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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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Infraline Comprehensive Power , Oil & Gas & Coal Only Detailed Newsletter

What’s New

Acts and Regulations

§  Gas Transmission India Private Limited. Versus Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board. A.No. 17 of 2021 & IA.No. 2245 of 2019 & IA No. 1874 of 2021

§  Saurya Urja Company of Rajasthan Limited. Versus Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission & Ors. A.No. 69 of 2021

§  Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd. & Ors. Versus Adani Power (Mundra) Limited & Anr. A.No. 231 of 2021 & IA No. 125 & 1108 of 2020

§  Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Limited. Versus Steel Authority of India Ltd & Ors. A.No. 235 of 2021

§  Think Gas Ludhiana Pvt. Ltd. Versus Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board. IA No. 1440 of 2021 in DFR No. 321 of 2021 & IA No. 1385 of 2021

View More...

Performance of State Discom

New!

Power

Andhra Pradesh: Govt bid to burden people with power tariffs decried

CPM takes exception during public hearing by APERC

§  Public hearing on tariff: Rs 1,000 crore collected from govt departments by power distribution companies

§  Employees protest power privatisation

§  Maharashtra may face power shortage due to dip in coal supply

§  Many powerloom operators decide not to pay power bills

§  Power plants cry foul, say biased allotment hitting coal supply

§  Form body to monitor use of fly ash, NGT tells government

§  KCCI opposes power tariff hike for MSMEs in Karnataka

§  Maharashtra: Energy minister Nitin Raut threatens to cut power supply to govt departments

§  Delhi discoms want to exit from NTPC Dadri-I project

§  India requires 18 GW capacity addition to meet hydro purchase obligation norms by 2030: Icra

§  India to shut down thermal power plants in phases

§  Will Budgetary Support to promote Hydro Electric (HE) Power encourage DISCOMS to purchase power from HEPs?

[Poll Question]

Projects Update

Project Name

Promoter

Capacity

State

Dardu Hydro Power Project

KVK-ECI Hydro Energy Private Limited

60 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Tidding II Hydro Power Project

Sai Krishnodaya Industries Pvt. Ltd.

75 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Jameri Hydro Power Project

KSK Jameri Hydro Power Pvt. Ltd.

60 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Attunli Hydro Power Project

Attunli Hydro Electric Power Company

680 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Kolodyne Hydro Power Project Stage-2

NTPC

460 MW

Mizoram

Renewable Energy

 

Bengaluru Student Builds Power Bank That Can Be Charged by Solar Panels

A solar power bank for street vendors? Prerna Wadikar from Bengaluru has built a device using lithium ion technology that makes access to portable energy more affordable.

Solar case defamation suit: Achuthanandan ordered to pay ₹10.10 lakh damages to Chandy

Chandy filed a defamation suit in 2014, saying that the grave charges invited embarrassment to him and sullied his image.

§  Ayana Renewable surpasses 1 GW (AC) of operational capacity

§  Tripartite agreement inked to deliver last mile access to electricity in Nagaland

§  Budget may push ESCO to cut emissions

§  India is making preparations for its power grid for a significant expansion of renewable energy sources

§  ‘Need schemes to encourage clean energy generation, use’

§  Ambani eyes $3 billion equity raise for green power

§  Niti Aayog plans to set up EV charging infra at railway stations

§  Does Anti-Dumping probe benefit Domestic Solar Manufacturers in India?[Poll Question]

§  Ayana Renewable surpasses 1 GW (AC) of operational capacity

§  Centre allows people to install rooftop solar panels of their choice

§  Housing.com forays into Rooftop Solar business

§  India is making preparations for its power grid for a significant expansion of renewable energy sources

Projects Update

Project Name

Plant Owner

Capacity (MW)

State

Adani Chitrakoot One Solar Plant

Adani Solar Energy Chitrakoot One

25

Adani Kutchh One Solar Plant

Adani Solar Energy Kutchh One Limited

150

Gujarat

Shahjahanpur and Budaun Solar Plant

Adani Solar Energy Four Private Ltd

100

Uttar Pradesh

1200 MW ISTS Connected Projects (ISTS-V)

SBE Renewables Sixteen Pvt. Ltd.

180

Rajasthan

1200 MW ISTS Connected Projects (ISTS-V)

GRT Jewellers (India) Pvt. Ltd.

150

Tamil Nadu

Oil & Gas

 

Soaring Gas Prices Will Boost Profits For India’s Biggest Company

Reliance Industries expects the global natural gas crunch and the gas price rally to continue benefiting India’s oil-to-telecoms conglomerate with more earnings in the coming months after higher oil and gas production and price realizations helped it deliver record quarterly earnings.

Can the upcoming Budget 2022 fuel India's economy?

If India is indeed to fulfill its goal of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy and achieving aatmanirbharta, the oil and gas industry must not just be marginally profitable but instead, highly prosperous.

§  Do you think Natural gas, diesel and petrol should have been included under GST?

[Poll Question]

§  India's fuel demand recovery to continue: Fitch

§  India Oil & Gas Watch: 3QFY22

§  India's oil import bill witness steep rise

§  Chhara LNG terminal faces pipeline delay, work yet to begin

§  Indian Oil Corporation Q3FY22 Preview: Revenue seen at Rs1,471,073 million, PAT at Rs69,976 million and GRM at US$6.9/bbl

§  High LNG prices, growing natural gas output to impact imports till H1 FY23

§  What's driving up crude prices now?

§  RIL Q3 PAT rises 38percent YoY to Rs 20,539 cr

§  ONGC gains after subsidiary's Brazilian project enters commercialization stage

Oil & Gas Technical

New!

 

EU takes heat for labeling gas and nuclear power plants as “green” energy

The European Commission has been told by a key expert group that planned adjustments to its green rulebook risk raising greenhouse gas emissions and undermining the bloc’s reputation as a bastion for environmentally friendly finance.

Halliburton sees frac equipment orders double as shale rebounds

Shale-oil companies are using almost all of the frac equipment and crews available as exploration expands, accelerating cost inflation and pointing to worsening supply-chain disruptions across the industry

§  Saudi Aramco sees oil demand near pre-pandemic levels

§  Aggreko completes Middle East’s largest flare gas-to-power project to date

§  Avenir LNG enters agreement with Shanghai SIPG

§  TotalEnergies launches Marseilles' first ship-to-containership LNG bunkering operation

§  Eni’s Var Energi plans IPO in bet on strong future for natural gas

§  UAE repels drone attack, while Iranian-backed rebels vow more

Daily International Coal Prices

New!

Coal

Maharashtra may face power shortage due to dip in coal supply

MahaGenco has urged Coal Ministry to urgently restore supply & to Railway Ministry to provide additional rakes.

Roadmap in place for coal supply: Ministry of railways

The ministry of railways on Monday said the public transporter is implementing a roadmap, prepared in consultation with the power and coal ministries, for providing coal rakes to power plants located far away from mines to build up fuel stocks.

§  Will Commercial Coal Mining attract global players to invest in India?

[Poll Question]

§  NCL achieves 100 Million Tonnes Coal Dispatch

§  India: Met coke offers rise on surging coking coal price

§  Coal mining can’t be stopped completely, says Kharlukhi

§  Power plants cry foul, say biased allotment hitting coal supply

§  Form body to monitor use of fly ash, NGT tells government

Roads

 

In rebuttal to Gadkari, Stalin says TN prioritises NHAI projects

Stalin said the public works minister had met Gadkari in Delhi on October 12 last year to brief him on the steps that are being taken for speedy implementation of NHAI projects.

Six-laning of Edappally-Aroor NH Bypass to usher in safe, fast motoring

A host of safety issues and hassles to smooth traffic on the 16-km-long Edappally-Aroor NH Bypass will be addressed while widening the congested stretch into a six-lane corridor, sources in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have said.

§  Open Panthayal Tunnel by Apr 15: CS

§  At crossroads... How delayed approvals are coming in way of Mukarba Chowk revamp

§  JK expresses inability to achieve PMGSY target of 4841 km

§  Adda road construction will solve Kothapeta hill area problems

§  Bengaluru: Wind Tunnel Road widening project cancelled

§  NHIDCL asked to expedite four-laning works of NH-37

§  NHAI projects given high importance, says TN CM

§  Ashoka Buildcon receives LoA for NHAI project in Karnataka

§  Giddaluru-Vinukonda national highway gets nod, 112 km road to be constructed with Rs. 925 crore

§  Do you think 100 percent FASTAG implementation will remove congestion at toll plazas?

[Poll Question]

Projects Update

Project Name

Promoter/Client

State

Length (Km)

Four Laning Belgaum- Khanapur NH-4A

NHAI/Ashoka Concessions limited

Karnataka

30

Four Laning Ring Road Bypass Nagpur City (Fetri to Dhargaon)Package-II (NH-7)

NHAI/MEP Infrastructure-Sanjosh India (JV)

Maharashtra

28.03

Four Laning Rimuli to Koida NH-215 (New NH-520) Pkg-I

NHAI/Montecarlo Pvt. Ltd.

Odisha

43.2

Eight Laning Vadodara Kim Expressway (Padra to Vadodara Section of Vadodara Mumbai ) (Phase-1A PKG-1)

NHAI/ IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited(VK 1 Expressway pvt. ltd)

Gujarat,Maharashtra

23.74

Bridge on Panjim to Mangalore NH-17 (Old NH-66)

NHAI/Dilip Buildcon-Mostobudivelnyi Zahin Ukrane(JV)

Goa

2

Power(12 News Items)

General


Andhra Pradesh: Govt bid to burden people with power tariffs decried

·         Taking strong exception to the proposals to levy Rs 9,222 crore on people in the name of true-up charges, Rs 887 crore in the name of slab change and Rs 12,000 crore in the name of increase in development charge, fixed charge, and one-metre-one house system, Communist Party of India (Marxist) appealed to the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) to rectify the anomalies instead of allowing the government to burden people.

·         Addressing a virtual public hearing of APERC here on Monday, CPM leader Ch Babu Rao said that as per the latest proposals on the change of slabs, the poor people, who consume less than 50 units per month would be burdened by 38 per cent; who consume less than 75 per cent would be burdened by 26 per cent; who consume less than 100 units would be burdened by 54 per cent; and who consume less than 200 units would be burdened by 45 per cent.

·         These proposals would burden the poor people giving relief to the rich people, he pointed out.

·         Since the power generation expenditure is coming down throughout the world and power purchase rates are also coming down, the power tariff should come down, he noted. Babu Rao demanded total abolition of true-up charge system and withdraw the proposal to enhance power tariff.

·         The State Cabinet's decision to hand over the Damodaram Sanjivaiah thermal power station at Krishnapatnam to a private person on lease for 25 years is nothing but suicidal, he said.

·         Referring to the decision to purchase solar power from Adani Company for 25 years is detrimental to the interest of the State, he pointed out recalling that the government had announced earlier that it would cancel the agreements signed by the previous government to purchase power from private companies.

·         On the revenue deficit of the Electricity department, Babu Rao said that the government failed to pay the subsidies, huge electricity bill arrears from various government departments, halting of power generation in the public sector plants and purchasing power from private companies are some of the reasons for the losses.

·         CPM activists staged a protest at the public hearing holding placards.

Source

 

Top

Public hearing on tariff: Rs 1,000 crore collected from govt departments by power distribution companies

·         suffered losses due to power towers and lines have been given a chance to get reasonable compensation by instructing them to quickly resolve the files pending with some collectors for a long time.

·         The commission said it had taken steps to ensure immediate compensation to the victims of the electrical accident. He said efforts would be made to bring awareness among consumers in utilizing power-saving devices. He said 65 objectors had registered on the occasion to express their objections, suggestions, and views and would receive objections from them within these three days.

·         The CMDs of APEPDCL, APSPDCL, and APCPDCL have given detailed presentations on Discom’s statistical data, performance, initiatives taken up and others were presented along with ARR and Tariff proposals for the financial year 2022-23. The ARR of the APEPDCL is Rs 16,371.39 crore, APSCPCL is Rs 18,348.69 crore and APCPDCL is Rs 10,678.59 crore. Around 17 objectors across the three Discoms areas have submitted their objections through video conferencing from the Vizag Corporate office.

·         While the public hearing was going on, left parties staged protests in front of the EPDCL office by demanding the government not to privatize Discoms and should not put the burden on the public by enhancing the tariff.

Source

 

Top

Employees protest power privatisation

·         The UT Powermen Union today held a protest at Sector 17 against the decision of the Central Government to hand over the UT Electricity Department to a private company.

·         Employees submitted a memorandum to the UT Administrator against the move to privatise electricity distribution. The memorandum was received by the SDM (East) on behalf of the UT Administrator.

·         Gopal Joshi, general secretary of the union, said due to the adamant attitude of the government, the employees would observe a one-day strike on February 1 followed by a two-day strike on February 23 and 24.

·         The High Court, on January 20, had sought a response from the UT on a fresh plea moved by the union seeking a stay on further steps in handing over of power services to a private company. The next date of hearing is March 6.

Source

 

Top

Maharashtra may face power shortage due to dip in coal supply

·         Maharashtra may face a power shortage in the wake of a dip in the coal supply from the Coal India arms. Against the daily requirement of 1,34,000 tonnes, the state-run Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MahaGenco) is currently receiving 1,20,000 tonnes which have impacted power generation at its generation plants located in Nashik, Chandrapur, Paras, Parli and Bhusawal.

·         These generation plants are expected to have coal stock for 22 to 24 days as mandated by the Central Electricity Authority but the stocks have been dipped ranging between 0.91 days at the Nashik plant & 4.82 days at the Koradi plant. If the coal supply is not restored earlier, the state-run Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) will be forced to procure the market from the open market or through power exchanges to fill the gap and avoid shortages.

·         A senior MahaGenco officer told the Free Press Journal, ‘’ The MahaGenco has already sought the intervention of the Ministry of Coal for early restoration of coal supply from the Western Coalfields, Mahanadi Coalfields, South Eastern Coalfields. Besides, the Ministry of Railways has been urged to provide an additional number of rakes for uninterrupted coal supply.

