MonitorsPublished on Dec 01, 2020
Energy News Monitor | Volume XVII, Issue 22


Monthly Coal News Commentary: October 2020


Domestic Production & Demand

CIL’s subsidiary NCL is planning to expand three open-cast mining project in the ongoing financial year. Of the company’s 10 open-cast mining projects in operation, seven are completed mining projects and three are ongoing mining projects. NCL said that the projects are Jhingurdah Bottom OCP, Khadia Expansion OCP and Nigahi Expansion OCP. NCL produced 108.05 MT of coal in 2019-20, against the target of 106.25 MT with a growth of 6.45 percent over the previous year.

Coal Pricing

The total coal allocation under CIL’s four e-auction windows registered about 65 percent year-on-year rise during the first half of the current financial year. CIL booked 41.4 MT of raw coal in e-auctions during April-September 2020, compared with 25.1 MT booked in the corresponding period last fiscal. The increase in volume terms stood at 16.3 MT. With the industrial and commercial activities reviving after the unlock, CIL is hopeful that the demand sustains and the sales get boosted soon. With no dearth of coal, the company is confident of meeting the increased demand. Last year’s coal import trend showed that 40 percent of the imports of dry-fuel were by traders. CIL decided to give more thrust in auction sales that resulted in higher volumes. The company anticipated the liquidity crunch that Covid-19 would bring to its customers and brought down the reserve price close to zero to help them lift more coal during the lockdown phase. The power sector is CIL’s major coal-consuming customer accounting for around 80 percent of its entire sales. CIL subsidiaries will have autonomy in fixing the base price for e-auction of coal from November depending on demand. Currently, the base price is kept aligning with the notified price but with the realisation trend improving, CIL has decided to allow the respective subsidiaries to fix the base price depending upon their ground situation. The latest e-auctions from Central Coalfields and Eastern Coalfields are fetching high premium and going forward CIL expects 15-20 percent premium from auctions as demand remains strong in September and October. Coal allocation under its four e-auction windows registered about 65 percent year-on- year rise during the first half of the current financial year. CIL’s coal allocation under special forward e-auction for the power sector registered a rise of 8.4 percent to 7.94 MT in April-August period of the ongoing fiscal. The state-owned company had allocated 7.32 MT of dry fuel in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year. However, in August there was no coal allocation under the scheme. In August 2019-20, 0.62 MT coal was allocated to the power sector by the company. Coal distribution through forward e-auction is aimed at providing access to coal for such consumers who wish to have an assured supply over a long period, say one year, through e-auction mode so as to plan their operation. CIL which accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal output, is eyeing 710 MT output in 2020-21.

Coal Transport

CIL arm SECL is executing eight ‘first mile connectivity’ projects with an estimated capital outlay of ₹31 bn to evacuate dry fuel, especially incremental production under the proposed plan to scale up the maharatna firm’s output to 1 BT.  Because of the move, there would be reduction in the cost of landed price of coal at generators end and retain the foreign exchange by substituting the coal imports with abundant domestic supplies. In the absence of conclusive overall environment benefits at the additional cost of power generation, recently the government had dispensed with the mandatory coal washing to reduce ash in the coal supplies to power plants. CIL is eyeing 1 BT of output by 2023-24. CIL has seven units and accounts for more than four fifths of domestic production. It sets the price of various grades of coal in India after consultation with stakeholders.

The management of NTPC Ltd’s Pakri-Barwadih coal project in Hazaribag’s Barkagaon block began transporting their mined coal to the nearest railway siding under heavy police protection after a section of their coal dump caught fire after being exposed to heat for more than 36 days. Mining of coal and its transportation from the project has been stalled since September 1 as residents of the villages displaced and affected by the project’s land acquisition have been protesting for higher compensation. As per estimates of NTPC, around 550,000 tonnes of coal worth ₹550 mn was lying in open pits since 1 September as locals blocked the transportation of mineral to its nearest railway siding in Banadag, which is situated 10 km away. The locals have been demanding compensation under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 of the Centre and claimed that the monetary compensation provided by the NTPC under provisions of the Coal Bearing Act, 1957 is “not sufficient”.

Commercial Mining

Goa government decided to appoint a’XYKno Capital Services Private Ltd as the consultant for exploiting the Dongri Tal II coal block allocated to GIDC. The consultant will help GIDC prepare the RFP to appoint the MDO.  The Dongri Tal II coal block at Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh was allocated to Goa as part of the fifth tranche of the allotment by the coal ministry and the state was supposed to ink the agreement by 30 October 2019. However, due to paucity of funds, GIDC could not pay the instalments upfront and decided to instead select an MDO, who would pay the performance and bank guarantee for the coal block on behalf of the state. Goa’s finance department refused to grant ₹1.96 bn to pay the performance guarantee for a coal block in November 2019.

Environmental Governance

The Gauhati HC will wait for the outcome of the enquiry by Assam government before proceeding in the case related to CIL’s mining inside Dehing Patkai, the largest rainforest of Northeast. Accordingly, the court directed to list the case in February next year. The Gauhati HC had issued notices to the Centre, state, CIL and other stakeholders after filing a suo moto case against coal mining inside Dehing Patkai forest.

Indian activists and politicians in Goa, known globally for its pristine coastline and dense forests, are opposing a plan by the federal government to turn Goa into a coal transportation hub. India wants to increase coking coal handling at the state-run port in Goa, which could be transported to steel companies north of the state. According to activists the projects are likely to lead to the felling of thousands of trees in ecologically sensitive areas that are home to wildlife and bodies of water.


India’s coal imports, depressed by the impact of coronavirus this year, regained ground in September, but in an uneven uptick – shipments rose for higher-grade coking and thermal grades, but slid for lower-rank fuel used mainly in power plants. India’s total coal imports in September were estimated at 14.62 MT by Refinitiv vessel-tracking and port data, up from 12.97 mn in August. That was the strongest performance by the world’s second-biggest coal importer since April, although imports were still down 6.3 percent from the 15.61 MT recorded in September 2019. For the first nine months of the year, imports were estimated at 128.24 MT, a 17 percent slide from the 154.8 mn in the same period last year. India’s coal sector has been hit hard by the economic lockdown imposed from March onwards as the world’s second-most populous nation battles to contain the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.  India’s coal import rose 11.6 percent to 19.04 MT in September on account of a recovery in consumption by thermal power plants and other industries as also helped by competitive prices in international markets. The country imported 17.06 MT of coal in September 2019. Of total imports in September, non-coking coal’s shipment was 11.97 MT as against 11.81 MT in the year-ago period. Coking coal import increased to 4.58 MT as compared to 3.54 MT in September last fiscal. However, in the first six months of the ongoing fiscal, India’s coal import dropped to 95.30 MT from 125.35 MT in the same period a year ago.

