MonitorsPublished on Sep 03, 2020
Energy News Monitor | Volume XVII; Issue 11


Monthly Gas News Commentary: July 2020 


Regulation & Governance

India is simplifying its gas pipeline tariff structure to make the fuel more affordable and to attract investment for building gas infrastructure in the country. Use of gas is also set to rise as India wants to push local manufacturing to cut costly imports and lift its battered economy. The new tariff structure would help to create a single gas market in the country by attracting investment to complete the gas grid and make it more easily accessible. India’s current “zonal” tariff rates for gas pipelines resulted in higher transportation charges and had hindered development of gas markets and demand centres in remote areas. India, the world’s fourth biggest importer of LNG, is spending $60 bn to strengthen its gas infrastructure that includes expanding the pipeline network and building gas import terminals. New rationalised tariff would help to promote faster development of city gas project to connect households, industries and transport sectors with gas network.  Pipeline operators in the country may shift to a unified or pooled tariff regime for inter-connected cross-country gas pipelines from 1 September. A unified tariff may do away with levy of multiple tariffs on customers, ensuring equitable distribution of gas and uniform gas-based economic development across the country. The current system of tariff determination leads to multiple pipeline tariffs on customers who have contracted for gas which flows from multiple pipeline operators. The PNGRB has finalised the draft regulation on unified tariff and would fix the tariff by August-end and implement it from the first day of September. With this, one nation, one gas grid, one pricing would be implemented across the country, bringing relief to customers in far-flung areas who were being charged extra for gas transmission but raising charges for other existing customers to bring about price equalisation. According to a report by ICICI Securities, unified tariff mechanism would boost utilisation on GAIL (India) Ltd’s Jagdishpur-Haldia-Bokaro-Dhamra pipeline by virtue of lowering of tariff under pooling of transmission prices.

No shareholder can have more than 15 percent stake in a natural gas exchange, as per the draft regulations by the PNGRB. The draft, hosted on the PNGRB’s website, is the maiden attempt by India to build a regulatory framework for a gas exchange that would trade physical contracts. Anybody wanting to set up an exchange would require an approval from the PNGRB, which would have the power to regulate an exchange, call for information, order investigation and cancel authorisation if needed. At least 51 percent equity capital of an authorised clearing corporation shall always be held by one or more gas exchanges. But no clearing corporation can hold any stake or interest of any nature in the gas exchange, as per the draft.

Domestic Demand

According to Morgan Stanley, the Covid-19 outbreak has accelerated the transition in India’s energy sector with profound implications for the economy, including addition of $140 bn of new direct investments in gas over eight years, rise in the employment growth rate by up to 300 basis points and a lower current account deficit by an average $4-4.7 bn annually. The investment banking firm expects gas to account for around 10 percent of India’s primary energy supply in 2025, up from 6 percent currently, with renewables at 6 percent from the current 3.6 percent. As global oversupply has accelerated, prices for Asian gas consumers have deflated to the greatest extent. India is the biggest beneficiary as consumer prices have fallen 25 percent and remain structurally low at a time when gas infrastructure is doubling and the advent of renewables is making gas even more prominent in the fuel mix. Morgan Stanley Research expects personal use of gas for cooking and travel to rise as last mile infrastructure more than doubles by 2025.

Domestic Production

Capping activities of inferno at gas producing well of Oil India Ltd in Baghjan in Tinsukia district is in progress. Oil India stated that air quality monitoring was conducted in Baghjan and Guijan side and noise monitoring was conducted in Guijan Side. Due to stoppage/blockades, there was production loss of 304 mt of Crude Oil and 0.94 mmscm of Natural Gas. Operations were disrupted in 11 Oil wells & 5 gas wells. Cumulative production loss since 27 May 2020 due to bandhs and blockades: 9504 mt Crude oil, 12.91 mmscm of natural gas. Effort is on to kill the gas producing well which blew out on 27 May and on 9 June it exploded into a massive inferno.


Mahanagar Gas announced a marginal ₹1/kg increase in the price of CNG to ₹48.95/kg. Accordingly, revised selling price inclusive of all taxes in and around Mumbai will be ₹48.95/kg. Even after the above revision, CNG offers attractive savings of about 60 percent and 39 percent compared to petrol and diesel, respectively, at the current price levels in the megapolis.


India’s top gas importer Petronet LNG is set to cancel its offer to buy an annual 1 mt of LNG for 10 years, as signing long-term contracts are not attractive in the current scenario. India is scouting for cheap gas for price-sensitive consumers as the government wants to raise the share of natural gas in the national energy mix to 15 percent by 2030 from the current 6.2 percent to reduce pollution. Earlier this year, Petronet invited bids to buy LNG with pricing linked to Henry Hub natural gas futures in the US and Dutch TTF gas futures and shipped on a delivered ex-ship basis. Petronet has deals to annually buy 7.5 mt of LNG from Qatar. GAIL (India) Ltd and Italy’s ENI were the only two companies that qualified for Petronet’s long term LNG tender.

GAIL has issued a swap tender offering LNG cargoes for loading in the US and seeking cargoes for delivery into India, in 2022. It has offered to swap one cargo a month in 2022. The cargoes it is offering will load from the Sabine Pass plant on a FOB basis and the cargoes it is seeking will be delivered into India on a DES basis. The Indian importer has 20-year deals to buy 5.8 mtpa of US LNG, split between Dominion Energy’s Cove Point plant and Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass site in Louisiana.

India and the US will hold the second ministerial meeting on strategic energy partnership in the backdrop of the global energy market trying to recover from the impact of a historic price crash and record slump in demand due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The meeting, originally scheduled to be held in Washington in April this year but postponed due to the pandemic, is expected to focus on natural gas and India’s expanding market for the clean-burning fuel. Cooperation in natural gas sector has been identified as a priority area. Several upcoming new opportunities in the field of LNG bunkering, LNG ISO container development, petrochemicals, bio-fuels, and compressed biogas in the Indian energy sector. India is expected to see an investment of over $118 bn in oil and gas exploration as well as in setting up natural gas infrastructure, including the development of gas supply and distribution networks, in the next five years as the country gears up to meet the needs of a fast-growing economy.

Rest of the World

Global Trends

According to the world bank, global gas flaring increased to 150 bcm in 2019, the highest level in more than a decade, primarily due to increases in the US Venezuela and Russia. Gas flaring, the burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction, in fragile or conflict-affected countries climbed from 2018 to 2019, in Syria by 35 percent and in Venezuela by 16 percent. The top four gas flaring countries – Russia, Iraq, the US, and Iran – continue to account for 45 percent of all global gas flaring, for three years running (2017-2019).

