MonitorsPublished on Apr 30, 2019
Energy News Monitor | Volume XV; Issue 46


Coal News Commentary: March - April 2019


India’s coal production increased by over 144 mt in the five years it has been in power. Data shows coal offtake too largely keeping pace with production, indicating improved evacuation and transportation due to greater synergy between the coal and railway ministries. CIL’s e-auction has been low this fiscal with the public sector coal miner having to step up supplies to the power sector, which witnessed 6.96 percent increase year-on-year. CIL didn’t hold any e-auction during October-November, which left the non-regulated sector starving for coal. But, the e-auctions from December fetched high premium for CIL and the company got an average premium of 81 percent over the notified price this fiscal as against 50 percent commanded last fiscal. CIL has been generally pushing 20 percent of its production to the e-auction over the years but this has been below 10 percent of the total production at 61 mt this fiscal. CIL pushed around 112 mt to the e-auction last fiscal but e-auctions last fiscal did not command as much premium as it commanded this year.

CIL reported a growth of 7 percent in dry fuel production in 2018-19 to 606.9 mt a shade below the MoU target of 610 mt with the coal ministry. The production was 567.4 mt in FY18. Informing the bourses, the largest coal miner said offtake was at 608.1 mt during the year, a growth of 4.8 percent over the previous fiscal offtake of 580.3 mt of coal. CIL had set an internal aspirational target of 652 mt for the year, but could not go closer to it as things did not fructify as perceived. CIL scaled a new peak in production in the month of March 2019 producing 79.19 mt - the highest so far in a month since inception. Supply to power sector was 488 mt which is 7 percent higher than the figure of 2017-18. The pithead coal stock stood at 54 mt and cumulative stock at power plants stood at 30.41 mt are sufficient to meet the demand, the company said. The government has pared its holding in CIL to 72.33 percent in the current financial year from 78.5 percent in 2017-18. Following the recent buy back of 0.72 percent of shares, the promoters (government) holding is now at 72.33 percent, the company said. In the 2018-19 financial year, the government has received in excess of ₹180 bn by twin dividends and stake sale by various modes like public offer and ETFs. During the last financial year, the total payout to government was around ₹100 bn, without any stake sale.

SECL has become the first company in the country to have crossed coal production figure of 150 mt in a financial year. SECL achieved the record during the 2018-19 fiscal and crossed the 150 mt mark on 20 March. SECL also touched the highest ever single day production of 744,000 tonnes in this month. During FY 2017-18, the SECL had produced 144.7 mt of coal. SECL, the largest subsidiary of CIL contributes about a quarter of the dry fuel production for the holding company. The SECL has fared well at area level too. Dipka mine Area achieved the highest ever single day coal production of 145,000 tonnes, while SECLs Gevra Mine achieved a single day coal production of 205,000 tonnes in this month.

India’s coal import increased by 7.8 percent to 212.11 mt in the April-February period of FY19, according to the report by mjunction services. This comes at a time when the government is looking at relaxing the timeline for the 1 bt coal production target it had set earlier for CIL which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal output. The country produced 196.59 mt of coal in April-February period of fiscal 2017-18, according to the report. Coal imports in the month of February was at 18.31 mt (provisional) as compared to 21.15 mt (revised) in January 2019, it said. Of the total imports during February 2019, non-coking coal was at 13.86 mt, against 14.59 mt imported in January 2019, it said. Coking coal imports were at 2.93 mt in February 2019, down against 3.32 mt a month ago.

NTPC Ltd said it has started commercial production of coal from Pakri Barwadih mine in Jharkhand. Pakri Barwadih, located in Hazaribagh district, is first of the mine NTPC is developing to provide low cost coal for its power stations, replacing expensive imported coal. It will feed NTPC’s ultra-mega power project in the region. The mine has an estimated mining capacity to produce 15 mtpa of coal and was in 2010 allotted to NTPC as basket mine to meet the fuel shortfall of its power stations. NTPC was allotted Pakri Barwadih, Chatti-Bariatu, Kerandari, Dulanga, Talaipalli and Chatti-Bariatu (South), Banai, Bhalumunda and Mandakini B mines. These mines carry total geological reserves of around 7.15 bt and have a production potential of 107 mtpa of coal catering to requirements of 20,000 MW of power generation.

The coal ministry plans to give special attention to private captive coal block operators to help increase output, which has frequently failed to meet targets. This has put tremendous pressure on CIL which has been struggling to meet the nation’s demand for coal. Captive blocks have suffered because of delay in land acquisition and various clearances as well as issues such as rehabilitation and resettlement. In 2018-19, captive mines produced an estimated 33 mt. In the previous years, they produced about 36 mt, including 18 mt by Sasan Power Ltd and 6.2 mt by Tata Steel.

The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre on a public interest litigation seeking cancellation of coal block allocation in Chhattisgarh to RRVUNL and the mining operations by the AEL for violating the environmental clearance granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The petitioner has also sought the Central Bureau of Investigation probe into it. The petitioner urged the court to ask the RRVUNL to cancel its joint venture and coal mining delivery agreement with AEL and Parsa Kente Collieries Ltd, a joint venture between the RRVUNL and the AEL, with AEL being the majority stakeholder. The petition sought the apex court’s directions to the Centre to cancel allocation of the PEKB, Parsa and Kente Extension coal blocks to the RRVUNL. The mine operations, it alleged were violating the conditions of environmental clearance granted to the RRVUNL by the Ministry of Environment and Forests with regard to the PEKB open-cast coal mine project.

The sagging growth in new capacity additions in coal-fired power seemed to have rubbed on state controlled NTPC, the largest power generator. Between 2012-13 and 2015-16, the country had added as much as 20 GW of coal-fired power each year. The growth has subsided over the past three years, with last fiscal adding a net capacity of only 1.2 GW. According to a study by IEEFA, NTPC too has jumped on the bandwagon of tepid additions in coal-based power. In 2018-19, NTPC signalled intentions of abandoning coal-based projects amounting to 9.3 GW in Andhra Pradesh (Pudimadaka & Simadhri), West Bengal (Katwa) and Odisha (Gajamara). As per IEEFA’s calculations, NTPC could manage just 1,160 MW capacity addition, less than a quarter of its envisaged target of 4,740 MW for 2018-19. NTPC’s subdued growth betrays its robust balance sheet and operational prowess to risk building new thermal power capacities. NTPC’s growth, though, was punctuated by the retirement of its 705 MW Badarapur plant in Delhi during October 2018 and this meant addition of only 455 MW of net coal-based power capacity added during FY19. In line with India’s National Electricity Plan 2018, 49 GW of end of life coal-fired plants are proposed to be retired through FY2026-27 to curb emissions from older, polluting units.

