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India targets 40 GW from rooftop solar system
India has a target of 100 gigawatt (GW) installed capacity of solar energy by 2022, of which 40 GW is projected to come from rooftop solar systems, an energy expert said on Thursday. Former Senior Scientific Advisor in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Dr Bivek Bandyopadhyay said the World Bank and Global Environment Fund (GEF) had launched a large financing program in 2016 to support clean energy. “Rooftop Solar photovoltaic technology is rapidly emerging as a solution for de-centralized renewable energy generation globally due to the plummeting cost of the technology,” he said while addressing a seminar. He said the rooftop generates electricity from solar power beyond the limit of land availability, enabling higher penetration of renewable energy in the power system, leading to more reduction in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and climatic change mitigation. He further said that along with hydroelectric projects in the state, the Rooftop Solar PV will enable to create ‘Green Nagaland’. While introducing Sustainable Partnership for Rooftop Solar Acceleration in Bharat (SUPRABHA), the team leader, Yuvaraj Dinesh Babu Nithyanandam said to help each state, the northeastern region has been given to the World Bank to look after the capacity building. He said that the target given to Nagaland is about 50MW for RTS. SUPRABHA’s proposed engagements with Nagaland are development of an exclusive solar rooftop policy, capacity building, training of utility engineers, entrepreneurs, bankers, unified web portal for online subsidy and interconnection modules. Advisor to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Mmhonlumo Kikon voiced confidence that the engineers of the state will find the best solution in implementing the solar rooftop plan. Kikon said the Nagaland government has proposed smaller size solar parks with a capacity 23 MW but faces funding problems in infrastructure development. “Northeastern region requires a different approach. So, the funding pattern needs to be looked at seriously by an independent body,” he said.
India signs agreement for 6 nuclear power units with Russian VVER-1200 reactors
October 6, 2018 Saturday 4:02 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
On sideline of the 19th India-Russia Annual bilateral summit, held in New Delhi, both the countries on Friday have signed a deal for cooperation in implementing of a new nuclear power project in India. The new project will have six power units with latest generation 3+ VVER 1200 reactors, said a press release. The action plan document was signed by India’s department of Atomic Energy Secretary Kamlesh Vyas and Rosatom director general Alexey Likhachev. “We are satisfied with our strategic cooperation with India, where the Russian designed nuclear power units are operating and being constructed at Kudankulam site. We expect to start implementation in the near future serial construction of new units at a second site in India. This will significantly increase level of equipment localization within framework of the “Make in India” policy, as well as optimize timing and cost of the project execution. Moreover, India is our trusted partner, with whom we are already implementing projects in the third countries, and we plan to enhance this cooperation,” said Alexey Likhachev in a statement after signing the agreement. Commenting on the agreement, Jawaharlal Nehru University Emeritus Professor Ramamurti Rajaraman noted that Russia is the only country to have successfully set up nuclear power plants in India, despite the problems posed for foreign suppliers by India’s civil nuclear liability insurance law. Under an agreement signed earlier, Russia has been implementing the nuclear power project with six power units at Kudankulam of Tamil Nadu. Two of those six units are already supplying electricity to Indian national grid. All the units are being constructed based on Russian VVER 1000 reactors while the new project will have units equipped with more advanced VVER 1200 reactors. Production capacity of these type of reactors is 20% higher. It may be mentioned here that Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Bangladesh will have two units each with a VVER 1200 reactor. Atomstroyexport (ASE), engineering division of Rosatom, the State Nuclear Corporation of Russia is implementing the project. Under a trilateral agreement, Indian companies can be involved in construction and installation works, the supply of material and equipment of a non-critical category, as well as in the training of personnel.
Category: Regional
‘India-Led Solar Alliance Will Outshine OPEC’
October 5, 2018 Friday 8:10 PM By NDTV/AFP
An India-led coalition to harness solar energy will eventually replace the OPEC oil cartel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi predicted on Tuesday, as he opened the International Solar Alliance or ISA’s first assembly with UN chief Antonio Guterres. “The role of the oil wells today will be that of the Sun’s rays tomorrow,” PM Modi said at the meeting in New Delhi. “In the coming years, when the world discusses initiatives for the welfare of humanity in the 21st century, International Solar Alliance’s name will be at the top. We have prepared everyone to ensure climate justice through this ISA forum,” he said. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC pumps around a third of the world’s oil, and over decades has been able to influence the global energy market by controlling the price of crude. The International Solar Alliance, launched by Prime Minister Modi and then French president Francois Hollande in 2015 and based in India, is an alliance of countries mostly between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn that receive plentiful sunshine. It aims to reduce the costs of financing solar power and the required technology, and to mobilise more than a trillion dollars to build solar facilities and infrastructure by 2030. “The International Solar Alliance represents exactly what needs to be done and represents the future,”  Guterres said at the event. “We know what we need to do, and by large, we have the tools to do it. What we still lack, fortunately not here in this room... is the political commitment to make the transformative decisions that will lead us onto a safer path,” he said. With only a single degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has seen a climate-enhanced crescendo of deadly heatwaves, wild fires and floods, along with superstorms swollen by rising seas. India’s population of 1.3 billion is particularly vulnerable to climate change. In August, the worst rains and floods in a century pounded Kerala, displacing 1.3 million people, with climate scientists warning that worse is to come if global warming continues unabated. The International Solar Alliance’s first assembly, involving member countries, banks, development funds, the corporate sector and civil society groups, is due to run until Friday.
