Energy Business News

Wind energy in Galicia: Enel GP starts the Paradela wind farm in Lugo
Endesa, through its renewable energies division Enel Green Power Spain (EGPE), has begun the construction of the Paradela wind farm, with a total capacity of 12 megawatts (MW), which is developed in the municipality of Paradela in Lugo. The investment exceeds 15 million euros. “Endesa is making a major investment effort in renewable energies to lead the energy transition,” said Endesa CEO José Bogas. “At the end of the year, around 900 MW of renewable power will be in operation, which the company was awarded in the auctions of 2017, which demonstrates the commitment of the company so that Spain reaches its objectives in green energy “. The Paradela wind farm will be operational by the end of 2019, and, when operational, will have the capacity to generate more than 42 GWh per year, which will prevent the annual emission to the atmosphere of approximately 28,000 tons of CO2. It will be equipped with six wind turbines of 2 MW unit power. EGPE works simultaneously on three projects in Galicia, all of them in the province of Lugo. To the one of Paradela, the parks of Serra das Penas, of 42 megawatts of installed power, and the Reformed of Pena Ventosa, in O Vicedo, of 8 MW are added, the latter with an investment of 57 million euros. In total there will be 62 megawatts and more than 72 million euros of investment, all of them with 2 MW wind turbines. For the construction of these parks, EGPE employs various innovative tools and techniques, such as construction machines equipped with active safety systems that warn operators to avoid collisions, drones for surveying, intelligent tracking of turbine components, platforms advanced digital and software solutions to remotely monitor and support the activities and the start-up of the plant. These solutions allow a faster, more accurate and reliable data collection in the work activities, which increases the overall quality of the construction and facilitates communication between the teams that are inside and outside the work area. The construction is based on the “Sustainable Construction Site” model of Enel Green Power, including the installation of photovoltaic solar panels on each site to cover part of their energy needs. In addition, the water saving measures will be carried out through the installation of water tanks and rainwater collection systems; once the construction works are finished, both the photovoltaic panels and the water saving equipment will be donated to the municipalities where the projects are located for public use. In addition to the advantages of renewable energy and the contribution to employment, Paradela Park has a marked social orientation. In virtue of this, Endesa has given entry to the capital of the company to the City Council of Lugo, which participates with 10%. Precisely that municipality will benefit from another improvement, which will favor tourism and is linked to the Serra das Penas park. This is the qualification of a hiking route next to the Belesar reservoir, which will start around the Ruxidoira-Loio area and arrive at the Aldosende square, with a length of 16 kilometers parallel to the Miño river. The three parks under construction in Galicia are part of the 540 MW that EGPE was awarded in the renewable energy auctions organized by the Government in May 2017. In addition to Galicia, the wind farms will be located in Aragón, Andalucía, Castilla y León and Castilla La Mancha. When they enter into operation, the new facilities will generate a total of 1,750 GWh per year. EGPE was also awarded 339 MW of production capacity of solar origin in the third government auction, held in July 2017, in Extremadura and Murcia. The construction of the wind (540 MW) and solar (339 MW) facilities will involve an investment of more than 800 million euros until 2020. This capacity of 879 MW will allow Endesa’s renewable energy park to increase by 52.4%. Endesa currently manages more than 6,526 MW of renewable capacity in Spain. Of this figure, 4,710 MW are conventional hydraulic generation. The rest, more than 1,816 MW, are managed through EGPE, and come from wind (1,750 MW), mini-hydro (54 MW) and other renewable energy sources (14 MW). Enel Green Power, the global renewable energy business line of the Enel Group, to which Endesa belongs, is dedicated to the development and operation of renewables throughout the world, with presence in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector with a managed capacity of about 43 GW in a generation combination that includes wind power, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric.   Source:
Tullow says Turkana oil project facing delays
Kenya may not be an oil exporter by 2022 as Tullow cites delays by the Government to make key decisions to enable the project to move forward. The firm had expected that its joint investment partners and the Government would be able to make the Final Investment Decision (FID) by the end this year but this is likely to spill to 2020. Tullow Oil has also pushed forward the date for the export of the first cargo of oil produced under the pilot scheme to September, from the earlier planned date of June 2019. In a statement yesterday, the British oil explorer yesterday said reaching an FID for the Kenyan project by end of 2019 was an ambitious target. The company has in the past said it expected all the partners as well as Government to commit resources for the commercial production phase – what is termed as the Final Investment Decision (FID) – by end of this year but this might now come next year. The decision, whereby the joint venture partners commit money as well as other resources to a project is critical for the commencement of work such as the development of fields as well as the construction of the pipeline between Turkana and Lamu. While Tullow said it is still optimistic about having an FID for the Lokichar project in the course of 2019, it noted that the Government needed to fast track some of the processes. Delay in getting the FID could delay oil production, which is currently expected to start in 2022. “Tullow continues to target a Final Investment Decision (FID) in Kenya by year-end although this remains an ambitious target… Discussions with the Government regarding key commercial agreements are making steady progress. A late 2019 FID remains contingent on these key Government of Kenya deliverables,” said Tullow in a statement yesterday. The firm has also pushed forward the date by which it expects to export Kenya’s first cargo of crude produced under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS). The company had been eyeing to export the first cargo of crude produced under the pilot in June this year but in the statement yesterday said this could only happen in the third quarter of this year. A cargo of about 400 000 barrels is expected to be shipped out in the first cargo. “EOPS continues to truck 600 barrels of oil per day to Mombasa where 80,000 barrels of oil are being stored ahead of export. Following receipt of Regulatory Authority approval, which is expected shortly, production will be increased to 2,000 barrels of oil per day, with the first export cargo expected in the third quarter of 2019,” said the company.   Source :
How far will tariffs fall as Kenya, Uganda move to share power?
