent crude oil theft in Barmer. Taking a serious note of the alleged involvement of local politicians in this case, the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leadership in state has sought a feedback in the matter. The allegations were made against Congress MLA from Barmer Mewa Ram Jain. Specific information has been gathered about the ownership of the tankers involved in crude theft case. Investigation into the case involving theft of over 3 lakh barrel (five crore liter) of crude oil from Cairn Oil and Gas’s Barmer oil fields may bring the role of local politicians under scanner who reportedly using pressure tactics to get maximum share from the crude oil transport via tankers. Currently, Barmer oil fields are producing around 1.75 lakh barrels of oil per day and most of the crude quantity is being transported via pipeline. Satellite fields with minor production were subjected to transportation via tankers. Local politicians found this as an opportunity and reportedly started arm twisting the company and its contractors. Most of the time, the tankers were deployed in the name of land contributors.

Source: The Economic Times

BPCL buys 1 mn oil barrels from US

August 5, 2017. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) said it has bought 1 million barrels from the United States (US) — in two consignments; a first for the midstream and downstream oil refiner, which is largely dependent on OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries nations) for oil imports. On whether the new procurement would mean modification at the company’s refineries, which are more attuned to heavier grades of crude with high sulphur content from the Middle East, BPCL said there would be no need for such revisions. BPCL also said it is looking at Rs 1 lakh crore capital expenditure in the next five years for cost-competitive acquisitions, exploration of new gas shales and technological upgrades. On the recent expansion of the Kochi refinery, BPCL said this would increase production capacity from 9 million metric tonne per annum to 15.5 million tonnes.

Source: The Times of India

Home delivery of fuels to be a reality soon, oil firms in talks with PESO

August 4, 2017. Home-delivery of petrol and diesel will be a reality soon with the government-owned fuel retailers in advanced talks with Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) on formulation of safety norms and issuance of licenses, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had in April this year stated options for home-delivery of petrol and diesel on pre-booking are being explored by the government for the benefit of the consumers. ANB Fuels, under the brand MyPetrolPump, had launched first-of-its-kind home delivery of diesel in Bengaluru with three delivery vehicles in June. The company had to suspend its operation within four days of its launch due to a circular issued by PESO to oil companies directing it not to supply fuel to the start-up citing safety reasons.

Source: The Economic Times

HPCL aims to buy US oil in next few months

August 4, 2017. Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) plans to buy low-sulphur oil from the United States (US) in the next few months for its 166,000 barrel per day (bpd) Vizag refinery in southern India. India is the latest Asian country to buy US crude, following South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia and Taiwan, after OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) cuts drove up prices of Middle East heavy-sour crude, or grades with a high sulphur content. Indian refiners stepped up purchases of US oil after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Washington in June when President Donald Trump said the US looked forward to exporting more energy products to the world’s third-biggest oil buyer. Since then, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) have bought US oil, as Indian refiners seek to diversify their crude import sources as arbitrage opens due to global oil supply cuts. HPCL’s finance chief J Ramaswamy said the company is evaluating if Nigerian sweet oil can be replaced with US oil. He said HPCL has the appetite to import a very large crude carrier containing 2 million barrels of US oil every month. HPCL plans to boost the capacity of its Mumbai refinery to 190,000 bpd by July 2019 from 130,000 bpd while its Vizag refinery will be ramped up to 300,000 bpd by July 2020.

Source: Reuters

Lok Sabha passes Bill for setting up petroleum institute in Vizag

August 4, 2017. The Lok Sabha passed a Bill for establishing the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) in Andhra Pradesh that will impart high quality education and conduct advance research in all aspects relating to the conventional hydrocarbons. The IIPE is being set up in Visakhapatnam at a cost of ₹ 650 crore as part of a package promised by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh after Telangana was carved out of it. The batch of students were admitted last year and the institute is currently functioning out of the Andhra University campus in Visakhapatnam. Moving ‘The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017’, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the benefit of the institute would be accrued not only to Andhra Pradesh but India and the world as a whole.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

IOC plans $2.4 bn expansion of Gujarat refinery

August 4, 2017. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) will spend $2.4 billion to increase capacity at its refinery in western India by about a third over the next few years to meet rising local demand for fuel. The plan, announced, will enable the plant in Gujarat state to process 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil by the end of 2021. It is part of IOC’s vision to increase its refining capacity by about 89 percent to 3 million bpd by 2030 by building new plants and expanding some existing ones. The 274,000 bpd Koyali refinery, built in 1965, has five crude units and IOC wants to replace four of them with a single 300,000 bpd crude unit. The Rs 150.3 billion ($2.4 billion) expansion will also enable the Gujarat plant to process cheaper, tougher oil grades and improve profitability. The secondary units at the plant will be ready by the end of 2022, IOC said. India has emerged as a bright spot amid soft demand for oil elsewhere in the world, but the South Asian nation’s push to electric vehicles is forcing analysts to revise forecasts for fuel demand in the world’s third biggest oil consumer. The revamped plant will have the flexibility to withstand fluctuations in future demand and supply of fuels and to integrate with downstream petrochemical units, IOC said.

Source: Reuters

After diesel and LPG, government to now end subsidy on kerosene

August 3, 2017. The government has taken further steps to gradually reduce subsidy on kerosene, continuing the series of market-oriented reforms that have galvanised the petroleum sector and attracted big-ticket investment after an era of excessive controls, controversies and untargeted subsidies that made it difficult for private companies to operate. In a recent communication, it has asked state oil companies to keep raising prices of subsidised kerosene by 25 paise every fortnight until the subsidy is eliminated, or until further orders. The oil ministry had earlier ordered a similar increase only up to July this year. The fuel is still heavily subsidised but demand for kerosene is falling sharply because villages are being rapidly electrified and the government has supplied cooking gas connections to crores of poor people in the past three years. Delhi and Chandigarh are already kerosene-free cities. Subsidised kerosene is also misused to adulterate diesel. After diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), government to now end subsidy on kerosene. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is keen to ensure that market pricing of fuels does not hurt the interests of the poorest sections of society. Pradhan has led a massive drive to give 2.5 crore cooking gas connections to the poor. The price of cooking gas is also being increased gradually to eventually align it with market rates. The government has been aggressively discouraging use of subsidised kerosene, mainly used by the rural poor for lighting and cooking, as it is a polluting fuel and sometimes ends up as an adulterant at petrol pumps. By cutting subsidies, the government is bringing the commodity closer to the market price, which will eventually stop diversion for adulteration as well as encourage consumers to switch to the cleaner LPG. A record expansion of cooking gas or LPG, especially into the rural and remote areas, and increased supply of electricity in the past three years of the Modi government have provided a cleaner substitute for cooking and lighting to people dependent largely on kerosene so far. Kerosene and cooking gas are the only fuels currently subsidised by the government. Pradhan had earlier lifted controls on diesel, which prompted Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Essar to build new petrol pumps. British oil major BP Plc has also taken approval to set up petrol pumps in India.