Category: Regional
India’s state power plants resume coal imports amid domestic shortages
May 19, 2018 Saturday 4:49 PM By Reuters
State-run thermal power plants in India’s coastal states have again begun buying overseas coal due to domestic coal shortages, government and utility officials said, in a setback for the country’s long-term plans to eliminate imports. After no significant imports in 2017, government utilities in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have ordered several cargoes of coal since the beginning of this year, two officials said. Andhra Pradesh, a state on India’s east coast, has imported 200,000 tonnes of coal so far this year and could import as much as 1 million tonnes in 2018, said Ajay Jain, a senior official in the state energy department. “Coal has been a real problem. If we had depended only on coal, it would have been a disaster,” Jain said. Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp, a government utility in the southwestern India state, has imported about 1.4 million tonnes of coal this year, after going a year without imports starting at the end of 2016, according to Vikram Kapoor, the chairman of the utility. An increase in coal imports by state-owned power utilities undermines a pledge by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to cut thermal coal imports to zero by March 2018. But state-owned Coal India Ltd, the world’s second-biggest coal miner by production, is grappling with a shortage of trains to carry the fuel from its mines to the country’s power plants. Both Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are waiting for the wind energy season to start in June, when they expect dependence on coal to ease, Jain and Kapoor both said. Domestic logistic bottlenecks, regulatory changes and surging power demand will likely increase 2018 thermal coal imports after two years of declines, Reuters reported in February. Imports rose over 15 percent in the first quarter of 2018. State-run utilities could add up to 5 million tonnes to India’s coal imports in 2018 because of the Coal India shortages, a senior executive from Adani Enterprises, India’s biggest coal trader told Reuters in February. India imported 144.5 million tonnes of coal in 2017, according to data provided by American Fuels & Natural Resources, a Dubai-based coal trader. Imports would be a boost for international miners such as Indonesia’s Adaro Energy, Australia’s Whitehaven Coal or global commodity merchant Glencore. Maharashtra, a western coastal state, has floated a tender for procuring 1 million tonnes of coal to augment its existing stock and meet growing power demand, a senior official at Maharashtra State Power Generation Co, the state utility, said on Tuesday. Gujarat, Maharashtra’s northwestern neighbour, plans to ramp up imports by 400,000 tonnes this year, according to a senior state government official. Karnataka, another southern state, has resisted imports so far. But that might change, according to Kumar Naik, the managing director of state utility Karnataka Power Corp. Two of Karnataka’s three major thermal power plants had almost run out of coal stockpiles, according to government data on May 14. State-run thermal power plants in India’s coastal states have again begun buying overseas coal due to domestic coal shortages, government and utility officials said, in a setback for the country’s long-term plans to eliminate imports. After no significant imports in 2017, government utilities in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have ordered several cargoes of coal since the beginning of this year, two officials said. Andhra Pradesh, a state on India’s east coast, has imported 200,000 tonnes of coal so far this year and could import as much as 1 million tonnes in 2018, said Ajay Jain, a senior official in the state energy department. “Coal has been a real problem. If we had depended only on coal, it would have been a disaster,” Jain said. Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp, a government utility in the southwestern India state, has imported about 1.4 million tonnes of coal this year, after going a year without imports starting at the end of 2016, according to Vikram Kapoor, the chairman of the utility. An increase in coal imports by state-owned power utilities undermines a pledge by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to cut thermal coal imports to zero by March 2018. But state-owned Coal India Ltd, the world’s second-biggest coal miner by production, is grappling with a shortage of trains to carry the fuel from its mines to the country’s power plants. Both Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are waiting for the wind energy season to start in June, when they expect dependence on coal to ease, Jain and Kapoor both said. Domestic logistic bottlenecks, regulatory changes and surging power demand will likely increase 2018 thermal coal imports after two years of declines, Reuters reported in February. Imports rose over 15 percent in the first quarter of 2018. State-run utilities could add up to 5 million tonnes to India’s coal imports in 2018 because of the Coal India shortages, a senior executive from Adani Enterprises, India’s biggest coal trader told Reuters in February. India imported 144.5 million tonnes of coal in 2017, according to data provided by American Fuels & Natural Resources, a Dubai-based coal trader. Imports would be a boost for international miners such as Indonesia’s Adaro Energy, Australia’s Whitehaven Coal or global commodity merchant Glencore. Maharashtra, a western coastal state, has floated a tender for procuring 1 million tonnes of coal to augment its existing stock and meet growing power demand, a senior official at Maharashtra State Power Generation Co, the state utility, said on Tuesday. Gujarat, Maharashtra’s northwestern neighbour, plans to ramp up imports by 400,000 tonnes this year, according to a senior state government official. Karnataka, another southern state, has resisted imports so far. But that might change, according to Kumar Naik, the managing director of state utility Karnataka Power Corp. Two of Karnataka’s three major thermal power plants had almost run out of coal stockpiles, according to government data on May 14.