A report released jointly by Global Energy Monitor, Greenpeace India and the Sierra Club (US) shows the number of coal-fired plants under development has seen a sharp fall in 2018 for the third year on the trot. The findings of the report ‘Boom and Bust 2019: Tracking the Global Coal Plant Pipeline’ include a 20 percent drop in newly completed coal plants (53 percent in the past three years), a 39 percent drop in new construction starts (84 percent in the past three years), and a 24 percent drop in plants in pre-construction activity (69 percent over the past three years) year-on-year. In India, around 40 GW of the country’s coal plants are either financially stressed or are at risk of bankruptcy. Less than 3 GW of new capacity was commissioned in 2018, compared to 39 GW in 2010. Low plant load factors, largely due to overcapacity and competition from cheaper renewables, have made it harder for coal plants to recover their investments. In China and India, which have accounted for 85 percent of new coal power capacity since 2005, the number of permits for new coal plants dropped to record lows, but new plants are still in the pipeline.

Rest of the World

China will produce an additional 100 mt of coal in 2019, creating a glut of the fuel in the world’s top consumer of the commodity. China produced 4 bt of coal in 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The market will see oversupply in the near future, the China National Coal Association said. China’s coal imports in March fell 12.1 percent from a year ago, according to the General Administration of Customs data, as the country has enacted policies to slow imports of the fuel at various ports. Coal imports last month were 23.48 mt up from February’s 17.64 mt. For the first three months of 2018, coal supplies were at 74.63 mt, down 1.8 percent from a year ago, data showed. Global trader Glencore has won contracts worth around $520 mn to supply 4.94 mt of coal to Mexico, state-run power utility the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) said. The utility said that by offering the best price, Glencore won all 12 auctions held to supply a CFE plant in the southwestern state of Guerrero with the coal, for delivery between May and December of this year. The contracts were worth around $519.6 mn in total, CFE said.

Major Chinese coal miner Yancoal is working with leading utility Huaneng Group to launch an international energy trading centre in June on China’s southern Hainan island. The trade centre will initially focus on physical coal trading and introduce other energy products, such as oil and gas, and futures trading at a later stage.

China’s coking coal imports from Australia in February slumped 21 percent from a year earlier as lengthy customs checks on Australian cargoes at several ports delayed their arrival into the country. Australian imports were at 1.16 mt last month, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs, compared to 1.47 mt in February 2018. For the first two months of 2019, Australian coal imports rose 27 percent from the same period a year earlier, to 5.49 mt, according to the customs data. That reflected a flurry of shipments being accepted in January after being subject to customs clearance delays in December. Imports of Mongolian coking coal jumped 47 percent to 1.43 mt in February from a year earlier, as Chinese buyers shifted to alternative suppliers, the data showed. Arrivals from Russia, however, fell 31 percent from February last year to 191,966 tonnes.

Mongolia’s coal exports rose 15 percent on the year to 7.8 mt in the first quarter, with the country benefiting from customs delays impeding imports from Australia during the period. Landlocked Mongolia is heavily dependent on demand for coal and copper from China, its southern neighbour and the buyer of more than 90 percent of its exports. China has sharply reduced purchases of Australian coal after clearing times through China’s customs doubled to more than 40 days amid growing tensions between Beijing and Canberra over issues ranging from cyber security to Beijing’s influence in Pacific island nations. Mongolia’s export earnings from coal over the first three months of the year reached $644 mn, up 25 percent compared to a year earlier, the country’s statistics office said. The rise in coal exports helped drive up Mongolia’s total industrial output from coal mining by 64.9 percent over the period.

Australian thermal coal prices registered their biggest weekly fall since the financial market turmoil of a decade ago as demand plunged with the end of winter and amid worries over the strength of the global economy. Coal prices for prompt loading at Australia’s Newcastle terminal have lost almost 20 percent, dropping to $72/tonne. Coal has slumped by 40 percent from a mid-2018 peak of more than $120/tonne. Japan is the biggest buyer of Australian thermal coal. The contract to March 2020 was 14 percent lower than the price for a year-long deal for supplies through September this year. The coal slump also follows a 60 percent crash in Asian prices for LNG coal’s most direct competitor as a power generation fuel. Trade data on Refinitiv Eikon showed a sharp weekly fall in thermal coal imports from Australia’s biggest buyers of China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. These countries’ overall imports fell to 11.8 mt from 16.1 mt between weeks 12 and 13 of this year. European coal demand has fallen with the end of the heating season but also because its biggest economy and coal user, Germany, is teetering on the edge of recession. Power sector demand for coal has been quite weak in northwest Europe owing to strong wind power generation.

Germany has agreed to provide €240 mn in assistance to four states affected by government plans to phase out coal-powered energy. Germany wants to phase out coal by 2038 and the four states that are home to the mining industry want government assistance to limit the economic impact of the transition to renewables. A commission set up to draft a phaseout strategy said in January that the government should inject some €2 bn a year over two decades in Germany’s three mining belts.

The French government is sticking to its previously announced target of shutting down France’s remaining coal power plants by 2022 as a report by grid operator RTE confirmed it could do without the coal generators under certain conditions. The French government plans to halt the remaining coal power plants with a total capacity of around 3,000 MW, operated by state-controlled utility EDF and Germany’s Uniper, as part of its efforts to curb carbon emissions.  Additional analysis on France’s energy needs and security of power supply will be made before a decision this summer on whether to allow a planned conversion of EDF’s 1,200 MW Cordemais coal-fired plant into biomass power generation.

Global miner Glencore and Japan’s Tohoku Electric Power agreed on a price of $94.75/tonne for supplies of thermal coal from Australia for the year through March 2020. The price, which serves as an industry benchmark for supplies of seaborne thermal coal in Asia, was 14 percent lower than a price agreed for supplies for the year through September this year. The Australian miner later agreed on a price of $110/tonne in August for some contracts with other Japanese thermal coal buyers for the April to March period. Glencore has two annual benchmark supply contracts with Japanese utilities, typically negotiated by Tohoku Electric, one for April through March and the other for October through September that takes account for later market conditions. With annual imports last year of slightly less than 114 mt Japan is one of the world’s biggest importers of thermal coal. Australia supplied a little over 70 percent of those imports in 2018.

