Let’s export coal: India’s power secretary wants the country to attract the world’s biggest miners and turn the country into a coal exporter | Photo: Kuoni

“India must become coal exporter”, national avg. PLF dropped to 51% in Aug

India’s power secretary SC Garg has said the country should go from importing 20% of its coal requirement to being a “coal exporter”. He lambasted the way coal mines are currently allocated in the country, and has called for large international miners to be brought in to boost India’s coal output from mines allotted to the power sector to be boosted from around 10 million tonnes (MT) a year today to up to 290 MT. 

He also warned that nearly ₹ 5 trillion in investments in coal plants were at high risk due to the shortage of coal supplies in India. The average PLF of coal plants in India fell to 51% in August 2019 over impaired coal supplies, but electricity generation nevertheless increased by 3.5% (year-on-year) due to greater hydro power output. 

Germany’s RWE aims for “zero carbon” by 2040, pivots to more renewables

RWE, one of Germany’s largest coal miners and coal power producers, has announced it will aim to go “zero carbon” by 2040 as it winds down its coal power output. The group has been in the use for protests against its plan to dig in the Hambach forest, but is now likely to spend up to $1.6billion a year on expanding its solar and wind energy portfolio.

It will also honor Germany’s 2038 target of phasing out coal power, and aims to slash its CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030.

Ships burning crude oil to circumvent IMO sulphur regulations

The shipping industry is experimenting with burning crude oil, that is extracted from the sea bed and has sulphur content that’s as low as <1%, to circumvent the International Marine Organisation (IMO)’s stricter new fuel sulphur standards. Crude oil pumped from various basins does differ in sulphur content, viscosity and flash points (temp. at which the oil burns), and blended mixtures are now being stored up for use in some of the world’s largest cargo liners. The IMO’s new sulphur standards will kick in in 2020. 

Natural gas: $33billion in projects across MENA, India to import 5 million tonnes annually from US

Upstream natural gas projects across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have received $33 billion in investments so far, as demand for the relatively cleaner fuel soars across the region at 15% CAGR. The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) also estimates $1 trillion in new investments across MENA in the next five years. India’s Petronet, meanwhile, has signed a 5 million tonnes of LNG a year-deal with US natural gas producer Tellurian Inc. The gas will be used to fuel LNG buses and trucks and will be supplied through the India’s expanding city gas distribution network. India is betting big on natural gas and plans to scale up the fuel’s consumption by 2.5 times by 2030.

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