Steel maker SAIL is exploring new markets for the sourcing of coking coal with a view to reducing dependence on select countries for the raw material. The country imports about 56 MT of coking coal worth around ₹720 bn. Out of this, about 45 MT is imported from Australia alone, and the remaining from South Africa, Canada and the US. Raw material security holds significance for the steelmaker which plans to more than double its capacity to 50 MTpa by 2030. SAIL is part of a JV, ICVL with the aim to acquire mining assets abroad. ICVL has acquired coal mines and assets in Mozambique with coal reserves of more than 500 MT. The mining from these overseas assets is gradually being enhanced, he said. According to the company data, during 2019-20, requirement of about 1.53 MT coking coal was met from indigenous sources like CIL and captive sources while the balance 13.70 MT was met through imports.


The Supreme Court caught the Jharkhand government’s doublespeak in challenging the Centre’s decision to auction 41 coal blocks, nine of which are in the state, for commercial exploitation but sought an affidavit from the Centre whether the coal mines were located in eco-sensitive zones. Jharkhand first filed a writ petition challenging the Centre’s decision to auction coal mines and followed it up with a suit under Article 131 of the Constitution making it a Centre-state dispute. In the writ petition it had questioned the timing of the auction saying the scarce natural resources would not fetch proper price because of ‘negative global investment climate’ during the pandemic. However, in the suit, it additionally said that coal mining would ravage the eco-sensitive zones and displace thousands of tribals from their land protected under the Constitution. The Centre’s decision to start the process for auctioning 41 coal blocks for commercial mining is open for domestic as well as global firms under the 100 percent FDI route and is aimed at making India self-reliant in the energy sector. The government announced the launch of a website for entities involved in R&D in the coal sector. The website was designed and developed by CIL subsidiary Central Mine Planning and Design Institute. The website broadly displays the guidelines for implementing coal research projects with various forms, so that anybody can submit proposals in requisite manner. The website contains identified thrust areas for future coal research keeping in view the future needs of the nation. The coal ministry has been promoting R&D activities in coal and lignite sectors through its coal science and technology plan for improvement in production, productivity, safety and protection of environment and ecology, among others. The coal ministry provides funds to carry out research work on these subjects

Rest of the World


Australia is investigating media reports that China has stopped taking its coal shipments. Trade industry reports suggested that some Chinese ports had been told not to accept Australian thermal and metallurgical coal, and that Australian shipments were being sold along to other markets at the last minute. China’s imports of coal had been expected to slow in the second half, after heavy imports earlier this year met with weaker than expected demand due to coronavirus-related disruptions. BHP Group has received deferment requests from Chinese coal customers after reports that China had put a freeze on accepting Australian coal amid trade tensions between the two countries. Trade industry reports suggested that some Chinese ports had been told not to accept either type of Australian coal, and that such shipments were being sold along to other markets at the last minute. China’s coal imports had been expected to slow in the second half, after heavy imports earlier this year and weaker than expected demand due to coronavirus-related disruption, spurring China to act to support its domestic industry. Customs data shows that China has taken less coal from Australia and also Indonesia in the past month. China is the biggest importer of Australian coal, taking 27 percent of its metallurgical coal in the year to June and 20 percent of its thermal coal, which the Australian government estimates was worth A$13.7 bn ($9.82 bn) last year behind China’s iron ore imports which were worth A$84.9 bn.

Rest of Asia

Investors with assets totalling $3.6 tn are writing to sponsors and financiers to urge them withdraw from Vietnam’s Vung Ang 2 coal power station project, which they say is incompatible with Paris agreement goals on reducing emissions. The action highlights a shift in strategy among shareholders concerned about the impact of climate change from selling their shares in coal mining and power companies to pressuring banks and contractors involved in projects. The 1.2 GW Vung Ang project, one of a number of coal power stations under construction in Southeast Asia, is being built to meet Vietnam’s surging demand for power, with the support of the Japanese and Vietnamese governments. Japan’s biggest power generator JERA said it will shut down all inefficient coal-fired power plants in Japan by 2030 and it aims to achieve net zero emissions of CO2 by 2050 to tackle climate change. A government panel is deliberating on how to define an inefficient coal-fired plant but JERA provisionally saw inefficient plants as ones that use “supercritical or less” technology.


Poland is the only EU state that refuses to pledge climate neutral by 2050, with the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party claiming that the country needs more time to switch its economy from coal to zero-emission sources. PGE wants to become climate neutral through carving out its coal assets, which include lignite mines and power stations, and through investment in wind farms, offshore and onshore, solar power stations and in energy storages. Separating coal assets will help PGE raise financing from banks, which are reluctant to provide loans to coal-related groups. Polish utilities PGE, Tauron and Enea could merge immediately after offloading their coal assets into a separate entity to boost their investment potential. PGE, Poland’s biggest power producer, announced its goal to become climate neutral by 2050. To achieve that, the group wants to carve out its coal mines and coal-fuelled power stations and move them to a separate entity, most likely owned directly by the state. It aims to have about 20 GW of capacity from renewable energy sources by 2050, compared with current total capacity of about 17 GW, mostly from coal assets. Separating PGE’s coal assets would be a part of a wider plan that the state assets ministry aims to finalise by the first quarter of next year at the latest. Poland’s JSW, the EU’s biggest coking coal producer wants to focus solely on the fuel used in steelmaking and exit the more polluting thermal coal. Coking coal accounts for 80 percent of JSW’s output, and thermal coal for 20 percent. Thermal coal, used for power, is struggling to attract investment because of concerns about the environment, but coking coal is still viewed as a strategic mineral. The EU’s decision to keep coking coal on its list of critical raw materials should have a positive impact on the talks about PFR financing.

