NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT – SEPTEMBER 2020, VOLUME 2

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City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

Indian government announces the opening of over 50 CNG stations

Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan dedicated 56 new CNG stations. These facilities are located in 13 different states and one UT (Chandigarh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh,

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Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh). The minister said that in the last six years, the number of CNG stations has gone up from 947 to over 2,300. He informed that presently more than 400 districts of the country are being covered by the City Gas distribution network. In addition, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is preparing to come out with 11th round of CGD bidding round, after which 50-100 additional districts will get the clean fuel. Shri Pradhan highlighted that India is moving towards becoming a gas-based economy and that the government is committed to provide infrastructure to facilitate this: a 17,000 km long pipeline is being laid for the purpose. He commented that the places like North-eastern states and the eastern India, which were deprived of the access to gas, are also being covered. Efforts are underway to complete the national Gas Grid in a time bound manner. The official expressed his gratitude to the finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for facilitating growth of bio-CNG ecosystem in the country. He said that biomethane has been included in the priority sector by the RBI, which will help the entrepreneurs to get cheaper and easier access to loans. Talking about the waste to energy concept, the minister stated that India, despite being very low in per capita pollution, has taken steps to adopt the renewable sources of energy in a big way. Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Tarun Kapoor, also speaking on the occasion, said that the government is fully committed to the ushering of gas economy in the country. He called upon the vehicle manufacturers to promote the factory-fitted CNG vehicles, and reduce fitting the external kits for the same, so that transport sector can use more CNG.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/indian-government-announces-the-opening-of-over-50-cng-stations/

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CNG, PNG in up to 100 more districts soon; 11th round of city gas distribution on cards

The government is preparing to initiate the 11th round of city gas distribution bidding after which up to 100 additional districts will get the clean fuel. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said that Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board

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(PNGRB) is preparing to initiate the 11th round of city gas distribution bidding after which up to 100 additional districts will get the clean fuel. Dharmendra Pradhan added that more than 400 districts of the country are being covered by the city gas distribution network so far, accordion to the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. He mentioned that in the last 6 years, the number of CNG stations has gone up from 947 to over 2300. The minister also marked the commissioning of 56 CNG stations, most of which are, reportedly, set up by Adani Gas and Indian Oil Corporation. It has been informed that the 11th bid round is being planned around a new pipeline being constructed from Angul in Odisha to Mumbai in Maharashtra to ferry natural gas between the east and west coast. The city gas pipeline is used to transport compressed natural gas and piped natural gas. Highlighting India’s growth towards becoming a gas-based economy, the minister further said that the government is committed to providing infrastructure and 17,000 km long pipeline is being laid for the purpose. Efforts are underway to complete the national Gas Grid in a time-bound manner, he assured.  During 2018 and 2019, the PNGRB gave out licences to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to household kitchens in 136 geographical areas. This helped in extending coverage of the city gas network to 406 districts and around 70 per cent of the country’s population.  Meanwhile, the minister called upon the entrepreneurs to take advantage of the policy reforms brought in the energy sector. He added that the capital requirement for setting up of retail outlets has been cut from Rs 2000 crore to Rs 250 Crore, and even the start-ups can take part in it now. Retail outlets can not only sell the traditional fossil fuels, but also dispense gas, and put up electric vehicle charging stations. 

https://www.financialexpress.com/economy/cng-png-in-up-to-100-more-districts-soon-11th-round-of-city-gas-distribution-on-cards/2079873/

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Centre calls on cities to deliver on clean air goals in next three yrs

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on Monday (Sep 7) urged states and cities to deliver on its clean air goals before the 2024 deadline for the national clean air programme (NCAP).

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The minister made the appeal during a webinar with principal secretaries of urban development and environment departments of all states and union territories (UTs). The webinar reviewed the progress of activities under NCAP. This was the first review meeting since the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in end-March. Javadekar said that states and cities should try to achieve the target of reducing particulate matter (PM) concentrations in non-attainment cities by up to 30% by 2024 over 2017 annual average levels. Non-attainment cities don’t need to meet the national clean air standards. Javadekar was speaking on the occasion of the United Nations (UN)-designated the first International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, which was observed on Monday (September 7). There are 122 non-attainment cities, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) out of which 48 cities exceed the PM standard by 100% and 35 cities by 50%.

Prashant Gargava, member secretary, CPCB, said air pollution action plans for 122 cities had been approved that are focused on management of pollution hotspots, public transport and fleet modernisation, paving of roads, cleaner fuels for industries etc. The 15th Finance Commission has allocated Rs 4,400 crore, which is largely meant for state pollution control boards and urban local bodies for clean air projects. Javadekar said though pollution woes caught the government’s attention since 2014, the problem persisted for decades. He cited that under the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s regime until 2004 industries were moved out of the national capital and public transport had made a switch to compressed natural gas (CNG). The minister urged states to focus their resources on public transport, electric mobility, zig-zag technology for brick kilns etc. He also said states could impose tax on polluters. “PM Modi had announced on Independence Day that at least 100 cities will achieve clean air goals in four years. Let’s strive to make a difference in three years,” he added. The New Delhi- based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a not-for-profit public advocacy organisation, in an analysis released on Monday said the government needs a “green recovery” strategy to achieve and even exceed its NCAP goals. Two of the main interventions would be to revive public transport and a road map for electric vehicles to be scaled up, the analysis stated. A survey conducted by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) of 14 State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTUs) showed that 81% of the operators have reported no ridership at all during the Covid-19-induced lockdown phases, while others have reported 90% reduction in ridership from the pre-Covid-19 level. Ridership of SRTUs in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Delhi, and Hubli-Dharwad Bus Rapid Transit System (HD-BRTS) are still below 90%. Recovery of ridership is expected to be slow due to fear of contagion, but the government needs to have a plan, the analysis added.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/centre-calls-on-cities-to-deliver-on-clean-air-goals-in-next-three-yrs/story-ORmxO5RbyUxFih5btSrtiO.html

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Oil regulator issues force majeure guidelines for city gas operators

PNGRB has issued a fresh set of force majeure guidelines, listing events such as riots, natural disasters, and restrictions by the government as conditions for allowing more time to complete city gas rollout obligations.

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The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) in a notice on September 2 detailed the procedure for considering force majeure claims of the city gas distribution (CGD) entities for a time extension. Force majeure conditions, it said, include war/hostilities, major riots or civil commotion, natural calamities such as earthquake and floods, and “restrictions imposed by central or state government” that prevent or delay project execution. The guidelines came after a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 from March 25 and state-level lockdowns since June hampered city gas projects. Several city gas firms claimed force majeure after work on sites got stalled due to lockdown. Such claims however were not immediately accepted in absence of guidelines listing events that can trigger force majeure. “In the event of authorized entity being rendered unable to perform any obligation required to be performed by it as per the work program, due to force majeure, the relative obligation of the entity affected by such force majeure shall be suspended for the period during which such force majeure lasts,” PNGRB said. The duration of the force majeure would be decided by the regulator. PNGRB said licensees are required to intimate to the Board within 15 days from the date of occurrence of the force majeure event. “No request for allowing force majeure shall be considered for events/occurrences that are not covered in the definition of force majeure,” it said. PNGRB said securing permissions from statutory/ local/ other authorities for project works such as laying pipelines or setting up CNG stations is the prime responsibility of the CGD entities.
“Hence, delays on this account cannot qualify as force majeure,” it added.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/oil-regulator-issues-force-majeure-guidelines-for-city-gas-operators/77911080

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Govt targets 10,000 CNG outlets in five years

Among the retail outlets inaugurated, most (17) are owned by IndianOil-Adani Gas, a joint venture between Indian Oil (IOCL) and Adani Gas, followed by the ten outlets operated by Adani Gas. Pradhan was speaking at an online event

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where he inaugurated 56 new CNG retail outlets across 13 states and one Union Territory. Union minister of petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday (Sep 10) that the government aims to have 10,000 retail outlets of compressed natural gas (CNG) in the next five years as the country plans to increase the share of gas in its energy basket. Pradhan was speaking at an online event where he inaugurated 56 new CNG retail outlets across 13 states and one Union Territory. Among the retail outlets inaugurated, most (17) are owned by IndianOil-Adani Gas, a joint venture between Indian Oil (IOCL) and Adani Gas, followed by the ten outlets operated by Adani Gas. IOCL and Hindustan Petroleum will be running six CNG stations each. The minister also said that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is preparing for the 11th round of bidding for city gas distribution (CGD) which will increase the penetration of the natural gas eco-system. Currently, about 75% of the CNG stations are concentrated in Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The total number of CNG outlets in the country now stands at 2,307. As FE reported earlier, the regulator had proposed 44 new geographical areas for the upcoming CGD auctions, with most located in Tamil Nadu (eight), followed by Maharashtra (seven) and Madhya Pradesh (six). At present, the CGD network covers 232 geographical areas spread over 407 districts in 27 states. The present share of gas in the energy basket of the country is 6.2%, and the target is to take it to 15% by 2030.

https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/govt-targets-10000-cng-outlets-in-five-years/2080336/

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Piped gas suppliers may gain from norms on force majeure

City Gas Distribution (CGD) entities implementing projects to supply piped natural gas to households as well as CNG for automobiles and industries are likely to save on penalties for work delays triggered by the pandemic,

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with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) issuing guidelines on force majeure considerations. “To examine the requests of CGD entities for time extension… the board has approved the guidelines for consideration of Force Majeure in CGD networks,” PNGRB said. Sources working on different CGD projects said several entities had approached the regulator in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown. An official said little work was possible at the height of the lockdown, till the third week of April. Some relaxation in construction activity that followed was not of much use as, by then, many migrant labourers had returned to their native places. With many factories closed, access to material was also a challenge. Most CGD entities, especially those awarded projects in the 9th and 10th round of bidding by the PNGRB, were likely to benefit from the guidelines. Indian Oil Corporation Executive Director (Southern Region Pipelines) D.S. Nanaware said a minimum work programme had been agreed to by the CGD entities and non-compliance would attract penalties. As per the force majeure norms, “in the event of authorised entity rendered unable to perform any obligation… the relative obligation of the entity affected by such force majeure shall be suspended for the period during which such force majeure lasts.” Consumers may face a delay to the extent of the period for which force majeure is invoked.

https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/piped-gas-suppliers-may-gain-from-norms-on-force-majeure/article32526528.ece

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CNG sales rise to 85% of pre-Covid level in Delhi-NCR

Data from Indraprastha Gas Ltd, the sole supplier in the capital and most of the towns in neighbouring UP, show CNG sales averaging 27.5 lakh kg per day in August against 34.5 lakh kg per day in the same month a year ago.