Source: The Economic Times

Tata Sons may shut oil production arm Petrodyne in business revamp

August 3, 2017. Tata Sons Ltd may shut down Tata Petrodyne Ltd (TPL), its oil exploration and production arm, as new chairman N. Chandrasekaran weeds out businesses that are unprofitable or lack scale. Registrar of Companies data shows Tata Petrodyne’s turnover at Rs 66 crore for fiscal 2016-17. The company, which has a participating interest in four oil and gas blocks in India and one each in Indonesia and Tanzania, has a net worth of Rs 385 crore—small in Chandrasekaran’s scheme of things. TPL said that some of these blocks are in different stages of exploration and production. For instance. In both these blocks, the firm holds a 21-30% stake with the rest owned by Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC) and other firms such as Hindustan Oil Exploration Company Ltd and Cairn India Ltd.

Source: Livemint

BPCL makes revisions to dealer commissions

August 3, 2017. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) said it has revised its dealership rates by 40-50% to ensure that dealers are reasonably compensated towards the investments they make in petrol pumps. Employees working at petrol pumps would also be paid central minimum wages instead of state minimum wages, which would result in a 50% increase in salaries.

Source: The Times of India

IOC aims to source a tenth of oil needs from own assets

August 2, 2017. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) wants to supply at least 10 percent of its expanding refining capacity from its own oil and gas assets in the medium term, the company said. IOC aims to raise its refining capacity by about 89 percent to 3 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2030 by setting up new plants and expanding some existing ones, it said. India, the world’s third biggest oil consumer, imports about 80 percent of its oil requirements as its local production has not increased for decades. But the country wants to create integrated oil companies with activities both in oil production and refining by combining state-run oil firms. In its quest to become an integrated oil firm, IOC wants to expand its current portfolio of its oil and gas blocks. The refiner has a stake in eight domestic and nine overseas oil and gas blocks in Libya, Gabon, Nigeria, Yemen, Venezuela, Russia, Canada and USA, it said. IOC controls 50 percent of the downstream marketing infrastructure and is beefing up its sales network to cater to rising fuel demand in India. The refiner owns the largest crude oil and product pipelines network of about 12,848 kilometers and aims to add 8,000 kilometers by 2021. IOC also wants to tap refining and fuel retail opportunities in emerging markets in Southeast Asia and Africa. It is opening offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Bangladesh. IOC currently operates fuel retail and terminal operation in Sri Lanka and Mauritius.

Source: Reuters

Domestic LPG price hike to help Modi government save Rs 30 bn of annual subsidy

August 2, 2017. The Modi government’s latest move to increase subsidized liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices by Rs 4 per cylinder per month is a major positive move and would lead to savings of the order of Rs 3,000 core annually, according to research and ratings firm ICRA. The centre has decided to allow the public sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to increase prices of LPG for domestic use (subsidised LPG) by Rs 4 per cylinder every month as compared to Rs 2 per cylinder increase, which has been effective from August 2016. The OMCs have been allowed to hike the prices till the reduction of government subsidy to nil or till March 2018 or till further orders. As per the existing under-recovery sharing formula, the centre bears the domestic LPG subsidy up to Rs 18 per Kg (around Rs 255 per cylinder) under the Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL). For the month of July 2017, the subsidy on domestic LPG was Rs 86.5 per cylinder, which is lower than the threshold level of Rs 255 per cylinder due to low international prices and regular retail price increase in the recent past, providing comfort to PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) oil companies. As domestic LPG under-recoveries up to Rs 255 per cylinder are expected to be borne by the centre, the major benefit from the fall in gross under-recoveries (GURs) on domestic LPG would accrue to the government. Also, the benefit of lower GURs due to the move would increase with the rise in subsidised LPG consumption volumes, which has consistently shown double digit growth over the last few years due to various promotional initiatives by the centre. As the centre aims to deregulate LPG prices by reducing subsidy level to nil, the risk related to material under-recovery burden on OMCs or PSU upstream companies in a high crude price scenario has reduced significantly, which is a major positive for PSU oil companies in case oil prices increase beyond $65 per barrel over the long term. The step to gradually increase subsidised LPG prices is a positive move for the OMCs as they would gain from the marginal savings on interest burden due to lower GURs. Besides, the domestic LPG subsidy was expected to touch the threshold level of Rs 255 per cylinder at an Indian Basket crude oil price of $65 per barrel and beyond that level of crude oil prices either consumers or upstream or downstream oil companies would have borne GURs on domestic LPG.

Source: The Economic Times


GAIL seeks reworking of US LNG price deal to reflect market realities

August 8, 2017. GAIL (India) Ltd is seeking to renegotiate price of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) it has contracted from the United States (US) — following a similar one with Australia — to reflect current market realities. GAIL has deals to buy 5.8 million tonnes (mt) of US LNG per annum for 20 years. GAIL is approaching US LNG sellers to reopen the contracts. GAIL had agreed to pay Cheniere a price of $3 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu) plus 115 percent of the final settlement price for the New York Mercantile Exchange Henry Hub natural gas futures contract for the month in which the relevant cargo is scheduled. GAIL wants the fixed portion to be lowered to bring down landed cost of LNG to around $7-8 per mmBtu as against the present $9.7. LNG in the spot or current market is available for less than $6 per mmBtu. US supplies are scheduled to begin from the next year. GAIL had previously sought reopening of the August 2009 deal for import of 1.44 mt per annum of LNG for 20 years from Australia’s Gorgon project. In 2015, India renegotiated price of the long-term deal to import 7.5 million tonnes per year of LNG from Qatar, helping save Rs 8,000 crore.

Source: The Economic Times

GAIL, GSPL fight over who will transport ONGC’s gas from KG basin

August 6, 2017. A fight has broken out between GAIL (India) Ltd and Gujarat government entity GSPL over who should transport natural gas ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corp) will produce from its KG basin gas fields. While GAIL wants to lay a small 13.6-km line from Odalarevu in Andhra Pradesh – the landfall point of ONGC’s Bay of Bengal gas – to connect to its existing pipeline grid in the region, GSPL India Transco Ltd wants to lay a 50-km line to take the gas to its proposed Mallavaram-Bhopal-Bhilwara- Vijaipur cross country pipeline. GAIL said its pipeline would cost Rs 85.36 crore while GSPL India Transco Ltd’s pipeline would cost Rs 250 crore. The two companies have filed applications before the sectoral regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) for authorisation for laying the pipelines, known as tie-in lines that connect a gas source with main pipeline. ONGC has over a dozen natural gas discoveries in Bay of Bengal which it plans to put them to production in phases. Gas from offshore is to be brought to Odalarevu from where it is to be taken to users through existing gas transporters.