Middle East

KIPIC has begun operating the gas line that will feed its long-delayed Al-Zour refinery. Originally planned more than a decade ago but repeatedly delayed, Al-Zour will be the largest integrated refinery and petrochemicals plant in Kuwait. Al-Zour’s production capacity is estimated at 615,000 bpd increasing Kuwait’s overall refining capacity to over 1.5 mn bpd. KIPIC, a subsidiary of the Kuwait Petroleum Corp, appointed a unit of US multinational Honeywell International last year to provide technology and production systems for Al-Zour. KIPIC was set up to manage refinery, petrochemicals and LNG import operations at the Al-Zour complex south of Kuwait City.

According to Delek Drilling partners in the Tamar natural gas site will start paying taxes on profit in early 2021, which could help Israel move forward with plans to create a sovereign wealth fund. Tens of billions of dollars raised from taxing natural gas sales would be invested abroad via a sovereign wealth fund, with proceeds brought home for education, welfare and other services. The fund, aimed at preventing Israel’s currency from overheating because of the sudden influx of natural gas revenues, was due to be set up in 2018, but political turmoil and a slower stream of revenue have caused delays. Delek would start paying the tax in early 2021 and that by the end of 2025, the state’s income from the levy alone was expected to reach about 8 bn shekels ($2.3 bn) and some 15 bn shekels including royalties and taxes. The company said its best estimate of reserves in the field — which began supplying gas to Egypt — is 302 bcm.  The Israeli government approved an agreement with European countries for the construction of a subsea pipeline that would supply Europe with natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean. The Eastmed pipeline, which has been in planning for several years, is meant to transport gas from offshore Israel and Cyprus to Greece and on to Italy. A deal to build the project that was signed in January between Greek, Cypriot and Israeli ministers had still required final approval in Israel. The European Union and the pipeline’s owner IGI Poseidon, a joint venture between Greek gas firm DEPA and Italian energy group Edison, have each invested €35 mn in the planning. The pipeline is planned to initially carry 10 bcm of gas a year with the possibility of eventually doubling the capacity.


Asian spot LNG prices edged higher ahead of anticipated warmer-than-usual temperatures in some parts though demand in the region remained sluggish. The average LNG price for September delivery into northeast Asia was estimated to be about $2.40/mmBtu. Prices for cargoes delivered in August were estimated to be about $2.30/mmBtu, 10 cents higher than the previous week. Most areas in Japan, the world’s top LNG importer, are expected to experience warmer-than-normal weather between July and September, the Japan Meteorological Agency said in its three-month forecast. Still, gas demand in the region remained sluggish amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus in some countries. Nearly 30 laden LNG tankers are idling in mostly Asian and European waters, as traders take advantage of cheap prompt prices and freight rates in a bet that high winter demand will eventually boost the market. Spot LNG prices were stable with demand still sluggish in an oversupplied market. The average LNG price for August delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at around $2.20/mmBtu, the same level as the previous week. Some Chinese buyers were on the market and there could be gas demand for air conditioning in Japan due to hot weather, but overall, buying was subdued. Indian buyers were quiet as there is not much capacity in Indian ports to take more cargoes, in particular during the monsoon season. In Europe, June LNG deliveries dropped by 32 percent from volumes in May and by 5.6 percent from June 2019, Refinitiv data showed, as gas stocks in Europe move close to full capacity. Gas storage sites in Europe are on average just over 80 percent full, according to Gas Infrastrucure Europe data.

According to PipeChina construction has started on the southern portion of the China-Russia East natural gas pipeline, which carries supplies from the Power of Siberia system in Russia. This portion starts at Yongqing in China’s northern province of Hebei and ends at Shanghai in eastern China. The full China-Russia East system is a 5,111 km pipeline pumping natural gas from the Siberia region in Russia to China. Once launched in 2025, the southern part of the pipeline is expected to transmit 18.9 bcm of natural gas to the Yangtze River delta region each year. Taking over pipeline assets from PetroChina, the newly launched PipeChina will be in charge of the investment, construction and management of the Yongqing to Shanghai pipeline. Northeastern China started consuming Russian gas via the north portion of the China-Russia East pipeline since December. Russian gas producer Gazprom is in talks to raise annual gas flows to China by 6 bcm to 44 bcm via the Power of Siberia pipeline. In May, Gazprom began a feasibility study for its Power of Siberia-2 pipeline project that would pump up to 50 bcm of gas to China per year via Mongolia.

Global Energy Monitor study shows Japan’s banks and public agencies have funnelled nearly $25 bn into LNG projects since 2017 but the investments may sour as prices plummet from the Covid-19 pandemic and as climate change risks rise. Spurred on by the government to boost energy security since the 2011 Fukushima disaster shut down the country’s reactors, Japan’s investment in LNG rivals that for coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, while more evidence is emerging of the high climate impacts from LNG and gas. Japan is the world’s biggest importer of LNG, with burning gas from LNG producing about 40 percent of the country’s electricity, though purchases are in long-term decline. Japanese banks, public agencies and other entities have provided $23.4 bn of loans and support in 10 countries for more than 20 LNG terminals, tankers and pipelines.

N America

Berkshire Hathaway Inc said its energy unit will buy Dominion Energy Inc’s natural gas transmission and storage network for $4 bn, helping billionaire Chairman Warren Buffett reduce his conglomerate’s cash pile while letting Dominion focus on utilities operations. The transaction announced includes more than 12,390 km of natural gas transmission lines and 900 bcf of gas storage. Berkshire Hathaway Energy is buying Dominion Energy Transmission, Questar Pipeline, Carolina Gas Transmission, 50 percent of the Iroquois Gas Transmission System, and 25 percent of the Cove Point liquefied natural gas facility in Maryland.

Chan May LNG, a US-Vietnamese JV, plans to invest up to $6 bn in a power project in Vietnam as it seeks to cash in on the Southeast Asian country’s rising demand for electricity. The project in Thua Thien Hue province will include a 4 GW power plant, an LNG terminal and storage facilities. When fully operational, the project will import around $1.2 bn worth of US LNG a year. Vietnam has been seeking to import more US goods, such as coal and LNG, to narrow the trade gap after the US threatened tariffs on its products amid the Chinese-US trade war.

Europe and UK

According to research firm Prospex, European gas trading volumes this year may beat the record 63,038 TWh seen in 2019, as trading hubs expand due to more commercial and financial demand for gas price hedging. There are industry-specific reasons why the traded gas market – worth €925 bn in 2019 – is an exception in the economic gloom brought by Covid-19. Trading strategies are driven by the need to bring more gas into the region as domestic production in the Netherlands is falling. Prospex said that in 2019, Dutch gas exchange TTF traded 45 percent more volume than in 2018 while Britain’s National Balancing Point lost 18 percent. The TTF has become Europe’s main venue for spot and forward delivery gas, for price risk management by traders of physical volumes and for financial hedges by institutional investors.