CIL: Coal India Ltd, MoU: Memorandum of Understanding, SECL: South Eastern Coalfields Ltd, mt: million tonnes, bt: billion tonnes, mn: million, bn: billion, FY: Financial Year, MW: megawatt, GW: gigawatt, RRVUNL: Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd, AEL: Adani Enterprise Ltd, PEKB: Parsa East and Kanta-Basan, IEEFA: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, US: United States


India to get extra oil from major producers to make up for Iran oil loss: Pradhan

23 April. India will get additional supplies from other major oil producing countries to compensate for the loss of Iranian oil, India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. The United States (US) demanded that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by 1 May or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which had allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue to import limited volumes. Pradhan said that India has put in place a robust plan for adequate supply of crude oil to refineries. Indian refiners are increasing their planned purchases from the nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mexico and the US to hedge against loss of Iranian oil. Refiners in India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and Iran’s top oil client after China, had almost halved their Iranian oil purchases since November when petroleum sanctions went into effect. At the time, the US granted waivers from sanctions, known as significant reduction exceptions (SRE), for six months to countries that purchased some amounts of Iranian crude, including India.

Source: Reuters

ONGC to spend Rs23.9 bn in drilling 145 wells in Cambay basin in Gujarat

18 April. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is planning to spend Rs23.93 bn in drilling 145 development wells across 30 mining leases in Cambay Basin in Gujarat. The drilling of the development wells will take place in 13 fields – including Ankleshwar, Motwan, South-west Motwan, Kosamba, Kim, Olpad, Gandhar, Dahej, Pakhajan, Jambusar, Dabka, Matar and Nada -- of Cambay Basin, the firm said in an application to the environment ministry. ONGC has also applied to drill 28 wells in Dayalpur and Kasomarigaon fields in Assam at a cost of Rs6.25 bn. The company had earlier this year applied for Environmental Clearance (EC) for drilling 406 wells in its Mehsana asset in Gujarat at a cost of Rs24.03 bn to tap into 13.65 million tonnes (mt) of crude oil. The oil and gas producer was recently awarded the environmental clearance to drill 200 wells across various fields in Sivasagar district of Assam at a cost of Rs60 bn. It has notified 11 new oil and gas discoveries in the current fiscal so far. ONGC’s crude oil production in February this year declined 5 percent to 1,599 Thousand metric tonne (tmt) mainly due to decreased production from Western Offshore fields. Cumulatively, the firm's oil production during the first 11 months of 2018-19 dropped 5.38 percent to 19,274 tmt.

Source: The Economic Times

India needs to fix weak exports as oil poses risk for trade deficit

17 April. The hallmark of the past four years for the Indian economy was the drop in global crude oil prices that made it easy to manage not just inflation but also the current account deficit. With crude oil showing signs of climbing back, the focus on boosting exports is back on the table. As exports get fixed, the benefit from lower crude oil prices could end soon for the current account balance. The country’s import bill shrank mainly because of the fall in crude oil prices in FY19. However, crude oil has gained 32 percent since January this year.

Source: Livemint

RIL an easy pick for Saudi Aramco with India’s mega west coast refinery on the back-burner

17 April. Saudi Aramco’s maiden investment in India’s downstream sector is facing an uncertain future. The world’s most profitable company seems to have now set its eye on picking up stake in Reliance Industries’ already entrenched refining and petrochemical business. Saudi Aramco is in talks to pick up 25 percent stake in RIL (Reliance Industries Ltd)’s refining and petrochemical business, which would fetch the oil-to-telecom behemoth close to $10-15 bn at current share price. A consortium of India’s three state-run Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) had last year signed an agreement with Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to set up the world’s largest green-field integrated oil refinery on the west coast of Maharashtra in Ratnagiri district. RIL’s refineries are stated to be the most complex in the world and are better suited at refining heavy crude. RIL’s current refinery complex in Jamnagar has a cumulative capacity to process 68.2 million tonnes per annum (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.

Source: The Economic Times


RIL to start gas production in KG-D6 block from 2nd half of FY21

19 April. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has stated that it will start natural gas production from R-Cluster gas field in the flagging KG-D6 block in the Bay of Bengal from the second half of the 2020-21 fiscal. RIL and its partner BP Plc of UK (United Kingdom) had in June 2017 announced an investment of Rs400 bn in the three sets of discoveries to reverse the flagging production in KG-D6 block. These finds were expected to bring a total 30-35 million cubic metres (1 billion cubic feet) of gas a day onstream, phased over 2020-22. R-Cluster will be first to come on stream. Four of the planned six wells that would produce gas from the field have been completed and the fifth one is being drilled currently, it said adding first offshore installation campaign is underway and is expected to be completed in Q1 FY20. The second set is called the Satellite Cluster for which all major orders have been committed and engineering work is in progress. RIL has so far made 19 gas discoveries in the KG-D6 block. Of these, D-1 and D-3 -- the largest among the lot -- were brought into production from April 2009 and MA - the only oilfield in the block, was put to production in September 2008. The output from D-1 and D-3 has fallen sharply from 54 million metric standard cubic meter per day (mmscmd) in March 2010 to 1.8 mmscmd in the January-March quarter. The government had in 2012 approved a $1.529 bn plan to produce 10.36 mmscmd of gas from four satellite fields of block KG-D6 by 2016-17. The four fields have 617 billion cubic feet of reserves and can produce gas for eight years. After the government allowed a higher gas price for yet-to-be-developed gas finds in difficult areas like the deep sea, RIL and BP decided to take up their development. RIL-BP have kept the $3.18 bn investment plan for D-34 or R-Series gas field in the same block, which was approved in August 2013. About 12.9 mmscmd of gas for 13 years can be produced from D-34 discovery, which is estimated to hold recoverable reserves of 1.4 trillion cubic feet. Other discoveries have either been surrendered or taken away by the government for not meeting timelines for beginning production.

Source: Business Standard

Leak in LNG pipeline of IOAGPL a wake-up call for officials in Kerala

18 April. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) leak from the pipeline of Indian Oil Adani Gas Private Ltd (IOAGPL) and the resultant fire at Palachuvadu near Kakkanad have raised safety concerns as agencies like KWA, KSEB and telecom companies dig up roads for laying underground cables without taking precautionary measures. In the wake of this GAIL (India) Ltd would convene a meeting of all agencies which used to dig up roads for various purposes. When bubbles appeared in the water in the trench due to LNG leak, KSEB contract workers brought a paraffin lamp to find out the source of the bubble. Soon, the gas leaked out of the pipeline caught fire. IOAGPL officials and fire and rescue services were alerted, and IOAGPL officials turned off the control valve of the pipeline immediately. Fire and rescue personnel doused the fire within a couple of hours. IOAGPL said that there is no reason to panic in such situations as LNG is safer compared to LPG.  However, GAIL officials said that they are viewing the incident seriously, though there is less chance of accidents due to LNG leakage.