CIL: Coal India Ltd, NCL: Northern Coalfields Ltd, MT: million tonnes, BT: billion tonnes, SECL: South Eastern Coalfields Ltd, GIDC: Goa Industrial Development Corp, HC: High Court, MTpa: million tonnes per annum, ICVL: International Coal Ventures Ltd, JV: joint venture, FDI: foreign direct investment, GW: gigawatt, CO2: carbon dioxide, mn: million, bn: billion, tn: trillion, EU: European Union


BPCL eyes doubling bunkering oil sales volume to 14 tmt with terminal upgrade

3 November. The country’s second largest oil marketing firm Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) has upgraded its bunkering facility with five jetties that can now pump the oil into ships from the pipelines at the Marine Oil Terminal on the Butcher Island, off the east coast of the city. BPCL is the largest supplier of bunkering oil with around 60 percent of the volume at JNPT, Mumbai Port and the two other harbours nearby the city consuming around 400 thousand metric tonne (tmt) annually. And the sell-off bound national oil marketer expects to double its annual sales to 14 tmt from 7 tmt now after the upgrade and complete mechanisation of the oil filling facilities, BPCL said. On average, as many as 5,000 vessels berth at Mumbai, JNPT and the adjoining Digi and Dharamtar ports annually, creating a bunkering business of close to 400 tmt of VLSFO.

Source: The Economic Times

India’s September crude imports decline at slower pace, LPG imports jump

3 November. India’s crude oil imports fell for the sixth straight month in September as surging Covid-19 cases continued to limit fuel demand, but the decline was the least since virus restrictions began earlier this year, government data showed. Imports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) surged 4.5 percent to 1.64 million tonnes (mt) in September, the highest since Refinitiv started collecting data going back to 2004. Crude oil imports fell about 9.8 percent in September from a year earlier to 15.18 mt, or 3.71 mn barrels per day (bpd), the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) data showed. On a monthly basis, imports in the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer fell about 10 percent from 16.86 mt, or 4.12 mn bpd, in August. The year-on-year decline in crude imports, however, was the least in six months as easing coronavirus restrictions supported economic activity and travel.

Source: Reuters

India could cut oil import bill further as Saudi looks at crude discounts

QuIck Comment

Low oil import cost is positive for a struggling economy!


1 November. India’s oil import bill may fall further in the remaining period of the current fiscal with Saudi Arabia looking at giving discount in crude it sells to Asian Buyers. Analysts tracking the development said that the benchmark Dubai prices of oil have fallen and so have the gross refining margins. If this holds, a 10-20 cents per barrel discount on Saudi light crude would be available from December onwards. The development is positive for India that imports maximum oil from Saudi Arabia after Iraq. Any discount on oil prices is expected to set the ball rolling for cheaper oil imports from other oil producing countries as well. India imports 85 percent of its domestic oil requirements. So any change in oil prices results in big savings for the country. For India, good news is also coming from global developments in the oil market where prices are expected to remain soft in the absence of any big pickup in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic while the market remains oversupplied with oil. The benchmark Brent crude prices witnessed a drop in the preceding week, falling from a level of $42 a barrel to just about $38 a barrel. India imported 227 million tonnes (mt) of crude for $101.4 bn in 2019-20. The import bill in the April-September period of the current fiscal (FY21) has already fallen by about 58 percent to $22 bn as compared to an import bill of $52.6 bn in the first half of FY20 due to lower oil prices.

Source: The Economic Times

India’s October gasoline, gasoil sales exceed pre-coronavirus levels

1 November. India’s gasoil consumption in October rose 6.6 percent from a year earlier, the first such increase since Covid-19 restrictions were imposed in late March, preliminary data showed, signalling a pick-up in industrial activity. Diesel sales by the country’s three state fuel retailers totalled 6.17 million tonnes (mt) in October, according to provisional data compiled by Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s biggest refiner and fuel retailer. Sales of gasoil, which account for about two-fifths of India’s fuel demand, rose 27.5 percent from September. Rising diesel sales in the world’s third-biggest oil consumer and importer should help refiners, who had to cut crude-processing runs during the coronavirus crisis. IOC hopes to operate refineries at full capacity in a couple of months, up from 95 percent, as local fuel demand is rising, company chairman S M Vaidya said. Rising gasoline and gasoil demand in India should also aid other markets hit by slow demand recovery. Local gasoline sales in October rose above pre-pandemic levels for a second month in a row. Gasoline sales rose 4 percent from a year earlier to about 2.4 mt, about 8.6 percent higher than September, the data showed. State companies IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) own about 90 percent of India’s retail fuel outlets. State retailers sold 3.8 percent more cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in October than a year ago, at about 2.44 mt, while jet fuel sales halved to 328,000 tonnes.

Source: Reuters

Government hikes ethanol price for doping in petrol by up to 3.34 per litre

30 October. The government hiked the price of ethanol extracted from sugarcane for doping in petrol by up to ₹3.34 per litre as it looked to ramp up the programme that has benefited farmers and also helped cut down oil import bill. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the price of ethanol extracted from sugarcane juice to ₹62.65 per litre from current ₹59.48 per litre for the supply year beginning December 2020. India, which is 85 percent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs, allows doping of up to 10 percent ethanol in petrol with a view to cutting oil import and vehicular emissions as also offer a remunerative source for sugarcane farmers to sell their produce. Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) will bear GST and transportation cost on the ethanol procured for doping in petrol.

Source: The Economic Times

BPCL puts Bina refinery expansion plan on hold pending privatisation

30 October. India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) has put on hold its plans to expand its Bina refinery and install a secondary unit at its Mumbai refinery to boost efficiency pending privatisation of the company, its head of finance N Vijayagopal said. The federal government wants to sell its 53.29 percent stake in BPCL, to raise funds to rein in a ballooning fiscal deficit. The company, which has a robust retail presence in key Indian cities, aims to set up 6,000 retail outlets in three years with a focus on rural areas to raise its market share in diesel and gasoline sales to about 32 percent from 29 percent, he said.

Source: Reuters


New pipeline to boost FY22 gas supply by a quarter: India’s GSPL

3 November. Gas transmission by India’s Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPT) will rise by about a quarter in the next fiscal year starting from April as it links northern regions to an existing grid in the western state, the company said. The 930 km (578 miles) pipeline linking Mehsana in Gujarat to Bathinda in the northern state of Punjab at a cost of ₹55 bn ($739 mn) will be ready by March, the company said. India’s coronavirus lockdown hit construction of the pipeline, with a daily capacity of 30 million metric standard cubic meter per day (mmscmd), delaying it past an initial completion date of December. GSPL operates about 2,700 km (1,678 miles) of gas pipelines with capacity of 43 mmscmd, but in the 2019-20 financial year it supplied 40 mmscmd gas, as one pipeline was commissioned only in November 2019. Two gas import terminals are expected to begin operations in Gujarat’s areas of Jaffrabad and Chhara in 2022. India’s six existing terminals can handle 42.5 million tonnes (mt) of gas imports annually, with about 3/4ths of that capacity located in its west. Gujarat’s robust gas infrastructure has led to the fuel accounting for about a quarter of its energy mix, against a national average of 6.2 percent. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks to boost that figure to 15 percent by 2030, Indian firms are spending billions of dollars to strengthen gas networks. GSPL will use the new pipeline to supply refineries in the northern cities of Panipat and Bathinda, as well as industries and city gas distributors. It will also be linked to one of its existing pipelines to supply a refinery being built at Barmer in the desert state of Rajasthan.