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Company managing director A K Jana said on working days sales are hovering between 92% and 95% of pre-Covid level. PNG, or piped gas supplies, to industrial units are also back at 100%. “Only piped supplies to hotels and restaurants etc., which is not a large volume, are still lagging,” he said. Company director (commercial) Amit Garg said he expected sales to be back to normal once the weekend lockdown in neighbouring towns are scrapped and schools reopen. Data shows current daily average sales at 32 lakh kg per day, or 92% of the pre-Covid average sales of 34.5 lakh kg per day. Demand has grown steadily as opening of markets and other business establishments drew traffic from neighbouring townships. The limit on the number of passengers on buses have prompted higher frequency of service, which has boosted consumption. Jana said people are avoiding public transport to the extent possible and preferring to use personal vehicles. “CNG car sales, whether new or pre-owned, are rising because they are cheaper to run in comparison to petrol or diesel,” he said. At current prices, CNG is 61% cheaper than petrol and 40% than diesel. Garg expected the resumption of Metro services to further boost sales as CNG vehicles providing last-mile connectivity services to the stations are getting back on the roads. Sales had slumped by 90% to 3.7 lakh kg per day in April as the countrywide lockdown to check coronavirus infections from spreading shuttered nearly all economic activities and all vehicular movements, except emergency services, were halted. This forced IGL to close most of its stations in the NCR, though the company maintained round-the-clock service throughout the lockdown period.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/cng-sales-rise-to-85-of-pre-covid-level-in-delhi-ncr/articleshow/78027275.cms

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IRF urges India to establish technical requirements for retro-fitment of CNG kits

Out of over 1.8 million CNG light vehicles which includes passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles plying on the roads today, 60-65 per cent are those retrofitted in the aftermarket. International Road Federation (IRF),

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a global body dedicated to road safety, has urged the government of India to adopt “technical requirements” for retro-fitment of CNG kits in cars here. The body said the authorities must issue these stringent technical requirements for CNG kits, including digital monitoring compliance, right away. According to an IANS report, IRF has urged the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to immediately notify strict technical requirements in this regard. In a statement to the press, K.K. Kapila, President Emeritus, International Road Federation, said, “Out of over 1.8 million CNG light vehicles which includes passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles plying on the roads today, 60-65 per cent are those retrofitted in the aftermarket. Under the CNG retro-fitment technique that is followed, the gas tank, fuel lines, injection system and the electricals are retro-fitted on to a vehicle which wasn’t designed for CNG. The CNG kit manufactures supply ‘unapproved and uncertified CNG fuel kits’.” Explaining IRF’s concerns, Kapial explained that retro-fitting a CNG kit means the addition of nearly 100 kg weight in the car. Not only that, it involves force fitting fuel lines and electrical wire connections even though the car’s design makes no accommodations for them. Furthermore, after the fitment, there is no testing to verify operation and performance of brakes. He added that no efforts are made to verify the retro-fitted CNG car’s crash test safety performance or that the fuel lines don’t run close to the battery. Kapila that the regulations for such kits must ensure that technical safety requirements such as these are met. IRF added that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways must ensure stringent enforcement of monitoring of fitment of CNG kits across India to ensure only approved components are used in retro fitments. “We need to put a foolproof regime in place or else we keep compromising safety at the cost of human lives, charred to death in the event of cars catching fire, in the absence of an appropriate kit and its retrofitting.”

https://www.timesnownews.com/auto/car-news/article/irf-urges-india-to-establish-technical-requirements-for-retro-fitment-of-cng-kits/646887

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GO TOP

Electric Mobility & Bio- Methane

Government mulls installing EV charging kiosks at around 69000 petrol pumps in the country

The government is mulling setting up at least one electric vehicle (EV) charging kiosk each at nearly 69,000 petrol pumps across the country to induce people to go for electric mobility. Besides, the government is also thinking of making it compulsory 

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to install EV charging kiosks at all Company-Owned, Company-Operated (COCO) petrol pumps of state refiners. In a review meeting on EV charging infrastructure, Power Minister R K Singh suggested oil ministry top officials that “they may issue an order for their oil marketing companies (OMCs) under their administrative control for setting up charging kiosks at all COCO petrol pumps”, a source said. Other franchisee petrol pump operators may also be advised to have at least one charging kiosk at their fuel stations, the source said adding this will help achieve “EV charging facility at all petrol pumps in the country”. Under the new guidelines of the oil ministry, new petrol pumps must have an option of one alternative fuel.”Most of the new petrol pumps are opting for electric vehicle charging facility under alternative fuel option. But it will make huge difference when the existing petrol pumps would also install EV charging kiosks,” the source said. According to the industry estimates, there are around 69,000 petrol pumps in the country. The EV charging facility at all petrol pumps could boost e-mobility in a big way as lack of such infrastructure discourages people from buying EVs.The power ministry has also chalked out a plan to focus on Delhi National Capital Region, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Vadodara and Bhopal for creating EV charging infrastructure in cities as well as on highways to encourage people to switch over to electric mobility.
Source: Indian Oil & Gas/PTI

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Hyderabad based EV startup launches electric bike Atum 1.0 at Rs 50,000

A Hyderabad-based electric vehicles start-up, Atumobile Pvt Ltd on Tuesday launched Atum 1.0, a new generation electric bike at a base price of Rs 50,000. The cost-effective café-racer styled electric bike is available across India through

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Atumobile’s online portal. Powered by a portable lithium-ion battery pack, that charges in 4 hours, Atum 1.0 offers a range of 100 kmph in a single charge, as per the release. The electric bike comes with a 2-year battery warranty and is claimed to be developed using indigenous parts. Additionally, the startup mentioned that Atum 1.0 does not need registration and the person driving it does not need a license. Teenagers can use this vehicle legally to commute. Speaking at the launch of Atum 1.0, Vamsi Gaddam, Founder, Atumobile Pvt Ltd said, “After 3 years of hard work and a vision to introduce a sustainable way to commute, we’re extremely delighted to launch Atum 1.0. We believe that Atum 1.0 is an important milestone in our larger commitment towards transforming India into a sustainable and environmentally responsible nation.” Atum 1.0 comes with a lightweight portable battery pack of 6 kgs. The bike consumes around 1 unit per charge, which translates to Rs. 7-10 per day (for 100 kilometers) as compared to the traditional ICE bikes, which cost almost Rs. 80-100 a day (for 100 kilometers).

Source: ET Auto

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100% adoption of electric ride-hailing cars in India by 2030 can cut 12 million tons of CO2 emissions a year: Report

BluSmart’s strategy has been to re-imagine ride-hailing as a service and try to solve issues faced by traditional ride-hailing fleets and its stakeholders. A 100% adoption of electric ride-hailing cars in India by 2030 equates to

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a reduction of 12 million tons of CO2 emissions a year, avoiding consumption of 11 billion litres of fuel a year, according to a report launched by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The report titled ‘Advancing electrification of ride-hailing in India’ highlights key learnings and practical steps for businesses to adopt and scale electric fleets. “This decade is crucial for electrification of mobility in India. A slow transition would mean tens of millions of additional combustion engine vehicles on Indian roads. WBCSD is working with businesses in India to enable a faster transition to electric vehicles,” Thomas Deloison, Director- Mobility, WBCSD, said at the launch of the report. With the Automotive Industry hit hard by the COVID Pandemic, more plants shutting down and operations stopped due to supply chain disruptions. It has highlighted the importance for agile, flexible, granular, customer-centric, high velocity supply chains.

The ride-hailing industry is evolving into one of the preferred forms of personalised commute in India. The market is estimated to have a total turnover of USD26 billion in 2020. It has been projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.1% and to reach a turnover of USD 52.5 billion by 2024. While the current COVID-19 pandemic may delay the achievement of turnover targets, medium to long-term growth of ride-hailing in India is very likely, according to the study. “Ride-hailing is growing fast in India and we need to ensure that this progress is sustainable. BluSmart’s fleet with Mahindra’s eVerito sedan has shown that electric ride-hailing is both technically and financially viable today. This WBCSD report summarises its implementation experience and will further help others to venture into the EV fleet segment,” Mahesh Babu, MD and CEO, Mahindra Electric Mobility Limited, said. On a total cost of ownership basis, all-electric ride-hailing is possible and economically viable if the utilisation of vehicles is high. Electric cars are currently 30% more expensive than equivalent ICE cars.

Source: ET Auto

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Banas Dairy’s first bio-CNG outlet opened

Palanpur-based Banas Dairy opened its first bio-CNG refuelling outlet last week, after it began generating bio-CNG from dung. The dairy has begun selling this CNG at Rs 50 a kg, lower than the prevailing market rate for the fuel.

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Banas Dairy senior general manager Viren Doshi said the dairy collects over 40 tonnes of dung every day from around 250 farms in 12 villages. Farmers are paid one rupee for every kilo of dung and the system of payment is the same as that for milk – money is credited into their accounts every fortnight. We generate 200 cubic metres of raw biogas on a daily basis. After purification, we are able to generate 800kg of bio-CNG every day. The first bio-CNG outlet became operational last week,” Doshi said. He added that apart from the land cost for the station, the dairy has invested Rs 8 crore in setting up the purification plant and retail dispensing station. “We expect that the cost will be recovered in about four years through the sale of CNG, organic compost and pesticide,” he said. The slurry generated while producing bio-gas is being used to make fertiliser, both liquid and solid, along with pesticide, which will be sold to farmers as an alternative to the costlier DAP and urea fertilisers. Baldev Jat of Rampura village in Banaskantha district said the dairy collects dung from 90 persons of his village. “Villagers here have a lot of cattle and between Rs 7,000 and Rs 8,000 gets deposited into our accounts every fortnight. This bio-gas plant is a huge blessing for us,” he said. Udaji Chaudhary, another beneficiary, said he gets about Rs 15,000 by selling dung. “This additional income has helped me sow one more crop,” he said. Meanwhile, Gau Raksha Dal aims to propagate the project across the country. “We have sent details of the project to our counterparts across the country. This will help conserving the cow,” said Mayur Thakkar, president of Gau Raksha Dal, Gujarat. Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog chairman Vallabh Kathiria said that the Banas Dairy model of using cow dung for multiple eco-friendly products will be replicated across the country. “We will write the Union ministries of chemicals and fertilisers, petroleum and other departments, with the aim of replicating this project across the country,” Kathiria said. He added that the central and state government have subsidy schemes for such projects and these can be implemented profitably by co-operatives, entrepreneurs and even corporates.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/banas-dairys-first-bio-cng-outlet-opened/articleshow/77880158.cms

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Govt to focus on Indian cos for electric bus tender: Prakash Javadekar

Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Prakash Javadekar on Friday (Sep 4) said that the government would concentrate on local companies for supplying and running electric buses in the country.

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There are so many good local companies that are producing electric buses. For the recent tenders for electric buses I have instructed my department to focus on Indian companies first,” the minister said at the 60th SIAM annual convention on Friday. Out of a total of 5,000 units tenders floated by the government, the ministry has received bids for around 2,500 electric buses, Javedekar said. A team of specialists & industry experts will brainstorm differentiators that will be TRANSFarming the industry to serve the farmers and world better than ever. Last year, the Department of Heavy Industry, under the Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises, had invited expressions of interest from the state transport undertakings for the deployment of 5,000 electric buses under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME – II) programme. At present, the electric bus segment of India is highly dominated by foreign companies, particularly the Chinese players such as PMI Electro Mobility Solutions and BYD. From the Indian players’ side, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland are the only two companies participating in tenders for government procurement, but their deployment numbers are relatively very low. The Union Minister’s focus on Indian electric bus makers is viewed to spur domestic manufacturing of buses that would radically bring down their purchase price. India is the second-largest bus market in the world, but the numbers are relatively small on the electric bus front. At present, only 2000-2,500 electric buses are running in the country, mostly by private operators. Besides, the minister also assured the automobile industry to help with incentives on exports as the government sees immense export potential within this sector.

Source: ET Auto

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EESL to source 250 electric vehicles from Tata Motors, Hyundai

EESL will procure Tata Nexon at Rs 14.86 lakh each, Rs 13,000 cheaper than its ex-showroom price of Rs 14.99 lakh, whereas Hyundai Kona, which offers a higher range, will be procured at

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an 11 per cent lower price band of Rs 21.36 lakh and with a standard three-year warranty. These electric vehicles will replace the existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles of the central and state Governments. EESL had received financing from Asian Development Bank towards the cost of scaling up and financing high priority areas like Demand Side Energy Efficiency Sector Projects. The EV procurement will utilize $5 million from that grant.
https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/eesl-to-source-250-electric-vehicles-from-tata-motors-hyundai/77911752

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Gas/ Pipelines/ Company News

Energy E&P majors increasing use of digital technology in COVID time

Major exploration and production (E&P) companies in the oil and gas sector of the country are increasing their exposure in digital technology to sustain operations in COVID-19 time, experts said on Friday (Sep11).