Source: The Economic Times


Gujarat to swap coal allocation with efficient plants

August 8, 2017. In an attempt to cut power purchase cost, Gujarat has invited tenders to buy coal-based electricity from independent power producers who would agree to sell power at less than Rs 2.82/unit. Through the auction, Gujarat will transfer the coal allocated to power generating stations owned by Gujarat State Electricity Corp Ltd (GSECL) to more fuel efficient private power plants. The reverse auction for procuring 1,000 MW of power through this mechanism would be held on September 8. The successful power plant would be selling electricity to the state from October 1 to June 30, 2018. According to data from the Central Electricity Authority, coal-powered GSECL plants’ power sale price range between Rs 2.92 a unit–Rs 5.42 a unit. In the first quarter of FY18, the average plant load factor of thermal power plants of GSECL was 45.4% only. They produced 5,85 million units (MU) of power in the period against the target of 6,055 MU. To meet the state’s demand of about 8,000 MW, the state imports about 1,600 MW from other sources, while the rest is generated from within the state. The state has also opened tenders to purchase 500 MW of power between September 16 and October 15. It has also invited bidders for 500 MW each of wind and solar power. Gujarat will sign 25-year power purchase agreements with the lowest bidders in the respective renewable segments.

Source: The Financial Express

Government annuls 5th round of coal mines auction on tepid response

August 7, 2017. The government has annulled the fifth round of coal mines auction due to poor response from bidders. According to the government, the fifth round of coal blocks auction has been annulled as there was not good response from the bidders because the steel industry is in a bad shape. Six coking coal blocks were to go under the hammer in the fifth round, five of which are in Jharkhand and one in Madhya Pradesh. The six coal mines are: Brahmadih, Choritand Tiliaya, Jogeshwar and Khas Jogeshwar, Rabodih OCP and Rohne in Jharkhand, and Urtan North in Madhya Pradesh. In December 2015, the government annulled the fourth round of coal mine auctions planned for January 2016 on account of tepid response from bidders in sectors such as steel besides depressed commodity prices and adverse market conditions. The Centre earlier announced that it would auction six coking coal mines. Coal India Ltd (CIL) which produced 55.22 million tonnes (mt) of coking coal last fiscal is eyeing 59.77 mt of metallurgical coal in the ongoing financial year. CIL, which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production, is eyeing 63.55 mt coking coal in the next fiscal and 72.30 mt in 2019-20. In FY16, India imported 43.51 mt of coking coal and 43.71 mt of fuel used in steel-making in FY15.

Source: The Economic Times

Essar Ports enters pact to build 20 mtpa coal terminal in Mozambique

August 4, 2017. Essar Ports said it has entered into a concession pact with Mozambique government to develop a new 20 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) coal terminal at Beira Port in the Southeast African country. Essar Ports has signed a 30-year concession agreement with the Government of Mozambique to develop a new coal terminal at Beira Port, as part of a public private partnership project, the company said. The project will augment the coal handling capacity of Mozambique by 20 mtpa.

Source: Business Standard

CIL likely to offer about 138 mt of coal in various e-auctions in FY18

August 3, 2017. Coal India Ltd (CIL) is looking to offer tentatively close to 138 million tonnes (mt) of coal through various e-auction schemes in the current fiscal, according to miner’s e-auction calendar from 2017-18. The e-auction schemes include spot, special forward for power and exclusive for non-power sector. The miner’s seven fully owned subsidiaries — Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL), Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL), Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL), South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) — have given their “tentative” and “provisional” offer for the schemes during the current financial year, which may be revised in accordance to the bidding of coal and as per demand. Of the total tentative amount, SECL would likely offer close to 30 mt while CCL plans to offer around 46 mt. Similarly, WCL is expected to offer around 19.54 mt, MCL to offer about 16.77 mt and NCL to 12.75 mt. BCCL and ECL are expected to offer around 6.36 mt and 7.3 mt respectively. SECL in its offer said that it had already offered 14.3 mt in the first quarter of FY 18 for various e-auction schemes. It also said out of the total offering in the year, it would likely to offer 18.3 mt for spot e-auction, 8.6 mt for special forward for power sector and 3.2 mt for exclusive e-auction for non-power sector. Similarly, CCL said it would tentatively offer 16 mt for special forward, 10 mt for exclusive, 4 mt for special spot and 16 mt for spot e-auctions during August 2017 to March 2018 period.

Source: The Financial Express

China’s coal imports soar as India’s stumble

August 3, 2017. China’s imports of coal from the seaborne market surged again in July, providing a stark contrast to a fourth consecutive monthly decline for India. It’s possible that the market should be paying more attention to China’s growing imports rather than India’s downturn. India, which gave back the title of the world’s top coal importer to China last year, has a stated policy of reducing coal imports to zero and is boosting domestic production and efficiency of distribution toward that end. It’s further likely that much of the reduction in India’s imports have been for lower-quality Indonesian coal, which would struggle to find buyers elsewhere. This makes watching China’s imports key for the outlook for prices, since this appears to be driving the market more than India’s slumping appetite for coal.

Source: Reuters

India coal demand growth slows amid power glut: Greenpeace

August 2, 2017. India’s coal consumption growth has slowed sharply as power plants, the biggest users of the fuel, are using less of their capacity, according to a Greenpeace report. Coal consumption grew by an average of 2.2 percent over the two fiscal years ended March 2016 and 2017, compared with an average of over 6 percent in the 10 years before that, the report said. Lower consumption at cement and steel factories also contributed to the slowing use of the fuel, the report said. India’s power plants are using about 60 percent of their capacity as money-losing provincial electricity retailers aren’t able to buy enough power from them. Falling tariffs of solar and wind power are also spurring a rethink on coal projects. India has said its dependence on coal will continue for decades, but growing concern over air pollution is forcing the government and companies to use the fuel more judiciously.

Source: Bloomberg


Power cost to UPPCL rises by 14 percent, tariff bound to go up

August 7, 2017. In a strong indication that power tariff is likely to go up, the Uttar Pradesh Power Corp Ltd (UPPCL) has said average procurement cost of electricity has increased by around 14%. According to an internal draft note of the UPPCL, the average procurement cost of electricity in UP has increased from Rs 6.35 per unit in 2016-17 to Rs 7.22 per unit in 2017-18. The note mentions 23.4% distribution losses, essentially arising out of power theft, contributing towards the rise in per unit cost of electricity. Besides the power theft, the operation and maintenance cost of Rs 0.75 per unit, depreciation of 0.11 per unit and interest on loan of Rs 0.18 per unit has led to the increase in cost of electricity, the note said. The average revenue recovery in the present set-up, the UPPCL said, is only Rs 5.14 per unit. UPPCL chairman Alok Kumar said the high procurement cost of electricity is one of the biggest concerns for the financial health of the utility which has to abide by Centre’s 24×7 ‘Power For All’ agreement envisaging round-the-clock power supply to all connected power consumers by 2018.

Source: The Economic Times

Separate lines for agriculture and domestic sector to ‘power’ progress in Telangana

August 6, 2017. Telangana has completed the separation of domestic and agriculture power lines thus paving the way for uninterrupted quality power supply throughout the state. Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy announced that the state has also completed 100% electrification in rural areas. The minister who played a key role in making Hyderabad a Rspower cut-free’ city, said the ultimate goal of the TRS government is to attract manufacturing industries to the state by providing power at a competitive price. He also said that all lift irrigation projects that are under construction will get sufficient power after completion. The 1080 MW power plant at Bhadradri is under construction. Power will be generated from two units by next March and another two units by next December from that plant. Yadadri Ultra Power Plant has got the environmental clearances and all the obstacles are cleared.