Italy’s biggest gas distributor Italgas did not expect Covid-19 to impact its business significantly this year after reporting first-half earnings just above forecasts. In the first six months, Italgas reported a 6.6 percent rise in core earnings to €462.7 mn ($542 mn) compared to an analyst consensus of €461 mn. Like other energy grid companies, Italgas has been spending on technology to run its grids more efficiently and offer clients services such as remote gas meter readings and gas leakage detection. In the first six months investments rose 16 percent to almost €370 mn. Italgas, which manages 73,000 km of network would continue plans to expand in Italy by competing in gas distribution tenders.

French oil major Total has signed a $14.9 bn senior debt financing agreement for its massive LNG project in Mozambique, the biggest project financing ever in Africa. The project includes the development of the Golfinho and Atum natural gas fields in the Offshore Area 1 concession, and the construction of a two-train liquefaction plant with a capacity of 13.1 mtpa. Mozambique LNG is one of several projects being developed in the country’s northernmost province of Cabo Delgado after one of the biggest gas finds in a decade off its coast. Together, the projects are worth some $60 bn. Rival Exxon Mobil delayed the final investment decision on its nearby Rovuma LNG gas project due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Mozambique expects the decision next year. Mozambique LNG’s project financing includes direct and covered loans from eight export credit agencies, 19 commercial bank facilities, and a loan from the African Development Bank.

Romania’s gas grid operator Transgaz will likely finalise work on a European Union-backed pipeline this year, but with no progress on tapping offshore gas reserves it may have little to transport, energy regulator ANRE said. The pipeline to connect Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria and ease reliance on Russian gas will be able to carry 1.75 bcm of gas in its first phase, which cost an estimated €479 mn to build. Several gas producers have spent years and billions of dollars preparing to tap Romania’s Black Sea gas, but were blindsided by price caps, taxes and export restrictions pushed by a previous centre-left government.

LNG: liquefied petroleum gas, PNGRB: Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, mmscm: million metric standard cubic meter, mn: million, bn: billion, mt: million tonnes, CNG: compressed natural gas, kg: kilogram, US: United States, FOB: free-on-board, mtpa: million tonnes per annum, bcm: billion cubic meters, KIPIC: Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company, bpd: barrels per day, mmBtu: million metric British thermal units, bcf: billion cubic feet, TWh: terawatt hour, TTF: Title Transfer Facility, km: kilometre


Diesel sales drop 19 percent in first half of August compared to previous month

17 August. Diesel sales dropped by a fifth in the first half of August compared with a month ago, signalling extended regional lockdowns, sluggish economic recovery and high prices are blocking full revival of fuel demand. Demand for diesel slipped 19 percent while that for petrol gained 2 percent during August first half compared to the same period in July, according to the provisional sales data of state-run oil companies that control 90 percent of the market. The sales of jet fuel fell 2 percent and of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) slid 6.5 percent. The sharp drop in diesel demand comes on top of the 12.5 percent drop witnessed in July over June. In the same period, petrol sales had dropped 1 percent. Compared to August 2019, sales in the first fortnight of August are down 22.5 percent for diesel, 5.5 percent for petrol, 66 percent for jet fuel and 8.5 percent for LPG. Fuel sales swiftly rose in May and June after a dramatic collapse in April due to the nationwide lockdown but the recovery started faltering in July. Diesel, which makes up 40 percent of the country’s total oil demand, is widely used for transporting goods and irrigating farms. Falling diesel sales mean lower industrial and construction activity in the country. Petrol sales appear to have stabilised and until more employees return to physical offices, the demand is unlikely to rise much. Demand for diesel and petrol may recover to the pre-Covid levels by January-February subject to the revival of the economy, Nayara Energy CEO (Chief Executive Officer) B Anand has said. Falling domestic fuel demand and an oversupplied export market have prompted refiners to cut runs. The run rate at Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation’s largest refiner, has dropped to 75 percent from 93 percent in early July and its chairman, S M Vaidya, expects run rates to stay around 70-75 percent for the rest of the year. Rosneft-backed Nayara is unsure when its 20 million tonnes (mt) refinery in Gujarat would again operate at full capacity as margins on most fuels are very weak, Anand said.

Source: The Economic Times

‘Customers looking for alternates amid rising petrol, diesel prices’

12 August. As petrol and diesel prices remain around record levels, the Indian Auto LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) Coalition has said that consumers are now looking for economical alternative fuels that can save fuel costs without compromising on vehicle performance. As petrol and diesel hover around the ₹80 per litre mark, auto LPG is currently priced at almost half of both the mainstream automotive fuels. Indian Auto LPG Coalition Director General Suyash Gupta said that auto LPG, which is the third most widely used automotive fuel globally, holds a lot of promise in this scenario. In fact, conversion kit providers are reporting a rise in queries from consumers looking to cover their personal vehicles to auto LPG or CNG (compressed natural gas).

Source: The Economic Times


Petronet LNG to gain from higher LNG usage going forward

18 August. Petronet LNG, which reported a 45 percent jump in Profit After Tax (PAT) for the quarter ended June, is set to gain from a comfortable business model and the company represents a structural story on India’s increasing gas demand, research firm ICICI Securities said. The company announced its quarterly results with volumes falling 15.9 percent year-on-year to 190 trillion British thermal units as LNG (liquefied natural gas) offtake was reduced during the lockdown. Petronet’s Kochi terminal is expected to see an increase in utilisation post completion of the Kochi-Mangalore pipeline. The company’s management has indicated it is planning to set up an import terminal on the east coast. Also, Petronet’s deal with Tellurian to buy a stake and import LNG is currently under negotiation.

Source: The Economic Times

Natural gas prices may be cut to decade low of $1.9, dent ONGC revenues

QuIck Comment

Low domestic gas prices will be reduce domestic production!


