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Coal mine blast kills four in southern China, another nine missing
Four workers were killed and nine were missing after an explosion at a small coal mine in China’s Guizhou province on Monday night, state-owned Xinhua News reported on Tuesday citing local authorities. The incident happened at Zimujia coal mine, run by private-owned Pannan Coal Investment Co, in Panzhou city. The coal mine has designed annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes. Cause of explosion was unclear, while rescue work was underway, it said. Benchmark thermal coal futures soared as much as 5.5 percent to 622 yuan ($90.80) a tonne, their highest in 11 months, during early trade on Tuesday, as market expects more stringent inspections on coal mines across the country might lead to tight supply. The accident comes not long after a blast at an iron ore mining project in Liaoning that killed 11 people in June. According to Guizhou Energy Administration file, the coal mine was ordered to rectify on some safety issues during a safety inspection conducted by local authorities in late April. Pannan Coal cannot be reached for comment. Panzhou city government declined to comment.
Rosatom joins the Nuclear Quality Standard Association
June 30, 2018 Saturday 4:59 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, represented by Atomenergoprom, joined the Nuclear Quality Standard Association (NQSA). An agreement to this effect was signed at the World Nuclear Exhibition, held in Paris at the end of last month, said a press release. Rosatom First Deputy Director General for Corporate Development and International Business Kirill Komarov and NSQA President Thierry Zumbihl and General Secretary Laurent Kueny signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides. Becoming a full member of the Association, Rosatom gets the opportunity to participate in the development and implementation of cutting-edge global quality standards in the field of nuclear energy use. “Access to NQSA proves that Russian experience of quality control in the nuclear industry is in global demand. The state corporation gets an opportunity to influence the setting of common industry standards and requirements,” said Kirill Komarov. “The membership of Rosatom in the Association will contribute very positively to support the development and implementation of internationally recognised nuclear quality standard,” said Thierry Zumbihl President of NQSA. NQSA is a nonprofit association jointly launched by Areva and Bureau Veritas in January 2011. Open to all major nuclear utilities, nuclear engineers and manufacturers, NQSA promotes the application of the NSQ-100 standard, and sets a nuclear oriented supplier evaluation process. Rosatom is the only company in the world to offer integrated clean energy solutions across the nuclear supply chain and beyond, including the design, build and operation of nuclear power stations, uranium mining, conversion and enrichment, the supply of nuclear fuel, decommissioning, spent fuel storage and transportation and safe nuclear waste disposal.
Category: Other Countries
Russia and China sign biggest package of contracts in nuclear sphere
June 9, 2018 Saturday 12:41 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Russia and China have signed the biggest package of contracts in the history of the two countries’ nuclear partnership recently in Beijing. The signing ceremony was attended by Russian president Vladimir Putin and President of People’s Republic of China president Xi Jinping, said a press release from Rosatom. Among the deals two were on construction of 4 new units – two at the greenfield site of Xudabao and two at Tianwan (units 7 and 8). All 4 units will feature Russia’s latest Gen3+ VVER-1200 reactors. The reactors, as well as all other necessary equipment, will be developed and supplied to the nuclear island by Russia. Third deal envisages the supply of equipment, fuel, and services for the CNNC-developed CFR-600 fast reactor pilot project. The remaining deal is for supply of radionuclide heat units (UHR), to be used as part of radioisotope thermoelectric generators to power equipment in China’s space programme-lunar exploration in particular. “Today, Russia and China are the leaders in the global nuclear energy industry. Signing of these agreements is the best confirmation of our partnership with our Chinese friends.” Said Alexey Likhachev, CEO of Rosatom state corporation. “Over the course of longstanding cooperation with our reliable partners – China’s Atomic Energy Authority, the National Energy Administration, and the CNNC corporation – we have created an unprecedented level of trust. Therefore, we developed a framework for joint design and construction at the Tianwan site by both Russian and Chinese specialists. We continue to jointly build the most modern Gen 3+ units in China. Moreover, today we agreed to start the construction of VVER-1200 power units at a greenfield site.” Russia and China cooperate in various nuclear energy projects, including, but not limited to, the construction of nuclear power plants and supplying isotope products for nuclear medicine. Tianwan NPP is the largest facility used in Russian-Chinese economic cooperation. Power units No1 and No2 were started up in 2007. Power unit No3 was connected to the grid last December.  The design of Tianwan NPP is based on Russia’s AES-91 project with a VVER-1000 reactor, which fully meets the requirements of current Chinese, Russian, and IAEA regulation. The construction of Tianwan nuclear power plant is being carried out by Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation (JNPC) in cooperation with Russia’s Atomstroyexport, a part of the ASE Group of Companies.