·         The coal shortage is attributed to the lack of coal production in the coal mines by WCL for want of explosives. In addition, railways have preferred to supply coal to pit head based power generation plants citing technical issues for supply to non-pit head based power plants meaning those plants which are located far away from mines citing the availability of rakes.’’ He further said that the MahaGenco with a thermal generation capacity of 10,170 MW, has recently cleared dues worth Rs 2,000 crore to the Western Coalfields to avoid further reminders.

·         The officer said there has not been a coal supply that is coming from the Western Coalfields situated at Chandrapur, Nagpur and Umred areas. ‘’The Coal India through its arms should daily supply 1,40,000 tonnes so that against the MahaGenco’s daily need of 1,20,000 tonnes, it can store the remaining stock for the rainy season.

·         MahaGenco CMD Sanjay Khandare admitted reduction in coal supply but said MahaGenco will receive a good amount of coal supply by February. ‘’Besides, the coal suppliers have given an option of supply through road instead of a railway that is being explored. The Railway Ministry has assured to increase more rakes. In addition, MahaGenco has floated the tender for the import of coal of 20 lakh tonnes,’’ he said.

·         Meanwhile, the Railway Ministry has said that it is consultation with the ministries of coal and power are already having a road map in place of supplying rakes to long-distance thermal power plants which is being implemented to build adequate coal stock with these plants.

Source

 

Top

Many powerloom operators decide not to pay power bills

·         Thousands of powerloom operators from the textile town of Ichalkaranji have unanimously decided not to pay the electricity bills.

·         For January, the powerloom operators have received bills without the subsidy amount being deducted. The state government has stopped the power subsidy for the powerlooms that did not registered their details on the special online portal created by the textile department. The deadline for this was December 31, 2021

·         The government, which provides subsidies in hundreds of crores every year, suspected that the subsidised power is being used for purposes other than intended.

·         Vinay Mahajan, the president of Ichalkaranji Powerloom Owners Association, said, “We had raised technical difficulties in registering the details online. We had suggested the changes to be made in the portal. The department had sought uploading of age-old documents for the machines in use, which we are unable to furnish. After the decision to stop the subsidy, we met the authorities and minister Aslam Sheikh and demanded an extension of the deadline to file the details. Until then to not stop the subsidy. However, despite our request, we have received bills without deducting the subsidy amount and we are not able to pay the inflated bill. So, we have decided to not pay the bills.”

·         Filling details on the online portal is mandatory for the powerlooms with 27 horsepower or more consumption. Only 970 powerloom operators filled the details online and over 10,000 have not. The government is providing subsidies for over 3% of the power consumed. Around Rs 150 crore is spent towards the subsidy by the government.

·         The textile commissioner’s office had written to the finance manager of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to stop subsidised bills to the powerlooms with 27 HP or more consumption, who did not register.

Source

 

Top

Power plants cry foul, say biased allotment hitting coal supply

·         While the coal shortage crisis may seem over for some power plants, another crisis is lurking for generation stations located far from mines.

·         These plants — termed ‘foreign’ by Indian Railways — have begun suffering because of bias in allotment of rakes among railway zones in the race to post higher despatch figures.

·         Last week, Rattan India Power-operated Amaravati power plant in Maharashtra shut down one of its units due to coal shortage resulting from insufficient rake allotment by SECR, the south east central zone of the railways.

·         The power ministry on January 17 issued an memo seeking details of remedial action taken by the Railways as grumblings from private power plants facing similar situation grew louder, government sources have told Times of India. Industry sources said L&T’s Nhava and Vedanta NSE -3.46 %’s Talwandi Sabo power plants are among other plants facing similar predicament.

·         The trend is more pronounced in zones with heavy-duty coal lifting such as SECR, which largely services SECL (South Eastern Coalfields Ltd), Coal India Ltd’s largest mine.

·         “The shorter intra-zone haul allows faster turnaround of rakes. This automatically helps zones to improve their loading and despatch figures. There is also another reason. Railway zones are under pressure to show higher despatch figures. For example, in cases where SECL coal has to cross other zones, the empty rakes are commandeered by the other zone on their way back for despatch of coal from WCL (Western Coalfields Ltd) to elsewhere, say the north,” one industry executive said requesting anonymity.

·         After last year's coal crisis, the power ministry had in December asked plants to import 10% of their coal requirement.

Source

 

Top

Form body to monitor use of fly ash, NGT tells government

·         In an order that may help in keeping a close watch on erring coal-based thermal power plants (TPPs) which fail to properly dispose of environmentally hazardous fly ash, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Centre to set up a fly ash management and utilization Mission for monitoring scientific management and utilization of the remains of burnt coal, and asked it to take adequate action against non-compliant power plants.

·         Besides monitoring the disposal of annual stock of unutilised fly ash, the Mission will also see how 1,670 million tonnes of legacy (accumulated) fly ash could be utilized in the least hazardous manner and how all safety measures could be taken by the power plants.

·         The Mission will be jointly headed by the secretaries of environment, coal and power ministries, keeping on board chief secretaries of respective states. The panel of secretaries, in coordination with power plants and statutory regulators, will have to draw a roadmap for utilization and disposal of entire legacy fly ash as per remedial action recommended by an expert committee which was formed by the NGT.

·         "The failures of the TPPs are alarming. We find no reason not to accept all the recommendations (of the expert committee) and to direct remedial action," observed the bench, headed by NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel, in its order on January 18. The Tribunal made the observation while hearing a plea, filed by advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.

·         Its final order came while disposing of a plea in the fly ash dyke breach incident of Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh in April, 2020. The breach of the dyke, belonged to the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project, resulted in the death of six villagers (including three children) and destruction of crops. The Tribunal in its order asked the TPP to pay higher compensation to families of six persons who died in the dyke breach incident.

·         The Tribunal, referring to report of the expert committee, found serious gaps in storing of fly ash in ponds and dykes, and failure to prevent fugitive emissions and installation of devices to control air pollution. "Such failures have been found to have resulted in serious damage to the environment and the public health which need to be remedied in a mission mode as per mandate of Constitution of India and the NGT Act," it observed.

Source

 

Top

KCCI opposes power tariff hike for MSMEs in Karnataka

·         The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry has raised the issue of increase in power tariff for MSME sector by Electricity Supply Companies (ESCOMs) in Karnataka.

·         They have reached out to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai urging the government to not increase the electricity pricing for MSME sector.

·         Only six months ago the tariffs were increased, pointed out B.A. Nazeer, Director of KCCI in a conversation with KNN.

·         MSMEs are not in a good shape, this revision of power tariff for the sector comes as a blow which will lead to closure of units in the state, cautioned Nazeer.

·         “We are against this hike as low demand in the market is already slowing the economic activities, this revision will only hamper the units which are trying to barely sustain themselves”, added Nazeer.

·         A letter was sent to the Chief Minister’s office which pressed on the concern of ESCOMS proposing to increase the tariff by Rs 2 per unit.

·         However it has been conveyed to us that this decision is made at a corporate level and not at the government level and we take cognisance of that, said KCCI Director.

Source

 

Top

Maharashtra: Energy minister Nitin Raut threatens to cut power supply to govt departments

·         State energy minister Nitin Raut has informed chief minister Uddhav Thackeray that he has no option but to discontinue electricity supply to various government departments over non-payment of crores to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL). Street lights in urban and rural areas are likely to be shut off if the energy department goes ahead with its decision to discontinue supply as a move to pressure the urban and rural development departments to clear past dues.

·         In a letter to to the CM last week, Raut has said that the MSEDCL has already taken loans worth approximately Rs 45,000 crore. “There is coal shortage across the country. The Centre has already informed the Reserve Bank of India not to extend loans to MSEDCL. Grants have not been released. If we can disconnect the electricity supply of other consumers who have not paid their bills then why not of government departments who owe MSEDCL around Rs 16,000 crore?” he told TOI. The letter points out that the limit for loans has been reduced from Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore. Besides, the state government is yet to release Rs 7,978 crore in grants.

·         MSEDCL provides electricity to approximately 2.8 crore consumers across the state. Agricultural pump users owe the company approximately Rs 41,000 crore, and while the new agricultural pump policy has helped recover some dues, it is not enough, Raut informed Thackeray in the letter.

·         Raut said he has asked for an urgent meeting with the chief minister to discuss the issue. “It is my duty to appraise the chief minister of the dire situation before we go ahead with the decision to disconnect supply,” he said. The letter points out that the rural development, water supply, and urban development department owe a substantial amount to the company as does the industry department.

Source

 

Top

Delhi discoms want to exit from NTPC Dadri-I project

·         Out of total of 15 stations of NTPC that supply power to Delhi, seven stations, including Dadri-I, are old and expensive. Of these, six have completed 25 years from their Commercial date of Operation (COD) and have fully recovered their capital cost and the seventh one will do so in April 2022.

·         Delhi Discoms had stopped scheduling power from the Dadri-I plant, in November 2020 after it completed 25 years from its COD and had sought exit from it. The NTPC had denied exit to the Discoms, which in turn had approached Central Electricity Regulatory Commission on this issue.

·         “Average power purchase price from Dadri-I to Delhi consumers is around Rs 6.50/unit against the average price of Rs 3.50/unit power sold by NTPC to consumers in rest of the country,” said a discom official, not wishing to be named.

Source

 

Top

India requires 18 GW capacity addition to meet hydro purchase obligation norms by 2030: Icra

·         Around 18 GW hydro capacity addition is required to meet the hydro purchase obligation (HPO) norms by 2030 in the country, according to rating agency Icra NSE 0.70 %. To further the growth of hydro energy segment, the Centre has outlined policy measures over the last two-year period to promote the investments in the segment through notification of HPO norms, long term trajectory for HPOs as well as tariff rationalization measures.

·         "Based on the notified hydro purchase obligation norms & trajectory available till 2030, incremental hydro power capacity requirement is estimated to remain significant i.e. at about 18 GW, which corresponds to about 39 per cent increase over the existing installed hydro power capacity in the country," said Girishkumar Kadam, Senior Vice President & Co-Group Head - Corporate ratings, Icra.

·         The HPO norms have been subsequently notified by SERCs (state electricity regulatory commission) in few states only, in line with policy targets as of now, he noted.

·         Hence, he stated that timeliness as well as consistency in the notification of HPO norms by SERCs in other states as well as subsequent implementation of the same by the obligated entities too remain a key monitorable.

·         According to an Icra statement, the hydro energy segment faces many other challenges like elongated construction schedule, significant resettlement, rehabilitation and land acquisition issues, delays in clearances and geological/ topological risks which have led to significant time and cost over-run for hydro projects.

·         This is also reflected from the fact that average project cost for the commissioned hydro project capacity by CPSUs ( central public sector undertakings) during FY 2017-2021 remained at about Rs 13-14 crore /MW.

·         Given the high level of capital intensity for hydro projects, tariff competitiveness of hydro energy too remains modest from the ultimate off-takers' perspective.

·         On the contrary, tariff competitiveness for solar and wind energy has significantly improved with the bid tariffs remaining well below Rs 3/unit for last 3 to 4 years as against the average power purchase cost for majority of the state discoms remaining Rs 4-5/unit, depending on the mix of sources in power purchased, it noted.

·         Icra says hydro capacity addition in India has remained sluggish historically, with the significant execution challenges as also seen in the incremental capacity addition of about 22 GW between 2000 and 2021, representing CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of mere 3 per cent in the hydro segment.

·         Further, it says that share of hydro in the overall power generation capacity has declined considerably over the period, with a significant rise in thermal capacity addition seen in 2005 till 2015 and thereafter in the renewable energy segment.

·         With improved tariff competitiveness of solar & wind energy and strong policy focus by the Centre, share of renewables (solar & wind segment) is estimated to grow considerably in the energy generation mix, going forward, it pointed out.

·         However, it stated that the hydro energy segment also remains systemically important from the grid perspective so as to meet the flexibility requirements / peaking power supply.

·         In this context and to further the growth of hydro energy segment, the Centre has outlined policy measures over the last two-year period to promote the investments in hydro segment through notification of HPO norms, long term trajectory for HPO as well as tariff rationalization measures, it noted.

·         The HPO is set at 0.18 per cent for FY2022 which in turn is set to increase up to 2.82 per cent by FY2030 at national level, as notified by Ministry of Power, it stated.

·         "Tariff rationalization measures such as backloading of tariff with 2 per cent escalation and provision for budgetary support at Rs 1 crore /MW for hydro projects of > 200 MW capacity, is expected to alleviate the concern on tariff competitiveness considerably, in the initial years," Siddhartha Kaushik, Assistant Vice President - Corporate Ratings, Icra, said.

·         While tariff rationalisation measures were outlined by Ministry of Power in March 2019, the same are yet to be incorporated by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in its tariff regulations applicable for hydro projects.

·         Further, the policy clarity in terms of support measures especially for pumped hydro storage capacity remains a key monitorable too, it stated.

Source

 

Top

India to shut down thermal power plants in phases

·         In a bid to fufill the commitment made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Glasgow Environment Summit two months ago that India would become carbon neutral by 2070, the Centre has decided to phase out the India's thermal power plants.

·         While speaking at the Energy Summit organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce that Union Energy Secretary Alok Kumar said to achieve a carbon balance, the country will have to switch to an alternative system within 50 years. All thermal power plants in the country will be shut down by 2070 to reduce carbon emissions.

·         Switching to renewable energy would reduce the toxicity of carbon emissions. A guideline is being prepared to make use of solar energy, compressed biogas, hydrogen and battery power instead of thermal power, which presently accounts for more than 60 percent of India’s total installed power generation capacity.

·         The decision to completely stop the production of coal in the power sector will be implemented. The current thermal power generation is two lakh megawatts per day. In ordert to end this completely in 50 years, at least 4000 MW of thermal power will have to be reduced every year.

·         The center aims to generate five lakh megawatts of solar power instead of thermal power. At present, solar power generation is only one lakh megawatt. The Union Ministry of Power hopes that the battery technology will be developed in such a way that it can store large amounts of energy. Battery storage facilities may be similar to power substations. During the daytime, solar energy can be stored in the batteries and then it can be distributed later during night.

·         The Center also hopes to develop hydrogen technology for power plants to generate electricity. The turbine that produce electrcity can be powered by compressed biogas (CBG) and hydrogen.

·         Modi had said at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow that environmentally conscious lifestyle choices can go a long way in tackling climate change. He urged to make 'Lifestyle for Environment' a global mission. He also said that India is working very hard on tackling climate change related issues.

