MonitorsPublished on Jan 18, 2019
Energy News Monitor | Volume XV; Issue 31


Coal News Commentary: December 2018


India’s domestic coal production grew 9.8 percent to 433 mt in the first eight months (April to November 2018) of the current financial year as compared to 394 mt produced in the same period last fiscal. CIL which alone accounts for 82 percent of domestic output, reported production of 358 mt during the April-November 2018 period, an 8.8 percent increase over its production in the corresponding period last year. Thanks to the growth in production, the number of power plants with critical and super-critical coal stocks fell from 28 at the end of March 2018 to 23 at November end. However, the number of days of coal stocks left with the plants facing shortages has dropped from 10 in March to 8 currently.

India’s coal imports rose by 38.2 percent to ₹1,384.77 billion in monetary terms last fiscal, Parliament was informed. In quantity terms, the coal imports increased by 9.1 percent to 208.27 mt from 190.95 mt. Upsurge in value of coal imports is primarily due to rise in international price leading to greater value increase as compared to absolute quantity increase in 2017-18. Many thermal power stations are configured to use imported coal and as such imports by these are inevitable. During April-October 2018, these power plants have imported 22.27 mt of coal. India’s coal import rose 9.7 percent to 156.08 mt in the April-November period of the ongoing fiscal, as against 142.25 mt in the corresponding months a year ago, according to mjunction services Ltd, a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL. Coal imports in November this year also increased 10.1 percent to 19.47 mt, over 17.68 mt in the corresponding month of the last fiscal, mjunction data showed. Of the total imports last month, import of non-coking coal was at 14.24 mt, against 15.23 mt imported in October 2018. The import of coking coal was at 3.93 mt in November 2018, almost flat against 3.94 mt imported a month ago. India’s coal and coke import during November 2018 through 31 major and non-major ports is estimated to have decreased by 5.32 percent over October 2018, according to a provisional compilation by mjunction, based on monitoring of vessels’ positions and data received from shipping companies. CIL accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal output.

The state government-owned power generation utility MAHAGENCO is forced to buy imported coal as the central government owned CIL is unable to supply coal to MAHAGENCO’s plant. This will result in a tariff hike of 15 to 20 paisa per unit. The MAHAGENCO requires around 4.8 mt of coal every year. However, CIL, in the first nine months of current year, managed to supply 2.6 mt or 56 percent of the total amount needed. The shortage of coal in October when temperatures were soaring and the state was reeling under the heat wave, MAHAGENCO was forced to shut its four plants whose combined capacity was 1,700 MW. The MAHAGENCO has decided to import 2 mt of coal. Though imported coal has high calorific value compared to Indian coal, it is also costly. While Indian coal costs around ₹2,800/tonne, the imported coal costs around ₹7,100/tonne. This will increase MAHAGENCO’s coal purchase bill by ₹7 billion and tariff hike of ₹0.15 to 0.20/kWh.

Power tariffs in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab are set to rise following the Gujarat government’s order allowing the Tata, Adani and Essar groups to pass on to consumers the higher cost of imported coal used in their power plants in the state. In an order issued, the state government asked its discom to reset its agreement with the power plants and seek regulatory approval for higher tariffs. The discom was also advised to circulate the revised agreement with other beneficiary states for vetting. The two consumer interest NGOs had in October told the Supreme Court that the panel’s bailout package would extend ₹1 trillion benefit to the power producers at the cost of consumers. The power plants, located in Mundra, have run up a combined outstanding debt of ₹220 billion after they were not allowed to raise tariff to cover the increased cost of imported coal.

CIL will be able to reach near its aspirational goal of producing 1 bt by 2022-23 if all the eight proposed railway corridors are in place by then. Unless there can be a support system to evacuate an incremental coal production of 350 mtpa increasing mine productivity would make no sense. While an ICRA report suggests that over the long and medium term, the major thrust of CIL’s coal production is expected to come from the coalfields of North Karanpura, under Central Coalfields in Jharkhand, Manraigadh in Korba and Gevra in Chhattishgarh under South Eastern Coalfields and Talcher & IB Valley in Odisha under Mahanadi Coalfields, railway connectivity remains critical to increase production in these coalfields. CIL’s subsidiary Northern Coalfields has almost zeroed down on a plan to produce 115 mt by 2022-23 through expanding its Jayant and Dudhichuia mines and opening a green field Semaria mines, in the next two-three years. This would fetch an additional 2 mtpa. CIL allocated 21.91 mt of the dry fuel under special forward e-auction to the power sector in April-November 2018, registering a decline of 20.1 percent over the year-ago period. CIL had allocated 27.43 mt of coal in the April-November period of 2017-18, according to the latest monthly summary for the Cabinet by the coal ministry. Coal allocation dropped sharply by 51.7 percent on yearly basis to 1.53 mt in November. CIL had earlier said it would put on offer a little over 45 million tonnes of coal under the special forward auction in the current fiscal. With coal demand from the power sector exceeding supply in 2018, the government had recently said it was hopeful of higher output in the new year from already allocated mines and it plans to further allot 10 mines to state-owned behemoth CIL in 2019. Of the 85 mines already allotted, 23 have started production and the coal ministry expects 20 more mines to begin production in the current financial year ending March 2019 or early in the next fiscal.

CIL has decided to supply 25% of its planned production to the non-power sector, while the rest would be supplied to the ‘high-priority’ thermal power generators. The dry fuel supplier is expected to supply 680 mt of coal during the current fiscal. Between January and March, it is scheduled to produce a minimum of 170 mt, 25% of this is about 42 mt. At present, anything between 85% and 90%, and in certain cases the entire production, is sent to power sector for days together. In the recent past, CIL subsidiaries had received directions from government and railways to load their entire production for certain period to the power sector when the sector was facing acute coal shortage due to higher power demand. Over the past 14-16 months, Indian Railways on instruction from CIL, allotted at least 5500 goods train (rakes) for supplying some 21 mt of coal to its non-power consumers, including captive power plants which was never loaded by the fuel supplier and allotted rakes remain pending. Minimum estimated value of this coal is around ₹27 billion. Of late, CIL was forced to stop asking for additional rakes for these customers since it is not in a position to clear the entire backlog.

In order to give a boost to coal despatches for its consumers, WCL will be augmenting and maximising coal despatches from WCL mines through rail, road and other modes. WCL will be leveraging the “Rail Coal Synergy” by observing Rail Coal Week from 1-7 January 2019. The Rail-Coal Week is being organised for the first time in any subsidiary of CIL. It will help increase coal stocks in different linked power houses of WCL. Major portion of railway rakes of WCL is despatched through Central Railway followed by South East Central Railway and South Central Railway. WCL has been given a target to dispatch 28-29 rakes per day which is already being achieved. Now, the company is aiming to despatch 32 rakes and more, in a synergy by joining hands with three railway zones. During Coal Dispatch Fortnight, the company has made a plan to increase despatches from the current rate of 170,000 tonnes/day to over 200,000 tonnes/day. WCL supplies coal to state power houses in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat, Karnatka, Haryana and to other private power producers through fuel supply agreement, linkages and auctions.

8 mt of domestic coal extracted by private producers is expected to be commercially available for the first time in the open market after five-six years, a move that will end CIL’s monopoly which has been the sole domestic supplier of the dry fuel for the past four decades after the sector was nationalised in the 1940s. The government has already set the ball rolling this year and, iron & steel, cement and captive power plants were to submit technical bids for 18 coal blocks from which they can sell 25% of their production in the open market at CIL prices. However, following requests of potential bidders and also considering the number of requests received through email, the centre has decided to extend the timelines for various stages of the auction. According to the revised timeline, the last date for submitting technical bids is 2 January 2019, while price-based bidding for block auction would be held between 14 January and 27 January 2019. This is for the second time that the timelines are being extended. Nevertheless, the blocks on offer are scheduled to have a total peak rated production capacity of around 32 mt of which 8 mt can be sold in the open market. The process of coal block allocation was pushed on to a slow track last August when the fifth tranche of the coal block auctions did not evoke the necessary interest from the bidders. The government had initially offered 13 blocks for the sixth tranche, but it pulled off Odisha’s Jamkhani block from the list a few days ago. Cement and captive power plants can bid for these blocks.

Terming rebound in coal volumes and steady progress on the Sagarmala project positive for Indian port sector players in the medium term, rating agency ICRA maintained stable year-end outlook for the port sector. Coal imports, which had become a concern over the last 2 years, have been witnessing a rebound and could continue to with the momentum witnessed in first half of FY 2019, it said. Demand revival from the power sector and key consumer industries would be critical for sustained pick-up in coal imports, it said.

The public furore over 15 labourers trapped inside a rat-hole mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district since 13 December has sharpened focus on illegal coal mining in the state despite a ban clamped by the NGT in 2014 which is said to have contributed to the Congress defeat in the recent assembly election. The Congress suffered the ire of mine owners and workers following the NGT ban, although the government run by the party had appealed to the tribunal to withdraw its order. NPP promised voters that it would ensure that mining starts again in the state. The BJP in its manifesto said that the party would resolve the contentious issue of coal mining within 180 days if it formed the government in the state. After coming to power, the six-party alliance government in Meghalaya led by NPP formed a group of ministers to study the status of the NGT ban on coal mining. The Supreme Court on 4 December allowed transportation of an estimated 176,655 tonnes of coal already extracted till 31 January. Meghalaya has 576 mt of sub-bituminous coal spread across South Garo Hills, West Khasi Hills, East Garo Hills, Jaintia Hills and East Khasi Hills. The National Disaster Response Force used sonar system and underwater camera to detect 13 miners, who have been trapped inside a coal pit filled with water in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district. However, the system failed to locate any of the trapped miners in the main well of the 370-feet coal pit because of poor visibility. Meghalaya Police arrested Jrin alias Krip Chulet, the owner of the coal mine from Narwan village. The accident inside the coal pit at Lumthari area was of significance, especially after the NGT had ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in the state from 17 April 2014. Meghalaya has a coal reserve of 640 mt. The coal is high in sulphur content and is mostly of sub bituminous type.