Category: Other Countries
Russia and Jordan to co-operate in the field of Small Modular Rectors
June 1, 2018 Friday 5:14 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Russia and Jordan have decided to intensify and step up their cooperation in the field of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). An Agreement has already been signed between Jordan Atomic Energy Commission and Rosatom Overseas to conduct a joint feasibility study for a Russian-designed SMR construction in Jordan in the backdrop of changing situation in the Jordanian energy market, said a press release. “We have been cooperating with Rosatom for many years, and we are going to build on this cooperation in various spheres. Today, a potential project to construct SMR-type NPP seems more relevant and more needed, so we would like to focus on it,” said Dr. Khaled Toukan, Chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission. Russia enjoys a wide range of expertise in the field of SMR energy. In 2019, Rosatom State Corporation is going to launch Akademic Lomonosov, its floating NPP, which will become the world’s unique reference project for nuclear power plants of this type. On top of that, Rosatom is actively developing its onshore Russian-design SMR NPP. Apart from its modular composition, one of the main advantages of the Russian-design SMR NPP is its ability to be used as a desalination and heating plant. Russia and Jordan are cooperating closely in the human resource development area, to implement the nuclear program of Jordan. Currently, 100 Jordanian students are studying in major Russian universities under Bachelor, Masters and other postgraduate programs.  
Category: Other Countries
Rosatom develops automated individual radiation dose monitoring system
May 26, 2018 Saturday 2:58 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation has developed automated individual radiation dose monitoring system (AIRDMS), specially for the people working at different nuclear establishments. AIRDMS is designed to receive, collect, process, register and provide information on the personnel’s radiation dose over time. This control should be carried out with the help of IRI (sources of ionization radiation) and to optimize work plans based on minimizing the dose costs, said a press release. AIRDMS includes: individual and thermo luminescent dosimeters, automated system for monitoring and storing dosimeters for the personnel, as well as the software and hardware complex. Special Research Institute for Instrument Manufacturing (SNIIP) presented its first electronic personal dosimeters, which will be used as a part of AIRDMS, during international atomic energy forum ATOMEXPO-2018, held in Sochi, Russia from May 14-16. “This is an important step in manufacturing such a modern equipment, which fully complies with the international requirements,” said Kirill Krivosheev, First Deputy Director General of SNIIP. SNIIP is the institute for developing and manufacturing instruments and systems to ensure nuclear and radiation safety at all nuclear facilities built by Rosatom for the last five decades. It is a concern of Atomenrgomash, machine building division of Rosatom.
Category: Other Countries
World’s first floating nuclear power plant is set for fuel loading in Russia
May 23, 2018 Wednesday 12:06 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Akademik Lomonosov, world’s first nuclear floating power unit arrived in the Russian city Murmansk from Saint Petersburg on May 19, 2018 for loading of fuel. Once loaded with fuel the power plant will be towed to the town of Russia’s far east city of Pevek in Chukotka region for connection to the grid in 2019, said a press release. It will become the first ever operational floating nuclear power plant and the northern most nuclear installation in the world. The plant will replace a coal-fired power plant and an aging nuclear power plant Bilibino supplying power to over 50,000 people. The new plant will help reduce carbon footprint in the Arctic caused by tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.  A welcome ceremony took place at the pier of Atom lot, a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation--Rosatom. The ceremony was attended by Director General of Rosatom Alexey Likhachev, Chukotka Region Governor Roman Kopin, Murmansk Region Deputy Governor Eugene Nikora, Deputy Director General of Rosatom Aleхander Lokshin, Rosenergoatom Director General Andrey Petrov and Atomflot Director General Vyacheslav Ruksha. Rosatom Director General in his speech said, “Akademic Lomonosov is an unparalleled piece of engineering by Russian scientists. It is a first-of-a-kind, reference project for mobile medium capacity range nuclear power units, a product we expect to be in growing demand in the coming years. For instance, we see great interest from all island nations where it is difficult, for various reasons, to set up a developed centralised power transmission infrastructure.” The floating nuclear power plant project has been welcomed by many environmentalists and green groups as the only feasible way to reduce the Arctic’s dependency on coal causing millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions and toxic pollution destroying the region’s fragile ecosystems.  Ben Heard, the Executive Director of Bright New World Organisation in his comment said, “Remote communities world-wide need affordable, reliable non-carbon energy and this (floating nuclear power unit) is a way of getting it to them.”  The nuclear Floating Power Unit (FPU) Akademik Lomonosov is equipped with two KLT-40C reactor, each with a capacity of 35 MW, similar to those used on icebreakers. The vessel is 144 metres long and 30 metres wide and has a displacement of 21,000 tonnes.   The lifecycle of the nuclear FPU is 40 years with the possibility of being extended to up to 50 years. After decommissioning, the FPU will be towed to a special deconstruction and recycling facility. No spent nuclear fuel or radioactive waste is planned to be left in the Arctic–spent fuel will be taken to the special storage facilities in the mainland Russia. These small nuclear reactors like Akademik Lomonosov can operate non-stop without the need for refueling for three to five years, thereby considerably reducing the cost of electricity generation. The reactors have the potential to work particularly well in regions with extended coastlines, power supply shortages, and limited access to electrical grids. The plant can be delivered to any point along a coast and connected to existing electrical grids. Rosatom is already working on second generation FPUs, or Optimized Floating Power Units (OFPUs), which will be equipped with two RITM-200M reactors each with a capacity of 50 MW. OFPUs will be smaller than their predecessors.  