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Adoption of the digital route has now become important for the sustainability of operations, maintenance and also in keeping liquidity, said director (finance) of state-owned GAILA K Tiwari. GAIL is now in the process of implementing a 5000 km long pipeline in which every 200 km is being monitored individually by digital technology, Tiwari said at a webinar organised by ICC. He said that GAIL is also interacting with other PSUs for keeping itself abreast of the other areas of digitisation. Chief digital officer of Cairn Oil and Gas, Anand Laxmivarahan R, said that his company is deploying every single aspect of technology like machine learningartificial intelligence and those available on the cloud. He said that data-driven technology is being used for reservoir management. The Cairn official said that predictive analysis is also being used to reduce the downtime of equipment while all the oil fields are being connected digitally to monitor the performance of wells. Director (E) of ONGC R K Srivastava said that navigating the COVID-19 crisis has become a challenge when oil prices are falling internationally and economic growth faltering due to the pandemic situation. “Using digitisation has helped ONGC maintain production at near-normal levels,” he said. ONGC has also deployed neural networks for getting data relating to the reservoirs, he said.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/energy-ep-majors-increasing-use-of-digital-technology-in-covid-time/78070025

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Cost rationalisation: PNGRB set to release framework for unified gas transport tariff

Many industry players had opposed the PNGRB proposal to rationalise transport tariffs on integrated gas pipeline networks.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas regulatory Board (PNGRB) is set to release a unified gas transport tariff framework to reduce the cost of transportation of gas, a senior government official said. Many industry players had opposed the PNGRB proposal to

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rationalise transport tariffs on integrated gas pipeline networks such as those of GAIL and Gujarat State Petronet Ltd, pointing out that the move to reduce tariffs for customers further away from the source of gas would lead to cross-subsidisation with customers near sources of gas having to pay more for in gas transport costs. Petroleum Secretary Tarun Kapoor said that studies by the PNGRB had shown that the hike in tariff for customers near sources of gas would not be too much. The current framework requires gas consumers to pay per pipeline used for the transport of gas, while the proposed framework would allow for a simplified structure offering a single rate for transport of gas done within 300 km and that done beyond 300 km on the same pipeline network regardless of the number of pipelines used to transport gas. “It turns out that the impact is not too much and in the long run, volumes will increase and with increasing volumes, the tariff may also be rationalised further,” said Kapoor, noting that the regulator would come out with the unified tariff framework soon. He also said the government was keen to bring competition for city gas distribution (CGD) companies in geographies where the period of marketing exclusivity for such companies had expired. The move to allow competition is set to impact three CGD companies — Indraprastha Gas Ltd, Mahangar Gas Ltd and Gujarat Gas Ltd — for whom the period of marketing exclusivity has ended. PNGRB had released a consultation paper on regulations to open up part of the infrastructure capacity of these firms for marketing of CNG and PNG by third parties. Kapoor said that PNGRB would release the final framework for opening up of these geographies to competition soon. In response to concerns by stakeholders that the ability of these companies to expand PNG availability to households if they lose market share in the sale of CNG, Kapoor said the regulations had only sought 25 per cent of CGD capacities to be opened up for third parties and that CGD firms would benefit from higher volumes as the gas market grows.

https://indianexpress.com/article/business/cost-rationalisation-pngrb-set-to-release-framework-for-unified-gas-transport-tariff-6589777/

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ONGC unlikely to buy overseas oil, gas assets at current prices

India’s top explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp is unlikely to buy overseas oil and gas assets at current prices of about $45 a barrel, its finance chief said on Wednesday (Sep 2). Its overseas investment arm ONGC Videsh (OVL)

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has already seen a decline in profit, as some of its acquisitions, such as Imperial Energy in Russia, were made when global oil prices were above $100 a barrel. “…prices are stuck at $45 ( per barrel) so any acquisition should be made at significantly lower prices only,” Subhash Kumar told an analyst conference. He said OVL is comfortable with oil prices remaining above $45 a barrel, as $40 a barrel is the lowest price at which the company can make a profit. OVL has a debt of 420 billion Indian rupees ($5.74 billion), with its long term borrowings backed by ONGC. Its profit in the last fiscal year to March 31 declined by about 73% to 4.54 billion Indian rupees ($62 million).Kumar, however said, ONGC will help OVL in raising funds if the acquisition is seen adding value. Separately, ONGC sees an almost 19% cut in its capex for this fiscal year to 260 billion rupees as pandemic-related lockdowns have affected some of its activities. Oil companies across the globe have cut their spending plans as the pandemic has driven down oil prices, fuel demand and hurt supply chain. He expects ONGC’s annual crude production to decline by 3% to 22.69 million tonnes in this fiscal year while gas will be almost flat at 24.89 billion cubic meters.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/oil-and-natural-gas-corporation-unlikely-to-buy-overseas-oil-gas-assets-at-current-prices/77889988

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ONGC June quarter profit dives 92 per cent on oil, gas price slump

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp on Tuesday (Sep 1) reported 92% slump in its June quarter net profit after oil prices halved and gas rates fell to a decade low. Standalone net profit of Rs 496 crore in April-June was 91.7% lower than Rs 5,980 crore

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net profit a year back, the company said in a statement. The surprise profit came after the company delayed payment of cess on crude oil it produces. Initially, the company did not pay even royalty in anticipation of relief from the government to deal with a slump in oil prices. It cleared royalty payments at June-end but cess payments were done only in July. ONGC pays about Rs 400 crore of royalty and cess every quarter to the government. Revenues dipped 51% to Rs 13,011 crore after a nationwide coronavirus lockdown impacted fuel demand. ONGC said it got USD 28.72 for every barrel of crude oil it sold in the quarter, down from USD 66.32 a barrel in the same period a year back. Gas price realisation fell 35.2% to USD 2.39 per million British thermal unit. “The revenue and net profit for Q1 have been impacted by lower crude price realization,” ONGC said. “Lower gas prices also contributed to lower topline and bottomline.” Consolidated net profit at Rs 1,090 crore was 84.7% lower than Rs 7,120 crore a year back. The company’s crude oil production was flat at 4.8 MMT while gas output fell 12.3% to 5.4 BCM. The gas output was lower due to reduced offtake by industries shut down during the lockdown. ONGC said it made three discoveries in the current fiscal so far. These include natural gas finds in KG blocks and Tripura. Also, an oil and gas find was made in the KG-DWN-98/2 block that sits next to Reliance Industries‘ flagging KG-D6 block in the Bay of Bengal. “This discovery (in KG-DWN-98/2) has improved the prospectivity,” it said. ONGC is investing over USD 5 billion in bringing to production the first set of oil and gas finds in the block.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/ongc-june-quarter-profit-dives-92-per-cent-on-oil-gas-price-slump/77881440

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Kakinada: NGT appoints panel to check ONGC, GAIL pollution

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has appointed a joint committee to ascertain air, sound, soil and water pollution caused on account of the oil and gas explorations of Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) along the Krishna – Godavari Basin. 

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According to an official release here on Friday, the Joint Committee comprises a senior officer from the Regional Office, Ministry of Environment & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Chennai, another senior officer from Regional office from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB),Chennai, senior officer deputed by the Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), East Godavari District Collector or a senior officer not below the rank of Assistant Collector or Sub Divisional Magistrate and an expert on Petroleum Engineering from Andhra University College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam. The committee will submit its report to NGT through e- filing on or before November 17,2020. One Yenumula Venkatapathi Raja filed a petition in NGT against the oil companies, stating that oil leakage from the pipelines established by these units was causing damage to the agricultural land and also affecting the water bodies. He alleged that the units were not following the pollution control mechanism and there is no proper maintenance of the pipelines resulting in frequent oil and gas leakage posing threat to people’s lives.
https://www.thehansindia.com/andhra-pradesh/kakinada-ngt-appoints-panel-to-check-ongc-gail-pollution-645104

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Policy Matters/ Gas Pricing/Others

Gas producers seek pricing formula review

Domestic gas prices are set to fall significantly from October because of a slump in global prices, raising a question mark on the pricing formula as it challenges the operational viability of oil firms and hurts

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investment sentiment in the exploration and production sector. Gas producers have sought a review of the pricing formula. The domestic prices are set to fall to about $1.80 per MMBtu from October 1 for the next  six months, the fourth straight cut, which would significantly hurt domestic producers. Oil industry sources said a further cut in prices would make domestic production unviable. Gas producers have written to the oil ministry offering various suggestions, including a review of the formula that puts domestic producers at a disadvantage over imported LNG. Industry sources said the existing formula is based on the gas surplus market and should not be applicable in India. They said ONGC in a recent communique to the government has stated that the break-even price to produce gas from new discoveries was in the range of $5-9 per MMBtu. In previous years, loss from the gas segment was offset by the gain in the oil business. But with the oil business itself coming under severe strain because of a sharp slump in benchmark prices, it has become difficult for the company to meet even the operating expenses, they said. The reduction in natural gas prices would mean lower raw material cost for compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas to households (PNG) and should translate into a reduction in retail prices. It would also mean lower feedstock cost for power generation and the manufacturing of fertilisers. However, this could impact the revenue of state-owned PSUs such as ONGC and Oil India, which produce 83 per cent of the domestic gas. Other producers such as Reliance Industries, Vedanta and Hindustan Oil Exploration Company would also see their revenues going down.

https://www.telegraphindia.com/business/call-for-gas-price-review-as-global-prices-fall/cid/1791925

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Gujarat: Low gas prices fire up power plants

Plummeting gas prices due to the glut caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have fired up gas-based power plants in the country, many of which have been idle due to viability issues. For the April to July period, these plants have

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shown an increase of 3,331 million units generated, or about 19.4%, compared to the corresponding period last year. With the low prices, Gujarat seems to have emerged as one of the biggest beneficiaries. In the April to July period this year, 20,477.31 million units (MU) of power were generated from gas-fired plants across the country compared to 18,146.72 MU in the same period in 2019, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data shows. In Gujarat, the state-run gas power units, many of which had shut operations, have been revived over the past few months. In the April to July period, the state-run projects produced 3,939 MU of power compared to 447 MU in the corresponding period last year. “Gujarat has been the biggest beneficiary as a large number of state-owned gas-fired projects have been revived recently. There has been an overall glut in the international gas markets due to lockdown in many countries. We have taken advantage of situation and booked spot LNG cargoes in advance,” said Saurabh PatelGujarat energy minister. As a result, many state-run plants, lying idle for a few years, are now running at about 50% capacity, according to Patel. The state booked 11 spot cargoes from April to October at low prices ranging $2.25 per MMBtu to $3.5 per MMBTU. “Gas-fired energy has become cheaper compared to coal. The cost of generation had come down to Rs 2.7 per kilowatt hour (unit) for gas-based units compared to thermal where the cost is more than Rs 3 per unit,” said Patel. For privately run projects in Gujarat, the generation is up marginally at 3,733 MU in April-July period compared to 3,350 MU last year. India has a gas-based power generation capacity of 25,000MW of which about 7,700MW is based in Gujarat. The state power units contribute one-fourth of Gujarat’ capacity. Gas prices that were around $5-6 per MMBTU last year dipped to an all-time low of $2 dollars in the April to July period this year. In last fortnight, prices have again shot up to about $4 per MMBTU. “Although gas generation using oil-linked LNG contracts would still cost Rs 5.5/kwh, gas pooling may reduce the cost of gas for power plants, thus increasing PLFs and gas consumption,” according to an August 27 report by Motilal Oswal.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/gujarat-low-gas-prices-fire-up-power-plants/78029887

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India’s energy consumption will return to pre-Covid levels soon, says Dharmendra Pradhan

Oil and steel minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday (Sep 2) said India’s energy consumption will return to pre-Covid levels soon as economic activity gradually picks up and invited US industry leaders to take advantage of