Slamming the Centre over the issue of coal royalty, the government of Odisha said there has been no revision in coal royalty. It said that MCL is making a profit of ₹200 billion but Odisha is getting “pollution”. Though it was highly publicised that Odisha would gain over ₹700 billion from coal mine auction, the entire campaign turned out to be hollow as the state got only ₹3.70 billion from the process.

In an effort to support Make in India, CIL, for the first time, has started using an indigenously-made, 205-tonne electric dumper, a critical piece of equipment in mining. The dumper has been developed by state-owned BEML and is expected to increase competition among suppliers, bring down costs and improve availability of spares. The electric dump truck is on trial at one of the largest CIL subsidiaries, Northern Coalfields’ Amlohri coal mine, where all low-capacity dumpers are being replaced by larger ones. At present, equipment supply to CIL is dominated by a Russia’s Belaz, Tata Hitachi and Caterpillar and each of these high-capacity dumpers come at prices upwards of ₹150 mn.

The government has sold 2.21 percent stake in state-owned CIL to the CPSE ETF which is managed by Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd. CIL accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal production. The government has garnered more than ₹170 billion from the CPSE ETF follow-on offer, the biggest-ever fundraising from an exchange-traded fund domestically.

Rest of the world

Global coal demand will edge higher until 2023 as growth in India and other Asian countries offsets a decline in Europe and the US, the IEA said. Consumption of the fuel is expected to rise by an average of 0.2 percent a year from 5,355 Mtce in 2017 to 5,418 Mtce in 2023, the IEA said. Coal remains the second-largest global source of primary energy, behind oil, and the largest source of electricity. Coal consumption in China is projected to fall 0.5 percent per year to 2,673 Mtce in 2023, driven in part by efficiency improvements and policies to curb air pollution. A sharp increase is predicted for India, with demand rising by 146 Mtce to 708 Mtce in 2023, boosted by a rise in coal-fired power output and production of crude steel, the IEA said.

Coal miners in Spain are working their last shifts before all unprofitable mines shut down under a European Union directive in which deposits that no longer make money and receive public funds must stop production by 1 January 2019. Spain announced in 2016 a €2.13 billion ($2.44 billion) plan, backed by Brussels, to ease the closure of 26 uncompetitive coal mines by the end of this year. Mines must return funds if they do not close by the end of 2018. Coal accounts for under 10 percent of Spain’s energy needs, and the majority used in Spain is imported. The closure of coal mines is a thorny issue for the minority Socialist government as it has made environmental issues a keystone of its administration, creating a ministry to oversee the transition to more environmentally-friendly policies. However, the coal mining communities most affected by these closures are traditionally Socialist voters.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp said it will sell its stakes in two Australian thermal coal mines for A$750 million ($539 million), a move that means its exit from upstream thermal coal amid growing pressure from environmental activists. The stake sales comes as a growing number of companies and pension funds across the globe are divesting assets or companies that generate revenues from fossil fuels, particularly coal. Mitsubishi will sell its 31.4 percent stake in Clermont coal mine to a joint venture between Glencore and Sumitomo Corp, and its 10 percent stake in Ulan coal mine to Glencore, it said. For Mitsubishi, which decided to sell its interest in two other thermal coal mines in Australia last year, the latest deals will mean an exit from thermal coal operations, although its coking coal operation will remain a key asset for the trading house.

Israel said it would stop the use of coal by 2030, joining a host of other countries in an alliance that aims to transition to cleaner sources of energy. The PPCA, launched by Canada and Great Britain, seeks to gradually reduce the production of electricity from coal and to support clean energy in government and corporate policies. It supports a reduction in the use of coal in OECD countries by 2030 and the world by 2050. Some 28 countries have already joined the PPCA. Israel has been reducing coal use and shifting to natural gas. The energy and environment ministries said that steps in recent years have led to a 25 percent drop in electricity production from coal since 2015, while the emission of pollutants have fallen tens of percent.

Greece’s PPC wants to give investors until February to submit binding bids to buy three existing coal-fired power plants and obtain a licence for a new one. The deadline has been repeatedly pushed back. In the latest move, the European Commission approved an extension to 7 January from 15 December and completion of the divestment by 15 January, the energy ministry said. The sale, part of Greece’s third international bailout, is being handled by PPC, which is 51 percent state-owned. The EU Commission is overseeing the process. Six investors have been shortlisted to make binding offers. Greece needed more time to make a final estimate on the amount of coal to be used for future power generation in a national energy plan now under public consultation. This information was significant for investors to make a final offer for the plants. Greece agreed to the sale of the plants after a European court ruled PPC had abused its dominant position in the coal market.

Coal railway workers at Australian hauler Aurizon Holdings Ltd are planning strikes after a breakdown in pay negotiations, their trade union said, a move that could delay shipments from the world’s largest coking coal export region. Miners including BHP Billiton, Glencore, Anglo American and Peabody Energy use Aurizon’s four major railways in the state of Queensland to bring coal to port. Aurizon said that if the strikes go ahead, its coal trains would not run on its Blackwater and Moura networks for 24 hours.

PT Adaro Energy Tbk, one of Indonesia’s largest coal miners, is estimated to produce 54-56 mt of coal in 2019, the same amount as estimated for 2018. Market condition would remain challenging in 2019 due to lingering threat of trade war between the US and China and Chinese coal import restrictions South Korean prosecutors have charged four people with illegally importing millions of dollars worth of North Korean coal in violation of international sanctions, by trying to disguise it as imports from Russia, a prosecutors’ office said. South Korea’s customs agency found in August that some firms had imported coal from North Korea in violation of UN resolutions aimed at choking off funding for its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. The unidentified defendants were charged with bringing in North Korean coal and other material by “laundering the origin” through fake certificates of origin from Russian ports, after the old route for North Korean coal, through China, was blocked due to sanctions.

The EU’s largest coking coal producer JSW could increase output by between 2.5 and 3 mtpa by acquiring assets, far exceeding its current plan to grow production to 18 mt by 2030 from roughly 15 mt now. JSW said coking coal, used in steel, is distinct from thermal coal for power generation, has a long future and is on the EU’s list of strategic minerals. JSW plans to increase overall output, although the relatively small share of thermal coal — currently 25 percent — would dwindle to 10 percent over time.

Americans are consuming less coal in 2018 than at any time since Jimmy Carter’s presidency, a federal report said, as cheap natural gas and other rival sources of energy frustrate the Trump administration’s pledges to revive the US coal industry. A report by the US Energy Information Administration projected that 2018 would see the lowest US coal consumption since 1979, as well as the second-greatest number on record of coal-fired power plants shutting down. The country’s electrical grid accounts for most of US coal consumption. US coal demand has been falling since 2007 in the face of competition from increasingly abundant and affordable natural gas and renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. President Donald Trump has made bringing back the coal industry and abundant coal jobs a tenet of his administration.

mt: million tonnes, bt: billion tonnes, CIL: Coal India Ltd, MAHAGENCO: Maharashtra State Power Generation Company, kWh: kilowatt hour, discom: distribution company, mtpa: million tonnes per annum, WCL: Western Coalfields Ltd, MCL: Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, FY: Financial Year, NGT: National Green Tribunal, NPP: National People’s Party, BJP: Bharatiya Janata Party, IEA: International Energy Agency, Mtce: million tonnes of coal equivalent, PPCA: Powering Past Coal Alliance, OECD: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, PPC: Public Power Corp, US: United States, EU: European Union, UN: United Nations


Government plans to incentivise ONGC, OIL to raise output

8 January. The government is planning to incentivise ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corp) and OIL (Oil India Ltd) to raise output from fields given without auction to state-run firms in previous years, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said. The government is auctioning 14 blocks in this round for which bids will be accepted until 12 March. In the past four years, the government has ushered in several policy reforms aimed at attracting investment in the exploration and production sector, and boosting domestic oil production which has been declining for years. A new exploration licensing policy that offers marketing and pricing freedom for gas producers, and a higher gas price for output from difficult fields have been the key policy changes made to ignite interest in the country’s upstream sector. Nearly 70% of India’s oil production is generated by fields that were nominated to ONGC and OIL before the country started auctioning blocks in the 1990s. State-run firms have in the past demanded incentives for some of their gas fields that are unviable at current domestic prices. Eight of the 14 blocks are located on land, five in shallow water and one in ultra-deep water.

Source: The Economic Times

Domestic LPG coverage up to 97.6 percent in Tamil Nadu

8 January. Domestic LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) penetration in Tamil Nadu has increased to 97.6 percent from 80.8 percent in April 2016, thanks to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) which provides domestic LPG connections to people from the economically weaker sections of the society, executive director and state head for Indian Oil Corp (Tamil Nadu and Puducherry) R Sitharthan has said. He said domestic LPG coverage in India was 62 percent before the launch of the scheme and added that the government wanted to achieve five crore new connections under PMUY before the end of this financial year. He said that those with new connections were making only four or lesser refills annually and added that the biggest challenge is to convince people in tribal areas to give up traditional cooking methods with firewood.