·         Closing down 20-year-old thermal power plants can save Rs 53,000 crore over five years, according to an analysis by Climate Research Horizon. Old coal-fired thermal plants use more coal to produce power, said the study.

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Renewable(13 News Items)

Bengaluru Student Builds Power Bank That Can Be Charged by Solar Panels

·         Prerna Wadikar from Bengaluru has come up with a one-of-a-kind invention that makes portable energy access more affordable using lithium-ion battery technology.

·         Prerna, who pursued an engineering degree in computer science, did her Masters in Public Policy from IIM-Bengaluru and later went on to pursue MBA from Oxford University.

·         For her effort in making a socially conscious innovation, she received the Vice Chancellor’s Social Impact Award from Oxford University in 2021.

·         The award is given to university students who show exceptional achievement and commitment to positive social change.

·         She was awarded not only for her invention but also for her contributions to Oxfordshire, where she worked with immigrant communities and also extended the Oxford India Business Conclave to the students of India.

·         She tells The Better India that growing up she was always inspired by her grandmother. She says, “Everyone in my house gave importance to education. My grandmother did her PhD after the birth of her fifth child. She used to teach in a school and also run a part-time free school at her home. She was my biggest inspiration because she made her mark during an era when no importance was given to educating girls.”

·         Her mother, a yoga teacher, has always encouraged her to use science for the betterment of people. She says, “Since childhood, there was always an atmosphere in my home that encouraged me to do or learn something new.”

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Solar case defamation suit: Achuthanandan ordered to pay ₹10.10 lakh damages to Chandy

·         A court in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday ordered former chief minister and CPI(M) leader V S Achuthanandan to pay ₹10.10 lakh to Oommen Chandy, former CM and senior Congress leader, in a defamation suit filed in connection with the solar scam case.

·         In an interview to a news channel in July 2013, Achuthanandan, then the opposition leader, alleged that CM Chandy was behind the fictitious solar firm and that he knew about the cheating case. He also alleged that Chandy had accepted a portion of the commission from the main accused, Saritha S Nair, for the help given to her.

·         Chandy filed a defamation suit in 2014, saying that the grave charges invited embarrassment to him and sullied his image. He first sought damages of ₹1 crore but later reduced it to ₹10.10 lakh.

·         The principal sub-court found his contention right and ordered Achuthanandan to pay damage with 6 per cent interest and with court fees. In 2019, Chandy appeared before the court in person to explain his position. Though the counsel for Achuthanandan repeated the allegation, he failed to substantiate charges with evidence, the court found.

·         “These charges were made without any basis and they intended to sully his image, so the petitioner has every right to claim damage,” said the court.

·         Chandy has hailed the verdict, saying truth will prevail always. “Many hands and conscience are clear. The CPI(M) cooked up stories after stories to portray me in bad light. I was sure truth will prevail,” said Chandy, who is a general secretary of the AICC. The counsel for Achuthanandan said he will move an appeal in a higher court soon. Achuthanandan is undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at a private hospital in the state capital.

·         The solar cheating case relates to an alleged con woman, Saritha Nair, and her second husband Biju Radhakrishnan, who floated a company called ‘Team Solar’ in 2013 and cheated many promising them stakes in the firm and good returns after selling imported solar panels. They allegedly cultivated good contacts in corridors of power and flaunted them to attract investors.

·         Radhakrishnan was later convicted in a murder case.

·         The cheating incident surfaced in 2014 and 60 cases were registered against the two. Then CM Chandy had sacked two of his private secretaries and the state public relations director when their names allegedly cropped up in the case. Later the main accused Nair had raised sexual assault charges against many Congress leaders, including Chandy, K C Venugopal, Adoor Prakash MP, A P Anil Kumar, Hibi Eden MP and Abdullha Kutty. Later the government had constituted a judicial commission.

·         The case was one of the reasons for the Congress’s drubbing in 2016 assembly elections. In her complaint, Nair alleged that she was subjected to sexual abuse by the accused in return of favours granted to her. Later, the judicial commission also recommended a probe into sexual assault charges.

·         Saritha Nair is in judicial custody now in connection with another cheating case.

·         She was convicted in seven cases related to solar cheating case, but out on bail, she allegedly cheated some people promising them government jobs. She also tried to contest against Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad but her papers were rejected. Later the Supreme Court had slapped a fine on her when she approached it.

·         The solar scam case was handed over to the CBI last year after Nair had petitioned the CM complaining that she was yet to get justice in sexual assault cases and sought a central agency probe.

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Ayana Renewable surpasses 1 GW (AC) of operational capacity

·         Ayana Renewable Power Private Limited (Ayana), a Bengaluru-based renewable energy platform majority controlled by National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), today announced it has surpassed 1 GW (AC) of operational renewable energy capacity in India. It is now one of the largest RE developers in the nation with an operating portfolio of 1.19 GW (AC).

·         The developer hit the milestone with the commissioning of a 300 MW (AC) interstate transmission system (ISTS) connected solar PV project in the Bikaner district of Rajasthan. The project is spread across approximately 1,500 acres and is connected to 765/400 KV PowerGrid substation. The project benefits from a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

·         The Rajasthan plant, one of the largest projects developed by Ayana, has generated employment for close to 2,000 people. In addition, the project is expected to meet the equivalent demand of 1,41,000 end consumers, and it is estimated to help avoid 6,23,000 tonnes of annual CO2 emissions over 20 years.

·         Founded in 2018, Ayana is also backed by CDC Group, UK’s development finance institution, and EverSource Capital managed Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF). The platform develops utility-scale renewable power solar and wind generation projects across India to build cost-effective capacity. Ayana, currently engaged in the development and management of over 3 GW (AC) of renewable energy capacity across multiple Indian states, aims to hit an overall RE portfolio of 10 GW (AC) by 2025.

·         Shivanand Nimbargi, managing director and chief executive officer of Ayana, said, “We started Ayana with a vision to create significant renewable energy capacity across India, complementing it with the development of communities around us. With the support of our stakeholders, we have achieved this significant milestone of 1 GW (AC) operational renewable energy capacity, which is in line with our long-term goal to achieve 10 GW (AC) of renewable energy portfolio by 2025. We will continue to accelerate and contribute to meeting India’s energy transition plan of having an RE capacity of 500 GW (AC) by 2030.”

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Tripartite agreement inked to deliver last mile access to electricity in Nagaland

·         The Mon District Administration, Government of Nagaland and Mithun Rural Development Foundation (MRDF) signed a 20-year agreement to set up solar mini-grids in rural areas of Nagaland.

·         The tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to deliver last mile access to electricity in the ‘economically constrained villages,’ a press release informed.

·         The first three mini-grids would be installed in Longkei, Totok Chingha and Chenwetnyu under Mon district by as early as February 2022 and it envisages to cover 1000 villages in the next 7 years, it said.

·         Calling the agreement a landmark development, it informed that the MoU is also aimed at encouraging the use of a clean energy platform to increase local household incomes by 15-20% per annum and for enterprises by 20% in the targeted villages.

·         Other goals of the initiative are to improve livelihoods, support women entrepreneurs and increase the GDP of the state, while reducing GHG emissions aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and reduce the carbon footprint along with generating green jobs.

·         The set up of the mini-grids will aim to develop the community through an Integrated Village Development Programme involving all members of the community and not just the customers, the release said.

·         The local administration will help facilitating coordination between the Village Council/Village Development Boards and MRDF, it added.

·         It was further informed that the Smart Power India (SPI) would play an important role in supporting the entire programme framework and value chain including design, delivery and facilitating financial and market linkages, the release further noted. A subsidiary of the Rockefeller Foundation, SPI was established in 2015 to “develop and scale sustainable models to accelerate electricity access and spur economic development amongst the rural underserved communities.”

·         The MRDF is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) floated specifically for rural development of North-East India through the platform of renewable energy based mini-grids to service the electricity access needs and is supported by organisations such as Smart Power India (SPI), ONGC and NABARD.

·         The release quoted Vijay Bhaskar, Managing Director, MRDF as saying that the association is “aimed at arriving at a sustainable and holistic model of rural economic development based on DRE mini-grids, which can be implemented and scaled to about 1000 villages of Nagaland.”

·         “The MoU is aimed at sustainable socio-economic development through DRE,” stated Jaideep Mukherji, CEO, SPI, further stressing on the importance of reducing carbon footprint “which would require a collective effort from every level of the society.”

·         Extending full support to the MDRF and SPI’s efforts, Deputy Commissioner Mon, Thavaseelan K also informed that the targeted “clusters are economically backward and DRE mini-grid interventions will bring an all-round development to the region as they will integrate clean, high-quality and reliable energy with livelihoods, agriculture, health, education and public infrastructure.”

·         The District Administration is also assisting MRDF by coordinating the efforts of various departments such as health, education, renewable energy, rural development with the work in the villages, the release added.

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Budget may push ESCO to cut emissions

·         The Union budget to be presented next month may give a push to the energy service company (ESCO) model in commercial buildings as part of India’s plan to reduce carbon emissions, two government officials aware of the deliberations said.

·         ESCOs offer design and implementation services for energy-efficiency projects after doing energy audits.

·         The move to encourage ESCOs follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledging at the COP26 summit to cut India’s total projected carbon emission by 1 billion tonnes and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.

·         “There can be 100 or 200 ESCOs in a country like India. So, what is being discussed is that the ESCO model needs to be promoted because somebody can invest on the basis of a robust contract, and the owner of that building or that factory will not have to invest, and he can service the ESCO investment through the energy savings. It is a very good model, but the contract has to be robust, and the risks have to be mitigated," union power secretary Alok Kumar said in an interview.

·         “There are several proposals under discussion with the finance ministry, and ESCO (for commercial buildings) was one of them. I don’t know what will be there in the budget. That’s the finance ministry’s call," Kumar added.

·         Mint had earlier reported that India may offer viability-gap funding or grants to companies for building energy storage projects and offshore wind power plants in the budget as part of a plan to transition from fossil-fuel-powered energy to renewables. A scheme tentatively named Roadmap for Sustainable and Holistic Approach through National Energy Efficiency may also be announced in the budget.

·         The government is also considering installing new power transmission lines to tap the large hydropower potential in India’s northeast region and incentives for setting up battery-swapping infrastructure for electric vehicles.

·         Queries emailed to the finance ministry spokesperson early Sunday morning weren’t answered until press time.

·         India’s energy efficiency measures have shown positive results in its domestic lighting programme, with the government’s UJALA scheme helping cut LED bulb prices.

·         State-run Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL) runs the Gram Ujala scheme that offers the world’s cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas for ₹10.

·         While 350 million compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs have been replaced with LED bulbs, the target is to reach 770 million.

·         At the Glasgow summit, Modi promised to meet 50% of India’s energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030 and increase non-fossil fuel power generation capacity to 500 gigawatts by the end of this decade.

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India is making preparations for its power grid for a significant expansion of renewable energy sources

·         India intends to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070, as promised at the COP26 event in Glasgow last year. In addition, India aims to achieve 50% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030 and to increase non-fossil fuel electricity generation capacity to about 500 GW in the current decade.

·         In view of these goals, the Government of India (GoI) has authorized a multibillion-dollar plan to build transmission lines to connect renewable energy installations to the grid.

·         Establishing “green energy corridors”

·         In two stages, India is establishing “green energy corridors.” On its website, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy states, “The Green Energy Corridor Project focuses on synchronizing electricity supplied from renewable sources, like solar and wind, with traditional power stations in the grid.” According to the Hindustan Times, one phase will provide 20 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power to the national grid.

·         According to the report, the government is also in the midst of constructing 63 GW of renewable power capacity. By 2030, cumulative non-fossil fuel power capacity is predicted to rise by 66%. India’s renewable energy production capacity would expand by 16 GW in the financial year 2023, as per rating agency ICRA. India plans to reduce predicted carbon emissions by one billion tons by 2030.

·         Green energy investments are also steadily increasing. Green energy ventures in India got $7.27 billion in foreign direct investments from 2014-15 to June 2021. The United States received $797.21 million of this total in 2020-21.

·         The government also wants to make sure that the national grid isn’t jeopardized by the massive increase in electricity generated by renewable energy sources like solar and wind. The grid frequency stays within the range of 49.90-50.05 Hz (hertz) because of the upkeep of the aforementioned corridors. According to the study, the government also recently installed an Automatic Generation Control (AGC), that sends signals to power stations every four seconds to sustain frequency and provide a more dependable electricity grid.

·         Powering up

·         From Financial Year 2021-22 to Financial Year 2025-26, transmission systems will be built over a five-year period. The Central Financial Assistance (CFA), according to the statement, will offset intra-state distribution charges and maintain power costs low. By 2022, another stage of the project should be able to supply approximately 24 GW of renewable energy. India has established a non-fossil energy capacity of 157.32 GW. According to the report, this accounts for 40.1 percent of total installed electricity capacity.

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‘Need schemes to encourage clean energy generation, use’

·         Schemes with incentives for production and use of clean energy are needed to reduce the carbon intensity of the economy and designing such schemes will be a priority for NITI Aayog, vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said.

·         Green transition will be a priority for the federal policy think tank in 2022, Kumar said in an interview. That entails framing schemes that promote the production and use of clean energy and reduce the economy’s carbon footprint.

·         Given Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support for the initiative, the time is ripe for giving a big push to natural farming and to expand it to all the states, Kumar said.

·         “Already about 30 lakh farmers are practising it in 11 states. The target must be now to reach one crore farmers in the next three years. At the same time, we have to take a very nurturing view of it. You cannot mandate it. That will not work it. You have to build the confidence by handholding," he said.

·         Modi had set the goal of India achieving net zero emissions by 2070, at a climate summit last year. Natural farming is just the reverse of using chemical fertilizers, which pump out carbon into the atmosphere.

·         “If you do natural farming, you capture carbon. That is a very big advantage. It also reduces water use by about a fourth at least. You can also grow crops in arid areas," Kumar said.

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Ambani eyes $3 billion equity raise for green power

·         Reliance Industries Ltd has initiated talks with global investors to raise as much as $3 billion in equity to fuel its ambitious plans for the renewable energy business, said two people directly aware of the matter.