Source: Reuters

India’s October LNG imports surge as demand rebounds to pre-Covid levels

3 November. Indian imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) surged in October, shiptracking data from Refinitiv Eikon and data intelligence firm Kpler showed, as the country’s gas demand bounced back to pre-Covid levels. LNG shipments to India in October rose to about 2.5 million tonnes (mt), the highest monthly volumes on its record, Refiniv Eikon data showed. Kpler pegged October arrivals at the second highest on record at 2.75 mt, just under February’s imports of 2.79 mt. Spot gas imports by the electricity generation sector, which account for over a fifth of India’s total consumption of the fuel, doubled in the June quarter to the highest in at least 14 quarters. India’s natural gas prices fell to their lowest since 2014 for the October-March 2021 period which meant reduced costs for gas for fertilisers, automobiles and households. India has also been receiving at least one LNG cargo a month from Russia’s Yamal LNG plant since September, this year, after the last such flow was seen only in March, Refinitiv data showed. LNG shipments from Oman to India in October were also at a record high, the data showed.

Source: Reuters

RIL to start gas production from R-Series field in November-December

2 November. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) plans to start the delayed production from the second wave of discoveries in its eastern offshore KG-D6 block in November/December, the company said. RIL is working on three projects in the Krishna Godavari basin KG-D6 block, where production from older fields stopped in February this year. R-Series will the first of the three fields to go live. Gas from R-Series field was previously expected in June but Covid-19 lockdown disrupted supply chain and the company could not complete the project in time. RIL and its partner BP are developing three sets of discoveries in KG-D6 block — R-Cluster, Satellites, and MJ by 2022. Peak output of around 28 million metric standard cubic meter per day (mmscmd) is expected by FY24 when all three projects are up and running. R-Cluster will have a peak output of 12 mmscmd while Satellites, which are supposed to begin output from the third quarter of 2021 calendar year, would produce a maximum of 7 mmscmd. MJ field will start production in third quarter of 2022 and will have a peak output of 12 mmscmd. RIL in November last year auctioned the first set of 5 mmscmd of gas from the newer discoveries in the KG-D6 block by asking bidders to quote a price, supply period and the volume of gas required. RIL had in November set a floor or minimum quote of 8.4 percent of dated Brent price — which meant that bidders had to quote 8.4 percent or a higher percentage for seeking gas supplies. Considering current average Brent price of $40 per barrel, the gas will cost around $3.36 per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu).

Source: The Times of India

Under construction gas pipeline catches fire in Moradabad district

29 October. An under construction gas pipeline caught fire at Kalyanpur Road under Katghar police station limits in Moradabad. The fire reportedly broke out due to leakage in the pipeline. Prima facie, the fire took place due to a leakage caused in the gas pipeline, however, the matter is being probed by the local area police, the fire department said.

Source: The Economic Times

India to up share of short-term LNG deals in gas use: GAIL chairman

28 October. India’s biggest gas marketing firm GAIL (India) Ltd expects the share of spot and short-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts in the nation’s gas consumption to rise after a slump in spot prices has made long-term deals less attractive. Spot gas imports by the electricity generation sector, which account for over a fifth of India’s total consumption of the fuel, doubled in the June quarter to the highest in at least 14 quarters, while purchases under long-term contracts slumped by over a third to the lowest in the same period. India’s gas consumption needs to rise by at least three times to account for 15 percent of the overall energy mix, GAIL chairman Manoj Jain said.

Source: The Economic Times


CIL production rises by 18 percent to 47 mt in October

2 November. Coal India Ltd (CIL) said that it produced 46.8 million tonnes (mt) of coal last month, registering a growth of 18.4 percent. CIL had produced 39.5 mt of coal in the corresponding month of the previous fiscal, it said in a statement. The increase in absolute terms was 7.4 mt, it said. With its production impeded by the Covid-19-induced slowdown during the first four months of the present fiscal, CIL started logging positive growth from August onward on monthly basis. For the first time in this fiscal, CIL posted a positive growth of 0.9 percent in cumulative production till October so far. Production during April-October was 282.9 mt which was 2.5 mt more than that during the same period last year. By November, CIL hopes to neutralise the negative growth and start on the path of recovery. As the country’s core sector output contraction narrowed sharply to 0.8 percent in September 2020, growth in the coal sector was 21.2 percent, the highest among all the eight core sector industries, compared to the same month last year. CIL’s contribution was sizeable in this, it said.

Source: The Economic Times

Vedanta, Hindalco among winners on day-1 of commercial coal auctions

2 November. Vedanta Ltd emerged highest bidder for a coal block in Odisha offering a premium of 21 percent while Hindalco Industries placed a winning bid for another coal block in Jharkhand offering 14.25 percent premium in India’s pilot auction of mines for commercial purposes. The country’s first commercial coal auctions began with five blocks. Vedanta placed the highest bid for Radhikapur West coal mine with 312 million tonnes (mt) of geological reserves, pipping EMIL Mines and Minerals Resources Ltd and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. Hindalco Industries is close to winning the Chakla mine in Jharkhand with 76.05 mt. Adani Enterprises, Agarwal Mining and Stratatech Mineral Resources Pvt Ltd were the other bidders for the block. The day 1 of e-auction has witnessed strong competition, with auction of some of the mines going on for more than 3-4 hours. In all the mines auctioned, the final offer received is above 10 percent signalling strong demand for coal mines in the market. The Takli Jena Bellora North and Takli Jena Bellora South coal mine in Maharashtra with 117.26 mt reserves and the Marki Mangli II mine in Maharashtra received the highest premium of 30.75 percent each among blocks auctioned. Yazdani International Pvt Ltd placed the winning bid for Marki Mangli II while Aurobindo Realty and Infrastructure emerged highest bidder for the other block in Maharashtra. JMS Mining Pvt Ltd has placed the highest bid for the Urtan mine in Madhya Pradesh with 55.391 mt reserves at 10.50 percent. The total annual revenue estimated to be generated to states from the coal blocks is ₹15.57 bn. Total 19 coal mines will be auctioned by the coal ministry. The bids will be sent by the Nominated Authority for final approval to the coal ministry. The auction process of 38 coal mines for sale of coal was launched by the coal ministry on 18 June 2020. A total of 76 bids were received for 23 coal mines. But the required two or more bids were received for only 19 coal mines. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had on 20 May approved the methodology for auction of coal and lignite mines for sale on a revenue-sharing basis.