Source: The Economic Times

India hopes to launch next round of auctions for oil exploration in few weeks: Government

7 January. India expects to launch a third round of auctions for the exploration of oil blocks under its open acreage licensing programme within next few weeks, according to the government. Exploration blocks to offered in the third round to be spread over 32,000 square kilometre, the government said. India launched the second round of auctions under which 14 exploration blocks spread over 30,000 square kilometre were offered. India hopes to launch fourth and fifth rounds of auctions later this year. Bids for the second round of auctions to close on 12 March, the government said. The bid rounds could generate $500-$600 million.

Source: Reuters

EAC recommends environmental clearance for RIL’s Jamnagar refinery expansion project

7 January. The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has recommended granting environmental clearance to Reliance Industries’ proposal of expanding the production capacity of its Special Economic Zone (SEZ) refinery at Gujarat’s Jamnagar to 41 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from the present 35.2 mtpa. The EAC took up the environmental clearance application filed by RIL (Reliance Industries Ltd) on 19 December, the ministry’s online portal PARIVESH showed. The granting of environmental clearance is subject to compliance of additional terms and conditions. RIL’s current refinery complex in Jamnagar has a cumulative capacity to process 68.2 mtpa of crude oil. After expansion, RIL’s total crude oil processing capability would increase to 74 mtpa, overtaking Indian Oil Corp’s cumulative capability of 69.2 mtpa. RIL had increased the SEZ refinery’s capacity to 35.2 mtpa in financial year 2017-2018 from 27 mtpa in 2016-2017. According to information provided by EAC the estimated project cost for the proposed expansion project will be nil. The cost of the existing SEZ refinery is Rs 270 billion and the total capital cost earmarked towards environmental pollution control measures is Rs 5 billion and the recurring cost (operation and maintenance) is about Rs 600 mn per annum.

Source: The Economic Times

BPCL to buy Iranian oil in February after three-month gap

7 January. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) will import 1 million barrels of Iranian oil in February after a gap of three months, with the nation’s overall purchases from Tehran remaining at 9 million barrels. The United States (US) in early November granted India a six-month waiver from sanctions on Iran’s oil exports. Under the agreement, New Delhi must restrict its Iranian oil purchases to 1.25 million tonnes, or 9 million barrels. BPCL and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) will lift 1 million barrels each of Iranian crude oil in February. HPCL resumed purchases of Iranian oil after a gap of six months. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s top refiner, will lift 5 million barrels of Iranian oil in February, the same as this month. Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd will buy 2 million barrels compared with 3 million barrels. India recently exempted rupee payments to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for crude oil imports from a steep withholding tax, paving way for pending dues to be cleared.

Source: Reuters

Petrol, diesel prices to go up in Karnataka as state hikes taxes on fuel

5 January. The Karnataka coalition government increased the state tax on petrol and diesel by 2 percent with effect from 1 January. The state government had on 17 September reduced its tax on petrol to 28.75 percent from 32 percent and diesel to 17.73 percent from 21 percent in a bid to give relief to the people from on soaring international crude oil prices. In the state budget for this fiscal (2018-19), Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, increased the state tax on petrol by 2 percent to 32 percent from 30 percent and on diesel to 21 percent from 19 percent with effect from 15 July despite protests and public resentment.

Source: Business Standard

India’s ONGC Videsh finds more crude oil in Colombia block

5 January. India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas investment arm of the country’s biggest explorer, ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corp), has found more oil in a block in Colombia, the company said. ONGC Videsh has a 70 percent stake in the CPO-5 block and Petrodorado South America S.A. Sucursal (PDSA) holds the remaining share.

Source: Reuters

Gujarat records 87 percent PMUY LPG refills

3 January. With 87 percent of the beneficiaries opting for refills in the State, Gujarat has outperformed the national average of 80 percent refills of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). The Central OMCs (Oil Marketing Companies) have together enrolled total 19.16 lakh beneficiaries in Gujarat since the launch of the scheme in May 2016, SS Lamba, State Level Coordinator and Executive Director, Gujarat State, Indian Oil Corp Ltd, said. The per capita consumption is 4.13 cylinders per year, he said. He expressed the optimism that the refill ratio would go up after the introduction of 5 kilogram (kg) cylinders to the scheme beneficiaries. Gujarat has about 80 percent of the beneficiaries in the rural areas. In order to increase the coverage of LPG network, OMCs have announced a massive distributor drive. As on April 2014, Gujarat had 607 distributors of the three OMCs, while it added 203 in four years to take the tally to 810.

Source: The Hindu Business L ine

Indian state oil firms have stopped taking margin hit on petrol and diesel sales

2 January. Indian state-owned fuel retailers have stopped absorbing a government-mandated cut of Rs 1 (0.014 US cents) a liter in their marketing margins on the sale of petrol and diesel due to a steep fall in global oil prices. In October, India’s finance ministry had cut its production tax on the two fuels by Rs 1.50 a liter and had asked state-owned fuel retailers to reduce their marketing margins by Rs 1 a liter to insulate consumers from a surge in global oil prices at the time. But oil prices have slumped in recent weeks allowing the marketing margin to be restored to its former levels. In October, companies were told to gradually recover the reduction in the margins if crude prices fell, the finance ministry said. It means that India’s state-owned oil refiners, who are also its main fuel retailers, will not be passing on all the benefits of the drop in crude prices to consumers as they seek to recoup the margin hit they have been taking. This is reflected, at least in part, by the relative difference in the recent declines of Indian fuel prices and global benchmarks. The price of Brent crude, Singapore gasoline and Arab Gulf Diesel have declined between 37-40 percent since 1 October while Indian petrol and diesel prices have been reduced by about 17-18 percent. That loss of margin should be full reversed by the March end of the current fiscal year. The state-owned retailers – Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp – control most of the fuel retail business in India. Petrol and diesel prices in India are linked to Singapore gasoline prices and Arab Gulf diesel prices, which mostly track movements in crude oil prices.

Source: Reuters

Iran may still invest in Chennai Petroleum expansion: IOC

2 January. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said that Iran may still invest in a refinery expansion project at one of its subsidiaries. IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh said that Iran has not ruled out participating in the expansion at Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd, a south India-based 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery. Iran’s participation has been questioned after India cut back its Iranian crude oil imports following US (United States) sanctions. However, Singh’s comments come a few days after India exempted rupee payments to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for crude oil imports from a withholding tax. The exemption will allow Indian refiners to settle about $1.5 billion of outstanding payments to NIOC through direct rupee payments. It has been expected that these payments could help Iran invest in Indian projects, particularly the Chennai Petroleum expansion. Chennai Petroleum plans to invest up to Rs 356.98 billion ($5.1 billion) to replace the 20,000 bpd Nagapattinam refinery in Southern Tamil Nadu state with a 180,000 bpd plant.

Source: Reuters

Government releases 6-croreth LPG connections under PMUY

2 January. The government gave out the 6-croreth free cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connection as the scheme to make available cleaner fuel in every household kitchens runs ahead of schedule. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu termed the scheme as revolutionary and “possibly the world’s biggest poverty alleviation programme.” The scheme together with a government push to replace polluting firewood in kitchens has led to LPG coverage rising to almost 90 percent of the population from 55 percent in May 2014, he said. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said as many as 23 crore refills or about 4 cylinders of 14.2 kilogram (kg) each have been bought by PMUY (Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana) beneficiaries in a year, thereby rejecting criticism of the scheme that households reverted to firewood and other mediums of cooking once the initial free LPG cylinder was exhausted. Under the scheme, the government provides a subsidy of Rs 1,600 to state-owned fuel retailers for every free LPG gas connection that they give to poor households. This subsidy is intended to cover the security fee for the cylinder and the fitting charges. Naidu said that the Indian economy is striving fast to become the third largest economy of the world, and the schemes like PMUY deal with the social aspect of the growth story, by its inclusiveness.

Source: Business Standard


GAIL seeks LNG cargo for January-February delivery

8 January. GAIL (India) Ltd is seeking a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo for delivery in late January to February. The cargo is for delivery over 20 January to 5 February on a delivered ex-ship (DES) Dabhoj/Dahej basis. Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) and Indian Oil Corp (IOC) are also seeking LNG cargoes for delivery in the spot market.

Source: Reuters

Kolkata likely to get CNG stations by year-end

8 January. The eastern metropolis is likely to get compressed natural gas (CNG) by end of this year, which would facilitate vehicles running on greener fuel. As a part of the ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’ project, the Central government owned GAIL (India) Ltd was entrusted to develop city gas distribution (CGD) network in six cities – Patna, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Kolkata. However, Greater Calcutta Gas Supply Corp (GCGSC) was earlier authorised for city gas distribution in Kolkata and surrounding areas. Subsequently, it was decided the CGD in the eastern metropolis would be developed jointly. Incidentally, the gas major has been setting up Jagdishpur-Haldia-Bokaro-Dhamra pipeline to bring natural gas to eastern India. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) said CNG is 60 percent cheaper than petrol and 45 percent than diesel.

Source: Business Standard

BPCL looks to revive plan to build terminal for imported LNG

8 January. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) may revive its plan to build a terminal for imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) amid rising domestic demand for the clean fuel. The regasification liquefied natural gas (R-LNG) terminal with a capacity of 1 to 3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), was planned to be expandable to 5 mtpa later. The public sector oil marketer may consider Kakinada, Krishnapatnam, Mangalore or Gangavaram for the terminal. BPCL’s plans to have its own LNG terminal, now five years in the making, have not made much headway. In 2017-18, BPCL formed a wholly owned gas subsidiary Bharat Gas Resources Ltd with a view to focus on natural gas as a separate business. BPCL may look at booking capacity in the LNG terminals in the country. BPCL said that currently, it is not considering any such proposal. BPCL is a co-promoter of Petronet LNG Ltd, along with Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and GAIL (India) Ltd.