Category: Regional
How India faces heat as global oil boils
May 11, 2018 Friday 4:24 PM By THE TIMES OF INDIA
As crude oil price in the global market breached the $70 per barrel-mark, large importers of oil like India and China are faced with an imminent danger of price rise. To put things in perspective, the price of crude is up about 18 per cent this year and is now trading at the highest since 2014. As a fallout of this, fuel exporters get to enjoy windfall gains, as consumer nations take a hit. At more than 28 per cent, oil and related products constitute the largest chunk of India’s imports. Data from the commerce ministry shows that India’s oil import bill amounted to more than Rs 7.5 lakh crore in the fiscal year 2017-18. Worryingly, the bill is set to inflate further in the coming years. India’s dependency on fuel imports has swelled over the years. From 77.3 per cent in 2013-14, it has gone up to 81.7 per cent in 2016-17. Naturally, with both crude oil prices and imports edging up, India’s import bill is set to rise. Every dollar increase in crude oil price adds to the country’s net import bill by $0.51 billion. This in turn affects the country’s foreign exchange reserves and accounts for widening of the trade deficit. HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR DAILY LIFE? From a consumer pocket’s perspective, the pinch is being felt for a while now as petrol and diesel prices have hit all-time highs multiple times in the recent past. A major share of petrol and diesel prices are made up of taxes- excise duty collected by the Centre and Value Added Tax (VAT) collected by the states. As a matter of fact, 48.2 per cent of what you pay for petrol is central and state taxes while for diesel, excise and VAT add up to 38.9 per cent. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre. In all, duty on petrol rate was hiked by Rs 11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre during the period that helped the government’s excise mop up more than double its revenues -- to Rs 242,000 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15. Subsequent to that excise duty reduction, the Centre had asked states to also lower VAT but just four of them- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh- reduced rates while others including BJP-ruled ones ignored the call. INDIA’S CENTRAL BANK IS WORRIED Being among the most-vulnerable economies to the boiling oil price problem, the RBI (Reserve Bank of India), India’s central bank finds itself dealing with a big headache from this unprecedented surge in crude prices. With the rupee also falling sharply against the US dollar, economists are already pushing forward their forecasts for RBI’s interest-rate increases as India’s biggest import item gets more expensive. India buys crude in dollars, a weak rupee hits the country`s coffers adversely.
Category: Regional
India keen on alliance with China, Japan, Korea to bargain for better oil deals
April 30, 2018 Monday 6:56 AM By Indian Express
With oil producers’ cartel OPEC playing havoc with prices, India has proposed a grand alliance with top Asian oil buyers like China, South Korea and Japan to negotiate better terms with sellers. In a throwback to 2005 when the then oil minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had proposed an alliance of the oil consuming nations, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said India will try to create a network with China, Japan and South Korea to take up issues like premium being charged from Asian buyers. “I see bigger cooperation between four big economies of Asia, that is India, China, Japan and South Korea. India will try to create a network between these four economies,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event on Thursday. India is the world’s third largest oil importer after China and the USA. Japan is the fourth largest importer and South Korea is right behind it. The four nations account for over a third of the oil imports in the world. “Why should biggest consumers pay more. Why should these countries pay more in name of Asian premium,” he asked. “All the four major Asian economies should come together. And India will try to create a network for that within the four countries.” Earlier this month, India and China agreed to join hands to have a collective bargaining power against cartelisation of oil producers. So far, India has not been able to bargain better rates from the Gulf-based producers of the oil cartel, OPEC. Instead of getting a discount for bulk purchases, West Asian producers, such as Saudi Arabia, charge a so-called ‘Asian Premium’ for shipments to Asian buyers, including India and Japan, as opposed to Europe. According to Prof Yoshiki Ogawa of Japan, the Asian Premium annually costs somewhere around USD 5-10 billion for Asian importers. Pradhan said like producers have a say in pricing and supply, consumers should also get a say. This is India’s third attempt to unite major Asian energy importers to beat the producers’ cartel. The then oil minister Aiyar had in 2005 hosted two ministerial roundtables to impress upon the need for a reasonable oil pricing and getting rid of discriminatory Asian Premium — the first involved major Asian consumers such as China, Japan and South Korea and the other roped in alternative oil producers of North and Central Asia. Aiyar proposed a common front on oil to China’s National Development and Reforms Commission vice-chairman Zhang Xiaoqing. That proposal resulted in a memorandum of understanding in 2006 but it was lost in the complexities of bilateral ties. Another attempt for joint energy sourcing with Japan was made towards the end of the UPA government when M Veerappa Moily was the oil minister. It, too, failed to see the light of day. At the 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) ministerial meet earlier this month, India and China, which together accounted for 17 per cent of world oil consumption last year, agreed to look for ways to leverage the combined size of their imports for a better bargain from West Asian crude producers. By 2023, oil demand will hit 104.7 million barrels per day, up 6.9 million bpd of 2017, according to the International Energy Agency. “As has been the case for some years, China and India together will contribute nearly 50 per cent of global oil demand,” the agency had said in a report.