·         The discussions are at a preliminary stage, and the billionaire Mukesh Ambani-controlled refining-to-retail conglomerate has so far reached out to a select group of potential investors, including a large pension fund and a few sovereign wealth funds based in the Middle East, the people said requesting anonymity as the talks are private.

·         “Like Jio platforms, this time too, the discussions are being led by Manoj Modi, a RIL veteran and long-time close associate of chairman Mukesh Ambani," one of the two people said.

·         “The discussions are a precursor to a more formal round of talks where the valuation and structure of potential investments will be discussed," the second person said. “While the quantum of the initial fundraise has largely been decided, the final figure may change somewhat," the person added.

·         Neither of the people mentioned above did not say how much equity Reliance Industries plans to sell in its renewable energy business.

·         A spokesperson for Reliance Industries did not respond to an emailed query until press time.

·         Jio Platforms, which houses RIL’s digital business assets, had in 2020 raised a total of $10.3 billion through equity deals with five investors comprising Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic and KKR.

·         Reliance Industries, which currently generates more than half of its revenues from refining and petrochemicals, is building the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex on 5,000 acres in Jamnagar, Gujarat. The company said last June that the complex would have giga factories to produce integrated solar photovoltaic modules, electrolyzers, fuel cells and energy storage. RIL plans to invest more than ₹75,000 crore in these initiatives over the next three years to become a net-zero company by 2035.

·         Reliance Industries’ plans echo those of other global oil firms such as Royal Dutch Shell, Eni Spa and BP Plc, who have pledged to turn net-zero carbon amid pressure from investors and green activists.

·         “The bulk of the new funding will go to Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd, which has announced plans to build the solar capacity of at least 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030," the first person said.

·         Reliance New Energy has so far stitched four clean energy deals and a partnership to further its clean energy ambition. Last October, it acquired REC Solar Holdings AS from China National Bluestar (Group) Co. Ltd at an enterprise value of $771 million to leverage its abilities in manufacturing panels and polysilicon and gain access to a global customer base. It also on-boarded Germany’s NexWafe’s technology to deliver competitively priced PV panels and picked a 40% stake in Sterling and Wilson Solar. Last August, Reliance New Energy invested $50 million to buy equity in the US energy storage firm Ambri Inc. and to also pursue an exclusive partnership to set up a large-scale battery manufacturing facility in India that could further bring down costs for Reliance’s green energy plan.

·         Last December, Reliance Industries took a $736 million equivalent green loan from five banks to fund its acquisition of REC Solar, marking its first such financing. This month, it proposed ₹5 trillion over 15 years to for a 100GW renewable energy plant and green hydrogen eco-system development in Gujarat.

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Niti Aayog plans to set up EV charging infra at railway stations

·         The Niti Aayog has prepared a draft policy for the Indian Railways to set up electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure at railway stations across the country, in a bid to promote the use of such vehicles. The draft policy, which has been shared with the ministry of railways, also recommends supply of renewable energy to the charging facilities in line with Indian Railways’ aim to become net-zero carbon emitter by 2030.

·         The policy is under discussion with the ministry of railways, said Amitabh Kant, Niti Aayog’s chief executive officer. The apex public policy think tank has recommended that while the railways can plan to put in place EV charging facilities at all stations in a phased manner till 2030, the facility can be immediately provided at 123 redeveloped railway stations.

·         “Railway stations are landmark locations and they play a unique role in the entire transport sector, which make them strategic locations for providing public charging solutions for EVs,” Kant said. Niti Aayog officials have recently discussed the draft policy with the railway ministry officials. Rajeev Jain, additional director general, PR, railway ministry, said, “We have very recently received the communication. We are working on it.”

·         Under the Centre’s FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and EV) scheme, the push is towards adoption of EVs, especially in public and shared transportation, in a big way in the country. The aim is to support approximately 7,000 e-buses, 500,000 electric three-wheelers, 55,000 electric four-wheeler passenger cars and one million electric two-wheelers through subsidy, said a NitiAayog official.

·         For this, providing a good and accessible EV charging infrastructure network is critical. While the Centre has taken several initiatives to scale up EV charging facilities, NITI officials said, railway stations can provide a secure and accessible charging infrastructure to city residents.

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Ayana Renewable surpasses 1 GW (AC) of operational capacity

·         Ayana Renewable Power Private Limited (Ayana), a Bengaluru-based renewable energy platform majority controlled by National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), today announced it has surpassed 1 GW (AC) of operational renewable energy capacity in India. It is now one of the largest RE developers in the nation with an operating portfolio of 1.19 GW (AC).

·         The developer hit the milestone with the commissioning of a 300 MW (AC) interstate transmission system (ISTS) connected solar PV project in the Bikaner district of Rajasthan. The project is spread across approximately 1,500 acres and is connected to 765/400 KV PowerGrid substation. The project benefits from a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

·         The Rajasthan plant, one of the largest projects developed by Ayana, has generated employment for close to 2,000 people. In addition, the project is expected to meet the equivalent demand of 1,41,000 end consumers, and it is estimated to help avoid 6,23,000 tonnes of annual CO2 emissions over 20 years.

·         Founded in 2018, Ayana is also backed by CDC Group, UK’s development finance institution, and EverSource Capital managed Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF). The platform develops utility-scale renewable power solar and wind generation projects across India to build cost-effective capacity. Ayana, currently engaged in the development and management of over 3 GW (AC) of renewable energy capacity across multiple Indian states, aims to hit an overall RE portfolio of 10 GW (AC) by 2025.

·         Shivanand Nimbargi, managing director and chief executive officer of Ayana, said, “We started Ayana with a vision to create significant renewable energy capacity across India, complementing it with the development of communities around us. With the support of our stakeholders, we have achieved this significant milestone of 1 GW (AC) operational renewable energy capacity, which is in line with our long-term goal to achieve 10 GW (AC) of renewable energy portfolio by 2025. We will continue to accelerate and contribute to meeting India’s energy transition plan of having an RE capacity of 500 GW (AC) by 2030.”

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Centre allows people to install rooftop solar panels of their choice

·         The Union Ministry of Renewable Energy has allowed households to get rooftop solar panels installed by themselves or by any vendor of their choice. Now, a photograph of the installed system would be sufficient to avail the benefits or subsidy under the government scheme.

·         Till now, the households were to choose the vendor from the list of vendors to avail the benefits. This would help many households which are interested in installing solar panels on their terrace.

·         The decision to simplify the rooftop solar scheme was taken in a review meeting chaired by Union Minister for Power and Renewable Energy R.K. Singh recently. In the meeting, the minister gave directions for simplifying the rooftop scheme, so that people would able to access equipment and materials needed to set up rooftop solar power.

·         “Henceforth it is not required for any household to get the rooftop installed by any of the listed vendors. The households may install a rooftop by themselves or get the rooftop installed by any vendor of their choice, but inform the distribution company about the installation with a photograph of the system,” the minister said.

·         The minister asked the individuals who have set up or want to set up a rooftop solar power scheme to inform the power distribution company.

·         It is mandatory that the individual must give intimation to the power distribution company about the installation of the rooftop scheme. It can be given either in the material form through a letter or on the designated website, which has been setup by every Discom and by the Centre for the rooftop scheme.

·         The distribution company will ensure that the net metering will be provided within 15 days of the information being received. The subsidy to be given by the government, which is 40 per cent for the rooftop scheme up to 3KW capacity and 20 per cent beyond 10KW capacity, will be credited to the account of the householder by the Discom within 30 days of the installation.

·         To ensure that the quality of the solar power panel and inverter is according to the prescribed standard, the Centre will publish the lists of solar power manufacturers and inverter manufacturers, whose products meet the expected quality standards and the price lists, from time to time. The householder can select the solar power panels and inverter of his or her choice.

·         As of December, Tamil Nadu has a total installed solar rooftop capacity of 537 MW, of which 75 per cent is in the industrial sector, 19 per cent is commercial and six per cent is in the public sector, according to data from Bridge to India.

·         While the state built an early lead in adding capacity, recent data shows that frequent policy changes discouraging new rooftop solar installations have significantly slowed down the pace of growth. These policy flip-flops fly in the face of the state’s own target to set up 3600 MW of rooftop solar by 2023.

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Housing.com forays into Rooftop Solar business

·         Real estate advising platform Housing.com has made a foray into solar power business by launching "Solar Rooftop" – a solar rooftop solution for homes under its rental and allied services platform Housing Edge.

·         "With the help of this innovative residential solution, homeowners can save up to 90 per cent on their electricity bills. In this context, Housing.com has entered into a partnership with Loom Solar, an emerging SolarTech start-up under Government of India’s Start-up India initiative," the company said in a statement.

·         The partnership will leverage and augment the strength of both the organisations for providing a one-stop solution to home owners for their solar needs and laying the foundation for creating future ready homes, according to the statement.

·         At Housing.com, we continuously aim to create new offerings to add greater value to our customers. This tie up with Loom Solar is another step in that direction. Rooftop solar is one of the crucial elements in creating sustainable living solutions and we are confident that demand for this will continue to rise exponentially in the near future,” said Dhruv Agarwala, group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com & PropTiger.com.

·         Indian homes and commercial establishments are increasingly opting for installing solar power plants at their rooftop as part of a larger drive towards sustainable living. The country added a record 1.3 Gigawatt of rooftop solar power capacity in the first nine months of 2021.

·         "Loom Solar recently crossed 50,000 homes adopting rooftop solar systems and this tie-up with Housing.com takes another footstep towards addressing the bigger mission," said Amod Anand, Co-Founder & Director, Loom Solar.

·         Housing.com said even in its pre-launch phase, solar rooftop solutions have emerged as one of the most popular and fastest growing categories under Housing Edge with 20 per cent Month-on-Month growth in user enquiries.

·         To increase the outreach of Solar Rooftop solutions, in addition to this partnership, the firm has tied up with three more companies for providing solar rooftop solutions including Home Scape, My Sun & Solar Square.

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India is making preparations for its power grid for a significant expansion of renewable energy sources

·         India intends to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070, as promised at the COP26 event in Glasgow last year. In addition, India aims to achieve 50% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030 and to increase non-fossil fuel electricity generation capacity to about 500 GW in the current decade.

·         In view of these goals, the Government of India (GoI) has authorized a multibillion-dollar plan to build transmission lines to connect renewable energy installations to the grid.

·         Establishing “green energy corridors”

·         In two stages, India is establishing “green energy corridors.” On its website, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy states, “The Green Energy Corridor Project focuses on synchronizing electricity supplied from renewable sources, like solar and wind, with traditional power stations in the grid.” According to the Hindustan Times, one phase will provide 20 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power to the national grid.

·         According to the report, the government is also in the midst of constructing 63 GW of renewable power capacity. By 2030, cumulative non-fossil fuel power capacity is predicted to rise by 66%. India’s renewable energy production capacity would expand by 16 GW in the financial year 2023, as per rating agency ICRA. India plans to reduce predicted carbon emissions by one billion tons by 2030.

·         Green energy investments are also steadily increasing. Green energy ventures in India got $7.27 billion in foreign direct investments from 2014-15 to June 2021. The United States received $797.21 million of this total in 2020-21.

·         The government also wants to make sure that the national grid isn’t jeopardized by the massive increase in electricity generated by renewable energy sources like solar and wind. The grid frequency stays within the range of 49.90-50.05 Hz (hertz) because of the upkeep of the aforementioned corridors. According to the study, the government also recently installed an Automatic Generation Control (AGC), that sends signals to power stations every four seconds to sustain frequency and provide a more dependable electricity grid.

·         Powering up

·         From Financial Year 2021-22 to Financial Year 2025-26, transmission systems will be built over a five-year period. The Central Financial Assistance (CFA), according to the statement, will offset intra-state distribution charges and maintain power costs low. By 2022, another stage of the project should be able to supply approximately 24 GW of renewable energy. India has established a non-fossil energy capacity of 157.32 GW. According to the report, this accounts for 40.1 percent of total installed electricity capacity.

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Oil & Gas(11 News Items)

Soaring Gas Prices Will Boost Profits For India’s Biggest Company

·         Reliance Industries expects the global natural gas crunch and the gas price rally to continue benefiting India’s oil-to-telecoms conglomerate with more earnings in the coming months after higher oil and gas production and price realizations helped it deliver record quarterly earnings.

·         Reliance Industries, the biggest company in India led by Asia’s richest person Mukesh Ambani, expects India to raise the cap on the offshore gas sales by 60 percent in April, to $10 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), the group’s senior vice president for exploration and production, Sanjay Roy, said at the presentation of the Q3 results, as carried by Bloomberg.

·         The higher gas prices and the increased gas production from the Krishna-Godavari (KG) oil and gas fields in the Bay of Bengal drove higher revenues and core earnings for the conglomerate in the quarter ended December 31.

·         According to Roy, Reliance Industries and BP, its partner in the KG fields, expect to raise gas production to 30 million cubic meters per day next year, from 18 million cubic meters per day now.

·         In its quarterly earnings report, Reliance Industries said on Friday that the revenues of its Oil & Gas segment increased multi-fold in the quarter to December 2021, led by a ramp-up of gas production from the KG D6 block. Revenue growth was also supported by higher gas price realization in KG D6 and CBM blocks, the conglomerate said.

·         “The recovery in global oil and energy markets supported strong fuel margins and helped our O2C business deliver robust earnings. Our Oil & Gas segment delivered strong growth in EBITDA with volume growth and improved realization,” Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, said in a statement.

·         Ambani also noted Reliance Industries’ recent commitments to invest billions of U.S. dollars in renewables in India. The conglomerate plans to invest as much as $76 billion in green energy projects in India over the next 15 years, it said earlier this month.

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Can the upcoming Budget 2022 fuel India's economy?

·         2022 has now commenced with a surge in Omicron-led COVID-19 cases that are threatening to jeopardize global economic activity yet again, for the third time in less than two years. In this period of volatility and vulnerability – the only constant has been the will of the economy to reinvent itself, realign its goals and reimagine its vision for a better, safer world. This sounds well; but when seen from an oil and gas perspective, some introspection is necessary.