Source: The Economic Times


Odisha CM slams centre over coal royalty issue

21 April. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik criticised the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)-led NDA government at the Centre for not revising coal royalty in the last five years, saying it resulted in the state government losing crores. At present, the coal royalty is 14 percentand was last fixed in April 2012. It is supposed to be revised every three years. The state government claims to have faced a loss of around Rs100 bn because of non-revision of royalty. During a campaign in Angul and Sambalpur constituencies, Naveen said while the Centre earns crores from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (which extracts coal from Odisha mines) and by selling power from the NTPC plant in Talcher, the Narendra Modi government does little to develop the area.

Source: The Economic Times

Solution to coal issue after polls: Goa Panchayat Minister

20 April. BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)’s South Goa poll campaign chief and Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho said that coal pollution is an issue in Mormugao and his party has assured the voters of addressing it post-election. People in Mormugao have been agitating against coal handling operations citing pollution. Godinho informed that people raised the coal pollution issue during the campaign and demanded proper measures.

Source: The Economic Times

CIL sets production target of 655 mt, 3-fold rise from last fiscal

19 April. The coal ministry has set a production target of 655 million tonnes (mt) for Coal India Ltd (CIL) for the current fiscal year after the Maharatna company closed last fiscal year with 607 mt of production, registering a 7.23 percent growth in actual production. In the last fiscal year, the ministry had set a production and despatch target of 610 mt for the company. Incidentally, the ministerial target this year is just 5 mt over the aspirational target which the world’s largest coal producer had set for itself in 2018-19. At the beginning of every fiscal year, based on the projected requirements from power plants and other sectors such as steel and cement, the coal ministry signs an agreement with CIL, which is called Memorandum of Understand (MoU) target. In the last fiscal year, Northern Coalfields became the company’s third subsidiary to breach the 100 mt production mark after South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) and Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL). On the other hand, SECL became Coal India’s first subsidiary to cruise over 150 mt production mark while Eastern Coalfields Ltd and Western Coalfields Ltd have become 50 mt companies each. According to the company, the production growth last year is almost three-fold increase compared to 2017-18 fiscal year’s output growth of 2.33 percent.

Source: Business Standard

India’s coal imports surge 40 percent owing to washery shortage

17 April. Coal India Ltd (CIL)’s delays in setting up coking-coal washeries inflated the country’s coal imports by $3 bn or over 40 percent in FY18, steel companies have estimated. The firms have warned that imports of the fuel, which could drive up India’s goods trade and current account deficit, could rise further if adequate number of domestic washeries are not set up in the public and private sectors. In letters sent to steel and coal ministries, the Indian Steel Association has said that if the situation does not improve, import bills would rise exponentially as the country strives to achieve the ambitious steel production target of 300 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by FY31. The letters sent to steel and coal ministries, said capacities of CIL washeries are grossly under-utilised and become obsolete because they were primarily designed to handle coal with ash content much lower than what is currently mined. Since unwashed coking coal with high ash content can’t be used by the steel industry, it is being diverted to power plants. Apart from a suitable augmentation plan for all existing washeries, the steel industry has requested the government to allocate or auction coking coal to steel plants interested in washing coal themselves for their exclusive use. They also want better coking coal blocks reserved for CIL to be offered to steel players. The steel industry can use only a quarter of the coking coal produced in the country due to inadequate washing capacity. Coking coal having less than 18 percent ash can be used directly by consumers in the steel sector. Coal having higher ash content (18-35%) is termed washery grade coal and requires washing to make it suitable for use in production of steel. CIL runs 12 coking coal washeries with a total annual capacity of 22.18 million tonnes (mt). The private sector runs four washeries with annual capacity of 7.7 mt. CIL proposes to construct eight more coking coal washeries by 2020 with total annual capacity of 26.5 mt.

Source: The Financial Express

HC stays tender mandating coal transport through Adani’s port

​​​17 April. The Madurai bench of the Madras high court has granted an interim stay on a tender notification issued by the NLC Tamil Nadu Power Ltd (NTPL) that mandated bidders seeking to transport coal from Odisha mines to the power plant in Tuticorin to quote for operations for both Paradip and Dhamra port, a subsidiary of Adani group. According to the petitioner, NTPL has executed a fuel supply agreement with Mahanadi Coal Fields in Odisha and to transport the coal from the mine to the thermal plant in Tuticorin, a tender was floated. According to the tender notification, bidders are required to move coal from Odisha to the VOC Port in Tuticorin through Paradip and Dhamra ports for two years, handling 28,73,360 mt through Paradip and 12,31,440 mt through Dhamra Stating that Paradip is one of the major ports of India, owned and controlled by the government of India, the petitioner submitted statistics to show that majority of coal from Odisha mines is moved through Paradip port.

Source: The Economic Times

Indian energy giant Adani urges Australian government to give ‘a fair go’ for coal mine project

17 April. Adani Group entered Australia in 2010 with the purchase of the greenfield Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, and the Abbot Point port near Bowen in the north. Indian energy giant Adani has urged the Australian government to give its controversial coal mine project “a fair go” and indicated that the Opposition party would not derail the proposed billion dollar project if it comes to power. Adani Group entered Australia in 2010 with the purchase of the greenfield Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, and the Abbot Point port near Bowen in the north. The massive coal mine in Queensland state has been a controversial topic, with the project expected to produce 2.3 billion tonnes of low-quality coal.

Source: The Hindu


Power plant companies quote higher tariff in the latest round of auctions

19 April. Power plants have quoted high tariff in the latest round of auctions of electricity supply contracts, casting doubt on acceptability of the price by state distribution companies. The high bids took the sector by surprise as it expected a lower tariff following changes in auction rules by the Centre, heeding to the demands of power companies. The power ministry had kicked off the scheme to salvage stressed assets idling due to lack of PPA (power purchase agreement) opportunities. The government said the final tariffs including the transmission charges will cost Rs4.7-Rs4.8 per unit to the states. Experts said finding buyers in state distribution companies at this price will be a tough task. The price is higher against Rs4.24 per unit discovered in the pilot round of the scheme held in April last year. The tariff in the current round was expected to fall with the government agreeing to allow escalation in tariffs and minimum offtake of 85 percent of contracted capacity to the power plants. In the last round, the fixed cost was kept at 1paisa per unit with minimum offtake guarantee of 55 percent. The government was expecting lower tariffs in the range of Rs3.50-4 per unit in the current PPA auction round. Jindal Power has bid for supplying the highest quantity of 515 MW from its two plants in Chhattisgarh at Rs4.41per unit. Adani Power’s Korba West plant has bid for 295 MW while JSW Energy has committed 290 MW.