Source: Livemint

Rajasthan’s seven districts on offer for gas bidding

​​4 January. Seven districts in Rajasthan has been offered under the 10th round of city gas distribution (CGD) bidding. PNGRB (Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board) Chairman D K Sarraf said that as a part of the wider energy security programme, the government has set a target to reduce 10 percent crude oil imports by 2022. In the 9th round of CGD bidding, 13 districts in Rajasthan were awarded to companies for creating the infrastructure and marketing of the gas to consumers in the districts. Additional chief secretary, state mines and petroleum department, Sudarsan Sethi, said that the state is taking efforts not only to increase the use and supply of gas but also produce the green fuel.

Source: The Economic Times

Parliamentary panel asks oil ministry to explain ‘zero’ gas output from KG-D6

4 January. A Parliamentary panel has asked the oil ministry to explain “in lucid terms”, zero gas production from KG-D6 (Krishna Godavari Dhirubhai 6), noting that the estimated 80 million metric standard cubic meter per day (mmscmd) output from the gas block led to setting up of gas-based power plants which are stranded now due to no fuel supply. The committee recommend that the banks/lenders (to these stranded gas projects) should own responsibility and work towards finding the appropriate solution in the national interest. It said that the ministry owe the responsibility for superfluous projections regarding production of gas from KG-D6 and the banks for unrealistic lending of public money.

Source: The Economic Times

Tripura parties oppose Centre’s decision allowing Vedanta group to explore gas

3 January. Opposition parties in Tripura, mainly the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Congress, strongly opposed the Centre’s decision allowing Vedanta Ltd to explore gas in the state along with government-owned ONGC. The Union government has signed 55 revenue-sharing contracts with companies which were awarded petroleum exploration blocks. These blocks were cleared under the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy and Open Acreage Licensing Policy for exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has asked the Tripura government to facilitate speedy permission for smooth flow of investment and works in the exploration project. ONGC had so far drilled 225 wells in Tripura, finding huge reserves in over 116 wells. ONGC has, since 1962, established around 41 billion cubic meters (bcm) of recoverable gas reserves in Tripura’s eleven gas fields, including the Tichna field in southern Tripura adjoining Bangladesh.

Source: Business Standard

IOC to commission Ennore LNG terminal in January

2 January. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation’s biggest oil firm, said it will commission its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Ennore in Tamil Nadu this month. IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh said the Rs 51.51 billion terminal is complete and would be commissioned after completion of dredging of the channel that will bring cryogenic ships carrying natural gas in its liquid form to the port. Once dredging is complete, IOC will bring a cargo or shipload of LNG to commission the terminal. The company holds 12.5 percent stake in Petronet LNG Ltd, which operates import facilities at Dahej in Gujarat and Kochi in Kerala. It has also booked capacities in upcoming terminals on both east and west coast. The dredging is being carried out by Ennore Port Trust. IOC holds 95 percent stake in the Ennore LNG import terminal. Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corp (TIDCO) has 5 percent.

Source: Business Standard


Nagaland bans illegal coal mining

7 January. The Nagaland Cabinet decided to ban illegal coal mining in the state and impose a provisional mining ban on all firms/companies which have been issued with mining licenses. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio which deliberated on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in view of the coal mining accidents in Meghalaya. The Cabinet set up a Committee to examine the issue of coal mining and the resultant damages caused to the environment. Nagaland is estimated to have a prognostic reserves of about 316.41 million tonnes of coal.

Source: Business Standard

CIL workers’ strike may cost Rs 5 billion

7 January. Coal India Ltd (CIL) is expected to lose at least 3.6 million tonnes (mt) of production and an equal amount of coal sales, estimated around Rs 5 billion, after four central trade unions (CTUs) decided to join the nationwide two-day strike beginning on 8 January. Four trade unions — Congress-backed Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), CPI-backed All India Trade Union Congress, CPI(M)-backed Centre of Indian Trade Unions and Forward Bloc-supported Hind Mazdoor Sabha — have given a call to stop mining activities in the company, on the lines of the nationwide strike called in protest against several government policies. The BJP-led Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the second-largest trade union in CIL, will abstain from the strike. This comes in the wake of at least 10 power plants in the country facing severe coal shortage at the very beginning of the new calendar year and CIL boosting its production to meet the demand from power companies. The company even liquidated its stocks in the process. Usually, despite any production levels, the state-owned miner keeps at least 30 mt of coal stock with itself for various exigencies. However, in the wake of higher demand from the power plants, Coal India recently stepped up its despatches and risked its pit-head stock falling to sub-25 mt levels.

Source: Business Standard

IEA sees India coal imports rising till 2023

5 January. The International Energy Agency (EIA) said inadequate rise in coal production on the back of higher demand growth in India would push imports higher till 2023. India’s import of thermal coal — mainly used in electricity generation—is seen to expand 2.2% per year, from 119 million tonne of coal equivalent (Mtce) in 2017 to 135 Mtce in 2023. The Paris-based intergovernmental organisation estimates by 2023, India to be the world’s primary importer of metallurgical coal, which is used in steel production. Metallurgical coal (coking coal) import is seen growing at a compound average annual growth rate of 7.2%, from 49 Mtce in 2017 to 74 Mtce in 2023. During the first seven months of current fiscal, India imported 136.6 mt coal, registering a year-on-year growth of 14.9%. IEA’s recently launched market report titled “Coal 2018”, said that India demonstrates the largest absolute increase in coal consumption over the forecast period, with demand rising by 146 Mtce to 708 Mtce in 2023. India is deficient in coking coal and imports of coking coal are inevitable. The IEA said that economic growth and infrastructure development in India would push up coal consumption in steel and cement production. During April-November, 2018, all India coal production was 433.9 million tonnes (mt), recording a 9.8% year-on-year growth. The all India raw coal production has increased from 565.8 mt in FY14 to 676.5 mt in FY18. The report recognised CIL’s efforts of increasing production efficiency, noting that how the world’s largest coal miner is shutting down its low-yielding underground mines and focusing more on the more lucrative open-cast mines. The coal ministry said that the government’s effort to increase domestic coal production and power demand falling with the onset of winters are expected to put a check on coal imports.

Source: The Financial Express

CIL output rose by 104 mt in 4 yrs: Coal Minister

4 January. The country faces no shortage of coal and its imports have declined to 208 million tonnes (mt) from 217 mt in 2014, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said. He said coal production has witnessed an increase of 7.4 percent in April-December (nine months) period of the ongoing fiscal. There is no coal shortage in the country and Coal India Ltd (CIL) production increased by 104 mt in the last four years between 2014-15 and 2017-18, he said. He said that initially when power plants were being set up, they were designed for imports. Besides reserves of coking coal were limited in view of the fire in Jharia and Raniganj areas for several decades. Apart from this, initial delays in environment clearances, land acquisition, etc, proved detrimental to coal production. CIL accounts for over 80 percent of the total domestic production in the country.

Source: Business Standard

Coal ministry increases fuel supply to power plants

3 January. The government said it has augmented the supply of coal to power plants to meet the country’s energy demands. The development assumes significance as Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy recently met Coal Minister Piyush Goyal and demanded the Centre to ensure immediate supply of coal to Raichur Thermal Power Station. The coal ministry has increased the coal stock and coal supply to power plants to meet the energy demands in the country. The coal stock in power plants as on 31 December 2018, was 16.60 million tonnes (mt) as compared with 13.20 mt on 31 December 2017, showing an increase of around 25 percent. As on 31 December 2018, the number of power plants in the critical/super-critical category was nine, compared with 13 on 31 December 2017. The supply from Coal India Ltd (CIL) to power plants as on 30 December was 357.5 mt as against 332.03 mt as on 30 December 2017, showing a rise of around 7.7 percent.

Source: Business Standard

Odisha firemen resume dewatering coal pit in Meghalaya

3 January. Odisha firefighters resumed dewatering a shaft near the main shaft of a coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district where 15 miners have been trapped since 13 December. But the fate of the miners remains unknown. The water level at the shaft, which had receded by 1.4 feet, had increased again. Odisha firefighters, equipped with high-tech equipment including 10 high-power pumps, were deployed at Ksan village, the accident site, by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Coal India Ltd (CIL) was also expected to start dewatering from the shaft by operating a submersible high-capacity 100 horsepower pump. Indian Navy divers had located a wooden structure, coal lying beneath and one rat hole with coal at its mouth inside the flooded mine. They had sought dewatering the flooded mine so that the divers could dive to the bottom of the 370-feet deep coal pit. The tragedy came to light after five miners escaped the coal pit. More than 200 rescuers are taking part in the rescue operations. The accident inside the coal pit on 13 December morning occurred despite the National Green Court (NGT) ordering an interim ban on ‘rat-hole’ coal mining in the state from 2014. Coal mine accidents are common in the mountainous state because of unscientific mining procedure, commonly known as “rat hole mining”.

Source: Business Standard


Sterlite Power bags power augmentation project in West Bengal

8 January. Sterlite Power said it has been awarded a power augmentation project for seven districts in West Bengal. The project will cover districts of Purba Medinipur, Murshidabad, Burdwan, Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Hooghly. Rapid urbanisation and longer commissioning time of greenfield transmission projects have resulted in more upgrade and uprate of projects of existing lines. Sterlite Power’s solution business addresses time and space issues through its innovative business model, the company said.