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the opportunities arising from India’s march towards self-reliance. Addressing the US-India Strategic Partnership forum’s annual leadership summit, Pradhan underlined the importance of energy infrastructure as one of the key ingredients for India’s transformation. The ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) campaign launched by prime minister Narendra Modi aims to turn Covid-19 challenges into an opportunity, merge domestic production and consumption with global supply chains and transform India into a global manufacturing hub of the 21st century, he said. India is working to transform itself into a gas-based economy by increasing the share of gas from 6% to 15% in the energy mix by 2030 with an estimated investment of $60 billion. Pradhan said bilateral hydrocarbon trade touched $9 billion in 2019-20 and is expected to increase further as Indian companies.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/indias-energy-consumption-will-return-to-pre-covid-levels-soon-says-dharmendra-pradhan/77902279

 

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India’s oil demand expected to be the worst hit among emerging economies: JY Lim, S&P Global Platts

Based on the data and analysis done by Platts related to India’s petroleum products demand trends, how bad or worrisome is the situation? India’s oil demand was down year-on-year by 2.1 million b/d in April, and then

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improved in May and June, but still down year-on-year by 1 million b/d and 335,000 b/d, respectively. In July, demand dropped further by 515,000 b/d year on year, derailed by localized lockdowns and flooding in some parts of the country due to heavy monsoon rains. It would be worrisome if demand continues to drop further. If India is yet to reach the peak of Covid infections, it means economic activity could be further disrupted in months to come. What gives you the confidence the petroleum products demand recovery will improve over the second half of the current year 2020? We expect demand to gradually improve over the coming months as the situation slowly comes under control, but there is a downside risk if demand continues to worsen due to further lockdowns. According to Platts analysis, India will end 2020 with annual drop in oil demand at 480,000 bpd (or 9.5 per cent). How does that statistic compare with other key emerging and developed nations? Would this be the largest drop in oil demand among all the nations? Among the emerging economies, India is expected to be the worst hit country in terms of b/d basis. Brazil, which is also badly hit by COVID-19, and will see a drop of 13% though contract year-on-year only by 255,000 b/d due to lower demand base. As for developed economies, the US is expected to drop year on year by 2.2 million b/d this year or 11% – a lot worse than India. At a policy/regulatory level, what would you recommend the Indian government to do to address this expected drop in oil demand over the next few months? In addition to combating COVID-19, the Indian government could consider lowering excise duties on petrol and diesel, which have been raised in recent months and are high relative to other developing countries, so as to alleviate burdens on consumers and businesses in the midst of the pandemic. Can you also throw some light on the outlook for the next year 2021? S&P Global Platts expects India’s oil demand growth in 2021 to be positive, rising by some 400,000-500,000 b/d as its economy rebounds next year.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/indias-oil-demand-expected-to-be-the-worst-hit-among-emerging-economies-jy-lim-sp-global-platts/77931249

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Government privatising Public Sector Units, destroying jobs: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday (Sep 7) accused the government of privatising Public Sector Units (PSUs) and destroying jobs. Gandhi’s accusations came in the backdrop of the government selling its entire 52.98 per cent

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stake in India’s second-largest fuel retailer and third-biggest oil refiner BPCL. “Today, the country is facing many Modi government-manufactured disasters, among which is unnecessary privatisation. The youth need jobs but the Modi government is destroying employment and capital by privatising PSUs,” he tweeted in Hindi. “Who is benefitting? It is only doing development of a few “friends”, who are close to Modi. Stop Privatisation Save Government Jobs,” Gandhi tweeted. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Modi government has proved itself as one which is “infected by political as well as economic bankruptcy”. “While China is registering growth of 3.8 per cent of their economy, India has been contracted by -23.9 per cent. Modinomics has fallen flat, for the survival of economics Jingoism cannot be a remedy, Sh Narendra Modi Ji, you should talk to former PM Sh Manmohan Singh Ji and listen to him patiently,” he tweeted. Former finance minister P Chidambaram also said news reports say that the State Bank of India plans to implement a VRS scheme as an ‘economy measure’. “In normal times the plan would be debatable. In these abnormal times, when the economy has collapsed and jobs are scarce, it is cruel,” he said. The Congress leader said if India’s biggest lender has to shed jobs, imagine what other big employers and MSMEs are doing. “The plan is ostensibly voluntary but we know that subtle pressure will be brought on the employees that the Bank wants to get rid of. If the current rules provide for genuine voluntary retirement, why announce a new plan and give out an exact number like 30,190,” he tweeted.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/government-privatising-public-sector-units-destroying-jobs-rahul-gandhi/77989233

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Oil and natural gas PSUs to contribute to global solar fund

The five companies to contribute to the ISA corpus fund are ONGC, IOCL, BPCL, HPCL and GAIL (India) Ltd. Five state-run oil and natural gas PSUs will become corporate partners of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and will contribute to ISA’s corpus fund,

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Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Tuesday (Sep 8). It is not immediately clear how much these oil companies would contribute to the ISA fund, but PSUs like NTPC, PGCIL, REC, PFC, CIL and PFC had earlier contributed $1 million each to this corpus. The minister said that the state-run energy companies will be focusing more on green energy investments such as renewables, biofuels and hydrogen going forward. “We have taken up the mission of solarising about 50% of fuel stations owned by public sector oil companies in the next five years,” Pradhan said while speaking at the first World Solar Technology Summit organized by ISA. The five companies to contribute to the ISA corpus fund are ONGC, IOCL, BPCL, HPCL and GAIL (India) Ltd. In the same event, NTPC chairman Gurdeep Singh said that the company has inked a memorandum of Understanding with ISA to implement 47 solar projects in lesser developed countries and small island states. NTPC aims to piggyback ISA to expand solar footprint as it increases the share of renewable energy in its generation portfolio. By 2032, it plans to have a total power production capacity of 1,30,000 MW and 30 per cent of this would be non-thermal energy based. —FE

https://indianexpress.com/article/business/oil-and-natural-gas-psus-to-contribute-to-global-solar-fund-6588518/

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LNG Development and Shipping

LNG Alliance announces opening of its office in Chennai

LNG Alliance Pte Ltd today announced that it is opening a new office in Chennai, India. LNG Alliance Pte Ltd is a leading independent project developer in the natural gas and LNG sector. The team at the Chennai Office will assist

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the company in forging ahead with the development of India’s virtual gas pipelines, downstream gas market integration, and LNG bunkering possibilities. LNG Alliance’s introduction to India will be a timely one. India seeks to raise the share of natural gas in its energy mix from its current 6.2 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030 and is currently scouting for affordable gas for price-sensitive customers.  LNG Alliance plans to develop an end-to-end soltion for India, using its strategic ownership positions in low-cost LNG supply at around USD 4/mmBtu on a long-term basis to meet India’s LNG demand.

Source: https://www.energyinfrapost.com/lng-alliance-to-invest-in-indias-natural-gas-market/ 

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GAIL India offers three US LNG cargoes for loading from Cove point

GAIL (India) has offered at least three liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes for loading from the Cove Point terminal in Maryland in the United States over May to July, three industry sources said on Tuesday (Sep 1).

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It has offered the cargoes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis in a tender that closes on Sept. 8, they added. The Indian importer has 20-year deals to buy 5.8 million tonnes a year of U.S. LNG, split between Dominion Energy’s Cove Point plant and Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass site in Louisiana.

Source: India Oil & Gas/Business Standard

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Odisha’s Gopalpur port plans LNG terminal, petrochemical industries

The Gopalpur Port Limited (GPL) in Odisha has planned to set up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and an investment of Rs 2,000 crore for setting up fertilizer and petrochemical industries, an official said on Monday (Aug 31). 

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Similarly, an edible oil refinery is also on cards, the official said. Recently, GPL Managing Director Amit Saboo briefed Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy about the ongoing activities of the port and future investment on industrialisation in the periphery of Gopalpur Port. Tripathy expressed satisfaction over the investment plan and projects envisioned by GPL authorities in coming years. He chaired a review meeting on various issues related to developmental activities. As the issue of capping on transportation of iron ores to the Gopalpur port came up during the discussion, Tripathy said that artificial capping by the deputy director of mines should stop. While there are no restrictions on the loading of trucks from mines of the state for Vishakhapatnam and Gangavaram Ports in Andhra Pradesh, there is a restriction on loading for GPL. As a result, the exporters are facing a tough time and stiff competition and there will be a huge loss of foreign exchange earnings to the nation also, said sources.
Tripathy asked the officials to take up the issue with the Department of Steel and Mines in this regard. GPL Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Agarwal informed the ongoing activities in the Covid-19 pandemic and the expansion proposals. While GPL requires 1,200 acres of land, 393 acres have been allotted to them so far. The port authorities have requested for another 800 acres. The Revenue Department has recently forwarded 119 acres in favour of GPL, officials informed. Road and rail connectivity issues were also discussed in the meeting.
https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/odishas-gopalpur-port-plans-lng-terminal-petrochemical-industries/77849944

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 

Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines/ Others

Fossil fuel demand to take historic knock amid COVID-19 scars: BP

Fossil fuel consumption is set to shrink for the first time in modern history as climate policies boost renewable energy while the coronavirus epidemic leaves a lasting effect on global energy demand, BP said in a forecast.

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BP’s 2020 benchmark Energy Outlook underpins Chief Executive Bernard Looney’s new strategy to “reinvent” the 111-year old oil and gas company by shifting renewables and power. London-based BP expects global economic activity to only partially recover from the epidemic over the next few years as travel restrictions ease. But some “scarring effects” such as work from home will lead to slower growth in energy consumption. BP this year extended its outlook into 2050 to align it with the company’s strategy to slash the carbon emissions from its operations to net zero by the middle of the century. It includes three scenarios that assume different levels of government policies aimed at meeting the 2015 Paris climate agreement to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Under its central scenario, BP forecasts COVID-19 will knock around 3 million barrels per day (bpd) off by 2025 and 2 million bpd by 2050. In its two aggressive scenarios, COVID-19 accelerates the slowdown in oil consumption, leading to it peaking last year. In the third scenario, oil demand peaks at around 2030. In the longer term, demand for coal, oil and natural gas is set to slow dramatically. While the share of fuels has shrunk in the past as a percentage of the total energy pie, their consumption has never contracted in absolute terms, BP chief economist Spencer Dale told reporters. “(The energy transition) would be an unprecedented event,” Dale said. “Never in modern history has the demand for any traded fuel declined in absolute terms.” At the same time, “the share of renewable energy grows more quickly than any fuel ever seen in history.” Even with energy demand set to expand on the back of growing population and emerging economies, the sources of energy will shift dramatically to renewable sources such as wind and solar, Dale said. The share of fossil fuels is set to decline from 85 per cent of total primary energy demand in 2018 to between 20 per cent and 65 per cent by 2050 in the three scenarios. At the same time, the share of renewables is set to grow from 5 per cent in 2018 to up to 60 per cent by 2050. In its forecast, BP said the growth in global economic activity slows “considerably” over the next 30 years from its past 20-year average, due in part to lasting effects of the epidemic as well as the worsening impact of climate change on economic activity, particularly in Africa and Latin America. BP starts on Monday a three-day investor event where it will detail its energy transition strategy.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/fossil-fuel-demand-to-take-historic-knock-amid-covid-19-scars-bp/78097959

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No Nord Stream 2? No problem for Germany, economists say

Abandoning the nearly complete Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany could create a legal mess and nudge up energy costs for European households but Germany would cope with any disruption to supplies, economists say.

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the weekend questioned the project — thus far supported by Germany — following the suspected poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s spokesman reinforced the shift in tone on Monday, saying she shared the view of Maas, who told newspaper Bild am Sonntag: “I certainly hope that the Russians will not force us to change our position on Nord Stream 2.” Their comments cast doubt over the future of a project that is more than 90% complete, scheduled to operate from early 2021 and which would double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Germany, Europe’s largest economy. Knocking out that additional capacity would put upward pressure on gas prices. But reduced energy demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and slack in the German economy, would give Berlin time to work out alternative additional supply sources. “Germany could easily afford it,” Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding said of the possibility of axing the pipeline, describing the impact on economic output as “negligible”. “We have time anyway, and now with GDP only to reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022, in a way we have more time to figure out how to grapple with it than we had before,” he said. Navalny was airlifted to Germany for hospital treatment after falling ill on a Russian domestic flight last month. The German government says he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent similar to the one used in an attempt to kill a former Russian spy in England two years ago.