17 August. Prices of natural gas in India are likely to be cut to $1.9-1.94 – the lowest in more than a decade – from October, denting revenues of producers such as ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corp) who are already incurring huge losses on gas production. A gas price revision is due from 1 October and going by the changes in the benchmark rate in gas exporting nations, the price is likely to be anywhere between $1.90 to $1.94 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu). This will be the third straight reduction in rates in one year. Prices were cut by a steep 26 percent to $2.39 per mmBtu in April. The cut in prices would mean a widening of losses for India’s top oil and gas producer ONGC. ONGC had posted ₹42.72 bn loss on gas business in 2017-18, which is likely to widen to over ₹60 bn in the current fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021). ONGC has seen incurring losses on the 65 mn standard cubic meters per day of gas it produces from domestic fields shortly after the government in November 2014 introduced a new gas pricing formula that had “inherent limitations” as it was based on pricing hubs of gas surplus countries such as the US (United States), Canada, and Russia. The current $2.39 per mmBtu rate is the lowest in more than a decade. ONGC in a recent communique to the government has stated that the break-even price to produce gas from new discoveries was in the range of $5-9 per mmBtu. In previous years, loss from the gas segment was getting offset from the gain from the oil business. But with oil business itself coming under severe strain due to a sharp slump in benchmark prices, it has become difficult for the company to meet even the operating expenses. In May 2010, the government had raised the rate of gas sold to power and fertilizer firms from $1.79 per mmBtu to $4.20. ONGC and Oil India Ltd (OIL) got $3.818 per mmBtu price for the gas they produced from fields given to them on nomination basis and after adding 10 percent royalty, the fuel cost $4.20 per mmBtu for consumers.

Source: The Economic Times

Government asks oil firm to expedite Kochi gas project

13 August. The government has asked Indian Oil Adani Gas Private Ltd (IOAGPL), the agency which is to implement the city gas project, to expedite the works. The government authorized chief secretary Viswas Mehta to conduct meetings to review the progress of the project every week. Officials with IOAGPL have been asked to rope in more contractors if needed. Government has instructed the district administration to provide all support to IOAGPL for implementing the project. Officials with IOAGPL said that they have completed laying of gas pipeline in many places and plumbing works for providing 14,450 piped natural gas connections have been done. However, the number of connections given so far is just around 2,000.

Source: The Times of India

Preparation on to cap damaged OIL well spewing gas for 78 days

13 August. Preparations are on to cap the damaged OIL (Oil India Ltd) well at Baghjan in Assam, which has been spewing gas uncontrollably for 78 days, the PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) said. Two attempts to cap the well, which is situated in Tinsukia district, made in a fortnight have failed. Enlargement of the flange bolt hole of the 11 inch spacer spool has been completed overnight at its central workshop and it has been transferred to the well site early. Connection of this new spacer spool with the capping blow out preventer (BOP) stack is in progress. Following this the BOP stack shall be pressure tested again, the company said. A BOP is a very heavy metal cover weighing several tonnes that is placed at the mouth of any gas or oil well to stop leakage of the fuel from underground. The company said that oil and gas production still continues to be affected due to forceful closure of few oil and gas wells connected to Baghjan EPS.

Source: The Economic Times 


Coal Minister asks Talcher Fertilizers to expedite coal gasification project

QuIck Comment

Coal gasification for fertiliser production will contribute to self-sufficiency!


18 August. Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi reviewed the progress made in operational activities of Talcher Fertilizers Ltd and asked it to expedite the coal gasification project.  Talcher Fertilizers Ltd is a joint venture between GAIL (India) Ltd, Coal India Ltd (CIL), Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd and Fertilizer Corp of India Ltd (FCIL). The coal gasification-based ammonia-urea project, a first of its kind in the country, would have a design capacity of 2,200 tonnes per day of ammonia and 3,850 tonnes per day of urea, the government had earlier said.

Source: The Economic Times

Gradual coal demand recovery amid high inventory to keep prices subdued in FY21: Ind-Ra

17 August. Coal prices are likely to be subdued in the current financial year on the back of low power demand and piling inventory at power stations, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said. Domestic coal production remained subdued for the third consecutive month in June. Accordingly, the coal offtake reduced but improved month-on-month with the gradual relaxation in Covid-19 lockdown norms. Overall, domestic coal imports are likely to have been lower in July due to low domestic demand from end-user industries amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Also, the government has mandated Coal India Ltd (CIL) to replace at least 100 million tonnes (mt) of avoidable imports in FY21. Hence, overall coal imports declined for the third consecutive month and were down in June. The share of imports in total domestic consumption reduced to 22 percent in June from 28 percent in FY20. Wtrillionile non-coking coal imports reduced 34 percent, coking coal imports declined by 41 percent. While non-coking coal import prices have shown signs of recovery as the power demand picked up over May, coking coal import price is yet to catch up because the steel sector demand remains subdued. Ind-Ra said commercial coal mining and the associated reforms announced by the government will go a long way in shaping the coal sector towards a more deregulated and competitive scenario.

Source: The Economic Times

CIL seeks lower rail tariff for coal transportation

12 August. Coal India Ltd (CIL) said it has sought 15 percent distance-based freight concession from Indian Railways for transportation of domestic coal to customers located at a distance of 701 to 1,400 km (kilometre) from its mines. The move is aimed at broadening the client base and bring in more customers under import substitution plans, CIL said. Out of 126 coal-based thermal plants linked with CIL, 14 plants located over 1,400 km distance are eligible for the freight concession presently. Close to 70 percent of CIL’s overall supply consists of “G9 to G13” grades of coal for which the freight price is around 40 to 45 percent of the total landed cost at consumption point. CIL’s coal would then be competitive with the landed price of imported coal and customers may opt for domestic coal. The price of CIL’s coal is considerably low compared to imported coal. But statutory levies and rail freight makes the landed cost of its coal less competitive compared to imported coal, particularly in the western and southern parts of the country, the company said. CIL accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal output.

Source: The Economic Times


India’s power output rises 2.6 percent in early August for first time in 5 months

17 August. India’s electricity generation in the first 15 days of August rose for the first time since early March, provisional government data showed, as the country opened up industries and lifted restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus. Power generation rose 2.6 percent in the first 15 days of August compared with the same period of last year, an analysis of daily load despatch data from federal grid operator POSOCO showed, compared with a 1.8 percent fall in July. In the second half of last month, electricity generation declined 3.1 percent. Power use has picked up from previous months when India was under a strict lockdown, mainly because of higher demand in the northern states and rising consumption in the highly industrialized western states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Rajasthan, India’s largest state by area, saw a 15.7 percent growth in electricity use. Other states including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also saw an uptick in power demand.

Source: Business Standard

No question of withdrawing free power to farmers: Punjab CM

15 August. Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh made it clear that there was no question of withdrawing free power to farmers in the state and it will continue as long as he is leading the government. The CM said that though the report of Montek Singh Ahluwalia led experts group was only a preliminary one, his government would not consider any recommendation on withdrawal of free power by any expert. Montek said that since the state government had categorically announced that it had no plans to change its free power for farmers policy, the expert group had recommended that farmers must be incentivise to diversify out of rice, since the water intensive crop was economically profitable for farmers even though the ecological damage was massive.

Source: The Economic Times

Revised power tariff in Delhi by end of August, but no public hearing

13 August. Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is likely to revise power tariff in the capital by the end of August. However, there will be no public hearing before the revision due to Covid-19, though suggestions and objections from various stakeholders have been received between 20 March and 30 June. Last year, DERC announced the new power tariff in July and for the fifth consecutive year, there was no hike. For the lockdown period, various RWAs have demanded a waiver in the fixed charges levied on every bill based on the sanctioned load of a household.

Source: The Economic Times

Power snaps on Janmashtami, UP Power Minister orders probe

13 August. A high level probe has been ordered by Uttar Pradesh (UP) Power Minister Shrikanth Sharma into the sudden ‘blackout’ in lakhs of homes on the occasion of Janmashtami. Thousands of smart meters installed in several cities snapped supply to even those consumers who had cleared their bills. The Minister was monitoring the repair work to ensure early restoration of supply on the festival. He regretted the inconvenience caused to power consumers. The EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Ltd), a government of India company, is responsible for the installation and maintenance of smart meters. When people were busy celebrating Janmashtami, power was snapped in lakhs of homes in several cities, including Lucknow, as the smart meters started displaying ‘disconnection due to non-payment of monthly arrears’. Many domestic consumers said that power was snapped despite the fact that they had cleared bills much in advance. Soon after the power was snapped, the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) offices in various cities started receiving complaints from irate consumers.

Source: The Economic Times

Amid row over power bills, Goa CM announces rebate for consumers

12 August. Amid a series of protests by opposition parties against the Goa Electricity Department over inflated power bills, Chief Minister (CM) Pramod Sawant announced a rebate of ₹183 mn for all consumers. Over the last two months, the Electricity Department has been flooded with complaints from consumers alleging inflated bills. The Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and Goa Forward have staged protests in the state urging the Goa government to examine the excessive power billing issue.

Source: The Economic Times 


SJVNL to commission 100 MW solar plant in Gujarat

18 August. Public sector Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL) announced it will commission a 100 MW facility in Gujarat’s Dholera Solar Park at an outlay of ₹4.5 bn. Gujarat Urja Nigam Ltd had invited bids for 700 MW capacity. The SJVNL got 100 MW capacity at the rate of ₹2.80 per unit on the build-own-and-operate basis. SJVNL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Nand Lal Sharma said the tentative cost of the project is ₹4.5 bn. The project is expected to generate 244 mn units in a year. The power purchase agreement will be signed for 25 years. He said the solar park in the Dholera Special Investment Region is situated along the Gulf of Khambhat. At the current rates, the solar power generation cost is at par with that of thermal power generation, he said. He said the development of these parks will lead to realization of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of providing 175 GW of power through renewable sources by 2022. The SJVNL is implementing 13 hydro projects in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Nepal and Bhutan. The SJVNL is implementing the 1,320 MW Buxar Thermal Power Project in Bihar.

Source: The Economic Times

IHCL joins hands with Tata Power for supply of solar energy to Mumbai hotels

17 August. Hospitality major Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) said it has joined hands with Tata Power for supply of solar energy for its Mumbai hotels as part of strategy to focus on sustainable and cost-efficient business practices. The company has signed a solar energy power purchase agreement (PPA) with TP Kirnali Solar Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power Company Ltd, IHCL said. This agreement is valid for a period of 25 years, IHCL said. Sustainability is a prerequisite to IHCL operations and in the last four years, the company has increased its renewable energy mix from 7 percent to 25 percent, IHCL said

Source: The Economic Times

Solar capacity addition in second quarter fell to a six-year low of 205 MW

17 August. Solar capacity addition in Covid-hit second quarter of 2020 fell to a six-year low of 205 MW, plummeting 86 percent year-on-year, a report by consulting firm Mercom India Research showed. Large-scale installations accounted for 59 percent, while the rest was from rooftop projects. Total power capacity added since January was 2.3 GW, out of which about 85 percent came from renewable energy. Coal-fired plants accounted for 13 percent of new projects in the first half of the year, while wind energy’s share was 14 percent. Rajasthan and Karnataka together accounted for 68 percent of solar installations in the quarter, it said. Mercom pegs cumulative solar projects online at 37 GW, with an additional 42 GW under construction. The Central Energy Agency data showed renewable energy generation fell 24 percent year-on-year.

Source: The Economic Times

PM Modi announces a solar park to fulfill dream of green Ladakh

16 August. The Prime Minister (PM) set Ladakh on course to a carbon-neutral future and announced a 7,500 MW solar park, even as funding incentives are being lined up to energise the mega project at the heart of Narendra Modi’s vision for India’s youngest Union Territory. Parallelly, the renewable energy ministry is moving to partly fund the linked transmission line, the cost of which was making power unaffordable.

Source: The Economic Times

Vena Energy and JSW emerge as winners of SECI wind energy auction, bag 970 MW

15 August. Vena Energy emerged as the lowest bidder in a wind auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI), winning 160 MW at ₹2.99 per unit. JSW Energy was a close second, winning 810 MW at ₹3.00 per unit. The tender was for 2500 MW but only 970MW was awarded. SECI is the nodal agency through which the renewable energy ministry conducts wind and solar auctions. The last wind auction it conducted was in August 2019 where the winning tariffs were in the range of ₹2.83-2.84 per unit. The new and renewable energy ministry has been gradually moving away from conducting auctions for plain vanilla solar and wind tenders, towards hybrid wind-solar tenders.

Source: The Economic Times

IIT-IIM alumni turn Guwahati waste into power

14 August. A group of four-member IIT and IIM alumni team have transformed Guwahati Municipal Corp’s goal of generating power from organic municipal wastes into a reality. When Guwahati Development Department Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya inaugurated the northeast’s first biomethanation plant, installed at Beelpar in Chatribari area of Guwahati, Guwahati lad Madhurjya Das was on cloud nine. An IIT-Guwahati graduate in mechanical engineering, also an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, Madhurjya, who led the execution of the project from the front said their untiring efforts to offer green energy by making the gateway to the northeast garbage-free has paid off. With 5,000 kilos of segregated organic waste per day as input, the plant will generate 800 units of electricity and 450 kilos of manure a day.

Source: The Economic Times

NGT asks 4 firms to pay 2.8 bn for creating ‘gas chamber’ like condition in Mumbai

14 August. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has held four companies, including BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd) and HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd), responsible for creating “gas chamber” like condition” in Mahul, Ambapada and Chembur areas in Mumbai and directed them to pay ₹2.86 bn for the damaged caused to the HPCL environment. The NGT said though there may be many reasons for presence of Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere like vehicular emissions, it cannot be denied that Sea Lord Containers Ltd (SLCL), Aegis Logistics Ltd (ALL), BPCL and HPCL contribute substantially and predominantly to the VOCs in Mahul and Ambapada villages. It was only because of these reasons that the companies had been taking actions to arrest the fugitive emissions which were particularly noticeable after 2015 and of late the industries have acted on implementation of action plan, the NGT said. It accepted the computation of fine by the Central Pollution Control Board and directed them to keep the amount in separate accounts.