Source: Business Standard

Bihar sixth best state in terms of power availability: Deputy CM

5 January. Deputy Chief Minister (CM) Sushil Kumar Modi said as per the assessment made by the NITI Aayog, Bihar has been ranked sixth in the country in terms of power availability, transmission capacity and power consumption, among other parameters, which in a way had also boosted business and trade in electric goods and items. He said the state’s 1.39 crore households have been given power connection compared to mere 24 lakh households in 2005. He said the revenue yielded by the sale and trade of electric goods and items under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime was the seventh highest in all the revenue yielding categories of the state. The state had 4,592 dealers in electric goods and items registered under GST. The GST had also been reduced from the previous 28% to 18%. He said the present power availability in the state was to the tune of 5,139 MW, while the peak power demand in 2005 was around only 700-900 MW. The electricity transmission capacity of the system had been increased to 10,000 MW, and by the end of this year, all the old rickety electric wires would be replaced. He said the Bihar State Power Holding Power Corp Ltd has already started installing prepaid electricity meters and the process would complete in the next two years.

Source: The Economic Times

Maharashtra power regulator reviews tariff, allows incentive for power factor

5 January. The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has reviewed its tariff order and allowed power factor incentive for industries. This has provided much-needed relief to them. The commission has asked Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) to refund excess charges collected from industries from 1 September 2018 — when the new tariff order came into force. However, MERC has imposed a condition on refund. They will get it only if they maintain power factor between 0.95 to 1 (lag or lead). Four industrial associations had filed a review petition in MERC in which they demanded several changes including re-introduction of power factor incentive. MSEDCL had devised its own methodology for calculation of power factor and was fixing tariff. This had led to sharp increase in industrial power bills. In the earlier tariff order there was no clarity on lagging power factor, which had led to confusion and sharp increase in the bills.

Source: The Economic Times

Tamil Nadu government defends power transmission project in western region

4 January. The Tamil Nadu government defended the move to erect high voltage transmission towers through agricultural lands in western districts of the state and said protests by farmers against it were being “instigated”. Electricity Minister P Thangamani ruled out the possibility of laying underground cables, as demanded by farmers and opposition, saying such a technology was not available for high voltage transmission. Noting that the project envisaged transmission of power from Chattisgarh, he said Tamil Nadu would get 4,000 MW once the project was completed. Defending the project, he said it involved transmission of a total of 6,000 MW of electricity from Chattisgarh with 4,000 MW meant for Tamil Nadu and the rest for Kerala. Work for developing infrastructure for the project was already underway in other states including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, through which the transmission line would pass, he said. The late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had strived hard to ensure that Tamil Nadu got power from Chattisgarh for which such a transmission corridor was required, he said.

Source: Business Standard

Delhi government imposes ESMA ahead of proposed strike by discom employees

4 January. The Delhi government imposed the ESMA in view of a proposed strike by employees of power distribution companies (discoms) in the national capital. According to a notification issued by the power department, any strike by electricity employees and engineers has been prohibited for the next six months under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA). The discom employees and engineers have planned to go on a one-day strike in support of their demands.

Source: Business Standard

Supreme Court issues a notice to Sasan Power on a states’ plea

4 January. The Supreme Court issued a notice to Sasan Power on a plea moved by Haryana Power Purchase Centre, Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam, MP Power Management Company, and Punjab State Power Corporation seeking to stay the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity’s judgment that allowed several claims of the Reliance Power-owned company. On 20 November last year, the tribunal had set aside the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC)’s order which disallowed Sasan Power’s claims seeking compensation. Sasan Power had approached CERC with a plea that owing to changes in law during the construction of the power plant, the increase in the declared price of land, the cost of implementation of resettlement and rehabilitation, geological reports, among others for the power station, Moher, Moher-Amlohri Extension and Chhatrasal captive coal blocks had led to a significant increase in its capital costs. Owing to these, it had asked the CERC to either ask the state to pay increased compensations, or allow it to raise tariffs.

Source: Business Standard

No future for gas based power plants in the country: SBI Chairman

4 January. SBI (State Bank of India) Chairman Rajnish Kumar, the country’s largest public sector lender, has said that there is no future of gas based power plants in the country and the bank may have to write-off its investments in the sector. He was replying to a question on the future of gas based power plants in the country, posed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy. He said an earlier subsidy scheme using the Power System Development Fund (PSDF) to help gas-based power plants did not have the desired impact and investments in the gas-based power plant sector may have to be written off. India’s total installed power capacity stood at 345 GW at the end of September 2018. Of this, 7.2 percent or 25 GW comprised gas-based power plants. However, gas-based projects were responsible for only 3.8 percent or 49.77 billion units of India’s total electricity generation in the last financial year 2017-2018. This was mainly because 14,305 MW of gas-based capacity is currently stranded due to non-availability of domestic gas and un-affordability of imported gas. The power ministry submitted that a capacity of 14,305 MW was classified as stranded under the scheme of Utilization of gas based power plants. The capacity of 14,305 MW includes commissioned as well as new gas based capacity which was ready for commissioning.

Source: The Economic Times

Powergrid Jabalpur Transmission commissions new line

3 January. Powergrid Jabalpur Transmission Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Grid Corp of India Ltd, has successfully commissioned the Vindhyachal Pooling Station-Jabalpur Pooling Station 765 kilovolt (kV) Double Circuit Transmission line. The project, secured through Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB), is part of the Transmission System Strengthening associated with Vindhyachal-V and has been established on a Build, Own, Operate and Maintain (BOOM) basis. The transmission system is put under commercial operation with effect from 1 January 2019. The line traverses through seven districts in Madhya Pradesh. The project was reviewed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under Pragati and was followed up by regular monitoring by the Project Monitoring Group and the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Power for its commissioning. The transmission system facilitates supply of power with reliability and security and more than 2,500 MW power flow has been recorded on commissioning of the Transmission line. Beyond Jabalpur Pooling Station, dispersal of power is through existing/planned transmission network under Inter-State Transmission System.

Source: The Hindu Business L ine

BEST extends 677 MW PPA with Tata Power for next 5 yrs

2 January. The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has allowed Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) to extend its existing 676.69 MW power purchase agreement with Tata Power for another 5 years. According to the Tata Power, after the due diligence for ensuring the reliability of supply and cost competitiveness for the BEST consumers in Mumbai, the commission, in its order on 2 January 2019, approved the extension. The commission’s order came after BEST inter alia submitted that the cheapest option before it is the extension of its present PPA with Trombay Thermal Power Station and Hydro plants of Tata Power. The BEST and Tata Power have agreed for an extension of PPA with existing terms and conditions. The process of power tie-up was undertaken by the BEST in 2017-18 for its distribution company consumers for the period of next five years starting 1 April 2019. The existing power tie-up of 677 MW between BEST & Tata Power is scheduled to expire on 31 March 2019.

Source: Business Standard

States that procure power from Tata, Adani’s Mundra miss SC tariff deadline

2 January. Relief for Adani Power and Tata Power may be delayed as some of the states that procure power from the firms’ Mundra units are yet to arrive at a decision on tariffs. This, even after the Supreme Court (SC) had set an eight-week deadline for doing so. Maharashtra is one of the five states that procures power from the Mundra units of the firms. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab are the other four. Some buy power from both. On 29 October, the Supreme Court had directed the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to decide within eight weeks on approving revised tariffs for Adani Power, Tata Power and Essar Power for their imported coal-based power units in Gujarat. These units have been struggling financially owing to an increase in coal prices higher than the tariffs fixed in the power-purchase agreements (PPA). Coal prices were higher than expected due to a change in Indonesia’s export policy for coal. In December, the Gujarat government resolved to accept the recommendations of the high-powered committee (HPC) in giving some relief to Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP). Tata Power in November had said that within eight weeks, the states needed to get the necessary approvals from their respective cabinets, and approach the CERC and the regulator needs to clear it. Tata Power operates a 4,000 MW UMPP at Mundra and Adani Power operates a 4,620 MW power unit.

Source: Business Standard

Uttar Pradesh gets Rs 15 billion grant for meeting deadline on 100 percent electrification

2 January. Uttar Pradesh, once the biggest roadblocks to the Centre’s complete electrification programme, will get close to Rs 15 billion grant as it finished the household electrification drive within the stipulated deadline of 31 December. The achievement came as a surprise to many as at the beginning of December, the state had faced a daunting task of energising 55 lakh households. The state overestimated un-electrified households. Also, houses with illegal connections have been identified as electrified, helping in reducing the targets. The overall targets for the country under the scheme have also come down from the initially estimated 40 mn to 35 mn, and finally by the end of the year, to 24.9 mn. The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or Saubhagya, envisages providing energy access to all by March 2019 and includes release of electricity connections by drawing a cable from the nearest electricity pole to the household premise, installation of energy meter wiring for a single light point with LED bulb and a mobile charging point. The Saubhagya scheme was launched on September 25, 2017, at a cost of Rs 163.20 billion including gross budgetary support of Rs 123.20 billion from the Centre. The states that completed the scheme by 31 December would be given an additional 15% grant by the Centre as incentive. The scheme is being funded to the extent of 60% by central grants, 30% by bank loans and 10% by states. Barring Rajasthan, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Meghalaya, all states have achieved 100% household electrification. Uttar Pradesh, which hosted close to half of the targeted un-electrified households, announced achieveinmg100% electrification, the power ministry said. Since the launch of Saubhagya, 74.4 lakh willing households have been electrified and the state government has declared saturation of all 75 districts. The state has launched a door-to-door campaign for any of those left out in un-electrified households. The Saubhagya dashboard showed that of the 2,49,01,600 households that have been identified, 96.15% have been energised, while 3.85%, or 9,57,950, households are remaining. Karnataka and Arunachal Pradsh attained full electrification. The power ministry expects to complete electrification of all targeted households by 26 January. The ministry had earlier planned to complete the programme by Monday against the original deadline of 31 March. On an average, about seven lakh houses are being energised every week. Experts have said the newly connected households will get translated into growth in power demand within a year with the release of pent-up and fresh demand from rural areas.

