Adani Group is looking to preserve cash and not go ahead with bidding for a stake in state-backed energy trading firm Power Trading Corporation.

Power ministry mandates 40% RE generation for all new thermal power plants

India’s Ministry of Power has issued a notification that all coal-based power plants starting commercial operations between April 2023 and March 2025 must have renewables as 40% of their generating capacity, The Economic Times reported. Thermal power stations that are unable to equip themselves for co-generation with renewables will be required to procure and supply an equivalent quantity of renewable energy. Power stations beginning operations before March 2025 will have until April 2025 to comply with the new mandates, while new power plants after April 2025 will be required to be compliant at the time of operationalisation.

Adani Group’s ₹7,017-crore acquisition of coal-fired power plant falls through

After the massive loss from US short-seller Hindenburg’s report on Adani Group’s alleged accounting fraud and stock manipulation, the conglomerate is looking to preserve cash and not go ahead with bidding for a stake in state-backed energy trading firm Power Trading Corporation, according to a report by Bloomberg. State-owned entities such as NTPC Ltd, NHPC Ltd, Power Grid Corp of India Ltd and Power Finance Corp Ltd are working with an adviser to weigh selling their stakes of around 4% each, with bids due as soon as the end of the month. The report comes days after Adani Power’s 7,017-crore acquisition of coal-based electricity generating units of DB Power Ltd collapsed as the deadline to sign the pact expired. The date to complete the process of acquisition was extended four times after the initial deal was signed in August last year. DB Power, which currently operates a 2×600 MW coal-fired power plant in Chhattisgarh, has long and medium-term power purchase agreements for 923.5 MW of its capacity, backed by fuel supply agreements with Coal India Ltd. It recorded a turnover of 3,488 crore for FY22.

Fuel, power costs rose by 57% between January 2021 and August 2022: RBI

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the fuel and power costs in India rose nearly five times more than overall consumer prices in the country, which increased by 12 per cent over the same time period. In addition, India’s fuel and power prices rose by 57 per cent between January 2021 and August 2022, as per the ‘Fuel and Power’ price index. RBI publishes two categories related to fossil fuels — ‘Fuel and Light’ and ‘Transport and Communication’. While it is not possible to “disentangle the impacts of fossil fuel prices from other prices included, the figures for ‘Transport and Communication’ and ‘Fuel and Light’ suggest that fossil fuels currently make a disproportionate contribution to consumer price inflation in India.”

Coal Ministry auctions ten mines under commercial auction 

The bids for 10 mines under the Commercial Auction were launched by the Coal Ministry earlier this week. Of the 10 coal mines put up for auction on the first day of the e-auction, six were under the Coal Mines (Special Provision) Act, l, and four were part of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act. In this round of the auction, the Ministry made a number of reforms, including allowing the sale of a portion of the mine, lowering the upfront payment and the bid security, introducing the National Lignite Index, and delaying the revision of the National Coal Index until the mine is operational. 

To name a few, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) got a block in Madhya Pradesh out of the 10 mines up for auction while Shree Cement won the bidding war for a coal pit in Chhattisgarh. Samlok Industries placed the highest offer for a mine in Maharashtra, while Rungta Sons won the auction for an Odisha coal mine. The total geological reserves for these 10 coal mines are 1,866 million tonnes, reported Mint. On November 3, 2022, the government began the sixth round of its auctions for commercial coal mining, as well as the second try of the fifth round.

Govt committed to greening marine fisheries sector

The Centre has expressed its intentions of working towards greening the marine fisheries sector. Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary to the Department of Fisheries, Government of India said, the country is determined to set the stage for using renewable energy in the fisheries sector. “In terms of global greenhouse gas emission, India’s fishing sector has a low impact. However, the country will mobilise support to transform the sector and tackle the environmental issues.” He pointed out that Kerala has shown an example in this regard with some fishermen groups taking efforts to greening fishing vessels by moving from the use of petrol to natural gas. Gujarat and Tamil Nadu too have taken such initiatives.

India paces oil supply discussions with US prior to further sanctions on Russia

India has stepped up talks with the US to ensure that its oil supply strategy does not run into obstacles or disruptions in the event that Russia faces additional sanctions for its war in Ukraine. This is a sign that New Delhi wants to balance its energy ties with both the USA and Russia, S&P Global reported. Government officials and analysts said that Russian oil provided the nation with a window of opportunity to increase imports over the previous year due to its competitive pricing. Nevertheless, if additional limitations are imposed on Russia, the scenario can change. India must therefore continue to work with alternative suppliers, they added. 

Iraq signs deals to push oil and gas output

As part of attempts to increase both crude oil and natural gas output, Iraq struck a number of agreements with international businesses. Iraq is currently extremely dependent on its neighbour Iran for its gas needs. The country has signed contracts with two Chinese firms and one Emirati firm with the goal of increasing natural gas production by 800 million cubic feet per day and increasing oil production by a quarter of a million barrels per day. At 4.5 million barrels per day of oil production, Iraq is OPEC’s second-largest oil producer. Political instability in the country and companies prioritising low-cost, fast-return projects had slowed the country’s production in recent times. Exxon was among the major oil companies that completely withdrew from Iraq in recent years due to the country’s oil industry’s uncertain future. Despite the OPEC+ output restrictions, succeeding governments continued to pursue plans for significantly increased natural gas production as well as higher oil production.