·         The challenge ahead

·         Determined to recover after two years of unexpected halts, the wheels of the economy are now gaining pace and the demand for crude is expected to surge. While encouraging, India remains heavily import-dependent, shedding USD 100 bn and above each year on importing oil while its citizens are forced to shed Rs 100 and above for a litre of petrol. Thus, for India, this positive progress will further pressure the exchequer that is already writhing after a year of steep social welfare spending. Unless domestic capacities are augmented and import dependence reduced, any growth in demand will convert itself into a toxic cycle of shrinking public spending, spiralling inflation, and stagnant economic activity. To match expected demand, the domestic oil and gas sector needs relief through reduced tax burden,enhanced marketing freedom, greater incentive for production of unconventional fuels, domestic parity and more.

·         The economy functions in a closely knit web of interconnected and interdependent industries, with oil and gas providing basic nourishment for uninterrupted functioning. For this, augmenting capacities of the domestic sector is key. To encourage domestic producers, the Prime Minister has asserted the importance of shifting from revenue-oriented thinking to production-augmenting actions that can guarantee long-term profitability. Ultimately, each economic target that our country is todaywholeheartedly pursuing – whether in boosting manufacturing, increasing employment, achieving aatmanirbharta or becoming a USD 5 trillion economy – remains dependent on the capacity of the oil and gas sector to provide and perform.

·         A Budget to fuel India

·         Now, given a new year and a fresh Budget, the government must consider making some crucial policy reforms in the domestic oil and gas sector to support energy autonomy and shield the country and its people from volatile global crude markets. Leading operators of oil and gas businesses have been communicating some concerns and possible solutions for the sector that have become even more relevant in view of the upcoming Budget 2022-23. The government should look at making interventionsin some critical areas. These are:

·         - Improving domestic production through a simplified tax structure at par with newer regimes like HELP

·         - Increasing competitiveness for domestic producers by introducing import parity and marketing freedom

·         - Encouraging new investments in exploration to improve investor sentiment

·         - Bringing oil & gas sector under the ambit of GST

·         - Incentivizing investments in the exploration and production of unconventional fuels like shale

·         Pre-NELP blocks today comprise 90 per cent of India’s domestic production while being burdened by a limiting tax structure that draws away 67 per cent of income through various taxations in royalty, cess, and profit petroleum. These blocks also encounter natural challenges that come from ageing fields and diminishing output. To help these blocks extract their true potential, technology up-gradation, and fresh investment is key. However, a heavy tax burden has converted these mature resources into low-performing assets. Here, the government still has a large role to play in revising the tax structure and encouraged the sector through production-linked incentives to increase investments in technology up-gradation.

·         India’s domestic producers are also encountering an unexpected challenge in uneven import parity. Domestic crude sales to refineries are subject to CST/VAT while the same is not applicable on imported crude. This makes domestic crude costlier by 3 per cent and the additional cost must be borne by the domestic producer. There is also lack of marketing freedom as the government volumes of crude for designated refineries, thus reducing bargaining power of domestic crude producers and lowering their sales realizations. This is unexpected in India that has spelt aatmanirbharta and encouraging domestic production as key pillars in its economic growth journey.

·         The government recognises the potential in the country’s unexplored regions and has been incentivising exploration through successive policies such as HELP, NELP, OALP, and DSF. These bids have introduced flexibility, but exploration is a time-consuming process and new fields will take at least 5-6 years before it reaches significant levels of production. Nonetheless, attracting fresh investments and new players is key to domestic competitiveness and if enabled, can bring rich dividends to the government.

·         The past few months have witnessed growing discussions on the possibilities of revising the GST structure and reconsidering the exempted category of five hydrocarbon fuels. There is reluctance, among both the Centre and states, as their exchequer sees significant contribution from the sector. Nonetheless, it is important to evaluate the possibility and more importantly, initiate the process of simplification and uniformity that comprises the core of the GST framework.

·         Finally, there is great scope for the government to incentivise commercial shale production which can be a potential gamechanger for India – not only in achieving energy security but also in curtailing our dependence on coal. Though the cost of production is initially higher, causing some apprehension, a robust policy for shale production can attract rich investments in the sector, increasing income for the government and also bringing long-term energy security.

·         Let’s act today for an energised tomorrow

·         The oil and gas sector, especially in India, is at the cusp of necessary transformation without which, economic progress will become a folly. While the oil and gas industry’s recovery has been better than expected in 2021, uncertainty remains over market dynamics in the coming year. As we move into 2022, many companies are looking to reinvent themselves by practicing capital discipline, focusing on financial health, committing to climate change, and transforming business models.

·         The industry today has an important role to play in aiding the country’s growth goals as well as sustainability targets. Key revisions in policy structure can lend necessary autonomy to the sector in augmenting its performance with stronger investments and technology upgradation. If India is indeed to fulfill its goal of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy and achieving aatmanirbharta, the oil and gas industry must not just be marginally profitable but instead, highly prosperous.

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India's fuel demand recovery to continue: Fitch

·         India's fuel demand will continue to recover through the current quarter as the easing of Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions boosts economic activity, Fitch Ratings said on Monday, adding a caveat that this was subject to the risk of a resurgence in infections and the resultant impact on economy and mobility.

·         The recovery should support higher throughput at most oil marketing companies and strong prices are expected to improve the financial profiles of upstream oil and gas companies.

·         Fitch said it "expects India's petroleum product demand to remain moderately strong in the fourth quarter of the financial year ending March 2022 (4QFY22), as the easing of Covid-19 pandemic-led restrictions boosts economic activity."

·         However, recovery expectations remain subject to further restrictions due to the risk of a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in India with the emergence of new variants, even as the country makes progress in its vaccination plan.

·         "We expect improved demand for petroleum products to reach pre-pandemic levels in 4QFY22 (January-March 2022), but the full financial year's demand is still 2-4% below that in FY20," Fitch said.

·         Demand rose by 5% yoy in April-December 2021, but the overall monthly average was about 8-10% lower than the pre-pandemic level at 16.4 million tonnes. This is because there were still some pandemic-related restrictions in some regions of the country in 1HFY22.

·         "We expect the recovery to continue through to 4QFY22, subject to the risk of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases and the resultant impact on economic activity and mobility," it said.

·         In its 'India Oil & Gas Watch' report, the rating agency said capex is likely to stay high as oil marketing companies (OMCs) expand their refining capacity and retail networks, and upstream companies enhance production.

·         "We expect stable crude oil production, which should marginally increase in FY23 as upstream producers continue to invest in exploration and development," it said.

·         India's natural gas production increased by 22% yoy in April-December 2021 and the momentum is likely to continue over the next 12-18 months, driven by expanded production at new fields, before stabilising in FY23.

·         "We believe rising domestic production and higher liquefied natural gas (LNG) spot prices are likely to weigh on LNG imports through to 1HFY23. However, LNG imports should rise steadily over the medium-term as consumption picks up pace," it said.

·         Core oil refining margins are likely to improve in 2HFY22 (October 2021 to March 2022), as petrol and diesel spreads continue to strengthen amid the economic recovery.

·         The 1HFY22 (April-September 2021) reported margins of BPCL, IOC and HPCL improved to $5.1 per barrel, $6.6 and $2.9 a barrel, respectively, on account of rebounding demand, wider gasoline spreads and inventory gains.

·         "We expect the OMCs to generate steady marketing margins in 2HFY22, as they continue to pass on higher crude oil prices to consumers," Fitch said.

·         "Government cuts to gasoline (petrol) and gasoil (diesel) excise duties, as well as to value-added tax in some states, should cushion retail fuel-price affordability and the OMCs' marketing margins."

·         However, record-high retail fuel prices may limit the extent to which the changes are passed on should the crude oil prices continue to rise, it said.

·         India's crude oil production declined by 3% year-on-year in April-December 2021, while natural gas production rose by 22%.

·         The steep rise in gas output was due to a production ramp-up at the KG-DWN-98/2 and KG-D6 deepwater projects. Natural gas production to further increase over the next 12-18 months, driven by expanding production at the new fields, before stabilising in FY23.

·         "Crude oil production should stay stable in 4QFY22, before marginally increasing as upstream producers continue to invest in exploration and development and enhance existing facilities to offset the natural decline from mature fields," Fitch said.

·         The government increased the domestic gas price at the last October 2021-March 2022 reset to $2.9 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), from an all-time low of $1.8 in April 2021-September 2021.

·         The price is linked to prices of four global liquefied natural gas (LNG) benchmarks, including Henry Hub and National Balancing Point, in the previous 12 months and is implemented with a quarter's lag.

·         Global gas prices rose during 2021 and we expect global prices to stay high in 1Q22, driven by high demand in Asia, production bottlenecks and uncertainty around Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline as well as limited gas in European storage facilities.

·         This is likely to result in higher domestic gas prices during 1HFY23, helping boost profitability at upstream companies. However, the impact on upstream companies will be marginal, due to its low share in the revenue mix, Fitch said.

·         The government's higher price ceiling for gas produced from deepwater and other difficult fields of $6.13 per mmBtu, from $3.62, is likely to benefit production at Reliance Industries Ltd's Krishna Godavari basin field.

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India Oil & Gas Watch: 3QFY22

·         Fitch Ratings expects India’s petroleum product demand to stay moderately strong in the fourth quarter of the financial year ending March 2022 (2HFY22), as modest Covid-19 pandemic restrictions boost economic activity. However, recovery expectations remain subject to further restrictions due to the risk of a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in India with the emergence of new variants, even as the country makes progress in its vaccination plan. We expect the economic recovery to support higher throughput at Indian oil marketing companies – Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited – and at refineries, such as, HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited.

·         We expect a further improvement in the core gross refining margin in 2HFY22, as gasoline and diesel spreads continue to strengthen amid the economic recovery. The 1HFY22 reported margins of BPCL, IOC and HPCL improved to USD5.1/barrel, USD6.6/barrel and USD2.9/barrel, respectively, on account of rebounding demand, wider gasoline spreads and inventory gains. HPCL’s lower gross refining margin is due to a planned refinery shutdown.We expect the OMCs to generate steady marketing margins in 2HFY22, as they continue to pass on higher crude oil prices to consumers. Government cuts to gasoline and gasoil excise duties, as well as to value added tax in some states, should cushion retail fuel-price affordability and the OMCs’ marketing margins.

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India's oil import bill witness steep rise

·         Surging prices have doubled India's oil import bill this financial year while gas import costs have risen 61%.

·         India paid $82.4 billion for the crude oil it imported in the nine months through December 2021, a 108% jump over $39.6 billion paid over the same period in 2020, according to the Oil Ministry data. The jump was primarily due to spiraling prices as the volume of imported oil increased only 9% in the same period.

·         The bill for nine months has already eclipsed the entire year’s import spending of $62.2 billion in 2020-21. At the current pace, this year’s import spending would easily surpass $101.4 billion of 2019-20 and may match $112 billion of 2018-19.

·         Oil was trading above $88 per barrel on Monday, 36% up since the beginning of the current financial year, as supply has lagged a sharp recovery in global demand. Geopolitical tensions in the Mideast and Eastern Europe have also aided price rise in recent days.

·         The average price of the Indian basket of crude oil is about $73 per barrel this fiscal year as against $45 in 2020-21 and $60.5 in 2019-20.

·         The natural gas import bill too has expanded 61% to $8.7 billion even though volumes fell 3% in the April-December period. India paid $7.9 billion in 2020-21 and $9.5 billion in 2019-20 for the import of gas.

·         Natural gas prices have skyrocketed in the global market as supply failed to match demand. Record-high rates in the spot market have curbed Indian consumption of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Asia-delivered LNG has traded above $30 per mmBtu for months in the spot market. Even LNG volumes obtained under long-term contracts have become expensive as these are mostly linked to oil prices that have sharply risen this year.

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Chhara LNG terminal faces pipeline delay, work yet to begin

·         The upcoming LNG terminal at Simar port in Gir-Somnath district’s Chhara region, being built at an estimated cost of Rs 4,300 crore, will be ready for commissioning in the April-May period next year. The project, however, will not be fully commissioned for another two years due to issues in the R-LNG evacuation pipeline, said government sources aware of the developments.

·         Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL), the transmission company of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), is to lay an 86km R-LNG evacuation pipeline. The pipeline will connect the terminal to the GSPL gas grid in the state. But construction work is yet to start on the pipeline, said sources.

·         GSPL had raised some issues with the downstream regulator, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). GSPL had been waiting for more than two years for the authorization letter to start laying the pipeline.

·         The Rs 622 crore pipeline will be laid between Chhara and Lothpur. “PNGRB only recently issued the authorization letter,” said a source. “Even if the tendering process is completed in the next few months, it will take at least three years for the pipeline project to be completed.”

·         A stretch of the pipeline passes close to the eco-sensitive zone of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary that is home to Asiatic lions. So the final approval from the state forest department and the Union environment ministry is required, said sources.

·         According to the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) guidelines, if a project lies within 10km of any sanctuary, a no-objection certificate is required from the standing committee of the board.

·         According to a September 2006 notification, oil and gas transportation pipelines in the vicinity of national parks, sanctuaries, coral reefs, and other ecologically sensitive areas require prior clearance from the Union environment ministry.

·         The State Board for Wildlife, Gujarat, recommended the pipeline project to the state government for consideration about fourteen months ago, said sources.

·         GSPL had entrusted Secon Pvt Ltd with the task of undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment study and preparing the Environmental Management Plan as well as the Risk Assessment & Disaster Management Plan for the proposed pipeline. The pipeline is expected to be 86.61km long and 36 inches in diameter with total capacity of 18 million metric standard cubic metres per day.

·         The pipeline alignment has been planned in such a way that near the ecologically sensitive areas, cutting of trees will be minimized or avoided completely, said sources in GSPL.

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Indian Oil Corporation Q3FY22 Preview: Revenue seen at Rs1,471,073 million, PAT at Rs69,976 million and GRM at US$6.9/bbl

·         Oil marketing companies (OMCs), including Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) are likely to post strong set of results for the quarter ended December 31, 2021.

·         Higher prices of Brent crude and healthy demand could aid both gross refining margins or GRMs as well as volumes for the OMCs.

·         Price hikes will aid marketing margins in the quarter even as volumes could grow in double digits on a sequential basis. Lower price hikes in domestic LPG though could have some impact on the results.