Source: The Times of India

CM Nitish Kumar chaired review meet reveals 99 percent villages electrified in Bihar

August 6, 2017. Only 477 of Bihar’s 39,073 villages are now left to get electricity connection as the state has achieved 98.8 percent electrification of its villages. This was revealed at a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister (CM) Nitish Kumar. Altogether 38,596 villages have been electrified and the remaining 477 villages would be get power connection by the end of December, Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh said briefing about review meeting. Under “seven resolves” of good governance, the state government had set a target to provide free electricity connection to every household of Bihar by end of 2017.

Source: The Economic Times

Power rates decline 4 percent at exchange as demand falls

August 4, 2017. Spot price of electricity declined by 4 percent to Rs 2.49 per unit at the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) in July compared to the previous month as demand eased due to continuing rains in most parts of the country. The demand for electricity has eased a bit with rains continuing in most parts of the nation, IEX said. The average Market Clearing Price (MCP) during the day and the night was Rs 2.18 per unit while during the evening peak the average MCP was Rs 4.03 per unit. Overall 3,669 million units (MU) were cleared, 6 percent below 3,920 MU traded in June 2017, the statement said.

Source: The Financial Express

Power thefts worth Rs 1.3 bn detected in Haryana

August 3, 2017. Power utility companies in Haryana have detected electricity thefts worth nearly Rs 134 crore in the state in the past three months. A large number cases of electricity theft in RO water plants, poultry farms, hotels, restaurants and small industries have came to light. The power sector utilities recently launched a campaign in Haryana, notorious for people not paying power bills and indulging in power theft, and detected thousands of such cases in recent months.

Source: The Economic Times


Haryana waives wheeling charges on power generated from solar plants

August 8, 2017. The Haryana government has waived intra-state wheeling charges, cross subsidy charges, transmission and distribution charges on the electricity generated from solar power plants in the state. Any investor, who installs a solar power plant at any place in the state, can sell this power to any private entity within the state at mutually agreed tariff without paying these charges. The solar power produced may be purchased by the Haryana Power Purchase Centre on the tariff finalized by inviting the tenders on competitive bids. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had raised the solar renewable purchase obligation targets for the obligated entities including distribution companies to 8 percent from the current level of 3 percent of power consumption.

Source: The Economic Times

NTPC biodiversity park to make way for fly ash

August 8, 2017. NTPC Ltd may soon be asked to relocate a biodiversity park at its Dadri thermal power plant, Uttar Pradesh, to meet the fly ash requirement of the highway sector. The issue was flagged at a group of infrastructure meeting and Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Minister Piyush Goyal — who attended the meeting, along with Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan and railways and defence ministry officials — agreed to shift the eco-park to another location. Road ministry had brought up the issue during the meeting as NTPC was unable to supply the promised quantity of fly ash from its Dadri plant. The fly ash was for the construction of the ambitious Eastern Peripheral Expressway. The Dadri plant was only supplying one-sixth of the fly ash requirement of 1,200 cubic metres for the project.

Source: Business Standard

GST implementation may hit solar capacity addition in 2018

August 8, 2017. India has already installed more solar capacity in the first six months of 2017 than in the entire 2016, according to a report by Mercom Capital Group, which tracks the Indian solar sector. Around 4,800 MW has already been commissioned in calendar year 2017, against 4,038 MW in 2016. The report expected an addition of 10,500 MW through the year, which will be another record, almost twice the 5,525 MW added in financial year 2016-17. But 2018 is likely to be a different story because of confusion over applicability of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on solar products, the report warned. The Ministry of New And Renewable Energy (MNRE) is urging the finance ministry to stick to the earlier 5% for all solar equipment, but a decision has yet to be announced. The sharp fall in solar tariffs at the last auctions held in May this year has also become a dampener, according to the report.

Source: The Economic Times

NSEFI seeks more time for solar projects in UP

August 8, 2017. The National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) has written to the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government seeking extension of timeline to commission select solar power projects claiming that laxity by state agencies is to blame for the delay. Uttar Pradesh Power Corp Ltd (UPPCL) had cancelled power purchase agreements (PPAs) with a few firms for delay in commissioning projects as per schedule. According to NSEFI, the UP government authorities caused delay in approval and permissions, which resulted in project delay beyond the control of solar power developers. UP is aiming at generation of over 10 GW of solar power by 2022.

Source: The Economic Times

Solar sector unfazed by India-China tensions

August 7, 2017. As reports of the border stand-off between India and China continue to hog headlines, one of the concerns raised is whether this would have a bearing on the solar sector in India because local project developers are dependent on solar cells and modules imported from China. Of the $2.34 billion worth of solar equipment brought into India in 2015-16, a staggering $1.96 billion (83.61 percent) worth of solar cells and modules were produced in China, Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Minister Piyush Goyal said. India imported solar and photovoltaic cells worth about $826 million from China during the April-September period of 2016-17. Hero Future Energies believes that irrespective of the tensions, imports had to be impacted since the Indian government is already working on an anti-dumping duty petition filed by domestic manufacturers. MNRE said that the capacity of solar modules in India is 8,000 MW, while for cells it is 1,500 MW and this is not sufficient to achieve the government’s aims.

Source: Business Standard

Wind energy companies move Madras HC against auction of Tamil Nadu projects

August 7, 2017. Wind energy companies have moved the Madras High Court (HC) against the Tamil Nadu electricity distribution company’s move to auction wind energy projects with a new base price, and the sector regulator’s decision to allow the auction. Indian Wind Energy Association (IWEA) has moved the high court, challenging a Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) order to allow Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp Ltd hold a wind auction for 500 MW with the base price set at Rs 3.46 per unit — a record low tariff found in the first and only wind auction in the country held in February. IWEA in its petition called TNERC’s order issued on June 2 “arbitrary, illegal, unjust and deserving to be quashed”. It argued that since an earlier tariff order of the regulator was valid till April 1, 2018, any fresh tariff related order could only be passed after this period had expired. TNERC had passed a comprehensive tariff order on wind energy, applicable for two years starting April 1, 2016, setting the wind power tariff at Rs 4.16 per kilowatt hour (kWh). Wind energy tariffs so far had been set by state regulators and mostly varied between Rs 4 and Rs 6 per kWh. Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Minister Piyush Goyal, however, has been calling for auctioning of renewable energy projects. So, the first wind auction was held in February by Solar Energy Corp of India Ltd. It saw wind energy tariffs fall sharply to Rs 3.46 per unit. The petition also said that the final guidelines for states choosing to hold wind auctions had not yet been issued by the Centre, though draft guidelines had been circulated.

Source: The Economic Times

NGT asks oil companies to submit info on 10-year-old diesel trucks

August 6, 2017. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed three public sector oil companies to submit complete information regarding 10-year-old diesel trucks they use to transport fuel and asked them to produce scrapping certificate to prove that they have dismantled their old vehicles. The green panel also directed the counsel appearing for the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to take instructions as to when CNG would be made available in cities near the national capital. The direction came during the hearing a batch of petitions filed by various contractors seeking registration of new BS-IV compliant diesel vehicles purchased for transport of petrol from company depots to identified petrol pumps in the National Capital Region. The contractors had moved NGT after it had last year passed an order banning the registration of new diesel vehicles as well as their re-registration after 10 years.