Moscow says it has seen no evidence he was poisoned. Merkel, who had until now been unwavering in her support for Nord Stream 2, wants to agree a response to the affair with Germany’s European Union partners and is first awaiting an explanation from Russia. Merkel and the EU face a trade-off between the economic benefits of the pipeline and the firm political message that abandoning it would send to Russia, analysts say. Germany could use the threat of an exit from the project to try to get more engagement from Russian President Vladimir Putin on issues such as Ukraine or Belarus, he said. But with 2,300 km of the 2,460 km twin-pipeline length completed, the commercial momentum behind the project may well carry it through. A study undertaken in April by Cologne University’s energy economics institute (EWI) showed that consumers would benefit from a 5% gas price discount if Nord Stream 2 materialised. There is strong commercial resistance to axing the project. Oliver Hermes, chairman of the Ost-Ausschuss, which represents German business interests in Russia, said abandoning it would damage Germany’s commercial reputation. “This would place a considerable burden on the image of the EU and Germany as a safe investment location,” he said. German gas stocks were filled to 93.2% capacity on Saturday, data from European infrastructure group GIE showed, more than enough to cope with the immediate challenge of heating Germans’ homes this winter. But sourcing alternative energy supplies in the longer term – potentially from U.S. fracking gas, liquid gas from Russia and Qatar, or additional pipeline gas – would cost “billions of euros per year, which European consumers in particular would then have to pay,” Hermes said. The legal costs of abandoning Nord Stream 2 could also prove a major headache. The five Western partners in the 9.5 billion euro project led by Russia’s Gazprom would suffer massive writedowns should it be axed. Half a dozen people familiar with the industry said pulling the plug would provoke a backlash from among the 120 firms involved in the project. Two of the people, including a specialist energy lawyer, forecast a raft of lawsuits.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/no-nord-stream-2-no-problem-for-germany-economists-say/77990839

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Japan’s Sumitomo sells all of its stake in U.S. Marcellus shale gas project

Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp has sold all its stake in the Marcellus shale gas project in the United States for a undisclosed sum, it said on Monday in a statement. Sumitomo bought a 30 per cent stake in the project in 2010 from

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Rex Energy Corp, which went bankrupt in 2018. The project is now 70 per cent owned and operated by PennEnergy Resources. “We have sold our stake as it is difficult to predict future prices of natural gas, and as it may take a long time to gain profit contribution from the project and its development may not proceed as planned even after the prices recover,” a Sumitomo spokesman said on Tuesday. He declined to disclose the buyer of the stake. Sumitomo had booked an impairment loss on the stake in around 2015 when slumping oil and gas prices forced international energy companies and Japanese trading houses to writedown the value of their assets.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/japans-sumitomo-sells-all-of-its-stake-in-u-s-marcellus-shale-gas-project/77988816

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Malaysia’s Petronas looks to reshape portfolio after quarterly loss

Malaysian state-owned energy giant Petroliam Nasional Berhad said on Friday (Sep 4) it would reshape its portfolio after reporting its first quarterly loss in nearly five years following a coronavirus-related demand slump and lower oil prices. Petronas,

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as the company is known, also warned its full-year performance would be severely affected and that demand may not return to pre-pandemic levels until the second half of 2021. “Petronas has endured a very challenging first half of the year, and we expect our performance to be affected by the volatility of oil prices, which continues to be exacerbated by the uncertainties brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Chief Executive Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz said in a statement. Petronas, the world’s fourth-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, has already flagged production cuts and cost savings to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. It will now seek to expand its renewable energy portfolio, and reassess its oil and gas positions, CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik, who took over in July, told a news conference. Petronas has formed a team to look into developing a “higher value” portfolio, he said. The company sees the biggest opportunities in solar and wind energy in the Asia Pacific region, he added. Petronas reported a loss of 21 billion ringgit ($5.06 billion) for the April-June period, compared with a profit of 14.7 billion ringgit for the same period last year. The loss included impairment charges as the company readjusted its oil price outlook. It was the first loss since the fourth quarter of 2015. Revenue fell 42 per cent to 34 billion ringgit. Petronas’ annual dividend to the Malaysian government, its sole shareholder, will depend on its “affordability,” the CEO said.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/malaysias-petronas-looks-to-reshape-portfolio-after-quarterly-loss/77942285

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Unused funds to be spent on gas projects – Pakistan

The government has approved a plan of transferring unspent funds and savings from gas supply schemes to provinces, a move that may invite some criticism. Gas schemes are considered an easy tool in far-off areas of the country to

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win over voters during elections. This comes in the backdrop of gas shortages that have put an extra burden of Rs73 billion due to diversion of expensive imported gas to meet demand from domestic consumers. The current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had diverted costly liquefied natural gas (LNG) to domestic consumers but there was no mechanism in place to recover the cost of Rs73 billion from them. Imported gas had been supplied to domestic consumers in the past two winter seasons in a bid to overcome the gas crisis, but at the same time the cost accumulated because of LNG being an expensive fuel compared to local natural gas. Earlier, the government had approved a ceiling on expenditures being made on gas supply schemes. Now, it has endorsed an amendment according to which unspent funds/savings from gas development schemes can be spent in any district and province on new and old gas projects with approval of the Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Programme (SAP) steering committee. According to the Cabinet Division, it has been running a community-based SAP to cater to the community development needs at the gross-roots level. The programme has been supervised by the steering committee, headed by the federal minister for defence and its members comprised parliamentarians, representatives of provincial governments, federal ministries and divisions. The SAP steering committee, in its 15th meeting held on August 10, 2020, incorporated an amendment by deleting Para 3(vi) and replacing it with the following: “Unspent funds/savings from gas development schemes can be spent in any district and province on new and old gas schemes with approval of the SAP steering committee”. The Cabinet Division also approved the amendment after detailed discussions. Earlier, the government eased the expenditure policy and scrapped the upper cap on the cost of politically motivated gas supply schemes, which would be undertaken under SAP. It came in the backdrop of gas shortages that put a burden of Rs73 billion due to supply of imported LNG to domestic consumers to bridge the demand-supply shortfall. The Petroleum Division had prepared a summary in June 2019, seeking amendments to SAP guidelines. The federal cabinet approved the summary in September 2019 and also enhanced the cost ceiling for gas supply schemes under SAP to Rs300 million. The cabinet also permitted public gas utilities to undertake gas supply projects of higher costs following relaxation in the cost limit. Following relaxation in the gas supply schemes and transfer of funds to provinces, the gas network will be expanded to remote areas, but it will lead to more gas scarcity and increase in its prices. Public gas companies are guaranteed a 17.5% rate of return, therefore, any widening of the network will provide more revenue to them on account of a hike in gas prices. Moreover, it will aggravate the gas crisis in coming years as there has been no rise in domestic natural gas production over the past two decades.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2262548/unused-funds-to-be-spent-on-gas-projects

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Global LNG Development

US LNG exports rise from coronavirus lows as global gas prices soar

US liquefied natural gas exports were on track to increase for a second month in a row in September for the first time since hitting a record high in January as rising global gas prices prompted buyers to reverse some cargo cancellations.

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Gas prices surged over 60% in Europe and Asia last month, causing US LNG exports to jump from a 21-month low of 3.1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in July to 3.7 bcfd in August and an expected 3.8 bcfd in September, according to federal data. Prior to that, US exports fell every month from March to July as coronavirus demand destruction caused prices to collapse and buyers to cancel cargoes. Several US LNG export plants stepped up to supply more of the super-cooled fuel even though Cameron LNG’s facility in Louisiana remains shut due to lingering power problems after Hurricane Laura slammed into the Gulf Coast in late August. Cheniere Energy Inc boosted exports from Corpus Christi in Texas, and this week sent out the first cargo from Sabine Pass in Louisiana since shutting the plant just before Laura hit. Unlike Cameron, Sabine has on-site generators capable of producing much of its power supply. Exports also increased at Freeport LNG’s plant in Texas and Kinder Morgan Inc’s Elba Island in Georgia. Analysts at Energy Aspects said the amount of work needed to restore power and clean up the ship channel serving Cameron could keep the plant offline until mid-October. Energy traders said Cameron has already deferred cargo loadings from September to October. Officials at Cameron were not immediately available for comment. Entergy Corp, which provides power to Cameron, said in a statement that “it may be late September before power is available to most customers in Southwest Louisiana who can safely receive it.”

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/us-lng-exports-rise-from-coronavirus-lows-as-global-gas-prices-soar/78070041

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Global LNG-Asian LNG prices at more than seven-month high amid supply issues

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices rose this week (Sep 6-12) as there were supply issues in Australia and the United States, while several buyers were looking for cargoes. The average LNG price for October

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delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at $4.5 per MMBtu, $0.45 per MMBtu above last week’s level, market sources said. This is the highest price since late January, Reuters price assessment data showed.

After a previous two-month delay in restart of the Gorgon Train 2 due to maintenance works, Chevron Corp said on Thursday (Sep 3) it would further delay the restart to October from early September. The facility at Australia’s second-largest LNG plant has been shut since May. In the United States, hurricane Laura halted loadings at Cheniere Energy Inc’s Sabine Pass and Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG export plants in Louisiana last week. There were no loadings at these plants after Aug. 23, said Kaleem Asghar, director of LNG analytics at ClipperData on Friday. “There are 16 ballast vessels in the Gulf of Mexico and feedgas supply remains zero to Sabine Pass and Sempra LNG terminal,” he said, adding that more vessels were sailing towards Corpus Christie and Freeport LNG terminals instead. Some analysts expect U.S. LNG exports to rise later this month as fewer cargoes were cancelled for September than for the summer months. “Departures should begin to trend higher over the next 10 days or so,” data intelligence firm Kpler said in a note on Friday. In tenders, China’s Foran Energy was seeking a cargo for November delivery, while South Korea’s KOMIPO and India’s Reliance were seeking October delivery cargoes. China’s Sinopec issued a tender for eight cargoes for delivery from November this year to March 2021, and awarded its 10-year tender to buy 1 million tonnes of LNG annually to Qatargas. Russia’s Sakhalin 2 plant offered a cargo for October loading, Angola LNG was selling a cargo for delivery in September to October, while GAIL (India) offered cargoes from the U.S. Cove Point terminal for next year.

Source: LNG Global/Reuters

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More firms setting up LNG desks in Singapore: trade minister

More firms have set up liquefied natural gas (LNG) desks in Singapore to capitalise on growing demand for gas in Asia, the city-state’s trade minister told a virtual conference on Monday (Sep 7). Singapore currently has over 50 companies

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with an LNG trading or business development presence in Singapore, trade minister Chan Chun Sing told the Gastech virtual summit. This compares with more than 45 firms with dedicated LNG desks as of September 2018. Join us at etcio.com to find answers to shifts taking place in the power generation and transmission utilities and how the power industry can create a strategy for the future in such dynamic circumstances. “This includes key buyers of LNG such as Osaka Gas setting up trading operations in Singapore, complementing the many suppliers and independent trading companies already in the Singapore eco system,” he said. Asia’s appetite for the fuel, led by China, is expected to grow over the long term, attracting investment and triggering new LNG trading desks opening globally. A push for more transparency in the sector has boosted spot trades of Asian LNG. Singapore, which is the Asian oil trading hub, is seen as a natural hub for LNG especially for companies that already have a presence in the city-state and are looking to expand into LNG. “The growth of LNG derivatives trading has an important impact on the Asian gas market, as liquidity and price transparency will lead to increased spot trading for the region, leading to a greater price influence out of Asia,” Chung said. He added that the companies have chosen Singapore due to the “rich eco-system” of companies across the LNG value chain, Singapore’s close links to the growing region and the ease of doing business in the country. Singapore will continue to develop the use of LNG as a marine fuel and has so far developed various standards for bunkering and for storage, land transportation and handling of the super-chilled fuel, he said.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/more-firms-setting-up-lng-desks-in-singapore-trade-minister/77990811

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Tokyo Gas forms unit to boost LNG trading volumes to 5 MMTPAr

Japan’s top city gas supplier Tokyo Gas Co Ltd has established a liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading company, TG Global Trading Co Ltd (TGT), to boost its LNG trading volume to 5MMT a year by 2030, it said on Tuesday (Sep 1).