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High LNG prices, growing natural gas output to impact imports till H1 FY23

·         The growth in production of natural gas in the country as well as the continuous uptick in the prices of liquified natural gas (LNG) could impact India’s LNG imports during Q4 FY21 as well as for the April-September period next fiscal, ratings agency Fitch said on Monday.

·         “We believe rising domestic production and higher spot LNG prices are likely to constrain LNG imports during Q4 FY22 and H1 FY23. Natural gas consumption in April-November 2021 was up 9 per cent y-o-y, as India’s economy recovered.

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What's driving up crude prices now?

·         Geopolitical tensions have created fresh fears of oil supply disruptions, resulting in high crude prices. According to Goldman Sachs, crude prices are likely to breach the $100/bbl mark in the third quarter of 2022. This isn’t good news for India. Mint explains:

·         What is the outlook for crude prices?

·         Crude prices have begun soaring to a multi-year high after the drone attacks by Houthi rebels of Yemen on targets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On 20 January, the Brent future hit a seven-year high of $88.3 per barrel, and the outlook remains bullish for crude futures. In addition, the growing presence of the Russian military at the Ukrainian border has raised red flags—the US has threatened serious implications in case of a Russian invasion. An escalation of the crisis would only exacerbate supply concerns and lift crude prices.

·         Are other factors also driving up prices?

·         Strong demand, weak investment, and a lack of spare capacity are among other factors driving up prices. According to the International Energy Agency, worldwide oil demand has now recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but supply is short by at least a million barrels per day. Bank of Baroda says although the US can sell from its strategic petroleum reserve, its supply is limited: Crude inventories may have fallen to 593 million barrels, the lowest since November 2002. The brief outage of the Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline due to an explosion also caused a spike in oil prices recently.

·         What is the impact on the prices of ATF?

·         The cost of crude’s downstream products, including aviation turbine fuel (ATF), has increased and is expected to rise further. On 16 January, ATF prices rose 4.2%, taking the price in New Delhi to ₹79,294.91 per kilolitre. The pandemic-induced low demand and high fuel prices have been major concerns of the aviation industry which has for long sought relief in fuel rates.

·         What’s the larger picture?

·         India imports 85% of its domestic oil requirements. The import bill, therefore, will go up. Already, India’s oil import bill has more than doubled to $71.1 billion between April and November 2021. A $10 per barrel increase in crude raises India’s inflation rate by around 50 basis points and widens the fiscal deficit by about 40 basis points. Any crude price shock has a bearing on the Current Account Deficit (CAD) to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio that rises sharply even if the GDP itself is growing.

·         What about the duty structure?

·         Fuel prices are a politically sensitive subject. With several assembly elections approaching, oil companies have suspended fuel price revisions. Petrol and diesel prices have been static since 2 December even though crude has risen from $70.5 a barrel to $87.5 a barrel now. Every $1 increase in crude necessities a 50 paisa per litre hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. To keep fuel prices from rising post elections, both the Centre and states would need to cut excise duty and the value added tax (VAT) on fuel further.

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RIL Q3 PAT rises 38percent YoY to Rs 20,539 cr

·         On a consolidated basis, India's largest conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL) reported a 37.9% jump in net profit to Rs 20,539 crore on a 57% rise in net sales to Rs 185,027 crore in Q3 FY22 over Q3 FY21.

·         Consolidated profit before tax stood at Rs 25,227 crore in Q3 FY22, rising 68.4% from Rs 14,982 crore posted in Q3 FY21. EBITDA for the quarter was at Rs 33,886 crore ($ 4.6 billion), higher by 29.9% year on year. EBITDA growth was driven by robust operating performance across businesses.

·         Finance cost decreased by 11.9% to Rs 3,812 crore in Q3 FY22 as against Rs 4,326 crore posted in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Lower finance costs reflected large paydown of debt, other liabilities and stabilization of exchange rates. Outstanding debt as on 31 December 2021 was Rs 244,708 crore in Q3 FY22. Cash and cash equivalents as on 31 December 2021 were at Rs 241,846 crore.

·         The company posted an exceptional item (gain) of Rs 2,872 crore on account of divestment of shale gas assets, partially offset by provisions for liabilities pertaining to GAPCO amounting to Rs 36 crore.

·         Commenting on the results, Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman and MD of Reliance Industries said, I am happy to announce that Reliance has posted best-ever quarterly performance in Q3 FY22 with strong contribution from all our businesses. Both our consumer businesses, Retail and Digital services have recorded highest ever revenues and EBITDA. During this quarter, we continued to focus on strategic investments and partnerships across our businesses to drive future growth. Retail business activity has normalized with strong growth in key consumption baskets on the back of festive season and as lockdowns eased across the country. Our digital services business has delivered broad based, sustainable, and profitable growth through improved customer engagement and subscriber mix. The recovery in global oil and energy markets supported strong fuel margins and helped our O2C business deliver robust earnings. Our Oil & Gas segment delivered strong growth in EBITDA with volume growth and improved realization. We are making steady progress towards achieving our vision of Net Carbon Zero by 2035.

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ONGC gains after subsidiary's Brazilian project enters commercialization stage

·         Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) rose 1.44% to Rs 165.95 after ONGC Videsh entered the development stage with the declaration of commerciality (DoC) in its Brazil offshore project BM-SEAL-4.

·         ONGC Videsh is the wholly owned subsidiary and overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

·         ONGC Videsh had registered a major gas discovery in 2019 in its deep offshore block BM-SEAL-4, Brazil, located in the Sergipe Alagoas Basin. Petrobras is the Operator of the block with 75% Participating Interest (PI) and in which partner ONGC Videsh holds 25% PI.

·         ONGC Videsh, after detailed evaluation, has now entered into the development stage with the submission of declaration of commerciality (DoC) for the block BM-SEAL-4.

·         The block development module of Petrobras envisages the installation of a shared FPSO and a gas pipeline.

·         The name suggested to the Brazilian regulator for the field is Budi. The development module is presently in the contract planning phase and is expected to start production after 2026.

·         The Consortium plans to continue all operational activities for submission of the Development Plan to the Regulator and meeting the target for the first oil.

·         ONGC is India's largest integrated oil and gas company. ONGC is 60.41% owned by the Government of India.

·         The state-run oil major's consolidated net profit surged 328.81% to Rs 18055.01 crore on 45.93% rise in net sales to Rs 122029.47 crore in Q2 FY22 over Q2 FY21.

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Coal(7 News Items)

Maharashtra may face power shortage due to dip in coal supply

·         Maharashtra may face a power shortage in the wake of a dip in the coal supply from the Coal India arms. Against the daily requirement of 1,34,000 tonnes, the state-run Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MahaGenco) is currently receiving 1,20,000 tonnes which have impacted power generation at its generation plants located in Nashik, Chandrapur, Paras, Parli and Bhusawal.

·         These generation plants are expected to have coal stock for 22 to 24 days as mandated by the Central Electricity Authority but the stocks have been dipped ranging between 0.91 days at the Nashik plant & 4.82 days at the Koradi plant. If the coal supply is not restored earlier, the state-run Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) will be forced to procure the market from the open market or through power exchanges to fill the gap and avoid shortages.

·         A senior MahaGenco officer told the Free Press Journal, ‘’ The MahaGenco has already sought the intervention of the Ministry of Coal for early restoration of coal supply from the Western Coalfields, Mahanadi Coalfields, South Eastern Coalfields. Besides, the Ministry of Railways has been urged to provide an additional number of rakes for uninterrupted coal supply.

·         The coal shortage is attributed to the lack of coal production in the coal mines by WCL for want of explosives. In addition, railways have preferred to supply coal to pit head based power generation plants citing technical issues for supply to non-pit head based power plants meaning those plants which are located far away from mines citing the availability of rakes.’’ He further said that the MahaGenco with a thermal generation capacity of 10,170 MW, has recently cleared dues worth Rs 2,000 crore to the Western Coalfields to avoid further reminders.

·         The officer said there has not been a coal supply that is coming from the Western Coalfields situated at Chandrapur, Nagpur and Umred areas. ‘’The Coal India through its arms should daily supply 1,40,000 tonnes so that against the MahaGenco’s daily need of 1,20,000 tonnes, it can store the remaining stock for the rainy season.

·         MahaGenco CMD Sanjay Khandare admitted reduction in coal supply but said MahaGenco will receive a good amount of coal supply by February. ‘’Besides, the coal suppliers have given an option of supply through road instead of a railway that is being explored. The Railway Ministry has assured to increase more rakes. In addition, MahaGenco has floated the tender for the import of coal of 20 lakh tonnes,’’ he said.

·         Meanwhile, the Railway Ministry has said that it is consultation with the ministries of coal and power are already having a road map in place of supplying rakes to long-distance thermal power plants which is being implemented to build adequate coal stock with these plants.

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Roadmap in place for coal supply: Ministry of railways

·         The ministry of railways on Monday said the public transporter is implementing a roadmap, prepared in consultation with the power and coal ministries, for providing coal rakes to power plants located far away from mines to build up fuel stocks.

·         Responding to a TOI report published on Monday on low fuel stocks at distant power stations due to the South East Central Railway’s focus on units within the zone in rake allotment, the ministry said many plants in the zone are keeping low stocks as per new norms.

·         It said the rake supply to such shorter distance plants “naturally” improves because a large number of them are equipped with mechanised unloading systems, especially the ‘hopper’ mechanism, which results in a faster turnaround time of three hours. On closure of one unit of the Amaravati power plant in Maharashtra due to fuel shortage, the ministry said the supplies were lower because the plant was not equipped with a hopper system.

·         The ministry said many rakes had to be “stabled” after distant power plants regulated coal intake in the April-June period of 2020 to save inventory costs and ran short once power demand picked up. Stocks are being built up now.

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NCL achieves 100 Million Tonnes Coal Dispatch

·         Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL) a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coal India Limited, under the Ministry of Coal, Government of India achieved the 100 Million Tonnes Coal Dispatch, a spectacular 16 percent growth on Saturday. According to NCL, "This feat assumes significance considering the dependency of the Indian economy on coal, the steep rise in coal demand, and the ongoing COVID pandemic situation".

·         This spectacular achievement comes along with 16% y-o-y growth in coal dispatch. NCL has sent 100.38 MT of coal to its consumers till date, it added.

·         The Mini Ratna (Category-I) company reported a 17 percent growth in coal dispatch to powerhouses also more than 82 percent of coal was sent through eco-friendly mode. NCL operates primarily on social upliftment, sustainable development, and environmental up-gradation.

·         CMD NCL Shri Bhola Singh & FDs have congratulated the Team NCL on dispatching 100 MT coal 42 Days prior to its consumers than last year’s.

·         Moving beyond commitment, NCL has supplied 109% of its Annual Contract Quantity( ACQ) to power consumers.

·         In the FY 2021-22 NCL has produced 95.14 MT of coal posting positive growth over the last fiscal in spite of the COVID pandemic.

·         Background:-

·         Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL) has produced 115.04 Million Tonnes (MT) coal i.e. 101.80% of the target in FY 2020-21 with 6.50% growth over last year. It was for the 3rd consecutive year when NCL surpassed the 100 MT milestone. NCL is one among the 3 subsidiaries of Coal India Limited to cross 100 MT in FY 2020-21.

·         According to the NCL, the coal production of the company is higher than the target. The proposed or actual production of previous years is more than the planned target. So the positivity rate of the upcoming year is higher.

·         NCL is a mini Ratna company of the Government of India excavating coal from its 10 Opencast coal mines based out of Singrauli and Sonbhadra District of MP and UP respectively. The company is moving ahead towards sustainable mining and has taken vast initiatives like FMC projects, Coal Corridor, and others.

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India: Met coke offers rise on surging coking coal price

·         Domestic offers for metallurgical (met) coke in eastern India have increased by INR 2,000/t on the back of coking coal prices that have risen by $44/tonne (t) w-o-w. The offers in western India were heard to be unchanged.

·         While the buyers are reluctant to accept the higher offers, sellers are unwilling to lower their offers in apprehension of further rise in coking coal prices. Buyers' reluctance When inquired about the buyers' reluctance to accept raised offers, CoalMint learnt that the met coke being sold at present has been produced using

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Coal mining can’t be stopped completely, says Kharlukhi

·         National People’s Party state president and Rajya Sabha member, WR Kharlukhi said coal mining cannot be stopped completely and all politicians of the state are to be blamed for the mess it has caused.

·         “All the politicians have been in the government, (whether of) Congress or other parties. I accept that we politicians are to be blamed for this and not the people who support the economy of the state. We are not helping them to find a way out,” he said Sunday.

·         Kharlukhi took a swipe at former Chief Minister, Mukul M. Sangma for going hammer and tongs about illegal coal mining and transportation in the state after joining the All India Trinamool Congress.

·         “He was CM for eight years. He should look back at what he did (about illegal mining) during that period,” he said.

·         Stating that he is not saying the Opposition should not raise the issue, Kharlukhi said, “Politicians are to be blamed for not doing anything. When in the opposition, they turn it into an issue and when ruling, they do nothing. So, we need to discuss and find a way out.”

·         He felt no one should stop people from earning from an area and environmental hazards are cited to stop people from mining. Similar is the issue of pollution associated with the coke plants, he said.

·         Asserting that he is not supporting illegal activities, Kharlukhi said the generally poor people of the area thrived after the discovery of coal. But the sudden ban without any alternative livelihood spelt disaster for them, compelling them to do what they think is right to eke out a living.

·         The NPP leader stated coal mining cannot be stopped completely. “The government, NGT (National Green Tribunal) and the people should sit together and find a way out. It is very easy for people in the city to say cry illegal or pollution and not find a solution for the survival of the people,” he said.

·         “Our people will accept if you come with an idea and give them a proper alternative solution. It is easy to give an order but the impact of the order on the lives of the people must be assessed first,” Kharlukhi said.

·         He pointed out that people who used to benefit from all kinds of trades associated with coal mining are now suffering. “We have to see the reality on the ground and make a decision,” he said.

·         Kharlukhi said everyone has been talking about scientific mining and policy. “Research has to be done on the feasibility of mining beyond rat-hole and come out with a policy,” he added.

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Power plants cry foul, say biased allotment hitting coal supply

·         While the coal shortage crisis may seem over for some power plants, another crisis is lurking for generation stations located far from mines.

·         These plants — termed ‘foreign’ by Indian Railways — have begun suffering because of bias in allotment of rakes among railway zones in the race to post higher despatch figures.

·         Last week, Rattan India Power-operated Amaravati power plant in Maharashtra shut down one of its units due to coal shortage resulting from insufficient rake allotment by SECR, the south east central zone of the railways.

·         The power ministry on January 17 issued an memo seeking details of remedial action taken by the Railways as grumblings from private power plants facing similar situation grew louder, government sources have told Times of India. Industry sources said L&T’s Nhava and Vedanta NSE -3.46 %’s Talwandi Sabo power plants are among other plants facing similar predicament.

·         The trend is more pronounced in zones with heavy-duty coal lifting such as SECR, which largely services SECL (South Eastern Coalfields Ltd), Coal India Ltd’s largest mine.

·         “The shorter intra-zone haul allows faster turnaround of rakes. This automatically helps zones to improve their loading and despatch figures. There is also another reason. Railway zones are under pressure to show higher despatch figures. For example, in cases where SECL coal has to cross other zones, the empty rakes are commandeered by the other zone on their way back for despatch of coal from WCL (Western Coalfields Ltd) to elsewhere, say the north,” one industry executive said requesting anonymity.

·         After last year's coal crisis, the power ministry had in December asked plants to import 10% of their coal requirement.

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Form body to monitor use of fly ash, NGT tells government

·         In an order that may help in keeping a close watch on erring coal-based thermal power plants (TPPs) which fail to properly dispose of environmentally hazardous fly ash, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Centre to set up a fly ash management and utilization Mission for monitoring scientific management and utilization of the remains of burnt coal, and asked it to take adequate action against non-compliant power plants.

·         Besides monitoring the disposal of annual stock of unutilised fly ash, the Mission will also see how 1,670 million tonnes of legacy (accumulated) fly ash could be utilized in the least hazardous manner and how all safety measures could be taken by the power plants.

·         The Mission will be jointly headed by the secretaries of environment, coal and power ministries, keeping on board chief secretaries of respective states. The panel of secretaries, in coordination with power plants and statutory regulators, will have to draw a roadmap for utilization and disposal of entire legacy fly ash as per remedial action recommended by an expert committee which was formed by the NGT.

·         "The failures of the TPPs are alarming. We find no reason not to accept all the recommendations (of the expert committee) and to direct remedial action," observed the bench, headed by NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel, in its order on January 18. The Tribunal made the observation while hearing a plea, filed by advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.

·         Its final order came while disposing of a plea in the fly ash dyke breach incident of Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh in April, 2020. The breach of the dyke, belonged to the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project, resulted in the death of six villagers (including three children) and destruction of crops. The Tribunal in its order asked the TPP to pay higher compensation to families of six persons who died in the dyke breach incident.

·         The Tribunal, referring to report of the expert committee, found serious gaps in storing of fly ash in ponds and dykes, and failure to prevent fugitive emissions and installation of devices to control air pollution. "Such failures have been found to have resulted in serious damage to the environment and the public health which need to be remedied in a mission mode as per mandate of Constitution of India and the NGT Act," it observed.

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Daily Newsletter 2022

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Monday, January 24, 2022

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Infraline Comprehensive Power , Oil & Gas & Coal Only Detailed Newsletter

What’s New

Acts and Regulations

§  Order on Approval of transmission tariff for assets under POWERGRID works associated with “TBCB lines under Common Transmission System for Phase-II Generation Projects in Odisha” in the Eastern and Western Region. Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd

§  Order on Petition for revision of tariff of Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station, Stage-I (1260 MW) for the period from 1.4.2014 to 31.3.2019 after truing up exercise. NTPC Limited

§  Minutes of Meeting of forum of Regulators in Video Conferencing 9th April, 2021

§  Minutes of Meeting of forum of Regulators in Video Conferencing 30th April, 2021

§  Order on Petition for revision of tariff of Simhadri Super Thermal Power Station, Stage-II (1000 MW) for the 2014-19 tariff period, after truing-up exercise. NTPC Limited

View More...

Performance of State Discom

New!

Power

APTEL to hear Delhi Discoms plea to let them stop buying costlier power from NTPC’s Dadri I plant

The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity will hear Monday a joint plea of Delhi’s three power distribution companies to let them stop buying costlier power from the NTPC’s Dadri I power plant and pave its way to buy cheaper power for its consumers.

Hescom owed more than Rs 550 crore by various govt departments

Consequently, Hescom is struggling to clear its dues to power generators.

§  What Budget 2022 can do to power up EV charging scene

§  State MSMEs to seek Centre’s intervention to end power crisis

§  Energy min threatens to cut power supply to govt depts

§  Power plants staring at fresh coal shortage due to ‘bias’

§  Energy min threatens to cut power supply to govt depts

§  South Delhi Municipal Corporation identifies 226 e-charging spots

§  Tata, Adani set to bid third time for UP Power Transmission Company

§  Will Budgetary Support to promote Hydro Electric (HE) Power encourage DISCOMS to purchase power from HEPs?

[Poll Question]

Projects Update

Project Name

Promoter

Capacity

State

Dardu Hydro Power Project

KVK-ECI Hydro Energy Private Limited

60 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Tidding II Hydro Power Project

Sai Krishnodaya Industries Pvt. Ltd.

75 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Jameri Hydro Power Project

KSK Jameri Hydro Power Pvt. Ltd.

60 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Attunli Hydro Power Project

Attunli Hydro Electric Power Company

680 MW

Arunachal Pradesh

Kolodyne Hydro Power Project Stage-2

NTPC

460 MW

Mizoram

Renewable Energy

 

BMC inks MoU on purchase of hybrid solar power plant

The BMC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for power generation and purchase on proposed hybrid solar power plant at the Hinduhridaysamrat Shivsenapramukh Balasaheb Thackeray Middle Vaitarna Reservoir on Sunday.

BEE preparing mechanism to take energy efficiency to every doorstep

The energy efficiency and conservation efforts of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) have saved electricity worth 40,945 crore in the last few years.

§  Niti Aayog plans to set up EV charging infra at railway stations

§  What Budget 2022 can do to power up EV charging scene

§  India’s Solar Module Production Capacity to Soar 400percent

§  Renewables sector's Budget wish list: More power to a greener future

§  Does Anti-Dumping probe benefit Domestic Solar Manufacturers in India?[Poll Question]

Projects Update

Project Name

Plant Owner

Capacity (MW)

State

Adani Chitrakoot One Solar Plant

Adani Solar Energy Chitrakoot One

25

Adani Kutchh One Solar Plant

Adani Solar Energy Kutchh One Limited

150

Gujarat

Shahjahanpur and Budaun Solar Plant

Adani Solar Energy Four Private Ltd

100

Uttar Pradesh

1200 MW ISTS Connected Projects (ISTS-V)

SBE Renewables Sixteen Pvt. Ltd.

180

Rajasthan

1200 MW ISTS Connected Projects (ISTS-V)

GRT Jewellers (India) Pvt. Ltd.

150

Tamil Nadu

Oil & Gas

 

ONGC Videsh enters development stage of Budiao discovery in Brazil

OVL had registered a major gas discovery in 2019 in its deep offshore block BM-SEAL-4, Brazil, located in the Sergipe Alagoas Basin. Brazil's Petrobras is the operator of the block with 75 per cent Participating Interest (PI) while OVL has the remaining 25 per cent stake.

India’s Reliance posts 42percent jump in third-quarter profit to $2.5bn

Higher average sales price for oil products boosted the company’s core oil-to-chemicals business

§  Do you think Natural gas, diesel and petrol should have been included under GST?

[Poll Question]

§  Technical University Of Munich: Neutrons Detect Clogs In Pipelines

§  India’s HPCL to boost Iraqi oil imports by 45percent in 2022: report

§  Vice President calls for increased indigenous crude oil production

§  Gehlot seeks Centre's help for Barmer refinery project

Oil & Gas Technical

New!

 

Schlumberger places $2 billion bet on strong oilfield service demand growth

Schlumberger is gearing up for growth around the world as the No. 1 oilfield contractor expects recovering economies to ignite several years of crude-demand expansion.

Global LNG boom sends Baker Hughes’ demand soaring beyond expectations

Oil and gas drilling is big business once again, if the leap in demand for services from Baker Hughes Co., the world’s No. 2 oilfield contractor, is any gauge.

§  Chevron to exit Yadana natural gas project

§  Natgas industry says it is ready for Texas cold snap

§  BV Solutions M&O to provide CAP surveys for Qatar’s Nakilat

§  Shell to supply crude to Pemex's Texas refinery under long-term pact

§  SOCAR's Heydar Aliyev refinery signs agreements with Axens for catalytic cracking unit

Daily International Coal Prices

New!

Coal

Power plants staring at fresh coal shortage due to ‘bias’

Coal shortage at power plants may appear to be over for the time being but the spectre of another crisis is lurking beneath the surface, especially for generation stations located far from mines. But unlike September last year, this time such plants

MP fly ash dyke breach incident: NGT increases compensation for kin of deceased to Rs 15 lakh

The National Green Tribunal has increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh the compensation for the families of those who died in the fly ash dyke breach incident in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli.

§  Will Commercial Coal Mining attract global players to invest in India?

[Poll Question]

§  Govt launches portal to share key performance indicators of coal sector

§  Essar Capital appoints Anil Kumar Chaudhary as CEO for metals and mining vertical

Roads

 

NHAI told to convert stretch of highway into six-lane road

It is felt that volume of traffic will rise near Panchapur bus terminus

South Delhi’s Ashram underpass to be ready by Feb-end: Officials

Commuters are likely to breeze through the busy Ashram crossing in south Delhi from March onwards as the construction of an underpass there will be completed by the end of February, PWD officials said.

§  Rs 5.51 cr granted for repairing roads in Mancherial: Diwakar Rao

§  PWD mobile app “Hamari Sadak” has proven a failure: RTI activist

§  3 years on, Faridabad locals await repair of Ballabgarh-Sohna highway

§  CDA expedites expansion of Expressway

§  Do you think 100 percent FASTAG implementation will remove congestion at toll plazas?

[Poll Question]

Projects Update

Project Name

Promoter/Client

State

Length (Km)

Four Laning Belgaum- Khanapur NH-4A

NHAI/Ashoka Concessions limited

Karnataka

30

Four Laning Ring Road Bypass Nagpur City (Fetri to Dhargaon)Package-II (NH-7)

NHAI/MEP Infrastructure-Sanjosh India (JV)

Maharashtra

28.03

Four Laning Rimuli to Koida NH-215 (New NH-520) Pkg-I

NHAI/Montecarlo Pvt. Ltd.

Odisha

43.2

Eight Laning Vadodara Kim Expressway (Padra to Vadodara Section of Vadodara Mumbai ) (Phase-1A PKG-1)

NHAI/ IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited(VK 1 Expressway pvt. ltd)

Gujarat,Maharashtra

23.74

Bridge on Panjim to Mangalore NH-17 (Old NH-66)

NHAI/Dilip Buildcon-Mostobudivelnyi Zahin Ukrane(JV)

Goa

2

Power(9 News Items)

General


APTEL to hear Delhi Discoms plea to let them stop buying costlier power from NTPC’s Dadri I plant

·         The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity will hear Monday a joint plea of Delhi’s three power distribution companies to let them stop buying costlier power from the NTPC’s Dadri I power plant and pave its way to buy cheaper power for its consumers.

·         The three Delhi Discoms — BRPL, BYPL and TPDDL– have approached the APTEL challenging a Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s order denying them the permission to exit from the power purchasing agreement with the NTPC’s Dadri I power plant, said Discoms sources.

·         They said the three Discoms had earlier moved the Supreme Court against the CERC’s decision but the apex court had asked them to move the APTEL to get the relief.

·         The Discoms officials explained that as part of their efforts to optimise their power purchase costs, the three Discoms had decided to stop purchasing power from the NTPC’s Dadri I power which 25 years of its commercial operation and due to which it has been generating power at costlier rates and selling it at that rate to its customers.

·         The Discoms had stopped scheduling power from Dadri I plant from November 2020 after it completed its 25 years of operation and had sought to exit from it. But the NTPC had denied them the exit, the sources said.

·         “Tariff of these stations is comparatively higher than the market sources as well as renewable power procured by the Discoms. Average power purchase price from Dadri-I to Delhi consumers is around Rs 6.50 per unit against the average price of Rs 3.50 a unit power sold by the NTPC to consumers in the rest of the country,” Discom sources explained.

·         During fiscal 2019-20, Delhi Discoms had purchased power worth more than Rs 1,150 crore from Dadri I plant. Replacing this expensive power with substantially cheaper green power from SECI available at around Rs 2.50 per unit would cost only Rs 438 crore annually,” they said.

·         It will lead to savings of around Rs 7,150 crore over the next 10 years, at the rate of around Rs 715 crore a year for Delhi consumers,” they claimed.

·         Out of the total 15 stations of the NTPC that supply power to Delhi, seven stations, including Dadri – I, are old and expensive. Of these, six have completed 25 years from their Commercial Date of Operation (COD) and have fully recovered their capital cost and the seventh one will do so in April 2022.

·         Despite the expiry of the agreements with NTPC and not scheduling the expensive power costing around Rs 6.5 per unit from Dadri I, Delhi Discoms had continued to pay over Rs 35 crore per month as fixed charges to NTPC, Discom sources said. PTI VIT RAX RAX

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Hescom owed more than Rs 550 crore by various govt departments

·         At a time when people are complaining about high power tariffs set by the various government-run power companies across the state, it is ironic that one such power company is faced with a fiscal crunch, despite the hike in tariff. Among the primary reasons the Hubballi Electricity Supply Company (Hescom) is grappling with a financial crisis is that it is owed bills cumulatively worth Rs 556 crore by various government departments – many of the outstanding bills date back to three years. Consequently, Hescom is struggling to clear its dues to power generators.

·         Gram panchayats supplied power by Hescom owe the power company of the sum, nearly Rs 307.7 crore, while urban local bodies, including the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) and Belagavi City Corporation have arrears worth Rs 129.1 crore. The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and other central government agencies owe Hescom nearly Rs 6 crore, while other state government agencies owe Hescom Rs 15.9 crore.