Category: Regional
Adani builds coal-fired power plant in India to send energy to Bangladesh
April 27, 2018 Friday 9:21 AM By theguardian.com
Godda, in the Indian state of Jharkhand, is surrounded by the country’s most productive coalmines. It will soon also be home to the Adani group’s latest coal-fired power station, a plant built for the sole purpose of sending energy across the border to Bangladesh. Adani has framed its planned 1,600-megawatt Godda power plant as a humanitarian venture. In a statement to Guardian Australia, the company said it had acted “in the large interests of our neighbours, the people of Bangladesh” by inking the deal. But market analysts say the supply agreement is anything but benevolent. The tariffs quoted by the Bangladesh Power Development Board are about double the current cost of solar and wind power in India. Tim Buckley, a former head of equity research at Citigroup and now an analyst with the pro-renewable energy group the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), says there is a more obvious reason for Adani to build Godda: to prop up the prospects of the proposed Carmichael megamine in Queensland. Two deadlines for Adani to finance Carmichael have come and gone. Buckley said potential investors had balked, partly because there were no “bankable” off-take agreements in place. Effectively, Adani has nothing concrete to demonstrate that it can sell, and profit from, the high-ash coal it plans to extract from the Galilee basin. Adani did not respond directly to a series of questions asking the company to outline specific plans and agreements for Carmichael coal. It said in a statement that “as a significant coal trader in the region, Adani is well-placed to secure customers for Carmichael coal both from within the Adani group of companies and outside the group”. “India remains a key market for Carmichael coal,” the statement said. “We are also targeting growth in demand for seaborne thermal coal from Asia. The seaborne thermal coal market has recorded average per annum growth of 4.9% over the last decade and continued growth is forecast, this will create opportunities for the Australian coal industry.” Initially, Adani had planned to run its own vertically integrated “pit-to-plug” operation, taking coal from the Galilee basin, transporting it to Adani-owned power stations in India, and increasing profits by cutting out middlemen. Up to 16m tonnes a year from the proposed Queensland mine was earmarked for the Mundra power plant in Gujarat. But Mundra has since fallen into serious financial difficulty, making the “pit-to-plug” vision largely untenable. Adani’s subsidiary Adani Power has a net debt of about US$7bn. Last year it offered to sell majority control in the Mundra power station to a government entity for one rupee. Mundra and other privately run coastal power stations have to import coal because of Indian rules that give state-owned entities control over the domestic resource. As world coal prices have spiked, those same power stations have struggled to turn a profit. The Indian association of power producers has claimed that coal is unviable in India at prices above US$70 a tonne. The current price is about US$95 a tonne. Despite Godda’s proximity to India’s coal heartland, Adani would have to import coal to the new plant. The company’s Australian arm has already begun to hint that this will come from Carmichael. At an event in Brisbane last month the chief executive of Adani Australia, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, was reported by News Corp as saying Galilee coal had been “booked”.  Buckley estimates the 700km – and 8km/h – train journey to Godda from the coast would add US$16 a tonne to the cost of coal to fuel the new plant, relative to a coastal power plant. He says the deal is clearly not in the interests of Bangladesh, which would bear the costs of imported coal and unnecessary transport. Buckley said the country could import power more cheaply by seeking fuel-agnostic competitive tenders from the Indian market. “The logistics of the proposal can only work because the power purchase agreement allows Adani Power to pass the full cost of importing the coal on to Bangladesh.” “Godda would lock Bangladesh into expensive electricity with high emissions at a time when cleaner, cheaper alternative sources of energy are rapidly being deployed across India,” Buckley said. The deal with Adani has prompted protests in Dhaka on environmental grounds that have had to be broken up by police. Prof Ijaz Hossain, an analyst in Bangladesh, says the country “is in a precarious situation”. “The main reason is we used to depend on natural gas, but it’s running out,” Hossain says. He says even under the best options, the cost of electricity is going to rise fivefold in the country in coming years and the Adani deal would provide electricity in greater quantities than Indian public-sector companies could provide. “The reality in terms of getting electricity in Bangladesh is: expensive electricity or no electricity. So any electricity coming from any source that is cheaper than the options we have is a good deal.  “We need thousands of megawatts. If the [Indian public sector] could give us 5,000MW I would say, take it. But where will they get it from? “So if sourcing the coal is done by the Adani group, it’s very favourable for Bangladesh. This is a good project for Bangladesh if it takes off.” Reports this month suggested the governments of India and Bangladesh were discussing a low-cost 2000MW solar power supply arrangement to Bangladesh. Adani said in a statement that “the electricity supply agreement and proposed power project have been envisaged after due diligence and prudent planning in the large interest of our neighbours – the people of Bangladesh”. “The [IEEFA] report is based on certain assumptions and inferences, which are inconsistent with the factual aspects of this initiative between the two nations. Its authors/activists have not consulted us to check the facts”.