Source: The Economic Times

In a first, Madhya Pradesh takes away must-run status of renewable projects

August 4, 2017. The flag bearer of headline renewable energy growth, Madhya Pradesh, in a latest amendment has suggested taking away the “must-run” status of renewable and co-generation power projects. In the latest order by the Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC), it has asked the “the generation from co-generation and renewable sources of energy to be subject to ‘scheduling’ and ‘merit order dispatch principles’ as decided by the commission from time to time.” The order pertains to the amendment in the MPERC (Cogeneration and Generation of Electricity from Renewable Sources of Energy) (Revision-I) Regulations, 2010. It would hold a public hearing to discuss the matter on August 18. Sector and legal experts said this would harm the renewable energy projects, as the state would now have the freedom to back down from these whenever it wished to. Renewable power enjoys a “must-run” status across the country to ensure its integration in the grid and better returns to the developers.  Legal experts said no Indian state has till yet removed the must-run status of renewable energy and this would set wrong precedent.

Source: Business Standard

Solar power tariff falls by 80 percent in 7 yrs

August 4, 2017. Solar power tariff in the country has fallen by 80% since 2010. The maximum tariff for solar power was seen in December 2010 when 150MW was sold at Rs 12.76 per unit under the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission. Since then, the tariff has fallen steadily with the lowest tariff of Rs 2.44 per unit for 500 MW in Rajasthan. The solar power tariff has been falling only when the states or agencies go through the bid mode. Tamil Nadu which followed the power purchase agreement does not figure in the list of states that took advantage of falling solar power tariff until 2015. A look at the data presented by the Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Minister Piyush Goyal shows that the solar power tariff across the country started falling from Rs 6.88 per unit to Rs 4.63 per unit in nine months of 2015. Compared to several sunshine countries, India’s solar power tariff is still high.

Source: The Times of India

Microsoft keen on supplying solar powered devices to Punjab

August 3, 2017. Microsoft has evinced interest in providing solar powered portable cylinder-head-service gadgets that offer light, mobile charging and internet, with special focus on use in remote areas of Punjab. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh directed Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) to constitute a group with the two companies to explore the feasibility and utility of such gadgets in the state. The company had proven track record and know-how to provide internet services, besides installing rooftop solar panels on government buildings with system capacities ranging from 1 KW to 100 KW. The company had achieved the enviable position of being the number one installer of solar home systems, with over one lakh such systems and 80,000 solar street lights already installed across India. The Group is poised to install over 20 lakh solar home systems by the end of 2020. The company was actively engaged in catering to the needs of Off-Grid populations by supplying them solar power in 12 states of Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Source: The Economic Times

NGT notice to Centre on plea to ban antimony solar panels

August 3, 2017. A plea seeking a ban on the manufacture, use and import of solar panels containing antimony, a heavy metal, has prompted the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to seek the reply from the Centre and the pollution control board. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notice to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the Ministry of Commerce and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and sought their response before August 24. Solar panels are used to convert sunlight into electricity. The plea said with increasing use of solar modules and panels under the National Solar Mission, the scientific disposal of antimony posed several problems for the environment. The petition claimed that antimony was at present being dumped in landfill sites along the solar panels which were crushed after use. It sought a direction to the CPCB to amend the E-Waste Rules, 2016 and bring antimony within scope of Rules 16 pertaining to hazardous substances. The plea said that the CPCB should pass a direction to permit import of only those solar modules that do not contain antimony. It also sought random sampling of the solar modules in the collaboration of an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to verify the existence of hazardous substances, including antimony. The petition asked for a direction to the respondents and the environment monitoring agencies to immediately undertake remedial measures to limit the damage caused to the environment by submitting an action plan showing how to deal with future disposal of solar and solar panels.

Source: India Today

Solar tariffs at Rs 3 a unit may be the new normal: NTPC CMD

August 2, 2017. NTPC Ltd Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Gurdeep Singh said Rs 3-3.20 a unit tariff for solar power may be the new normal and can be achieved without the support of “cheap funds or cheap panels”, which have been a concern for the industry. Solar and wind energy units generate less than 10% of the global electricity output and have remained on the side-lines historically as these projects were taken up to fulfill a social responsibility towards clean energy. But these green energy sources have seen a decline in prices making them comparable to conventional energy and causing a disruption in the power sector. India too has rapidly scaled up its renewable energy capacity, led by solar power in the last few years. But the steep fall in tariff has triggered concerns over project viability. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on energy gave critical feedback on the solar energy sector, asking the government to help developers raise funds but has also raised concerns over the viability of these projects given the steep fall in tariff as a result of aggressive bids by developers. The solar power tariff plummeted to its lowest level in May at Rs 2.44 per unit energy in the auction for 500 MW of projects in Rajasthan. The tariff was about Rs 11 seven years ago. NTPC has commissioned 847 MW or renewable energy capacity, has 73 MW under execution and another 1,275 MW under tendering process. The company’s target is to develop 10 GW of renewable energy as a commitment to the government. It is also developing another 15 GW under National Solar Mission (Phase 2).

Source: The Economic Times


Shell restarts part of Europe’s largest oil refinery

August 8, 2017. Royal Dutch Shell said it was restarting a number of units at Europe’s largest oil refinery in the Netherlands following a 10-day outage. The phased restart of the 404,000 barrel per day Pernis refinery is expected to weigh on refining margins in the region which rose sharply in the wake of the outage, caused by a fire at a power unit and a subsequent hydrogen fluoride leak. Shell is currently restarting a number of units at the refinery near Rotterdam.

Source: Reuters

Pre-salt oil extraction costs $8 per barrel: Petrobras CEO

August 8, 2017. Oil extraction in Brazil’s promising pre-salt offshore wells costs about $8 per barrel, Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pedro Parente said. Discovered only 10 years ago, the pre-salt area has rapidly become the top priority for Petrobras and other oil majors holding exploration rights to some of its large reserves. Output from pre-salt wells surpassed the combined volumes from all other fields in the country for the first time in July. Parente also said the state-controlled company’s new fuel pricing policy will reduce the chance of prices reaching below international parity.

Source: Reuters

EIA cuts US oil production growth forecast for 2018

August 8, 2017. The United States (US) Energy Information Administration (EIA) said it expects US crude oil production in 2018 to rise by less than previously expected. The agency forecast that 2018 crude oil output will rise by 560,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.91 million bpd. Last month, it expected a 570,000 bpd year-over-year increase to 9.9 million bpd. For 2017, it forecast a rise of 500,000 bpd to 9.35 million bpd. Last month, it expected a 460,000 bpd increase to 9.33 million bpd, according to the EIA. Meanwhile, the agency forecast that US oil demand for 2017 is set to grow by 340,000 bpd compared with a 310,000 bpd previously. For 2018, oil demand is expected to rise by 330,000 bpd vs 360,000 bpd previously.