Category: Other Countries
‘10th international atomic energy forum ATOMEXPO 2018 ends in Russia’
May 20, 2018 Sunday 4:40 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Tenth International Forum ATOMEXPO 2018, organized by Russia’s state atomic energy corporation ROSATOM ends on May 16 at Sochi in Russia. The forum was participated by a record number of 68 countries including Bangladesh. Over 600 companies were represented at the ATOMEXPO, while 136 companies exhibited their products and services. Number of participants including media representatives was over 4,000, said a press release. President of Russia Vladimir Putin in his written address to the Forum said, “Over the past years your forum, which unites heads of large companies, governmental structures, non-governmental organisations, leading experts from Russia and other states, has proven itself as the authoritative platform where topical issues of nuclear sector are discussed at high professional level.” “In the current conditions, the development of the world economy and maintaining the natural balance of our planet hinges on affording access to stable and environment-friendly sources of energy. Our country is traditionally one of the leaders in the field of development of nuclear power, construction and operation of NPP, and fundamental and applied studies. This potential needs to be strengthened based, among others, on the broad international cooperation.” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, President of the World Nuclear Association Agneta Rising, President of the World Association of Nuclear Operators Jacques Regaldo, and Director-General of Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development William Magwood took part in the plenary session. They discussed on the most critical for nuclear sector topics and outlined landmarks for the next period of joint work of the entire nuclear community. The three-day business program of the Forum included “Digital Future and Industry 4.0”, “New Power Engineering” and “People of Nuclear Industry” as well as 16 round-table sessions which included: “Globalisation as a Key Success Factor: Building NPPs in a Partnership Arrangement”; “Building Capacity in Countries Embarking on or Expanding Their Nuclear Power Programmes”; “Total cost and time management of NPP construction projects: constituents of success in international projects». ATOMEXPO 2018 became the platform for signing 39 agreements including commercial contracts. For the first time, “ATOMEXPO AWARDS”, an international professional award for outstanding services by companies which contributed greatly to the development of nuclear industry and the use of atomic energy for the benefit of mankind was held during the Forum.
Category: Other Countries
India’s state power plants resume coal imports amid domestic shortages
May 19, 2018 Saturday 4:49 PM By Reuters
State-run thermal power plants in India’s coastal states have again begun buying overseas coal due to domestic coal shortages, government and utility officials said, in a setback for the country’s long-term plans to eliminate imports. After no significant imports in 2017, government utilities in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have ordered several cargoes of coal since the beginning of this year, two officials said. Andhra Pradesh, a state on India’s east coast, has imported 200,000 tonnes of coal so far this year and could import as much as 1 million tonnes in 2018, said Ajay Jain, a senior official in the state energy department. “Coal has been a real problem. If we had depended only on coal, it would have been a disaster,” Jain said. Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp, a government utility in the southwestern India state, has imported about 1.4 million tonnes of coal this year, after going a year without imports starting at the end of 2016, according to Vikram Kapoor, the chairman of the utility. An increase in coal imports by state-owned power utilities undermines a pledge by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to cut thermal coal imports to zero by March 2018. But state-owned Coal India Ltd, the world’s second-biggest coal miner by production, is grappling with a shortage of trains to carry the fuel from its mines to the country’s power plants. Both Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are waiting for the wind energy season to start in June, when they expect dependence on coal to ease, Jain and Kapoor both said. Domestic logistic bottlenecks, regulatory changes and surging power demand will likely increase 2018 thermal coal imports after two years of declines, Reuters reported in February. Imports rose over 15 percent in the first quarter of 2018. State-run utilities could add up to 5 million tonnes to India’s coal imports in 2018 because of the Coal India shortages, a senior executive from Adani Enterprises, India’s biggest coal trader told Reuters in February. India imported 144.5 million tonnes of coal in 2017, according to data provided by American Fuels & Natural Resources, a Dubai-based coal trader. Imports would be a boost for international miners such as Indonesia’s Adaro Energy, Australia’s Whitehaven Coal or global commodity merchant Glencore. Maharashtra, a western coastal state, has floated a tender for procuring 1 million tonnes of coal to augment its existing stock and meet growing power demand, a senior official at Maharashtra State Power Generation Co, the state utility, said on Tuesday. Gujarat, Maharashtra’s northwestern neighbour, plans to ramp up imports by 400,000 tonnes this year, according to a senior state government official. Karnataka, another southern state, has resisted imports so far. But that might change, according to Kumar Naik, the managing director of state utility Karnataka Power Corp. Two of Karnataka’s three major thermal power plants had almost run out of coal stockpiles, according to government data on May 14. State-run thermal power plants in India’s coastal states have again begun buying overseas coal due to domestic coal shortages, government and utility officials said, in a setback for the country’s long-term plans to eliminate imports. After no significant imports in 2017, government utilities in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have ordered several cargoes of coal since the beginning of this year, two officials said. Andhra Pradesh, a state on India’s east coast, has imported 200,000 tonnes of coal so far this year and could import as much as 1 million tonnes in 2018, said Ajay Jain, a senior official in the state energy department. “Coal has been a real problem. If we had depended only on coal, it would have been a disaster,” Jain said. Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp, a government utility in the southwestern India state, has imported about 1.4 million tonnes of coal this year, after going a year without imports starting at the end of 2016, according to Vikram Kapoor, the chairman of the utility. An increase in coal imports by state-owned power utilities undermines a pledge by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to cut thermal coal imports to zero by March 2018. But state-owned Coal India Ltd, the world’s second-biggest coal miner by production, is grappling with a shortage of trains to carry the fuel from its mines to the country’s power plants. Both Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are waiting for the wind energy season to start in June, when they expect dependence on coal to ease, Jain and Kapoor both said. Domestic logistic bottlenecks, regulatory changes and surging power demand will likely increase 2018 thermal coal imports after two years of declines, Reuters reported in February. Imports rose over 15 percent in the first quarter of 2018. State-run utilities could add up to 5 million tonnes to India’s coal imports in 2018 because of the Coal India shortages, a senior executive from Adani Enterprises, India’s biggest coal trader told Reuters in February. India imported 144.5 million tonnes of coal in 2017, according to data provided by American Fuels & Natural Resources, a Dubai-based coal trader. Imports would be a boost for international miners such as Indonesia’s Adaro Energy, Australia’s Whitehaven Coal or global commodity merchant Glencore. Maharashtra, a western coastal state, has floated a tender for procuring 1 million tonnes of coal to augment its existing stock and meet growing power demand, a senior official at Maharashtra State Power Generation Co, the state utility, said on Tuesday. Gujarat, Maharashtra’s northwestern neighbour, plans to ramp up imports by 400,000 tonnes this year, according to a senior state government official. Karnataka, another southern state, has resisted imports so far. But that might change, according to Kumar Naik, the managing director of state utility Karnataka Power Corp. Two of Karnataka’s three major thermal power plants had almost run out of coal stockpiles, according to government data on May 14.
Category: Regional
‘Call me Equinor’: Statoil changes name
May 16, 2018 Wednesday 6:08 PM By AFP
Norway’s largest oil company Statoil officially changed its name to Equinor on Wednesday as it forges ahead with its drive into renewable energy. Proposed in March and adopted on Tuesday at the shareholders’ general meeting, the name change allows the company to take a step back--at least in name--from the Norwegian state, which owns 67 percent of its shares, and from oil. Equinor is meant to combine the idea of equity and equilibrium (“equi”) and geographical origin (“nor”) for Norway. Founded in 1972 to operate Norway’s large oil fields, the company--which is listed on both the Oslo and New York stock exchanges--is now active in renewable energies, including wind farms off the UK coast. The group has earmarked 15-20 percent of its investments to “new energy solutions” by 2030. But this shift has been cold shouldered by environmentalists concerned about global warming as they accuse the company of “green washing”. “Statoil name change to attract young talent will not be sufficient as long as Equinor is exploring in vulnerable areas, such as the Arctic or the Great Australian Bight,” tweeted Truls Gulowsen, leader for Greenpeace in Norway.
Category: Other Countries
How India faces heat as global oil boils
May 11, 2018 Friday 4:24 PM By THE TIMES OF INDIA
As crude oil price in the global market breached the $70 per barrel-mark, large importers of oil like India and China are faced with an imminent danger of price rise. To put things in perspective, the price of crude is up about 18 per cent this year and is now trading at the highest since 2014. As a fallout of this, fuel exporters get to enjoy windfall gains, as consumer nations take a hit. At more than 28 per cent, oil and related products constitute the largest chunk of India’s imports. Data from the commerce ministry shows that India’s oil import bill amounted to more than Rs 7.5 lakh crore in the fiscal year 2017-18. Worryingly, the bill is set to inflate further in the coming years. India’s dependency on fuel imports has swelled over the years. From 77.3 per cent in 2013-14, it has gone up to 81.7 per cent in 2016-17. Naturally, with both crude oil prices and imports edging up, India’s import bill is set to rise. Every dollar increase in crude oil price adds to the country’s net import bill by $0.51 billion. This in turn affects the country’s foreign exchange reserves and accounts for widening of the trade deficit. HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR DAILY LIFE? From a consumer pocket’s perspective, the pinch is being felt for a while now as petrol and diesel prices have hit all-time highs multiple times in the recent past. A major share of petrol and diesel prices are made up of taxes- excise duty collected by the Centre and Value Added Tax (VAT) collected by the states. As a matter of fact, 48.2 per cent of what you pay for petrol is central and state taxes while for diesel, excise and VAT add up to 38.9 per cent. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre. In all, duty on petrol rate was hiked by Rs 11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre during the period that helped the government’s excise mop up more than double its revenues -- to Rs 242,000 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15. Subsequent to that excise duty reduction, the Centre had asked states to also lower VAT but just four of them- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh- reduced rates while others including BJP-ruled ones ignored the call. INDIA’S CENTRAL BANK IS WORRIED Being among the most-vulnerable economies to the boiling oil price problem, the RBI (Reserve Bank of India), India’s central bank finds itself dealing with a big headache from this unprecedented surge in crude prices. With the rupee also falling sharply against the US dollar, economists are already pushing forward their forecasts for RBI’s interest-rate increases as India’s biggest import item gets more expensive. India buys crude in dollars, a weak rupee hits the country`s coffers adversely.