Source: The Economic Times

CERC asks power gencos to pay fines for unused transmission lines

18 April. Stranded power-generating projects will now have to bear the cost of abandoning the allied transmission system. In its latest order, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) directed power gencos (generating companies) to pay the transmission and relinquishment char­ges for the stranded transmission capacity resulting on acco­­unt of the abandoned projects. The CERC (Grant of Connectivity, Long-term Acc­ess and Medium-term Open Access in inter-State Transm­ission and related matters) Regulations, 2009, specify the charges for relinquishing a line. The regulations mandate any genco which applies for long-term access (LTA) to a transmission line for 12 years will be liable to pay compensation in case it abandons it. The Central Transmission Utility (CTU) is charging approximately Rs40 lakh per MW as relinquishment charges from any generating company that surrenders a transmission network due to either lack of power demand or change of power supply plan. These charges are levied for a period of 12 years counting it as stranded. Power Grid Corp of India Ltd is also the owner and manager of the national grid as CTU. The CERC has also directed the CTU to create a separate account for the relinquishment charges and it should be used to discount transmission charges for the existing long-term & medium-term consumers on that same transmission line.

Source: Business Standard


India’s solar power capacity addition to grow 15 percent to 7.5 GW this fiscal

23 April. India’s solar power capacity addition is set to grow by about 15 percent to a range between 7,000 MW and 7,500 MW in the current financial year (2019-20) based on the tendering activity and awards of projects in the past 12-15 months. By contrast, last financial year’s solar capacity addition is estimated to have remained subdued in a range between 6,000 MW and 6,500 MW because of weak trend in award of solar projects in calendar year 2017. Nearly, 56 percent of the capacity auctioned in 2018 has been accounted for by central agencies such as Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI) and NTPC Ltd with the balance by state nodal entities or discoms (distribution companies) under various state level programmes. Apart from the projects awarded through the bid route, around 1 GW capacity is expected to be added through open access or group captive route and grid-connected rooftop, with these additions being facilitated by favourable solar policies for open access route in a few states.

Source: The Economic Times

12 more nuclear plants in India soon: DAE chief

22 April. India will soon have 12 more nuclear plants soon to improve the power situation and ensure there is a free flow of uninterrupted power supply for both industries and residential use, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) chief K N Vyas said. He said the founder of Indian nuclear programme, Homi J Bhabha, had envisaged that nuclear technology is going to be "very essential" and not just in the power sector but for other societal uses intended for betterment of life. Vyas said the first stage of India's indigenous nuclear power programme has now attained maturity with 18 operating Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs). Vyas said that the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sanctioned 10 PHWRs in fleet mode, besides plans afoot for constructing two light water reactors. Indian industry has gained a lot through the process, nuclear energy and instruments require a guided and systematic way of manufacturing and quality assurance which raises the standard of industry participating in the manufacturing of equipment, Vyas said.

Source: Business Standard

SECI postpones manufacturing-linked solar bid for 3 GW till 14 May

22 April. Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI) extended bids submission deadline for the third time for manufacturing-linked 3 GW solar power tender till 14 May. According to a SECI notice on its web portal, the last date of bid submission is extended till 14 May 2019 (till 1600 hours). The techno-commercial bid opening shall be carried out from 1700 hours on same day. SECI had floated the fresh tender for the 3 GW manufacturing linked solar power tender in January this year. Initially the bidders were to submit their bids by 18 March 2019. The deadline for bid submission under this tender was extended from 4 April to 22 April. SECI had also extended deadline for bid submission to 4 April from 18 March 2019. The capping of tariff has been an issue as it led to failure of a 10 GW manufacturing linked solar power tender last year also. The tender also witnessed many extensions of bid submission deadline and finally junked.

Source: Business Standard

Solar, wind power capacity addition slows down in 2018-19

20 April. The pace of adding renewable generation capacities slowed down in FY19 with just 8.6 GW of solar and wind power plants getting commissioned in the fiscal. The country had added 11.3 GW and 11.8 GW of renewable capacities in FY17 and FY18, respectively. The installed renewable capacity now stands at 77.6 GW. Experts have attributed the situation to devaluation of the rupee, rising finance costs, government-mandated tariff caps in reverse auctions and cancellation of renewable project tenders as the reasons behind slowing down capacity installation. As much as 41 GW of renewable energy projects have been tendered in the first three quarters of FY19, while nearly 17 GW of tenders have been cancelled at the same time, mostly due to muted response from project developers. At the end of Q3FY19, nearly 18 GW of solar projects were under various stages of development. The country plans to have 175 GW of installed renewable power capacity by FY22. The target, however, now seems achievable as 45 GW of hydro power plants would now be counted as renewable energy after a recent Cabinet decision. Overall, the country’s installed power generation capacity stands at 356 GW, rising only 3.5 percent year-on-year in FY19, the slowest growth rate since FY09. The net capacity addition of thermal power plants in FY19 on a net basis — the difference between the plants commissioned and retired — is a meagre 3.4 GW, one of the lowest in history.

Source: The Financial Express

Cut in household fuel use may save 270k lives a year in India

19 April. India could make a major dent in air pollution and save about 270,000 lives a year by curbing emissions from dirty household fuels such as wood, dung, coal and kerosene, according to a study led by researchers from IIT Delhi. Eliminating emissions from these sources -- without any changes to industrial or vehicle emissions -- would bring the average outdoor air pollution levels below the country's air quality standard, the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows. Mitigating the use of household fuels could also reduce air pollution-related deaths in the country by about 13 percent, which is equivalent to saving about 270,000 lives a year, researchers said. In many rural areas of the world where electricity and gas lines are scarce, the bulk of air pollution originates from burning biomass, such as wood, cow dung or crop residues to cook and heat the home, and from burning kerosene for lighting. As of early 2016, nearly half of the Indian population was reliant on biomass for household fuel, researchers said. In 2015, India’s average annual air pollution level was 55 microgrammes per cubic metre of fine particulate matter, researchers said. Levels in New Delhi -- by many estimates, the most polluted city in the world -- often soared beyond 300 microgrammes per cubic metre, researchers said. In 2016, India instituted a national programme to distribute clean burning stoves and propane to 80 mn impoverished households, or about 500 mn people, researchers said.