Source: The Economic Times

Not moving away from coal is killing 1 lakh a year in India

28 October. India is increasingly powering itself on coal. About three-fourth of India’s electricity is coal-based, its dependence on coal is growing faster than any other country in the world (6 percent a year) and coal extraction has doubled to 500 million tonnes (mt) since 1994. It’s killing people. Workers and people living around coal mines contract diseases by inhaling coal dust and drinking polluted water. This is linked, the authors point out, to the fact that despite an increase in renewable sources of energy, India continues to depend on coal. So, while coal contributed to 23 percent of India’s energy supply in 1970, its share is nearly 40 percent now. If all fossil fuels are taken into account, India is sourcing 70 percent of its energy from non-renewable sources. In fact, India accounts for 10 percent of the global energy supply from coal.

Source: The Economic Times


Power situation ‘critical’, Punjab stares at long power cuts

3 November. The state electricity board in Punjab announced that it would have to impose power cuts of at least two-three hours as three private thermal plants have shut down and two electricity stations nearly running out of coal. Coal supplies to the thermal power plants were severely affected after the Railways suspended the operation of freight trains in the wake of the blockade of some tracks by farmers in protest against the three central farm laws. With the situation turning grim, the Punjab State Power Corp Ltd is imposing power cuts of two-three hours due to the mismatch between demand and supply.

Source: The Economic Times

ADB approves $132.8 mn loan to improve power distribution network in Meghalaya: Power Minister

3 November. The Asian Development Bank has approved $132.8 mn loan to improve and upgrade the power distribution network in Meghalaya, Power Minister James PK Sangma said. The Meghalaya cabinet had in August this year approved a proposal from the Meghalaya Energy Corp Ltd to avail a ₹13.45 bn loan for clearing the power outstanding dues, on conditions that it has to bring down the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses and reduce the gap of average cost of supply (ACS) and average revenue realized (ARR). The Meghalaya Power Distribution Corp Ltd has a huge outstanding against the power purchased from central power generating stations and to the Power Grid Corp of India Ltd, the Minister had said.

Source: The Financial Express

India’s power consumption grows 13.3 percent in October

2 November. India’s power consumption grew 13.38 percent to 110.94 bn units in October this year, mainly driven by buoyancy in industrial and commercial activities, as per government data. Electricity consumption in the country was recorded at 97.84 bn units in October 2019, the power ministry data showed. Experts had exuded confidence that the power consumption would grow by double digits in October on the basis of the extrapolation of half-month data. The power consumption had grown 11.45 percent to 55.37 bn units during October 1 to 15, against 49.67 bn units, in the corresponding period a year ago. A double-digit growth in power consumption in October, experts said, gives sufficient indication that commercial and industrial demand has perked up with easing of lockdown restrictions and will improve further in coming months. The government had imposed nationwide lockdown on 25 March to contain the spread of Covid-19. Power consumption started declining from March onwards due to fewer economic activities in the country. The Covid-19 situation affected power consumption for six months in a row from March to August this year. Power consumption on year-on-year basis declined 8.7 percent in March, 23.2 percent in April, 14.9 percent in May, 10.9 percent in June, 3.7 percent in July and 1.7 percent in August. The data showed that electricity consumption had grown by 11.73 percent in February. Power consumption has shown an improvement post lockdown easing for economic activities after April 20. After a gap of six months, power consumption recorded a growth of 4.6 percent in September this year at 112.43 bn units from 107.51 bn units in the same month last year. Peak power demand met, the highest supply of power in the country

QuIck Comment

Discoms require administrative and financial independence to improve power quality!


in a day, in October was recorded at 170.04 GW, which is 3.52 percent higher than 164.25 GW in the same month last year. Peak power demand in September this year recorded a growth of 1.8 percent at 176.56 GW, compared to 173.45 GW a year ago, the data showed. Peak power demand met had recorded negative growth from April to August this year due to the pandemic. The peak demand met dropped to 24.9 percent in April, 8.9 percent in May, 9.6 percent in June, 2.7 percent in July and 5.6 percent in August. In March, it was muted at 0.8 percent.

Source: The Economic Times

Goa among five states to meet Centre’s power revenue target

31 October. Goa is one of only five states to have succeeded in eliminating revenue gaps in power distribution in 2019-20, thus meeting the Centre’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) targets. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s report on state finances, Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana and Maharashtra are the only states to bridge the gap between the average cost of power supply and the average realisable revenues. However, the RBI report has warned that the financial position of power distribution companies (discoms) is expected to weaken further in 2020-21 as the Covid-19 lockdown has severely impacted power demand, particularly in the lucrative industrial and commercial segments. Goa had a shortfall of 0.30 paise per unit of power as on March 2019, improved to a surplus of 0.1 paise per unit of power as on March 2020. With such a slim margin, the RBI prediction that state-owned enterprises face a significant downside risk due to Covid-19 suggests that Goa Electricity Department faces difficult days ahead. The government had launched the UDAY scheme in November 2015 with the objective of financial turnaround of discoms. The way to reduce the losses is to progressively increase power tariffs, which in Goa remain among the lowest in the country.

Source: The Times of India

Discoms in India need to improve power quality

29 October. Power distribution companies (discoms) in India have to improve the power quality in the country, a survey shows. A joint study by Smart Power India (SPI), NITI Aayog and the Rockefeller Foundation, showed that only 55 percent customers were satisfied with the quality of their electricity supply. The report said that power quality was reported as the number of voltage fluctuations. Overall, 63 percent of customers reported more than one voltage fluctuation in a week, and 10 percent reported more than 10 voltage fluctuations per day in the past one week. Appliance damages in the past one year played an important role for the customers to decide upon the quality of supply of power, it said. It further showed that overall, a total of 63 percent of the surveyed customers are satisfied with the service provided to them. Among the dissatisfied customers, 31 percent reported an average power cut duration of no more than 1 hour per day, and 15 percent reported no power cuts. As expected, urban (74 percent) customers are comparatively more satisfied with the reliability of power as compared to their rural (60 percent) counterparts.

