SA’s coal exporters face a shrinking market

As Thungela Resources’ CEO attempts to talk up the future of the Anglo American coal spin-off, SA’s second-largest coal export destination is planning to bring coal imports to an end. Thungela CEO July Ndlovu recently stated that a “just transition” for developing nations requires the continued operation of existing coal-fired power plants to avoid economic damage. However, even in the unlikely event that coal power stations can remain financially sustainable amid the ongoing wave of ever-cheaper renewable energy development globally, Ndlovu misses a key point. In some of SA’s key…

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U.S. energy secretary sets expectations for greener LNG production

The days of promoting liquefied natural gas as “freedom gas” or “molecules of freedom” have ended at the U.S. Department of Energy. During a visit to Houston, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said the Biden administration would rather promote and sell a cleaner version of the superchilled fuel. The statement marks a policy shift from the Trump administration, which rolled back environmental regulations and heavily promoted U.S. LNG around the world. The energy industry has been under mounting pressure from investors and governments to step up efforts to reduce…

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Offshore Wind Power Connected To China’s Grid Tops 10 Mln Kilowatts

The installed capacity of offshore wind power connected to China’s grid network reached 10.42 million kilowatts by the end of April, according to the country’s National Energy Administration (NEA). China has made outstanding achievements in developing offshore wind power in recent years, the NEA said. In the first four months of 2021, the offshore wind power generation totaled 9.94 billion kilowatt-hours, NEA data showed.

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Putin is betting coal still has a future

European governments are drawing up plans to phase out coal, U.S. coal-fired power plants are being shuttered as prices of clean energy plummet, and new Asian projects are being scrapped as lenders back away from the dirtiest fossil fuel. And Russia? President Vladimir Putin’s government is spending more than $10 billion on railroad upgrades that will help boost exports of the commodity. Authorities will use prisoners to help speed the work, reviving a reviled Soviet-era tradition. The project to modernize and expand railroads that run to Russia’s Far Eastern ports…

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Sindh to start World Bank-assisted project next month

The Sindh government is going to start from next month a World Bank-assisted project to energise 200,000 homes in far-flung rural areas of the province using solar power. The decision to this effect was reached as Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah chaired a meeting here at the CM House. The project will be implemented in the districts of Khairpur, Sanghar, Badin, Ghotki, Jacoabad, Kashmore, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Tharparkar, Sujawal, and Umerkot. The project is being initially launched in the districts of Sanghar and Khairpur. The vendors of the project in…

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Webinar on water, food security: Degradation of ecosystems due to deforestation, over-exploitation of natural resources

Islamabad: The experts speaking at the webinar on Saturday opined that the core reasons for the degradation of ecosystems they cited were the unchecked deforestation, use of land change and overexploitation of natural resources including subsurface water. Aquifers are depleting casing severe threat to water security as we have already reached below the required water per capita. The unsustainable adaptation mechanisms have led us to a dangerous situation. We among the top five countries most vulnerable to disasters and climate change impact that would immensely affect water and food security.…

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What NEPRA can do?

There has been some confusion or even controversy over Nepra’s role and responsibilities. It is a regulator, yes, but what it should be doing. Should it restrict itself to issuing tariffs or should it be doing much more. There are extreme views on it. One is minimal being restricted to tariff and the other being total sectoral control. One of the past secretaries of Power Division subscribed to this maximalist role. On the other hand, there is always some kind of tussle or misunderstanding as to the division of responsibilities…

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Potential priorities of new energy minister

We have a new minister for energy. He is young and appears dynamic, therefore, there is every reason for pinning high hopes on him. Our energy supply chain substantially lacks the required agility. Failure to maintain a consistent exploration and production (E&P) programme, gradual exodus of E&P multinational companies (MNCs) and resultant compulsive spending of 35% of the annual budget on fuel imports are only a few examples. Also, while oil and gas production in general, and especially of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), continues to decline with their increasing receivables, even…

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Mega consortium gets rights to develop riverfront phase-1

A mega consortium of more than 10 firms led by a known group of companies has succeeded in getting development rights of the phase-1 (Sapphire Bay) of the country’s first mega riverfront development venture in Lahore — Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project worth billions of dollars. The Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) — the project owner/client — will announce the name of successful bidder within next couple of days, Dawn has learnt. “We have completed the bidding process for awarding/granting rights of developing the phase-1 (2,000 acres / Sapphire Bay)…

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Pakistan begs China for power debt forgiveness

Pakistan’s debt problems are escalating as liabilities due on China-funded energy projects established under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) surpass $31 billion and Beijing declines to restructure $3 billion in liabilities coming due that Islamabad possibly won’t pay. The debt load, owed largely for the building of independent power producers (IPPs) on take-or-pay power generation contracts, is substantially more than the $19 billion in total invested in the plants, according to reports and industry analysts. Pakistan is obliged to pay $5.9 billion to the power companies for take-or-pay capacity payments alone over…

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