Source: Business Standard

DMRC on track to be world’s first 100 percent solar-powered metro

19 April. Delhi Metro is now a step closer to powering all its operations with solar energy. Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) started receiving solar power from Madhya Pradesh (MP)’s Rewa Solar Power Project, kick-starting an initiative to be the world’s first 100% green energy rail network. DMRC said the Metro received 27 MW power from the MP-based project and will gradually increase it to 99 MW. At present, DMRC uses solar energy for almost 60 percent of its electricity needs. It plans to run all its operations on solar by 2021. Once this is done, it would become the world’s first 100 percent green energy metro rail network. To mark the beginning of this new arrangement, DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh travelled on a solar powered Metro train from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium station to Central Secretariat on the Violet Line along with Manu Srivastava, chairperson, Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Ltd (RUMSL), Upendra Tripathi, Director General, International Solar Alliance and other senior officials. DMRC on an average would receive 345 million units of power from Rewa every year. Delhi Metro expects to save over Rs410 mn with the shift to solar energy.

Source: Hindustan Times

Mahindra Susten looks to sell around 160 MW of solar power assets

18 April. Mahindra Susten, the renewable business arm of Mahindra group, has launched a formal process to sell around 160 MW of solar assets. The company offers diversified services within the renewable energy and cleantech space, such as turnkey solar engineering, procurement and construction services, both utility-scale solar and rooftop solar products, solar car charging stations, telecom tower solarization, operations and maintenance. ReNew Power Ltd, India’s largest clean energy company, and state-run power utility NTPC Ltd have shown interest in the ongoing sale process of PTC India Ltd’s wind power business, which includes 290 MW of wind assets. Fotowatio Renewable Ventures also plans to exit its only investment in the Indian solar power space and Edelweiss Infrastructure Yield Plus Fund is in talks with Engie SA to pick up a significant stake in the French energy firm’s Indian solar business.

Source: Livemint

Shift from kerosene to solar to improve power supply

18 April. Switching subsidies from kerosene to off-grid solar products would improve electricity access for households still reliant on kerosene, a study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) said. Despite the success of the 'Saubhagya' scheme, millions of households continue to use kerosene lamps during outages or because they cannot afford electricity. But kerosene is problematic because it provides poor quality light, causes harmful indoor air pollution and is a fire risk. The report titled 'Policy Approaches for a Kerosene to Solar Subsidy Swap in India', shows support for off-grid solar that could be made available directly to households through manufacturers or as subsidised credit through financial institutions. The 2019 study goes further by providing a six-step implementation plan for governments. The first three steps provide options on funding, targeting recipients and selecting solar products. The next steps are presented as three separate pathways depending on whether the government chooses to subsidise consumers, manufactures or financial products. The goal for each pathway is the same -- to assist India’s transition to clean and reliable power for all.

Source: Business Standard

Telangana to add 1 GW solar power capacity in 6-8 months

17 April. Telangana will add another 1,000 MW of solar energy capacity in next six to eight months taking the total installed capacity to over 4,500 MW in solar power segment. Telangana stands at second position with a generation capacity of over 3,500 MW commissioned through solar energy. Another 1,000 MW are in the pipeline which will be commissioned likely in the next six to eight months, Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corp Ltd (TSREDCO) vice-chairman and managing director N Janaiah said. Telangana has a total installed capacity of 4,036 MW renewable energy power including solar energy (ground mount) at 3,583 MW and wind energy of 128 MW besides contribution from other renewable energy sources, Janaiah said. With regard to solar rooftop, he said from 2 MW commissioned in June 2014 it has grown to 60 MW and another 40 MW was in the pipeline. TSREDCO is the state designated agency, nominated by the Telangana government for implementing all new and renewable energy programmes and energy conservation activities in Telangana state.

Source: Business Standard


Global oil markets adequately supplied: IEA

23 April. Global oil markets are adequately supplied and spare production capacity remained at comfortable levels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said, while highlighting the need to avoid higher oil prices amid fragile global economic growth. Iranian shipments of crude and condensates are running around 1.1 mn barrels per day (bpd), 300,000 bpd lower than March, and 1.7 mn bpd lower than May 2018. OECD (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil inventories at the end-February were at 2.871 bn barrels, above the five-year average, IEA said. Total oil supplies from the United States are expected to increase by 1.6 mn bpd this year.

Source: Reuters

Saudi can raise oil output but will assess impact of Iran waivers ending

22 April. Saudi Arabia is willing to compensate for any potential loss of crude supply if the US (United States) ends waivers granted to buyers of Iranian oil, but the kingdom will assess the impact on the market before raising its output. The US is expected to announce that buyers of Iranian oil need to end imports soon or face sanctions, triggering a 3 percent jump in crude prices to their highest so far this year. Any action by the top oil exporter depends on the certainty of scrapping the waivers and its effect on the oil market.

Source: Reuters

Exxon Mobil makes new oil discovery offshore Guyana

19 April. Exxon Mobil Corp said the US (United States) oil major along with its partners have made an oil discovery offshore Guyana, which adds to the previously estimated 5.5 bn barrels of oil-equivalent. The discovery was in the Turbot area of Stabroek Block, which is expected to become a major development hub, Exxon said. This is the thirteenth discovery on the block, which is part of one of the biggest oil discoveries in the world in the last decade. Hess Corp and China National Offshore Oil Corp are part of the consortium.

Source: Reuters

BP, SOCAR sign deal to build new Azeri oil exploration platform

19 April. Oil major BP and Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR signed an agreement to build a new exploration platform for the South Caucasus nation’s three major oilfields, BP-Azerbaijan said. The Azeri Central East (ACE) platform, the latest phase of Azerbaijan’s giant Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oilfields, is expected to produce 100,000 barrels of oil a day and cost $6 bn to build, the company said. The project is one of the biggest upstream investment decisions in Azerbaijan so far this year. The ACG fields, which have so far produced 3.5 bn barrels of oil, have the potential to yield another 3 bn barrels. BP’s main aim now would be to maximize the extraction of remaining reserves, Robert Morris, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said.

Source: Reuters

Saudi Arabia oil exports fall to 6.9 mn bpd in February: JODI

18 April. Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports fell by 277,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February from the month before, according to data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI). The world’s top oil exporter shipped 6.977 mn bpd in February, down from 7.254 mn bpd in January, according to the data. It pumped 10.136 mn bpd in February, down from 10.243 mn bpd in January. Saudi crude inventories rose to 204.567 mn barrels in February from 200.834 mn in January, according to the data. Saudi oil stocks peaked in October 2015 at a record 329.430 mn barrels. Saudi’s local refineries processed 2.767 mn bpd in February, up from 2.758 mn bpd in January, according to the data. Exports of refined oil products in February fell to 1.461 mn bpd, from 1.616 mn bpd the month before, according to the data. The OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) heavyweight used 259,000 bpd of crude oil to generate power in February, down from 377,000 bpd the month before, while Saudi demand for oil products in February was 2.157 mn bpd, up slightly from 2.073 mn bpd in January, according to the data.