Kenya and Uganda have signed a new power purchase agreement (PPA) that facilitates bilateral power trade and takes into account new dynamics in the energy sector, including increased generation capacity. The agreement, which is designed to facilitate two-way electricity imports and exports between the two countries, marks the end of the previous pact that only focused on Kenya’s imports from Uganda, and limited supply to emergency situations. The signing of the PPA last month was necessitated by investments by both countries in electricity generation facilities resulting in excess capacity, a development that has prompted a downward revision of tariffs. “The new PPA that has been negotiated with Uganda is good for Kenya because the tariffs have come down drastically,” Jared Othieno, the acting managing director of Kenya Power, told The EastAfrican. He added that under the new agreement, Kenya intends to import a maximum of 50MW from Uganda annually. POWER SHARING The agreement was signed by Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority and Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA). ERA chief executive Ziria Wako said the two countries still had the old agreements for sharing power when the Nalubaale Dam was commissioned in 1954. “One of the conditions was that we share the surplus within the region, but first with Kenya. The limitation to emergency situations was because of power supply constraints at that time,” Ms Wako told The EastAfrican. A transmission line from Tororo in Uganda connects to Kenya, which enables bulk power transmission. The Nalubaale dam was built by the colonial government to generate electricity for Uganda’s growing industry and for domestic use, but with limited export volumes. Under the old regime, Uganda has imported electricity to Kenya, more during dry seasons and less when the country experiences good rainfall. In recent years Kenya has invested in other energy sources, particularly geothermal and wind, to stabilise generation. The current installed capacity is 2,711MW, against a demand of 1,640MW. Geothermal has become the leading contributor of electricity, accounting for 47 per cent of the total generation, followed by hydro and thermal plants at 30 per cent and 20.6 per cent respectively. Uganda also has excess capacity after the commissioning of the 183MW Isimba hydropower dam, pushing its power generation capacity to 1,179MW, way above its peak demand of 656MW. The regional excess capacity has seen Kenya reduce its imports, with distributor Kenya Power’s financial results for the year ending June 2018 showing a $35.1 million bill from Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd in 2017/18 down from $37.1 million in the previous financial year. During the period, the company purchased 168GWh from Uganda, a decrease from 180GWh the previous year. SUPPLY Kenya paid $0.20 per unit of electricity imported from Uganda. Although both Kenyan and Ugandan officials declined to state the tariffs agreed in the new agreement, sources told The EastAfrican that the new tariffs will average $0.15, excluding forex fluctuation. Uganda’s installed capacity is expected to rise to 2,000MW by 2020, when projects like the 600MW Karuma hydropower plant and the 800MW Ayago along the River Nile are connected to the grid. The country’s target is to achieve a generation capacity of 4,000MW. “Power supply security is very good for this country. Isimba and Karuma are not enough. We need a lot of generation capacity to be able to extend power to all Ugandans and to fuel large industries and our neighbours under the regional interconnection project,” said Ms Wako. The expected decline in electricity earnings from Kenya could force Uganda to explore the possibilities of increasing exports to Tanzania, where current exports stand at 14MW. With an installed capacity of 1,513 MW, Tanzania has a deficit of 485MW. Uganda’s exports to Tanzania are however being curtailed by the lack of a high-voltage interconnector. Ms Wako said that Uganda is also in talks to supply 45MW to Rwanda, which has a deficit of 13MW. Negotiations to supply power to the neighbours are part of Uganda’s strategy to meet regional requirements for interconnectivity. Due to differences in natural endowment in power generation resources, the connectivity is intended to mutually benefit countries. For example, during prolonged droughts that affect hydro sources, geothermal or solar generators can transmit power with countries in distress.   Source : 
Fuel retailing business in India