Source: Reuters

Greece launches new offshore O&G tenders

August 7, 2017. Greece launched two tenders for offshore oil and gas (O&G) exploration and exploitation in the west and south of the country, the energy ministry said. The move follows expressions of interest by a consortium of Total, Exxon Mobil and Hellenic Petroleum for exploration in two sites off the island of Crete, and by Greece’s Energean for a block in the Ionian Sea in western Greece. Greece has launched a program to discover more oil and gas, encouraged by recent large gas finds off Israel and Cyprus and spurred on by its protracted financial crisis. Energean is currently the country’s only offshore oil producer, in northeastern Greece, with an average production of 3,500 barrels per day last year.

Source: Reuters

Hong Kong’s NewOcean to build $1.2 bn oil refinery in Malaysia

August 7, 2017. Hong Kong’s NewOcean Energy Holdings Ltd said it planned to build a 5.1 billion ringgit ($1.2 billion) petroleum refinery complex on Malaysia’s east coast along with two partners. NewOcean will partner Malaysia’s Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd and Malaysian east coast development body. The East Coast Economic Region Development Council announced a total of 9.9 billion ringgit new investments in the east coast region, of which the oil refinery agreement is the largest.

Source: Reuters

Production at Libya’s Sharara oil field returns to normal after protest: NOC

August 7, 2017. Production from Libya’s largest oil field was returning to normal after being briefly disrupted by armed protesters who broke into a control room in the coastal city of Zawiya, the National Oil Corp (NOC) said. A pipeline supplying jet fuel and gasoline from Zawiya to Tripoli that the protesters had also closed has reopened, the NOC said. Libya’s Sharara field has been producing about 270,000 barrels per day (bpd), accounting for about a quarter of the country’s output. It has been key to a revival in Libya’s oil production, which climbed to more than 1 million bpd in late June from just over 200,000 bpd a year ago.

Source: Reuters

Nigeria’s Forte Oil in talks on refinery deal to boost capacity

August 5, 2017. Nigeria’s Forte Oil said it was in talks with a major refinery to form a strategic partnership for local refining of petroleum products in Africa’s top oil exporter, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Akin Akinfemiwa said. Nigeria has been pushing to refurbish its decrepit refineries, as the country is still mainly dependent on exporting crude oil for imports of refined products. It has also been seeking new investments to reduce reliance on imported oil products that consume a large portion of the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) member’s scarce foreign currency reserves, especially with oil prices low. Nigeria’s presidency said it will legalise currently outlawed mini-refineries in its Niger-Delta oil hub by the end of the year and supply them with crude at reasonable price, a move which could boost local refining.

Source: Reuters

Petrobras cut gasoline prices below import parity to regain market

August 5, 2017. Brazilian state-controlled oil firm Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has reduced prices for the gasoline it sells in Brazil to below parity with the fuel imported from the United States, reducing profit margins to regain market share. Petrobras has sharply reduced the price gap between the value of gasoline sold at its refineries and the spot price in the US Gulf of Mexico since early July, when it announced changes to its pricing to adopt almost daily adjustments, according to fuel market experts. A report from consultancy Tendências shows Petrobras’ gasoline prices in Brazil since the adoption of the new strategy varied from 0.05 real per liter above the spot Gulf price to up to 0.03 real below that reference. That compares to prices before the new policy of 0.21 real on average above spot Gulf gasoline. Gasoline imports jumped 70 percent in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier, according to numbers from Brazil’s oil regulator ANP.

Source: Reuters

Venezuela cuts oil supply to Citgo as Russia’s Rosneft gets more

August 3, 2017. Venezuela’s state-run PDVSA has reduced crude sales to its US refining unit Citgo Petroleum while increasing supply to Russia’s Rosneft, following a plan signed in May to catch up on overdue deliveries, according to PDVSA. Venezuela’s oil output has declined since 2012 with the fall accelerating this year amid a lack of investment and payment delays to suppliers. PDVSA agreed in the catch-up plan to compensate Rosneft for the delayed cargoes, since the oil is being sent in lieu of payment for loans. Venezuela’s Oil Minister Nelson Martinez said Rosneft would receive some 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) as payment for a $1.5 billion loan extended to PDVSA in 2016.

Source: Reuters

Iran’s oil exports to China to rise to 11 month high in August

August 3, 2017. Iran’s oil exports to China may rise to the highest in 11 months in August as demand for heavier Iranian crude increased after the country cut its prices. Iran may continue to win Chinese market share in the second half of 2017 as production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and falling Latin American output have tightened heavy crude supplies. Chinese buyers are also importing more Middle East crude as the Dubai price benchmark has weakened against Brent. Iran’s global combined crude oil and condensate exports may total 2.37 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, down 4 percent from a year earlier. Crude and condensate exports to Asia are rising 5 percent from July to almost 1.65 million bpd while those to Europe will fall 15 percent from the previous month to 613,000 bpd. Exports to the Middle East are staying little changed at 111,000 bpd. Loadings to India will drop by 25 percent from July to 310,000 bpd this month, the lowest since February 2016, in a possible retaliation for Tehran not awarding a gas field development to Indian companies. During the third quarter, Indian refiners have turned to the spot market and picked up sour crude from Abu Dhabi, Oman and Russia to meet their demand. South Korea in August will pass India as the second-biggest lifter of Iranian crude for the first time since January 2016, taking nearly 380,000 bpd.

Source: Reuters

Drilling suspended on Vietnam oil block disputed by China: Spain’s Repsol

August 2, 2017. Spain’s Repsol said it had suspended oil drilling in a block off Vietnam, where the prospecting in South China Sea waters claimed by China had infuriated Beijing and brought Chinese pressure on Vietnam to stop. Tension has been growing between Vietnam and China over energy development in the waterway, where extensive Chinese claims are challenged by five Southeast Asian countries and disputed by the United States.

Source: Reuters

Global trade recovery lifts diesel demand

August 2, 2017. World trade is growing again which will give a big boost to middle distillates such as diesel used in the high-power engines that move almost all freight. World trade volumes grew by 5 percent in the three months to May compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB). Trade growth came close to a standstill in the first quarter of 2016 but has been accelerating gradually since then especially from the fourth quarter onwards. Volumes are now rising at the fastest rate for six years though growth is still comparatively slow in historical terms. Growth has accelerated in all regions, with the exception of Africa and the Middle East, where economic activity is still depressed owing to low oil prices.

Source: Reuters


Baker Hughes clinches integrated services contract for PNG gas field

August 8, 2017. Baker Hughes, now part of General Electric (GE), has won a major contract to provide a wide range of services to develop Papua New Guinea’s first offshore gas field which is sees as a new model to help producers adapt to a world of low oil prices. GE Oil and Gas completed its merger with Baker Hughes to become the world’s second largest oilfield services company, bringing together traditional drilling and pumping gear with technology such as software, sensors and three-dimensional printing. The contract in Papua New Guinea (PNG), worth several hundred million dollars, contrasts with the traditional model where a company awards various parts of field development separately to different providers.

Source: Reuters

Europe needs to find new gas sources, fend off US: Uniper

August 8, 2017. European gas suppliers must take a more proactive role in tapping into diverse supply sources in view of US (United States) attempts to sell its liquefied natural gas (LNG) into Europe, German utility Uniper Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Klaus Schaefer said. Uniper is one of five Western firms that have invested in Nord Stream 2, a Russian gas export pipeline to Europe, which the latest US sanctions related to Russia’s activities in Crimea may make harder to realize. While some US measures remain discretionary, they may take aim at the planned twin pipeline to the existing Nord Stream 1 link connecting Russia’s gas fields with Germany via the Baltic Sea, which could keep future US shale gas deliveries away. Nord Stream 2 is due to be completed in 2019 with a likelihood of helping Moscow boost its oil and gas revenue and market share in Europe, where gas resources are dwindling. Schaefer said that European buyers could compete with those in Asia for LNG if they wanted to secure supply from the world market, where US cargoes were some 50 percent more expensive compared with European references prices.

Source: Reuters

Woodside makes gas discovery in Myanmar’s Southern Rakhine Basin

August 7, 2017. Woodside Energy has made its third gas discovery in Myanmar when its Pyi Thit-1 exploration well encountered a gas reserve of around 65m in the Southern Rakhine Basin. The exploration well is located in Block A-6 offshore Myanmar in which the Australian oil and gas company through its subsidiary Woodside Energy (Myanmar) holds a 40% stake. The Australian exploration firm has reported that about 36m of net gas pay interval has been discovered within the primary target sandstone reservoir.

Source: Energy Business Review

Statoil, OMV, Petoro discover gas in Gemini North well, Barents Sea

August 7, 2017. Statoil, along with Austrian integrated oil and gas firm OMV and Norway State wholly-owned oil and gas company Petoro, has made a small gas discovery in the Gemini North well, northeast of the Wisting discovery in the Barents Sea off Norway. Recoverable volumes are estimated to be 0.4-1 billion standard cubic meters, approximately 2-6 million barrels of oil equivalent. In addition, there was proved oil, amounting to approximately 0.5-2 million barrels of recoverable oil. Gemini North is the third discovery in Statoil’s 2017 Barents Sea exploration campaign, following the Kayak oil discovery announced on 3 July and the Blamann gas discovery announced on 17 July.

Source: Energy Business Review

Gunvor offers Equatorial Guinea funding help in bid for LNG

August 4, 2017. Gunvor has offered to help Equatorial Guinea with financing as the Swiss commodity trader looks to edge out rivals bidding for supply from Africa’s first deepwater floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) plant. Gunvor, Vitol and Royal Dutch Shell have been shortlisted for an LNG off-take deal from the $2 billion Fortuna project with a decision expected this month. Gunvor is looking to help state-run Sonagas finance a 30 percent stake in the project in return for selecting it to export gas from it. Pre-financing deals where players with funding lend it to companies or countries for projects in exchange for supply later on are common in oil but still rare in LNG. A successful deal would make Gunvor one of the first trade houses to secure a mid- to long-term LNG supply deal, showing the aggressive steps traders are taking to gain a foothold in production.

Source: Reuters

LNG Canada targets 2018 for export terminal decision: CEO

August 4, 2017. LNG Canada, a joint venture led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, is aiming for an investment decision next year on building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal on British Columbia’s coast, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andy Calitz said. Andy Calitz said work on the up to C$40 billion ($31.79 billion) project is “extremely active” and has not been slowed by Malaysian oil company Petronas’ decision to scrap its LNG project in the Western Canadian province, nor by a recent change in provincial government. LNG Canada had initially worked with just one engineering consortia on the project but in January widened the field to four.

Source: Reuters

Global LNG prices firm on demand from South Korea, Taiwan

August 4, 2017. Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices rose as South Korean importers and Taiwan showed appetite amid a flurry of cargo offerings from projects across Asia and the Atlantic. Spot prices for September delivery rose to $5.90 per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu), 15 cents above. Korea Gas Corp, one of the world’s biggest LNG importers, is expected to seek several cargoes via tender, alongside smaller peer SK E&S. Chevron’s new Wheatstone LNG project is due to export first LNG in September, according to trade sources, while the fourth production line at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant appears to have begun liquefying gas, based on higher feed-stock flows. Bangladesh’s State Minister for Energy and Power, Nasrul Hamid, said he expects the country to import around 17.5 million tonnes of the fuel per year by 2025. The country expects to begin bringing in LNG cargoes via two floating import terminals by July next year, Hamid said.

Source: Reuters

Russian gas pipelines to go ahead despite US sanctions

August 3, 2017. New US (United States) sanctions will make it harder for Russia to build two gas export pipelines to Europe but the projects are unlikely to be stopped. US President Donald Trump has reluctantly signed into law further sanctions on Russia but some of the measures are discretionary and most White House watchers believe he will not take action against Russia’s energy infrastructure. This would allow Gazprom’s two big pipeline projects to go ahead, although at a higher price and with some delays.

Source: Reuters

South Asia becomes global LNG hotspot as Bangladesh enters market

August 2, 2017. South Asia, long a backwater for energy markets, is emerging as a hotspot for liquefied natural gas (LNG), with Pakistan and Bangladesh set to join India as major consumers, helping to ease global oversupply that has dogged this market for years. Only India and Pakistan currently import LNG in South Asia, taking in a combined 25 million tonnes, or 8 percent of global demand last year. But with a fast growing population, strong economic growth and soaring energy demand, more import projects are being developed, lead by Pakistan and Bangladesh. Pakistan only started importing its first LNG in 2015, and surprised some in the industry by developing its first terminal within schedule and budget. A second is about to become operational and a third is expected to be completed next year.

Source: Reuters


US Interior Department rescinds coal valuation rule

August 8, 2017. The United States (US) Department of the Interior said it has rescinded an Obama-era rule that reformed how energy companies value sales of oil, gas and coal extracted from federal and tribal land to protect taxpayers because it caused “confusion and uncertainty” for energy companies. Interior Secretar Zinke said the valuation rule had increased costs for coal, oil and gas companies, which hampered production on federal lands, “making us rely more and more on foreign imports of oil and gas.”

Source: Reuters

China’s Shenhua suspends two coal mines

August 4, 2017. China Shenhua Energy Company Ltd has suspended operations at two large open-pit coal mines in northern China, it said, a move that could benefit producers across the border in Mongolia. Shenhua Energy, the listed unit of the state-owned Shenhua Group, China’s biggest coal producer, announced that the Ha’erwusu and Baorixile mines in Inner Mongolia had been temporarily suspended as a result of “land requisition” delays. The two mines produced more than 50 million tonnes of coal in 2016 and over 30 million tonnes from January to July this year, the firm said. Coal is Mongolia’s biggest export product. The country’s total coal earnings rose fourfold to $1.28 billion over the first half of 2017 because of China’s ban on North Korean imports and port restrictions. Mongolia’s largest coal producer, the state-owned Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, said that it produced 5.9 million tonnes in the first seven months of the year, or 4.6 times more than the same period of 2016.

Source: Reuters

Germany’s long goodbye to coal despite Merkel’s green push

August 2, 2017. Burning coal for power looks set to remain the backbone of Germany’s energy supply for decades yet, an apparent contrast to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ambitions for Europe’s biggest economy to be a role model in tackling climate change. Merkel is avoiding the sensitive subject of phasing out coal, which could hit tens of thousands of jobs, in the campaign for the September 24 election, in which she hopes to win a fourth term. Although well over €20 billion are spent each year to boost Germany’s green energy sector, coal still accounts for 40 percent of energy generation, down just 10 points from 2000. To avoid disruption in the power and manufacturing sectors, coal imports and mines must keep running, say industry lobbies, despite the switch to fossil-free energy. Utilities such as RWE, Uniper and EnBW with coal generation on their books fire back by saying their output is covered by them holding carbon emissions rights certificates, while much of their historic profitability has been eroded due to competition from renewables.

Source: Reuters


Nepal, China to develop cross-border power transmission lines

August 5, 2017. Nepal and China have initiated process for the joint development of cross-border transmission lines which will pave the way for electricity trade between the two neighbours. Nepal has sent a draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to the Chinese government for the joint development of the power transmission lines between the two countries, Nepal’s energy ministry said. The power-line connectivity between the two countries will pave the way for power trade in the future between the two neighbours. Former Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli had asked China to help in developing 400 KV cross-border transmission lines project at Rashuwagadi-Kerung border point during his official visit to the country in March 2016.

Source: The Economic Times

Iraq secures $195 mn Japanese loan for electricity sector

August 5, 2017. Japan has agreed to lend Iraq up to $195 million for a project to help repair a thermal power station in the southern province of Basra, Iraqi government said. The loan was signed during a visit to Iraq by Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kentaro Sonoura, who met Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Source: Reuters

Italy scraps standard power prices in competition drive

August 2, 2017. Italy’s retail gas and electricity market is due to be fully liberalised from 2019 under a wide-ranging law passed by parliament aimed at boosting competition in tightly regulated sectors. The new law will do away with the regulated energy tariffs which more than 60 percent of Italians still pay, from 2019. Spanish utility Iberdrola said it had a “great ambition” to enter the Italian retail power market.

Source: Reuters

ABB wins $30 mn order to strengthen power infrastructure in Iraq

August 2, 2017. ABB has won an order to supply and install a substation at the 3,000 MW Rumaila power plant, located in the Basra region of southern Iraq. The completed power plant will be operated by Shamara Holding Group, one of Iraq’s largest private industrial conglomerates and an independent power producer. The Rumaila power plant is expected to increase power generation capacity by about 20 percent and address acute shortages of electricity, hampering economic growth in the country. The order was booked in the second quarter of 2017. The 3,000 MW from the Rumaila power plant will add to Iraq’s current generation of 13,000 MW, which is short of the country’s peak load demand of about 23,000 MW. Iraq balances its high power demand and low supply capacity through load shedding, which means power is only available to its 34 million citizens for about 15 hours each day. The addition of new generating plants will increase electricity supply, and support economic growth. ABB will design, engineer, supply and install the 400 kilovolt air insulated switchgear substation, which will be equipped with technology and instrument transformers from ABB.

Source: Energy Business Review


Climate change expedition launched on Peru’s highest peak

August 8, 2017. A team of researchers and experts have launched an expedition seeking to carry out climate change studies on the snow-covered Mount Huascaran, Peru’s highest mountain. Peru’s Inaigem mountain ecosystems institute said that the aim of the expedition is to “make new explorations and get to know this glacier better, in the context of the climate phenomenon affecting the Andes mountain range”. Inaigem executive president Benjamin Morales said that climate change is affecting in a growing and dramatic way the world’s mountain ranges, especially Peru’s 18 mountainous zones possessing glaciers. He said that scientists recently have observed a reduction in glacier size and volume. Morales said that experts hope to obtain answers to many questions, including how the snowy peaks are being affected by climate change, what temperatures are on the highest peaks in the tropics and how much the glaciers have shrunk in the Huascaran Chopicalqui system between 1962 and 2017.

Source: Business Standard

US government bans official use of the phrase ‘climate change’

August 8, 2017. The United States (US) Department of Agriculture (USDA) has directed its officials to avoid using the term “climate change” in their work, and refer to “weather extremes” instead. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned the veracity of climate change research, infamously suggesting that it is part of an elaborate Chinese hoax. The President has started the process of withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to scrap regulations aimed at cutting greenhouse gases, and has moved to open up more public land and waters to fossil fuel activity. The mentions of the dangers of climate change have been removed from the websites of the White House and the Department of the Interior, while the EPA scrapped its entire online climate section in April.

Source: Business Standard

Sunglasses that generate solar power designed

August 3, 2017. Scientists have designed new ‘smart’ solar glasses incorporated with coloured, semi-transparent organic solar cells that can generate electric power enough to operate devices such as hearing aids or step counters. Organic solar cells are flexible, transparent, and light-weight – and can be manufactured in arbitrary shapes or colours, researchers from Karlsruher Institut fur Technologie (KIT) in Germany said. They are suitable for a variety of applications that cannot be realised with conventional silicon solar cells. Researchers designed sunglasses with coloured, semitransparent solar cells applied onto lenses that supply a microprocessor and two displays with electric power. This paves the way for other future applications such as the integration of organic solar cells into windows or overhead glazing, researchers said.

Source: The Economic Times

US to reject biofuel program tweaks in blow to refiners

August 3, 2017. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reject a proposed overhaul of the United States (US) biofuels program that would have shifted blending responsibility away from refining companies further down the fuel supply chain. The decision is a blow to independent oil refiners like Valero Energy Corp and CVR Energy that have said the requirement costs them hundreds of millions of dollars every year, as well as to billionaire investor Carl Icahn who holds a majority stake in CVR and vocally supported the change. The US Renewable Fuel Standard, adopted in 2005, requires increasing volumes of biofuels like ethanol in the nation’s gasoline supply to boost US agriculture, reduce pollution, and cut reliance on imports.

Source: Reuters


Bio-Power Scenario in India


Electricity Generation

from Bio-Power

(Million Units)

2016-17 (April-January)


Electricity Generation

from Bio-Power

(Million Units)

2016-17 (April-January)

Delhi 106.85 Andhra Pradesh 423.9
Haryana 87.96 Telangana 310.36
Punjab 632.44 Karnataka 1358.97
Rajasthan 224.46 Kerala 44.43
Uttar Pradesh 2257.69 Tamil Nadu 1065.36
Uttarakhand 45.57 Jharkhand 87.46
Chhattisgarh 1045.79 Sikkim 57.85
Gujarat 8.16 Others 1192.94
Madhya Pradesh 98.8
Maharashtra 2152.25 Total  11201.23

Share of Bio-Power in Total Renewable Electricity Generation [2016-17 (April-January)]

BU: Billion Units; 1 Unit = 1 kWh

Source: Compiled from Rajya Sabha Un-starred Questions & MNRE

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

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