Category: Regional
India keen on alliance with China, Japan, Korea to bargain for better oil deals
April 30, 2018 Monday 6:56 AM By Indian Express
With oil producers’ cartel OPEC playing havoc with prices, India has proposed a grand alliance with top Asian oil buyers like China, South Korea and Japan to negotiate better terms with sellers. In a throwback to 2005 when the then oil minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had proposed an alliance of the oil consuming nations, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said India will try to create a network with China, Japan and South Korea to take up issues like premium being charged from Asian buyers. “I see bigger cooperation between four big economies of Asia, that is India, China, Japan and South Korea. India will try to create a network between these four economies,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event on Thursday. India is the world’s third largest oil importer after China and the USA. Japan is the fourth largest importer and South Korea is right behind it. The four nations account for over a third of the oil imports in the world. “Why should biggest consumers pay more. Why should these countries pay more in name of Asian premium,” he asked. “All the four major Asian economies should come together. And India will try to create a network for that within the four countries.” Earlier this month, India and China agreed to join hands to have a collective bargaining power against cartelisation of oil producers. So far, India has not been able to bargain better rates from the Gulf-based producers of the oil cartel, OPEC. Instead of getting a discount for bulk purchases, West Asian producers, such as Saudi Arabia, charge a so-called ‘Asian Premium’ for shipments to Asian buyers, including India and Japan, as opposed to Europe. According to Prof Yoshiki Ogawa of Japan, the Asian Premium annually costs somewhere around USD 5-10 billion for Asian importers. Pradhan said like producers have a say in pricing and supply, consumers should also get a say. This is India’s third attempt to unite major Asian energy importers to beat the producers’ cartel. The then oil minister Aiyar had in 2005 hosted two ministerial roundtables to impress upon the need for a reasonable oil pricing and getting rid of discriminatory Asian Premium — the first involved major Asian consumers such as China, Japan and South Korea and the other roped in alternative oil producers of North and Central Asia. Aiyar proposed a common front on oil to China’s National Development and Reforms Commission vice-chairman Zhang Xiaoqing. That proposal resulted in a memorandum of understanding in 2006 but it was lost in the complexities of bilateral ties. Another attempt for joint energy sourcing with Japan was made towards the end of the UPA government when M Veerappa Moily was the oil minister. It, too, failed to see the light of day. At the 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) ministerial meet earlier this month, India and China, which together accounted for 17 per cent of world oil consumption last year, agreed to look for ways to leverage the combined size of their imports for a better bargain from West Asian crude producers. By 2023, oil demand will hit 104.7 million barrels per day, up 6.9 million bpd of 2017, according to the International Energy Agency. “As has been the case for some years, China and India together will contribute nearly 50 per cent of global oil demand,” the agency had said in a report.
Category: Regional
Adani builds coal-fired power plant in India to send energy to Bangladesh
April 27, 2018 Friday 9:21 AM By theguardian.com
Godda, in the Indian state of Jharkhand, is surrounded by the country’s most productive coalmines. It will soon also be home to the Adani group’s latest coal-fired power station, a plant built for the sole purpose of sending energy across the border to Bangladesh. Adani has framed its planned 1,600-megawatt Godda power plant as a humanitarian venture. In a statement to Guardian Australia, the company said it had acted “in the large interests of our neighbours, the people of Bangladesh” by inking the deal. But market analysts say the supply agreement is anything but benevolent. The tariffs quoted by the Bangladesh Power Development Board are about double the current cost of solar and wind power in India. Tim Buckley, a former head of equity research at Citigroup and now an analyst with the pro-renewable energy group the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), says there is a more obvious reason for Adani to build Godda: to prop up the prospects of the proposed Carmichael megamine in Queensland. Two deadlines for Adani to finance Carmichael have come and gone. Buckley said potential investors had balked, partly because there were no “bankable” off-take agreements in place. Effectively, Adani has nothing concrete to demonstrate that it can sell, and profit from, the high-ash coal it plans to extract from the Galilee basin. Adani did not respond directly to a series of questions asking the company to outline specific plans and agreements for Carmichael coal. It said in a statement that “as a significant coal trader in the region, Adani is well-placed to secure customers for Carmichael coal both from within the Adani group of companies and outside the group”. “India remains a key market for Carmichael coal,” the statement said. “We are also targeting growth in demand for seaborne thermal coal from Asia. The seaborne thermal coal market has recorded average per annum growth of 4.9% over the last decade and continued growth is forecast, this will create opportunities for the Australian coal industry.” Initially, Adani had planned to run its own vertically integrated “pit-to-plug” operation, taking coal from the Galilee basin, transporting it to Adani-owned power stations in India, and increasing profits by cutting out middlemen. Up to 16m tonnes a year from the proposed Queensland mine was earmarked for