·         Notwithstanding the many times that these departments have been served a notice by Hescom, they have failed to pay their dues. Consequently, Hescom has had to act tough by stopping supply of power to these offices.

·         Hescom managing director D Bharati said, “If the government departments fail to settle the pending bills, the company’s financial burden will only grow. Hescom has to pay a sum of Rs 4,591 crore for purchasing power.”

·         Hescom has to pay Rs 1,476 crore to central power generating stations, Rs 1,647 to state-run stations, and Rs 1,467 to private power companies. Given its delicate financial condition, Hescom was forced to avail of loans to clear its dues to power generating stations. The public, meanwhile, has had to take on the expense of the interest on these loans, a source said.

·         Dr MC Sindhur, a Hubballi-based activist, questioned the failure of the government to act against errant agencies that are dragging their feet in settling electricity bills. “If the public fails to pay the electricity bill on time, power supply to houses is promptly stopped. Why is it that the same rules do not apply to government departments? Hescom must initiate strict action against these departments, and ensure that the overdue bills are paid,” Dr Sindhur said.

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What Budget 2022 can do to power up EV charging scene

·         The government of India through Ministry of Power recently promulgated the ‘Revised Consolidated Guidelines & Standards for Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (EV)’ on 15 January 2022. Among many issues, these guidelines have fixed the timelines for providing grid connectivity for the installation of public charging stations, which is a right step for ease of setting up this critical infrastructure. The state electricity regulatory commissions will have to enforce these guidelines in letter and spirit. The guidelines lay down the following locational density targets for deploying public EV charging stations:

·         At least one charging station in every 3x3 km grid

·         One charging station every 25 km on both sides of highways and roads

·         One fast charging station every 100 km on highways/roads for long-range/heavy duty EVs

·         The need for EV charging investment and deployment is irrefutable. But the demand and other uncertainties combine to make public charging infrastructure risky and an unattractive investment. To achieve scale, debt financing is critical, and the industry must gradually reduce dependence on policy driven subsidies. Simply put, the business case needs to improve substantially. It is critical to understand the levers that can increase revenues and reduce costs to make the business case more appealing to mainstream debt investors. There are significant commercial, structural and operational levers to reduce latency, enhance revenues and cut costs. Smart charging services, advertisement, retail colocation and network interoperability are levers for revenue enhancement.

·         In this context, the guidelines promote revenue sharing model for setting up public charging stations. Land available with the Government/Public entities can be monetised for installation of Public Charging Stations on a revenue sharing basis at a fixed rate of Re 1 / kWh (used for charging). This is a step in the right direction if adopted widely with transparent and competitive bidding mechanisms. However, the budget can further clarify how this land will be made available.

·         The upcoming budget can also reimagine ways for promoting ease of charging EVs with low-cost renewable energy (RE) systems. Coupling EV charging with low-cost renewable energy systems can go a long way in improving the economics of both EV and RE adoption. The guidelines notified by Ministry of Power has taken the first step in this direction for public charging stations by allowing open access, stipulating the timelines for open access applications and applicable open access charges. Access to cheaper finance can also be made available for a certain period till this becomes self-sustaining. Also, even larger sized commercial vehicles are also equally polluting and should be shifted to electric as soon as possible. Capital subsidies could be provided for these as well.

·         Further, while incentives have been provided for charging infrastructure, more incentives can also be provided for battery swapping – this is a big enabler of electric mobility particularly for commercial segment. Also, GST on EVs have been reduced but that on batteries seems to be still on the higher side. This can also be considered for reduction in line with that of EVs.

·         Budget propositions for promoting green hydrogen

·         The supply chain of GH2 is complex like any other fossil fuel commodity and includes production from renewable energy sources, storage and delivery (if the production and demand centres are not co-located). Beyond this, many potential end-use applications may need technology and infrastructure to support energy transformations such as H2 to electricity and vice versa, H2 to ammonia, H2 to methanol etc. GH2 production, storage, and supply needs to meet the purity, pressure, and volume requirements of specific industries and applications.

·         Achieving parity with grey hydrogen and natural gas prices will determine the speed and scale of GH2 adoption. This requires boosting demand for GH2 in a phased manner thereby achieving economies of scale across the supply chain, indigenisation of supply chain and technology improvement to enhance efficiencies of GH2 production and transformations with earth abundant raw materials. R&D investments and programs are crucial for technology indigenisation across the supply chain.

·         Much of the debate on reducing the cost of GH2 is focused on production, particularly electrolyser systems and renewable energy supply. Government intervention and pilot projects must also address and demonstrate the cost effectiveness of GH2 storage and delivery systems. Our models simulating the techno-economics of GH2 supply chain indicate that the goal of reducing GH2 costs to less than 100 INR/kg cannot be achieved without cost effective storage and delivery systems.

·         The launch of National Hydrogen Mission (NHM) and various GH2 pilot projects initiated by public sector undertakings are all steps in the right direction. The upcoming budget can provide more clarity on the short-term strategies of NHM to boost demand for GH2 including but not limited to GH2 purchase obligations, GH2 blending targets with piped natural gas, indigenous manufacturing and pilot projects for technology demonstration. However, the primary focus of budget should be towards boosting R&D investment with public private partnerships (PPP) and grand challenges to demonstrate efficient & cost effective GH2 electrolysers, storage and delivery solutions using earth abundant electrocatalysts and materials. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) can lead this initiative and design a PPP program to drive R&D investment from India Incorporated in collaboration with premier academic institutes of the country. The budget should provide a concrete roadmap towards developing testing facilities and certification mechanisms relying on globally harmonised standards & regulations for GH2 production, storage and delivery. Viability gap funding should be focused on GH2 projects enabling low carbon steel, cement, trucking and maritime shipping. RE power systems are typically oversized to account for variability in the production of green hydrogen systems. A purchase guarantee mechanism to buy back excess renewable electricity can generate alternate revenues for investors and reduce overall cost of production.

·         The budget should also focus towards creating world class talent in the value chain of GH2 by way of introducing dedicated academic programs/ degrees and establishment of national research institutes focusing on GH2. This is important to kick start the indigenisation of technology development and support the industry ambitions towards R&D, product development and services in the entire value chain.

·         Budget propositions for other clean energy technologies

·         Solar industry is still dependent on large number of imports for various equipment. These still attract a heavy price making our indigenous modules uncompetitive. The budget could look at measures to reduce the cost of imported equipment for promoting solar industry. Also, new and more innovative applications as well as efficiency modules are needed as we move along. Clarity should also be provided on tenure of Basic Customs Duty on import of solar modules to promote indigenous industry.

·         It is imperative that the budget sets across a fund for R&D to promote this in India. We need to do much more on R&D for evolution of new technologies that could be mass produced and exported.

·         Another measure could be to reinstate the accelerated depreciation benefits. Some sort of Viability Gap Funding can be considered for sunrise sectors which are still not viable such as energy storage, offshore wind, floating solar etc. PLI scheme has seen a phenomenal response and the outlay as well as ambit of this scheme can be expanded further.

·         MSMEs are a very promising segment that can play a huge role in EVs, batteries and distributed renewables. The potential of this segment must be harnessed in full. For this purpose, certain additional benefits could be extended such access to concessional finance or even special financing products given the risk perception, access to common manufacturing facilities and testing centres, etc.

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State MSMEs to seek Centre’s intervention to end power crisis

·         The micro, small and medium enterprises of Jharkhand on Sunday said they will seek Centre’s intervention for ensuring unhindered power supply by the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) in its command areas in the state.

·         The Jharkhand Small Industries Association (JSIA), the umbrella organization of the MSME units in the state, said they will write to Union power minister R K Singh and seek the Centre’s intervention in ironing out the differences between the DVC and the state government over the amassing dues of the state-run discom Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (JBVNL).

·         The JSIA has expressed concern over the shortage of power in DVC’s command areas such as districts like Hazaribag, Koderma, Chatra, Giridih and Ramgarh, which is home to several MSME production units.

·         “The Jharkhand government and the DVC have been warring over the non-payment of JBVNL’s dues and the industrial units are suffering due to the power cuts, which are extending up to 12-14 hours every day. Many rural industrial units are on the verge of closure. Why should the industries suffer?” a JSIA official said, adding, “The government must sort out its issues with the DVC but that has not happened.”

·         Besides the power outages, the state’s MSME units are also hit by the hike in commercial electricity tariff by the JBVNL, which now stands at Rs 6 per unit.

·         Apart from that, despite the erratic power supply, the units are being forced to pay standing electricity charges every month, which amounts roughly to 25% of their bills. “The government could have provided the units some financial relief by waiving the standing charges. If they can give everything to farmers for free, why they can’t do that with the MSMEs?” JSIA president Philip Mathew said.

·         DVC has curtailed its daily power supply to the state by 50% since November last year after citing that the state failed to come up with a set pattern of repayment, which led to the dues piling up to Rs 2,173 crore.

·         A fortnight ago, the state government had urged the DVC to halt its power-cuts for the interim owing to the Covid-19 situation, but it was all in vain.

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Energy min threatens to cut power supply to govt depts

·         State energy minister Nitin Raut has informed chief minister Uddhav Thackeray that he has no option but to discontinue electricity supply to various government departments over non-payment of crores to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL). Street lights in urban and rural areas are likely to be shut off if the energy department goes ahead with its decision to discontinue supply as a move to pressure the urban and rural development departments to clear past dues.

·         In a letter to to the CM last week, Raut has said that the MSEDCL has already taken loans worth approximately Rs 45,000 crore. “There is coal shortage across the country. The Centre has already informed the Reserve Bank of India not to extend loans to MSEDCL. Grants have not been released. If we can disconnect the electricity supply of other consumers who have not paid their bills then why not of government departments who owe MSEDCL around Rs 16,000 crore?” he told TOI. The letter points out that the limit for loans has been reduced from Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore. Besides, the state government is yet to release Rs 7,978 crore in grants.

·         MSEDCL provides electricity to approximately 2.8 crore consumers across the state. Agricultural pump users owe the company approximately Rs 41,000 crore, and while the new agricultural pump policy has helped recover some dues, it is not enough, Raut informed Thackeray in the letter.

·         Raut said he has asked for an urgent meeting with the chief minister to discuss the issue. “It is my duty to appraise the chief minister of the dire situation before we go ahead with the decision to disconnect supply,” he said. The letter points out that the rural development, water supply, and urban development department owe a substantial amount to the company as does the industry department.

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Power plants staring at fresh coal shortage due to ‘bias’

·         Coal shortage at power plants may appear to be over for the time being but the spectre of another crisis is lurking beneath the surface, especially for generation stations located far from mines. But unlike September last year, this time such plants — termed as ‘foreign’ by Indian Railways — are suffering due to discrimination in allotment of rakes and a free-for-all among railway zones in the race to post higher despatch figures.

·         Last week, the Amaravati power plant operated by Rattan India Power Ltd in Maharashtra became the first victim of the situation when it shut down one of its units due to coal shortage resulting from insufficient rake allotment by SECR, the south east central zone of the railways.

·         The power ministry on January 17 issued an office memo seeking details of remedial action taken by the Railways as grumblings from private power plants facing similar situation grew louder, government sources said. Industry sources said L&T’s Nhava and Vedanta’s Talwandi Sabo power plants are among other plants facing similar predicament. These plants could not be contacted immediately.

·         The problem, both government and industry sources said, lies in zones focusing on power plants and mines located within their jurisdiction or the rakes do not have to cross multiple zones.

·         The Railways describes distant power plants as foreign as the rakes have to go across the home zone.

·         The trend is more pronounced in zones with heavy-duty coal lifting such as SECR, which largely services SECL (South Eastern Coalfields Ltd), Coal India Ltd’s largest mine.

·         “The shorter intra-zone haul allows faster turnaround of rakes. This automatically helps zones to improve their loading and despatch figures. There is also another reason. Railway zones are under pressure to show higher despatch figures. For example, in cases where SECL coal has to cross other zones, the empty rakes are commandeered by the other zone on their way back for despatch of coal from WCL (Western Coalfields Ltd) to elsewhere, say the north,” one industry executive said requesting anonymity.

·         The power ministry had in December asked plants to import 10% of their coal requirement to avoid a repeat of last year’s situation when fuel stocks ran precariously low as coal production and despatch was hit by heavy monsoon rains.

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Energy min threatens to cut power supply to govt depts

·         State energy minister Nitin Raut has informed chief minister Uddhav Thackeray that he has no option but to discontinue electricity supply to various government departments over non-payment of crores to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL). Street lights in urban and rural areas are likely to be shut off if the energy department goes ahead with its decision to discontinue supply as a move to pressure the urban and rural development departments to clear past dues.

·         In a letter to to the CM last week, Raut has said that the MSEDCL has already taken loans worth approximately Rs 45,000 crore. “There is coal shortage across the country. The Centre has already informed the Reserve Bank of India not to extend loans to MSEDCL. Grants have not been released. If we can disconnect the electricity supply of other consumers who have not paid their bills then why not of government departments who owe MSEDCL around Rs 16,000 crore?” he told TOI. The letter points out that the limit for loans has been reduced from Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore. Besides, the state government is yet to release Rs 7,978 crore in grants.

·         MSEDCL provides electricity to approximately 2.8 crore consumers across the state. Agricultural pump users owe the company approximately Rs 41,000 crore, and while the new agricultural pump policy has helped recover some dues, it is not enough, Raut informed Thackeray in the letter.

·         Raut said he has asked for an urgent meeting with the chief minister to discuss the issue. “It is my duty to appraise the chief minister of the dire situation before we go ahead with the decision to disconnect supply,” he said. The letter points out that the rural development, water supply, and urban development department owe a substantial amount to the company as does the industry department.

Source

 

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South Delhi Municipal Corporation identifies 226 e-charging spots

·         Working on the central government’s stipulation that at least one e-charging station for electric vehicles should be available in a 2x2km grid, South Delhi Municipal Corporation has identified 226 feasible locations and hopes to install most charging stations by the end of the current financial year.

·         While permission has been obtained from various agencies for such stations at 143 places, 35 stations have been energized and work is in progress at 25 sites. On Thursday, SDMC inaugurated e-charging stations for two-wheelers at South Extension, Defence Colony, Hauz Khas and Safdarjung Enclave, with two more to become operational this week.