Source: The Economic Times

MNRE setting up wind-solar hybrid parks to overcome land and connectivity bottlenecks

14 August. As with solar parks earlier, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has now identified areas where hybrid wind-solar parks can be set up. Ten such locations have been found. With hybrid parks it hopes to resolve two of the biggest issues troubling the wind industry — that of land and connectivity. Solar parks have been set up in almost every state, with a profusion of them in sunshine-rich states like Rajasthan and Gujarat, but wind-solar hybrid parks are a new concept. MNRE is also slowly moving away from conducting separate wind and solar projects in favour of doing so for hybrid ones.

Source: The Economic Times

RERC plan to levy cross-subsidy charge may take shine off solar

QuIck Comment

Cross-subsidy charge may tame irrational exuberance over solar power!


14 August. In what has the potential to eclipse the prospects of solar energy in Rajasthan, the state energy regulator Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has proposed to levy cross-subsidy charges on solar plants put up by developers for their industrial or commercial clients (third party). Cross-subsidy charges, which go up to ₹2.16 per unit, are collected from general consumers to compensate for the power subsidies given to farmers, a major reason for high electricity tariffs in Rajasthan. Imposition of cross-subsidy is expected to raise the cost of solar power closer to conventional energy and shut the door for investors. Even the solar industry in Rajasthan is vocal against the move, is determined to stall any attempt to levy cross-subsidy charges. India has made an international commitment for 40 percent electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. Solar needs to play a key role if the country wants to achieve the target.

Source: The Economic Times

India’s solar power capacity addition tumbled 81 percent to 205 MW during lockdown

14 August. The pace of India’s solar power capacity addition tumbled 81 percent to 205 MW in the April-June lockdown months from 1,090 MW installed in the preceding January-March period of the calendar year. In terms of year-on-year comparison, the figures indicate a plunge of 86 percent from 1,510 MW installed in the year-ago period, latest data from green energy market tracker Mercom shows. Solar project construction activity came to a standstill in the second quarter (calendar year) as the Coronavirus pandemic disrupted every aspect of the economy. Solar installations in the first half of 2020 totalled 1.3 GW, a 59 percent decrease compared to 3.2 GW of capacity added in the first half of 2019. Large-scale installations totalled 120 MW compared to 896 MW in the previous quarter. Year-on-year, large-scale installations decreased by 90 percent. Large-scale project installation figures in the second quarter were the lowest in seven years. Most solar projects scheduled for commissioning have been delayed and slipped into later quarters with a possibility of moving to next year due to phased lifting of curbs in states, supply chain disruption and workforce shortages. Rajasthan and Karnataka were the top states, contributing 68 percent of solar installations in the second quarter.

Source: The Economic Times

MNRE grants five-month extension for renewable energy projects hit by Covid-19

13 August. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has granted extension in the scheduled commissioning date for renewable energy (RE) projects by five months from 25 March to 24 August 2020 to overcome the Covid-19 disruption. In April, MNRE had granted a 30-day extension beyond the lockdown period for RE projects and said that this would be a blanket extension where there would be no requirement of case-to-case examination. The ministry has decided that all renewable energy implementing agencies will treat lockdown due to Covid-19 as Force Majeure and all RE projects under implementation as on the date of lockdown, 25 March 2020, through RE Implementing Agencies designated by MNRE or under various schemes of MNRE, will be given the five month time extension. National Solar Federation of India had asked the ministry to extend the period by six months.

Source: The Economic Times


German Foreign Minister urges end to oil facilities blockade: Libya’s NOC

18 August. Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stressed the need for an immediate end to the blockade of oil facilities in Libya at a meeting in Tripoli. NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla met Maas and they discussed the economic and environmental damage of the blockade, NOC said. Factions loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar began the blockade of oil terminals and fields on 18 January, gradually reducing national output to less than 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) from around 1.2 mn bpd.

Source: Reuters

Australia’s Woodside matches Russia’s Lukoil offer for Senegal oil project

17 August. Australia’s Woodside Petroleum has exercised its right to match a $400 mn offer by Russia’s Lukoil to buy Cairn Energy’s entire stake in the Sangomar oil project in Senegal, it said. The acquisition takes Woodside’s interest in the Rufisque, Sangomar and Sangomar Deep offshore joint venture to about 68 percent, making it the largest shareholder. It will remain as operator of the $4.2 bn project. Lukoil, which in July offered $400 mn for Cairn’s stake, is on a US (United States) list of sanctioned Russian firms, including for transactions related to deepwater oil projects.

Source: Reuters

Total resumes Angola oil drilling

17 August. France’s Total has restarted oil drilling in Angola and new exploration ships will also soon resume work, the company’s country chair Olivier Jouny said. All drilling activity ground to a halt in Africa’s second biggest oil exporter as global oil prices cratered amid the coronavirus pandemic. Total had four drilling rigs operating at the start of 2020 and, with crude production likely at around 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the year, is the top foreign operator in Angola, accounting for nearly half of national production. The halt to exploration came amid a long-term slump in Angola’s production volumes due to ageing fields and lack of investment. It dealt a setback to a drive by Angolan authorities to sell off key state oil assets, including parts of the state oil company Sonangol, and to drum up foreign investment.

Source: Reuters

Trucks, excavators to help push China’s diesel demand to record

14 August. China’s diesel demand is likely to hit a record this year powered by trucking activity, as Beijing’s aggressive stimulus fuels a construction and delivery boom and a speedy recovery in heavy machinery sales, analysts said. The stimulus measures have helped to reverse the damage from the coronavirus crisis and a revival in diesel consumption is a signal that China’s economic recovery is gaining traction. Diesel, which accounts for some 30 percent of total Chinese oil demand, will likely expand around 2 percent in 2020 and is outperforming gasoline and aviation fuel, both of which have been harder hit by travel curbs and look set to contract, according to analysts at SIA Energy and FGE.