Source: The Economic Times

MSEDCL in financial spot over power dues

28 October. Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) — is in financial trouble because of the mounting power bill arrears of consumers, especially residential, commercial and small industrial users. In many parts of the state, the power bill dues from consumers have doubled. The company said it is important that people clear their dues because almost 85 percent of the bill revenue is used to purchase power.

Source: The Economic Times


India’s first solar-powered miniature train launched at Veli Tourist Village in Kerala

3 November. A solar energy-driven miniature train, billed as the country’s first of its kind, was inaugurated at the Veli Tourist Village by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The station house was also designed in a traditional style. The surplus energy generated by the system will be routed to the Kerala State Electricity Board’s grid, Vijayan said.

Source: The Economic Times

Discoms to hand-hold residents to boost rooftop solar power in Delhi

QuIck Comment

Boosting utility scale solar will reduce enormous transaction costs in hand-holding individual roof-top projects!


3 November. To boost rooftop solar installations in the city, BSES discoms (distribution companies) are launching “Solarise Safdarjung” and “Solarise Karkardooma” community-based demand aggregation programmes, which will be expanded if the pilot projects are successful. The programme is an extension of BSES Solar City Initiative and brings residents welfare associations (RWAs) and solar vendors on a common platform, BSES said. Adapting to the new Covid normal, a 100 percent virtual campaign will be carried out, BSES said. The areas under BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna already have over 2,800 such installations with an installed load of above 90 megawatt peak. The initiative aims to maximise the utilisation of solar rooftop potential in a targeted area. It seeks to create a market-based approach for scaling up rooftop solar utilities.

Source: The Economic Times

Renewable energy company working on sustainable solution for stubble burning

1 November. Amid increasing pollution level in the country, a renewable energy company is helping in the generation of electricity using stubble. ‘Verve Renewables’ collects stubble and supplies it to a sugar mill that generates electricity from it–converting residue into energy. It aims at connecting farmers with energy producers. Suvrat Khanna, its co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) said that they “collected 75,000 tonnes stubble last year (2019). And they are now aiming for 1.5 lakh tons this year (2020).”

Source: The Economic Times

Solar tariffs may reach a new record-low once again: Experts

30 October. In a greatly encouraging response, over 5000 MW of bids were received for the 1070 MW solar tender issued by the Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI), which analysts said may lead to record low tariffs. SECI is the nodal agency through which the ministry of new and renewable energy conducts wind and solar auctions. In the bid submission that took place, almost all the major developers in the country expressed interest in taking part. Experts said that during the early solar auction years (between 2015 and 2017), tenders were heavily oversubscribed in a similar manner. The renewable energy ministry has been moving away from conducting auctions for plain solar and wind projects of late. This tender may have received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response because Rajasthan distribution companies have agreed to purchase the power.

Source: The Economic Times

State will not privatise Rayalaseema Thermal Power Plant: Andhra Energy Minister

29 October. Andhra Pradesh Energy Minister, Balineni Srinivasa Reddy clarified that the state government is not going to privatise Rayalaseema Thermal Power Plant (RTPP) and also opposes Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Reddy said that in this regard a letter has been already sent to Central Government. Reddy said that the fixing of meters to motors of farm pump-sets will ensure free nine hours uninterrupted quality power supply to the farmers during daytime. He further said that government has been preparing plans for effective implementation of the scheme for next 30 years.

Source: The Economic Times

KKR launches platform to acquire renewable energy assets in India

29 October. Global investment firm KKR launched Virescent Infrastructure, a newly-created platform to acquire renewable energy assets in India. Headquartered in Mumbai, Virescent aims to expand its portfolio of operational renewable energy assets, facilitated by investments predominantly made through KKR’s infrastructure fund. Virescent will identify investment opportunities that have stable cash flows stemming from long-term contracts with state and central government counterparties across India. It currently owns 317 MW of solar assets located in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. KKR has also entered into definitive agreements to acquire other operating solar projects across three different states. Once closed, these projects will also become part of the Virescent platform. The company said renewable energy represents a key vertical within KKR’s infrastructure strategy and it has invested in renewable energy businesses with more than 10,000 MW of total operational capacity.

Source: The Economic Times

Uttarakhand issues empanelment tender for 250 MW of solar projects

28 October. The Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (UREDA) has invited bids to empanel firms to develop 250 MW of solar power projects. The projects would be set up under the Mukhyamantri Saur Swarojgar Yojana. Under the program, 10,000 solar projects would be installed, and the maximum benchmark cost for a 1 kW solar power project has been set as ₹40,000 (~$541.04)/kW. The state recently extended the control period for benchmark capital costs and generic tariffs as a one-time exception. This was done for 10,000 25 kW grid-connected solar projects totaling 250 MW that would be set up to create income opportunities for youth who had to migrate back home due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The scope of work includes the design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing, commissioning, and maintenance of 10,000 solar power projects under the state program. The last date to submit the bids has been set as 30 November 2020, and the pre-bid meeting will take place on 3 November 2020. The projects must be completed before 31 March 2022. Interested bidders will have to submit an amount of ₹1 mn (~$13,526) as the bid security amount.  A maximum capacity of 25 kW will be allocated to a single bidder, and the total cost for the installation of a 25 kW solar power project will be ₹1 mn (~$13,526). The projects will be allocated only to the unemployed youth and low-income residents of the state.

Source: Mercom India


Qatar to base state budget on oil at $40 per barrel: Emir

3 November. Qatar’s budget will be drawn up on the assumption of an oil price of $40 a barrel to shield the gas-rich Gulf country from oil prices volatility, Qatar’s Emir said. Crude oil prices provide a benchmark for gas prices, impacting Qatar, which is one of the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporters. Early indications for Qatar’s first half deficit put the figure at 1.5 bn riyals ($412 mn), much better than expectations. Qatar said in December last year it expected to achieve a surplus of 500 mn riyals this year, but that was before the pandemic and the ensuing oil price shock. It had based the 2020 budget on an oil price assumption of $55 per barrel.