Category: Regional
Rosatom to train Indian engineers at a jointly set up centre in Ranchi
August 10, 2017 Thursday 12:25 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
India’s Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited (HEC) and CNIITMASH a sister concern of Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation ROSATOM are jointly working on establishing a Center for General Engineering and Technical Training in the India’s city of Rachi. First 200 engineers from HEC Ltd. will start their education program by the end of 2017 or early 2018, said a press release. The training will be given nine different courses of one to four months duration and will be carried out by CNIITMASH specialists.  The initiative aims at skill development of technical people, working in various engineering enterprises in India. Currently, CNIITMASH specialists are preparing training materials for the centre. The Center is expected to raise efficiency of production in national energy and engineering sectors and to develop qualification of Indian engineers. It may be mentioned here that Rosatom has undertaken an extensive programme to develop and train human resources for Bangladesh in its nuclear energy sector. The Russian state company is implementing the first ever nuclear power plant of Bangladesh at Rooppur of Pabna district.
Category: Regional
Solar power price slump casts shadow on India`s green future
June 10, 2017 Saturday 1:03 PM By AFP
Solar power prices in India have hit rock bottom, but it is not all good news for the electricity-starved country as the phenomenon has hit investor confidence and threatens the country`s effort to push its green credentials. Cut-throat competition has driven prices down to unsustainable levels, undermining the booming sector`s viability, according to experts. After the United States withdrew from the Paris climate deal last week, India said it would stick to its huge renewable energy programme. India is the headquarters of an international solar energy alliance and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to reinforce the notoriously polluted country`s green credentials. But the price slump could hinder India`s efforts to meet its solar energy goals and limit temperature-raising emissions. Delays in generating more electricity also mean that nearly 250 million Indians without power will remain in darkness, analysts said. Indian authorities hold regular auctions for power supply companies and the most recent, in May, saw a bid of 2.44 rupees -- less than four US cents -- per kilowatt hour. That was a record low for India at a fifth of the price at the start of the decade and energy minister Piyush Goyal called it a step to a "green future". The price is cheaper than for coal-powered electricity, which overwhelmingly dominates the power grid. However, the effect of the falling cost of solar modules, cheaper financing, aggressive competition and a surplus power supply in some states has been to unleash chaos, with companies and state governments clamouring for suppliers to match the new, low prices. "Prices have come down too much, too soon and that doesn`t bode well for the overall health of the sector," said Vinay Rustagi, managing director of renewable energy consultancy Bridge to India. - Solar `curse` - "In the past 17 months, tariffs are down nearly 50 percent and this is leading to buyer`s remorse for projects already built and under development," he added. "There`s a reasonable chance that these projects will face some trouble in the future." Modi turned to renewable energy to meet the vast needs of an economy that grew by 7.1 percent last year. The government has set an ambitious target of harvesting 100,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022 -- but has installed just 12,500 MW so far. Of India`s 329,000 MW of installed capacity, 67 percent comes from coal and gas. The rest is a combination of nuclear and renewables including, hydro, wind and solar. India is the fastest growing of the world`s major economies and needs uninterrupted electricity to maintain its expansion. It also needs renewable energy to meet its 2015 Paris commitment to reduce emissions relative to gross domestic product by up to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. The state governments of Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana have refused to sign purchase agreements to buy power at the rates of 4-5.50 rupees a unit reached at auction over the past year, hoping to secure a cheaper deal. This is "creating uncertainty," said Rustagi. "Ethically we shouldn`t do that," said Sanjay Sharma, general manager at the state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India which conducted the latest auctions. He warned that the government could "lose the confidence of the foreign bidder who is investing in India." Critics also question if the new contract winners can provide low price electricity and remain viable. A day after India saw its new cheap solar prices, Amplus Solar founder Sanjeev Aggarwal was bombarded by clients asking him to slash rates to match the new prices. "People are falling over each other to grab a piece of the pie, but the question is if they can ever deliver at these rates," Aggarwal told AFP. Sumant Sinha chief executive of ReNew Power, one of the largest Indian renewable power companies and a losing bidder in the latest auctions, predicted a "winners curse." "Extremely low tariffs don`t help anyone. Ultimately people have to raise debt financing, banks have to be brought on board, all of that looks very dicey at these levels," Sinha said.