the Mundra power plant in Gujarat. But Mundra has since fallen into serious financial difficulty, making the “pit-to-plug” vision largely untenable. Adani’s subsidiary Adani Power has a net debt of about US$7bn. Last year it offered to sell majority control in the Mundra power station to a government entity for one rupee. Mundra and other privately run coastal power stations have to import coal because of Indian rules that give state-owned entities control over the domestic resource. As world coal prices have spiked, those same power stations have struggled to turn a profit. The Indian association of power producers has claimed that coal is unviable in India at prices above US$70 a tonne. The current price is about US$95 a tonne. Despite Godda’s proximity to India’s coal heartland, Adani would have to import coal to the new plant. The company’s Australian arm has already begun to hint that this will come from Carmichael. At an event in Brisbane last month the chief executive of Adani Australia, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, was reported by News Corp as saying Galilee coal had been “booked”.  Buckley estimates the 700km – and 8km/h – train journey to Godda from the coast would add US$16 a tonne to the cost of coal to fuel the new plant, relative to a coastal power plant. He says the deal is clearly not in the interests of Bangladesh, which would bear the costs of imported coal and unnecessary transport. Buckley said the country could import power more cheaply by seeking fuel-agnostic competitive tenders from the Indian market. “The logistics of the proposal can only work because the power purchase agreement allows Adani Power to pass the full cost of importing the coal on to Bangladesh.” “Godda would lock Bangladesh into expensive electricity with high emissions at a time when cleaner, cheaper alternative sources of energy are rapidly being deployed across India,” Buckley said. The deal with Adani has prompted protests in Dhaka on environmental grounds that have had to be broken up by police. Prof Ijaz Hossain, an analyst in Bangladesh, says the country “is in a precarious situation”. “The main reason is we used to depend on natural gas, but it’s running out,” Hossain says. He says even under the best options, the cost of electricity is going to rise fivefold in the country in coming years and the Adani deal would provide electricity in greater quantities than Indian public-sector companies could provide. “The reality in terms of getting electricity in Bangladesh is: expensive electricity or no electricity. So any electricity coming from any source that is cheaper than the options we have is a good deal.  “We need thousands of megawatts. If the [Indian public sector] could give us 5,000MW I would say, take it. But where will they get it from? “So if sourcing the coal is done by the Adani group, it’s very favourable for Bangladesh. This is a good project for Bangladesh if it takes off.” Reports this month suggested the governments of India and Bangladesh were discussing a low-cost 2000MW solar power supply arrangement to Bangladesh. Adani said in a statement that “the electricity supply agreement and proposed power project have been envisaged after due diligence and prudent planning in the large interest of our neighbours – the people of Bangladesh”. “The [IEEFA] report is based on certain assumptions and inferences, which are inconsistent with the factual aspects of this initiative between the two nations. Its authors/activists have not consulted us to check the facts”.
Category: Regional
Russian oil output hits 11-month high in March
April 4, 2018 Wednesday 4:56 PM By Reuters
Russia’s oil output edged up in March to an 11-month high of 10.97 million barrels per day (bpd), slightly above a limit agreed under a global supply pact, energy ministry data showed on Monday. It was the first increase in Russian output since December and the highest level since output of 11 million bpd in April 2017. Under an agreement by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers that came into effect last year, Moscow pledged to cut output by 300,000 bpd from a baseline of 11.247 million bpd based on its output in October 2016. The Energy Ministry said that in March it cut output by around 280,220 bpd from the October 2016 level. “Russia reached the production cuts compliance (with the OPEC deal) of 93.4 percent. The fluctuations of the liquid hydrocarbons in March were due to a high demand for gas and seasonality on the domestic market,” Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement. “Russia is fully committed to reaching the balance on the oil market,” he added. Russian output in March rose from 10.95 million bpd in February. In tonnes, it totaled 46.39 million versus 41.836 million in February. Russian oil pipeline exports in March stood at 4.163 million bpd, slightly up from 4.162 million bpd in February. The current global supply deal lasts until the end of 2018. OPEC states, Russia and several other non-OPEC producers agreed to cut supplies from January 2017 to lift oil prices that plunged from above $110 a barrel in 2014 to below $30 in 2016. Oil is currently traded just below $70 per barrel. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Reuters that Riyadh and Moscow were considering a deal to greatly extend the short-term alliance on oil curbs. The Kremlin has said Russia and Saudi Arabia have been discussing a “wide range of options” on cooperation in the global oil market. According to the energy ministry data, Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft and No.2 producer Lukoil both increased their output by 0.1 percent last month from February. Output at Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) projects declined by 0.6 percent in March as plans for an output rise at the ExxonMobil-led Sakhalin-1 project have been delayed. Russian natural gas production totaled 65.68 billion cubic meters (bcm) last month, or 2.12 bcm a day, versus 59.23 bcm in February.