Source: Reuters

China ramps up US oil purchases ahead of trade deal review

14 August. US (United States) crude oil shipments to China will rise sharply in coming weeks, US traders and shipbrokers and Chinese importers said, as the world’s top economies gear up to review a January deal after a prolonged trade war. Chinese state-owned oil firms have tentatively booked tankers to carry at least 20 mn barrels of US crude for August and September, the people said, moves that may ease US concerns that China’s purchases are trending well short of purchase commitments under the Phase 1 of the trade deal. China had emerged as a top US crude buyer, taking $5.42 bn worth in 2018 before trade tensions brought flows to a near halt. In January, China pledged to buy $18.5 bn of energy products including crude oil and natural gas over its 2017 level, implying total value of about $25 bn this year. Its US crude purchases through June 30 amounted to $2.06 bn, according to data from the US Census Bureau, reflecting the Covid-19 pandemic downturn and the limited impact of the Phase 1 deal.

Source: Reuters

Quality issues add delays to Venezuela’s crude exports

13 August. Crude exports from Venezuela are facing growing delays due to excess water and other impurities in cargoes loaded at PDVSA’s main terminal, according to internal company documents, as US (United States) sanctions worsen disruptions to the oil industry. In recent years, PDVSA has been forced to give price discounts to customers due to high levels of water and metals in its oil shipments as a dire recession, mismanagement and US sanctions imposed since 2019 contributed to lack of chemicals and maintenance for storage tanks and pipelines. Improper handling of the heavy crude produced and blended mainly in Venezuela’s eastern Orinoco Belt, which already has a high sulfur content, has also exacerbated the issue, according to the sources. Venezuela’s oil exports sank to about 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June and July – the lowest level in almost 80 years – as the US ramped up sanctions on PDVSA’s trade partners, customers and vessel owners in an effort to oust President Nicolas Maduro. The loading delays are another blow for PDVSA’s dwindling exports and revenues, with shipments slipping still further to around 300,000 bpd of crude and refined products so far this month. In July, two vessels scheduled to carry a total of 1.5 mn barrels of heavy Merey 16 crude from Venezuela’s Jose port – the Balita and Sounion bound for Asia – stopped loading due to excessive water, leading to delays, according to the documents.

Source: Reuters


Indonesia’s Panbil Group eyes LNG import facility at Karimun

17 August. Indonesia’s Panbil Group is conducting a feasibility study on building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal on Karimun Island of the Riau province in the next five years. The proposal comes at a time when Asia’s spot LNG prices have hit multi-year lows this year as the coronavirus pandemic depressed demand for the power fuel. The proposed terminal could cost $600 mn to $800 mn and would be located at Pulau Asam, which is about 33 km away from Singapore’s oil and gas hub Jurong. The study, funded by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), will determine the regasification capacity of the terminal, he said, adding that it would also look at the economics of building a 55 km pipeline to supply gas to PT Trans Gas Indonesia (PGI). The terminal could have a storage capacity of up to 170,000 cubic metres, which would be used for refuelling ships and breaking up big cargoes into smaller ones to be distributed in the region. Prospective gas supply sources include Indonesia’s Tangguh Train 3, PT Donggi Senoro, and Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi terminal. The study is expected to be completed by end-2020 while the terminal would take about three years to build.

Source: The Economic Times

Japan’s Mitsui cleared to export gas from West Australian project

17 August. Japan’s Mitsui & Co won an exemption from the Western Australian government to export gas from a new onshore field, in a push to jump start the project and help the state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Western Australia said it would ban all exports of onshore gas in a bid to hold down gas prices in the state, effectively ruling out a west-to-east pipeline to help the country’s eastern states overcome a looming gas supply crunch. However the state said it would allow half the gas from Mitsui’s Waitsia Stage 2 project to be exported as LNG (liquefied natural gas) through the North West Shelf LNG plant “for a short period of time”, to help get the project started. Analysts estimated Waitsia, one of Australia’s five largest onshore gas discoveries over the past 40 years, would export 1.5 million tonnes (mt) a year of LNG for about seven years. A pandemic-led oil price crash has led to the deferral of other major gas developments off Western Australia that were due to feed the NW Shelf LNG plant, Australia’s oldest and largest LNG project, as its foundation fields dry up. The delays have cleared the way for Waitsia gas to supply the plant. Mitsui’s partner Beach Energy said they aim to reach a final investment decision on Waitsia in the December quarter this year, targeting first production by late 2023.

Source: Reuters

Australia’s Viva Energy aims to begin designing LNG terminal by year-end

17 August. Viva Energy Group said it hoped to start preliminary design work on Australia’s first gas import terminal before the end of this year as it worked to diversify away from a refining market that it expected to remain difficult. The owner of Australia’s second-largest refinery had said in June it wanted to diversify earnings at its Geelong refinery site in Victoria, beginning with a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal.

Source: Reuters

EU urges Turkey to halt gas hunt in east Mediterranean

17 August. The European Union (EU) urged Turkey to halt its exploration for gas in a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean “immediately”, in a crisis that has stoked tensions with other countries in the region. The Turkish navy said that the drill ship Yavuz, which has been based off Cyprus for the past few months, will explore off the southwestern coast of the island from 18 August  to 15 September. Turkey has remained defiant in the face of the protests, saying it has a right to search for oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean, where regional nations are racing for riches after the discovery of large energy deposits.

Source: The Economic Times

Asia LNG prices at over 6-month high on Gorgon concerns, cargo buying

14 August. Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices rose to more than a six-month high this week on concerns over production from Australia’s Gorgon plant and demand from some buyers in the region. The average LNG price for September delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated between $3.60 and $3.80 per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu), $0.60 per mmBtu above last week’s level. The price for October delivery was seen between $3.80 and $4.00 per mmBtu. European gas prices have declined after picking up but were still hovering at an over 4-month high, with traders expecting more cargoes to arrive in Europe in September and October than previously expected following the price rise.

Source: Reuters

Sindh will not have surplus gas from 2021 onwards: Pakistan Energy Minister

12 August. Pakistan Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan acceptance that Sindh will not have surplus gas from 2021 onwards and the province will not be able to meet its own demand from its production has revealed the crisis that awaits in the future. Khan said that the country is currently facing a gas shortage of about 3.5 bn cubic feet per day. Khan said that the gas load shedding would continue during the upcoming winter as the production of indigenous gas was decreasing while the demand was on the rise.

Source: The Economic Times

Greece pushes back bid deadline for offshore gas storage facility

12 August. Greece has pushed back by a month a deadline for investors to bid for a contract to run an underground gas storage facility in the northern Aegean Sea. Privatisation agency HRADF, which manages the concession, said that had extended the deadline for initial bids to 30 September from 31 August, without giving a reason for the delay. Investors are invited to bid for development and operation for up to 50 years of the gas storage facility in an almost depleted deposit off the northern Greek city of Kavala, according to the tender. The facility has an estimated storage capacity of 1 billion cubic meters and is close to an existing oil field.