Category: Regional
Russia signs agreement with India for construction of the third phase of Kudankulam nuke plant
June 3, 2017 Saturday 9:43 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
ASE Group of Companies, a sister concern of Russia’s state nuclear power corporation-Rosatom and Nuclear Power Corporation of India signed a general framework agreement on the construction of the third phase of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu of India. Valery Limarenko, president of ASE group of companies, and Satish Kumar Sharma, chairman and managing director of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India signed the general framework agreement of during the18th India-Russia annual summit held in Saint-Petersburg of Russia. According to a press release from Rosatom, The agreement stipulates the construction of two Russian-designed power units, No. 5 and No. 6 at the Kudankulam NPP site.   India with the assistance from Russia has already constructed and commissioned power units No. 1, No. 2 in the first phase and started implementation of construction of power unit no. 3 and No. 4 in the second phase of Kudankulam NPP. All the power units of the project are with Russian VVER 1000 technology, which fully satisfies the requirements of up-to-date regulatory and technical documents of Russia, IAEA and is certified for compliance with European Utilities Requirements (EUR).     Earlier on December 5, 2008 Russia and India signed an inter- governmental agreement  on cooperation in construction of additional power units of the nuclear power plant at the Kudankulam site, as well as in construction of nuclear power plants of  Russian design at new sites in India.
Category: Regional
India becomes 2nd largest LPG importer
May 8, 2017 Monday 9:28 PM By LP GAS TODAY
India has toppled Japan as the world’s second-largest importer of LPG, it has been revealed. The news comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge to provide cooking gas cylinders to the poor and wean them off polluting fuels drove up consumption. Imports of LPG, mostly used as cooking fuel, soared 23% during the financial year to 31 March to 11 million tons, according to data from oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. Japan’s imports slipped 3.2% during the same period to 10.6 million tons, according to its finance ministry. China remains the world’s top importer. A push to provide free cooking gas connections to women in poor households in India has resulted with a record distribution of 32.5 million new cooking gas connections during the year. India aims to increase LPG usage to cover 80% of its households by March 2019, compared with the 72.8% that now use it.
Category: Regional
Myanmar-China oil pipeline nears start-up
March 22, 2017 Wednesday 1:35 PM By Reuters
Nearly a decade in the making, a project to pump oil 770 km (480 miles) across Myanmar to southwest China is set for imminent start-up, with a supertanker nearing the port of Kyauk Phyu, marking the opening of a new oil trading route. Dogged by sensitive relations between Naypyitaw and Beijing, the $1.5 billion oil pipeline has been sitting empty for two years, but the two sides are now close to a deal, said Myanmar-based government and industry sources, despite some last-minute tensions. An agreement between China`s PetroChina and Myanmar`s government will allow the state energy giant to import overseas oil via the Bay of Bengal and pump it through the pipeline to supply a new 260,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in landlocked Yunnan province. The new oil gateway fits with China`s "One Belt, One Road" ambitions, linking it with central Asia and Europe, and will provide a more direct alternative route to sending Middle Eastern oil via the crowded Malacca Straits and Singapore. It would also be a rare win for China in Myanmar after a diplomatic offensive aimed at forging better ties with its resource-rich neighbour, which has often been wary of Beijing`s economic clout. Aung Myat Soe, deputy director of planning under the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), said the project was awaiting a final sign-off by the Minister of Electricity and Energy. Major issues including transport tariffs and Myanmar`s tax take on the oil have been settled, but port fees have yet to be finalised, said a Myanmar-based industry source familiar with the matter. "The two sides are working to finalize the terms and sign the contract," the person said, declining to be named as the information is not public. "I cannot say for sure when the deal would be sealed - it could be in a couple of days or early April." The pipeline will have an eventual capacity of 400,000 bpd, about 5 percent of China`s daily import demand, but the start-up of the Yunnan refinery has been held up as PetroChina and Myanmar negotiated final terms for delivering the oil. PetroChina plans to start test production at the refinery in June, aiming to expand its foothold in China`s fuel-short southwest which has so far relied largely on rival Sinopec for supplies, said two Beijing-based oil officials familiar with the Yunnan refinery. Before then, PetroChina is expected to purchase another 7 million barrels of crude for the pipeline, to stock up fuel for about one month`s production at its new refinery, said one of the officials. While the deal is still to be finalised, oil is already on its way to supply the pipeline, straining relations with Myanmar. Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon shows the oil tanker United Dynamic, carrying one million barrels of Azeri crude, is currently off the coast of southern India and expected to unload its cargo at Kyauk Phyu this week. A Myanmar government official said there had been "a big argument with the Chinese" over the move to ship in crude before the contract was finalised, while a second official said the entry of the tanker was pending approval from Myanmar`s navy. PetroChina did not respond to requests for comment. Any delay would be costly for the oil shipper, which is carrying crude worth over $50 million and which has a daily tanker charter cost of nearly $20,000, excluding fuel and crew costs. The deal is also controversial in China as it has been tainted by a graft probe into PetroChina`s ex-chairman Jiang Jiemin, a supporter of the project. Critics have raised conerns about the economic viability of the project, which also includes a natural gas pipeline, which was touted as providing "strategic new channels" for China`s energy needs. At the same time, the prolonged squabbling over key features of the deal, first discussed back in 2004, has soured Chinese enthusiasm for the project. "There are open questions about the economics and future cooperation with Myanmar, given the repeated delays and under-utilization," noted a senior PetroChina official who requested anonymity as he`s not authorized to speak to press.