Source: The Economic Times


Odisha turns to other states for wind power, hopes to get 150 MW in FY20

7 January. Faced with hurdles in developing wind power plants, Odisha has turned to other states for sourcing the unconventional energy to help meet its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) mandate. Grid Corp of Odisha (GRIDCO) has signed a power sale agreement (PSA) with PTC India Ltd to avail of 50-Mw wind power allocated through the Solar Electrification Corporation of India (SECI) under the ‘1,000 MW ISTS Connected Wind Power Projects Scheme’ of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). None of the locations in Odisha have been deemed to be suitable for installing wind power projects, prompting the state to buy from elsewhere. Presently, GRIDCO’s renewable energy portfolio has a preponderance of solar power. After its maiden solar tenders in July last year, GRIDCO has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) spanning 25 years with Aditya Birla Renewables for the purchase of 75 MW of solar power.

Source: Business Standard

India to bid out 500 GW renewable energy capacity by 2028

7 January. India is planning to bid out 500 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2028 to achieve its goal of 40 percent electricity generation from non-fossil fuels by 2030, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) secretary Anand Kumar said. Of this, 350 GW would come from solar, 140 GW from wind, and the remaining from small hydro, biomass, he said. He said that if the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grows at a rate of 6.5 percent, the requirement for electricity generation capacity would reach 840 GW by 2030. He said that if large hydro projects were considered under renewable energy, additional 46 GW would be in the process of installation, taking the total figure to 163 GW. The existing 75 GW base of green energy capacity constitutes around 22 percent of the total installed power generation capacity. He said that the share of non-fossil fuel based capacity in total would be 33 percent by 2022 without considering large hydro plants. The country would achieve 40 percent by 2022 itself rather than 2030 in case large hydro is also taken into account.

Source: The Economic Times

Vestas bags 101 MW EPC order for wind energy project in Gujarat

7 January. Danish wind energy giant Vestas announced it has bagged an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for setting up a 101 MW project in Gujarat. The company bagged its first order of 2019 from Trinethra Wind & Hydro Power, a subsidiary of Continuum Wind Energy. The project is designed to sell power to commercial and industrial consumers through a third-party power purchase agreements. The project is located at Rajkot in Gujarat and the order includes delivery, installation and commissioning of 46 V120-2.2 MW turbines, as well as the project’s civil and electrical work.

Source: The Economic Times

All water supply schemes in Maharashtra to run on solar power: CM

7 January. Maharashtra Chief Minister (CM) Devendra Fadnavis has announced that all rural water supply schemes will be supplied solar energy so that Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) doesn’t disconnect them for non-payment of power bills. Fadnavis praised Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule for introducing the scheme for supplying solar power to water supply schemes.

Source: The Economic Times

PTC India begins process to find investor for wind energy business

7 January. PTC India Ltd has initiated a formal process to find a strategic investor for its wind power business. The country’s largest electricity trader has already reached out to various investors. PTC India’s subsidiary, PTC Energy Ltd, has around 290 MW of wind assets across Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. PTC’s wind energy assets are from the feed-in-tariff regime and thus, their tariffs are higher than the current prices at which companies are bidding for projects, which will make them attractive for investors. India’s wind sector has transitioned from a feed-in tariff regime, which ensures a fixed price for wind power producers, to tariff-based competitive auctions.

Source: Livemint

BHEL commissions 800 MW thermal power plant in 46 months in Telangana

5 January. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) said it has successfully commissioned a 800 MW thermal unit within a record time of 46 months in Telangana. BHEL has executed this project on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis. Besides the 1×800 MW Kothagudem project, TSGENCO (Telangana State Power Generation Corp) had awarded the 5×800 MW Yadadri project and the 4×270 MW Bhadradari project to BHEL, which are presently under execution.

Source: Business Standard

21 new nuclear reactors are expected to be set up by 2031: DAE

4 January. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) informed Parliament that 21 new nuclear power reactors with a total installed capacity of 15,700 MW are expected to be set up in the country by 2031. It informed Parliament that five sites — which would have total 28 nuclear reactors — have been accorded ‘in principle’ approval by the central government. Jitendra Singh, minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions and prime minister’s office (PMO), said that “at present, there are nine nuclear power reactors at various stages of construction” that are targeted for completion by 2024-25. Singh handles the DAE, which comes under the PMO. Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana each has two reactors under construction currently. Tamil Nadu has three reactors under construction, according to Singh. Each of the five states — Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu — have been accorded administrative approval and financial sanction to establish two nuclear reactors, Singh said. Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh, Chhaya Mithi Virdi in Gujarat, Haripur in West Bengal and Bhimpur in Madhya Pradesh are the five sites that have been accorded ‘in principle’ approval to establish nuclear reactors, Singh said. Singh said that during 2014-15 and 2015-16, two nuclear power plants — Kudankulam units 1 and 2 — were commissioned and commenced commercial operation.

Source: The Economic Times

First-of-its-kind tool to assess potential of rooftop solar in Bengaluru

3 January. Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), a non-profit think tank, is building a tool that can help identify most suitable rooftops to install solar rooftop photovoltaic (RTPV) plants in Bengaluru. CSTEP will help Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) as a technology partner by using the aerial Light Detection & Ranging (LiDAR) technology to develop high-resolution three-dimensional maps of the city. BESCOM aims to achieve a target of 1 GW of solar RTPV capacity by 2021-22. The research organisation said that the tool would be launched in 2019 and will be made freely accessible by all BESCOM consumers to help them make investment decisions. The think-tank is also engaging with the Bihar government to understand the scalability of such an approach for strategic RTPV development.

Source: The Economic Times

Delhi electricity distribution company BSES ink deal to procure 200 MW wind power at low rate

3 January. Announcing a successful effort for a cleaner environment, Delhi electricity distribution company BSES said it has signed a power sale agreement with the Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI) to procure 200 MW at competitive rates. BSES said that sister discoms BSES Rajdjani Power Ltd (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) are going to purchase 100 MW each of wind power from SECI “at a very competitive tariff of Rs 2.84 per unit”. With this latest agreement, BSES discoms will be getting a total of 600 MW of wind power. The discom said the tariff is priced substantially lower than the average cost of long-term power purchase agreements, which are around Rs 4.5 per unit. This agreement will also help BSES discoms fulfil their renewable purchase obligations.

Source: Business Standard

Leh, Kargil districts to have solar power projects

3 January. Leh and Kargil districts of the Ladakh region will soon have solar power projects under the Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI). As a part of its ambitious plan to build 23 GW solar power projects in Ladakh, SECI issued tenders for construction of 7.5 GW solar power projects in the first phase. As per the tender document, two solar power projects will be built in Phase-1 — a 2.5 GW capacity project in the Zangla region of Kargil and a 5 GW project in the Pang region of Leh. The drawl point for the 2.5 GW project is tentatively planned to be New Wanpoh, while for the 5 GW project, it will be Hisar in Punjab. SECI will sign a 35-year power purchase agreement with the project developers, who will get a maximum of 54 months to get the projects running. India will soon call bids to set up 23,000 MW solar power projects in Ladakh. The high-altitude Himalayan region has huge potential for solar power generation.

Source: Business Standard

Maharashtra farmers to get sops for using solar pumps

3 January. To encourage farmers to use solar agriculture pumps, the Maharashtra government has decided to give two LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, a DC (direct current) fan and a mobile charging socket as freebies. The State has launched the Atal Solar Krishi Pump Yojana (ASKP) for farmers with a subsidy of up to 95 percent on solar pumpsets. The State plans to install one lakh solar pumps. The State aims to reduce losses due to non-payment of electricity bills and also promote solar energy by implementing the scheme. The Government Resolution issued on 1 January states that along with solar pump, farmers will get two LED bulbs, a DC fan and mobile charging socket. Farmers with less than five acres will have to pay 5 percent of the cost of a 3 HP (horsepower) solar pump while farmers with more than five acres will get a 5 HP solar pump and the sops.

Source: The Hindu Business L ine

IOT Infra plans to manufacture bio-CNG in Tamil Nadu

3 January. IOT Infrastructure and Energy Services, a joint venture of Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Oiltanking GmbH of Germany, is tweaking its biogas plant to manufacture bio-CNG (compressed natural gas) for vehicles and has plans to set up more greenfield projects for the clean auto fuel. IOT, a 50:50 joint venture, has been generating power from biogas at its plant at Namakkal. With an investment of Rs 250 mn, and implementation of a technology developed by IOC’s research and development team, the plant will be converted to a bio-CNG unit with a daily output of 12,000 kilogram (kg).

Source: The Economic Times

Delhi’s Vidhan sabha turns green with 100 kW solar power plant

2 January. The Delhi Vidhan Sabha complex in north Delhi’s Civil Lines turned green with the installation of a 100 kilowatt (kW) solar power plant. The solar photo voltaic plant, installed at a cost of Rs 7.35 lakh, will take care of 25% of the Delhi Legislative Assembly building’s peak power demand and will help save Rs 10 lakh annually on account of the power bill. The solar panel was inaugurated by State Power Minister Satyendar Jain.

Source: The Economic Times

Vikram Solar gets 140 MW unit order from NTPC

2 January. Renewable energy solution provider Vikram Solar said it has got a 140 MW project order from NTPC Ltd. According to the company, 700 acre of land has been allotted for the project and the solar plant is expected to meet the electricity demand of the area. NTPC has plans to install 225 MW solar plants in Uttar Pradesh and Vikram Solar has been selected to commission the first allotment of 140 MW project. The project is expected to be completed by September 2020, as per tender.