Source: Reuters


Poland delays weekly talks on coal restructuring plan due to Covid-19

18 August. The Polish ministry in charge of state assets has postponed talks with coal mining unions over restructuring of the sector because one of the participants at meeting tested positive for Covid-19. Poland’s coal industry, already under pressure from climate campaigners and falling demand, has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis as many miners caught the disease and mining operations were closed. The ministry and management of PGG – Poland’s biggest coal producer – had planned to close two mines, but unexpectedly scrapped the project after opposition from trade unions. PGG has faced rising production costs and falling demand for coal on the back of a slump in demand for electricity following the pandemic lockdown in March and April. Also, trade unions have blamed the government for allowing state-run utilities to import coal instead of forcing them to buy domestic fuel.

Source: The Economic Times

Australian state grants Whitehaven’s controversial coal mine expansion

12 August. A New South Wales state regulator gave the green light for Australian miner Whitehaven Coal Ltd to proceed with the expansion of a controversial coal mine, in a blow to local farming communities. Whitehaven applied in 2018 to expand the Vickery project, asking for approval to increase coal extraction by nearly 25 percent, increase the peak annual extraction rate more than three-fold and also expand the so-called disturbance area.

Source: Reuters


Gaza’s lone power plant shuts down amid tension with Israel

18 August. Gaza’s lone power plant shut down, less than a week after Israel suspended fuel shipments to the Palestinian enclave over the launching of incendiary balloons that have caused brush fires in southern Israel. Gaza, run by Hamas Islamists, relies on Israel for most of its energy needs. Its population of 2 mn currently receives around six hours of electricity followed by a 10-hour power cut. Gaza homes and businesses rely on generators to make up for the lengthy power cuts, increasing the financial pressure on its largely impoverished people.

Source: Reuters

Sri Lanka goes dark after nationwide power breakdown

17 August. A massive power outage hit Sri Lanka, plunging the entire country into darkness and disrupting several services and businesses following a technical failure at a major power plant. The power supply to several areas in Colombo, the Southern Province and Kurunegala was restored after over six hours, while some areas are still affected. The Ceylon Electricity Board said the power disruption was due to a transmission failure at the Kerawalapitiya Grid Sub-Station.

Source: The Hindu Business L ine

US power use to drop over 3 percent in 2020 due coronavirus: EIA

12 August. US (United States) electricity consumption will drop 3.4 percent in 2020 as coronavirus lockdowns caused businesses to close, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. EIA projected retail power sales will drop to 3,623 bn kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2020 from 3,750 bn kWh in 2019 before rising to 3,655 bn kWh in 2021. That would be the biggest annual percentage decline since 2009 when sales fell 3.7 percent and compares with an all-time high of 3,859 bn kWh in 2018, according to data going back to 1949. If power consumption falls as expected in 2020, it would be the first time since 2012 that demand declines for two consecutive years. EIA projected power sales to commercial and industrial consumers will drop by 7.4 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, in 2020 from 2019 as offices close and factories run at reduced capacity.

Source: The Economic Times 


Germany’s RWE rakes in $2.4 bn to fund renewable energy expansion

18 August. German utility RWE completed a €2 bn ($2.4 bn) share issue to back its expansion into renewable energy, including its $480 mn purchase of wind turbine maker Nordex’s project development pipeline. The move increases RWE’s share capital by 10 percent and was successfully placed with institutional investors via an accelerated bookbuilding process, RWE said. Part of the proceeds will be used to buy 2.7 GW worth of European wind and solar projects from turbine maker Nordex in a deal made public at the end of July. RWE wants to increase its renewables portfolio to more than 13 GW and invest a total of €5 bn by the end of 2022. The restructuring positions RWE as Europe’s third-largest renewables player as Germany phases out nuclear power and coal in pursuit of a safe and environmentally sustainable energy mix.

Source: Reuters

China Three Gorges enters Spanish energy market with solar plants buy

18 August. China’s state-owned energy and infrastructure giant China Three Gorges (CTG) has agreed to buy 13 Spanish solar plants built by Madrid-based renewables firm X-Elio, marking its entry into the Spanish energy sector, X-Elio said. The photovoltaic plants were built between 2019 and 2020, and are fully operational with a total capacity of just over 500 MW, X-Elio said.

Source: Reuters

ALAS Group and Pike Hydropower sign pact for development of projects in Asia

18 August. Europe-based ALAS Group announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pike Hydropower for collaboration in the renewable energy sector under the Nepal government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy. ALAS Group chairman Dustin Paul Wilden plans to meet with senior members from the Cabinet of Nepal to discuss future PPP-related opportunities and investments. He said sustainability is deeply embedded throughout his organization as a strategic priority.

Source: The Economic Times

Danske Commodities signs 15-year power purchase deal for 3.6 GW British wind farm

17 August. Danske Commodities, oil and gas major Equinor’s power trading arm, has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement for Britain’s Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, it said. Dogger Bank, located 130 km off the coast of Yorkshire in northern England, is under construction and set to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm with a capacity of 3.6 GW, enough to power 4.5 mn UK (United Kingdom) households. Under the agreement, Danske Commodities will be responsible for trading and balancing 480 MW of the wind farm’s capacity on the power market.

Source: Reuters

E.ON sells German nuclear power ahead at above-market prices

12 August. German utility E.ON said it has sold forward 73 percent of its 2021 nuclear power generation and 46 percent of its 2022 output at prices above the current wholesale market, raising earnings prospects from that segment. The company has to date also sold some 91 percent of output in the current year from reactors at its Preussen Elektra unit, it showed in presentation slides on reporting second-quarter financial results. Power curve prices slumped to two-year lows during the lockdown in March and April as the coronavirus crisis sapped demand.

Source: Reuters


All India Coal Production and Reserves Scenario

Million Tonnes


Proved Reserves

(as on 01/04/2019)

2018-19 2019-20 (April- January)
Andhra Pradesh 97.12
Arunachal Pradesh 31.23
Assam 464.78 0.784 0.294
Bihar 309.53
Chhattisgarh 21446.29 161.893 116.056
Jammu & Kashmir 0.013 0.01
Jharkhand 48031.93 134.666 98.485
Madhya Pradesh 12182.45 118.661 103.402
Maharashtra 7573.2 49.818 37.512
Meghalaya 89.04 0 0.127
Nagaland 8.76
Odisha 39654.47 144.312 105.216
Telangana 10622.32 65.16 53.784
Uttar Pradesh 884.04 20.275 14.798
West Bengal 14219.25 33.136 25.549
Total 155614.4 728.718 555.233

No. of years till which Proved Coal Reserves will last (at 2019-20 Coal Production rate)

Source: Lok Sabha Questions

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 2020 is the seventeenth 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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