Category: Regional
IEA ties with India continue to strengthen
March 11, 2017 Saturday 9:43 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol and India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met to share views on a range of energy issues and to discuss further ways to heighten cooperation on Friday. The meeting took place while both were attending the CERA Week oil conference in Houston. Dr. Birol congratulated the Minister on India’s efforts to solve its energy challenges and increase private energy investment, according to IEA website. He called India’s new Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) an important step to encourage necessary investment in energy exploration and production and noted that early plans for the initiative had been discussed  in early 2016 during a meeting he had attended with Prime Minister Modi in Delhi. Dr. Birol highlighted the IEA and India’s joint efforts on energy security. The IEA’s close cooperation with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is based on the Memorandum of Understanding on “Cooperation on Oil and Gas Security” signed in 2011.  Dr. Birol also expressed support for India’s prioritization of the use of renewables and gas to meet its growing energy needs and to address air pollution concerns. Dr. Birol welcomed India’s active engagement with the IEA, saying “As India moves to the centre of the global energy stage, it is my hope that our very productive relationship will continue to grow closer.”
Category: Regional
Ricardo holds advanced training for Bihar Power Holding Company
March 9, 2017 Thursday 10:38 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Power utility experts from Ricardo delivered a five-day training programme to Bihar State Power Holding Company Ltd and its subsidiaries to support the company in its goal to deliver world leading electricity distribution services for Bihar- while enhancing efficiency, financial performance and competitiveness within India’s developing energy market. India’s power network is undergoing a period of rapid development, with substantial investments in modernising distribution assets. As part of its leading role in electricity distribution in the Bihar region, The Bihar State Power Holding Company appointed Ricardo to support its staff training programme with technical guidance drawn from power network development projects in the UK and around the world, said a press release. Held in London, England, the face-to-face training sessions focussed on providing delegates the tools required to overcome key challenges in India’s power utilities sector. This included providing best practice on operating load dispatch centres, guidance on long term maintenance of distribution assets, advice on adapting to demand side management and insight into the commercial strategies of successful UK retail utilities. Ricardo runs a range of online and in-country training courses for power sector utilities across India, South East Asia and Africa, which are designed to support development and growth in these rapidly electrifying regions. Managing Director of Bihar Power Distribution Company (BPDCL), Sandeep Kumar Ramchandra Pudakalkatti said: “Our company is committed to enhancing the performance of Bihar’s distribution network. Training with Ricardo’s power sector specialists in London provided an excellent opportunity to expose our teams to global best practice and industry leading technologies which they can apply to strengthen the utilities sector in India. It allowed us to not only expand the skill sets of our most valued employees but to reward their hard work and dedication whilst preparing them to take a leading role in India’s dynamic energy industry going forward.” In addition to class-room based training sessions, the delegation received a guided tour of London’s Distribution System, attended an Energy Future’s Lab presentation on emerging power generation technology at Imperial College London, and visited The Crystal - one of the world’s most energy efficient and sustainable buildings. “It was an honour to be joined by delegates from the Bihar State Power Holding Company and its subsidiary companies and to share knowledge and expertise between the UK and Indian power network systems,” said Rahul Desai, a senior consultant at Ricardo Energy & Environment. “I hope that the sessions will support the company’s ambitious goals for the growth and development of the Bihar energy distribution network, and I look forward to welcoming their return to London for further training in 2017.” Ricardo supports organisations around the world to identify techno-economic solutions to their generation, transmission and distribution needs. This includes the design and implementation of energy policies and regulations, master planning, feasibility studies, transaction advice and renewable energy requirements. Its consultants have a range of international experience supporting global partners in the implementation and reform of robust, efficient and sustainable power network infrastructures and markets.
Category: Regional
Second unit of India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant reaches 100% power
January 25, 2017 Wednesday 10:39 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
The Second unit of India’s Kudankulam Nuke Plant, built with Russian assistance for the first time reached 100% power level recently. Earlier it was operating at 90% power level. Currently, after the power unit has reached the nominal power level, it is planned to perform comprehensive dynamic tests for 15 days. The tests will confirm the design parameters of the power unit main system and its dynamic stability in certain modes of disturbance of normal operation, said a press release.            On 29 August 2016 Kudankulam NPP unit No 2 constructed with the technical assistance of Russia’s ASE Group of Companies was connected to the power grid of India. Physical start-up of the unit commenced on 11 May 2016 when the first fuel assembly was loaded into the reactor. Loading of 163 fuel assemblies was successfully completed on May19, 2016. All the works were conducted jointly by Indian and Russian specialists in automatic mode in strict compliance with the schedule and safety regulations. АSE Group of Companies, engineering division of Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation – ROSATOM. ASE group of Companies is one of the world leaders in nuclear power engineering and holds over 30% of the global NPP construction market. The group has representative offices, branch offices and operational offices in 15 countries around the world, with almost 80% of its portfolio coming from projects abroad. Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Bangladesh is being constructed by ASE.