Source: Reuters

BP has agreed 3-year framework deal to supply crude oil: Chinese independent refiner

18 April. BP has agreed a three-year framework crude oil deal with independent Chinese refinery Shandong Tianhong Chemicals, with annual supplies at 8 mn barrels starting this year, the Chinese company said. Li Dongbo, president of Shandong Tianhong Chemicals, said the deal covers supplies between 2019 and 2021, but did not specify when supplies will commence this year.

Source: Reuters

Brazil will not change Petrobras diesel pricing policy: Energy Minister

17 April. Brazil’s Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque said that there will be no change in the pricing policy of Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), after the company called off a diesel price hike following a call from the president to its CEO (Chief Executive Officer).

Source: Reuters


Greece’s J&P AVAX files lowest bid to build Bulgaria-Greece gas link

23 April. Greece’s J&P AVAX filed the lowest offer in a tender to design and build a gas pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece, project manager ICGB said. The company offered a price of €144.85 mn ($163 mn) to build a 182 kilometre (113 mile) pipeline which Sofia hopes will become operational in 2020 to transport Azeri gas to Bulgaria and end its almost complete dependence on Russian gas supplies. A consortium of two Bulgarian companies and Italy’s Bonatti submitted an offer of €229.3 mn in the tender. ICGB said it would examine the offers and pick a winner by the end of May. The pipeline will have an annual capacity of 3 billion cubic meters. The European Commission has said it would invest €33 mn of European Union funds in the project.

Source: Reuters

ExxonMobil agrees 20-year LNG deal with China’s Zhejiang Energy

23 April. Exxon Mobil Corp said it has signed a 20-year agreement to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to China’s Zhejiang Energy, as the US (United States) oil and gas giant steps up marketing of the fuel in China, the world’s second-largest buyer. Under the sales and purchase agreement, Exxon Mobil will supply 1 million tonnes (mt) a year of the super-chilled fuel to the provincial government-backed Zhejiang Energy, Exxon said. Exxon Mobil said it would deliver the LNG starting in the early 2020s, while LNG supplies to China would come from its global portfolio. The US firm has been expanding its portfolio of LNG, including from upcoming projects in Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Qatar and Golden Pass in the US. Zhejiang Energy is building a 9 bn yuan ($1.34 bn) receiving terminal for the fuel in Wenzhou, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, with annual handling capacity of 3 mt. Chinese state oil and gas major Sinopec will be a partner in the terminal. Chen Zhu, managing director at Beijing-based consultancy SIA Energy, said the Exxon-Zhejiang deal was separate from US- China trade negotiations under which Chinese firms are expected to eventually boost purchases of US gas.

Source: Reuters

US FERC approves two new LNG export terminals in Texas and Louisiana

18 April. The US (United States) Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved construction of two proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals, Tellurian Inc’s Driftwood in Louisiana and Sempra Energy’s Port Arthur in Texas. Demand for LNG around the world has exploded, rising by 9.8 percent to a record high for a fifth consecutive year in 2018, as countries, like China and India, seek cleaner alternatives to burning coal to meet their growing energy needs, according to data from the International Gas Union (IGU). Driftwood and Port Arthur are just two of dozens of LNG export terminals under development in the US, Canada and Mexico. With so many plants under development, analysts have said that most will likely not be built over the next decade. Tellurian said it planned to make a final investment decision on its $30 bn Driftwood project, which includes pipelines and production fields in addition to the liquefaction plant, in 2019 with first LNG production expected in 2023. Sempra has said it planned to make a final investment decision on Port Arthur around the first quarter of 2020. Driftwood is designed to produce 27.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG or about 4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of natural gas. The first phase of the project will likely comprise 16.6 mtpa, Tellurian has said. One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to fuel about 5 mn US homes for a day. Port Arthur is designed to produce 13.5 mtpa of LNG or about 1.8 bcfd of gas. The US, a net importer of LNG before Cheniere Energy Inc shipped its first cargo from Sabine Pass in Louisiana in February 2016, became the third-biggest exporter of the supercooled fuel by capacity in 2018, behind Australia and Qatar. Looking at only the plants currently under construction, US LNG export capacity is expected to rise to 8.5 bcfd by the end of 2019 and 10.0 bcfd in 2020, from 5.2 bcfd now.

Source: Reuters

Saudi Aramco to help Iraq find gas in western desert: Iraqi Oil Minister

18 April. Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said that Saudi state-owned oil giant Aramco will help his government explore for gas in the country’s western desert. Iraqi Prime Minister (PM) Adel Abdul Mahdi is in Riyadh on the second day of an official visit to Saudi Arabia, during which Saudi and Iraqi ministers have signed 13 agreements in areas such as trade, energy and political cooperation, the Iraqi PM’s office said.

Source: Reuters

Kinder Morgan in discussions to build third Permian Basin gas pipeline: CEO

18 April. Kinder Morgan Inc has begun internal discussions about building a third natural gas pipeline in the Permian Basin as demand for gas takeaway capacity continues to surge, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steven Kean said. As natural gas production has outpaced pipeline capacity in the Permian Basin, a gas glut has led to plummeting prices in the region, with spot prices at the Waha hub even trading at negative levels. Kinder Morgan believes demand for gas takeaway capacity could grow by 2 billion cubic feet per day each year over the next few years, equivalent to the Houston pipeline operator’s Gulf Coast Express project, Kean said. Kinder Morgan’s Gulf Coast Express natural gas pipeline in the Permian Basin is set to come into service in October. Another similar project, the Permian Highway, is on schedule to begin service one year later.

Source: Reuters

Russia’s Novatek starts shipping LNG from new small-scale plant

17 April. Novatek, Russia’s largest private gas producer, has started to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its newly built small-scale LNG plant in Russia’s Baltic Sea port of Vysotsk, Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed. Russia, one of the world’s top gas producers, aims to be a major player in LNG and to export as much as one of the global leaders in the market, Qatar. So far, Russia has two LNG plants in operation: Gazprom-led Sakhalin-2 on the Far East and Novatek’s Yamal LNG, on the Arctic Yamal peninsula. Novatek, along with Gazprombank, has built but not yet officially launched its Vysotsk plant, which has a capacity of 660,000 tonnes of frozen gas per year. Novatek’s Yamal facility exports both to Europe and Asia and has a capacity of 16.5 million tonnes (mt) of frozen gas per year, with the possibility of expansion. The increase in Moscow’s LNG supplies comes at a time when Russia’s top gas producer Gazprom is facing tougher competition in Europe for its gas and opposition from a number of nations for its new gas pipeline projects. Novatek’s shipment to Klaipeda also marks an important shift as the Baltic states, led by Lithuania, try to reduce their dependence on gas from Gazprom, their sole source for decades.