Source: Business Standard


BP unlocks a billion oil barrels in Gulf of Mexico with new technology

8 January. BP said it has discovered two new oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico and has identified an additional billion barrels of oil at an existing field thanks to new seismic technology. The British company, which has only recently turned a corner following the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, also announced plans to expand production at its Atlantis oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico, consolidating its status as the largest oil producer in that region. The company has put a heavy emphasis on technology and data processing capabilities in recent years in order to unlock new resources and cut costs. The $1.3 billion Atlantis Phase 3 development will include drilling eight wells and a new subsea production system that will boost BP’s production by 38,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed). It is scheduled to start production in 2020. Together with the new discoveries, BP aims to grow its Gulf of Mexico production from over 300,000 boed at present to 400,000 boed by the mid 2020s. BP said that new seismic technology helped it identify an additional 1 billion barrels of oil at its Thunder Horse field within weeks, whereas previously it would have taken a year to analyse.

Source: Reuters

Petronas-Saudi RAPID refinery begins trials on crude oil unit

7 January. Malaysian state oil company Petronas started trial runs at the crude distillation unit (CDU) for a joint-venture refinery with Saudi Aramco in Malaysia. The move marks a major milestone for the $2.7 billion project known as RAPID – or Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development – located in Pengerang in Johor, at the southern tip of peninsular Malaysia. The test runs put the project on track for commercial operation in 2019. The company received its second cargo of 2 million barrels of Saudi crude. RAPID consists of a 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery and secondary refining units that will allow the companies to produce refined oil products that meet Euro 5 fuel specifications. The refinery is linked to a petrochemical complex with a capacity of 7.7 million tonnes a year. The first crude oil cargo for RAPID was offloaded at Pengerang in September. The refinery is one of four new complexes in Asia that represent a combined processing capacity of nearly 1.3 million bpd scheduled to start up from late 2018 to 2019. Another of the four complexes, a 400,000 bpd refinery, owned by Hengli Petrochemical in Dalian in northeast China, started trial runs in December.

Source: Reuters

Norway oil investment to rise in 2019 before sliding

7 January. Oil and gas investment in Norway is expected to grow for a second year in a row in 2019 but will fall back between 2020 and 2023. Western Europe’s largest oil producer has seen a recovery in oil industry activity thanks to higher crude prices, after a slump in 2014-2016. Investment in Norway’s oil industry is estimated to rise by 16 percent year-on-year to 184.5 billion crowns ($21.5 billion), the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said. It previously expected 2019 investment of 153 billion crowns.

Source: Reuters

Mexicans scramble for gasoline as stations run dry

7 January. Mexicans are scrambling for gasoline amid long lines at gas stations and widespread shortages prompted by a change in distribution methods aimed at stemming fuel theft. State oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) said the use of more secure transportation methods has resulted in delays for fuel delivery to gas stations in the states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacan, Mexico and Queretaro. It is urging consumers not to panic or hoard gasoline, promising that supply will soon stabilise. Frantic consumers have made a run on the pumps and social media has been filled with images of gas station signs saying they are out of fuel, and consumers comparing the thin supplies to scarcity for basic goods like bread and milk that plagued Mexico during the 1970s. The shortage has given ammunition to government critics, who say many of the new administration’s policies and goals are throwbacks to past decades. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that complicity within Pemex has allowed the fuel theft to blossom for years, growing from $500,000 a year more than a decade ago to roughly $3 billion in stolen fuel last year. Gasoline is a hot political issue in Mexico. Former President Enrique Pena Nieto’s decision to hike gasoline prices in January 2017 sparked ire that many cite as leading to his party’s eventual ouster.

Source: Business Standard

Crude output falls in 2018 at China’s top Daqing oil field

4 January. Crude oil output at CNPC (China National Petroleum Corp)’s Daqing oil field, China’s largest, fell to 32 million tonnes in 2018, down more than 6 percent from a year earlier. The fall came despite mounting efforts from the producer to increase domestic output, with Daqing accounting for nearly one third of CNPC’s crude production inside China. China’s national oil and gas producers have pledged to expand domestic oil and gas exploration and production to help boost national energy security. CNPC is having to use more non-traditional drilling techniques at the ageing oilfield, with crude output in 2018 down about 20 percent from the field’s peak annual output of 40 mt in 2008.

Source: Reuters

OPEC sends fewest oil cargoes to US in at least 5 yrs

4 January. OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) crude cargoes leaving for the United States (US) in December dropped to the lowest level in at least five years, data from Refinitiv Eikon and market intelligence firm Kpler show. Oil cargoes departing from OPEC nations to the US fell to 1.63 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, down from 1.80 million bpd in November and 1.78 million bpd in October, the data show. Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the OPEC, and several others curbed supplies in the face of rising US production and inventories, analysts said. OPEC and allies including Russia agreed last month to cut crude production beginning this month by 1.2 million bpd, following a strategy to support prices when supplies overwhelm demand.

Source: Reuters

Global oil and gas prices will remain volatile but range-bound in 2019: Moody’s

4 January. Global oil and gas prices are likely to remain volatile but range bound in 2019 on the back of multiple factors, ratings agency Moody’s said in a report. The medium-term price band for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the main North American benchmark, will be $50-$70 per barrel (bbl), it said. Market expectations for continued strong oil demand growth of 1.4 mn barrel per day (bpd) have remained in place, despite concerns of slowing demand growth tied to weaker global economic growth, the impact of tariffs and a strong US (United States) dollar, especially in the emerging markets.

Source: The Economic Times

Indonesia’s Pertamina to buy domestic crude oil from contractors from January

4 January. Indonesian state energy company PT Pertamina has signed deals to purchase crude oil produced from domestic fields by Chevron Corp, PetroChina and others. Purchases will start this month, including from other contractors such as Petrogas and Saka Energi Indonesia. The deals follow a government regulation introduced last September requiring contractors to offer their production to Pertamina, and obliging the state company to prioritise crude purchase from Indonesian fields. Jakarta is seeking to slash its energy import bill as it grapples with a decline in the Indonesia’s currency, the rupiah. The biggest oil-producing nation in Southeast Asia currently supplies around 775,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, of which 550,000 bpd already goes to Pertamina, including its own oil output. Indonesia’s Deputy Energy Minister Arcandra Tahar has previously said oil contractors export around 217,000 bpd of their share of the country’s output which could potentially be diverted to Pertamina.

Source: Reuters

Libya’s closed Sharara oilfield losing 8.5k bpd to looting: NOC

3 January. Libya’s closed Sharara oilfield is expected to lose 8,500 barrels per day (bpd) to looting, state oil company NOC said. NOC declared force majeure at Sharara, its biggest oilfield, after it was taken over by tribesmen, armed protesters and state guards demanding salary payments and development funds. The internationally recognized government and NOC agreed on a security plan to protect the Sharara field and NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla warned that attacks on the field could destroy the Sharara system and damage the economy.

Source: Reuters

Iraq’s oil exports rise to 3.7 mn bpd in December: Oil ministry

2 January. Iraq’s oil exports averaged 3.726 million barrels per day (bpd) in December, a significant increase from the previous month, the oil ministry said. Exports from Iraq’s southern Basra ports rose to a record high of 3.63 million bpd, up from 3.363 million bpd in November, the ministry said. Shipments from Iraq’s northern Kirkuk oilfields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan increased to 99,000 bpd from 8,716 bpd in November, the ministry said. Iraq exported 3.372 million bpd of crude oil in November. The average sale price in December was $52.8 per barrel, generating around $6.1 billion in revenue, the ministry said.

Source: Reuters

Total starts production at Nigeria’s deepwater Egina oilfield

2 January. Total SA said it had started production from the Egina oilfield off Nigeria’s coast, part of a shift by the French energy firm toward deepwater oil and gas projects to its drive cashflow. Output from Egina, which is located in waters about 1,600 meters deep, is expected to plateau at 200,000 barrels per day of oil, Total said. That rate is equivalent to about 10 percent of Nigeria’s current production. Total is betting on profitable deepwater oil and gas fields in Sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil and the US (United States) Gulf area. In Africa, the company is ramping up deepwater projects in the Republic of Congo and Angola. Total forecasts output from deepwater projects will reach 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020 and account for more than 35 percent of cashflow in coming years, compared with about 15 percent now. Total said it would take a decision this year on whether to invest in developing the Preowei field, located in the same block as the Egina field.

Source: Reuters

China cuts refiners’ oil import quotas with first 2019 allowances

2 January. China issued its first batch of crude oil import quotas for 2019 at a lower volume than for the same batch a year ago though expectations are for the volumes to climb later this year. The commerce ministry granted quotas totaling 89.84 million tonnes (mt) to 58 companies in its first allowances for 2019. This is down from the 121.32 mt issued in the first batch of allowances for 2018, although the sources said Beijing may increase the overall volume for 2019 in a second batch of quotas later this year. Lower import quotas may signal slowing crude demand growth for the first half of 2019 in China, the world’s largest oil importer and second-largest oil consumer.

Source: Reuters

Russian oil output reaches record high in 2018

2 January. Russian oil production rose to a post-Soviet record high of 11.16 million barrels per day (bpd) last year on an annual average basis, data from its energy ministry showed. The total surpassed the previous annual record average of 10.98 million bpd set in 2017. Russian oil output reached 555.838 million tonnes (mt) last year, against 547 mt in 2017. Rosneft, the world’s largest listed oil producer by output, raised its oil production by 4.6 percent year-on-year in December, while Lukoil and Surgutneftegaz both increased their output by 2.5 percent. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the country’s oil production in 2019 may decline to 552 mt after the country signed a global deal to cut output.