Category: Regional
CNG prices go up to Rs70-71 per kg after deregulation
December 31, 2016 Saturday 12:09 PM By DAWN
The deregulation of compressed natural gas (CNG) price proved highly shocking for vehicle owners ahead of the New Year as station owners in Sindh have increased the gas price to Rs70-71 per kg from Rs67.50. All Pakistan CNG Association Sindh chairman Shabbir Sulemanji said: “We have not notified the new enhanced price. Now dealers are free to fix the prices on their own.” He claimed that the CNG prices now ranged from Rs70 to Rs71 per kg at various stations of Sindh, showing a raise of Rs2 to Rs3 per kg after entering into the deregulated regime from Dec 13, 2016. CNG deregulation is not a new phenomenon as consumers have witnessed it prior to 2009. Mr Sulemanji claimed that CNG would still cost 30 per cent less than petrol for vehicle owners. In case petrol price went up from Jan 1, 2017, CNG would still be more than 30pc cheaper than petrol. He said the CNG price in Punjab was already deregulated, selling between Rs73 and Rs74 per kg as compared to Rs75 per kg price in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.  “The CNG price in Sindh is still the cheapest as compared to other provinces despite the price jump,” the CNG body chief said. He said Rs70 per kg gas price in Sindh meant that it would cost consumers Rs 46-47 in terms of per litre. Taking Rs68 per litre price of petrol meant that the CNG in terms of litre was still cheaper by Rs21 per litre, he added. He said consumers had not seen any price hike in CNG for the past four years. He said the cost of gas had risen due to injection of LNG in Sindh, which caused exorbitant increase in the gross chloriphic value in the gas supplied by the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to CNG stations, coupled with manpower cost and soaring utility expenses in the last four years. “We are now in the revival stage after the new gas price as the CNG sector was actually on ventilator,” he said. Surprisingly, consumers had not shown any anxiety at the stations as many of them were unaware about the new price. Rickshaw and taxi owners would definitely bring out new gas price from the consumers’ pocket. Rickshaw owners usually charge Rs100 for five to six km distance and for 12kms their charges hover between Rs280-300. In case of CNG load-shedding, they charge Rs120-150 for five to six km and Rs320-350 for 12km. A rickshaw owner at a CNG station in FB Area said that rickshaw drivers might start charging extra Rs10-20 from travellers after implementation of the new price.
Category: Regional
10 dead in Jharkhand mine cave-in, many still missing
December 30, 2016 Friday 10:50 PM By NDTV
Rescuers pulled out two more bodies today from the rubble of a collapsed coal mine in Jharkhand, taking the number of deaths to 10, police said, as many were still feared trapped. A massive mound of earth caved in late Thursday at the Lalmatia open cast mine, burying at least 23 miners and dozens of vehicles as hundreds of workers battled overnight to rescue them. "Up till now, 10 bodies have been recovered after two more were pulled out. Coal mine authorities believe that there may be 2-3 more dead bodies inside," Jharkhand police spokesman, RK Mallick, told AFP. "Total dead should not be more than 13 or 14, as per assessment." He added that it was difficult to know how many may be trapped, but said close to a dozen were still unaccounted for. Some of the workers had escaped the disaster site following the collapse, Mallick said. Images showed the dead covered with white sheets on makeshift quilts as colleagues and locals looked on at the rescue efforts. Police and emergency workers used sniffer dogs, earth movers and their bare hands to remove giant rocks and mangled, overturned trucks to locate the trapped workers under tons of earth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief on Twitter, promising to help the state government in its rescue operations. "Saddened by the loss of lives at a mine in Jharkhand. My prayers are with those trapped inside," he said.  Federal disaster and rescue authorities have dispatched more than 200 rescue workers to the site. The mine is operated by the government-owned Eastern Coalfields Limited. Its top official, Niladri Roy, told AFP that more than 250 metres (820 feet) of the mine collapsed as workers headed towards the exit around 7:30 pm Thursday. There was no immediate explanation for the collapse, but the government has launched an investigation into the "unprecedented" incident. In a separate incident on Thursday, four miners were injured at a government-run coal mine in Jharkhand`s Dhanbad district. A mine official said the workers were hit after the roof of the Putki Balihari coal mine partially collapsed. Two of the workers were critically injured. Jharkhand is one of the richest mineral zones in India, accounting for around 29 percent of the country`s coal deposits. However it is also one of India`s poorest areas and the epicentre of a Maoist insurgency. In 2015, India recorded 38 deaths across 570 mining sites. The last major mining accident in India occurred in 1975, when 372 workers were killed following the flooding of Chasnala mine in Dhanbad.  
Category: Regional
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