An expert committee formed by the oil ministry has recommended several steps to ease regulation in order to open up the fuel retailing in India. The expert committee has submitted its suggestions to the ministry of petroleum and natural resources (MoPNG), which has sought for stakeholders’ comments within two weeks from May 28. Key recommendations of the expert committee include relaxation of requirement of Rs 2,000 crore investment in the refining business or 3 million metric tonnes (MMT) of crude production in the oil and gas sector in India. This particular provision was an entry barrier for companies meaning to enter the retailing business of petrol and diesel in India. The committee is also of the view to have a minimum requirement of Rs 250 crores as net-worth to obtain authorisation so that only serious players enter the segment for business. A provision of Rs 3 crore as bank guarantee for each outlet under remote area retail outlet has also been recommended. It will be mandatory for an entity to commit 5 percent of remote area retail outlets within 2 years of the authorisation grant. There will also be an option to pay upfront an amount of Rs 2 crore per outlet in case retailer decides to skip remote area retail outlet provision under the guidelines, according to recommendations of the committee. The committee was constituted in 2018 to look into various issues related to the implementation of existing guidelines for fuel retailing in India. The idea behind an expert committee was to improve customer experience in retail marketing by introducing more competition from private companies. The expert committee was convened by Ashutosh Jindal, joint secretary of MoPNG, with committee members, including renowned economist Kirit Parikh, former petroleum and natural resources secretary GC Chaturvedi, former Indian Oil chairman MA Pathan, and Erroll D'souza, director at Indian Institute of Management. The idea is to include non-oil sector companies and large format malls, hypermarket places which sees huge footfalls in terms of retail fuel consumer. Some of the models discussed by the committee were that of the United States where over 1,00,000 fuel retailing companies are not franchises of any large oil companies. Similarly, the United Kingdom has over 10,000 retail companies and over 50,000 retailing companies in the European region for fuel. While India has only seven fuel retailers with 64,626 outlets, Indian Oil leads with 42.9 percent market share followed by Hindustan Petroleum at 23.9 percent with 15,440 outlets and Bharat Petroleum at 22.9 percent with 14,802 outlets as on April 2019. Private sector barely constitutes about 10 percent market share with players like Reliance Petro Marketing, Nayara Energy and Shell India. For any changes to the existing fuel retail guidelines, MoPNG will have to get a nod from the cabinet after assessing recommendations of the expert committee along with comments received from the stakeholders.     Source:
Escooter Startup in India
There’s more money racing into India’s increasingly competitive two-wheeler market after electric scooter maker Ather Energy said today it has raised $51 million in new funding. The round was led by early backer Sachin Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart, who invested $32 million. The rest of the money was provided by Hero MotoCorp, which added $19 million in convertible debt, and venture debt VC firm InnoVen Capital, which put in $8 million. The deal means that the six-year-old startup has raised around $90 million to date. Ather Energy was valued at about $400 million in the new round, a person familiar with the matter said. In an interview with TechCrunch, Tarun Mehta, co-founder and CEO of Ather Energy,  said the startup will use the fresh capital to expand to new cities, and ramp up its manufacturing capacity and supply chain network. Ather’s scooters, currently available only in Bengaluru, will be launched in Chennai followed by other unspecified cities, he said. Ather Energy will also attempt to produce 20,000 to 25,000 scooters a year through its own manufacturing plant in Bengaluru, Mehta revealed. The company is also keen to expand its product portfolio, which currently numbers just two scooter models — Ather 340 (priced at $1,600) and 450 ($1,770). By 2023, the startup is aiming to grow its presence to more than 30 cities, with over 6,500 charging stations — up from 38 currently — and production capacity of a million scooters in a year. There’s some way to go before it can reach those lofty goals, but Ather has built a fan-following in the nation for its scooters in recent years. Its scooters sport high storage battery density (2.4 KWh Lithium-ion), a dashboard for navigation information, 75 km of mileage and take less than three hours to fully charge. That’s led Mehta to call the Ather 450 “the most powerful smart scooter in the Indian market.” Ather Energy offers its scooters to consumers in three ways: outright purchase, purchase with a subscription for value-added features and leasing, an option it only recently introduced. The company’s competitors include Vogo,  Bounce and Yulu, which earlier this month inked a deal with Uber  to conduct a trial in the nation. Another big name is also involved: Uber rival Ola has invested about $100 million in startup Vogo, which operates in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Mehta said he thinks electric scooters are a good fit for ride-hailing giants, and that’s something he is open to exploring at a later stage. But for now, his startup will stick to its B2C (business to consumer) play. In a prepared statement, Sachin Bansal,  who has emerged as one of the most prolific VCs in India, said, “Their [Ather Energy’s] focus on end to end customer experience will open up new revenue opportunities and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in India. The future is electric and I am excited to be a part of this journey in shaping the future.”   Source: