Decarbonisation plans at India’s largest power producer, National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC), will reportedly involve a foray into nuclear power. NTPC’s nuclear power pivot will heavily hinge on the deployment of small-scale modular reactors or SMRs, which it will use to build a capacity of 30-40 GW by 2040. While SMR technology is still relatively new and its economic competitiveness is untested, it does have the benefit of bringing down capital costs and is likely to be easier to customise for grid requirements.
G7 price cap on Russian oil comes into force
The price cap planned by G7 countries over the last six months on Russian seaborne oil came into force early this week. The cap, set at USD 60 per barrel, aims to limit Moscow’s funding of the Ukraine war, but Russia said it refused to abide by the cap. The cap is in addition to other embargoes on Russian oil enforced by the EU, US, Canada, Japan and the UK. The cap allows Russian oil to be transported overseas using only G7 or EU tankers and financial institutions, and only if the oil is purchased at prices matching or below the price cap. While Russian authorities have expressed that it has no plans to adhere to the price cap, the cap itself is only slightly lower than the current market price for Russian crude which is hovering around USD 65 per barrel and is unlikely to cause too much distress to the Russian crude oil market. Following the enforcement of the price cap, Turkish authorities have intensified checks of insurance for oil tankers passing through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits, causing a traffic jam in the critical sea routes.
Brazil’s incoming govt to scrap Bolsonaro’s plans for new gas power plants, pipelines
The incoming Brazilian government is looking to cancel the gas power plants and pipelines planned by the current Bolsonaro government. The new environment minister, Marina Silva, tweeted that the incoming government was considering reversing these decisions. The Bolsonaro government had announced last year its plans to build 8GW of gas power plants in the country’s north-east along with pipelines for supply. Silva tweeted a quick calculation of how much these projects would cost and concluded that scrapping them would save the incoming Lula Da Silva government $22 billion during its four years in power.
Major oil and gas companies set to explore electrification of North Sea operations
BP, Equinor and Ithaca Energy, operators of the three largest oil and gas fields in the North Sea, signed an agreement earlier this week to study the feasibility of electrifying offshore production in the area. Electrifying offshore platforms would help cut GHG emissions from oil and gas production but could be a complicated prospect due to rough weather conditions in the West of Shetland region where the fields are located.