Source: Reuters

Toshiba to resume sale process of US LNG business, aims to complete deal by March 2020

17 April. Japan’s Toshiba Corp said it has decided to scrap a plan to sell its US (United States) LNG business to China’s ENN Ecological Holdings and to resume a process to dispose of the business with an aim to complete the transfer by March 2020. Toshiba said that China’s ENN had scrapped an agreement to take over the LNG business due to a failure to get approvals from shareholders and a US panel that monitors foreign investments.

Source: Reuters


China’s far from done with coal as regulator eases new plant ban

19 April. China allowed 11 provinces and regions to resume building coal power plants, in another sign that the world’s largest energy user is far from finished with the most-polluting fossil fuel. The National Energy Administration (NEA) forecast that only 10 provinces and regions would have an excess of coal-fired electricity generation capacity in 2022, down from last year’s outlook for a glut in 21 areas by 2021. The decision underscores how dependent on coal the world’s second-largest economy still is, even as it invests hundreds of billions of dollars in cleaner energy sources such as natural gas, wind turbines and solar panels. While coal’s share of China’s total energy consumption fell to 59 percent last year, the growth in the country’s total energy consumption meant burning of the dirty fossil fuel actually increased by 1 percent. Areas freed up for new coal power plant construction include Hebei, Qinghai, Chongqing, Guangxi, Guangdong, Yunnan, Guizhou and Henan, according to the NEA.

Source: Bloomberg


Cuba orders further cuts to power generation

22 April. The Cuban government has ordered its state-run power system to further reduce electricity generation in the latest sign that a cash crunch exacerbated by new US (United States) sanctions is taking an economic and human toll. Cuts in fuel allocation for power generation begun in 2016 had so far spared the residential sector and essential services from blackouts but warned that could change. More than 95 percent of the country’s electricity is generated by oil-fired plants.

Source: Reuters

Lebanese parliament approves plan to restructure electricity

18 April. Lebanon’s parliament has passed amendments necessary to implement a plan to restructure the country’s crumbling electricity sector. Approval was widely expected in the country that has suffered electricity problems since the civil war ended in 1990. Subsidies to the state electricity company cost the government nearly $2 bn a year. The approval came as hundreds of civil servants protested amid reports that their wages might be cut as part of austerity measures. The plan aims to secure an additional 1,450 MW of temporary power by next year so that total output will reach 3,500 MW - enough to provide 24-hour electricity. On the longer term, the plan calls for power production to be increased by more than 3,000 MW over the next six years by building new plants and relying more on renewable energy.

Source: The Economic Times


China keen on second nuclear plant in Bangladesh

22 April. Chinese companies have expressed great interest in bidding for Bangladesh’s proposed second nuclear power plant. Two Chinese companies – Dongfang Electric Corp and China State Construction Engineering Corp – have started huge lobbying with the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission to bag the deal. They said that the government conceived the second nuclear power plant in 2014, but was yet to seek any expression of interest from foreign companies or finalise a site. The country’s first nuclear power plant is under construction at Rooppur in Pabna with over $12 bn in financial and technical assistance from Russia. For the first nuclear power plant at Rooppur, nearly 1,750 cubic metre of water would be fetched everyday from the nearby Padma River to cool the reactors, they said.

Source: Northeast Now

Climate change protesters descend on France’s Societe Generale, energy companies

19 April. Climate activists blocked thousands of employees from entering the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale, state-run utility EDF and oil giant Total, environmental group Greenpeace said. Greenpeace said it was protesting against company links to the oil and gas industry, which it calls a driving force in global warming. Activists also obstructed the entrance to the environment ministry near La Defense business district.

Source: Reuters

Regulators approve $300 mn in nuclear plant subsidies in New Jersey

19 April. New Jersey regulators voted to approve $300 mn in customer-funded subsidies for the state’s nuclear industry despite finding the plants are financially viable. The decision means that all residential utility customers in the state will see their bills go up by about $40 a year under some estimates. Large businesses have said their bills could go up by about 50 percent. In return for the bailout, the state's biggest utility, Public Service Enterprise Group, is expected to keep the three southern New Jersey nuclear plants that supply an estimated two-fifths of the state's electricity supply in operation. The plants provide carbon-free energy and employ up to 2,000 people, the company said.

Source: The Economic Times

China approves 1.67 GW of new subsidised rural solar power

19 April. China has approved the construction of 3,961 village solar power plants with a total capacity of 1.67 GW, part of a programme aimed at alleviating rural poverty and promoting clean energy. The National Energy Administration said in a notice that the projects, the second batch of a "photovoltaic poverty relief" programme, should be completed by the end of this year. Those not completed on time will be declared ineligible from the scheme. China is committed to reducing the amount of subsidies granted to its solar power sector, but projects also designed to relieve rural poverty will remain eligible for state support, it said in a new policy guidelines.

Source: The Economic Times

South Korea steps up shift to cleaner energy, sets long-term renewable power targets

19 April. South Korea plans to boost the share of its energy output generated from renewable sources to as much as 35 percent by 2040, a draft revision to government policy showed, over four times the current amount. Asia’s fourth-largest economy has been pushing to shed its heavy reliance on coal and nuclear power, with the latest target coming on top of a 2017 plan to increase the amount of renewables in its energy mix to 20 percent by 2030. Renewable power currently makes up around 8 percent of South Korea’s energy production.

Source: Reuters


State-wise Central Finance Assistance for Renewable Energy Sector

As on February 2019

State/UT/Government Agency Amount (in Rs Crores) released during 2018-19
West Bengal 4.26
Arunachal Pradesh 4.94
Bihar 5.26
Kerala 6.58
Haryana 16.45
Chandigarh 18.76
Delhi 23.18
Punjab 25.98
Uttar Pradesh 34.32
Rajasthan 51.09
Tamil Nadu 52.81
Jammu and Kashmir 71.42
Madhya Pradesh 74.96
Himachal Pradesh 83.82
Karnataka 85.12
Chhattisgarh 95.26
Maharashtra 98.67
Telangana 98.96
Andhra Pradesh 130.23
Gujarat 277.69
Central Agency 2321.53
Others 2.79
Total 3584.09

Renewable Installed Capacity (As on December 2018)

Source: Press Information Bureau

This is a weekly publication of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). It covers current national and international information on energy categorised systematically to add value. The year 2018 is the fifteenth continuous year of publication of the newsletter. The newsletter is registered with the Registrar of News Paper for India under No. DELENG / 2004 / 13485.

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