Source: Reuters

Iraq to launch new Basra Medium crude for export in 2021

3 November. Iraq’s Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) has notified clients that it plans to launch a third crude oil export grade called Basra Medium in January. The new medium-sour crude will be created by splitting the existing Basra Light production into two grades, according to the sources and a copy of the 2 November notice reviewed. Basra Light, exported from the Basra Oil Terminal offshore southern Iraq, accounts for the bulk of the country’s exports and revenues. Iraq exported about 2.77 mn barrels per day (bpd) of Basra crude in October and it is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Source: Reuters

Exxon presses Australia to release aid to oil refiners by January

2 November. Exxon Mobil Corp is urging the Australian government to start releasing aid to the country’s oil refineries by January after a decision last week by BP plc to shut the nation’s biggest refinery. Exxon owns Australia’s oldest refinery at Altona near Melbourne, which can process 90,000 barrels per day of oil, the smallest of the nation’s four refineries. The site supplies about half of the fuel for the state of Victoria, which has been subject to one of the world’s longest and tightest coronavirus lockdowns. The Australian government is in talks with the refining industry on an offer of A$2.3 bn ($1.6 bn) in incentives over 10 years to keep refineries open to bolster of national fuel security.

Source: Reuters

BP to close Australian oil refinery, losses seen outlasting pandemic

30 October. BP plc plans to stop producing fuel in Australia and will convert its loss-making Kwinana oil refinery, the biggest of the country’s four, into a fuel import terminal because of tough competition in Asia, the global major said. BP is the first of Australia’s four refiners to pull the plug on its plant in the wake of this year’s slump in demand, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Two rivals have also flagged that they are considering the future of their plants. BP said it would wind down operations at the 146,000 barrels per day (bpd) plant in Western Australia over the next six months, affecting 650 jobs, but did not say how much the closure and conversion would cost. The company estimates that refinery overcapacity in the region stands at 7 mn to 8 mn barrels per day. Analysts said the other refiners were likely to follow BP, as oil demand is expected to recover slowly and global refining overcapacity would crunch refining margins for some time.

Source: Reuters

Russia’s sea-borne oil transport costs fall, hitting Druzhba pipeline

30 October. A sharp decline in sea-borne transportation costs for Russian flagship Urals crude has made exports via the Druzhba pipeline to Europe less profitable compared to shipments from ports. Traders said this gives suppliers an upper hand in forthcoming negotiations with buyers in Europe as oil volumes have tightened due to a global deal on production cuts.

Source: The Economic Times

China’s Unipec to send supertanker loaded with diesel to the West amid surplus

29 October. China’s Unipec, the trading arm of Sinopec, has loaded a very large crude carrier (VLCC) with diesel and is set to ship it to the West next month. The VLCC is the Chinese refiner’s second to be shipped to the West this year, as traders in Asia exploit low shipping costs to use bigger vessels to move excess supplies in bulk volumes. Unipec’s two VLCCs would boost the total number of supertanker diesel shipments from Asia to the West to eight since the second quarter of the year. Since 2017 Unipec has shipped eight VLCCs of diesel from Asia to Europe, West Africa, Latin America and New York as part of its global trading strategy to find markets for excess production. Diesel is used in heating and in the industrial and transport sectors. Demand for the fuel typically rises in the fourth quarter.

Source: The Economic Times

Neptune Energy makes small oil discovery off Norway

28 October. Oil firm Neptune Energy made a small oil discovery near the Fenja field in the Norwegian Sea, Norway’s Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said. The discovery is estimated to hold between 0.5 and 3.2 million cubic metres (mcm) of recoverable oil equivalents, NPD said. The drilling, however, also led to a reduction in size of the nearby Arc discovery, which is now estimated to contain 0.2-1.6 mcm of recoverable oil equivalents, down from 1-4 mcm seen previously.

Source: The Economic Times


Vitol places best offers for 4 of 6 LNG cargoes for Pakistan

2 November. Global trader Vitol placed the best offers for four of six cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) sought by Pakistan in December, Pakistan’s procurement body said. Vitol offered 16.9720 percent, 16.5513 percent, 15.9759 percent and 15.8761 percent of the price of Brent crude – known as a slope rate – for four deliveries in December, Pakistan LNG Ltd said. The lowest offers for the two other cargoes were won by Trafigura and Socar which offered Brent crude slope rates of 16.9870 percent and 16.8403 percent respectively. Pakistan invited bids for a record six cargoes of LNG from the spot market for December, with authorities predicting a surge in the gap between demand and supply of gas in the winter. The South Asian country has a 15-year LNG purchase deal with Qatar to buy 3.75 million tonnes (mt) of LNG per year for 15 years to 2030, but it regularly taps the spot market. It also has a five-year import deal with commodity trader Gunvor and a 15-year agreement with Eni.

Source: The Economic Times

Mitsui OSK signs 30-year charter contract for Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 project

2 November. November. Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (MOL) said it has signed a 30-year charter contract with the operator of the Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG) 2 project, led by Novatek, for three ice-breaking carriers for the Russian project. The three vessels will be built by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd, costing about 90 bn yen ($859 mn) in total, and are scheduled for delivery in 2023, MOL said. The carriers will mainly transport LNG from a loading terminal on the Gydan Peninsula in the Russian Arctic to the floating LNG storage unit to be installed at the transhipment terminals in Kamchatka and Murmansk via the Northern Sea route. Unlike MOL’s existing ice-breaking LNG carriers, which can only sail eastbound in the Northern Sea route during mostly summer and autumn when the ice is thin, the new vessels will have a narrower width, higher ice breaking capability and increased propulsion engine output, which enable them to sail east via the Northern Sea route all year round.

Source: The Economic Times

Chevron aims for November restart of LNG production at Australia’s Gorgon plant

2 November. Chevron Corp said it expects liquefied natural gas (LNG) production at Train 2 of its Gorgon LNG plant in Western Australia to resume in the second half of November, delaying it a second time. Train 2 at Australia’s second-largest LNG plant has been shut since May for maintenance, which was extended after cracks were found in the production unit’s propane kettles. Chevron will shut Train 1 once Train 2 is back online and will then inspect it and determine if repairs are needed and how long it will be down for. This will be followed by Train 3, added Breber. The Gorgon plant produces 15.6 million tonnes (mt) of LNG annually, equating to about 4.5 percent of global LNG trade in 2019.

Source: The Economic Times

CNOOC and Sinopec issue first LNG tenders on Shanghai gas exchange

31 October. China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) and Sinopec Corp issued the first tenders to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange when the bourse launched LNG trading. CNOOC issued a buy tender for LNG to be delivered in March 2021. Industry sources said that was the first acquisition of an LNG cargo via the exchange. CNOOC and Sinopec will purchase several cargo ships of LNG from the international market, each carrying 65,000 tonnes, over the next few months. CNOOC will purchase 65,000 tonnes on behalf of CR Gas, it said. China is the world’s second largest importer of LNG after Japan, and its appetite for natural gas has swelled in recent years amid a government-led push for a coal-to-gas switch in power generation. The country’s gas demand is expected to grow by 10 percent this winter, compared with 0.3 percent last year, its state oil-majors said.