Category: Other Countries
Solar seeks its place under Spanish sun
March 28, 2018 Wednesday 6:24 PM By BSS/AFP
Sun-drenched Spain should be a natural for solar energy, and it is here that the technology is making an effort to stand on its feet financially without subsidies. Investors are now betting again on solar power generation in Spain, which for a decade was in the shadows as the country cut subsidies for the clean but expensive source of energy. A plunge in the price of solar panels and lower construction costs has changed the maths, and new projects are moving forward again. Iberdrola, Spain`s largest power company, this month launched a solar project with a capacity of 425 megawatts. And last week Spanish renewable energy firm Cox Energy signed a deal for the construction of 495 megawatts of capacity in Spain, and another 165 megawatts in neighbouring Portugal, in a 400-million-euro ($490 million) investment. Companies have sought authorisation for solar power projects across Spain with a total capacity of 24,000 megawatts, according to the director general of Spanish solar power lobby UNEF, Jose Donoso. Subsidies stumble That is the equivalent of 14 of the latest generation nuclear power plants that France hopes to launch later this year, after a decade of costly construction. Spain was one of the pioneers of solar power-generation. Subsidies in the form of a high purchase price for solar power lured investors and homeowners to install solar panels, triggering an installation boom in 2008 that saw Spain`s installed capacity jump five times to 3,355 megawatts. But the global financial crisis, which ravaged Spain via a collapse of the property market, led to a bust in new projects and the cash-strapped government was quickly forced to abandon the subsidies. Just 49 megawatts was added in 2015, and 55 megawatts in 2016, before picking up to 135 megawatts in 2017, according to UNEF figures. However in Germany, which kept up its subsidies, solar power swelled by six times although the country does not receive as much sun as Spain, meaning each panel produces less electricity. The country now has more than 40,000 megawatts of solar power, compared with 5,400 in Spain at the end of 2015.  But the sector has undergone "a complete reversal in less than six months", according to Donoso. Blazing return One reason is that solar panels can now produce electricity at a lower price than traditional power sources such as coal, gas and nuclear. The cost of solar power production plunged 73 percent between 2010 and 2017, according the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), which predicts it will continue to fall. Companies also realised the projects didn`t need guaranteed prices from the state. A tender for solar power projects launched by the government in July had so many bids that the price was capped at 30-31 euros per megawatt hour. According to the European statistical agency Eurostat, non-residential customers in Spain paid an average 107 euros per megawatt hour last year. Investors concluded that "it is better to run risks in the market then depend on regulated demand", Donoso said. Moreover, investors into renewables know how much construction and operation will cost them, while traditional power stations have only a limited ability to lock in prices for fuel. "It is much more profitable to invest in capital-intensive technologies (like photovoltaic power) than technologies where the raw material comes at a cost" like gas or coal, said the president of renewable energy lobby group Fundacion Renovables, Fernando Ferrando. Room to grow Donoso said this explains why major Spanish power firms such as Iberdrola "who stood aside from this sector" have suddenly jumped in. "The Spanish market will certainly be one of the biggest in Europe in the coming years," he added. A group set up by the government proposes setting as a goal having a total of 30,000-60,000 gigawatts of installed solar capacity by 2020, Donoso said. Spain`s conservative government has so far not made solar power a priority, said Ferrando. "We only use the sun for tourism not for electricity," he said. Solar power represents just 3-4 percent of electrical power production in Spain, compared with 20 percent for wind power and 16-17 percent for hydroelectric power, according to the lobby group.
Category: Other Countries
Off Grid Energy power up latest fleet of electric delivery vans for UPS
March 22, 2018 Thursday 7:40 AM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Off Grid Energy, leading manufacturer of power solutions for the construction and utility industries, has supported UK Power Networks Services to deliver a project for UPS to overcome concerns related to the integration of electric delivery vehicles at its London parcel delivery depot. In conjunction with UK Power Networks Services, Off Grid Energy delivered a multi-function Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) as part of a wider integrated smart management system that provides a dynamic control of individual vehicle charging points to support the existing limited capacity grid supply, said a press release. The integration of 118 additional electric vehicles increased the demand that would exceed the capacity of the existing supply to the central London depot, and with the cost of an infrastructure upgrade too expensive and timely to be feasible, UPS needed an alternative solution that could be delivered within a short timescale. “Until recently, EV operators would have to account for a substantial increase in budget allocation to allow for an upgrade of infrastructure to meet increased energy demands,” said Danny Jones, Founder and CEO of Off Grid Energy. “However, with our cost-effective Universal Battery Energy Storage System (UBESS) - the Ingenium - customers now have an alternative solution.” Comprising of a smart charging system that dynamically controls the power available to connected vehicles, the system can intelligently limit the peak load on the network. Working alongside and interacting with this, the UBESS monitors depot load through remote measurement at the LV substation and makes stored energy available to the depot to cover any unavoidable deficit in capacity. In addition, when not required to support the depot, the Ingenium U-BESS is able to provide DSR services reflected back to the grid network that include FFR, demand shift, Voltage regulation, real and reactive power import/export and PV self-consumption. “By offering multi-layered benefits, this technology provides a solution to limited capacity grid issues as well as delivering network support services that, together, ensure the asset works hard for its keep.  Growth in EV fleets in our towns and cities, driven by air quality concerns, can now be effectively introduced without the cost and time associated with traditional grid re-enforcement,” added Jones.