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Global LNG demand is expected to increase for the long-term, though the coronavirus pandemic has dented demand in the short-term,” Shinichi SasayamaTokyo Gas‘ senior managing executive officer, told a news conference. “Growing spot LNG market in recent years is providing us a good opportunity for stepping up the trading business,” he said. The new company starts with about ten staff members, including three based in the parent company’s Singapore unit. “Many companies set up their LNG trading bases in Singapore, but we’ve formed it in Japan as we want to closely collaborate with our other business segments such as retail, receiving terminals and electricity,” Sasayama said. “Our goal is to optimize Tokyo Gas’ assets such as storage tanks, LNG vessels and LNG sales and purchase agreements,” he said. The company has no intention to conduct speculative trading, he said. Under the long-term plan unveiled last November, Japan’s second-biggest LNG importer plans to raise its annual LNG transaction volume to 20 MMT by 2030, from 17MMT now, mainly by boosting its trading activities to 5 MMT a year. The group’s LNG trading volume will likely be 1 to 2 MMT for the financial year to end-March, said Atsunori Takeuchi, Tokyo Gas’ senior general manager and president of TGT. “As we aim to boost trading volume, we may double or triple our staff,” he said. Some Japanese utilities have booked hefty losses on their LNG supplies because of prices for the chilled fuel that have hit record lows this year, highlighting the risks of committing to large LNG volumes under contracts linked to oil prices.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/tokyo-gas-forms-unit-to-boost-lng-trading-volumes-to-5-mln-t/year/77871491

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China set to import largest monthly LNG volumes this year in August

China is set to import its largest monthly volumes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for this year in August, as gas companies take advantage of low spot prices to stockpile ahead of peak winter demand. The world’s second-largest importer of the

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super-chilled fuel after Japan looks set to import nearly 6.4 MMT this month, nearly 20% more than in July and about 24% up from this time last year, shiptracking data from Refinitiv Eikon showed on Monday (Aug 31). The biggest jump in supply sources include Russia and Indonesia, the data showed. China’s gas demand typically increases in winter for heating and is steady during the summer months. But importers may be taking advantage of low spot prices to start stockpiling for winter, traders said. “Demand in general is healthy and the (import) volumes are higher than last year as prices are much lower,” a Beijing-based gas trader said. “New terminals are also ramping up output, so that’s also leading to more import volumes.” Asian LNG spot prices slid to their lowest on record earlier this year and had remained low as the coronavirus pandemic hit gas demand globally, which prompted some buying interest, traders said. New LNG terminals which started up over the past two years are also ramping up purchases, one of them said. For instance, a completed pipeline connecting ENN Group‘s LNG terminal to a provincial gas grid could see ENN boosting imports, he added. Cheaper spot LNG prices compared with gas imported via pipelines which are typically on a fixed price, also stoked imports. Still, with spot LNG prices recently ticking higher due to supply outages, China’s buying spree could be short-lived as inventories fill up, traders added. The latest round of a trade review between the United States and China which reinforced their commitment to the phase one deal could also see China importing more LNG from the US, analysts from Citi Research said in a note.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/china-set-to-import-largest-monthly-lng-volumes-this-year-in-august/77848761

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LNG investments vanish in 2020 as coronavirus slashes oil and gas prices

No new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects could be approved this year for the first time in at least two decades, banking and industry sources said, after the COVID-19 pandemic drove down energy demand and knocked prices to all-time lows.

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 In a stark contrast to last year’s record level of approvals for LNG production plants, 2020’s dramatic oil and gas price drop has forced companies to delay decisions on new projects and write down investments in existing plants. The last year in which no new LNG exports plants were approved was 1998, consultancy Wood Mackenzie told Reuters, while the International Energy Agency estimated it was at least two decades ago. Five investment banking and energy analysts said they expect no final investment decisions (FIDs) this year, while four other sources said they expect at most one to two. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the volume of new export capacity sanctioned in 2020 was expected to be similar to last year’s record of over 70 MMTPA. “We do not expect any major FIDs on LNG export projects this year,” Morgan Stanley’s lead commodity strategist for natural gas and power Devin McDermott said. “With coronavirus reducing oil demand and prices, majors’ capital spending dropped, weighing on their investment and pushing out FIDs.” Giovanni Bruni and Alessandro Agosta, partners at McKinsey & Company, said they expect all pre-FID projects to be delayed by 1 to 2 years due to CAPEX cuts and deferrals, plus difficulty in securing buyers.

Source: LNG Global [Edited]

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Recovery in Asia spot LNG price more about supply than demand: Russell

The spot price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for delivery to north Asia is continuing to recover, but the increase appears to have more to do with supply issues than any rebound in demand.

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The spot price LNG-AS of cargoes for October delivery rose to $4.50 per MMBtu in the week ended Sept. 4, an eight-month high and some 143% above the record low of $1.85, reached in two separate weeks at the beginning and end of May. While that looks like an impressive rally in percentage terms, it’s worth noting that the spot price is just slightly higher than the $4.40 per MMBtu in the same week in 2019, and otherwise below the price that prevailed at this point in the year in every year since assessments began in 2010. Given the scale of the price rally, it’s tempting to immediately assume that there has been a surge in demand for LNG as various countries across Asia try to rebuild their economies after the hit from lockdowns to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, there isn’t too much evidence to support that view in the vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv, which monitors the flow of LNG cargoes. Looking at Asia as a whole, Refinitiv data show 161.8 MMT of the super-chilled fuel was delivered in the first eight months of the year, up slightly on the 159.6 MMT for the same period in 2019. Since the price recovery started from June onwards, it’s worth looking at whether imports have increased in July and August, and here the evidence is not convincing. Asia’s LNG imports in August were 19.78 MMT, down from 20.34 MMT in the same month last year, while July’s were 19.33 MMT, down from 20.29 MMT in July 2019. However, two of Asia’s main buyers that purchase a greater percentage of their cargoes on a spot basis have been increasing imports. China imported 5.91 MMT in August, up from 5.14 MMT in the same month last year, while it’s July imports were 5.27 MMT, up from 4.63 MMt in July 2019. India’s imports were 2.19 MMT in August, up from 1.88 MMT a year earlier, while it’s July purchases were 2.42 MMT, up from 2.04 MMT. Asia’s biggest LNG buyer, Japan, has been relatively steady in its imports, with Refinitiv data showing 6.26 MMT in August, virtually unchanged from 6.29 MMT a year earlier, and July’s 6.0 MMT down a tad from 6.4 MMT in July last year. South Korea, the third-ranked buyer, saw a marked drop in August cargoes to 2.20 MMT from 3.2 MMT a year ago, while July imports were 2.21 MMT, down from 2.96 MT in the same month in 2019. However, South Korea’s January-August imports are only slightly down at 25.9 MMT from 26.1 MMT in the first eight months of 2019. Overall, the demand picture that emerges from Asia is that despite the pandemic, volumes have held up. However, the modest 1.4% rise in the first eight months indicates that demand is unlikely to have been the major driver of spot LNG’s volatile price movements.

Rather, it seems supply factors have been driving prices, with the overhang of available cargoes in the first half of the year a particular drag. It’s no secret that the commissioning of new LNG trains in Australia, the United States and elsewhere pushed the market into a supply surplus in 2019, and the coronavirus pandemic certainly choked off hopes that rapid demand growth would help balance the market. The recovery in prices since the middle of year seems to be largely built on the idling of some LNG output in the United States, which cut the flow of U.S cargoes to Asia. Just 14 vessels carrying 971,000 tonnes of U.S. LNG were offloaded at Asian ports in August, the lowest volume since September last year and less than half the 2.13 million tonnes discharged in May, which was the strongest month on record. There have also been maintenance-related shutdowns in Australia, which overtook Qatar to become the biggest exporter of the fuel after building eight new projects over the past decade. Chevron has had one of the three trains at its massive Gorgon project in Western Australia state offline since May, and although it intends to restart the unit next month, it also plans to perform staged shutdowns of the other two trains, the first in October and the second in January. Royal Dutch Shell is in the process of restarting its 3.6 MMT a year Prelude floating LNG plant, which has been offline since February, but has yet to state when it will return to operation, Argus reported on Sept. 4. While watching for any shifts in demand ahead of the northern hemisphere winter will be important, keeping an eye on rising supply from the United States and Australia is also likely to prove key.

Source: LNG Global/Reuters

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Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

U.S. Energy Department funds near-zero CNG technology for locomotives

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded over $7.1 million in funding to three projects advancing clean automotive transportation technologies supported by Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas). The utility’s Research,

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Development & Demonstration department will provide $730,000 in additional funding for the projects which are led by Cummins, Inc., GTI and West Virginia University Research Corporation. The projects will advance fuel cell technology for on-road trucking and transit, near-zero emissions natural gas technology for rail locomotives, and best practices to reduce maintenance costs for alternative fuel vehicles. “SoCalGas is committed to being an integral part of California’s energy future, and as we work on achieving our goal to be the cleanest gas utility in North America, supporting the research and development of clean transportation technologies is key,” said Yuri Freedman, senior director of business development at SoCalGas. “The transportation sector accounts for around 40% of California’s GHG emissions, and developing zero- and near-zero emissions vehicle technology is critical to mitigating the impacts of climate change.”

The three projects:

  1. In conjunction with Cummins Inc., this project will develop a single prototype zero-emissions fuel cell design that can power both heavy-duty class 8 trucks and transit buses. The fuel cell will be designed to be modular, scalable, and fully integrated within such trucks and buses, and aims to provide technology that could significantly reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in California’s cities and transit corridors. Developing a single fuel cell package that can power multiple types of heavy-duty vehicles could reduce maintenance costs for these trucks and buses.
  2. A project led by GTI that aims to develop and demonstrate a natural gas hybrid line-haul rail locomotive that will minimize emissions below the current standards and operate on renewable natural gas. A suite of commercially available products will be integrated to create a commercially viable CNG hybrid system to power 4,300 hp rail locomotives that meet the Tier 5 locomotive standard.
  3. In conjunction with West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions (WVU CAFEE), the project will study the difference in maintenance and labor costs for new, alternative fuel trucks powered by natural gas, propane and electric compared to standard diesel trucks. This maintenance cost assessment will study the link between operational characteristics of alternative fuel vehicles and how it affects maintenance and repair activity.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c1-markets/u-s-energy-department-funds-near-zero-natural-gas-technology-for-locomotives/

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UK: Primark commits to sustainable mobility with new LNG vehicles

Primark, the value fashion retailer, announced the introduction of a brand-new fleet of 15 Longer Semi Trailers (LSTs) which will help to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the company’s logistics operations in the UK.