Source: The Economic Times

Russia’s Gazprom seeks more capacity to transport gas through Ukraine: Naftogaz

29 October. Russia’s gas exporting monopoly Gazprom recently approached Naftogaz, Ukraine’s state natural gas firm, about booking more capacity to transport gas to Europe, a sign Gazprom is worried that US (United States) sanctions are targeting its pipeline project to avoid Ukraine, Naftogaz said. Gazprom had already booked 65 billion cubic meters of capacity in 2020, Naftogaz said. Gazprom is hoping to finish the $11 bn Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that would bypass Ukraine, which charges Gazprom transit fees. The pipeline was halted late last year by US sanctions.

Source: Reuters


New Vietnam law threatens to delay major coal projects

3 November. A new law in Vietnam could delay four major coal-fired power projects worth a combined $9.1 bn, a US (United States)-based think tank said, as the Southeast Asian country looks to up the amount of energy it generates from renewable sources. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said Vietnam’s revised law on public-private partnerships could affect the Nam Dinh 1, Vung Ang 2, Vinh Tan 3 and Song Hau 2, coal projects, which each have a capacity of 1.2 to 2.0 GW.

Source: Reuters

Glencore beats production estimates but trims coal guidance

30 October. Glencore reported stronger third-quarter production but its shares fell after it lowered its 2020 coal production guidance by 5.7 percent as a strike at the Cerrejon mine in Colombia entered its 60th day. Cerrejon, owned equally by Glencore, BHP Group and Anglo American, has been in negotiations with its largest union andfridaysaid that “significant advances” had been made. With Glencore’s year-to-date coal production down 20 percent at 83.5 million tonnes (mt), partly owing to the Cerrejon strike, the company downgraded its full-year output guidance to 109 mt from 114 mt.

Source: Reuters

Japan’s Electric Power Development to close old coal-fired power plants by 2030

30 October. Japan’s Electric Power Development Co Ltd plans to shut old and low-efficiency coal-fired power plants by 2030, in line with government policy, the company’s president Toshifumi Watanabe said. Industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said that Japan will introduce measures to accelerate the closure of old, inefficient coal power plants by 2030. The company has a total of 8.4 GW of coal-fired power capacity in seven locations, along with other energy sources such as hydroelectric and solar power stations.

Source: Reuters


World Bank sanctions Chinese engineering firms in Zambian power project

28 October. The World Bank said it has sanctioned a state Chinese state electric engineering group and its subsidiary over fraudulent practices in a power project in Zambia, setting out new conditions for them to participate in bank-financed projects. The action bars China Electric Design and Research Institute Co Ltd from participating in bank financed projects for up to 18 months, with the ability to meet new compliance conditions. The firm’s parent company, China National Electric Engineering Co Ltd, was allowed to continue to participate in projects under a settlement agreement, but could be banned if it fails to meet agreed conditions, the bank said.

Source: Reuters


Spain aims to hold clean energy auction by year-end under new system

3 November. Spain approved a decree setting out rules for renewable energy auctions with the aim of holding the first round by the end of this year, its energy and environment ministry said. A vocal supporter of European efforts to limit planet-warming emissions, Spain has set out an ambitious plan to install 50 GW of renewable capacity by 2030, a process it hopes will also create more than 100,000 jobs annually and reduce energy costs for consumers and businesses. The auction system being replaced was created in 2013, when the costs of producing energy from renewable sources were higher than the price it could command in the market, Ribera said, but solar energy can now be produced at costs lower than the market price. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s cabinet approved a plan setting out a route to make Spain’s economy carbon neutral by 2050 – using offsets like planting carbon-absorbing trees to balance out climate-changing emissions. Under this plan, Spain expects to be able to reduce its emissions by 90 percent from their 1990 levels and offset the remaining 10 percent.

Source: Reuters

ANDRITZ bags equipment contract for 32 MW hydro power plant in Nepal

2 November. International technology group ANDRITZ announced it has received an order from the KC Group to supply turbines, generators and auxiliaries for the 32 MW Karuwa Seti hydropower plant. The contract comprises design, engineering, manufacture, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of three 10.66 MW Francis turbines and generators as well as auxiliaries for the electrical and mechanical equipment, the company said. The project is expected to start operations in March 2023. KC Group Nepal is a private company with diversified businesses and targets to operate 100 MW of combined, renewable energy production by the end of 2023.

Source: The Economic Times

Sudan, UAE sign MoU to construct solar energy plants with a capacity of 500 MW

1 November. Sudan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of solar energy plants with a capacity of 500 MW, the Sudanese energy ministry said. UAE, represented by one of its private companies, will supply, build, install and operate plants for 20 years, the energy ministry said. The Gulf country will also train and employ Sudanese workers throughout the contract period, with a commitment by the Sudanese government to purchase electricity at a competitive price.

Source: Reuters

Engie ANZ Acquires 420 MW Wind Farm in New South Wales, Australia

30 October. Engie Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) announced the purchase of a 420 MW capacity Hills of Gold Wind Farm development in New South Wales, Australia. The $750 mn facility was acquired from Wind Energy Partners Pty Ltd, and is expected to start construction in early 2022 following development approvals, the company said in a statement.

Source: Reuters

South Korea’s Moon targets carbon neutrality by 2050

28 October. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the country will go carbon neutral by 2050. The announcement comes after Japan said will cut greenhouse gases to zero by 2050 and become a carbon-neutral society, a major shift in position on climate change. He pledged to spend 8 tn won ($7.10 bn) on an earlier announced “Green New Deal” aimed at creating jobs and helping the economy recover from the coronavirus fallout by replacing coal dependence with renewables. The plan also includes remodelling public buildings, creating urban forests, recycling, establishing a foundation for new and renewable energy, and creating low-carbon energy industrial complexes to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. South Korea aims to have 1.13 mn electric vehicles and 200,000 hydrogen cars on the roads by 2025, up from 91,000 and 5,000 each by the end of 2019, Moon had said, while the government would add more charging stations for the vehicles. First proposed by Moon’s ruling party ahead of the parliamentary election in April, the plan set ambitious goals of net-zero emissions by 2050, an end to funding of overseas coal plants, and introduction of a carbon tax. Coal makes up 40 percent of South Korea’s electricity mix and renewable power less than 6 percent, making carbon dioxide emissions per capita are among the highest in the region. In September, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to make his country carbon neutral by 2060.

Source: Reuters


Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020
Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020  

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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