Source: Reuters


Putin hails energy security boost from Russia’s first LNG floating storage

8 January. President Vladimir Putin opened Russia’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU). The Marshal Vasilevskiy FSRU has been set up in Kaliningrad, wedged between European Union (EU) members Poland and Lithuania, by Russian energy giant Gazprom to bypass pipeline gas deliveries via Lithuania in case transit is disrupted. Moscow’s decision to set up the FSRU was in part to reduce gas transit risks to Kaliningrad, home to a Baltic Fleet base, as the EU steps up efforts to reduce its dependency on Russia.

Source: Reuters

PetroChina’s 2018 shale gas output up 40 percent vs 2017

7 January. Top Chinese oil and gas producer PetroChina pumped 4.27 billion cubic metres (bcm) of shale gas in the southwestern province of Sichuan in 2018, up 40 percent from 2017, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said PetroChina’s shale gas output compared to around 6 bcm pumped by domestic rival Sinopec Corp last year. Sinopec is the country’s leading shale gas player developing its flagship Fuling field in southwest China’s Chongqing region, also in the Sichuan basin. PetroChina racked up record daily sales of natural gas, including mostly conventional gas supplies, at 703 million cubic metres on 29 December last year, when residential heating demand surged amid massive temperature drops during winter, CNPC said.

Source: Reuters

Record LNG capacity to get green light in 2019 amid strong demand

4 January. A record amount of liquefied natural gas (LNG) production is expected to get the green light in 2019 amid strong global demand, especially from China, analysts said. A final investment decision (FID) could be taken on more than 60 million tonnes per annum of LNG capacity this year, well above the previous record of about 45 million tonnes (mt) in 2005 and triple last year’s 21 mt, Woodmac said. The new capacity would bulk out the pipeline of gas set to come on stream in coming years, adding to the more than 320 million tonnes of LNG shipped globally in 2018, according to shipping data in Refinitiv’s Eikon. Frontrunners this year include the $27 billion Arctic LNG 2 project by Russia’s Novatek, at least one project in Mozambique and three in the United States, Woodmac said. Canada’s Woodfibre LNG project, developed by Singapore-based Pacific Oil and Gas, may get the go-ahead in 2019, WoodMac said. New projects typically take several years to develop, with many of those under consideration likely to be ready to ship gas in the early 2020s if approved. Other projects awaiting FID include train 7 of Nigeria LNG, and a three-train expansion in Papua New Guinea, although some projects are widely expected to be pushed into the 2020s. Huge increases in China’s demand growth as part of a programme to shift households and factories from coal to gas, increased LNG import dependency in Europe, and a backlash against dirtier coal is driving optimism in the industry.

Source: Reuters


Greece gives investors another week for coal plant bids

7 January. Greece has given investors another week to Jan. 15 to submit binding bids for three coal-fired power plants and a licence to build another one, the energy ministry said. Public Power Corp (PPC) is selling the plants in northern Greece and on the southern Peloponnese under the terms of Athens’ latest international bailout after an EU (European Union) court ruled that PPC had abused its dominant position in the coal market. The bid deadline has been repeatedly pushed back since the tender was launched last year for different reasons.

Source: Reuters

Navajo Nation considers taking over large Arizona coal mine and power plant

7 January. The Navajo Nation is considering taking over the Kayenta Mine in addition to the coal plant near Page that is scheduled to close this year, speaker LoRenzo Bates said. The revelation shows an increased willingness by the tribe to take risks to keep the coal facilities running. Any deal to acquire the mine and the largest coal plant in the West will involve not only the price, but also the clean-up liability. Bates said that the Navajo Nation has years worth of coal in the ground, which someday could be used for other purposes such as making liquid fuels.



Seven provinces in dark as power cable snapped in Baghlan

7 January. The power transmission line from Uzbekistan to Kabul has once again snapped as a result of a clash in Doshi district of northern Baghlan province, plunging seven provinces into darkness. DABS headquarters in Kabul confirmed the transmission line from Uzbekistan had been cut off in two areas, suspending electricity supply to Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa, Maidan Wardak, Ghazni, Logar and Paktia provinces. A technical team has been dispatched to the area to repair the transmission line as early as possible.

Source: Pajhwok Afghan News

China’s power generation, consumption growth to notch 7-year highs in 2018

7 January. Growth of China’s power generation and consumption, important indicators of economic performance, are expected to hit seven-year highs in 2018, the Economic Information Daily reported. The paper said the country’s daily power generation last year averaged at 18.47 billion kWh, jumping 8.52 percent year on year, while the growth of power consumption is predicted to exceed 8 percent, according to preliminary statistics. Data showed that the growth of China’s power generation and consumption indicated a downward trend over the past 10 years but rebounded gradually in recent years. The growth of power consumption year on year stood at 5.23 percent in 2008, slumping 9 percentage points from 2017. The growth dived to only 0.5 percent in 2015 but rebounded to 8.47 percent in the first 11 months of 2018. Power generation grew faster in 2018, climbing 6.9 percent year-on-year for the first 11 months, compared with a 5.9-percent gain in 2017. Analysts said the faster growth was driven by industrial reconstruction, the upgrade of power usage structure and the switch from coal to electricity for winter heating. Affected by economic downward trend and a warm winter, China’s power consumption is estimated to rise 5 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2019, analysts said.

Source: Xinhua

Iran Gas Company power plant in Ilam supports national grid

7 January. Ilam Gas Processing Company’s power plant generated 67,000 MWh (megawatt hour) of electricity in the last six months raising revenue and at the same time helping the national grid meet summer demand, the head of the power station Saeed Asgari said. Of the total electricity production, 15,000 MWh was sold to the Iran Grid Management Company, generating $190,000 for the plant, Asgari said. The power plant has also supplied other companies and industrial units, namely West Oil and Gas Company and Arian Tejarat Mana Company with 2,000 MWh in the period.

Source: Financial Tribune

Osun critical to power transmission in Nigeria: TCN

6 January. The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said that Osun is critical to power transmission in the country because of the weight of power facility domiciled in the State. TCN Managing Director Usman Muhammed said the efforts of his team led to the improvement in electricity transmission being witnessed in recent times. Governor Oyetola described Osun as an investment destination because of the relatively stable electricity supply.

Source: Nigerian Tribune


Wind farms produce 31.4 percent of UK’s electricity

8 January. Wind farms in the UK (United Kingdom) generated 250,217 MWh (megawatt hour) of electricity on 7 January, reaching a share of 31.36% in the country’s power for the day. With 43,123 MWh produced, the share of biomass power was 5.40%. Total power generation for the 24 hours arrived at 797,878 MWh, according to data by Elexon, the Balancing and Settlement Code Company.

Source: Renewables Now

Renewables power in German public supply tops 40 percent in 2018

8 January. Renewables were responsible for 40.4% of Germany’s net electricity production on the public grid last year and ranked as the second largest power generation source. According to analysis compiled by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany’s renewable power plants had a combined output of about 219 terawatt hour (TWh) in 2018, or 4.3% more than in the previous year.

Source: Renewables Now

Louisiana’s nuclear power plants cleared for operation into 2040s

7 January. Both of Louisiana’s nuclear power plants have been federally relicensed to operate into the 2040s, Entergy announced. The company operates the River Bend facility in St. Francisville and Waterford 3 in Killona. Each was originally licensed in 1985. Nuclear power provides 16 percent of Louisiana’s energy.

Source: The Advocate

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar to double renewables capacity in 5 yrs: CEO

7 January. Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) plans to double its renewables energy capacity in five years with new projects in Asia and the Americas, its CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Mohamed Jameel al Ramahi said. Masdar, wholly-owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, has till now invested $8.5 billion to build capacity of 4 GW in renewables projects in the United Arab Emirates, Britain, Seychelles, Spain and the Middle East.

Source: Reuters

Cow dung to power Karachi’s public buses

2 January. In a bid to freshen its air and cut planet-warming emissions, Karachi will introduce cleaner-running buses powered by a decidedly ‘unclean’ fuel: cow dung. With funding from the international Green Climate Fund, Karachi will launch a zero-emission Green Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network, with 200 buses fuelled by bio-methane. Locals said the new bus system — to start operating in 2020 — would help reduce air pollution and street noise, but doubted whether it would have enough buses to resurrect the city’s ailing transport system. Malik Amin Aslam, advisor on climate change to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said the BRT system was the first transport project the Green Climate Fund (GCF) had approved, and would bring “multiple environmental and economic benefits”. The cheap, clean bus network will cater to 320,000 passengers daily, and will reduce planet-warming emissions by 2.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over 30 years, according to project documents. The GCF, set up under UN (United Nations) climate talks to provide finance to developing countries to help them grow cleanly and adapt to a warming climate, will provide $49 million for the Karachi project out of a total cost of $583.5 million. The BRT system, to be rolled out over four years, will have a fleet of 200 hybrid buses that will run on bio-methane produced from manure excreted by Karachi’s 400,000 milk-producing buffaloes, and collected by the authorities. The project will prevent about 3,200 tonnes of cow manure entering the ocean daily by converting it into energy and fertiliser at a biogas plant, and will save more than 50,000 gallons of fresh water used to wash that waste into the bay, Aslam said.

Source: The Hindu Business L ine


Installed Capacity of Electricity by Gas Based Power Plants in India

Name of the Plant Installed Capacity (MW) Name of the Plant Installed Capacity (MW)
as on 31/03/17 as on 31/03/17
ANTA GT 419.3 LAKWA GT 157.2
DLF 15.5 PAGUTHAN 655.0
G.I.P.C.L. GT 310.0 PIPAVAV CCCP 702.86
GAMA CCPP Module-1 225.0 PRAGATI CCCP -III 1,371.2
I.P.GT 270.0 TROMBAY GT 180.0

Source: Central Electricity Authority

Publisher: Baljit Kapoor

Editorial Adviser: Lydia Powell

Editor: Akhilesh Sati

Content Development: Vinod Kumar

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