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In addition, they confirmed that in a few weeks they will take delivery of 10 new Iveco Stralis AS440S46T/P NP tractors which will be fueled by LNG. Each of these new trucks will cover approximately 200,000 kms per year, enable quieter urban deliveries and further reduce the environmental impact of the company’s logistics operations. The vehicles, supplied by the Iveco dealership Guest Trucks Ltd in Peterborough, will have a range of 1,600km. “We have been working hard for many years to reduce the environmental impact of our logistics operations and we are delighted to take this next step in boosting the sustainability of our transport model. We are proud to bring these new additions into our transport fleet, to help make a more positive impact on the environment,” said Ian Hicks, Head of Transport at Primark. In 2016, Primark successfully introduced LNG trucks into its Spanish logistics fleet, which are used to distribute merchandise to Primark stores in Madrid and Barcelona, as part of the ongoing commitment to reduce the environmental impact across the business.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/primark-commits-to-sustainable-mobility-with-new-lng-truck-fleet-in-the-uk/

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New CNG instant refueling unit will reduce infrastructure barriers in US

Onboard Dynamics announced the launch of their new GoFill™ refueling system. It is an instant and nimble drying and dispensing unit for refueling CNG vehicles. The new product eliminates infrastructure barriers for fleet operators

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who immediately need an easy CNG station setup to refuel their commercial trucks. The first unit rolled out in Oregon, as part of the NW Natural’s free truck loan program. The GoFill will be providing natural gas for refueling CNG into a Hyliion low-emission Class 8 truck for long and heavy hauls. The program provides fleet operators a short-term, no-cost demo period to experience the vehicle. The on-site, easy station set-up makes fueling convenient during the demo period. The versatile design makes the GoFill a temporary or permanent installation. When paired with Onboard Dynamics’ natural gas compressor, the GoFlo®, an instant fueling station can be set up that doesn’t require electricity to operate. This makes rapid deployment possible in locations where infrastructure is challenging.

“We designed the GoFill as a companion to the GoFlo compressor to create a CNG-in-a-day solution,” said Rita Hansen, CEO of Onboard Dynamics. “We’re excited to roll out our new product for NW Natural’s truck loan program and help contribute to the adoption of natural gas vehicles.” “The GoFill is a crucial part of our truck loan program because it gives new natural gas fleet operators easy access to refueling while they test the trucks, and without fueling roadblocks to worry about,” said Chris Kroeker, NW Natural product manager of natural gas vehicles. The new GoFill, when packaged with the GoFlo, gives operators everything they need to begin converting their fleet to natural or renewable natural gas. It offers an easy-to-setup and take-down CNG fueling station that will create new opportunities for expanding NGV fleets or a quick fueling solution for ad hoc projects.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c5-products/new-instant-refueling-system-for-ngvs-removes-infrastructure-barriers-in-u-s/

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Chinese manufacturer Shacman brings CNG heavy trucks to Mexico

Shacman, a Chinese world leader in the production of cargo trucks, chose Mexico to install a new production plant and officially launched its range of trucks with natural gas engines (CNG and LNG) that generate fuel savings of up to 40%,

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as well as a maximum range of 1,200 kilometers. The portfolio that the Asian company introduces to the country is made up of the L3000 and X3000 models, with both natural gas and diesel engines, to which it integrates its wide application platform, covering all the needs of the truck market in Class 6-8. “Entering the Mexican market in this new normal is challenging, but with an offer of natural gas trucks that provide fuel savings above the market is a differentiator that will place us as important players; we will bring a tangible stimulus to trucking businessmen, because fuel means more than 35% savings for them in their operation,” said Carlos Pardo, CEO of Shacman Mexico. Shacman Mexico will begin assembling its trucks at a plant in the state of Hidalgo in November and estimates that it will sell 5,000 units in the first five years as part of its strategy to achieve leadership in the natural gas heavy truck sector. These 5,000 vehicles will be destined for the domestic market, but in the medium term the goal is to export them to Latin American countries where the company already has a commercial presence, such as Argentina, the Caribbean, Colombia, Venezuela and, later, to North America. “Likewise, we have 80 post-sale service points ready in Mexico, in addition to the network of distributors that we have in development. In the remainder of this year and 2021 we will accumulate 10 representatives of our brand in areas such as Nuevo León, Chihuahua, Mexico City and the Bajío area, as well as Guadalajara and the southeast,” added Pardo.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/chinese-manufacturer-shacman-brings-cng-heavy-trucks-to-mexican-market/

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Scania & Rolande, committed to LNG network development across Europe

Rolande, which is centrally involved in building a full-coverage LNG supply network across Europe, officially welcomed one of the Scania trucks running on LNG at its natural gas filling station in Ulm, which was opened in early July.

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The facility with its iconic design and futuristic architecture is optimally adjusted to the needs of trucks running on natural gas and is by now the second largest Rolande station in Europe already. Scania is one of the leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles and wants to move customers to switch to the more environmentally friendly alternative of trucks with LNG engine. The LNG network of Rolande that is made up of its own filling stations as well as those of its partners ensures today already that transporters can travel routes from the north of Sweden to the south of Spain without problems in the natural gas supply. Compared to diesel trucks, vehicles running on natural gas already emit up to 17% less CO² using fossil natural gas while the emission is reduced by up to 98% when using bio-LNG. The site in Ulm proves how quickly new LNG/CNG stations come to be accepted: in just three weeks, it has become the second biggest Rolande station in terms of fuel sales. Rolande is planning to open further public stations still this year in Duisburg, Dortmund and Lübeck, all of which will be equipped from the start for a later use of bio-LNG. The new Rolande filling stations are part of the Connect2LNG project that is financed by the CEF program of the European Commission. The aim of the Connect2LNG project is the development of a European LNG fueling network by commissioning five stations in Germany and France.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/scania-and-rolande-committed-to-lng-network-development-across-europe/

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GO TOP

LNG as a Marine Fuel/Shipping

Japan’s first LNG-run pure car and truck carrier to be ready in October

On September 1, a naming ceremony was held at Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. for a pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) capable of navigating oceans with only LNG as the ship’s main fuel.

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The “Sakura Leader”, which was ordered to Shin Kurushima Dockyard Co. Ltd. and is scheduled to be delivered in October 2020, will be the first large LNG-powered PCTC to be built in Japan. Beginning with this ship, NYK will proceed with the replacement of vessels in its PCTC fleet with next-generation eco-friendly ships. The “Sakura Leader” took its name from the Japanese word for “cherry blossoms,” the national flower of Japan, with a wish for realizing and passing on a flourishing environment to the next generation through eco-friendly transportation. This ship will be one of the world’s largest PCTCs, capable of transporting approximately 7,000 units (standard vehicle equivalent) per voyage, beginning with vehicles produced by the Toyota Motor Corporation.

The IMO has agreed on an ambition to reduce GHG emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050, and NYK has been making a proactive effort to realize environment-friendly transportation by reducing GHG emissions. In fact, in 2015 Japan’s first LNG-fueled ship, the tugboat Sakigake, was delivered, and in 2017 the world’s first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel entered operation, which allowed NYK to expand its range of business to include LNG supply and sale. In the field of large cargo ships, NYK is positioning LNG as one of the bridge-solutions until future zero-emission ships are realized. Sakura Leader was selected as a model project by Japan’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and will receive support from the ministries for technical verification of CO2 emission reductions during actual voyages. NYK plans to switch all its future newly built PCTCs to next-generation eco-friendly vessels, such as LNG-powered ships, and aims to lead the construction of a clean transportation mode in the maritime industry. In fact, a second LNG-fueled PCTC will be delivered in 2022, and an LNG-fueled coal carrier will be delivered in 2023.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/japans-first-lng-powered-pure-car-and-truck-carrier-will-be-ready-in-october/

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BHP to use LNG-powered vessels to ship iron ore to China

BHP Group Ltd. said it would use a fleet of new vessels powered by liquefied natural gas to transport iron ore from Western Australia and China from 2022, part of efforts to lessen its contribution to global warming. BHP said the

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award of a tender for five LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers to Eastern Pacific Shipping aimed to bring down greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30% per voyage. The contract with EPS will last five years, and BHP said it expected to award the LNG bunkering supply deal in October. Vandita Pant, BHP’s chief commercial officer, said the LNG-fuelled vessels would virtually eliminate sulfur oxide emissions and significantly reduce carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. “The tender marks a progressive shift for BHP and the broader mining and shipping industry and is a significant step toward lowering greenhouse-gas emissions in the 1.5 billion-ton iron ore seaborne market,” she said. BHP released the LNG-fuelled bulk carrier tender in July last year. “The LNG bunkering time charter contract, with a total cost of ownership less than a conventionally fuelled Newcastlemax, will enable BHP to manage the fuel supply risk, build LNG operations capability internally and capture operating expenditure benefits through optimization of voyage operations and fuel utilization,” Ms. Pant said. BHP produced 248 million metric tons of iron ore in the year through June, 4% more than in the 2019 fiscal year. China is the world’s largest buyer of the steelmaking commodity, importing around three in every five cargoes of iron ore traded by sea.

https://www.marketscreener.com/quote/stock/BHP-GROUP-6492795/news/BHP-to-Use-LNG-Powered-Vessels-to-Ship-Iron-Ore-to-China-31229757/

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Korea, China and Japan Competing for LNG-powered Vessel Orders

Shipbuilders in Korea, China, and Japan are having fierce competition in order to take a bigger share of the global LNG-powered vessel market. As the global energy demand is shifting to eco-friendly sources, the shipbuilding market is

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shifting its focus to LNG-powered ships from those powered by coal and oil. For now, Korean shipbuilders have taken the lead in terms of LNG-powered ship order intake. However, Chinese shipbuilders, who are enjoying full support from the Chinese government, are mounting a serious challenge. On top of that, Japanese shipbuilders are trailing their Korean rivals through strategic alliances with China. A total of 13 companies are participating in the global market. Among them, only eight companies have received LNG-powered ship orders — three Korea shipbuilders (Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), and Samsung Heavy Industries), one Chinese shipbuilder (Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding), and four Japanese shipbuilders (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan Marine United, and Imabari Shipbuilding). Among them, Korean shipbuilders are superior to their Japanese and Chinese rivals. Korean shipbuilders built 66 (91.7 percent) of the 72 LNG-powered ships awarded in 2018 and 48 (80 percent) of the 60 ships ordered in 2019, according to Clarkson Research, a shipbuilding and shipping analysis agency. In the world’s largest-ever tender for LNG carriers held by Qatar in 2020, three Korean shipbuilders signed a deal to build 100 units for 23.6 trillion won, while Chinese shipbuilders signed a 3.5 trillion won deal for 16 ships and Japanese shipbuilders went home empty-handed. The competitiveness of the three Korean shipbuilders comes from their design of fuel tanks and fuel supply systems that require state-of-the-art technology. Only in the 1990s, shipbuilders favored the “MOSS” type with an independently designed hull and LNG fuel tank in order to enhance the stability of LNG storage. However, the “Membrane” type which integrates a hull and a fuel tank to increase load capacity by 40 percent compared to the MOSS type, has become the main stream. DSME and Samsung Heavy Industries have built ships through membrane design only and even Hyundai Heavy Industries which was the only company in Korea that secured MOSS design technology, quickly switched to the Membrane system. However, as Japanese shipbuilders insisted on the MOSS type, LNG-powered ship orders to Japanese shipbuilders have plummeted since 2015. In fuel supply systems, a key technology for LNG-powered ships, the three Korean shipbuilders have all secured their own fuel supply systems — the HI-Gas of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HI-Gas), the HiVar of DSME and the FuGas of Samsung Heavy Industries. Hyundai Heavy Industries won a total of six LNG-fired ships from Singapore’s EPS in April 2018 and recently succeeded in the world’s first test drive. On the other hand, a Chinese shipbuilder won an LNG-fired ship from CMA CGM of France in September 2017, seven months ahead of Hyundai Heavy Industries. But the Chinese shipbuilder has not even met the delivery date due to a lack of technology. China and Japan are also busy. In the case of China where the shipbuilding industry directly linked to national security, the Chinese government is devoting itself to helping Chinese shipbuilders build LNG-fired ships. “China is concerned that if foreign shipowners or shipbuilders stop shipping for political and economic purposes, China will be seriously hurt as the nation depends on the outside for 60 percent of LNG it needs,” said an official of the shipbuilding industry. “China is securing its competitiveness through mergers and acquisitions of large shipbuilders and increased investment under the leadership of the Chinese government.” Following China’s first self-designed LNG carrier export in January 2015, China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding agreed with DNV GL, a Norwegian ship classification association to develop a 270,000-cubic-meter LNG carrier, the world’s largest. The 270,000-cubic-meter LNG carrier is capable of transferring 155 million-cubic-meter LNG once, the amount which can be used by 4.7 million households for one month. Japanese shipbuilders are trying to find a way out of their slump by setting up joint ventures with Chinese shipbuilders. They aim to combine their technology with Chinese shipbuilders low production cost. In August 2019, Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding of Japan and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, a Chinese shipbuilder, jointly launched a shipyard in China. The two sides plan to invest a total of US$300 million in building a medium-sized LNG carrier to move LNG to China and Southeast Asia in 2022 and a large 180,000-cubic-meter LNG carrier by 2026. Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan also established a joint shipyard in China with China’s China Cosco Shipping Group and is expanding its operations.