Category: Other Countries
Rosatom to train Indian engineers at a jointly set up centre in Ranchi
August 10, 2017 Thursday 12:25 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
India’s Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited (HEC) and CNIITMASH a sister concern of Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation ROSATOM are jointly working on establishing a Center for General Engineering and Technical Training in the India’s city of Rachi. First 200 engineers from HEC Ltd. will start their education program by the end of 2017 or early 2018, said a press release. The training will be given nine different courses of one to four months duration and will be carried out by CNIITMASH specialists.  The initiative aims at skill development of technical people, working in various engineering enterprises in India. Currently, CNIITMASH specialists are preparing training materials for the centre. The Center is expected to raise efficiency of production in national energy and engineering sectors and to develop qualification of Indian engineers. It may be mentioned here that Rosatom has undertaken an extensive programme to develop and train human resources for Bangladesh in its nuclear energy sector. The Russian state company is implementing the first ever nuclear power plant of Bangladesh at Rooppur of Pabna district.
Category: Regional
Britain to ban new diesel and gas cars by 2040
July 28, 2017 Friday 10:56 PM By The New York Times
Scrambling to combat a growing air pollution crisis, Britain announced on Wednesday that sales of new diesel and gas cars would reach the end of the road by 2040, the latest step in Europe’s battle against the damaging environmental impact of the internal combustion engine. Britain’s plans match a similar pledge made this month by France, and are part of a growing global push to curb emissions and fight climate change by promoting electric cars. Carmakers are also adjusting, with Volvo notably saying recently that it would phase out the internal combustion engine in the coming years and BMW deciding to build an electric version of its popular Mini car in Britain. But the shift to electric vehicles will be a gradual one, and the target set by Britain is less ambitious than some of the efforts elsewhere. President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord has also dented optimism. Britain’s new clean air strategy, published on Wednesday, calls for sales of new gas and diesel cars and vans to end by 2040. The government will also make 255 million pounds, or $332 million, available for local governments to take short-term action, such as retrofitting buses, to reduce air pollution. “It is important that we all gear up for a significant change which deals not just with the problems to health caused by emissions, but the broader problems caused in terms of accelerating climate change,” Michael Gove, the country’s environment secretary, told the BBC. Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, promised a “green revolution in transport,” adding that the government wanted nearly every car and van on Britain’s roads to have zero emissions by 2050. The strategy document was published after a protracted legal battle in which ministers were ordered by the courts to produce new plans to tackle illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide. In France, the promise to end sales of traditional cars was made as part of a renewed commitment to the Paris accord. In Britain, which is also committed to the Paris treaty, the measures have particular political significance because of rising concern over the level of air pollution, particularly in large cities like London. Poor air quality, much of it a result of pollution from vehicles, is estimated to cause between 23,000 and 40,000 deaths nationwide every year. Frederik Dahlmann, assistant professor of global energy at Warwick Business School, described Wednesday’s announcement as “an important step” that set a clear long-term target, and “also gives car buyers an incentive to consider the different types of engine options available in light of the long-term development of the market.” Still, he said, the long-term nature of the announcement left a significant question hanging: “How does the government intend to improve air quality and reduce transport related emissions in the short term?” Critics, including Ed Miliband, a former leader of the opposition Labour Party and an ex-environment secretary, argued that the government was failing to tackle the current pollution crisis. Another former environment secretary, Ed Davey of the centrist Liberal Democrats, described the government’s failure to commit to a plan to compensate diesel car owners who scrap or retrofit highly polluting vehicles as a “shameful betrayal.” Others also say the country’s efforts are not aggressive enough — France has also set 2040 as its target, but Norway intends to sell only electric cars from 2025, and India wants to do so by 2030. Cars typically have a life span of around 15 years, so even if Britain follows through with its target, conventional engines are likely to be on the country’s roads more than a decade later. Britain’s decision is, however, the latest indication of how swiftly governments and the public in Europe have turned against diesel and internal combustion engines in general. Automakers, though reluctant to abandon technologies that have served them well for more than a century, are increasingly resigned to the demise of engines that run on fossil fuels. They are investing heavily in battery-powered cars as they realize their traditional business is threatened by Tesla or emerging Chinese companies, which have a lead in electric car technology. The shift away from internal combustion engines is in large part a result of growing awareness of the health hazards of diesel. Cities like Madrid, Munich and Stuttgart are considering diesel bans. Sales of diesel cars are plunging. Political leaders are under pressure to end the de facto subsidies of diesel fuel that prevail in Europe. European countries kept taxes on diesel lower than on gasoline in the belief that it was kinder to the planet. Diesel engines do spew less carbon dioxide, a cause of global warming, than gasoline engines. But they produce more nitrogen oxides, a family of gases that cause asthma and are responsible for the smog that sometimes blankets London and other major cities. Rather than encourage a shift back to gasoline cars, governments and automakers are focusing increasingly on electric cars. They are the only vehicles that emit neither nitrogen oxides like diesel nor large amounts of carbon dioxide like gasoline. But the impending shift has raised doubts about whether countries like Britain will be able to create the infrastructure, and generate the electricity, needed for such a radical change in the way people travel.  Jack Cousens, a spokesman for Britain’s largest motoring organization, the AA, said there would need to be “significant investment in order to install charging points across the country, especially fast-charge points,” and added that it was questionable whether the electricity grid “could cope with a mass switch-on after the evening rush hour.”
Category: Other Countries
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