Source: LNG Global

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Technological Development for Cleaner and Greener Environment Hydrogen & Bio-Methane

 

Scania Finland delivers biomethane buses to Hämeenlinna transit agency

Six new biogas-powered buses of Vekka Group (Hämeenlinnan bussiliikenne) started service in Hämeenlinna, Finland. Supplied by Scania Finland, the vehicles will operate in the city’s public transport services 1, 3 and 11, the contract for

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which was awarded to the Vekka Group in competitive tendering last year. The buses will cover more than 500,000 km each year. Using biomethane as their fuel will help cut their annual CO2 emissions by almost 500 tons. In terms of kilometers driven by, for example, a diesel-fueled estate car, this equates 1,100 times all the way up and down Finland from Hanko to Utsjoki and back. The new fleet also supports Hämeenlinna’s goal of increasing the use of sustainable transport and alternative fuels. “It’s great that we’re able to offer cleaner public transport for people in Hämeenlinna. As far as we know, we’re the first and only bus company using environmentally friendly fuel forms in the area. It’s important for us to take environmental considerations into account in our investments in the future, too,” commented Vekka Group CEO Tomi Vasiljev. “It’s been great to see in recent years how well the NGVs supplied by us have performed. All of our customers have been pleased with their purchases without any exceptions. These vehicles have many superior characteristics that currently make them a highly viable option when considering the investment specifically from the environmental, lifecycle emissions and overall economic perspectives. Gas technology is reliable, the vehicles are quiet and buses provide excellent passenger comfort in urban traffic,” said Scania Finland Key Account Manager Ilkka Korpela. “It’s been a pleasure to cooperate with the Vekka Group, and it’s great to find that interest in natural gas-powered buses is clearly on the increase. Among the renewable fuels, biogas is one of the most economical options for public transport emission reductions,” said Gasum Sales Manager Ville Sipponen. Demand for natural gas in the Hämeenlinna area has been increasing rapidly in recent years as regards passenger cars and heavy-duty vehicles alike. Gasum has responded to this demand by increasing the service capacity of Hämeenlinna’s Tiiriö filling station through the installation of a larger gas storage unit and an additional compressor.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/scania-finland-delivers-new-biomethane-buses-to-transit-agency-in-hameenlinna/

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Increasing bio-LNG refueling infrastructure in Belgium

Rolande has opened its first LNG station in Belgium together with partner G&V Energy Group, joining forces to be able to create a covering LNG network in this country. The years of experience of Rolande and the strategical network of

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G&V combined, made it possible to move forward fast. The new facility is situated on the right bank of the Antwerp harbor. “We believe that transport can and needs to be more sustainable and more profitable at the same time! We strive to provide our customers with the cleanest, economically most feasible fuel of the moment: LNG and bio-LNG. Due to the fact that we control the entire chain, offer European coverage and keep developing continuously, we truly help our customers moving forward in the area of sustainability and profitability,” said Jolon van der Schuit, CEO of Rolande. “In succession to the Netherlands and Germany, where we opened our first LNG station in July, we now also entered the Belgium market. This way we make important steps to create a full covering European LNG network that is necessary to put (bio) LNG as a fuel even more firmly on the map. Because of our partnership with G&V, our customers can also use their strategic locations in Belgium. New LNG stations in Habay and Waregem are on the roadmap. Both G&V and Rolande want to play an important role in the transition to alternative fuels,” he added.The new Antwerp station is part of the BIOLNG4EU project, which is 50% co-financed from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program and promotes the further roll-out of (bio) LNG in road transport. The facility is also part of the opening of four new stations in the Netherlands and Belgium, where Rolande will be offer LNG and bio-LNG.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/increasing-bio-lng-refueling-infrastructure-in-belgium/

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NYC bus fleet will lower emissions with renewable natural gas

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has been contracted by New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to provide its Redeem™ renewable natural gas to power the MTA’s 800 natural gas transit buses. Switching to Redeem will help

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the nation’s largest transit fleet reduce the carbon footprint of its buses. “The MTA is a prime example of a major transit agency recognizing the environmental benefits and financial value of renewable natural gas,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO, Clean Energy. “We’re pleased to support their efforts by supplying low-carbon fuel option that will help improve air quality and fight climate change in the region.” The multi-year agreement for an estimated 25 million gallons of Clean Energy’s Redeem™ renewable natural gas will reduce greenhouse gas emissions annually by 25,351 metric tons—the equivalent of removing 5,477 gasoline cars from the road, planting 419,184 trees, and recycling 8,623 tons of landfill waste. “We applaud the MTA for taking bold action to improve the environment by choosing to fuel their transit busses with renewable natural gas,” Johannes Escudero, CEO and executive director, Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas. “The air quality and greenhouse gas benefits of MTA’s purchase of renewable natural gas have the potential to be multiplied many times over with the passage of a New York Clean Fuels Program, a policy proposal that is designed to incentivize more fleets to choose cleaner fuels and is supported by a broad coalition of environmental and business groups in the state.”

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/new-york-city-bus-fleet-will-cut-carbon-footprint-with-renewable-natural-gas/

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Canada has big plans to use hydrogen to cut emissions and produce more oil

Canada’s main crude-producing province Alberta looks to use hydrogen to fuel expansion of its oil sands without increasing emissions, even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises strong action against climate change, officials with the two governments said.

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Alberta will announce no later than October a strategy to develop “blue hydrogen” as a cleaner alternative to using natural gas to extract crude at steam-driven oil sands sites, Associate Minister of Natural Gas Dale Nally told Reuters in an interview. Deploying cleaner feedstock will allow Alberta to produce more oil without exceeding its 100 megatonne annual limit on provincial carbon emissions, Nally said. “Hydrogen will allow us to continue to move the bar and reduce the carbon intensity of the oil sands until you get to a point where there is no difference in (greenhouse gases) in conventional oil and oil sands,” he said, adding that Alberta’s hydrogen plan is synchronized with Ottawa’s. “Reducing the carbon intensity of the oil sands would allow of course more expansion.” Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas, with the carbon byproduct captured and stored. A green agenda to be launched by Trudeau this month is expected to map out a course to the 2050 zero-emissions target, and likely to include a strategy describing hydrogen as a “net-zero moon shot” for the petroleum sector, said a government source familiar with the federal plan. According to a draft 14-page summary of the federal strategy seen by Reuters, hydrogen will leverage the fossil fuel sector’s “expertise and infrastructure… to decarbonize and diversify into a leading global clean fuels exporter,” the document reads. The hydrogen plans raise flags for some environmental groups familiar with the federal strategy. Some major investors like Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund have shunned oil sands companies because of their tarnished environmental reputation. “Hydrogen is like a lifeboat for (the oil sands),” said Julia Levin, climate and energy program manager at Environmental Defence, about the federal strategy. “It’s a significant fossil fuel subsidy at a time when we’re making no progress on eliminating fossil fuels.” The federal government’s draft plan – three years in the making – says several provinces could produce hydrogen, some using renewable energy, and by 2050 the industry could create 100,000 jobs, generate more than C$5 billion in annual revenue and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 100 megatonnes. Some say hydrogen is not likely to transform the oil industry anytime soon.
“We still don’t have a good understanding of the economics, how much it’s going to cost and what we’re going to use it for,” said Allan Fogwill, chief executive of the Canadian Energy Research Institute.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/canada-has-big-plans-to-use-hydrogen-to-cut-emissions-and-produce-more-oil/77931756

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New biomethane station opens near the largest port in the Nordics

Gasum, a Finnish company, has opened a LNG and bio-LNG station in Tuve, Gothenburg, located at a major heavy transport hub near the Volvo truck plant and close to the Port of Gothenburg, the largest port in the Nordics. Developed in cooperation

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with truck manufacturer Volvo, the new facility further enables the transition to cleaner energy sources in the road transport sector. “Land logistics has an important role when reducing emissions. Natural gas is recognized as a low-emission and cost-effective fuel solution in the transport sector, and our aim is to quickly make it available to the Nordic market. We are investing in the filling station network as well as in the entire gas value chain and biogas production. These all are needed in order to secure a reliable supply and availability of gas to meet market demand,” said Johanna Lamminen, CEO, Gasum. Natural gas is gaining momentum in the transport sector globally. LNG-powered ships are becoming first choice in the maritime sector and several countries incentivize the conversion from diesel to natural gas in the road transport sector. This is why the demand for a comprehensive refueling network is growing steadily. Today, there are already more than 170 LNG trucks in use in Sweden and the number is rapidly increasing along with the natural gas stations and different incentives for low emission solutions. “Today, LNG trucks are the most commercially viable alternative to ordinary diesel for heavy long-haul operations in Europe. With the growing gas network in the Nordic region, it’s now possible for many of our customers to switch to more sustainable logistics solutions with our LNG trucks,” commented Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO AB Volvo. “We are pleased to work in partnership with an industry leader such as Volvo Trucks while developing the new Tuve station. The new station is located close to the largest port in the Nordics and a lot of import and export traffic transits through the Port of Gothenburg every day. Now we are able to offer logistics companies operating in the port an easy way to lower their emissions,” added Mikael Antonsson, Director, Traffic, Gasum Sweden.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/new-biomethane-station-opens-near-the-largest-port-in-the-nordics/

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Freight carrier adds 50 biomethane trucks via Clean Energy’s Zero Now

Estes Express Lines will add to its fleet 50 new trucks fueled with Clean Energy’s Redeem™ renewable natural gas, bringing its total to 71. Estes, United States’ largest privately-owned freight transportation carrier, is acquiring the Class 8 natural gas

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trucks equipped with the Cummins Westport ultra-clean ISX12N engine for its California fleet, and is expected to use an approximate 2.8 million gallons of biomethane over the seven-year contract. Estes purchased the trucks through Clean Energy’s Zero Now program, which brings the price of a natural gas truck at parity with a diesel truck, while offering a guaranteed fuel discount for the duration of the agreement. For Estes, this represents a geographical expansion of its current 21 ultra clean truck fleet currently operating out of Texas, and also fueled by Redeem. “Switching to trucks fueled with ultra-low carbon fuel is vital to improving air quality and fighting climate change in the regions that we serve,” said Estes CEO and President, Rob Estes. “Clean Energy’s Zero Now program has enabled us to switch to cleaner fuel and engine technologies that make financial sense – so it’s a win on several levels.” “By adding 50 clean, sustainable natural gas trucks to its fleet, Estes demonstrates their leadership in the drive to lower the carbon footprint by the heavy-duty trucking industry,” said Brett Lindsay, Vice President of Clean Energy. “With the support of our Zero Now program, Estes has been able to easily and quickly switch a growing number of their trucks to renewable natural gas, significantly decreasing the environmental impact of their operations.”

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/u-s-freight-carrier-adds-50-biomethane-trucks-via-clean-energys-zero-now/

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